Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SO MUCH NEWS, SO LITTLE TIME TO SHARE IT!!

Another incredible few months have just unfolded. In fact, I would go so far as to say there were some career highlights sprinkled in there. If only I had some sort of Social Media Manager, who could keep up with that side of things for me! So much news and so little time to share it all...

Anyway here's a snap shot to get you up to speed:

Let's begin with an I never imagined would appear here....



I think it would come as no surprise for you to learn that I am a pretty private person, and somewhat introverted, so can you imagine the effort it took for me to put myself out there and attend a radio interview?! Well, it took my participation in the local Goulburn Readers Writers Festival last month to inspire me to get out from behind my desk and do a little promoting.

So, with some wonderful support and encouragement from my gorgeous husband I decided it was time to 'feel the fear, and DO it anyway'!! (My current motto!)

So, for anyone who missed it, here's the link to my interview:

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/canberra/programs/sundaybrunch/danielle-mcdonald-illustrator/8002144

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to the gorgeous Lish Fejer at 666 ABC Radio Canberra for making me feel so relaxed and comfortable behind the microphone.

Following on from this excitement, I took my whole family on holiday to the Blue Mountains so that I could attend the KOALA AWARDS! I was so excited to have this Ella and Olivia book nominated for an award:



While we may have come home empty handed, my heart was full of pride at seeing my name listed among such incredible talent.


I was also finally able to meet the lovely Author of the Ella and Olivia books Yvette Poshoglian. We have worked together for many years, but have never actually met! Needless to say she was (AND IS) delightful! 

I came away from this wonderful event, buzzing with the realisation that I need to connect more with the Book Publishing industry. I feel like I have finally earned my place in this group and it's time to network a bit more. I guess that's one of the great things about social media. I have now come to terms with the power of networking, and am excited to connect with so many talented people.

It was also the 30th Anniversary of the Koala Awards, and we were invited to contribute a Koala illustration to mark this special occasion. Here's my entry:


So, now that I was well and truly out from behind my desk, and into the spotlight a little bit, I must admit it washed away all of the nerves in the lead up to the Goulburn Readers Writers Festival. I felt a little more comfortable that after all of these years, I finally do have some experience and knowledge
worth sharing.

I kicked things off with reading Sheep On A Beach in the Courtyard, and moved on to a Panel Discussion with Tania McCartney and George Ivanoff, hosted by local identity Warren Brown.
Then I was flying solo with my own presentation, which showed a little insight into the processes involved in bringing books through the creative stages and into reality.

I learned soooo much from this incredible experience, and made some more wonderful connections. I just have to say that I was really impressed with how visiting Author George Ivanoff shared his experience of our town and the festival. Check out his facebook pages and website, for a true insight into this remarkable weekend!

I will leave you with one more little teaser....

My Top Secret Project has finally been completed and I hope to reveal all in the next week or so...can you guess what it is?!!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Awards and Festival abound!

So it looks like I may be rounding the year off by coming out of hiding. I am actually a bit of an introvert and am quite happy hiding behind this blog in the quiet belief that no-one reads it anyway! I am not a fan of Facebook as I don't really need to know how many people saw my posts or chose to comment, or 'like' it. I am far more comfortable over here, just chatting away to myself!

So, what could possibly drag me from my comfort zone? Well a few things actually.

Firstly - I am up for THREE (!!) awards at the moment! I am delighted that they are all 'people's choice awards', so they have all been nominated and shortlisted by the readers!

Here they are:

ELLA AND OLIVIA
TWO(!) nominations for this book:




One is the YABBA awards. (Check out the details here.) 

The second one is THE KOALA AWARDS. (Details here.) 

I am a bit excited by this one, as I will actually be able to attend the ceremony where I will finally be able to meet the lovely Author of the Ella and Olivia books Yvette Poshoglian for the FIRST TIME! Can you believe that after all of these years of working together on these beautiful books, we have never actually met!!  I am VERY excited about it! I am also really looking forward to meeting some of the other Authors & Illustrators, along with the lovely people at Koala.

ELLA DIARIES
I am delighted to say that ELLA DIARIES is up for an award!




Ella Diaries #1 Double Dare You, has been shortlisted in the TOTAL GIRL MAGAZINE TOY OF THE YEAR AWARDS (Book Category!) These books are beautifully written by Meredith Costain, and I am very excited share this nomination with her.

I have never been nominated for an award for my work before, so I am really excited just to have been selected! (But I will be crossing my fingers anyway!)


The next exciting event that I will be participating in is THE GOULBURN WRITERS FESTIVAL coming up in November. This is a local event for me and I am really excited to finally have put my hand up to contribute (in some small way) to the community. 

I have been laying low a bit here since we moved, but I really feel ready to get out there and start sharing my skill and experience a bit. What better way to kick things off than via our fabulous Library

I will share more detail soon (including some possible radio interviews!) but for now, you can check out the program here. It's jam packed full of fabulous events with lots of Author and Illustrators from various genres, so put it on your Calendar and start planning NOW! There are LOTS of FREE events, but bookings are essential so GO FOR IT!

I still have one more TOP SECRET project up my sleeve that I am waiting to reveal, but production has been slightly delayed, so it's a waiting game at the moment! Stay tuned for updates!! 

Phew! That was a long one! I hope it makes up for my long absence a bit! x

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Another JAM PACKED month!



I really don't know how people find the time for all this social media stuff! I am flat out just keeping up with my workload at the moment.

But I did want to share this pic of Tracy Lacy officially out in stores! This was the first time I have seen it in a shop and I still get such a buzz out of seeing my work out there in the 'real world'! I was also lucky enough to meet the wonderful Author of this book Tania Lacy, at a recent luncheon with my Publishers. Tania is a delight and I would have loved to have spent more time with her. It was also exciting meet some other members of the Scholastic team in person (some of them for the first time!!) I came away feeling really "loved" and so excited to be a part of such a great team!!

Anyway, as usual, there is a LOT going on behind the scenes. New illustration opportunities, exciting (secret) projects signed off and finished, new contracts officially signed, another full colour picture book done and dusted....and of course my usual collection of fabulous Book Series on the go....there's even a potential Writers (Illustrators!) Festival participation on the horizon for me...oh, and my first nomination for an award!!!

I will share more details when I can.

I am one lucky girl! x

Monday, August 8, 2016

Complete overload!

I am a bit lost tonight - not sure what to do with myself. I have just finished a mammoth (secret) project and am completely exhausted. I should be moving onto the next project as I am running a bit behind, but I just can't face it. I have decided to give my poor brain a rest and just relax tonight.



So it's chocolate pudding (with LOTS of cream!), a glass of red wine, and a bit of hand sewing. Such a simple pleasure. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

My little artist




How cute is this?! My 5 year old daughter (nearly 6!) created this by tracing one of my sketches in Illustrator!! She often sits beside me watching me work and really wanted to to try it herself!

She created this using layers and various brush sizes and colours! I think it's wonderful!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dropping the ball this week



Here we are chilling out while we await a breakfast treat earlier this week. This followed a rather strange and somewhat embarrassing meeting this week!

I have always prided myself on maintaining a professional approach to my illustration work, but since I had kids I have had to cut myself some slack!! This was illustrated beautifully this week, following a meeting for a new project I am working on!

I am running a bit behind with my work schedule at the moment and in an attempt to try to make up some ground, I stayed up until 3am the night before my meeting to try to pull together something worth presenting. (Needless to say this was a bit of a waste of time as it was really only a 'rough' concept that I ended up producing.) I woke early to print out my ideas for my meeting, only to find that I could not get my printer to work!

Argh...I spent way too long trying to resolve it and ran out of time to do anything else. I had just returned from a full session of heavy work at my parents the day before, so basically had not showered or brushed my teeth for two days....I found some chewing gum in the car on the way there, and then realised I had forgotten to throw the gum away before the meeting...(another pet hate of mine!!) 

I also had to bring my girls with me to the meeting, who in my mad dash to get out the door, basically ended up wearing there pyjamas under some warm jackets....None of us had brushed our hair, but managed to tie it back in pony tails......fortunately, they are such good girls and quietly amused themselves throughout the meeting.

I had to bring my laptop along, (as I could not print my roughs) so I decided to bring along my sketches as a back up, only to have the dog chew the corners of my presentation folio!!

I have never been more embarrassed or flustered in a meeting, and since I had not had much sleep I ended up just rambling my way through the meeting - talking too much and not making much sense!!

To their credit, the people in the meeting were very understanding and sympathetic, so if you are reading this ladies, I thank you again for your patience.

I promise to be more organised for next week's catch up....oh, and my darling girls....lets do breakfast BEFORE the meeting this time. You are so patient and understanding. I love you both. Such gorgeous girls.

I ended this crazy week with the discovery of this lovely magazine today. 


Just what I needed. Check it out if you happen to spot it on the shelves somewhere. 

Oh, and I nearly forgot....the lovely Author of Ella Diaries (Meredith Costain) informed me that our new release Ella Diaries 'Worst Camp Ever' made the Top 10 best sellers at Readings Bookstore this week. 



Very exciting news. Go grab yourself a copy today! x

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tracy Lacy - the Tadpole?!


Here's a bit of Tracy Lacy silliness for you today! 

This is my daughters' favourite picture of Tracy Lacy (the tadpole from the back cover artwork), so with some help from MY Mum, they made this cute little version of her! Makes me smile!



So not much going on at the moment, except for busy, busy, busy....I have completed the next Ella Diaries book, along with another full colour (still secret) book, and am just finalising the artwork for another TOP SECRET project I have on the go!

Then there's the new contract I am finalising for another BRAND NEW series due for release next year!! ... Talk about BUSY!! I am loving it!

In the meantime, both the Netherlands and Russia have already extended their contracts for the Ella Diaries books! Phew. Such exciting times. 

Next on the list is more beautiful books for Little Learners Love Literacy....No time for a breather just yet!