Chihuahua Time

I got an email from my agent today telling me that FSG (Farrar Straus and Giroux) want me to illustrate a chapter book. Turns out there are chihuahuas in the book and I just happened to have inadvertently sketched a page of them about a month ago in my sketchbook. Looks like it's fate. I told the editor this when I accepted the job and he called up. He asked me to send him a scan of the page. I did. I was a little nervous because sketchbooks often do not show your best work. I was really just doodling these. But it turns out he loved them and made giving me the job all the better to them. I heaved a sigh of relief. I was afraid they'd say...oh wait, we take it back.
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Illustration Friday: Late

Here's a little sketch colored in Painter. Obviously she's late...for class, for a test, for some school related activity. Ahh, those college days.
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Book Signing

Last night I had a successful booksigning at Barnes and Noble bookstore. The author of the Annie McRae books I illustrated was there as well, along with other authors and illustrators in the area. It was educator night so a lot of teachers showed up and bought books. A lot of us went to dinner beforehand together and had a great time. Sometimes booksignings can be a bit slow and's always better to set them up with a group of people. Thanks, Barnes and Noble and its patrons, we had a great night.
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I love all the workspace I have on my new desk. I spent all day yesterday, printing out my drawings of a book I'm working on onto watercolor paper. Today, I laid out and taped down 6 of them and got to work...a little assembly line if you will. I'd do masking on all 6, backgrounds on all 6, skin color on all 6, hair color on all 6, then the rest of the details and ink on all 6. And today, I have 6 paintings done! I do have 34 or so more to do (this book has a lot of images on each page instead of full spreads). But after the smoothness of today's work...I'm excited! Wish me luck. I have 4 weeks to finish the rest.
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FINALLY, a home again!

Since my office flooded this past June from a plumbing mishap, I've been out of a home to call my far as a studio goes that is. This last week, we finally got the replacement flooring in and I completely reorganized and desks and all. I have so much more space now! More floor space AND more working space. I completely LOVE it! Now, I can full-out start the painting on a picture book I'm in the middle of. YeeHA!



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Soon to be an author too!

I just accepted a book deal for a picture book dummy I had my agent shopping around. It's one I wrote and illustrated myself. It's pretty awesome that soon I'll be able to say "WRITTEN AND illustrated by Julie Olson." It's not due out until August 2009 and I haven't officially signed the contract yet...just accepted the verbal offer. But I'm excited non-the-less. I posted sketches from it long ago. I've been working on it on and off for 3 years now. Yes, it's a long process.
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Book Sketches Finished

I finished the sketches for a book I'm working on late last night. Well, I finished them earlier, but then I took the time to put them all in a pdf layout. The art director emailed back that he likes them but that there will be a few changes. There usually are. I just always hope it's nothing major. Fingers crossed.
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Illustrators COOK!

So after the art show and a meeting with a rep from Albert Whitman Publishing, us illustrators and writers gathered at a local park to network and EAT! Illustrator WILL TERRY challenged illustrator GUY FRANCIS to a dutch oven cookoff and Guy's Wife Lorien vowed to sink them both. I can't say who won...they all tasted delicious...but Lorien's meat and presentation looked the prettiest for sure. The rest of us "chefs" brought the sides...potluck style. Fun and food was had by all. Thanks guys!
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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

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