Friday, October 24, 2014

Artist Statement

My goal as a writer and natural science illustrator is to create beautiful artwork and stories for both children’s fiction and non-fiction books. The medium of choice for my illustrations are color pastels and color pencils. My art style inspiration comes from the beauty and detail patterns of stained glass and mosaic imagery.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Deadlines around the corner, how do I stay focused?

    Animal Profiles
I am so excited and eager to show my artwork to the world.  However, I want to make sure that I create a professional and top quality art portfolio.  I want make a good first impression to my future clients.  In addition to my art portfolio, I am working on a total of  three book dummies. I have completed three picture book manuscripts that I plan to illustrate for future publication. To keep myself displine and focused,  I make sure that I dedicate at least one hour a day working on my craft.  Below, I listed a few things that helps me to stay on task.  Believe it or not as a newbie, I already have deadlines.  I will be applying for a SCBWI Illustrator grant in November and I have registered to participate in the illustration  showcase in February for the SCBWI Mid Winter Conference in New York City.  Yes, I am really excited, but I also want to be prepared.

       How do stay focused every day:
  • I dedicate at "least" one hour a day to work on my craft both writing and illustrating.
  • I challenged myself to 365 Days of Sketching
  • I participate in Illustration Friday
  • I started a blog to keep track of my progress
  • I share my artwork as much as possible (except my book dummie artwork)
  • Believing in myself and knowing that every minute that I work on my craft is going to be worth it!

       Thanks for taking time out your day to read a glimpse of my journey :)

       Victoria Thomas

Friday, October 17, 2014

A List of 20 Interesting Things About Me

1.    My art style was inspired from stain glass imagery.

2.    When I was in junior high I wanted to be a fashion designer.

3.    When I was in college, I wanted to be a teacher.

4.    During my childhood, I was a very  reluctant reader.

5.    I did not frequently visit the library, until I met my husband in my late twenties.

6.    There is a ten year age difference between my oldest child and my middle child.

7.    I love chewing sugar free gum.

8.    I am the oldest child of three sisters.

9.    I currently work as a children’s librarian assistant for almost a decade.

10.    I love reading non-fiction books.

11.    My birthday is on Valentine’s Day.

12.    I think most insects are beautiful.

13.    My favorite color is purple.

14.    I have a bachelors’ degree in Craft Design.

16.    I love to dance.

17.    I have so many ideas everyday; I have to keep a notebook with me at all times.

18.    I am known to be a very passionate person.

19.    I love dressing up for any occasion.

20.    My favorite season is fall

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Creepy Crawlers and Tiny Creatures with Wings on the Brain

My love for creepy crawlers and tiny creatures with wings goes way back a long time ago when I was kid.  I have always been fascinated by the unique colorful pattern and texture of most insects have on their corpse.   I have studied and admire bugs for many years as a hobby.  

The career as a medical or natural science illustrator never came to mind, until recently.  I have no plans on returning back to school at this time, so I am going to go by faith that my talent and passion alone will get my art work noticed.  

Over the next few weeks, I will be drawing and painting natural science images for my portfolio.  My goal for this type of illustration is to create beautiful artwork for children’s non-fiction books that specialize in entomology.  I also have plans to become a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrator in the near future. I am so excited about writing  and illustrating for both non-fiction and fiction picture books for children.

Victoria Thomas

Thursday, October 2, 2014

2014 North Ohio SCBWI Conference

Hello Everyone,

I really enjoyed the 2014 North Ohio SCBWI Conference this year.  This was my first year attending.  I met so many wonderful people and gained a wealth of information and resources. I felt right at home; however I was not as prepared for the conference as I thought I was. 

The top 5 major things that I wished I would have done before the Conference:
  • I wished that I put my own art work on my business cards, instead of a generic image.
  • I wished that I signed up for one of the intensive writing or illustration workshops.
  • Even though I participate in a group critique, I wish that I had signed up for a one on one critique or even a written critique.
  • I wished that I had prepared a complete and professional illustration portfolio to display with postcards and matching business cards.
  • I wish that I scanned my illustrations before submitting them for the illustration calendar contest.  When they enlarged my images, the illustrations were distorted and not showing much detail. 

The top 5 major things that I have learned from attending this  Conference:

  • Always read your manuscript out loud.
  • When writing a plot of a story, always remember the “3” tries in solving conflict. After the “3” tries, then write the AHA moment of the story.  
  • When writing a picture book about social issue; be very discreet on the social issue during the story.  It is helpful to include “Author Notes” at the end of the book for the parents
  • It is best to tell your story in the child perspective, rather than an adult’s perspective.  Remember you are writing for children and about children.  
  • Have an elevator pitch ready about your work when you are networking with other professionals in the publishing industry. 

I'm already preparing for next year conference :)

Victoria Thomas