Showing posts from 2009

Wishfull Visual Art Retreat Online

I saw this Wish full virtual art classes and find this idea of a virtual visual art retreat as a fun way to focus on art with pros with out having to go any where. I don't shy away from online learning experiences. If they have good contact and keep regular contact it goes quite well. I've taken online classes and to me they take motivation then your traditional classroom setting. If you have a busy schedule and want to get some art in and creative time this is one way to do it.

#2 Pencils

When I was in college they used to make us buy those fancy sets of drawing pencils with all the different hard and soft leads. After I got out of school I realized there's nothing more trusty then your #2 Pencil. I buy 20 in a box from the Dollar Store and they last forever.

Roz Box

I realized I've filled my first Deluxe Roz Box with pastels. As a pastel artists you gotta have something to carry and protect all of your pastels. I highly recommend this box.

Sketches 12 Things

Slowly but surely working on sketches for "Twelve Things". My office space is starting to get to me. I tend to work on my old fashioned plexi animator's board in front of my computer. Once I get my sketches finished and approved I'll move over to my equally messy drafting table to add color using pastels. This book I think I'll need to do color comps in the computer. We'll see.

FREE Coloring Page & Wordsearch

Here is a Free Coloring Sheet and Word search for fans of Yes, Jesus Loves You. I used these sheets for kids to to take home with them from my recent book signing. Most of the young kids can do the coloring sheets and I opted to add a word search for the older kids that want something more challenging to do. A solution page is also included on the 2nd page of the word search.

Reworked My Site

Did some rework on my site for the 2nd book that will be out hopefully Spring 2010. I did some searching online for how to tile/pattern in photoshop. This was a easy tutorial. I used photoshop CS4. I need to try it out in Illustrator as well.

Also been looking at Intuos 4. Price is right at $199 for the small on There are pros and cons reviews listed and a cool video demo on the site. When I start grad school I'll probably consider making that switch to digital illustration.

Illustration Blogs

I really have to say that I'm so glad that illustrators have been kind enough to share so much of their experiences online. It's such a wealth of information that is out there. Back when I was getting my BFA in illustration the web was a new things for illustrators. At the time none of my professors where really utilizing it. Marketing was taught strictly as mailers and carrying your portfolio to ADs. The marketing for illustrators has changed so greatly. My first picture book contract I got was from the AD at Ambassador Bks/Paulist Press seeing my work online at the SCBWI. Then my 2nd book that is out in 2010 was from a targeted postcard mailer. I think it's worth trying various types of marketing approaches because you just don't know what will work. I'm always reading others blogs about what they did try it but make different to fit my needs.

Illustration Friday: Pioneer

I did this illustration a while ago, but I thought it applied to the theme. I imagined a young boy being a pioneer aviator. Imagine what it would be like to take flight. I wouldn't recommend doing this at home, but it's fun to imagine what Wright Bros. Might have been like as kids. I'm sure they gave their mom some frights.

First Book Signing

After several months of contacting I finally had my first book signing. I've learned some things for this experience. Even after you get a first book published there is so much effort that one has to put into promoting it. It takes repeated contacts with a bookstore to get a signing. I'm sure if you have awards attached to the book or backed by a major publisher the experience is probably very different.

Most of the kids that were at the signing were there to be read to and do an art project. They seemed to enjoy it. Working at a book signing is way more easier then trying to coral students in an art room. It was a nice laid back experience. I could probably have thrown in a drawing demo. Overall without a drawing demo it took about 45 min. Then there was a signing at the front of the store. I think I would have liked it if it was possible to have the signing in the children's book section. But with that said I got a customer that came up and bought 2 without having had a c…

I'm Thankful

I'm enjoying my time off while illustrating book #3. I must say if you ever done any teaching especially with children it can be exciting, enjoyable, and exhausting all at the same time. Being an art educator has taught me how you can explore all kinds of avenues of art. I get to see every day how much the students love art. Especially the kinders. Can you remember that time when you valued your art so much that you wouldn't give it up, and you just purely enjoyed making any type of mark? I find that it's been a long journey back to that frame of mind. When you work so hard to succeed as an illustrator you forget at times the value of your own work and find time to just make art for oneself. I'd gotten so critical about everything I did or made. I've finally gotten to the point where I value the work that I make like my kinders and feel that i deserve to keep the rights and payment. I expect that now. I remember when I used to sell myself short.

I get the incorpora…

Book #3

Trying to get the time and energy to start book dummy #3.

Illustration Friday: Drifting

Here's an illustration I did a while ago but fits so well for the theme. The three cats in the sub are an homage to cats I've owned: Snowball, Teddy Bear Head, and Stinky.

I've been really terrible about having a backup for my own work. I decided to try a service that archives your files behind the scene while you work. free 15 day trial. I admit it takes time for it to backup on their servers. I have 16 gigs I'm trying to backup. The nice thing is that even in the event of theft, natural disasters your backup will still be there.

Painter II

Tried Painter 11 and it works great. I downloaded the free 30 day demo from their site. Here's an example using a sketch I scanned and painted in Painter. I've realized I don't know that I'll get the exact same look as my traditional work. I think it has potential to become a new style of work that I can add.

Google Doodle

There are so many talented young students who created ideas for their version of the Google logo. Vote for your favorite!

Sweet Dreams Collection of Bedtime Poems

I've been working hard on this latest book. It's from my previous blog post. I've enjoyed reading the beautiful poems that were selected. Thank you to all the writers that were selected. Miriam Hees the publisher of BTP mentions it on her blog A Publisher's Life.

Fast and Furious Illustration

I'm working as fast as I can complete 10 illustrations in the next 3 weeks. This is a very fast pace for me. Normally I'd complete that in 2-3 months comfortably. Hope I can do it.

Adobe CS4

Finally upgraded to Adobe CS4. Loving it!

Art is...

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
Twyla Tharp.

Twyla Tharp was Dancer and choreographer (one who develops and directs dances) Twyla Tharp is known for developing a unique style that merged ballet and modern dance

Class Act

I watched an amazing movie about why arts in education is important and relevant. Also one man's, Jay Jensen's commitment, to the fine arts.It's on for free to watch.Click to watch Class Act.

SCBWI Redesign

I'm so excited to learn that the SCBWI is updating their site. Can't wait to see it!


This is a great site,, of wonderful picture books being read by various actors. I especially enjoyed the books by Nina Laden. Great illustrator and writer.

Free Coloring Page

With the upcoming release of "Yes, Jesus Loves You" by Heather Tietz art by Nancy Miller I've made a coloring page from one of the interior illustrations. Check it out.

Free Page

Serbin is having a drawing for a full page ad in the Illustration Directory.

Illustrating a 2nd book

I'm working on illustrating a 2nd book. A book of bedtime poems by various authors for ages 0-9. The more I work on it the more excited I get. It's so hard to imagine that in the end it will become a finished book. I start working on a book and it usually takes a year or longer before I see the finished product. I wish I could share some of the photos of it.

Yes, Jesus Loves You listed on BN

Yes, Jesus Loves You is listed on BN. YEAH!

Books to Movies


JJK Studio Book Tour

I had to laugh when I watched Jarrett Krosoczka movie for Punk Farm Tour was hilarous! It's from a while ago, but I had LOL. Here's a link to that vidoes and much more.

"Yes, Jesus Loves You" Youtube trailer

Yes, Jesus Loves You Book Trailer

Here's a link to view the book trailer online.
Yes, Jesus Loves You

Yes, Jesus Loves You

I noticed that is carrying Yes, Jesus Loves You. Yeah!

Yes, Jesus Loves You Picture Book

I'm so excited that after many years of trying I have illustrated a picture book. Yes, Jesus Loves You by Heather Tietz. I had to read the catalog entry on by Paulist Press several times to believe it's true. It's on pg. 15 of the PDF for the Spring 09 Catolog. YEAH, Here's the catalog description:

Written by Heather Tietz, Illustrated by Nancy Miller
Yes, Jesus Loves You Ages 5-9
Yes, Jesus Loves You is a soothing stroll through God’s creation, in lullaby form. His love for us can be seen throughout all he’s made. The very shape and function of our physical bodies were designed by Him. Animals, great and small, the elements, tame and unreserved, plants, frail and strong, are often quiet lessons about God’s character and His love for humankind. Even the night itself is from God-the stars, a night light, the call of insects, a song, the darkness a reminder to pray. This charming story may be sung or simply read and lends itself easily to accompanying hand movements. It is …

Blog Cleaning

I decided to get rid of my old blog since I decided to streamline things. I've been really trying to keep things tidy, so there is no longer a link to my old blog archives on this site. Sorry if anyone had links to it.

Chris Van Allsburg

I'm a big fan of Chris Van Allsburg, but then who isn't. I recently went to his site and noticed that things had changed. It's highly interactive and too much fun.


I've been working on a new path. It's taken some time but I'm working on become an art teacher for K-12. This change has taken sometime to go through but I'm so glad I did. I recently found out that my previous job that I worked at ended up closing their offices. It's one of those things I knew I didn't want to be a inhouse graphic designer anymore. It's one of those things I've learned with time that isn't varied enough for me to be happy with. I'm almost finished with my getting my K-12 certification. Since I getting my certification I've taken so many wonderful studio classes that wasn't required with my bachelors. Ceramics, Sculpture, Printmaking, & Crafts. All of which I enjoyed. Especially Sculpture and Printmaking. The pictures above are from the Sculpture course I recently took. The professor was fantastic.

Sculpture is just too much fun. I recommend working 3D. I was really intimidated. I only took a 3D design in college. Th…

New Year's Resolutions

I think these glasses are too funny, but wonder what will happen when it's 2010? That year might not work so well. On to resolutions. I'm going to only make a few resolutions for this coming year.

1. Really try and attempt to create some digital illustrations. The operative words are "Really try". I find that I'm so fond of my pastels. I've used pastels for the past 17 years and they are my best friends. Watercolors and pen/ink make the list for 2nd and 3rd. I've seen digital illustrations that I've found to be not overly digital that I like. I wonder if I can make my digital illustrations look just like my pastel work. Then I wonder why even bother and just use the pastels? It does cut down on the need for packing and shipping. Saving money is a plus. No dirty fingers. Of course when you go down that road there is always upgrading your computer and software. I used to work at a magazine and it was tricky when the photographers switched from slides to…