7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #235: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Bethanie Murguia
(And the Announcement of a Wee-Tiny Blog Break)

h1 September 4th, 2011 by jules

(Click to enlarge)

I’ve been totally swamped, but it is the first Sunday of the month, right? If I’m wrong and you’re giggling, please humor me and do so behind my back. Come on. A good friend would, right?

On first Sundays, I like to shine the spotlight here at 7-Imp on student or brand-new illustrators in the field. Today, I’ve got Bethanie Murguia, whose debut picture book was released in May by Tricycle Press.

Bethanie earned an MFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. While in New York, she worked as an art director for Hearst Magazines. Currently living in California with her family, this is, as mentioned, her first picture book title. In 2012 and 2013, she’ll be releasing titles from Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic (Zoe Gets Ready) and Knopf/Random House Children’s Books (Snippet, the Early Riser).

Buglette, the Messy Sleeper is the story of a tidy bug by day but messy sleeper by night. Messy, as in her dreams literally take her places: She is up and about, all triggered by her dreams, and it’s problematic in many ways for her family. Eventually, Buglette saves the day, but I won’t give away spoilers here.

Bethanie’s here today to share some of her watercolor spreads and a couple of sketches/thumbnails. At her site, she writes the following about her choice to use watercolors:

My curiosity with the watercolor medium began during my undergraduate days, many of which were spent diluting acrylic paint so it didn’t look so heavy to me. It was the transparency that drew me to watercolor. As time goes on, it is the opposing forces that keep me intrigued — light versus shadow and spontaneity versus control. The interplay and resolution of these conflicts engage me every time I paint.

Let’s take a look then at those watercolors and early sketches (you can click each image to enlarge it and see in more detail), and I thank Bethanie for stopping by …

Let’s close with Bethanie’s happy face and a fun self-portrait, shall we?

For those who’d like to follow Bethanie’s art and books more closely, her blog is here.

BUGLETTE, THE MESSY SLEEPER. Copyright © 2011 by Bethanie Murguia. Published by Tricycle Press, New York. Images reproduced by permission of Ms. Murguia.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

Kicks 1-7 today are that Betsy, Peter, and I are wrapping up our final manuscript this weekend to be sent off to our editor. This is both exciting and terrifying, as I may have mentioned last week.

As a result, I’m taking a bit of time off. I’m actually not here right now, though you think I am. Do I have one of Hermione Granger’s Time-Turner hourglass necklace thingies? Nope, I’m typing this on Friday night, but today I’m really away, taking a break. I’ll be back later this week. Promise.

Please do tell me your kicks — that is, if anyone is around this holiday weekend. Even though I’m away, I will be checking and reading, ’cause you know I like to hear about my dear kickers.

13 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #235: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Bethanie Murguia
(And the Announcement of a Wee-Tiny Blog Break)”

  1. Cute little Buglette! I know several messy sleepers who’ll sympathize. Funny, that picnic basket brimming with aphids.

    Jules! Congrats to you, Betsy and Peter. Enjoy your break.

    With summer winding down, I spent the week trying to get organized–fighting my ever-losing battle with office entropy.
    (I was semi-successful; guess that counts as a semi-kick.)

    My full kick:
    I visited this odd little shop on Main St. in Santa Monica with my sons (they’d never ever seen it OPEN, and were happy to pay the $1 entry fee to finally get a glimpse inside the amazing clutter.) The proprietors call it a “curio cabinet” and certainly it is with its pre-computer era scientific gadgets and clocks and globes and robot sculptures and a Tesla coil (very Frankenstein’s laboratory.) The older gentleman who gave us a tour (and who looked a lot like Ichabod Crane) said Terry Gilliam rents props for his movies here. Cool. And it did feel a bit like entering Dr. Parnassus’ Imaginarium.


    I bought a toy wooden hand; you turn a crank and it makes the fingers drum! That’s it for me. Have a good week everyone.

  2. Congrats Jules on both the book and the fact that you are taking a break! We’ll miss you but you certainly deserve a wee rest 🙂

    My kicks:
    Last week I…
    1. had a great time beading at a wonderful beading store while my daughter went to a fantabulous camp there…
    2. enjoyed beautiful late summer weather…
    3. induldged in hiring a mother’s helper twice who my girls loved who allowed me to get a moments work done during this long last week before school starts
    4. made a few yummy new recipes
    5. hosted a fun bbq for dear friends
    6. was able to use left overs from the above bbq to serve dinner to my mother in law who always cooks for us
    7. wrote ‘kicks’ two weeks in a row 🙂

    Have a good week to all and for those of you starting school this week- happy first days to all!

  3. Congrats Jules, Peter & Betsy! Can’t wait to read the finished product.

    My kick is that Tuesday will be my first day teaching 5th grade reading & writing in Bar Harbor, Maine.

  4. Jules: Best of luck to you and your collaborators. I know you’ve already filled the project with knowledge, recommendations, insight, and shiny objects, and that the final polish will make it even shinier. 🙂

    Greetings to Buglette! I wish I could sleep soundly.

    Good luck on your first day of teaching, Meryl! May this school year bring delight and challenges that make you stronger and happier, as you inspire and educate the munchkins.

    Sorry that this post is so short, but I have to run to rehearsal. 🙂

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Rehearsals
    2) Visions
    3) Warmth
    4) Inclusion
    5) Offers
    6) Understanding
    7) Hope

  5. I’ve got two kicks:

    1. Finishing my first novel (first draft)

    2. The courage and strength of the Chapman family (Steven Curtis Chapman and co.) after their tragedy in losing Maria. I’ve been reading “Choosing to SEE” by Mary Beth Chapman. Beautiful, but sad, book.

  6. I hope the finishing up of the manuscript is going well, Jules! Thanks for making time to share the cute illustrations with us.

    Denise that store sounds very cool. Wish Santa Monica was a bit closer!

    A fun BBQ that also generates leftovers is the perfect deal, Stacey.

    good luck with the first day of teaching, Meryl!

    LW all of your words feel warm and cosy this week.

    Congrats on finishing your novel, Hannah!

    I of course am not overly organised, but can add one kick: Riverfire on the weekend – this is part of Brisbane’s riverfestival, that celebrates the beautiful river that curves through our city. Even though the river does flood sometimes, it was good to gather with hundreds of thousands of people (including some new friends) to picnic on its shores and watch fireworks together.

  7. Thanks, emmaco!

    I meant to say, Jules, that I could use a Time-Turner, too.

  8. Peeking back in to enjoy others’ kicks: a wonderful beading store, teaching in Maine, warmth & inclusion, finishing a novel (WOOT!) and fireworks over Brisbane’s river. : – )

  9. Yeah, Buglette! I was a happy winner of a copy of the book from Bethanie’s blog. Buglette is a very charming and brave heroine created by a very talented and lovely artist.
    And congratulations on your book, Jules! I do hope it will have lots of art in it, too, right? Enjoy your well-deserved break!

  10. Hi, all. Thanks for kicking! (Meryl, a teaching job! COOL! Congrats!) … I’ll be back later, everyone. I only have my iPhone for a couple more days. Way too hard to type, but more from me soon. Thanks again for visiting and sharing.

  11. I finally made the chocolate Guinness cake. Mmmm.

    I also made a peach cobbler with fresh-as-fresh-can-be peaches this weekend, and MAN ALIVE it was good.

    Hope you’re having a good rest and recharge, Jules.

  12. Love those evil birds….

  13. Hi everyone. Jules here. Late Wednesday… Anyone still around?

    So, I’m back. Clearly. (Or maybe not so clearly … maybe someone is posing as me … Okay, nah. Not really. It’s me. Promise. I’m a dork.)

    Denise, boy, would I love to visit that shop. Image 14/34 at the site’s gallery is creepin’ me out, too.

    I’m gonna have to lift the phrase “office entropy.” I have that, too. Big-time.

    So, Stacey, has school already started? I keep forgetting that folks in other parts of the country haven’t begun yet. (We start earlier in the South.) Best of luck to you! Sounds like you had a good week-before-it-all-begins.

    Meryl, CONGRATS again! And thanks for all your help on this manuscript. You all made it so much easier. Whew.

    Little Willow, warmth is good. Warmth on many levels. … Break a leg, as always, at those rehearsals.

    Hannah, you finished the first draft of a novel? Duuuude. Congrats!

    Emmaco, Riverfire is a good name for a festival. Good food, fireworks. That’s a good way to end the week.

    Jill, don’t know about the art yet. Time will tell. But we are in the hands of Candlewick, and they have such well-designed books, so I’m excited about that.

    Adrienne, DID YOU LIKE IT? Wait. You typed, “mmmm,” so I guess so. How about that buttercream frosting? Yummers. I squealed in happiness when I read that you’d baked it.

    Evil birds. Yes. Mwahahahahahaha.

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