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Last weekend, the Super Satya love reached all the way to Cambridge, MA...all the way to The World's Only Curious George Store. Seriously, have you guys been there? Nostalgia overload. And for you young people, cuteness for DAYS!!!!

Today! (that day)

Today! (that day)

After a wonderfully busy couple of weeks, I’m finally catching up with the blogspace! It was, gosh, about 2 weeks ago that Super Satya Saves the Day officially landed!

As a book illustrator and art director, there are times when work is about more than emails, deadlines, manuscripts and schedules. I’m so touched and honored to be part of this special project with these amazing people. Satya, RaakheeAgan, and Bharat Babies…Thanks for making me part of this. I loved drawing this story! Woo hoo!!!!
You guys! Click on the image below to catch Satya's story on the Today show!

Being You

You guys! A thing I did! Here's the trailer I created for the book I'm also Art Directing and Designing. "Being You" (written by Alexs Pate, Illustrated by Soud and pub'ing in August by Capstone) encourages children to be seen for who they really are—not just who they’re told to be—and challenges adults to respond with clear eyes. It's been a labour of love for everyone involved. We can't wait to share it with you!

When you're a kid, it can be hard to be who you really are. In the picture book, Being You, two kids learn that they have a choice about how the world sees them. They can accept the labels that others put on them, or they can let their inner selves shine.

Learn to Draw

As a kid, one of my most favorite things in the world were my learn-to-draw books. I mean, Ed Emberley! Right?!

As the Art Director for Cantata Learning, I seized and opportunity to illustrate their first series of drawing books. Not only were they Cantata's first learn-to-draw books, they were mine too. It was a little daunting, but an insanely fun project working with our Editor/Author for these books, Blake. This was not a typical book project where I could just await a manuscript with art notes. Nope. Since I was inventing the instructions that readers would use, I worked with Blake every "step" along the way. Get it? Step? Step-by-step? Forget it.

Also, since Cantata Learning books are set to music, we had to work together to make sure that the steps made for good text to make for good music. Super collaborative process...tons of fun.

A few weeks ago...samples arrived! This was such a great experience, they WON'T be my last drawing books!


Even more fun...this weekend I got to bust out a few sample for the kiddos as a party. Few things fill me with more hope and inspiration than watching future artists go for it!

When you meet one of your heroes

So, there’s an old theory that you should never meet your heroes…you’ll just be let down. I’m here to tell you that this is not always the case. 

Several weeks ago (I’ve been neglecting this blog terribly), I got to meet the man that drew some of the books that excited me about drawing!

The Worcester Art Museum (in Worcester, MA) opened the “KAHBAHBLOOOM: The Art and Storytelling of Ed Emberley” exhibit. ‘What?! That’s awesome!!!! The Mary Blair exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum and THIS just a few months apart?! Whoo hoo!’ 

I marked my calendar made a mental note to REALLY TRY to get over there after work. There was gonna be a meet-and-greet with the man himself since it was opening day.  The day came and I thought, “Ya know what? The way work's been going, I’ll never get out of here at a reasonable time!” So I took a personal day. I carved out an afternoon for myself at the WAM. I’d never been there. Charming, beautiful place. I loved it from the moment I opened the front door. 

The meet-and-greet was to be at about 5:00, so I wandered around the museum…AFTER I made a beeline for the KAHBAHBLOOOM Room (as I'll call it from now on. If you know me, you know I love a good rhyme.)

I gotta say, it was insane to walk through the room and see the actual handwork of the learn-to-draw books that charmed me as a kid…and as an adult. I was flooded with inspiration and nostalgia…especially since I’m drawing learn-to-draw books myself right now! I left and revisited the room three times before 5:00 arrived. 

A quick trip to the gift shop for my Emberley swag (including an amazing coffee table book by Todd Oldham and Caleb Neelon), I returned just in time for an impromptu book signing with Ed. Signing, apparently, wasn’t planned. But this man is such a gentleman. He gladly endured us, spent time with everyone, and signed our books! And...BONUS…I have an original Emberley doodle in fresh orange ink on the title page of mine! Such a great moment!

See my face? I can't even play it cool. He's just such a swell guy and inspiration!

I’d been hitting a wall with work lately. This Fall was PRETTY challenging. It’s been a wonderfully busy time, but also a time with plenty of frustration and LOOOONG days. This was exactly the motivation and battery recharge I needed. I know, I’m gushing. But an artist (I’m ok calling myself this now. I’ve been called a lot worse!) gets inspiration from very specific places. And revisiting this insanely charming world of art, I found my happy place. 

If you can get yourself there, I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only did I get to see the books I grew up with, I was able to stand nose-to-nose with some incredible picture book art I’d never seen before. Go. Do it. It’ll be your happy place, too!

Pssst, check out my pics below from the exhibit. Photos were allowed...PROMISE!!!

Sample Day!

I'll never tire of the day that samples arrive. Not only did I get my hands on books I designed and art directed today when the UPS guy arrived, but I illustrated these books too!


One of the great joys in the life of a book illustrator

One of the great joys in the life of a book illustrator

An illustration career can be challenging, a ton of long hours, frustrating, full of long nights, and the most rewarding job you could ever ever ever want. Sure, we get paid (usually). But there are moments like this that mean the most. I'd been Art Directing for Cantata Learning for a couple of seasons before I started illustrating a few titles, too. Lots of work and a ton of fun. From time to time, I'd post sketches and images on social media throughout the process. A few weeks ago, a long-time friend of mine that I'd not seen in a hundred years wrote to me on Facebook that she'd seen my illos on Facebook and had gone and purchased a couple of the books I drew for Cantata. She sent me this heart-swelling video of her little ones with Little Billy Bison and Bear Went Over the Mountain. If I illustrate a thousand picture books for kids, I'll never stop being so moved and so happy to see kids leafing through my pages. Thank you, Kerry! This video means the world to me!

Very Special

This summer, I had the pleasure of art directing another Sparkhouse Family publishing project. Rufus and the Very Special Baby is the first Christmas story from the publisher's new imprint, Frolic. Just the first season of books was, this title was a complete joy to art direct and design with the Sparkhouse team and the incredible illustration talent of Natasha Rimmington. We were so happy that Natasha was on board for more adventures with the fantastic characters she created last year. With another complete season ahead, we snuck this book in as a mid-season project.

Check out the Frolic site

...samples arrived!

...samples arrived!

...and it's always fun to see your project in PW!


How to make a dolly

Step-by-step, this book for Bharat Babies is coming together. Labor of love? Yep. It takes so many steps (SOME of them shown here) to get to pictures to match the charm of the stories . . . I hope!

Drawing kids drawing

A little work-in-progress for my pals at Cantata Learning. I grew up with learn-to-draw I'm making them! Keep an eye out for lots of updates. Super excited about this series.

Tight Sketches

I've learned that tighter sketches yield better, more clearly envisioned results. Time for bed...but tonight was a good drawing night.  Sweet Dreams. Moooo....

Love March

It's a "love march" because I love these little guys and gals. Here's a little work-in-progress for a new Cantata Learning book in the works. 

Uh oh!

Uh oh!

March on.

March on.

Line up like Ants!

Line up like Ants!

Moving Pictures

One of the best parts of sketching my book projects on the iPad...the movies! 

Here's a little video of a spread I sketched for Bharat Babies last week. Meet Miss Janani, your new favorite Yoga instructor!

Shiny Apple Tuesday

Putting some finishing touches on a project for Cantata Learning. Illustrating this book is super-duper fun!


Hey guys! This past year, I've been working with Sparkhouse Family as the Art Director for their newest line of books. Already in production with the second season and some wonderful surprises, Sparkhouse is announcing season one of Frolic board books (4 titles), picture books (4 titles), and a bursting-with-cuteness 40-page board book Bible!

This has been so much fun working with the great folks at Sparkhouse. What a wonderful bunch of people coming together to bring kids and families these very special books! And I couldn't have had more fun working with artists Natasha Rimmington and Mike Garton (and of course their superstar agent Lucie Luddington) from Bright. So happy to be making these books alongside this team.

Check out the Sparkhouse Family Blog post and keep an eye out for more stuff!


Out in the Real World

Exciting seeing books I illustrated out in the real world! Three of these wonderful titles are mine! I’m in good company. Bharat Babies is crushin’ it!



Up the water spout!

So, this is fun! A book I recently art directed and illustrated for Cantata Learning has been animated for this adorable video featuring Education Maven, Shannon McClintock Miller!




Way Up High in the Apple Tree!

Having a little bit of a blast with this new project for Cantata Learning. There are just a couple work-in-progress sketches of a few pages and character thoughts.