Illustrating Love You From Right Here

Sep 7, 2017

This past year I had the amazing opportunity to work with foster-mom and author Jamie Sandefer, illustrating her book Love You From Right Here, published by Lucid Books in May. Love You From Right Here is a sweet story about a foster daughter and mother relationship and all the different emotions a child experiences in foster care or adoption. I felt so honored to work on this project because of the lack of picture books out there for foster kids, and the need that families have for this kind of book. It has already made such a huge impact on this community (we've sold 1,300 books so far!) and I hope it continues!

Purchase your copy on Amazon
or buy a signed copy from me the illustrator, here on my website

Here's a peek into my process with some early storyboards, sketches, and finished artwork. The total time it took to complete the illustrations from start to finish was 8 months!

character studies of the two main characters exploring their gestures and size relationship 

this set of sketches is called a turn-around showing the main character from different angles

some initial storyboard thumbnail sketches to get ideas down

initial rough sketch

Then I refine the drawing in more detail with any necessary changes. I had to move the Mom over to the right since she was falling into the center gutter.

The finished artwork! Watercolor and colored pencil on Strathmore 500 Illustration board.

rough sketch

refined drawing with changes
finished artwork

Cover art in progress. I use a light tack/ washi tape for clean borders, then start with watercolor washes over my drawing.

The finished cover illustration!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of my process creating the illustrations for Love You From Right Here! For more daily updates of what I'm working on follow me on instagram @pamelagoodmanart.

My art featured on the MATS blog!

Mar 2, 2017

I can't believe it has already been a year since I last blogged (whoops)! This past year has brought some really great projects my way, namely a picture book which I will share next. But I just found out that my artwork was featured on the Make Art That Sells (MATS) blog showcasing some of the student work from the Assignment  Bootcamp I participated in last year (2016). 

I LOVED the Assignment Bootcamp! It's one pro-level assignment every month for 5 months, and because of it I was able to push myself to develop more personal work to add to my portfolio. And this particular assignment, creating holiday ornaments in the "lumberjack" theme, actually led me to make the real ornaments that I have for sale in my Etsy shop here! I would recommend this course if you're looking to push yourself further and learn about yourself as an artist. There were certainly assignments that I got really excited about, and others that pushed me outside my comfort zone, but that's where I learned the most about myself. Yay MATS!

"lumber jack" themed ornament designs for Assignment Bootcamp

 ornaments in my Etsy shop
Ornaments in my Etsy shop

MATS Bootcamp 2016: Coloring Book

Mar 30, 2016

I just signed up for Lilla Rogers course: Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp again this year. It's always a good challenge for me to explore themes that I might not have otherwise thought of. We get 5 pro assignments in 5 months. The first assignment this month was to draw some 1920s ladies and turn them into a coloring book design. Mine is inspired by one of my favorite artists Alphonse Mucha. The illustration was drawn with pen & ink, then I vectored it in Illustrator to pop in some color. Check out all the gorgeous artwork by other illustrators in the March Gallery.

Check out the MATS March Gallery

Christmas Cards in my Etsy Shop + 15% Off

Dec 2, 2015

Happy Christmas season! Oh how I love this time of year... It often happens that by the time I think about Christmas cards the season is half over. This year I actually got my card designs made early (back in September!) and they are all for sale as both boxed sets and individual cards in my Etsy shop:

Get 15% off your order with code: PAINTEDJOY15

Moonbeam Children's Book Award Winner!

Oct 8, 2015

"Watch Me Grow" just won a Moonbeam Children's Book Award!! Hooray! We placed 3rd in the category of "Books with Merchandise."The book comes with a foot measuring device and a cute set of stickers for marking your child's height. Working on this book was so much fun, thanks to a great team at Footer Family Foot Measure the publisher and creator, and TLC Graphics who did the book design. Congrats team!

Watch Me Grow- A Coloring & Activity Book

Aug 21, 2015

This past spring I got to illustrate a coloring and activity book Watch Me Grow, for Family Foot Measure. Kids can measure their feet and height every few months, and track how much they've grown. It was so much fun to illustrate, and even more fun to see kids coloring my pictures! You can purchase it on their website or on Amazon here.

one of my earlier sketches for the treasure hunt page

under the sea sketch

Flash Giveaway! Enter Now to Win!

Aug 10, 2015

For the next 24 hours we will be giving away a FREE coloring page of Rosie and her friends from A Fish In Foreign Waters, AND one lucky winner will receive a copy of the book signed by the author. Enter now, below!

Giveaway begins on Aug 11, 2015 at 12:00am EST, and ends on Aug 12, 2015 12:00am EST. 
Winners will be contacted by email within 48 hours to receive prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Fish In Foreign Waters is out!

Jun 29, 2015

Hooray! A picture book I illustrated "A Fish In Foreign Waters" by Laura Caputo-Wickham was just released from Long Bridge Publishing. Its a sweet story about a spotted ray fish named Rosie who moves to a new place, learns a new language and discovers that being bilingual is more fun than she thought. Pick up a copy of A Fish In Foreign Waters on Amazon. Here's a little sneak peek at the artwork.

MATS Bootcamp: Journal Design

Jan 27, 2015

I just finished my assignment for the Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells Bootcamp, which was to create a journal cover with the theme of Edwardian brooches. I did a few pages of sketches to get some ideas flowing, then painted some of the designs in watercolor. It was a fun challenge, and I'm excited for next month's assignment! By June I'll have 5 new pieces of artwork to add to my portfolio.

Liberty Bottleworks: Kids Bottle Design

Jan 12, 2015

I'm excited to share a kids water bottle I designed for Liberty Bottleworks, a company in my home state of Washington. These bottles are awesome! They're 100% made in the USA, from recycled aluminum and printed with great designs from artists. You can find them at places like REI, Wholefoods, Ace Hardware or online on their website. My idea for the design came from all the things you might see on a nature hike.

Happy 2015!

Jan 5, 2015

Happy New Year! I'm so excited for this new year, and have so many cool things to share in the next few months, one being a picture book I'm illustrating for Long Bridge Publishing! After the excitement of the holidays are over I always get a little bit of a lull, (sometimes a rut) but this year I can feel the momentum from the fall pushing me forward. I like taking time to sit and journal (I like to start a brand new pretty journal & sketchbook every year), and on the first page I write down my personal affirmations for the year. Here is one that is close to my heart:

... I am good enough, talented enough, and BRAVE enough ...

I'm working on being braver, and pushing myself to take risks. I often get overly critical of my work, and of myself, and struggle with it being "good enough." But I'm realizing as long as I'm having fun doing it, nothing else matters really...

One of my goals for this year is to take my work to the next level, creating more assignments for myself to branch out to not only children's books, but children's pattern design and art licensing. I signed up for Lilla Roger's course Make Art That Sells, and it starts today! Every month for the next 6 months I'll have a new assignment aimed at different markets, to expand my portfolio. So here we go, I'm anticipating much goodness and creativity this year!

New Cards in my Print Shop

Oct 9, 2014

I just painted some new greeting card designs, a pretty floral wreath thank you card, and squirrel family baby card. I printed them on watercolor paper at white house custom color, and I'm so impressed with the color and quality. Stock up on some stationery for yourself from my shop:

Grand Re-Opening of my Print Shop!

Sep 12, 2014

Hooray! My print shop is now open, with some brand new cards and fine art prints! Its been a long project that Ive been working on to update and create some pretty products for my shop. Go check it out now, and stock up on cards and some prints for yourself or as gifts! 

To celebrate my grand re-opening I'll be giving 20% off everything for the next week, until Sept 20th! 

Use code: ILOVEPAMELA20 at checkout

SCBWI LA Conference

Aug 27, 2014

Earlier this month I had the amazing opportunity to attend the SCBWI conference held in LA, a goal I've had for the last two years! I road tripped down with two of my friends, Bay Area illustrators Charlotte Cheng and Jeslyn Kate. This was my first big conference, and I had so many mixed feelings of anticipation, excitement and fear leading up to it. For one, I signed up to show my portfolio in the Showcase, and knowing the eyes of art directors and editors would be all over it I spent weeks revamping, reorganizing and throwing out half my work to make my portfolio the best it could be. And no matter how ready I thought I felt, there was always that gnawing feeling that maybe I wasn't truly ready. But I had to ignore that. And I did it, I showed my work! No one's going to know about it collecting dust in my closet. Here's a few newer pieces I included in my portfolio.

getting my portfolio ready for the showcase  //  Jeslyn Kate, me, Charlotte Cheng

The conference was such an amazing positive experience, meeting so many other passionate illustrators and writers. I felt like I was in the midst of "my people" who spoke my language and got excited over silly things like paper stocks, and picture book dummies! I had so much fun, laughed SO hard (thanks Charlotte and Jeslyn!) and totally wore myself out like a puppy everyday. And no matter how tired I felt from the constant chit chat of networking and keynote speakers, I felt so inspired and fired up inside! I came out with such a feeling of community and support, knowing I have other writers & illustrators out there who go through the same stuff as me like getting inspired when you want to throw your work away, or reminding yourself "you are good enough, and you can succeed!"

Jeslyn Kate, Me, Charlotte Cheng: Day one here we go!

I brought 300 postcards and gave away all but a handful! I met so many amazing people, especially other illustrators who I admired, that was such a highlight! One thing I'm really glad I did was to go with a few friends, to be newbie conference buddies. It really made a difference having even a small group to touch base with every evening over dinner, and go over notes. Another thing I'm SO glad we did was buy a bunch of food at Trader Joe's to make lunches in our hotel room. It saved money, plus those lunch lines looked like they took 45 minutes to go through!

Tomie de Paola's birthday / Old Italy Gala Night // Cathy Bowman, Erin McGuire, Jeslyn Kate, Charlotte Cheng, Me

All three of us Charlotte, Jeslyn and I entered our portfolios into the Portfolio Showcase, and Jeslyn was selected for a Mentorship Award!! Wooohooo were so excited for her! She had the amazing opportunity to consult one on one with each of the mentors, including Cecilia Yung (Art Director, Penguin)Priscilla BurrisE.B. Lewis,Paul O. ZelinskyLaurent Linn (Art Director, Simon & Schuster Children's) and David Diaz. And she'll be included along with the other mentees to join the Kit Lit Artists Blog. Were so proud of you Jeslyn! Check out Jeslyn Kate's work on her website 

Jeslyn wins the Mentorship Award! (photo by Debbie Ohi)  //  reading some good books in the pool

Every single keynote speaker had tidbits of amazing advice and I took good notes! Here's just some of the things that really struck me me from various keynotes and workshops, if you're interested in seeing all my notes you can download them here.
 “ Don’t be afraid to engage with the dark parts of your head” -Meg Rosoff
Meg reminded us that some of the best creative material come from a place deep inside us (sometimes dark and scary) but always authentic, because its those real experiences and feelings we had as children and adults that are so unique to us, yet resonate universally with so many other people. I've been trying to tap into my childhood more by journaling my memories, and more of my illustrations lately have come directly out of those memories, or combinations of memories and childhood dreams. It's been feeling more personal, and maybe thats why more of my work has been about little girls, because I know what it's like to be a girl.
"Do what YOU DO better than anyone else does" -Meg Rosoff
A constant thread throughout the conference was the word "Voice" What does that mean? I think I know what it is, and at times I'm not sure I have it. Meg describes it like this, "Your voice is…finding who you are, and what you have to say about the world."  I'm definitely still working on that in my work.
"If you listen to your own voice, unknown friends will come and seek you” -Jung
I got the chance to attend Aaron Becker's workshop on wordless picture books (later I got his book "Journey" signed aw yea!). The main point I took away was to be patient with the illustration and book making process, and not let any sketch become too precious to revise over again. His tip is to keep your thumbnails small, and draw in stick figures if you have to. Nothing comes out perfect from the beginning. He showed us all his rough sketches from Journey and his 5+ revisions of the dummy! I was so inspired because I think a lot of the time we place to much pressure on ourselves as artists to create a masterpiece in an instant. We want to rush to the finish, to create something great, and most of the work- like 90% of the work is in the sketch phase! It's the slow persevering process that eventually creates something great. 
"Have Courage” -Tomie de Paola
Tomie de Paola was able to Skype call from his studio, so cool! He encouraged us to have courage in our career and in our daily work. The hardest part is starting, even he deals with fear of the blank white page. No matter how many times you've created beautiful artwork and story, you have to get up and do it all over again.

And finally, Judy Blume gave the closing keynote, and sent us off with some encouraging words.

“Do not let anyone discourage you. If they do, get angry not depressed.” -Judy Blume
I'm so glad I went, it was worth every penny spent. My goal for the next few months is to just keep working and persevering, creating personal art and stories that I LOVE, not worrying if it will be good enough for anyone else. I learned so much, and had such a fun time meeting people. I hope to make it again next year!
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