Thursday, March 5, 2015

Exhibit: Draw Me a Story: Tomie and Friends

Exhibit with Tomie dePaola!

I am truly honored and humbled to participate in an exhibit with Tomie dePaola himself! The exhibit is called “Draw Me a Story: Tomie and Friends” and it is held at Wenham Museum.

Opening reception is on Sunday, March 22, 1:00 - 3:30 pm.

I will show five works from the first picture book I have illustrated – “Sophie’s Animal Parade,” written by Amy Dixon, Sky Pony Press, May 2015.

I hope you, your friends and family will be able to attend the opening and share this exciting day with all the artists participating in the exhibit!

More info:

4th Annual Draw Me a Story Exhibit
Draw Me a Story: Tomie and Friends
March 6 - April 27

Celebrate the art of Caldecott Medalist Tomie dePaola and fellow guest children’s book illustrators Jesse Watson, Lisa Cinelli, Katia Wish, Elizabeth Wolff and Cyndy Szekeres Prozzo in a vibrant display of original works.

On Sunday, March 22; 1:00 - 3:30 pm, mix and mingle with some of these award-winning illustrators featured in our Draw Me a Story: Tomie and Friends family reception. Enjoy an afternoon of crafts as you admire the variety of styles and techniques used to create this beautiful collection of children’s book illustrations.

Picture books by artists shown in the exhibition will be available in the Museum Shop.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Work-in-progress: storyboard for the picture book story

I sent the storyboard to some of my writer and illustrator friends. Got a lot of helpful feedback. 
As expected, there will be a lot of changes and revisions. Back to the drawing board!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Work-in-Progress: Starting working on my new story!

Creative juices are flowing again! I am working on a new story with an old character (the one I created a year and a half ago). Finally!

After spending couple of weeks making tons of notes (9 pages to be exact), where I tried to figure out the basic structure of the story, characters, problem/solution, etc., I was ready to sketch things out.

Doodling one scene led to another one, and another one.  It felt like the sketches couldn't wait to be put down on the page. I could see the story unfolding in front of my eyes. The sketches are really fast and crude, but they really help.

There is a long way to go, but it feels good to see the super super rough storyboard (one of many more).  Now it's time to start tweaking and moving and changing different parts of the story.

Character that I created a while ago:

The illustrations are sent to the publisher! (Illustrations for "Sophie's Animal Parade", written by Amy Dixon, Sky Pony Press, Spring 2015)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Work-in-Progress: Illustrations for "Sophie's Animal Parade", written by Amy Dixon, Sky Pony Press, Spring 2015

Painting marathon continues: working on the illustrations in no particular order, on different layers, going back and forth between the pieces. This method of working agrees with me, no pressure on trying to accomplish everything in one piece and being terrified of mistakes. Approaching deadlines make you come up with solutions real fast!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Work-in-Progress: Illustrations for "Sophie's Animal Parade", written by Amy Dixon, Sky Pony Press, Spring 2015

Done with teaching all three of my summer classes! I love teaching and seeing my students make progress in their work and discover the skills and talents they never knew they had.

However, when the deadline is quickly approching and the only way not to feel anxious is to work hard in the studio, there is nothing better than dedicating 100% of your time and attention to one project.  Every day it's more and more clear how the book will eventually look!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Back to Sophie!

Teaching two summer classes + illustrating one book is done. Three months of barely any breaks with an occasional day off here and there. One more summer class left to teach.

Now back to my favorite project - "Sophie's Animal Parade", written by Amy Dixon! Love the world of Sophie and her animal friends. Few more months of this intense schedule, four day vacation on the Cape most likely cancelled and I'll be done!

Crazy schedule, I know, but I'll take it. Better than any office job.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Character Design Class at MassArt, Summer 2014

I will be teaching Character Design  class (Continuing Education, open to the public) this summer. 

Here’s the info:

Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Character Design
Instructor: Katia Wish
June 3-July 17
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm-6pm

Course Description: Through a variety of observational exercises (drawing from children and adult models, trips to the Museum of Natural History to draw animals), students learn basic anatomy and movements of children, adults and animals. The students develop one or more characters and the environments that they live in that could work with either children’s books, video games, graphic novels, animation or comic books.  The emphasis is on creating strong, believable characters who are consistent through a variety of facial expressions and movements. 

Few points regarding the class:

1. The class will be structured in such a way that the students will be able to create work that is necessary for their portfolio. After observational drawing, the students can take their character development in any direction you need – realistic, stylized, simplified, cute, scary, mythical animals, people, hybrid creatures, etc, etc. Whatever the students need for their portfolio – character development for a children’s book, animation, video games, comic books, they’ll go in that direction.

2. In this class the students will have an opportunity to draw not only from adult models, but also from children models.  Children’s anatomy, movements, body proportions are very different from adults, so it’s a really valuable drawing practice, especially if you are interested in children’s books and animation.

3. The students will develop unique characters in different poses, facial expressions. They will also design the attire, any props and objects that character uses, and develop the environment the character lives in. 

4. This class could be a starting point for a bigger project that the students might want to develop later – children’s book, animation project, graphic novel, etc.

It should be a really fun and open class where students can develop work they are really excited about.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Work-in-Progress: Character Studies for "Sophie's Animal Parade", written by Amy Dixon, Sky Pony Press, Spring 2015

Having a lot of fun with this book so far! These are some character studies and reference materials to help me visualize things from different angles. I enjoy changing perspective/point of view in my illustrations, so a little doll table + chairs will definitely make my drawing life so much easier!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I am excited to announce that I have finally signed not one, but two children’s book contracts. I am illustrating books for Sky Pony Press (“Sophie’s Animal Parade", written by Amy Dixon) and Boys Town Press, both to be released in Spring 2015.

It took 4 years of constant work developing my portfolio, characters, and stories, networking, trips to NY to see publishers, trips to conferences, desperation, inspiration, taking paid illustration projects that weren’t necessarily fulfilling or moving my work forward, being both encouraged and discouraged by the success of my fellow illustrators, finding mentors, art directors/editors and illustrators who believed in my work and urged me to continue, frustration, leaving an agent who didn’t have the same vision for the direction of my work and artistic development, almost quitting many times, but coming back to the drawing board because of the pure love of illustration and story-telling even when it was hard to have any hope.

It feels good to finally be here.

Monday, December 30, 2013