New Year, New Artwork

Happy New Year everyone!!!  I apologize for neglecting my little blog here for the last several months.  Between the holidays and working overtime on the final artwork for my next book, Village by the Sea, time seemed to have flown by.  I seriously cannot believe that 2013 has come to an end.  Like many other folks, I like to take this time to reflect on the past year and think of all the things that I am thankful for.  So yes, it’s about get a bit sentimental up in here.

While 2012 was an exciting year marked by the start of my journey into the children’s book illustration world and landing 2 book contracts back to back, 2013 was definitely the year of the behind-the-scenes hard work to make those 2 books come to life.  I once read in another illustrator’s blog that creating a picture book involves blood, sweat, and tears.  That may be a slight exaggeration but after finishing the illustrations for my first book, Summoning the Phoenix, and currently still trying to wrap up the illustrations for my second book, I can say with confidence that that is not too far from the truth.

In 2013 I also learned that the children’s book industry can be full of unpredictable yet exciting changes.  The most exciting publishing news for me in the past year was the announcement of the acquisition of Shen’s Books, my original publisher for Summoning the Phoenix, by Lee and Low Books, a wonderful children’s book publisher that focuses on diversity.  Summoning the Phoenix will be the first new title under their new Shen’s Books imprint.  The acquisition was announced in Lee and Low's press release and an article in Publisher’s Weekly (I'm mentioned in both, yay!).

I am a firm believer that all good things require plenty of time and patience…and children’s books are no exceptions.  With that said, another change is that both of my books have had their release dates pushed back.  Summoning the Phoenix will now be available in Spring 2014 and Village by the Sea will be available Spring 2015.  I will keep everyone posted on the actual release dates very soon!  All in all, I think these changes will ultimately have positive impacts on both books.

I have infinite things in my life that I am thankful for!  I would like to express how grateful I am to Renee Ting, Emily Jiang, and Marissa Moss for giving me the opportunity to work on my first 2 picture books.  I’ve realized in the last 2 years after countless hours at my desk and in front of my computer, being an illustrator is not only a solitary line of work, but also marked by many ups and downs.  So a big thank you to everyone who has dropped me a nice note, asked me for advice, given me feedback, or simply stopped to say "hi"...I truly appreciate it!  It’s a great reminder of why I love illustrating in the first place.

Last but not least, I am thrilled to finally be able to share a couple sneak peeks of the interior artwork for Village by the Sea.  I will be revealing more closer to the release date.

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I am really looking forward to what the New Year will bring...I know it will be a magical one.  I wish everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous, and creative 2014!  Cheers!