Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Working outside the studio

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.

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. 

Backseat painting on a road trip

Working on a postcard at Starbucks

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 District Hall where she sometimes spends her days overhearing business-y conversations and drawing on her husband's Cintiq Companion.

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!

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!!!

Sketching for a project while in line at Disneyland!!!! 

More sketching at the Starbucks in Disneyland

More sketching at the airport

There you have it. The glamorous life of an illustrator. You're jealous right now, admit it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

ALA San Francisco 2015

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?!

ALA is completely overwhelming. Luckily, one of the first people I ran into were Debbie Ohi and Hazel Mitchell.

Photo by Debbie Ohi

Hazel and Tracy

I finally got to meet Dan Santat's wife, Leah. 

I was on my own for the first day, but luckily, met Cindy Derby! We hung out all day and had a blast. Later I finally me Meg Fleming in person!

Cindy Derby, me, Lea Lyon, Meg Fleming, Pam Turner

We found Renee Kurilla, too!!!

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?

Here we are on a very loud and celebratory train full of gay pride partiers.

Not the Quitting Kind, illustrated by Tracy Bishop

Pipsie illustrated by Tracy Bishop

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.

I finally got to meet Judy Schachner in person!!!!! She is the sweetest!! You must get your hands on her newest book, Dewey Bob, when it comes out!!! I love it so, so much.

Arree Chung of Live in a Story and author/illustrator of Ninja!

Did you see this pic on Publisher's Weekly? I loved meeting Salina Yoon!!! She's the best!

And how cute is this guy?

I pretty much lost my ability to speak when I met my idol, Mary GrandPré and Barb Rosenstock.

I was a blithering idiot upon meeting Alexandra Boiger.

How adorable are they? Philip and Erin Stead.

And I met Linette Kim from the Bloomsbury marketing team. I have an announcement coming about this soon. She had me in tears!