Right before my daughter’s arrival in April, I wrapped up the third Ruby Starr illustrated novel. These are really cute books and so fun to illustrate Ruby’s wild daydreams! The publisher decided to change the branding a bit with book #2, but we figured out how to create a cohesive look without changing the first cover. All 3 are on sale now!
Love to the victims of yesterday’s tragedy and their families, love to our hurting city, love to its Jewish community, love to my Jewish friends near and far, love to all who are victims of hate, racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia in this broken society of ours. It’s so hard to know what to do or say at a time when we are all struggling to make sense of such horrific acts, and wanting to comfort those suffering. Kindness, compassion and empathy for one another is a start. We all need to keep our hearts and doors open to those in need, and especially to those who are different than us. Practice tolerance and acceptance everyday, and teach it to our children. Reject hateful rhetoric. And, elect strong leaders at local and top levels who will guide us with morality rather than enable and encourage hatred, division, and extremism. We must put love into action to see change and erase hate. ❤️
Things have been a little quiet in my studio for the last few months because we welcomed a sweet baby girl into our lives this spring, so I spent the summer soaking in new baby snuggles! But I'm back into my new groove in the studio, working on a few client projects and trying to getting back into some personal work. This was a fun little piece I put together after being inspired by the Motion Commotion animation screening at ICON10 in Detroit this past summer. I’ve long been interested in seeing my work in motion, so finally carved out some time to take a stab at it. The illustration was painted in gouache, animated in Photoshop, and inspired by how much I have grown as a person and an artist since becoming a mom!
(*NOTE, there is sound on the video!)
I had a really fun chance this week to share "My Little Lovebug" live on air at Good Day PA, Harrisburg's local noon news show. They included a little chat with me on their "Author Spotlight" feature and we talked about how I got into children's illustration and how to personalized this sweet little picture book. Here's a link to the short clip, as well as a few photos from the interview. Thanks to the great PR team at I See Me! Books for arranging this very cool opportunity!
So thrilled to finally be able to share my first illustrated picture book! Published by I See Me! Books, “My Little Lovebug” is a super sweet little book that can be personalized with a child’s name and photos. This was a dream project for me—I got to create all the art and hand lettering, and work with a truly wonderful creative team. Plus, getting to create such love-filled imagery with my son and new baby-to-be in mind made it extra special.
Here's a few of my favorite spreads from the book, and photos of a personalized sample including photo uploads. Check it out on the I See Me! website, along with the coordinating set of notecards. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it makes a special gift for the little lovebugs in your life! 💕
I was thrilled to get to work with Jenny at Andrews McMeel on another Women's Wit calendar. This is the 3rd consecutive year I've had this fun opportunity to create the cover and interior art for this fun, witty mini desk calendar. Available now, and great idea for holiday gifts!
I recently worked with the fabulous creative team at Avanti Press on some new designs for their A*Press greeting card line. I love the effects they used in production — glitter, foil & embossing—to really give these cards an extra special punch!
I was thrilled to work with the talented team (and bonus, friends and former colleagues!) at Sterling Books on this quirky and fun all-you-need guide to being an awesome baby sitter. Chocked full of tips, insights, and advice on everything baby, it couldn't have come at a more appropriate time—shortly after returning to my studio as a new mom! The full-color interior included more than 50 illustrations by your truly, and the designer, Heather Kelly, did a fab job designing the whole package.
I just finished up a poster for a "Tea Party" and dessert tasting event for one of Pittsburgh's premier restaurants, Spoon. Dan, Director at Field General Agency, called on me with an Alice in Wonderland concept and lots of creative freedom—so I knew this would be a super fun project! With a lot of content to fit, I limited the imagery and made the lettering the focus for a more graphic approach.
I'd love to attend this event— the menu sounds delicious! :)
I feel like we've just settled in from our last move, but it's already time to pack up again! However, I'm thrilled to say that this should be the last move for quite awhile....my husband and I bought our first house! It's an incredibly exciting (though chaotic!) time and we are very happy to say goodbye to apartment life and finally have a space to really make our own. Of course I used the opportunity to create this illustration for a moving announcement, to share our new address with family & friends.
One of the first projects I got offered as I returned from my maternity leave last summer was to illustrate & design the cover for a fun middle-grade novel for one of my favorite publishing clients, Sourcebooks. They also asked me to create the black & white interior illustrations, which made for a great project to get back in the saddle with! It's my first fully illustrated novel, and the first in a 3-book series.
The story follows the highly imaginative (and hilarious!) Ruby Starr as she navigates all the important 4th grade issues—new friends, fitting in, and of course lots of drama! Her wild imagination helps her escape...but also sometimes gets her into trouble! The manuscript called for some really fun imagery that's a little out of my usual repertoire—unicorns, ogres, princesses and pickles! It was fun to push myself into some new subject matter, and I loved having the opportunity to really get into the character's head and envision all the fantasy imagery.
This is the first in the series of Ruby Starr's adventures is set to pub this summer and available for pre-order now!
I've been busy with some exciting new book projects over the last few months, so it's been awhile since I've had time to work on a personal piece. But, inspired by my extra special little valentine this year, I pulled out my gouache and had some fun with this image. Hope everyone had a love-filled day!
Rounding out 2016 with a fun editorial job for Metro Detroit Weddings magazine. The article is about the timeline for all the various celebrations leading up to the big day, and called for 4 fun spot illustrations—the engagement party, the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, and a calendar for planning dates.
I was thrilled to work with the great folks at Harvard Magazine again on a colorful typographic illustration for the current Nov/Dec issue. The article explores the connections between health and happiness, and the online edition can be found here.
This summer was such a whirlwind, it's hard to fathom that Fall is already here—and that I've been in the process of writing this post for weeks! The past few months have been filled with some pretty big & exciting life changes for me, and spare time has been non-existent. In July, after almost 13 years in New York City, I returned to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA with my family. Anyone in who has lived in NYC knows there is truly no other place like it. It had become home to me; I celebrated life's biggest milestones and made many of my dearest, truest friends there. I love the city with all my heart, and it was very hard to leave. But the time had come to move on to a new chapter, one where I can afford a home to raise my children and have family support close by. So, my husband and I packed up our apartment, our dog, and our (then) 4 month-old son, and headed to the 'Burgh.
Pittsburgh has undergone tons of change and revitalization in the nearly 20 years since I had been gone. It feels like a very different city than when I grew up. There's more emphasis on it's cultural scene, and a vibrant creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit have transformed many of its wonderful neighborhoods. And, there's a whole foodie culture here that I can't wait to check out! Yet, it still has the same friendly, down-to-earth vibe that I knew growing up and that I missed a lot during all the years I lived in New York. We've settled into a neighborhood on the north shore of the city and have been having a great time getting reacquainted with this town. It feels great to be back home!
Moving itself was at least 10 times more stressful with an infant, and something I would never, ever recommend. But, in hindsight it's all been worth it, as we're much happier in our new big, bright, (and much more affordable!) apartment after a year in the cramped, dark basement apartment that we left in Brooklyn. It's amazing what fresh air, natural light, and a little open space will do to improve one's outlook—even our pup has a pep back in his step!
Of course, the biggest change has been adjusting to life with a baby! Each day brings a new slew of amazing, difficult, precious, frustrating, and wonderful moments—sometimes all simultaneously. I'm learning how to take it all one day at a time; trying to embrace the great days and remind myself that the bad ones won't last forever. And while I continue to navigate the wonderful craziness of motherhood, I'm also figuring out how to be a work-at-home mom. I returned from my maternity leave a few months ago and began to take projects just as the dust from our move was beginning to settle. So many women have to choose between career and staying home to raise their babies, so I feel lucky that I can have best of both worlds by continuing to do work that I love while I still being with my son every single day. But that comes with it's own set of very difficult challenges, and it's been harder than I thought. Each day is a balancing act and the unpredictability of a baby's schedule combined with the unpredictability of freelancing usually leaves me feeling like a hamster running endlessly in a wheel, never catching up in work or in life. I'm still very much figuring out my bandwidth and how to balance things while staying at least a little sane—I try to take pride in the little successes each day, no matter how small. (Like celebrating getting laundry done, cooking dinner, or responding to even one email in my overflowing inbox!)
These changes have all been huge and crazy and fast—but, they have all been wonderful and brought an incredible amount of happiness and joy into my life. Slowly but surely I'm adjusting to this new life and starting to get back on my career horse. I've recently wrapped up some new exciting projects - some advertising work, a few magazine pieces, and even my first fully illustrated middle grade novel! I can't wait to share things as they're published in the upcoming weeks and months. I also plan to add some new custom invitation and stationery work to my site soon. So, thanks for following along, and reading this very long update! :) Please stay tuned!
I've been MIA a bit lately—but for good reason...My husband and I welcomed a sweet baby boy into our lives in March! He is perfect and we are just smitten with him!
It's been quite a journey, from the pregnancy to these past few months of major sleep deprivation. But we couldn't be happier!
My first "project" once I got back into the studio, was of course a hand-lettered birth announcement! Photography by the talented Abby Cope.
I'm enjoying a fun summer of baby snuggles and lots of exciting firsts as we watch him grow. I've also recently gotten back into my studio with some fun illustration & lettering projects—and looking forward to picking up speed with lots more fun work on the horizon. Stay tuned for updates!
I recently worked with talented AD, Laura Lyn DiSiena, at Simon & Schuster on this fun illustrated middle-grade cover. The story is about how one tween girl's little white lies to keep up with her BFFs can spin out of control...and cause a lot of drama! I loved getting into the fun characters, hand-lettering, and fun little icons pulled from details in the story. Pubs this fall, but available to order now!!
I had the really fun opportunity to work with Andrew's McMeel again, on their 2017 "Women's Wit" calendar. It's a really fun mini-desk calendar with quirky quotes from inspiring women for everyday of the year. Like the 2016 calendar I illustrated, this project included cover art with hand-lettering and 6 spot illustrations and background for the interior. So great to work with Jenny and the Andrew's McMeel team again!