Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I believe the positive message from The Lorax is that we are ALL capable of change.  The word "Unless" is a warning. . a warning of the things we may lose if we don't harness that capability (case in point: truffula trees).  I'm looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out this weekend :)

Also, I am happy to announce that I just finished my first picture book "A Moment in Time!"  The author/publisher has given me permission to post a few process photos.  Here is a sample of one of the pages, from sketch to finished illustration:

This is the initial sketch, where I roughly laid out the important elements, such as the character and the text.  I hadn't fully developed the character yet, so he looks a little odd.
Here, I've added in more detail and began working in the proper size for the book.  The red line marks the "safe" margin, in which all important elements must remain.  The thick black lines are the "bleed" margins, which is where the page will be cropped by the printers.

Here, I've inked the lines and removed the margins.  Notice that the smile has gotten weirder and weirder in each stage.

Final illustration: I shaded the lines to give more weight to the character, added color, and also fixed that smile ;)
 I hope you've found these process photos useful/informative.  The picture book took 8 months of planning, revising, sketching, inking, and painting. . and I learned so much along the way!  I'll let you know when the book comes out on Amazon later this year :D.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


You can gauge your popularity pretty quickly while riding the bus to school. . . and the results can be pretty depressing.

This is an old sketch I did a few years back when I was feeling a bit left out and lonely.  Sometimes it's good to draw out those emotions :).

Sorry I haven't posted anything more finished recently. . .work is breathing down my neck, but I'm looking forward to doing more finished Illustration Friday pieces in March.

Until then. . Happy February!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


oooh. . the suspense must be killing you.  What is the pigship waiting for?  What is it doing at the farm?  All will be revealed in our Illopond Space Anthology. .coming soon!

I had so much fun painting this story and am a little sad to let it go.  However, I've got plenty more to work on now.  This includes a story about Taiwanese night markets and the picture book I've been hired to illustrate.  I hope to be able to share bits of both next month.

Until then. . for you picture book writers/illustrators out there: 

If you're feeling stuck/stressed, be kind to your muse and let things marinate. Amazing things can happen when you leave your stories alone for awhile, and then come back to them with a fresh eye/new perspective.  

For more advice, check out Sean Ashby's (aka Ingvard the Terrible) series about the creative process.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Remember old-fashioned forwarding?  It would take forever to get international letters, but you'd treasure them for that very reason. 

This one was another quick sketch/color, but it was a lot of fun to do!  Also, if you followed my old blog, you might recognize the name Morose:
It's Morose Molly Rose. . .the very first picture book story I wrote, that is still waiting to be rewritten.  One day Molly, we'll find you a home :)

Picture book work is chugging along again and my Illopond piece is officially finished.  The space anthology will be sold at WonderCon in Anaheim next month so keep a lookout!

As for picture book references, you've probably already heard, but Maurice Sendak had a hilaaarious interview on the Colbert Report last week (see below).  Besides the comedy, Sendak delivers a great line: "I don't write for children. I write, and somebody says, 'That's for children'…"

Picture book writing should be that way.  When we filter or "talk down to" kids in picture books. . we lose the honesty and thus, our audience.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 1
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive