Monday, January 15, 2007

Belated Intro

I'm finally getting my intro up here.
Who are you?
Amy Moreno, children's illustrator/author. I'm a wife and mom of three busy kids, juggling the joys of family life with the challenge of creating art for the children's market. I studied commercial art in Boston years back, and have been working as an illustrator for the past 15 years or so. (As a wife and mother, creative time waxes and wanes according to family events)
What did you spend most of your time as a kid doing?
I had a wonderful childhood. My parents allowed us much freedom, while maintaining a protective watch somehow. I rode my banana seat bike around the neighborhood with my twin. We invented stories in the woods of battles, swam, took family trips to Maine in our big station wagon, romped on pretend horses, played in our play-house, played with our barbie-dolls, built roads in the dirt for matchbox cars, ice-skated on a home-made ice rink in the winters, played hide and seek, kick the can in neighborhood groups, went sledding down ramps in our backyard in the winter, enjoyed school immensely, and read, drew and imagined.
Were your artist interests encouraged?
Very much so. My parents were brave and generous in their encouragement to my twin and I. Both of us had ability in art, (although my twin has always had much more natural ability than I)
At the age of 11 or so, my mother brought us to drawing classes, and later oil painting classes. We did well, and loved it. My mom had a continual supply of paper, crayons, paints, books, music, thread, fabric, doo-dads to use in creating anything. My Mom attended music school and is very gifted in music and art, giving us a rich heritage. She would bring us to concerts, museums, art events and many places that enriched our minds, hearts and imaginations. We took part in plays and musical events, and piano, cello and viola lessons. I am extremely grateful and blessed. My Dad also has been an eternal source of encouragement and inspiration to follow our dreams, even when they have seemed unconventional and impractical.
I know I have made it when....
I recieve handwritten notes or emails from children saying that they enjoyed my art or writing. I'll know it when someone small asks me how to become an artist or writer, and I can encourage them in any way to pursue their dreams.
A Good Day where I can sit at my drawing table and create images that I like. I enjoy researching my illustrations online and at the library. I appreciate long periods of uninterrupted quiet, or quiet music, (those of you with busy families know that these are rare) I usually work best in the morning when my kids are in school. I also enjoy days of writing short stories, silly rhymes or inspirational material.
What is the next "thing" you would like to accomplish in your illustrations?
I am working on learning more about how to use color in a more effective way in oil painting. I'm studying Bernie Fuch's work, and working on learning to use values and lower chroma so that my color gets more refined for oil painting. I desire to continue to use bright colors, but need to understand them better than I do now. I also want to draw more daily.
What'cha working on now?
I am creating illustrations for a marvelous manuscript by a Belgian children's writer. It is a fantastic project. I wish I could show some of the sketches or art, but will have to wait until it is out.


Ginger*:)* said...

I loved hearing about your childhood and your ambitions, Amy, we had a homemade ice rink for a couple of winters as well.

The image you included with your introduction is beautiful and shows the joy you have in illustrating for children.

Amy C. Moreno said...

Thanks! How amazing that we both had homemade rinks! Wasn't it the coolest thing? It's one of my favorite childhood memories.

Ginger*:)* said...

Our rink was actually for our children..although I used it with them. It was in the front yard which flooded with rain and then froze. We made little chairs to sit on out of the snow and little warming caves to creep into. When the ice got a bit torn up from our skating we washed it with buckets of water and swept it shiny with brooms. It was such a joy!

Anonymous said...

Amy it is awesome that your Mom was so generous in encouraging you with you art. What a wonderful experience to take classes so early in life.

Amy C. Moreno said...

Your ice rink sounds fantastic. What a wonderful time you must have had. My Dad made ours by packing the snow with his skis and hosing the packed snow down until it was hard and smooth enough. I loved those times.
You are right. I am SO grateful to my Mom for bringing us to those classes. It was a great gift.

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

Thanks for sharing about yourself, and your wonderful art! Bravo!

We tried an ice rink one year, and ended up with the water going into our garage with EVERYTHING freezing into the floor in a few inches of solid ice. Some things were not released until Spring.

Amy C. Moreno said...

Digital Scott,
Thanks for your encouraging words!
That must have been quite an experience having the water all flood into your garage and freeze!.... How did everyone react? I guess you had an INdoor skating rink!!

Julia Kelly said...

Amy- what a wonderful childhood and as we always say- "There is a children's book in that!!" I would love to see your classic illustrations of kids at dusk kicing the can!!