Happy Thursday, friends!
By now, especially if you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen me talk about & post images of the progress I’m making on the book I’m currently working on, which is all about swimming. The book doesn’t yet have a title (still working on that), but for now I’m tagging my progress #theswimmingbook on Instagram. The book will be a combination of essays (written by Lynne Cox and me), artwork by me, profiles of swimmers, photographs, vintage swimming stuff, hand lettered quotes, history, and fun facts.
I am pretty much finished accepting profile stories, but am still looking for one or two older swimmers (over 85 years old) and one or two disabled swimmers (of any age) — people in those categories who swim regularly (several times a week to every day) and are willing to do a short written email interview (not a phone or in person interview) for the book about why they swim & a bit of their swimming history (and are also willing to send me a snapshot of themselves in their suit/swimming gear that I can paint).
If you know anyone who fits this bill, email me! (Book is finished now! No more submissions.)
#theswimmingbook (real title to come!) will be published by Chronicle Books and released in 2016.
Have a great Wednesday, friends!
Every now and again I get to work for a serious dream client — a company who has a really great mission & vision, a clean aesthetic & beautiful brand, and is filled with nice people. Recently I got to work for one such company, Airbnb, the community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. I used Airbnb when I traveled to Scandinavia back in 2012 and had a really fantastic experience. I plan to use them again when I travel to Spain and Portugal later this year.
Yesterday Airbnb posted an interview with me on their blog about the work I did for them & my own thoughts on travel in their Makers profile series. They also shared some of the work I did for them, which you can also see below. Pop over here to take a look!
Have a great Tuesday, friends!
Friends, you may remember a few weeks ago I told you about Pattern Camp. Well, this amazing class starts this weekend and it’s not too late to register! My friend Jessica Swift will teach you how to make repeat patterns, which is not only a lot of fun, but also a useful skill in the world of illustration, licensing and surface design. You can learn more and register here.
Friends, as you may know, I’ve been working on a 2nd book of hand lettered quotes (a follow up to Whatever You Are, Be a Good One), focused on bravery. I’m so excited to show you the cover today and let you know that it will be out in August/September of this year. I’ll let you know this summer when it’s available for pre-order. I plan also to do some book signings, so stay tuned!
Many of the quotes from this book have been featured here as Words for the Day over the last few months, so you can get a preview of what’s included in this new volume.
Have a great weekend, friends!
I realized this morning that I had not written a blog post with more than 50 words in a long time. And that’s because I’ve been really, well, you guessed it: BUSY.
You may recall if you’ve been reading this blog for a few years that I’ve expressed here — more than once — that I do not like the word “busy,” and that I was going to try to avoid using it. But the truth is I keep coming back to that word to describe my life, along with words like “buried” and “slammed” and “overwhelmed with work.”
You’d think if you heard me talk like this (or received one of my “sorry I can’t help you right now I’m drowning in deadlines” email responses) that I was, in fact, miserable.
But the truth is, I’m not miserable.
I just have a shit-ton of work, and I am very happy about having a shit-ton of work, which makes me think I should probably question my dramatic word choices (e.g.: “buried” & “drowning”), but that’s another blog post entirely.
After my keynote address at Alt Summit last week, there was a Q&A for the audience, and a woman stood up and asked me about what happens when you begin to have opportunity as an artist or entrepreneur: the combination of excitement you experience (yay, my work is finally in demand!) and also distress (but I cannot say yes to everything! how do I decide? what about my kids and family? I’m overwhelmed!). It’s the side of success that we don’t talk about. We work so hard to build our careers; we want opportunity. We want to have so much opportunity that we can make choices about who we work with and the kind of work we make. But then when it happens, it can feel really hard and overwhelming.
So what I told this woman is that when I begin to feel overwhelmed with my workload and all the “please work with us!” emails in my inbox, I remind myself that I chose this. I chose this life. I worked hard for all those years specifically so that this busy life would happen. And while understanding that I chose the busy career I have now doesn’t alleviate the stress of the deadlines or occasional freak-outs (e.g: how on earth am I going to finish my next book before April 15?!?), it does keep me from feeling like a victim or complaining needlessly.
And the fact is, if you can choose to have a career that is full of opportunity, you can also choose to take breaks, say no to things when you don’t have time, take vacations, and even sleep in some mornings.
On that note, I am off to try to knock all 18 things off my to-do list today by 5 p.m. so that I can go get a manicure at 5:30.
Have a great Wednesday, friends.
The coolest thing of all is the Special Guest company I’ll be keeping: illustrator & comics artist Lisa Hanawalt, animator, character designer and illustrator Jay Howell, and one of my heroes, Ghost World creator, Daniel Clowes (!!!).
I’ll keep you posted on the events scheduled for the weekend and when I’ll be hanging around and what I’ll be doing closer to the dates. For now, mark your calendars!! It’s FREE!!
Have a great Tuesday, friends!
Friends, this week I’m guest Instagrammer for my favorite pen company, Sakura of America, over on their Instagram account. I am going to be sharing some of the ways I work with Sakura products, both in my sketchbook and in my work as an illustrator. I hope you will come follow along!
If you haven’t seen it already, don’t forget to take a look at my post about the giveaway that Sakura is holding this week in honor of National Handwriting Day!
Have a great Monday, friends!
Friends, did you know it is National Handwriting Day? To celebrate, my favorite pen company Sakura is holding a week-long Instagram giveaway. To be considered, write your favorite quote on a piece of paper and post your image on Instagram using the hashtag #handwritesakura. Special points if you use a Sakura pen to create your masterpiece!
On January 30, Sakura will choose 7 winners to receive a prize consisting of the items in pictured above. The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada, and you must be over 13 to participate.
The full rules are listed here.
On a separate but related note, I’m guest Instagrammer for Sakura starting Monday, so stay tuned over at their Instagram feed!
Have a great weekend, friends!
Friends, I’m headed to Salt Lake City tomorrow morning to Alt Summit, a business conference for bloggers and creatives. I was asked back in early December by the organizers to give the opening keynote address (gulp!) for the conference, and I am so honored. I attended Alt in 2012 and never could have imagined that I would be flying to the same conference three years later to stand in front of hundreds of attendees!
And that’s the thing: you never know what life will bring. “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable,” Mary Oliver once said.
If you are attending Alt Summit, I hope you will say hello.
While I’m away I’ll be blogging, so stay tuned for regularly scheduled programming.
Have a great Tuesday, friends!
Friends, I’ve released a new phone & device case today! It’s pictured above (on an iPhone) and below (on a Samsung phone) and it’s available for just about any phone or device under the sun. You can purchase this particular design here and see all of my phone/device case designs here.
As you may know if you follow me on Instagram, I keep a regular sketchbook in which I create intricate spreads with various mediums. Today I thought I’d share with you some of my recent work in my sketchbook. For all of these, I used some combination of Sakura of America pens: Gellyroll pens, Koi brush pens or Micron pens.
If you enjoy keeping a sketchbook or would like to start, I offer a Sketchbook Explorations class through Creativebug and it’s never too late to start!
Have a happy Tuesday, friends!
Friends, tomorrow begins Week TWO of my latest class on Creativebug called Sketchbook Explorations. If you are interested in taking this class, it’s not too late to sign up! In fact, this class will live on the Creativebug site forever, and you can take it at your own pace whenever you like.
This week we’ll be diving into creating collaged backgrounds and layering over with line drawings of flowers. This week there is also a live video chat with me on Thursday at 11 am PST where you can ask questions!
Have a great week!