Blog Tour!

There's a blog tour goin' round these parts and I was asked to participate by the super sweet and super talented Deborah Hocking. Her work is great and she deserves all the good things coming her way. Check out her work and book her now as she is doing some truly darling things and I'm sure in no time she'll be so busy she can't see straight.

I mean... just beyond adorable, personable, and fantastic work! Absolutely wonderful in every way.

I mean... just beyond adorable, personable, and fantastic work! Absolutely wonderful in every way.

Onto the questions!

What am I currently working on?

Oh man, what aren't I working on? Feels like everything all at once and I'm very happy for it. While I am an illustrator by trade, I've been spending a large chunk of time writing YA novels. I recently (as in last week) signed with New Leaf Literary and am now repped by the fantabulous Mackenzie Brady. It's a very exciting development and I couldn't be happier. Now all these novels, graphic novels, and illustrations are going to get a good push in the right direction.

Here's a sneak peek at something that's been in the works. 

Here's a sneak peek at something that's been in the works. 

But in between writing novels and laying out book proposals, I've been revisiting illustration. It's been a challenge, as I've mentioned on my blog before, but I'm working hard to embrace it. Every time I get frustrated with how something looks, it pushes me to try harder and get better. I don't mind looking at my inadequacies as building blocks because there's so much I want to achieve. So I've been working on my new stuff. 

A little sketch I did after ICON 8.

A little sketch I did after ICON 8.

And I took it to this. Is it done? Is it good? I asked some cool illustrators in town what their thoughts were and they wanted more contrast. I worked on it but... it's still missing that touch of something and I don't know what. This is what kicks me in the pants to get better! So I can find that nugget of what's missing in an illustration and bring it out with gusto. (If you know what's wrong with this, please leave a note in the comments!)

And I took it to this. Is it done? Is it good? I asked some cool illustrators in town what their thoughts were and they wanted more contrast. I worked on it but... it's still missing that touch of something and I don't know what. This is what kicks me in the pants to get better! So I can find that nugget of what's missing in an illustration and bring it out with gusto. (If you know what's wrong with this, please leave a note in the comments!)

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Since I'm still looking to find my genre, I'll leave some wiggle room on this one. I will say this, I love drawing girls doing cool stuff. Because girls are awesome! I am a champion of girls. Chapter books, middle grade, covers, I'm there. Where I falter is style and that's what I'm searching for.

Why do I write what I write?

I fall in love with my characters and feel physical unrest unless I get them on the page. At least, that's what writing novels means to me. Pulling an entire book out of an idea is a haul and I don't think anyone does it unless they absolutely love it. I love it. Mostly I write what I write because it's impossible to ignore all these characters stabbing me in the brain until they're out and about on their own.

How does my individual writing/illustrating process work?

I'm more patient with writing than I am with illustrating. If I screw up a draft, I'll look for help and seek feedback for what's not working. Then after I've talked with some trusted CPs (you know who you are! <3) I'll always dive back in and tweak until it's passable. When it comes to illustration, I envision a composition or an idea, maybe make a sketch/maybe not, and then I'll bust it out. If it looks like it's happening, I'll keep going. If not, I'll scrap it and move onto the next. But this is for my own work, as I'm feeling it out. Oftentimes, I'll revisit an abandoned illo and take another crack at it. If it's an illustration I've been hired to do, I'm all business and it gets done, no matter what. I think in a lot of ways, that pressure can be really helpful.

Since I do the majority of my work on my computer, ideas on paper are doodles and notes. Lots of hyphens and exclamation points when I write stuff down! 

Example of an abandoned piece that I want to come back to someday. It's a take on Sleeping Beauty but I was not feeling what was happening in Photoshop.

Example of an abandoned piece that I want to come back to someday. It's a take on Sleeping Beauty but I was not feeling what was happening in Photoshop.

This is another one I was like bleep, blorp, nope. But when I go back to it someday, it'll be so much better.

This is another one I was like bleep, blorp, nope. But when I go back to it someday, it'll be so much better.

Who are the two author/illustrators that you are passing the interview on to?

I am sending the blog tour to two amazing creators, Whitney Gardner and Erika Rier! These two ladies are dynamite authors and illustrators in their own right and they both wear glasses, so you know they're cool people.