Category Archives: News

New blog at danijones.com!

I have decided to start a new blog and change my main URL to danijones.com. The site at danidraws.com has served me well over the years, and there’s lots of great stuff contained within its archives. Don’t worry – I am not taking it down anytime soon! All of the posts will remain online indefinitely for you to read and peruse.

The archives will remain here.

Please redirect your RSS readers and bookmarks to danijones.com for future updates!

Year-In-Review: 2013

Art I Made

Some of my favorite personal art moments:

I completed a personal project and published a sketchbook.

The Road by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Amazon link
http://danidraws.com/summer-wonder
http://danidraws.com/2013/12/11/summer-wonder-new-art-and-sketchbook/
http://danidraws.com/2013/09/19/painting-experiment/

I particularly liked my Hourly Comic Day from this year:

Hourly Comic Day 2013 by Dani Jones Page 12

http://danidraws.com/2013/02/02/hourly-comic-day-2013/

And I had a lot of fun during INKtober.

Monsters Ink - Chef by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com

http://danidraws.com/2013/10/01/monsters-ink-and-inktober/
http://danidraws.com/2013/11/05/spooky/

Plus you can now wear my art on a Star Trek t-shirt!

Starfleet Girl shirt design by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com

http://danidraws.com/2013/11/05/starfleet-girl-tee-now-available/
http://www.welovefine.com/6879-starfleet-girl.html

The best of the rest

Easter illustration, Friend Magazine by Dani Jones danidraws.com Felis Catus shirt design by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com My Sister the Freak Vol. 2 Ch. 2 by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com thelake_bgpainting Igor by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com The Lake by Dani Jones danidraws.com The Storm by Dani Jones danidraws.com Band cover by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com Front Porch Summer by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com mtmonadnock cloudyfield2013-04-16_vol-2-ch-02-16 2013-05-03_vol-2-ch-02-18 2013-09-18_vol-2-ch-03-04 MySisterTheFreakVol1_characterposter legendofkorra-korra legendofkorra-tenzin frozenanna colorsofthewindpainting frozencastle hogwartspainting

Stuff I Wrote

Advice for New Illustrators and Art School Graduates
http://danidraws.com/2013/04/30/advice-for-art-school-graduates/

Managing Time and Being More Productive as a Creative Professional
http://danidraws.com/2013/08/13/managing-time-and-being-more-productive-as-a-creative-professional/

How to Find an Illustrator For Your Picture Book, Part 2
http://danidraws.com/2013/01/12/how-to-find-an-illustrator-for-your-picture-book-part-2-the-self-publishing-edition/

And I started a new website specifically for iPad art related reviews and questions.
http://ipadforartists.com

Notable Events

I had several books released!

Monsters Vs. Kittens

Monsters Vs. Kittens by Dani Jones

Monsters Vs. Kittens is my first authored/illustrated children’s picture book. It was released as the first title for the new publishing company Stan Lee’s Kids Universe. Yes, THAT Stan Lee, of Spiderman and lots of other comics and movie cameo fame.

http://danidraws.com/monsters-vs-kittens
Amazon link

Because the book and company launched at the same time, I got to see lots of fun things surrounding MVK, such as this cool video of Stan Lee reading the book to a roomful of kids.


http://youtu.be/wf9Eher2JbE

Once Upon a Time There Was a Pig

Once Upon a Time by Dani Jones

Once Upon A Time There Was A Pig is my second picture book, also published by SLKU. It was released just recently in paperback and digital formats.

http://danidraws.com/once-upon-a-time
Amazon link

iPad For Artists

iPad for Artists cover

And on a completely different note, I wrote an instructional book about drawing on the iPad called iPad For Artists. It was published by Ilex Press early this year. It has achieved pretty good sales and feedback. I started up a new website where I can continue to share tips and reviews about making art on the iPad at ipadforartists.com.

http://ipadforartists.com
http://danidraws.com/ipad-for-artists
Amazon link

I went to MeCAF and Kids Read Comics.

Kids Read Comics 2013 Photo by Dani Jones danidraws.com

http://danidraws.com/2013/07/03/con-pics-mecaf-and-kids-read-comics-2013/

My comic My Sister the Freak won an award for Favorite Webcomic! Here’s the video of the ceremony (my category is 21 minutes in):


http://youtu.be/NYcCa44tRCU?t=21m=

I also got my first magazine cover published!

Friend Magazine July 2013 cover by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com

http://danidraws.com/2013/07/17/friend-july-2013-cover-process/

Fun Stuff

Favorite Movies:

frozenposter monstersuniversityposter savingmrbanksposter thorthedarkworldposter catchingfireposter

FROZEN!

frozenelsasketch

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I think it is no secret that I am in love with this movie. Music. Art. Sisters. Feels. Yup.

Here’s the rest of my top 5. Go see them!

Monsters University
Saving Mr. Banks
Thor: The Dark World
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Favorite Books:

nothingcanpossiblygowrongcover unitedwespycover allegiantcover giantsbewarecover asingleshardcover

Shamefully, I am dreadfully behind on my reading. So many great books came out this year, but a lot of them are still on my shelf waiting. However, I did read…

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen
A fun story about teens, robots, and evil cheerleaders. Plus there’s stellar art by Faith Erin Hicks.

United We Spy by Ally Carter
This is the last book in the Gallagher Girls series. I was sad to see the series end this year, but was happy for this book. If you haven’t read them, it is a fun series about a secret spy school for girls. I am ever in favor of all books that feature independent kick-butt leading girl characters, and this has got plenty of them.

Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth
These did not come out this year, but the third book Allegiant did. I haven’t read Allegiant yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first two and am looking forward to the Divergent movie in 2014.

And a couple older titles I just got to:

Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado

Ok, this is not THAT old (released in 2012). It is very very funny with gorgeous art and awesome characters you will love as soon as you start reading.

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

This book came out ten years ago. My sister made me read it this year. It is probably one of my favorite books ever now.

What did you enjoy this year?

I include these lists not just for the fun of it. As someone who is in the business of creating, making art, and telling stories, I want to encourage others to support those who are out there doing it too and doing it well. Go watch/read/buy these super things, and encourage your friends too!

Up Ahead for 2014

Little Women

Remember my Little Women Graphic Novel Project? It kinda went on the backburner this year, but it has not disappeared. Look forward to more March sisters in 2014.

New books!

I am deep in the trenches of a new as-of-yet-unannounced picture book. If all goes well, you should see that released in 2014.

I illustrated a couple readers for Simon & Schuster that will be released in March. There are page previews up on Amazon right now.

Do Not Open! on Amazon
The One-Eyed People Eater on Amazon

Goals

Looking back at 2013, I got a lot done and hit a lot of milestones. For 2014 I’m hoping to get back into comics and writing. Besides making slow progress on my webcomic, and getting a sketchbook published at the end of the year, I didn’t do a lot in 2013 on this front. I got a lot of freelance work this year, which is a good thing, but it will be good to get back in the habit of more personal projects and original work.

Hope to bring you lots in 2014! As always, thanks for reading.

Summer Wonder – New art and sketchbook!

The Storm by Dani Jones danidraws.com

I’m happy to announce my latest finished personal project SUMMER WONDER. It is a series of illustrations, plus sketchbook.

The project was born during the Art of Personal Projects course that I took over the summer, put on by the Lamp Post Guild and taught by Cory Godbey. The class was a huge inspiration and fun to participate in. Thanks for the great class LPG!

I was excited to experiment with different subjects and media. I used a combination of gouache and digital techniques to do the paintings. I explained a lot of the process in my previous sneak peek blog post. I’m really pleased with the results!

Check out the project!

VIEW THE FULL SERIES

BUY THE PDF SKETCHBOOK

BUY A PRINT

P.S. I have a print book in the works. It should be available soon. If you want to be notified when it is, you can sign up for my newsletter.

UPDATE: I’ve put up a preorder link for signed copies of the paperback book here. Wide release on Amazon.com and other distributors should go up soon.

Starfleet Girl Tee Now Available!

StarfleetGirlWomensTee

I recently found out that I won a runner-up prize in the Star Trek design contest over at welovefine.com! I won with this Starfleet Girl design, and it is now available to buy over on the We Love Fine site. (And in case you missed them the first time, check out the rest of the designs I made in my previous post.)

Here are the shirt links:

WOMEN’S TEE

MEN’S TEE

P.S. If you end up buying this shirt, I want to see PICTURES.

Monsters INK and INKtober

Monsters INK by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com

*** UPDATE: Inktober is done! The entire series is available as a digital sketchbook here or as a poster here. ***

I will be participating in a sketch challenge called INKtober throughout the month. Check out Jake Parker’s blog for the details if you’d like to draw along. The gist is this: Make one ink drawing on a regular basis throughout the month of October.

I will be adding my sketches to this post as I go. You will also be able to follow my INKtober updates on my Twitter and Instagram feeds. (And if you want to see ALL the INKtober sketches, search for the #INKtober hashtag on all the major social whatnots.)

Original Art

I will also be posting each original work up for sale as soon as I finish them. Each purchase will also come with a FREE digital sketchbook that will contain all the pieces in the series. The book will be delivered automatically to your email once it is completed around November 1.

You can buy them at this link:

Click here for more behind-the-scenes stuff!

Star Trek T-Shirts!

STARFLEET GIRL Star Trek shirt design by Dani Jones danidraws.com

As a bit of fun, I decided to enter a contest over at We Love Fine to design a Star Trek t-shirt. You win the contest by getting lots of good ratings, so if you’re a Trek fan and want to see my art on some geeky t-shirts, head on over to welovefine.com and rate my designs! Rating is open from 8/20 to 9/17.

My Designs

The first design is my homage to the Trek ladies…

Starfleet Girl shirt design by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com
RATE STARFLEET GIRL!

The second features a cat (of course).

Felis Catus shirt design by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com
RATE FELIS CATUS!

And lastly, I couldn’t resist drawing a cute Riker.

Hey Riker shirt design by Dani Jones http://danidraws.com
RATE HEY RIKER!

And also…

Please rate these other shirts too, if you please! They were designed by my sister Nicole and I think they are super cool and I want to wear them on a t-shirt really badly.

Beautiful & Deadly Star Trek shirt by Nicole Jones nicolejinjones.com
RATE BEAUTIFUL & DEADLY!

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE Star Trek shirt by Nicole Jones nicolejinjones.com
RATE RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

Friend July 2013 Cover Process

Friend July 2013 cover by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Friend July 2013 cover by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Hey all! I had an illustration published on the COVER of the Friend magazine this month. I’ve done a lot of magazine work, but this is my first cover so I’m excited about it.

I thought I’d show you the process behind painting. Enjoy!

This is the original idea sketch for this cover. The art director gave me some good feedback, such as reversing the girl and adding flowers.

Friend July 2013 cover by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Here is my sketch ready for painting.

Friend July 2013 cover by Dani Jones danidraws.com

The illustration was painted in Photoshop. I blocked in initial colors and gradually added more detail as I went along.

Friend July 2013 cover by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Friend July 2013 cover by Dani Jones danidraws.com

And here’s the finished cover without the type.

Friend July 2013 cover by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Con Pics! MeCAF and Kids Read Comics 2013

This year I attended two comics shows and both were super fun.

MeCAF

First up was the Maine Comics Arts Festival – MeCAF – back in May. If you have never been, it is a beautiful show that takes place right on the water in Portland, Maine. This was my second time visiting, but my first time exhibiting.

Here was my view from my table:

MeCAF 2013 Photo by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Me:

MeCAF 2013 Photo by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Nice crowd:

MeCAF 2013 Photo by Dani Jones danidraws.com

And here’s all the MeCAF photos:

Kids Read Comics and the Kids Comics Revolution Awards

Kids Read Comics was as fun as ever! This was my third year attending. As usual, there were lots of great artists and lots of enthusiasm for comics from kids, creators, librarians, parents, and teachers alike.

Me and my table:

Kids Read Comics 2013 Photo by Dani Jones danidraws.com

I was excited to see my former schoolmate Mike Laughead, who attended the show for the first time. We haven’t see each other since our BYU-I days. Nice catching up Mike!

Kids Read Comics 2013 Photo by Dani Jones danidraws.com

This year, they also held the first ever Kids Comics Revolution Awards. I was honored to receive the award for Favorite Webcomic for My Sister the Freak. My award was almost stolen by the evil Vordak, but he was rescued by a good librarian and it now sits on my desk.

Kids Read Comics 2013 Photo by Dani Jones danidraws.com

Kids Read Comics 2013 Photo by Dani Jones danidraws.com

The rest of the KRC photos:

Fun times! These are the only shows I had scheduled for this year, but I hope to go to these shows again or find some other events for next year. Thanks to all those who came up to me and said hi. I hope I get to meet more of you all in the future. I enjoy it immensely.

Kids Read Comics Coming Up!

Kids Read Comics 2013

Next week, I will be headed to Michigan to attend Kids Read Comics in Ann Arbor. It will be Saturday and Sunday June 22-23 at the Ann Arbor District Library. There will be lots of other comics creators there like Ben Hatke (Zita the Spacegirl), Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), John Green (Teen Boat), Rafael Rosado (Giants Beware!), Mike Laughead (Legend of Acornhead), and James Anderson (Ellie on Planet X). It is a really fun event (this will be my third time attending!) so please come and check it out!

Details, schedule, guest list, and more at kidsreadcomics.org.

MeCAF This Weekend!

MeCAF2013

I will be attending the Maine Comics Arts Festival in Portland, ME this weekend May 19. I visited the show last year, but this is the first time I will be exhibiting. It is a great show and the location is beautiful! Please come and enjoy Portland and all the great comics artists that will be there. I am looking forward to meeting some of you in person. (Plus, you know, Jeff Smith will be there. You might want to come for him too.)

The show is 10 AM to 5 PM at the Ocean Gateway. Adult admission is $5, and kids 12 or under are free.

The Kids’ Comics Revolution Awards!

KCR-Awards-Header-590
KCRawardswebcomic

The Kids’ Comics Revolution podcast are holding their own awards at the Kids Read Comics convention in Ann Arbor, Michigan next month (which I will be attending, BTW). I was honored to find out yesterday that my webcomic My Sister the Freak has been nominated for Favorite Webcomic!

Here’s the info you need to know:

Voting is open to kids only. You can vote online or by mail. You can also pick up a ballot in person at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival or at Kids Read Comics. Winners will be announced June 23 at the KRC convention.

PLEASE VOTE HERE!

My fellow nominees are all awesome webcomics in their own right, and I’m flattered to be included among them. They are:

Please take a moment to vote if you can and show appreciation to your favorite comics creators, even if you’re not voting for me! Many of these people are some of the hardest working, most dedicated people I know and they deserve the recognition!

See you at Kids Read Comics!

MVK Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the Monsters Vs. Giveaway contest. I had my family help pick the winners in order to get a variety of unbiased opinions, but they pretty much all agreed on the winner. And so without further ado…

The Winners

The top pick goes to Kat Valencia, who made this super cute illustration:

Awesome! Congrats Kat! You can find more of her artwork here.

The contest also included one winner randomly picked from the rest of the entries. That winner was Seth Wilks, who also made a superb piece of artwork. Congrats Seth!

View more of Seth’s art here.

Winners, please email me your addresses so I can ship your books to you!

Other Favorites

A shout out to the lone kid entry by Lucien, age 4 (with help from mom Casey):

And this super twist on the theme by Seth Greenwald, in which the kitten gets the better of the monster!

Thanks again to all those who entered!

You can check out more info about my book MONSTERS VS. KITTENS here.


Amazon.com
Kindle
iBooks
Read-along storybook app

Monsters Vs. Kittens in the Press

The launch of my book Monsters Vs. Kittens and it’s publisher Stan Lee’s Kids Universe has been great so far! Please let me know how you and your family like the book if you are able to get your hands on one!

Stan Lee’s Kids Universe has officially launched with a new website, a book (MVK), and a game (Goobeez). They held an event at the bookstore Giggles n’ Hugs in Los Angeles to celebrate.

Media Coverage

Entertainment Weekly: http://family-room.ew.com/2013/02/06/stan-lee-kids-universe-new-imprint/

Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/stan-lee-unveils-monsters-kittens-418024

EGM: http://www.egmnow.com/digitalnoob/stan-lees-kids-universe-day-monsters-kittens-and-an-interview-with-stan-lee/

Mashable: http://mashable.com/2013/02/06/stan-lee-new-imprint-kids-universe/

Videos

Stan Lee’s Kids Universe Launch Video
Introducing MVK and other upcoming projects (including my second book)


http://youtu.be/t7ExzIALQ6o

Video of Stan reading MVK at the SLKU launch event:


http://youtu.be/wf9Eher2JbE

Interview with Stan and 1821 Comics’s Terry Dougas at the SLKU launch
with an appearance by actress Jaime Pressly, who hosted the event


http://youtu.be/OHLqdoMEsLg

Pictures

slkulaunch_stanwithbook

slkulaunch_stanandterry

slkulaunchredcarpet1

Buy the Book!


Amazon.com
Kindle
iBooks
Read-along storybook app

Remember to enter the giveaway!

Details here.

MONSTERS VS. KITTENS Now Available!

Monsters Vs. Kittens by Dani Jones

I have a new book! Monsters Vs. Kittens is now available in multiple print and digital formats.

Learn more and preview the book!

Monsters Vs. Kittens by Dani Jones

For all things monsters and/or kittens related, you can check out this page: danidraws.com/monsters-vs-kittens/

MVK Featured in USA Today

There was a nice article about the SLKU launch, and a preview of Monsters Vs. Kittens, in this USA Today article over the weekend:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2013/02/02/stan-lee-kids-universe-childrens-books-games/1885211/

Also, watch Stan Lee read my book!

Monsters Vs. Kittens read by Stan Lee!

SLKU has partnered with the makers of the A Story Before Bed app for a digital read-along version of the book. You can record yourself reading the book, or you can buy a pre-recorded version that is read by Stan the Man himself. To see it, you make an account on the A Story Before Bed website, then purchase the book from the link below. The book is then accessible both on the website and in the iPad app. I may or may not have watched this several times this past weekend. ;)

A Story Before Bed website

Buy Monsters Vs. Kittens!


Amazon.com
Kindle
iBooks
Read-along storybook app

Giveaway!

I’m going to giveaway TWO signed hardcover copies of MVK. Here’s how to enter:

UPDATE: Giveaway is done! Here are the winners.

1) Email me a drawing of a monster with a kitten. Send to dani@danijones.com with the subject “Monsters Vs. Kittens Giveaway”.
2) Include your name, age (if under 18), and website (if applicable).
3) Entries may be posted on my website later, so you have to be ok with that.
4) All ages and skill levels are eligible and encouraged. Kids, please have a parent send your entries.

I will choose two winners – one for the most creative, and one random.

You must email your pic by 11:59 PM ET on February 22, 2013.

Good luck!

Stan Lee’s Kids Universe Launches February 2!

This weekend on February 2, the children’s book and comic publishing imprint Stan Lee’s Kids Universe will officially launch. SLKU is publishing my picture books Monsters Vs. Kittens and Once Upon a Time, and they will be included in the first list of titles when the company kicks off!

I’ve updated my website with info for both books. Bookmark these pages for future updates, extras, and news:

Monsters Vs. Kittens by Dani Jones
http://danidraws.com/monsters-vs-kittens

Once Upon a Time by Dani Jones
http://danidraws.com/once-upon-a-time

Here’s a random pic of Stan the Man himself at a recent signing, which I like because he happens to be sitting next to a pile of my books!

stanleecomikaze2012

Buy Monsters Vs. Kittens!

You can now preorder the book on Amazon here.


Amazon.com
Kindle
iBooks
Read-along storybook app

Follow SLKU

To stay up-to-date on news and announcements from Stan Lee’s Kids Universe, friend/follow/like their media pages!

SLKU website
SLKU on Facebook
SLKU on Twitter

Stan Lee's Kids Universe

iPad For Artists Sneak Peek

My book iPad For Artists was released earlier this month. The response so far has been fantastic! Thanks to all of you who have bought the book and sent me comments. I want to see all the great artwork you guys and gals are making on your iPads!

Here is a little peek at the book. In the “Creating a Children’s Illustration” tutorial, I made this illustration of a little pig in his house of straw. I drew it in Sketchbook Pro, which is a great all-around drawing app. I used my Wacom Bamboo iPad stylus to help me out.

Here are the process shots:

Buy the Book!

Check out the full “Creating a Children’s Illustration” tutorial, plus a variety of other tutorials, in iPad For Artists!

Giveaway!

There’s still time to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a free signed copy of iPad For Artists. Rules and details are in this post.

Introducing iPad For Artists + a Giveaway!

I have written a new book called iPad For Artists! It has been published by Ilex Press and is available to order TODAY! The book is filled with tips and tutorials for artists who are interested in drawing and painting on the iPad. I am excited to finally share it with all of you!

As you may know if you’ve kept up with this blog, I love drawing on my iPad. You can check out some of my previous iPad art and videos that I’ve posted before. It has been a big learning experience for me, and now you can grab all my tips, tricks, and knowledge that I’ve gained in one super book.

Learn all about the book and view previews on the dedicated page I made here:

danidraws.com/ipad-for-artists

Here is a short flip-through video:


http://youtu.be/qlA9ESjKr-4

iPad For Artists includes:

  • Lots of tutorials!

  • Many styles of art, including children’s illustration, landscape painting, still lifes, comic art, and sketching.

  • A review of my favorite styluses.

  • A list of my favorite apps and the advantages/disadvantages of each.

  • Articles and interviews with guests artists of a variety of backgrounds and interests.

  • A gallery of iPad art featuring many different artists.

I would like to extend a special thank you to Will Terry, Reed Bond, Fraser Scarfe, Eric Merced, Marc Scheff, and Jorge Lacera for contributing to the book. You all blew me away with your iPad talent!

Learning how to use the iPad for sketching and illustration work has been a rewarding journey for me. I will admit, it was frustrating at first! The iPad is so much different than your typical graphics tablet, but it also has HUGE potential that you can’t get anywhere else. I’m excited that other artists might start creating art on their iPad because of this book. If you are one of those people, be sure to let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

Buy the Book!

You can purchase the book from Amazon here.

Enter my giveaway to win a free book!

Year-In-Review: 2012

I can’t believe 2012 is almost over! I’ve been thinking a lot about how the year has gone, what I’ve accomplished, and where I’m going as 2013 approaches. It’s been a year filled with both failures and successes. I thought a large post in honor of 2012 would be fun and informative, while also helping me map out my goals for the coming year. I might have to make this a tradition (if I even remember to do this next December!).

So here we go…

Art I Made

Stuff I Wrote

Wacom Cintiq 24HD Review
iBooks Author Review
Sketch Card Process
Hourly Comics Day
Dropbox Review
Professional Quality Artwork and the iPad
Kids Read Comics Recap
Art Supply Review
Jot Touch Review
A Guide to Posting Artwork on Pinterest
Nice long FAQ page filled with advice and stuff.

Continue reading