Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Natural Resources: Water & Soil

The last few months have literally flown by! It's hard to believe I'm almost halfway finished with this book. Balancing work with baby sure does make every day zip by faster than I had ever imagined!
Chapter 2: Wonderful Water

Tiddaluk the Frog

Here are a few samples from Chapter 2 (Wonderful Water) and Chapter 3 (Super Soil). The biggest challenge for me was trying to draw that tarantula in the corner of the Super Soil Chapter Header. I'm pretty proud that I was able to do it, seeing as I have such a bad spider phobia I can barely smash a tiny house spider without having heart palpitations! Enjoy...

Chapter Three: Super Soil

Dangers of Water Pollution

Cycle of Pollution in the Soil

In other news, I am only a few weeks away from celebrating my little girl's first birthday!! I can hardly believe it. I am so lucky to have such support from family and friends who help out with my little monkey so I can work.  And when it's just the two of us... it's always a good time!

There has yet to be a "jail-break"... I feel it may be just a matter of time!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Natural Resources: Intro & Chapter One

Explore Natural Resources! 
Title Page

This new book is turning out to be a lot of fun. My main character, a little holstein calf, has really blossomed while working on the first few chapters. 

Chapter One: Amazing Air

His friends have also come out of the woodwork and everything is really coming together. 

Introduction to Natural Resources

I do have to put out a special shout-out to Grandma and Grandpa Lovercheck (my husband's parents) for coming through with lots of babysitting time. Emmy also has a new babysitter who has been coming over once a week so mommy can have a few hours of uninterrupted work time. Without this extra help I'm not sure how I would ever make a deadline... or keep my sanity!

So enjoy this little sneak peak of The Introduction and Chapter One of Explore Natural Resources! There will be much more to follow...!

Life with and without an atmosphere! 

Comparing the amount of Natural Resources used millions of years ago to a more recent time. 


Learning the importance of recycling! 

Non-renewable vs. renewable resources

Though I do have help with little Emmy there is plenty of time when it's just us girls in the studio. She loves being in her fancy play yard working on her own "personal project."

Not sure if I'll be able to contain this girl for much longer... 

Wish me luck...! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Explore Natural Resources Cover Art

It was certainly a tight squeeze getting the artwork done for the cover this time around with my new little helper, but I did it! (A special thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Keller who happen to be in town and had no issues doing a little babysitting.) I think this is going to be a fun book. It is very different from the Native American Book since it's not as cultural but more scientific.  Though "going green" is certainly a part of our current culture today - at least let's hope so!

I'm really starting to enjoy creating this type of digital illustration. I'm hoping to incorporate it into future projects at some point.  Enjoy this little sneak peak of the Explore Natural Resources cover artwork!

And for those of you work from home moms (aka WFHM) trying to figure it out like I am, I highly recommend the full size play yard! I'm pretty sure Emmy is enjoying it.

Well, see for yourself! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Back in the Saddle....

It seems like a only a moment ago I did my latest post, but it's been more like six months! I must apologize for my absence but these babies sure do take up a lot of time. During my hiatus I've been keeping busy in my sketchbook and trying to catch a few art shows, but mostly I've been enjoying being a mom.  However my status as stay at home mom will be changing to work at home mom now that I am doing another title in the Explore Your World Series with Nomad Press about Natural Resources.

I have started work on the cover this past week and when people say everything changes once a baby enters your life - they aren't kidding! Working from home and taking care of my wee one has presented its own set of challenges (which include her being mobile!) I have attempted to adapt the studio in order to accommodate little miss social and so far I think we've come up with a balance.

Not so sure if Emmy agrees.

A full sized play yard is on its way from Amazon - thank goodness! I don't know how much longer I can keep her from teething on her play mat - or anything else she happens to find....

It does feels good to "officially" be back at the drafting table.  I also love the fact that I have a little girl at the other end of it.  Love the curve balls life throws at you. They make it that much more thrilling. Can't wait to share this new adventure with everyone!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The New Normal

Between the diaper changes and the feedings, the play dates and activities, the lack of sleep, trying to take a shower, and taking care of the dog - I need to carve out a moment to make a little art. This is what I tell myself every day.

During my pregnancy I thought I was going to lead a perfect creative life as a mom.  After all, I work from home - isn't that the dream?  I would paint at my drafting table and my baby would coo and giggle while I worked. She wouldn't cry, or fuss, and most importantly she would take a nap - a loooong nap - that would allow my creativity to flow.

However, she does cry and she does fuss. She does also coo and giggle, but not as an observer to my "creative genius."  Oh yeah, and she does nap - either while I'm driving or in her stroller. Not the best places to paint!

But what I can do is make a promise to myself that when those quiet moments arrive I will unleash my creative daemons upon the world (or in my sketchbook).  I have to first thank a good friend and fellow artist who made this outstanding sketchbook for everyone in our critique group.  Each page is hand labeled with fun concepts and ideas.  I absolutely LOVE it! I keep it handy with pencils at the ready.  Sometimes I take a few minutes and just doodle the first thing that pops into my head. It's a great way to keep drawing and challenge my imagination.

Besides my chai latte breaks at Starbucks and carrying my little sketchpad everywhere I go just in case there is a moment I can draw, I also participate in many of The Art House Coop's free projects.  This is great motivation! I especially love the "In Five Minutes" series in which you are given concept that needs to be sketched in five minutes.  I feel like this was made for new moms!

Tallest Building in five minutes
Portrait in five minutes
Everything on your person in five minutes

I also participated in the Infinite Scroll, "Space" series. This was a lot of fun and I was thrilled they choose my drawing to post on their blog.  The great thing about these projects is that they aren't juried and that artists at any level can participate.  How great will it be if one day Emmy and I can both submit works together, side by side?  Looking forward to that.

Infinite Scroll Space Theme - "Major Tom"

While I continue to take time out to enjoy my baby, as long as I have five minutes the juices will keep flowing and I will keep working.  Besides, I do have a wee protege to show the ropes to...

(FYI for twitter folks, make sure to look for hash tag #artynewmom to keep tabs on my current work)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's out!

I'm so excited to announce that Explore Native American Cultures! has been published. It's very exciting to see all of my illustrations put together with the text and graphics for this fun and educational book.

Plus a big thumbs up for the publishers at Nomad Press, especially Abby and Rachel, who worked around my ever growing belly and physical limitations during my pregnancy in order to make this a good experience.

 Now on to my next adventure....! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Year - New Adventures!

Well I have to apologize for my lack of blog posts the past few months. 2012 turned out to be an amazing year.  I started out the year working with Nomad Press on their exciting new educational book, Explore Native American Cultures!  I believe there were a total of around 100 illustrations.  I enjoyed working on this book so much that the time really seemed to fly by.  It amazes me how much the kids will learn about Native Cultures from this title and I'm very excited to see it in print.

(choose 6 individual cards for a variety greeting card pack)

In addition to this project, I also gave my ETSY shop a lift and introduced my new greeting card line.  I'm very excited about this venue and I've been able to make several sales and I'm hoping the success will continue.

I'm NUTS about you!
(available in singles or packs of 10)

I ruff woooo!
(available in singles or packs of 10)

My last, but greatest achievement (and the reason nobody has heard from me since November) is the birth of my first child, Emily Gertrude Lovercheck.

Emily Gertrude Lovercheck
Born November 27, 2012
9 pounds 12 ounces 20 inches

I never knew how much I could love something until she entered my life.  I'm thrilled to watch her grow and change.  She has stirred my imagination in numerous ways and she's only been in my life for a mere two months!

For all you Mattie fans out there - don't fret! She is still in the picture and going strong. She has also turned out to be an ideal "furry big sister."  I can't wait to see my little one play with her and learn to love her.  What a pair they'll make! I know that my writing and artwork will blossom with their relationship.

There's a new muse in town and I'm looking forward to all of the inspiration she will bring me.

Happy New Year, indeed.