Tuesday, October 20, 2015

All good things go by three

The third and last book in the trilogy about Mói Hrekkjusvín by Kristín Helga Gunnarsdóttir just came out!  It's been a pleasure to illustrate and get to know this character and his friends.  He's priceless really, and such a pain!  Salute to his parents for bearing with his constant pranks.  But people like Mói make life more fun and unpredictable, I mean, what's the fun about having peace and quiet all the time? 

Here are a few interior illustrations from Mói Hrekkjusvín - Landsmót Hrekkjusvína.  
Now go, get a book and read it for a little prankster ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

New Book ,,Dúkka" & the sweet summer of 2015

It's been quiet here lately!  But that's all gonna change now.  Fall is here with its long shadows, the fresh air, leaves everywhere, crazy wind, heavy clouds and most important of all; routine.  I like routine.  I like vacation too, but routine is good.  So, here I am, back at the drawing table, excited for winter (well, mildly excited to be honest) and ready to draw and draw.  Just before I jumped on my lovely vacation in August, I finished illustrating a book by the brilliant author Gerður Kristný.  I've been a fan of her work for years and to have the opportunity to illustrate her story was a dream!  It's a scary story for kids and adults as I'm sure you can imagine from the cover here above.  It's called ,,Dúkka", ("Doll" in English).  It hits the shelves this fall, so, get it!

 Summer was good!  I biked and drew and biked and drew some more.  And then I jumped on a plane with my gang to Paris and from there to Spain.  It was our first long family vacation.  So we did a bit of culture and big city strolling in Paris and then we did the lazy ass vacation in Spain where we just ate and jumped in the pool.  

Every fall, when I'm back in routine like now, I throw in some photos here on my bog from my summer.  Even if it's just for myself to look at once and a while when there's a blizzard outside, just to remember how great it was.  

We rented a cute little apartment in Paris via airbnb.  It had 98 steps to be exact up to the fifth floor.  But we were a ok with that, cause we were in Paris!

We played tourists and checked out the must sees like the Arc de Triomphe...

...and biked around the Versaille (which caused the two huge band-aids on Lára's knees...

..I bought a hat and Lára took a gazillion photos of yours truly...

...and I took a bunch too (The Notre Dame is in the background).

We went to the Bastille Market and bought some gourmet stuff for a proper Paris picnic.  The paté was the absolute best I've ever had, too bad that all the bee's agreed with me.

And then the view changed once we hit Spain. Chardonnay and a sketchbook. Should be the everyday view, right?  Or not..

We visited the beautiful village of Altea.

An ok view from the hill in Altea.

My precious.  I just noticed they actually do look a bit alike. 
This guy appeared in the sand.  I wonder if he's been sunbathing for too long...

Lára didn't hate the beach. 

And now, back home...

playing cards with daddy and back at the drawing table.

I hope your summer was pretty spectacular and that the winter ahead will be as spectacular, if not even more spectacular then the summer!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Nordic Watercolor Society Award 2015 - and a Stork on a bike!

Last week I was honoured by receiving the Winsor & Newton Nordic Watercolor Society Award 2015! The association held their annual meeting at the Nordic House in Reykjavík where the award ceremony took place.  I'm kind of speech-less by this.  It really is wonderful to receive this kind of recognition for your work - it definitely gives me the boost to continue on this roller coaster ride it is to be an artist.  My heartfelt gratitude to the Nordiska Akvarellsällskapet board & members.  

Nervous me at the ceremony with the Icelandic board member Ninný.

Delighted me after the ceremony in front of the Nordic House.

The Nordiska Akvarellsällskapet held a few watercolor workshops around the annual meeting.  I was lucky to attend the workshop taught by Björn Bernström.  It was great getting out of the studio for a day and watch another artist work.  Make sure to check out his beautiful watercolor paintings.  

Usually I use watercolors for my illustrations, but at the workshop I played with painting an imaginary landscape.  

Then this little Stork was born the other day when playing some more with my watercolors. I think he's a friend of the pelican I did for the 2015 calendar.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Eitthvað illt á leiðinni er... horror stories by kids,for kids(and grown ups)!

Put your heart into it.  It's just that simple.   

I am grateful to be trusted to be the one illustrating someones words and ideas into pictures for everyone to see.  The projects I get can be very different, most of them very enjoyable, but there are those few projects that come up once and a while that feel just 'extra special'.  Projects I know are different.  It's a privilege to work with people who are passionate and ambitious.  And this project is definitely one of them.

Eitthvað illt á leiðinni er...  is a project driven by Markús Már Efraím and his writing workshop with 19 authors at the age of 8 - 10 years old.  During that workshop they read and wrote their own ghost- and horror stories.  The outcome is something truly amazing - they decided to publish a book and have it illustrated by professional illustrators (including yours truly).  It is beautifully printed and designed and full of stories that will for sure give you the chills and might even force you to sleep with the lights on for a while...  

The young authors were a part of the project every step of the way.  They had their stories edited, they visited the printer, saw the proofs and had a fancy party with flowers and drinks and strawberries when the book came out.  

It's just beautiful,...and scary that's all I can say.  Here below you can see my three illustrations from the book and photos from the group visit to the printer and from the fancy party.  My congrats to everyone involved!

And voila!  The Book!

The book in the making!

Visiting the printer.

Proud authors and maybe an even prouder mentor.


The Party!

I think I'm not the only one thinking that seeing kids reading books is one of the prettiest things.

ps: you can support the project here!

Photos by Erla María Árnadóttir, Grímur Kolbeinsson & Kristina Petrosiuté.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

One of the foxes at Red Fox Literary !

I've got some terrific news to share with you on this sunny Friday - the day we had the front-row seats to watch the solar eclipse that was seen so magnificently here way up in the Northern Hemisphere....

... I just signed up with a literary agent, Ms. Abigail Samoun at Red Fox Literary!  I met Abi for the first time a few years ago while I lived in San Francisco.  And you know the feeling you sometimes get the first time you meet someone and you just know that you'll stay in contact with that person in the future? No matter where you live?  That's just what happened when I met Abi.  I just knew it.  But I didn't know that some seven years later she'd be my agent.  I'm so very honoured to be a part of all the talented foxes, authors & illustrators at Red Fox and I'm thrilled to be working with Abi on my future projects.  I'm just very grateful, that's it.  

Yes, it is Friday & it is sunny.  Happy weekend my friends!

(ps: If you need to reach me - talk to my agent, ha!)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Post NYC SCBWI Conference :)

I just got back home from a wonderful, inspiring, stressful & fruitful trip to NYC.  If I don't count San Francisco, I'd say it's my favourite city.  I was there for a whole week, which is way longer than I normally stay in NY (and probably the reason why I'm still suffering from a jet-lag). 

I attended the SCBWI Winter Conference and it was all that I hoped for and more.  Brilliant speakers, massive information, fun colleagues and an overall inspiration and encouragement to keep going!  

I was honoured to be invited to be one of the correspondent illustrators, which basically means that I shared my thoughts, drawings and doodles from the conference.  You can see it on the SCBWI Official Blog here and on my official blog here below!

Ok, so sometimes I felt a little bit like this girl...overwhelmed, excited and clueless, all at the same time...

...but the speakers were encouraging to say the least.  I especially admired Anthony Horowitz's speech about writing for children and not giving up.

...and Hello! My new idol; Hervé Tullet!  He performed one of the most lively lectures I've ever seen.

The conference then ended with a powerful and moving speech by the recent Newbery Award Winner, Kwame Alexander.  

I was lucky to meet former classmate from the AAU and fellow illustrator Santiago at the conference.  So lovely to see a friendly face in the crowd :)  Here we are enjoying coffee at the Grand Central St.

I then used the days after the conference to have a few meetings with publishers.  To name a few I was lucky to meet with...

...Simon & Schuster

...Penguin/Dial Books

...Random House
...and I also met with Sterling Publishing and Clarion Books when my camera was out of batteries.
I am so, so grateful to have been able to meet with these wonderful people.

...and we met with dear friends that flew all the way from San Francisco to say hi! and have drinks with us.  This is me and Sara.

...and Sara and Kate (sorry Scott, I didn't take a photo of you)

...and my brother also came (on the left) and my dad came also and flew a few hundred people over on an Icelandair jet (sorry dad, I didn't take a photo of you, although you really deserve your picture here).  And on the right is my hubby, my P.A., my lover, my precious and over all such a swell guy, Eggert.

I saw a lot of pretty books and bought a lot of pretty books...

...and I also bought knobs for my kitchen and couldn't decide which pattern to go for 
(so I just got all of them and my kitchen will be like crazy mix&match, which is fine)...

...and I'll admit, I was pretty beat up the last day, as I'm sure you can tell by that horrible photo I shamelessly put here on the internet.

Now back to reality and back to the drawing table!