Monday, July 25, 2011

IF: Perennial

This illustration of a camilia that I attempted for my grad illustration class on materials and techniques. Not my usual pastels. It's using CF Payne's technique. It was a bit washed out. Live and learn. This next one is a magnolia in Mark English's technique.

Live Oak Southwest Branch Visit

I had an amazing time at the Live Oak Southwest Branch this past week. The children's librarian, Alissa Boyd, is so welcoming and provides a lot of programs during the summer at the branch. It was great seeing all of the participation. 45 kids and 20 parents attended the reading of "Twelve Colorful Things" by Heather Tietz and illustrated by me! Reading, drawing demo, and I love throwing in an art project that goes with the book. The children in the story give a neighbor 11 pots decorated. We made pinch pots and each kid did an fantastic job of making theirs unique. I wished I'd taken photos of their work. The kids were so animated and we enjoyed our time together. I got a couple of hugs from kids and tons of questions and thank yous!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

IF: Stay

I thought of this illustration I did of my neighbor's dog that has to stay inside because of the weather.

Author Interview: Heather Tietz

I've had the pleasure of illustrating several books by Heather Tietz. She was kind enough to do a interview with me on her recent book Twelve Colorful Things.

Here's a little bit about Heather. Heather Tietz spent most of her childhood on the east coast of the United States making mud pies, lemonade stands, snow forts, tree houses and poems. It was her fourth grade teacher that inspired her love for poetry. After receiving a teaching credential from Cal State Fullerton she taught in Los Angeles city schools for several years. In her free time she pursued freelance writing jobs for magazines.

1. How did you come up with the idea for "Twelve Colorful Things"? It's a wonderful idea to bring months, colors, and number together.
"Twelve Colorful Things" has born back in my teaching days. Every year or so I scooped it up, toyed with the words and laid it back down to rest. The concept of 12 months, 12 colors and 12 numbers has stayed the same, but the story has changed tremendously over about 15 years time. In fact, it was the editors at Ambassador that inspired the biggest change to the book. They saw that it had potential, but wanted it fattened up so that it wasn't so dependent on the illustrations. I had about a week's time to sort of rewrite it again. I love what happened. Their suggestions really brought the story to life.

2. What types of marketing techniques do you use to promote your work?
I have a FaceBook Author page and a linked-in profile and a website of course ( I've haven't done much marketing outside of my little town. I've had a few small author signings, I've made a friend with an editor at my local paper, but I can't seem to get my local library or any bookstores to call me back about simply coming in to just read books during their storytimes. I think if I had the voice of a whiskery old man I could get a few doors to open for me. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to put toward marketing. I am a mom foremost, my extra time comes in uneven slices and is often eaten up before I get to use it for myself. Efforts put toward marketing are efforts taken away from writing.

3. What are some of the other book titles you've done?
In 2008 "Yes, Jesus Loves You" was published. That was my first picture book. Prior to that I wrote two crafts books for David C. Cook, and a handful of crafts for a third book published by a team of writers for a Vacation Bible School Curriculum. The invitation for me to write the FunStuff craft books for Cook actually came about because they had been interested in the "Yes, Jesus Loves You" manuscript. The publication of it fell through with them, but my name had been imprinted in the back of some editor's mind there, a few months later I was given a proposal for my first craft book with them.

4. Can you tell us about any future books that will be released?
Presently, "Rock-a-Bye Baby Jesus", illustrated by Nancy Miller, is due to come out before Christmas. The timing is so nice, since it is the story of Jesus birth. Other than that, I have a list of manuscripts I've submitted, I am just waiting to see if I can catch an editor's eye once again.

Thanks Heather for taking the time to answer these questions. If you'd like to learn more about Heather's books visit

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another sea creature

Decided to try the collage style with some seahorses. Really enjoyed apply and figuring out the best textures.