Thursday, January 25, 2018

My Motto for 2018

I woke up one morning in this new year with a very concrete thought in my mind:

Respect Your Creativity. Give it the Time it Deserves.

Isn’t that nice? 

This year I am making more time for myself to do the things that fill me up: sketching, knitting, walking, inking, reading, painting, baking, writing, gardening, thinking…

My hope is that giving myself more time to be creative will result in many good things including, but not limited to, brand-new ideas and new ways of looking at old ideas.

2018 is the year I debut as author and illustrator, the year I am going to finish the scarf I started knitting last July, and the year I am going to truly give my creativity the time it deserves.

p.s. This post was also shared over at the Epic18 blog. I am honored to be sharing this publication year with such an amazing group of authors and illustrators! Be sure to check their books out! 

p.p.s. I finished the scarf I was working on and started a new one! yay!

Friday, December 1, 2017


I wonder if my husband would notice if there were a few more pugs around here???

Happy December! Just finished up another music book yesterday so I'm loving that sweet feeling of wrapping up a project. I have a few other things that I'm going to get back to now, so that is pretty fun. My art group got together this week and one of the gals was talking about making a list of the things you've accomplished this year and goals for the next. I hadn't ever thought about looking back on what I'd done, I'm usually too busy trudging forward. Here goes:

Posted every other Friday for The Sketchables
Volunteered as a field trip illustrator with the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute
Turned in the final artwork for The Three Little Pugs
Illustrated 3 piano music books for The FJH Music Company 
Created a piece of art for the 2018 Bookmark Literary Calendar
Updated my website and portfolio with some new art
Donated a piece of art to The Plum Creek Online Auction
Volunteered for and attended the MNSCBWI Annual Conference
Sent out a new postcard (it had been a while!)
Participated in Inktober 2017
Revised a dummy and sent it to my agent
Went to a local writing retreat in August and one in PA in November
Working on writing and sketching new ideas 
PLUS keeping up with my teenagers, pets, husband, family, friends :)

That is a nice list! I feel kind of proud of myself now. Now I need to make a few goals for myself for the New Year (need to let that percolate for a bit).  I hope that you feel proud of yourself when you reflect on the past year, it isn't always easy being a human and things get away from us sometimes... Best wishes to you as we roll into the New Year! xoxo
Gordy and Jilly on the lake this summer

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back To School

The kids went back to school yesterday. Our summer was a good one. We went on a fun family road trip and got some stuff done around the house that we have been meaning to do for ages.

The list of things I'd like to accomplish now that school has started is long and I am eager to tackle it! I have a little piece of art to make for the Bookmark Literary 2018 calendar, an illustration to finish for an intensive at the MNSCBWI Annual Conference, a handful of commissions to work on, and am working on sketches for a board book dummy that I am expanding into a picture book dummy.

If you are looking for a fun family event, hope to see you at the Minnesota Children's Book Festival. I'll have a shift in the "So, You Want To Be An Illustrator" tent drawing with the kiddies (my friend, Stephen Shaskan, will be there, too). It is a really great festival with non-book things, too, like raptors, Bug Guys, and marble games. Check out the author/illustrator lineup, it's top notch!

Oh, and be sure to visit the Plum Creek Online Auction to bid on artwork by children's book illustrators (including three little pugs). The auction opens on September 17th.

Looking forward to the Q & Ray launch party this Saturday at the Red Balloon! Hope that all is well with you, thanks for stopping by!

Happy reading, writing, drawing, and back-to-schooling!

Friday, June 2, 2017


SUPER excited to see my sweet friend Gina Perry's book, small, front-and-center in the little bee books booth at BEA! Be sure to get a copy when it comes out this August! Gina was kind enough to point out that my new book, The Three Little Pugs, is at BEA, too (lower right)! The kind folks at little bee sent me a closer-up photo of the folded & gathered copy of the pugs:
This was the best surprise ever.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Happy to report that I have seen what the book jacket and interiors are going to look like for The Three Little Pugs and it looks really nice! The official pub date is March 6, 2018.
I'm currently working on another piano music book and am almost done with the sketches. This book is going to feature some busy ants, a penguin and fox duo, and even a hammerhead shark!
While I am not the best at remembering to blog here, I still post every other week at The Sketchables and pretty regularly on instagram.
Did you know that we have a bunny? His name is Pickles and he is the cutest. Gordy has been keeping a pretty close eye on him.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Blobby Holidays

My friend, Jean, loves bats. We have been calling each other BLOB since high school. Hopefully this all makes sense now... ;)
Best wishes to you for a happy holiday season and a most excellent new year xoxo

Friday, November 4, 2016


(early Nina art)
Ten years ago I attended my first kid book conference. Today I am revising my own picture book that will be published in 2018. A lot can happen in ten years. Keep drawing, keep writing, never give up.