Sometimes it feels like this.

April 20th, 2020
Just making fun, here.

Character study

April 16th, 2020
A friend is someone who knows how to make you smile…

These two are from a project I’m working on. I’ve done hundreds of drawings of them. Some very, very ugly drawings. Some too cute, some too scary. Think I might be getting close to figuring them out, and how they get along.

Then again, tomorrow I may hate this drawing.

Stuck at home, exploring

April 11th, 2020
Blip
Cat-meleon meets hummingbee.

Keeping busy these strange days of pandemic. Glad to have work, but also making time for my own projects every day. New projects. New characters! Lots of imagining what if.

And sewing masks, of course. Masks for ourselves, our friends, and neighbors. Strange days.

Stubby the Fearless Squid meets the world!

September 27th, 2019
Waving alllll my tentacles for Stubby Squid! 
While corresponding with his new penpal, Stubby may have exaggerated a few wished-for character traits, such as: strength, bravery, and boldness in the face of danger. It was fun to imagine, fun to write, and fun to read the adventurous letters he got in return. Everything goes swimmingly until Stubby’s pen pal announces plans to visit! Stubby is very afraid he’ll lose his new friend when they meet in person (so to speak) and the dreadful truth becomes apparent. But he puts on a brave face. To his surprise… it fits.

Writers and Illustrators (the question of contact)

April 19th, 2016

TOVclip_2

 

Interesting (and flattering) post on why editors often limit contact between writers and illustrators, from an experienced editor’s point of view.

Thanks to  Tara Lazer (author of Normal Norman, among others, and inventor of PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) for inviting Meredith Mundy of Sterling Books to do a guest post. Even bigger thanks to Meredith for offering THIS OLD VAN as an example of how good things can happen when the writer leaves room for the illustrator to interpret the story, and bring his or her own ideas to the drawing table. Did I mention that in addition to being ever-so-wise and insightful, she’s a very nice person?

Fall book events and signings!

November 17th, 2015

PignoseCDCsm

Around here, fall is marked by the appearance of squirrel-chewed walnuts at the park. I love these things, they look just like pig-noses. If you happen to look at things a certain way, which I do… This year I finally got around to making myself a necklace, and earrings to match. If you come to one of these up-coming events, you might see me in my nutty splendor.

Lake Oswego Library Nov 15th, from 1-4

Annie Bloom’s Bookstore Dec 4th Shop and Stroll Night!

Lake Oswego Newcomers Club Meeting, Lake Oswego Library Dec 10th 11:30 am

Powell’s on Burnside Storytime Dec 12th 11 am

As I write this a storm is ruffling the world with wet.

A good day to curl up with a book!

 

 

Little bird says..

March 9th, 2015

nice hat

FWIW

I attended the Big Sur Writing Workshop last weekend, which is organized by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and the Henry Miller Memorial Library. I’ve been hearing about it for years, and I loved it. The format (critique, revise, critique) the people (ABLA agents, plus editor and writer guests.) and the setting. (Wowza.) The weather was spectacular as well. We talked story and story-telling all weekend. Ahhhh. One thing: I meant to take binoculars and make observations of various life forms, and draw in the great out-of-doors. (Which is particularly great in this location, as previously mentioned) Of course I forgot the binoculars. And I did draw, but not what you could call seriously… Perhaps I am not a very serious person.

Hittin’ the Road

March 5th, 2015


TOVdeparture

Granny and Gramps packing This Old Van for a road trip! Written by Kim Norman, illustrated by me (Carolyn Conahan), due out Aug ’15 from Sterling Books.

I am taking this show on the road. Writing and illustrating on the lam. Yay!

 

Advanced retreating

September 29th, 2014

wolf7

I love spending time with people who love books, and stories, and the craft of writing (and illustrating) stories, for books. I love sitting amongst these nice people, sharing info and discussing the business and other topics loosely associated with the business. Since people can write about about any subject in this world, or any number of made-up worlds, you can imagine the possibilities for conversation are many and varied. (Please feel free to imagine, at this time.) I had an absolutely splendid time at the Speakeasy Retreat, not too long ago.  It was a convivial sort of gathering, nourishing and inspiring, with brain-tingling critique conversations, too. I am still smiling. My thanks to those who put it together.

Working at home (Or: my faithful companion, Distraction)

April 25th, 2014

I’m not complaining, I love my short commute out the back door and across the yard to the shed/workhouse/doghouse/outhouse, or, when I’m feeling la-di-da, the studio. (Snort) Home is home, my place of work, and my happy place, too. But, as most people with home offices know, it’s hard to separate work and personal life when they share a space. Hard to be efficient, and productive, to stay on task, and on schedule.

Managing distraction has always been a challenge for me. Every time I start to think I’ve got the hang of it, some all-new, all-different crisis comes along and I must learn to mange my time all over again. I used to kick myself for not conquering this problem once and for all. But that got old, and wasn’t particularly useful, either. Life changes! So even if I DID make a really great plan, it would only work as long as conditions remained the same. That is just not going to happen. So I try to stay nimble and practice time-management skills every day.

Fiona is always happy to help. So loyal.

hungryFiona

Time for a little something?