One Word One Day

In the middle of all the Make Art That Sells mayhem, I made time to go to the ASA's One Word One Day event, to benefit the indigenous literacy foundation. This is the third year they have run this event and the first time I've been able to make it, so I was determined to go.

Basically illustrators get together for a few hours and illustrate a word. This year was 'Pounce'. You can make as many images as you like, in any medium you like, and there is a plethora of beautiful art supplies supplied by Zart.

For me, it was a time to see some friends, have a bit of fun, and play with some new materials. I think when you are constantly producing art for deadlines, it is difficult to give yourself the time to just play and be free and not worry too much about the outcome.

I was sitting next to Ann James from Books Illustrated who has a very lovely loose way of working and I think this was influencing all of us at the table. I played around with some 'Magiclay' which is like mouldable paper which then dries and you can paint it, plus some collage, feathers, leaves, buttons, watercolours, oil pastels, charcoal, fingerprinting and even mud!

I didnt know where I was going with this when I started, and that was part of the fun. Here's the craziness I ended up with :

Make Art That Sells : Editorial

I'm running a bit behind in my blog posting, so here's a little catch up!

MATS continues and this week it was looking at Editorial Illustration, mostly work for magazines. I have done some editorial work in the past and have to say it isn't my forté. I am not one of those illustrators who comes up with the clever concepts to illustrate difficult topics. But over the course of the week Lilla showed us a lot of her personal work from her many years as an illustrator, and i realised that there is a lot more to editorial than illustrating a headline. (or there was anyway, I'm not sure how healthy the editorial market still is for illustration these days...)

Anyway, I was sort of dreading having to illustrate an article, but was very happy to find our assignment was to illustrate a map!! which I love doing. We were supposed to do a map of our current city/town, but because I already did one of Melbourne for They Draw and Travel (click here to see) I decided to illustrate Montreal instead, my birthplace, and first love :)

I first did a bit of a sketch to figure out which elements I would be including (and also canvassed my Facebook Montreal friends for suggestions, which was very fun and interesting!) I find I can get a bit too detailed with doing maps. I love it, but I'd also like to try doing something a bit freer and more abstract. anyway, here's the sketch.

then I did the background in watercolours.

and added lots of little icons in a few styles:



and stampy...

 and then the lettering.

I put it all together in Photoshop and voila mes amis!

Next week is the last week of the Make Art that Sells class, which is sort of hard to believe! We are focusing on the party paper market (paper plates, cups, wrapping paper, etc)

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...)


Well, I have finished illustrating the book I have been working on since March this year. Since I began working, my son has started crawling, then walking. We got a new (old) Prime Minister (again). And I did a lot of sketching and a lot of painting. And had oodles of fun.... Oodles I tell you!

Unfortunately I can't tell you much more about the book until it is out and available... not until April next year! But I will let on that it involves my favourite animal in the world, the giraffe. so here is a sneaky peak at my drawing table before I packaged up all the illustrations to send off to the publisher in Sydney.

The next thing on the cards for me is Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells course in October. I am soooo excited about it - I have had a few friends take it already with nothing but rave reviews. I'll be posting my progress on it here!

The other thing I'll be working on in the background is redesigning my website. Goodness does it need it! Something simple, something easily updatable (so I do it more), something me. Still have yet to figure out exactly what that is but I'm on the road :)

Still going....

I've been working hard on my current book project, a mother's day book to be out next year with Scholastic. I've completed 9 of 13 illustrations - woo!
I have really loved this book more than anything I have done to date - I think it's because the characters are all animals!

Anyway just wanted to pop in to say hello, but need to put head down and paintbrush to paper again (but first, head to pillow!)

until the next time, here's another little snippet, this time of one of the finished paintings...

Jonah Charlie Tree

This is a commission for a present for a little baby boy. I hope he likes it!

I've been experimenting with using hand carved stamps (all the blue leaves) -- something I've been wanting to do for ages. I've even had the tools hanging around for YEARS and never used them. So finally they have been inaugurated. It's pretty fun but I definitely need to practice! 

Happy holidays!

Startree - watercolours, custom stamps, collage

May your holidays be happy, and your new year be sparkly!

Thanks to all of you who read this blog. I really appreciate your readership, even when there isn't always that much to read!

Here's hoping 2012 has been a wonderful year for all of you. On this side of the pond, it has been a year of highs and lows. Birth, life, and death -- we experienced it all this year. A difficult and joyous year at the same time.

Thinking about the new year illustration-wise, I'm hoping to redesign my website and definitely make it sparkly, including a shop where I can sell prints. Also preparing to have a solo exhibition at the end of next year so I'm really excited about 2013.

And this is our first Christmas with our little munchkin.... so it is sure to be a lovely time.

much love, stars and gingerbread to all of you out there. Stay safe, happy and healthy!



Weeeeeeeee! Do it again! do it again!
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! (a day late)

This is our first Father's Day, and how lucky we are to celebrate it with our little one. It was a gorgeous day here in Melbourne, and we spent most of it in the sunshine as a family of 3.

This is a piece I started before our little boy came along. I think I was fretting over the background, doing it and redoing it. When you have a baby, I think you fret less and just try to get things done in the little time you have! So I decided to just finish it. I just got it done this morning as I had some unusual time: a sleeping baby but very awake myself!

Hope you like it. It reminds me of how dads are so good at 'horseplay'. I guess this is 'whaleplay' :)

Time lapse tree

Well the baby hasn't arrived yet, which has given me time to get together this time lapse video I took of me doing a painting for my latest book "Cherish Your Skin".

SO, now I can tell you that it is a book that will be distributed in the USA and Australia, through the Cancer Council here, and published by Bright Sky Press. I had lots of fun doing it, and it has a great message to boot! Namely, about being SunSmart and taking care of yourself in the sun, something Australians should be particularly conscious of -- the sun always seems hotter down here. Blast that pesky ozone layer.

This is my favourite painting from the whole book and it was fun to set this up. I hope you enjoy a look into how I paint!


Here is a piece I did as a wedding present for a friend. I had a lot of fun doing this and it's wonderful to have a bit of time to do some illustrating that's just 'for me' (or for friends, in this case...)

So there's something I've been keeping secret..... I am about two weeks off the due date for my first baby!! I am trying to squeeze in some good illustrating time before bub arrives and my life changes. All I know is I am extremely happy all the time and can't wait to meet this new little heart :-)

So if you don't hear from me for a little while, you know why.....!

Picture Show

For the school holidays the gorgeous Hill of Content bookshop in Melbourne is hosting a lovely little picture show in its front window of some original children's illustrations. I've got two pieces in there (below) and am humbled to be sharing the window with wonderful illustrators such as

Jody Pratt
Lisa Coutts
Anna Walker
Sonia Kretschmar
Sarah Hardy

Some pieces are for sale and others have prints available for sale. Contact me if you're interested in a print of one of these babies:

In other news, the final painting for my current book is fresh off the press! I of course can't show you too much, but here's a little snippet. :-) I filmed a stop motion of me creating this painting so I look forward to showing it to you when I can.

Hope all is well out there in bloggy land.....

Hopscotch collection

Late last year a small illustration of mine was accepted for  'Hopscotch' –  A collection of short stories, poetry and artwork for children, published by Jelli-Beanz publishing:

Jelli-Beanz recently did a lil interview of lil me on their hopscotch blog -- A few questions about process and inspiration.  If you're interested, you can check it out here.

And if not, you can just print this out for colouring in! (If you are so inclined)