Monthly Archives: March 2012



Hello all,

I met some of you last year at illustration boot camp in KC, but this is my first time posting on this board.  I have been concentrating on putting a portfolio together, and one thing I really struggle with is backgrounds.  I tend to find that when I put a background in, the spontaneity goes out the window.  So my idea was to do something very light and suggestive in the background, rather than too structured.

I’d appreciate your thoughts on this, or any other element that occurs to you.

Thank you!Image




“The other hatchlings gobbled their meals. Pip preferred to taste his fish.”

 Hi everybody! This is my first time posting for critique on the blog. I am in the early stages of a picture book starring Pip, the penguin at the right in the illustration. I sketched this image for my first set of thumbnails. Since then, the story has shifted—as stories often do—so the scene will no longer be part of the book. But I grew fond of this picture, so I thought I’d make it for my Facebook Timeline cover photo. (The cover photo dimensions are wider than they are tall, which is why I included extra snow in the middle.)

My favorite medium is cut paper collage. For this illustration, I mostly used your run-of-the-mill scrapbook paper and cardstock with a bit of the “good stuff” (a.k.a., Japanese Yuzen Paper from Paper Source) on the fishtails and fin. The snow is a plain white rice paper set on a blank sheet of watercolor paper.

 I’d love to know what you think. Thanks for looking!

Lady Bug– Teaching Myself to Illustrate



Hey Bloggers,

Here I have finally arrived through the tech jungle to meet you all with some illustrations. I’m starting off with some sketch book work. Although I did some comics for my high school and college papers, I studied realism in my BA, and I’ve made abstract mixed media paintings for 12 years. I took a few years off to get my MFA in writing for children,so yes, I’ve forgotten how to draw with my imagination. Here is one of my first attempts. I’m following it up with another lady bug in a process more familiar to me and I’m working forward to a snail next– at a slow pace 🙂 My most difficult thing in illustrating: how to slow down to get action and story in the composition before I get to my favorite part– layers of colors. My website is Happy early spring in KC.

Mo Willems in St Louis


Thought you guys might like to see this!

St. Louis County Library and MICDS present Children’s Book Writer Mo Willems

Thu, 03/08/2012 (All day)


The St. Louis County Library Foundation’s Reading Garden Event Series is pleased to present three-time Caldecott Award-winning children’s book writer Mo Willems for a reading and discussion of his new picture book “The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?”

The event will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 2 in the Danforth Chapel at MICDS (Mary Institute and Country Day School – 101 N. Warson Road, St. Louis, MO 63124).

Free tickets are required and available at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131) and Daniel Boone locations (300 Clarkson Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011). Limit four tickets per person.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event from Left Bank Books.

#1 “New York Times” bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems started his career on “Sesame Street,” where he garnered six Emmy Awards for his writing before changing the face of children’s literature with his groundbreaking picture books. Willems has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!,” “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale,” and “Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity”). In addition, his acclaimed Elephant and Piggie early reader series received the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2008 for “There Is a Bird on Your Head!”

In his newest picture book, Willems returns to the delightful characters in his most popular books, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” and “The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!” When Duckling gets a cookie, Pigeon is not happy and, of course, lets everyone know!

St. Louis County Library Foundation’s Reading Garden Event Series hosts free family events with authors and musicians. Sponsors include Commerce Bank, Companion, and the Sara Guth Costigan Memorial Fund.

Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit


For discussion: imageing cartoon vs. realistic stylaization for kids?


I have a question. I went to school and have bee a practicing graphic, theatrical and environmental designer for over 25 years. My question is about style. As a designer in the fields I have been working in – we work to not have a style.  If I could identify a style that I follow – it is fairly realistic in rendering.  My question is: is there a preference for the cartoon type styling in children’s imaging due to a “thou shalt draw stylized characters” or is it a work-flow thing.  (stylization is easier if the shapes are simplified – the illustrator may work faster)

I ask this because I am building my portfolio and I can populate the pages any number of ways. I have heard people say – draw what you like – gravitate towards what you always gravitate towards.  I gravitate towards a more realistic style – should I strive for something else?  If you want – check out a couple of my images on my fledgling website at:




Kim Wilson