Wow, I can’t believe it. I just found another box in front of my door. It’s like Christmas. It contained fresh of the press copies of two books I finished illustrating just a few months ago: “Rain Forest Food Chains” and “Desert Food Chains”. I have never had the luck of working on a book and seeing it published so quickly after I deliver finals – I like it!

What makes these two books very special to me is, one: that they are printed really nicely. They are hard cover and the outside feels velvety smooth to the touch. It’s a joy just touching them.

And two: I feel over the past year I have made a huge jump in my capabilities as an illustrator. As you work and grow as an artist, one will find that for a long time, you’ll just truck along and learn and try and what you do is OK, but you see so many flaws and often you just can’t figure out how to fix them.
I have done many illustrations in the past, that were accepted and also liked by the people that had commissioned them and I still knew I could and should have done better.
Over the past year though, something shifted and things started clicking. All of a sudden I saw my finished illustration in my head before I even started with color, I felt more confident about color choices, as well as relying less on reference photos, my edges have become softer and I have a better understanding of where to show less and how to direct the focus.
It is funny that you get all of this taught in art school and for some of us it still takes years to sink in.

I am hoping to still go far beyond my wildest dreams in my journey as an illustrator.¬†These two books are somehow the culmination of my efforts in the children’s book market for me, for now – hurray!

At this point, I have to say a big “Thank YOU” to Will Terry, a fellow illustrator, who’s is also an amazing teacher, writer and so many other things. Through one of his online classes at Folio Academy, I got turned on to using a textured brush in Photoshop. I love using my textured brush. It really helps me in giving my illustrations a more hand painted look – which I really like.

Thanks, Will!