Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I just can't imagine what people affected are going through now. Mom got me to tune into the news last night and today, and she's right, it's devastating. And when the storm hit, the news just shows some blown off roofs, and I didn't think that much of it, but man....

It of course reminds me of having to evacuate hurricane Floyd when Mike and I were in Savannah. And even while we were driving on the wrong side of the freeway and the horrible traffic that crawled all the way to TN where he had a hotel room, it didn't really seem that big a deal. I mean, we didn't plan for more than a day, I think I took one pair of clean underwear. We gave nearly no thought of our possessions left in the apartment, overall, we thought it was a big hassle. (though, to be fair, the hurricane didn't hit Savannah or even Geogia, it hit New Jersey).

But what if it'd done to Savannah what Katrina did to LA and MS?

No job. No food. No gas, so no car. No phone. No money. I mean it doesn't matter if you were well off or a bum, you're universally SOL. If it were me, I guess I'd stare at the sky, see which way Arkansas was and start walking! I mean what do you do? I heard horror stories of the shelters that were hastily thrown up for students that fled Savannah, and it was basically a pound for humans. People came to the shelter and "adopted" refugees, and those I'd talked to said it was anywhere from freaky to downright unsafe and disgusting (think of crazy person with 30 cats kinda place).

And think what you will of our ruling government party, the system totally dropped the ball on being prepared for this. Those levies would've held if their funding hadn't been cut a couple of years ago. Their national guardmen are in Iraq. I mean "Homeland Security" should mean we're secure from Mother Nature, too.

And with those polar ice caps melting and upsetting weather systems, there are going to be more catastrophic storms to come, so I hope we learn all we didn't do right this time around.

Boy, I'm glad we're landlocked here in Austin!

The author likes it!

I cannot put in words how much I ADORE this cover!!!

The more I look, the more I see.

WOW. I am in awe of your talent!


Hurray! Madeline at Blooming Tree likes it, too. It may look very different when the book comes out (not sure what they'll decide to do with type and that right box), but it'll be basically this. There are lots of hidden meanings that the story itself will reveal, characters and alliances, ect...

Just wanted to post it here, cause I'm just so happy Lila like it!

Image copyright Blooming Tree Press 2005 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Maybe I'll incorporate this idea into my book signing invitations... it's LBKF chopping a stack of books like the karate people chop wooden board in two... heehehee... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Drawing someone else's story

I'm finding as I work on Kichi, that I really like drawing something someone else thought up. It's a different feeling than drawing from my own ideas. When I'm drawing something I thought up, it's rewarding in and of itself... though it is like eating your own brand in a way. Chances are that I, the illustrator, will impress the author or conceptualist, again me if it's my idea. I guess it's the most fail safe system for getting what was in someone's head down onto paper if the illustrator and author are the same person...

But it gets lonely all alone in my head. And maybe that's why I like illustrating Lila's story. These are someone else's characters and ideas that I'm visualizing and illustrating. Ok, so there's a chance an author or publisher may nix something and that'll be fun to deal with, but if I get it right. Wow! It's kinda like I delivered a character into the world!

Oh well... back to the drawing board now. The jaguars came out great!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Just a small part of a big sketch of the battle at the beach. Jaguars are fighting monkeys and snakes, so the small chihuahua takes on the tarantula... I just love his expression... "I'm small... I'm lost... I'm dirty... AND I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!" (not an actual quote from the book but that's the emotion behind it...) Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 26, 2005

To do, to do, to do....

Time is just flying and I've gotta list all the things I gotta do:

  1. Finish Kichi in Jungle Jeopardy cover art and black and white inside illustrations
  2. Update website with nifty cool artwork
  3. Create specialized Little Bunny Kung Fu website
  4. Create a kid oriented website
  5. Make a new Holiday catalog

And much more I'm sure to do.... Yeehaw!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Just couldn't get the image of a Scottish Fold kitty with bagpipes... Don't know when I'll get to paint it though, very very busy... Posted by Picasa

This is the house of a neighbor of my in-laws. Dave and Faith were the ones who picked us up from the airport for Mike's mom's surprise birthday party... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Oh yes... Had to share, these are the sketches Miriam sent me from the toy manufacturer, and looks like he won't be a nudist bunny after all! The red lines are wires so he'll be able to pose in all those kung fu action poses! I'm so freakin' giddy I could fall out of my chair! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Making a jungle

I hope God had as much fun as I am creating the jungle for Kichi in Jungle Jeopardy! (If that sounds sacraligious, it wasn't really meant to be...) It's like a shopping spree, I'm tearing through books, grabbing plants, rivers, flowers, vines, insects, jaguars, monkeys of many kinds, toucans, spiders, snakes (sorry mom, they're in the book), vultures, seaguls, lobsters... if I need a price check when I'm ringing up, my cart of goodies will eat itself!

And, like the owl project, I'm learning all kinds of stuff about the South/Central American rain forest, and I will be able to say everything is from that jungle and not African or Indonesian rain forests (that would've been easier, but I think kids are sharp enough to catch things adults wouldn't). So all my monkeys are "New World" monkeys not the African "Old World" monkeys, and the same for the other animals.

My model for Kichi is the very cute chihuahua Sugar, which is funny because Fortune Teller in the book itself calls Kichi "Sugar" because he doesn't speak Chihuahuan enough to know his name is Kichi. Small world huh?

And I'm enthralled with Mayan art and paintings. Their artwork was really advanced when you compare what other civilizations were doing at the same time miles and miles away. Their way of stylization is really unique and somewhat contemporary looking today. I'm trying to add little accents in tile-like borders and their costuming.

I'm really excited to be working on it, and I may have to reuse what I've learned about the jungle for another project!

Here is Sugar my "Kichi" model! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The work continues...

I've had some after art show sales this past week that were encouraging: Gone but not forgotten sorta thing. The one lady who bought the Chinese Tea piece called me back to make sure she understood my hastily scribbled framing suggestions. Another lady bought my owl drawing that was in the window, and another had a customized Hedwig owl print made for a friend.

My meeting with Lester went well, too. His house was like a slice out of England, not that it was full of English stuff, it was just full of stuff and that made it more European feeling. Now I see why my friend from Paris said our place reminded her of Europe! We got lots of stuff out and on display. Lester had the red metal phone booth in front of his house, and his pool out back had an old fashioned green metal street lamp with the big white glass globes on the lights. And he showed us his work study where he's dabbled in everything: he was a medal winning glass engraver, he refurbishes carousel horses, he's a writer, a defensive driving instructor, English tour guide, and on and on (not to mention old Santa had quite the swimsuit calendar collection... mmhmmmm....). His family is very nice and all complemented me on my art. Spending an hour at his place was a real treat.

I've looked at the calendar and realized I'm running out of "year." I've got to get cracking on Kichi in Jungle Jeopardy so I make the October deadline, and I need to update my freakin' website before I go to these conferences this fall. And then I expect I'll be getting holiday requests soon, too.

If my business increases next year as much as it's increased from last year, I may need to go to UT and coerce a art major to be my intern!

This will be fun to work on, or at least it will till I go to the dentist on Tuesday... Both Mike and my Mom told me to "write a story" about my less then stellar dental history... Posted by Picasa

Here's a first draft of the cover image of this little holiday story by Lester Morris. It depicts Santa giving the little boy Tim an invisible cricket to keep and take care of... In the final version the cricket will be more ghostlike and a little harder to spot (it is supposed to be invisible...) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Here's Mr. Lester Morris dressed in his red velvet suit... Just don't ask him to read The Night before Christmas! His argument is: "Who talks that this? Honestly. I usually have to stop and tell the poor children what a kerchief, sash and a thistle are!" He'd much rather read the "Christams Crocodile" which is a great book... Posted by Picasa

Workin with "Santa"

Another ongoing project I'm working on is to come up with some artwork/mock up book for Mr. Lester Morris. He's been published as an author and he met me through Jo Virgil our Community Relations Manager (and over "Regan-fan"). He was born and raised in England as an Orphan and has had a book worthy life. Part of his memoir he's turned into a more lighthearted children's story, and that'd be the part I'd get my hands on.

The Santa part comes in as he's Santa when the season calls for it. He goes to kid's hospitals and special bookstore visits and even appears on television. He's a jovial elfish guy with a wicked sense of British humor, and I'm very happy to be working with him.

He's having Mike and I out to his house to hang by the pool while we talk over his book and "have a spot of tea." I'm expecting little elf cabanna boys ;) hahaha...

He was talking to Jo, who he calls a good friend, about her unfortunate divorce, and went on to say the following:

"Oh, I'm ever so sorry to hear that, Jo. But you know, my first wife died. Oh yes... poison mushrooms, very sad. And my second wife died as well. Died of a broken skull... she wouldn't eat the mushrooms."

I nearly fell out of my chair from giggles. Oh yes, he'll be a hoot to work with...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Barnes & Noble is ready!

Here we go:

And it's in the in-store computer system at Barnes & Noble! People everywhere can go and "Pre-order" it now if they wanted to, and when it's published in the next month or two they will get a call to come in a pick it up! Or they could order online, too.

I'm planning a book signing of some sort around my birthday, so lots of people I know will get theirs then most likely, but for those out of town might be the best way to order copies. Sadly they won't be signed, but I may come up with a website to sell signed ones from, too.

I've been so excited over these little steps, I don't know what my reaction to the actual book will be!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Huffin the Puffin

I wrote a new story about a Puffin named Huffin who has a little problem with Pride. It's based on the true account of a birdwatcher who witnessed an Atlantic Puffin with 61 little fish in it's beak. Wowsers! So he's a little proud of his record and the girl he's trying to win over isn't impressed. He learns his lesson after a Jaeger Bird robs him of his record winning catch.

It's written in rhyme, and I can see it in full color, if possibly in black and white with one color, or in black and white. This was done now to get in my portfolio ready for the fall conferences.

A new story and new artwork to go with it... Posted by Picasa

My brother Ryan's first DVD cover, designed my his big sis! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

And here's the color variation of the Manga character I told someone about... Posted by Picasa

I really like the expression of the Keeper, the koala, and the winning birthday boy... Posted by Picasa

A new children's piece! This is the cover art for "The Day I Won the Zoo" Posted by Picasa

Toy Bunny!

Well, a prototype of a toy Little Bunny Kung Fu is being made, and based on it, we'll have the real one follow after it!

The toy won't have the shirt, but the ears will be black (which was a must from my point of view), and the ears will have wire in them so they can be posed. I don't mind the shirtless little bunny, he'll have a ribbon or tag or something. And from the bookseller point of view, it's one less toy missing a shirt!

This is just a big surprising cherry on the cake for me. I'll get a quarter of the sales as royalties, too, so I'll probably have a spare bunny on me at all times. I can't wait to see it!

This was the Toy LBKF mock up I sent... Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oh yeah... I'm on a magazine cover!

It's been so long and so much has happened, I nearly forgot that Opinions Magazine people had approached me about using Victorian Ark as a magazine cover for their Nov/Dec issue. It's not paying much, but they don't have a huge circulation, but it will be seen and will be on their website. It's more of a promotional opportunity for me, and for me I'm just glad it's getting used, it's really too nice to just grace my wall.

They did crop it a little, but overall I really like how they designed around the image. I can't wait to see the finished issue.

Here's the link to the publisher... You can see the last cover they had (which looks spiffy).

Here's the magazine cover! Posted by Picasa

A first look at the cover sketch of "The Day I Won the Zoo." Posted by Picasa