Monday, November 23, 2009

SCBWI and More!!














I went to the SCBWI Conference and had a blast!! I was able to work hands on in a small group with the amazing and award winning illustrator EB Lewis. He gave much insight to the career of illustrating children's books. He showed us much inspiration and how creativity can be viewed in the every day life. One thing he did say that was interesting was that you are not considered to be an expert in your craft until you have put forth 10,000 hours practicing it. That would take about 10 years if you never once put down your brush. He was so knowledgeable and motivating I couldn't wait to go home and paint again!

I also met with Christine Tugeau who is an agent at her own agency. She gave me some helpful tips with my portfolio and some advice for my new forth coming picture book. I also met with Donna Mark, the art director of Bloomsbury Press who was very helpful in showing me my strengths and what I should focus working more on in future paintings.

I can also officially say that I will be illustrating a bilingual picture book written by Judith Ortiz Cofer. Our book will be out Spring 2011 and is being published with Arte P├║blico Press! Yay!! I am super excited and will definitely have my work cut out for me since this is my first book. This was the preliminary concept I sent into them in order to get the contract. I will have to make a few changes to the characters. Stay tuned!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lots of Good News!!


My Zoey portrait will make it's next tour stop at the Holy Family School of Lakewood, NJ for their Tricky Tray Gift Auction on November 8th. I will be donating a custom portrait of the winner's pet. Tickets are being sold now. If you would like a chance to win one of my hand painted pet portraits please stop by the school. The address is Holy Family School 1141 East County Line Road
Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 or visit the website for more information.



On a side note I am pleased to say I will be signing my first picture book contract next week!! Woo Hoo!! I can finally say I am officially a children's book illustrator!! Can I get a WOOT WOOT!! ;o) More info on that to come!



I also very excited about an upcoming SCBWI illustrator's conference in November in which I will be working with award winning illustrator E.B. Lewis in a critique. I will also get a chance to have a private portfolio review with Donna Mark, art director for Bloomsbury Children's Books. I will be bringing with me the finished version of this sketch that goes along with a manuscript given to me by E.B. in which I was assigned to choose a double page spread for the story to illustrate for a critique. I am very happy to be taking out the scary little boy looking through the magnifying glass as a suggestion from E.B. so I can focus more on these fun frogs.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vote for me to be the next WRAT Rock Girl!!!


So I tried out to be the next wrat rock girl.....I made it to the final 32 contestants now I need you to vote for me!!! This will be great exposure for me since I will get a chance to talk on the air, be interviewed in magazines and meet bands. What could be a better way to get my name out there to tell people about my art and represent my home turf on the radio?? So Please vote for me!!

http://www.wrat.com/Default.aspx?tabid=993

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Color Me: Bathing Elephant


Print and color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Postcard!..and Color Me: Pelicans Fishing

Finally a new postcard! I just ordered it today. I tried out a new company 48HourPrint so I hope they come out nice!!! I was able to get rounded corners which I am also excited about!! If you noticed I also reversed the painting for the front of the postcard. It helped the over all flow and design so I think it was a clever choice to have the car headed towards the right corner.
Here it is:
Front:

















Back:




















Print and color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Want to learn more about Pelicans?? Just click here. Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Alice In Wonderland Trailer!!!

Watch it here!!! http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=60963677

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Elder Magic Book Cover Finished!!... and some other stuff


The third and final painting for Cindy Davis and John Richters' Elder Magic, Book three of the Desert Magic Trilogy is now finished! The second book just came out to purchase, so this one will be out sometime this Winter. You can read more about the trilogy at the Desert Magic website here. You can read the first two books Healing Magic and Stolen Magic by purchasing them at Amazon!


Some of the fun of being an illustrator is the anticipation and waiting for certain books to hit the shelves and finally get a chance to peek at the beautiful cover art that was selected by the publishers. A while ago I blogged about doing some speculation work for Raven Tree Press for a picture book. They asked a number of other illustrators as well as myself to send in cover art and a sketch for one of the spreads after sending us a manuscript. After finding out I wasn't selected I had to wait almost a year to see the cover art and artist that was finally chosen for the picture book. Here it is! Seed Was Planted will be out this September and was beautifully illustrated by Pamela Barcita. Congratulations!!

Color Me: Hungry Puffin


Do you know where Puffins live or what they like to eat? Learn more about the Puffin at National Geographic Kids Creature Feature, just click here. Print and color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stolen Magic now Available on Amazon!!


Buy it here !

A young mage and his healer friend must recover a stolen Node of magical power. Obsessed with becoming the most powerful magician in the world, the insufferable Eklet returns to Worlton to steal the town's Node of power. In the process, he discovers a hidden storehouse of ancient spells. Determined to possess everything, including the bracelet of Dorea, he hires marauders to do his dirty work. Only the young mage Narle and his healer friend Laan have the means to stop Eklet. But they are distracted by the arrival of the beauteous Josella, a mage in training. She manages to dazzle Narle and alienate Laan, before finally joining forces with Eklet. Can Narle and Laan put aside their differences to foil Eklet's plot and save Worlton?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Color Me: Hedgehog

Did you know you can have a hedgehog as a pet? Want to learn more about these funny prickly animals? Click here. Print and color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Color Me: Leopard


Print and color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Color Me: Hungry Grizzly

Print and color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Color Me: Panda

Print and color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Color Me: Snorkeling

Print and color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Color Me: Dog Tricks


Our little puppy Brody is getting big fast and we are trying to teach him some new tricks! He hasn't been quite able to balance a doggy bone on his nose, but I think he will get the hang of it! Color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Color Me: 4th of July!


Did everyone have a wonderful Fourth of July?? I hope you had as much fun watching the fireworks as I did! Color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Color Me: Sunbathing Frog

I know I can't wait for this! Color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Color Me: Father's Day!!




What is everyone getting their dad for Father's Day? Color in this coloring page for Dad and then send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Piggy Wiglet Edited


Here is Piggy Wiglet fixed up a little bit. I added more back to mama cow which I do think helps lead your eye right to Piggy. I put a hill at the bottom of the barn so that the perspective looks like your looking up at the hill. Piggy's back leg has a little bit more curve, and I also lightened up the grass. I think it looks better. What does everyone else think?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Color Me: Bunny's Ribbon!

Color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NJ SCBWI Conference: Day 2

Day 2 of the Conference was such a great and informative packed day! I ate breakfast with some familiar faces and talked to some fellow illustrators. We shared portfolios and traded postcards. We listened to a panel discussion Q and A while we sipped our coffees.

I then continued my day and went to an agent panel discussion workshop and listened to what some of the agents had to say about querying and telling a good story. A lot of it dealt more with the writer's end which was interesting since that is a whole other item of exploration. The agents all agreed they were looking for stories with a good combination of narrative and conversation. I learned that a whole scene to a story will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Go to the library and look at books to know your market, talk to librarians, and tell a story in your postcard!

I also attended Leeza Hernandez's Inspiration workshop. She said dress creative, it makes you feel better about yourself and enables you to work better. She also led us through some fun activities to get creative and brainstorm new illustration ideas. One key element is to take yourself back to a specific time in your childhood and remember the smells, the way things looked, the people you were with, and how you felt in a particular situation. This will help you to draw the inner child within and spark some great illustration ideas!

I attended another workshop that led us to develop ideas for successful school visits and how this can play a key role on the income of an author or an illustrator. Sudipta Bardhan as always gave a wonderful lecture on rhythm and rhyme shared some guidelines she follows to create a successful picture book manuscript. She said with picture book texts becoming shorter and shorter, one should aim at a 650 max word count and to include no more than one stanza per page.

I also had a portfolio critique with Scott Piehl of Disney Book Group. He offered me a lot of advice to improve my work and gave me some pointers when diving into future illustrations. The day closed off with some raffle giveaways and I am pleased to say I won two prizes!!! One was a pack of 5 autographed picture books and another was an early reader chapter book with an original piece of artwork from the book! Phew what a day! I am also happy to say I made some important contacts and had some important people show interest in my work that will hopefully lead to some future good news.........so yay!! (stay tuned!!)

I highly recommend going to any SCBWI event, especially NJ. The staff of fellow authors and illustrators went above and beyond to provide valuable information and priceless connections for people in or pursuing the children's book industry.

Friday, June 5, 2009

NJ SCBWI Conference: Day 1: Illustrator's Intensive Workshop with Tim Gillner

Today was a very fun filled day as I arrived on the Princeton Theological Seminary Campus this rainy morning for our illustrator's intensive workshop. I finally was able to officially meet two members from my critique group, wonderful ladies Penny Weber and Deb Cuneo. We split off into 2 groups of 10 for our critique. I was in Tim Gillner's group of Boyds Mill Press. Everyone brought with them a preassigned illustration in which we were given the opportunity to submit a sketch to the art director and have him make comments before bringing in the final art to the conference. I chose the story Piggy Wiglet, a manuscript about a little piggy who decides he is going to leave his pen, go out the barn, and into the city in an attempt to catch the sun. This is my first sketch for submission.
Afterwards I received these comments from Tim:
" Hi Christina,
Nice sketch,
I love the expressions on the cows. I am having a problem with the goose. It seems to be lost up there and it seems to be too far away from the text. I am not sure what to do here. Here are a couple thoughts which may or may not work.
1. Move the barn to the left into the valley to isolate the goose and move the piggy a little to the right.
Or
2. See attached PDF. I just moved these around. you may have to change position and direction. This is just to give you an idea. ------------->


3. Leave as is.
You can do another sketch and send it to me or just make the correction when you do the final. It is up to you.

Best,
Tim

After reviewing these comments I then went along to the final deciding to take his advice from the PDF he had played around with.

It was finally my turn for a critique as I waited with anticipation second from last. Tim said "that it actually turned out a lot better than I thought it was going to be from the sketch" in which I responded "Thanks......I think". I smiled though because I knew this was a good thing for my finished piece! The grass may be too dark Tim said but can easily be fixed in photoshop. A few fellow illustrators also commented that perhaps I can add in a grass hill at the bottom of the barn to give it more of a rolling hills feel. Also a nice suggestion was that perhaps if the cows back is continued to the edge than it would take away that negative space in the upper left corner and, in turn drag your eye closer to the pig. (You can cover the upper left corner with your thumb and squint one eye to understand what I mean.)

I also learned some very valuable information such as it is always a good question to ask a publisher if your book will be using "perfect binding" in which they glue the spine of your book and you actually lose 3/16 " so it is wise in this case to add more illustration room to the gutter. Additionally, interactive websites are not always a good idea since the art director wants to just get to your work as soon as possible since their time is precious. This also includes seperating your portfolio into educational, picture book, and advertising categories so they can use their time more efficiently to see the types of portfolio pieces they would be interested in. Also the Highlights Foundation offers two workshops for illustrators in which you can apply for a scholarship to attend!

I then had a lovely lunch and was able to sit with a number of illustrators from critique group and was also able to have a little group chat with Scott Piehl of Disney's Group for Young Readers. I was also able to see my good college friend and fellow illustrator Olga Levitskiy.

The rest of the day was packed with wonderful presentations and inspirational speeches by Newbury Award Winner Richard Peck and award winning illustrator of 48 picture books E.B. Lewis. He explained when an artist struggles to find their voice and said "the artist is never supposed to be aware of their style- someone else comes in and recognizes the work. We are just producing." He also explained the difference between an illustrator and a fine artist. He said, " the illustrator is solving someone else's problem and a fine artist is solving a philosophical question for themself." I also admired his remark that "artists are the critical thinkers of society."

Overall is an informative, fun filled day and I can't wait to go back and see what's in store for tomorrow!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Painting!!

The Chase


I just finished this piece and hope to use it for a self promotional post card. Tomorrow is the NJ Scbwi Conference in Princeton and hopefully get some feedback from art directors Tim Gillner of Boyds Mills Press and Scott Piehl of Disney's Group for young readers. I also have another painting I just finished as an assignment for tomorrow but will post more on that later after my critique!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Color Me: Alligator and Squirrel Painting


Color in this coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Color Me: Orangutan

Color in this Orangutan coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Color Me: Kangaroo Reading


Color in this Kangaroo Reading coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pet Portraits at Paws and Pose



I just finished another pet portrait, this time of my shih tzu Zoey. It will be hanging in the pet boutique Paws and Pose located in Pier Village in Long Branch, NJ. The store is kind enough to let me hang my painting in order to refer customers wishing to have a personalized painted pet portrait. The store does a great deal of work in photography but occasionally someone will come by and wish to have a memento of a deceased loved one. To see this painting in person please visit the shop.

If you wish to have a pet portrait of your own, you need not live in NJ! All I need you to do is email a nice selection of photos to me of your pet. A good photo would be where your pet is taking up most of the picture plane. (See photos I took of Zoey below.) If you don't have a photo of the exact pose or setting you wish to have your pet portrait in, no need to worry I have creative versatility and can work around these things to make a painting you'll be pleased to hang on your wall! The pricing varies from sizing, number of pets in a painting, what you wish to have in the background, etc. Email me at mail@crodillustration to get an estimate. Each painting would take at least two weeks if not longer depending on scheduling and how busy I am with any other projects at the time. I also do children!



You would be very lucky to get one perfect picture of your pet, so sometimes it is easiest to combine 2 or more images to get the perfect reference. For the painting of Zoey I used the body from the photo on the left and the head from the photo on the right.

Color Me: Rhino

Color in this Rhino coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My New lil Pup Brody!



He's just so cute I had to post this...

Color Me: Cinco De Mayo Mariachi Band

Did everyone have a great Cinco De Mayo? I hope you had your fill of burritos, tacos, and quesadillas! Ever wonder the true meaning of the Mexican holiday? Find out here .
Can you find 3 things wrong with this picture? Color in this silly Mariachi Band coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

VSS: Interview with Joe Weatherly


The VSS is proud to announce an Sam Kirkman's illustrator interview with Joe Weatherly http://vsschat.blogspot.com

Joe's recent publications include the Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals
and some of his clients include Dreamworks Feature Animation, Universal Studios, Laguna College of Art and Design, and The Academy of Art in San Francisco.



We hope you enjoy the interview and you can learn some interesting things about this amazing and talented illustrator
Take a moment to look through all of the great children’s art at
The Visual Storytellers Studio



What are you waiting for...check it out!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Color Me: Walrus


Color in this Walrus coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Color Me: Lollipop Elephant

Color in this Lollipop Elephant coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Color Me: Duck in Puddle



While some of us are singing "rain rain go away..." others are opening up their umbrellas to splash in the puddles! Color in this Duck in Puddle coloring page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here.

Stolen Magic Book Cover


Recently I finished Stolen Magic's book cover. This will be the second book of the Desert Magic Trilogy by Cindy Davis and John Richters. Need to catch up on your reading? Hurry and buy the first book, Healing Magic so you can be ready when Stolen Magic hits stores!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bonus Color Me: Easter Egg Hunt Activity!!!

Can you find the Easter Bunny's 12 hidden Eggs?Color and find the hidden Easter eggs on this Activity Page and send it to me at mail@crodillustration.com as a jpeg or pdf and I'll post it on my blog! Happy Coloring!! For more Coloring pages click here. Happy Easter!!
News and Updates from Christina Ann Rodriguez