Happy Friday + Making LINES

Photo by Carrie Hoge

Happy Friday! Have you seen the latest Making issue, LINES? What a beaut! Carrie and team continue to slam dunk with gorgeous content, and I’m so honored that I was a contributor! Many things have changed in my life these last five years, and one of the most glorious changes is that I now get to collaborate and work with the loveliest, most amazing people all the time. I’m sad to say that wasn’t usually the case for the 25+ jobs I’ve had in the past, though of course there were always a gem or two.

Today I thought I’d do a sort of behind-the-scenes of my projects in LINES, since that’s always fun for me.

Photo by Carrie Hoge

Project one was the nesting fabric buckets. I realize I’m not scoring any points for originality here, though I did add flourish on the canvas fabric with fabric paint, which turned out to not only be enjoyable, but I was also very happy with the results. Quick and easy, that’s how I roll.

Here’s another pretty outtake of the buckets that Carrie shot:

Photo by Carrie Hoge

I can’t remember exactly whether I offered or if Carrie asked me if I wanted to contribute to the kids’ section as well. At any rate, I was planning on creating an animal nesting version and made these samples:

Then I found out that there was a distinct and totally coincidental cat theme going on in the kids’ section so Carrie wondered if I would be able to make a cat version. But of course!

Photo by Carrie Hoge

So cute, right?? As I’m prone to doing, I squealed with delight when I finished the kitty basket.

Plus, it worked out well because the bear and owl buckets ended up as gifts for friends and K fell in love with the bunny.

What you may or may not have noticed if you’ve browsed through the issue is that I did a number of illustrations, which was a dream assignment. I’ve always wanted to have my illustrations in a beautiful print magazine, and I can now check that off my bucket list. Thank you, Carrie!

The middle illustration was based on the supremely adorable cat made by Erika Barratt (her instagram AND Making‘s feed are must-sees — so much inspiration!).

The entire issue is a visual feast full of thoughtful projects and stories. I hope you check it out!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

I’m out of practice
Haven’t created haikus
in a long, long while

P.S. Furoku members! The next edition is scheduled to go out tonight…I think. I hope. Probably!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hello, hello! My goodness, has it really been so long since I last updated here?

I just wanted to pop in to say “Happy Thanksgiving!!” I wish I could send you all flowers, but these watercolor blooms will have to do. I hope my mother-in-law isn’t reading this because this is a card I painted for her that I just posted in the mail.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year full of HUGE events. So whirlwind, in fact, that I can’t even wrap my head around all that’s happened. The Japan trip changed my life, for one thing. I haven’t even shared any of it with you here.

So much. SO much. And Thanksgiving is an excellent time to reflect upon it all. I have something fun to share with you next week, but my postings will continue to be sporadic for a while longer as I finish up the next book (I turned in most of my art, but there are still a few things left to do). I miss keeping up with the good ole blog, but I know my limits. I almost made it through an entire year without getting sick, but alas, the deadline crunch got to me and I succumbed to a cold for a couple of days this week. I’m on the mend, however, and all is well.

Anyway! I am sending you all big, big love from rainy, chilly, cozy Seattle. I’m so grateful to have this space, even when I’m not here as often as I used to be. I have a good feeling that 2018 may see a resurgence of blog posts. We shall see…

I hope that you are celebrating all that is wonderful in life in some form, no matter where you are in the world! xo

Happy Friday + Upcoming Events

Happy Friday! I shared the beginning of my sea life doodles on Instagram a few days ago, and this is how I ended up filling up the sheet. Every so often, I pause and revel in the fact that this is my job – watercoloring is so fun!! These illos will get incorporated somehow into the next book, the final art of which is due in a month. I’m making slow but steady progress…

So this means that I might be absent from here for long stretches again, especially since I’ll be going on book tour for Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet (!!) and taking part in a number of Pacific Northwest events:

Seattle Japanese Garden // October 7th // 1pm
Green Bean Books // October 19th //4:30pm
Powell’s Books // October 21st // 11am

A few other events are in development so it seems like it’ll be an action-packed month for this introvert. Okay, I better go mentally prepare myself…

Have a fun weekend, all!

P.S. Furoku members, I’m still on schedule to deliver the next edition this weekend!

 

Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday, my friends! I’ve been quiet here, there, everywhere. Thinking a lot, reading a ton.

Speaking of reading, I created the poster above for Sasquatch Books for an upcoming event. Obviously, I had fall on my mind. I also made a spring version:

Which do you like better? I believe it’s getting printed right now, though I don’t know which version they decided to go with. I’m betting autumn.

I haven’t felt engaged online for a long time. Not because there isn’t great content out there or because I’m trying to avoid the media mayhem that’s going on politically and economically. I used to read hundreds of blogs and would eagerly scroll through my Instagram feed. Not anymore.

I’ve just been…quiet. Like I just want to settle into a comfortable settee with a blanket on my lap and a piping hot cup of tea beside me. I want to read books printed on paper for hours on end and occasionally stare out the window to reflect. Just call me granny Sanae. I still send out my monthly Furoku (yes, it’s still mysterious and it’s still hard for me to describe), which I love and there’s a little bit of virtual interaction that goes on there that I enjoy very much.

I guess I’m becoming more protective of my time because it’s all going so fast and I don’t want to miss the precious parts. K started middle school last week and I’m watching her transform before my very eyes. She does so much more on her own now, her face and body are changing and I sense that there are hidden compartments within her that I’m not allowed to access, that I may never be allowed to access. She’s also way more hilarious – she keeps me in stitches when she describes her days of locker drama and weird homeroom protocols and assorted teachers and embarrassing moments. Those keen eyes of hers miss nothing.

Anyway, just thought I’d say hello since it’s been a while. Life is good. Very peaceful and oh-so-quiet right now. But I’ve got an inkling that might be changing soon. The quiet part, I mean.

Have a lovely weekend, all! I hope to be back soon!

P.S. I’m doing an event at Kinokuniya on Sunday, September 17th at 2pm for Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet. If you’re in town and would like a custom watercolor of your favorite creature, come on by!

Happy Friday + Hallelujah!

Happy Friday, my friends! I did it! I did it! I completed my rough art for the next book that’s coming out in 2018. Normally, I create digital rough art using only Photoshop brushes like these and these, but I wanted to try a little something different.

For this next book’s rough art, I used only black watercolor and I enjoyed it so much! It’s a different kind of challenge to paint with a single color to create various shades. Surprisingly, it took less time to hand paint than it does to do everything digitally. How could this be? I’m still scratching my head. That’s a bit of a sneak peek of the next book up there. It’s a continuation of the Little Kunoichi series and the ninja world is going to keep expanding.

Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet will be out on August 8th, which feels just around the corner. I’ll be doing a mini PNW book tour, so Portlanders: if you have recommendations for awesome places to stay and eat, I’d love to hear ’em!

What’s nice is that with each book, I’m learning from previous mistakes and developing a system that minimizes stress, so I don’t feel quite as drained after each phase. Hooray!

Now I have a slight respite until final art is due mid-September, so I’m going to go full hog in preparing for my upcoming Japan trip. We fly out June 24th! Because we’re traveling with K’s school, there’s so much paperwork involved…better get to it.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Painting bonanza
and loving each progression
book-making is FUN

P.S. Furoku members! The next edition has been delivered!