Sunday, February 22, 2015


At the beginning of February, my family and I went on a little trip down south to Arizona. It was the first real trip that we've taken since moving back to Canada from Europe four years ago. Arizona wasn't even a place I was very interested in visiting, but there was a conference there that my husband wanted to attend so we decided to turn it into our first family vacation as a threesome. It also coincided with the ten year anniversary of when my husband and I started dating.

It had been quite cold in Calgary before we left so the break from that alone was welcomed. The weather was actually perfect down there. Hot, but not so hot that we were always sweaty and tired. We spent most of our time just walking around Phoenix and Scottsdale exploring the neighbourhoods and enjoying south-western cuisine.

While my husband was at the conference, FĂ©lix and I went swimming (his first time), checked out some galleries, went for walks and hung out in parks. I drew in my sketchbook while he napped in the stroller. It wasn't the most exciting vacation, but it was so enjoyable and relaxing to just get away and be with my family without thinking about all the stuff on my to-do list.

I hadn't anticipated that our plane would fly right over the Grand Canyon, but it did and I got the most perfect arial view. Such an unexpected treat. It's so cool how the desert just splits open. From the sky, it looked like a wound in the earth, and it was so much bigger and more amazing than I imagined. I was really impressed. It was also really neat to see how the landscapes changed. We flew over several terrains that were all really different from one another. I even saw the line where the snow started once we got closer to home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

two great interviews

I wanted to share these 2 illustrator interviews that I recently read and enjoyed.

The first one was with Carson Ellis on the blog, Picturebook Makers. Her first picture book that she's both written and illustrated, Home, is coming out this month. The entire post was really inspiring, but I especially found myself relating to what she said about "contributing something worthwhile to an already massive heap of brilliant books." As someone who aspires to one day write my own books, I think about that a lot.

The other interview was with Chris Silas Neal on Inky Goodness. Again, I really enjoyed the entire post, but it's what he said about his upcoming picture book, Everyone, that really inspired me:

"Everyone is a book about a boy and his feelings. Through visual metaphors I describe how expressing our feelings affects our surroundings and how the world reflects those feelings back at us. When you are sad, it may feel like you’re the only one who has ever been sad, but we learn that you are not alone. The world feels it too. So when you are happy, it makes the world happy."

What a great and unique idea! I can't wait to read it and see how he turned a concept like that into a book for children.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

the good stuff from 2014

I'm a little late on this post. I initially wasn't going to bother with it because I couldn't think of a lot of things to include. I usually focus my energy on building my illustration business, but in 2014 most of my energy went into growing a baby and then caring for him. Although extremely satisfying, it made for a short list :)

I have been thinking about this for the past month and a half though, and this is what I've come up with. The good stuff from 2014:

• illustrated my second trade picture book

• celebrated 7 years of marriage to my husband

• went on one little vacation to the Rocky mountains

• painted our house dark grey with creamy white trim

• planted an awesome vegetable garden

• had at least 6 visits with my mom who lives 9 hours away

• helped my husband start his own business

• learned how to be a bookkeeper

• perfected my thai red curry

• experienced being pregnant

• experienced giving birth

• became a mother - definitely the big highlight from this year and along with it came good stuff like baby snuggles, baby smiles and baby laughter