Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jill McDonald baby & kids 2016

Earlier this month I received my samples for my line with C.R. Gibson.

All this art is designed in a short two to three month chunk of intense work.  Then it's off overseas to be manufactured. About six months after that it's back in product form ready to be sold.  It's always a whirlwind but such a rewarding one.

I try to explore a range of childhood favorites & add details that are engaging for a child.  The small Cats & Dogs books are die cut, & fit perfectly in a toddlers hand. Each has a fur tail on the back. (remember your little one pulling the pets tail)  So Cute is a felt soft book with icons on each page that have one area that lifts to encourage touch & exploration. Ballet Beauties & Round 'Em up partner are games I designed & test played with my own family to get them just right. There's a Dinosaur puzzle (what child isn't fascinated by those curious creatures) & a Dress Up puzzle that celebrates the joy of trying on a new look.

Then the big change in any family's life-adding a brother or sister to the mix. I went with a super hero theme for this idea.  Because it takes real courage, strength & determination to pull this one off. (superhero cape included)

So happy to have this opportunity to bring colorful, fun art with a touch of education to little ones & their families!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

My Mantra

I let this echo in my mind often!
If this resonates with you as well visit my Etsy shop 
where I sell this print.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patricks Day...

May the luck of the Irish shine upon you-Cheers!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hello, World! books

Books take a long time to work on.  Two years ago I was approached by Random House Kids to write & illustrate their new Hello, World! book series.  The books are geared towards babies & toddlers & are designed to share simple concepts about nature & science.  I was thrilled to have this opportunity. The first two books in the series Weather & Solar System were released early this week. You can get them at Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.
Two more titles in this series will be available in the spring 2017.

Illustrating the books, sure-piece of cake. Writing the books, yikes.  I was filled with self doubt.  I'm dyslexic & all the negative comments I heard about my writing growing up came tumbling back to me.  At the time I didn't let the editor know.  This was something I wanted to do.  I chased the fear away, sat down & took my time really exploring what I wanted to say.  It took me a long time -too long- but because the books are based on facts about the world around us I had a platform to comfortably explore. I was also grateful that the books are geared towards toddlers.  So simple, straight forward sentences with some imagination did the trick.

Dsylexia is a funny thing.  I often think of letters I add to a design as another design element, neglecting the fact that the general public wants to be able to read those letters to create a properly spelled word.  I've always added words & fitting phrases to my art.  I often come up with back stories for characters or give them names, likes & dislikes on projects I'll be spending an extended amount of time on.  I've fancied myself a storyteller & now it's a beautiful feeling to know that in some way I am!

I'm pleased to introduce you to the Hello, World! series.  I hope you enjoy sharing these books with the little ones in your life!

Friday, March 4, 2016

World Book Day

World Book day was this week. Yesterday, March 3rd to be precise!
This is just some of the books I've illustrated, or written over the past couple years.  I love working on books.  There's something so nice about knowing it will be shared. Held in hand and softly read before nap or bedtime.  Books have the ability to transport us, inform us & introduce new ideas or reinforce old ones.  I'm so grateful to get to be a part of all that!