Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's been a crazy summer!

Hi everyone. I haven't written in a while, so I just thought I would write a short update. It's been a crazy summer, but very productive! On the home-front, my husband and I continue to do a lot of work to the new house. We have planted a vegetable garden, and are looking forward to our 14 tomato plants ripening soon. The weather has been mild, so we have not been in the pool as often as we would have liked, but on the warmer days, we have been enjoying having a private place to swim with our family and friends. Plumbing projects have been completed, and new lighting was put up in my studio, so it is a much brighter place to work!

Speaking of the studio, I have been very fortunate to have my plate full of freelance work these past few months. I have a few loose ends to wrap up with some of my projects, but quite a bit of work has been completed over the summer. I finished my first picturebook "Reuben Rides the Rails" for the Indianpolis Children's Museum Guild. This was a huge project which took months to complete! During this time, I also took on many smaller, faster projects. These included artwork to accompany the short story "Lizard Problems" in the November 2009 issue of Highlights Magazine, a large poster detailing the various plants and animals that live in the different levels of the rainforests, some line art, and 16 color illustrations for some textbooks in Korea! I have really been enjoying the diversity of my projects, and have tried something new with each of them (sometimes techniques for applying the paint, sometimes different ways to add the colored pencil, sometimes adding gouache, and sometimes just trying new color combinations). I have had to be very disciplined to coordinate all of the multitasking over the past two months, but all of the projects went very smoothly, and I am hoping for an exciting and productive fall season as well!

One of the new projects that I am just beginning involves two picturebooks for children who are diagnosed with cancer and diabetes. These books will help explain the illness and the treatments to young children, and address their fears and worries. Although I didn't write the books, I feel a very personal connection with them, especially the cancer piece. My flower girl passed away last year from cancer at a very young age. My younger sister has also been diagnosed with cancer. Both my flower girl and my sister share the name "Katie". Amazingly, the main character in both of these new books is "Katie"! I have been keeping both of my "Katies" in mind as I have begun working on characters and sketches. Here is a sneak preview of a sketch from the cancer picturebook.

I'll be going on a vacation soon, and hope to return refreshed and ready to be back in my studio! Happy end of the summer, everyone!