I HEART ART Illustrator Studio Tour

I've been riding a total buzz for the last few days because of SCBWI Western Washington's I HEART ART Illustrator Studio Tour that I attended and helped with this past Saturday. Thirty lucky-duckies including myself got to travel around to 4 awesome illustrator's studios and see how they work.

The amazing Laura McGee Kvasnosky organized the whole thing and I was an even luckier ducky because I got to help with some of the behind the scenes planning. Laura is one of the most amazing and generous artists I know. It was a treat to work with her.

There were so many wonderful things about the day, it's hard to choose what to say about it. I thought maybe I'd just say my three favorite things about each studio:

Julie Paschkis's studio:
1. Her amazing house and studio were like a gallery! I loved the mosaics, the way she painted her piano and all of the incredible art she had around her house.
2. She did a paper cutting demo for us. My heart beats faster when amazing artists start cutting paper.
3. She has a book coming out soon about Antoni Gaudi and I am about to go to Barcelona! She had the F&G out in her studio. It looks like an incredible book. I LOVE Gaudi and I think Julie's illustrations are a perfect fit for a book about him. What a treat for me to see them. She also lent me some of her Barcelona guidebooks and had advice about restaurants to go to in Barcelona. WOW! Thanks, Julie.

Kathleen Kemly's Studio:
1. All of her tracing paper sketches, storyboards and drawings. Fantastic!
2. The originals she had scattered all around the studio. This was an inspiring part of the day in each studio: seeing the originals from all the artists was such a treat.
3. I liked the story she told about one of her books. A writer who is also in her critique group had gotten her first book contract. Yay! Then a few months later, Kathleen was asked to illustrate the book. The publisher had no idea that the writer and Kathleen knew each other, let alone that they were in the same critique group. They handled everything very professionally though and it was a fun serendipitous match.

Nina Laden's Studio:
1. Again, I loved seeing Nina's originals. Especially some collages from Roberto, The Insect Archetect, which is a book I oogle over. I also loved seeing the way she boxed up her work for shipping. This was very useful to me and I could see myself using a similar method with my own work.
2. She did a demo using acryla-gouache. Awesome! I wanna try...
3. Her studio is so cute and cozy. I especially like her thinking loft.

Laura McGee Kvasnosky's Studio:
1. Laura did an awesome demo of the wash technique she uses in her work. I loved watching the black ink wash away to reveal a little illustration.
2. Laura had my art sample on her wall! Which made me feel all warm and cozy inside.
3. I love the border on Laura's backsplash that's made of old typeface. She also has an amazing typeface coffee table in her house.

AND THE PARTY (we had a fabulous and fun after-party at Laura's):

1. Yay for crafty time with other artists! I had helped Laura gather supplies for making valentines and it was fun to see them put to use. I also loved crafting around my fellow illustrators. And I especially loved seeing all their valentines hanging from a clothesline in Laura's living room.
2. Yummy treats! Annie Gage, our SCBWI WWA amazing food lady, brought amazing food for us to eat. Chocolate. Cookies. Yummy things! Oh and Jaime Temairik brought some of her famous cupcakes. Delicious.
3. Seeing everyone so happy after a great day. I loved seeing and hearing reactions to the studio tour. I felt like my face was stuck in smile-mode for hours after I had left.

Thanks everyone for a wonderful, inspirational and fun day.

P.S. You can check out more photos from the day on this shutterfly page.