New print series: Alphabet Animals

I’m excited to tell you about a new series of prints I’ll be selling in my Etsy shop, Alphabet Animals! The first four in the series are now available as prints in three different sizes — 5×7″, 8×10″ and 11×14″. The smallest size is perfect if you want to frame a series of them all together to decorate a nursery or kids’ room, while the biggest size is great as a stand-alone poster.

Each illustration in the series will feature a fun, colorful animal along with an object or activity that starts with the same letter, accompanied by a decorative, bold, hand-illustrated letter. For A, it’s an alligator playing the accordion! B features a buffalo (or he could be a bison depending on what part of the world you’re from!) riding a bicycle. C is a fluffy fat cat wearing a golden crown, and D is a flame-colored dragon clutching a big, sparkly diamond.

I really enjoyed creating these illustrations in a brighter, more kid-friendly style, with lots of colorful line work and a bit more of a painterly texture than I sometimes use. I’ll be working with the same color palette across the whole series, so that they will always coordinate with one another. Each letter in the alphabet is planned out, so watch this space as more pictures in the series become available. I think these would make the perfect baby gift, either grouped together for an alphabet-themed nursery, or as a gift for a child whose name starts with each letter. I’ll also be offering bundles on groups of letters, as well as a special deal on the entire alphabet, once I get them all finished!

Thanks for reading, and I hope these colorful animals brightened your day!

Dying for a Cupcake

Anni_Betts_Dying_for_Cupcake

It’s that time again — time for the latest installment in Denise Swanson’s Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series to be published by Penguin, featuring a cover illustrated by yours truly! The title this time was Dying for a Cupcake, and it had a Fourth of July theme so it’s lots of red, white and blue. Of course I love a good cupcake, so it was extra enjoyable to draw a big tiered display of sparkler-topped cupcakes. Each of these covers has a subtle “mystery” element, and this time it’s a spooky skull being formed from the smoke of an extinguished sparkler — fun to draw! I also had a delightful time working with AD Katie Anderson — thanks, Katie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

AnniBetts_Publix_thanksgiving

In honor of it being the day before Thanksgiving, I’d like to share a fun assignment I had this year that is Thanksgiving themed! It’s a reusable grocery bag for Publix grocery stores, featuring their signature pilgrim characters. These pudgy little pilgrims are a perennial favorite for the Publix stores, and they appear as salt and pepper shakers and on other decorative Thanksgiving items. They even have a bit of a cult following!

Earlier this year Publix contacted me to illustrate a reusable bag featuring the pilgrims surrounded by other autumnal motifs. It was super fun to work on with talented art director Jesse Larson, and a good challenge since I had to work in a limited number of colors for silkscreening. I don’t have a sample of the actual bag to show you, and from a little online sleuthing it seems the final product was a more cropped-in version of this art, but even so I’m going to share the original design here. For those of you in the South, you could probably pick one of these up at your local Publix store! I hope these pilgrims help you feel the cozy Thanksgiving spirit, and enjoy your Turkey Day, everyone!

Happy Halloween!

AnniBetts_Dracula_bat

Happy Halloween everyone! In honor of the spookiest holiday I drew this homage to one of the scariest characters out there — Dracula. In Bram Stoker’s original tale, Dracula is said to come to the shores of England at Whitby, during a foreboding, terrible storm. Whitby is just an hour and a half away from where I live, and I’ve visited it a couple of times and it’s a charming coastal town with some good seafood and that 19th-century-resort-town feel. So I liked the idea of combining a view of Whitby Abbey with Dracula coming to shore in the form of a bat. (I’m taking a little bit of artistic license — in the original story he comes to shore in the form of a large black dog. But I felt like drawing  a bat!) I hope this adds to your Halloween fun today — Boo!

Get your holiday cards!

AnnBetts_Holiday_Cards

I can’t believe it’s the last day of September already! While the falling temperatures and shorter days create that cozy, crisp feeling of autumn they’re also a good reminder that the holidays will soon be upon us. You may be thinking, “Gosh, soon it will be Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah! How will I send my greetings to friends and loved ones?” You’re in luck! My new holiday greeting card designs are now available in my Etsy shop to help you mail a little bit of love to everyone you hold dear. They’re part of the A. Smyth Co. collaboration I’ve been working on this year, and are all printed responsibly on eco-friendly papers. These also feature greetings on the inside, as opposed to the previous cards which were blank on the inside, so if you’re not great at coming up with something to say, the work is done for you!

I have several Christmas designs, including one featuring fuzzy, kissing chinchillas. Who doesn’t love a chinchilla? The collection also contains two non-religious Happy Holiday cards depicting fun winter sports, a Thanksgiving card (turkey in a top hat!) and a tasteful, nature-inspired Hanukkah card. If you’re looking for holiday greetings look no further!

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