On Making Things Better

Recently, my book PET THE PETS (my third book … and very first novelty/lift –the-flap book) was released into the world!

Photo Aug 13, 9 32 57 PM

The concept began as sketches for a digital painting class that I took while completing my MFA degree in 2D Animation a few years ago. I wanted to create a series of 2-page flipbooks that could be united by similar characters and limited color palettes. original_sketch

Thanks to Simon & Schuster/Little Simon editor Jeffrey Salane, art director Laura Roode and my agent Emily Mitchell, it’s now a sturdy little lift-the-flap novelty book that invites readers to help out sad animals through petting, giving food or offering encouragement.

Just like in my other two books THE BREAKING NEWS & ALLIE ALL ALONG, I’ve found that there’s a recurring theme in PET THE PETS: there are small things that you can do to help make things better. 


I find that this concept also applies to my process of making the books themselves.

Sometimes, on rare, magical days,  everything seems to falls into place:  great, sweeping changes can be easily made by taking giant, seven-league steps of progress.

But mostly, I find, my work progresses in tiny baby steps, a series of small decisions, chosen one at a time, like when my optometrist flips through different lens options: Which one is better – one, or two? A or B? This one, or that one?  There’s no need to labor over every decision; each small choice adds up to an overall pattern that gets you where you need to go.

The choices that you make when creating a book, including what colors you use. . .


. . .who the characters should be . . .


. . . how each character’s features & expressions should look . . .

. . .what should be on the cover. . .

. . .each element evolves from a series of small decisions that ultimately defines what your book will be.

What small things do you do to help make things better in your own world?

2 Comments on “On Making Things Better

  1. I love this book and would love to speak with you about a research project I am working on about elementary art and behavior/social emotional challenges. Would you be willing to speak with me or answer a few questions via email for my research?

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