Archives: SCBWI


Here is an image that I am using as a cover for the Oil section of my portfolio.
Oil on canvas (8 x 8)
Working on my portfolio for the SCBWI Winter conference in New York City. Can't wait to meet everyone and see so many amazing writers and illustrators! Mo Willems, Shaun Tan, Meg Rosoff, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Julie Andrews will be there with her new poem book that she cowrote with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton.  These are only a few of the writers and illustrators that will be there. Click on the link above to see the rest of the line up! 

I have been preoccupied with little goatlings lately, but I wanted to thank Helen Juhasz for nominating me a liebster blog award. She is a fellow illustrator. Check out her blog.

“The Liebster Award is given to loveable blogs with less than 200 followers to recognize worthiness and drive more readers to them…. and hopefully generate higher follower numbers.

I am super-grateful for this nomination and for anyone who appreciates my work! I met Helen through the 21-day Comment Challenge this past January, which was put on by Lee Wind, MotherReader and SCBWI. It has been exciting to communicate with other writers and illustrators.

As a recipient I need to share 5 “things” about myself. Hmm…
1. I live each day to the fullest and try to remind others to do the same!
2. I love drawing, painting and writing
3. Observing my children is a daily occupation…who knows a book may come out of it!
4. I milk Goats.
5. I’m a half Japanese/half German American with a Texas accent.

So here’s how it works:

“Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve. As with any award, there is a bit of ceremony involved. In order to accept the award, we must do the following:

*  Copy and paste the award on our blog.
*  Link back to the blogger who gave us the award.
*  Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
*  Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.”

Now, the fun part! I get to pass on this honor to the following 5 nominees:

1. Medea – Check out her blog! She is a Canadian mom raising bilingual children in Japan! She has some great information on literature. She also reviews kit lit that is related to Canada and Japan.

2. Diandra Mae – Is a friend, the IC for Houston SCBWI , and a wonderful Illustrator, blogger and busy mom! She shares and amazing amount of children lit information!

3. Lisa Medway – A fellow professor, friend and writer. Lisa and I met at the SCBWI Conference in LA 2011. She is such a delight!

4. Jerry Bennett – is a friend, the IC for Oklahoma SCBWI and amazing graphic novelist/illustrator. We met through the SCBWI conference in LA 2011. He is so fun to be around. Jerry recently won an award for Oklahoma Comic Creators event.

5. Larry Felder – is a fellow artist and friend who recently moved to Costa Rica. Larry shares how he paints any thing related to the beautiful surroundings he is living in. He also has Felder Gallery in Port Aransas, Texas where you can purchase his original artwork.

Thanks Ya’ll! Have a great Day!

Tomie dePaola Entry Process of Art

A wonderful person, Diandra May, Illustrator Coordinator for the Houston area SCBWI has made a blog with many of the art that was entered into the Tomie dePaola illustrator’s competition. There are many talented people in this group. Please have a look.

Here is my entry, imagery straight from my own farm! With a little exaggeration.
Below is a little bit about how this image came about.
Photo I used for reference. This is exactly what I saw out my window as I painted the Chicken Licken. I could just see the chickens and ducks all getting together and squawking about the sky falling on them.

Using my own ducky lucky as reference. I couldn’t get her to do what I wanted so I helped her out a little by holding out her wings. Ducks are so funny looking!

Just had to add this one because I think ducks look so odd when you look at them face on!
Here is the sketch that I drew before adding her to the final image.
The original sketch.
I changed the direction of the duck after seeing the placement of the other animals. Also notice that I moved the dog house over a bit in photoshop before I transferred it to the canvas. I had originally thought it would be fun to have a remote control helicopter be the acorn that hits Chicken Licken in the image,  but as an image with out more story, it didn’t make sense. This idea come from my son who had recently flown his helicopter into one of our oak trees. I think it may have gone through a few rainstorms before they were able to take it down.
I love my farm. 

Tomie dePaola Entry


I’ve been busy painting an image for the Tomie dePaola Illustration Competition through the SCBWI. He picks an excerpt from a children’s book story and illustrators from all over the world submit their entry. There will be a blog set up soon to view all the beautiful artwork. I will post it as soon as it is available to view.

Here is the excerpt:

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!”

SCBWI_SWTX Ilustrator’s day at the San Antonio Zoo!

I am the Illustrator Coordinator for the the Southwest Texas society of children’s book writers and illustrators. We held a sketch crawl at the San Antonio Zoo. We spent the morning sketching all the different kinds of animals. Here a few highlights from our day.

(L to R) Illustrators: Akiko White, Leticia Rocha, Catherine Garant and Jeff McDaniel
Taking a break, watching the Hippos
Here are some of my sketches

And a few more
Lety’s Sketches
Cathrine’s Sketches
Jeff’s Sketches

The highlight of the day was having our picture taken with an aspiring artist!

SCBWI-SWTX Conference

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators South West Texas Conference 2011



I wanted to share a bit of information from the SCBWI-SWTX (society of children book writers and illustrators southwest Texas region) conference that I attended recently. It was a great event with many informational speakers. I really want to thank the staff for putting it all together so well!

Me with some of our wonderful board members


I sketched a few of the speakers as they were sharing their secrets.

The first faculty member was Andrea Welch of Beach Lane Press (Simon and Schuster) She had very good advice for writers and illustrators. Andrea loves good rhyming stories and manuscripts that engage the reader. The content of a book should be emotionally giving but not sappy. A flawed characters is an interesting one. And a story should be one that you want to read over and over again. A writer or illustrator should have creative passion and an intense personal connection to a project for it to be successful.

Kristen Daly Rens from Balzer and Bray (Harper Collins) said “Open with a bang!” In your stories you should make every scene keep the story moving, every scene should keep the tension rising and things should have changed with-in the story. What really works in a story is the combination of an action plot (external action) and an emotional plot (internal action). By the closing of the story the main character should have had some personal growth.

Diane Gonzales Bertrand (writer and professor) said “to be a good writing teacher you must be a writer yourself” She always wrote as a child and later realized that she was good at it. Diane writes from her memories and shares her experience with young students. She states that we should all jump the fence and run into the open spaces and see what happens. If you receive rejection it is not the end but just another beginning. 

The SWTX-SCBWI September conference brought new light to the digital marketing possibilities for all Illustrators and writers. 
Richard Dean Johnson of Interact Books shared information on how to publish an interactive ebook for children. His company has developed a user friendly program that can help writers and illustrators turn there own publications into an electronic book. These books can be created to have movement and music within the stories pages. Interact Book’s app  allows children to purchase books at a minimal cost and create their own library to play with. What a great new way for us to market our published and unpublished works.
Kim Murray of Piccolo Media discussed how to market through social media. Such tools as Websites, Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are some of the social media sites that were brought up in her workshop . Being social and engaged can make your brand more marketable. It is necessary in this electronic age to make a presence on the web. Kim has great knowledge about how to get your brand noticed and how to make social media a weekly if not daily exercise in your business routine.
Hope all of you who are interested in children’s book writing and illustrating can join us next year for our conference. 
Here are some local conferences that are happening in the near future:
October 1, 2011 (my b-day yeah!)
Free event
The Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Rd. 
Austin, TX 78704
October 22-23, 2011 Same weekend as my Bovine Festival, but maybe I can sneak away!
(Meet Alton Brown, Paula Dean and many other celebs!)
State Capital
Austin, Texas
February 17-19, 2012
Ragsdale Center
Austin, TX
April 9, 2012
Merrell Center
6301 S. Stadium Lane
Katy, TX 77494