Life Drawing, Family Style

I draw my family a lot, and they’ve all gotten pretty used to it and don’t grumble much, although my husband has objected to the number of sketches I’ve drawn of him holding a beer.  But that’s when he tends to hold still, when he’s done working in the garden and comes in for a refreshing beverage and to check on the ball game.  As for kids and pets, they’re most easily drawn when they’re asleep.  


Recent editorial illustration piece

I recently had the opportunity to do the cover illustration for the Graphic Artists’ Guild national newsletter (March/April 2008). The subject I was given was “Trademark”. I of course looked for any opportunity to integrate cute and cuddly characters into the illustration. This one worked well using these funny dogs to help tell the story. Hope you enjoy!

Website Update by Dani Jones

Visit to see my latest artwork!

Included are several new personal pieces I made recently for last weekend’s NE-SCBWI conference (you can read about my adventures here), and a few images from my picture book The Best Mariachi in the World, which is set to be released this fall by Raven Tree Press.

Flying in the Sky


People always ask me where ideas come from, for stories or illustrations.  I usually give a variety of answers based in fact or fiction, but the real answer is ideas come from everywhere, and from nowhere.  What makes an artist an artist, what gives them vision, is that they have trained themselves to investigate the nowhere to see and hear from all that surrounds them, to absorb it, and translate it back.

Suspense writer Stephen King, in his book “On Writing” says that ideas are constantly flying around in the sky, and it’s the writer’s responsibility to reach up and grab them.  To illustrate that point further in terms of sketching characters to life, I had drawn a character called “Sister Cat” for one of my picturebook manuscripts about kid ghouls.  Sister Cat is a sister to the main character, Velma the Vampire, although the biological conjuring of that relation is left a mystery. They are ghouls after all, and anything is possible.  At first, Sister Cat looked like this…


Cute in pink, but a little too cat-like to be a real sister.  So I waited for something to fly by..

Right before Valentines Day, during a break from the drawing board, I scanned a picture of a swan into photoshop, and did a little conjuring myself.  The end result shown here is 2 swans forming a heart….and if you look long enough, a cat appears in the middle, a cat with wings. On Stephen King’s advice, I reached up and grabbed it…


And Sister Cat in action with Velma the Vampire…


Sister Cat came from nowhere, but there she was, staring at me all the while, waiting.

An aMUSEd vision…it doesn’t get better that that!


Terri Murphy





NESCBWI Conference: Day One

This is the weekend of the annual New England SCBWI conference!! Hooray for two whole days of ‘creative watershed’ moments, hand-cramping-but-totally-worth-it note-taking, starry-eyed “fan” moments (book signing hour – always a personal favorite), intense artistic inspiration and, by the end, utter exhaustion!
I’ve posted a few photos (with notations) of today’s events here. Please enjoy!!

Soapbox Link


I enjoyed this article by Mike Reiss – a Simpson’s script writer and picture book author, multi-award winner and all-around funny guy.  His article reminded me how the industry is evolving and changeing month to month and year to year.  And as for content, well, it knows no bounds.  He’s a facet on ‘perception’ of the industry and his words and body of work (after a little research) inspired me.  

Find article here:


T2 Website Update

Check out these updates that just went live on our site: