Tuesday, July 23, 2013

See Horse Evolution

This was a fascinating process for me.  
Kirsten Hall @HallWaysKirsten the Managing Agent, USA at Bright Group - International 
put out a Twitter blast asking for (bored) illustrators to make her a rainbow seahorse.
I knew I had a seahorse in my sketchbook pile so I loaded it up and answered the call.
She responded:
"That is fantastic. Color it! Seriously!"
So I did!

She responded:
"Love it. Can he look happy?"
So I went back the the drawing board and attempted happy...(not a normal emotional state for me - I had to Google reference photos)

It is harder than you think to make a seahorse look happy!
*where, exactly, is their mouth?*
*do they have eyebrows?*

I learned a lot about the evolution of creativity, about pushing through and digger deeper.
I learned that I can get stuck on being TOO LITERAL and GETTING STUCK IN MY HEAD.
I learned that I give up too soon and too easily on a lot of my projects
I learned a bit about art direction and how it forces an artist to think outside their own little box...(I LIKE ART DIRECTION, BTW...)
*how does one make a seahorse look happy?*
*how does an artist who can't really paint find a happy medium?*

When I closed the book on my seahorse last night I wasn't sure of his success so I posted him on Facebook and went to bed.
This morning my notifications were off the charts!  I've never had so many likes on a single image unless it was a post about my daughter or my dog!!!
A Caldecott Award winning illustrator, whom I admire greatly, messaged me to say the "new illo was banging!" - it was such a lovely compliment!!!
So, my little seahorse may not look the happiest (and I wept many a frustrated tear in his crafting)
but he sure made a lot of people smile today!!!!
Including me...
and I thank God for that gift!!!!!


  1. Your sea horse is really great! I had to chuckle when you said "being happy" wasn't a normal state for you. haha I also love your little turtle, too. :)

    1. It is so true! I am always told I need to smile more ;) Thanks for the lovely compliment. Love the doggie avatar, if I haven't said before.

  2. What a FABULOUS story, Jenn!!! I remember loving that underwater sketch when I first saw it! Love how the seahorse struck out on his own & evolved, to much fanfare!!! I'm digging ALL of his incarnations!

    1. Thanks, Mit. It is so great to unleash deeper creativity by not holding a single sketch or image as so precious.

  3. Isn't the online kidlit community an amazing thing? So cool!

    1. Fabulous indeed. I owe a great deal to this community.

  4. He's wonderful Jenn! The evolution of your seahorse is super to see. I also am just smiling at the title of your post See Horse. It's all of us seeing your seahorse evolve and receive much deserved praise. And awesome re: your message from the Caldecott artist. Encouragement and praise like that is priceless. I'm always so grateful for your kind visit to my blog..thanks for the support and ha! I see you have a teen in your midst too. :) Have a lovely rest of the week!!

    1. Thanks so much' Shirley. Such a lovely comment. It has been inspiring to see your daily posts and the wonderful stories you tell with each and every one.

  5. Great job, thank you for sharing!


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