children’s book

You, Me and Empathy

On 15th of June I was finally able to reveal a project that I have been working on since last year with the lovely Jayneen SandersYou, Me and Empathy. Jayneen is an experienced author, publisher, elementary school teacher, mother of three and an active advocate for body safety, gender equality and respectful relationship education both in homes and in schools. Her books aim to educate and empower children, as well as, the adults who care for them, while focusing on themes like body safety, gender equality and consent.

This charming story uses verse, beautiful illustrations and a little person called Quinn to model the meaning of empathy. Throughout the story, Quinn shows an abundance of understanding, compassion and kindness towards others. Showing empathy towards others is a learnt trait, and one to nurture and cherish with the children in our care. The book includes a section with discussion questions and activities for parents, caregivers and educators to promote empathy and kindness.

I feel very grateful to have illustrated this lovely project – it was wonderful working on such an inspiring and engaging book and I really enjoyed helping little Quinn come to life. Below is a one of my favorite pages from the book: I loved working on this community garden scene, it reminded me of my kindergarten/early school days – we didn’t have a garden like this, but it made me think on the sand playground where we used to play and our little field trips where we planted trees and learned more about the forest and the bird species that lived there from a forest ranger.

If you have enjoyed this book,Β  be sure to tag me and Jayneen on either Instagram or Twitter – we would love to hear from you!

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November Roundup

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A little roundup of bits and bobs I’ve been up to recently:

– after signing up with my Agency, I’ve been working on some really fun book projects that I can’t wait to share with you. One of them is Christmas themed and I’m currently working on the finals – candy canes, snow, decorations, treats for Santa and a big chunky turkey are all in it!

– I’ve been enjoying illustrating and creating different children’s characters wearing some funky and fun outfits and I’m really happy with all the lovely comments I’ve been getting on them. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ve probably seen some of them. My sketchbook is full of them lining up to get colored so, expect more in the future.

– some new birthday card designs are coming soon and I also have NEW work available for licensing.

Happy Friday, everyone!

New book project!

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I’m currently working on a new picture book and this time is a story about a curious six year old girl and her “age of whys, how and who”.
The story is really sweet and I’m having a lot of fun sketching the entire book, although I have to confess – some of the questions I didn’t even knew the answer to them and spent a good 30 minutes googling some of them ahah.

“Why are the ants so small?”
“Why is our blood red?”
“Who blows the wind?”

moodboard images credit (1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 . 11)

Illustrating Picture Books e-course review

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Hello everyone!
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the 5 week e-course I took on ‘Illustrating Children’s Picture Books‘. The course was taught by Sabina Radeva and Denise Holmes and it was the first run of this class at Design Garden.

For those of you who don’t know, I have a background in both communication and graphic design and back when I was studying, I had an entire semester where I was able to attend a class where they covered subjects like illustration, pagination and book design. From there, I’ve continued to learn through online courses, books and the rest came from experience, so when I found out about this course I thought that it would be a good way to refresh the basics and maybe learn something new. I’ve read such great reviews from other Design Garden classes that I knew this would not disappoint – and I was right!

Here’s a little description of the course:
“Have you always dreamed of illustrating Children’s Picture Books? Join Denise and Sabina as we share our experiences and techniques and learn how to develop creative original images for picture books.”

During the course, each week we had video lessons to go through, with step by step technical tutorials, information about a specific topic, mini practice exercises and lots of visual inspiration, so at the end of the lesson, we would be able to complete the main assignment (and if we were able to submit it in time, it would be reviewed during the live sessions).

WEEK 1 – Character development
After picking our story we started to get to know the main characters by doing research and sketching out ideas (they gave us one commissioned from an author, but we could choose to work with a different one. I remained with the one given to us). Below is the moodboard I put together for my characters and story, as well as, some sketches and character development.

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Spooky Pumpkin!

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When I was a kid, I used to tag along with a few neighbors and we would dress up as witches and diy some pumpkins with two bowls, lots of duck tape and orange crepe paper and we would knock on doors singing Halloween songs in hope to receive a candy or two. A trip to the Dentist was always scheduled two weeks after (who knows why, right?).

This year I’m spending Halloween night baking pumpkin muffins (can’t wait to try out this recipe), eating spinach and ricotta lasagna for dinner and watching scary movies (although I’m still not sure what to watch). Any suggestions?

Although I started this illustration in the beginning of October, I wasn’t able to finish it in time for Halloween, so here’s a wip of how it’s progressing.

Currently I’m taking this course (that I’m loving – I’ve already learned so much and we are only on lesson 2) and I’m also working on a book project that it’s supposed to be finished by December 1st – yikes! Two months is a bit of a tight schedule to work on a book, but I know I can do it! I’ll share more about it once the book is finished.

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I’m also putting together a super awesome freebie that I’ll be sending out with my November newsletter. If you love Christmas like me, you like to organize stuff and you can’t live without a planner, then this freebie will be for you! If you’re not yet subscribed to my newsletter, you can do it here and be sure to follow me on Instagram – I’ll be posting sneak peeks through out the month of November!

Happy Halloween, everyone!