Monday, June 19, 2017

Children's Book Process - Figuring out the Environment

Most of the heavy lifting for SNOWMAN story is hopefully done. I have gone though many revisions with the invaluable help and guidance from my agent and few other critique partners (you know who you are - thank you!).

Now it's time to draw the scene from a million different angles. This little 3D model will make my drawing so much more fun and enjoyable as I don't have to worry about what goes where and what is in front of what and all that kind of annoying stuff. 

Now - lots and lots of drawing!












Thursday, April 20, 2017

Teaching at Massachusetts College of Art and Design

I have been teaching at MassArt for the last 6 years. Here's a little glimpse into my life of teaching Illustration there. Proud of my students!

MassArt Illustration blog: Working on Site at the Harvard Museum of Natural History


http://blogs.massart.edu/illustration/2017/04/20/working-on-site-at-the-harvard-museum-of-natural-history/

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Atmosphere/ setting/ mood for the story

Love painting so much! Taking a break from countless revisions on the picture book dummy to work on the atmosphere/setting/mood for the story.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Getting some feedback on the story...

Picture book dummy usually goes through many many many different versions before it is finally working. It’s always good to ask an expert for feedback on the manuscript and get valuable suggestions on the illustration style.






Friday, October 7, 2016

Atmosphere/ Lighting Conditions sketches

These days my life revolves around working on my own stories as an author-illustrator. It requires tons of sketching, thinking, and writing behind the scenes. So, there's not much I can share at the moment. Everything is either in development stage, revision stage, or being considered! stage.

It's always fun to take a break and play with watercolor and to set little challenges for myself.

The challenge for these two sketches was different atmosphere/lighting conditions.



Friday, June 3, 2016

Keep on working!



While waiting for some answers on my other stories, it's time to start working on a new story with some old characters (thinking of a snow story in summer). Love the beginning stages of the project when anything is possible. You don't need to worry about page turns, word count, character development and all that good stuff. You just doodle and scribble and let it all unfold whichever way.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Agent + NY appointments with children's book publishers

Glad to be at this point in my career!  Meeting my agent Sean McCarthy for the first time (we started working together in December) for lunch in between appointments he organized. Sean sees a big picture, breaks things down for me and believes in my work. After years of doing everything on my own: networking, promotion, knocking on many doors (and windows), it’s exciting to have such a smart and caring individual do it with you and for you.

Really grateful to the editors and art directors for taking the time to look at my work and giving me some great feedback and discussing all kinds of different directions I can take with my work. 

Appointments brought interest, questions, encouragement and inspiration. It was surprising to me that the feedback was really quite consistent. The editors and art directors liked:

1. looser, painterly style
2. fabric collage style 
3. responded to most of my characters/stories (DOCTOR, SNOW STORY, SPOTS) in my portfolio and would like to see complete stories. All stories are in progress! 

For years I was trying to figure out the balance between the character consistency and looseness of the style. Really obsessing about it. Based on the feedback I received in this round of NY appointments: it's really good to have a looser style and not worry about being so super exact and consistent. If the nose on the critter is a bit longer and a bit narrower than in previous illustrations, but there is energy, emotion, SURPRISE, it's all good! Well. I am really glad to hear that. Because I absolutely love watercolor and how slightly (or not so slightly) unpredictable it is! Especially the linework you can have with watercolor+brush -  so fresh and full of energy, not always predictable. LOVE. All the surprises, accidents, color mixing options watercolor has to offer!

Fabric collage is quite appealing to me as well. I am playing with it, trying different balance between collage and watercolor, how much emotion of the character I can convey just in collage form and how much in collage + watercolor. For me experimenting is one of the funnest things in illustration!

Working on my own dummy books is exciting, but time consuming. The good thing is that the more I do it and get feedback on my dummies, the better my story-telling abilities become and less time is lost in trying things that don't work. Still tons to learn and figure out, but I am enjoying the process for the most part. There is frustration as well, feeling that you wasted days or even weeks going left or backward instead of forward, but it's part of the PROCESS. So here you go. Time spent on the story (even if it's not going in the right direction) is still the time spent on the story. One of the best way to learn is by making your own mistakes!

Really quite excited to get back to working on my characters, stories, painting and experimenting! Few things are happening behind the scenes that I cannot share at this point, but hopefully soon. 

Based on the interest and feedback, I broke down my work into several categories (a lot of these images can be in several categories at the same time): 

1. looser, painterly style
2. fabric collage style 
3. animals
3. younger kids
4. older kids

Children's Book Illustration: looser, more painterly watercolor style








Children's Book Illustration: fabric collage + watercolor style






Children's Book Illustration: animals