Next New Picture Book: Grandmother’s Visit

I am very excited to share that my next picture book GRANDMOTHER’S VISIT will be released by Groundwood Books in September!!! I dropped by their office today to take some photos and doodle video today! Book launch party will be collaborated with the author Betty Quan on September 16 (Sunday) from 4pm to 6pm at Another Story Bookstore,Toronto.

SCBWI Canada East - Art of Story Conference 2017

I spent my weekend in Montreal to attend SCBWI Canada East Conference, it was a pretty intensive but inspiring event. I learned a lot from the illustration group critique with Giuseppe Castellano, it was also a wonderful opportunity to meet up my fellow illustrators and authors for sharing experience and struggles.

We had portfolio showcase on Friday night during the "Meet and Greet Party", we were invited to vote for our favourite portfolio. It was my honour to be chosen for the "Exceptional Portfolio". I brought back a simple print and a box of candy award, but it means the world to me! It is such a great encouragement to motivate me to make more good art for children!

I also signed up for an one on one portfolio review. Do you know it needs lot of courage to take this step out? I was assigned to meet with Giuseppe for the review, I was happy but super nervous! It turned out a great talk with him, I was so happy that he likes my works! He asked me to leave him postcards to bring back with him and share with his team! I do not know what will lead to in the future, but having his positive feedback and confirmation do mean so much to me!

It was only a 2 days conference, but what I gained will give me a long lasting impact for sure!

 

Jump Up & Down for Max and Sasha

My husband and I have owned two lovely Tonkinese cats, their names are Max and Sasha. They are two brothers from the same litter. Unfortunately they both have diagnosed lymphoma cancer in last December. Their life expectancy is from few weeks to few months, I know I am going to loose both of them soon. I am spending some good quality time with them and make sure they live as healthy as possible. In the meanwhile, I started drawing them in stories to recap all the memory they have brought to my life. The one below was my first attempt, I am happy to continue to draw their fun silly things. It is very comforting when I draw them out, I hope you do enjoy reading it too~

Max (left with darker hair colour) and Sasha (right with lighter hair colour). Picture was taken on their 12th years old birthday on June 2016.

Max (left with darker hair colour) and Sasha (right with lighter hair colour). Picture was taken on their 12th years old birthday on June 2016.

They alway like to cuddle together in a heart shape~

They alway like to cuddle together in a heart shape~

New Editorial Illustration for Chirp Magazine~

I recently finished an editorial illustration “Take A Trip – A Pancake Festival” for Chirp Magazine on the January / February issue. It takes young readers travelling to the winter pancake festival in Russian. It was so FUN to finish this commissioned project!

New Children's Colouring and Activities Book

YAY!!! I am so excited showing you my new book that I illustrated last Fall for Running Press Book Publishing. The first copy just came in mail today! It is a colouring and activities book about "SPACE" for children age 7 to 10. There are 4 big posters to colour, plus games and puzzles etc.

It is my first time illustrating a book about spacecraft, astronauts and solar system. I meant in a fun way that appeals to kids. The most complicated and challenging images are two robots "Curiosity" and "Opportunity" which landed on Mars. Especially when drawing the space is about a place I have never been! :D Compare with my pervious book projects about all the cute babies and animals, this is a very different but interesting project.

I was always told that one of the most important skills of being an illustrator is problem solving. I totally agree with this. Every book project has different voices, for different readers and age groups. There is also about the business side that my art has to be sellable, to be appealing to buyers, readers and outstanding from bookshelf. I am not saying that this is all my job, it is certainly a team work between the artist, the writer and the publisher. As an illustrator I aware my art takes a big part of it, so I keep on learning each day to make nice art!

Thank you for my agent and her team connected me and Running Press Publishing. It is so nice working with their senior designer, with her help and art direction this project made so much fun!

"Space" will be coming in June 2016. You can find more detail info about the book here. I made a quick video for now, and I am looking forward to share more art from the inside pages in the near future. Stay tuned~ :)

Make Art That Sells Part B

YAY! I just finished the 5 weeks Make Art That Sells (MATS) Part B. It was a very intensive online course, I went through so much ups and downs emotionally in order to learn and to finish every assignment each week. But it was also a very fruitful experience. I was very fortunate that all of my assignments were selected in Lilla's weekly review, so I can get some feedback from her specifically. She gave us "check box" for what to be considered a good design for a particular market. It helps a lot for me to keep on growing in the future.

I am sharing what I have done in the past 5 weeks. What you see is my final submissions, what you don't see such as tones of my mini sketches, hand written notes, my frustrations and excitements, lot of friendship and support from other fellow artists, and many exchanged information in our Facebook group! Every part of them does count to make my course more memorable and meaningful.

Week 1: Paper Products

 

Week 2: Children's Apparel Market

Week 3: Scrapbooking Products

Week 4: Editorial & Publishing

Week 5: Party Paper Products