Saturday, August 31, 2013

Art Show - Two for the Price of Free!

I'm participating in two art shows in and around Seattle, and both exhibitions are free to the public and will be up through October!

The first is an exhibition of my musician paintings, they're on display in the lobby of the Kirkland Performance Center, starting yesterday and hanging until the end of October. Earlier this year, these paintings hung at Monster Art and Clothing in Ballard and now, for your ocular pleasure, they're on the East Side! The ten original paintings are acrylic on canvas and have been described as whimsical, painterly, and silly. Here are directions and info about parking. A reception is in the works, I'll post an update when the date is set.

The second is a group exhibition called Into the Desert at Bluebird Microcreamery and Brewery on Capitol Hill in Seattle. My talented artist friend Joe Garber has written and illustrated a graphic novel called Canyonlands, which I highly recommend. For the launch party, Joe held a desert themed group art show and threw a party. Unfortunately, the party is over, but the artwork is still up through October! Here's a map. And while you're at it, you should read Joe's comic here (for free!) or better yet, order yourself a printed copy here (support the arts and become a champion!).

My painting for Into the Desert is called "Life in the Desert" and is about a gentleman (in the barrel) who has made poor financial decisions. Now he is an indentured servant to a gang of cowgirl bandits, which he doesn't seem to mind. Maybe he's happy because they have him cook their meals and at least he gets to eat. Or maybe he feels comforted because they roll with the fire spirit, the cow spirit, and the cactus spirit. Or maybe he's just happy to be spending time with beautiful cowgirl bandits. In any case, I hope they follow the number one rule of the desert (as stated in Canyonlands): "Always chout for rattlers!"

To wrap things up, here's some sweet Canyonland visuals that Joe whipped up for the launch party. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 19, 2013

SCBWI Summer Conference 2013

(A sketch I drew at the airport on my way to LA)

At the beginning of August, I had the great pleasure of attending the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' 42nd annual Summer Conference in LA. It was four days jam packed with amazing keynotes, intensives, portfolio reviews, and celebrations. I met many new friends and I had some great experiences, it was truly a delightful time.

(A handful of the business cards and postcards I picked up)

One of the main highlights was winning a Mentorship Award in the Portfolio Showcase. Myself, along with four other mentees, had the opportunity to have our portfolios critiqued by each of the Board Illustration Committee Mentors. I feel very grateful to have had a chance to share my work with them, their critiques were very insightful and inspirational. 

Furthermore, my fellow mentees are a talented and friendly crew, and I'm really proud to know them. But you don't have to take my word for it, check out their sweet portfolios: Linda DornBrooke Boynton HughesCorinna Luyken, and Rodolfo Montalvo

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of all of us together, but here's our business cards. Also, here's a photo that Dana Sullivan took of Corinna and I. Dana, Corinna, and I are all from the Western Washington chapter of SCBWI, hooray for Washington! 

(Photo by Dana Sullivan)

The mentees from past years are also an amazing bunch, they keep a great blog with children's book illustration tips and resources that I highly recommend:

The keynotes and breakout sessions were chock full of impressive industry professionals giving the lowdown on their work and the world of children's books. Here's a random sampling of some my personal conference highlights.

(Jolie Stekly at the New Attendee Orientation)

Carson Ellis talked about her process illustrating the Wildwood series and her approach for illustration in general. 

(Image from

Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett performed a rousing reading of their new book Battle Bunny. The book cleverly appears to be a copy of a book originally titled Birthday Bunny, that was defaced to make a story about an evil bunny that goes on a rampage.

(Image from

Bruce Degen, the original illustrator of The Magic School Bus series, gave a break out session about illustrating other people's manuscripts. He brought a vast assortment of original artwork and sketches from several different projects, including The Magic School Bus and Jamberry, which blew my mind several times over.

(A sketch of Bruce Degen during his keynote presentation)

(Image from

The extremely prolific Dan Santat gave an insightful talk about his process and career. I'm really looking forward to his upcoming book Carnivores. Check out the clever book trailer for Carnivores, you'll be glad you did.

Now that I'm back from LA, I'm excited to get back to my drawing table with renewed inspiration. Thanks for visiting!