Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Well 2008 just flew by!!! 2009 should be a good year if I stick to some of my resolutions which includes getting a gig that I can be happy to boast about (like a book cough cough). I have been keeping myself pretty busy through Christmas, mostly painting and making presents for clients, family, and friends. Most of them were dog portraits, which I hope to add a link to on my website. I also created a wall plaque for my sister who is a hair stylist which was a lot of fun and something different. I definitely would not say that sculpting is one of my strongest points by any means so I rarely take an opportunity to "play" with sculpey and acrylics. I molded hair dresser supplies to spell out her name....can you see what it says???? Well everyone have a Happy New Year, and here's to sticking to resolutions in 2009!!!

Don't forget if anyone is interested in having a personal painted portrait of their favorite pet or child that I am open for business!!! I will be soon to post these examples and hopefully others on my website along with rates!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Online Interview

I am this month's member spotlight on the website for the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles!! View it here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Shop!

I just opened up a shop at Cafe Press. I included a link on my website so now everyone may buy little trinkets, coffee mugs, and T-Shirts with my art work on them! I'll be working on it for the next few weeks and adding more art work to the site so people can shop for more goodies!Link

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Postcard!

I decided to use my latest paintings for my new postcard. I was having trouble fitting the spider illustration on the back so that I would have room for the address labels, a stamp, and the post office bar codes, so I decided to do what I wanted anyway and then just have to use an envelope.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NJ SCBWI Illustrator's Day

I was able to go to an Illustrator's Day in Princeton yesterday. My favorite part was having my most recent piece critiqued by other members in the field and by Patrick Collins, art director for Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. I am pretty happy with the results and the reaction Patrick had to my piece. I was also given the opportunity to have Laurent Linn give me a in depth portfolio critique. He was so helpful and pointed out what was good and bad about almost every piece I had. I really know what I have to work on now and have a clear vision of what I need to do when I create new pieces so I can slowly work on weeding out the weaker pieces. I also loved that I was able to browse through other members portfolios. I recognized some work through and am so happy I was able to meet their maker! I saw many familiar faces from previous conferences and love how everyone is just so friendly! Overall a wonderful day and I can not wait until the next one. I give major props to Leeza Hernandez for making this all happen! Here is my finished assignment. I also brought the preliminary sketches I had posted a few posts ago.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloweeeenn!!!

Trick or Treat!
One of my favorite Holidays!!

I love seeing all the fun and creative costumes at my front door!

This is my little Zoey, she has a few costumes. She has been a witch in the past which I took here with my cell phone, but this year she is a pirate.

Friday, October 24, 2008

SCBWI Conference Assignment

So I was going to wait until I was finished with these paintings to post anything but I am really excited about it and can not wait. I am going to the NJ SCBWI Illustrator's Conference next month and everyone had a choice of manuscripts to pick a double paged spread to do. I sent in my original ideas to Patrick Collins, the art director for Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and with his comments I revised my sketches, almost completely and am so happy with the result. I am currently working on both paintings now and bring in the finished pieces for a critique at the conference. Here is my original sketch and then beneath it the revised version which will be translated into paint. Yay can't wait for the conference!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I just finished a painting for a YA book cover!

Here is my finished painting for the YA fantasy Desert Magic. Cindy Davis and John Richters team up to create a young adult fantasy trilogy starring a 15 year old boy named Narle, his mysterious friend Laan and his favorite companion, a black horse called Storm. Adventure, magic, and beasts fill this desert air and Narle uses the power of his jade bracelet for protection.

This book will be published by LL Dreamspell and will be available online and in some bookstores. Hopefully I will be able to have some pull to have it carried in some of my own local bookstores as well.

On a side note talented illustrator Holli Conger is holding a Pumpkin Junkin' Contest. Use some of your favorite household "junk" to decorate your pumpkin. Prizes include original illustrations and signed prints by the illustrator herself!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some things are cookin'

I have a few prospects cookin' up, although it is too soon to speak of just yet. I also have a conference coming up soonish which I am excited about for the New Jersey Chapter of SCBWI. This is the first time that I will go to a conference and have to bring a preassigned illustration! I miss those critiques in college. It was so exciting to see that when given the same assignment, endless solutions may arise and in so many colors and styles! So stay tuned!! :)

P.S. Wonderful author/ illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba posted a very entertaining blog contest yesterday. She gave four spots from her various books illustrating her dog Bernie's many appearances in her stories and asked bloggers to figure out which spot came from what book. Well I won and I am going to get a signed copy of Paco and the Giant Chile Plant!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Specultation Cover

I painted this illustration as a speculation for a publisher. They asked for the cover in color and a sketch for one of the spreads. Well, they decided to go with a different artist....bummer:( Hopefully my day will come soon, I am just so antsy to get my first children's book with all the promos I send out and all. I just get so frustrated sometimes because everyone has different tastes, which I suppose is a good thing, except when one publisher says I am too cartoony and then another one says I should rely less on reference because they look too much like photos. And so continues the never ending battle of finding some happy medium between cartoon world and realism to please all.....

....I changed the title and also added a cute caterpillar for fun.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Character's Contest Winner's Issue Cover

I just completed the cover to what will be the contest's winners issue of Character's Magazine. I am excited to see it all printed up and I hope the kids will get a kick out of it!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Grape Border Mural

My mom has been asking me to paint her grapes in the kitchen, so I finally did it last week for her birthday. She liked it so much she wants me to paint more around the whole kitchen!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mini Golf Sculpts

Many times I am asked what it is I do for compensation while I am waiting for the next illustration assignment. I also freelance at a shop where I work with other artists to make mini golf course props. I mostly paint sculpts and murals, but sometimes I get to sculpt and paint my own creation. All our sculpts are made out of foam and then hardcoated to plastic for painting. I sculpted and painted this little penguin for a golf course in Paramus,NJ. He is hitchhiking. The turkeys I only painted. The punk rockers are entering a haunted ride about Thanksgiving and are suspicious of the fat turkey who has had quite a fright!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

NJ SCBWI Conference

I had such a great time at the conference. When I first walked in I registered and then went into the room where everyone was gathering for coffee and waiting for the faculty panel to start speaking. I sit at a table and see this woman flipping through a Sprouts magazine (the NJ Chapter issues out a magazine a few times a year) with my owl painting on the cover!!!! I later found out it was supposed to be a surprise and they announced my name during the intros and I stood and had everyone clap. I was just thinking to myself, what a great way to start your day! All day I felt like a celebrity with people congratulating me and asking about my art. It felt nice, I never had something like this happen to me, almost like winning a contest.

The rest of the conference went quite well. Author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen gave such a great workshop on how to pace your picture book and how to figure out where you need to cut down on text. She gave her "10 Commandments to a Picture Book Manuscript". That was just great. There were other workshops I attended on promotional pieces for illustrators, behind the scenes of making a book at the publishing house, making a book dummy, and picture book basics. All the information was so helpful. At lunch I sat at a table with 2 agents, 2 authors, and a self publisher. I learned quite a bit about self publishing where I previously was not fond of it and now I think it is just good for certain people, just not everyone. This woman says she published 12 books on her own and makes more money selling them in schools and book signings than she would have if she went through a publishing house. The most memorable thing she said was "Why are we putting our hearts and souls into perfecting a manuscript just to have some 28 year old yuppie with no kids tell us how it needs to be fixed. I finish a book and ask what the children and parents think, they are my advisers."

I had my portfolio critiqued by Patrick Collins, who I already knew was not fond of my work from doing a drop off last summer. Since I had not met him the first time he reviewed my portfolio it was interesting to see where he was coming from especially after I had added some new pieces the second time. He seemed to like my "Ice Cold Trouble" painting the best with the eskimo which interestingly I did after he critiqued me the first time. I also did something called speed pitching where I was put in a line and each of us had 2 minutes to talk to each of 3 editors/agents about our books and get their input. I pitched my "Finding Farah" story but I'm not so sure they were in love with my main character because he is a ferret. I bought some books, one by Sudipta and another by Eileen Spinelli. It was a great and eventful day and Princeton was the best and most beautiful place to hold this conference.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fundraiser for my Cousin

Yesterday I attended a fundraiser for my cousin. My aunt and uncle want to try a new oxygen treatment that they thought may help "wake up" parts of the brain to help with his cerebral palsy. I donated 2 prints ("Koala's Uggs" and "Boo Boo Bear") that were auctioned off as well as a personalized painting of your favorite pet which was raffled off. The woman who won the pet portrait was very excited and said she wanted me to do her son's dog. Overall it was a great turn out, many gift baskets were donated that were also raffled off. I am not sure how much was made in the end, but I hope my cousin made enough to forgo the treatment. I hope it will help him.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Newest painting to be published in the June/July 2008 issue 150 of New York Spirit Magazine...I still feel like it needs some touch ups before I add it to my portfolio...comments??
News and Updates from Christina Ann Rodriguez