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Unexpected Stories

14 Jan

Last fall I had the fun job of creating illustrations for a series of four books for toddlers – each with an “unexpected story” about a cute and goofy animal character: a bear, a tiger, a dog and an elephant. This was a huge lot of work but the client, Yoyo Books, was a dream to work with, leaving the creative wide open. The stories have very little text so rely upon facial expressions and changing environments to show how the characters are reacting to their wacky adventures. Here’s a small selection of my fave illustrations from the series.

As always, you can see more on my website. Hope your day has been the GOOD kind of “unexpected story”!

 

The Ispot Year in Review

7 Jan

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I was thrilled to be included in illustration site the Ispot’s Year in Review! In their “Design” section, they chose to highlight my very fun project from early last year for Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Read all about it here. Thanks, Ispot team!

Festive Badgers for the Holidays!

17 Dec

It’s that time again, I can’t believe how quickly it comes up every year! I’ve just been scrambling to get my holiday cards out. This year, I’m all about the badgers. And after I did the card, I thought why not try to do an allover pattern, since these little characters might look nice on some wrapping paper.

And since every time I hear the word “Badger” I think of that nasty little %&#$ honey badger, I’ll leave you with this traditional holiday treat (warning: dirty words and other nastiness) (for me it never gets old!)

See more of my illustrations here 🙂

New Baby Animal Illustrations for Chirp Magazine

22 Jul

ispot_Chirp_chicken_thumbEarlier this spring, I was asked by Chirp Magazine to create some cute illustrations for a spread in their “Baby Animals” issue. This was fun! There are two puzzles – one asks kids to put the life stages of frogs, butterflies and dogs in order, and one has them count the eggs in the nests of various birds. I think they turned out great!

Chirp’s colourful issues contain tons of innovative stories, puzzles and activities for 3- to 6-year-olds. As I grew up with Owl Magazine (Chirp’s older sister), it was very cool to see my illustrations in this magazine!

chirp-cover chirp-int-1 chirp-int-2 LW_chirp_animal-life-cycles_1000 LW_chirp-chicken_1000If you’d like to see more of my illustrations, have a peek at my website!

Botanical teacups… celebrating spring blooms!

27 May

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About a month ago when delicate shoots started poking up out of the ground, I was challenged by my UK agency to create some kind of surface pattern or greeting card with a “modern floral” theme. This is what I came up with! It was fun to give each little plant its own special teacup and own style of lettering, and to play around with the idea of a repeating pattern. I’d love to see this on wrapping paper, tote bags, tea towels, etc…. and will see about having it included on some products in my Society6 shop and as prints in my Etsy shop, Janey’s Superette. 

Children’s Hospital Artwork Commission

28 Apr

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I find all illustration projects rewarding in some way (how fortunate am I to draw pictures all day?), but earlier this year I was lucky to receive one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever been involved in. Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital in Connecticut refreshed their art collection for their pediatric inpatient facility, and asked me to create four new pieces to be installed in a central hub.
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Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital offers cutting-edge therapies to kids long before these therapies are available throughout the US and elsewhere. In addition to medical innovation, they also place as much emphasis on a child’s emotional needs as they do on treating the illness – evidenced by the thoughtfulness and care they put into curating the art collection.
With the guidance and coordination skills of art consultant Nancy Samotis, the art committee commissioned all new work (2D and 3D) on the chosen theme of “travel/journey as a metaphor for the healing process”. The illustrations had to reflect that theme in some way, as well as provide a positive and uplifting atmosphere for the patients, who range in age from newborn to late teens.
This was a pretty wide open brief and so much fun to work with!
Here are the finished illustrations, as well as a few shots of the artwork installed. I had them printed as large giclees (36″ x 30″) here in Toronto by Tricera – they did a beautiful job!
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I hope these illustrations make the days a little bit brighter for the kids who spend time in this incredible facility!
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These illustrations will be available as prints for purchase in the near future in my Etsy shop, Janey’s Superette.
*Hospital installed artwork photos are by Nancy Samotis.

Teeth Fairies – A Baby Teeth Tradition won a Silver NAPPA Award!

9 Apr

I love this project so much and it’s really great to see it get some recognition! The National Parenting Publications Awards is one of the longest running and most respected awards programs in the US. They enlist a team of independent expert judges and family testers to review each submission and select the most entertaining, appealing, safe, educational, age-appropriate and enduring products as winners.

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Teeth Fairies is a book and doll set that provides a fun interactive experience for children, motivating them to take care of their dental health and helping them through the time when they lose their baby teeth. Children name their own fairy and add personalized details throughout the book. NAPPA says: “What a wonderful new tradition in our home. Allows us to document this often neglected milestone!”

And I did all the illustrations, and designed the doll! Woo-hoo! You can see more of my illustrations on my site.

You can find out more about Teeth Fairies on their website, and purchase the Teeth Fairies set here. 

An Octoballerina for Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you’re fond of octopussies (the regular kind, not the ballet dancing kind) and are curious about how they hook up, check out the Seattle Aquarium’s Valentine’s Day event tomorrow: An octopus blind date! Hope it goes well for those two crazy kids.

If you’d like to see more of my illustrations of goofy animals and other things, please visit www.w-illo.com/portfolio

Enjoy a lovey Valentine’s Day! xo

Teeth Fairies have arrived!

4 Feb

When they spy a wiggly tooth, they quickly fly right down

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I’ve blogged about this before, but now I have a very cool update! My super-fun project from last year, Teeth Fairies – A Baby Teeth Tradition, is now available for purchase (at Amazon and at selected retailers)! My 6.5-yr-old daughter has two incredibly wiggly front teeth, so my copy of the very cute doll and book gift set arrived just in time. Teeth Fairies is a book and doll set that helps a child make the most of the brief, special time in life when they are losing their baby teeth. Written by the wonderful Ingrid Bencosme, former teacher and mother of 3-soon-to-be-4, the book was a joy to illustrate, and it was such fun to design the tooth fairy doll as well.

Teeth Fairies is donating a portion of sales to Communities In Schools to help prevent and fight serious dental disease that can cause kids to miss school and potentially drop out.

Here are some photos of the set, as well as a few of my favourite illustrations from the book. Check out the “Parents” section of the Teeth Fairies website for more info on the set, helpful tips and fun downloadable activities for kids, and like Teeth Fairies on Facebook for kids’ dental health tips, contests, recipes and more fun stuff.

And visit my portfolio site to see more of my illustrations, if you’re so inclined!

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Springtime Weather Wonders! (and Wondering Whether It Will Ever Be Springtime)

30 Jan

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We got a ton of snow here yesterday and woke up to a howling, bitingly cold wind this morning. Typical for January in Canada, sure, but I really wish I could say spring was “just around the corner” and believe it! Here’s a view of my studio this morning:

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So the publication of one of my latest projects, a series of 4 books called Springtime Weather Wonders for Picture Window Books (Capstone), is a nice little treat and a taste of spring! Written by Charles Ghigna (also known as Father Goose!) each book focuses on one type of spring weather (sunshine, rain, hail and wind) and how animal families in the country and city enjoy/deal with it. It was a huge project with around 70 or so illustrations in total, and I love how it turned out!

You can order the books from Amazon or directly from Capstone. And, as always, you can see more of my work on my portfolio site. Keep warm and cozy!

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