Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fan Girl Week

Well, this week I was the ultimate fangirl. Though it has been exhausting, going to these events were very worth it! My sister invited me to a spoken word performance by the Urban Theatre Movement she performed in on Tuesday (she is the one in the stripes), and it was quite fantastic! Support your local theatre!


THEN, on Thursday I went to the LCAD Gallery on Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach and saw the John Kricfalusi art show and actually met the man that influenced the development of my wide-eyed energetic characters, the man John K. himself. And to that, I say "Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!" I shared the story with him about how I brought Ren and Stimpy Comics to school in 4th grade and would copy his characters over and over and over again! Check out his blog: Thanks to Larissa Marantz ( for remembering I am a fan and letting me know this was happening!

Me with John K. and his daughter Auralynn
And here's my signed copy of one of the comics I had in 4th grade

FINALLY, today I met illustrators and authors at the Chemers Gallery Annual Children's Book Illustrator's Show today. This is an event I never miss, and buy way too many books at! But, I would rather support artists than buy anything else for the holidays, so there you are. Here are some highlights:

Meeting Michael Hague ( and his wife of 43 years, Michael went to Art Center and has been illustrating classics such as The Wind in the Willows and the Wizard of Oz. He has illustrated over 100 books. How dear are his illustrations, they feel of another time. He also seemed excited about the comic series he is working on (get a copy here: since he gets the freedom to create without much constraint and with the digital media as opposed to the usual watercolor he uses for his children's book projects.

Michael Hague

Meeting John Parra, the very friendly Mexican folk artist with many books and beautiful art works. I enjoyed his presentation describing his process where he uses many layers or acrylic, then scraps into it with sandpaper for a distressed look " like it was found in the attic" and then adds bold shapes of color using hand-cut masks with masking tape for crisp lines, then adding shading and detail later on.

John Parra Illustrated many books, includinng ones by prolific author and my friend Roseanne Greenfield Thong (  "Round is A Tortilla" and "Green is a Chili Pepper" (coming out in February). I am so honored to know such a talented author! Roseanne has written many books that focus on multi-ethnic themes, check out her website for more titles.

Me, John Parra, & Roseanne Greenfield
Meeting Brett Helquist  (, of the Series of Unfortunate Events among other books, he gave me the advice to keep sending my postcards out and not to give up! Of course I just found out his agent is my dream agent, Steve Malk. His main focus is faces, and I'll say his style of drawing people is my favorite. He says that if you can draw a good face then you can draw a good animal face as well, but I feel like I can draw much better animal faces than people faces. He also did a fun lesson on drawing with basic shapes, so we all drew a goat together since he has the book about a grumpy goat.

Meeting author Molly Idle ( was delightful, and her presentation was also very informative and upbeat. Though there were so many talented authors and illustrators that I learned from at the event, Molly's work is closest to my heart and what I do. Her coming from an animation background is not surprising  to me-with my obsession, fascination, and admiration of animators! She said she used to do animation for dreamworks- and in fact she described the images of her book as "keyframes", the scenes that start and stop the emotion. She spoke in particular of her book "Flora and the Flamingo" and how the reader is empowered to create their own pacing with the wordless book with interactive flaps. I also loved how she spoke about how books are important to help us slow down a bit, especially with all of the media that inundates us at all hours. She also works in prismacolor pencil, and studied the motion of flamingos and ballet for this book.

Me and Molly Idle

Meeting Stacy Innerst (, Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer of many non fiction children's books including "The Beatles Wer Fab" and " Lincoln Tells a Joke" among many others. I feel that their books bring history to life and make learning fun which is so important in a world where I see a lot of boredom happening in schools. We need to make learning more fun, and I think these guys really do that. Stacy, the illustrator has a very playful approach to his illustration where he has fun with trying different media and I think this brings lots of life and originality to his work.

Stacy, Kathleen, Me, and Paul

I also ran into my previous co-worker (Art Steps) artist Ian Paul Montelongo ( who also shows at the Chemers Gallery throughout the year and in my opinion is the master with experimental applications of acrylics. 
Me and Ian Paul

I also was delighted to see fellow OC Illustrators Carolyn Le ( and Irina Mirskaya (, very talented illustrators I am grateful to know. Speaking of OC Illustrators, you should also check out Marilyn Scott-Waters store, her books make great holiday presents! I was sad to miss her book signing at the South Coast Plaza Barnes and Noble today, but maybe we can catch her another time. (

Every illustrator today was my teacher and inspiration, and I can't thank the Chemer's Gallery enough for putting together such an informational, inspirational event that supports authors and illustrators of children's books. Now, we read!


  1. What a wonderful event! Thanks for the shout-out. Big hugs, Marilyn

  2. What a great week:) And how many great illustrators meetings:)