Thursday, February 6, 2014

Postcard Chat tonight on Twitter

Looking forward to the #kidlitart chat on Twitter regarding postcard promotions. Here are my postcards to be reviewed. I look forward to seeing everyone's cards and hearing valuable feedback. Love this group!!! See you at 9!

More detailed information can be found of on Kidlitart Blog:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Year, New Traditions, Plans & Work

Happy (Belated) New Year! The beginning of the year is always so crazy with new client budgets more work and a lot of planning ahead. I have been learning a lot lately with books and online classes. The most recent lesson that I watched was Tom Bancroft's class through Taught by a Pro. The Class is called Intro to Character Design. It was wonderful!

I am also getting ready to purchase a couple of great classes on The School of Visual Story Telling. I really appreciate all of the resources out there, and have a few channels marked on youtube. Sycra, Will Terry, Open College of the Arts and Lynn Chapman. With the wonderful technology of apple TV and apps like Vimeo and Youtube already built in, I can now draw in the sketchbook or computer and watch or listen to lesson on the big screen. Sure beats the little 2x2 square in the top corner while you are trying to draw :)

In addition to learning I have been trying to grow more as an artist and incorporate more family time as well. We purchased a couple of the Art Lab books and with 52 labs in each book we have activities to play with every week of the year! The kids love it and even my husband can get involved as well!

Hope everyone has a wonderful 2014!
Dream Big & Follow Through... Kelli

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tomie dePaola Entry 2013: Sneeze

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - © Kelli Thrasher-Brooks - - - - - - - - - - - -

I finally put down the pen & watercolors & sent in my entry last week... I thought long and hard for a month or two about this composition, and in the past month the image really came to fruition. She had 3 different style pony tails until they made sense... the animals sitting at the table transformed from several different characters until they seemed to balance out and made me smile... and I went through several canvas boards and paint until I found the perfect hue and grain/texture to use as a foundation for this digital painting.

I originally created the Illustration for the 2013-2014 Tomie dePaola Award Competion, but it was more of a personal challenge for me, because I have been trying to add more narrative into my Illustrations since I got back from the Highlights Advanced Illustrator Workshop in August. It's a win for me no matter what the outcome is. I really appreciate and look forward to Tomie's challenges each year because they really get you to think outside the box a little and push you even further from your comfort level! Can't wait to see all of the creative submissions and interpretations of this poem!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

SkADaMo & PiBoIdMo Day #28

I feel like a kid at Christmas with anticipation of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, coffee by the fire and waiting to see how much snow has fallen. (Hoping for at least 6" but it's probably around 3-4" right now).

It's 1am now and since I can't sleep, this character came to mind when I started sketching and thinking about the 20 lb. bird that will feed all 12 of us tomorrow. A story began to evolve, even before the beginning lines of this character.

Hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, November 2, 2013

SkADaMo and PiBoIdMo Day 2

Spent the afternoon sketching more new characters and a Picture Book idea that my kids have been helping me develop. Decided to play around with watercolors and salt for cool effects. This is part of what I came up with...

- sent from iPhone

Friday, November 1, 2013

#SkADaMo and #PiBoIdMo: Day 1

I am excited that November is finally here! Without giving too much away, here is a sneak peek of a new character development that was created during my Sketch a Day and Picture Book idea. He is full of personality and suspense...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Kicking off November with a big ole' LINK-FEST

November 1st is finally here with SO many great personal challenges and ways to spark your creativity. I feel like a little kid at Christmas! It is also National Picture Book Month! This is my first year participating in PiBoIdMo & 2nd year for SkADaMo. (A lot of portfolio pieces were born during SkADaMo last year...)

There are several other personal challenges to look for throughout the year as well. Some have even continued for several months in a row like Doodle Day May & Illustration Friday.

Here is the breakdown & links for anyone interested:
• PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month, by Tara Lazar)
• SkADaMo (Sketch a Day Month by Linda Silvestri)
• Sweet Squares (Experimenting in a square, by Diandra Mae)
• Doodle Day May (Daily Doodle Prompts, by Alison Hertz)
• #Inktober (sketch a day in INK during October, by Jake Parker)
• Illustration Friday (word prompt each friday & links to many great Illustration Blogs!)

* * If you are participating in PiBoIdMo & SkADaMo at the same time Jenn Bower whipped up this fabulous WORKSHEET to help keep everything organized! * *

There are wonderful online classes out there all year long:
Chris Oatley Academy:
Chris Oatley generously offers a ton of great tips, and for $18 for 18 months, you can learn about great ways to paint digitally!

School of Visual Story Telling:
Many classes offered throughout the year by Jake Parker & Will Terry

How to become a Children's Book Illustrator: Mark Mitchell offers a wonderful class to help you get started in the industry

And another fun class I stumbled upon recently...
Koosje Koene: There are 2 classes offered- Just Draw it & Character Design

You can find more online classes at Folio Academy, Schoolism, Skillshare, & Nicole Classes.

There are SO many helpful resources out there, but here are just a few:
SCBWI has been such a blessing with workshops and conferences all over the US. They just updated their website too!

The Highlights Foundation has played a large role in my journey. There are workshops for Writers & Illustrators and also plenty of educational workshops for teachers as well! Worth the cost & a beautiful trip out to the Poconos.

Harold Underdown is a man of all resources! I refer to his website often to keep up with the kidlit world and changes in the industry.

Joanna Marple offers a wealth of knowledge each week & Debbie Ohi always keeps things cheerful while sharing her experiences! I also frequent the blogs of Kathy Temean, Julie Danielson at Seven Impossible Things, & Elizabeth Bird at Fuse 8.

My all-time favorite blog was created by the fabulous ladies over at Simply Messing About! I often refer to this page every time I need a refresher or to learn something new. They are all so talented and VERY generous in sharing their Illustration techniques and finds!

Monica Lee over at Smart Creative women is so cheerful & resourceful too. I love to listen to her inspiring interviews while I work sometimes...

Sorry this was so long winded, just wanted to share as many links as possible since there are so many resources out there. You may have already heard of all of these, but if not, I hope this helps.

* * If you know of any other great resources please comment below! * *

I leave you with this fun video created by the folks over at Book People Unite... their message is that One book can make a difference... So during November & all year long for that matter, never give up on reading books with your children, sketching a character that comes to your mind in the middle of the grocery store or typing up that manuscript even when you second guess yourself. These Monthly challenges are a great way to help plant seeds. These seeds may take years to grow, but with love, nurturing and a little wine... I mean water, they can become great things and hopefully impact the lives of many children for years to come!

Dream Big & Follow Through,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Illustrator Interview by Joanna Marple

I forgot to post this a few weeks ago, but as I was cleaning up my studio I thought that my blog would be a good place to share the interview. I'm very honored that Joanna asked to interview me & I LOVE stopping by her site each week to learn more about great books, Authors & Illustrators.


Make sure you visit Joanna's Blog often to see more great interviews and helpful articles!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#INKtober Day 1

I heard about a couple of sketch challenges this month and I have been needing a little extra push lately. INKtober was one of the challenges, and it sounded perfect! I love working with ink and lines. Jake Parker started INKtober as his own personal challenge and I decided to join along with many other Illustrators. Working in pen, sharpie or anything permanent forces you to give up the crutch of pencil sketches and commit to a drawing.

I used to always use ink in my drawings and loved the rush you get not being able to erase and go back when something sucks. You make different choices, your hand moves faster... with more confidence. I have personally grown fond of the pencil & digital pen over the years. I use them as my crutch because they are more forgiving and help me work out ideas (possibly even ruin good ideas, who knows). In order to grow though, you sometimes need to shake things up & push a little further... So on day #1 I grabbed my Moleskine sketchbook, a ballpoint pen & created this Octopus.

Looking forward to 30 more days of pushing in preparation for PiMoIdMo with Tara Lazar. And hopefully Diandra Mae will host another 30 day challenge as well.

Friday, August 23, 2013

New Dribbble Account

After a wonderful & resourceful #kidlitart chat last night on Twitter, I was re-introduced to Dribbble. I thought that I had signed up for an account back in January, but found out that you have to be invited from another member to start posting your artwork (or shots). Long story short recent pieces can now be viewed on my Dribble page. If you are a member as well please let me know.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search Entry:

I had the honor of participating in the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search this past month. We were given a detailed creative brief to create a Journal using the theme of "playground". It was such a fun experience, but I had a hard time shutting the brain down with just one product...

My mind (and sketchbook) quickly filled up with textile designs, clothing designs, stationery and giftware too. So many possibilities when you are given creative freedom to run with and some constructive guidelines.

I took my love of the Sea, Children's Book Illustration, Tropical Climates, Sailing & Apparel Design and put a little spin on the subject that was given to us. I came up with a bright & fun Journal that I personally would LOVE to have a copy of! (I'm a little bit of a journal collector, you can never have enough Journals!!) :) Can't wait to see how everyone interpreted the assignment and created Journals that reflected their own personalities & styles!!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Updates...

Well, I tried to switch the blog over to my website and it was much more involved than just clicking on my blogspot app & entering data, soooooo we're switching back over to this site again :)

It has been a busy couple of months... Consulting with the lovely Holli Conger for 8 weeks, Doodling the entire month of May with the wonderful group in Doodle Day May started by Alison Kipnis Hertz, and spending as much time as possible outside with the kids.

I have been working away for the past couple of months on projects like this one for Highlights: Which Way USA (Check & Double Check) and also building on old portfolio pieces, working with new mediums, drawing in the sketchbook daily & reading, reading, reading.

Still have a lot going on the rest of the summer and into fall. I'll be attending the Advanced Illustrator Workshop again this year at Highlights and hope to take Will Terry's class (if he offers it again in October) over at School of Visual Storytelling.

Hope everyone is having an amazing summer so far! And if you are looking for a little creative inspiration visit these 4 talented & generous ladies over on their blog Simply Messing About.

Cheers, Kelli

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Doodle Day May (Day 16-28)

Catching up on Doodle Day May...

Used 4 different iPad apps & limited each doodle to under a half hour ( some took only about 5 minutes) this has been a fun month of doodles!!! Thank again Alison for getting this exercise started!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Weekend Doodle

Still need to catch up on Doodle Day May, but decided to take a break from the computer & use raw materials like pen & ink, watercolors and pencil.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Doodle Day May (Day 8-15)

I have been posting these on the FB Group page, but have not posted them on here yet this week.

Day #8: Tree
Day #9: Critters
Day #10: One Continuous Line
Day #11: Give Me a Hand
Day #12: Mothers
Day #13: Through the Window
Day #14: Sun
Day #15: Heart

Monday, May 6, 2013

Doodle Day May (Day 6)

Today was inspired by the fabulous Derby Hat from the weekend. I skimmed through a couple of pictures and then tried to design my own hat & dress for today's doodle. Since this is only a doodle I could not add a detailed background so I used a textured paper background to imply action without spending more than my usual 20 minutes on the doodle.

Day #6: Hat

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Doodle Day May (Day 5)

Catching up a little on Doodles, still have a lot of work to complete this week but today's topic of "Flower" was perfect. I happened to be working on a project that called for adding more flowers. I could not put just any flowers in the photo because of the region, so I found these little beauties called the Arctic Lupin. They are just as beautiful open as they are in the form of a bud.

Day #5: Flower

Doodle Day May (Day 3 + 4)

Running a little behind today. Lots of deadlines lining up, and new rounds of revisions on a new project. We took a break from Gardening & working around the house to go explore Philadelphia today & stop by Greg Pizzoli's book launch party. His new book called The Watermelon Seed is fantastic! It hit's store shelves on May 14th.

So I sketched a couple of people in Rittenhouse Square Park. I could sit there for hours just people watching. The sketch for day 4 was inspired by the excitement in people's faces as they saw different Brides coming into the park for photographs.

Day #3: Circle
Day #4: Face