Tag Archives: animals

Calling All Interested App Folks

Things have been bustling here at the newly-founded Smart Cookie Studios, where our first app is almost ready to be revealed to the world!  We’re going to launch our website and social media soon (Twitter, Facebook), and are prepping for pre-release so we can finally show you all the final art, music and interactivity we’ve been working so much on.

That being said, I want to know – WHO should we tell about our app?? Do you want news and updates about our new venture yourself? Do you have a great app reviewer we should know about?  Know of someone in the industry we should follow on Twitter?  Are a fan of another great app studio? Or blog? Or developer?

I’m looking for any and everyone under the sun, so send me Twitter handles! Facebooks! Websites! Emails! Smoke signals!  I’ll love you forever…



Farm Animal Sketch Preview

Wow . . . I am having so much fun working on this recent iPhone app project I’ve been blabbing about. The game app consists of identifying every farm animal under the sun, so I recently completed all the character sketches.  I’m really satisfied with the work I’ve done thus far.  They look like a cute little family!

There’s still much to be done, but in the meantime, enjoy this sneak preview of a few of my favorite farm animals . . . and get your iPhones at the ready for its release this summer!

From The Slush Pile: Great Animal Illustrators

Today was a more wackadoo day in illustrator submissions than usual, so I thought I’d give myself a pick-me-up by highlighting three great illustrators who draw some super-cute animals.  Enjoy!

1. CharrowMy first favorite recent find is Charrow, whose quirky illustrations exude a playful spirit and sense of humor.  Her light watercolor and drawing technique feels breezy, like she just jotted down some animals, and they happen to be hilariously adorable. She’s also a frequent contributor to They Draw and Cook. Her Etsy shop is down at the moment, but when I checked it out a few weeks ago, it was easily my favorite part of her portfolio… be sure to check back for it soon!

2. Stephanie GraeginProbably my all-time favorite illustrator submission ever is a little “mini portfolio” booklet from Stephanie Graegin.  Her Renata Liwska-style woodland creatures, accented by limited color and unlimited sweetness, had both design and editorial drooling. Crossing my fingers that I see a book with her name on it soon!

3. Lizzy HallmanIf illustrator David Catrow’s art proves anything, it’s that there’s a place in this business for a little ugly-cute.  And if my love of french bulldogs proves anything, it’s that I will always get behind ugly-cute!  Hallman’s characters may have wonky eyeballs, but they make their expressions unique and humorous. And her color treatment? 100% sweet!

New Artist Showcase: Chris Harrington

Chris Harrington

blog: http://chrishillustration.blogspot.com

Christopher Scott Harrington graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 2010 earning a BFA in Communications Design with a concentration in Illustration. He primarily works in watercolor, ink, and colored pencil to create humorous, fun, illustrations that are narrative in nature. When he’s not at his desk sketching and painting he enjoys juggling, unicycling and having a good time.

What kind of projects have you been working on lately?

Personal projects, I’ve been working on drawing kids, kids are a bit of a weak point for me but not going to shy away from them, they are a work in progress as is everything. But whether it’s a job or just for fun I approach it the same way…It’s all fun. As far as freelancing goes I’ve been doing mostly some animal character designs here and there…A lot of fun!

What do you do to keep new ideas flowing and stay fresh creatively?

I am constantly on the look out for new ideas, I can’t stand when I get “artist block” so to fix that I sometimes take day trips to a park, or to the mall, sketchbook in hand and jotting down notes and crude looking doodles of the things I see or hear. My mind is always thinking in narrative although sometimes my ideas are just babble that doesn’t make any sense what so ever, and wouldn’t be a successful illustration conceptually…But I’ve found that real life is a good source of inspiration. Hearing or seeing something tweaking the story making it your own creation. What comes next? Who are these people, animals or things? When asking myself those type of questions it keeps me fresh because the possibilities of what actually could come next are endless…And up to you.

How do you go about promoting your work?

I try and target certain places where I think my work could fit. Researching the client first and foremost finding out what they publish, what they want and look for. Depending who the client is, some prefer e-mails, or snail-mail, and sending a postcard every 3-6 months. Although I bug them a little more then they might like with postcard samples…They can either give me a job or a restraining order. But I’ve found the internet is the way I like to promote myself, although I do enjoy sending postcards with my illustration on the front and contact info on the back. I enjoy getting mail…Do they?

Anyways the internet, it’s easy, it’s accessible to many, and don’t bother finding a postage stamp. Although it’s easy to send it’s also easy for art directors to click delete. Regardless you never know who may come across your website, blog, youtube account, or that cute picture you took of your dog sleeping. You never know if the right person is viewing your work and say your perfect for this type of job. I try and display my art wherever I can, in public places I’ll be sketching and someone might come from behind and watch me for awhile ask me a few questions, I also try and carry business cards or some kind of sample to give out.

I think of it this way, it’s like planting seeds unsure if it will grow but you plant them anyway.

What has your involvement been like in the online community?  How is having an internet presence been helpful or inspiring to you? Why?

I keep and maintain a personal illustration blog, been familiarizing myself with YouTube and numerous social networking sites mainly to prompt my illustration work online. As well as joining a couple illustration blogs all similar but slightly different they all have the same basic idea or objective. Each week they list a topic that you will have to interpret through illustration means. Being active in a few of them and given a week for each illustration is kind of equivalent to a illustration/freelance job. You have to budget your time and meet a deadline. It’s been helpful in numerous ways, such as beefing up my portfolio, getting helpful advice from fellow artists and illustrators some published some not. Also a great creative outlet to explore and experiment.

An art director calls you up and offers you the ultimate “dream job/assignment”.  What is it?

Good question! I really enjoy drawing animals, they are my favorite. If an art director called me up one day and asked I need a cover illustration with a variety of animals as if they were posing for a “family portrait” and a wee bit dysfunctional. Actually I take that back not a cover illustration, make it like a movie poster? I would start that project even before the conversation was over. I would be so happy!

New Artist Showcase: Heather Sisson

Heather Sisson

Blog: http://heatherinasuitcase.blogspot.com/

Website: http://heathersisson.carbonmade.com/

What interested you in doing artwork for TheyDrawAndCook? Do you cook as well as you draw?

Well when I first discovered theydrawandcook I thought the idea of an illustrated cookbook was very cute and unique. It was a great way to get my work looked at and see other illustrators that really inspired me. (The recipes were also very cute and I did try some!)

Im not the greatest cook but I am a very good baker. My last two years of Pratt I used baking as a stress relief from art. I didn’t realize how much I really enjoyed it until recently. I suppose art and baking have always been a large part of my life. When I was growing up my mom taught me how to bake and every night she would read a Golden book to my sister and I. What I would really like is to figure out a way to combine them. I am currently looking into Johnson & Wales cooking school to take a baking class for next January. (Earlier if I can!) I would love to build sets out of baked goods for my children’s books. I’m still working out the kinks but eventually I will find a way to make things work.

What do you use to work with? What tools/materials can you not live without?

Now this is a question I have been trying to figure out for a while now. In the past year I have tried watercolor, collage, acrylic, gouache, ink, etc. Watercolor is my favorite but recently I have been very successful with collage. Two years ago my professor (Rudy Gutierrez) assigned a project that frustrated me to no end. Somehow I ended up with a beautiful mixed media collage of a wolf. I have never been a fan of collage so I stopped only to recently make a few new ones. Katelan Foisey and David Hollenbach have been great inspirations for me in the last few weeks. They do amazing collages that are unlike anything I have ever seen. I don’t feel like I have found what makes me, me yet but I am on my way.

No matter what paper or medium I work with I always feel the need to incorporate watercolor somehow. (It’s not a Heather painting unless there’s transparency!)

What’s your ideal studio environment?

At first I thought it would be at my desk with a pair of headphones and an ipod but now I would say I prefer to be near other people. There is nothing better then working at a table with a group of your friends. Listening to everyone’s stories and corny jokes somehow makes me much more productive.

What kind of volunteer work do you do? How does it inspire you creatively?

During my sophomore year at Prattmwp I was a mentor. I have always stressed about loans, dorms, and everything that comes with college. By sharing my own experiences with others it helped me overcome my own fears and worries. At the moment I am trying to get involved with a volunteer program that helps children during tough times. (It’s called Cross Roads) I will basically read children’s books to kids while their parents try to find jobs or get more work hours.

The one thing I have always loved about children literature is that sometimes the stories have adult themes with a simple concept and conclusion. Children look at the world so simply and straight to the point. You’d be surprised by how a kid can make more sense than an adult. That inspires me, the simple responses of a child towards difficult problems.

What kind of freelance jobs are you looking to pursue in the future?

I would really love to have my books published or even illustrate for someone else’s story. I might do a editorial here or there but I feel like the subject will always be child oriented.

Recent Finds

This past Saturday and Sunday was the kind of weekend that makes living in Brooklyn so picturesque – sun-dappled brownstones, bustling farmer’s markets, and a diverse mix of people enjoying the beach or the park – this is why I usually never want to leave my dreamy and romantic borough.

And the weekend was made even better because, everywhere I turned, I was discovering something new and free (or at least super-cheap)!  A woodcut of Puffins that matches the other art in my room perfectly and an adorable round, white-glass bowl sitting abandoned on a stoop are just a few of the pieces I picked up on my travels.

And my favorite discoveries this weekend go to:


The first is not technically a physical “find”, but I am completely enamored with illustrator Kristiana Parn, whose work I passed by at Grand Army Plaza on Saturday.  Can someone please, please get this woman a children’s book, stat?!  Because her animal paintings and prints are just fantastic.


One of the best things about being poor in Brooklyn is that richer folk often leave perfectly good furniture and other items lying around on the street… especially in Park Slope/Windsor Terrace. But this little book of children’s sayings is easily the most hilarious street find I’ve ever encountered.

I’m not sure what the story is behind the 1974 book Lots Of Love, compiled by British actress Nanette Newman, but it is essentially a visual representation of “Kids Say The Darndest Things” – an uncensored take on anything from religion and romance to war and world peace.  The quotes and accompanying illustrations, all done in the hands of real children, are surprising, insightful and would keep anyone rolling on the floor laughing.

Most of the sayings take a pretty critical look at families…

Especially babies…

Some are just plain weird… but then there are the ones that make lots of sense.

It’s My Birthday!