Writing For Charity

Happy St. Patrick's Day! (yes, this is a little late but hey, it's still March) This image was actually done completely digitally in ArtRage on my Yinova Tablet Monitor.

I've been really busy trying to finish up 2 books worth of final sketches all due at the beginning of April. One of the book's sketches are done, and the other is 1/2 done. Lots and lots of sketching going on. But it's pretty awesome that I've been able to use my new YINOVA tablet monitor and the ARTRAGE program to sketch these books. I won't be painting digitally but this sketching digitally is saving me a lot of time and paper. Love it. Highly recommend it.

Today I am presenting along with a bunch of amazing authors and illustrators at a yearly even we all donate our time and some books to. It's called the Writing For Charity conference. You can keep up on the event for next year and what it's all about on their site writingforcharity.blogspot.com . But essentially it's an awesome day full of professional authors and illustrators sharing their knowledge and all the proceeds go to charities to get books into the hands of children in need.

These are the baskets I'm donating this year for the silent auction. Patriotic themed baskets with a signed book, signed fine art print from the book, and other trinkets and candy. Hopefully someone will bid and enjoy them so other kids can enjoy books.

Don't miss it next year!

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2015 Valentines Printables

Hello my friends! If you are like me, you are once again trying to get your kids' valentines boxes made and all those valentines signed and ready to go. But why go to the store...here are some free valentine printables. This year the card can be made double sided.

 download and print the images below,  double sided, then cut in 4ths
(For personal use only, not for resale, copyright Julie Olson 2015)


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Groundhog Day 2015 and Caldecott Announcement

In honor of Groundhog Day 2015, Amazon has placed my "Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!" book on sale for today. Don't miss out on your hardback copy for only $7.79 and have some tickle tickle fun with your little one.

In this book, Gus the groundhog gets an annoying little itch on his back that he just can't scratch. Through a series of seemingly unfortunate events, Gus finally gets that itch scratched and makes some new and unexpected friends. A great read-aloud, this book will have you and your little one giggling and tickling the whole way through.

Here's the book trailer for the little book...

Also, #Caldecott awards for 2015 were announced this morning.  I think they made quite the variety of choices for awards this year. And I was very pleased to see the wonderful artwork of Dan Santat win the Caldecott Medal. Check out the rest of the awards HERE.

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Deadlines & Presentations & Fun

I decided to do a little exploring and sketching in ArtRage this morning. I really love the character that came out of it. What do you think?

This month has been very busy. You always think that after the holidays life won't be so chaotic. But everything you put on hold for Christmas celebrations comes back to hit you in the face in January. At least the weather here in Utah has been pleasant and not the usual bitter cold. So this month I've been doing the following...

MEETING DEADLINES: The project I'm working on for Zondervan publishing (subsidiary of Harper Collins) has been keeping me working a lot this month. I had sketches due and then full color finals due. I lost some editing I had done in photoshop the day the color finals were due and I thought I was up a creek. But I was able to redo them faster the second time and get everything turned in. I will have deadlines for these 4 books every month or so until September when they should all be completed.

In the meantime...

My agent has been submitting two picture book dummies of mine and so far no offers for acquisition. But all the rejections have been positive rejections so they aren't completely disheartening. It's a good thing I'm working on other jobs because it distracts me from the waiting and the blow of the rejections.

And then...

PRESENTATIONS: I really enjoyed going to Sara Larson's launch for IGNITE, the second book in her Defy series. She did a great job and I always have fun catching up with friends. Then last night I gave a hour and a half lecture at BYU to Rick Walton's Publishing Industry class. I lost my VGA adapter only hours before so I had to run and buy one, but everything worked out.


FUN: My daughters 11th birthday was this month and she wanted to make a movie during her party and hand out oscar awards. I love decorating cakes so I made her a film reel cake and film negative cupcakes and everyone had a great time.
I also took the kids to an indoor swimming rec center on MLK day to pretend it really wasn't winter. I forgot how much swimming can tire you out. LOL!

If you want to stay more up to date on my day to day life as a mom and illustrator, follow me on Instagram @julieolsonbooks
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Free Christmas Tags Printable

Here's an early Christmas present for you all. Free Christmas tags for all those gifts. Just print out on cardstock and cut out. You can tape on the package or use a single hole punch near the top of the tag to weave a ribbon through.

Click HERE to download the PDF file.

Please only print and use for personal use. Do not alter or resell in any form. That way I can keep offering things like this for free. Thanks so much!
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Do you want to illustrate children's books?

So perhaps you are a wonderful artist. Your paintings could hang on walls in galleries. And then your friend asks you to illustrate a picture book she wrote. She says, "You are an amazing artist. I would love it if you'd do the pictures for my book. It'll be wonderful and we will make millions!"(FYI, you may make millions of pennies, but don't count on millions of DOLLARS.)

So then...

You decide NOT to  illustrate your friends' book (because that's probably the smartest option unless they are some celebrity), but the idea gets going in your head that you'd really love to illustrate BOOKS!

If that's the case, being a great artist isn't enough, you HAVE to learn the process, the design, the layout, the limitations, the reproduction problems, the character design...all parts of a picture book. I've done posts on here before about the steps I personally take in illustrating a book, but today I'm going to link you to an awesome opportunity to learn from two amazing book illustrators.

You will not want to miss these classes offered by veteran illustrators  Will Terry and Jake Parker. Besides being talented, knowledgable and experienced, these guys are great teachers too. Their encouragements and personal instruction will take you leaps and bounds above where you are right now. So don't miss out. The live sessions start soon and are almost full. www.SVSlearn.com
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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at JulieOlsonbooks.com

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