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Entries in Personal (18)


Major Updates!

Without meaning to, I've completely neglected my blog this summer. Recent events have reshaped my schedule and priorities, and I'm only just now able to wrap my mind around it all to craft a coherent post. 

Back in May my GI tract bailed on me without the decency of leaving a note. Months of appointments, tests, dietary restrictions, adverse reactions to medications, and a seemingly endless parade of medical bills have pretty much reduced me to this:

It will all be worth it once I reach a diagnosis and successful treatment, right? Right?!

There is a bright side, though! Around the same time some great opportunities came up for me. First, I was offered a position on a fabulous team that coordinates events for RISD's vast alumni network. It has been wonderful validation for years of volunteer experience with an organization that not only appreciates me, but also offers new challenges.

Later, I joined the staff at Studio Goodwin Sturges! Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges, owner and founder of the Studio, is one of my longtime mentors - I interned for her while a student at RISD and credit her with my decision to illustrate books for children. As a member of her team I'm critiquing artwork, reading manuscripts, promoting her authors and illustrators and coordinating the studio. The experience offers fresh and welcome perspective as "the other side" of the publishing industry, all very useful information as I continue to grow my own list of publishing credits and my mentoring and critique service for aspiring authors and illustrators.

Finally, I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be illustrating another bilingual children's picture book with Arte Público Press! A Charmed Life, written by Gladys E. Barbieri, will hit the shelves in 2015. My work has been quick, digital-heavy illustrations and design for the last year and it feels great to get back into traditional watercolor painting for this project. I'm looking forward to sharing my progress on this book with you!

Here's to covering a few more medical bills!

Have a great week, everyone!


Adelita and the Veggie Cousins Fan Art

These adorable drawings arrived in the mail recently: 

It took me awhile to tell what these were (my first guess was pickles), but then I recognized them with delight: calabacitas! Calabacitas are a type of squash and prominently featured in Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas. I gifted these two artists, nephews of my very good friend, with a copy of the book when I met them during a fabulous vacation in New Hampshire last summer. Both their Dad and their Uncle Matt were painted into the book as children, thanks to some great photographic reference loaned from the family.

Getting fan art, letters, and notes from kids is the best part of this job! Thank you, Alex and Eliot, for bringing a smile to my face! 


Best of 2012

2012 has held many highlights for which I am very grateful. Our move to Rhode Island has done so much to re-energize me, and looking back, this has truly been a year of artistic inspiration. Some of my favorite highlights include:

  • Attending amazing events at RISD all year long, such as The Big DrawDesign the NightMindshareICON7alumni gatherings, art sales, shows, and several industry workshops. I networked and expanded my horizons quite a bit this year.
  • Discovering a love of shellfishing and crabbing with my husband and exploring new ways to cook our bounty. Together with our friends, we learned quite a bit of crustacean and mollusk biology, humane harvesting and dispatching techniques, and some fabulous new recipes.
  • Getting involved with local animal rescue groups like the RISPCA by raising funds through a children's illustrators workshop, fostering Shelldon (miss you, little guy!), and volunteering at pitbull training classes. Every one of the gentle and fascinating creatures I've met is a story of survival.
  • Meeting every month with my amazing critique group here in Providence. They've known when to boost my confidence, hand me my [butt], and have done so much to help me become a better writer this year.

Best of all, this year has felt like a healthy balance between my work and my personal life, making up for all those years when I was stressed out of my mind. Best wishes to all of you for 2013!

Photos courtesy of Kirstyn Reid and Matthew Althof.

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