Tuesday, December 21

Happy Holidays!

I'm very excited that I had the opportunity to illustrate and design Puffin Books' holiday card. It was a fun little piece that also allowed for some hand-lettering, and will be sent to many of the talent artists and authors who work with Penguin.

I'm off for an amazing holiday adventure to Colorado and Hawaii--so sure to have lots of inspiration to start off a new, productive year! In the meantime,   

Happy holidays to everyone, and all the best for a happy and healthy 2011!

Another sketch...

Just have to share one more from the sketchbook project...this one is one of my faves so far

New painting

I'm getting the BEST Christmas gift this year--my boyfriend is taking me on an amazing trip—first to Colorado, then to Hawaii to ring in the new year! Either I've been REALLY good, or he's just the best boyfriend ever. (I'm pretty sure it's the latter!)
Anyway--really hard to match a gift like that--especially because his birthday is also on Christmas day! So, I decided to make him a painting. I was a little unsure if it would make a good gift for hanging in his bachelor pad since my style is so feminine...but I used the inspiration of our upcoming hawaiian adventure and created this image.

....and, he loved it!! :)

Saturday, December 18

More Sketchbook Project

Just sharing more of my progress with the Sketchbook Project.

My theme is "Great Hopes and Massive Failures" and this title is, for me, an opportunity to tell some of the funny (well, mostly funny!) stories from my past life in the NYC singles/dating world.
I'm really enjoying just getting to experiment a bit with composition & design—and lots of hand-lettering—to tell the stories and represent these characters from my life in interesting ways.

Monday, November 29

Blog Illustrations for "Secret Lives of the Unemployed"

I was recently asked to illustrate a fun story on a cool short-fiction blog, by writer Elizabeth Bartucci, that chronicles three Brooklyn neighbors, who after a year of being unemployed stop looking for work and embrace their lives of permanent hooky.

I created 3 pieces to accompany the post "Strap of a Jock", a humorous glimpse of a neurotic woman's traumatic wash-n-fold laundry experience. This entry made me laugh out loud, and I really had fun making the art! Here are the finished images, and the full story can be read at Secret Lives of the Unemployed.

Sunday, November 7

The Fire Eater

Just finished a little personal piece, inspired by the sketch I made for this year's Halloween costume: A sideshow/circus fire-eater! 
 AND-it just so happens to fit this week's Illustration Friday theme: BURNING

After having such a blast creating the vintage sideshow-style costumes for Coney Island's Mermaid Parade this past summer, friends and I were inspired to revisit the sideshow theme for Halloween. I decided to make a fire-eater costume....of course with a gory spin on things--I had "real" flaming torches and a disgusting burn on my face!

Before diving into the costume-making, I sketched out my ideas as usual....and couldn't resist revisiting those—now that my Halloween fun is over—to make a nice little illustration. I also realized this makes a nice companion piece to the "Acrobat" image I made for Illustration Friday a few months ago. Looking at these together, I'm also feeling inspired to expand this into more of a series—and potentially apply to notecards, journals, etc. (for sale in my future etsy shop!). I really love this whole vintage-circus theme and feel like I could come up with endless characters.

Here's a glimpse at how my costume looked  :)

Monday, November 1

Commissioned art

A dear friend of mine got married recently, and I was honored to have the opportunity to create 2  illustrations for her. The first was a portrait of the bride and groom, used for her save-the-date card. The other is an image of the venue she had her reception; she created small prints of this give to each of her guests as the favors.

These were extra-special projects as it's wonderful to be able to create something for a good friend!

Sunday, October 17

Illustration Friday-Spooky

Just re-posting an image I made for a gallery show awhile back, inspired by the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos...or Day of the Dead. I felt that it fits this week's Illustration Friday theme: Spooky.

This image can be purchase as a print through Charmingwall Gallery: http://www.charmingwall.com/

Tuesday, September 28

Wednesday, September 22

Illustration Friday--Acrobat

I haven't participated in Illustration Friday for awhile, but I couldn't pass up this week's topic: Acrobat.

Halloween is right around the corner, so of course I've been conjuring up my costume visions for awhile now. Friends and I are making circus-themed costumes, so I've spent the last few weeks referencing endless images for inspiration, and acrobat visuals have definitely been living in my brain....

But even more relative is the flying trapeze class I took a few weeks ago! That's right-I actually got to be an acrobat—flying through the air, just like in the circus! :)  It really was an incredibly exciting, exhilarating experience! (I highly recommend trying it!)

So--how could I possibly pass up an opportunity to create this little acrobat image? I love making art that so directly reflects my life!

Saturday, September 11

New piece

Today was one of the first Saturdays in a very long time that I haven't been bogged down with a looming deadline for a project or some kind of social obligation; It was also a beautiful, breezy day with a twinge of fall in the air--so was a perfect day to spend some time on personal work!

I revisited a sketch I did awhile back, that has since been pinned above my desk staring me in the face, practically begging for me to pay it some attention again. So I went to work on it--and made a little finished piece of it. This is one in a series of drawings I'd like to use to refine some digital techniques, and expand my body of work geared toward middle-grade/tween product and/or book & editorial markets. I've gotten positive response to recent illustration work in this vein--and this is also the market I've become most familiar with over the 6+ years I've spent designing young adult book covers. I had a ton of fun working on this--and really want to continue to refine this work process and style.

Saturday, September 4

Great Hopes and Massive Failures

A few weeks ago, I posted about The Sketchbook Project—a nationwide art project and traveling exhibit that I am participating in, organized by Art House Gallery. I've been having a blast starting to fill up pages in my sketchbook, and will periodically post some of my progress with it as I continue over the next few months (The deadline to submit the finished book is January 15th).

Each participant was to choose one of the provided themes to base the sketchbook on. (Though these are just to be used as a starting point and completely open to interpretation.) I chose the theme “Great Hopes and Massive Failures”.

Like many single women, especially in New York City, I've racked up countless stories of bad dates over the years. And, I would guess I'm not the first of these women to hear friends repeatedly say (after living vicariously through my tales of single-dom) that all these stories would make for a great book. I don’t, however, consider myself much of a writer—so instead decided to use this opportunity to create a visual diary of some of these stories. After all, what greater hope is there than the exciting possibilities of what might come from meeting someone new? And how much more massive failure can you feel when those hopes are smashed...like, by the realization that the guy who just showed up for your first date with a half-drunken 12-pack of beer is a total loser!?

Of course, this diary isn’t meant at all to be a venue for some man-bashing rant. It’s simply meant to be complete fun for me, and just to make light of some of the ridiculous dating experiences I've had in the past. Taking a personal approach to interpreting this theme allows perfect ground for me to freely experiment with visual ways to tell a story. I really want to push myself conceptually, using metaphors and composition to create a narrative in new ways. Also—the nature of this kind of story-telling allows alot of opportunity to incorporate hand-lettering which I am always interested in exploring more of too. And the sketchbook format creates a chance to experiment with medium without the need for executing finished, polished pieces.

I'm sharing here my title/first page—I had alot of fun with this, looking to old circus-y/sideshow poster type for inspiration and weaving in hints of gold leaf accents. I'll share alot more as I continue sketching!

Saturday, August 28

Final gallery piece

This is the final piece I've submitted to MacWorthington Gallery for their September show. It's titled "American Girl". I had alot of fun creating this piece—I love making work that is directly influenced by my personal life and interests!

The opening for the exhibit is September 18th, from 6-9pm. The gallery is located at 749 North High Street in the Short North arts district of Columbus, OH. Please stop by if you are in the area!


Thursday, July 29

Gallery piece

A few months ago, I signed on with MacWorthington Gallery in Columbus Ohio. I'll periodically show paintings there, and my work can also be seen and purchased through their online gallery. The first show that I'll have work included in there will be in September, so I wanted to share the in-progress painting I'm working on.

The gallery is open to any subject matter and medium, so it's a great opportunity for me to explore themes I'm personally excited about and also experiment with medium a bit. I had so many images in my head that I would just love to create--but thought a lot also about something that might sell to the kind of clientele a gallery like that might get. I decided to tap into a recent inspiration--the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

The Mermaid Parade stems from Coney Island's Mardi Gras celebration that was celebrated every autumn in NYC from 1903-1954.  It was re-born in the early 1980s as a celebration of summer, held each June on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice. 3 years ago, some friends and I decided to participate, because with our love of costume-making, it just seemed natural! We've marched in it each year since, and it's one of my absolute favorite events of the year! This most recent parade was our favorite to date--we played off the Coney Island sideshow/freakshow and created marine representations of old-time sideshow performers, "The Spectacular Seashow". (I was an Octupus-woman..."Suzi Squid"!) Here's a few photos of our get-ups!:

There's a "Freak Bar" at Coney island--adjacent to the Freak Show performance space, and we found ourselves hanging out there for a good portion of the day after the parade ended. There were quite a few people who wanted our pictures--and the American flag hanging outside was a perfect backdrop for us to vogue a few pin-up style poses. We were also handed a "golden bird" by another participant, who informed us it's a Mermaid Parade tradition and good luck to hold this bird on Mermaid Parade day. Not sure how much truth is in that--but we had alot of fun posing, and these are the photos I've derived my inspiration and reference from:

And this is my sketch for the piece I will be submitting to MacWorthington Gallery. I am super  excited to get going in color with this!

Wednesday, July 21

The Sketchbook Project

I'm really excited about participating in The Sketchbook Project--a nation-wide art project organized by Art House Gallery. Each participant receives a Moleskine sketchbook to fill as they wish, inspired by a provided theme. The sketchbook is to be sent back to Art House, who will exhibit the sketchbooks across the country. The tour includes Brooklyn, Austin, San Francisco, Portland (ME), Atlanta, and Chicago. Eventually, the books end up in the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.

I chose the theme "Great hopes and massive failures" which has already inspired me with lots of visual ideas to explore. I can't wait to get my book and get started!

Anyone is invited to participate--if you are interested, you should check it out on their site.

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

Monday, July 19


I want to share some highlights from my experience at ICON--though it's hard to pare it down because the entire weekend really was fantastic!

There was just so many great speakers! There was a major focus on the world of publishing and what the future of illustration within publishing holds for us, with all the rapidly changing technology and media formats. Alot of interesting (and differing!) opinions from art directors, designers and illustrators created alot of discussion throughout the entire weekend. Obviously, no one can really answer the question of what the future holds—in any context—but it is an important time to be thinking about how our changing world is going to affect visual artists' careers in the all-too-near future...for the better or the worse. I personally feel that the industry will be very different in just a few years--but not in a good or bad way necessarily. I think as artists we just all need to be open to adapting to what's next, and keeping our eyes open for new markets that will be created as technology continues to change. It could be a very exciting time.

There were some really great panels on the use of illustration, rather than photography, from some top art directors & companies--including SooJin Buzzelli, Sally Morrow, Irene Gallo, and the creative team at United Airways. There was a really entertaining discussion from children's book illustrators John Hendrix, Adam McCauley & Istvan Banyai, and a pretty memorable overview from Wayne White on his illustrator-to-cartoonist-puppeteer-to-fine artist career path. There were also lots of cool presentations from motion graphics/animation studios (of course, it was LA!)

One of my other favorite sessions was a talk from Melinda Beck and Gary Taxali on issues of exposure vs. fair pay. They shared some great stories, and are both artists whom I admire so much—not just for their work—but also for their knowledge of the business and the ethics they practice when dealing with clients.

The ICON bookstore always has a great selection of books to pick up from the featured artists and speakers. I just couldn't resist buying Paul Rogers' Jazz ABZ--the art is so beautiful. I love the graphic quality and the sophisticated palette and design. And, of course I am completely inspired by the subject matter. I also had the great opportunity to meet Paul and have him sign my copy--he's a pretty awesome guy!

I also was really inspired by Todd Oldham's presentation, and love his book on Charlie Harper—a collection of his work over the span of his 60-year career—which is gorgeous! He spoke a lot about the time he spent with Charlie during the last few years of his life, cataloging all his work, which was fascinating. I also was super excited to meet Mr. Oldham at the book signing.

And the other book I just had to pick up  and get signed was The Dress Doctor, illustrated by fashion-illustrator Bil Donovan. Bil's style is just so inspiring--the way he captures so much elegance and grace in such simple, bold forms. And, he was an incredibly sweet person also!

Of course--aside from all the great info and inspiration in everything I attended, it also proved to be another wonderful conference of connecting and networking with so many amazing and talented peers. I met lots of great new people, but also re-connected with tons of people I've met at previous conferences and illustration events...and once again, I'm reminded that illustrators are the most fun people in the world!

New blog design

I just returned from ICON6 --the Illustration Conference--in Pasadena, CA. It's an event held every 2 years or so in a different city, and always proves to be a fantastically inspiring weekend filled with incredible speakers, workshops, and presentations. This year was no different--I saw and met so many talented and fun people and really got myself re-energized about my work and thinking alot about some new paths to explore.

Step one--updating this blog! I felt like it really needed a little bit of designing--thought I'm not feeling too excited about blogger's new "template" designs. I don't love the limited choices in color and background images/textures, and the fact that I'm unable to upload more of my own imagery. But, maybe it'll just take a bit more figuring out and playing with, or exploring how to create a custom-designed blog. For now--do feel free to let me know if you have any thoughts on this--better, worse?

Wednesday, May 19

Tilbury Publishing Exhibit

I was recently invited to submit a piece for an exhibit organized by Tilbury Publishing. Their newest children's book, One of Us, is being released in late May in conjunction with Powered by Girl, a campaign from Hardy Girls Healthy Women (www.hghw.org) designed to educate teen girls about the impact of media on their lives and empower them use their creativity, wit, and individuality to make a difference.

On May 24 in New York City, (the night before Book Expo) Tilbury will host a launch party for their book, and this exhibit will be part of the event. All the pieces will be on sale to benefit Powered by Girl.

The only guidelines for the piece were that it was to be a small 4x6 size, and somehow a representation of yourself. This opportunity was super exciting to me--I think it's a great cause, and "girl power" is totally up my alley! Plus, I really had fun dipping into a self-portrait.

Here's my piece:

It's no secret to anyone that knows me that I LOVE to dance! (I'm not claiming to be any good at it though!) And, I've recently returned from a visit to my favorite place in the world-New Orleans, where I spent 5 days of what felt like dancing around the clock! The music has had me moving non-stop these last few weeks since I've been back, and I've been feeling super inspired and creative since, too. So, this just felt fitting. I also felt that the phrase "Dance Your Own Dance" really kind of sums up the way I live my life, and sends a message that I'd love to share with young girls.

The show will hang at Book Culture (536 West 112th Street, NYC) through May 28th, and the launch party is on Monday May 24th at 6pm. Works will be exhibited together in large box frames, and will be sold individually in protective sleeves for $25 with 100% of sales benefiting the Powered by Girl campaign!
All contributions made to Hardy Girls Healthy Women for the Powered by Girl campaign are tax-deductible.

Friday, May 14

Somebody Everybody Listens To

I don't often post much about my book cover design work at Penguin, but on of my favorite books that I've worked on just went on sale. It's called Somebody Everybody Listens To, by Suzanne Supplee. It's just such a sweet and inspiring story about a girl chasing her dreams of becoming a musician from her small town to Nashville, and I think I was especially connected to it because I happened to be working on it as I planned my trip to Nashville last year! Anyway--it's great, you should check it out...And, was pretty pysched about with how the cover came out also-


The Saucy Dipper!

I'm just wrapping up a really fun project--I created some illustration and lettering for a blog header. The client is a writer, and is beginning a foodie blog all about sauces and dips. Sounds like it's going to be super cool--with lots of great recipes and funny tidbits too. Plus with a tagline that reads "everything tastes better with sauce...and bacon" how could I resist?--I totally agree! The blog hasn't launched yet, but look for it soon!

In working on this project I've realized it's a bit shameful that my blog isn't better designed! I'm on it.....

More fruit!

I also was super excited to get another call from Marlin Ad Agency to create more fruit for the packaging project for their client, Made. I got to do a blueberry and cranberry this time:

I'm so happy this has been an ongoing project. I love working on these--they are incredibly fun and I am really loving how they look as a whole line. I've now done 11 spots for them and several pieces of hand-lettering. It's also been one of my first advertising/packaging projects and I can't wait to see some of the displays in print. It's also been fantastic to work with the Art Director, Kristina Duewell. She was a colleague of mine at Penguin Books for several years--so it's super cool to get to work with her from this side of things...small world!

Way behind on updates!

To say I'm a little behind on updating is a huge understatement--it's been a busy few months--and have had some great projects in the works...just not much time for the updating part of it!

I was involved again with the Artful Agenda project--and created lettering for the 2011 planners and Diaries. They are now on sale in the Designer's etsy shop:


I submitted just a few black and white illustrations this time for some calendar page spreads. I used the sketches I created for a couple of my recent 6x6 pieces and inked them. I really like how they look as small black and white line drawings, so I may revisit these and explore other ways to use them:

Friday, March 5

More music art

I've just finished the 2nd part of the promotional package for Michaela Anne--this design will be used for her show posters as well as her promo postcards. She wanted to have a large space at the bottom that can she write in info for each of her shows. I altered the girl a bit from the web banner I'd previously done for her--she ended up wanting to add the shot gun and whiskey bottle because she has a sultry sound, and she didn't want to be represented with too "sweet" of an image. I had tons of fun doing this--I've also included a detail here of the illustration of the girl. I loved doing the handlettering and creating the textures and distressing on this to give it that "old-timey" feel.

Michaela will also use some of these elements on her upcoming website--and once her album is recorded, I'll be working on the album art and design, which I can't wait for!

Tuesday, January 19

Music art

I'm very happy to be working on some new artwork for a local musician. She's a young singer/songwriter with an awesome voice, whose sound is inspired by folk and old country. I've seen her perform a few times and her music is right up my alley, so was psyched when she asked me to create some artwork for her new website and album. I've really been wanting to do some work for music packaging, since music is so important to me.

This is a banner I've created for her website:

I'll also be creating a poster for her and full album packaging, which I'll post once they are finished.

Check out her music here: http://www.myspace.com/mymymichaela

Monday, January 11

It's Carnival time!

Just wrapped up both of my Mardi-Gras inspired pieces for Six by Six Gallery's February show. I'm pretty excited about these, and still plan to revisit the themes in the future with the Spring and Autumn seasons. I adjusted the Winter piece a bit from the sketch stage to better tie in with the Summer piece and work together as a series.

Speaking of Six By Six Gallery, there's some exciting news--they've combined the gallery with their sister gallery-Charmingwall. http://www.charmingwall.com/
It's a bit of a more trafficked location (west village) and the monthly show openings will now be held here. They have also asked to sell framed prints of some of the pieces I've previously submitted! If you're interested, please contact the gallery about purchase!