Digital Experiments


{Scanned drawing, live traced and colored in Illustrator}

I like to play a mental game with myself that I should be a digital artist for all sorts of time-saving reasons. But when push comes to shove, the paintbrush and my gouache feels most natural. That being said, I went to school for, and worked professionally with computers for most of my career. I do a good amount of freelance graphic and book design still. I do enjoy playing in Photoshop and Illustrator and thought I'd share some digital samples.


{scanned pen drawing, live traced and colored in Illustrator, textures and offset in photoshop}

I probably experiment digitally more than I do with paints and other 'real' media but have never found a style that makes me want to drop the paintbrush. I spent a lot of time thinking I'd have all my licensing pursuits be digital but never found one style that worked out. I guess I'll just have to keep experimenting!


{scanned ink drawing, live traced and colored with offset in Illustrator}

Oh, and this little logo belongs to my new blog that just launched last week. Pop by Smells like Crayons and see what's going on there!

And YES, my little guy is turning 1 in just a few weeks. I can hardly believe it!

Time to make my lists


After reading so many great 2009 recaps and 2010 resolutions I've decided to draft my own - several days late, of course.

Last year I knew enough to not make resolutions. With a baby on the way, I just wanted to be prepared for a crazy year as a new mom. Deep down, I did think I'd have time to keep up the momentum of my illustration career.

But the best laid plans are nothing in the face of a baby and I spent a lot of time grieving over expectations. I bit off more than I could chew at times and felt really conflicted about my roles as mother and artist. I survived the year, and looking back I actually feel pretty good about what I did accomplish in 2009:

  • Finishing a book job for a new client, see above, just weeks shy of giving birth. It was a struggle to paint 10"x20" at a drafting table while enormously pregnant. I finally made the leap into eyeballs with pupils on my humans, woo hoo!
  • Displaying my work at the New Hampshire Children's Museum along with the very talented Laura Rankin and Nate Walker.
  • Completing another piece for New Moon magazine, mostly visualized while rocking a newborn.
  • Preparing 2 rounds of endless designs for a big licensing client. I didn't land the contract but I like the program I put together and can resubmit elsewhere.
  • Giving my first presentation as an illustrator at a library. I was so nervous, but in the end I think it was a success and a milestone.
  • Writing a solid picture book manuscript for a story that I've had in mind for years.
  • Keeping a great client for book design work. It may not be illustration, but it's great work when I get it.

I find it easy to turn resolutions into more of a wish list rather than an short list of attainable goals. I feel like I'm already reaching here, but there needs to be a little stretching for the stars, right?

  • Complete my picture book dummy and submit (potentially during the NESCBWI spring conference)
  • Send out a postcard mailing by March
  • Redo my website, integrating my blog to my main site.
  • Pursue art representation
  • Cleaning my office would be nice too!

Thank you to all of my readers for sticking with me throughout my extended blogging vacations. I plan on doing a little giveaway soon as a thank you. I also want to point you to a new blog launching tomorrow: Smells Like Crayons. My critique group is kicking it up a notch and joining the blog-o-sphere, go check us out! They are so talented and the best support an illustrator could ask for.