Friday, May 28, 2010

Sneak Peek

Hi everyone! I've been busy in the studio working on a huge project - 41 paintings - all painted digitally, and am really liking the results. I am a little over half way through with the artwork, and thought I would share a little preview...I am really enjoying the freedom to experiment with different textures and colors, without the fear of ruining the pieces. Friends have been asking me if digital is "easier" or "faster" than watercolor, and certainly it is a time saver not to have to stretch 41 pieces of watercolor paper. However, the actual painting process takes just about the same amount of time for me either way. Digital is definitely its own medium, and I am enjoying seeing my style translate onto the digital canvas.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Katie Kate Cancer Released

Hi All! Exciting news! The first book in the Katie Kate series has been released today: "The Great Katie Kate Tackles Questions About Cancer". You can purchase this book through the purchase link on my website. I actually just received my gratis copies in the mail this morning. They look really great. I am really pleased with how the images fit with the text, with the overall design of the book, and the dust jacket, which has a nice spot UV coating on the title text. We graphic design nerds appreciate such things.

Although I do not have a dedication page in the actual book, this project was a labor of love in honor of the two Greatest Katies I have ever met: My sister Katie O'Keefe and my flower girl Katie McGee. Katie McGee was diagnosed with cancer shortly after my wedding, and fought bravely for years, always maintaining optimism, faith, hope and the propensity to just be a kid. In 2008, however, she lost her battle with the disease, and the world lost one of the best little 9 year olds ever. I know that Katie's spirit was with me as I illustrated these pages, and she makes a cameo appearance on page 18 of the book. My sister Katie was also diagnosed with cancer. Through all of her treatments, appointments, medications, surgeries, and all of the physical and mental stresses that those come along with, Katie managed all the while to attend college and earn her masters degree in business, as one of the youngest in her class and at the top of her class. Katie put it best describing her battle with the disease - "Cancer, you picked the wrong bitch." While not officially in medical remission yet, Katie has cancer on the run and has been "cancer free" for a several years. The physical design of the character Katie Kate is based on my sister as a child (although for artistic purposes, Katie Katie has red hair and green eyes, instead of my sister's brown hair and brown eyes).

So, my Katies, you are both super heroes, and this one is for you.