"Kitty Wants" App is Published in iTunes!!

Hi!!!!!  I'm really excited and happy and humbled and a little bit tickled to announce....

.......As of Dec 20th my little story app "Kitty Wants" (created in my Children's Book Illustration class this past semester) is published in the App Store on iTunes for iPad/iPhone!  Yup, and it's only $0.99.  Here's the link:

Digital: Good news, sad news

Good news:
This isn't finished, but I wanted to show you what I've got so far digitally!  You like?  Here's the thing... I love looking through a sketchbook and at drawings far more than looking at paintings.  And I love drawing way more than painting.  So... wondering if I can preserve the drawing/sketching/penciling/lining part of the work and also bring in bright vibrant color at the same time.  Like I said this isn't finished... but this is certainly exciting, fun, semi-addicting... which WHO KNEW..., and I'm far happier with the results and process, and guess what... I've been dreaming about painting digitally at night.  I'm all excited.  I had no idea I'd enjoy it this much.  My tablet still hasn't even come in the mail yet but I used the school tablets to make this.

Sad news:
Sad news is... I talked to my respectable advisor yesterday, and looks like switching to digital like this is most likely not an option.  I might have cried a little in his office.  Poor guy probably gets that a lot because I discovered an appreciated box of tissues at arm's length.  I'm very bummed.  But, I must do what I must do.  At least I know something I didn't know before, that I can take with me to use in future work.  So I guess it still kinda ends with good news again.  But yeah... bummer.

12/12/12 Sketch (Dec. 12, 2012)

Decided I need... no no no WANT... to start drawing for fun again!

Here's my sketch for today.
(even though I really drew him a couple days ago... shhh)

Hm... what should his name be...

(Ball point pen)

Want to Preview "Kitty Wants?!"

Who wants to preview my entire ALMOST FINISHED Digital App (interactive ebook) "Kitty Wants"? Click on this link! I have to finish and submit it today (gotta hurry) so I'll be working on it til it's finished! Fyi, pretend you're 5 and click on everything!


Re-Evaluating this Children's Book thing...

Alrighty.  Time to be honest.
I promised you the whole trip, trial and error, everything going into this children's book "You Should! You Should!"  Challenges, fears, successes, process, mistakes, paintings, drawings, the whole shebang.  So today I'm going to share with you what's REALLY going on, instead of surprising you with sudden huge news, or telling you more fluffy "yay another painting" junk.

Okay.  So here's the thing.  How do I say this...

First, a confession:

I'm not passionate about painting.  I'm not passionate about art.  I like it and I'm good at it, but it's NOT my favorite thing.  That's another story though.  So here I am in this situation.  Get this....

Jean-Baptiste Monge

Every once in a great while I run across an artist whose work makes me really WANT to draw.  I won't lie, I have to push myself to get to work.  There are times I feel passionate, but lately it just feels like so much work.  Monday Will Terry showed us the work of Jean-Baptiste Monge ... look at this stuff!  You can TELL he's having fun just by laying your eyeballs on it.  He's having a blast!  And he's GOOD.  I looove love his little creature dudes and their whimsical interactions with animals!  I just wanna grab a pencil and draw right now!!  (but I won't ... cuz 2 am and time for bed)  So great.  I had to share.

YSYS Painting: Possum n Hippo / Relationship Pyramid

I'm very happy with this one.  I haven't shown it to my advisor Don yet so I'm sure he'll have a lot to say but so far I'm pretty happy!

Originally I designed this with green grass and more blue in the possum but Don pointed out as he looked at my tiny color composition that at sunset the colors lean far more towards purples and oranges.  So I threw a bunch of orange and purple all over, with pretty orange pink and yellow highlights.

Text will go above Hippo and some more below Possum.

So!  You likey too?  :)

The Sketch:

Where I Sit . . .

I always love when artists show us a peek of their workspace.  I've seen some clean spaces and some busy messy spaces.  I'm probably a mix.

This is where I sit and make art:

YSYS: Dancing Hippo

Tap-Dancing Hippo

(So I think my drawing is ready to paint, and then I realize I can draw it better!  Today I redrew the dancing hippo... check him out!)

"Spinning does not help my feet,
I move to a different beat!"

Here was my very first sketch of this scene haha...

"Kitty Wants..." and Getting Our Needs Met

Yo!  So check these little guys out:

In my Children's Book Illustration class we're making children's book apps (for kindle/ipad/etc) using a program online called "TaleSpring.com"  (not to be confused with Tale Spin).  These are the characters I've made so far for my app!

I'm sorry but I think they're ADORABLE!!!  Aren't they SO cute???  :)  Aw...

Prismacolor felt tip pen and watercolor on 140 lb watercolor paper:

Color Comps

Funny thing happened.  I took my painting and two others ready to start on into my advisor, Don Seegmiller, and he said, "Great, but, you need to do tiny color compositions before you continue on in your paintings.  Trust me, it'll save you loads of time in the end!"  Don is always right in these instances so... here they are.

Color Compositions!
(Done in prisma colored pencil... the images came out a little greenish on the computer but just work with me)

So here are different ways to do hippo:
(figuring out the sand color was hard... then I wasn't sure about the hat color, and then the hippo color!)


So my big questions are:

Pink or green hat?
Blue or purple hippo?


You Should You Should thought of the day....

"Grown-ups don't have shoulds.  
They have CHOICES."

YouShouldYouShould: The Story Behind the Story AND Painting Number ONE!

(To read Codependency Symptoms, skip/scroll down to the bottom of the page)

Painting number ONE!!

(I'm starting from the middle of the book so by the time I paint the beginning and ending, they will look their best!)

The glorious moment of first-born assertion!!!  You go, Hippo!
Acrylic on Canvas

Art Stroll: Featuring YOU

I'm SO grateful to all who submitted art and gave permission to post.  I'm excited to show you all off!  There are some really great things here.  Please enjoy the art-stroll, and if you still have something you'd like to share, I'll be more than happy to stick you in!  Just email me - ginnytilby@gmail.com

Thanks Again!



Calling All Artists! (EVERYONE is an artist)

This is an invitation share a creation of your own on my blog (your kids are definitely included)!  I'd love to get to know my audience and for you to share your art of any kind with each other!

Email me your creation at ginnytilby@gmail.com (or send me a link by email or blog comment) and I'll include your work in a coming up post!!  Yes, it can be 50 years old, it's still welcome!

Art includes but not limited to:   (just to give ideas)

making movies
song writing
youtubing cool vids

As for me, drawing and painting isn't the only art I participate in.  I also love dancing, singing and playing the piano.  Sometimes I play with photography.

But... one of my FAVORITE things to do is rewriting song lyrics to make them funny!  To get ya started with an example, and also inspired by the Halloween Season, I want to share a vid of ME actually singing a song I wrote for a Halloween party last year:


Can't wait to see your art!!!

YSYS: Dummy Book Re-Worked (part 2)

Here are some more reworks, redesigns, redos, and new sketches.  While I'm drawing a character over and over, I mostly just need the outline/sketch to know where to take it from there.  I'll worry about the detailed drawings when I start the paintings.  I have to admit, I had much fun doing these ones.

To see the first draft of the dummy book, you can look here.

Folio Academy

Did you know the top phrases typed in on youtube relate to this question: "how to draw?"

That's why I'm sharing these new online art courses, from the new "Folio Academy," who just got their website up!

Click here: http://folioacademy.com/  

...to check them out and watch sample videos.  Each course is taught on video by successful, professional artists.  You can learn everything from the basics (drawing/painting/watercolor/ceramics/sculpture/etc) to refining your detailed advanced work of art.  Folio Academy makes it easy to understand and you can watch them as they create the entire way.

Little Miss Muffet

So I'm taking "Children's Book Illustration" again this semester.  I wanted to show off my first finished painting for this class!  Our first assignment was to illustrate any scene from "Little Miss Muffet."

And now...... here is my very first DIGITAL painting:  
(drum roll... badabadabadabadabadabda.....)

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
eating her curds and weigh.
Along came a spider
who sat down beside her
and frightened Miss Muffet away.

YSYS: Dummy Book Reworked (part 1)

Dummy Book in the in reworks, fix-ups, and redo's process!

(see first original Dummy Book here)

After much thought and great feedback from all of you, I'm redoing a ton of it!  Here's what I have redrawn/replanned/redesigned so far:

I added hippo to the flamingo spot illustration so we can see them interact as Flamingo tells him how to walk.

YouShouldYouShould: Size Relationships

A friend I recently made, Arthur Nichols who is a renowned comic book and storyboard artist and designer, who has worked on several TV series, videos, and video games, gave me a great suggestion.  He pointed out the inconsistency of size relationships between my characters, and that the hippo ought to be much larger compared to many of the animals.  He said line them up next to each other in a drawing, and stick it on your wall to refer to as you draw.  So here they are!  On my wall!

I drew this up a while ago.  This is the final character design for Hippo!!  Isn't he cute??  He's also up on my wall.

This is what I have for the title page (not the book cover art).  The page on the left with blank space is there for all the important information stuff.  I feel like it starts the story off.

YSYS: Changing the Title?? Help

Big Question!

Someone left a helpful feedback comment pointing out the fact that the story begins "You should! You should!" and then suddenly we read "must," and "ought" out of the blue, and that they felt it may be a little inconsistent.  I personally don't think this is a big problem, but it has caused me to wonder if the story could benefit from a change in the title.

So what do you think?  What if this story was titled:

"You Should Must Ought" 

"You Should, You Must, You Ought"

"Should Must Ought"

"You Should You Should"

By Ginny Tilby      

...I still get a kick out of seeing my name there :)

Thoughts?  Comments?

YouShouldYouShould: Dummy Book

Here's the dummy book! 

Remember feedback is appreciated, especially in this stage--it's a critical part of the process.

I used Photoshop to edit and clean my sketches a bit (some are pretty scary still) and put them in Adobe Illustrator to insert text.

What?  You don't know what a dummy book is?  It's okay, this time you're not the dummy.  ;)

A dummy book is a sketched "rough draft" of the book, to check for:
  • interesting page turns,
  • make sure the story flows well and makes sense,
  • consistency with text placement,
  • variety in scenes (up close, far away, lots of characters, few characters)
  • variety in design and compostion, (otherwise the book can get boring)
  • make sure the pictures match the mood
  • ETC!

Now without further ado:

The First Day of The Last Semester

In case you were curious and wanted to hear about my first day of class.....

Did I mention I'm still a student?  So today school started again!  It's the last time school will start for me, cuz next comes graduation.  (weird... weird)  My family would probably say, "Sure...  We've heard that one before."  This time it's happening!

Oh, I go to Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah by the way.  Go wolverines!

YouShouldYouShould: Watercolor?

The critical artist in me hates that I'm showing you this.  You better feel very special. 

Remember this is still like a "rough draft."  Normally I'd put a lot more time and planning into it but this is just to get a general look and feel...  ya know?  Anyway.  So here's one example.  Not too bad...  I'm just not sure though.  Watercolor is just a whole animal of its own!  I was missing the way acrylic works, surprisingly enough... and I don't feel as satisfied with this... but maybe that's cuz it's a little messy compared to a real finished piece.  I just don't know!  lol

YouShouldYouShould: Choosing a Medium????

This choice has held me up for some time!

I have to pick between: 
pen and ink with water color, 
or ball point pen and water color, 
or graphite (pencil) with watercolor, 
or gouache paint, 
or acrylic paint.

I have the most experience doing children's book illustration in acrylic paint, but I really love making art that involves more use of LINE.  So I'm testing a couple things out.  These are small 8x10'' cold press illustration board.

TOMORROW:  I paint on these with watercolor!  Then we'll see how we like...

YouShouldYouShould: Thumbnails

A tiny small sketch used to put ideas down quickly on paper, as well as to figure out quickly the start of placement and design, is called a thumbnail.  So if you hear artists use this term, now you know they're not just strange "unique artists" who are obsessed with weirdo things like the dead ends of their thumb.

So today I spent working out thumbnails!  Some of my old ones were bugging me, and once I put pages next to each other I saw too many similarities in size relationships and camera angles.  Makes for boring reading and dull page turns.  I also hadn't finished the last third thumbnails of the story board so I got those knocked out today as well!  Yay!

As promised, here is my progress work:

(believe me, these ugly little sketches took a lot of time and thought)

Music and Art: Left Brain, Right Brain

First, I'm sorry for the delay--I'm in process of moving right now.

So.  I'm all excited to draw again!!  I'll tell you why, but first let me give you some background so you understand.

As an early art student I took "Drawing I" and my professor set up some cones and boxes with direct lighting in the center of the room for us to draw, and then.... turned on some music.  "Cool.... music!  I like this guy," was my only thought.  I soon discovered there was more to this trick than met my naive ears.  He explained that drawing is a right brain activity, and if we put on music, we distract the left brain which will allow the right brain to go to work and draaaaaw til there's no tomorrow.  Surgeons do the same thing while operating.  You've probably found that music or audio books help while you're cleaning or cooking.

So back to why I'm excited to sit and draw again: I've had a lot of advice about tapping into things that inspire me.  I was sick of all my music and didn't have that to look forward to anymore.  And music is one of my main inspirations and passions in life.  SO... I recently found the BEST pandora station.  Escala Radio.  I highly recommend.  Especially when in brainstorming, idea-oriented, thumb-nailing stages (because left brain is needed).  If you're like me, you can't listen to your favorite songs, especially if you love singing along, because you won't be able to concentrate and think of ideas.  But once you get the thumb-nails knocked out, you can put back on your fav songs and sing along again because now your art is back to right brain--thinking about color, shape, texture, design, etc.  Now I'm all happy to sit and work cuz I get to plug into Escala Radio.  If I'm being really honest, the real excitement is that I also only just remembered pandora existed.  Where have i been!  How many amazing stations are there to discover??!

So it's awesome.  That's what works for me.

What inspires you?


Dear Anxiety

July 2012

Dear Anxiety,

Just wanted to thank you for being a part of my life.  I enjoy the time I spend afraid of all the people who will look at my every upcoming blog post of art.  What joy I have worrying about failing, worrying about deadlines, worrying about succeeding and responsibility, worrying about being a pretty penniless illustrator, worrying about what my dear supportive audience will think, worrying about opinions expectations and disappointments of college professors, gallery owners, editors art-teams and publishers, bedtime story readers, my friends and family, cats and dogs, me.  Worrying I should have become a nurse.  Oh anxiety, my dear friend.  Nobody can quite overwhelm the way you do.  The loss of focus, the lack of concentration and energy, the time we spend in bed together staring at the ceiling, thinking thinking thinking of all the work I haven't done.  Oh what would I do without you.  Your smooth way of immobilizing creative passion and desire.  The way you disintegrate artistic fuel.  What talent and skill you have at magnifying each tiny expectation by a thousand.  The way you coax me into hours on facebook and youtube.  Your potent influence never fails.  Aren't I lucky.

Just wanted you to know.

Yours truly,


August 11, 2012

Dear Anxiety,

I'm sorry.  I've thought it over carefully, and decided this relationship needs to end.  I've got WORK to do!  So.  Take a hike!!  With a porcupine!!  Bye!

Not yours,


P.S.  I know that due to your chronic and pathetic attachment to me, you'll be back to visit.  Know this: no more Miss Nice Girl.

Dear Fellow Artists,

Here's a helpful article written by Ami Mattison:

YouShouldYouShould: Character Design - Possum, Giraffe, Bird, Croc, etc! Any tips?

For newcomers who don't know yet, this story is already scheduled to be published by "Familius."

Here is what I've got for my other characters so far; I think they're fun.  :)  

The tricky part is keeping a consistent style throughout, making them all look like they are coming from the same artist.  The design of these guys ended up coming out geometricky, if that makes sense.  It's a lot about shape if you notice.  Hope you like them!

Feel free to let me know what you think!  Good or bad.

YouShouldYouShould: ReWorking the Ending--any help?

Re-working the last 2 pages... any thoughts?  I took out 6 lines from page 30, because otherwise it would have been too much text in comparison to the rest of the story.  They were important, but slightly irrelevant and not absolutely necessary.

Now my questions are:

1.  On page 30, is the word bizarre too complicated for young children?  

2.  Does it seem like the hippo calling the others seemingly "bizarre" is a step backward after the lesson we just learned from the story?

3.  On the final line, which fits better?
"I am happy to be me"
"I am glad to just be me"
"I am best when I am me"
"I am choosing to be me."

4.  (5 hours later) WHAT ABOUT THIS for pg 30???--I wrote brand new last 2 lines:

Upside down is not for me,
and I don’t like to climb, you see.
Today I think that I would rather
swim and watch the fishes gather.
As I float on my backside,
you’re welcome to come catch a ride.
I won't say “You should you should!”
I'll let you choose it, if you would.
We're different, true, from near and far.
But I like you the way you are.


You Should You Should: The Story

***The first 40 people to submit their email address to "FOLLOW BY EMAIL" (found at top right of my blog) will receive a FREE digital copy of "You Should You Should" if you're still following me when it gets published.  If you already submitted... congrats, you get a free digital copy!***  

Now, time to share my story!

This book targets problems associated with low self-esteem, shyness, people pleasing, dealing with being bullied or bossed around, toxic relationships, developing the self, helping kids learn to be assertive, fear of expressing feelings wants and needs, difficulty recognizing one's own feelings wants and needs, etc.  Social anxiety, depression, codependency, addiction, and their psychological effects.  And yes, this book is very therapeutic for me.  :)  (I'll talk more about that later)

I'd love to know which lessons you pick up in this story, and how it affects you.  If you comment well on which parts of the story taught you which lessons the way you interpret them, you can help me know how to write the "discussion tips for parents" page at the end.

You Should You Should

Written and (being) Illustrated by Ginny Tilby

Sketches N Doodles: New Blog Page

UPDATE: You can now find the sketches and doodles at my new website here.
I just added a new page to my blog up top there, see it?  It's called "Sketches N Doodles."  I invite you to have a look see!

One of my favorite places to go when I'm viewing artist's work is their pure pencil drawings and sketches.  I love seeing the lines, the mistakes, and the character it gives each drawing.  You can see where the artist pushed and pulled a line until it was in the right place, then darkened it to fit their satisfaction of shape, form, and detail.

Sketches also give away what the artist really loves to draw, especially if it's just the stuff they draw for fun, with no job or assignment given.  You get a glimpse of personality, sense of humor, what they think about, and their imagination.

The drawings posted in this page WERE actually an assignment from the amazing Don Seegmiller, but the assignment was, "Don't erase, draw what you WANT, and have fun."

YouShouldYouShould: Character Design - HIPPO (and some story boarding)

***I'd love to receive helpful input.  Feel free to post comments and thoughts you'd like to share.  For example:  "I think the hippo in the bottom left corner on page 7 is the best, but maybe his nose is too small" or "I hate the hippo on page 9, too fat, what were you thinking!"***

As you probably know, this is the first time I've illustrated a book.  I was all set to start making a dummy book, but then did some quick research and realized I was skipping a couple important steps... Oops!

1. Getting to know your character
 =  draw your character over and over until you've got him down.

So I was drawing my main character and realized I still wasn't satisfied with him, so I researched hippos AGAIN and drew and redrew him some more.  Now I have even more "looks" to play around with and choose from!  Which means I'm coming closer to the perfect Hippopotamus, but also means I have more work to do.


Speed Painting by Will Terry

This is one of my favorite (who'm I kidding, it IS my VERY favorite) speed painting videos.  I watch this over and over and over. Will Terry is my art professor at UVU (and awesome children's book illustrator of awesomeness), and I've been extremely privileged to learn from him.  At home, whenever I sit down to paint in acrylic and feel unsure, I pull up a few of his speed paint videos and take mental notes.  Enjoy!!  (first, see link below)

I prefer watching it on VIMEO instead at this link:  http://vimeo.com/10034343#at=0  (better music-very important to me)

Contract SIGNED

(holy smokes, really?)

With new Publishing House: Familius

You can visit their website and check out their blog at Familius.com, where you can read daily messages focusing on the family.  
(One of my fav posts: Zombies and Babies)

Now in the editing and illustration process:


Guess what friends?  I recently submitted children's book I'm working on, "You Should You Should," (written and being illustrated by me) to a publishing house and they've responded with interest in publishing it!!  I'm pretty excited and nervous, and will be posting details about this journey as this process unfolds!  So keep in touch!!

Thanks to all who have supported and believed in me and this long lived dream... I think it's about to happen!

Mule, Unicorn, Psychotherapy Session, Japanese Garden

Thank you Facebook friends for the ideas!

There were SO many great ideas to choose from, I was about to resolve to draw a name from a hat at random... but then I read Tom's. Little does he know, I picked up a recent interest in Unicorns, rode my first mule about a week ago, have a great fascination with psychotherapy, and Japan is the only other country I've been to.

There were 5 or 6 other ideas I really loved as well that made the list. Fleas sailing a sea of hair? Badger, moose, the moon, jump roping? A hummingbird and a dragonfly putting on a magic show in a medieval castle! Wild warthog and goat playing cards in a crazy animal tavern? Aardvark and crocodile tightrope walking across a laundry line in NYC! (To list a few of my top favs)

Thanks Tom!!

WIFYR: Writers and Illustrators For Young Readers

This week I've been attending a 5-day extensive insightful inspiring educational work shop about writing and illustrating.  Needless to say, I'm learning a lot.

On the inspirational side, this was today's list of "life lessons learned" from YA novel author A.E. Cannon:

1.  Take risks
2.  Not all (if any) rejection is personal
3.  When chances come to pursue opportunities, TAKE THEM!
4.  Learn to walk in the direction of your own fear
5.  Don't say "no" too quickly
6.  Don't lose sight of who your audience is
7.  Be willing to accept change  (see things as opportunities instead of threats)
8.  Don't be jealous
9.  Getting "published" doesn't make life suddenly magical and grand... find your happiness in ALL life has to offer.
10.  Stay connected to the WRITING (or art) part.
11.  Work to stay positive, even if you have to write a daily affirmation.

T-Shirt week!

Hi ho!
So I'm on vacation right now in Phoenix, it's AWESOME.  While here, I got a job doing this caricature.  It's for t-shirts for a darling girl's Bachelorette Party.  Her friend who commissioned me requested that she become a leprechaun holding chardonnay and shamrocks.  It was very fun to work on!  Thought I'd share!

I also got a job doing some vector images for a t-shirt design for an LDS girls camp in Idaho, working for graphic designer Deanna Weaver at Accent Design.  I'm pretty happy with how they turned out:

Unsolved Caricature: Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest:  Who knew his face is UN-caricaturable!

I drew his face over and over and over, and finally settled on this one for the final.  BAH!  Oh well.  Can't win 'em all.  This is the drawing before the actual painting; I'll have to post the finished painting later.  It turned out pretty great as far as the ART is concerned.  Ryan Seacrest still looks like a 50 year old man, and the painting turned out green so he looks like an alien.

Maybe that's it!  Is Ryan Seacrest extra-terrestrial?  Is that why not a single person in my Interpretive Drawing class full of illustrators could draw a caricature that actually LOOKED like Ryan Seacrest?  Special alien powers that keep humans from capturing an artistic likeness?  What gives.  E.T. why would you leave your friend stranded here?  He could have been hosting Universal Idol instead.  Gee...

Fire Station Mural Photos

Exciting!  Last summer I had the opportunity to design, supervise, and participate in painting a mural for the Orem Fire Department, which they use now to teach "Fire Station Field-Tripper Kiddo's" about fire and road safety.  About 40 people helped us paint, and we finished in only two days.  Today I got the photos from Don Seegmiller, UVU's Illustration Advisor, which he shot himself and I'm excited to share a few of them with you!  Eventually, I hope to have a time-lapsed video posted.  Many of the fellow painters were friends (and awesome artists) I get to have classes with at UVU, as you will see...  


PORTFOLIO - Welcome!

Welcome to my brand new professional blog!  

I want to start fresh to feature my portfolio (which will always be found in its separate page as you can see at the top) and the art I make from here on, now that I'm preparing to graduate from the world of studentist, moving on to professional artist.  You're welcome to visit my very old and recent student work at my old blog at "GinnyAtTheArts.blogspot.com" anytime.  But I'll make this my main stomping grounds online from now on.

Hope you visit often!

"You Are What You Eat"
(c) Ginny Tilby 2010
Acrylic on illustration board