The Bobonaro Project : Charity Auction Nov 4th

By heather at 9:06 pm on Sunday, October 29, 2006

(Read on …)

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Vectorized Recycling Symbols for Designers

By heather at 1:00 am on Saturday, October 28, 2006

Download Recycling Symbols Vector Graphics PDF (248 KB)

You think it would be easy finding a vectorized recycling symbol online…but nooooooo! So I created a set of recycling symbols in Illustrator, feel free to download the PDF above by clicking on it… to extract the vector graphics, just open the PDF in Adobe Illustrator.

In all that research, I got more aquainted with one of the world’s most recognizable icons… the humble recycling symbol. You may find some of these details helpful in selecting the right recycling symbol for your project. (Read on …)

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Kodomo no kuni – 1920’s Japanese children’s book illustrations

By heather at 4:03 am on Friday, October 27, 2006

illustrated by Honda Shotaro

“The Picture Book Gallery No. 2 Exhibit centers around some 300 illustrations published in the Kodomo no kuni picture book magazine during the first decade after its inauguration in 1922.”
These are a few of my favourites…but there are dozens more, make sure to check out the online exhibit. (Read on …)

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Australia Walk Against Global Warming!

By heather at 1:00 am on Friday, October 27, 2006

walk against warmingThat’s right, aside from changing your lightbulbs and reducing your personal emissions, you can coerse the government into helping as well by pledging your feet to walk with thousands of others here in Australia on the International Day of Action on Climate Change, this Saturday, Nov 4th 2006. (Read on …)

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Purple Ribbons by Cristina Guarneri

By heather at 11:14 pm on Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Illustration © Heather Castles
Text © Cristina Guareneri

I’m currently working with author, Cristina Guarneri, on her children’s picture book manuscript, “Purple Ribbons.” It is a touching little story about a child’s perspective on her parent being called away as a doctor in the army. Cristina has captured in a sensitive way the feelings any child would have…that they want their parent all to themselves! But through seeing how the parent is wanting to help others, the child realizes that she, too, wants to help others when she grows up. I’m really enjoying illustrating this story, as I feel it is important for children affected by parents being called away in the army during times of war to have the perspective of humanity & giving to others… this story conveys that simple kind-hearted principle. Here are a few of my sketches from the story, I’ll be sure to post more details as the story is published.

(Read on …)

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Notes from Salisbury Children’s Writing Seminar

By heather at 10:39 pm on Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dyan Blacklock, publisher at Omnibus Books, gave a funny & informative chat at the Salisbury Writer’s Festival this past weekend, “Successful Children’s Writing : From Woe to Go.” It was a real eye opener as far as getting to know what goes on in the rest of the industry beyond the illustrating & designing aspect of children’s book publishing.

What stood out was how competitive the industry is. Dyan reviewed manuscripts from the 25 people in the room…and she only noted to one writer out of the bunch that her work was very good, and to keep writing. She didn’t say “we want to publish your book,” she said keep writing. So even the best in a room full of writers wasn’t a sellable manuscript. It is humbling, but a good douse of reality for any aspiring children’s book writer. That being said, Dyan had some great insight into the industry that I thought I would share my notes from the seminar. I would recommend to any children’s book illustrator to attend any children’s writing seminars in their area, as it is a great way to get to know the business. (Read on …)

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10 Lies told to Newbie Artists & Designers

By heather at 9:01 pm on Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A painfully true list… Here 10 of the many lies told to newbie artists & designers…

  1. 1. “Do this one cheap (or free) and we’ll make it up on the next one.”
  2. 2. “We never pay a cent until we see the final product.”
  3. 3. “Do this for us and you’ll get great exposure! The jobs will just pour in!”
  4. 4. “Well, we aren’t sure if we want to use you yet, but leave your material here so I can talk to my partner/investor/wife/clergy.”
  5. 5. “Well, the job isn’t CANCELLED, just delayed.”
  6. 6. “Contract? We don’t need no stinking contact! Aren’t we friends?”
  7. 7. “Send me a bill after the work goes to press.”
  8. 8. “The last guy did it for XXX dollars.”
  9. 9. “Our budget is XXX dollars, firm.”
  10. 10. “We are having financial problems. Give us the work, we’ll make some money and we’ll pay you.”

Check out the rest of the article written by Mark W. Lewis at

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How to design for no envelopes!

By heather at 8:51 pm on Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How magazine has some great little promos by Strathmore in the December issue (between pages 32 and 33). BUT, aside from being a great ad for S., it is also a great idea for reducing waste in your illustration business stationery by removing the need for an envelope! Next time you design a thank-you note or stationery, try designing to not need an envelope, it’s as easy as:

  • • create a template in Adobe Illustrator
  • • place your illustration / design on it
  • • print it out on a piece of 8.5 x 11 card paper
  • • trim it down

And voila, you’re ready to write on your custom designed notecard. You’ve also reduced the waste of using an envelope…just be aware of using as much of the space as you can on each page!

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The World of the Dark Crystal

By heather at 5:15 am on Thursday, October 19, 2006

dark crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal is absolutely brilliant, Brian Froud is an inspiring illustrator and I’m so pleased that his concept art is shared around in such a handsome book as this. A lot of thought has been put into every detail of the designs, from the fabric patterns to the insects, the organic life of each illustration just makes you believe this world is real. More of Brian & Wendy Froud’s artwork can be found at World of

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Why Cold Calling is Not So Bad (Really)

By heather at 1:37 am on Thursday, October 19, 2006

Who says that illustrators are hermits who huddle in their attic laboring over their artwork in their solitude? Break free of the stereo-type by making contact with the outside world! ‘Cold calling is not a random act‘ is the tip that is key to making this cold call NOT a cold call. I don’t ‘just’ call up someone I want to work with… generally I research their company, write a coverletter expressing my interest, send them sample of my artwork, and a couple weeks later phone up and ask to speak to the person I sent it to. That right away gives you something to chat about… and is anything but random! It’s still scary as hell phoning someone you’ve never spoken to before, but it shows you’ve got guts, puts a voice to your artwork, (makes them pull it out of the trash bin to find it while they’re on the phone with you!) and shows that you are able to communicate clearly in a friendly manner. The nice thing about this is you’re seeing if your work is a good ‘fit’ for the company… not asking for a job! It might be a couple years down the track that they have a project for you, but if you keep a repor with the person you contacted, you’re building a relationship that might turn into something longlasting.
Aside from being a great way meet interesting people and promote your illustration, you also get to excercise your vocal chords in a way other than talking to yourself while you paint.

  1. 1. “Identify your prospects. Cold calling is not a random act.”
  2. 2. “Have a script ready.”
  3. 3. “Be ready to handle objections and questions. It’s a conversation, after all…”
  4. 4. “Don’t try to sell.”
  5. 5. “Don’t take it personally.”
  6. 6. “Practice makes perfect.”
  7. 7. “Know your goal.”

(Tips by Eric J. Adams at

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