I’m so excited to be able to post this! I created this illustration a few months ago for the December 2013 issue of Thriving Family, and the issue has now been published and released into the wild! My piece accompanies an article titled Moments That Last a Lifetime, a short story from a father about how little moments with your children, like getting them ready for bed and playing make-believe, can turn out to be big influences on their lives. The illo was published in both the print and iPad issues. Here’s a photo of the print layout:
And a screenshot of the layout on the iPad magazine:
I’ve never really read magazines on the iPad (I guess because I don’t have one), but I looked at the Thriving Family magazine on my friend’s iPad, and was blow away by the quality of it! The articles are laid out really interestingly, and there are lots of interactive features that distinguish it from the printed version. For example, on my article, you can click the headphones icon to hear a little snippet from the author! And to read the article, the text scrolls up while the title and illustration stay put, with them overlapping—so cool!
Here’s a little screenshot of my illustration as a thumbnail in the contents section too:
And as always, here’s some of my process work that I obsessively document along the way! Shown below are: one of the many spreads in my sketchbook filled with little girls in tutus striking poses, a detail of the scanned in pencil drawing that was refined after feedback from the art director I worked with, and a quick shot of the drawing being inked on my light pad. From there it’s all just scanning in a few other pencil/paint textures and pushing pixels!
I usually just share process work (like the shot above) and freshly completed work here on my blog, but I thought it would be nice to share some of the podcasts that I listen to when I work. I’ve found a lot of these through other people sharing their own favorite lists, so I might as well pay it forward! I usually start the day out listening to music, but if I’m putting in long hours, listening to something more engaging helps keep me focused. I’ve compiled a list below of my favorite podcasts that I listen to while I work, in no particular order. I like to have a good mix of topics, as well as a range of light-hearted vs. more serious. Here’s my top podcasts:
Your Dreams My Nightmares: Interviews with well-known illustrators and art directors by Sam Weber on all kinds of topics within the illustration world.
This American Life: Stories about everyday Americans centered around a common theme. The storytelling, editing, and topics are spot on. Sometimes funny, sometimes a tear-jerker.
Selected Shorts: Short stories performed by well-known actors live in New York City. Both new and classics.
Fresh Air: Generally interviews about current events and contemporary art. Really good for staying on top of issues, and they always have a good mix of topics.
Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me: A gameshow recorded live in Chicago about current events in news and entertainment. Contestants are listeners, a panel of guests, and a celebrity.
Intelligence Squared: Each episode is a debate between two teams of experts on a provocative topic trying to convince the live audience to vote for their side by the end of the debate.
Planet Money: Short explorations of a wide range of topics within economics—entertaining and informative at the same time.
Freakonomics: Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt (authors of the book, Freakonomics) talk about all kinds of patterns and topics in economics.
RadioLab: Self-described as “a show about curiosity.” And that’s probably the best description.
The Splendid Table: Interviews and stories about food including food issues, recipes, preparation tips, and trends.
So, those are the podcasts that I keep coming back to again and again. I’m always on the look out for new ones, so if you have any suggestions, do tell!
Welp, I finally had some time to hunker down and finish my most recent personal piece! As I mentioned before, this piece is based on my interpretation of what my boyfriend (a Chemical Engineer) does all day at work. I’m just as baffled that he works with excel spreadsheets and math equations all day as he is that I mess with pencil drawings and photoshop layers all day. Careers are weird. He told me once something happened with a “smoldering catalyst” at work and that was when I knew it had to be done.
From there, I created this scene of the intricate industrial structures, semi-emergency atmosphere, and the magical math skills that have eluded me in life. Seriously though, those are real equations that I found scribbled down in our apartment. He finds little cats (and Oni’s) that I drew around the house, and I find math equations that sometimes don’t even involve numbers! But I like things I don’t understand and trying to interpret them in my own way. I’m really happy with how this piece came out, and it’s one of the most detailed pieces I’ve made. Check out the images below to see the close-ups! There are also some process shots in previous posts including this one and this one. Also, see the piece in my portfolio to see the images slightly larger!
October was super busy, so now I’ve got some new work up in my portfolio! The pieces immediately above and below are promotional pieces I created to be printed as postcards and mailed out to Art Directors I’d love to work with. And I just mailed out the first batch this week!
This was the second illustration I made for my promo cards, and was on the back of the postcard.
This piece above was commissioned by the sister of the bride that I previously created wedding invitations for. She was taking her sister on a surprise beach bachelorette party and wanted to have an illustration commemorating the event printed on a Turvis cup. I’ll have photos of the cup coming soon!
This week I finalized the illustration I created for the same bride for her day-of wedding program. She commissioned me to illustrate the wedding party in the dresses, suits, and military dress uniforms that they would each be wearing at the wedding. It was a great idea, and fun to illustrate something different! Not having facial features, emotions, or poses really allowed me to focus on the little details and experiment with the balance of simple vs. complex.
This piece! I’m super excited about this one (which is actually a series) but I can’t share it until January! Bummer. So here’s a little screenshot of part of it and here’s a hint: you’ll be able to pick it up at your local Barnes and Noble!
And finally, remember those hazmat guys I was working on? I started a personal illustration a while back based on my interpretation of what my boyfriend (a Chemical Engineer) does all day at work. He told me once something happened with a “smoldering catalyst” and I knew instantly that I had to draw it (whatever it was). I haven’t forgotten about it, it was just on the back burner for a bit, but now I’m back at it! Hopefully I’ll finish it up soon, but in the meantime here’s a sketch of the environment I created.
I recently partnered with Buzz Hoot Roar, a team of scientists that run a “graphics-driven blog that shares and explains a scientific concept in 300 words or less.” They search for and write about interesting scientific subjects and then partner with artists, designers, and illustrators to illustrate the concepts! The post I was assigned was about the evolutionary mating rituals of jumping spiders.
The post went live last week, and you can see it on the Buzz Hoot Roar website here! I’ve included the illustrations I made here, but you should check out the original post too so you can see the context and learn about jumping spiders!
And here are a few process shots:
The first sketch above is more or less what the actual jumping spider looks like, and the second sketch is my pass at turning something creepy and ugly into something cute that wouldn’t make people cringe!
Spiders everywhere! One reason I love assignments (in addition to personal projects) is that you end up drawing subjects you probably never would have chosen otherwise.
I also really loved the hairiness of the jumping spiders and had fun experimenting with replicating the hairy texture of the spiders.
A little while back I created an illustration for Far Off Places, an online literary magazine, and the issue has now been published! The magazine features experimental creative writing and this issue is titled Under the Bed. Their mission is “to reach, enchant and grip readers who wouldn’t ordinarily pick up a literary magazine”, and the magazine can be purchased as a digital download, or an iphone app.
My assignment was to create an illustration to accompany a poem by Pippa Little, also titled Under the Bed. Here’s a little snippet to give you some context for my illustration—if you want to read more of this poem or the rest of the issue you should totally go buy a copy!
I lean down further and further,
headlong through starry depths, membranes
of whale song and mermen’s endearments, so far I fall…
And here’s some process work, because you know I love it!