Writer | Illustrator

Posts from the Process Posts Category

Here is a look at my promotional materials for the Kansas SCBWI Fall Conference!

The Business Card

Front of Business Card

Back of Business Card

Like Laura Zarrin, I chose to round the corners with a scrapbooking tool.

Pro Tip: You will get a hand cramp if you try to round more than 100 corners in one sitting. (Ouch.)

The Postcard

Front of Postcard


New Scanned back of postcard

Back of Postcard

For consistency, I featured the same character and paper patterns in both designs. The image from the front of the postcard (minus the web address) will also serve as the title page for my physical portfolio.

These materials were printed by Educational Publishers, a division of the company I work for in Manhattan, Kansas.

Four Awesomesauce Resources for Creating Business Cards and Postcards

A chef’s hat tip to Laura Zarrin, Molly Idle, and Alicia Padrón for generously sharing their recommendations and designs in the following blog posts:


I have been incognito on the blog because I’ve been hard at work on my latest picture book proposal. I’m happy to write that I recently completed the final piece of our submission package.

Here is what my workspace looked like after I finished.

Whew! I tend to get swept up in a project, so I don’t realize how crazy everything looks until it’s over. Thankfully, I’m married to a super swell guy who understands me and my process.

We live in a one-bedroom apartment, so I store my paper and other supplies in the bedroom closet.

Whenever I want to make a collage, I lug everything out and set up in that little corner of our living room. Then I sit on the carpet and trace, cut, assemble, and paste until the illustration looks the way I want it to.

Despite its appearance, my “studio” meets my needs. There are three sources of light (the patio window, a lamp, and our fireplace fixture) which allow me to see what I’m doing. I have an outlet for my lightbox. My picture books are just a shelf away. And the television is within earshot, so I can listen to a movie or show while I work.

Some time ago, Joda (the cat peering out the window) learned how to navigate the mess without stepping on anything. Jack, our other cat, prefers to play Godzilla, chew up paper scraps, and steal my smaller tools. So he usually gets banished to the other side of the apartment.

The only downside to this space is the required post-project clean-up. Since I work in our common area, I have to return everything to the closet as soon as I’m done. (This latest paper explosion took forty-five minutes to sort out!)

One day, I would love to have a formal studio like the Steads’ or Cece Bell’s. But, all in all, this workspace gets the job done.

Where do you write and/or illustrate?

This year’s excerpt for the 2012 SCBWI Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award is from Chicken Licken by P.C. Asbjörnsen.

So they went along and went along until they met Turkey Lurkey
“Good morning, Goosey Loosey, Ducky Daddles, Cocky Locky, Henny Penny,
and Chicken Licken,” said Turkey Lurkey, “where are you going?”
“Oh, Turkey Lurkey, the sky is falling and we are going to tell the King!”
“How do you know the sky is falling?” asked Turkey Lurkey.
“Ducky Daddles told me,” said Goosey Loosey.
“Cocky Locky told me,” said Ducky Daddles.
“Henny Penny told me,” said Cocky Locky.
“Chicken Licken told me,” said Henny Penny
“I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears,
and a piece of it fell on my tail!” said Chicken Licken.
“Then I will go with you,” said Turkey Lurkey, “and we will tell the King!”

Now you may not know this about me, but I love drawing birds. I am crazy about their swooped wings and strange feet and patterned feathers and colored beaks. So I did a little dance when I read Tomie’s text.

Here is my entry!

Oddly enough, the most challenging part wasn’t creating the illustration itself. Once I decided on the composition, it came along fairly smoothly. But I had quite a bit of difficulty scanning the image. My personal scanner focused on certain areas while leaving other areas blurry, and the fancy university library scanner made the colors all wonky. I’ve never had this problem before, so I think it was because of the multiple layers. (Most of my illustrations are only three or four sheets of paper thick whereas, at its highest point, this illustration has over ten sheets of paper). The photographs below can give you a better idea of the layers.

I would love to learn how other illustrators overcome this challenge. I probably should have submitted a photograph instead, but the pictures I took never seemed right, either. Anyway, while I’m not thrilled with how the illustration was captured, I’m pleased with the piece itself. And I had great amounts of fun putting it together. I particularly enjoyed creating Cocky Locky as I was able to use some bits from this lovely Japanese wave paper for the feathers in his tail.

I am so grateful to SCBWI and Tomie for providing an opportunity like this for aspiring writers/illustrators like myself. The winner will be announced on January 9th.

Thanks for looking! And, if you entered this year’s competition, best of luck!

Update: Yvette Piette Herrera won the award with a dynamic “round robin” composition of the scene. Congratulations to her!