Friday, December 19

Look for on the shelves

Just wanted to post a few of my favorite recent covers. These will all be pub'd by various Penguin imprints in the next few months.

I got to work for the first time with very talented photographer, Michael Frost (, on the photo shoot for "Alis". Then I created my own background using found photos and textures and hand-distressed type.

"Jane In Bloom" is one of the best stories I have gotten to work on. It's a very touching, sensitive book about loss and growth. I got pretty emotionally connected to this one, and felt like it was a great chance to make a quiet image powerful through scale, cropping and color.

"Paris Pan Takes the Dare" was such a fantastic project-I was very lucky to work with 2 extremely talented illustrators. An Italian artist, Luisa Montalto ( and illustrator/hand-letterer Sarah J. Coleman ( It was really exciting to see the two artist's work come together to convey my concept. Plus, I happened to meet Sarah at ICON5, (who is so fantastic in person!) just as this project has been commissioned, which made it even more exciting for me to direct.

New assignment

I just got a commission for another large painting-and I can't wait to design this image. Here's the request I got:

...a monkey walking a pug...The kind of monkey I was thinking is the one from the sitcom "Friends" Ross's monkey. I'd like the monkey to be wearing a rounded red hat, almost like old style uniform for a movie worker from the twenties or even a elevator worker from the twenties. I'd like the pug to be a puppy and to be the fawn breed. Its tan colored with a black face. Just like my pug Tickle.
If its possible can the background be a beach setting on a nice sunny day?

Who WOULDN't be excited about this! So wierd and fun-it's going to be such a FUN image to paint!!

Ode to the Miser Brothers

Just having a little fun playing around with two of my all-time favorite Christmas characters! Happy holidays everyone!

Saturday, December 13


So, I've finished the painting and ready to ship it down to Florida. Hoping that my friend's wife will like it! I had alot of fun working on this one, and tried to focus on some areas I often feel need more attention in my work. I also found that I really liked working on a Clayboard surface--first time I tried it and found it easy and versatile!

Sunday, November 23

Blowing Bubbles

It's been awhile since I've posted anything (because shamefully it's been a few weeks since I've gotten back to work!) I recently moved, and just finally getting resettled into my new work space. So, now it's time to wrap my head back around my current projects. This is the one I have in the works right now. It's the 2nd painting for the friend who commissioned the large wedding portrait this summer. For this one, he gave me a "heart theme" but otherwise complete freedom. It's a 24" x 24" piece that he wants to hang in their bathroom. So, I got inspired by "bubbles"-here's the sketch:

I'm feeling really excited about this one! He wants to give it to his wife for Christmas, so I will be finishing it up asap.

Call For Unity poster

Here's the final piece as they used it for the promotional materials for the event:

Monday, September 29

Call For Unity Art

I just finished up a job for Sacramento News and Review. It was a really cool assignment--creating art to be used for the cover of a program guide and posters/promotional materials for an Interfaith Music Event. It's completely up my alley as far as subject matter-and the Art Director really encouraged alot of creativity with this one.

The annual event has taken place in Sacramento for the last seven years and has a focus on peace and acceptance through sharing music and culture in a diverse community. The image of a bird had become iconic for this event, and so they wanted to somehow include a bird of some sort. They also had a theme this year of "Caring for Creation" So I tried to communicate music and nature, and ended up with this:

They have a headline/logo which will go at the top. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and especially excited to see it with the design and reproduced at a large poster size.

Monday, September 22


Since Halloween, my favorite holiday, is just a little more than a month away, thought I would share this image. It's one of my YA book covers--which has become a project I got especially personally attached to.

My art director at Penguin assigned this project to me after she attended my "Zombie Prom" Halloween bash last year! And, we hired a fabulous photographer-Manjari Sharma (who just happens to also be one of my best friends and roommates) She had taken some amazing "prom portraits" at the "Zombie Prom"--so my art director knew she'd be perfect to get this shot.

We had a low budget to work with one this, so in trying to be resourceful, decided--who better to model than moi, of course!

So this project really turned out to be one of my favorites-I got to concept it, design it, art direct the photoshoot, AND be the model!

The book will be pub'd by Puffin Books in May 2009.


I just finished a job for Harvard University magazine. It was a really cool assignment, with a great art director. It was a very mature, introspective article about a girl reflecting on her dreams of going to Harvard and her communicating that to new prospective students upon her graduation from the college. I approached the article with a metaphoric/symbolic approach in my 1st set of sketches, which I was pretty excited about.

However, they preferred a more literal, less whimsical approach. So I submitted a 2nd set, these with a more narrative scene--

In the end, I was asked to combine some elements from the 1st and 2nd set of sketches. Here's what the final image came to be:

Monday, August 25

Counting Sheep

Sketched some lettering and this little sheep about a year ago (when I was going through some stuff and feeling like a "little lost sheep" actually) Anyway, always kind of liked it, so finally dug it out of an old sketchbook, did a lino cut of the sheep & printed it on a textured board, scanned it all and have been playing with it, adding texture and color digitally. Here's 2 of them.
I'm realizing with just a couple elements I can make endless little pieces of art and have hours of fun!! So, I think I'll continue with this....maybe make a new sheep every day! (or at least week!) I'm interested also in starting to explore some new venues for my artwork. Maybe packaging/products/licensing, etc. Also playing with the idea of opening an shop where I could sell handmade books and notecards, etc.--so I feel like this type of project can be a good segway into that realm....

Sunday, August 24

unexpected exposure...

So I happened to find my work posted on some random blogs. Kind of cool, though some of them are foreign & I have no idea what they say!! Ha! But I can see there are links and images from other illustrators I really like, so I suppose it's a good thing....Not sure how I feel about my work being that easy to rip off my website, but then again at this point, I am ok with the exposure, and all the images are too low res for anyone to use them in print.

just interesting to see what's out there and who's actually looking at my work :)

Saturday, August 9

Baby Announcement (project!)

I just got a small freelance job for an illustration for a baby announcement--a woman who lives in my friend's building hired me--and she had a definite concept in mind. Her and her husband are big runners, apparently, and thought this would be pretty funny.

(I sort of think a baby in running shoes looks a little silly, but maybe that's just me!)

Sunday, July 13

Baby Book samples

A few months ago, my Art Director suggested me as an artist for a book assignment--a novelty/gift type to be published by an adult division of Penguin, that would be geared toward expecting parents with a child who is not particularly looking forward to that new sibling. It was meant to be funny, sarcastic and quirky, and I submitted these samples to be considered for the project:

I didn't get chosen to do the book, but I was up against some really great and experienced illustrators. So I was happy to even be considered, and the editor and my art director both had positive reactions to this work, so I may try to develop some more portfolio pieces in this style, and geared toward this kind of market.

Sunday, July 6

The Big One

My most recent work was a large painting commissioned by a friend's husband to surprise her. This was super-exciting to me, as I'd never really painted very large scale but always had wanted to try. Also, I was flattered that he liked the work on my website so much he wanted an original, and that it was something I could do for a friend.

He wanted it based on a photo from their Florida-beach wedding. But, I don't do much portrait work, so likenesses are a bit challenging for me, and I didn't want it to come off cheesy. But I had alot of fun working out the composition-I worked full size. This is how it started:

But I wasn't happy with the shapes and layout, so I did a second sketch:

And basically combined elements I liked in both.

I played with the texture/swirly design in the background as a way to tie it together and add something to the empty space, but it made everything look much too busy once I got into adding color, so I took them out.

And, this is the final outcome:

It's interesting to me how much things changed in the course of the painting.

And, there were some challenges overall being the first time I worked this large scale. The logistics of getting the materials, rearranging my small space to work, and packing/shipping such a large box down to Florida--they were definitely all learning experiences!

BUT- my friend totally really loves how it came out. So, he's a happy client! :)
I actually have another commission from the same friend--but I am keeping it a little smaller (24 x 24) and am going to take a more graphic approach, as all he told me he wanted was some kind of "heart-theme). So, I am starting to get some sketches going for that one and hope to be able to finish that one up much more quickly than this one.

the start of something good.....

So, even though I've never really been a fan of "blogging" or reading other people's blogs, (because, let's face it, aren't all of our lives entirely too busy to care about the mundane little daily going-ons of someone else's life?...haha) I've decided to start this blog about the development of my artwork.

I've been inspired to do this after attending ICON5 (the national illustration conference) this weekend. I'm re-energized about developing my art and pushing it further; and using experimentation of process, technique, and materials to do that. I hope this blog will be able to serve as a platform to share that journey with others, and to be able to get reaction and feedback on new things I try. But, more so, I intend this blog to become a personal diary or sketchbook for recording the exploration of my work and creating a conversation with myself about where I am heading.

So, if you are interested, thanks for reading and check back often to see what I'm working on. I am aiming to add new work every Sunday. Thanks!