Good Morning World.
It feels so nice to be back in Nashville in my studio. Finally a time to focus, digest, and settle into new projects. This past month, I was able to travel home to Michigan, drive to Nova Scotia, do a little camping with friends, and then attend ICON9 in Austin, TX. It's been a whirlwind, but as the dust settles, I'm finding little inspirations that I've subconsciously collected along the way making their way into my sketches for future work.
In NS, we stayed in Cape Breton for a couple of days and took a guided tour for a sunset hike through the Boreal Forest to watch the sun set over the ocean. We learned about the forest, the fir and spruce trees, the acidic soil and fresh sap, and the inhabiting american martens (which are one of my favorites). We got to see two moose as well, and they are incredibly humbling creatures. It was magical. Expect to see some of this magic soon if I can help it.
It's strange to talk of ICON9 in past tense as I feel like I had been counting down the conference for weeks, and it was always something exciting in the future...and just like that...it's over! It was an awesome week filled with inspiring speakers, makers and doers. I was able to take the stop-motion loop workshop with Chris Sickels of Red Nose Studio, who has been a favorite illustrator of mine for years. It was eye opening and exciting to think about doing more 3D work, and putting it to motion. It was also so cool seeing his puppets in real life! They're even more charming in person!
I also did the Roadshow! It was a blast, and I want to not only thank the folks at ICON for letting me share my work there, but also to each and everyone of you who came to my table to show support and purchase prints and cards! It was pretty chaotic but every one I met was incredibly caring and enthusiastic. I hope everyone had a great time!
The next best thing to hearing all of illustrators share their work, was meeting people face to face! In a career where most of my interactions take place online, it's just very fufilling to meet people as human makers, and not just online identities. I got to see the ladies from Light Grey Art Lab (who inspire me and my studio mate Kayla with everything they do) and I got to finally meet Teagan White! Teagan and I have chatted through email for a couple of years now and actually have the same Children's Publishing Agent, Nicole, but I hadn't met her in person.
This ICON was the first one where I actually knew a number of people, so hanging with old friends was incredibly refreshing and awesome. And I leave you with this, which represents the feeling of the whole event which was an exciting, sweaty (thanks Austin!), whirlwind of weirdos.
Adios Monday Warriors!