Friday, January 27, 2012

Sketchbook Friday!

Today's sketch is a quickie. My daughter has a massive life-sized penguin sculpture that she has to make for school, so we've had penguins on the brain around here.

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Congrats to the ALA Winners!!

The American Library Association announced their winners this morning. Congratulations to all of the winners. Good stuff!!

You can watch the announcement here:

Support kid-lit by buying these books!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Sketchbook Friday

I tried out my new (well, not new--just Renewed) FASTER computer this week, so I did my sketch mostly on my Wacom tablet.

I'm pleased to report that there were no photoshop crashes, spinning pinwheels forcing me to wait, or time-ticking loading delays. Yay!

And next week, I promise to break out of my "little girl" box and come up with a different subject. I think I need to try some animals . . .

Happy Friday y'all!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Computer Now Goes to Eleven!

When I bought my MacBook Pro in 2007, I wasn't doing any sketching on my computer. I scanned in my pencil and paper sketches and added words to them to create book dummies. So when I bought my computer, I purchased the one with the smaller RAM (I'm thinking "RAM" is the right term to use here--I'm not much of a techie). In retrospect, not the smartest move.

But this worked fine for me until my husband bought me a WACOM tablet for Christmas and everything changed. Suddenly I was able to create drawings that looked like real pencil sketches right onto my computer screen.

I haven't given up my pencil and paper entirely, though. I still scan my original pencil sketches into my computer, using these as a jumping off point, but after that I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to revise, draw, and layout my book dummies. This has been a HUGE timesaver. I no longer have to redraw every spread using pencils and erasers OR have to wad up drawings and start over from scratch. 

But I ran into a problem. My computer was a snail and often crashed mid-revision. Tres frustrating! I'd been thinking about biting the bullet and getting a new computer, but I wasn't dying to spend the $$$. So I emailed my go-to illustrator friend Elizabeth Dulemba whose husband is a tech-god, and he sent me to a website where I could purchase memory cards that would DOUBLE my RAM for around $60. Sounds a whole lot better than paying thousands for a new computer, yes?

My memory cards arrived in the mail on Thursday, and following instructions on the Apple site, I nervously took my computer apart. Have I mentioned that I'm NOT a techie? This was one of the scariest things that I have ever done, but the entire operation took all of fifteen minutes. When I restarted my computer, I held my breath as it took it's sweet time coming back to me. 

My computer, post-op, resting comfortably on a towel. 

But come back she did--and she flies! I even removed the lime green hard shell case that I've had for years, and this baby's looking sleek and silver. It's like I have a brand new computer--or at least one that's been botoxed, pinned up and whipped into shape by a Hollywood fitness guru. 

Yeah--watch out 2012!! I'm ready for you.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Sketchbook Friday

Another one of my New Year's Resolutions is to start a weekly "Sketchbook Friday" feature.

I'm bad about drawing and painting only when I have to--like when I'm on deadline or creating something for a contest or other specific reason. I've got to get back to sketching daily and keeping those wheels greased, and since I'm a deadline kinda girl, I'm making myself post something from my sketchbook each week.

I know. Sounds tough, right. You must DRAW.

Anyway, last week I was volunteering at my daughter's school. I was griping about it a bit because it was taking me away from my creative time. But when I got there, I saw this precious girl:

I'm not sure what the magic age is when it ceases to be cute to show your belly, but I'm here to tell you that at age seven, it's adorbs!

And I learned a good lesson. We all need to get OUT of our head-down, nose to the paper (or computer) world and see what's out there. You never know where some wonderful inspiration will be.

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year!

Okay, I'm a little late with New Year's resolutions, but since it's still January (and one of them is to get back to blogging regularly, dangit!), here's one I thought you should know about . . .

What is 12 x 12 in '12, you ask? Well here's all the information that you need, but sign up quick if you want to be eligible for prizes. Basically, it's a group of picture book writers and illustrators who are banding together and pledging to complete one picture book draft per month in 2012.

This is way more my speed than PiBoWriMo which requires a picture book idea per day in the month of November. I always kind of fizzle out during that one (although, I'll try it again this year, I'm sure . . . you never know what your brain will do when you FORCE it, right?).

So head over and join the party!

Thanks Irene Latham for the heads up!!