Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Illustrator's Day a Success!

Thanks to the incredible work of the committee, most notabley Jane and Joan, and our many volunteers, Illustrator's Day '08 was a great success! Our speakers were all amazing! We'd really hoped to have a day where a variety of topics relevant to working illustrators would be addressed, and everyone contributed an incredible amount of information. So, now I'm all inspired, I need to get back to work!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

SCBWI Los Angeles Illustrator's Day

I'm happy to be involved with the organization of the 2008 illustrators Day here in LA. This year's them is 'the Business of Illustrating' and we hope to touch upon topics that will be relevant to both the beginner and seasoned professional. For complete details go to
Everyone should also check out Jane Smith's article in Kite Tales for some great sneak peak interviews with guest speakers Joann Hill, Lorena Siminovich, and Steve Myhre (

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I recently spent some time in Alaska visiting my brother and his family. To say the place is inspiring is a bit of an understatement. I took ohhh just a few photos... also probably a bit of an understatement... Since the theme of the trip had been 'bears', I came home ready to paint them. Here's a photo taken near my brother's house, and then an illustration set in the environment. (Bye the way, despite our preparations and angst, only Kirk and Pat saw a bear. It was while they were rafting/fishing, and the bear was most definitely not interested in them.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Color Doodles

Here's an illustration done from the scbwi doodles. I'm still deciding if they're Barbary Pirates or Mamluk soldiers...

Monday, August 4, 2008

scbwi '08

I spent Saturday at the SCBWI National Conference. It was, as always, a great chance to see friends and catch up on industry news. As you can tell from above I took detailed notes... I danced the night away, thanks to the strong persuasive talents of Paula Yoo, Lisa Wheeler, and Kevan Atteberry...and we even got Jane Smith out there..crazy! Congratulations to Ken Min, a fellow Los Angeles illustrator and friend who placed second in the illustration contest! Anyone interested in details of the conference check out Paula's Blog

Friday, June 20, 2008

black and white work

Since returning from KW I've been plugging away at a middle grade novel. Here's a sample illustration from the second chapter.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hula Lullaby at The Dubuque Museum of Art

Photos from the opening reception held for the summer art exhibits at the Dubuque Museum of Art. It was a fun night! Great food, Great wine, and friends both old and new. Thank you very much to Stacy Gage and the Museum staff!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thanks TH!

The Telegraph Herald, my hometown newspaper, features a very nice article today about my upcoming show at the Dubuque Museum of Art. The museum will show spreads from HULA LULLABY from June 3-July 31 with an opening reception on June 6th, 5:30-7:30 sponsored by Wachovia. Everyone is welcome to come! You can read Sandeye Voight's article at and read more about upcoming exhibits at the Dubuque Museum of Art at I'm looking forward to enjoying a week of springtime in Dubuque!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I've been playing around with a new watercolor technique that Mary Jane Begin demonstrated at Kindling Words. That's right watercolor... She uses a modified old master technique that allows layering... I'm in love.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kindling Words West

I've just returned from Kindling Words West, an inspiring week at Ghost Ranch Abiquiu in New Mexico.
I went with the hopes of kick starting some writing projects, and with the insight of Tim Wynn-Jones I did. I also learned an amazing amount from Mary Jane Begin who teaches color at RISD.
It was an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by desert light and fine friends.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Young Writers Conference

Friday, March 28th I was pleased to once again participate in the Alta Vista Young Writers Conference. The conference was started years ago by a couple mothers who have since turned the idea into a wonderful business. They do a fantastic job promoting writing to young kids by bringing in professionals from screenplay and song writers to sports journalists to teach workshops. The kids' enthusiasm is incredibly inspiring. I've come away eager to work. You can check out their website at

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Wisconsin

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Wisconsin, (Sterling 2007) was released last fall and promptly sold out. (Much to the dismay of certain family members who didn't get a copy) I'm happy to announce it's now available at! Next holiday season we'll be prepared with copies to spare.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Punk Wig Trailer

The unofficial trailer for Punk Wig

by Lori Ries, Illustrated by me, published by Boyds Mills Press, 2008

Available in bookstores now!

Monday, February 25, 2008

My soft tummied toy TayTay. She's aprox. 4 inches. tall. This is her party dress.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kitty TayTay

My latest obsession is developing a series of books/toys based on a character that is suspiciously close in temprement to a particualrily adored two year old... hmmnm wonder who that could be... Here's Kitty TayTay in her pop-up kitchen.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Good Enough by Paula Yoo

I just read the most AMAZING debut novel by Paula Yoo! The book's main character, Patti, is smart, sassy, and incredibley lovable. If you are, or know an intelligent, driven teen you should buy this book! Here's the reviews:

- BOOKLIST (Nov. 17, 2007): Yoo follows her picture-book biography Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story (2005), with a funny, contemporary first novel about a high-achieving high-school senior who struggles between her Korean parents' expectations and her growing desire to shape her own future. Patti, a self-described "B-tier violin prodigy" and class valedictorian, recounts her senior year, in which her first deep crush is a powerful distraction from college applications and her parents? stringent requirements for a "P.K.D." (Perfect Korean Daughter). Like the best comic writers, Yoo uses humor to illuminate painful experiences: "Why does Susan get to be called . . . dork or geek but I always get called Jap or Chink or gook?" Patti wonders. "I'd take geek over gook any day." The frequent lists ("How to Make Your Korean Parents Happy"), SAT questions, and even spam recipes are, like Patti's convincing narration, filled with laugh-out-loud lines, but it's the deeper questions about growing up with immigrant parents, confronting racism, and how best to find success and happiness that will stay with readers. Gillian Engberg

KIRKUS REVIEWS: Patti knows that the only thing harder than calculus, or maybe mastering the cadenza from the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor, is being a PKD, a Perfect Korean Daughter. The PKD achieves great grades, shines at extracurriculars and is devoted to her church but never complains or brags. Most important, the PKD never questions her parents' pushing her to get into Harvard, Yale and Princeton and become a doctor or a lawyer. Though witty, linguistically gifted Patti has a number of academic talents, her greatest joy is playing the violin. She knows she's not supposed to rock the Harvard/Yale/Princeton boat but, encouraged by her violin teacher, she applies to Juilliard. Now her dilemma is not her SAT scores or her grades, but how to hide her desire to attend music school from her academically oriented parents. The Clash, a jam session and a new boy at school encourage Patti to break from her PKD shell and see her social life and violin studies in new ways. Teens living through the pressure of college applications and questioning their futures will sympathize with Patti in this enjoyable, funny but not superficial read, which bears many similarities to Alex Flinn's Diva (2006). (Fiction. YA)

PUNK WIG! by LORI REIS Illustrated by ERIN EITTER KONO...available now!

by LORI REIS Illustrated by ERIN EITTER KONO from Boyds Mills Press is in Bookstores NOW!

ISBN: 1-59078-486-3 ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-486-0

From The Book Cover:"Mom is on her way to the hospital to get "alien blobs" zapped with medicine. The alien blobs are cancer. The treatment helps, but it also makes Mom lose her hair.One day she says, "Today is wig day," and she and her son head down to Harriett's Hair, where they find wigs of all styles and sizes: big hair short hair, spiky hair, and curly hair. Finally, Mom finds the wig she been looking for-and it looks perfect with her jeans and leather jacket.Lori Ries's loving story of a mother whose son gives her constant support during chemotherapy is illustrated with warmth and humor by Erin Eitter Kono."

Praise for Punk Wig!

"Kono's watercolor illustrations convey a blithe touch and reflect the warm relationship between mom and son. This positive and upbeat approach to coping with cancer will be a welcome addition—younger than, but complimentary to Patricia Polacco's The Lemonade Club (2007). "
-PUNK WIG - Kirkus Reviews - 12/15/07
"In this tender tale of love and healing, the difficult subject of cancer is dealt with in an honest and straight-forward manner... This lovely story of love through hardship will lift you up."
-Strand Bookstore, NY
available at all bookstores across the country

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