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Frankenkitty

I’ve had a couple people ask me about my process so I thought I’d do a little process post for my latest doodle!

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First I usually always start out with a preliminary drawing in my sketchbook

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I’ll scan that drawing into photoshop, turn town the opacity to around 15% and just start going piece by piece with the painting on separate layers. With a more complicated piece I will rough in colors on a layer just to plan it out, but with a simpler piece like this I’ll just wing it as I go. Using a selection of pre-established color palettes helps this process a lot! I primarily use Kyle brushes these days, they’re pretty super! The gouache set is my current fav but I highly recommend spending some quality time playing with all the brushes you can get your hands on to see what works for you.

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Once I get all the bits in place I’ll have something that looks like this

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Then comes my favorite part, textures! I have a folder full of textures that I’ve hand painted and scanned at a super high resolution. This part is super fun to play with, I’ll usually set the texture layer to overlay at varying opacities. You can even use clipping masks with your texture layers to apply special textures in only certain areas – like I’ve done with the hair in this piece. Play with it, and have fun!

SCBWI

Things are getting pretty stinking cute over here while I get ready for the SF SCBWI illustrator day conference at the end of August! This is one of 3 sketches (plus a final in progress, stay tuned!) for a picture book prompt specifically for this conference, seriously can’t wait!

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Summer Selfie

Sneak peek at a small part of a spread I’m contributing to a summer zine project called “Girls Who Eat.” All proceeds from the sale of this zine will go towards ProjectHeal, a non-profit organization that specializes in the rehabilitation of people with eating disorders as well as community education for high school and college-aged people. As of today the project has exceeded it’s funding goals on kickstarter! Stay posted for info on the upcoming show of all the contributed work at Sketchpad Gallery in SF. All the artists are awesome women illustrators who love food, check it out!! Girls Who Eat

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Coral Reef Conservation

Coral Bleaching

A few months ago I stumbled upon a devastating article about a massive coral bleaching event at the Great Barrier Reef and was inspired to dedicate some of my work to awareness of this conservation cause. According to an article published in March of this year, about 22% of the reef was killed by this event which scientists have determined was caused by climate change. Apparently, often times when coral sits in still water that is too warm for too long, the algae which lives inside them is spit out leaving behind a white skeleton. The algae then dies, the coral dies without the algae to feed upon, and the whole ecosystem which depends of the reef collapses and dies. Surprisingly this is not a new phenomena, massive global coral bleaching events have been observed by scientists since the 1980’s. However, according to an article by The Guardian “Since 1982, just after mass bleachings were seen for the first time, the data shows that the average proportion of the Great Barrier Reef exposed to temperatures where bleaching or death is likely has increased from about 11% a year to about 27% a year.” However, because tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry for Australia – particularly tourism at the Great Barrier Reef – some are suspicious that awareness of these events has been suppressed out of fear of damage to that industry. Others claim that scientists are exaggerating the data for their own political purposes. But any way you spin it,  it’s still true that globally coral reefs support approximately 25% of all marine species and they appear to be under a serious threat due to environmental factors. So what can you do to help?? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the three major contributors which impact delicate reef systems are: unsustainable fishing, climate change, and land based sources of pollution.  So here are a few suggestions I’ve found for how you might make a positive impact!

Don’t give coral as gifts: Corals are already a gift, don’t give them as presents.

Conserve water: The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that will eventually find its way back into the ocean.

Volunteer in local beach or reef cleanups: If you don’t live near the coast, get involved in protecting your watershed.

Plant a tree and support forest conservation: Trees store carbon and reduce agricultural run-off, which may ultimately end up in the ocean.

Become an informed consumer: Learn how your daily choices like water use, recycling, seafood, vacation spots, fertilizer use, and driving times can positively (or negatively) impact the health of coral reefs.

For more information on topics I referenced here visit:

The Guardian – The Great Barrier Reef: a catastrophe laid bare

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Coral Reef Threats

The XL Catlin Seaview Survey

What Can I Do To Protect Coral Reefs Infographic

Society of Illustrators

13198455_10101852284324278_8355392619434494564_oHad an amazing time visiting my winning piece at the Society of Illustrators in New York last weekend! It was such an honor to be selected out of so many deserving artists. The reception was an absolutely humbling experience, so much talent packed into that small space. I was posing awkwardly next to my piece for a photo when someone interrupted to congratulate me, catching what is probably my most genuine smile ever captured on camera! Then I joked that I must be a real artist now, since my name tag said so 🙂

 

 

Women’s History Month

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Today in Women’s History Month I’m reminded that it’s not just about honoring the memory of women who made a difference, but the many women who are currently making history and inspiring the next generation of women to do great things.

Women’s History Month

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Happy International Women’s Day/Women’s History Month! When thinking about why these occasions are important I’m reminded of how crucial it is for young girls to be educated on the many strong, intelligent women whose actions have the power to inspire young girls to dream big! So, for the rest of the month I’m going to continue this series of how important women might inspire one girl, based on my amazing niece Gabby <3

SOI Competition

So, yesterday I found out that this piece was accepted into a Society of Illustrators competition exhibition!!! It will be up in the SOI Gallery in New York from May 10 – June 4. If you don’t know about this competition, I was one of 200 chosen out of nearly 8,000 entries! It’s a huge honor, I’m still wrapping my brain around it…

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