Saturday, January 23, 2010

Two Awesome Things

Hey there!

Guess what? Two really awesome things happened today!

First awesome thing? My portfolio class at RISD, specifically designed for children's book illustrators, and taught by the AMAZING Mary Jane Begin. I walked into the classroom to see an array of original illustrations, done in watercolor and colored pencil, layed out on the table, and my jaw dropped. I must say this:


Not to offend anyone out there, but since I have such a limited scope of what original art should look like, this was by far the most beautiful collection of work I have ever seen. Now this comment may or not be something of value, considering my lack of experience, but I know this for sure- I want to, one glorious day, be as talented as Mary Jane Begin.

Instead of witnessing my cyber-drooling, why not go to her site instead?

Did you check it out? That's what I thought. Here, let me give you a tissue, you're drooling worse than I am.

But, the bigger point I'd like to make, besides the fact that she's amazingly talented, is that she has been through it all in the world of children's book publishing. Mary Jane gave us an indispensible amount of information, tips, and tricks from the industry, and I will be eternally grateful for her knowledge on the subject. On top of that, each and every thing she went over in class helped me to confirm to myself that I am indeed going in the right direction. One example: this website I stumbled across during my mission to finding exemplary blogs and sites of other artists,, was Mary Jane's new favorite website that she recommends all her students to learn from. Another example: Mary Jane referred to quite a few things I already have put in my Top Ten Goals for the year. Woot woot!

Self-doubt is real kicker, and it totally dries up my artistic passion and excitement when I'm wondering if I had chosen the correct path. And, YES, I can undoubtedly say that I have chosen the correct path! I also find it interesting how reinforcement of my career choice has fueled my fire even more than before, so if I'm starting to act a little giddy...well... get over it.

Thing Number Two that was awesome today? Well, while I was rushing around the house getting ready for class (I was almost late...big surprise there), a little story idea popped into my head. And then all of a sudden, it was rushing out of my brain, totally rhyming and charming all on its own, and I ran to the kitchen table (ahem, I mean my studio) and wrote it down before it got caught in the ventilation and sent out to space. So when I got back to work, I polished it up a bit (in between waiting on tables) and I am extremely pleased to say that I wrote a story in just ONE DAY. Can you believe it? Neither can I. I wish I could just post the thing here, but I really can't if I want to give it a fighting chance at being a real published book, so I will tell you this:

It's about a bakery...

...and I'm so friggin excited about it! (Is it kosher to use 'friggin' in a sentence on a blog? Well, I've just done it, and if it was wrong, kindly let me know of my transgression.) I was actually torn between doing sketches for the new story idea, sketches for Illustration Friday, or writing in my blog. I chose the blog, obviously, because it's the fastest outlet for me at my current location.

Oh wait, I didn't tell you about that...

I found out about Illustration Friday when I noticed how many illustrators were participating in it. So my pal Google and I took a little cyber-walk, and we found this neato place to hang out: Every Friday there is a new topic for illustrators like me who need to build up their portfolio work, and every Friday these illustrators create an original piece of work that reflects the topic given. It's a great tool, and I plan to use it as much as I can! This ought to give me the practice I need to improve my skills, and attain Goal #1: PERFECT MY CRAFT. Yessirree!

Well it's time to go, so lata!


  1. Thanks for the illustrationfriday link Melanie ! Great way to exercise that side of our brains.
    Love the blog!

  2. Thanks so much Lauren! Let me know if you find anything else along the way that might help us illustration newbies find our place in the world!