It’s that time again — time for the latest installment in Denise Swanson’s Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series to be published by Penguin, featuring a cover illustrated by yours truly! The title this time was Dying for a Cupcake, and it had a Fourth of July theme so it’s lots of red, white and blue. Of course I love a good cupcake, so it was extra enjoyable to draw a big tiered display of sparkler-topped cupcakes. Each of these covers has a subtle “mystery” element, and this time it’s a spooky skull being formed from the smoke of an extinguished sparkler — fun to draw! I also had a delightful time working with AD Katie Anderson — thanks, Katie!
In honor of it being the day before Thanksgiving, I’d like to share a fun assignment I had this year that is Thanksgiving themed! It’s a reusable grocery bag for Publix grocery stores, featuring their signature pilgrim characters. These pudgy little pilgrims are a perennial favorite for the Publix stores, and they appear as salt and pepper shakers and on other decorative Thanksgiving items. They even have a bit of a cult following!
Earlier this year Publix contacted me to illustrate a reusable bag featuring the pilgrims surrounded by other autumnal motifs. It was super fun to work on with talented art director Jesse Larson, and a good challenge since I had to work in a limited number of colors for silkscreening. I don’t have a sample of the actual bag to show you, and from a little online sleuthing it seems the final product was a more cropped-in version of this art, but even so I’m going to share the original design here. For those of you in the South, you could probably pick one of these up at your local Publix store! I hope these pilgrims help you feel the cozy Thanksgiving spirit, and enjoy your Turkey Day, everyone!
I can’t believe it’s the last day of September already! While the falling temperatures and shorter days create that cozy, crisp feeling of autumn they’re also a good reminder that the holidays will soon be upon us. You may be thinking, “Gosh, soon it will be Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah! How will I send my greetings to friends and loved ones?” You’re in luck! My new holiday greeting card designs are now available in my Etsy shop to help you mail a little bit of love to everyone you hold dear. They’re part of the A. Smyth Co. collaboration I’ve been working on this year, and are all printed responsibly on eco-friendly papers. These also feature greetings on the inside, as opposed to the previous cards which were blank on the inside, so if you’re not great at coming up with something to say, the work is done for you!
I have several Christmas designs, including one featuring fuzzy, kissing chinchillas. Who doesn’t love a chinchilla? The collection also contains two non-religious Happy Holiday cards depicting fun winter sports, a Thanksgiving card (turkey in a top hat!) and a tasteful, nature-inspired Hanukkah card. If you’re looking for holiday greetings look no further!
Happy New Year! To kick off 2014, I’m excited to share the entire collection of greeting cards that I created for A Smyth Co., all of which are now printed and ready to be sold in a card boutique near you! I received my samples of the cards and I am just thrilled with them. The colors are bright, the printing is great, and I even love the design of the card backs and how they come with color-coordinated envelopes. My cards are part of a whole line of fun, colorful cards from A Smyth Co., many of which have hilarious messages and adorable graphics. I’m so happy to be part of such a great ensemble!
Images of all of the cards are included below. Many hours were logged on these cards, and I had a blast working on them. Big thanks again to Amy and John Smyth for giving me the opportunity to draw countless bears, dogs, mice, hippos, tigers, badgers, elephants, many more familiar animals and a few made-up ones, not to mention several hats, musical instruments, wheeled conveyances, and lots of hand-drawn type. I hope lots of awesome card shops, boutiques and other cool retailers snatch these up soon (if you are interested in ordering, please visit the A Smyth Co website)!
I recently finished working on a couple of very fun illustrations for the University of Minnesota’s latest campaign, which centered on a theme of light. For my part of the campaign, I illustrated two scenes that tied in with research done at the University. The scenes were then printed onto window clings and installed in glass walkways, giving the general effect of stained glass. It was a fun challenge to create something that had a little more of a “stained-glass-y” look than my usual work, which meant some heavier, more angular lines and more intense colors.
The first of these pieces has been installed at the Minneapolis airport concourse, and tells the story of how researches at the University developed a way to create fertilizer using wind turbines. The illustration features a farm scene with rolling hills (which is now familiar scenery to me here in England!), with a windmill showering the fields with its sciency goodness and making them lush and green. That’s not how the technology works in real life, but we get to be metaphoric in the illustrated world! Below are images of the art on its own, and how it looks installed at the airport (click on the images to see them larger). Huge thanks to Doreen Hoff and Janay Blazejewski at Olson in Minneapolis who were a true delight to work with! Someday soon I’ll share the other illustration and how it looks installed in downtown Minneapolis!
It’s time to share with you the third installment of Denise Swanson’s Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery novel covers: Dead Between the Lines! As always it was a pleasure to work on this book cover with AD Mimi Bark at Penguin Group. This time around the mystery involves gardening, so it was fun working all of the gardening supplies into the background of this image. I will look forward to reading the book when it comes out in March 2014!
First, I apologize for my long absence from the blogosphere! For the last several months I’ve been working on two big projects which have kept me from doing much else. One was a big move — to England! My husband landed a two-year post-doc at Durham University in the North East of England, so we sold our condo in Chicago, packed up our belongings, ourselves and our dog Logan, and flew across the Atlantic to start a new chapter of our lives in the UK. It was a big project, but now I’m working from a lovely new studio space on the second floor of our house with a view out the window of rolling hills and sheep.
The other big project I’ve been working on is a line of greeting cards! It’s long been a goal of mine to illustrate greeting cards, stationery, gift wrap and the like, and I’ve finally gotten the chance to work on greeting cards for A Smyth Co., a card wholesaler owned by Amy and John Smyth. I’m so excited to be given the chance to create tons of illustrations of whimsical animals and hand-drawn typography in bright, fun colors. The full line is still being worked on, and the cards won’t be in stores until 2014, but I wanted to give you a taste of them here — I hope you enjoy!