Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Nice Weekend

Well, this weekend was fantastic!

After plotting out my painting, I went with Josh to spend a work-day with David Chelsea at his home. What a lovely time! David Chelsea has wonderful taste in music and a lovely home... :) His wife Eve is sweet, too! I managed to paint my painting there and also spend some time with some very talented people... it was a blast!

I also managed to get a lot done today (more personal things, like laundry and grocery shopping) but it's always nice when Monday comes along and you know you accomplished a lot over the weekend. I'm sure when I am able to take on freelancing or children's books more fulltime, there may not really be a "weekend" per say, but I still enjoy the feeling of it.

In any case, I hope you all like the painting... It's not perfect, but it was fun to do... and I like these two characters quite a bit. Maybe someday I can get something written for them... who knows! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Painting in Progress...

Well, I was doodling along this night and couldn't shake how much I enjoyed sketching that bear from my previous post... so I made up this girl and recently read a little from Winnie-the-Pooh and missed that kind of relationship Pooh had with Christopher... from there I started thinking of Toot & Puddle... I wanted to draw something with a child/young adult who has a special friendship. I imagined this little girl, much like Eloise, with too much money, who be-friends this bear that maybe never went to Paris... and so Charlotte should take Rue there and go shopping... and maybe have some adventures?

Anyway, that's where I am so far...

I am posting the sketches that inspired me and then the drawing so far on the watercolor paper... there's a lot of work still to do!
But ... I am happy to do it!

Monday, November 09, 2009

A happy reminder...

I have been sketching over the past couple days some character roughs for a new manuscript... and also just sketches for fun...
I was going to post some life drawing sketches that I did one night when Josh and I went to Starbucks to draw people, but I think I may do that at a later date.
I have also been battling a major slump so I'm happy that I was able to get some fun sketches in that I really enjoyed drawing.
It's always so relieving when you find your "art hand" back in play and I just remember how there is nothing quite like drawing for fun. I am hoping to have a special spark fly so I can make some time to do a last personal painting before I get too busy with this book.
Speaking of the book I am working on, I so far have only just signed and returned the contract, as well as read and studied the manuscript... Ususally I'll have a pretty strong first impression and idea of how I want the illustrations to look, but this time, I feel open to a bit of experimentation and therefore, I don't have one set idea yet... but too many!
In any case, it will get reeled in until I feel something is right... :)
Anyway, hope you all enjoy the sketches... :)
Happy drawing!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Well, I read Chad Beckerman's interview he posted and am impressed... Nice view on how to approach your illustration career... it's true... maybe we need to drop the "dream" and make it a "job"!!! :P
Silly artists! ;)
No, but seriously, I think sometimes that's a big crutch for people- even those that hire illustrators that don't have experience dealing with artists. I think that's why Josh has to deal with so many clients not intentionally treating him like he ought to do his work for free because it involves art. If everyone adopted and accepted the fact that illustration is WORK then maybe we'd have less problems (ie spec work and the like).
Anyway, I just love when art directors share their views and thoughts... give a little insight to their responsibilities as well. It always helps! Even though there are the a lot of the same messages, there's ALWAYS a little bit of the person in there and it ALWAYS helps to hear what they think and feel... For instance, he talked a bit of how he feels illustrators trying to break into the field ought to really see doing this like an athlete-- you have to work out everyday (as in draw everyday)! Approach it like your life depends upon it.

Please click on the link to Mishaps and Adventures and read the interview if you are an aspiring illustrator, or someone that maybe needs a little motivation. :)
I was delighted to read it!
I should have sketches posted soon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Moleskine®'s make good sketchbooks

Well, a number of years ago, I picked up a Moleskine® brand journal and ever since then, can't seem to get over how awesome these little things are... so needless to say, I have been happy to see them all over the place at Powell's Books. I have picked up a three pack of some blank journals to use as a sketchbook and keep track of my submissions.

Here are some sketches I did...

I am also happy that in my one month with the July Group, they have announced interest from Charlesbridge! I should be receiving my fourth contract in the mail sometime soon! The manuscript is lovely... very playful character and challenging! I haven't quite figured her out yet...I just know that I love her and can't wait to get to know her better!!
For those of you wondering what the heck I mean... well, I already posted about how I get attached to the little characters in my paintings... so... can't help but feel like somewhere they have little minds and even though the story closes on a part, they continue to live! Am I crazy? Probably. A cheeseball? Definitely!

Anyway, I am happy!!

I also sent those submissions and meanwhile, have a number of postcards that will be arriving soon as well... I'll send those out once I get them... thanks for all the advice on the images for the cards!! I truly appreciate feedback!

Halloween is coming soon... I would like to be Eloise for Halloween... but I think no one would know who I am and her little school girl outfit might not ... well, it may not read the way I'd want it to... heh... so I think I'll have to think of something else... My twin loves costumes, and owns a couple of her own, as well as makes some, but alas, I have... I think one old Red Riding Hood get-up somewhere in my closet that I wore one year for Halloween??
Am I too old for this???
Don't answer that....

PS: I got an e-mail from the website childrenillustrators site and wondered for those of you that are on this site, do you feel it helps? I know that if you can afford it, why not? More chances for people to see your art... but if you are on a tight budget, it's not always such an easy decision to make.
Any opinions? :)

Monday, October 12, 2009


Geez, finally got my submission packets put together (for the most part) but I got distracted into trying to create a back image for promo postcards I've been thinking of ordering... I posted the image I wanted to use for the front already but here is what I painted today for the back...(keep in mind I left room for address, etc.)

I like it... but I am always nervous to spend any kind of money... even when it's for the right thing!!! :<

Anyway, I wish my twin, Mei, were on I-chat so I could ask her what she thinks, but she's helping my friend pack and move. Of course, this is in California, or I, being the crazy person that I am, would've driven all the way from HB to Irvine to show them the painting and ask them... WHAT SHOULD I DO???
(I know what I should do, by the way, I just need her to say it!)

I have progressively become more open about how neurotic I really am.... tee hee.
Darn CWIM, why did you have to have a blurb about promotional postcards? Right after I decided on how I wanted to organize a clean little submission packet??!

I don't want to be the person that plans and plans and never does!!
OK, I'll sleep on it. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Helpful Blogs

I wanted to post here that both Fox In Socks (Paige Keiser) and Kwan Kwest (Wilson Williams) have recently posted blogs with helpful tidbits on children's book publishing...
Don't forget Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, too!! Tons of interviews!
I have links to the right of my blog... very cool! :)
So check those out if you are interested.

And as always, the Big Illustration Party Time podcast has great insights into freelancing/cartooning... their newest interviewee was Asaf Hanuka!!! Big Time Illustrator... he's awesome. :) Click on the title of this post for a link to his website, and if you like what you see, go to I-Tunes and download the episode! (there's also a link to BIPT on the right side of my blog).


Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Happy Find amid a Hellish Week

Well, this has been a hectic past week.

My twin flew in from CA on Saturday morning, which was great. We geeked out together and frequented the asian supermarket here in Beaverton, OR- Uwajimaya together, which was fun. I also showed her a couple nice parks, as well as downtown Portland- the Pearl District.

However, come Monday morning, I had four wisdom teeth extracted and was thereby totally incapacitated for about three days! I am kind of a weakling, I hate to admit, especially with pills or medication, and whatever they prescribed me for pain brought forth series of anxiety attacks mixed with complete stupidity... it was horrible. My poor sister ended up watching over me for two of the days that she was down... I was told by countless people how having your wisdom teeth isn't "that bad" and that "a day or so" and you'll be quite yourself. I should've realized that I am not like the average person and being as I said, a weakling, should've added two more days because of that fact. Needless to say, I was unable to function and therefore, have not much to report of show... :(

However, I DO want to show off a great find I made while we were at Uwajimaya- a Moomin decorated candy tin!! I will cherish this forever as I am a big fan of Moomin. :)
If you don't know what or who this little hippo adventurer is you should immediately find out!!!
Written and drawn by Tove Jansson, in the 1940s to 1950s, Drawn & Quarterly released a complete Moomin comics book that I bought a year ago at a convention... I have fallen in love with it... I wish I had known about it sooner!!

Anyway, so enjoy the cute little tin and the flowers that I received after surgery...

apparently I was blowing kisses to the nurses and lobby staff when I came out of surgery because I was so drugged up... so maybe I deserved the flowers...

(this is also why I do not drink any alcohol... ) :P

So, lastly, I am sorry for the lack of work! Hope to have something soon! ;)
Oh, and isn't it wonderful it's Fall now? My favorite season of all.... ;)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Portrait/Painting

I finished the painting I was supposed to do a long time ago for a family member that requested a "portrait" of her two daughters as faeries...
This morning Josh was out front and saw a squirrel running up and down the tree in front of our apartment...which got me thinking!

I still have to get it framed and then ship it to her, but I do hope they like it.

On a totally different note, the first day of Fall is Tuesday of next week (if I am correct) which is exciting because it is my favorite season. After our first year here in Portland, Josh and I feel better prepared for the winter as well. We plan on stocking up more on wood so our heating/electric bill isn't so steep. It is nice to get the seasons though... :)

There are pumpkins at the grocery store, now, too!

I now can focus on other things that I feel I need to improve in my portfolio as well as get my submissions packets all ready to go... the only problem is juggling all of this Dental work I am needing to have done. It's sad that for so many years I could not afford dental insurance and now with my day job, I finally have it, but even then... I STILL can't really properly afford it. Sigh.
I'm sure I'm not alone on that.

Well, in any case, hope every one is in high spirits!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Illustration Party Time

I recently was interviewed by the hosts of BIPT (Big Illustration Party Time) podcast (Kevin Cross and Joshua Kemble- my fiance) for Children's Books... They talk about freelancing, cartooning, and other insightful info.

Feel free to download the episode #34 for free on I-Tunes (search in the "store" section) or there is also a quick-link at the right side of my blog.


Monday, September 14, 2009


For some reason, I saw someone else's Tweets on my Twitter preview on my blog, so I have temporarily removed this feature. Sorry 'bout that... but I still have a link on the right side of my blog so if anyone reading this would like to follow me on Twitter, please click on the link there.

Thank you very much!

I just went to the Dentist this morning... It has been an embarassingly long time since I have had insurance to go, so I was told some dauting news... I need 4 wisdom teeth removed and then some other work done. The X-rays were easier to take, but still painful to a certain degree. This isn't going to be fun. Take care of your teeth, guys.... :(

What else? I was unable to sleep last night- I think I got about 2 hours or so- and tonight I plan on eating a large dinner and then crashing.... haven't done that in a while.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The July Group

My new rep, the July Group, has posted my artwork on their website.
Please feel free to take a peek! (You can click on the title of this post, or click on the link to the right).

I am very excited and flattered... ;)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Music video...

So... of course, Chad Beckerman has once again posted an amazing little post... just a music video of mind-blowing proportions.
Please click on my link to the blog Mishaps and Adventures and see his post for Two Weeks-Grizzly Bear. :)

Cute photo...

I had to steal this picture of Kevin Morrison's little girl Holly holding up her papa's new book :)
Too cute.

I Can Speak Bully

Yay, I received my copies of I Can Speak Bully written by Kevin Morrison today!
They look awesome. I am so glad. I love the orange back and the type looks great! I re-read the text as well and think it turned out really, really well! Hopefully, other people will think so, too.
It's a really sweet story... :)

** you can click on this blog post title for a link to Powell's Books here in Portland to pre-order!

Anyway, I will post some pictures for those that want to take a little peak.
I may end up doing a little interview on Big Illustration Party Time this Sunday to promote it as well, but we will see. :)

I also have another painting I did for some promotional material that I will post as well.
Thanks for reading and commenting on my last post- I think that it's great to join arms with your fellow illustrators!! You are all bada$$es!! :)
'scuse the $'s...

Lot's more to announce in the future!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Other people...

I started this blog a long time ago... and much to the lovely changes Blogger made to the site, I have been able to stay on top of a bunch of artist's websites and blogs... the rewards are great!!
I am excited to read all the stories and hear ideas and other people trying to make it in the illustration world... and I also realized how important it is to comment!
I know what it's like to write something or post something hoping for other's to notice... :) so I have decided to really not be shy (believe it or not, I am pretty shy) and just put my thoughts out there... to encourage other artists, too! I'm sure they feel the same way- it's nice to know people are listening! Anyway, that's my two-bits for now.
If anyone knows of any other sites or blogs that are inspirational, I am eager to find more!

I will also be trying to get more art up on my own blog, too!!

Check out It's a Whimsical Life link... daily creativity is in store! Lovely idea :>

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Do You Know This Story?

I finished painting my "Peter Pan" themed piece for my sister's family and I am pretty happy with the results. Now I must mail it to her, along with another piece I promised to send to her (it features her two daughters riding safari animals across a desert).

What a productive weekend!! I love that! Cleaned up the whole apartment, got the laundry going, washed the dogs, painted, blogged, etc.!!

I have more exciting news, but I want to make sure it's set in stone before I write about it, so until next time...

I have been following Chad Beckerman's blog Mishaps and Adventures (there is a link on my blog spot)... he posts the most fascinating and endearing videos!! Please take a peek :)
The one he just posted was especially awesome- but in order to find out what I am writing about, I encourage you to click on the link and see for yourself!

I have ideas stewing in my head for designing some fancy submission packets, too... Maybe I can post images as those progress. They are still just in my head after all... and unless you are psychic there's no way of showing what the heck is going on in there, is there?

I know it's cliche to say, but doesn't time really fly??? I cannot believe that August is half-way done, and I know, before I know it, Fall will be approaching.... Fall is my favorite season. But it does also leave me with a tang of melancholy feelings because with it, is the end of yet another year. I am one of those people that thinks probably way too much about "the meaning of life..." so you can only imagine what goes on in my head during these times. I still can't believe I am in Portland, to be honest. Never in my life did I imagine I would have the guts to move so far away from my family and survive it!! I'm really falling in love with this city, though.

Alright, enough rambling! :)

PS: great movie I recently watched... Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much... now I have Que Sera Sera stuck in my head. This movie... for some reason... really, really, really got to me... something about the relationship was so real, and their pain so sincere, that I fell in love with Doris Day and James Stewart all over again. I have linked this title to a youtube video of Doris Day singing so her kidnapped son can hear her... very touching scene.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When Time Stands Still

I've noticed how much I miss times when I was young, very young, and could sit and read. My whole family actually are book/comic junkies... I find that I love books that have heros and heroines that are book junkies as well. What a lovely thing it is to delve straight into a story and come out as though you just returned from a wonderful adventure. And what a wonderful thing to be able to draw from your mind.
Sometimes it really dawns on me how truly lucky I am that I draw... being able to get out what is in my head down on paper- but not just in words- in pictures! Illustrations are so powerful... and I think about the children poring over pictures, putting their hands softly on the page as they greedily soak in all the details and then.... the best part: they imagine it for themselves!
Don't ever forget it. :)

On a lighter note, here is the drawing for my next painting... it's actually for my sister's family... Ethan (Peter Pan) is actually not even one years old yet, but I wanted each child to be in the painting. Wendy is Maya and Eva is Tinkerbell, although I purposefully made her larger. I had lots of fun drawing the roots and the leaves... I think this will be fun. Let's hope I don't get too eager and "over work" my painting... I had a horrible habit of doing that in college (I'm so sorry for my Special Studies professor- I simply wasn't patient! I learned the hard way, I know.)

I also made some changes to my blogger page- the fish thing was just something I thought was adorable... plus I like the idea of "koi" fish because well the Japanese aspect of it, but also because Josh and I graduated from CSULB (Cal State Long Beach). On campus is a Japanese Garden... which also hosts weddings. One day when we make enough money, we hope to have our wedding there... although time has been ticking away so I don't know if we'll ever get to, but at least we've both been there before.... and they have Koi. It is beautiful. :) If you click on the title of this blog, it will take you to their website...

Well, enjoy the warm night and hopefully, you have a lovely sunset, too! (the one we saw while walking the pugs was delightfully pink-orange against a blue). Josh said "Isn't it wonderful how nature has compliments everywhere? (referring to complimentary colors)." Too true. Look out for them and you'll see- the red rose with the green leaves...etc.

Grab a good book one day and just remember!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

a few more sketches...

It rained today. Totally beautiful. I think my favorite bridge in Portland is the Fremont, partly because I drive it almost everyday, but also because it is so high up you can see all around- the city, the river, the mountains... just breath-taking. Of course, being originally from So.Cal, this is totally awe-inspiring because where I grew up the only marvel was the ocean. Don't get me wrong, the ocean is beautiful...but there are much more pretty oceans than the view off Huntington Beach Pier.
I may be biased though... I definitely have a preference for a city scape with bridges and a sparkling lights.
In any case, even though I have the WORST night vision, I do think it's beautiful to drive at night.

Actually, funny story... when Josh proposed to me in San Diego, CA, it was at night. He kept trying to guide to what I saw as these dark, ominous alleys where there were no people (he insists there were tons of people around and that they weren't as freaky-dangerous as I thought or thought I saw). I almost ruined everything because I was arguing that I didn't want to get murdered!

Ok, enough of that...

I sketched some more... the scene I drew here of with the fireplace (yes, that's a fireplace) is on hot press watercolor paper.... I found it while rummaging around beneath Josh's art-desk. I remembered how much I adore hot press vs. cold press and had to draw something quick so I could try it out again. :)
If you've never painted on hot press, try it sometime. I love the way the color sits... and shines!

Anyway, happy sketching...
I have to get through some novels I've been addicted to so I can focus!!!

I can't wait... for Friday!!!
Having a day job can be tedious... but well, such is life. Hopefully some day soon, I will have secured more freelance work and will be able to confidently work exclusively on illustration.
Well, cheers all!! :)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

An update

I finally adjusted a few things on my website and uploaded some newer sketches as well (here is one of the pages I added).  I also added a downloadable coloring sheet of the cover of The Moon and the Nightsweeper in case someone would want to use it to run off copies for their class or child.  That can be fun- I've used them at book signings before and I think children really have fun coloring them.  If I can get my butt in gear, I can probably have more for the other books, too.

So it's exciting to know that I Can Speak Bully is now at the pre-ordering stage... I still haven't seen the official interiors, although I have seen a mock-up for the cover.  I feel much more capable now (I think that's only natural that if you practice, you're going to get better-duh) so I really hope to land another contract soon!  I've always wanted to illustrate a story with some magic to it- like a Christmas story.

By the way, it has finally cooled off here in Portland so I am going to be pulling out the watercolors again soon.  In the meanwhile, I'll need a bite to eat, and then sketch-time!

My twin has been staying over at our dad's apartment (he's leaving to China for 4 yrs. so she wants to spend as much time as she can with him before then) so I have been without my crit-buddy!!! You can only imagine how that feels...  and I am someone who (since birth) needs a companion to help me fight crime and lay down the law... let's hope I survive this!!

To the bat cave!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who's the Bunny Boy???

Click on the title to find out... :>

So it's incredibly hot right now in Portland, OR- in the hundred degrees this entire week, in fact.  My poor pug dogs have been panting all day long...  so I've had to fill the bathtub with water and sit in there with them to help cool them off.  It helps though so that's good.  The weekend is supposed to at least go down to the 80's and 90's so I am happy.  Here is my art desk luckily sitting near two large windows in our dining/kitchen area.

I recently visited California to see my family so I spent much of the four days watching my nephews and nieces.  Try to imagine watching one 8 month old baby, two toddlers, age 4 and 5, and one 2 yr. old in scorching hot weather at Disneyland.  Yep.  Needless to say, I was exhausted when I returned home.  However, it was also super nice to see everyone again- I hadn't seen them all in a year, which is the most I've ever been away from my family.  I talk to my mom every day... and my twin and I are pretty close... not to mention the fact that I dote on my nephews and nieces quite a bit (Keegan is actually featured in The Moon and the Night Sweeper and I have in the background in one of the interior pages for I Can Speak Bully, their names on the cubbies in the classroom).. so it was about time I got to hang out again!

We took some official looking family portraits, and then some less-than official pictures on PhotoBooth...

I'm the attractive one in yellow.

If my computer continues to work I can finally scan some new sketches.  I think it's funny that I already am considering making some changes to my website... Updating and changing will continue to happen, I'm sure.  I'm liking the new features they have on Blogger as well.

I hope to have more art soon!  I can't wait to have my advance money come in so I can put it toward mailing out more art to publishers!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Matsuri (Festival)

Hello all!  As promised, I finished piecing back together my scanned painting before I uploaded it here.  Today has been unbearably hot and the computer is not liking the heat at all.  I think Josh has become completely nocturnal for this reason alone.  Two computers in a small room can actually make it pretty warm even with two mini fans and one larger one on the floor.

Regarding the title, a "matsuri" is a street festival that usually happens in the summer in Japan.  I remember when I visited relatives as a pre-teen going to one of these and enjoying trying to catch goldfish with weak miniature nets, eating cotton candy, wearing a ukata (summer version of a kimono- a lot less work to put on), and sporting a uchiha/round hand-held fan.  I also remember festivals we would throw at our Japanese School in Long Beach, California, USA which involved many of the same games as well as a huge tower in the center of the playground with a large drum (taiko) at the top... this would be played while they blasted music from speakers.  Everyone would dance around this in a circle with their fans or just doing the hand jestures.  Sounds pretty bizarre I suppose, but these were some of my favorite memories growing up.  Granted getting up every morning on a Saturday while your American schoolmates got to sleep in sucked, but I now, of course, find it all worth while.  We had speech contests and Christmas plays, Boys and Girls Day, and other fun events to help keep our heritage alive way out in California.
Anyway, this scene isn't exactly authentic.... the thing the boy is carrying on his back is a smaller taiko drum wrapped around him, with the sticks held to his belly.  I'm not sure if people would do this... taiko drums are pretty darn heavy... so imagine this is a bit fantastical... aside from the children playing on rooftops!
So here's to summer!! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

little update

I have my painting ready to post, but the scanner was not working today, so that will have to wait until I can get that fixed...  I think it turned out alright.  I have ideas for more paintings and the like stewing in my head.  I am thinking about trying to get more sketches posted on my website as well.
In the meanwhile, I updated a lot of links on here to include blogs that I like to follow.  All of these links I visit regularly and find tons of inspiration as well as first-hand accounts from illustrators out in the field.  It can sometimes seem like such a small, lonely little world unless you remind yourself that everyone has been where you are and everyone starts from somewhere.  In the midst of trying to survive some personal events not related to art, I have been trying to view my portfolio objectively and tap back into what I like to draw or paint... I feel like I go back and forth between wanting to perfect how I paint and work, to trying to remember what it is I like to draw, and then also, what is necessary to show I CAN draw or paint in order to get work.
I think that all you can do when you are stuck in a rut is just keep drawing... just keep painting.  I think life managed to creep up and hit me pretty hard these past weeks and had left me feeling a bit disillusioned...  but I think I'm back.  And a lot of that stuff has been resolved to some extent... so to change things to a positive note before I end this post, I hope to post that painting I finally finished and keep on posting... 
So, go check out some of these links!!! :)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The draft so far...

This is super rough, and there is a lot to fix, but I wanted to post what I am working on so far in case anyone had suggestions... It's also cut-off a bit...

I am actually on I-Chat with my twin as I post this asking her for feedback.

Josh told me about another site where you can link all your portfolios, blogs, websites, etc. for illustrators.  It is Illustration Mundo.  Click on the title of this blog to peruse...

I STILL intend to link more people on my blog, but just haven't really gotten around to it... I think it should be much more interesting once I have a bit more going on with this blog.  I believe there's also a way to get my blog streaming on my website, but I still haven't quite figured that out.  I'm sure there will be a day when I can sit down and re-vamp what I have so it is a bit more fun and everything is properly linked.

Anyway, tomorrow is Friday and Christine is visiting, so I will be waiting on that painting... which is probably good... I need that time to "sleep on it" so that I don't rush anything... Not to mention how good ideas always seem to hit me in my sleep!

Man, I'm delirious... but nothing compared to Josh.  He almost fell over today while we were getting dinner from working 48 hours straight- zero sleep.  I think "all nighters" are a lot harder to pull.  Poor man.  But he has some new pieces up on threadless now!  If you click on his name under my links it should have all sorts of fun stuff that he's been doing...

Well, good night world.  Sleep well.  "Dream of large women."

(If you don't know where that quote is from, I am sorry).

Some ideas

I will at some point, link all the amazing artists whose blogs I follow, as well as those I found on Flickr, because I feel like it's just too selfish to keep them all to myself.

I also plan on getting my new painting drafted... I started it yesterday night and am sooo excited to paint it! However, my friend from CA is coming up tomorrow night so I have to put it off for a bit. It's inspired by my most recent find Mr. John Shelley (who is linked to the title of this blog). I was perusing JacketFlap and saw his portfolio and was pretty much blown away. I read that he lived in Tokyo for 20 years. My mom is Japanese and actually in Japan right now (I miss her!!!) and so I thought how much I wanted to illustrate something that includes my own heritage. It's a Japanese street scene with some children on rooftops and doing some other mischevious things... but still in the making.

I will have to post more later!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

For those of you that enjoyed Star Trek... Click on this Title!

My classmate from college is one of the costume designers for some big movies out this year!
Please check out his blogspot and his website to view his work.
It's awesome to see his name in the credits!
I have not seen Terminator yet, but I loved the other two- especially Star Trek.
Congratulations Phil! (and Brian)!

Another rad artist that works on Costumes that I know from school is Oksana- I have a link to her blogspot here as well. (Her work includes the Narnia movies).

Sigh... such great talented people- and wonderful human beings as well!!
Isn't that always nice! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I ended up messing around with this image on Photoshop because I was a little unhappy with the colors I painted it... I think this version is much better...
I need to get better sleep... too much going on in my head regarding finances, my dog, and just general jitters-in-the=night!
I don't like using Photoshop, but when I want to mess with the colors without messing up a painting, I admit, it is useful.
Painting by hand is so much more rewarding, though.  I doubt that red would've picked up much enough to get a nice greenish-yellow that I wanted to test for the bushes.
Oh well.  I hope my twin, Mei, likes this one.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Mouse Fellowship

I keep thinking this reminds me of the Lord of the Rings (?? probably because mice are small and this scene makes me thinks of Frodo and Sam) thus the title.
I think it came out a lot more saturated than I intended, but I still like it.
Hope you do, too!

Friday, May 22, 2009

On Pause

So I know I posted a WHILE ago that I would have a new painting up, and yet, it still sits on my desk...
The reason for this is that first, Josh, my fiance, was having horrible tooth aches from an exposed nerve and he has no insurance to use. We had to take an entire day to sit at one of those walk-in clinics that are run by OHSU (or student dentists/professors).
He may need a root canal... but the price was a lot better than if we had gone to a regular dentist. I think it's hard for freelancers to acquire insurance in general, but it really made me feel lucky for having my day job. Once we are married, this should be fixed. I still want to be a full-time freelancer at some point, but I guess there is a plus to having my day job.

Then, about a day later, one of my pug dogs became ill. He was having problems urinating because of crystal build-up in his bladder. I guess it's a little more common in pugs, although still rare, and caused by an inability to break down certain food. We had to have him go through an emergency surgery. We were waiting anxiously this morning to find out if he has recovered but we finally got the word that he's going to be fine. We are to pick him up this afternoon.

So good news that he's ok, but it's been a hellish week!!
So I am grateful to have Monday off so I might catch up on this painting and spend some time with my pug! (and my fiance-it's his Birthday- what a present! He can keep his best friend!).

Thank you to those who helped and cared!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Out from Hiding...

I have my next painting all mapped out on paper now and am excited for the weekend to paint it!! Of course, Portland is getting a warm, sunny weekend to tempt me to go outside, but I have my desk right by the window, so hopefully, I will still get some of the sun.
My best friend from California is visiting (almost 99% certain!) the weekend before Josh's family is visiting! I am so excited!  Of course, this also means the apartment needs to be cleaned.
I actually enjoy cleaning (to an extent) so this won't be so bad as long as CK and Dozer decide they like their toys more than our stuff!
On a different note, it's been fun figuring out Twitter and trying to get more involved with that site... as well as Flickr.  I think that trying to get in touch and make some friends in the field help so much! Plus it's always fun to read their blogs and feel happy that you aren't alone in the artworld.  I think actually when I graduated college that was the thing I missed the most-group critiques and hanging out after class working on art together.  We were a hardcore bunch of students at the time... although I always think, "I could've worked harder!"  This is why I love reading and commenting other artists and seeing all of these amazing artists' work!

In the meanwhile, I also hope to land a bit of freelance work as well... I just quoted a possible client and have yet to know whether it is in the bag.  I think the story would be rad to illustrate, but the details must remain confidential.

I also just recently sent my latest publisher my dedications, so I am hoping I will soon see more interiors (if I see them) before they go to print.  I am really excited to see this book when it comes out... I really love the characters in the story.


This weekend: repair vacuum, clean, and paint!!!! Onward and upward!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The lonely cyber world...

I just realized that I had not yet subscribed to some blogs that I had links to on my blog... so now that this is rectified, I can now follow some of my old college friends! :)
I am hoping that when I have the time, I can find them all on Twitter and build up more of a network there... it's a little lonely on Twitter when you first start out... but I think if I were able to keep up to date with my classmates, as well as new friends, it would be pretty fun.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

If Only

I truly sometimes wish that I could draw something and have it become real... because I want this little girl's jacket!  Although I'm sure somewhere, someone has made and is selling a bunny jacket... I couldn't help but think to myself, "I want her shoes, too!"
This is the first thing my sister said to me when I showed her the painting.

The title is Alley Cats because those are her friends.

I have another idea brewing involving pigeons.  Let's see where that takes me.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Next Project

I have drawn out for the most part the next painting I will be working on over the weekend.  I'm not sure if I will be keeping the cats or the tree... 
The inspiration came from a new blog I am following that discusses different Disney animated movie backgrounds.  I am a fan of looking at these and feel that some have the most inspiring color palettes and design.

Twitter, Flickr, Blogger...

I have been looking at blog postings (I have a couple that I read all the time) and also looking on Twitter... and finding that I visit these so often that there are not a lot of updates compared to the amount of time I visit the sites. I think that's a definite que that I need to spend more time working on art and visit these more like twice a week instead of several times a day!! It is addictive though...
I am especially addicted to reading Neil Gaiman's Tweets... he is so funny and always, always, doing something exciting! (I must send my sister a copy of The Graveyard Book, buy Coraline when its released, and also get his latest children's book, the Blueberry Girl when I have the money).
I sincerely can't wait until I have enough money saved up to send out promotional material/submissions. :)
Hope to have artwork posted soon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stumptown Photo

Really quick, here is a picture from the Stumptown Comics Fest that my co-worker sent to me.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Well, I am going to post my embarassing attempt at ink.  I really need to work on this.
I don't think I really did what I wanted to do with the ink, and I think it has a lot to do with what I decided to paint.  It's funny because I really only like the washes!  This would be similar to what?  Hmmm, watercolor maybe?  I do like the koala-guy.

I think that I may just have to paint this instead or move on.  There are plenty of paintings in my head that should be out on paper at least once.

On a totally different note, I heard from my twin that they have adopted a kitten.  My other sister works at a Vet Clinic and I guess someone dropped off a little white kitten with happy blue eyes all because he was deaf.  So they took him in and now my nephew has been completely enthralled.  His name is Oliver (after "Oliver and Company" the Disney movie).

This makes me wish I could go meet him in person although I did get to see him through I-Chat.

I have been in a slump... but I think I am going to come out now.  I think that messing up this picture as long as I was working on some sort of artwork, has now energized me since the convention.  By the way, Josh has posted some photos from the event on his Flickr account under set titled Stumptown 2009.  I will make the title of this blog posting a link to his Flickr account.  

Comics Galore

I finally have a free moment here to post really quickly that the Stumptown Comic Fest was loads of fun! We were way in the back, but still managed to sell some mini's and some books.
(click on this blog title for a link to the Big Illustration Party Time Blogspot shownotes on the Comic Fest- the podcast is free download, by the way, and loads of fun.)

I have recooperated from all the sitting and standing and talking and loading and unloading... and laundry... that tonight, I pray I will be able to work some on that drawing I posted a while ago!

Meanwhile, please check out the lovely blogs I have been following (you can see them when you click on my profile). I just love these blogs!! Most are children book illustrators, but some are useful blogs related to the publishing industry. I really admire these creators and they provide me with loads of inspiration.

Ok, back to my day job.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

When drawing...

The last comment on my drawing made me feel like posting a little blog in response.
Kevin Morrison (the author of the third book I just did illustrations for, I Can Speak Bully, due out in Fall) wrote:
"I like your pictures for the stories they can tell. I enjoy the depth of your characters beyond the lines and colors on the page. Do you have stories in your mind when you create them?"

I think that it's true for me that I get pretty attached to the characters in my work. In fact, if you ask Josh, he'll tell you I will talk to them while I'm painting... Sounds a little creepy, but it's more like this, "Well aren't you a nice, little frog? I bet you'd like to be green with a red stripe down your back! Then you'll have lots of things to do..." In fact, the pages for Kevin's book I worked on, there were a few where I got carried away and started crying for this little boy... Pretty cheesey of me to admit, but I think that it's just the way I am...

Now as weird as that may sound to some people, when you paint or draw, you invest a lot of your time with the work.. you sort of "get to know" the painting. I think for me, it starts with "I'd love to paint something with wide open space... yes... a desert! I haven't done a desert with a lot of funky-shaped rock formations yet... that makes me think of Dragon Ball! Oh, an adventurous little girl with a friend. Her friend should be like a koala... and they both ride her dirt bike together..." (and on and on and on...).

I think I can recall a time in class when I was in college with my absolute favorite Professor (at the time, he's now the "Head Honcho" of the Illustration Department at CSULB) David Hadlock (so unbelievably talented and genius!). It was one of the first classes I had ever taken at the college. Some background before I go further... my twin sister, Mei, and I used to draw side-by-side since I can remember... We would talk ideas out and make up cartoons and stories... so I was used to verbalizing my ideas out and just brainstorming as I went along when it came to coming up with ideas to draw.
So in class, Hadlock would go around the room and stop at different student's desks and try to see how they were coming along... whenever he would come by my desk, he would say something that would set off something in my head where I suddenly had a jolt of inspiration and could see so many possibilities in a single painting/drawing. And I loved that about him. I also noticed that he did the same thing when he was critiquing other work... he seemed to have endless love for imagination.
He's also the reason I wanted to do children's books and not manga/comics. He used children's books to show examples of something like "perspective." It made me realize how much I identified and loved children's books.

So in a very long story... the answer is that yes, I think out almost everything about a character when I paint it... or at least by the end of the painting, I have a pretty good idea of who that little person is and what they would be doing. Most of the time, I think of something I'd like to see or paint and the story follows as I go along.

Sorry if this post has horrible grammar by the way.. another reason I am not the best of authors/writers. I am also pretty wiped out because Josh and I just spent a couple hours getting ready for the Stumptown Comic Fest. We get to go early tomorrow and set up before Saturday. I might print out the comic pages that I do have, too, so I am still tired.
(Actually the pugs are asleep on the bed because they know how crazy their parents are when it comes to staying up too late).

Thank you for the comments everyone! :)
I have links to people on my blog as well if anyone would like to see other blog pages.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Possible Ink...

Well, I am going to post the drawing I'm working on so far...

From what Mei has told me, and I agree, there are some fixes still, but I like to post the "in progress" stuff.

I'll have to ground the bike some more, change the height of the rock formations so it has more variation, and pay more attention to the clouds....

But it's off to a nice start. I have to fight the urge to paint it... I am going to attempt to ink this one... I do have the image scanned so if it ends up I want to paint it, too, I can still get the image and transfer it to watercolor paper.

Hope people like it so far...

It's taking too long for the weekend to come, but then I have to remember that this weekend will be Stumptown Comic Fest. Josh suggested I take my comic pages (reprints) to show to Darkhorse because they are scouting for someone to do an online comic for them.

I hope I have time to follow up on this.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Moody Painting...

I have posted a new painting up... one that I wanted to have more of a "something's about to happen!" mood. I hope that it's achieved that kind of an edge.
I finished it a lot earlier than I thought I would so I may just keep the creativity stirring and start plans for the next piece... now to decide whether I want to start attempts at inking again or if I would rather paint another painting! I already have ideas for another painting but it does sound fun to pick up the pen and ink again.
Let's see which urge wins!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stumptown Comic Fest!

I will be at the Stumptown Comic Fest with my fiance, Joshua Kemble, and friend (co-host for Big Illustration Party Time Podcast) Kevin Cross! Click on the title of this blog for a link to the Stumptown Comic Fest site.
Thanks for visiting and hope to see you there!

Location: Portland, OR
April 18th & 19th from 10:00 am to 6 p.m.: The Stumptown Comics Fest 2009 will again be hosted by the Lloyd Center Doubletree hotel. The Doubletree is just a couple blocks away from the Lloyd Center Shopping Mall and movie theaters, dozens of restaurants and hotels, and is conveniently located next to a Portland Tri-Met MAX Line stop for accesibility. The Exhibition Hall is over 14,000 square feet, and parking is available for attendees at $3 a day in the adjacent parking garage.

Doubletree Hotel
1000 NE Multnomah
Portland, OR 97232

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Drawing on I-Chat

I suppose it's a funny situation that I have at home because my family lives in California and I live in Portland.
My twin sister and I both drew together throughout our lives and therefore, I cannot get used to drawing without her feedback. Luckily, we both have a Mac and I-chat and are able to meet on there, scanning our roughs and paintings/comics back and forth to critique.
I find this invaluble because she's able to see what is wrong with my work immediately, as I am with hers, and because we are so used to each other, we are able to verbally (and sometimes not so verbally- we ARE twins) steer the other in the right direction.
Last night we went back and forth on how I might paint this next piece I have planned out on my watercolor paper. It's more complicated than some of my other paintings, which is good, but it also, if I do it right, should convey a "mood." I've been wanting to really build that in my paintings.

I have also decided, after being inspired by several comic books, to once again, do some black and white/ink work.
So it's nice to be back at the drawing board.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Painted :)

I have finished painting my newest work and posted it on my website.
I hope that everyone likes it...

Anyway, it is now Friday! This means I have two whole days following tonight to work more on my Portfolio- ahh, the never-ending challenge!

I am excited because I may be getting a bit of money from some work that may afford me a spot on which in turn, hopefully, will get me more work, and possibly, more people visiting my website.

In any case, I am excited, too, because I have been seeing so many inspiring pieces on Flickr and JacketFlap. I really appreciate the Art Community... these websites are so helpful... I wonder how illustration worked before the computer?? I'm sure it was much more challenging and daunting for artists wanting to get their foot in the door.

Well, cheers!

More rain this weekend, too, which is more incentive to stay home and paint!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Painting Planned

Well, after two days of going between partial resident forms for both Oregon and California, as well as my 1040 for Federal Taxes... (along with some self employment docs)... I finally finished my taxes and can mail them tomorrow. I know it's a little late, but at least it isn't actually late.

So, after this, I pulled out the sketch I had been trying to finalize and made it "ready for paint." I still need to tweak a few things, but I am pretty happy with how it looks at the moment. I am already planning my "steps" to paint it. I have started using masking fluid to my advantage. As well as permanent masking fluid which I can mix with a color (or paint over the image after) so that it becomes permanent.

I also realized just now that the Illustration Friday is just around the corner!
Depending on tomorrow, I will either save this for the weekend and try to plan out something for Friday's theme, or just skip this week's yet again.
(I wonder if that's bad? Maybe I need to not be a member of that group on Flickr? I hope that isn't annoying.)

I have also been going through artist's sites and taking note of who their agents/reps are so I can take a look at what sort of art they like to represent. I have a few I would like to think more on and then possibly, send something out to one of them. (I think this sort of thing is best to do one at a time).

Well, I am going to post the work-in-progress.
Cheers! Have a lovely night!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I finished my painting!
I will go ahead and post it here, too.

I already have another painting planned to work on tonight and tomorrow. I hope that I will be financially prepared to start sending out submissions soon!

On a different note, Josh and I went downtown for a little while with our friend Mike Getsiv. I had never been to the art store Utrecht. It's pretty nice! It reminds me of my ol' art store, Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster, CA, but it still doesn't have quite the variety as ASW...or the prices! I miss the people, too!

It was nice to see some sun today and I did notice there are more flowers blooming now! I think Spring really is stepping forward to take over!

So far a nice and productive weekend...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Work in Progress

Well, I decided against a painting that I was working on and before re-working it (which I had every intention)I felt inspired to draw something new.
I hope that this weekend will give me some time to spend time on it and paint it so I can post it soon.
I don't think this week's Illustration Friday will happen for me... but hopefully I can start that next week.  (I feel bummed about that, but I joined the group on Flickr yesterday).
Anyway, thank you for visiting. :)

Spring News

Hello again,
I am still at my day job, but on my last break. I just visited JacketFlap and saw all the new blogs commenting on the coming of Spring!
This morning I noticed on my calendar that tomorrow is officially when "Spring begins" and I look out my window to see... gray skys and small showers of light rainfall. Such is the weather of Portland! However, I love it here and wouldn't ask for it any other way... I think moving from California made me spoiled when it came to warm, sunny weather, and now I adore any cold, rainy seasons. I am ready for some flowers though!

Back to work... I am in the middle of a painting which I hope to finish tonight, but only time will tell. I did manage to join the Flickr group for Illustration Friday so I hope I can do this week's, but otherwise, I may start up with next weeks (since I just joined yesterday).
Thanks for visiting my blog! I linked this title with my website, since I finally purchased my own url.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello again!
I have been obsessively looking at Jacket Flap since I was reminded of it by Susan Boase at the Gala Celebration this past weekend.  Every time I see someone I admire, I see who they are friends with and find more and more beautiful, inspiring, wonderful art!! 
I am still learning how to navigate the site and do not quite know how to make my own blog more publicized, if that's even possible, but I hope that I will learn more insights by reading up on blogs and staying inspired.  :)
It's amazing how many talented people there are in the world!
I think I will just have to go paint something now!!! 

A long weekend

I am on break at my day job right now and remembering what a long, long, weekend I just had!
Friday right after work, I attended the SCBWI Gala Celebration at Barnes and Noble (see previous post). Then Saturday, I got up early and painted some new paintings (one of which I discarded after I finished it- there were too many problems with it). Around 11 to 12 p.m. I helped my fiance and worked until 4 a.m.. Sunday we were both up at 9 to finish working... I didn't get to bed last night until 10:30 p.m. I feel pretty wiped out.
I also feel good that I worked.
Tonight I will be trying to research ways of networking and getting my website more known.
Anyone have any advice or experience on
I have heard a professionals opinion on and wondered whether this site is any good? I am tempted to use it simply for the fact that it may put my site in the view of people/clients/artists/etc.
Breaks is over.
Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SCBWI Gala Celebration March 13, 2009

I am happy to say that I was able to meet some very successful and talented writers and illustrators last night at the SCBWI Celebration at Barnes and Noble at the Clackamas Town Center.  Although Josh and I got completely lost on our way (we are still learning how to navigate around some of the areas of Portland) we managed to arrive a little after 5 p.m.
The other talents who were at the event include:
Joni Akins, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand(is a sweet woman who was incredibly friendly!!!), Susan Blackaby, Susan Boase(very talented and nice- I was lucky to ask her for some advice on, Addie Boswell, Carolyn Digby  Conahan(I wanted to meet her so badly but did not manage to push way through), Ruth Tenzer Feldman, Christine Fletcher, Susan Fletcher, Heather Vogel Frederick(I wish I could have asked her about Spy Mice... I am amazed at her stories on her blog about her life growing up), Julie Haggerty, April Henry, Deborah Hopkinson(who has a great online interview on Reading Rocket that I viewed recently), Ellen Howard, Robin Koontz(is one of the nicest, funny, down to earth people ever! She made both Josh and I crack up and I think I could've talked to her the whole night), Susan Allen and Jane Lindaman(Jane was so nice and approached me and after looking at her book, I cannot imagine how patient and thoughtful she must be! How hard it must be to create short sentences packed with so much depth!), Anne Osterlund(who apparently has mastered school visits!  She had some interesting ideas using games and getting the kids involved), Rosanne Parry, Lori Ries, Elizabeth Rusch(I met briefly but jammed up- I should have told her how impressive a Day Without Crayons was... she has adorable children), Sara Ryan, Lisa Schroeder, Johanna Wright(who brought a copy of Secret Circus- it is so beautiful!!!), Annette Gulati, David Ward(who Josh initiated conversation with on the covers of his books, etc... apparently he is from Canada and published in Italy as well!  Crazy cool), Virginia Euwer Wolff and Linda Zuckerman (I was very nervous to meet her, but had to shake her hand).

I was very thankful to be able to get some advice and encouragement!!  It was also nice to be able to thank Robin Koontz in person for inviting me to the event!
I also sold a book to a lady named Valerie and was happy to be able to give some advice on illustration.  I should have mentioned Josh's podcast, Big Illustration Party Time!  If she emails me, or reads this, hopefully, she will download an episode off TalkShoe.  (I have a link to it in a previous post, or on the side with my other links).

Today I am continuing to expand my portfolio!  
Thank you for visiting!

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Few More...

I have been consistently making more new paintings, some of them smaller or more like character sketches, but I am going to keep them coming. I have two more I drew out last night that I will try and have up tonight as well.
Again, to view, please scroll down to the link just below my BIO to MYWEBSITE.
They are under the Portfolio or Other Works section.

I did remove a few and tried to re-arrange them. I'm sure by the end of the month, it will look pretty different.
Hope the changes are good.
Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Last painting for this weekend...

I finished another small painting titled THE STREETLAMP which can be viewed on my website.
To view click on Portfolio/Other Work after accessing my website, which is linked below my profile info as MY WEBSITE!
I will keep it coming!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Painting and some Website changes

Hello again!
I have another new painting (called "After the Rain") up under my Portfolio/Other Works page on my website.  I also took down a few things which I found did not really fit with the other paintings.  Another step toward streamlining my website.

To see the site, click on the link on the right below my information.

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Artwork

Again, I have a new painting (called "the Path") up on my website under Portfolio.
I am seeing that the images tend to be a little small on the website so if anyone would like to view a larger image (such as publishers, etc), I can send better images to them.
The link for my website is on the right hand side under my Profile information.

Thanks for visiting!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Paintings and Adventure!

I have a new painting titled DESERT RACE up under my Portfolio page on my website.  Please click on the link to the right to preview it if you are interested.

I hope to have more soon!
Thanks for visiting!

Also, on March 13th from 5 pm to 8 pm, I will be at the Oregon SCBWI Barnes and Noble Bookseller Author/Illustrator event, hopefully selling books and meeting other author/illustrators/book lovers!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

New painting & Podcasts

I am ending this week with a new painting titled "Read A Story," which can be viewed on my website under Portfolio/Other Work.

I also wanted to say that my fiance, Josh Kemble, has started a podcast with another cartoonist, Kevin Cross.  Please click on the title of this entry to see their blogspot, Big Illustration Party Time.  The podcast is mainly about how freelance illustration works as well as certain aspects of being a cartoonist.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


I have finally created a website.  Feel free to click on the title of this blog "website" or click on the link to the right.  If all goes well, I will probably be taking down some of the pages linked to this blogspot.  :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

A New Year

I have finally finished the interior pages for I Can Speak Bully (by author Kevin Morrison, through Ambassador Books/Paulist Press).  I have posted a few of these paintings on my Sequential Pages.  Please view them and make comments if you like.  With 2008 at an end, and 2009 just beginning, I hope that I will have more news and art soon!!