meeting illustrators

Denise Holmes4 Comments

so, it has been a very busy summer! between projects due and an epic two week vacation, i was able to meet and spend time with two of my very favorite illustrators. i am pretty lucky to have met these ladies and feel very grateful to be able to call them my friends.

emily & i

emily balsley and i go back for quite some time. when i first "met" her i was living in milwaukee, wi where i was working at a community acupuncture clinic by day and illustrating wedding invitations by night. we both were signed up to do a sewing class through A Beautiful Mess, which i did nothing at the time and emily kicked my butt in doing some amazing projects. it has been pretty spectacular to see where emily's work has gone over the past few years!

so, my family and i drove up to madison, wi for the day to meet emily and get a peek into her life. she pretty much has the cutest house i have ever seen and the best studio (shooting myself for not taking any pictures). we got to meet her adorable dancing daughter stella and her yogi bike riding husband, stephen. they treated us to a very lovely dinner and we were sad to say our goodbyes at the end of the evening. 

 thanks for having us emily!

nicky & i

a few weeks later, the holmes crew and my mom took a trip out west to san francisco and portland. while traveling between cities we got to stop in the beautiful town of petaluma, ca to meet the very talented surface designer and illustrator nicky ovitt. again, i am totally jealous of nicky's cute house and studio (i took a few pictures this time). we were treated to a fabulous lunch and sat outside while catching up. i got to peek into nicky's studio which is a stand alone little cottage in her backyard. pretty much my dream studio. i got to see how she creates her amazing illustrations and see a few of her recent projects. pretty amazing!

clockwise from left nicky's tea towel | wilcke handkerchief (i'm incredibly jealous) | nicky and her computer | her drawing table

we also discovered her backyard zip line!!!! and took way too many turns zipping across! 

my mom zip lining! 

nicky, it was fabulous to meet you, i wish we lived closer! thank you for having us as well!

there is nothing like meeting people who are amazing and inspiring like these two. "i am so lucky" as my daughter would say. 


if i wrote a book

BooksDenise Holmes14 Comments

for as long as i can remember, i have always dreamed of being a children's book illustrator. 

right after i had hazel and i was having one of those new motherhood (oi) days when i received an email from Simply Read Books inquiring if i would be interested in doing a book project with them. my life was forever changed that day.

i jumped at the chance to do this project not knowing what i was in for. it has been an amazing two years - from reading stephany's beautiful manuscript, working on my first sketches to mailing off my final images.

i have worked with so many amazing and talented people during the production of this book and i can't believe i finally get to hold this in my hands today. 

the very first sketch

one of my favorite pages

thank you to Kallie + Dimeter for letting me take on this book. Stephany for writing words that i cherish so much. Susan for showing me the ropes and for the harshest critiques of my work i have ever read - this book would not be where it is today. Sara for being an amazing children's book designer. my mom and husband for watching hazel and for cheering me on. and for all the wonderful friends i have met along the way - thank you!

If I Wrote A Book About You is available on amazon, barnes & nobel and powell's

sarah + abraham

AnnouncementsDenise Holmes6 Comments
image from sarah+abraham

image from sarah+abraham

very thrilled to announce that my collection and collaboration with sarah + abraham is live! i designed a handful of customizable kiddos, hair, shirts and patterns to go with each set and i could not be more excited to see it up in the shop! 

i have been a huge fan of sarah + abraham since i first discovered them through Aeolidia. i actually loved their shop so much that i sent them an inquiry back in 2011 to see if they would work with me. however, everyone got busy, i had a baby and thank goodness we waited until recently - - because my work has developed so much since then. 

it also just so happens that sara lives close by, so a few weeks ago we got together to talk business and get to know each other. on top of being a very sweet person, sara really knows her business. it was great to hear about the development of her shop and look over all her products. hazel enjoyed the lunchbox she brought and pretty much wanted to fill it with all the paper she ripped off of her crayons during our meeting. 

image from sarah+abraham

image from sarah+abraham

boy, it's just so great to see my work in a shop i admire so much! please head over to sarah + abraham to see this amazing site and of course check out the niseemade collection!