Friday, November 1, 2013

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,


  1. Thanks. You've posted some of my favorite essential links.
    I thought I'd add #Twoodle, brainchild of Alicia Padron. Random words are tweeted during the week (usually last-minute, on Tuesday) and participants tweet their sketch combining several of these words on Twoodle Wednesday. No sign-ups, just random creativity.

    1. Forgot about Twoodle, thanks for the recommendation Joanne!