Exciting News!!!


I am excited to announce that the book I have illustrated is now available on Amazon! “Santa’s Dilemma: To Eat or Not to Eat” written by Julie Wenzlick captures Santa’s struggles with sweets as he is placed on a diet. This rhyming tale is both very sweet and clever. It was tons of fun illustrating and I was very honored to be apart of its creation. Below is a sneak peek of a couple of pages. Books are available on Amazon and you can order by clicking here. ENJOY!

cover

SantasDilemma.indd

SantasDilemma.indd

 

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Inspired, and Illustrated with Love!


After a very busy summer I am taking a month to “beef” up my portfolio, catch my breath and do some projects that rejuvenate the creative juices. Nothing inspires me more than creating projects blending my two loves; Art, and FOOD!  If you have visited my blog before you will know that I love to illustrate recipes. I find the process relaxing, inspiring and truly enjoyable. I love sharing favorite recipes and illustrating them in such a way that entertains and inspires someone in the kitchen.

I am a HUGE fan of Rachael Ray’s and was inspired to illustrate two of her recipes. Try her Riggie recipe tonight and thank  me later! For more illustrated recipes click here.
Stay tuned for some exciting news… coming soon!!!
Be blessed❤
rachaels-riggies

rr-italian-pot-roast

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Illustration Friday- Tool


In 2010, and after many years of thought and prayers, I decided to stop teaching. In some ways it was a gut wrenching decision since I loved the students, staff, and my role within the teaching community. Yet, as much as I loved it, I continued to long to be home with our boys.

What also made things harder was a great need to pursue my dream of becoming an illustrator.  I wondered if I could do both or SHOULD do both… I fretted about not being successful and I fretted about becoming successful. If there was a worry to have; I had it. Yet after many prayers, conversations with my husband and family I felt a peace about at least giving it a whirl.

Shortly after I quit my job I drew the picture below for Illustration Friday. Much like I do today, I used their word for the week to inspire a drawing. Ironically, the word was “Adrift”. Knowing that I felt more than “adrift” and felt scared to my core, it was clear there was a joy in my new journey.

I spent today with the image on my desk and found myself taking moments to look at it as I worked. As I finished my to-do list for the day I knew that I needed to tackle another project, and that was re-draw the illustration. It was a fun and comical process. One where I found myself laughing out loud and saying, “Emily, what were you thinking when you chose that color? Giiiiirl, seriously…. your shading STINKS and what is with the dark outlines?!” I TRIED my best not to alter the placement of each object or person within the drawing (since they all had meaning at the time) but tried to just bring them up to date, a bit.🙂 As always, I loved playing around with the expressions, and lighting of the piece and was happy to see a new rendition emerge after I was done. This project was a great tool to practice what I have learned over the years (mostly by trial and error) and remind myself that I have grown as a person and artist. I still have a LONG way to go, but I continue to LOVE the journey!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!” Jeremiah 29:11

AFTER
“Adrift” 2016

Adrift 2016

BEFORE
“Adrift” 2010

adrift 2010

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My Art Studio


Other bloggers, illustrators and friends have asked over the last couple of weeks about my schedule and work space. Just the other day a client asked, “So where do you go to do your work? What inspires you? Is it hard to work at home when you have children?”

IMG_6115I have been blessed to have a space just for me where it is easy to be creative. For me, my art studio is a little creative haven that is full of inspiration and things that I love. It is full of  pictures of friends and family, notes from loved ones, quotes, my many art supplies, collections and artwork from my kiddos. What is showcased has deep meaning and makes this space extra special for me.

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My husband and I are both fortunate to be able to work from home and have our own rooms to call our own. When we first moved into our home we discussed sharing a workspace. I thought it would be cool to be able to draw beside him everyday while watching him do what he loves to do. This idea was short lived while we were reminded of the amount of art supplies I had, the amount of conference calls he made everyday and that we had different ideal working environments. Where he liked his workspace quiet, I always had to have either my television or radio on.  Thankfully, we have enough space within our house where we could create a corner for each of us.🙂

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Did I tell you that I have a lot of supplies?! No, seriously… it’s a problem. LOL! Every year I take some time and weed out what isn’t being used, has gone bad or just is taking up the most room. That being said, everything IS organized and has its own place. Where my hubby can work in a cluttered room, I CAN NOT! I often find myself focussed on the mess rather than the work that needs to be done and any inspiration that I had often gets lost in the mix. No bueno!
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It’s the little things ya’ll that brings me joy. I have a stack of children’s books that I have collected over the years of favorite authors and illustrators. These have been so helpful for the days I sit down to work and have no idea what to draw. Yes, it does happen… sometimes more than I would like to admit. Sometimes just the style in which they create something will inspire me to try something new or something within the storyline will spark a memory that is just screaming to be illustrated.

I also am a Van Gogh groupie. From as long as I can remember I have felt inspired by his work, passionate heart and love for his craft. I have Van Gogh quotes sprayed around the room, knick knacks and pictures of his that bring me joy.
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I also have a space where I have placed notes that I have received over the years from friends, family and clients. These little gems remind me why I do what I do, and the importance to continue to strive, challenge myself and grow as an illustrator.
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And what illustrator doesn’t have toys in their art studio!?🙂 For me, it is Pooh all the way. I have always loved this bear’s simple outlook on life, friendships and love for little things. Sometimes when I am having a hard time drawing from a child’s point of view I take some time to look through the books or play with the toys that I have collected. It is amazing how much this helps me to step outside of my adult head and begin seeing things from a child’s point of view.
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To answer my client’s question there are obstacles working from home. My biggest challenge since I started as an illustrator is balancing my time. I feel that this year I am closer to finding that balance as I have carved out certain times in the day to create. After the birth of our third son and figuring out his routine I began finding mine. I feel blessed to be able to be home, be with our boys and be available when things come up; like sick days. My time is very flexible and I have the ability to move around my schedule when needed. A great thing to have when you have little ones!

That is my art studio in a nutshell. For days that I need to mix it up a bit I work in the family room or in a favorite coffee shop. The majority of my time however is spent here and has truly become one of my favorite places to be. And to  think that this room hadn’t existed in the original floor plan of our house… The former owners added two additional rooms, this being one of them. When I remember this, I am tempted to find them and kiss their face.🙂

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Illustration Friday- Hat


Hat

Sometimes the best inspiration are those around you! This little gem was inspired last night while bathing our little Gerber baby. Such a fun moment with laughter that warms the soul!

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Illustration Friday- Mystery


Spinach Undercover

About a year ago my husband and I were talking about spinach (riveting topic, I know…). During our conversation, our oldest interrupts and declares that he hates spinach. (Keep in mind the darling hadn’t knowingly ever tried it.) I was curious why he had such strong feelings and his response was “Mom, it’s green! I don’t have to try it to know I don’t like it!” (Someone missed the moral in Green Eggs and Ham)

So, for the next two weeks, I secretly began to add spinach to things to see what his response would be. Little did my pint-sized food critic know, that he was devouring spinach on a daily basis without turning up his nose or complaining. It was truly comical. After a successful two weeks he came to me and asked if I could make him his favorite smoothie for breakfast. I knew this would be a great time to tell him of my secret mission and had him grab the ingredients out of the refrigerator. He fumbled as he grabbed all the ingredients and placed them on the counter. I placed the ingredients in the blender and right before I pushed start I said, “OH I almost forgot! Can you grab the spinach?” His face was PRICELESS y’all! It was a mixture of shock, disgust, and confusion and all  he could sputter was “Whaaaat?”! I lost it! Completely and utterly laughed until tears rolled down my face.

Just today he asked for a smoothie and asked if we had spinach to add to it… yes, spinach! This week’s topic and his request inspired me to share his favorite recipes with all of you as well as boast just a bit.🙂 It was a surely a MOM-WIN!

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Illustration Friday- Smart


Smart

“Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are.” – anonymous

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