I had a good year when it comes to creative projects. To wrap up 2014, I have chosen my top five illustrations projects of the year: these were my favorites because they gave me considerable creative input and involved a lot of collaboration with the customer or co-creator. I surprised myself when I went back through the year’s work and realized that the jobs I enjoyed the most were the ones that took longer to complete – weeks or months in all cases. And I was also surprised that I enjoyed collaborating so much! I tend to enjoy working alone so much that I would not have guessed ALL of my top five would be projects that involved a heavy amount of back and forth with another person. But what was fun about that was that I got to share in the excitement with my co-creators as we worked, and they had a lot of good ideas too.
Here are my top 5 of 2014 in chronological order:
My Bionic Hearing. The author of this book about life with cochlear implants is 13 year old Ari, and I worked together with his dad via email to illustrate Ari’s story. When we were finished, they had them printed at placed at the hospital where Ari received his implants so that other kids could learn about what cochlear implants are all about. I learned a lot about cochlear implants too! You can read and view the entire book online as well at mybionichearing.com.
Here Comes the Bub. Is this the coolest Father’s Day gift ever? I illustrated the story of the birth of Megan and Mike’s baby girl (and it was a pretty exciting story!). This was all about getting the little details right – all those specific memories they wanted to live on in the birth story – and also capturing the moods of that night, from trepidation to urgency to elation. This was my most challenging and long running project and I absolutely loved it.
Black, White & Read Books. The blog header for this blog of book reviews (blogger Bear Allen is working through EVERY book mentioned on Gilmore Girls plus everything she reads on the side!) is deceptively simple but a lot of thought went into it. Everything from the color scheme to the mug of coffee emblazoned with the Luke’s logo is there for a reason, and Bear also had me hand draw her social media buttons, which I am still a little in love with. We worked on this color scheme together for so long, I think I still have 8 or 10 versions on my hard drive – I loved meeting minds with someone who cares about color as much I do!
Taking the WAH! Out of WAHP. My friend Lauren is a writer and copyeditor who, like me, works from home, so we put together a presentation for the unconference Barcamp about how to work at home with little kids in the house. I think we broke every one of our own “rules” about working at home while we working on this together, but it was a lot of fun and we got a good response at the conference too.
Mugs Half Full. This is my most exciting project of all because it’s a regular gig AND gives me lots of room to be creative. In another collaboration with Lauren, Mugs Half Full is our new monthly comic at ParentSavvy.com, all about the ups and downs of parenting life. We created a cartoon family that is kind of a mishmash of our two families, and are drawing from our own experiences in a way that will hopefully amuse and connect with other moms and dads out there. Can I just say once more “I have a monthly comic in a magazine” because YAY!
Don’t Work All Over The House