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What writers write when they 1) aren't writing, 2) are avoiding writing or 3) need a word count to convince their spouses they are writing.

Origami n' Stuff 4 Kids

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween Haunted House Origami Tutorial

Download my free Halloween Haunted House origami pattern at:

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 6 Illustration Challenge

I haven't been sticking to my goal of one a day, but I have been sticking to working as quickly as possible and finishing each illustration in a single sitting.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 4 Illustration Challenge

The Roxy illustration challenge continues! One of my favorite poses, a combo of "What did I do?" + "Talk to the Butt." #illustration

Here's the video of my process...

And once again, here's my dainty princess. That face says it all...she's clearly embarrassed by my sophomoric attempt to familiarize myself with a new medium.

Friday, September 23, 2016


Quick rendering of my niece...I loved the play of light in this underwater scene.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Illustration Challenge: Week 1

I started off calling this "The Roxy Challenge."  My goal was to loosen up each day with a quick sketch of my bulldog, Roxy. She's funny, she's flatulent, and she sleeps 20 hours a day (mostly under my drafting table)--the perfect model for a children's book illustrator!

However, Roxy wanted no part of that modeling nonsense. She scratched. She fidgeted. She licked her toes. And she insisted on critiquing my work, nosing through all of my sketchbooks before finally resting her chin on my iPad.

Day 1

Day 2

Clearly, she's unimpressed with my work.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Paint the Town Peaceful: The Mural That Stopped Violence

Living art in Las Palmitas, aka "La Bella Airosa." What are the possibilities when a community invests itself in beautification?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Conservation success...Kakapo Baby Boom!

Finished my Kakapo origami for my upcoming book, "Easy Bird Origami," in time to learn of successful conservation efforts in New Zealand! There are only 125 Kakapos in the wild--thanks to an intensive breeding program, 33 fluffy chicks have hatched this season. Go Kakapo!

Friday, August 5, 2016


Your word for the day: 


transitive verb bum·fuz·zle \¦bəm¦fəzəl\
Definition: confuse, perplex, fluster

Example: I'm bumfuzzled by the 2016 election.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Illustration tutorials

Helpful tutorial on color theory.

And what's color without composition?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

GoPro vs Bulldog--Keeping Busy Between Books

Taking my "studio assistant" Roxy for a walk, I thought it would be great to mount a GoPro to capture Kailua Beach from a bulldog's perspective...if anything, as inspiration for a new children's book character.

Butterfly Emerging

My obsession with butterflies goes beyond origami...I do raise monarch butterflies at my home in Hawaii, using crownflower as a food source for the larva and lantana to attract adults. I'll write more about what goes on during metamorphosis on my Origami Page.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SCBWI-Hawaii Book Sale!

SCBWI-Hawaii at the Friends of the Library Book Sale
June 18-19, 2016
McKinley High School Cafeteria

Stop by and meet Christopher Caravalho, Sue Cowing, David Estes, Leslie Ann Hayashi, Christin Lozano, Alina Niemi, Sandi Takayama and Tammy Yee!

Talk story, learn more about writing and illustrating for children, stock up on your summer reading, or have books autographed for your favorite reader. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Friends of the Library. Spread the word!

Book signing schedule:

Sue Cowing, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
Christin Lozano, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
David Estes, 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Alina Niemi, 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Leslie Hayashi and Tammy Yee, all day

Sandi Takayama, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
Alina Niemi, 12 noon - 4 p.m.
Christopher Caravalho, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Leslie Hayashi and Tammy Yee, all day

For more information, visit

Friday, February 26, 2016

2016 SCBWI Hawaii Conference and Workshop

My introduction to writing and illustrating children's books was Uri Shulevitz's guide, Writing With Pictures--I still have it on my bookshelf--and the thought of attending an SCBWI conference terrified me. I came away from my first conference overstimulated and overwhelmed, but also energized and inspired. Through the years, I've learned that there is no better way to meet other author and illustrators, develop your writing and illustrating, and learn from the best in the industry. 

 So if you happen to be in Hawaii this March, join us for our 2016 SCBWI Hawaii Conference: 

Smooth Sailing
in the Sea of Children’s Book Publishing

March 18 – 19, William S. Richardson Law School, University of Hawaii at Manoa


DAN SANTAT, Author-Illustrator, 2015 Caldecott Medal Recipient



KIRSTEN CARLSON, Local Author-Illustrator

Featuring workshops and breakout sessions for authors and illustrators, First Pages/First Look Critique Panel, industry tips and more. 
If you would like to attend Dan Santat's Friday workshop, Art School in One Day, contact


dansantatDAN SANTAT, Author-Illustrator, 2015 Caldecott Medal Recipient
Dan has been a proud member of the SCBWI since 2001. He has since published over fifty books for children, which include the Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot series by Dav Pilkey, Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett which won the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and the New York Times best-selling book, Because I'm Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa. Dan has also the author of the graphic novel, Sidekicks, which has won numerous state book awards, and is the current recipient of the 2015 Randolph Caldecott Medal for his book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. He is also the creator of the Disney animated series, The Replacements. Visit him at
IMG_2698SUZIE TOWNSEND, Director of Literary Services & Literary Agent, New Leaf Literary & Media
Suzie represents all brands of children's and adult fiction. She is actively looking to build her list. In adult, she's specifically looking for new adult, romance (all subgenres), fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy) and crime fiction (mysteries, thrillers). In Childrens' she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects. Suzie loves strong characters and voice driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres. For more info on her clients and projects: Follow her on twitter (
Naomi-Long-Eagleson-The-Artful-EditorNAOMI LONG EAGLESON, Editor
Naomi Long Eagleson is the founder of The Artful Editor, a book editing company based in Los Angeles. She helps writers improve and polish their manuscripts for publication. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has worked as an assistant editor at Manoa Journal and as a manuscript reviewer at Mutual Publishing. She has edited over a hundred books, including children’s books and young adult fiction.
KirstenKIRSTEN CARLSON, Author-Illustrator
Kirsten’s background in biology, scientific illustration and graphic design lend themselves well to interpreting stories about nature for children. In addition to picture books, her work as an author/illustrator has also appeared in periodicals, including National Geographic and Phycologia. She won the First Place Award for Realistic Portfolio at the 2003 and 2004 SCBWI Conferences. Kirsten is the Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI Hawaii, and a past Regional Advisor for SCBWI Germany+Austria.

The Art of Creating Children's Books

Interested in writing and illustrating children's books? SCBWI Hawaii is presenting several events that might be of interest to authors, illustrators, educators and librarians:

Free art exhibit and panel discussion at the Hawaii State Library Adult Reading Room

Join us for a free discussion on getting started in writing and illustrating for children, and meet our panelists, authors and author-illustrators James Rumford, Scott Goto, Sue Cowing, Chris Caravalho and Vera Arita.

What does it take to create a children's book? View the notes, rough sketches and final children's book artwork of SCBWI authors and illustrators. Featuring the work of Chris Caravalho, Kirsten Carlson, Sue Cowing, Scott Goto, Leslie Hayashi, Mariko Merritt, Elizabeth Oh, Esther Szegedy and Tammy Yee.


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