Friday, November 9, 2012

You Can Do Better

I'm going to share an epiphany I had a while back while doing a project for a client. After the initial sketch was approved I started refining my drawing. I had spent a few hours on it and was liking it. But then I noticed that the placement of the hands were wrong. The way they were facing did not make sense. (If the style I was going for was more stylized and graphic or flat it would not have been a big deal, but that was not my aim for this drawing.)
I hated the thoughts of redrawing those shoes laces! My first reaction was to keep going. I figured most people wouldn't notice. I'd only change it if the art director said anything.

However, that thought nagged me. I knew I could do better. But by going back I'd be spending more time than I wanted on this picture. But after my personal debate, I decided to bite the bullet and make the change. I ended up spending an extra couple hours making the changes and the funny thing is that as I made those changes I noticed other flaws with my drawing that I needed to change.

I'm not going to lie. It was a painful and dreaded thing when I realized how much I had to change, but in the end I was so much more satisfied with my drawing.

It made me reflect on my life. How often do I just get by? I can say, "You know what? No one else will notice so what's the big deal?" The deal is that I live with myself. And why shouldn't I try to do better? Anyway, since then I've tried doing things just a bit better. 

But I also want to say that I'm not doing it to compare myself to others. I know a dozen artists that could do a much cooler drawing of this little girl. But the point of changing the drawing wasn't because I was trying to be better than another artist. It was because I knew I could do better.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Here is a frightful image to make your Halloween I little scarier. This picture is entitled "The Hunter and the Hound." This guy is one bad man. But don't worry you are most likely safe. He won't come after you. Maybe.

Friday, August 17, 2012

IF: Teacher

I am thrilled with this weeks topic of teacher. Because the teacher I want to feature is my dad. Love the man. And what's more is that twenty years ago today he passed away (just a month before I turned fourteen.) What a great day to remember him.

My dad was a farmer. He grew in Montana plowing, planting, herding, and fixing. He also played the accordion. I remember banging on tin pans as his percussionist while he practiced in the basement. My brothers and sisters and I loved to dance to his lively jigs.

One of my favorite memories was when I was five. He took me with him to harvest. I sat with him in the cabin of the combine looking out the windows. Now this may seem boring, but I loved it. It was just me and my dad. And then for lunch he let me eat a whole tomato. A whole tomato all to myself!

He read to us. I loved gathering around him as he read, "The Little House on the Prairie", or Dr. Sues or the scriptures.

My dad set such a good example to me. He taught me hard work. (I'd have to get up at 3:30AM to help milk cows.) He taught me the worth of an individual is great. (He never set himself up as the center of attention for any kind of gathering, but he'd often find one person and find out how that person was.) He taught me faith. (Every morning and evening he gathered his family together for prayer.) He taught me to forgive. (If I fought with any of my siblings he would sit us in chairs facing each other. There was only one rule. We weren't allowed to laugh. I think I broke first pretty much every time.)

Here's to my dad. Dad, I love you.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Here is a coloring page to commemorate our nation's independence. Have a happy and safe fourth of July. (Please, don't burn up my town or home.)

I'm looking forward to teaching my little Mary a little bit about the Declaration of Independence and the flag today.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The World. Coloring page.

This is a drawing I did a while back.

I had always wanted to do illustrated maps (for fun.) I loved making these (bellow is another map.) Whenever I see a color picture or technique I always want to try it. Even if its way different than my usual stuff.

Have fun coloring!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I love getting jobs. It gives me kind of an electric boost. I've had two the past coupe of weeks. The thing with getting jobs is that I don't take time to do personal things. (You should see my laundry.) So I haven't written on my story for two weeks. I haven't updated this blog either. I haven't even activated my new phone that I got in the mail.

Here is a coloring page for those who are anticipating another one. (I know there are hundreds just waiting for this.) It was the preliminary sketch for one of the jobs. I had a blast coloring this I hope you do, too.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Sorry, about the long break between posts. I don't have a really good excuse, just sorta bad excuses. You know; cleaning house, yard work, working on a job, wanting to make the next picture really cool. The list could go on and on.

Here is a character from a story I'm working on (she's a super hero). Her name is Zuzu. This is a younger version of her. In the story she's around twelve. I'd love to hear from you. What are the stories that come to your mind when you see this picture? What are your guesses to her powers? (Btw, there are no clues as to what they are in the picture, so let your mind go crazy.)

Enjoy this weeks coloring page.
click on the picture to enlarge to print.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Children's Book Week

Last week was Children's Book Week. The Provo Library hosts some great activities and panel discussions. Tuesday night authors Kristyn Crow, Jessica Day George, Tess Hilmo,
E.J. Patten, and Rick Walton lead a panel discussion. They answered questions about their favorite books, where they write, where they get inspiration. Loads of fun. Afterward they signed books.

So, I love mid grade fantasy. I could safely say its my favorite genre. Those of you out there that share this passion should read E. J. Pattern's Return to Exile.  In fact go buy it right now.  

Thursday's panel consisted of illustrators Guy Francis, Nathan Hale, Julie Olson, Jake Parker, and Will Terry. I'm always so inspired by my fellow illustrators. Its fun to hear what they're working on.

You should take a look at Jake Parker's Kickstarter project. Its awesome. Today is the last day to back his project (In case anyone is interested.) 

Finally, the moment you've all been waiting for... A brand new coloring page! This time its "Little Red Riding Hood." Have Fun! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Coloring Page 2, Goldylocks

Here is coloring page number two. I've had a busy day so I'm finally getting around to posting this Page.
(P.S. I just heard my three year old playing by herself. She said, "You killed my father." "No! I'm your father." That's my girl.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Coloring Page 1

Starting today I will post a coloring page each week every Tuesday or Wednesday. It is free and I hope your kids will enjoy it.
click the page and print. Color away.
The first coloring page are some zombie ballerinas. Enjoy!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mountain Ridge Jr. High Art Show

This was best in Show, and as it turned out it was also the faculty choice.
Last week Mark and I had the privilege of judging an Art Show for Mountain Ridge Jr. High. I must say I was very impressed with the quality of work these young kids were putting out. It was difficult to choose between the various pieces. But here are some of the works from the show.
Honorable mention in Black and White drawing.

Second Place in Black and White drawing.
First Place in Black and White drawing.
The black and white drawing category was the hardest for us to place. The second place piece was executed very well (unfortunately these are terrible photos taken with my camera phone, so you can't see the detail very well.) The one we gave first place to, while compositionally wasn't great, the subject matter and the interior design was quite original.
First Place for Color Photo.
First Place for Black and White Photo.
    I was very impressed with the photography. It was very hard to narrow down the winners, but we did it.
    Bellow are the prizes. These were so cool. I would have loved winning something like this in Jr. High. Heck, I would love to win it now (even though now I do most of my art work digitally.)
Paints, canvasses, and easels. Oh my. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm back, again.

Something about having a baby takes the wind out of my blogging sails. But now that she's more than a month old its time for me to get back on the horse. (Shall we see how many cliches I can come up with?)
I love doing art and coming up with ideas. Its fun to day dream about a new project. Its even more fun to see a project come to fruition. I'm still working on my up coming portfolio. I'll post one of my new painting today on this very post.
This is a picture that I started more than four years ago, but at the time I didn't know how to move forward with it. I've picked it up off and on over the past four years to piddle with it. For the longest time I couldn't move past this point of my painting. My vision exceeded my skill.

 I've finally got to a point where I'm satisfied with it. And here it is...."Jungle Dan." I think I'd still like to work on a few parts that need work, but over all I'm pleased with the way this is shaping up.

Monday, March 12, 2012

You Have Just Entered the JenEart Zone

In the distance is a doorway. Upon the arch above it is written "The Art of Jennifer Eichelberger." What could lay beyond the passage? Mystery? Enchantment? Horror? There is only one way to find out. You must enter the jenEart Zone.

This is a cover I've recently made for a new portfolio. I'm also finishing up some other paintings to go into my portfolio. As I get them done I'll post them here.

This portfolio will be one that I drop off in person. So, the completed form will only be available to the publishers that I go see. (You publishers can't wait, I bet.) They're drooling at the mouth. More like I'm begging at their door.

So Here it is. The first of my new images. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Lesson from Jesse Thorn

Here is a great article to read. If you haven't heard of Jesse Thorn, now is a good time to start. He hosts his own podcast and invites special guests to speak each week. I could say he's funny, but don't take my word for it. Find out for yourself.

In the article he talks about becoming successful at doing your own creative things (whether "things" is music, comedy, or building model city's from toilet paper and glue.) The biggest thing I took from it was the need to be persistent and then share with others what you've created. It will do you little good to make 100 mini paintings on the backs of bottle caps this year if no one else sees them.

Basically if you create and create and share and share, eventually you can find an audience (unless your work is so hopelessly bad that no one but your mom would ever re-post.)

So, here I go posting for posting sake. Not cause I think I'm a great writer, but because I definitely won't get better at it by not writing.

P.S. still no baby. The hospital was over run so we rescheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Final Count Down

This is what I feel like. I think I probably look like this as well.

The last month is the worst. (Only cause I don't throw up the first three. Don't hate me.) I've got the pregnant woman waddle going on (very attractive.)

The funny thing is that on Saturday while I was wandering the mall attempting to get things going, I saw a teenage boy in tight pants and chains with the same waddle as me. It caused me to wonder whether he was meaning to have a cool strut or if he had been in a tragic accident that made him look as uncomfortable as a nine month pregnant woman.

Either way my sympathy goes out to him.

I'm off to see the doctor. Today I set my inducement but its not going to happen. After five minutes at the hospital they will say come back another day after your a bit more effaced. I'm fine with it (just uncomfortable.) At least I can keep drawing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hear that Lion Roar!

I can't believe that of all days, I missed writing on Leap Day. Come on, Jen, it only comes around once every four years.

Well, it snowed last night. And to tell the truth, not all that much. But since we haven't had much snow at all this winter I'm gonna go ahead and say that March has come in like a lion (a mangy, half starved lion.)

Yesterday was not productive in many ways for me. I didn't paint once. I didn't tweet, update facebook, or blog. I did, however get my mailers sent out. And since my goal this year is to send out mailers every other month, I just made it.

I did feel gratified when a fellow post office customer came up to me to ask what I was doing. (I was putting 3 cent stamps on my already 29 cent stamped postcards.) So, I showed her my card and let her know what I do. She was genuinely curious and awed with my talent. It gave me the opportunity to tell her about my most recent book. I was pleased when she said she had heard of it.

You know, I could have easily gotten annoyed with a busy body snooping into my business, but what good would that have done me? Had I given a short, rude response she would have felt abashed, and I would have felt smug in my dark world and brooded over how I was justified in behaving in such a manner. Its nice to treat people nice.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Keep on keeping on

One of the things that Will Terry suggested that we as artist do is treat our blog like a journal. Not that you put your deepest darkest secrets there, but that you do it for yourself. And oh, well if no one else reads it.

When I was a freshman in High School I became inspired by a teacher of mine, Judy Giles. She was my early morning seminary (Bible studies) teacher. She expressed the importance of keeping a daily journal, and I did so for many years. Its been a long time since I've recorded anything on a daily basis. Its so tedious to me, but I'm determined to plug along.

So, here is one more entry. Now can I put a twist on it to make it fun to read? (not likely, but we'll see.) I'd say its less of a twist and more of a sundae.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Starting Anew

This past Saturday I went to an SCBWI illustrators conference in Bountiful. Each of the guest speakers shared some good insight. Sherry Meidell talked about drawing children and adolescence. Children Book Author, Anne Bowen, spoke about the two main types of children books, story and list. It was great to have the perspective of an author. The last speaker was Will Terry. If you haven't seen or read any of his stuff about ebook publishing you need to go now. He has a wealth of knowledge on the subject. In fact he's well rounded in many areas of the children book illustration world. He talked about web presence. (Which has inspired me to update my blog more frequently. Hence this post.)

I'm terrible at writing, and expressing myself clearly, but its better to start now than to keep putting it off. I've erroneously thought that after I've improved my writing craft I'd update more often, but you know what? That's not going to happen without actually doing some writing. So, get out your clothes pins, pinch your noses and get ready for some terrible posts.

This was fun. For the last session of the conference we drew kids. It was a race to get the gesture before the kids changed poses.