picture books

The Social Butterfly

the social butterfly

It’s publication day! Happy book birthday to “The Social Butterfly”, written by Beth Bracken, illustrated by me and published by Picture Window Books!

Charlotte loves talking, singing, and playing. What Charlotte doesn’t love is sitting still, being quiet, and listening, which is a big problem at school. Will Charlotte be able to modify her behavior and learn when to be social and when to be quiet? A sweet and relatable picture book story that shines a light on social behaviors.

Fun fact: Charlotte’s story reminds me a little bit of my school years – from 4th until the 6th grade, I was quite the chatterbox (to the point I had teachers sending notes to my parents, ups) and avid textbook doodler, on both mine and my friends’ books. Then when I entered high school my personality became more introverted, but the doodling part remained. The books I shared with one of my best friends during philosophy class is filled with tiny doodles (mostly food, lots of sandwiches and random spaghetti dishes, not sure why, ahah). I should find that book and share some of those doodles!

Below are a few online reviews – these were based on the ARC and in case you are wondering, yes, she was purple at the beginning and yes, the cover also changed quite  a bit. We went back and forth with her coloring, but in the end we ended up with the version you see in the photo. (more…)

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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!

Book Wishlist | September 2016

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I decided to start a new series where I share my current wishlist on books. I enjoy reading a lot! I consider myself a bibliophile and somewhat, don’t tell anyone, a book hoarder. I’ll be sharing a little bit of everything, from picturebooks to fiction and carreer handbooks.

My So-Called Freelance Life : How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire
Author: Michelle Goodman
My So-Called Freelance Life is a how-to guidebook for women who want to avoid the daily grind and turn their freelance dreams into reality. Michelle Goodman, author of The Anti 9-to-5 Guide and self-proclaimed former “wage slave,” offers tips, advice, how-to’s, and everything else a woman needs to pursue a freelance career.

Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2017
NEW articles for the 2017 edition included on: – Wanting to be a writer by Simon Mason – Finding new readers and markets by Tom Palmer – News and trends in children’s publishing 2015-16 by Caroline Horn – Series fiction: writing as a part of a team by Lucy Courtenay – Creating a children’s comic by Tom Fickling. The essential guide for any writer for children.

A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book : 95 Inspiring Ideas for Photographing Your Friends, Your World, and Yourself
Author: Elsie Larson, Emma Chapman from A Beautiful Mess (by far my favorite lifestyle blog)
Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, creators of the mega-popular DIY style blog A Beautiful Mess, are in love with photographing everyday life. Here, they share that love with 95 all-new tips and photo challenges that will inspire you to style and snap better photos and then transform them into simple yet stunning projects and gifts.

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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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