Friday, August 15, 2014

Break out the Band!

I recently had the opportunity to work with the awesome Todd Cooper at the Eugene Weekly. I created the cover and 4 spot illustrations for the magazine's education issue. You can find the articles here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The American Honeybee

"Nearly one out of four American honeybee colonies died this winter..." and "Honeybees pollinate more than 90 of the world's flowering crops, including apples, nuts, broccoli, squash, citrus fruit, berries and melons." (Seth Borenstein, Huffington Post)

I've read the articles in the news over the past few years about the strange and sudden decline of the honeybee population, and have wanted to create an illustration about this alarming problem for a while, but could never decide on a way to approach the subject. Over the past week I finally found my visual and this is the result.

Seems that we need to do something more than talk about this issue and do it now before it's too late.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Picture Book Blog Tour

The lovely Violet Lemay an illustrator, art director, and one of my former professors at SCAD recently asked me to join an illustrators blog tour. This is a way of sharing my process and work as a children's book illustrator and then introducing you to another illustrator. So, without further ado…

At the moment I'm starting a new project for National Geographic Kids magazine.  I got my first gig with them through a postcard promo and working with them has been an awesome experience.  I've also just wrapped up a new picture book project with Kids Can Press that will be out in the Spring of 2015 so I can't share it quite yet, but check back then to see all of that new artwork!
My first project for National Geographic Kids Magazine, June/July 2014

I used to create all of my collage work by hand and then scan in my finals, but as more and more jobs arrived in my inbox I realized I needed to speed up my process. To do that I transferred my traditional illustration style into Photoshop.  It has the same look and feel as my handmade work and my process is basically the same I just do all of my cutting and pasting on the computer now. With this transition I tried to stick to my own style rather than copy any other digital collage illustrators style and I think that has allowed my work to remain distinct.

I illustrate what I love and things that interest me because I feel that makes for the best work.  I love illustrating animals, food, maps, and my work leans more towards the narrative than the conceptual so that along with my style works well for picture books.  In addition, I like getting projects that challenge me to illustrate something I've never even thought about drawing before. The challenges help me grow as an artist.

I do not write my own booksyet. Currently all of the books I have illustrated were written by authors and passed along to me by publishers; however, I'm in the process of working on a new dummy book for a story I'm writing and illustrating now.  

As far as my illustration process goes though I usually like to take the manuscript and read it over, and over, and over. And then I take some time to think about the characters and story before I even begin sketching.  I move from there to a few rounds of thumbnail sketches and then clean those up before I send anything back to the publisher for the first review.  There are always edits and a second round of sketches to resolve issues with composition or content. And then I take those final drawings into Photoshop to begin the color finals.  
Initial sketch afte thumbnails, Sassy & Troll, 2013
And that's a wrap. Many thank to Violet for asking me to participate and to all of you visitors. To keep the tour going visit the blog of…


Brianne is an incredibly talented illustrator who also attended the SCAD MFA Illustration program.  She published her first book, Ike's Incredible Ink with Candlewick Press in 2013.  To check out her blog visit: