Heath Newsstand Launch Party

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Get out your party hats and come celebrate with us on June 3rd, 2017 for the launch of Heath Newsstand, a new gorgeously curated space of printed publications at Heath Ceramics!  From 10 AM1 PM, we'll be hosting a craft table where kiddos & grownups alike can color, write, and make their very own books and zines. While you create, there will be delicious pastries provided by Tartine Manufactory and free juice samples from the Juice Shop truck. But wait there's more—we'll be giving away adorable limited-edition pins, stickers, temporary tattoos and postcards. What could be more delightful?

In addition to crafts, we'll be showing off our newly released Issue 4: The Grow Issue along with our past issues 1–3. 

After you've crafted to your heart's content, stick around to meet contributors from other local publications:

2–4 PM: Meet the team behind the National Magazine Award-winning publication The California Sunday Magazine. Full of ambitious true features and cinematic photography from across California, the West, Asia, and Latin America. Chat with Leo Jung, Creative Director, and Jacqueline Bates, Photography Director. And, don’t miss the free samples from San Francisco-based Original Grahams, graham crackers with quite the underground following in the city.

5–7 PM: Franchise will be presenting their newest issue and limited-edition print giveaways. It’s a global basketball print-only magazine full of vibrant photography, illustrations, interviews with designers and players, and covers locations from LA to Ghana. We’ll have beer from our friends at Fort Point Brewery along with bread and cheese from Tartine.

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Heath Newsstand is a democratic space for the local community and visitors alike, with a wide range of topics to explore: international design publications, hard-to-find printed matter from far-off cultures, food and lifestyle magazines, and your favorite daily newspapers. There’s also a sweet selection of classic candy, snacks, cold drinks, cards from our favorite printers, and flowers from La Fleuriste. Plus, bags and accessories from Heath Sews, perfect for work and travel. 

For more information about the event, check out: http://mailchi.mp/heathceramics/youre-invited-heath-newsstand-grand-opening?e=94d3664172

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

What: Heath Newsstand Launch Party -- ILLUSTORIA DIY bookmaking & crafts

When: June 3rd, 2017

Time: We'll be there 101 PM, but the festivities continue until 7 PM!

Where: Heath Ceramics, 2900 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

RSVP here.

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

See you there! 


Drawing Contest! Win a signed book + original art by Martin Cendreda

Contest page in Issue 4: The Grow Issue. Enter to win An Apple and an Adventure and a piece of original art. 

Contest page in Issue 4: The Grow Issue. Enter to win An Apple and an Adventure and a piece of original art. 


Do you have a copy of ILLUSTORIA issue 4: The Grow Issue? If so, you can enter our drawing contest for a chance to win a signed copy of An Apple and An Adventure PLUS a piece of original art by the talented illustrator-animator-storyboard artist-comic book maker-author Martin Cendreda!

All you or your creative little one will need to do:

1. Draw what you think will grow in the empty space on the page (pictured above). Bonus points for creating a ditty for the cave girl to sing!

2. Send a photo or scan of your artwork to hello@illustoria.com

Contest runs from May 01, 2017 to July 01, 2017. We will choose a winner on/around July 15, 2017. (For further details, see our contest rules.)

Here's a look at Martin's comic, "Seed Songs," which appears in Illustoria: The Grow Issue.


This adorable comic was inspired by the characters in his new book, An Apple and An Adventure, published by Boom! Studios. In this engaging book that grownups will enjoy just as much as little ones learning their ABCs, a cave girl and her triceratops set out on an adventure from A to Z and make new friends along the way. They meet all sorts of characters including galloping goliaths, nine newts, petite plesiosaurs, and more. Martin creates a fantastical landscape that will have everyone poring over the details--large and small, simple yet other-worldly. It's a total joy to read so don't miss out on this opportunity to get a signed copy + an original piece of art!

From Boom! Studios: An Apple and An Adventure uses rhyme and the ABCs to create an engaging world of wonder that's both educational and fun. 

From Boom! Studios: An Apple and An Adventure uses rhyme and the ABCs to create an engaging world of wonder that's both educational and fun. 


Martin was kind enough to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this book. Read all about his fascinating process sketching, developing, and creating his book here

So don't delay. Get out your copy of IllustoriaThe Grow Issue, color and draw to your wild imagination's content on our contest page, and send in your entry here!

We look forward to seeing what you come up with. Good luck!!

Oakland Book Festival 2017

Oakland Book Fest 2017.jpg

Don't miss the Oakland Book Festival this Sunday, May 21st, 2017, from 11am–6pm! ILLUSTORIA will be there with plenty of magazines--including the just-out issue 4: The Grow Issue -- and lotsa swag including temp tattoos, stickers, coloring pages, and pins. We'll be at booth 22 in the kids' activity area, where you and your creative little ones can color, craft, make zines and create your own custom bookmarks with us. Meet Joanne and Mark, the publisher and co-founders of Illustoria and craft and chat kids' lit with our team. We would love to meet you!

Check out the impressive list of authors at this not-to-be-missed annual event for literary lovers in the heart of downtown Oakland:

There are events and talks galore so check out all the happenings here. 

What: Oakland Book Festival

When: Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Time: 11am–6pm

Where: Oakland City Hall, Downtown Oakland

See you there!  

The Grow Issue: A Cover Comes to Life


We couldn't be more excited to announce that Issue #4 has arrived from the printer! The contents of The Grow Issue are as rich and teeming with life as the cover. I'll share more about all the amazing writers, artists, and makers who contributed to this issue soon. But for today I'd love to highlight the wonderful artist behind this cover and the making of it. 

Fave local artist and watercolorist extraordinaire Lindsay Stripling graces our cover with her lovely art depicting the flowers and insects that she remembers from long days spent playing in her grandparents' backyard in Lafayette during her childhood, and the flourishing flora she finds in Northern California. Lindsay is a master of her craft, who paints dreamy tableaus of scenes set in folk and fairytale worlds from her imagination. She tells us that the best way to tackle her paintings is to allow for mistakes, since they are impossible to avoid. As soon she messes something up, she just turns it into something else. Find her awe-inspiring work here. You'll also find Lindsay's gorgeous watercolors in another spot in this issue, accompanying our illustrated story A Brief History of Ultramarine Blue written by Alexis Joseph, pigment expert and founder of the swoon-worthy art supplies shop Case for Making in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco. 

Here's a look at Lindsay's issue 4 cover sketch, already so beautiful:


We knew we wanted the flora and fauna to contrast against a black background. Our creative director, Elizabeth Haidle, came up with this nuanced coloring of the masthead against black:


 Lindsay's final art in place with a mock cover design:


As much as we loved the simplicity of this cover, we knew we'd want to accommodate callouts for our delectable main features, so Lindsay filled out the space with added pea tendrils. We also included lettering so the plants could be identified on the back cover. 

And so...the final cover!


Elizabeth designed and illustrated the back cover to beautifully compliment Lindsay's art and the theme of nature and the outdoors, introducing the legend for curious kids (and grownups) to pore over. 


We hope you love how this cover turned out and the entire contents of this issue as much as we do! Find out more about all the goodies in issue 4, which includes contributions from creative duo Lisa Brown and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket); an essay on the making of The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, author of The Curious Garden; an inspiring, illustrated Q & Artist interview with illustrator Diana Sudyka; a new Literary Giants as Kids comic featuring Mark Twain; stories, art, DIY, and activities galore. Click here to see our full table of contents and a few spreads from The Grow Issue. Enjoy!

Join us at Children's Fairyland: Turn the Page! Festival

fairyland turn the page.jpg

Come join us at our absolute fave storybook theme park for Children's Fairyland's Turn the Page! festival on Saturday, May 6th. Meet over 25 local authors and illustrators and come say hello to Illustoria's publisher Joanne Chan from 12:20–1:30 pm as she shares a behind-the-scenes look at the making of an arts & literary magazine for kids.

WHAT: Turn the Page! Children's Book Festival

WHEN: Saturday, May 6, 2017
             10am–4pm / ILLUSTORIA meet-and-greet @ 12:20–1:30pm

WHERE: Children's Fairyland
               699 Bellevue Avenue
               Oakland, CA 94610

Here's the full list of Turn the Page! authors and artists:

Who doesn't love a trip down nostalgia lane with their kiddos? Magic Keys, Happy Dragon, Willie the Whale, Alice in Wonderland, The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe, Anansi rides, puppet shows, plays, farm animals, and more...all in lovely downtown Oakland by the lake.

Photos: Fairyland & the Fairyland Archives 

Photos: Fairyland & the Fairyland Archives 

Children's Fairyland is among the top Oakland spots for families with kids--right alongside the Oakland Museum, the Oakland Public Library, the Oakland Zoo, and Lake Merritt. So come by with your creative kids and join us for a lovely Saturday on May 6th. Hope to see you and your family there! 

Indie Bookstore Day w/ ILLUSTORIA + DIESEL Oakland


Mark your calendars! April 29th is Independent Bookstore Day (2017) and you'll find Illustoria at one of our absolute fave local bookshops, Diesel in Oakland! The day will be full of events and activities catered to your literary (and little one's) heart's delight. Grownups with creative kids, come drop in from 1-2 pm for a craft session with Illustoria. We'll make easy-peasy and totally original bound books and zines with kids, and there will be stamps and coloring for all. Take home bookmarks, pins, and other cool swag. We'll even have a temp tattoo station!

WHEN:   Saturday, April 29th, 2017 / 1-2pm

WHAT:    Indie Bookstores Day
                Kids' Craft Time w/ ILLUSTORIA

WHERE:  Diesel, A Bookstore
                5433 College Ave
                Oakland, CA 94618

Also check out these happenings at Diesel Oakland throughout the day:

10am - noon: Big Kid / Little Kid Juice Stand. Mimosas for the adults, and OJ for the kiddies. Books for everybody.

1-2pm: Kids' Craft Time with Illustoria

4-5pm: Literary Happy Hour. Our featured item this year is the IBD limited-edition, A Literary Cocktail Party. Pouring their signature cocktails from the book will be, Edan Lepucki -- Tequila Negroni; Novella Carpenter -- Beet Kvass Shots; and Jacqueline Luckett -- Dirty Martini. Cheers!

We couldn't agree more with this testimony to the relevance of indie bookstores today, from the staff at Diesel:


"Bookstores are unique places in the chaos and hubbub of our modern times. They are places where you can come to disconnect, relax, and enjoy a moment of silence, yet simultaneously they are also places where you can feel more engaged with and informed about the world around you. Bookstores embody dichotomy: antiquated yet ever-more-relevant, sanctuaries of knowledge but purveyors of distraction, nerdy yet sophisticated, esoteric and yet always welcoming. Cities across the nation have seen the resurgence of these oh-so-vital centers of conscience and community, and we want to celebrate with you! So come out and enjoy a day of browsing, reading, and reveling in all things book-related."


Come surround yourself with great books and let's celebrate ideas, crafts, and curiosity together. Here's to our thriving literary community. Yay, Oakland! Yay, Indie Bookstores Day! 

Women Who Draw, Write, and Inspire Us

Images left to right: Louise Bourgeois by Elizabeth Haidle (issue 2); sketchbook drawing by Lisa Brown (issue 3); watercolor portrait by Lindsay Stripling (issue 2); "Dream Before Building" by Lark Pien (issue 1); Beatrix Potter by Elizabeth Haidle (issue 3); Martha Graham by Marlowe Dobbe (issue 2); self-portrait by Nina Chakrabarti (issue 3); excerpt from El Deafo by Cece Bell (issue 1); "Hiroshima Mon Amour" by Britt Browne (issue 3)

Images left to right: Louise Bourgeois by Elizabeth Haidle (issue 2); sketchbook drawing by Lisa Brown (issue 3); watercolor portrait by Lindsay Stripling (issue 2); "Dream Before Building" by Lark Pien (issue 1); Beatrix Potter by Elizabeth Haidle (issue 3); Martha Graham by Marlowe Dobbe (issue 2); self-portrait by Nina Chakrabarti (issue 3); excerpt from El Deafo by Cece Bell (issue 1); "Hiroshima Mon Amour" by Britt Browne (issue 3)


Women's History Month is coming to a close, but we at Illustoria think every month should be women's history month! We are proud to pay homage to the courageous, intelligent, and rebellious women who have revolutionized their fields and empower us to dream big. Of recent, we've been thrilled to see collectives and movements such as Women Who Draw creating an inspiring platform for talented women illustrators. Today, we would like to take a moment to thank some of the amazing women who draw, write, and inspire us here at Illustoria.

artwork © Lisa Brown

cover art © Lisa Brown

artwork © Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown
Lisa Brown, the stupendous illustrator behind our Issue 3 cover, is a critically acclaimed illustrator, author, and cartoonist who resides in foggy San Francisco. She is the mastermind illustrator behind Emily's Blue Period by Cathleen Daly and 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy by Lemony Snicket and has written and illustrated the fantastic Depressed. Repressed. Obsessed. 3 Panel Book Reviews as well as Vampire Boy's Goodnight, The Airport Book, and How to Be. (And this is all just for starters!) Brown also featured her sketchbook and mini-drawing activity in Issue 3, which we love to pieces. Stay tuned for more highlights of Brown this spring, in our super-exciting-filled-to-the-brim-with-inspiration Issue 4: The Grow Issue! You can find more of her amazing work at http://www.americanchickens.com/

artwork © Cece Bell

artwork © Cece Bell

images © Cece Bell

Cece Bell
If you haven't gotten your hands on the heart-melting and hilarious El Deafo by the genius Cece Bell, you might want to stop reading right now and run to the nearest book store immediately. El Deafo is a graphic novel memoir that tells the story of Bell's hearing loss and subsequent adventures with a clunky hearing-aid-turned-super-power. Alongside this Newbery Award Winner, Bell has published I Yam Donkey, Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover, and Chuck and Woodchuck amongst many others.  We are so honored to have featured an interview with Cece in Issue 1 and a full length Q&A which you can read here. Check out more of Cece Bell's work on her website https://cecebell.wordpress.com

artwork © Lark Pien; from "Dream Before Building" in Illustoria issue 1, The Beginnings Issue

artwork © Lark Pien; from "Dream Before Building" in Illustoria issue 1, The Beginnings Issue

artwork © Lark Pien

artwork © Lark Pien

sketchbook art © Lark Pien

Lark Pien 
Lark Pien is a Portland-based acclaimed illustrator and the amazing talent behind the Long Tail Kitty series (for which she won the Friends of LuLu Award) and Mr.Elephanter. Pien was the colorist of American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang and Sunny Side Up, two graphic novels for young readers that we could not recommend more highly. We are blown away by "Dream Before Building," a mini-comic she created for Issue 1, and cannot wait to share some new projects she's dreaming up for Illustoria. Find more of Pien's work at http://larkpien.blogspot.com/?view=classic

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

Elizabeth Haidle 
Have you ever met an artist so talented you want to simultaneously: do cart wheels, bake them a 10-layered Boston cream pie, and hold a radio outside their window à la John Cusack in Say Anything? That's how we feel about our genius, prolific, and awe-inspiring Creative Director Elizabeth Haidle. In addition to spinning up magic at Illustoria, Haidle is the creator of Literary Giants As Kids, a fantastic series you can find in each issue of Illustoria, and illustrator of the dreamy Mind Afire - The Visions of Nikola Tesla, written by Abigail Samoun. We absolutely cannot hold our excitement for the release of I, Parrot, her most recent (breathtaking) graphic novel written by Deb Olin Unferth, which she is currently putting the final touches on. We love the ever-busy Haidle, whose work you can find at http://www.docucomix.com/ and  http://www.ehaidle.com/

Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Iomogen by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Lisa Congdon

Me, Frida by Amy Novesky, illustrated by David Diaz

Me, Frida by Amy Novesky, illustrated by David Diaz

Georgia in Hawaii by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Amy Novesky  
Amy Novesky is an award-winning children's book author and editor whom we adore five trips to the moon and back. Most recently, she has written Cloth Lullaby, a gorgeous tale of the illustrious, world-famous artist Louise Bourgeois, with stunning illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault. She has also written critically acclaimed books including Georgia in Hawaii, Me, Frida, and Imogen. We are so excited to have featured a full length interview with Novesky which you can find in issue 3. To read more about Novesky's work, check out http://amy-novesky.squarespace.com/.

Laurel Snyder 
Laurel Snyder is a prolific, critically acclaimed children's author who makes us want to smile for days. She is the author of numerous, joyfully fun-to-read novels for children of which some of our favorites include Orphan Island and Bigger than a Bread Box. She has also written the gorgeous picture books Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova and the adorable Charlie and Mouse. You can find Snyder in issue 2, with her biographical  piece "Martha Graham In Motion," illustrated by fantastic artist Marlowe Dobbe, about the revolutionary Martha Graham, the Mother of Modern Dance. Check out http://laurelsnyder.com/ for more work by this beloved author. 

art © Lindsay Stripling for "The Best Invisible Thing" in Illustoria Issue 2

art © Lindsay Stripling for "The Best Invisible Thing" in Illustoria Issue 2

art © Lindsay Stripling

art © Lindsay Stripling

art © Lindsay Stripling

art © Lindsay Stripling

Lindsay Stripling
A phenomenal woman artist whom we couldn't admire more, Lindsay Stripling works from her studio in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco. We fell in love with her paintings the first time we laid eyes on them for their dreamy palettes, mystical settings, and ethereal subjects. Her folk and fairy tale-inspired narratives lead us into inner worlds that are rich and boundless. We're thrilled to announce that Lindsay's gorgeous artwork will grace the cover of our upcoming issue 4: The Grow Issue--so be on the lookout. Find more of Lindsay's work here: https://www.lindsaystripling.com/

Ruth Kneass laying with the meticulously sculpted pieces of her Bay Tower mobile.  © Ruth Kneass

Ruth Kneass laying with the meticulously sculpted pieces of her Bay Tower mobile.  © Ruth Kneass

Blonde Driftwood © Ruth Kneass

Blonde Driftwood © Ruth Kneass

Nine pieces in collage; a search-and-find activity in issue 3 © Ruth Kneass

Nine pieces in collage; a search-and-find activity in issue 3
© Ruth Kneass

Ruth Kneass
Driftwood artist and mobile sculptor Ruth Kneass creates stunning works of art that take years of patience, time, and skill to produce. She shares the story of her mother's influence and her inspiration growing up to be an artist in Illustoria issue 3. A true appreciator of beauty and nature, Ruth infuses her art and life with a feminine love, care, determination, wisdom, and strength that we find simultaneously awe-inspiring and reassuring. You'll find a treat in issue 3, where she disassembled one of her precious driftwood mobiles to create the most gorgeous search-and-find activity we've ever seen! Find more of Ruth's work here: http://www.kneassboatworks.com/

self-portrait © Nina Chakrabarti

self-portrait © Nina Chakrabarti

art © Nina Chakrabarti; from Nina's upcoming title My Collection of Collections: A Sticker Book

art © Nina Chakrabarti; from Nina's upcoming title My Collection of Collections: A Sticker Book


Nina Chakrabarti
We had the chance to interview talented illustrator and activity book creator Nina Chakrabarti and learn all about her inspiration growing up between Calcutta, India and the UK. Born to an English mother and an Indian father, Nina's vivid childhood memories of bright colored saris and streets clamoring with the sounds of trams, trains, and rickety rickshaws; Chinatown and Brick Lane in London; and museums and nature all inspire the joyful work she produces today. In issue 3, she talks about her process creating books such as Hello Nature, My Wonderful World of Fashion, and her upcoming title, My Collection of Collections that will equally inspire young artists and grownup ones. Fun fact: Nina doesn't keep sketchbooks but rather "scribbles on loose scraps of paper, post-its, and newspapers that eventually get tucked away in a box, put up on a wall, or thrown away"! We love her passion for life and her eclectic style, which encourages us to get outside, observe, and appreciate all the diversity our wonderful world has to offer. Find her work here: http://ninachakrabarti.com/

These are just a few of the many amazing women whom we've had the chance to collaborate with over the course of our first three issues. At Illustoria, we are dedicated to increasing the visibility of female creatives by continually supporting and showcasing their work. Additionally, we are committed to promoting women's empowerment in the pages of our mag with stories of both world-famous and lesser-known female leaders from Beatrix Potter to Lee Bontecou. We hope that the stories in Illustoria and the artists behind them will inspire you and the next generation of strong, creative women for years to come.

Giveaway! Art supplies + Issue 3


Get your hands on The Outside-In Issue plus these amazing art supplies by our issue 3 sponsor, Sakura of America. Kids and grownups will love drawing with Pen-touch paint markers. If you haven't read our review of these versatile, easy-to-use markers, check it out here. And Micron pens are our absolute go-to tool for letter writing, drafting, doodling, sketching, and drawing. 

Head to our Instagram post for giveaway entry details. Good luck!

Sakura's Pen Touch Marker Review


If you’re like me, the kind of person that makes a beeline for the pen section at an art store, and then lingers farrrr too long before making a purchase, than you too will understand that there is truly nothing more satisfying than a thick, inky marker. Finding a marker that is super opaque, saturated with color, lasts a long time, AND is shiny is a rare, rare thing. Pretty much the holy grail of markers. Well, you can call me King Arthur because the quest is over. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Sakura’s Pen Touch paint markers.

Tee-dah! Wow, so beautiful right? While these markers will not provide eternal youth or instant nirvana; abundant happiness it can offer - I’ll promise you that much. These markers are extremely versatile. They can draw on pretty much any surface (glass, wood, porcelain, plastic, paper and metal) and will dry instantly. But it’s not regular ol’ ink coming out of the tip--- it’s super rich, opaque paint!

They come in a range of sizes from 0.7mm (thin) to 2.0mm (super thick) which is great for creating and experimenting with variety of line widths. Packs come in metallic (gold, silver, and copper) and assorted colors (purple, blue, yellow, red, green, white and black).

The ink flows from the chamber of the pen to the tip, so to get started give ‘em a couple shakes with the cap still on, then uncap. Depress the tip in an upright position to release any internal pressure. Press firmly on a piece of paper until the ink is released. (Be sure not to over-pump.) Occasionally, the tip will run out of ink, but fear not! Just continue to shake the marker and more paint will flow.

sakura pic.jpg

I’ve been using these guys on everything from protest posters to paper mache! Gatta say, they make nearly every project 100% cooler, and they’re waaayyyy faster to use than actual paint. You can achieve finer, smoother detail too. Just remember, these paint markers are permanent and will stain! So, best to use on non-precious objects, aka NOT the walls, hands, grandma’s hundred year old porcelain, etc.

We're so excited to have Sakura sponsor Issue #4 of Illustoria, which will be on shelves this spring. Meanwhile, you can grab your Pen Touch paint markers and start drawing! 

**** NOW thru 3/31/17: Enter promo code SAKURA at checkout for a 10% discount off ILLUSTORIA subscriptions and gift subscriptions! ****



Children's Book Week 2017

Children's Book Week 2017 poster. Art by Christian Robinson

Children's Book Week 2017 poster. Art by Christian Robinson


We love the theme of this year's Children's Book Week, "One World, Many Stories," which prompts us to think about the rich, beautifully diverse world we live in and the importance of spreading tolerance and joy through books, storytelling, and art. 

Children's Book Week is commemorating its 98th anniversary this year! Administered by Every Child a Reader and the Children’s Book Council (CBC), the aim is to instill a lifelong love of reading in kids. You can learn about this year's events--all free and open to the public--at everychildareader.net/cbw/intro. Make sure to head over there and download the free activities and this amazing poster featuring art by the ever-talented, amazingly fun Christian Robinson to display at home or in your school library. And be sure to check out the author readings and events happening in your area!

Lisa Brown cover art: The OUTSIDE-IN Issue

Issue 3 coming soon.... Cover art by Lisa Brown; Cover design by Elizabeth Haidle

Issue 3 coming soon.... Cover art by Lisa Brown; Cover design by Elizabeth Haidle


We are so pleased to reveal our cover for issue 3, The Outside-In Issue, featuring delectably delicious, wondrously charming art by the amazing Lisa Brown!

As many of you picture book and comic fans know, Lisa is the creator of the ingenious Three Panel Book Review strips featured in The Rumpus, co-creator with Lemony Snicket of The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, author/illustrator of the hilarious Baby Be of Use board book series, and author/illustrator of her very latest, The Airport Book. Needless to say we've had a creator crush on Lisa Brown for some time....

So when a few months ago Lisa graciously took a morning out of her busy schedule as a writer, illustrator, teacher, mom, and passionate kid-lit advocate to meet with me at one of her favorite cafes in San Francisco, I was beyond excited and a little nervous. I knew through her work that she was exceedingly intelligent and bitingly witty. Being the warm and generous person that she is, Lisa immediately put me at ease. I should have known--after all, those who work in children's books generally are a kind-hearted bunch! Lisa shared with me her thoughts on why it's important to cultivate creativity in kids through that excruciating, self-conscious phase around the middle school years, the range of diverse picture books on her syllabus at CCA, the challenges that women illustrators face in the publishing industry, and she even gave me a sneak peek of her upcoming picture book. (Psst...interview with her and her elusive co-author to come in issue 4!) By the end of the meeting, she sent me along with a list of fabulous artists to contact and agreed to create cover art for an upcoming issue. I was totally blown away...and so grateful, and excited!

Now, here we are several months later with a gorgeous cover by Lisa that speaks volumes about what we at Illustoria care most about: timeless, captivating art with a unique point of view that resonates across generations; the value and delights of print publishing; the power of illustration; our ever-lasting love for visual storytelling. And how cool is this take on the swallowed-whole dilemma from Little Red Riding Hood??! Just wait until you see her back cover....

Thank you, Lisa, for your fabulous contribution to The Outside-In Issue!!

Inside you'll also find Lisa's sketchbook tips to aspiring artists. Truly the inside of issue 3 is just as delectable as the outside, with contributions by an array of lovely artists and writers whom we couldn't have pulled this off without, including: Nina Chakrabarti, Amy Novesky, Paul duCoudray, Micah Player, Willie Real, Elizabeth Haidle, Ruth Kneass, Mike Dutton, Alexis Joseph / Case for Making, Britt Browne, Claire Astrow, Yuliya Gwilym, Alexandra Rose Franco of Rito-ito, Rachel Garrison, Kristen Solecki, Clark Jackson, Martin Cendreda, Anne Pomel, Karl Dotter, and Jeremy Anderson. More sneak peeks to come so follow us on Instagram to see the latest updates. 

Here's a look at #3's table of contents, and be sure to check out our Shop page to see sample spreads from this issue and to pre-order. We'll send out copies in March 2017. 

The Outside-In issue's table of contents. So much good inside....

The Outside-In issue's table of contents. So much good inside....


I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we loved putting it together. 

Lastly, thanks to Sakura of America and Case for Making for sponsoring issue 3!

Women's March Book Roundup


As the Inauguration and Women’s March on Washington draws near, we thought it would be an apt time to compile a list of books that revolve around female activism and empowerment as a reminder to our daughters and sons the challenges that we’ve faced, and the struggles that still await us. We hope these books inspire you and your kids to take action to ensure that women’s rights are human rights, and to help create communities that champion inclusivity and diversity.

To find a Women’s March near you, check out the Sister March page at https://www.womensmarch.com/sisters.


Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl 


1. Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl

Kate Schatz, the author of Rad Women A-Z is back with an equally (if not more so) cool and inspiring book covering extraordinary women from all over the world. The book includes 40 women, with a short bio for each and awesome paper cut portraits by Miriam Stahl. From more well known figures (Angela Davis) to the obscure (the Quintreman Sisters), from the ancient (Queen Hatshepsut) to the contemporary (Malala Yousafzai), Schatz’s book is as richly diverse as it is rewarding. There’s even an added 250 names of rad women included in the back of the book as a reference for readers to continue their own research. Age range: grades 5 and up, adults will love this book too!


2. For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story by Rebecca Langston-George, illustrated by Janna Bock

Rebecca Langston-George offers a powerful tale, based on the true story of activist Malala Yousafzai’s life and struggle. Though she was raised in a culture where women rights were repressed, Malala was determined to make education accessible for every girl. Unlike similar books in the genre, For the Right to Learn stays true to historic fact, and is not overly watered down. But the engaging illustrations and brevity of the picture book text makes it a great pick for young readers grades 2-4.


3. Fight Like A Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, by Laura Barcella

Feminism is not an easily defined movement or label that can be wrapped up neatly in a box with a bow. Laura Barcella understands that, and instead of offering simple answers, she provides readers with a history of feminism by way of the leaders who defined it. Similarly to Rad Women Worldwide, Fight Like A Girl includes serious breadth and diversity. For each figure there is a short bio, a bullet point list of key take aways (called “cool credentials”), and famous quotes. The line drawn portraits and casual language give the book a zine-like quality that makes it an approachable and fun read for pre-teen to teen readers.  



4. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock (Adapter), Susan Buckley (Adapter), Illustrated by PJ Loughran

In this thought provoking, evocative book Lynda Blackmon Lowery offers a powerful account of just how it felt to be one of the youngest participant in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom does not gloss over the day-to-day racism and injustices Lynda experienced, but instead delves head first into the uncomfortable and ugly truth of our nation that we often try to forget. By the same token, the courage and strength needed to become a civil rights activist as a teenager is not underestimated. With a riveting narrative and a graphic novel feel, this book will be welcomed by readers grades 7 and up.

5. Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories, by Ellen S.Levine

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Ruby Bridges are household names in the Civil Rights movement. But what about the children and teenagers who put their lives on the line to protest segregation, secure voting rights for people of color, and stand up against daily encounters of racism and hate? In this book, thirty young civil rights activists share their true stories of their struggles to secure freedom for future generations. Reading accounts of how it felt to enact sit-ins, walk-outs, and protests as a person under twenty is immensely humbling and influential, especially for a young readers whose feelings of helplessness or apathy prevent them from fighting against racism and hate in their own communities. These upfront, deeply personal and unapologetic stories are perfect for grades six and up.


6. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia 

In the summer of 1968, three strong-willed, close-as-can-be sisters board a plane from Brooklyn to Oakland, California to stay with their mysterious, unimaginably stern mother Cecile who treats them like unwanted pets. Neglected and confused, they spend their days at a community center run by the Black Panthers and try to piece together all the commotion in their neighborhood--men in berets shouting "Black Power" in the streets, flyers talking about revolution, and "Free Huey" graffitied on the walls. Over the course of the summer, the sisters come to find their place during this pivotal, turbulent moment in African American history, and learn to reconcile their relationship with their poet-activist mother who, while hardly a maternal figure, empowers her girls nonetheless. One Crazy Summer is a perfect read for grades four through seven. 



Shop Local & Support Your Fave Artists

Today we have guest blogger and Illustoria contributor Lindsay Stripling, one of our absolutely favorite local artists, sharing with us her thoughts on shopping locally and the artists in the San Francisco Bay Area whom she loves to support. We couldn't agree more with her choices and hope you get inspired to shop local wherever you are. 

The shop local movement started as a way to support the local economies during the recession in 2008 and after, but the current shop local movement has transformed into a way to support local businesses and artists during a time when perhaps they are struggling to keep up with rising rent prices due to the local economic boom. There is no time like the present to support the shop around the corner or the artist you see every morning on a walk- every little bit counts and it helps to create the type of environment we wish to live within.  I took a little time to map out a few creatives who are excellent and whom I will most definitely be gifting from this year and are perfect last minute holiday gifting ideas or a way to celebrate a new year!

Maria Shoettler’s work is so fresh and loose and documents local flowers, veggies and basically the Bay Area environment in a way that honors the land that they’ve come from. Her 2017 calendar has a recipe for each month with her beautiful watercolor illustrations showing the seasonal veggies and fruits that would honor each recipe. She is as thoughtful as she is creative and I cannot wait to give my niece her new coloring book depicting local wildflowers.

Maria Shoettler's 2017 Produce Calendar 

Grace Levine is the genius behind Kitty Hawk Gallery, an adorable boutique and art gallery in Sebastapol. Grace always has time for a fun chat and a good back story on each of the items in her shop. If you do not have time to visit her in person, she has an incredible online shop and is able to honor over the phone orders. Her paintings are whimsical and sarcastic and make me laugh every time. She has her own artwork as well as that of other artists, clothing, jewelry and other goods made by talented local and national craftsmen and women. Definitely a good place to take a day with the fam to get some lunch at one of the cool little breweries and wander around downtown Sebastapol. 

Kitty Hawk Gallery in Sebastabol 

Kitty Hawk Gallery in Sebastabol 

The first time I visited Julie Cloutier’s  studio (the Mud Room) I was so surprised at how hidden it was amongst all the other sunset homes around it. It is in the top floor of a renovated, still in the works, Sunset home that she shares with its owner Georgia Hodges, who also has lovely ceramics to explore. I am always blown away by seeing how people work, and seeing Julie’s space was no different, she clearly is a woman of precision and repetition, a person of process. Her ceramics are incredibly designed, so that you can find any use for them. I have so many of her bowls, cups and tiny sake glasses, and they are always in use. Whether for actual drinks and food or to hold colored pencils, pencil sharpeners or shavings, water for painting or flowers from the park, they find a practical and beautiful appearance on my table. Julie’s ceramics make an appearance at another of my favorite local shops:

Julie Cloutier ceramics

Case for Making is an art supply store like you’ve never seen in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco next to the beach and the park. Alexis Petty who owns the shop designed the space and stocked items around the idea of what artists actually love using and experimenting with. All of the items stocked in shop are things that the working artists who staff the space actually use and love. Alexis is an artist herself and loves process and exploration and she has framed her store with the idea that you everyone has the ability to be creative. Alexis’ newest endeavor with Case is that she now make her own CFM watercolors from scratch! You can gift a set of locally handmade gorgeous watercolors- with colors like Ultramarine Blue, Florescent Red, and Sahara Ochre- you can choose what colors make up your set. There is something for everyone at Case, whether you are an experienced artist or someone who hasn’t ever created before and especially for kiddos, there is something to explore and feel empowered by. Grab some lunch up the street with the fam at Outerlands and then grab some supplies for a creative afternoon at Case.

Case For Making interior, photo credit Nick Forland 

I first saw Illustoria Magazine when I was working on a Saturday morning at Case for Making. As a kid I grew up loving Highlights Magazine, where there were activities and articles that entertained me for weeks. Illustoria is totally a nod to old Highlights while also being for kids’ grown up counterparts! It's insane how Joanne Chan, the founder and editor-in-cheif of Illustoria, and Elizabeth Haidle, the creative director, have both created a magazine that is challenging and fun for both kids and adults. They have cram packed it with illustrations from talented artists from all over, made it informative and creative with projects, coloring sheets and articles from different creative people. I will say as a kid I had no idea that I could actually be a creative person as a grown up for a living, only because I never saw examples of adults I knew doing that, but had I grown up with Illustoria I would have had a completely different understanding of what my adult life could become. I already gifted subscriptions to kids in my life and I look forward to seeing what else they come up with!

Jen Garrido is a San Francisco Bay artist who works with oils, acrylics and watercolors. She does incredible, loose and colorful florals on paper and panels that she always has for sale on her website. Jen has an alter ego, when she isn’t painting, she is designing textiles for her home wear company Jenny Pennywood that she has printed locally items like tea towels, pillows and textiles.  Jen’s patterns and paintings are fun for everyone in the family and are a perfect gift idea. You can find them in person along with all sorts of other equally beautiful items at the General Store, right next door to previously mentioned Case for Making in the outer sunset.

Jenny Pennywood napkins

Kindah Khalidy is a local oakland based painter that is just an explosion of color. I have been dreaming of getting one of her large paintings to hang in our bedroom. Her paintings are vibrant, playful and very very beautiful, she also makes them into small makeup bags, beautiful shirts and other fun items that you can find in her webshop. She will even make prints of any painting that you like for a more affordable option if an original isn’t in the cards this year.

Landscape Pop Diptych (#196) 2016, Mix Media on Paper, two panels 22" X 30" each

And finally if you are looking for a place to visit with the kiddos, a morning or afternoon trip to get everyone out of the house during this holiday season- take a short trip down the coast to Yonder Shop in Pacifica. Linda Fahey is the amazing ceramicist behind this space, she has turned her studio into a small boutique. When you visit Yonder you can see her work in process as well as shop finished mugs and bowls of hers and beautiful paintings, textiles and apothecary goods of other makers whom she has curated in her shop. Linda is a great host, has lived in Pacifica all her life and visiting Yonder is like stopping by a friends house. After you get some goodies I would wander down to Linda Mar beach and let the kids run around while you watch some surfers and look for whales.

Yonder Shop interior

Lindsay Stripling is a San Francisco based artist who lives and works in a neighborhood located right next to Golden Gate park which runs for miles, due west, straight to the Pacific. Lindsay works primarily with watercolor on paper, using color and form to create dreamlike narratives that echo folk and fairy tales that we vaguely remember from childhood, where the moral might be lost, switched, blurred or even just completely missing. Lindsay’s illustrations have shown up in Illustoria and she is currently working on a fun coloring book for both kids and adults.

Lindsay Stripling is a San Francisco based artist who lives and works in a neighborhood located right next to Golden Gate park which runs for miles, due west, straight to the Pacific. Lindsay works primarily with watercolor on paper, using color and form to create dreamlike narratives that echo folk and fairy tales that we vaguely remember from childhood, where the moral might be lost, switched, blurred or even just completely missing. Lindsay’s illustrations have shown up in Illustoria and she is currently working on a fun coloring book for both kids and adults.

You can learn more about Lindsay and her gorgeous work and support her here. 

You can learn more about Lindsay and her gorgeous work and support her here


Holiday Special: 10% Off Subscriptions + Free ILLUSTORIA Bookmarks


Give the gift of reading, art, and activities that keeps on giving throughout the year.


Spread the mag love this holiday season! Purchase an ILLUSTORIA subscription, gift subscription, or recurring subscription now through December 20th and receive 10% off PLUS your recipient will receive a set of 5 adorable Illustoria bookmarks with their first issue. Enter promo code: iGIVE at checkout.

We will happily handwrite your gift message and include it with the first issue. 

Happy gifting and happy holidays!

Please note: Subscriptions will begin with Illustoria issue 2: The Canvas Issue. If you would like to start with issue 1, please purchase separately. We cannot guarantee a specific delivery date (our free domestic shipping option can take 7-10 days after fulfillment), however you may select USPS Priority Mail shipping at checkout to receive your order within 1-3 days after fulfillment. We will do our best to process orders speedily!