I-F: Island

Hopefully this guy is heading towards an island or some other solid ground! This is an illustration for the cover of the latest Teachers Learning Network journal, which I design and sometimes do illustrations for. The title is Riding the Waves of Innovation. The inspiration for this is pretty obviously Hakusai, and was a lot of fun to add collage to.

I have some good news to tell about my last book Surprise! once i get a moment, and am happy to report that I am almost finished the roughs for my book series - hurrah!

When you "heart" someone

I don't totally get why now you say I "heart" instead of I "love" but anyway, it is still nice to be 'heart'ed ;-) I was given this cute award by the lovely Monica - who I must admit, I whole-heartedly heart! If you don't know her work, you must go check her out Right. Now. Her artwork is the definition of beauty in simplicity.

the award rules are the usuals:
1-Display the logo on your blog
2-Link back to the person you received the award from.
3-Nominate 7 other blogs
4-Put links of those blogs on yours
5-Leave a message on their blogs so they know they've been nominated.

so thank you so much Monica! And now for the hard part...
I hereby heart:
cosas minimas, lucia masciullo, paula mills, laura zarrin, leah palmer preiss, courtney pippin-mathur, wynlen

Also, I was recently contacted by a design student at the University of Canberra to see if he could interview me as part of his course. I was naturally very flattered! He also had to produce a piece of artwork in response to mine, which we has given me permission to show here. The student, Bear, spoke about how my pieces can be like what a child would dream of, and he tried to capture that in his piece. Well done Bear, and thank you!

Here is Bear's piece:
in response to this one of mine in particular:


Thanks so much to Tom for awarding me with the Brilliante Blog Award going about! Tom was along for the ride while I was documenting working on Surprise! and it was great to have his comments, and also see his work change and evolve with the 21 day creative exercise as well. Thanks Tom!

So the idea is to pass it on to 7 brilliant blogs. I think these 7 might have received it already, so I thought instead I would add them to my blogroll, as I've been meaning to do this for AGES. 

So if you don't know them already, please go visit the beautiful wonderful whimsical inspiring work of Monica, Emila, Steve Morrison, Sparkle Seahorse, Happy Doodle Land, Gina Perry and Kathleen Rietz. You are all brilliant! (and I pass this award on to you if you haven't gotten it already!)

Me & Shaun Tan

Well I don't think I can put me in the category with Shaun Tan except to say that we both had book launches in the past week. I have to say Shaun's was a bit more exciting!

The book launch of mine was for Short which I posted about here, published by Black Dog Books. I had one little illo in it, but it was cool to go along and meet the editor, and Mary Ann (the co-owner) again. I had showed her my folio ages ago, and she encouraged me to keep submitting samples as it really is a 'timing thing' - so that was good. Lili Wilkinson was the editor and she made a very humorous speech where everything was 'short' - "I hope you don't feel short changed, that Short stays on your short list", etc. I signed quite a few books and almost felt famous!

At the Short launch I ran into a good friend of mine who is involved with a certain book publisher who publishes a certain Shaun Tan and she told me about the book launch on Friday. Lucky or I would have missed it!

Shaun's new book is Tales from Outer Suburbia, a set of 15 stories (you can see a sneak peak here) If you don't know Shaun Tan's work you MUST check him out. He is totally out of this world, literally. He is an Aussie illustrator, and wins awards for almost every book he does - it's pretty obvious why, because not only are his ideas so original and often very heartwarming, but his execution of painting/drawing/collaging is simply first rate! There is so much detail and texture in his work, that's what I love the most besides the fact that it's technically amazing, you could just stare at one illustration forever looking at all the little details.

I also bought his previous book The Arrival which I had been drooling over for quite a while but hadn't made the "investment" yet. I thought it about time when I could get it signed! It is a wordless book about immigration and again, indescribably amazing. He said it took him 3-4 years to finish. good work takes time, obviously.

The night was a mini who's who of Australian illustration. The book was officially launched by Ron Brooks, and I also saw Lorette Broekstra (who I took a children's book illustration class from a few years ago) and met Craig Smith. Yikes! The heavyweights! (what was I doing there?)

So I think tonight I will settle into bed early and get stuck into some amazing picture books...


I while ago I asked fellow Melbournian Julie Knoblock if she could custom make me one of her purses to a smaller size, and this week I met with her and got it and it is just so perfect! I love it! Unfortunately my camera is on the fritz and she's not selling them anymore in her store so I had to scan it - LOL! but at least you get the idea. it is very "me" and is just the right size.

Along with the purse, Jules tucked in a book about publishing in Australia, a cool postcard, and also this limited edition print which I love called 'Nesting' (very appropriate!) Thanks Jules!!

If you don't know Jules' work, she does fun quirky illustrations and is also a crafty one. Go check out her etsy shop and blog. Enjoy!


Went up to visit the in-laws yesterday - A's mum has a garage AND bungalow filled with a whole lotta STUFF. A lot of furniture, and a lot of boxes full of, well, STUFF. And outta that STUFF, there are some definite treasures, like these beauties which were unearthed to be enjoyed again.

There was some nostalgia (I loved Richard Scarry's books as a kid, particularly the 'Lowly Worm' character - i would look for him on every page) and some elation when I discovered the wonderful Mulga Bill's Bicycle by AB Paterson and illustrated by Kilmeny & Deboarh Niland. This book has fantastic page design and really fun engaging illustrations. I'm definitely going to be poring over this!

and there are some fun aussie classics in there too like Blinky Bill and the Muddle-headed wombat. I've been trying to think of what were my other favourite books as a child. I absolutely looooved Maurice Sendak's Chicken Soup with Rice. What were yours?

ps. it looks like i may have some exciting news to share with you very soon...... stay tuned!

I-F: Tales and Legends

I'm sure there are many tales told about the Great Wall of China.
This is an old one (hence the different style) - it was for a book about the Olympics in Beijing THIS YEAR. (2008 seemed so far away when I did it!)

Well this will be my last post before I head off to the USA to Memphis to see my hubby perform and then to NY for the SCBWI conference. I'm pretty happy with my folio, though i think i'll use the plane rides to do a few finishing touches! (i've got a few of em! plane rides that is.)

One of the things I'm most excited about the conference is meeting fellow illustrators Alicia, Monica and Courtney. See you there ladies!

So off I go... I plan to keep a visual diary in my moleskine so I'll be sure to do a big write-up/sketch-up on it when I get back.

Until then, have fun out there in bloggy land!

Go ahead, make my day.

Well, my day was definitely made by Nicole passing on the 'you make my day' award to me. Thanks Nicole! If you don't know Nicole's work, definitely go check it out, her collages are totally unique and she uses texture in such a great way. Some of my favourites are here and here.

Here’s how the “You Make My Day” award works:

1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the "You Make my Day Award" logo
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

I wanted to pass this on before I go overseas. I thought I might choose some people who I have just discovered recently, but also some artists that I have 'rediscovered' lately.

It's funny you know, I started this blog over 2 years ago now - for the first year I posted a lot, did I-F almost every week, and met lots of great people. Last year, I went travelling for 4 months and when I got back went straight into obsessively looking to buy a house, then moving, etc. etc., so blogging sort of fell off my radar a bit. I'm excited to get back into it this year though, and to keep meeting people and making the world a smaller, happier, friendlier place. Doesn't that sound good? Well, let's start with these lovely people who totally make my day:

Johanna Wright - her work is so whimsical, with a quiet beauty that hits you in all the right places. (Plus, she lives in Portland, OR, where I lived for 8 years!)
Kathy Weller - If you haven't already seen Kathy's work, check out her fun sparkly illos, especially of bunnies, which are just too cute for school!
Gorillustrator - I'm really enjoying the art of Lee Cosgrove, otherwise known as the Gorillustrator. He has this incredible sense of lighting, and his images look like high-end hollywood storyboards! I always learn something visiting his blog.
Limoon - Limoon is my new favourite illustrator. Click on 'my little creations' to see her asian-influenced beauties. She's got such a great sense of perspective.
Green Weeds - Sarah makes wonderful collaged paintings that i have been drooling over of late. Go check her out!

And to everyone else who visits this blog and leaves a comment (and even to those who don't) - you all make my day. Even though I-F is of course creation for creation's sake, it is still a nice little boost when i find i have more than 3 comments! so thanks everyone :-)

new blogsters

I've added two wonderful illustrators to my blog list - both happen to be from South America! (my blog needed a bit more latin spice anyway)

go check out
Alicia Padron (sorry Alicia I don't have the "o with accent" character for your last name!)
beautiful soft watercolours with such warm colours and characters - even when playing in the snow!

and Valeria at La Casuni with her cute little funky illos. i love them!

Pixar: 20 years of animation

We went to see the Pixar exhibition today at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) - the last day - phew! It was mostly about the preliminary stages of creating their films, so more about the character development and general look and feel than the computer side of things. So very inspiring naturally. such talented people they are. the way they can visualise an object/person from any angle, get across a certain feeling with minimal lines or make an incredibly detailed painting. I think above all Pixar is great at creating (or emulating and romanticizing) worlds. They make underwater so magical or an ant's perspective beautiful.

it makes me realize that my work could really have so much more dimension - i really need to work on lighting and perspective to give them more feeling. Naturally there is always something to work on! I guess seeing an exhibition like that helps you look at your own work with a bit more perspective...

Art & Design

I've just joined Art & Design Online. It's not really targeted at the right markets for me, but i figure getting out there in any way possible on the web is a good thing. Plus, it's free!

It looks like it might be a good community of 'arty' people, but I haven't really had time to check that out yet. So for the time being, you can find me here. :-)

Diary hunting

Well it's already February and I still don't have a diary ('planner' for you north americans) for 2007 yet. I've looked in all the bookstores and nothing really strikes my fancy. I really like getting a nice one, because I figure you look at it almost every day, it's worth spending that extra $10 to get a nice one.

My favourite past diary was for 2004 - a Winnie the Pooh diary given to me by A - and I love it, because it was interspersed with cool illustrations, like this:

So I wanted to find something similar. Where else but the internet? I looked at etsy... nothing. so I just did a google search and found a few. But really not as many as I would have thought. I think there's a market here. But here are some of the ones I was attracted to:

Nice, but a bit mainstream

Little Warrior
really cool, and australian. but then I saw...

Little Otsu
and fell in love!
Love I tell you. such adorable things. I decided to get this diary, mostly for the novel idea that you write in your own dates! I figure, what with it being February already, and going travelling for 4 months this year when I'll be leaving my diary (and my mobile phone, and my computer, and lots of other things) at home, this is perfect. and it looks really cool. PLUS they have shops in Portland, Oregon, which is where my parents live and where I'll be starting off my 4 month trip so I reckon I'll be making a little visit. Love that mushroom t-shirt!

the only thing is, they ship to the US or Canada only (shock, horror) so I got it sent to my parents place (guess I should tell them that, eh?) and they'll send it on to me - so it may be March before I get it! damn!