The Art of REALLY, REALLY Great Illustration

Our  daughter illustrates the most wonderful pictures you could possibly imagine (NO she is not 5 years old and NO I’m not exaggerating. The proof is in the post!) The fantastic creativity that comes of this kid is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen! She is truly gifted and I wanted to share her story and show you some of her art illustrations because everything she creates is just ridiculously great!

I usually refrain from blogging about my children. Aside from the occasional mention now and then, you don’t hear too much about them. For one, I feel that if I’m going to make them an object of a post then I probably should consult them to see if they really want to be written about by their mother (you know how sensitive offspring are). Secondly, three out of the four kiddies are adults and are in the United States and therefore aren’t apart of the everyday activities Dude, Tinki and I are experiencing.

But……on this occasion I have broken my rule (the one about making a kid the direct object of a post not about the consulting part).

As I was looking through my daughter’s illustration work, I had the sudden urge to share it with you all. She is more talented than anyone I personally know and I’m not just saying that cuz she’s my kid. You’ll see for yourself, it’s true.

The kido I am referring to is our oldest and she graduated from college last year with a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Illustration. Now we all know what that means; long, painstaking hours of intense creativity flowing from the body all for the sheer passion and pleasure of doing it. History continuously shows how unkind the world is to artists and in the modern world it’s much the same. Tell someone you’re an artist and what kind of a look do they give you? Yup-that’s right, you all know the look.

It’s tough to be an artist, and that’s putting it very mildly. The passion must be so intense for the work. It must always be for the work because the monetary rewards are so few for the majority out there. It’s not too say that you can’t make a living at being an artist, it’s just that it happens to be one of those professions where it’s a bit tougher to come by.

Most artists revert to doing something else on the side to be able to eat, put a roof over their head and clothes on their back. They all know, especially in the beginning, that no matter how great they really are, their work isn’t going to do that for them. Starving and artist has become synonymous with each other, but what can you do when you love it more than life itself?! (By the way, she doesn’t get the talent from me. I’m lucky if I can color inside the lines in a coloring book!). Her gift was passed to her by the way of Dude’s two older brothers who happen to be wonderful at any and all kinds of artsy stuff.

From the time our oldest was about 2 she displayed a talent for drawing that I hadn’t seen before. We would give her crayons and a coloring book and she wouldn’t want the book. She only wanted plain paper so she could draw whatever she wanted on it. Coloring books didn’t allow her creativity to flow. She saw the lines as roadblocks. As she grew, she had paper and pens or crayons with her at all times.

We made sure in her early years to put her in any and all art classes that we could find, whether it be at school or through extra-curricular classes in town. Art supplies aren’t cheap and neither were the classes so we told the rest of our three children that since their sister was busy making beautiful art they couldn’t have any extras. They would have to just get their pay back from her when she was rich and famous. This is why I don’t post any photos of them when they were younger. Seeing them in rags just isn’t pretty. 🙂 You’re not really buying that one are you?

In her preteen years she would paint using watercolors and oils and draw with pen and pencil. She entered any contest she could and she won some kind of ribbon or award in nearly all of them.

When we lived in Aix-en-Provence, we were lucky enough to find a couple of art classes that she could attend during the day each Wednesday and in the evening each Thursday. Boy did she eat those classes up. I never saw more of a happy camper than when she was heading out the door to art class in France.

Upon our return to the United States, we enrolled her in the Orange County High School of the Arts, otherwise known as OCHSA (pronounced OSHA). This is undoubtedly one of the best places to go for a teenager who lives, eats and breathes anything that has anything to do with art. Those few years at this school she excelled and was introduced to jewelry making, sculpting and fashion design as well feeding her illustration-minded knish.

After high school graduation she was accepted to The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, New York. She spent the next several years there before graduating last May.

During the last year she has done two book covers, has had her art work appear in gallery shows and has even been lucky enough to sell some of her stuff. That’s not bad right out of college. She of course has a side job and maintains that artist can’t make enough to live on but one day she hopes to.

Her specialty is fantasy illustration and children’s books. The mediums she works the most with are oil and watercolors.

Her goal is to be in one of SPECTRUM’s volumes, and work either at Random House publishing doing the illustrations for children’s books or at Wizards of the Coast illustrating their fantasy playing cards.

I wanted to share this with you all because I am so proud of her. She is an exceptional child (now an adult) in every way possible. She is loyal, trustworthy, conscientious and hardworking. Her work is beyond wonderful and I would like others to know how truly gifted she is and since I have a blog, I might as well use it every once in awhile for plugging something, right? Why not my oldest kido?

If any of you out there reading this knows someone or is someone who is looking for an illustrator, please don’t hesitate to let me know and I will pass on the information to my daughter. She is always looking for free lance work (as well as steady work).

I know you all are just dying to see if I’m telling you the truth, so here you go, the proof:

Here are some examples of her fantasy illustrations using oil paints.

Here are some examples of her illustrations using watercolor.

Here is an example of her work with Prisma Colored Pencils


About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on May 24, 2012, in French Daily and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Wow – talent to the max! I’m totally impressed. Maybe she should be designing book covers. This is much better than many I have seen.

    • Renee, she would love to do more book covers. She always has her eye on publishing houses to see if she can get some full time work there. Hopefully, it won’t be years in the making until she can find some steady work!

  2. You have every right to be totally impressed by and proud of your daughter. She is truly very talented. I am sure that regular work will come as word gets around about her artistic abilities. Good luck to her and congratulations to the proud parents!

    • Thanks Michel- I think work will come her way, too. Art is a crazy thing. I’ve seen artists who are extremely talented go unnoticed while other artists who are not talented at all get “rock my world” kudos! The art world is a fickle place.

  3. I particularly liked her watercolors, very delicate with an art nouveau sensibility. “Goth” and cartoons are very popular right now. If she hasn’t already, I’d suggest she post an artist page on Facebook, and include these in a gallery. There are many groups for illustrators there she could join.

    • Hi Kimberly! Thanks for the comment! She does already have a FB artist page with her art work and she has started working on her own website and Etsy, too. She keeps in touch with her art teachers, as well, since some of them are quite famous. It’s all about networking and being in the right place at the right time as with anything else. Unfortunately art is subjective and does well in plentiful times! Those two things make it extra difficult. Hopefully a bit more exposure will get the ball rolling 🙂

  4. Fantastic, she is certainly gifted and has obviously also been working hard to attain such an incredible level of talent, I am sure she will be a success and achieve her goal with perseverance. No wonder you are so proud and thank you so much for sharing, what an inspiration to us all 🙂 Good luck to her.

  5. Wow, they are superb! I, like you, struggle with a colouring book, so am very impressed! I so hope she does well in the future. Funnily enough Ed hated colouring books too, but was always to be found with pen and paper, drawing or writing.

    • Thanks Jacqui! I am rooting for her to have a bright future. She is a very hard worker and really loves what she does. When she comes to visit, I have a mural I would like of her to paint in my library 🙂

  6. I don’t know where, but in the not too recent past I have seen the illustration of the little girl on the lily pad. BEAUTIFUL. Your daughter is very talented and so lucky to have/had supportive parents who believe(d) in her from such a young age.
    I LOVE how art is appreciated in France and making a living at it is not questioned…it is assumed there will be a way 🙂
    People here do not give you a blank look if you state that you are an artist or a writer or a photographer…

    • Thank you very much for your nice comment! I agree with the way artist are treated here. It’s nice to see that people in France think it’s a real job 🙂 I do wish she would come here and try to make a go of it for a while, but she is determined to keep trying her hand in The States. Hopefully, she will come for a visit soon and just stay!

  7. Your daughter is amazing. There must be lots of writers that need her talents. I am certain that she will find her way with all her talent. There is no way she will be a starving artist.

    • Hi Judy! Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂 I am rooting for her. With all the hard work and love she puts into her art, I sure hope she is famous someday! I am really proud of her.

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