Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Welcome Summer...it's picnic time!

Greetings fellow children's illustration enthusiasts!
We'll be doing a different illustration challenge each month and we'd love for people to join in(read on 'til the end of this post...) 
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This month, in honor of the sunshine filled days of summer, we are presenting our illustration challenge...Picnic! We hope you all have a great summer filled with good food, good friends, and good times...here's to picnics!


Julissa
Little Jane is enjoying her day out with friends




Jennifer
Tea in the Garden




Cally
Picnic Fun 




Shirley
Baby bun wanted some carrot cake too, but big sis made sure he had his veggies first!  


Bee
Lucy always shared her picnic treats with her little feathered friends




Nina
For this challenge, I knew I wanted to do some kiddos around a picnic table, covered in a red and white checkered cloth. Of course, some animals had to get into it, wanting some of that great picnic food! What I didn't realize when I first started thinking about picnics, was how many great childhood memories would come to my mind. Hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, corn on the cob and watermelon! My Dad making homemade ice cream with one of those old fashioned machines that you put rock salt in and turn the crank for hours. 
Fishing in the lake, but never catching anything. Playing games - 
lawn darts, baseball, frisbee and put putt golf. Yay for picnics, let's go have one right now!

Would you like to play along too?
If you have a picnic illustration you would like to share we would love to see it! Enter a link to your image below. Thanks!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Introductions

Welcome to our blog! As our name says, we LOVE to illustrate for children! We'll be meeting here once a month to share illustrations, coloring pages, and other fun activities, geared towards children and the children's publishing market.
For our 1st post, we all answered a series of questions to tell a little bit about ourselves, so our readers can get to know us. Each of us were also asked to contribute a photo or illustration of ourselves, either as a child or as adult. It's fun to see what everyone came up with!
We hope you'll stop by each month to see what's new and we'd love to hear from you, so please leave  a comment and say Hello!

Nina Seven


 
1. What’s your illustration background?
I’ve been illustrating for the paper crafting and greeting card markets for almost 10 years and am just getting started doing some work in children’s publishing. I was lucky enough to illustrate a picture book called Theodore the Tree in 2009, and loved it so much!
2. Where do you live?
Seattle, WA
3. What are your sources of inspiration?
The simpliest of things can be inspiring to me – something I see someone wearing, a certain color combination, an ad in a magazine. I try to be observant everywhere I go.
4. What are your favorite techniques?
For illustrations, I work digitally and use mostly Adobe Illustrator. I sketch first, with a mechanical pencil, then scan the sketch into my computer and place it into Illustrator. I do some fine art work, too, which is mixed media (acrylic paint, inks, decorative papers, etc.)
5. Do you have a favorite food?
I love salad, but I also love cookies, so they sort of cancel each other out. Hee hee.
6. What’s your most productive time of the day?
Mid morning to early afternoon.
7. Do you have a favorite place?
Any place where it’s sunny and warm, but not too hot. We don’t get enough sun here in Seattle, so when we do, it’s delightful!
8. What are your future illustration goals?
I’m working towards writing and illustrating picture books, but I would also love to do most anything in the children’s publishing world. I love it all!



Julissa Mora



1. What's your illustration background?
I studied Illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design and I've been freelancing in the children's market since 2006.
2. Where do you live?
I live in Orlando, Florida with my husband and two cats, who are my co-workers :)
3. What are your sources of inspiration?
I like reading children’s books, surfing the internet, browsing flickr (I find really cool images in some flickr groups), reading magazines, visiting thrift stores, looking at photographs from my childhood, and traveling. I also get a lot of inspiration from other artists such as Sabrina Ward Harrison, Keri Smith, Laurie Keller, and Vincent Mathy, just to name a few.
4. What are your favorite techniques you use to create your work?
I use a lot of custom brushes in Photoshop and I occasionally scan in paper and fabric to add some texture.
5. Do you have a favorite food?
I have many, but my favorite lately are Samosas with tamarind chutney, that I get from my local Indian market. They are so yummy! :)
6. What's your most productive time of the day?
Usually between 9am and 4pm. But if I have a deadline or if I am working on a side project, I will also work in the evenings.
7. Do you have a favorite place?
Outdoors, under a shaded tree.
8. What are your future illustration goals?
I hope that I’ll be able to continue working in the children’s market and have the opportunity to illustrate picture books.



Jennifer A. Bell


1. What's your illustration background?
I graduated with a degree in Fine Art from the Columbus College of Art and Design and have since worked as a holiday gift-ware designer and greeting card illustrator. I'm currently working on my first children's book due to be published in 2011.
2. Where do you live?
Minneapolis MN
3. What are your favorite techniques you use to create your work?
Initially, I spend a lot of time with a 2h pencil but all my illustration work is finished and colored digitally.
4. What's your most productive time of the day?
early in the morning after a cup of coffee and a long walk
5. Do you have a favorite place?
I'm lucky to live close to a lake with public gardens and bike trails. I spend a lot of time there when the weather is nice.
6. What are your future illustration goals?
If I can just manage to continue what I've been doing I'll be very happy!



Cally Johnson-Isaacs



1. What's your illustration background?
I spent 6 fun filled years working as an in-house artist for Hallmark cards, where I specialized in cute characters and children’s design. I then went on to become a freelance illustrator and now work for many greetings card companies around the world.
2. Where do you live?
I’m currently based in Newcastle, northeast England and also spend a lot of time in a cottage by the coast in Northumberland.
3. What are your sources of inspiration?
Inspiration comes from almost anything. Anything cute usually! Design blogs are very useful, Print & Pattern, Poppytalk, TokyoBunnie and Cute Overload are some of my favourites. I also subscribe to Progressive Greetings and spend lots of time browsing bookshops and vintage stores.
4. What are your favorite techniques you use to create your work?
At the moment I’m using a lot of textures and am about to start a course to learn how to make my own handmade papers. I also love using gouache, as it’s so versatile.
5. Do you have a favorite food?
I love food so this is very hard to pin down! I think it’d have to be salmon with lemon risotto. I think I’m addicted to olives too.
6. What's your most productive time of the day?
I like to start work as soon as I’m up and about. I work from home and never set the alarm. The luxury of being self employed.
7. Do you have a favorite place?
I adore the Lake District and go hill walking regularly. I’m also very lucky to live next to the beautiful Northumberland coastline, which has lots of lovely castles and wildlife and places to explore. I love the outdoors!
8. What are your future illustration goals?
I’ve recently signed up with a fantastic children’s book agent and she is currently promoting my work. My ultimate aim is to be a published children’s author and illustrator and to continue having a busy freelance career.



Shirley Ng-Benitez


1. What's your illustration background?
I have a B.S. in Graphic Design with a concentration in Illustration. I've illustrated in different mediums throughout my client work for many years, and then about three years ago, I took a field watercolor set on vacation with me and have been watercolor painting ever since.
2. Where do you live?
San Martin, California.
3. What are your sources of inspiration?
My children, paintings from the past and present, design, illustration & lettering art, travel, and food!
4. What are your favorite techniques you use to create your work?
1) Using my Winsor & Newton 00 Sable brush for all of the detailwork (at the end of the painting)...and
2) Creating "black" with my sienna and periwinkle blue paints mixed together.
5. What's your favorite food?
Grilled Steak and au gratin potatoes for dinner; Peet's Coffee and Trader Joe's Gingerbread for breakfast...(but definitely not every day!)
6. What's your most productive time of day?
In the early morning, and just before bedtime.
7. Do you have a favorite place?
In my office, painting whenever I can, with my kids in the same room. I also love the time right before sleep when I get to sketch.
8. What are your future illustration goals?
I'd love to illustrate children's books, and someday a children's classic.


Belinda (Bee) Strong


1. What's your illustration background?
I’ve always loved to draw. Some of my earliest memories involve crayons and a scrapbook. Although I’ve never had any formal training in illustration, I have learned a lot from many different people who have encouraged me along the way.
2. Where do you live?

In the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, East of Melbourne, Australia.
3. What are your sources of inspiration?

Mid-century art and design is what excites me the most. Furniture, architecture, cartoons, fashion, textiles, music… From the 50s to the 70s there was something really special going on in the world of art and design.

4. What are your favorite techniques you use to create your work?
I usually jump straight onto the computer. Most of my work is created using Adobe Illustrator. Occasionally I’ll sketch out an idea with a pen first, and sometimes I’ll even dabble with some acrylic paint or coloured pencil.
5. Do you have a favorite food?
Anything that will go with a nice dry martini!
6. What's your most productive time of the day?
I’m definitely a morning person! I’m always up early, even on weekends. I hate wasting time so even if I’m not illustrating first thing, I’ll clean the house or do some baking or get out in the garden.
7. Do you have a favorite place?
Well it’s Winter here so right at this moment it’s in front of a fire with my pj’s on and a nice warm blanket!
8. What are your future illustration goals?
I really want to develop my paper-goods business and expand into other products like wrapping paper and gift packaging. On the licensing side of things, it would be fabulous to have my designs on some fun stuff like fabric or stationery for some major international companies.

December banner art by: Jennifer