Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog Tour

Luc and I was invited by Sarita Rich, a talented writer/illustrator, receiver of NESCBWI Ann Barrow Scholarship, and a good friend of ours, to join a blog tour of artist/writers this week. We both have been classmates with Sarita at RISD's Children's Book courses.

For her beautiful works, please check out her website at:

What are we working on now?

Luc and I are in the process of final polishing for possibly our first book together "What's Your Color of Winter?", a imaginative picture book that challenge the young readers to redefine their choice of color for Winter. The book dummies are made in March for submissions, with most of the illustrations completed. Now since we've had a positive feedback from one publisher (Yay!!!), I thought we'd better revise and do the final touch before sending it out.

 Dummy Book Sketch

the Colored Dummy Book 

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

Just like we are born to look different, there is no exactly two same personal styles in between artists. Sometimes maybe a bit similar, but more or less their careful audience will discover the subtle variations.

Plus, Luc and myself are Chinese. We never worry about not being All jokes aside, there is a different culture that we grew up with hence we have our distinctive ways to perceive this world, and to portray it with our own angles & tools.

Why do I write what I do?

Luc: Honestly I never thought of trying to be a writer for children's book. It all started from a request by my wife Roya. She was hoping that one day she could give illustrations for a story I wrote. I felt thankful that my wife didn't choose "chapter book illustration" instead, as you could imagine how dreadful it must be for a non-native to write anything longer than our home address.

Even though, it requires much more than you think to compose an adequate text for children's picture book. It was late October and I forced myself several days by the desk to write. Something came out but wasn't natural enough. One evening on my way driving home, the brisk air and the warm glow of each windows stroke my inspiration up. After return home, I spent ten minutes writing the first draft of "What's Your Color of Winter?"

It was almost perfect. I showed it to Roya and she loved it immediately, just the response I wanted to be. I know my wife LOVES Christmas, and we both are sensitive about the colors. I am still glad that I could write something that my wife is eager to illustrate.

How does your writing/illustrating process work?

I loved the text immediately when Luc brought it to me. Those words made my mind wander and I became anxious to put them into my illustrations. I made a rough storyboard sketch pretty early ago. By then I was taking Ms. Judith Moffatt's Portfolio class and she asked to have two pieces with unusual viewing angles/perspectives. I couldn't wait to choose two scenes from this story and put them into full color.

I prefer to make a storyboard beforehand no matter what. It is helpful for me to control the pacing. I follow my gut for page layout, so what you see on the storyboard draft will likely be on the final lining. I use charcoal pencil for outlining then scan the image onto computer. I use computer to do the color composition and final illustration. In my personal opinion, this is the most time-consuming part of the whole process, as I debate myself constantly for a better color solution.  Usually when I suffer like that, Luc smiles at me, sipping coffee.

We have to give credits to Ms. Cheryl Noll and her class of Making of Book Dummy, and of course my lovely peers in the class, for making this picture book of what it is now. From text to pictures, a surgery had been done by all of us together. Thanks to the continuous brainstorming, critiquing, suggesting & helping by my teacher and my classmates, I could pass those opinions to Luc so that we could perfect it. When the class was done, the book was almost there.

Story Board

sketch line by charcoal pencil

color comps


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Some Illustrator Assignments

I organized  my computer yesterday and found some Illustrator vector assignments from last semester. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Illustration Friday Lately

July 15, 2013 
Illustration Friday,this week's topic is "Travel" 8"x10" pastel on blue card paper

July 10, 2013
Illustration Friday, this week's topic is "Protest"

This is a simple one. I am still seeking for the right brush to express more texture not too "digital". Luc just told me he liked this style. So maybe I will do more.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

11 pages are done by watercolor.

I Just finished this 11pages before the deadline. All by watercolor.
Finally I can have a little rest with my hubby, yeah!!

waterproof Ink line and watercolor step by step 

Ready to send out! Accomplishing work makes me so happy and relieved!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dream Guardian.

Finally finished this project! This sculpture named Dream Guardian is for a Hong Kong toy figure design contest. I was really surprised when I got the notification of being selected to the final! 
Figure design in 2D- 360'demonstration.
and...done! A transition from 2D to 3D was a challenge after I knew I had the opportunity to the final.

I am showing all the process below.

2D part:
Ok, Let's talk from the motive. My inspiration came from Melanie. She was my Muse.
When Luc and I went to Melanie's restaurant one day, I remembered her birthday was coming, so I drew a little Melanie lying on an owl's back, since she's absolutly an owl fan.
Luc was fond of this picture very much. And when he suggested me writing OWLstanding Birthday below instead of Happy Birthday, I thought he was a genius.

The other day when I had no idea participating the toy design contest, Luc said to me :"why not try it with the one you did for Melanie? it worked for me."

With some dubitation, I started doing some adjustments fitting the requirements of the design contest.

Here is one of the six-side design pictures, from pencil-lined to colored.

3D part:
Actually, this seemingly small & easy figure consumed me gobs of time.
After several times of selective shop-around, I confirmed the materials. A foam globe from Waltmart,cork coaster from IKEA, some galvanized wire and clay.  I took many photos for the process,so let's "Show, not Tell".

first modeling

owl's plume.
scary process of making little person...

ready to bake!(excited)

painful conclusion of the first bake.
Maybe I should choose the lower temperature or less bake time.

fixed with more clay to the second bake

Acrylic color attempt

Oops..face detailed depict and more texture and deco

Finished! working photo.^_^
Luc took it for me as a souvenir.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Illustration Friday

Topic: Urban

Topic: Storm

Topic: Myth

Illustration Friday is a weekly creative outlet/participatory art exhibit for illustrators & artists of all skill levels. A new topic is posted each Friday and you have one week to draw, paint or doodle your interpretation.