I'm so thrilled to announce the release of my Bird Art App for the iPad. It's available from the App Store now - and it's FREE (for a limited time)!
It is a collection of some of my favourite sketches, drawings and paintings, including some of the rough original sketches made prior to the finished artwork. I've been passionate about painting and drawing birds for over 20 years, and this is such an exciting way for me to share some of my pieces with you.
I hope you enjoy taking a look at this other side of my creative life - this app has been a pet project of mine for the past year, made possible by the clever folks at daydreemin, who compiled the images into this lovely format.
I was introduced to this fabulous resource today - my perfect pitch created by author Brian Grove, hosts an up-to-date list of approximately 1000 book publishers (worldwide) which are currently accepting submissions. They're all sorted out for you by their various genres, with handy-dandy links to the publishers submission guidelines page on their own website . . . a great site to bookmark for future reference.
Best of luck with your submissions!
"Ruby Makes a Friend"
written and illustrated by Tina Burke
Korean edition published by Glbburi 2012
I created this blog mostly to share what I am working on, and share my latest news - however there are times, like now, when I go into a long incubation period and I'm not quite ready or able to share my current project.
I am currently working away on new concepts and characters (with minimal time but much enthusiasm). Creating my own works in private and without deadlines brings the freedom of being able to play with processes and styles, open my mind to new options and platforms, and generally daydream about where I'd like this creative journey to take me next. It's crazy fun - this is when I'm in my element.
Along the way, I'm listening to lots of inspiring podcasts, videos, and reading and learning new things. And throughout a lot of these things, I am starting to sense recurring themes and messages: about happiness, following your passions, being true to yourself, and playing to your strengths. And I think I should share them here, in the hope that they will help or inspire you, too.
I will start with this awesome, entertaining TED video, The Happy Secret to Better Work (found via Tristan Bancks) about happiness, positivity and success. Really good, informative, funny stuff.
Grab a cuppa' tea. Watch it. It's only 12 minutes long.
Seriously, your mood will thank you for it.
Yesterday was my little Tyler's first birthday. It felt as much of a celebration of us making it safely through one year of parenthood, as it did a celebration for him.
Although I started writing and illustrating children's books well before I had my own child, I can see why so many people are inspired by their own children to start creating. To be honest, part of me had felt (and feared) my creative life would be over once our baby arrived — due to time constraints as a mum — but now I feel I'm actually being refueled and inspired as I watch him grow and develop, as he takes each new step in his life journey, and exhibits his funny little quirks. And don't even get me started on the cuteness of his round head and chubby feet.
The journey as a parent is a fascinating one, full of highs and lows, laughs and frustrations and exhaustion. I created this video for Tyler, for us, and for family and friends near and far, to mark his first year. He has watched it about 20 times already as he dances along, and each time it ends, points to the computer and demands "a-deh!" ("again!").
I hope you enjoy meeting my little bunny rabbit...
From "The day the tails were given out"
story by Lisa Grainger, based on a Xhosa tale from South Africa
illustrations by Tina Burke
Sometimes you doodle
and it turns into a sketch
and it turns into a little character that you want to know a bit better
because you're sure they have a story to tell you.
This one enticed me for three main reasons:
A) The Friday, full-day Illustrator's Intensive focused on "Books and Beyond" (particularly ebooks and apps); something that's of interest to all of us. (I know there's info and discussions all over the internet about this stuff, but sometimes it's more fun to be told in person.)
B) Mo Willems was speaking
C) I ♡ NY
So I booked my ticket.
This conference is HUGE. Approximately 1200 attendees, all buzzing with excitement and chatting about the industry, and cram-packed with amazing, quality speakers. It was a beautiful thing. I love writers and illustrators conferences. I find it so inspiring to listen and learn from the best, and even more importantly, get to meet and mingle with like-minded souls. This type of work can be fairly isolated, and getting out and speaking to other passionate people is incredibly energising and uplifting, and just good fun.
My conference highlights:
• R.L Stine gave a fantastic talk over lunch - for a guy who is the king of creepy, he is incredibly funny and charming.
• Seeing the amazing work in the Illustrator's exhibition
• Pretty much everything Jane Yolen and Mark Teague said, on the picture book panel.
• Pretty much everything Mo Willems said, on the humour panel. (Though I wish he'd had longer to present).
• Meeting some Toronto authors and illustrators who promptly invited me to join their monthly meet-ups!! Yay!! I can't wait!
• Agent Dan Lazar's talk. Considering his talk wasn't really relevant to me (he was focusing on novelists), he was very funny and informative.
• Alessandra Balzar's talk (co-publisher of HarperCollins imprint, Balzar & Bray). Aside from being very interesting and informative, she's simply a great speaker and very inspiring. I love when people just know their stuff, and present it so clearly and with such enthusiasm.
• Going back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twice. I know it's not actually related to the conference, but it's my favourite place in the world. Even one of the security guards commented on how happy I looked.
• I got to meet up with my friend Serena Geddes, and meet and hang out with the FABULOUS group of Aussie writers and illustrators that made it over: Katherine Battersby, James Foley, and Angela Driver.
So. Much. Fun.
l-r: Serena, James, moi, Katherine, Angela
gelato in snowy Times Square? Yes, please!
from Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, discussing picture books:
from Mo Willems, discussing what makes something funny:
Interestingly, Mo (Mr Willems?) also mentioned that Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus wasn't initially written as a book. It was just a series of doodles in a sketchbook, until someone pointed out they could be a book. I love the idea that it came so organically, not being forced, and as a result is such a quirky and unique book. (So yes, people, perhaps all your nonsensical doodles might just amount to a bestseller yet!)
For more Mo, there is a short pre-scbwi interview with him here.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I was interested in learning about apps. I'll cover that bit in a fresh post very soon. But for now I'm off to doodle.
Here's a sneak peek at one of the main characters ...
... but that's as much as I can show for now — more details soon, as we get closer to the publication date (it's soon)!
I had fun designing her little outfit :) And she also has a fabulously girly castle. I can't wait to see the finished product!
2010 was a busy year:
I married Damian, my partner of 10 years ... what a lucky gal :) ...
... and we had a sweet little boy, Tyler. He is truly a darling and an absolute joy.
So certainly a joyous year, and one of new beginnings (and not enough sleep!).
I'm gaining so much inspiration from this gorgeous little bundle of cuteness, and now I'm gradually settling in to my new life as a mother, I've been catching up with all the activity in the online world. I'm completely out of the loop, but I'm so excited to be back and join in on the conversation again! I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you all, and making new friends, too.
I was just updating my portfolio, and came across some more images from Rosie and Ned and the Creepy Cave.
Part of what I loved about illustrating this book (aside from what I have already mentioned), was the fact that one of the main characters was a bird artist! Like me!
I have been fascinated with birds — particularly parrots — since my late teens and have been drawing and painting them ever since. I find them wonderful subjects, so elegant and interesting, and they give me infinite inspiration for what I call my "grown up art" (if you're interested you can see some of them here).
So it was fun to mix things up a bit, and create these little artworks for the character's wall in this book ...
(The little parrot with the big eyes and beak is from my first book "Fly, little bird" :)