7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #286: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Moira Swiatkowski

h1 July 1st, 2012 by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Given that here in Nashville we just beat our own record high temps—we got up to 110 degrees on Friday—I’m liking this opening image from Moira Swiatkowski. That girl is in a coat and scarf, by God! If only …

(Moira actually tells me that Me and My Gang can come hang out with her in Cape Cod to cool off. A swim and some ice cream up there. I wish.)

If Moira’s name is familiar to my dear Sunday kickers, it’s because she is one. She’s been “kicking” here on Sundays for a while now. Naturally, I ended up at her site—as I’m sure many of you have at some point—and decided I’d see if she’d like to come share some of her artwork. Lucky for us, she agreed.

I’m going to turn it right over to Moira, who’s going to introduce herself, and I thank her for visiting today …

Moira: The short version of my story is that I am a painter transitioning into an illustrator.

I have spent the last couple of years learning. I have taught myself to use a tablet with Painter and Photoshop to create images. I have also learned to embrace the Internet rather than be afraid of it.

On my learning journey, I have discovered the wonderful world of children’s illustration, and I want to be a part of it.

I started to build my children’s illustration portfolio by creating characters in various situations.

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

More recently, I have been working on narrative images by having the same character moving forward in a storytelling way.

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

I am having fun sending my characters on little journeys.

Don’t forget to check out my website, moiraswiatkowski.com for more images, theater posters (my hobby), and pages from my sketchbook.

* * *

Big thanks, once again, to Moira for visiting. I think she’s starting us all off this month in a good way with her vibrant artwork. Which one is your favorite? If you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.

All images used with permission of Moira Swiatkowski.

* * * * * * *

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. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) I’m going to keep Kick Number One short, ’cause I’m gettin’ sick of hearing my own self talk about my excessive fan-dom for Rufus Wainwright, and so I have no doubt others are even more weary of this. But I’m excited that he’ll be at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in October. Tickets went on sale Friday, and DAMN SKIPPY I’VE GOT SOME! I might truly make a concert countdown calendar with posterboard and markers or something. (DUDE. October is so far AWAY.)

Here’s the song off his new CD that my girls love the best, and they like to adapt the lyrics to their own parents. (Their favorite part, incidentally, is “one day you will come to Montauk / and see your Dad trying to be evil.” This sends them into near hysterics.)

2) Last night, I got to see the Nashville Symphony in action, and it was actually my first time in this beautiful building.

3) My 8-year-old, who rather tolerated swim lessons, passed a challenging swim test this week, which made her very nervous, and I was so proud, I thought my heart would pop outta my chest.

4) This profile of Caldecott winner Chris Raschka is exceptionally good, as well as this of Newbery winner Jack Gantos.

5) Serendipity.

6) I met a bunch of writing deadlines this week that made the week feel very long. I even tried to call on Thursday into a work conference call that was, er, really on Friday. It’s just that nearly all week it felt like Almost Friday.

7) Maybe Rufus will sing “Greek Song” in October, which I’ve totally fallen for.

See? Told you I was annoying.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

26 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #286: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Moira Swiatkowski”


    Wait, it’s July already?

    Moira, your illustrations are cool beans! 🙂

    Jules, my favorite is “Swamp.” It looks like it would be part of an interesting and happy middle grade story. Have I mentioned that I MISSED KICKING?

    Kicks since I last kicked a skerjillion years ago:

    1. I was in Singapore in May for the 3rd Asian Festival of Children’s Content where I. . .

    2. Met Ching Yeung Russell, author of Tofu Quilt. The funny thing was, we were next to each other at dinner the whole night and I didn’t realize it was her until the end of the night. D’oh!

    3. Pigged out with Little, Brown editorial director Alvina Ling. Chicken rice and Malaysian noodles!

    4. Had chili crab and buns with Leonard Marcus along the Singapore River.

    5. Met Nancy J. Johnson, who was on the Newbery committee ten years ago and is on the Caldecott committee this year.

    6. Met a lot of other amazing kidlit and YA lit people like Cynthea Liu and Margarita Engle. And the list goes on and on and on, my gosh.

    7. I was the June guest blogger for PaperTigers.

    8. I now write a column for Kwentillion, the Philippines’ first YA science fiction and fantasy magazine.

    9. In July I will be inducted to the Philippine Board on Books for Young People.

    10. Wow, I just realized I am very blessed. I have other good news I’ll save for other Sundays and should really stop complaining about some things. I mean, I had chili crab and buns with Leonard Marcus along the Singapore River!!!!!!!

    Really, I missed you all. Next time throw rotten eggs at me when I am absent.

  2. Thanks for another great post! And Moira good luck with your jump into illustration, love the images in this post 🙂

    I think my favorites are “Faded” and “Silent”!

  3. Was so excited to list my favorite of Moira’s images that I didn’t keep reading and now I want to try and list my first ever “7 Kicks” Unfortunately they probably aren’t as exciting as Tarie’s, that’s some awesome news, lunch with Leonard Marcus (that’s so cool!) !

    1. Got back from Boston from my first ever Children’s Literature Association Conference! It was so engaging and met some great people, scholars, grad students, writers, librarians.

    2. Discovered Geoffrey Hayes’ young reader graphic novels, the “Benny and Penny” series; such fun illustrations, and my little brother read it in one sitting which is awesome! We’ve been struggling to get him to build his ability to read more in one sitting, and this seemed to work!

    3. Saw Pixar’s Brave and was personally happy with it although many were not…loved the music and was especially excited to hear the Birdy/Mumford & Sons collaboration song in the end credits that I wasn’t expecting.

    4. Am currently trying to read 6 different books at once, which is surprisingly sort of working out and is exciting and strange.

    5. Finally got to watch “Library of the Early Mind” which I finally caved in and bought while at the Eric Carle Museum store, which is literally one of the greatest places ever!

    6. Am almost finished with my elemenatry Art and Art History curriculum plans for my class in the fall!

    7. Oh, and finally finished my transfer process to my new college and will officially be majoring in English with a concentration in Children’s Literature (!) and got into most of the classes I wanted in the fall, three of them are children’s literature courses!!

    Wow, so I’ve been trying to keep up and follow your blog for some time, but hadn’t picked up on this great weekly “7 Kicks” posting. This is such an awesome idea, it was so nice to do and sort of cathartic and makes you focus on the good things and realize how blessed you are either in the big or small ways. Anyways, thanks for these great posts and your wonderful blog!

  4. Moira, wow, wow, wow! I love these especially Twirl and Stripes.
    Jules, glad you are surviving the heat. I will send some sweet summer rain to you. We had that yesterday.
    Tarie, glad to hear from you. What adventures you’ve been on. Chili crab sounds delicious.
    Jes, welcome to this amazing community.
    My kicks:
    1. Finished 13 Treasures.
    2. My oldest grand girl wrote a “speech” on index cards which is like a poem. Will be featured on Poetry Fridaymthis coming Friday.
    3. Discovered anew BBQ place.
    4. Sweet summer rain yesterday. There is something different about summer rain.
    5. Walking with Buster, my dog.
    6. Cherries
    7. Going to Idaho for the fourth of July.
    Have a great week.

  5. Bonus, I always read email after visiting here or I would have listed the email I received from Amy of The Poem Farm regarding my book Solace in Nature. Her lovely words made me tear up. Thank you, Amy.

  6. Moira’s work is charming- I especially like the feel of “Swamp”.
    And Rufus Wainwright?! Good stuff 🙂
    Kicks for the week in at my place?
    1. New kitten adopted into the fam.
    2. Finally reading ‘Kenny and the Dragon’.
    3. Steady progress towards a picture book deadline.
    4. Fresh blueberries.

  7. Great post, Jules! Love the profiles of Chris and Jack.

    My big kick this week is completing — or so I thought — my first chapbook of lyric poems about nature. I shared the manuscript with several friends and received in return some excellent and insightful feedback and suggestions.

    So it’s back to the revising and rearranging board for me. If it makes the book as strong as it can be — I’m all for it. Fortunately, the first-book competition I most want to enter has an October deadline. Wish me luck!

    Here’s the most recent poem in the collection:

    By Steven Withrow

    Blotching the bay’s
    swatch of swell
    is an overturned L
    that compels your gaze,

    a black-throated goad
    for your attention,
    plumed suspension
    of a novel mode

    of travel, at rest
    one moment, then
    cresting again
    its feathered vest

    and lunging under
    all at once, bill-first
    in a splurging burst,
    for sunken plunder.

    Waves cancel its wake.
    For minutes it’s gone—
    pops up!—with a prawn
    impaled on a stake.

    © 2012 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  8. Forgot to mention: I love how Moira’s work is all in motion. Love those skittery, sweeping lines!

  9. I was lucky to meet Moira in New England this past April, she is as charming as her artwork- how fun to see her shining here at 7imp!!! Here are a couple kicks from my house:
    1) kids had a super fun week at camp last week!
    2) I think I have a great idea for a new postcard!
    3) Going to see my sis and cute niece girls today!
    Best wishes!!!

  10. Yay!
    What a way to kick off my favorite month (the 7th).
    Thanks for all the kind words. You guys are the best.
    I like that the favorites are different.

    Jules, Nothing wrong with spreading the good word of Rufus or anyone else. I love to get musical suggestions.
    Tarie, I have been inspired by the Philippines for my recent series. http://atlanticmo.blogspot.com/
    Jess, My hair and I saw Brave and we loved it.
    Jone, Summer rain is the best.
    Molly, Keep on rockin’ the picture books. I am looking forward to new stuff.
    Steven, Cormorants are the kind of bird that reminds me of dinosaurs.
    Nina, I was so happy to spend time with you in N.E. Enjoy your family this week.

    OK Kicks

    1. JULES!!!
    Thanks so much for featuring me. It really means a lot to me.
    2. IMPS!!!
    You guys always remind me to be grateful which I am especially feeling today.
    2. Cape Cod Bay
    3. Having lots of family in town this week.
    4. The good kind of neighbors.
    5. Ice (or is it iced?) Coffee
    6. July
    7. JULES!!!

    Happy July everyone! Today will definitely include swimming and ice cream.

  11. My favorites are TWIRL and FADED, but I love all of them!

  12. Wow! Great stuff. Thanks everyone!

  13. Tarie, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU I AM GONNA BURST. I’m proud of you *and* proud to know you. What FUN you’ve had. And we’ve missed you!

    Jess, hi! Those Benny & Penny books are keepers. We love them around here, too, and they’ve made it to 7-Imp several times, too … Good luck with your curricular plans, and man oh man, your upcoming children’s lit classes sound great. Come back and let me live vicariously through you. … I’m glad you kicked. I agree it’s cathartic, and it makes me focus on the good stuff, even during bad weeks. And thanks for the blog compliments!

    Jone, safe travels to Idaho, and yes, send some rain. It’s not only hot; we’re having a bit of a drought. I love kick #2!

    Molly: KITTY! And what’s the picture book? Allowed to talk about it?

    Steven, thanks for the poem, and I hope to read more of your chapbook. Good luck with the deadlines, too. I love Moira’s lines, too. (For the record, everyone, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but it’s the one I opened the post with.)

    Nina: Do you mean a promotional postcard? Good luck.

    Moira: Aw. It was entirely my pleasure to have you visit. … Drink some coffee for me, though I never drink it iced, even in 110-degree weather. And I do really wish I could pop up there for swimming and ice cream.

    Hi, Eileen and Lori!

  14. Hey, Rufus Wainwright is (at least a little) Canadian.
    Grateful for 7 kicks.

  15. My vote: I am really taken by the very cool lighting of Stripes; that whole film noir Venetian-blind thing feels moody and intriguing. I also was pleased and surprised when I clicked on Separated and noticed the blurred figures outside the restaurant window; another original vision. Moira! Very nice.

    Jules – Thanks for today’s potpourri. Raschka’s profile by his wife was unique and so telling. Like your tidbit about your daughter’s swim triumph; I know that feeling of relief—painful/prideful–watching your child push through something that didn’t come easy. Congrats on meeting a bunch (!) of deadlines. Hat’s off.

    Tarie — #4 is so poetic. Jealous of #s 1 – 6. Congrats on the rest. Nice to have you back. KER-SPLAT (rotten egg ‘warning shot’ to remind you to stick around. Ha!)

    Jess — Do drop us some morsels from your kidlit courses. I’m with you on Brave.

    Jone – Summer rain, yes. I peeked at your book, loved ebb-tide line “over crochet foam” and waterlily description “teacup joy”. (!)

    Molly – hurrah for steady progress and new kitties.

    Steven – THX Your poem reminded me a favorite experience: watching cormorants swim/hunt under Glass Bottom Boat in Catalina; smart birds drawn to baited fish.

    Nina – Good luck with the new postcard.

    My kicks on July 1st (July first! How can that be? I protest; somehow I was shortchanged my June.)

    1. My pilot brother just flew right by my beach bluff, his plane pulling a sporting event banner down the coastline. He circled once and ‘waved’ his wings at me. : – )

    2. Going booth-to-booth with my older son at the local farmer’s market this morning. Oh, avocados, nectarines, amazing marmalade and green corn tamales.

    3. Critique group ‘summer field trip’ to french cafe. Somehow a criticism heard under a bright yellow umbrella with glass of wine goes down much easier. Ha!

    4. A paragraph my older son read to me (with a wink) from a book about peace and acceptance; it ended in a stanza by poet, Whittier (I’ll have to paraphrase this some) about truth seekers returning from far-off journeys to mystics or wisemen:

    Weary seekers of the best
    We come back laden from our quest,
    To find that all the sages said
    Was in the books our mothers read.

    Nice, hunh.

    5. A quote from the same son, after we saw Brave: “I liked it. I think most of the budget must have gone to Hair.” (Moira, his hair liked the film as well. ha-ha.)

    6. Finally! The 6th draft of stubborn chapter gave way to a version I’m happy with.

    7. BRAVE. It was lovely and rousing. I don’t get what the snippy folk (read: male critics) are saying about the story not being fresh or original BECAUSE this is the first film I’ve seen in forever where the Mother-Daughter story is front and center. Usually Disney kills off Mom in the opening scene. Or there is an evil stepmom. Or the Father-Daughter contention is the featured tension while mom stands to the side and says “Oh, dear” and “Oh, my.” I really LIKED that in this film the mother is demanding and stubborn and angry and comic and protective (in a really fierce and fearsome battle) and loving and eventually the mother-daughter reconciliation is the important thing. I mean, can anyone name a single animation film where that is true?

    So, I think the story gets freshness points for that important dynamic. ‘nough said.

    Enjoy this summer holiday week Kickers!

  16. Love these pieces! Really incredible bold line work. I think my favorites are Stripes (great lighting) and Swamp.

    and now i’ll try kickin’ it for the first time since i’m usually just a lurker…
    1) progress on my monsters picture book.. it’s nice when revisions seem better instead of just a downward spiral

    2) air conditioning. cuz i hear you on the 110 degree temps

    3) celebrating an early birthday with my hubs… great date night seeing Rock of Ages which is such silly fun for anyone born between 1965 and 1973.

    4) continued progress of the 3 year old with the potty…

    5) did i mention air conditioning? I think i need to mention that twice

    6) getting to see my kids with all their cousins for the long holiday weekend coming

    7) going down right now to eat steaks from the grill (in the continued Jim Dear birthday celebration) with my family;)

  17. Hi IMPS!
    incredible stuff all around. Plus I’m in Cleveland at my in-laws so I get to post before midnight eastern time.

    Jules – thank you for posting these lovely images from MOIRA! I love them.

    Moira – your work is amazing! I can’t wait to see some books.

    My favorites are Swamp and Twirl (oh the joy in that face and dress!)

    Steven, this is yet another gorgeous poem. Being a New Englander and spending lots of time by the ocean – I could see every nuance. What ever comes after October for getting this book out and into our hands can’t happen fast enough for me. Thank you!

    And, Denise – what paraphrase from Whittier! Wonderful!

    Everyone else’s kicks and news is so inspiring. I appreciate how everyone shares.

    My kicks:
    1. my mother-in-law’s homemade apricot pie last night (even if it was 95 degrees in the shade at 7pm)

    2. watching my little play with his grandmother and aunt.

    3. walking up 133 steps with my 87 year old mother-in-law to get a better view of a river in the valley below

    4. finally digging into a book I’m supposed to be reviewing

    5. reading my little some chapters from ‘My Father’s Dragon’ while he was in the bath tonight – his first chapter book. I THINK he was paying attention in between underwater dives!

    6. the end of a really good course on editing. Just about to take my final exam!

    7. gratitude for a wonderful family of in-laws. I don’t see them often enough.

    Have a great week everybody. May cooler weather come to those who are sweltering!

  18. Hi Jules and Imps,
    I’m back to say I just read the profiles of Jack Gantos and Chris Raschka at Horn Book that you’d linked to, Jules. They are both absolutely great, one tender and one hilarious!
    thanks, thanks.

  19. Thank you Jules for featuring Moira’s beautiful work! Her illustrations are so expressive! I like “Separated” and the series “Heights”, “Hitched”, “Faded”.
    Moira, your blog Bristol Bored is great! I have many favorites there too! They are refreshing!

  20. Hi, Andrea! Indeed, Rufus is.

    Denise, I love kick #4 so very much. I cheer that. … As for Brave, didn’t they TRY way too hard and way too clumsily to make Tangled about something similar? I dunno. I blocked most of it from my memory. Or perhaps it was just unmemorable. Who knows. Anyway, yes, not only was I left speechless at the mother-daughter plot line, but I’d also had NO IDEA the movie would be about that! … Oh, and congrats on kick six, and I wish I could join you all at the cafe. (Ooops, just invited myself over, but I’m across the country anyway.)

    Hi, Mary! We still need to get together one day. Maybe when it COOLS DOWN. Thanks for kicking; congrats on your picture book progress; and happy birthday to your husband.

    Allison: Enjoy your stay with the in-laws. LOVE My Father’s Dragon. Hope your son continues to enjoy it. Good luck on your final, and here’s hoping you get cooler weather, too.

    Hi, Marcela!

  21. Jules — I didn’t catch Tangled; the trailer didn’t feel promising enough to me. (sometimes ya just know, eh.)

    You are invited to cafe with me anytime you find yourself Pacific-side. And if I’m ever in your neck of the woods, I’ll likewise invite myself over. Deal? : – )

  22. Moira, it is so exciting to see your work here! And what lovely work it is… your limited palette is a fantastic complement to your expressive, loose line-work. You characters are really going places, and I want to see more more more! Bravo.

    Jules- you had me at Rufus Wainwright! swoon 🙂

    1. Moira on 7 Imp!

    2. Rufus!

    3. Going 30 miles on my new bike this weekend in the blazing heat

    4. Actually sticking to newly established, once-a-week critique group with illustration friend

    5. Went back to my figure drawing group last Wednesday after a month’s hiatus

    6. A/C unit works!

    7. Ice cream weather 🙂

    Here’s to a productive week everyone!

  23. Hi Moira! I really like all of your work, but most especially faded, Twirl and Stripes.

    Hi Jules – love the image of your girls cracking up when they alter the lyrics – you clearly have very cool kids.

    Hi everybody, I am late but love reading everyone’s kicks, its always a great way to start the week with everyone’s nuggets of happiness.

    My quick kicks:
    1) Wine tasting Saturday with friends at Allium Bistro. Yum and double yum!
    2) Finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – scary sociopath = fun beach/summer reading.
    3) Feral kittens next door letting me get closer every day, one even ran over my foot while chasing the reed I was whisking around.
    4) Neighbors have agreed to help me trap the ferals so we can get them spayed & neutered.
    5) Lunch with a friend & her teenage son for my birthday last week – they are very fun.
    6) “A miracle is something that seems impossible, but happens anyway.” My favorite wisdom from Men In Black 3.
    7) An intense soccer game yesterday – I wound up airborne twice, but can still walk, so yeah, that’s a good thing.

    Sending thoughts for little miracles for everyone this week! Have a great week!

  24. Denise, I get that. I do. And, yes, you’re TOTALLY invited over. Always!

    Jen, high-five to a fellow Rufus fan. (AND a fist bump. WITH an explosion at the end.) 30 miles in the blazing heat? That’s kind of amazing. Kudos to you.

    Rachel, kitties! And if you end up airborne in your soccer game, that’s a good thing. That means you’re playing hard and well. Have a great week, Rachel!

  25. Moira! I still think highly of Faded. I love Silent, too.

    Hi, Imps. I was offline last weekend. Hope y’all had a lovely holiday!

  26. […] exciting when I get to meet one of you kickers in person. It’s Moira Swiatkowski, featured here last July, and she met us all the way out from Cape […]

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.