Trying to manage my daughter’s expectations for this year’s pumpkin patch visit.
Brightly recently asked me to do two posters for teachers to download for their classrooms. Here are the sketches:
Options for poster 1:
Options for poster 2:
Poster 2 was a bit trickier because the first one with the mermaid was reading too young for the author. The quote with the open book idea was being done already by another artist. And so I set to revise.
I liked the one with the owl, snake, cityscape and tree, but the author said her quote is not necessarily about an escape to other worlds and topics, but essentially a reflection and understanding that teens are not alone in this world—not strange or freakish or unacceptable. So I drew some diverse friends dancing, a female basketball player, a reflective Latino girl and an older reader. They loved it! The actual quote: “Omg, you NAILED it! Huge thumbs-up, cartwheels, and fireworks over here within the Brightly team.”
Here’s how the two final posters turned out:
New book cover illustration for Penguin Randomhouse Young Readers Group. Walking with Miss Millie is about the power of friendship: how it can be found when we least expect it and make any place a home.
Big thanks to Art Director Kelley Brady for the project!
Got loads of client work sent off today and wanted to draw just for myself. I’m practicing color in the procreate app and still love paint more, but it’s super fun to doodle and learn. Also... I’m craving green and sun and warmth. I’m just over this winter. Laying down in the warm grass sounds amazing... perhaps not naked, but perhaps not not naked. Better call ahead if you want to stop by my house.
I have been thinking lots about how easy it is to get lost in old patterns or to get too busy. But we can choose differently and choose to notice the good and the beautiful. Even if it’s small.
I hope it’ll make you smile.
In my first newsletter that came out in early January, I included a section called "Creative Prompts". This will be a feature in future newsletters as well because I love seeing what people draw and because I believe creativity makes people happy.
January's Creative Prompt was to do a continuous line drawing. And I saw a few images pop up under the hashtag (#penelopeprompts) on Instagram. Thank you! Here is your artwork:
If you haven't already, I hope you'll sign up for my newsletter and join in with our next prompt - it'll be a good one!!
Oh my goodness... I have been waiting to share this with you and now it's here! Announcing the launch of my klass "Illustration Nation" with Sketchbook Skool!!!
I've been working on this klass for a year with Danny Gregory and it's so chock full of goodness. This is a klass about the process of illustration - from tiny beginning kernels of ideas to full blown final art. We walk you through the steps with lots of demo videos, how-tos and pep talks. The goal is not necessarily to become a professional illustrator, but to understand the process and discover your own unique approach to it.
My favorite part of the klass is the interviews with 8 top illustrators I had the pleasure and honor to talk to. They share how they come up with ideas, how they interact with clients, how they use materials, how they use digital and traditional tools, how they incorporate technical concerns in the manufacturing process and lots more. Each illustrator's approach is so different - so it was super cool to get to peek behind the scenes and learn how they do it.
And of course - I show you my own process from beginning to end. You can see how I turn ideas into sketches into finished art.
I hope you'll love this klass! Find out more and sign up here: Illustration Nation!
While taking time off from social media in December, I decided I wanted a way to connect with you on a deeper level - not just a picture here and there. I wanted to tell a little longer story and show you more things. So I started working on a newsletter. My hope is to offer this newsletter on a monthly basis so as to not overload your inbox. :) I plan to share behind the scenes peeks into my illustration work, offer just-for-subscribers special treats (this month's will be a downloadable pattern for your tech!) and post a monthly creative prompt.
I'm most excited about the creative prompt! I miss creating with you as I did when I ran IllustrationFriday.com. So this is a more laid-back way to do that. Each month in my newsletter, I will post a fun creative exercise that you can choose to participate in if you'd like. It will all be explained in the first newsletter, but I plan to post some of the participant art here on my blog. I hope it'll be fun for you and a way to spark some creativity!
So without further ado, I hope you sign up for the newsletter "Inspiration in your Inbox" below! I will send out the January newsletter very soon. Thank you if you do choose to subscribe!!
Happy new year, friends! I’m sorry this gif is a little wonky... it’s supposed to pause on the “Wishing you a happy 2018”, but it won’t cooperate and I’m not stressing about it.
Sending you all well wishes, good health and loads of happiness for 2018! Hello!
I'm taking a social media break for the month of December. I’ve got some super fun new projects in the works, and of course I’ll be drinking all the eggnog and eating all the cookies. And going outside to play as much as possible!
It’s not “the talk,” but it can feel just as tricky. It’s important to initiate a conversation about race with your child, rather than waiting for it to just “come up.” And while it’s not an easy or simple talk, it is one you can prepare for. Here are four pretty simple steps to help, along with links to more information so you can dig deeper.
1. Name it and claim it.
The first step towards awareness around race is to name it explicitly. When we confidently use words such as Black, White, Latino, Asian, Mixed Race, Arab and Native American, we give kids the language they need to make sense of what they experience. The old notion of “colorblindness” doesn’t work; it doesn’t line up with reality and never actually did. Instead, we want to see race clearly as we celebrate and honor our differences, our histories and our cultures. Here’s a quick reference:
• Use race terms confidently
• Let your kids know it’s ok to use these words themselves.
• If your kid uses an incorrect or unkind term, correct them. The same goes for yourself.
• Don’t bother pretending you’re colorblind – or that anyone else is, either.
2. Get educated.
Issues of race, and of white privilege, are inextricably woven into our nation’s history. If you live in this country, it’s woven into yours, too. Knowing the truth about where we’ve been, and where we are as a people, is essential to dismantling racism in our homes. Here are some great places to broaden and deepen your knowledge.
• Teaching Tolerance: https://www.tolerance.org/professional-development/on-racism-and-white-privilege
• Unpacking white privilege: https://nationalseedproject.org/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack
• Raising Race Conscious Children: http://www.raceconscious.org/2017/07/race-matters-story-white-privilege/
• The longest shortest time: How to Not Accidentally Raise a Racist: https://longestshortesttime.com/episode-116-how-to-not-accidentally-raise-a-racist/
• Race, Racism and White Privilege in America: http://www.mediaed.org/whitelikeme/index.html
3. Stock up on truth.
Children’s literature is indispensable in helping inform these kinds of conversations. Books with characters who look different from you (and this doesn’t mean animals!) and celebrate different cultures will ease the topic of race into your child’s worldview. If your child seems not to notice, gently point it out and see what he or she says. In addition, you can intentionally choose books that are written and illustrated by People of Color and represent heroes and sheroes of Color.
Good kids’ books on race
Books with Sheroes/Heroes of color
4. Face race in your kid’s questions.
Your kid has a million questions. That’s normal. Some of them are about race. Also normal. Sometimes he or she may ask these questions in a way that’s embarrassing, stereotypical or that uses inappropriate language. Again, normal. But don’t shut down the conversation there: Silencing a child so as not to offend anyone really just teaches them that talking about race is ‘bad.’ Instead, tackle this stuff head on. The way you handle this topic will be the most important guide for their thinking and future interactions. Here are a few ways to transition from question to answer.
• “You made an interesting observation. Here’s what I know about that…”
• “The word you used is said by some people to be mean. I know you didn’t mean it like that. Here is a different word to use instead…”
• “We don’t talk about the way people look in front of them. When we get home, I’d be happy to try and answer your questions.”
These are just four suggestions in an endless sea of important conversations. Let us know if you have additional tips, or if a personal story has led you to see the value – or the pitfalls – of any of these strategies.
Offered to you by Malkah Bird, MEd & Penelope Dullaghan, artist.
Malkah Bird, MEd, is a certified teacher, a parenting coach and a parent educator at Parenting With You. She teaches at a cooperative school in Indianapolis where she spends her time encouraging her kindergartners and their families to keep having hard conversations.
Penelope Dullaghan is an illustrator, pattern maker and creative explorer. She believes art can help bring about positive social change and that social change often starts with children. As a mother, she's interested in bringing more mindful, open conversation to her to parenting.
So tired of hearing about all the greed and corruption in the news. Here’s some ice cream. I hope you have a good day!
Just a fun one!
Pattern work makes me so happy. I love figuring out how the pieces fit together and repeat. Do you prefer the light background or dark palette?
Happy Monday, friends!