Friday, October 16, 2020

VOTE = HOPE



I know that Covid-19 has made voting more difficult, and I totally get it. I sent in my absentee ballot from New Zealand last time around, and this time will vote from Malaysia. Living overseas complicates voting in US elections, but with some effort and perseverance, it's possible—and is more than worth the effort. 

Wherever you are, my fellow Americans, please do cast your votes... and please be safe in the process.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Doña Rosa


Doña Rosa, a bilingual story series written by Ana Galán that I've had the pleasure of illustrating for the past five years, comes to a close in the latest issue of Highlights High Five. 


As new issues of Doña Rosa have been released over the years, friends have often shared photos of their children are enjoying the stories. I will miss that.
When this illustration project was first assigned to me, I was living in upstate New York. Since then, Doña Rosa has traveled the globe with me. I've drawn her in New Zealand, China, and even Fiji! 


The above photo was taken at a hotel bar in Fiji, where I was sipping coffee (not cocktails) while finishing up art for the 2019 holiday issue.


Thanks for the memories, Doña Rosa

Thank you to Ana Galán for writing the stories, thank you to Highlights High Five for including me in this cool project, and thanks to both Kelley Lanuto and Yvonne for all of their great art direction.


To read more about the process of creating all of the Doña Rosa illustrations, click here.

AnyFlip



Click here to check out Doña Rosa and tons of other cool content in old issues of Highlights High Five







Tuesday, October 13, 2020

I Can Be Like...



I'm pleased to announce the release of I Can Be Like... A Book of Masks of Inspiring Women, by duopress labs, illustrated by Yours Truly, Violet Lemay.

Book, or Mask?

I Can Be Like... is an innovative book that opens up into a mask. Turn the pages to reveal the entire collection of six cool masks, each with a tiny bit of biographical text on the left, and a quote on the right. 

Hold the open book up to your face to pretend to be Greta Thunberg, Megan Rapinoe, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama, Emma Watson, or Malala Yousafzai.




I Can Be Like... A Book of Masks of Inspiring Women

by duopress labs
illustrated by Violet Lemay
Available everywhere books are sold. Click here to order your copy today!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Mindset Power: A Kid's Guide to Growing Better Every Day

Announcing the release of another great new middle grade book: Mindset Power: A Kid's Guide to Growing Better Every Day (free spirit Publishing/2020).


Written by Shannon Anderson, with 40 illustrations by Violet Lemay, Mindset Power is full of great advice for kids about how to handle life and become their best, happiest selves.



Many more samples are featured on my website's Middle Grade + page.



Click here to order your copy of Mindset Power: A Kid's Guide to Growing Better Every Day.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Shred Girls: Ali's Rocky Ride

 I am pleased to announce the release of Shred Girls: Ali's Rocky Ride, written by Molly Hurford, illustrated by Violet Lemay.


The inspirational Shred Girls series follows the stories of three young girls who become friends as they learn to bike competitively.

Lindsay's Joy Ride is the first book in the Shred Girls series. Lindsay, Ali, and Jen become friends as they learn to do tricks on BMX bikes.

In Ali's Rocky Ride, the second book in the series, the Shred Girls spend a summer in Canada learning to race mountain bikes.
Besides the bikes, there is a touch of intrigue...


 
...and family drama. :o)

I definitely would have enjoyed the Shred Girls series when I was young. The characters are relatable, and the stories are are well written. Molly Hurford (who is a real-life Shred Girl, as well as a yoga instructor) makes sports accessible, even to an art nerd like me.

Want to see more art from the book? Click here to be redirected to the Middle Grade + section of my website, and scroll.

Thanks to Covid 19, Shred Girls: Ali's Rocky Ride is only available as an e-book. You can get your e-book at amazon, or anywhere e-books are sold.

Library Babies


Welcome to the world, Library Babies!



Written by Puck with art by Yours Truly, Violet Lemay, Library Babies was released by duopress books on March 31, 2020.









Want to see more samples? Click here to be redirected to the Board Books section of my website.

Click here to read more about the making of Library Babies, and to get some free Library Babies activity kits.

Library Babies is available wherever books are sold, including amazon.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Self-Care in the City


Besides illustrating and writing books for kids, I also—occasionally—work as a designer. I am honored to have designed the cover for Michelle Cady's book Self-Care in the City: 100 Ways to Optimize Nutrition, Fitness & Wellness in an Urban Environment.

Initially, author Michelle reached out to inquire about reuse of this NYC ink drawing that I made for Doodle New York in 2012. The art has been on my website ever since. Thanks to Google searches for "NYC skyline," I get a lot of queries for reuse of this image—usually from brides-to-be in the New York area who are designing wedding invitations. (Note to illustrators: smart and thorough tagging of the art on your sites really does pay off. Search engines respond to words!)

Michelle's query stood out not only because she wasn't designing a wedding invite, but also because as we e-mailed back and forth I got the sense that she was a very high-achieving young woman. I was living in New Zealand at the time but was about to visit my agent in NYC, so I asked if we could get together.

"I live in Auckland now but my son and I will be in NYC in mid-December, if you’re around/available perhaps we could meet for coffee." (From one of the first e-mails Violet sent to Michelle, on Oct. 31, 2017)


At FIKA in NYC, Michelle—who was not at all phased by my travel-weary hair—showed me her incredible collection of publicity photos, taken by Daryl A. Getman Photography. Some were studio shots, others featured various Big Apple locations. All starring Michelle. All, amazing.

Michelle also shared a working cover design that was, unfortunately, less than amazing. The original idea to pair my NYC skyline illustration with a photo of Michelle on the front cover of Self-Care in the City just wasn't working. And all of those photos were so incredible!

I suggested scrapping the skyline from the cover (it could always go inside, right?), and ultimately talked this vibrant former maven of finance/current personal health coach into letting me try my hand at a cover design.


(P.S. This is what happens when I drink coffee in the company of a high-achieving, inspiring woman whose personal goal is to help other high-achievers stay healthy while following their dreams.)




The full cover design for Self-Care in the City (above) ultimately showed off one of the gorgeous photos from Michelle's portfolio. We wrapped the photo around to the back cover, for maximum impact.

Speaking of the back cover, it features three little icons which I designed for the book: a "big apple" for nutrition, an NYC sneaker for fitness, and a yogi Lady Liberty. In lotus position. Of course.

If you're wondering what happened with the skyline image that brought us together in the first place, never fear!




After updating the original image by adding more buildings, our NYC skyline landed on the title page. In my personal copy of Self-Care in the City, the revised skyline art is nicely accented by this sweet inscription from the author.


I picked up my copy in person, in NYC, in Oct 2018. (Photo credit: the amazing Colleen Madden, who is way better at writing and illustrating children's books than at taking photos of me and Michelle in the dimly lit restaurant of Ace Hotel.)


As I write this post in Oct 2019, Michelle is a newlywed; her new name is Michelle Baker.

Click here to check out fitvista, Michelle Baker's amazing  health-coaching company;  click here to follow Michelle on Instagram; and click here for the official fitvista Instagram.

Most importantly, click here to order your copy of Self-Care in the City today!