The Notorious RBG

I am leaping out of my seat excited to announce that this fall I will be illustrating the biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg! I'm already finding out so many wonderful deatails about this great woman. Did you know she wears a special collar JUST for dissenting? Love it! I'm very excited to get up close and personal with the Notorious RBG for the rest of the summer and into the fall. 

Poisonous Cover Reveal!

It seems like only yesterday I was celebrating the US debut of "Murder is Bad Manners." A delightful middle grade murder mystery novel written by Robin Stevens with a cover illustrated by yours truly. Actually, is was only last month, so not that long ago, really. Here we are in a new month and I have a NEW book cover to share with you! This is the second book in the Wells and Wong series titled "Poison is Not Polite." 


I must emphasize, that not only did I love this project because illustrating book covers is just about my favorite thing to do, but these books are AWESOME. I really enjoyed reading them as an adult, but if I were a kid this would be exactly the type of book I'd pick up...and read over and over again. Murder? Yes please! Secret notebooks? Move over Harriet! Creepy old English mansion? Dying. I'm dead. 

Unfortunately, I regret to say that you won't be able to purchase the second book here in the US until next spring. What you can do is pop over to The Midnight Garden and enter for a chance to win an advance copy. And in the mean time, if you haven't already, Buy "MURDER IS BAD MANNERS!" It's great. You won't regret it.

Of course all thanks goes to Robin, Kristin, Krista and the team at Simon and Schuster. And of course to Lucy for roping me in on this to begin with. As Lucy puts it "I love a good hedge maze!" I do too, Lucy. I do too.

Recent Storybird Spots

As each chapter of Alone in a Crowded Place is revealed over on Storybird, a new spot illustration is revealed as well. Here are some recents. Stay tuned for more of these. With nearly 40 spots, we are only at the beginning! 

Our main character, Sam, hearing some surprising news! 

Our main character, Sam, hearing some surprising news! 

The setting of this spooky story, a library in an old Victorian mansion. 

The setting of this spooky story, a library in an old Victorian mansion. 

A most unusual book.

A most unusual book.

Something strange is happening in that old bell tower!

Something strange is happening in that old bell tower!

Storybird Longform Books

Early this year I began working with Storybird to help launch their new longform books. If you are unfamiliar with Storybird, you should head on over to their web site and snoop around. People use the self publishing site for a variety of reasons, so it's a little difficult for me to summarize.  Basically, one can log onto story bird to write and publish their own stories and poems. They can then receive comments and feedback so it becomes kind of a collaborative process. In addition, there is a library of art for them to choose from to enhance their stories.  According to the editor, Molly O'Neil (AKA Wonder Editor), the creators weren't exactly sure who was going to get the most out of the site when it was first launched, but one pleasant surprise is that it has become really popular with tween-aged girls. I personally think that's awesome. Kids are gonna spend a ton of time on the internet. There's no way around it. But with a site like Storybird they are actively creating and putting their work out there for others to see. Sharing your writing is something that can take decades to feel comfortable about and here are these young girls putting themselves out there like it's no big deal. Pretty sweet if you ask me. 

Storybird is still new and evolving. The creators began to notice that writers were trying to "hack" the picture book format set up on the site. They wanted to write longer, more complex stories. And so the new longform book template was set up. They asked several writers and illustrators to help create examples of this new format. Molly and writer, Bruce Wishart, came to me to see if I would like to help bring Bruce's story to life over the next several months. The first chapter of "Alone in a Crowded Place" is officially up and ready to read! 

Cover Illustration

Cover Illustration

Over the next several months, Bruce will release the story chapter by chapter. I will also be creating a spot illustration for each chapter. Here is the first, a shot of where our story takes place, in a haunted library. Now you know why I've been drawing so many books this year!

New chapters (and illustrations) will be added weekly, so check back often!

Also, do check out their recent blogpost that goes into more detail about the new longform template. And check out all the other stories as well!

A Woman in the House

(and senate)....

What's that? Oh, Only the title of the book I illustrated last spring. Yeah, somewhere amongst the craziness of getting married, working on other projects, traveling and drawing all over New York City, I illustrated a book! "A Woman in the House (and Senate)" is a nonfiction book about all the amazing and inspiring women who have held a place in the US Congress. It is written by Ilene Cooper, published by Abrams and is available now! I can't wait to give one to my mom, my niece, my friends, my teachers and all the other inspiring women who have shaped MY life. 

front and back covers

front and back covers

An inside spread with a few of the 50 spots I illustrated!

An inside spread with a few of the 50 spots I illustrated!

One of eight double pages chapter intro with hand lettering over photos delightfully put together by designer,  Sara Corbett

One of eight double pages chapter intro with hand lettering over photos delightfully put together by designer, Sara Corbett

Another chapter intro...

Another chapter intro...

Aaaand another (there were 8 total). Each chapter intro was done in the style of the era it was about. 

Aaaand another (there were 8 total). Each chapter intro was done in the style of the era it was about. 

Another interior spot, of Nacy Kassebaum, senator from Kansas and a much studied figure in my elementary school years! 

Another interior spot, of Nacy Kassebaum, senator from Kansas and a much studied figure in my elementary school years! 

Many of the spots integrated type and illustration which is great because it's just about my most favorite thing to do!

Many of the spots integrated type and illustration which is great because it's just about my most favorite thing to do!

On the left is Jeanette Rankin casting her first vote as the first woman in congress (a emphatic NAY to go to war). 

On the left is Jeanette Rankin casting her first vote as the first woman in congress (a emphatic NAY to go to war). 

Needless to say, this was a total blast to work on and am so very grateful to know everyone involved. Special thanks to editors, Howard Reeves and Melissa Faulner, Sara Corbett for her stellar design skills, Ilene Cooper for writing this important book, and of course, all the smart, talented and influential ladies of congress. Keep on keepin' on!

Music and Math

Just posted a job I did for the Deloitte review back in November. I just did the lettering part (duh)...and please don't ask me how any of those equations work. 

The lettering continued throughout the article, and the mathematical equations slowly morphed into music. I was actually back home in Kansas City while I was working on this and it was fun to pull out some of my old sheet music. The musical phrases are parts of Mozart's clarinet concerto (modified for...asthetic purposes)

Thanks to creative director, Matt Lennert for the job and special thanks to Mr. Koehler (my AP calculus) teacher and Dr. Maxey (my college clarinet professor) for helping me out with the math/music symbols. They may have been burried way back in my head, but they were there somewhere!

Girl Talk!

So, the rule of thumb for this little illustration business I've been embarking on this past year is this: when you leave town, you will get work. Happens every time. After having to turn down a job on one occassion, I decided it was time to get mobile. So glad that I did, for if I had not, I would have missed out on this fun little project. 

Improper Bostonian

This piece is for the Improper Bostonian and it was for an article full of womens' advice for men. You can read it here. Thanks to art director Mallory Scyphers for the fun concept (and the PDF of the layout below) and to my boo for modelin'. This is your life now. Hope you don't mind!

Improper Bostonian

TV Land

!! So Excited !! Today I have my first ever illustration in the New York Times! It's definitely a milestone in the career of any illustrator and one I'll never forget. You can read the article here. 

The article about how TV shows these days infultrate our lives and bring continuity to the fragmented way we go about living. It goes on to talk about how we are able to binge on hours of a single TV show in one setting due to DVD's and platforms like Hulu and Netflix. This is something I can totally relate to having just spent the holidays blowing through all of "Downton Abbey", the first season of "The West Wing", and, since this project has completed, "Homeland". I wanted to explore the feeling that these characters come to feel like part of your life even though they are just fictional characters that don't actually exist in real life. 

This is my favorite part of the illustration. I like to call it "Heisenberg steals a cookie". Ha Ha.

Major THANK YOU to the talented art director with the coolest name in town, Aviva Michaelov for this assignment. I'll never forget it!

Lettering for Willamette Week

I did this job a few weeks ago for Willamette Week's annual restaurant guide. It was for an article that deciphers where all those chalkboard-advertised local famers actually come from. 

Here's the whole piece so you can get the full scope of how much I had to write! I think it's about time I designed a font in my handwriting. If anyone has any tips for great programs to do this, I'd love to hear them! 

More for Deloitte

A couple months ago, I was thrilled to be asked to do another job for Deloitte. This is for the cover of one of their many publications they put out. It was for a piece on the fture of medical care.  If you REALLY want to read it (I know you do),  read it here. Thanks to Matthew Lennert for the fun job and great concept to work with!

Improper Bostonian

Here's some lettering I did for the current Improper Bostonian! It was for an article on "green" weddings. How timely, no? 


And some details. I was super pumped to finally get to make lettering that looked like branches! (yes, SUPER pumped).


I also did some spots:


If anyone is curious how these sorts of things start out, here are my sketches. My sketches for lettering jobs tend to be a little more refined and cleaner than for illustration jobs because it's not just about getting a concept across, but also direction for tone and how the piece reads. It's more work up front, but a lot easier for me in the end.

Thanks to super-easy-to-work-with, art director, Nicole Begin. This was a lot of fun!


Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!

Do you remember that toy you had when you were a kid? That plastic "paper", sometimes printed with an outline of your favorite cartoon character (mine was primarily Rainbow Bright--shocker I know)? That you would fill in with colored pencils, cut out, put in the oven and bake, resulting in a teeny tiny version of what you just had? You know...Shrinky Dinks! Well, a couple of years ago I rediscovered Shrinky Dinks. To my pleasure, I found that they actually came in plain plastic. They became an endless time waster/procrastination aid that I became somewhat obsessed with. I gave little plastic earrings as gifts, I started an etsy shop, I got my entire graduate class at SVA into them (in which a studio-wide shrinky dink party ensued, resulting in only one fire!...I digress). 

Annyway, a little over a year ago, I was contacted by Kathy Sheldon at Lark Books to see if I would be interested in contributing to a Shrink Plastic craft book that they were putting out. Um, "hell yes" was my answer (not in so many words), and below is the result! The book is available in a Nook version now, and the printed version will be out this fall.

The pattern I contributed is my "tiger lily" earrings, still available in my ETSY SHOP. Funnily enough, the original design was inspired by my Ostracon project first semester of grad school. I'm sure this is what Viktor had in mind when conducting his class. Below are some other fun little items I've made using Shrinky Dinks.

Did I mention these are for sale in my ETSY SHOP? Once again, The book is published through Lark Books and is called, Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! More info here.

New York New Work!

Hi all! I'm back in New York, freshly returned from a vacation in Kansas City and have dove head first into a slew of new work. This piece isn't so new, but it IS newly published, so now I'm happy to share it with you.


Literally the DAY OF graduation, I was contacted by art director, Matt Lennert, to see if I would be able to do a piece for the Deloitte Review. The article is about cloud computing and how it is offering up a whole slew of new options for business owners. The concept was pretty foreign to me (though it is something I use every day), it was a fun project to work on since Matt really had a great grasp of what I was good at...hello, perfect job! Very thankful for this opportunity.

As of late.

You know the saying, "no news is good news"? Well, in the freelance illustration junket that isn't necessarily the case...EXCEPT in my case right now. I've been keeping busy (though there is always room for more) on various projects that haven't yet been published so I am not yet able to share.

So, aside from the odd freelance job, what have I been up to? Well, since June I've been working part time at my VERY FAVORITE STORE IN THE WORLD. EVER. That is...Paper Source. I've been a Paper Source fan ever since the shop opened on the Plaza in Kansas City, so when I heard that they were opening up two new locations in Manhattan, I said, "Sign me up!" And fortunately, the kind people at Paper Source did! Most of my job responsibilities are the ones you'd expect working in a shop, but SOMETIMES I get to do some really fun things like make samples using all the cool tools we sells, show nice women how to use a heat embossing tool, and, my very favorite, make chalkboard signs for the sidewalk.

Life's simple pleasures, but ain't it great when you can work for a company you truly love and believe in?

In addition to my regular gig at Paper Source, I also have a new regular part time gig doing freelance design/illustration and hand lettering for a sweet little design studio in Chelsea called Petite Alma. Petite Alma primarily designs cards, invitations and announcements that you can purchase on Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Divas. The owner, Kirby, is a great gal and is really letting me take on projects in which I can utilize my own style which is a first for me in a design job. Today is day 2 of this regular gig (though I've been freelancing for the past month), so stay tuned for updates!

Honolulu Mag

Hi kids! While the rest of you were huntin' for eggs, playing outdoors and eating ham, I spent my Easter weekend working on Honolulu Magazine's May cover! It's out now, so I can share it with you:


I also designed a little bug for the inside and a whole page article intro. I'll share a pic of that when I get my copy in the mail.

Happy Easter!

It's Easter, right? I seem to have heard rumblings of pretty dresses, fancy hats and glorious brunches happening this for me, spent the better part of the weekend doing some lettering. Well, at least the colors are springy.

lettering Now somebody get this girl a Cadbury Egg STAT!