Sunday, September 22, 2013

Illustration Intensive - Intensely Amazing

Illustration intensives are relatively newish and I am so grateful. The purpose of the intensive is to bring you back to art school (only the knowledgeable professor is replaced with a savvy and important art director).

So at this year's Midsouth Fall Conference we were privileged to have the fabulous Ms. Loraine Joyner, a Senior Art Director from Peachtree Publishers. We picked from three delightful stories (that are either published or almost published from Peachtree), and these were the spreads we came up with to illustrate a portion of the text for the story.

We were lucky that Ms. Joyner was articulate, critical, while being very nurturing when giving her critiques. And I have to say that the Midsouth needs to pat itself on the back again because we were told by Ms. Joyner that the Midsouth has "…an amazing level of talent."

And here's proof:
Illustrated by Maureen O'Brian 
Illustrated by Kris Sexton
Illustrated by Danaye Shiplette
Illustrated by Mary Uhles

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Three Steps To A Successful Portfolio featuring the Midsouth Illustrators

Midsouth illustrators Susan Eaddy and Mary Uhles created this video explaining how to put together a successful portfolio for the children's illustration market. It features the work of numerous talented artists in Tennessee and Kentucky and proves that while they can all illustrate a children's book, Picasso probably couldn't. 

Getting started putting your work together? Watch this video for some good advice.

Monday, May 13, 2013

@ Nashville Public Library: From Good Ideas to Finished Pieces

This month five Midsouth illustrator members were psyched to be included in a show at the Nashville Public Library's Main Branch displaying their illustration process from start to finish.

In the Nashville area? Here's a teaser of the display but it looks much cooler up close and personal in the beautiful downtown library.

Not in Nashville? Check out these talented artists' websites and blogs. After doing that you'll definitely want to make a special pilgrimage to Nashville just to visit the library before the end of May.

Susan Eaddy sets up her clay creations from Papa Fish's Lullaby:
See her website,, and blog and youtube channel.

Mary Uhles shows off her piece for the May/June issue of Ladybug Magazine. See her website, and read more about her process here.

Cheryl Mendenhall really gives a behind-the-scenes look at her process by even displaying some of the tools she uses to create her illustrations. They're digital but you'd never guess without the Wacom tablet to give it away! See her agent's page here.

Doug Jones' great sense of humor is on display in this cute Easy Reader about a lost space alien, Once Upon A Planet. See his other cool cartoons at his website, and his blog.

Kris Sexton rounds out the pack with these awesome clay dinosaurs, models created for her picture book, Five Huge Dinosaurs. See more of her watercolor and Illustrator creations at her site,

All five of us were incredibly grateful to SCBWI, Susan Eaddy, Kristin Tubb and the Nashville Public Library for letting us share a peek into what goes on in the life of an illustrator. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Beyond the Grave - my cover process

Have a look at the cover for the illustrated middle grade novel, Beyond The Grave, written by Dotti Enderle and published by Magic Wagon available September 3, 2013. It's a spooky adventure novel about two boys who decide a graveyard is the perfect place to work on a particular class project. I wrote a blog about my cover process here as well as some of the interior illustrations here and here.

Friday, March 29, 2013

SCBWI Midsouth illustrator featured on Tennessee Crossroads

Hey, everybody, our very own Susan Eaddy was recently featured on Tennessee Crossroads! She talked about and showed the steps involved in creating her wonderful clay illustrations. It was a great interview! If you missed it, here's a link to it: