Sunday, February 27, 2011

Facebook & This Weekend

I created a Facebook page for just my illustration work...(please find me and we can be friends, if you would want to). I am still sort of figuring it out since I have a personal Facebook page as well and would like to keep these separate.

Well, anyway, to sum up this weekend, I am SORE and TIRED. :) I did end up going to help my friend paint her house which was fun... despite the sore muscles and the tired body. It was really hard to get up this morning and this afternoon I reeeaaally wanted to take a nap. But it was good to see her and her new puppy, Bean. He was an adorable little red-dappled mini dachshund. CK and Dozer were also happy to meet him and run around in their rather large backyard. I remembered a number of years ago helping my mom do some work on her house and how exhausting it was. After a while you just want it done and yet it never really feels finished.

I also managed to upload more images on Etsy, sell three more paintings, and go through my copy of this year's CWIM some more in hopes that I can contact more Art Directors. I also submit bids on guru every once in a while and there were a few projects that I hope I get.

So while I am done and tired this weekend, I now feel like I can paint some more and create more images. I have some ideas and a really cool brush I am falling in love with.. ♥

Hope all is well.
Now to return to Fresh Air. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Its a Mad Month

I hope I can keep up this month!
Aside from TAXES (ugh) and all the new changes to the site and adding a couple venues to buy my Art, and blogging... this month has proved to be a bit of a B*tch... har har.

It's raining outside and will probably be drizzling tomorrow as well which puts a bit of a damper on plans to help a friend paint the inside of her new house. I think its usually best to paint when its sunny and warm... but I suppose we really don't have time to postpone anyway. I am excited for her and her man as they have been super patient about getting this place all spruced up to live in. Lucky me its only 15 minutes from my home and she's my best bud.

On the work front at ASW things are going nutty as our store has grown and is now booming. I think we are all needing some help now although we are all equally excited for the store. I can't wait for things to settle down again and see all our hard work pay-off... hopefully it will be in time for our big Three-Day Sale Arty Gras! Hee hee. :)

Lately I've been coming home and sitting in front of my computer and my desk between taking breaks and watching episodes of Bored To Death with Josh... I will have to wake up early to try and make up some time that I will be missing when I go help my friend... I still have to try and send out more promos and email potential clients!

I am genuinely exhausted and yet happy to do all the work.
How are you all?
I sure wish we could talk sometimes.

New Mini Art Prints & Etsy (finally!)

Society 6 has added two new sizes to their line of Art Prints- Minis!! I'm very glad as I think I'm instantly attracted to tiny things (I don't know why, but they always look more "cute" and "precious" ???).

I also have opened an Etsy site to sell my originals as well...

here is my shop.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Big Blow Out Sale until end of March!

I am selling original work for $100 flat (smaller pieces for $50). Anything on my website (save for a few that have already sold or some interior pages for my books- a few are set aside for people already).
If any interest you, please shoot me an email asap.

So far these are sold:
1. girl falling through the puddle
2. the boy reading a book eating an apple
3. the girl in the library in the green dress
4. the girl in the sky with the parasol
5. Lisa Nguyen in London
6. two faeries with the squirrel
7. the Peter Pan themed painting
8. Nightsweeper interiors
9. I'm so Not Wearing a Dress interiors are spoken for..

I am also doing commissions for $200 flat for this month... (of course, this is subject to change if the painting is super detailed or large).

So! Let me know if you are interested.

On a previous note, BIPT seems to be making a nice comeback! The Twitter scene has been going nuts with the #illoparty at the end of tweets... it's really nice. I'm glad because it means to me that BIPT is genuinely kicking butt and keeping illustrators happy. I listened to the episode and was laughing that Kevin kept the part where I cut in...(oops!).

I'm also trying to set up a Facebook page for just my illustration work- under Mai Kemble Illustrations... seems like a great way to keep in touch and really keep the buzz going!
I wish that the internet wasn't so hazy when it came to ...well, is anyone out there??? Are we all really connecting??? I read so many blogs and try to comment when I can... but ultimately, we don't all really know each other. But it's still so nice to read these blogs and hear about life and other artists and their experiences... for instance, John Shelley is just ... well, he's a sweet heart from what I read... and another example is Paige Keiser and Cassia Thomas... to say even just a few words... oh, and of course, Mishaps and Misadventures (Chad Beckerman- Abrams awesome book designer)... or Cinnamon Rabbit (Julia Denos)... I don't know... I just really love reading these blogs.
I am a nerd is what it comes down to... but I go to my Day Job and I LOVE my Art Supply Warehouse... I seriously LOVE my job... (YaY, ASW!!!) and I come home and I love Josh and we work together and struggle to do art and live and we have our pugs... and there's this weird juggle of the internet world and all that we do in this virtual place and then the day-to-day... its like being far apart... and not far at all? Knowing people...and not knowing people??? Its so bizarre. Josh and I are super proud of the few friends we have... that we talk to almost every day and hang out with and who truly know us and all we go through... and then there's the other world... where we are trying... almost to get through some crazy maze... where you hear people on the other side of the wall and you're talking but you can't ever meet...

does that make sense??
but I love both worlds. Hard to really explain... and I feel like I am not the best writer and often times my posts are sort of vague and not very well thought out.

Oh well...
Anyway, I will go back to it all again.
Keep in touch however we all can.
Makes me want to watch You've Got Mail. hee hee.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Big Illustration Party Episode 45!

As promised, it looks like the new episode of BIPT is finally up! Check out their new site! I actually was in the room while they were recording... pretty cool. :)
For anyone who doesn't know, my fiance and his co-host/fellow cartoonist/freelance illustrator Kevin Cross, are the two guys giving tips and advice, personal experience, and a lot of humor to what it's reeeeeaaally like freelancing on this Podcast. They talk about their work-week and answer questions from listeners. It's pretty fun to listen to because they also add some funny jokes and have a really unique way of looking at freelance that's kind of "punk rock" and "in your face." Meaning, they don't sugar-coat it... which I think, is why people loved the show so much. I'm not where they are as far as making my living solely on freelance, but living with Josh I get the sense that it truly is a love-hate kind of job. In any case, listening to the show can be pretty inspiring and also just a nice way to know "you're not alone." :)
I also know that there are a number of other shows that talk about similar subjects but I think -aside from the fact that Josh co-hosts- BIPT is unique because I think they are the most candid. So check 'em out and judge for yourself if you like. :) It's all in good fun.

On another sort of related note, Josh and I have been listening to The Adventures of Philip Marlowe on ITunes. We are fans of these stories and just the character himself. When you can't find a lot of time to read, listening to stories is almost as great. The sound effects and voice acting is just so awesome... I love it! :)

I'm sure we'll have to find more like it when we've heard them all... I wonder if they have any Twilight Zones like this... hee hee.

Ok, I'd better try to paint something.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sketches and Art Prints!

I finally added a Shop section to my site... it's also linked on my blog under Society6. I have most of the images from my portfolio now in different size prints that you can purchase on the site. :) I also created a little poster image for Mai Kemble Illustrations. Thanks for any support! ;)

I also wanted to post some new sketches I worked on the other night. I met up with my sister and some of our co-workers from ASW and drew over at a local coffee shop called Sipology. Its a really lovely coffee shop that overlooks downtown Long Beach- it is a two story building! Our co-worker Rodney Sellars as well as friend Chris Kawagiwa have their artwork up in the gallerie there as well. We all ended up drawing and chatting over coffee... I drew some ideas involving Victorian shoes and tea sets!

Meanwhile, Josh and Kevin Cross have re-kindled their love for podcasting and plan to re-launch the ever-wonderful podcast, Big Illustration Party Time! YAY! They re-vamped their old blog into a site and have posted some pictures and will be posting a new episode soon! It's really great that they got back in-touch... I'm sure we've all missed the BIPT♥.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Well most people around me have been saying they don't like Valentines Day... but I love it. And I don't mean that it's a day I expect romance and flowers and crazy dinners but I do think its lovely that people set aside a day to celebrate their loved one. How many days in the year do we set aside time to think about that? Or to just tell them how you feel? I hear too often people saying "they don't need a day" or a "special day" to say these things...but I also know too well that most people don't say it enough! :) So why not?
Besides, we hear so many sad stories that it is nice to hear "Happy whatever Day!" as often as we can.
Makes me happy to think about...
I think that even if there isn't a lover to spend the day with, maybe the point can really be about remembering Love. Maybe it isn't about what you're missing, but what you have already? Or maybe what you had? A time to reflect, to muse over, or to smile a bit and laugh at yourself...
In any case, I am glad that I do have Josh and my family and friends. Despite some overwhelming losses this year I also am glad to set aside a special day for Love.
Sorry to be so cheesey but I just watched Sabrina and it makes me think about Audrey Hepburn and how lovely she was... and about Josh... how young she was! And how childish her crush was at the beginning of the movie! Do you remember your first crush? I am so happy to remember all the crazy childish and funny ways we were and how happy we still are!

I also wish that we still made movies like this... Josh and I agreed that Billy Wilder was amazing. And we love these movies more than any other kind. For some reason we always have. I feel like the stories weren't over the top or needing crazy special effects... just real people and situations.. and wit and a sense of humor mixed with real meaning.

Although I admit I am a bit excited to about the new Red Riding Hood!
Anyway I had better get to bed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Polka-Dot Saves Kindergarten!

Well, as I was busy trying to set up a banner with all my titles, I saw that Barnes & Noble had images of my latest book with Charlesbridge!

Polka-dot Saves Kindergarten by Catherine Urdahl!

I was very excited to see that... I wonder if that means a copy for me is in the mail???

I also would like to announce that I *may* be attending the Children's Book Week (May 2nd to 8th) this year at The Children's Book World store in Los Angeles, CA.
I definitely look forward to this event! What a great idea? A Whole Week to celebrate and basque in Children's Books!

Josh is sitting next to me as I type this looking at pictures he has saved on his computer... There are some of my nephew dressed up as Naruto when he was four. So cute!
And also some of our old pug, Holden. :) We thought we had lost all of those when Josh had his bag stolen and it had his external hard drive in it...
We were searching for some nice pictures to use as a profile pic on my website... but we are finding more silly photos than "nice" ones... I doubt anyone knows but I have a habit of sticking my tongue out in pics...

(At our friend, Chris Kawagiwa's art show this year...)
(Josh's sister, Lavender, and her husband, Nick- who shares my sense of humor)
(Josh's sister, Fawn, and me at Disneyland..)
... but I suppose you gotta have a sense of humor, eh?
More painting to come!
And soon... prints to buy!!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


(Josh & I on the "It's A Small World" ride at Disneyland a few months ago).

Well, obviously I have changed my blog... but I've also redone my website...
It isn't perfect... and there are definitely more things I want to do with it, but I decided to go ahead and publish what I had finished.

Like I posted before, I want to make it possible to sell prints, postcards, and also provide some downloadable things for teachers and parents related to my published books.
I am not quite there yet!

That's the next step.

In the meanwhile, I hope that everyone likes the new changes... it's been a long time coming.

On a totally different note, I got my Valentine's Day gift all set up to give to Josh!! He'll be away this weekend on a Threadless outing up in Solvang, CA. I guess they do some wine-tasting... ;) I encouraged him to go with his BFF because I do not drink alcohol at all.

Hopefully he'll come back happily relaxed with funny tales!
Right now he's pulling consecutive all-nighters week after week... he's been slammed with work!! Which is nice, but it sure does get you a bit sleep-deprived!

Speaking of sleep... zzzZZZZZZ

A Late Night Brings Good Beginnings?

I was up until 1-2am last night working on the *new* website... and it's looking very promising!
I am also going to set up something with Society6 to sell prints of my work as well.

I don't know if anyone is aware, but I also have a ton of originals from books that I would be willing to sell, too! :)
Although, I have promised some already...

It's really nice to get the ball rolling and feel that creative juice flow!
It is also a real benefit to have a designer/illustrator you can turn to and ask for advice- thank you, Josh!

Everyone have their Valentines' Day gifts picked out?? I am thinking of creating some downloadable card images for Holidays as well!

See you soon!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A Good Day

I have mailed out my promo cards today. After work is more work with re-vamping my website... a total re-make! Hee hee.
Looking forward to that!

The benefit show for Lisa Nguyen (Leader of the Pack) was a success!! Looks like everyone raised more than $1200... :) I hope that my piece was purchased... but I still don't know. It was held at our college campus, CSULB, and there were more than 100 people there, easy. All the artwork was very moving and so different. The music was also just perfect for Lisa and made me smile.

In any case, it was a good night.

Anyway, I've got to get to work, but maybe I'll try and post some process pics soon.
Please take care of yourself...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

For Lisa

This is a painting for Lisa Nguyen!

She had been wanting to live in London for a very long time so I decided to put her there in the painting.

I will post a picture of her, too.
Miss you girl.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Dustless Baby Powder by BabyMagic

Part of the illustraton I did for BabyMagic© is up on their website...
which is exciting because I hope that the larger part of the image is soon up as well.
That job was really cute... I had some pretty neat sketches (if I may say so myself) before creating the final artwork. I can post a few here... but the product itself is actually really amazing too! Click on the title of this post for a link to the website if you are interested.

I've seen videos that show an artist's technique when painting/drawing but not a whole lot that document the start to finish of an actual hired job. I suppose there is a lot of secrecy to some work when in the preliminary stages... I know with children's books you can't necessarily show anything until the book is actually released. Seeing these sketches makes me wish I had documented it... I still have a folder full of all my notes and thumbnails... my color roughs and scans.... I have these for almost every book I've done as well. It's kind of fun to keep and look through once in a while. :)
Almost as fun as the actual book!