Charity Event for Charter School

In the Fall I went to a charter school in the area and participated in a charity gift basket and art auction night (all the proceeds going directly to the school). I started and finished a small set of fairies for the auction in the 2 1/2 hour night. Here are some photos from it. The piece did sell and for a respectable price. It's always nice donate to good causes.

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Coming June 2010

I just got the pdf proof of the catalog in which my first illustrated chapter book appears (well, not MY book alone...the wonderfully talented Ann Cannon wrote it, I just did the pictures). It's a GREAT story full of mystery, pre-teen "romance", and of course, chihuahuas! Watch for it.
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Finished Another Job

Well I finally finished illustrating the Fairy Garden book. Even though I had less time in months to work on this book, I think it especially felt like a long job because there were more than the usual number of illustrations for it and a lot of changes during the process. It's always nice to finish a job though. Even if you love the book, you need some space from it before you like seeing it again. On that note, I was happy to receive an advanced readers copy of the chapter book I illustrated, "Chihuahua Chase." It's always fun to see a book in printed form, and then smile because you know all the blood sweat and tears that went into it. Happy reading, everyone.
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"Fairy-ly" Done

I've been working on this fairy picture book for months now and it's been a LONG process. I have a lot of stories to tell associated with the work on this book, but those aren't for sharing on a blog. The good news is that I'm almost finished. Here's some of the work in progress. I paint by hand with watercolor and then scan in the painting and add textures and do more painting digitally. (Ann, you'll notice some of the "Chihuahua Chase" pictures up on the wall behind, since I'd just finished that one).

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the fall weather and the changing leaves. I miss my childhood home with the woods in the back yard. I'd sit for hours under those trees just staring at all the colored leaves, inhaling their smell, feeling their crunch. I do have the mountains covered with trees to gaze at here, but living in a subdivision that was clearcut farmland just 7 years ago, leaves a lot to be desired as far as mature trees. Sounds like it's time for a drive.
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Fun activity

In preparation for another school visit, I thought I'd let the kiddos learn how to draw my latest picture book character...Gus. The book I wrote and illustrated (my first publication as an author) comes out in Spring of 2010 with Marshall Cavendish. I wanted to get the kids excited for it's arrival so I made up this little "how-to." You are welcome to print it for your own self or children, or even for their school. But those are the only usage rights given. Enjoy!
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Finished two, one more on the tables

Well, I just finished the interior illustrations for a chapter book I've been working on for Farrar, Strauss and Giroux by A.E. Cannon called "Chihuahua Chase". It was fun to see it come together but kind of "pull-my hair out" in the process at times. But that's how great creative work comes to be, right? In addition, I finished and turned in the illustrations for the book I wrote, "Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!" coming out in Spring 2010. I love finishing projects. I just don't love the in between sometimes.
I'm still in that "not-quite-done" phase of one more book. I have to be in the "I'm finished" phase in just 4 weeks. Whew! Time to get back to the drawing table (or the painting easel at this point).
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Didn't get the job...Again

Amongst all the books I'm illustrating right now, I was asked to RE-do some character submissions in another style for a client. They were revisiting the project, apparently, because they still hadn't settled on an illustrator. I had submitted some samples previously but they came back a while later and asked for ones done in this style. So I did them, but once again, I didn't end up getting the job. But it's always good exposure to be asked, to submit, and be seen. (I'm a glass half full kind of girl) It just made for a more busy week one week. What do you think of this limited color and airbrush smooth look?
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Too busy...that's good, right?

Well, I've been really busy illustrating 3 books this summer. I haven't had time for any recreational drawing unbelievably. Hence my posts have been non-existent. I apologize. I'm not supposed to share things that are in current progress really but here's one sneak peak at an illustration from the book I wrote myself contracted by Marshall Cavendish Publishing. I'm painting like a madwoman to finish it up by this weekend. Wish me luck! This book has been years in the making. It's fun to see it coming together.
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BYU Writing for Young Readers Conference

I was able to spend the past 5 days at a writing conference. I assisted author, Dandi Mackall, throughout the conference. I learned so much from her and was fairly productive as well. I edited down (with the class's help) one picture book manuscript, and wrote an entirely new picture book manuscript (which still needs revising). I also finished 20 sets of sketches for a chapter book I'm illustrating. I did those as I listened in the classes. Meeting 3 new editors wasn't a bad deal either. I tell you, these conferences are the way to learn AND network. I was also able to see many of my writer friends and meet new ones as well. It was a great (but tiring) week.
Dandi and Me

Janette Rallison

James Dashner

Ann Dee Ellis

Ann Cannon

Claudia Mills

Will Terry

Carol Lynch Williams

Rick Walton

Dandi Mackall
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Book Signing at The Purple Cow

For anyone living close to the little town of Toole, come on down...I and the author of "The Happiest Mommy Ever!" will be signing at The Purple Cow Bookstore (992 North Main Street) from 2-4 pm Saturday May 2nd. And they are even having a cake contest. See the flyer below...

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Character Doodles

Here are just a few character type sketches...

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Book Promotion : Good to See

So I got my Deseret Book Catalog in the mail this month and was pleased to see the mother's day book I illustrated has an entire 1/2 page ad. It's nice to see your books getting promoted. It was a little funny when a young man at church (since this book is with a religious publisher many people I know at my church get the catalog) came up to me and said, "I didn't know you were famous." I replied, "I didn't know I was either." Then he told me he saw the book in the Deseret Book Catalog. Well, at least someone saw it. :-)
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My newly designed website went live tonight. I'm so excited. It looks much better than my old site but you do have to have flash installed on your computer to view it. The opening page gives you the option to download it if needed. I bought the template from and customized it to my needs. I still need to add some things in the "fun" section, but the main site is fully functional. Check it out... MY NEW SITE... then let me know what you think...especially if anything bugs you.
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Book Signing 1

I did my first book signing for "The Happiest Mommy Ever!" one week ago at Seagull Book in Spanish Fork, UT. I will be doing another signing tonight (April 4th) at Deseret Bookstore in University Mall in Orem, Utah (the mall is on the corner of State Street and University Parkway). I'll be there signing from 6-8pm. The store is having 20% off everything so don't miss out! Here are pics from last week that my husband came and took.

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Portrait 1

I don't usually do portraits except for family members as's been a while. Portraits are hard, especially when you know the person you are drawing. You know if you haven't captured that glint of mischief in their eye or that smirk they always make. But my hairstylist asked me to do some trade work...she does my hair (multiple times) and I draw portraits of her 2 kids. We worked out the monetary values and we're both excited for the agreement. Here's the first's of her oldest daughter. It's done with conte crayon and some pastel pencil on canson paper. The paper was more rough than I remembered but I think the portrait turned out well. I bring it to her today...hope she likes it!
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Happiest Mommy Ever! Mother's Day Signings

I just thought I'd let everyone know, I'll be signing my latest book (that I illustrated) "The Happiest Mommy Ever!" (written by Alice Furniss and published by Deseret Book) at many locations in the next month before Mother's Day. It's the perfect gift for any mom out there...young or old. I had so much fun illustrating it and was able to put in a lot of personal things...I used my daughter as a model, a few scrapbook photos of my own were referenced from when I had my first baby and when he graduated preschool, my wedding photo, and there is even one of my little kids' baby footprints in the book. It's a sweet story about finding out what makes mom the happiest mommy ever. I couldn't be happier with the way the art and design turned out.

Here's the schedule of signings...

Saturday, March 28th 12noon-2pm : Seagull Book in Spanish Fork, UT (on Main street)
Saturday, April 4th 6-8 pm; Ladies Night at the Deseret Book at University Mall in Orem, UT
Saturday, April 18th 10 am; Juab County Library
Saturday, May 2nd 2pm: at the Purple Cow bookstore in Toole, UT

I'd love to see you there!!!

Or if you can't make it, go purchase it online here...
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School Visits and Literacy Day

As I've said before, part of the job of being a book illustrator, is that you get to go out and present what you do and how you do it to kids, adults, writers, artists. Well this Friday, the 27th, I'm going to speak at Daybreak Elementary School out near Kearns, UT from 2-4pm. So if any of you live close by, feel free to come heckle me.

In addition, I'll be presenting (about illustrating children's books) at the Spanish Fork City Library's Literacy Day on Saturday, February 28th from 2-4pm. It's on Spanish Fork Main Street and Center. Come on by for fun and books! Both events are free!
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Book Dummy Redo

Sorry I'm not posting regularly...I've been really busy finishing up stages of jobs. And two minutes ago, I finished the final layout and redo of my book dummy for "Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!" a book I wrote as well as illustrated. Marshall Cavendish publishing acquired the book last fall and I've been working on revisions with them. But LONG ago I came up with the idea of writing a story about a cute little groundhog who gets an itch on his back he just can't reach to scratch, and all the adventures he goes through to get this itch scratched. Anyway, I'm really pleased with the outcome of the dummy redo. The suggestions of the editor were great and the book is only better now. And I'm glad I got it done on time.
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A Little Press

So, after nearly 8 years on the market, the first picture book I illustrated got some major TV publicity just last week. Our local morning TV talkshow featured it for a few seconds. If you skip ahead to the 3 minute 11 second mark, you can see the little blurb. I didn't see the show that day, but plenty of friend have told me about it. So I had to share! (too bad they don't mention the illustrator...oh well, this will sell books anyway). You have to wait through the short commercial first though.

Or you can go here to see and read about it...

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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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