Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thoughts about this journey; and How Do You Say I Love You? By Hannah Eliot, Little Simon - and a giveaway!

Hello everyone!
Warning, this is a bit of a long post..thank you for your patience! Or scroll to the bottom for a chance to win at this giveaway...
My thoughts and wishes for swift containment of all the Southern California fires are top of mind today, with my eldest nearby in Santa Barbara, I am anxious. She is thankfully safe, but I continue to worry about friends and family. It's awful to see so much devastation first in Northern CA (Sonoma), and now Southern Cal. 
With so much going on in the world and right down south, it seems strange to post happy news today, but I wanted to share a story to those in the kidlit community and beyond about keeping at it (your craft), staying strong, working hard, and staying true to yourself. The journey of an artist is long & winding, frustrating, and tough. It's something that most choose as a second option, or third, or fourth. I found this to be true in my career, choosing graphic design with a concentration in illustration, over straight illustration. I feared how I could make a living in this industry. With many years in the design industry, with a partnership through the many years of marriage and now two big kids (one's 18!), and a community that has supported my work throughout the blog days of, to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I found the courage to work on my art..and through the years, I have aged (definitely!), but have also grown and have become more comfortable and patient with myself. I've been able to work on some pretty darned awesome projects thanks to many people who I have admired for so long; advice from close friends; people willing to take a chance on me, and agents who have shared my work with others. I am grateful more than you know (and you all know who you are :) )THANK YOU!

One day, back in July, 2016, I was taken aback with sadness from the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana..I painted..for that was what I needed to do, and the piece, 'Grow Peace', came about. 
I wrote: So many very tragic and sad things have occurred all over the planet and today, I again, woke up to another shooting, this time of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It's time for peace. It's time for a change to the light. It's time for humanity, compassion, rational and open dialog, and our ability to think beyond what we feel is not fixable, but work towards a better tomorrow. I'm worried about the future our children and their children will inherit.

If we could all in our own way, move towards the positive, and share our love and light, we can keep the darkness short, grow peace. Wishing you all well, my friends!

It seems timely still today, perhaps even more. I share this because this little illustration, borne out of hope, was shared by my wonderful agent, Nicole Tugeau, on a trip back east to publishers, and a year and a half later, the illo sparked the possibility of illustrating this sweet board book, How Do You Say I Love You?, by Hannah Eliot, published by Little Simon (Simon & Schuster). 
Our very well-loved Snowman. : )
In Japan, we say "Daisuki desu"...

Inspiration can be found everywhere.
My littlest would love sneaking into Zsöfi's sleeping bag when she was young.
In Spain, it's "Te Amo"
In Germany, it's "Ich Liebe Dich"...
Zsöfi approved. ; )
How Do You Say I Love You? By Hannah Eliot
I am honored to have illustrated such a lovely book, celebrating the diverse languages of love while learning how to say, "I Love You" in ten new ways. Gratefully, I'm posting this post to say thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with me. For those who are on their creative journeys, keep going and ENJOY what you do each day. We're lucky to be able to create something that might resonate with others and it truly is a gift that I appreciate whenver I see work from all of you. I am constantly inspired by so many and am glad that there is art in the world, thank goodness. (sending best wishes to the Getty Museum!).

To celebrate the journey, I'm giving away a copy of this sweet board book, so if you'd like a chance, please leave a comment below by midnight 12/11 PST.
Happiest of holidays to all! Shirley
If you'd like to order a copy, please visit: 


  1. eee! the book looks amazing, getting it regardless! xo

    1. SO kind of you, thank you so very much Denise!!

  2. Thank you for sharing this post and your lovely journey and story. It’s amazing how art can change the way we think and process the world around us. ❤️

    1. I really appreciate that Benson, thank you! It is amazing how art affects the world we live in, and hopefully for the better!

  3. How wonderful! And the story looks lovely too. I can't wait to read it. <3

  4. Oh wow! Shirley-san ga DAI suki desu! Your fantastic illustrations give me all the warm feelies, and the message of the book is what we desperately need. It's disheartening to look back on the call for more love, compassion, and peace and realize that the need is even greater today than ever. I feel like we are regressing, not progressing. But then I look at you and the beautiful words of hope that you wrote and regain strength to soldier on. Congratulations on your beautiful book. It will be added to my collection. May it nurture love in the hearts of a newer generation who will then release it to the world. I hope your daughter stays safe in SB. I took my first trip to the Getty this summer and was awed. All I can do is hope and pray.

    1. :) WOWEE, thank you Bella for your very generous worsd..I really appreciate that! I too feel like 2017 has been a hugely regressive year, but we will get through this! Thank you for your means so much to me! My eldest is now home, thank goodness but I sure hope for swift containment..the fire and air quality are so horrible!! I am glad the Getty was spared..I hope to get to it someday! Yes, keep good thoughts..and I sure will too. Thank you Bella!

  5. I'm adding my wishes for Californians and everyone effected by violence. I'm glad you're on a mission to spread love around. Congrats on the book!

    1. Thank you SO much Linda! I really appreciate that and we sure need all the best thoughts and wishes for the firefighters to contain the blazes. What a year! Wishing you happy holidays ahead!

  6. Congratulations to Alicia Padron, and thank you all for your kind words and support!


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