This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending “Your Guide to Graphic Novels” workshop at Highlights Foundation. This was my second Highlights workshop, and both times were restorative experiences.
We had some amazing faculty/guest speakers. Merrill Rainey, Nidhi Chanani, Lila Weaver, and Colleen Af Venable. They were so informative, honest, and friendly. Everything you would hope for in an educational setting. We learned about how the process of graphic novels works, how to write a script, and how panels work. Each participant had an opportunity to bring a favorite graphic novel and after we introduced our favorite books, they went on a table for a weekend library. It was a wonderful ice breaker, and a great way to connect with other participants (“I read the book you brought! that was great!”)
If you’ve never been to Highlights Foundation, it’s a pretty remarkable experience. They have a very kind and industrious kitchen staff that will cater to your specific dietary needs. As much food as possible is sourced locally, and prepared with pride. The grounds are easy to walk around with gravel paths leading everywhere. You can stay in the farmhouse, the lodge or small individual cabins. I’ve stayed in a cabin both times, and they are quite comfortable, private and ideally suited for introverts. You’ll hear scary stories about ticks, but there is bug repellant available in the rooms and even in the Barn so if you stick to the mowed spaces and paths, you can avoid any icky bugs. It’s a lovely landscape, but the staff are really the ones to make the place feel welcoming and friendly.
I’m glad for the time I spent at Highlights. It really gave me a sense of purpose and direction. I came home feeling rested and ready to go for the first time in a few months, and I recommend going there for any artist who would like to meet new people, recharge their batteries, and learn something new.
I went away to Florida for a week, and it was really lovely. The weather was warm, sunny, and full of warm breezes. Did I mention it was warm? I’ve sorely missed feeling warm. Even my toes felt warm!
I’ve been doing some unofficial polling, and the general feedback seems to be that weekly posting would be enjoyable, so I will endeavor to fulfill those wishes, kind followers.
You may have noticed some updates to the website! I’m working on making it user friendly. If you encounter something frustrating or have a suggestion to make, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
The kidlit community is proud to support students around the globe who are on school strikes to voice their concern for our planet’s future. The above image is my contribution- to find out how you can get involved, check out this website
For the month of February you can follow me and a lot of other illustrators by searching for #kidlitart28. It’s a drawing challenge to keep you drawing every day and for the dreary winter days, I was pretty excited for it. The theme this year is “Draw what you love”
After some consideration, I chose bears to be my “what I love” I don’t have a bear for each day, because I often went back to finish up a bear or add things here and there. This past weekend was the SCBWI* Winter Conference, or #Ny19SCBWI so that also took away from my daily drawing time ( but totally worth it! More on that to come)
This panda was funny. I enjoyed sketching him so much. He is the absolute picture of relaxation. So I wanted to draw him on vacation. Rough sketches, colors, and I still like the first sketch the best. I may need to revisit this one with traditional materials since it’s not working at all for me digitally.
Well, I am really tired from my trip, and I want to review my notes from the conference so I can share some highlights with you! Have a great day everyone!
*SCBWI stands for Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators
I always have mixed feelings about winter. Sometimes I love to get out in the snow and shovel it out of the driveway. I like snowballs and sound of the snow crunching under my boots. I love how quiet winter is. No one is mowing the lawn, the birds have flown south and the only sounds are the ice cracking in the sun.
Sometimes the sun hasn’t been out, and it’s cold and grey and COLD. Yes, it’s definitely worth saying cold twice. Because it’s not a cozy cold, it’s a bone-cold that turns your skin scaly like a lizard, and there’s just NOT ENOUGH COFFEE EVER.
And some days are compromises. A warm cup of coffee, sunshine, and bitter, bitter cold. These are the days for wooly socks, fluffy mittens hot coffee, and a good book to escape into. How are you staying warm?
This year was a difficult one. It was also one of the most heart-filling years for friendships and loved ones. I met some amazing people this year that I am happy to call friends, the friendships I had before felt more special to me, and my appreciation for family grew. So it was a hard year, and in many places, a sad year. But also a good year.
I often imagine going through my mental baggage at the end of each year and picking out the things I want to take with me.
This year, I’m taking a few things with me:
The day is not complete until you’ve made at least 5 mistakes a day. Everything after that is bonus.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, have fun in the process
Good evening, everyone! I have some great news! My birthday is coming up this week! YAY!!!!! Because it’s so last minute, I will not be accepting presents, but rather request you give yourself the gift of something nice just for you. Maybe it’s reading a book and enjoying a hot cup of cocoa, maybe it’s an evening of binge-watching your favorite show, or maybe it’s going out and splurging for that travel mug you’ve been eyeing.
I had an AMAZING week last week hanging out with my two nephews, who are 15 and 8 years old. They are funny, clever, and really nice. I really love them both and am so proud they are my family.
The only downside to my time with them is that as soon as I recovered from my own cold, I got my nephew’s cold, and it turned into bronchitis. YUCK. I went to the doctor today and got some awesome medicine and hopefully will be a lot better for my birthday. But until then, OFF TO BED!
Hello and Happy Thursday to you. Well, that is, if you are reading this on a Thursday. You might be reading this on a different day of the week, in which case, happy Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday to you.
There are SO many things I want to tell you about, and SO much that has happened since I last wrote to you. But this is only one blog post, and you probably only have a few minutes before your next meeting, or appointment, or until the light turns green. Note: please do not die reading this blog post while driving. Thank you very much.
This was a difficult summer and full of emotions. But there were some really wonderful things about it too. I went to Highlights with my friend Jeff and we met some AMAZING people there who were so nice. I really can’t recommend going to a Highlights Foundation event enough. I really left with purpose and joy in my heart, and being able to keep up with those awesome people on Instagram and twitter has been so lovely. Art was fun again and continues to be fun.
During the month of May, a lot of artists participate in a drawing exercise called MerMay, and they draw a lot of mermaids throughout the month. How many of you wanted to be a mermaid, swimming along in the oceans and talking to fish all day about seaweed?
Uh. It sounded more magical when I was a kid 🙂
“This is not what I meant when I said a wanted to be a mermaid!”