Dam Good Books

Here’s another little thing I whipped up for Ooligan Press:

I offered a beaver-less option if the press wanted to be a bit more high-brow, but I’m happy to see the little guy made the cut.

Ooligan Press is putting together “Dam Book Bundles” – basically a collection of 3 titles that our press has published. The titles are offered at a discount because you’re buying multiple books. It’s a pretty sweet deal, and you can check it out here if you want to buy some excellent titles from a student-run independent press. Check it out for the puns alone!

Here Be Dragons!

For my Book Design class this term, I had to design an entire book (it was awesome!) so here are the cover comps I came up with:

This first one had some nice elements, but it looked a bit old for the target audience of this book (middle-grade level readers).

I really liked this design as well, but it looks like an adult book.

This one was the clear favorite of my peers. It was by far the most age appropriate, and since it’s a book for younger audiences, I could get away with having an image-based back cover. The author photo and bio is much more of an adult book element anyway.

Here’s the final! I made some suggested improvements, like handlettering the text on the cover and adding the dragon’s arms to hold the banner. I obviously redrew the front and back illustrations as well, and added some cracks around the dragon butt to add to the illusion of the dragon breaking through the back of the book cover. My classmates liked where the colors bled outside the lines in the comp, so I replicated that in the final. I moved the ISBN box to a more sensible place as well.

I had some trouble finding reference images for the dragon’s butt, but as multiple people reminded me, dragons aren’t real so I could draw it however I liked.

Dancing Cats

Continuing the week of cuteness, here are more cats (if you need more cats drawings, just scroll through past blog posts). I was supposed to have a finished spread for the SCBWI-Oregon conference, but grad school got in the way, so I only finished the line art. This summer I need to color it in. Of course, nothing I do is going to compare to Jon Klassen’s work, but a girl can dream.

Initial sketch:

The text from the spread I picked to illustrate: 
“Eight cats tap…tip bowler hats in pink tuxedos, canvas spats”
Left page refined sketch:
Right page refined sketch:
Left page line art:
Right page line art:

Super-Sized Squirrel

You may have noticed a trend on this blog (not in the last couple posts, but in a bunch of my cat drawings) that I love drawing really obese animals that look more like toys than anything living in the wild. The following is no exception.

I put together a t-shirt design for my peer mentoring program. We have a thing about squirrels (they’re in all of our program newsletters), so it was a no-brainer to draw this up:
Embrace the squishiness!
Here’s a picture of mentors wearing the shirt with my design on it:

All of the Cats

Here’s something I did a few months ago for the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) in Portland. They needed a half-sheet sized catalog cover to promote classes and events offered in February and March of this year. To the surprise of no one who has skimmed through this blog, it features cats.

The Valentine’s Day image was the front cover and the St. Patrick’s Day cats occupied the back cover.

Mr. Tea

A fun 80s mashup between Mr. T (who pities fools) and Mr. T (who has tall teeth) at a tea party (naturally). This piece was part of “Jibbart Jabbart: A Mr. T-Themed Art Show & Experience” at the PhilaMOCA in Philadelphia.
Line art

Picture from the show (c/o Ben and Amy Leach)

My art on the wall! (c/o Ben and Amy Leach)

Another view (c/o Ben and Amy Leach)