Saturday, November 2, 2019

From June to October: Working not Posting.

In June, a few of my bookend pals and I rented a cabin at Shale Lake Winery and spent a weekend writing and revising. I still had a few ideas left over from "Storystorm 2019" to flesh out, so I grabbed a handful of note cards and actually came up with three new manuscripts. One about Lines, One about Shapes and two dealing with aspects of color. Fun, fun.
Hard at work at the cabin: writing, revising and making a mug!

In July, Aug. and Sept. these three manuscripts made the rounds between my three critique groups: the Scribes in Springfield, the Bookends in Edwardsville and my Downstate Illustration group. Out of this I have two dummies to shop around. And two manuscripts that need a sprinkling of story glitter: the concepts are solid, I need to make them shine.
Page from Silly Shapes Dummy

Page from What Can A Line Do?  Dummy

Deciding which of my 2019 stories I plan to illustrate is tough. I went with the ones that seemed easy for me, just to get them out the door. A few others I'm still hedging about. How much time can I spend on dummies that may or may not sell?

October was IRC, the Illinois Reading Conference, where once more our SCBWI-IL group "wowed" conference attendees with author & illustrator swag. The entire crew was engaged and more than qualified to reach out to educators and explain how to affordably bring authors or illustrators into their schools. The Illinois outreach, Read Local is building steam. The new posters were a hit.
SCBWI-IL Authors at the Illinois Reading Conference

I won a prize at a local gallery for one of my two collage canvases.  Both images were created in response to the theme "Dual Natures". I chose to represent my ancestors (the knight and queen) and their descendants (illustrated in the attached mirrors in the backgrounds). 
Ancestor/Descendant: Knight

Ancestor/Descendant: Queen

I only got three Inktober sketches done. I always think I can work faster than I actually can. Both Susan, my co-writer for Hidden in Plain Sight: Illinois Petroglyphs & Pictographs for kids and I divided the SCBWI PAL list of publishers and came up with our #1, #2 and #3 lists of publishers to send our book package to.
Inktober 2019: Mindless

Inktober 2019: Ring of Witches

Inktober 2019: Bait 

In addition, both Susan and I also have our own manuscripts that need to get out there.  After making lists for OUR book, we've each been hammering away at making lists for our other works. I'm hoping some of our manuscripts find editors who love them.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Final Circus Images

What follows is a series of circus images I did for my portfolio review at #MMW2019 SCBWI's Marvelous Midwest Conference. Of course I couldn't use them all but it was a great exercise in composition. The series represents a parade of elephant circus characters walking by the midway posters. Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did making them.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Step #2: Coloring main characters.

I'm actually done with my final illustrations. Sent them to the printer last week. All I have left to do is put them in my portfolio and I'm ready for #MMW, Marvelous Midwest SCBWI Conference in Naperville. I'll wait to post my finals after the conference but thought you might enjoy seeing some of my characters in color, so here goes:

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Working, working, working to get ready for MWM 2019.

Since the beginning of February I've had my nose to the grindstone getting images ready for the Marvelous Midwest. I'm taking a risk, working on a series of images that are related and visually linked. It really makes me nervous but I've got a back up plan if that doesn't work out. Here are some of my characters. They are tons of fun to draw. I wanted to show variety, movement and humor. You'll have to check back in at the end of March and see how I've progressed.