Thursday, February 28, 2013


My book!  It's up!  It's up!  On Amazon!  It's up on amazon right now!  Right now for pre-orders!!  You can pre-order on amazon!  Because it's up for pre-order!  On amazon!!!  Right NOW!!!!  

Holy smooookes!

....deep breaths....

Okay.  So a few days ago we authors (haha I'm an author!!) got an email from Familius saying to look for our books on amazon.  I've been checking for several days wondering if mine would ever come up.  Finally late one night I decided to try typing in my name instead of just the title.... and HELLO THERE'S MY BOOK ON AMAZON!!!  I wonder how long it had already been there!  The search bar still doesn't recognize it unless you search it by my name.  Hopefully that will change.

Anyway, here's the link:  

 (feel free to copy and paste that link to emails, facebook, and/or blogs and share it with whomever you may)

And it looks like this:

Right now you can save $5.42 at the pre-order price on amazon!!!  Good deal or what???

Yaaaaay!  Celebrate!  Right after I read it, I stood up and started jumping, and took my jumping party to my room so my roommates didn't get too concerned, and I jumped on my bed!!!  Yeah... there could be a reason I write children's books....

The next day my besties, Alicia VanNoy Call and Tyler Call, took me out to Tucanos to congratulate me:

L to R:  Me, Lee, and Tyler at Tucanos!

It was SOOO yummy I'd never been there before!!!  You guys gotta go there!!  I have the best friends. I seriously would NOT have gotten to this point without these people right here.  Alicia (we call her Lee) is the one who talked me into attending WIFYR, which is where SHE attended a seminar by Christopher Robbins from Familius while I was in another class and she was like, "You gotta send your hippo story to this guy!"  And then she and Tyler have been encouraging me and supporting me in all the ups and downs through this whole, whole thing.  Which sometimes meant telling me I'm a good artist.  Or that first books are always the worst ones we do and it's okay if it's not perfect, and every thing we do after the first one just gets better and better, so just get to work.  Or sometimes it meant late nights listening to me whine and vent.  Or sometimes it meant "Ginny take a break and come play/eat with us!"  Most of the time it means "Come do your art at our place."  Lee paints her dawgart, Tyler does his math or plays music, and I draw and paint for my book.  It's pretty great.  They're pretty great.

A lot of people have helped me who deserve recognition but I'm not gonna get too caught up in that yet because I still have about 10 paintings to finish!!!  I'm not done yet!  It's not time for too much celebration yet!  

So.... back to work you go Ginny!  You've blogged enough for today!

Oh, and one more little piece of excitement.... we reached 13,000 pageviews this week!  I caught a quick screenshot:

Let's go make art!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm Not Talented

I'm not lucky.  I'm not gifted.  I am SKILLED.

Seth Godin's blog post today said this:

Actually, it goes the other way

Wouldn't it be great to be gifted? In fact...
It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents.
Talents are labeled gifts.
You're not born this way, you get this way.


People so often tell me "You're so talented."  "You have a gift."  "You're lucky to be so good at this."  "I wish I could [insert jealous quality] like you can...."

Let me tell you something.  I live by this belief:

Anyone can attribute any quality or ability if diligently sought after.

I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil.  I have spent hours of my childhood drawing images from The National Geographic, puppy books, animal calendars, photos of people, drawing and copying Disney movie covers.  I worked hard mastering how to draw Ariel, Simba, Bambi, and the 101 Dalmations.  I use to search the house for something interesting to draw, and I remember one I was particularly proud of a Pepsi bottle, complete with all the right edges and shines on the plastic.  I've drawn my hand a million times and went through a phase of drawing faces from photos around my house, focusing on lips and noses.  I do not have a "gift."  I am not "talented."  I have a SKILL, which I have persistently worked hard at for years and years.

You can be good at anything you diligently seek after.  

Art isn't my life, or the only thing I've worked hard at.  My roommates have a running joke that goes "Ginny can do and is good at EVERYTHING."  It's not true of course, (don't ask me about politics... it's WAY over my head, and please don't watch me try to ski) but it seems that way to them sometimes.  I can sing and harmonize, I'm generally pretty athletic, play the piano, I can make terrific animal noises, I can dance, I can sew, and I usually can solve their technical problems on a computer.

Well let me tell you....  I've spent hours and hours singing in my car, up and down the scales, trying to build vibrato, and an equal amount of hours on the piano picking out harmonies and learning to hear and sing the tenor, or bass, part an octave higher, or make up my own part that isn't written.  I've taken dance classes and practiced those songs and steps over and over in my bedroom.  I probably spent more hours shooting basketball hoops in my driveway and fine tuning my ability to kick a soccer ball straight up high (so it wouldn't land in the neighbors yards) growing up than I spent with a pencil and paper.  Please don't assume that because someone else can do something well, that they are just "talented."  And PLEASE don't assume that you can't do something creative and meaningful, because you didn't get "lucky."  You have just as much power to create and do something fabulous as any artist.  I promise.

I've worked hard for what I can do, and I'm not finished with my skills.  I want to sing better, speak better, assert myself more, learn new skills, and finish new accomplishments.  One day I'll be able to play the guitar, I'll have written and published a middle grade novel, I'll have spoken publicly about overcoming people pleasing diseases and finding self empowerment using my children's books as my door opener, I'll have recorded a CD of songs written by me, I'll be able to calmly speak my mind about life and issues without second guessing or caring what people will think of me, and best of all... I'll start a family.  I'll teach my children that they can do anything they diligently seek after, and sit back to watch as they create their own magic and watch them influence the world.

Galations 6:7  "....whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

So.  Let's go make art!

Monday, February 18, 2013


Okay so I appreciate the votes SO much.  I have THE GREATEST support here and love you all for joining me and helping me out on this great, fun, and stressful adventure ;).  If I could bake you vitual cookies for you to pick off your screen on my blog, I would! 

Here are the total votes tallied up:

  • Yellow and White tied - 16
  • Green - 12
  • Orange - 7
  • Red and Purple tied - 4
  • Blue - 3
  • Blue Green - 1

I read and reread all the comments and votes, played around a ton, and finally figured out what I wanted to do. (unless I change it later... again)

I realized the "spottiness" is possibly what was too distracting, which is why yellow and white felt better to some. AND because the yellow is also a nice contrast to the purple (yellow and purple are complimentary colors) and also a happy warm color. But, I needed some red/orange/purple to tie us back down to Hippo. So I went multicolored, and this is what I finished with at 12:30 am Saturday night! Hope you like....

Personally... I'm SO tickled happy about this!!!  

Check out the amazing font the designer at Familius chose and how he placed it!!!  
Thanks David Miles!

Yes.... the animals are floating.  I'm not finished.  But this was good enough for what Familius needed to show off this week to a committee!

I'm still deciding on how to resolve that.  Possibly a vine or something.  Maybe just a change in color/value.  We'll see!

Overall I'm really happy.  :)

Thanks again!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Book Cover: WHICH COLOR?

I need help.  

Which color background do you prefer?  I need to pick one before I finish painting the characters so I can make sure the colors are harmonizing.

Vote please?









Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Very Hungry Zombie: A Tale of Ravenous Reanimation

My bestie Alicia VanNoy Call (aka Lee) wrote and illustrated an extremely cute, genius, and hilarious children's story app (for iphone and ipad) back when I wrote my "Kitty Wants" app, about a zombie who swallows one thing after another desperate for relief - it's a play off "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly."  It's cute, and I can't help laughing out loud when I read it.

Tale Spring's Best App Contest WINNER:  Alicia VanNoy Call with her app "The Very Hungry Zombie: A Tale of Ravenous Reanimation!"  (it's that good, you'll love it!)

We created them together for the same Children's Book Illustration class we were both taking, and we both used "" as our platform.  In December we both entered our finished apps in Tale Spring's contest for the best app between three schools: UVU, BYU, and one other school I'd never heard of.  Guess who won?  :D  My bestie!  Congrats Lee!  

In "The Very Hungry Zombie: A Tale of Ravenous Reanimation" the animated zombie eats a statue's head, a jackhammer to break up the head, some glue to still the jackhammer, some fire to melt the glue, and gets more and more hilarious (or worse and worse for poor zombie!).....  It's narrated by her adorable kids whose voices add much to the playful cuteness.  Every time she showed us the latest progress in class, everyone was laughing.  Hope you enjoy!!

Great work Lee!  <3

Monday, February 11, 2013

YSYS: "Spin???"

I finished this last week but forgot to post it!!

I love it.  I'll need to go in and fix his eyes later though.  They're kinda scary... his iris just needs to be bigger cuz it looks like he has just scary white eyes.  lol

Yup.  Bug told him to spin when he dances.  
So he did.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

YSYS: Walk like this???

Just finished it!!!
And um.... I kinda really like this one.  :)  Is it okay to say that?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Check in with the Artist

Social life?:
Oh.  My.  Goodness, people.  I'm painting and drawing like a crazy person.  Or like an illustrator.  Seriously I have passed up like a million social events because I have to get this book done!!  But.  Tonight I'm celebrating my roommate's birthday, and tomorrow I'm going ice skating.  No matter what.

Painting with People:
I'm feeling the stress of this deadline for sure!  In the beginning I was shooting paintings out like a fool, I was even ahead of schedule!  I was like.... "oh yeah.  I got this."  But eventually I grew restless... sitting and painting day after day after day is exhausting, gets old, and it's very lonely.  I finally grew comfortable enough with the digital process to work in front of people, so I brought my stuff out to our living room while my roommates watched a movie and that was actually really nice.  My roommate Alyssa sat next to me... at first I was a little nervous that she could see, but decided to let it go.  I didn't pay much attention anyway, I was in the painting zone.  When I finished my painting and the movie had ended, she said to me, "So Ginny.... I couldn't stop watching you!  I watched you pretty much the whole time.  It was just SO fun to watch!"  Haha!  A couple times since then she's come in my room, and sit on my bed to watch me.  I told her she could on one condition, she HAD to talk to me the whole time because I was afraid of the awkward silence, and I wasn't sure of my ability to chat while I made art.  But then I made her quiz me on my spanish while she was there... which half way through that I realized she couldn't watch me paint anymore.  Oops.  Sorry Alyssa!  Thanks for being a trooper!

A couple days ago I went to my "dawg-painting fool" friend Alicia VanNoy Call, who is also working like crazy on her BFA Project, and painted in her basement with her and her Russian speaking, musical instrument playing husband, and their loving cuddly dog for a coupe days.  That was great!  I wasn't alone, I wasn't the only painter, I could talk to people if I wanted, or even just BE with people while I listened to music and painted.  And I had someone to brainstorm ideas with and complain to when Photoshop decided to crash on me like OVER 30 TIMES!!!  Finally saved everything in Dropbox and told my computer to go to sleep for the night.  Works great now!

I was chatting with my friend Scott and he had a good friend who paints large beautiful paintings, and lets people come watch.  But he also has one condition... opposite to mine.  You can watch, but you can't talk to him!  Haha.  I think next time I'll be cool with whatever.  Maybe I'll just pull my earbuds out of my laptop next time, and let people listen to whatever I'm listening to if they want to watch.

Keeping up on Schedule?:
So I'm maybe a week behind schedule now.  By the way, I have every single day planned out of what to paint, draw, scan, and what time it's due!  (always due at 10 pm but I always keep painting til 11 or 12)  Thank goodness for Sundays... I get ONE blessed holy fabulous day to be with people, rest, breathe, and put down my stylus.  As for being behind... I'm currently in the catching up process!

I'm REALLY proud of myself.  I'm working hard and getting tons done!  I mean have you seen how much artwork is shooting out of my fingers?!  Like daisy's!!  But I admit, right now all I like to think about is what I'll be able to do when this is over.  I have a growing list!

Sleep overs with my nieces.
Clean and organize my room.
Throw a million things away and take the rest to D.I.
Shop for shoes (my fav pair died a while ago).
Get a hair cut!  (Need one REAL bad)
Get a job!
Write more stories.
Go visit all my best friends who just had babies (they all had babies at the same time!!) and my other best friends I've been neglecting.
The rest are too personal to share :) But they're gonna be good!

Goodbye to Old Friends:  :(
Last big part of my life as an artist in this current moment in time.............  I've been listening to the Harry Potter movies consecutively (thanks to Alyssa who has the entire collection), and yesterday I listened to The Deathly Hallows Part 1.  Which means today I'll listen to Part 2.  Which means today I say goodbye to my very dear friends who I've laughed with, cried with, and learned so much about life from in the past week.

To qualify for financial aid I have to take 6 credits which means I needed a filler course.  I didn't want to fill with more art, or I'd be REALLY sick of it.  So I'm taking Beginning Spanish!!!  And loving it.  I downloaded a list of great spanish music in spotify to listen to while I paint.  So when I'm not painting, I'm working on spanish!

Soy una artista!!!



Friday, February 1, 2013


More Talk About Codependency/People Pleasing:  (I know it's been a while)

Here we meet our story's climax!!  Hippo has been told what to do with his time, how to sing, how to dance, how to walk, what to wear, and now he's being told that a very part of him which he's had since birth - his spot - is not okay.  That he needs to get rid of it.  Hippo, unsure of himself and desperate for friendship, has obeyed every "should" so far.  And how he's letting Giraffe tell him he's not good enough, and allowing some hands-on intervention.  Here he is, sitting through this torture, and taking this abuse.  Giraffe is crossing some serious boundaries here.  Hippo has a choice... does he let this go on or does he take a stand??

How many of us let what we think people want from us determine our thoughts, feelings, and actions instead of listening to what WE want, what WE care about, what makes US happy, and feeling like that, in itself, is valuable enough?

Parents, I hope you'll take this opportunity to teach your kids if they don't like something, they can say "Stop" "Don't" "I don't want to do that" "I like this about myself" and even, "Don't touch me."  This is important.  This is very important.

“... you don't have to wait for someone to treat you bad repeatedly. All it takes is once, and if they get away with it that once, if they know they can treat you like that, then it sets the pattern for the future.” 
 Jane Green, Bookends


We are the ones who decide how we are treated, and how our lives go.  Hippo is about to learn this, and teach the rest of us!