Website is live and book is released!

Well it's a pretty exciting day for me as my brand-spanking-new-crying-with-joy-website has finally sprung into the cyberworld, along with the release of my latest book-baby.

Please check out my new website at the same ol good address of

it's got a fresh new look, lots of new work, links, behind the scenes peeks and all sortsa good stuff. I'd love to hear what you think of it, if you'd like to come back here to comment, or on Facebook or twitter.

Along with the new work on the site is my latest picture book through Scholastic Australia: 'Mummy You're Special To Me'

This is indeed a very special book to me because I was working on it while celebrating my first year (and Mother's Day) as a mum. Each page opening is of a different baby animal with their mum. It was really one of those dream-come-true books that came at exactly the right time in my life. I was able to pour so much motherly emotion into it (even on very little sleep sometimes!) and this book will always be dear to my heart.

I'll be having a book launch for it at the Hill of Content Bookshop in Melbourne in May, (curiously, just in time for Mother's Day, imagine that) and then some of the illustrations will be exhibited at the Hunt Club Gallery in Deer Park as well as back at the HoC later in the year. So stay tuned for details on those!

I really hope you like both the website and the book. I've worked hard on both of them. Really I have! It's no joke, even though it's April Fool's Day! (also the day my parents got married. Fitting somehow...)

A few things (including IF: Boundaries)

Rapture knows no boundaries
Here is my submission for this year's Illustrators Australia exhibition 'Rapture'. I'm really happy with how this turned out and look forward to working with this style of collage much more!

There are a few things I've keep forgetting to tell you about:

< Prints of my Morocccan Orange Salad recipe I did for They Draw and Cook are now available through Great Big Canvas
> I'm donating one of my Japan Tree prints to the Lighthouse Foundation Art Auction - another wonderful annual event

I've just joined, and found out I will be Featured Artist of the Week starting today! yippeee!

< Also,  if you haven't seen it yet, I have a new blog Illustration Station which collates current worldwide opportunities for illustrators. Check it out and check often for lots of new posts!

Cheers x

Northcote Kids Festival

I did some illustrations for the Northcote Kids Festival happening soon in the northern 'burbs of Melbourne. I think the poster turned out great! Tix are cheap or free, but even so you can go into a draw to win free tickets by liking their Facebook page.

I will also be conducting an illustration workshop for kids aged 6-12 as part of the festival, on September 30th. I'm very excited! I must admit that it is my first ever hands-on workshop (though I did teach ad hoc art classes to kids a few years ago) but I'm hoping it can become part of my regular repertoire.

In this workshop we'll discuss what it means to be a book illustrator, what makes up a good book, and then together we will come up with ideas for a story, and kids (and their adults) can illustrate their story together! All in an hour. Ambitious? I think not!

There are lots of other fun events and workshops happening, so check it out if you're in the area!

Illustration Friday : Gesture

Well, this is illustration with a twist.

Click to see him run!!

This is a what I did for the State of Design Festival running officially from July 20-31 here in Melbourne.

It is a little light box with the animation (run little wabbit!) and a wolf making a menacing gesture.  (Boy I really have it in for rabbits lately, don't I?)

This is currently in the window of the Hill of Content Bookshop, along with 11 other beautiful animating lightboxes. Quite a sight at night! :-)

footage by Sonia Kretschmar

It was fun getting back into some animation, which I did at my first 'real' job out of university, at ImageBuilder Software in Portland, OR (now defunct, sadly).

I-F: Reverse

I just got an email from the Art House Co-op saying they received my sketchbook project book! It made me realise that I hadn't posted all of my pages here - so I'm doing of all this in reverse! Anyway, here are some selections only. You can see my entire submission here.

I was unfortunately a bit rushed at the end to finish this, but playing with ink on paper was really quick so that was good! It was fun to be free and use big long strokes. I've always enjoyed painting in ink.

Happy New Year!

Did you have good holidays? eat a bit too much? drink a bit too much? I know I did! But now it is back to real life, and much less chocolate.

Starting very soon in the chinese calendar it is the Year of the Rabbit. I am a Rabbit. A wood rabbit to be precise. So this is my painting for the new year. My year! (here's hoping ;-)

It hasn't been a great start to the year for people up in Queensland, though. This crazy country-- if it isn't burning, it's flooding. Sending strength and resilience to all those affected....

I-F: Winter

Well I am back in Australia where it is going to be 40C/104F today for New Year's Eve (!) -- but up until a few days ago, I was enjoying Winter at my parents' place in Portland, OR. We didn't get any snow (unlike the rest of the country), but it was lovely to have a cold Xmas again.

I got into the habit of sketching each night before bed -- a ritual I hope to continue into the new year (a resolution, you might say). I sketched this dear deer one night and thought how the antlers looked like the ends of snowflakes, so here is my submission for Illustration Friday's Winter.

At my parents' place, I found what remains of a set of Prismacolor pencils that I had when I was 10. I was just about to buy myself a set!
I love that I am using the exact pencils I had when I was just beginning as an artist. I can remember adoring them, and placing each pencil in order by colour was one of my favourite things to do! It came in a cool box like this (long gone now) but it had two levels of pencils. This piece was done entirely with the Bronze prismacolor pencil - the metallic pencils were my favourites.

Anyway, I hope you have a rockin New Year's Eve, and all the best for a fun, happy, creative and fulfilling 2011!

I-F: Giant

Imagine going on a surreal flight with a giant turtle?

I wanted to do something unusual and a bit whimsical this time -- this will be the last piece that makes it into my folio for the SCBWI conference in LA. I leave in TWO WEEKS !! wohoo!

and... I've finally discovered a few other people who are heading there too, (thank goodness!) through Chris Cheng at SCBWI Australia. So hello to fellow aussies Samantha Hughes, Caz Williams and Angela Driver! (Angela's website will be live July 10th) Looking forward to meeting all of you in person!

I-F: Dip

Boris the Bilby felt every dip and rise in his hot air balloon....

Hope everyone had a lovely easter! Here in Australia, we have easter bilbies, along with easter wabbits. I love the Australian spin personally.

I had a blissful long weekend - cooking yummy food for friends, planting trees and pottering in the garden, my first Illustration Friday since September! It's lovely to have 'normal life' time again after finishing a big illustration project.

so much to share about the book process and other things too... more coming soon!

bread and butter

For the past 6 weeks I have been working on an educational book about handwriting which needed a lot of illustrations - 140 of them! It was a change of gears for me because they wanted digital illos (in Illustrator) which I don't really do anymore. (I worked on a similar project with this publisher a few years ago when I worked only digitally, and they wanted the same style)

It was pretty fun to do, but all I wanted was to work on my Christmas book! But educational work is often the bread and butter that helps you support the more fun illustration projects.

So now I am back to the book and absolutely 100% loving it! I am having sooo much fun doing the roughs - an especially good sketching night tonight :) I will post more about that soon. Until then, here are 3 of the 140 illos I completed recently...

winking wombat
old ostrich
coughing camel