How long have you been a member of SCBWI? What’s the most impactful thing you have learned from being in SCBWI?
I first joined SCBWI in 2016 but it wasn’t until this last year that I really jumped in. I have loved being able to participate with webinars and online critique groups. I’ve also enjoyed all the illustration prompts with both SCBWI Draw This! and #SCBWIsocalillustratethis.
What medium(s) do you use to illustrate?
I illustrate using primarily acryl gouache and some digital. A little bit of pencil and watercolor also tend to make appearances in my artwork, but less frequently.
What is your illustration process?
It always starts with an idea that feels like it’s going to burst out of me and I have to rush to a piece of paper so I can sketch it out before the idea runs away. After I sketch, and sketch, and sketch some more I do a color study in Procreate. Once I’m happy with the study, I re-sketch the image onto watercolor paper and paint away. There’s usually a kid or two crawling all over me during this process.
How long have you been illustrating? How did you first get into illustration?
I started writing and illustrating stories with my sister when we were little. We’d use tooooons of computer paper to make little books. And then in high school I would spend all of math class drawing pictures and writing silly stories to pass to friends between classes. During my final year of college I took a course “just for fun” on children’s literature. Shortly into the course I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh. I majored in the wrong thing.” I didn’t want just one class on children’s lit. I wanted ALL the classes on children’s lit! A few years after college, I decided to make picture books a bigger part of my life and signed up for SCBWI.
Are you self taught or did you study illustration?
In college I studied Art History, so nothing hands-on as far as illustrating but it definitely gave me an introduction into things such as color theory, composition, perspective, and so forth.
Do you have a dedicated art space? Is it in your home or outside your home?
In my dreams I have a big and bright studio with one window opening up to a field of wildflowers and another window opening up to a view of the ocean. However, my real art space is just my kitchen table. Not as glamorous, but it still gets the job done! Though, I’m pretty sure all of my art has at least a little mac n cheese smudged on it somewhere . . .
What would be your dream book to illustrate?
It would be incredible to illustrate work by the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal, or anything with the same balance of sweet humor and emotional resonance.
Are you working on any fun projects now?
Currently, I am working with my cousin-in-law to illustrate a book he wrote. I can’t share any pictures or give away too many details, but let’s just say it’ll be all sorts of Halloween fun 😉
Do you write children’s books as well or have any plans to do so?
I am happy to illustrate for other writers but it is my dream to write and illustrate my own stories.
Any tips for illustrators that are starting out?
Draw what brings you joy! Joy is so contagious and when you light up doing the things you love, it’s sure to bring joy to others, too.
Do you currently have an agent? If so, how did you end up with that agent?
I do not have an agent yet but am polishing my query as we speak. Look out world!
If you’ve won any illustrating awards or have any books published, please list them here?
Excuse me while I blush and beam a little, but recently I won the contest for our local chapter’s SCBWI logo 😀 I have to admit, I was completely shocked when I found out my design was chosen, and I still get so happy each time I get an email from the chapter and it has my design.
List 3 to 5 interesting things about yourself.
A few fun things about me. . .
- I’m scuba certified and on one of my dives off Catalina Island I was shocked by an electric ray!
- I can water ski with one foot up in the air.
- If you have breakfast at our home, you might be surprised to find that things are rather colorful over here. Blue oatmeal? Check! Pink pancakes with matching pink syrup? You betch-ya! And green scrambled eggs? Not just for Dr. Seuss!
Where can people find more of your work?
To see our Previous Get to Know Our Illustrators, click here.