Friday, October 31, 2014

PiBoIdMo - Picture Book Idea Month!

I just signed up for Picture Book Idea Month (or PiBoIdMo for short).

PiBoIdMo is where you brainstorm an idea for a picture book every day for 30 days in November.  
All the information is found on Tara Lazar's Blog .

The challenge is really easy and is based on the honor system.  It is completely free and there are wonderful prizes and daily guest bloggers from amazing people in the picture book industry.

Registration closes November 7th 2014 - so sign up today!
I'm excited to brainstorm new ideas for more picture books!  I hope you will join me!

New Tool and More New Podcasts!

Hi Everyone!
A while ago I recently shared my favorite tools and podcasts, but recently I have found some more!


I have a new tool to share that I have found very helpful for creating photo collages for Twitter and Facebook headers (and more!).

The tool is called PicMonkey.  It is a very easy tool to use and you can set up photo collages in any dimension with ease.  Here is a sample I have made for my Twitter page.

PicMonkey also has other great photo editing tools - most of which are free!!



I also have a few new favorite podcasts to share:

I know I have already shared the Fresh Rag Show as one of my favorite podcasts, but the URL and subscription link has recently changed.  Here is the new link!



Another favorite podcast is Adventures in Design.  Which is NSFW due to language - but it is very entertaining and filled with great information about design and how designers work.  The show is daily- which is crazy considering how much time and effort is put into the show.  


My most recent podcast find is the Children's Book Podcast made by The Guardian.  It is based in the UK and is very short, usually giving snippets of particular books.  It is always a very interesting, quick listening experience. 


Do you have any other favorite tools or podcasts?  I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Free Printable Storyboard for Children's Books

Today I am working on storyboarding a new children's book and thought it would be great to share my storyboard template.  The typical children's book is 32 pages including front matter (copyright, title, dedication, etc..)

Click the image below to make it larger then right-click to download the image.  The printable is optimized for tabloid (11" x 17") paper.


Enjoy! I hope you find this helpful!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search 2014 Terrarium Wall Art

Hello!

You might remember that last year I entered Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search, and I decided to enter again this year.



You can see my piece last year by visiting my previous blog post here.  It's amazing to see how much my art has improved in only one year!


It is fun for me to compare my two pieces because they both feel very much like my style, but I can tell that the one on the right is much more polished and professional looking.

This year's prompt for the Global Talent Search was terrarium themed wall art.  This was a fun prompt and I enjoyed sketching, painting, and digital editing.

Here are a few of my initial sketches:



After finalizing my idea and composition I moved onto some color studies:

The color studies took a long time to do, but it was worth it to not have to worry about color later.

Next I sketched my design onto a gessoed board and painted the under layer using acrylics.


My paint palette

Then I scanned my painting and made the finishing touches in Photoshop. 

Here is my entry

I learned so much while creating this assignment and had fun as well!  I really pushed myself and I am very happy with the finished piece.  I hope it brings a smile to your face!

Congratulations to all who entered and best of luck to the top 50 with finishing their next assignment!
The top 50 can be viewed here.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Some of My Favorite Podcasts and Tools

I wanted to share some of my favorite tools that I've been using lately.

Buffer
https://bufferapp.com/

Buffer is a great social media platform for scheduling posts for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  The links that Buffer posts can also be tracked with analytics.  This tool has been great for writing a post once and posting it on multiple platforms, as well as being able to schedule multiple posts at once.





Trello
https://trello.com/

Trello is a great to-do list app for the desktop and iPhone.  It is a wonderful way to organize your thoughts. It has been a lifesaving organization tool for me.  The app syncs between your phone and the desktop, so whenever I have a thought or idea I won't forget it.





I also wanted to share some of my favorite podcasts.  These are great listening materials for when working.

Brain Burps About Books: Children’s Book Publishing Podcast
Katie Davis


This is one of my favorite podcasts.  Katie is fun and bubbly!  Her podcast is mostly geared towards writers, but even as an illustrator this podcast is so much fun to listen to.  She interviews many knowledgeable kidlit people in the business. Over 100 episodes!



Publishers Weekly PW KidsCast
Publishers Weekly

This is a great podcast.  It’s a bit on the shorter side, but great for small slots of time (it's around 20 mins). Interviews are based on books about to be released or just released. John is very calm and cool.




Let’s Get Busy Podcast
Matthew C. Winner

Great interviews with some of the best kidlit authors and illustrators.  Matthew brings much knowledge and fun to the show, he is very lively and so passionate about kidlit.  He asks great questions, and it constantly puts a smile on my face as well as being informative.



Once Upon a Sketch Podcast
Once Upon a Sketch

No longer being made, but podcasts are archived.  The episodes are great and geared specifically toward children’s book illustrators. Very informative and inspiring.



The Fresh Rag Show
Dave Conrey

This is a great podcast about creative small businesses.  Has tips for promotion, especially for Etsy sellers.  Dave interviews many creative small business owners, especially freelancers and Etsy sellers. He is very encouraging and supports all artists including musicians in the interludes. 



What are your favorite tools and podcasts?  I'd love to hear what you like! Please comment below.