Dear friends, a personal post and a call for your help.
Last year, I went through the hardest time of my life. I was knocked down completely, emotionally drained, and trying to survive. In that time, I was overwhelmed with the rise of what I came to understand as my "community." My friends and family stepped up with meals, phone calls, visits, physical assistance, and lots and lots of listening ears. In short, they were present. They were "there." With their help and lots of hard work, I'm stronger now than I have been in a while, and I'm trying to put into practice what I've learned and to become a better person, too: to lead with kindness, always. Love one another. That's what they say, right? It's actually the key to, well, just about everything.
So, for Giving Tuesday, and for the next week, I am asking for your help. Everything in my shop, https://www.etsy.com/shop/HansMyHedgehog , will be 10% off with code THANKYOU
I will donate all PROFIT from these sales to my friend's medical fundraiser.
If you do not have the need for more prints or for gifts, please SHARE this post. Let's help out someone in need. I am calling on you with gratitude.
Can we, as a community, come together to make someone's life better? To show each other love and keep each other warm in the cold of winter? Thank you, dear friends.
"Staying Warm" Jessica Boehman, 2011. Pencil and digital color.
A fall night in Brooklyn.
"October" Jessica Boehman. Colored pencil, pencil, ink, and water soluble graphite. 2019. Please do not reproduce without permission.
Pigeon found under the Queens 495 overpass in Rego Park, and sparrow hatchling found about a block away from there. Watercolor and gouache.
Part two of a drawing I was commissioned to make for a dear friend. The first (click here to see the post) featured her carrying her first child, while the second features her newborn son.
When I was approached to do this, I asked if I could be given free rein. They said yes. I had been inspired by a Bob Dylan song, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall:"
Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
Little did I know that my friend had already chosen Dylan as the child's middle name in honor of the singer. I think it must have been meant to be, or Providence, as it were.
Like the first drawing, I wanted a feeling of safety to pervade the drawing. I hope I have achieved it.
"Nest" Copyright 2019 Jessica Boehman. Colored pencil, pencil, water soluble graphite, finetecs, and gouache. Private Collection. Please do not reproduce without permission.
An old friend commissioned me to make this image of her niece in her favorite space ship, accompanied by her two bunnies.
"Cece in Space" 2019, Water soluble graphite, pencil, and watercolor. Private collection. No prints available.
This past winter, I filmed a segment for KidLit TV's celebration of 100 years of Children's Book Week! The video has launched today! I hope you enjoy it!
I'll be at Book Expo, NYC, at the Javits Center this coming weekend. I hope to see you there!
While at Book Expo and Book Con, lots of fun things happened! My new book got its first sneak peek, I signed lots of books, and I drew with the kids at the Children's Book Council Tent! I am adding some of their great drawings below.
Possible barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) hatchling. Watercolor and white colored pencil.
Other ideas for identification? (Seen in San Antonio, TX).
I am so happy to think that today I will launch my book to NYC. The book started as a comic that I wrote and illustrated in 2016, spending days at the kitchen table in my mom's house drawing it as I recovered from a major, devastating surgery. It calmed my mind and helped my body to rest.
Fast forward a year to a talk with the editor at The RoadRunner Press. She loved the short comic, and in the course of the conversation brought it up 4 times...she told me to imagine my perfect first book. Living in NYC, this felt like the one. I think her hints were none too subtle, haha!
I wrote this story to help me feel more at home in the City. It'd been a hard adjustment, even after living in Philadelphia and Rome for the previous six years, and I needed to feel some connection, just like the drawing of the Delacorte animals had done for me when I first arrived. I wanted to tell a story that centered on New York.
The story didn't start with Patience and Fortitude, but with a lion that I imagined interacting with a boy as nobody else noticed it. Somehow, and I don't remember how, it morphed into the library lions. I imagined New Yorkers, distracted by their phones or books or music, not paying any attention...perhaps deliberately. My students have since informed me that this is how I show I'm not a native. I still LOOK at what I see in the city.
I was pleased to be able to include some reference in the book to the sculptors of the lions, Mr. Edward Clark Potter, who modeled and designed them, (and who lives on through his descendant, Mr. Potter III, in the book) and to the Piccirilli Brothers, who carved the lions. As an art historian by training with a focus in sculptural history, this seemed appropriate, and I hid some references to them--and to my own life--in the book.
I imagine this story to be not just a late night adventure of two large cats who act more like dogs, but a story about selfless love and friendship.
Tonight I will launch the book in the bookstore, Books of Wonder, that made me want to become an illustrator again after those many years of grad school. I imagined it, I put it out into the universe, I pictured myself there. I guess the Universe was listening.
I hope you enjoy my first book that I've put out into the it.
"A Books of Wonder Birthday" colored pencil, pencil, and digital.
I was so honored to have a solo show at the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD this winter. The show opened on Valentine's Day and closes Saturday--the day after my book launch! How everything happens at once. I had such a delightful time in South Dakota, notwithstanding the cold, and met some lovely, lovely people.
Here are some pictures of the show and the opening.
Hans-My-Hedgehog Illustrations is the name of Jessica Boehman's blog and illustration shop. It is named after her favorite fairy tale about a hedgehog boy who becomes king of the forest. All other pages redirect to: