Category Archives: my artwork

color vs. COLOR

I had a painting scanned at Kinkos yesterday and the result is so oversaturated! It’s kind of beautiful that way, although not my usual palette at all.

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Here it is side by side- a normal scan vs. Kinkos:

Sleepy Art 5 Sleepy_Art_2

Anyone out there know better places to have scans made?

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a true story

Aki comic 1.jpegAki comic 1.5.jpegAki comic 2.jpegAki comic 2.5.jpeg

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a few new paintings

Getting lost in this new nighttime world…

Rainy Night.jpgGrandma Turtle.jpg

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Crowds of Characters

My current obsession is crowds of characters. Is there anything that can draw you in like a mass of characters full of fun details? Did anyone else examine every inch of Where’s Waldo as a kid?

Here is the illustration I’ve been working on for the past few days:

mouse crowd.jpeg

Recently my illustration group pointed out the crowds in my new story and I realized that they are there as contrast to the main character, a book loving, timid, mousey… mouse. But aside from that they’re just fun to draw.

Here are a few more crowds that have caught my eye recently:

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I just posted about this book the other day- Julia Kuo’s The Sound of Silence.

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One of Ben Clanton‘s swarms of delightful characters.

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Sophie Blackall‘s subway riding crowd.

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Gyo Fujikawa‘s fairies from Come Follow Me.

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where’s mouse girl?

can you find her in the crowd?mouse girl and crew

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little mouse girl

I’ve been scheming over a new book idea that involves this little creature. She’s been popping up in my work for years and maybe it’s time for her to finally have her own story.

Happy Sunday to all!

mouse girl.jpg

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red riding hood

I’ve been working on this assignment for the SCBWI Tomie dePaola award, which is due December 1, and I think I’m just about done. The prompt is to choose a passage from the opening passages of Philip Pullman’s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. After reading his version of the story (isn’t he the most amazing storyteller by the way?), I noticed how long winded the mother is when she’s instructing Little Red Riding Hood where to go and what to do. I imagined that, like most young people, Little Red might be distracted and pay less than close attention to her mother.

Here’s my final piece:

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One day her mother said to her: ‘Little Red Riding Hood, I’ve got a job for you. Your grandmother isn’t very well, and I want you to take her this cake and a bottle of wine. They’ll make her feel a lot better. You be polite when you go into her house, and give her a kiss from me. Be careful on the way there, and don’t step off the path or you might trip over and break the bottle and drop the cake, and then there’d be nothing for her. When you go into her parlour don’t forget to say, “Good morning, Granny,” and don’t go peering in all the corners.’

And I couldn’t help but make her Japanese. I know that this probably won’t win me any accuracy points toward this award, but like many people of color and of mixed race, I had the experience of not seeing myself reflected in stories when I was growing up. (Although when I did, I was obsessed. Claudia Kishi? She was the coolest!) So I went with my first instinct, which was to create a character who breaks out of the usual blonde, blue-eyed red riding hood tradition. It was a fun assignment- I’ve been happy to have an excuse to paint again!

 

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Lucy as Clifford

lucy as clifford

For Halloween Lucy decided to go as Clifford the Big Red Dog. Truth be told she isn’t that big of a fan, but she was very clear that she wanted to be a dog and that her favorite color is red, hence Clifford.

She was certainly the only Big Red Dog around. Did anyone else notice the sea of superheroes trick or treating? When I dropped Lucy off at preschool on Friday the superheroes abounded with bright color, fake muscles and energetic poses. Kids in costume is one of my favorite things, but a gaggle of them is the best!

superheroes

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fireflies

Summer is gone but I still have fireflies on the brain. I’m working out some revisions for the dummy of Ada at Night and the spread I’m working on right now shows the characters watching fireflies. This black and white sketch was fun but now I’m looking forward to painting it!

Ada fireflies

Fireflies have been showing up in my work for many years because they’re such a perfect accent to the magical night time scenes I love to illustrate. Like this one. Or this.

Anyhow, I had to share a few of the images I came across while researching fireflies. Hope you enjoy!

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by Jiri Trnka

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by Taeeun Yoo

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by Simone Kurtz

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by Hanuol (from Anne of Green Gables)

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birds, babies and other little characters

The accordion book project (process really) is finally over, as is my weekend adventuring. These little books made it from Lake Ozette to the Hood Canal and all the way over to Mazama.

Here they are all lined up.

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I admit to a new obsession with birds.

accordian books 2 copy

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I enjoyed copying some interesting characters and then trying to “translate” them into new iterations of themselves.accordion books 3

And lastly, here is a little peek into Aki and Lucy’s favorite things about camping.

accordion books

Have a happy weekend!

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