Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Answer to the Riddle

Remember this piece? I wrote about it here.  I feel like anyone who bought this print at The Calgary Expo has now had ample opportunity to decipher it, and so it's time to post the answer.

'I speak a language with two characters. To understand me, you have to ask what time it is.'

That's the riddle written at the bottom of the image. The language with only two characters is binary, which is made up of 1's and 0's. What time is it? If you write down the times on the clocks from left to right, top to bottom, keeping in mind that you only want 1's and 0's, you get this:


That last one is a bit tricky to figure out, since '00' doesn't show up on an analogue clock, but since 12:11 has a '2' and there are no 2's in binary, 00 is the alternative way to think about that time.

011110010111100101100011 translated from binary into english is yyc, which is the airport code for Calgary. The hidden message in the image is 'Calgary'.

Smorgasbook 2015

Last Tuesday I was thrilled to participate in Smorgasbook, an event put on by the Young Alberta Book Society. I presented both Bye, Bye, Butterflies! and Charlie's Dirt Day to local teachers and librarians. It was my first time doing an even like that but it won't be my last. I had a wonderful time meeting and chatting with the teachers and librarians, as well as with the other participating authors. Alberta has some really great literary talent. I left the event feeling so inspired and eager to read middle grade and young adult novels. I'm really excited to be part of this community and hope to do more events in the future.

Thanks to everyone who bought my books for their schools and libraries, and to everyone who has made inquiries since. It felt great to get so much positive feed back :)

Here are some of the other authors who were in attendance. Check out their books!

Carolyn Fisher
Karen Bass
Bill Bunn
Deborah F. Miller
Shirlee Smith Matheson
Cora Taylor
Lois Donovan
David Poulsen
Trina St. Jean

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Allow Me To Introduce Baby Cthulhu

The fourth and final print in my Horror Collection is my take on H.P. Lovecraft's character, Cthulhu. You can see the rest of this series HERE and HERE.

They will all be available at the Calgary Expo, which starts today :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Another New Print!

My portrait of Edward Gorey is the third print from my 'Horror Collection,' which I'll be selling this weekend at the Calgary Expo. You can see the first 2 portraits HERE.

I'm a big fan of Edward Gorey and own several of his illustrated books. I didn't realize it until this morning, but today is actually the 15th anniversary of his death.

I also managed to finish a 4th portrait for this series, which I'll unveil tomorrow :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Edward Gorey Sketch

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Meet Boris and Natasha

Two more new prints for the Calgary Expo. I think they'd look cute in white frames, hanging side by side.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Art Prints!

Here are the finished portraits of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. Both prints will be available at the Calgary Expo.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Hidden Message Within the Image

This was my submission for the Calgary Expo's art book. The theme was 'Adventures in Time' and my very smart husband came up with the idea of doing an image with a hidden message. We decided to use clocks because of the 'time' part of the theme and the 'adventure' was in solving the riddle and deciphering the code. I was pretty excited about the piece because it's a departure from my usual work. And I love collaborating with my husband. He's very creative and has unique ideas. 

Sadly, my submission didn't make the cut and won't be in the Calgary Expo Art Book, but I worked really hard on it and I think it's a cool piece. I also thought it would look interesting hanging on a wall so I'm having some prints made that will be available to purchase at the Calgary Expo. I'm hoping that some of the expo attendees will appreciate the thought and subtleties in this image. 

For anyone who's wondering about the riddle, I'm going to wait until after the expo to reveal the answer so that anyone who purchases the print has a chance to figure it out.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Calgary Expo, April 16-19, 2015

I'll be at the Calgary expo again this year, at table D 07 in the small press section.  I'll be selling the same prints, buttons and books as I have in the past, plus some new additions. I've added stickers, a limited run of canvas bags and some new prints to our inventory. I've also brought in a lot of copies of Charlie's Dirt Day for anyone who would like to pick one up and get it signed :)

We're excited once again to be right next to fellow picture book illustrator Mike Boldt, forming the unofficial children's book section. My friend and amazing comic artist/writer, Aaron Navrady, will also be just around the corner from my table and I highly suggest that people stop to check out his beautiful, history-inspired work.

See you at the expo!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Review of Charlie's Dirt Day

This review of Charlie's Dirt Day was in the March 7th edition of the Calgary Herald.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


At the beginning of February, my family and I went on a little trip down south to Arizona. It was the first real trip that we've taken since moving back to Canada from Europe four years ago. Arizona wasn't even a place I was very interested in visiting, but there was a conference there that my husband wanted to attend so we decided to turn it into our first family vacation as a threesome. It also coincided with the ten year anniversary of when my husband and I started dating.

It had been quite cold in Calgary before we left so the break from that alone was welcomed. The weather was actually perfect down there. Hot, but not so hot that we were always sweaty and tired. We spent most of our time just walking around Phoenix and Scottsdale exploring the neighbourhoods and enjoying south-western cuisine.

While my husband was at the conference, FĂ©lix and I went swimming (his first time), checked out some galleries, went for walks and hung out in parks. I drew in my sketchbook while he napped in the stroller. It wasn't the most exciting vacation, but it was so enjoyable and relaxing to just get away and be with my family without thinking about all the stuff on my to-do list.

I hadn't anticipated that our plane would fly right over the Grand Canyon, but it did and I got the most perfect arial view. Such an unexpected treat. It's so cool how the desert just splits open. From the sky, it looked like a wound in the earth, and it was so much bigger and more amazing than I imagined. I was really impressed. It was also really neat to see how the landscapes changed. We flew over several terrains that were all really different from one another. I even saw the line where the snow started once we got closer to home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

two great interviews

I wanted to share these 2 illustrator interviews that I recently read and enjoyed.

The first one was with Carson Ellis on the blog, Picturebook Makers. Her first picture book that she's both written and illustrated, Home, is coming out this month. The entire post was really inspiring, but I especially found myself relating to what she said about "contributing something worthwhile to an already massive heap of brilliant books." As someone who aspires to one day write my own books, I think about that a lot.

The other interview was with Chris Silas Neal on Inky Goodness. Again, I really enjoyed the entire post, but it's what he said about his upcoming picture book, Everyone, that really inspired me:

"Everyone is a book about a boy and his feelings. Through visual metaphors I describe how expressing our feelings affects our surroundings and how the world reflects those feelings back at us. When you are sad, it may feel like you’re the only one who has ever been sad, but we learn that you are not alone. The world feels it too. So when you are happy, it makes the world happy."

What a great and unique idea! I can't wait to read it and see how he turned a concept like that into a book for children.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

the good stuff from 2014

I'm a little late on this post. I initially wasn't going to bother with it because I couldn't think of a lot of things to include. I usually focus my energy on building my illustration business, but in 2014 most of my energy went into growing a baby and then caring for him. Although extremely satisfying, it made for a short list :)

I have been thinking about this for the past month and a half though, and this is what I've come up with. The good stuff from 2014:

• illustrated my second trade picture book

• celebrated 7 years of marriage to my husband

• went on one little vacation to the Rocky mountains

• painted our house dark grey with creamy white trim

• planted an awesome vegetable garden

• had at least 6 visits with my mom who lives 9 hours away

• helped my husband start his own business

• learned how to be a bookkeeper

• perfected my thai red curry

• experienced being pregnant

• experienced giving birth

• became a mother - definitely the big highlight from this year and along with it came good stuff like baby snuggles, baby smiles and baby laughter