Monday, July 30, 2007

robert's snow snowflake

I'm honored to once again participate in Robert's Snow, the fundraiser originally organized by Grace Lin and Robert Mercer for the Jimmy Fund. I finished my snowflake today... just in time. I wanted to tie it in the the Twelve Days of Wisconsin Christmas, I've noticed in the past that snowflakes tied to books often get higher bids. Hopefully it'll do well.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Grandmother book I'm ill. for Little, Brown is due next week.... I'm setting it aside for a few hours so that I'll be able see it with fresh eyes. OK... really it's called procrastination. Here's Te Te playing outside.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

catching up...

Well... I'm as bad at posting as I'd anticipated. When it comes down to it, deadlines come first, and I've been just keeping up of late.

I have had some fun illustration events. I spoke to 2nd and 3rd graders at Peninsula Heritage Elementary School through a conference run by YOUNG WRITER'S CONFERENCE ( It was great fun! I love talking to kids. In the past I spoke with older grades. So I was actually surprised by just how interested and involved the younger children were. I spoke about the inspiration for Hula Lullaby. How I tried to capture the connection the Hawaiian culture has to the rhythm of nature. It was a section I thought they'd be bored with, but it was actually the one they paid most attention to. It just confirms that kids are brilliant and intuitively understand that which many adults need to have explained.

Last weekend I went to the scbwi event "Artworks" It was good to see so many familiar faces. Mary Peterson and Ken W. Min both won prizes for best portfolio. Yay! The speakers were Marijka Kostiw, AD from Scholastic Press, Orchard, & A. Levine Books... OK... design genius. I love, love, love her work. I've never heard her speak, and took so much away from what she said. Val Adams from Mosaic Licensing also spoke. She had many valuable snippets on licensing. It's a direction I'd love to go... one of these days I might have time to work up an appropriate portfolio.. ahh sigh.

I've also officially joined the committee to help plan illustrator's day. We met Monday night in Santa Monica. I think we're on to some great ideas!

So with that... I'd better get back to my drawing board..

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I received my proofs yesterday for THE TWELVE DAYS OF WISCONSIN CHRISTMAS from Meredith at Sterling. The colors look great, and I'm really happy with how it's turned out! (Thanks to Scott the new AD!) I'm looking forward to seeing the book. In the meantime I'm thinking I should dig out my snow boots and plan a bit of pre-Christmas promoting.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Patrick's Deployment

Most people who know me, have probably heard of my brothers, Patrick and Morgan. Patrick is an ER doc in the air force and will be deployed next week. Here's an article about the beachfront resort in Jolo, where he'll be residing...

In the meantime I'm dog sitting Pat's cocker spaniel, Mateo, a welcomed edition to the Kono clan. (Mateo is the star of PASSOVER by Roni Schotter a book I illustrated a couple years back)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cal State Visit

I spoke to Illustration students at Cal State Fullerton yesterday. It was at the invitation of my friend Mac McCool. Mac is a wonderful illustrator of comics and is branching into graphic novels and children's illustration. Check out his site at

Mac introduced me to several of his students who are particularly interested in Picture Books. Their work shows wonderful potential and their enthusiasm was inspiring. I'm truly impressed by the University's program which emphasises work ethic and professionalism. I can see why their graduates are doing well.

The talk went OK. I was asked to speak about how I got into children's books. I described the various avenues for getting your work in front of artdirectors (postcards, websites, networking). Many questions dealt withhaving an agent and the differences between the various sectors of thechildren¹s publishing business (libraries, trade, and educational). I don¹tknow that I stressed enough -- though I mentioned -- persistence, beingwilling to try new things, and taking rejection and criticism as challengesto improve one¹s art. However, I emphasized being professional, meetingdeadlines, and following up on contacts. I guess I rambled a bit aboutbeing lucky. (Probably not what a group of college kids needs to hear). I believe I have been lucky of course.. but being lucky never completes assignments!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

David Ezra Steins book project

David Ezra Stein (whom I met while taking Tomie de Paolo's master class last summer) has put up a great "how to" on his site that explains how to make your own book. It's very similar to how I construct my book dummys and looks like a fun project for crafty folk of all ages. Check it out: and click on "try this"

SCBWI Kite Tales article

Mary Peterson ( asked me to write something for the Illustrator's perspective of Kite Tales, the SCBWI newsletter for the tri-regions of Southern California. My article: "O.K... Now What? How to Begin Illustrating a Book" can be found on page 8.

the begining

OK... I've finally caved to the suggestions of my friends and colleagues and ta da here it is the official erin eitter kono blog. The goal is to share info about my work, my friends' work, and interesting tidbits of whatever. My guess is it'll be pretty sporadic. That's me... not particularly consistent. We'll call it an artistic brain. But I figure this will be way easier to update than my long neglected website... so here we go! Yay!