Tuesday, November 09, 2010

'A Day to Decide'

These 2 illos were created for a story in the November issue of The Friend Magazine.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Joni and the Whale

Let's just say when I got the call from Pockets Magazine to illustrate a story about a girl dressed in a whale mascot costume, there was glee in my heart and a skip to my step!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bring on September!

August is flying by! I leave for my first trip to Europe in September and it's gonna be an amazing 3 weeks. My best friend and I are heading to England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Ireland. EPIC! I am beyond excited but have SO much to do before we leave next week. Projects to finish, dentist appointments, birthday parties, shopping/packing and everything in between. OMGosh, I've got to get back to work.

BUT! I'm hoping I can do some posts while I'm over there just to say hi and let you know how the trip's going. A little "Where's Katie today?" sorta thing :) Well that's the plan anyway. As long as I can figure out how to post from my new iPhone and I have adequate wi-fi in the hotels we're staying in.

Here's hoping you have a delightful and full week. I leave you with these 2 pieces I created for the September issue of Friend Magazine. They were really fun to work on.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Today, I thought I'd show y'all a bit of my process...

When working out a sketch I always start out small and sloppy as I figure out shapes and gesture. They often look like scribbles that only I can decipher... these shown here are not as messy as they can be :)

After I get a rough that I like, I bust out my trusty tracing paper and clean it up. These animals were created for Lakeshore Learning and they wanted to see sketches first (of course), so I sent the blue lines and then once approved I finished them in Adobe illustrator.

In this case I knew I had to do a black/white and color version of each illustration so I tried to keep that in mind as I inked the black lines. I tried to save time by creating b/w shapes that could later be filled with a color without much additional modification.

In illustrator, I use custom strokes and half strokes A LOT. I like variation in line thickness. If you don't like making your own brushes, the droplet brush is standard with Ai (I think) and it's pretty good. You should try it out.

When illustrating scenes or more complex compositions than just small spots and character designs my process is pretty much the same. I don't post my rough sketches on the 'ol blog very often because I figure you guys would just look at them and be like "what the heck IS that?" But maybe I should? Maybe you'd like to see the rough and tumble skeletons under my work? Hmm, we'll see.

So yeah, there you have a bit of my process... leaving out the procrastinatory trips to the fridge, organizing my desk and mini self pep talks!

btw, If ever you have an Adobe illustrator question feel free to ask!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Month of Madness

The last couple weeks have been unforgettable. On July 14th I attended the Illustration Conference (iCON6) for the first time and seriously, how much inspiration can one person handle?! The sessions, presentations, and roundtable discussions were fantastic and I met some amazing illustrator people and even some famous ones (cough cough... Tim Biskup... cough). To top it all off, I got to hang out with friends I hadn't seen in months, which is always great.

And if that wasn't enough, right around the corner came Comic Con!

SDCC may just be my favorite time of year. (Ok, it's in the top 3). This year the panels were amazing and the artists did not disappoint. I was able to go 4 out of the 5 days and was thoroughly entertained the whole time. While at every turn there was a book, or a print, T-shirt or a toy I wanted, I held myself back and bought only a few things. This collage comprises the treasures I collected from iCON ad SDCC... from fun toys I couldn't resist to signed books :) And did I mention that I met Tony Diterlizzi?!

So tell me, what did you get at the Con this year that's totally awesome?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pockets Magazine

A few months ago I was asked to create 2 illustrations for a story titled, "It's Not Me" for the July issue of Pockets Magazine and now I can finally show them to you! These illos were VERY fun and satisfying to work on and the folks at Pockets were a dream to work with. Thanks guys!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Missing Box

Here is a painting that was recently published in the May issue of the Friend Magazine. For this assignment I painted in watercolor rather than digitally, and it was a real delight as I rarely get to physically paint for clients.

Here is the page layout with my 2 paintings, as I also did a title illustration :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Topps-Empire Strikes Back

Here are my cards for the Topps Empire Strikes Back 3D trading card set!

Once again I had the great pleasure of drawing Han, Leia, Luke, droids, Chewie and of course, Darth. This series is a different shape than the standard 2.5x3.5, so I had to approach each card more cinematically. Well I tried to, anyway :) And I also made 25 of them red to be sold only at Target. Good times.

The 6 full color cards will be return to me sometime late May or early June and I will be putting them up for sale.

Hope you have been having a great April. Use the Force, my friends!

Monday, March 15, 2010

LA Times

I got a call a couple months ago from the LA Times asking if I'd illustrate a story for the 'Kids' Reading Room' section of the newspaper. I took the opportunity to experiment a bit with this illo. I tried some different Photoshop brushes and attempted to give the piece more of a 'chalk pastel' feel. I like how it came out and want to keep working with some of these textures in the future. Oh, and I can't forget to shout out a BIG thank you to my good friend Marilyn Scott-Waters for referring me!

Here is a link to the Kids' Reading Room on the LA Times website.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

SCBWI Kite Tales newsletter

About a month or so ago I got a Facebook message asking if I'd be willing to write a 300 word bio for the Illustrator's Gallery page of the Tri-Region SoCal SCBWI newsletter Kite Tales. I was so honored!

If you'd like to read the Newsletter (it's really informative and worth the read) click here. If you'd like to read my 'lil bio, head over to page 25.

And because I can't post without a drawing to show you, here is a sketch from a recent project. Have a great day everybody!

Monday, February 22, 2010

My 1st magazine illustrations

February 22, 2010 shall go down in the history of my life as a momentous day. I've had my first taste of opening the mailbox, finding a magazine and turning to the page that says "Illustrations by Katie McDee" and you know what? I LIKE IT. I might just be addicted to this feeling.

Ever since I as a kid I dreamt of having my art in the Friend Magazine (an LDS children's publication) and because of this, I had hesitated contacting the art director for fear of being rejected. Well, a couple months ago I decided, enough is enough. No more of this "fear of failure" stuff. You won't get anywhere if you don't try, right? Right. So I cold called and emailed and low and behold he liked my work! 2 months later I had fulfilled a childhood dream and believe you me, there's nothing better than that.

If there's been anything you've been wanting to do, but too nervous to try.... DO IT! I highly recommend it :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

dog blog

I was organizing files tonight and came across some dog sketches I did a few years ago and I thought I'd share them. woof.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

'Worst Babysitters Ever' is MINE! Bwa ah ah.

Back in December I participated in an art auction for the Hey You Guys charity event and it was an awesome experience. I'm hoping to get another invite next year [hint hint]. Not only was it so fun to see Ghostbusters on the big screen, but some GB fans showed up in full-on realistic looking gear with detailed packs and jumpsuits, AND a modernized Ecto-1. I met some great artists, reconnected with old friends and to top it all off, fell in love.

There was a piece based off of Labyrinth called 'Worst Babysitters Ever' by Bill Robinson. I bid, and I bid, and I bid the house down. That piece is mine and now hanging in my house. what what!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Illustration Friday - Clumsy

Who's clumsier than Humpty Dumpty? I can't think of anybody. Except maybe Martin Short from the movie Pure Luck? Hmm, maybe.

Do you know someone clumsier than Humpty Dumpty? Are YOU clumsier than Humpty Dumpty? If so, let's not hang out . . . ever.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Into the garbage chute, flyboy."

Would anyone like a Star Wars coloring page? It's printer friendly and ready for some crayons. Let your midichlorians go nuts.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thursday, January 07, 2010

...and his noble steed

Yesterday I had a lot of fun. A friend asked me to create a caricature for one of his coworkers based on the knight in shining armor motif.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

More Bunnies!

About a year ago I was commissioned to paint a 'Thank You" card for MHoponHop, (they're a non-sports trading card dealer on ebay) And I was so pleased when they asked me to do another one. I love rabbids. Super fun!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2010... starting over again

It's a new year and with it come dreams and goals. One of my many aspirations for this year is to draw more and post more often. Sound like a good idea? I think so too :) I'm looking to sketch something, anything that's not project/work related, every day and allow myself the time to work on personal projects. It is so easy to just work on the gigs that pay and then go out and play, don't you think? I've had a few book ideas that haven't gotten to the dummy stage yet, so that's a big goal this year. I'm going to redesign my website and add a store for originals, prints and (hopefully) some merchandise. Big plans!

In addition to professional goals I've got a couple others in the mix. As with 98% of the population, I'm going to eat better. I've cut out soda, (and that was tough, let me tell ya. Mexican food is just not the same without a coke) and have started eating more fruits and veggies and meals at regular intervals. I know this might sound a silly resolution, but you're talking to a girl who can forget to eat all day. It's not good for the ol' immune system.

I'm also going to go to an acupuncturist this year. The idea of becoming a human cactus scares me a little, so I'm going to try it! I'm going to take accordion lessons and learn how to screen print. I've decided it's time to go to Europe so I'm already planning an August trip. And lastly, I'd like to buy a house.

I'm gonna sweep the leg right out from under 2010. Watch out, 2010 is gonna be off the hook!

So, what are YOUR dreams and goals for 2010??