Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cloud book

I'm not not working. I just am working on things I can't show you yet. But in the mean time here is a sketch I did for a wonderful lady named Francie Puntereri who wrote a children's book about clouds.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wrapping Paper for Sale!

Frinton Press is selling the last of the group wrapping paper on Etsy (here) just in time for the holidays!  What says Christmas cheer/Hanukkah joy better than Naked Lady Fish Birds?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Want My Hat Back

image property of Jon Klassen, who I love.

I just read our advance review copy of "I Want My Hat Back."  I love Jon Klassen's work!  Here's a review.  Here's his website.  Here's an interview.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bizz Nass

 I don't often think about the business side of the business of illustration, but...

My first step in the quest for artsy-finance-nirvana has been reading Steven Heller and Marshall Arisman's book Inside the Business of Illustration, which is a good baby step.  It kind of reads like Uncle Steve and Uncle Marsh have put their arms around your shoulders and are asking you what the hell you're doing with your life (but they secretly want you to say "illustrating, goddamit!").

Step number two is joining the Graphic Artists Guild while I still have student status.  When you join they send you a copy of the Pricing and Ethical Guidelines book, which I bought last year and used a bunch of times to help me price freelance work before an unnamed someone borrowed it--permanently (and ironically).  Sigh.  You will be avenged, Pricing and Ethical Guidelines.

Step number three is reading this great post on Design Sponge today, which may or may not convince me to eventually update my receipts-in-an-envelope financial software.

Also: today I drew the picture above of a guy eating boots in the front of a book I'm giving to my dad.  The book is called "The Man Who Ate His Boots."  Looks good!  (Pun?)  Read the NYTimes review here.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Grace Tran has more hours in the day than you or I.  She is the author of Day Trips #1: Two Stories, a graphic novel and short story combo about family history and the spirit world,  and Sensation #1 (coauthored with Gene Booth), a re-imagining of the Wonder Woman epic.  She also plays mad uke and xylophone in a band called Future Hits.

But mostly, mostly, she is known for sending me this amazing food map.  Feast your eyes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


A wonderful package arrived in the mail today: the Converse Yearbook from McSweeney's!  It has fold outs and a poster wrapped around the cover and a hilarious musical script about aliens and basketball.  I'm so excited that my work got to be part of such a gorgeous book.

Last September I sent them these four ideas to accompany an article about the NBA from a woman's perspective. (Click images to view larger.) The first is from a line from the article in which the author says her dad always claimed that if he played a pro one-on-one, whoever got the ball first would win.  The second is a woman stealing basketball out of the boy's club--not such a great concept but I loved her sneaky face.  The third was about how the author felt that women were "left out of the conversation" by men, but found other ways to approach basketball.  The fourth was a tongue-in-cheek version of how women see basketball.

The lovely Dave Eggers picked the speech bubble sketch, so I came back with the rough below, and eventually the finished piece at the top of this post.


This is just a terrible quality photo of a really lovely book.  Major congratulations to my friend, Eliana Stein, who designed a huge part of it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Exciting Announcements

I have completely dropped off the radar for the last month and I have tons of excuses.  There's one about moving from the Deep South to the Big Apple, and one about a week without internet access or cell phone service at my grandpa's cottage.  But they all end, in the words of Fat Boy Slim, right here, right now.

I'm happy to say some of my work will be in two of my favorite magazines in the next few months.  A poster I made a while back for the Fur Free Alliance will appear in the Applied Arts November/December Student Awards issue.  And, a few pages of Ike's Incredible Ink will be in the  3x3 Illustration Annual No. 8.  You can see a list of the Children's Show winners here.  I've been working my way down the list and checking out websites; I'm really honored just to be on any sort of list with some of these folks.  Check them out!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ink 2

The summer before last I quit my job, started working as a florist, and found out I was accepted to grad school and moving to the South.  Last summer I came back to Chicago, sublet my friend's apartment, and had an internship with some snazzy dudes at The Post Family.  This summer, I got a shiny new job at Random House, moved out of my apartment in Savannah yesterday, found an apartment in New York (finally!), and started my thesis.  Yeehaw!  It's all been great but really insane.

The thing that really made my day yesterday, amongst all the running around and packing, was an email from my cousin's daughter, Alexis.  Attached was a PDF of her long-anticipated book, Ink 2.  It's pretty much awesome.  Above is a sample page for your reading pleasure.

May summers always be insane and wonderful.

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Frinton Press

Thanks, Frinton Press, for choosing my design as part of your awesome new line of screen printed wrapping papers!  The new photos look really great.  You can check them out on the Frinton Press blog, here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Frinton Press Me + You

Image care of Frinton Press
Hello, hello,

I'm in New York this week, going to museums and hanging out with old friends and tracking down some art directors with the help of a SCAD prof., and generally having a good time.  Tonight there is a free Andrew Bird concert in Brooklyn that should be pretty great.

I'm not going to be able to make very much this week (except writing my thesis proposal, if that counts, which is the reason I'm in the lovely Outpost eating sammies and using internets).  But, I am excited to say that my Fishbird design was accepted by the Frinton Press Me + You contest for artsy screen printed wrapping paper.  Each design that was chosen was paired with a second design; I was paired with illustrator Andrew Walker who made some crazy kaleidoscope naked ladies.  You can see the finished prints here.

For this honor I receive a roll of each of the finished wrapping papers, so watch out friends with upcoming birthdays.  Naked-lady-fishbirds are coming your way.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

B-17 Chocolate Bar

Tomorrow is the last day of school!  Before my brain goes totally soggy for summer, here's a package design mock up I just finished (digitally).  This design is still in the comp phase, but here's a look at where it's heading.

If you take an undergraduate elective as a grad student, you're sometimes asked to do an extra project, so for Type and Image we're redesigning the B-17 Chocolate Bar packaging.  B-17 is actually pretty cool--it's a bar of dark chocolate pressed into the inner seed of an apricot kernel (the soft bit inside the pit), which are thought to help prevent cancer.  As someone who has breast cancer in her family, I'm really liking the idea of preventing it with chocolate.  (Read more about amygdalin here.)  Best of all, B-17 is really in real life looking for a new box design, so who knows, maybe this will be in grocery store near you someday.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alexander Ink

I was lucky enough to have one of my prints chosen for the Alexander Ink Exhibition.  If you're in Savannah tomorrow, come to the opening at Alexander Hall from 6:00-7:30.  See you there!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thesis Show

Crystal Kanney at "Hot Hot Big Time Press" made the awesome poster (above) for the SCAD Illustration MFA thesis show that's happening next (not this) Friday, June 3rd at the Kennedy Pharmacy on Broughton St.  It's my thesis show!  Come!  If you're in Savannah and have an hour to kill before Cold War Kids play in Forsyth Park (BOTH shows will be great, I swears) please stop by.  There will be food and drink and lot and lots of great art.  On our website (made by the great Jonathan Cumberland and Stephen Wood, video by Min Ahwon) you can find links to all the artists showing:

Min Ahwon
Lauren Brown
Erin Grace Burns
Krishna Chavda
Jonathan Cumberland
Lori B. Day
Brianne Farley
Rusty Gaechter
Mike Goings
Jeff Hinchee
Sarah Jackson
Young Ju Kim
Jana LaChance
Jonathan Mayer
Blythe Russo
Lis Sartori
Bohyun Son
Angela Stork
Stephen Wood

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oberon for Summer

March 28th is officially Oberon Day, the day when Bell's Brewery starts serving their famous Oberon Ale.  This delicious beer is only available in the summer, so hey you know it's summer if there is Oberon (though if you're in Michigan it's probably still snowing).
In honor of my Michigander heritage (and with a shout out to my good friend Sam, Lord of the Cellar at Bell's) I picked the Bell's Oberon six pack case to redesign for my Type and Image class.
Not my image
Below are some of the thumbnails I started with.  I decided to go with, roughly, the one on the bottom left (next to my million dollar idea of Edible Googly Eyes).  Then I made a collage made with beeswax and tissue paper for the sun rays, and drew the rest of the image and type with pencil, scanned it in, and colored it digitally. 

And here is the unfolded box with a digital mock-up I made of the folded box.  I'll be printing up and folding a dummy box next week, so I'll post that when, exists.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Glowing Mountain Goat

I've never submitted to, but I thought today I would give it a whirl.  They are having a Griffin iPhone Design Challenge and I came up with the design above.  I started out with a collage, which I actually made for a different project (more on that later).  But, as the one requirement for the challenge was a black background, I had to make some adjustments...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Henry Sugar and Six More Book Cover

I've just finished a book cover design for Roald Dahl's The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.  I love this book!  These are some of the sketches I started with.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More collage

I've been on a weird Nabokov kick...but not his books, his face.  I've been using it for all of my demos and experiments, when I needed a portrait of "someone," when I needed a book cover...and now I've collaged his little head.  Speak, Memory.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Illustrated Type

Last night I went to a lecture by Istvan Banyai.  He was grumpy and hilarious and showed us a ton of his illustrations.  He is very opinionated, which I like and admire, and his colors are beautiful.
A is for Apples
In other news, I'm chugging away in this Type and Image class and really loving it.  I have such respect for graphic designers (like the great Eliana Stein) who really know their type and can say so much with the placement and typeface choices.  It's incredible.  We're focusing on type and how it interacts with an image.  Right now I'm working on a book jacket (will post soon!), but I just finished these funny little illustrated letters.  That's all.  Happy weekend!
Q is for Queen
S is for Ship

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beeswax Collage

I tried out beeswax collage today and man, I loved it!  The tissue paper comes out super bright and I love the transparency.  I have to admit, though, I was totally thinking of Chad Kouri's work while I was working.  He makes the greatest collages evah.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SCAD MAT Conference

A few weekends ago I got the chance to teach a printmaking workshop with my friend Jon.  We taught "Fast and Dirty Monoprints!" (exclamation point!) to some enthusiastic SCAD professors and SCAD MAT (Masters of Art in Teaching) candidates.  It was such a great experience, and really inspired me to incorporate more printmaking techniques in my illustrations.  I forget how quick some printmaking processes are.

We taught prontoplate, trace monotype, and stencil relief printing; they are all fairly easy and don't necessarily require a press.  We mixed some colors for the conference-goers ahead of time (that's the palette above) and then brayered the ink on to some smallish, prepared beech wood sheets.  The blue-green fade on the left was made on Japanese paper with just the solid ink block.  You can make a stencil print from there by laying your stencil between the block and the Japanese paper (print on the left, stencil on the right).

Here's the demo print, above!  The orange marks and Gen. Casmir Pulaski's body are examples of trace monotype.  You lay Japanese paper onto a thin slab of ink (or an inked wood block) and draw through the back of the paper with the back of a brush, a finger nail, the palm of your hand, you name it.  Pulaski's face was made using a pronto plate.

Here's Jon teaching pronto plate technique.  Pronto plate printing is similar to lithography, except that instead of drawing on a boulder with grease, you feed a piece of treated plastic through a laser printer.  Hooray!  Then you treat it with gum arabic, bake it, and ink that baby up.

Then you can run it through a press or rub it with a baren (bah-ren) or a wooden spoon.  And you can layer all of these techniques!  Awesome.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wrapping paper

Today I made my first repeat pattern for a funky screen printing studio called Frinton Press.  They have a yearly wrapping paper design competition, and I stumbled on to their call for entries just a couple days ago.  Here is what I submitted.

I know there's an easy way to do it on Illustrator or Photoshop, but my googling skills were just not up to the task and I couldn't find a tutorial.  But I did find this wonderful analog how-to by illustrator Julia Rothman on the Design*Sponge website, which you can see here.