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.

Tis The Season?

Back-to-school season has officially come and gone in these parts, so you know what that means. Halloween? No. Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Gross. Thanksgiving? Don't be silly.  IT'S TIME TO BUY CHRISTMAS CARDS! Really? Yes, really! The cards I designed this season for Petite Alma are up and available to purchase on TinyPrints. Here is a small sampling, but be sure to check out the whole collection. There are all kinds of different configurations, color schemes and even envelope liners if you want to be all fancy pants. 

all designs © Petite Alma, 2014

A Woman in the House: Lettering

Finally had a chance to put together all the hand lettered section intros I did for A Woman in the House. My editor had the idea to do each section in a style that reflected the era covered in that section. I thought it was a great, albeit challenging, idea and ran with it. Still can't believe they let me put Back to the Future-style 1980's lettering over Supreme Court Justices! 


Chalk It To Me

To say I get asked to do "chalk board style lettering" from time to time would be a slight understatement. People can't seem to get enough of it these days. That's partly due to the popularity of the Queen of Chalk Board lettering (who actually uses real chalk unlike the rest of us fakers), but I think it's also popular because white type on a dark background is just plain striking. I've actually been doing it for years, but only recently have people been asking for it to look like "chalk." Here are a few chalk inspired pieces that I've done over at Petite Alma in the past few months. You can purchase these yourself at Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Divas.


All images © Petite Alma for Tiny Prints

All images © Petite Alma for Tiny Prints

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!

Love My Jayhawks!



I lettered this little baby as a Christmas present for my mom this past year. I thought it appropriate to post after KU won a squeaker last night against Temple. I had a work filled weekend last weekend and was so very thankful for a 2 hour distraction Sunday night. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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! 

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!


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!


Whoooeee, I've been busy lately. I've been spending my days doing training for my new part time job (which, let's be honest, I'll probably spend as much at as I'll make). My nights have been spent on a couple of various freelance jobs. This one was done over the course of about a day and half, so it's a little rougher and cartoony than I normally work, but it was still a great design challenge and a fun job to work on.  If you're in Portland this week, my recommendation is for the ice cream ride!

And look at how they called out my little bike riding Lady Godiva! Cute!


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 morning...as 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!

Red Letter Day.

Ok, maybe more like Pink and Green Package day...but exciting nonetheless. 


I recieved me copy of "Charlotte Au Chocolat" in the mail today! I'm so excited. This is my first hand-lettered book cover AND I got to do the interior spots. Getting this job was a classic example of being in the right place at the right time (that is being an intern at Penguin who can put together four hand lettered sketches in one afternoon). I think I will reread this adorable memoir to celebrate. 

State of Affairs.

Once upon a time, long long ago, in a far away land (well, actually, not that far, just New York City. And "long" is debatable, but for me, last April was a really long time ago) I received one of my first illustration jobs! I was hired by Roseanne Serra at Penguin to design the cover to the novel "Surrey State of Affairs". It started out as a lettering job, then moprhed into illustration (good thing I do both, no?). The process was long and arduous. I created sketch after sketch. Ultimately settling on one fairly similar to the one you see below.


Alas, it was not meant to be. The job was killed (they ultimately decided on this-a completely different direction, which makes me feel better) and I pushed it away, only to return to it this past weekend. About time right? I'm not one to post sketches, but since I did so many, fairly tight sketches for this job, I thought it'd be fun to take a look at my journey...