Leanne Barrett: March 2019

Friday 29 March 2019

Day Six and Seven: Portfolio Project with Nina Rycroft

Day Six and Seven of Nina Rycroft's online course, Portfolio Project. 

Day Six, Session One, was with Wen Sylvestre looking at How to Find Your Own Art Voice & Style. This is a idea that many aspiring children's illustrators struggle with, how do you find you own style? 

Wen walked us through how she worked on finding her own style, where you are no longer copying someone else's style. You need to:
1. Look into yourself, and
2. Explore and capture your environment.

She asked us to answer many questions but the most central question was Who Am I? 
To find out more about this process see here.  

I took on the challenge to not just answer the questions in words but to push myself to draw the answers. 

What do you do in your spare time?

Tuesday 26 March 2019

CBCA 2019 Shortlist Announced

The 2019 CBCA Children's Book of The Year Award Shortlist has been announced, see here.

Earlier in the week the Kids' Book Review Team made their predictions for this year shortlist and chose their Superpower. See here how the team went with their predictions - many of us were spot on.

I'm thrilled to see three of the books that I reviewed for Kids' Book Review in 2018 have made it onto the shortlist, see below.

Sunday 24 March 2019

March Book Launches

On Saturday, 24 March 2019, I attended the book launch for Grandma's treasured shoes, created by Coral Vass and Christina Huynh and published by the National Library of Australia.

Coral has masterfully told a story about shoes while sensitivity revealing the story of a refugee family. Shoes can tell remarkable tales about someone's life; 

Dance in the dark shoes, 
worn and torn shoes, 
escaping shoes, 
school shoes,
and dancing dress shoes.
(shoes types from Grandma's treasured shoes

As Christina first picture book illustrations are heartfelt, as it intertwines her own family's story of coming to Australia from Vietnam. We were honoured that she shared treasured items that her family carried on their journey across the sea to Australia.  

Congratulations so Susan Hall and all of the NLA Publishing Team on the publication of another story that shares the past and present stories that shape the nation of Australia. 

Friday 22 March 2019

Day Five with Nina Rycroft's Portfolio Project

Day Five of Nina Rycroft's online course, Portfolio Project

We began day five with Ben Whittacker- Cook 
(author of Florence Fox Goes to School) who showed us How to Write a Great Bio in 100 words. See my About Me page for my new short biography.

The second session today was with Amy Calautti 
or @amygorgeousness who talked about Illustration Challenges - Projects to Publication. One Instagram challenge that Amy takes part in is #drawthisinyourstyle She challenged us to take part by drawing one of her illustrations in our own style.

Amy reminded me to keep my SCBWI portfolio link updated.

Finally, take a look at Amy's 
blog where she has more information about portfolio submissions and organising your to do list into manageable bites. 

Day Four with Nina Rycoft's Portfolio Project

Day Four of Nina Rycroft's online course, Portfolio Project

The first session was Creating a Sustainable Business with Michelle Worthington. She asked us focus on the Why? Sometimes I find it really hard to verbalise why I create.
  • Firstly I create for me because I just have to.
  • Secondly I create because I want to move others emotionally through the connection with art and story.
So I set myself a new challenge - How can I step up my creative business?

Session Two was with Nic Squirrell about Print on Demand for Artist & Illustrators. I have been using Nic's workshops on Skillshare since the second half of 2018. When I edit my paintings on the desktop computer, Nic's Skillshare workshop Print On Demand for Artists: Painting to Pattern to Product the Complete Process sits open on the left screen while I Photoshop on the right screen. She makes the editing process for a newbie like me so much easier, it is like she is sitting next to me, guiding me step by step.

New Goal POD: Add illustrations regularly to my Redbubble Shop (new designs like Baby Blue will be added shortly).

The final session of the day was a video with Aurore McLeod, Create a Portfolio that Sells. Aurore called us to action: to challenge ourselves and put our work out there. You just need to do the work.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Day Three: Portfolio Project with Nina Rycroft

Ridiculous Selfies and Passions that Spilt Over on Day Three of Nina Rycroft's Portfolio Project.

In session one Zoe Collins walked us through the idea of branding ourselves - how are we unique and what do we want to be known for? Mmmm food for thought.

Warning - Ooops imperfect spelling...

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Day Two: Portfolio Project with Nina Rycroft.

Day Two of Nina Rycroft's online course, Portfolio Project

It has taken me a day (today is actually Day Three) to mull over the CHALLENGE set by Susanne Gervay and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. They set an illustration challenge to take a child from a classroom and give them a character.

My mind went blank and I've worked in schools for many years. I was thinking all kinds of things to illustrate even an incident in the sand pit and then POCK! It hit me in the head like a yo-yo trick gone wrong. 

This is a work in progress and still needs colour but I like to let my ink dry for 24 hours before I paint over it.

Susanne & Marjorie: Illuminate Don't Decorate (Show Don't Tell)

The second session was a video of Katrina Avery about 'Fitting it all in - An IllustrationBiz Planning Tool'. I was a founding member of IllustrationBiz and I value Katrina's insights about the business of illustration. 

Towards the end of 2018 I began working on planning my day in blocks around my energy levels and daily commitments. This change was inspired by the YouTube video The Daily Block Schedule by Jordan Page (Thanks Jen Storer for sharing this in the Duck Pond). I found that Katrina's planning tool dovetails quite nicely in with Jordan's ideas. 

Katrina: Organise, Prioritise and Plan 
I also liked this thought from Katrina 'Is your disorganisation my emergency?'

Tuesday 19 March 2019

March Suitcase Rummage (Art, Not Apart)

The first Suitcase Rummage of the year was part of the Art, Not Apart program and the art stalls were located in the West Courtyard on Phillip Law Street. 

We (hubby and I) found a lovely shaded spot for the day under the trees and I had lots of time to relax and fall into the flow of creativity.

At this stall a new range of cards were available and a few new original artworks were for sale, including: Baby Blue (the original artwork is going to a great grandchild), Hope (the Dove and Olive painting), Easter Wreath and Purple Egg. This market was also the first time two of my original A3 silhouette illustrations were available for sale: Raining Cats & Dogs I and Tightrope Hens I. 

Monday 18 March 2019

Day One: Portfolio Project with Nina Rycroft.

Today I started to watch the latest online course by Nina Rycroft, Portfolio Project. She has brought together such an amazing and inspiring group of people. Day One was Karen Abend and Penelope Pratley. Words that come to mind are growth, development, play and observation.

My intention is to learn and be inspired to progress my illustrations into a portfolio that I can share with people in the industry.

Karen: Make it Doable.
It was wonderful to do a workshop with Karen again after last year's Sketchbook Revival which inspired my 100 Days of Circles sketching.

Penelope: Learn from your favourite illustrator's styles.
Again I am reminded that Richard Scarry was a childhood favourite and his books would help settle my mind and keep bad dreams at bay.

These days I love so many illustrators; Stephen Michael King, Julie Vivas, Anna Walker, Alison Lester, Anil Tortop, Tania McCartney, Katrin Dreiling and Russell Ayto to just name a few.

Thursday 14 March 2019

New Cards for March 2019

At this Saturday's Suitcase Rummage during Art,Not Apart I will be releasing four new cards. 
My stall will be open between 1pm to 7pm, in the New Acton Precinct. I will probably be in the Suitcase Art section in the West Courtyard on Phillip Law Street. Map here.

Baby Blue and Easter Wreath
Hope and Purple Egg

All of these new cards are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled, uncoated paper. 

The first new illustrated card is Baby Blue. Baby Blue came to life during my daily drawing series, 100 Days of Circles. Baby Blue is snuggled in a blue starry night blanket inside a woven brown bassinet basket.  

This is a draft of Baby Blue -
I think that the version
with white stars and clothing,
and lighter hair is a better composition.

The second and forth cards were both designed with Easter in mind. 

Easter Wreath, is an echo of my Christmas Card (my first printed card in 2017). In this card I wanted to show the traditional theme of spring, the daffodils combined with Easter Eggs. 

While, Purple Egg, is a homage to my silhouette illustration style and a painting that I gave to my sister as her 2017 Christmas Present. I have taken her bunny and given him an egg to celebrate Easter.

Christmas Bunny 2017 (cropped)

The final new illustrated card is Hope. Hope came from the Sketch Book Skool - A Drawing A Day word list and was my second illustration for 2019. Hope always makes me think of Noah's Ark and hence the motif of a dove holding an olive branch. Additionally, olives are grown in the gardens near where I live, so it links back to some of my other New Acton Precinct inspired artworks: Red/Yellow Chair, Butterfly and Beehive, from my Garden Series 1

A sketch of a dove that developed into Hope.

I hope that you enjoy these new cards as much as I enjoyed creating them. 

Keep an eye out in April for some new illustrations that I am currently working on that will become a new series of illustrated cards.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

SCBWI Sydney Conference in Pictures

This is my wrap-up of the SCBWI Sydney Conference (25 February 2019) and the Masterclasses (26 February 2019) in photo form, with a few points that resonated with me from each session that I attended

It was privileged to be a Roving Report for the conference.

If I had to sum up the two days in one word it would be CONNECTIONS. 
Connections with people, connections with words and pictures, connections with your community and how to be connected with your audience.

Though out this blog there will be links added to connect you the blogs written for SCBWI by the Roving Reporters. At the end of the blog is a list of links for sessions that I did not attend.