Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

White Wolf inks - pt. 2

...another one...

White Wolf inks

This is a portion of one of my previously posted pieces, only now with some inks & a quick hue added for some fun.

More later...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Western Washington SCBWI Spring Conference 2008

Laini and I got home late last night after one fanTAStic 3-day trip to Seattle! (well, Bellevue, WA to be exact). We were attending the above-titled conference and while we would have had an unbelievably good time regardless, being first-time faculty made it even more special and fun (and stressful too I must admit! :) A HUGE "Thank You!" to Sara, Jolie, Laurie, Jaime, and countless others in organizing such a successful event!

Here's a small photo collage from some of our good times this weekend with just a fraction of the amazing people we had the pleasure of interacting with:

Our weekend was made so tremendous by being able to spend time with so many kind and talented folks. A GIANT special thanks to Arthur Levine of Arthur A. Levine Books for spending so much time with us to discuss Laini's upcoming book that I'm (YAY!) doing the art and cover on--fun and exciting brainstorming sessions that I'm so thrilled to be involved in! The top left pic is of Arthur, Laini, and me on the last (sniff sniff) day of the conference. Always so sad to say goodbye to Arthur and see the conferences end!

We also really enjoyed spending so much time with Laurent Linn (Art Director with Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers) and sharing our mutual appreciation of cool dress shirts for men. Word on the street was that he knocked everyone's socks off with his Sunday afternoon presentation. That's me with him (in the middle) on the upper right-hand pic. We were enjoying lunch with the very artistic David Hohn and a table full of other amazing talents.

In the next row of pics is the very successful and SO fun to talk to agent Kate Schafer, (Laini and me), Jolie Stekly and Sara Easterly (2 of the main uber-organizers of the weekend), and the busy author Royce Buckingham (when does he sleep? So many books and screenplays on the horizon for him!). To the right of that pic (and in the center of the next row too) is Laurie Thompson, who also is very much responsible for such a smooth and HUGE conference weekend. As you can see in that second pic with her, my birthday fell on last Friday and I was treated to some surprise b-day Mochi at the sushi restaurant we were chowing down at that night! Thanks for remembering SCBWI ladies!!!

The 3rd row of pics has Laini with the very dance-y, REALLY fun, award-winning Author/Illustrator Margaret Chodos-Irvine.

The last row has the SO sweet and kind-hearted award-winning author Kirby Larson, and the talented and FUNNY Jaime Temairik in the first pic, and a plethora of others with yours-truly in the final frame. They include the cool agent Stephen Barbara, author/illustrator Jim Averbeck, the fun and influential Elizabeth (Fuse #8) Bird, Jaime again, the always smiling and sweet Kim Baker, the author Joni Sensel, and Sara Easterly again. (It should be noted that the last photo I just described was taken during the drinks night on Friday and MAN can Laini and I par-tay it up! (At least we planned to.) Knowing how INSANE we can get at a club, we opted for leaving at about 10pm instead of the inevitable getting-kicked-out-at-3 a.m. if we would have let loose (yeah right! :)

Also, Laini and I each had "breakout workshop sessions" that we put together and presented (thus the "stress" I mentioned above). Public speaking doesn't make me too terribly nervous, but I wanted to provide some valuable information to others that were hoping to make the most out of their conference weekend -- I hope I was helpful in what I covered. Thanks to those who took the time to attend and participate, it was GREAT fun! Here's a panoramic pic from the front of the room of some of those in attendance (a few more trickled in as I spoke & thanks to you too!):

While I covered a variety of basic career info, some conference attendee tips, and some "what makes a good cover" info, hopefully my over-arching message of "MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TIME AT THE CONFERENCES YOU ATTEND!!" hit home. And for those of you wanting to write or make art professionally, I can't recommend strongly enough that you attend conferences like this as often as you can afford to (and really, you can't afford not to...)


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mexico trip, family, and friends

Laini and I just returned from Mexico (southern Mexico actually, and the state of Chiapas to be exact). For those not familiar with that area of the Mexico, check out some of the info on Wikipedia. In a word, WOW! Strangely, almost no Americans travel to Chiapas, tending to visit Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and the like (which I'm sure are great too), so we mostly met travelers from within Mexico (traveling from Mexico City or Monterey), Germany, Italy, France, and Israel while visiting and exploring what we could of the region in a little over a week there. We also managed to squeeze in some visits with family in CA while we were there too (some of those pix are mixed in above).

Instead of our travel-norm of doing things more leisurely on our own -- finding opportunities to sit and draw the surroundings for hours and days -- we opted for day tours with small groups and sometimes a guide to give us more of a chance to get places we normally couldn't--mostly because this was going to be a shorter trip, but also because, as I said, there were certain places we just wouldn't be able to access on our own. Pretty much without fail we were overwhelmed with the kindness from the locals, amazed at the rich colors of the buildings, and blown away by the beautiful textiles and leather goods. For anyone looking for a little bit of an exotic location to go on their next vacation I can't recommend Chiapas enough! Our home bases were primarily San Cristobal de las Casas and Palenque and there's SO much to see I only wish we could have stayed longer, or could afford to go back very soon! But alas, there're things to do in the "real world" that we need to attend to! Back to work! (which is fantastic too, don't get me wrong! :)

And for more pics about our trip and Chiapas in general, check out Laini's blog. She'll be doing several posts about our trip and the area we explored over the coming days.

Be well everyone...and do some traveling yourself!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tigers in progress...

This is a clipped portion from a larger piece of something I'm working on. The piece isn't quite finished yet, but I'm having a lot of fun! I have to be mysterious about it for now, but hopefully I'll be able to show more clipped portions of pieces sometime soon. Anyhow, I've learned that I really LOVE drawing and painting animals over the past few years and I'm excited at some upcoming projects for the opportunity to do more!