Just signed up for PiBoIdMo



November is Picture Book Month. PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) is a brilliant idea to celebrate the month by coming up with a new picture book idea every day in November. Visit Tara Lazar’s blog to sign up. You might surprise yourself with all your creative ideas. Then you have a whole year to work on the stories.


Thumb Nail Sketches


Humpty thumbnails  Hey KC illustrators, I’m working on a fractured fairy tale and I’d like to finally start making some work for my first portfolio. I’ve had this text critiqued and I’m working on revision.  As for the sketches, I’ve selected my favorites. Would you be willing to share some next steps ideas for me?  Are there some ideal sizes to work in? I’m planning to draw and paint two of these pages and or spreads.  Then load them into photoshop or illustrator for final tweaking.  Are there other suggestions you have about this process from thumbnail to portfolio image?

Thanks everyone.

SCBWI Missouri Fall Conference


SCBWI_MO_logo-11Just finished up two days of a fantastic SCBWI conference. If you’ve never been to one, you should go. If you missed this one, shame on you. There was an exciting mix of experienced authors and illustrators and beginners of all levels. Everyone was there to learn and meet other people who share the same interests. I was so tired and excited Saturday night after such a full day, I didn’t think I would ever settle down to fall asleep. Then bright and early Sunday morning I had a workshop on picture books with Jodell Sadler.

On Saturday I had critiques with Giuseppe Castellano, Jodell Sadler and a peer critique group headed by Jeannie Ransom at 8-9:30 pm that night. I thought these critiques would be high stress, but they were fun and enlightening. It really helps to have respected talent in your field critique your work. I learned so much. I was also able to attend keynote speeches by Giuseppe Castellano, Dan Yaccarino and Jodell Sadler. There was so much more I wanted to learn, but had to use my time wisely. It’s a shame, if you want to write and illustrate, you must miss speakers who are speaking concurrently. My workshop with Jodell Sadler on Sunday was very inspirational for me. She lives and breathes picture books. Since I want to illustrate and write my own picture books someday, her words really made an impression.

This is my third Missouri SCBWI conference. I enjoyed myself so much, I’m thinking of branching out to the big conferences in N.Y. and L.A. or even neighboring states next year. It won’t take much to convince me.

I would like to congratulate Wendy Martin for winning the banner contest for 2014. You can see her wonderful banner here. I would have liked to use her image to illustrate this blog post but didn’t think that was correct.

Please, if anyone has any notes to add to share. Use the comments below. Posting pictures of the events would be nice.

SCBWI Missouri Fall Conference


You have just 15 days to register for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Missouri Fall Conference! If you have ever thought of getting into the children’s book field you must attend this conference. We have a line up of amazing speakers and a great community to welcome you. Sign up today!

his is not to be missed! Go! Go! Go!

Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)
Fall Conference to be held 
September 6 & 7
Lindenwood University, St. Charles

ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI – The Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators’ annual fall conference will be held Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, September 7, at Lindenwood University’s Spellmann Center, 209 S. Kingshighway, St. Charles, 63301. The theme is “Seeds of Success.” 
Scheduled speakers and panelists include local Young Adult author Heather Brewer, art director Giuseppe Castellano, editor Deborah Halverson, agents Nancy Gallt and Jodell Sadler, and authors Nancy Pollette and Steve Sheinkin. Sheinkin recently received a Boston Globe-Horn Book award for nonfiction at BookExpoAmerica. Curriculum specialist Debbie Gonzales also will discuss Common Core Standards and incorporating them into school visits.
The cost of Saturday’s full-day conference is $150 for SCBWI members and $175 for non-members. Three-hour intensive workshops with speakers on Sunday are only $45. For more info see http://missouri.scbwi.org/2014-conference-info-bios-breakouts-schedule/ the last day to register is August 20, 2014.

Illustrations for 435 Magazine


I have 5 illustrations in this month’s issue of 435 Magazine, which is a local lifestyle magazine sold in the KC metro area. It isn’t a children’s magazine, but it has a connection to SCBWI because the art director found my name on the SCBWI site among the illustrator portfolios. She followed the link to my site, liked what she saw, and contacted me through my contact form.

Here are the illustrations she commissioned.

This went along with an essay titled “What’s Good About Goodbye” and was supposed to be drawn in sort of a Fancy Nancy style.
More Info

Home Owner’s Association
More Info
435 Magazine - HOA Article

KC Mayor Sly James
More Info
Mayor Sly James

The Plaza Art Fair
More Info
Plaza Art v2 500

The Nation’s Happiest City
More Info
Happy City 500

She bought first time rights to use the images in the print version of the magazine and the associated article on the website. I retain copyrights.  So, these will probably go up on iStock sometime soon.

Verrückt at Schlitterbahn
She also commissioned this one, which didn’t end up running because they didn’t run the section it goes with.  Good thing, too, because the final version of the Schlitterbahn Verrückt raft holds 3 people, not 4. But 4 is what all the promotional materials showed, so that’s what I used as a reference. I didn’t know it was inaccurate until after I turned it in.

More Info

Water Slide 500