I likely spend too much time on Twitter. 🙂 Besides the regular social media mess of following celebrities and very cute kitty and puppy pics, it’s a great way to network with other children’s book authors and artists on a day to day basis, all without leaving the studio. Recently, a group I follow, Kidlitart, hada a sketching challenge – sketch something new every day in the month of February. My schedule pretty quickly got jam packed with other obligations , but I was able to sneak a few in. Check out the latest additions to the sketches section.
My first picture book!
I’m very excited to announce that my first picture book, MIDNIGHT CRAB COUNT, will be hitting bookstores February 2017! I just got the ARC in recently and I love how it’s coming out.
MOONLIGHT CRAB COUNT written by Neeti Bathala & Jennifer Keats Curtis and illustrated by Veronica V. Jones is the story of Leena and her mom, who volunteer each summer to count the horseshoe crabs that visit their beach. With their dog Bobie at their sides, these adventuresome citizen scientists spend a night on the shore surveying horseshoe crabs who have come to mate and lay eggs. Readers will learn valuable facts about these ancient animals and how they can get involved in the effort to conserve horseshoe crabs. 32 pg, 8.5×10, Ages 4-9, Grades K-3 Lexile: AD 780 For more info go to: http://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=MoonlightCrab
I loved working with my editor Katie at Arbordale Publishing and I’m exciting to working on a different, new book about research into endangered lizards in the Virgin Islands. BTW, teachers and librarians, let me know if you’re interested in arranging either a school visit or a Skype session!
Red Riding Hood
Every year SCBWI sponsors the Tomie dePaola award for illustrators. This years challenge was to focus on characterization, that is, to come up with an original approach to the characters in “Little Red Riding Hood”. I decided to focus on the scene where the mother is lecturing Red on the dangers of her trip. I didn’t have a lot of free time in my schedule so I opted for black and white.
The Wolf Pact
Cover Reveal! I’m not sure how this one got by me, but my good friend Jason L. Blair, author of the Little Fears game books and writer extraordinaire, shared the cover to the first novel in the Little Fears fiction line, “The Wolf Pact“, (coming this May).
For some years now, I’ve been showing my work at conventions, which is a lot of fun. You get to get out of the studio, presenting your artwork in a mat and frame and share it with the public. For someone who does most of her work over the ephemera of the interwebs, it adds some much needed physical “realness” to this ob of mine.
This past January, I’ve been able to share artwork in a more long-term fashion. I was invited to participate in the illustration and pop art gallery ZaPow! in Asheville, NC. In addition to some of my book and game art being showcased, I’ve also created some new work for the group shows “Art of the Book” and “Wonderland”. Enjoy!
Over the summer I had the exciting opportunity to work with Amanda Stone Norton creating artwork for her book “Muddy Madeline Meets and Arach-A-Doo”. This project, a middle grade book aimed at 5 to 11 year olds, was the perfect project. It’s a story about a girl after my own heart, who isn’t afraid of bugs or science or getting messy. She’s even a Latina, like me! Look for “Muddy Madeline” this fall from Rising Phoenix Press.
Client: Amanda Stone Norton
Project: Cover and interior illustrations “Muddy Madeline Meets an Arach-A-Doo”
I love comic books. Read them, watch them in animated and live action movies and TV and I’m working on writing my own. So it was an absolute thrill to work with Matt Cunningham and my editor Trisha Wooldridge over at Spencer Hill Press to develop this cover for “Niles Wormwart: Accidental Villain“. Matt and Trisha gave me tons of creative freedom here and I think we came up with something everyone loves!
Silent Starsong Cover Reveal!
Hi everybody! I’ve really been enjoying working with the folks at Spencer Hill Press. I’ve had such fun projects to work on! One of editors I get to work with, Trisha Wooldridge, is also an author, so it was an extra special treat to work on HER book, Silent Starsong. The cover was released last month on various blogs, but I want to share it here in all it’s glory. Enjoy!
Spencer Hill Press recently revealed the artwork I created for their upcoming YA urban fantasy, “The Zodiac Collector” by Laura Diamond. You can read a blurb from the story at abellestales.blogspot.com. I think I will be doing a step by step on the cover design process soon. Enjoy!
Client: Spencer Hill press
Project: Cover for “The Zodiac Collector” by Laura Diamond
Every few months I’ll get a pleasant surprise in my inbox from my colleague Jason. Jason’s assignment descriptions are always unique, challenging, and sometimes just a bit scary. This piece for the latest Little Fears supplement was always going to be printed in black and white, but I liked the character designs so much that I decided to paint it in color first then adjust it in Photoshop.
Client: Jason L. Blair, House of Little Fears
Project: “Goodie Bags #1: Butterfly Knights” a supplement for the RPG Little Fears: Nightmare Edition.
I recently was lucky enough to attend the NESCBWI conference in May. In addition to great workshops, inspiring speakers and the chance to rub elbows with talented writers, artists, editors, agents and art directors, they had a contest. The challenge was to illustrate a poem by Jane Yolen. Although I didn’t win, I am very happy with the result.
Here’s the cover to the upcoming e-book “Real Girls Don’t Rust”, a YA Steampunk anthology. This image is based on one of the stories in the collection, which I enjoyed very much.
Project: Cover to “Real Girls Don’t Rust”, 2013
When I was growing up, one of my heroes was Wonder Woman. I would watch the shows over and over, pull back my long dark hair into a severe ponytail like Diana Prince and try to be like her in lots of little ways. I’ve had a hankering to draw Wonder Woman for a while, so I finally made the time to just sit down and do it. Enjoy!
Client: Self Promotion
” There was a rustle in the grass. ‘Do you think..?’ ‘SHHH!’ Emmy hissed in a voice that could be heard yards away, ‘Do you have the jar ready?’. Lu held up the big jar, careful not to drop it. Emmy motioned quickly with the net, her eyes darting quickly from side to side. They had been looking for their quarry for at least 20 minute. One time Emmy had ALMOST had it, sacrificing a shoe. This time, both girls were determined to bring home a great, big, slimy, beautiful frog to scientifically test the story once and for all.”
This piece is a companion piece to “Artificer”, and was actually the first piece I did in the series. The theme of this piece is Air, denoted by the alchemical symbol.
A lovely girl prepares to defend her airship.
Project: Self-promotion. First in the “New World” series.
Camp Howling Wolf
Here is my latest contribution to the “LFNE:Campfire Tales” series, the cover and interior for CF#7:Camp Howling Wolf.
Girls at camp sleep soundly as an ominous figure peers in.
Client: Jason L. Blair, House of little Fears
Project: Campfire Tales#7: Camp Howling Wolf
I was working on another project and this little sketch came out. It reminds me a lot of Gwen Stacy from classic Spider-Man comics, only a little younger.
The Atlantis Revolution
I started working with author Tom Tancin late in 2009. He was working on the manuscript for the first book in a brand new series and wanted artwork for the chapter headers. This led to an illustration of the main character for the promotional website and just recently, artwork for the cover and a banner for book fairs.
Death By Chocolate
Now available on the cover and interior illustration for Campfire Taqles 4: Death by Chocolate. Enjoy!
A girl finds out the terrible consequences of indulging her sweet tooth.
Client: Jason L. Blair, House of Little Fears
Project: Campfire Tales #4, Little Fears: Nightmare Edition, 2010
I came across a bunch of sketches i had in my archive. Some of them are years old and some are only a few months. These aren’t really that sketchy, though. They don’t have the looseness of line that can imbue a sketch with som much energy and life. They are good doodles however. Check out Attitude, On the Run, Halfling, Grandpa Dragon and Mathilda in the sketches section for more from this group.
This year has been busy busy, mostly on the home front. My hubby and I decided to move this year, which meant getting the house ready for sale, selling said house and now this transitional period we find ourselves in now. In essence, a lot of my work had to be put on hold, including my marketing efforts to reach out to new clients. One thing I did manage to do was to attend my third DragonCon. DragonCon, held every year over Labor Day weekend in downtown Atlanta, GA, is the world’s largest fantasy and science fiction convention, and it was a blast to see so many of my artist friends there. Here is a sketch I did for the charity auction this year. The paper was supplied with the printed cityscape and the theme was “Here there Be Dragons!”. The dragon design is very similar to my jasper piece, except this one is holding a peach. Medium is colored pencil.
Little Fears and Campfire Tales
For many years now, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jason Blair, a man who’s talent and ability never fails to astonish. We first began working together on an RPG called Little Fears, a game based on the fears and terror of childhood. Just recently Jason has reworked the game into a new edition called Little Fears: Nightmare Edition. Newly added to my portfolio are interiors and covers to several books of the line, which can be found at House of Little Fears
Introducing the new VVJones.com!
For many years I’ve been a freelance illustrator, working in the tabletp gaming market. This included work for collectible card games and interiors and covers for role playing game books. My online portfolio site, Moonshines.com has showcased a lot of this work. Recently however, I’ve been moving into children’s illustration market and my style, while not radically different than for my adult fantasy work, is distinct enough to merit it’s own portfolio. So….TaDa!