Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Covers Before and After Text

The cool thing about book covers is that they're made to work together with text, but they also stand on their own. I find it really interesting to see what book cover illustrations look like both with and without text. Here are some great examples from some talented illustrators and designers - plus, for the first time, a comic book cover!


illustration by Jim Madsen


illustration by Elsa Kroese



 illustration by Jason Chan


illustration by Petur Antonsson


illustration by J. Scott Campbell (pencils) and Kai Spannuth (colors)



illustration by Cynthia Sheppard

Monday, February 16, 2015

An Adventure Time birthday card



Steph is a new friend. She is also a fan of the show Adventure Time so I tried drawing her family (including her husband Ben and cat Pumpkin) in the show's style, which was an interesting challenge. Two things I know about that show:
  1. Characters have bendy arms
  2. All the girls are princesses
So yeah, I pretty much nailed it.

Previously Steph and her husband Ben were internet acquaintances. When Jasson and I arrived in Melbourne (or as locals call it, Melbun) last week, we had a chance to meet them in person. On her birthday Steph and Ben came to pick us up from the airport, helped us find our apartment, lent us some linens because we forgot our apartment didn't come with them, and took us to the grocery store so we wouldn't starve. We would have been really lost without their help.

The least I can do is make Steph a bendy-arm princess.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Snippets of Illustrations

I'm working on a couple illustrations these days, but I can't show them online yet. So here's a few sneak peeks!






Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Recommended Podcasts

I love podcasts. I listen to them almost constantly while working. When someone says they don't listen to podcasts, I feel like they've just said that they don't read books. They just don't know what they're missing!

Here are a list of my favorites - all you have to do is open iTunes and download them. This is quality, quality stuff, people. Hours of entertainment and education for free.

  • Damn Interesting. Intriguing true stories from history, psychology, and science.
  • Stuff You Should Know. One of the world's most popular podcasts, covering almost every topic under the sun. The hosts, Josh and Chuck, know how to have a funny and engaging conversation, and you'll quickly grow fond of them.
  • Sawbones. A show about medical history and all the dumb ways we've tried to fix people. Hilarious, educational and usually pretty gross. Will appeal to your inner 10-year-old boy.
  • Freakonomics Radio. My husband's favorite podcast, which takes an analytic look at interesting questions such as "What can vampires teach us about economics?"
  • Judge John Hodgman. One part comedy show, one part advice column. Think Stephen Colbert meets King Solomon.
  • Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. Massively detailed 3-4 hour long episodes about history. Enlightening, intense and depressing. Not for the faint of heart!
  • Born Yesterday Podcast. After Hardcore History, you're going to need some cheering up. This is a lighthearted and fun history podcast, covering such topics as "The Emperor of San Francisco" and "The Egg War of 1863."
  • Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! A very silly live show where they quiz comedians and other celebrities about the strangest and most obscure news stories of the week.
  • The Moth. Recordings of a live show where people tell gripping, funny, heartbreaking and profound stories about their personal experiences. Always excellent.

I'm not going to mention Serial or This American Life because we all know and love them. Special thanks to Jez Tuya, who introduced me to several podcasts on this list.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Quote of the Day

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.”

― C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Angel Defender Sketch


When people ask to see my sketchbook, I usually hem and haw because my sketchbooks are very disappointing. They're mostly pages and pages of thumbnails, little figure drawings and hastily scribbled notes. But occasionally I try to sketch something worth showing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Peter Preachin, Peter Healin'


Here are some illustrations of the apostle Peter that I did for Lifeway's Explore the Bible series. I drew these over a year ago. I particularly like this one because of the cast shadow - Peter is literally pulling the crippled man out of the darkness and into the light. This was the drawing where it clicked in my head that I could use cast shadows for mood and narrative purposes, and it was quite the rush of power.


For this scene of Peter preaching, I looked at a lot of orientalist paintings for inspiration. Even though orientalist paintings are not set in Biblical times, they're still helpful for getting ideas for drawing pre-Industrial middle-eastern cities. Lifeway has me draw a lot of scenes of men preaching to crowds, so I'm always looking for ideas for settings.

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