Monday, June 22, 2015

Cincinnati Illustrators Blog: STUDIO SPACE: Tammie Lyon

Take a peek in my studio thanks to Cincinnati Illustrators recent post!

Cincinnati Illustrators Blog: STUDIO SPACE: Tammie Lyon: Tammie Lyon is an award winning author and illustrator of children’s books ranging from pre-k to early chapter readers. She came to...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Working on the Character……More than meets the eye!

I'm happily working away today and I just realized its been forever since I've blogged! I thought sharing a brief glimpse at character development would be fun. I just happen to be working on the finished paintings for the latest in the Katie Woo series. ( Lets just say this title has had me doing a lot of research on musical instruments!) Katie is one of the most iconic characters I have had the privilege to work on!

One thing that makes Katie Woo who she is and a feature much loved by her fans, is her quirky and fun sense of fashion. While that may seem to be insignificant, it actually lends much to the development of the character and gives the reader a clearer sense of just who she is.

You may think, gee she wears cute clothes BUT those cute clothes can tell so much about the girl wearing them. For instance, we can tell she is a girly girl. She loves skirts and matching tights, fancy sweaters and quirky accents. Let's not forget those turquoise glasses, which I originally made red! We can also tell she has a bit of an artsy streak from all her colorful patterns. I think this bold fashion sense helps to support her bold and outgoing character. It just wouldn't be the same if she were wearing a plain t shirt and jeans!

Many of the ideas for the clothing and color feel of the characters come from my own personal favorites or things I have seen while combing through magazines, the internet, etc. I can't help but incorporate a little bit of myself in every character I create. Thats just where the ideas begin. Much like a real person, I design and create looks that I think would suit her. I try to create a color palette to fit each title. For example the outfit for the Valentine book was purple, pinks, and reds. Once I get going, I design a board with Katie in her latest fashions. It helps the editors and designers get a feel for what she will look like in an upcoming title.

Since this has become such a feature for the Katie Woo titles and something her readers look forward to ( and mimic!) I really pour my heart into it. Its fun getting to play dress up one book at a time!








Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We interrupt this girls work schedule to take a vaca-regular creativity will resume shortly…….

Its been a busy travel season with school visits and book signings. Just took a breather to head to Florida and get in some much needed time with family. Before heading to Florida there was of course a school visit and yes a book signing!

Sharing doggie stories

So many kids excited to get books-AWESOME!
A few questions to the author before they commit to buy!


Love kids who love books!

A VERY special art class at Navin Elementary School

Most special Navin kid of all!!!!!!! Love my niece

And back to a clean studio! Let the book making begin!!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Miss Arty Smarty: Out of the Studio!!!!

Miss Arty Smarty: Out of the Studio!!!!: Such a fun part of being a book person is meeting people who have seen your work and love it. Such a thrill to meet people in person. We cre...

Out of the Studio!!!!

Such a fun part of being a book person is meeting people who have seen your work and love it. Such a thrill to meet people in person. We creative types tend to spend a lot of alone time in our studios so its a good thing to get out and about.

I have spent the last few months visiting, talking, signing, drawing and sharing! Love, love, love it! Below are a few photos from recent visits.

Just a few more in the next month-one very special school visit on my birthday for a lovely niece and nephew and then back to the drawing board!

Signing the latest Katie Woo at PLA 2014
A warm welcome in Kentucky!

The line was forming!

Happy owners of the latest Katie Woo autographed!

School kids filing in!

Getting a good seat!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Miss Arty Smarty: Why do I do what I do? Whats with all the long hou...

Miss Arty Smarty: Why do I do what I do? Whats with all the long hou...: Why do I do what I do? Whats with all the long hours and endless days and nights in my studio…. Okay, today has found me in a reflective...
Why do I do what I do? Whats with all the long hours and endless days and nights in my studio….

Okay, today has found me in a reflective mood. Sitting at my desk, revising a few sketches for an upcoming two book series, I glanced over at a note thats been sitting here from a first grader awaiting my answers.

This isn't an unusual note, I'm asked all the time if I work when my muse hits me or only work on certain days. Art is a tough thing to explain. I can't imagine myself without making art. I guess I can say I do it for very selfish, self fulfilling reasons initially. Alone in my studio, happily creating three dimensional worlds that have never existed yet on my two dimensional pieces of paper. Allowing my mind to joyfully scribble, erase, go back in , add details as they pop in my head, jazz music playing and a snoring dog or two in the background.

With that being said, there is also the part of the equation where this is my lively hood and my purpose to come into my studio everyday. It is a full time job, lucky me! And as a result, I have deadlines and commitments to clients and an agent which means I need  to work even at times when my mind isn't as sharp as I would like or the muse isn't there!

The strange part of this is I never really think of the impact of the art once it enters the word. It seems as though if I make a piece of art that day that fulfills me and all artistic skills are firing, then I am happy. I've created something.

Then I get a letter like the one sitting here next to me as I write this blog. It always catches me a bit off guard.  Someone is looking at what may have been rolling around in my brain that day. They either like it or they don't ( Yes, there are haters-part of the job!) When I get a response, a review, a letter, a picture (like the one posted above, a very cute Katie Woo Book Club) it seems to put it in perspective of the larger picture. I am so very lucky to create for me and to have the emotion and joy tears and angst all represented in my art flowing through to the next person who sees it. Very cool and very deep in a way I will never be able to explain.