Today is a day of new things: new illustration, new website, and fun new career goals! Wait, what?! I’m getting ahead of myself, let me explain!
First– my new illustration, Spotted! A girl who rescues an injured pegasus must keep it hidden from the world that won’t understand its existence? This is totally one of my 12 year old self’s fantasies. Straight from the heart, for sure! This piece is meant to be a cover for a mock middle grade novel of my own invention showing us a tense moment when the girl’s pegasus is spotted!
Second– new website? Why yes, you're on it right now! Awhile back, I had some technical issues with my old illustration website (you remember JoieArt.net, right?) and I had to take it down, redirecting the URL to my comics website. Now that my comic site’s hosting plan is up for renewal, I decided to move hosts, relaunch my illustration website and consolidate everything on here! Make sure to change your bookmarks!
Third– over my career thus far I’ve worked in a lot of industries simultaneously including table top games, theme park design, animation, and primarily comics. Diversification is the name of the game when you’re a freelancer!
I’ve been wanting to reinvigorate the illustration side of my business for awhile now, and children’s literature has always appealed to me. When I found out about Middle Grade* publishing, I got extremely excited and wondered if it was something I could do, too. In my research so far, I’ve found quite a few all ages comics artists that I admire cross over into the line of Middle Grade illustration, and I think that’s got a lot to do with both industries having similar topics and art styles. Plus, I’ve had no less than three art friends/colleagues practically hit me over the head telling me to try it– so now it’s a new goal of mine to work toward!
Since this goal takes me into uncharted waters (for me), I have a ton of research to do! I’m excited though, because doing illustrations like this hits a nostalgic nerve that is hard to describe. My time between the ages of 9 and 13 is precious to me, as it was when my imagination was free to roam and my creativity was at an all time high. I’d love to recapture some of those moments in illustrations, and perhaps inspire a “Me too!” moment in my audience as well.
So that said, there’ll be more illustrations like this popping up soon! I’ve got another one that’s almost finished, and quite a few more in the planning stages. Additionally, I’m going to the SCBWI conference this weekend here in Los Angeles and it promises to be an amazing time. I’ll be sure to blog about my experience there later!
*Middle grade is a term for books that typically are targeted at kids ages 9-12, give or take