tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-61865856148862425202017-07-23T03:05:40.437-07:00Simply Messing AboutLaura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.comBlogger84125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-13550878454431105852015-07-15T10:43:00.000-07:002015-07-15T10:43:37.631-07:00Working outside the studio<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>As you can see from a complete lack of posts for months, we've all been pretty busy. While this is really good news for us, it also has a down side as you'll see in this post. It's led to some pretty odd working conditions. Sometimes deadlines and vacations and life clash. This is a post about how we work around that issue.<br /><div><br /></div><div>I recently agreed to take on a project while I was on vacation in my hometown of St. Louis. I ended up working in a variety of places, starting with sketching on the plane, sketching at my cousin's before the other dinner guests arrived, then painting on a road trip, and later ordering postcards from Starbucks.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IRVOLAnY8j0/VZ2xtVg1jlI/AAAAAAAAEe4/lonV5ifpFGo/s1600/backseat-painting.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IRVOLAnY8j0/VZ2xtVg1jlI/AAAAAAAAEe4/lonV5ifpFGo/s640/backseat-painting.jpg" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Backseat painting on a road trip</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cWtJJWgG7Iw/VZ2xz1JhZyI/AAAAAAAAEfA/27LmxFFWstw/s1600/postcard%2Bat%2Bstarbucks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cWtJJWgG7Iw/VZ2xz1JhZyI/AAAAAAAAEfA/27LmxFFWstw/s400/postcard%2Bat%2Bstarbucks.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Working on a postcard at Starbucks</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Recently, Renee was in Boston working on some black and white art for The Owls of Blossom Wood series (written by Catherine Coe, Scholastic UK). This photo was taken at a place called <a href="http://districthallboston.org/" target="_blank">District Hall</a>&nbsp;where she sometimes spends her days overhearing business-y conversations and drawing on her husband's Cintiq Companion.<br /><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qSP37Ce-nUM/VZ2yplshWvI/AAAAAAAAEfI/gpI-VvfOkNs/s1600/Renee.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qSP37Ce-nUM/VZ2yplshWvI/AAAAAAAAEfI/gpI-VvfOkNs/s640/Renee.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">And since summer around Christina's house inevitably means kids running around, she's been known to take her work station outside! Not sure how much work she's able to get done lately!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--pWLhWL_Bes/VaVimpY0_iI/AAAAAAAAA-k/lyJH1X9wPuQ/s1600/backyard%2Bstudio.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--pWLhWL_Bes/VaVimpY0_iI/AAAAAAAAA-k/lyJH1X9wPuQ/s640/backyard%2Bstudio.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I think Tracy gets the grand prize for managing to work while on vacation. Here she is in line for a ride at Disneyland of all places!!!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wLKSa-hL5yM/VZ2zE9TfwGI/AAAAAAAAEfQ/nAImwDZr3iI/s1600/Tracy%2BDisney%2Bline.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wLKSa-hL5yM/VZ2zE9TfwGI/AAAAAAAAEfQ/nAImwDZr3iI/s640/Tracy%2BDisney%2Bline.jpg" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Sketching for a project while in line at Disneyland!!!!&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KyfyDBR0M3I/VZ2zaiz9SMI/AAAAAAAAEfc/ka0VRsPnV3I/s1600/Tracy%2BDisney.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KyfyDBR0M3I/VZ2zaiz9SMI/AAAAAAAAEfc/ka0VRsPnV3I/s640/Tracy%2BDisney.jpg" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">More sketching at the Starbucks in Disneyland</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5ky88fojaW0/VZ2zsAyPD4I/AAAAAAAAEfg/u7kgy7NF8Fg/s1600/Tracy%2Bairport.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5ky88fojaW0/VZ2zsAyPD4I/AAAAAAAAEfg/u7kgy7NF8Fg/s640/Tracy%2Bairport.jpg" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">More sketching at the airport</td></tr></tbody></table><br />There you have it. The glamorous life of an illustrator. You're jealous right now, admit it.<br /><div><br /><div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div><br /><div><br /></div></div></div></div>Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-52332104617437809822015-07-09T05:00:00.000-07:002015-07-09T05:00:10.069-07:00ALA San Francisco 2015<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>This year, the American Library Association held it's conference near me in San Francisco. This is the conference where they hand out their awards. Though I didn't attend any of the workshops or events, walking the floor felt like a celebration of publishing. How could I miss that?!<br /><br />ALA is completely overwhelming. Luckily, one of the first people I ran into were <a href="http://debbieohi.com/" target="_blank">Debbie Ohi</a> and <a href="http://www.hazelmitchell.com/" target="_blank">Hazel Mitchell</a>.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xDHwX6tohUA/VZ1x_Hy7IsI/AAAAAAAAEcw/m7ejk7FKKyw/s1600/CIhpgNjWcAIw4eo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xDHwX6tohUA/VZ1x_Hy7IsI/AAAAAAAAEcw/m7ejk7FKKyw/s400/CIhpgNjWcAIw4eo.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Photo by Debbie Ohi</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6olzDR38W8Q/VZ1x_fsRbWI/AAAAAAAAEc4/Rk1SoWK93jI/s1600/Hazel-and-Tracy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6olzDR38W8Q/VZ1x_fsRbWI/AAAAAAAAEc4/Rk1SoWK93jI/s400/Hazel-and-Tracy.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Hazel and Tracy</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-r_lk29NrWZ0/VZ1y5J1CJvI/AAAAAAAAEdA/4xW7TSN5AvU/s1600/dan-and-leah.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-r_lk29NrWZ0/VZ1y5J1CJvI/AAAAAAAAEdA/4xW7TSN5AvU/s320/dan-and-leah.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: start;">I finally got to meet Dan Santat's wife, Leah.&nbsp;</span></td></tr></tbody></table><br />I was on my own for the first day, but luckily, met <a href="http://www.cindyderby.com/" target="_blank">Cindy Derby</a>! We hung out all day and had a blast. Later I finally me Meg Fleming in person!<br /><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CmxmdrsvEc4/VZ10r-U-QsI/AAAAAAAAEdY/WTkXUEpKE-M/s1600/laura-cindy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CmxmdrsvEc4/VZ10r-U-QsI/AAAAAAAAEdY/WTkXUEpKE-M/s400/laura-cindy.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oyuC-rRFBUE/VZ10VqdSQcI/AAAAAAAAEdQ/6CeH3CODyvM/s1600/11334193_10153436022406170_800297499443754310_o.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oyuC-rRFBUE/VZ10VqdSQcI/AAAAAAAAEdQ/6CeH3CODyvM/s640/11334193_10153436022406170_800297499443754310_o.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Cindy Derby, me, <a href="http://www.lealyon.com/" target="_blank">Lea Lyon</a>, <a href="http://www.foliolit.com/author-page/meg-fleming/" target="_blank">Meg Fleming</a>, <a href="http://www.pamelasturner.com/" target="_blank">Pam Turner</a></td></tr></tbody></table><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LIw6_9MSoVc/VZ13UsWwMAI/AAAAAAAAEd8/TIem2U9HeYE/s1600/orangutanka.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LIw6_9MSoVc/VZ13UsWwMAI/AAAAAAAAEd8/TIem2U9HeYE/s640/orangutanka.jpg" width="449" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">We found Renee Kurilla, too!!!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Tracy has been swamped in deadlines lately, so she wasn't able to go the first day, but I wore her down and got her to go the second day. How could she not visit her books on display at ALA?<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9ewZzj-C1Nw/VZ1xe-oJWjI/AAAAAAAAEco/Ll5IV4YdFHA/s1600/Laura-tracy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9ewZzj-C1Nw/VZ1xe-oJWjI/AAAAAAAAEco/Ll5IV4YdFHA/s400/Laura-tracy.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Here we are on a very loud and celebratory train full of gay pride partiers.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-m0_US4eqFHs/VZ1xJZmKzXI/AAAAAAAAEcg/_5EVHAr4cRo/s1600/tracy-and-quitting.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-m0_US4eqFHs/VZ1xJZmKzXI/AAAAAAAAEcg/_5EVHAr4cRo/s640/tracy-and-quitting.jpg" width="475" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Not the Quitting Kind, illustrated by Tracy Bishop</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gMYQrpSHH8o/VZ1se-AUlcI/AAAAAAAAEcM/klCIsbWq8fc/s1600/IMG_2294.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gMYQrpSHH8o/VZ1se-AUlcI/AAAAAAAAEcM/klCIsbWq8fc/s400/IMG_2294.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Pipsie illustrated by Tracy Bishop</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div>I thought the SCBWI LA conference was like being in a live version of Twitter, but the ALA conference is even more so. Every time I turned around there was someone I know, follow, or have heard of. I talked to everyone! Half the time I made no sense, but I really didn't care. It was wonderful.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I finally got to meet <a href="http://www.judithbyronschachner.com/" target="_blank">Judy Schachner</a> in person!!!!! She is the sweetest!! You must get your hands on her newest book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Dewey-Bob-Judy-Schachner/dp/0803741200/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1436383303&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=dewey+bob" target="_blank">Dewey Bob</a>, when it comes out!!! I love it so, so much.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-v0_YmB17CwE/VZ13UGVyfNI/AAAAAAAAEdo/93YEcvgHaKY/s1600/judy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="321" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-v0_YmB17CwE/VZ13UGVyfNI/AAAAAAAAEdo/93YEcvgHaKY/s400/judy.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JHyzS79vOQI/VZ14lsXIGnI/AAAAAAAAEec/bcYi6g1NBkY/s1600/aree.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JHyzS79vOQI/VZ14lsXIGnI/AAAAAAAAEec/bcYi6g1NBkY/s400/aree.jpg" width="365" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://arree.com/" target="_blank">Arree Chung</a> of <a href="https://liveinastory.com/" target="_blank">Live in a Story</a> and author/illustrator of Ninja!</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Did you see this pic on <a href="http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/67386-ala-2015-in-photos.html" target="_blank">Publisher's Weekly</a>? I loved meeting <a href="http://www.salinayoon.com/HOME.html" target="_blank">Salina Yoon</a>!!! She's the best!</div><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WjjerFDdTqM/VZ13U3cbiaI/AAAAAAAAEeM/SEGERKtCdtQ/s1600/with-salina.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WjjerFDdTqM/VZ13U3cbiaI/AAAAAAAAEeM/SEGERKtCdtQ/s400/with-salina.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">And how cute is this guy?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w6DJs6GpoDw/VZ13UYFED0I/AAAAAAAAEd4/Plt_9LatIRk/s1600/mime.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w6DJs6GpoDw/VZ13UYFED0I/AAAAAAAAEd4/Plt_9LatIRk/s400/mime.jpg" width="257" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I pretty much lost my ability to speak when I met my idol, <a href="http://www.marygrandpre.com/" target="_blank">Mary GrandPré</a> and Barb Rosenstock.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tcPTCK3mn_k/VZ13TsWG-OI/AAAAAAAAEeI/aW7CsgOlLIk/s1600/mary-gp.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="544" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tcPTCK3mn_k/VZ13TsWG-OI/AAAAAAAAEeI/aW7CsgOlLIk/s640/mary-gp.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I was a blithering idiot upon meeting <a href="http://www.alexandraboiger.com/" target="_blank">Alexandra Boiger.</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-24gmldwAjYU/VZ13hJx15zI/AAAAAAAAEeU/zyCaBz1gi-g/s1600/boiger.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-24gmldwAjYU/VZ13hJx15zI/AAAAAAAAEeU/zyCaBz1gi-g/s400/boiger.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7Mrh27fpLYo/VZ166hm8aJI/AAAAAAAAEeo/oEqP_5Y9Fgo/s1600/steads.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="313" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7Mrh27fpLYo/VZ166hm8aJI/AAAAAAAAEeo/oEqP_5Y9Fgo/s400/steads.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">How adorable are they? Philip and Erin Stead.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />And I met Linette Kim from the Bloomsbury marketing team. I have an announcement coming about this soon. She had me in tears!</div><div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-t5g-dFgs1Iw/VZ13T_jEllI/AAAAAAAAEeA/2nipbgMyTgE/s1600/linette.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="352" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-t5g-dFgs1Iw/VZ13T_jEllI/AAAAAAAAEeA/2nipbgMyTgE/s400/linette.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /></div></div>Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-56646047517937126252015-04-01T14:16:00.002-07:002015-04-01T14:16:32.382-07:00Book Birthday: Pipsie, Nature Detective<b>Pipsie, Nature Detective: The Disappearing Caterpillar </b>by Rick DeDonato and illustrated by me is out in the world now! Pipsie is published by the amazing team at Two Lions Publishing.<br /><br />I'm really excited since Pipsie is the result of years of hard work by many people behind the scenes. If you see Pipsie in the wild I hope you enjoy it just as much I loved illustrating her.<br /><br /><img alt="PipsieCover" border="0" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-VbLJWsupyL8/VRxcVpt2xlI/AAAAAAAAAsQ/fjVcKKxQwCE/PipsieCover.jpg?imgmax=800" height="640" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="PipsieCover.jpg" width="488" /><br /><br />Here are some fun behind the scenes stuff for Pipsie.<br />The character design went through MANY iterations.<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Pipsie character1" border="0" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-83ESdK3ftBw/VRxcSNk6WLI/AAAAAAAAAro/QxA4LDizxeM/Pipsie-character1.jpg?imgmax=800" height="776" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Pipsie-character1.jpg" width="600" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">First character design ideas for Pipsie. I really liked the lab coat but it didn't really convey nature detective.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Pipsie Hair" border="0" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-bSVyzvHHC7o/VRxcSiIleGI/AAAAAAAAArw/ImHifMxCeTQ/Pipsie-Hair.jpg?imgmax=800" height="776" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Pipsie-Hair.jpg" width="600" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Exploring Pipsie's hairstyles.</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Pipsie Outfit4 1" border="0" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-putAFShmcwY/VRxcUPYlNtI/AAAAAAAAAsA/5qwShpnySug/Pipsie-Outfit4-1.jpg?imgmax=800" height="600" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Pipsie-Outfit4-1.jpg" width="332" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Accessorizing Pipsie's outfit.</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Pipsie2" border="0" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-U4TVTvTJ6D8/VRxcTYMbhXI/AAAAAAAAAr4/dhfpey7cnnA/pipsie2.jpg?imgmax=800" height="600" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="pipsie2.jpg" width="427" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Getting closer to the final Pipsie look.</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="TracyBishop PipsieCharacterFinal" border="0" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-altYLzi9ddo/VRxcU6tXCBI/AAAAAAAAAsI/bf2sEBqLUIk/TracyBishop-PipsieCharacterFinal.jpg?imgmax=800" height="600" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="TracyBishop-PipsieCharacterFinal.jpg" width="591" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The final Pipsie!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br />This is what my work space looked like while I was finishing up Pipsie.<br /><img alt="TracyWorkspace2 2" border="0" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-pSaAHYWIt2k/VRxcQjEhKZI/AAAAAAAAArY/akTa2u2_jJw/TracyWorkspace2%2525202.jpg?imgmax=800" height="450" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="TracyWorkspace2 2.jpg" width="600" /><img alt="TracyBishopWorkSpace" border="0" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-o9gkXJic0M0/VRxcRRy0ADI/AAAAAAAAArg/4JEE5vmgvrg/TracyBishopWorkSpace.jpg?imgmax=800" height="600" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="TracyBishopWorkSpace.jpg" width="600" /><br /><br />To find out more about Pipsie, visit her <a href="http://www.pipsienaturedetective.com/" target="_blank">website</a>. There are a lot of activity sheets for you to enjoy.<br /><a href="http://www.pipsienaturedetective.com/">www.pipsienaturedetective.com</a>.<br /><br />You can also see Pipsie information on her <a href="https://www.facebook.com/PipsieNatureDetective" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page.<br /><br /><br />Places to buy the book.<br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Pipsie-Nature-Detective-Disappearing-Caterpillar/dp/1477826300/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1427148792&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=pipsie+nature+detective">Amazon</a><br /><a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pipsie-nature-detective-rick-dedonato/1120893344?ean=9781477826300">Barnes &amp; Noble</a><br /><a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781477826300">IndieBound</a>Tracy Bishopnoreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-15742071343726083482015-03-24T08:23:00.000-07:002015-03-24T08:44:28.621-07:00Book Birthday! ORANGUTANKA: A Story in Poems<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mro6u4LtOEM/VRF9nCvEE5I/AAAAAAAAG1A/BMrZDqLknRg/s1600/ORANGUTANKA.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mro6u4LtOEM/VRF9nCvEE5I/AAAAAAAAG1A/BMrZDqLknRg/s1600/ORANGUTANKA.jpg" height="640" width="496" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">It's here! ORANGUTANKA is released into the wild today!&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">As we often hear from authors and illustrators, it takes years to finally see your book in print. If you can believe it, I delivered my first pass at color illustrations in November of 2013! Here is a fun glimpse at what a page from this book looks like before and after it's finished:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iV9wQekQrXU/VRF_qWg4jSI/AAAAAAAAG1Q/Gqlxh_TzCac/s1600/ReneeK_Orangutanka_0_Sketch.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iV9wQekQrXU/VRF_qWg4jSI/AAAAAAAAG1Q/Gqlxh_TzCac/s1600/ReneeK_Orangutanka_0_Sketch.jpg" height="456" width="640" /></a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wVaYZ-4X9Gc/VRF_qZ62hUI/AAAAAAAAG1M/7ptZ5t6LI34/s1600/ReneeK_Orangutanka_0.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wVaYZ-4X9Gc/VRF_qZ62hUI/AAAAAAAAG1M/7ptZ5t6LI34/s1600/ReneeK_Orangutanka_0.jpg" height="419" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">If you'd like to see more of the process that goes into making this book and many others <i>(and you happen to live near Cape Cod, MA!)</i> please visit the <a href="http://www.cotuitcenterforthearts.org/" target="_blank">Cotuit Center for the Arts</a> for <b>The Process of Picture Books</b>, a show curated by author/illustrator <a href="http://heyjimhill.com/" target="_blank">Jim Hill</a>.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">For even more ORANGUTANKA fun, please check out the <a href="http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-orangutanka-trifecta.html" target="_blank">Nerdy Book Club Trifecta</a> posts with myself and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.margaritaengle.com/" target="_blank">Margarita</a>!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i>*While you're there, make sure to watch the trailer!</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Buy the book:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/orangutanka-margarita-engle/1119716000?ean=9780805098396" target="_blank">Barnes and Noble</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780805098396" target="_blank">Indiebound</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Orangutanka-Story-Poems-Margarita-Engle/dp/0805098399/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1418089800&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=orangutanka" target="_blank">Amazon</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Cheers!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i>~Renee</i></div>Renee Kurillahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09657553036284383390noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-28714900945344734482015-03-16T13:27:00.000-07:002015-03-16T13:27:47.457-07:00What I'm working on…Lots going on behind the scenes that I can't show, so here are some babies for your entertainment. I just love drawing babies!<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Sk3H_AnFsok/VQcfj-i2nkI/AAAAAAAAEaI/d2k7FI7FqwM/s1600/3-men-in-a-tub-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Sk3H_AnFsok/VQcfj-i2nkI/AAAAAAAAEaI/d2k7FI7FqwM/s1600/3-men-in-a-tub-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="394" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Rub a dub, dub. Three men in a tub.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-55575554117603014902015-02-23T11:29:00.000-08:002015-02-23T11:30:21.147-08:00Simply Messing About...with Watercolor!Since I'm not yet able to post images from the current book I'm working on (A Morning with Gong Gong, Lee &amp; Low), here are a couple little paintings I've been doing for fun. I've had this Windsor &amp; Newton travel watercolor set for a couple years, but I've hardly used it. I decided to pull it out and simply mess about! Though watercolor isn't as forgiving as my computer, it's been fun to make marks on paper and delight in happy accidents. I'm hoping these little exercises in watercolor will spill over and help me with some spontaneity in the digital world of painting. Here's to having fun with real paint!<br /><br />~christina<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jM_F5bsnTeQ/VOt-6sSGUxI/AAAAAAAAA9M/kFbP7Zrmy8I/s1600/watercolors%2Bmouses.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jM_F5bsnTeQ/VOt-6sSGUxI/AAAAAAAAA9M/kFbP7Zrmy8I/s1600/watercolors%2Bmouses.jpg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><br />Christina Forshayhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17473576780148597253noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-38598222413007071952015-02-04T15:23:00.000-08:002015-02-05T10:26:02.708-08:00Advice for Students<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Vgos5HgSMdg/VNKooOkz3II/AAAAAAAAAps/ULkg3P-F_8A/s1600/SMA-advice1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Vgos5HgSMdg/VNKooOkz3II/AAAAAAAAAps/ULkg3P-F_8A/s1600/SMA-advice1.jpg" height="320" width="306"></a></div><div><br></div><div>Every year I get e-mails from art students asking about what they should do to become an children’s illustrator. Here’s my general advice on what can be helpful.&nbsp;This is just my opinion so take this with a grain of salt. You should definitely do a lot of research on your own and find what works for you.</div><div><br></div><ul><li><b>Draw, draw, draw</b></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"><ul><li>Keep on creating work. Create assignments for yourself.<br>Here are great drawing prompts here from Dani Jones:&nbsp;http://danidraws.com/blog/2007/02/21/101-projects-for-artists-and-illustrators/<br></li><li>If you know you want to go into children’s book illustration, find&nbsp;stories to illustrate for yourself. The easiest way to do this is to pick a fairytale. Do your illustrations in a standard 32-page, 8inx10in format so you can get used to breaking text up and telling your visual narrative within these constraints.<br><br>32 page picture book template by Tara Lazar:&nbsp;<a href="http://taralazar.com/2009/02/22/picture-book-construction-know-your-layout/">http://taralazar.com/2009/02/22/picture-book-construction-know-your-layout/<br><br></a>Excllent picture book process and resource by Debbie Ohi:&nbsp;<a href="http://inkygirl.com/inkygirl-main/2012/5/15/writing-illustrating-a-picture-book-for-simon-schuster-books.html">http://inkygirl.com/inkygirl-main/2012/5/15/writing-illustrating-a-picture-book-for-simon-schuster-books.html<br></a></li></ul><div><span style="color: #0000ee;"><u><br></u></span></div></li><li><b>Read, read, read</b></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"><ul><li>Go to the library&nbsp;and bookstore and read lots of picture books. Read and analyze the books. How does the illustration push the story along? How does the illustrator add to the story beyond words?&nbsp;How is page turn used to move the story? How does the illustrator vary the composition throughout the book? Do you see the differences in character design and composition between stories intended for different age groups? How are books intended for 2 year olds different from those intended for 5&nbsp;or 7 year olds?&nbsp;</li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><b>Have your own website</b></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"><ul><li>You NEED a website of your own. The first thing anyone is gong to ask when you say you are an illustrator is a link to your work.&nbsp;</li></ul><div><br></div><ul><li>Virb.com, Squarespace are great low-cost website providers and you can have a great portfolio site up without any coding knowledge. You’re an illustrator, not a web developer. Sure, you can learn how to put up a website for yourself but your time is better spent creating more illustrations.</li></ul><div><br></div><ul><li>If you can’t do a paid website, use the various free options that are out there (flickr, tumblr, behance, etc.). It doesn’t matter what you use, just have your work available for people to see online.<br></li></ul><div><br></div></li><li><b>Join <a href="http://www.scbwi.org/" target="_blank">Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)</a></b><a href="http://www.scbwi.org/" target="_blank">&nbsp;</a></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"><ul><li>If you want to be a children’s book illustrator, there is a lot to learn about the craft and business of it. There isn’t a better place to learn. Join&nbsp;this organization&nbsp;and attend local and even national conferences. It’s worth it.<br></li></ul><div><br></div></li><li><b>Go on Twitter</b></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"><ul><li>There is a huge community of picture book illustrators and writers on twitter. Follow them, make friends, learn from each other. A&nbsp;great place to connect with illustrators is by going to the #kidlitart hashtag.</li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><b>What should go into children's illustration portfolio:</b></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"><ul><li>Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Literary Agency:<a href="http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2010/11/illustrators-portfolio.html">&nbsp;http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2010/11/illustrators-portfolio.html</a></li><li>Marla Frazee:&nbsp;<a href="http://marlafrazee.com/studio">http://marlafrazee.com/studio</a></li><li>Will Terry Illustration: <a href="http://willterry.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-to-put-in-my-illustration-portfolio.html">http://willterry.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-to-put-in-my-illustration-portfolio.html<br></a></li></ul><div><span style="color: #0000ee;"><u><br></u></span></div></li><li><b>Putting together a physical portfolio:</b></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"><ul><li>Molly Idle: <a href="http://idleillustration.com/2012/07/16/putting-together-a-prize-winning-portfolio/">http://idleillustration.com/2012/07/16/putting-together-a-prize-winning-portfolio/</a></li></ul><div><br></div><ul><li>Juana Martinez-Neal: <a href="http://juanamartinezneal.com/blog/2013/05/14/how-to-put-a-childrens-illustrator-portfolio-together/">http://juanamartinezneal.com/blog/2013/05/14/how-to-put-a-childrens-illustrator-portfolio-together/<br></a></li></ul><div><span style="color: #0000ee;"><u><br></u></span></div></li><li><b>Some Inspiring Videos</b></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"><ul><li>Neil Gaiman&nbsp;Commencement Speech at University of the Arts 2012:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI</a></li></ul><div><br></div><ul><li>Ira Glass on being creative (2min long):<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ResTHKVxf4">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ResTHKVxf4</a></li></ul><div><br></div></li><li><b>Links to some additional resources for illustrators:</b></li><li style="display: inline; list-style: none;"></li><ul><li>#Arttips from Giuseppe Castellano, Art Director at Penguin Random House&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gcastellano.com/">http://www.gcastellano.com</a></li></ul><ul><li>The Purple Crayon by Harold Underdown<br><a href="http://www.underdown.org/">http://www.underdown.org</a></li><li>Will Terry’s website is full of great advice:&nbsp;<a href="http://willterry.blogspot.com/">http://willterry.blogspot.com</a></li><li>The Girllustrators. A group blog of really talented children’s book illustrators based in Austin, TX:&nbsp;<a href="http://girllustrators.com/">http://girllustrators.com</a></li><li>SCBWI Blog:&nbsp;<a href="http://scbwi.blogspot.com/">http://scbwi.blogspot.com/</a></li></ul></ul>Tracy Bishopnoreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-61186163381009064672015-01-21T05:00:00.000-08:002015-01-21T05:00:01.994-08:00What I'm working on...<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Here's a little peek into my process for some small commissions I recently finished!&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">First, I gathered information on my subjects (I asked about favorite colors and animals). I took this information and started with really loose sketches in my sketchbook:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aZzOWXuGN2w/VL1ADgCcM_I/AAAAAAAAGvM/DF2opiq1sSk/s1600/ReneeKurilla_Sketches.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aZzOWXuGN2w/VL1ADgCcM_I/AAAAAAAAGvM/DF2opiq1sSk/s1600/ReneeKurilla_Sketches.jpg" height="400" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I tried to mimic those sketches as best I could on watercolor paper using very light pencil. I went over that with ink line and when that dried, I erased the pencil and began painting and coloring.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Tgw3OAzQ-fg/VL1ADpZuPzI/AAAAAAAAGvI/Fb-5D97O4kw/s1600/ReneeKurilla_inpregress.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Tgw3OAzQ-fg/VL1ADpZuPzI/AAAAAAAAGvI/Fb-5D97O4kw/s1600/ReneeKurilla_inpregress.jpg" height="400" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">The results look a little bit like this! The colors ended up looking great together:</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JAKo1blHN1U/VL1ADi49QVI/AAAAAAAAGvQ/p26NSly0rh8/s1600/ReneeK_finish.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JAKo1blHN1U/VL1ADi49QVI/AAAAAAAAGvQ/p26NSly0rh8/s1600/ReneeK_finish.jpg" height="640" width="494" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">These pieces for <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reneekurilla/so-many-sketchbooks" target="_blank">Kickstarter</a> backers were all inspired by <a href="https://twitter.com/peterhreynolds" target="_blank">Peter H. Reynold's</a> <a href="http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/" target="_blank">International Dot Day</a>. In fact, the alligator piece on the bottom left is for him! It's his son, Henry Rocket reading a book about rockets, of course!&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i>Cheers!</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">~Renee</div>Renee Kurillahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09657553036284383390noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-23947838427079206982015-01-19T05:00:00.000-08:002015-01-19T05:00:04.778-08:00What I'm working on…<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uFDzk_DmJL8/VLaoAyRATrI/AAAAAAAAEZA/YXcYD3pQKss/s1600/Armadillo-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uFDzk_DmJL8/VLaoAyRATrI/AAAAAAAAEZA/YXcYD3pQKss/s1600/Armadillo-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="608" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br />I've worked on a number of hidden picture pieces for <a href="https://classroom.highlights.com/classroom-rewards/publications/hidden-pictures-playground-book-club" target="_blank">Highlights Let's Play Hidden Pictures</a> books over the last two years. They're challenging and fun. This is one of my favorites. Armadillos are so much fun to draw!Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-27839895063156826122015-01-15T05:00:00.000-08:002015-01-15T05:00:03.711-08:00Project Management by James Burks<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n4hKydCr4i4/VLWNgMXtgAI/AAAAAAAAEYE/ybKOBX0kicg/s1600/avatar_1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n4hKydCr4i4/VLWNgMXtgAI/AAAAAAAAEYE/ybKOBX0kicg/s1600/avatar_1.jpg" height="320" width="277" /></a></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><i>All of us here on the blog are big fans of illustrator/marathon runner extraordinaire, <a href="http://jamesburks.com/" target="_blank">James Burks</a>. When I saw him posting his progress screenshots, I had to ask him how he manages to keep track of and get through all of his projects. He was gracious enough to give me some thoughtful answers. He's a real class act!</i></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b><br /></b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b>We’re all impressed and frightened by your workload. Do you have a daily</b><b>&nbsp;schedule that you stick to? What we really want to know is how you’re managing so much work and still managing to train for and run marathons?</b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">I do have a daily schedule. It’s somewhat flexible since I’m working from home and have two kids who are in elementary school. My day usually starts at 7am. I get up and wrangle my kids into getting ready for school. I drop them off at 8:00am. Then I go out and run between 4 and 10 miles. Come home, eat some oatmeal, drink some coffee, and shower. Then around 10:00 or 10:30am I make the 12 stair commute to my upstairs office and sit down to work. I work until 12:30pm then stop for lunch. Lunch usually involves eating some kind of Mexican food since that’s my food of choice. I eat it so much that they know my order at my local Baja Fresh. I’m usually back to work between 1 and 1:30pm. Then I work until 3:00pm when I have to pick my kids up from school. Afterwards we return home and I try to work in-between helping them with school work, breaking up squabbles, having or taking them to playdates. Then it’s dinnertime around 7:30pm when my wife gets home from work. After a little family time it’s back to work around 9:00pm. How late I work usually depends on how tired I am and/or how much work I still have to do to meet my current deadlines. There may be somedays where I won’t work at all or I may spend hours playing Minecraft with son instead.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">As far as the marathons go I just made running and staying healthy a priority. I always make time for workouts even if I have lots of work to do. It’s just as important to me as eating, sleeping and family. It helps me manage stress. It allows me to get away from my desk and process any notes or problems I may be having with a story or with the art. Running has changed my life. I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been and in turn more creative.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_EqpmdCL3pg/VLWO04GfERI/AAAAAAAAEYg/UeM4H-9Fhl0/s1600/Book-schedule-JamesBurks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_EqpmdCL3pg/VLWO04GfERI/AAAAAAAAEYg/UeM4H-9Fhl0/s1600/Book-schedule-JamesBurks.jpg" height="148" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Current Book Schedule</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b>What tools/programs are you using to keep track of your schedule and due dates?</b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">To keep track of the different book projects I’m working on I created a color coded bar graph using the Apple program <a href="http://www.apple.com/mac/numbers/" target="_blank">Numbers</a>. That way I can see how my various projects overlap and there due dates.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N0lWT3ZEf4c/VLWPRqdrZrI/AAAAAAAAEYw/Fy8nMEYX1Hs/s1600/Bridge_screen-capture-JamesBurks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N0lWT3ZEf4c/VLWPRqdrZrI/AAAAAAAAEYw/Fy8nMEYX1Hs/s1600/Bridge_screen-capture-JamesBurks.jpg" height="366" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">View of files in Adobe Bridge</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">For the work itself I work in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge. I use Adobe Bridge to organize and keep track of the various pages for each project. This is something that I picked up while working in animation. Bridge makes it easy to scroll through the pages and to see how the book is turning out. To open a page I just hit enter and it automatically opens in Photoshop. While working in PS I’m constantly saving and it automatically updates the file in Bridge on my second monitor. This allows me to look at the same file from two slightly different view points. I find this helpful for spotting wonky drawings, things that I forgot to draw, or things that just aren’t working right. It’s my equivalent of standing back and looking at my work from a distance. When I’m done with a page I’ll hit [Command 6] in Bridge and it puts a little red bar below the thumbnail image. This allows me to see how much work I’ve completed and how much I still have to do. It’s my electronic version of a check mark. Bridge is also great for making PDFs, renaming files, duplicating files or rearranging the order of files.&nbsp; &nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XG8tQwIE8Z8/VLWPA2A2aEI/AAAAAAAAEYo/cvXP6NNwk58/s1600/work-setup-JamesBurks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XG8tQwIE8Z8/VLWPA2A2aEI/AAAAAAAAEYo/cvXP6NNwk58/s1600/work-setup-JamesBurks.jpg" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Here's a picture of my desk.</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">Here is how I have Bridge set up. Thumbnails of all my pages are on the left and it previews the selected thumbnail on the right.<span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><b></b><br /><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b>How do you keep track of changes and publisher notes as you go along? Do you&nbsp;</b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b>create a checklist?</b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">I usually print out the email from my editor or the art director so that I can see what changes I need to make. Then cross them off as they are completed.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b>Are you working linearly or jumping from spread to spread or project to project? For instance, do you start with the more difficult spreads or the easiest?</b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">If I’m roughing out a book I like to work linearly. If I’m outlining a story I’ll use note cards and jump around. Then once I have all my ideas jotted down on the cards I’ll start to organize them linearly into a story that makes sense. During the clean up phase of a book when I’m doing the final line work I’ll jump around from page to page. I usually do the easiest ones first so that I can get comfortable drawing the characters and their world. Then when I have a handle on it I’ll start doing some of the harder ones. On days where I’m not getting a lot done or not feeling it I’ll just do the easy ones. The only problem with this method is that I’m usually left with all the hard ones as my deadline approaches. On the latest Bird and Squirrel graphic novel I had set myself a goal of cleaning up 6 pages a day. In the beginning I think I managed 3 or 4 a day and on a really good day I might get 7 done. To get the seven done I’d pretty much have to work most of the day.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">Up until this last year I preferred to work on one project at a time. I have trouble switching gears and focus from one project to the next. That’s just how my brain works. But since I have multiple projects now, I had to come up with a new system. So what I try to do is break each project into pieces. For example: I’ll spend a week or two roughing out a picture book and then send it off to my editor. While I’m waiting on notes for that I’ll start roughing out the next book or writing the story depending on what stage I’m on and then send that off. Hopefully by the time I’m done with that I’ll have notes back on the picture book and will start on the revisions. Then I’ll do the revisions and send them off. Then jump onto the next stage of another project. I just keep doing this until they’re all done.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">It all comes down to time management and organization. As long as I know what needs to be done I can usually do it. When I start to get overwhelmed and want to pull my hair out I go for a run or take a break. Somehow in the end things always manage to get done. One of the many things I love about making books is that I get to set my own schedule. There aren’t too many jobs where you have that kind of flexibility. It also allows me to spend time with my kids.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b>How the heck do you manage to be so awesome? I mean really? You must draw and paint as fast as you run!</b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">Aww, Thanks. Can you stand behind me while I’m working and remind me of that? I think working in animation before working in books really helped me learn how to manage my time and to draw faster. The weekly deadlines and tight schedules probably had something to do with it.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><br /><br /><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b>Unrelated question:</b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><b></b><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;"><b>Has social media been a good tool for getting work?&nbsp;</b></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; min-height: 14px;"><b></b><br /></div><br /><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px;">I think so. I’ve have received a few book offers from publishers through my website. I’ve also come up with some great ideas while participating in sketch dailies on Twitter. I recently sold two picture books to Disney Hyperion based on a sketch that I had done for the Dailydoodle on Twitter. I also think social media is a good way to stay connected with friends and whats happening in books and the world. One thing that helps me is chatting with my friends <a href="http://twitter.com/dsantat" target="_blank">Dan Santat </a>and <a href="http://twitter.com/mikeboldt" target="_blank">Mike Boldt</a> while we work through ichat. We’ll share what we’re working on with each other and offer advice if needed or we’ll just talk about whatever is happening that day.&nbsp;</div><div><br /><br /><i>Thanks so much, James, we're cheering you on!&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><i>To see more of James' work, visit his website at <a href="http://jamesburks.com/">jamesburks.com</a>.</i></div>Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-74643873306533784352015-01-13T09:28:00.001-08:002015-01-13T09:29:30.322-08:00What I'm Working On...The last half of 2014 had me super busy with a bunch of projects, most of which cannot be spoken about yet. However, I do have some exciting news that I can share!<br /><br />I'm currently in the beginning stages of illustrating an adorable book called "A Morning with Gong Gong" by the 2013&nbsp;<a href="https://www.leeandlow.com/writers-illustrators/new-voices-award" target="_blank">New Voices Award</a> winner <a href="http://www.sylvialiuland.com/" target="_blank">Sylvia Liu</a>. The story is about a spunky little girl and her grandfather who spend some time together and end up teaching each other about yoga and tai chi.<br /><br />I'm having a great time working with an amazing team at <a href="https://www.leeandlow.com/" target="_blank">Lee &amp; Low Books</a>--a publisher I admire and have hoped to work with for a long time!<br /><br />And since I can't show any work from my current projects, I'll leave you with this little bunny. ;)<br /><br />~christina<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GxryrBm4bSI/VLVVFhgo0_I/AAAAAAAAA8o/M5vdOVg5rCA/s1600/%2Bbun.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GxryrBm4bSI/VLVVFhgo0_I/AAAAAAAAA8o/M5vdOVg5rCA/s1600/%2Bbun.png" height="640" width="497" /></a></div><br />Christina Forshayhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17473576780148597253noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-3331429062756595582015-01-09T04:30:00.000-08:002015-01-09T09:12:43.297-08:00Our Creative Weapons of ChoiceThere's a hashtag going around on Facebook and Twitter right now where artists are posting their Creative Weapons of Choice (<a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23CreativeWeaponsOfChoice&amp;src=tyah" target="_blank">#creativeweaponsofchoice</a>) and tagging others to post theirs. We decided to share ours here, too.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xcBesIjgYM8/VK8GL0FZQEI/AAAAAAAAEXQ/vUCeV8U2aHc/s1600/Creative%2BWeapons%2Bof%2BChoice.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xcBesIjgYM8/VK8GL0FZQEI/AAAAAAAAEXQ/vUCeV8U2aHc/s1600/Creative%2BWeapons%2Bof%2BChoice.jpg" height="331" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;"><b>Laura Zarrin:</b></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px;"><ul><li style="text-align: left;">Blackwing Palomino Pencil &amp; sharpener</li><li style="text-align: left;">Uni Kuru Toga mechanical pencil</li><li style="text-align: left;">Mechanical pencil with blue led</li><li style="text-align: left;">Refillable pencil eraser</li><li style="text-align: left;">Wacom stylus &amp; Intuous 3</li><li style="text-align: left;">Photoshop CS6 &amp; Manga Studio 5 EX</li></ul></span><ul></ul></td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XG2QOfAd1gg/VK8HqwddWFI/AAAAAAAAEXc/aQ2GDcxMVhY/s1600/10917212_825988810773503_8054064123060163984_o.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XG2QOfAd1gg/VK8HqwddWFI/AAAAAAAAEXc/aQ2GDcxMVhY/s1600/10917212_825988810773503_8054064123060163984_o.jpg" height="640" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; text-align: left;"><b>Tracy Bishop:</b> </span><span class="text_exposed_show" style="color: #141823; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; text-align: left;"></span><br /><ul style="color: #444444; font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: 25.600000381469727px; margin: 5px 0px 5px 28px; padding: 0px;"><span class="text_exposed_show" style="color: #141823; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; text-align: left;"><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Mac Mini</li><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Wacom Cintiq 13HD</li><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Manga Studio 5 EX</li><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Watercolor paper</li><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Kremer and Daniel Smith watercolors</li><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Squirrel mops and sable watercolor brushes</li><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Pencils</li><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Pentel brush pen</li><li style="list-style: disc; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Fountain pen (Namiki Falcon EF flex nib)</li></span></ul><span class="text_exposed_show" style="color: #141823; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; text-align: left;"></span></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kYk15LI-a24/VK8IfRPCnQI/AAAAAAAAEXo/T_CSy4blffQ/s1600/1655955_10155121140480714_1422764140222005499_n.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kYk15LI-a24/VK8IfRPCnQI/AAAAAAAAEXo/T_CSy4blffQ/s1600/1655955_10155121140480714_1422764140222005499_n.jpg" height="400" width="400" /></a></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F627Mnu7bSQ/VK8IfKaFy3I/AAAAAAAAEXk/KKfNSVx8sx8/s1600/10926402_10155121135220714_4160466991046402032_n.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F627Mnu7bSQ/VK8IfKaFy3I/AAAAAAAAEXk/KKfNSVx8sx8/s1600/10926402_10155121135220714_4160466991046402032_n.jpg" height="400" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;"><b>Renee Kurilla:</b> </span><br /><ul><li style="text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;">Copics</span></li><li style="text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;">Blackwing Palomino</span></li><li style="text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;">Kuretake brush pen</span></li><li style="text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;">Pentel brush pen&nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;">Red Prismacolor</span></li><li style="text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;">A single Staedtler 5B!</span></li><li style="text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;">Fabriano sketchbook,&nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: left;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;">and of course my Wacom Intuos</span></li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-39bRrt7UaRg/VLAF7nGGgOI/AAAAAAAAA8U/nar501nKlro/s1600/Photo%2BJan%2B08%2C%2B12%2B10%2B37%2BPM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-39bRrt7UaRg/VLAF7nGGgOI/AAAAAAAAA8U/nar501nKlro/s1600/Photo%2BJan%2B08%2C%2B12%2B10%2B37%2BPM.jpg" height="400" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><b style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 18px;">Christina Forshay:</b><br /><ul style="background-color: white; color: #141823; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; text-align: left;"><li><span style="text-align: justify;">Alvin pencil sharpener</span></li><li>Wacom Cintiq 12 Stylus</li><li>Surface Pro stylus</li><li>Col-erase Carmine Red pencil</li><li>Col-erase Indigo Blue pencil</li><li>Pilot Dr. Grip mechanical pencil</li><li>Pentel Clic eraser</li><li>COFFEE</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-26599022818080163762015-01-05T10:00:00.000-08:002015-01-05T10:26:48.979-08:00Pros of Using a Surface Pro 3 for Illustration For years now, I've dreamed of being able to work remotely without having to lug around my laptop and Cintiq.<br /><br />For a while, I'd been eyeing what seemed to be the top three options for a portable digital work station: the <a href="http://cintiqcompanion.wacom.com/CintiqCompanionHybrid/en/" target="_blank">Cintiq Hybrid</a>, the <a href="http://cintiqcompanion.wacom.com/CintiqCompanion/en/" target="_blank">Cintiq Companion</a> and the <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/products/surface-pro-3" target="_blank">Surface Pro 3</a>. Getting to try out one of the Wacom options proved to be impossible--I couldn't find one near me to test out. So one day I went to my local Best Buy to see if they had any Surface Pros on display. Luckily they did and I was very impressed! After a few days, my husband surprised me with one for my birthday and I was off to the races.<br /><br />Now that I've had it for a good four months, it's safe to say I love it!<br /><br /><u>Specs:</u><br /><ul><li>Surface Pro 3 Intel i7, 1.7 GHz with 256 GB</li><li>Screen Resolution: 2160x1440</li><li>Uploaded Software: Manga Studio 5</li></ul><u><br /></u><u>Favorite Features:</u><br /><ol><li><b><u>Compatibility</u></b>&nbsp;Manga Studio 5 (my illustration preference) is perfectly compatible with this machine. It's interface is made for touchscreen units with the ability to rotate/scroll/pan with your fingertip (see video below). I have seamlessly worked back and forth between the Surface Pro 3 and my iMac/Cintiq using Dropbox to share my files. Also, the line quality and pen pressure in Manga Studio for my Surface Pro 3 is very close to what I get on the Cintiq. After some fooling around, I got the pen pressure on the Surface Pro 3 to match my desktop's Manga Studio pen pressure settings.</li><li><b><u>Convenience</u></b> It is super light and the battery lasts a good 6 hour work session without being plugged in. The plug itself is petite and not cumbersome at all. Plugging into an outlet at Starbucks is hassle-free.</li><li><b><u>E</u></b><u><b>ase of Use</b></u>&nbsp;Being that I am an Apple person, the Microsoft interface was foreign, but only took a bit of exploring to get used to. Finding apps, saving documents and locating files is pretty straight forward.</li><li><b><u>PALM REJECTION!</u></b> I have had no hiccups with the Surface Pro 3 rejecting the palm of my hand when I'm working. No stutters at all. This makes drawing on the Surface Pro 3 about a million times better than my experiences with trying to draw on an iPad.</li><li><b><u>The Kickstand</u></b>&nbsp;The kickstand on my Cintiq 12 only locks in to one angle which at times feels too low. The kickstand on the Surface Pro 3 is firm at any angle you want to set it and will not give in to pressure from my arm while drawing.&nbsp;</li><li><u style="font-weight: bold;">The Screen</u>&nbsp;The screen is WAY brighter and clearer than my Wacom Cintiq. The colors also match my desktop WAY better then my Cintiq ever has.</li><li><b><u>Multitasking</u></b> I can have one app open on the left hand of the screen and another open on the right simultaneously. It's nice to be able to see the manuscript I'm working on and Manga Studio open on the screen at the same time!</li></ol><div>Yes, like any other art tool, it will take a few hours to get used to. But overall, for me, the Surface Pro 3 is the perfect machine for working on the go for final illustrations and/or for sketching. It is snappy and may be faster and stronger than my Macbook pro (which is a few years old now). I've taken it everywhere and (knock on wood) it has been flawless.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wcLJPd_wKKA/VKpRV_c45vI/AAAAAAAAA8E/hogUESMcYPM/s1600/Photo%2BJan%2B05%2C%2B12%2B49%2B44%2BAM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wcLJPd_wKKA/VKpRV_c45vI/AAAAAAAAA8E/hogUESMcYPM/s1600/Photo%2BJan%2B05%2C%2B12%2B49%2B44%2BAM.jpg" height="400" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Brightness of my working screens: iMac (top), Cintiq 12 (middle), Surface Pro 3 (bottom). The SP3 wins!</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/vgnOspVY60s?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">&nbsp;Any lag between stylus and screen? If so, it is teeny tiny.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/f9OgoAZ4riI?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Rotating, panning, zooming using fingertip control.</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><br /><br /><br /><br />Christina Forshayhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17473576780148597253noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-6202172421899018732014-12-16T10:59:00.001-08:002014-12-16T10:59:31.206-08:00Playing with WatercolorsHi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.<br />I thought I’d close out the year by stepping away from digital art and making watercolor painting gifts for family and friends.<br /><br />Here are process shots of one of the gift watercolors:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xWlBpldAzic/VJCAOrxovGI/AAAAAAAAApI/NFBNNurhLF4/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo0.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xWlBpldAzic/VJCAOrxovGI/AAAAAAAAApI/NFBNNurhLF4/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo0.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xEjWMASyTTY/VJCAOz_PkOI/AAAAAAAAAow/NEjody8oFLk/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xEjWMASyTTY/VJCAOz_PkOI/AAAAAAAAAow/NEjody8oFLk/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo1.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qnKrSCA1s5E/VJCAPeARmAI/AAAAAAAAApA/7h27WjGu_GU/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qnKrSCA1s5E/VJCAPeARmAI/AAAAAAAAApA/7h27WjGu_GU/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo2.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-41CHhsTnBbo/VJCAQo_el5I/AAAAAAAAAo4/uKebsnE7WVs/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-41CHhsTnBbo/VJCAQo_el5I/AAAAAAAAAo4/uKebsnE7WVs/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo3.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CxTeUEZPstk/VJCAOcI72xI/AAAAAAAAAos/H0riBJ3kavI/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CxTeUEZPstk/VJCAOcI72xI/AAAAAAAAAos/H0riBJ3kavI/s1600/TracyBishop-watercolordemo.jpg" height="289" width="320" /></a></div><br />Materials<br /><br /><ul><li>Paper: <a href="http://www.dickblick.com/products/strathmore-aquarius-ii-watercolor-paper/">Strathmore Aquarius II Watercolor Paper</a>&nbsp;</li><li>Brush: <a href="http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Aquash-Waterbrush-Medium/pd/1774">Pentel Aquash Waterbrush - Medium</a></li><li>Palette: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00171GKA0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1">Martin Mijello Airtight Leak Proof Fusian Watercolor 33-Well Palette</a>&nbsp;</li><li>Brush pen for line: <a href="http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Pigment-Ink-Brush-Pen-Extra-Fine/pd/10976">Pentel Pigment Ink Brush Pen - Extra Fine</a></li></ul><div>I hope everyone has a wonderful end of the year!</div><div><br /></div><div>- Tracy&nbsp;</div>Tracy Bishopnoreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-83407681184240125582014-10-11T19:04:00.000-07:002014-10-11T19:04:01.163-07:00A Leap of FaithThe amount of sketch work I have done in the past few years sits in a pile of sketchbooks next to my computer, untouched, most of it having never seen the light of day (i.e. the internet: instagram, facebook, twitter). One day, pondering all of this, I got very sad. What if all this work is for nothing?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-J2o4TeSMzxM/VDng3xtPq1I/AAAAAAAAGn8/Bedbw10TlAE/s1600/2a9053afa2f5c878323711459e14417d_large.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-J2o4TeSMzxM/VDng3xtPq1I/AAAAAAAAGn8/Bedbw10TlAE/s1600/2a9053afa2f5c878323711459e14417d_large.JPG" height="476" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br />But I took a leap of faith...and launched a Kickstarter campaign to print my favorite drawings in a book. To my shocking surprise...it's actually happening! There are just three days left in the campaign and I've got the entire book in layout, ready to go!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CU5qlm5Eok0/VDnd_lFrSiI/AAAAAAAAGnU/yohOL_GWCNE/s1600/0e0486d79c8ad2ccae65afa6de760a17_large.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CU5qlm5Eok0/VDnd_lFrSiI/AAAAAAAAGnU/yohOL_GWCNE/s1600/0e0486d79c8ad2ccae65afa6de760a17_large.jpg" height="497" width="640" /></a></div><br />One added bonus I am very excited about is... the endpapers:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZJyMEMp00yg/VDneWTPLQCI/AAAAAAAAGnk/XfiLwWISsSE/s1600/ReneeKurilla_endpapers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZJyMEMp00yg/VDneWTPLQCI/AAAAAAAAGnk/XfiLwWISsSE/s1600/ReneeKurilla_endpapers.jpg" height="488" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I really appreciate everyone's support so far, thank you! It really makes me so happy to think that people actually want to buy a book of my sketches. I mean, not only buy it, but <b>fund</b> it...<i>make it happen</i>. That blows my mind!&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qY5HfM7q18A/VDnfOhVACHI/AAAAAAAAGnw/eWIM4OG3VcQ/s1600/5afe6d89846f19aad919c6579a9e889e_large.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qY5HfM7q18A/VDnfOhVACHI/AAAAAAAAGnw/eWIM4OG3VcQ/s1600/5afe6d89846f19aad919c6579a9e889e_large.jpg" height="400" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">There are just <b>3 days </b>left to get one of my books for only $15! Here is a link to the project site if you are interested!&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reneekurilla/so-many-sketchbooks" target="_blank">www.kickstarter.com/projects/reneekurilla/so-many-sketchbooks</a></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And THANK YOU (times a trillion!!)</div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Cheers!</div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>~Renee</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div>Renee Kurillahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09657553036284383390noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-28940822763584263882014-09-30T05:00:00.000-07:002014-09-30T08:00:31.162-07:00Studio Tour — Laura Zarrin<div style="text-align: center;">I've been meaning to show you around the studio for awhile, but it's usually such a mess that I don't dare pull out the camera. I managed to dig out a few photos from the last time I cleaned. I included one honest picture, so you don't think I &nbsp;actually live in this pristine environment. Creativity is messy, you know.</div><div><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZJP-js-ecQQ/VCnsa9bEhGI/AAAAAAAAERg/wmkJ7pCI4MA/s1600/drawing-board-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZJP-js-ecQQ/VCnsa9bEhGI/AAAAAAAAERg/wmkJ7pCI4MA/s1600/drawing-board-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="640" width="496" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My drawing/painting area.</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N_GI4r3G1Vg/VCnzmw1VqMI/AAAAAAAAERs/kAOIMzRnOxE/s1600/bookcase-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N_GI4r3G1Vg/VCnzmw1VqMI/AAAAAAAAERs/kAOIMzRnOxE/s1600/bookcase-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="424" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My kids' Woody and some friends.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3lHH4AgKHm8/VCnoqkODpXI/AAAAAAAAEQ4/3gW4wc6xgMU/s1600/firefly-on-desk-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3lHH4AgKHm8/VCnoqkODpXI/AAAAAAAAEQ4/3gW4wc6xgMU/s1600/firefly-on-desk-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="476" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Playing with Neocolors. I love lightening bugs!</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b>Before:</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NRuVW0eAyT0/VCnorLFEsKI/AAAAAAAAEQ8/Kp_kn-9djkk/s1600/wide-shot-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NRuVW0eAyT0/VCnorLFEsKI/AAAAAAAAEQ8/Kp_kn-9djkk/s1600/wide-shot-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="428" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">I wish it always looked like this.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b>After:</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-N_1rajpSq_4/VCnopznMf7I/AAAAAAAAEQk/Y0ykBRjC7aM/s1600/Messy-desk-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-N_1rajpSq_4/VCnopznMf7I/AAAAAAAAEQk/Y0ykBRjC7aM/s1600/Messy-desk-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="428" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Mid deadline disaster, aka business as usual</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-unQ7Jeu548w/VCnoq7_wv4I/AAAAAAAAERA/FVCPv7uelYc/s1600/shelves-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-unQ7Jeu548w/VCnoq7_wv4I/AAAAAAAAERA/FVCPv7uelYc/s1600/shelves-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="640" width="428" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Shelves with my collections. Yes, I keep the Santas out year round.</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2MUtWq5-gXk/VCnz2P1PW3I/AAAAAAAAER0/sYM8qFEGypU/s1600/Assistant-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2MUtWq5-gXk/VCnz2P1PW3I/AAAAAAAAER0/sYM8qFEGypU/s1600/Assistant-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="640" width="420" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My studio assistant hard at work as usu<span style="font-size: small;">al.</span></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div style="text-align: center;">I hope you enjoyed the tour. I need to get back to my deadlines now.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">If you want to see what I do in here all day, you can visit my <a href="http://www.laurazarrin.com/" target="_blank">site</a>.</div><br /></div>Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-2569966827662985322014-09-11T14:56:00.002-07:002014-09-11T14:56:58.899-07:00International Dot Day<div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="381" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/105896069" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="600"></iframe> </div><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://vimeo.com/105896069">The Making of a Dot</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user2064628">Renee Kurilla</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com/">Vimeo</a>.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">September 15th is <a href="http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/" target="_blank">International Dot Day</a>, a celebration of creativity that was inspired by <a href="http://www.peterhreynolds.com/" target="_blank">Peter H. Reynold's</a> book THE DOT.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Check out <a href="http://celebridots.com/" target="_blank">Celebridots.com</a>, a collection of author/illustrator dots curated by teacher and creativity champion, <a href="https://twitter.com/tjshay" target="_blank">Terry Sha</a>y.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">And lastly...go make one! Make a dot! There is art in everything.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>#DotDay</b></div>Renee Kurillahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09657553036284383390noreply@blogger.com9tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-71761955990940744482014-07-15T20:29:00.000-07:002014-07-15T20:29:08.967-07:00We're on the Let's Get Busy Podcast!<img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Q30CnYIpTYk/U8XEtx94XZI/AAAAAAAAAnI/859iBNVPShM/s320/LGB+Simply+Messing+About.png" /><br /><br />We were all interviewed on Matthew Winner's fabulous <a href="http://lgbpodcast.blogspot.com/2014/07/simply-messing-about-ep-65-with-renee.html" target="_blank">Let's Get Busy</a> podcast!<br />It's out now so<a href="http://lgbpodcast.blogspot.com/2014/07/simply-messing-about-ep-65-with-renee.html" target="_blank"> go over and listen</a> to us talk about this blog, critique groups, and illustration.<br /><br />If you've never heard of the&nbsp;<a href="http://lgbpodcast.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Let's Get Busy</a>&nbsp;podcast, you have to listen to our episode first then catch up on all of the previous episodes in the catalog. Matthew Winner interviews a diverse list of children's authors and illustrators in his podcast. I love it because it's truly like taking a university master class for children's book publishing.<br /><br />If you appreciate everything that you learn from this podcast, you show your support by&nbsp;<a href="http://lgbpodcast.blogspot.com/p/donate.html" target="_blank">donating on his website</a> ;-)Tracy Bishopnoreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-47922210210748505432014-05-10T07:50:00.000-07:002014-05-10T07:50:48.997-07:00Starting From Scratch in Your Sketchbook<div style="text-align: left;">At the <a href="http://newengland.scbwi.org/" target="_blank">2014 New England SCBWI conference,</a> I taught a workshop with fellow author/illustrator, <a href="http://www.smilingotis.com/" target="_blank">Russ Cox</a>. Our workshop was titled "Sketchbooks are Awesome!"&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Why? Because they are.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Both Russ and I have had rewarding career experiences through sharing our sketchbooks and we wanted to stress how important it is to draw every day...How, no matter what, you should set a little time aside for yourself. You might not always make something worth loving, or sharing, but drawing in a sketchbook is like writing in a journal. "Getting it out" is both therapeutic AND a way to become a better artist.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2qMbMtVpQjs/U247eFNqzwI/AAAAAAAAGZA/BpVQHO2Uado/s1600/ReneeKurilla_Skeychbook.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2qMbMtVpQjs/U247eFNqzwI/AAAAAAAAGZA/BpVQHO2Uado/s1600/ReneeKurilla_Skeychbook.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a>&nbsp;<a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NM-U06jq4ck/U247uLXv6-I/AAAAAAAAGZQ/2S7mDznjBLM/s1600/ReneeKurilla_Sketchbook2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NM-U06jq4ck/U247uLXv6-I/AAAAAAAAGZQ/2S7mDznjBLM/s1600/ReneeKurilla_Sketchbook2.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><br /><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">We wanted to encourage fellow illustrators and writers to use their sketchbooks again and assumed that the attendees signed up because they weren't and needed help. With that information we were able to put together a (hopefully) inspirational presentation, not without humor of course: </div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ij-ca-N2R6E/U246UP94PbI/AAAAAAAAGY0/ZmNJ8RTVX0I/s1600/unnamed.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ij-ca-N2R6E/U246UP94PbI/AAAAAAAAGY0/ZmNJ8RTVX0I/s1600/unnamed.jpg" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Photo Cred: Lisa Griffin</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">One thing I briefly touched on with to attendees was how to get over fear of the blank page by drawing light circles. I realized the best way to explain this was to film a demo of how I do it. Because that video is filled with blabbering on, I will not blabber on any more in writing... :)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Please enjoy! Let me know what you think or what you'd like to see more of in the comments!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Cheers!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>~Renee</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="431" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/94704612" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="650"></iframe> </div><div style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://vimeo.com/94704612">Drawing Demo: Starting from Scratch</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user2064628">Renee Kurilla</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com/">Vimeo</a>.</div>Renee Kurillahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09657553036284383390noreply@blogger.com17tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-56618895718369565342014-04-07T14:21:00.000-07:002014-04-07T14:21:11.614-07:00Where do ideas come from?I think we all get asked where our ideas come from as if there's a store you can go to and pick them out. Sadly, this is not the case. Ideas are everywhere. They're in every interaction, random thought, daily task, dog walk, the Olympics (<a href="http://creativewhimsies.blogspot.com/2014/02/olympic-sketching.html" target="_blank">here</a>), and even the news.<br /><br />Tracy and I went to a conference last Saturday (we'll give you the scoop in a future post). In the frenzied preparation to get my portfolio up to speed and create a new postcard, I was mining for ideas. Remember that not really true or maybe it is true story about knitting sweaters for penguins? Even <a href="http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/penguins.asp" target="_blank">Snopes</a> isn't sure about that one. Well that gave me a great idea! I imagined a little girl knitting sweaters for penguins. Now to write a story to go along with it (which needs to include chickens).<br /><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YE7WniE3grg/U0Lam6csNHI/AAAAAAAAEEg/1EOUHwMG7CI/s1600/penguin+sk+1+LauraZarrin.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YE7WniE3grg/U0Lam6csNHI/AAAAAAAAEEg/1EOUHwMG7CI/s1600/penguin+sk+1+LauraZarrin.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">First sketch on Instagram</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dNvvEVAFcX8/U0LZU3ZTREI/AAAAAAAAEEU/Rc3ZlVO2Ck0/s1600/Knitting-for-penguin-sk.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dNvvEVAFcX8/U0LZU3ZTREI/AAAAAAAAEEU/Rc3ZlVO2Ck0/s1600/Knitting-for-penguin-sk.jpg" height="372" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Revised sketch</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XT6fexnVwD0/U0LapC0L6lI/AAAAAAAAEEo/BsSbBSDgoMs/s1600/Knitting-for-penguins-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XT6fexnVwD0/U0LapC0L6lI/AAAAAAAAEEo/BsSbBSDgoMs/s1600/Knitting-for-penguins-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="492" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Finished piece.</td></tr></tbody></table>I used this image as my postcard which is now en route to various publishers.<br /><br /><i>If you're an editor, art director, art buyer or anyone else at a publishing house and would like to receive one, let me know!</i>Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-76563949678849855612014-04-01T09:58:00.001-07:002014-04-14T14:33:25.794-07:00Simply Messing About with New Paints, Pencils & Brushes!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-owKJWb_IcmY/U0xRobJLN_I/AAAAAAAAA44/3GqD-5RgPvM/s1600/Photo+Mar+15,+1+07+44+PM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-owKJWb_IcmY/U0xRobJLN_I/AAAAAAAAA44/3GqD-5RgPvM/s1600/Photo+Mar+15,+1+07+44+PM.jpg" height="640" width="640" /></a></div><br />I recently finished a new picture book project and I promised I would reward myself with a bunch of new art supplies. The perfect opportunity arose when my local art store had a HUGE 25% of EVERYTHING sale. I was waiting for just such an opportunity, being that I've been wanting to invest in some traditional media once again. A little background: when I was pregnant with my oldest (who is now 7 years old), I got rid of all of my paints. &nbsp;I had visions of my toddler getting into my paints and eating the Cadmium Red. So--out they went. Ooh...bad move. Blame it on Nesting Syndrome!<br /><br />My all-time favorite paints to use are<a href="http://mgraham.com/products/oil/" target="_blank"> M. Graham Walnut Oil paints</a>. They are rich, buttery and don't need toxic mediums to paint with: a bottle of walnut oil will suffice. They are on the pricey side, so I sat and waited for the perfect time to purchase a set. Can't wait to dig into them!<br /><br />Also on my wish list was a set of <a href="http://www.holbeinhk.com/catalog/category.php?id_category=18" target="_blank">Acryla Gouache</a>. In art school, I was not really a big fan of gouache, but lately I'd been seeing samples of this particular brand floating around the interwebs and I really love the look. These will be perfect for experimenting.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lQdwTRKUFXg/U0xSMBuS8uI/AAAAAAAAA5A/pfjIW2PU8jw/s1600/Photo+Mar+24,+2+13+06+PM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lQdwTRKUFXg/U0xSMBuS8uI/AAAAAAAAA5A/pfjIW2PU8jw/s1600/Photo+Mar+24,+2+13+06+PM.jpg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gDm_3MyZ_aU/U0xSSMoRkxI/AAAAAAAAA5M/YSAHaXt5Xzw/s1600/Photo+Mar+24,+2+23+17+PM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gDm_3MyZ_aU/U0xSSMoRkxI/AAAAAAAAA5M/YSAHaXt5Xzw/s1600/Photo+Mar+24,+2+23+17+PM.jpg" height="640" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3PugqCzw_BA/U0xSSS7dxWI/AAAAAAAAA5Q/ZhU8n1ASRD8/s1600/Photo+Mar+24,+3+44+02+PM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3PugqCzw_BA/U0xSSS7dxWI/AAAAAAAAA5Q/ZhU8n1ASRD8/s1600/Photo+Mar+24,+3+44+02+PM.jpg" height="640" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oZPK12LqwMk/U0xSSGFkcPI/AAAAAAAAA5I/rlEOECuPdyQ/s1600/Photo+Mar+24,+4+14+38+PM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oZPK12LqwMk/U0xSSGFkcPI/AAAAAAAAA5I/rlEOECuPdyQ/s1600/Photo+Mar+24,+4+14+38+PM.jpg" height="640" width="640" /></a></div><br />After digitally painting for such a long time, I was itching to put brush to papers/board/canvas. Experimenting with different media and colors will really push my art a bit outside of my box which will help me grow and create more exciting pieces down the road.<br /><br />What medium are you itching to experiment with?<br /><br />Toodles!<br /><br />~christina<br /><br />Christina Forshayhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17473576780148597253noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-7865171623914547902014-03-14T05:00:00.000-07:002014-03-14T07:08:24.751-07:00What Music Makes YOU Happy?<div style="text-align: center;">This is a bit of a different post for our blog, but I think anyone can argue that for most of us, music aids creativity! A few days ago, I polled Twitter to find out what songs simply make people...<i>happy</i>. When you're happy, you're confident, and your creativity just flows.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">I thought it would be really fun to compile everyone's song suggestions into a playlist. It turned out so awesome, I just had to share!&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RUobSGEn9Q4/UyJmZCeqfZI/AAAAAAAAGTA/JuJoxdE3OGs/s1600/ReneeK_HappyDance.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RUobSGEn9Q4/UyJmZCeqfZI/AAAAAAAAGTA/JuJoxdE3OGs/s1600/ReneeK_HappyDance.jpg" height="400" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="380" src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:user:renaser:playlist:64XJE1RuMaC7A3BvPFi1sz" width="300"></iframe></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br />There's something for everyone, enjoy!!</div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>A special thanks to these rockin' awesome tweeters for participating:</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/Michaelrapa" target="_blank">Michaelrapa</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/GregMarathas" target="_blank">GregMarathas</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/DiandraMae" target="_blank">DiandraMae</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/rpinchera" target="_blank">rpinchera</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/marshariti" target="_blank">marshariti</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/danieladogliani" target="_blank">danieladogliani</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/keithZoo" target="_blank">keithZoo</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/blythe_russo" target="_blank">blythe_russo</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/joshuanashillus" target="_blank">joshuanashillus</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/RedStepchild" target="_blank">RedStepchild</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/TLBonaddio" target="_blank">TLBonaddio</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/theduckparade" target="_blank">theduckparade</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/matusic" target="_blank">matusic</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/Busydrawing" target="_blank">Busydrawing</a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">And, as always, you can follow us on Twitter at:</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/SimplyMessAbout" target="_blank">SimplyMessAbout</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/TracyBishopArt" target="_blank">TracyBishopArt</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/ChrstinaForshay" target="_blank">ChristinaForshay</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/LauraZarrin" target="_blank">LauraZarrin</a></div><div style="text-align: center;">@<a href="https://twitter.com/reneekurilla" target="_blank">reneekurilla</a></div>Renee Kurillahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09657553036284383390noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-62666653614253049112014-03-05T17:57:00.000-08:002014-03-05T17:57:03.554-08:00Experimenting with Gouache, a not quite tutorialI've recently started using gouache. I'm still calling it experimental even though I've used it for client work. No matter what I do, I always end up using a variety of media. It's usually some combination of paint, acrylic inks, Caran d'ache Supracolor pencils, and Photoshop or Manga Studio, with a side of collage of some sort. In other words, I use whatever works to get the job done.<br /><br />In this first photo I first printed out a colorized sketch onto my Fabriano hot press watercolor paper (reddish sketch). Then I painted in the shadows with a mix of blue gouache and purple acrylic ink.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vsQfxXpU7Kw/Uxe1Z7RtHRI/AAAAAAAAD_4/qDoVO2ThY-U/s1600/underpainting-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vsQfxXpU7Kw/Uxe1Z7RtHRI/AAAAAAAAD_4/qDoVO2ThY-U/s1600/underpainting-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="542" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Underpainting of acrylic ink mixed with gouache.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Here I've laid in the basic colors in gouache on the figures. There's not much detail, yet.<br /><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_-_UO_oEkTA/Uxe4CSKglJI/AAAAAAAAEAE/-rBj2anOKfY/s1600/paint-base-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_-_UO_oEkTA/Uxe4CSKglJI/AAAAAAAAEAE/-rBj2anOKfY/s1600/paint-base-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="522" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Basic colors laid in.</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>Now I'm starting to define details and add more modeling to the figures with color pencil. I use Caran d'ache Supracolor pencils.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pCJ3i0pI8gA/Uxe4uZtPqWI/AAAAAAAAEAM/40OqHoNOjWU/s1600/color-pencil-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pCJ3i0pI8gA/Uxe4uZtPqWI/AAAAAAAAEAM/40OqHoNOjWU/s1600/color-pencil-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="560" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Adding details with color pencil.</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>I decided the yellow background wasn't working so I took this old watercolor and salt painting into Photoshop to colorize and lighten it.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TdAfBsg29fU/Uxe5nMFfyYI/AAAAAAAAEAU/GTwiTC6HUTY/s1600/watercolor-background.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TdAfBsg29fU/Uxe5nMFfyYI/AAAAAAAAEAU/GTwiTC6HUTY/s1600/watercolor-background.jpg" height="400" width="392" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Watercolor with salt painting.</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4gCosQiiUV8/Uxe7ZmtHLTI/AAAAAAAAEAs/LtjOdaOhcXY/s1600/colorize-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4gCosQiiUV8/Uxe7ZmtHLTI/AAAAAAAAEAs/LtjOdaOhcXY/s1600/colorize-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="454" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Colorizing the background.</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div><br /><br /><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">I added a vignette border to the background for the final piece. At Renee's suggestion, I also painted some glare on the ice in Photoshop.</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yBF2x5vZLUQ/Uxe5p7yJg8I/AAAAAAAAEAg/tjnGk2KOO4U/s1600/pairs-skaters-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yBF2x5vZLUQ/Uxe5p7yJg8I/AAAAAAAAEAg/tjnGk2KOO4U/s1600/pairs-skaters-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="604" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The final piece.</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br />I hope you find this helpful. I'm still learning to use the gouache, but I'm loving it so far.<br /><br />This piece came from my sketching while watching the Olympics. If you're following me on <a href="http://instagram.com/laurazarrin" target="_blank">Instagram</a>, you'll recognize them.<br /><br /></div>Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-89351623999323139242014-02-21T16:23:00.002-08:002014-02-21T16:23:57.624-08:00My Transition from Photoshop to Manga Studio 5Hello everyone! It's been quite a while since I posted here! For the past few months I've been knee-deep in illustrating a new picture book set to come out in the Fall.<br /><br />I've had my head down illustrating pretty much every spare moment I had since September, but I've finally emerged from my art coma and want to tell you all about my experience with Manga Studio 5!<br /><br />I transitioned over from Photoshop to Manga Studio with this latest project, so I got four months of serious on-the-job training with the program. I went from ZERO knowledge of the program to it becoming second nature.<br /><br />I have to admit that I had tinkered around with the program for a while last summer, but gave up because I just wasn't feeling comfortable with it. Then right before I started this last project, I fiddled with Manga Studio some more. At the same time, Photoshop started becoming finicky and began feeling super clunky. I went back to Manga Studio (with some nudging from fellow SMA illustrator&nbsp;<a href="http://tracybishop.com/" target="_blank">Tracy Bishop</a>) and gave it another try because I was just getting too frustrated with Photoshop feeling like it was laggy and slow.<br /><br />When this last picture book project came along in September, I bit the bullet and decided to go for it--to try and complete a painting in Manga Studio. The cover was due first and I figured I could attempt the cover in Manga Studio and switch back over to Photoshop if things didn't pan out.<br /><br />Well, let's just say I fell in love with Manga Studio and never looked back.<br /><br />Here are a few of the main reasons Manga Studio is the clear winner for me:<br /><br /><ul><li>The brush engine is a million times better than Photoshop's. There are way more options to finesse your brushes in terms of pressure and color blending, etc. Manga Studio also allows for creating brushes using multiple images at once which is something I have always wished that Photoshop could do.</li><li>The perspective guide/ruler is AMAZING. It came in handy SO MUCH. Manga Studio allows for your pencil/brush lines to snap to the perspective ruler which takes a lot of fuss out of drawing cityscapes (or anything in perspective, really).</li><li>The ability to create models of people in different poses and angles really helped for my latest project. I painted scenes where there were many, MANY people in them and my husband would only model for me for so long, so I had to build poses in Manga Studio (which is supremely easy to do).</li><li>You can set the fill bucket to close gaps in your line drawing, making laying on the first layer of color so much quicker than attempting that in Photoshop.&nbsp;</li></ul><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O100FPgS7Og/Uwfr3bedbDI/AAAAAAAAA4Q/Y33Lf226ClE/s1600/ms5+brushes.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O100FPgS7Og/Uwfr3bedbDI/AAAAAAAAA4Q/Y33Lf226ClE/s1600/ms5+brushes.png" height="620" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Just one window of the MANY different brush options Manga Studio 5 has.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fKHSrWHbOao/Uwfr3emUB1I/AAAAAAAAA4U/3FFWI47fS3Q/s1600/ms5+poser.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fKHSrWHbOao/Uwfr3emUB1I/AAAAAAAAA4U/3FFWI47fS3Q/s1600/ms5+poser.png" height="486" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The poseable 3D models are an amazing feature. It isn't a memory hog and never slowed my computer down at all.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />In all, I worked 100% in Manga Studio with this latest book project and just figured it out as I went. I have to say that my fellow Simply Messing About blogger, Tracy Bishop really, really helped me out if I found myself stuck. She's been using Manga Studio for a while and had the answer to pretty much all my questions! ;) Check out her wonderful Manga Studio tour <a href="/2013/05/quick-tour-of-manga-studio-5.html" target="_blank">video</a>!</div><div><br /></div><div>In case you're wondering, I never had to take any of my images back to Photoshop for any retouching or post-painting work. I suppose everyone paints differently, so there is a chance you might need to go back and forth for certain things, but I didn't have to. I pretty much found a solution to anything I needed to do in Manga Studio. However, if you do need to switch back and forth, Manga Studio makes it easy to export or even save your file as a Photoshop file!</div><div><br /></div><div>If you have the opportunity to try out Manga Studio, I highly, highly recommend it. It's like Manga Studio's creators took everything illustrators and painters love from Photoshop, made them a million times better and then added more awesome stuff on top! All without having to deal with the bogged down feeling that Photoshop can bring. I must also mention that Manga Studio is a mere fraction of the cost of Photoshop. Yay!</div><div><br /></div><div>In the weeks to come, I will be doing tutorials based on some of my favorite things about Manga Studio....keep an eye out for them! Until then, do yourself a favor and at least <a href="http://manga.smithmicro.com/trial.html" target="_blank">download a trial version</a> of Manga Studio 5 if you can!</div><div><br />'Til next time!<br /><br /></div><div>~christina</div><div><br /></div><br /><br />Christina Forshayhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17473576780148597253noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6186585614886242520.post-13233374193617133502014-02-10T09:19:00.000-08:002014-02-10T09:19:55.085-08:00Keep drawing, then draw some more<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F4-5_kEI9js/UvVY0KD3XmI/AAAAAAAAD98/R5hJ6APeOIk/s1600/Bf50iSbCAAAwFTE.jpg-large.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F4-5_kEI9js/UvVY0KD3XmI/AAAAAAAAD98/R5hJ6APeOIk/s1600/Bf50iSbCAAAwFTE.jpg-large.jpeg" height="392" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>A few years ago, I was fresh off maternity leave…10 years of it. I thought I'd pick up my illustration career where I left off. Well, while I was 'away', the world changed. Internet? Whoa. Now I was competing against illustrators from all over the world! Quite a few with animation backgrounds who could draw like nobody's business. It was clear I'd have to step up my game. I needed to get much, much better at drawing. Gulp! Luckily, I met local illustrator, Tracy Bishop whose drawing talent is amazing. She also has a great critical eye. She got me drawing from life. She critiqued the heck out of my work (still does), and gradually, I got better. I am by no means done. I hope to always improve my skills. But I'm starting to breath easier. I beginning to really feel the flow when I draw. I don't cringe when I look at my current work. It's been a very discouraging process, but also pretty exciting.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pPM7Ms1VduE/UvViV7VESBI/AAAAAAAAD-M/DnGnIU9gkNk/s1600/before-and-after-LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pPM7Ms1VduE/UvViV7VESBI/AAAAAAAAD-M/DnGnIU9gkNk/s1600/before-and-after-LauraZarrin.jpg" height="547" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Older drawing on the left, newer on the right. Getting there, but not quite where I want to be yet.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>It's no surprise that I love drawing animals, but drawing people was not fun for me. I've made a lot of progress on this front as you can see here. There's just much more life in my animals as you can see below.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0NOTfxL1M3E/UvVjUa1nCuI/AAAAAAAAD-Y/g9le1vqN1yw/s1600/wolf-sketches+LauraZarrin.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0NOTfxL1M3E/UvVjUa1nCuI/AAAAAAAAD-Y/g9le1vqN1yw/s1600/wolf-sketches+LauraZarrin.jpg" height="272" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br />Drawing well has many benefits like getting hired for jobs, being able to handle whatever scene you'll need to create, and of course, you can't bring a story to life if you're limited in what you can draw.<br /><br />What I want you to take away from this is that you must draw well, really well, to get work in the children's book world. You can't cut corners. You can't trace photos, you can't overly depend on reference. Draw everyday, even if it's bad drawings, it all helps. Carry a sketchbook everywhere. (I need to do more of this myself.) Think of the training that goes into qualifying for the Olympics or playing college or pro sports. Heck, even if you're just working on staying in shape, you have to work those muscles on a regular basis.<br /><br />If you go to SCBWI events (and you should be), pay for a portfolio critique. Nothing beats hearing from someone who actually hires illustrators and can tell you what you need to work on. Our local Illustrator's Day has an illustration professor who give critiques, too. He's crazy amazing at seeing the weaknesses in your work and what to do to fix it. It's painful, but much kinder than in art school. Hearing nothing but flowers and light about your work gets you nowhere. You need the truth, because that's the only way you're going to get better and someday get hired. If you want nothing but compliments, show it to your mother.<br /><br />Here are some great resources for improving your drawing skills, but remember, nothing replaces the practice and observation of real life.<br /><br />There's so much drawing goodness on Erika Eguia's Pinterst boards! I've started a Character Design board <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/laurazarrin/character-design/" target="_blank">here</a>.<br /><br />Great drawing books:<br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Drawn-Life-Classes-Stanchfield-Lectures-ebook/dp/B00C7TAWAK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1391808163&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=drawn+to+life" target="_blank">Drawn to Life Volume I &amp; II</a><br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Character-Mentor-Example-Expressions-Characters-ebook/dp/B00ABLIKPU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1391808134&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=character+mentor" target="_blank">Character Mentor</a>, Tom Bancroft<br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Characters-Personality-Animation-Graphic/dp/0823023494/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1391808060&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=character+mentor" target="_blank">Creating Characters with Personality</a>, Tom Bancroft<br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Vilppu-Drawing-Manual-Glenn/dp/1892053039" target="_blank">Vilpu Drawing Manuals</a>, Glenn Vilppu<br /><a href="http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2013/11/book-review-how-to-draw-by-scott.html" target="_blank">How to Draw</a>, Scott Robertson<br /><br />Online classes &amp; tutorials:<br />School of Visual Storytelling's <a href="http://schoolofvisualstorytelling.bigcartel.com/product/how-to-draw-everything" target="_blank">How to draw everything with Jake Parker</a><br /><a href="http://artists.pixelovely.com/" target="_blank">Figure &amp; Gesture Drawing</a><br /><a href="http://www.cedricstudio.com/sparkbook/" target="_blank">Sparkbook</a>, Cedric Hohnstadt<br />Illustrator Alicia Padron is now offering <a href="http://lovetoillustrate.blogspot.com/2014/02/im-offering-beginner-courses-starting.html" target="_blank">classes</a>.<br /><br />Good luck and happy drawing!<br /><br />Laura Zarrinhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09075761275669952974noreply@blogger.com5