7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #380: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator Elizabeth Lilly

h1 May 4th, 2014 by jules

An illustration of Nikki Giovanni’s poem, “Migrations”
Bicycles: Love Poems)


It’s Sunday! It’s Spring! Hurrah!

It’s also the first Sunday of the month, so today I welcome a student illustrator. Her name is Elizabeth Lilly, and she’s here to tell us all about her work, as well as share some of her art.

So, without further ado …

* * *

Elizabeth: When I was a kid, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I mostly just loved reading, so when I was eight I decided to be a librarian. How great would it be to be surrounded by books every day?

In high school, I was drawing rabbits and animating dancing grapes while my friends were all applying to Ivy League schools, with promising lawyer/doctor-type futures ahead. I applied to be an architect, went to a prestigious architecture program, and was miserable.

Abuelita Gallina (Grandma Chicken)

After two years of crying over elevation drawings and chipboard staircases, I left and transferred to MICA [Maryland Institute College of Art] as an animation major and finally settled in the General Fine Arts department.

Starting over in Baltimore was lonely, but soon I started to feel at home, as I wrote my own stories and made images to go with them. Crumbled brick buildings, rats in the train stations, geese that waddled between gravestones — everything in my new city seemed to swim with stories.

This year, my last year in school, I took my first illustration class, a book illustration class taught by the fantastic Shadra Strickland, and everything made perfect sense. I loved the thrill of telling a story with images, of composing pages, of making words and lines and colors all work together.

Nicaragua Bus
(Click to enlarge)

Now I’m working on a new story about Geraldine Giraffe, who has a hard time fitting in (literally) when her family moves from a giraffe town to a human one. I’m excited to show it to publishers this summer, and I’m working with a friend to make an animated version of the story as well.

Character work
(Click to enlarge)


Thank you, Jules, for featuring my work!

* * *

Be sure to explore Elizabeth’s website, if you’re so inclined. Some of her narrative illustrations have a definite Thacher Hurd vibe. Best of luck to her in her career!

All artwork is used by permission of Elizabeth Lilly.

* * * * * * *

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) The Tennessee Renaissance Festival — jousting, lutes, pirates, pixies, and people generally (and gloriously) letting their freak flags fly.

2) The We Need Diverse Books campaign, which launched this past week. One of the best photos/statements I saw is here at author-illustrator Grace Lin’s blog.

3) I presented at the 2014 Tennessee Library Association conference on Friday, which went well, and I got to have breakfast with a dear friend, in town for the conference.

4) This trailer cracks me up, and I love my Jemaine Clement sightings:

5) Tiramisu.

6) Walks in the park.

7) I’m still enjoying The Goldfinch.

Congratulations to Peter Brown on the 2014 Bull-Bransom Award!

What are YOUR kicks this week?

17 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #380: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator Elizabeth Lilly”

  1. Hi Imps!

    Nice to meet you, Elizabeth Lilly. You have an awesome name. Thanks for sharing your art and your journey!

    Jules: Glad that your speaking engagement went well AND that you got to visit with a friend. Double bonus!

    As I type this, it’s midnight and I’m watching a new episode of Orphan Black. I don’t have TiVo or DVR or Hulu or whatnot, so if I don’t see a TV show live, I don’t see it. And I’m performing at the time when Orphan Black airs, so I’m very glad that the channel reruns the episodes at midnight, when I get home from the theatre!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Feisty
    2) Spunky
    3) Energy
    4) Relatable
    5) Patterns
    6) Seats
    7) Breathing

  2. I enjoyed the artwork today but want to know what happens to the giraffe!

    What a lovely mix of kicks, Jules, a ren fair, interesting work, dessert, book…what a bunch of kicks should be 🙂

    LW I thought you were posting early! Are the seats in kick 6 full of people at your theatre? I like how you start your list with energetic kicks and end with breathing which feels very calm.

    1. I am not sure I have been here since I was in the UK (illness has struck everyone in the family down at least once each since then, not great fun when combined with jetlag and baby crankiness over yet more timezone change). But we had a great time!
    2. Especially catching up with friends and talking as though it had only been a day since we left
    3. Cornwall was even more beautiful and interesting than I had imagined (I had only been there once for a day in the pouring rain with my friends when we were twenty, and nearly everyone had a cold, one of us so badly she had to stay in the car and sleep…so I don’t really count that visit).
    4. I was able to finally get the two days of daycare I need for the baby, and it was at a good place, and in enough time that he has been able to slowly work his way into it before I return to work in a week.
    5. I know I’m lucky to have a flexible workplace that’s letting me say how much I want to work, and how much at home vs in the office
    6. The first cold snap of autumn! We went from 20 min – 27 max the other day to 9 min and 20 max which is cooooold in our underheated houses. But it is fun having a change in weather, feeling cozy under the doona (duvet? Comforter?), and also babies are so snuggly in winter pjs.
    7. My sister dropped off a huge bag of lemons from her ridiculously prolific lemon tree, and I just pulled a lemon cake out of the oven. Smells yum!

  3. I can’t wait until Geraldine is in the world! I am madly in love with Elizabeth’s linework.

    Jules, What We Do in the Shadows…haaaaaaaaa! On my list.

    My kicks:
    1. Finishing my last week of teaching! Hoorah!!
    2. Being invited to Poets and Prose today to see picture book panel that includes Greg Christie!
    3. Finally buying patio furniture for spring.
    4. Having my favorite cover sketch approved in lieu of the one I thought my editor would choose.
    5. Yogurt with strawberries, bananas, and granola
    6. The supportive outpouring for the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign
    7. Finding out last night the “White Water” will be in film production this summer.

  4. Little Willow: “Seats.” I love it. Seats are good, though I realize there may be lots more meaning to your “seats.” Special reserved theater seats? … Sometimes your kicks are like story prompts, and I love it. (Also: What Emmaco Said About Your Kicks, too) … Orphan Black! I’m ready for the next episode.

    Emmaco: Lemon cake from your sister’s lemon tree. This may be my favorite kick EVER … So glad you had a good trip, and thank goodness everyone is feeling better. Did the beautiful wee babe get sick, too?

    Shadra, that trailer. I KNOW, RIGHT? So funny. … Do you mean your last week of teaching ever? I hope not. I hope you mean the semester. … White Water will be a film? I had no idea. Congrats! Enjoy the panel today.

  5. How fun are these illustrations, especially Geraldine. Good luck, Elizabeth Lilly.
    Jules, that’s so great about Peter Brown. I love his books. Tiramisu, yum.
    LW:feisty, spunk, and breathing great words.
    Emmaco: glad you had a good trip. Yay for lemon cake.
    Shadra, here’s to being finished with teaching.
    My kicks:
    1. Oregon Writing Festival: first time presenting to 4th/5th graders.
    2. A box of young reader series books arrive…Bink Na d Gollie, Dragonblood, and Chet Gecho are some of the books.
    3. Grand girl’s cat had kittens born.
    4. Sunshine.
    5. Walking at the Portland Farmer’s Market.
    6. Spring sunshine.
    7. Responses from the poetry postcard project recents.
    Have a great week.

  6. Jone, I love kick #1. Sounds like it went well. … I love my poetry postcards so much. They are always such a ray of sunshine in our mailboxes, those of us who get them.

  7. Hi, everyone!!!!!!!

  8. emmaco: Sending healthy vibes to your family! Glad that you had a good visit otherwise, and that you found a good daycare. Enjoy the cake! Yes, theatre seats. 🙂 Thanks for acknowledging the kick order and feelings.

    Shadra: Have fun at the panel. Yum, yum, yum to yogurt with strawberries, banana, and granola. Yum.

    A big YAY for the WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign taking off the way it is!

    Jules: Yes, theatre seats. I like full houses. Yesterday’s episode of Orphan Black could have been two episodes, with as much as they covered – I really was yearning for more depth and time in some of those scenes – but the last bit, YIKES!

    Jone: Yay for the grandkittens! How was th presentation?


  9. Hello, Kickers!

    Kickin’ fun artwork this morning. Thanks, Elizabeth Lilly! I think my favorite are the various giraffe illos — especially the ones where (she?) is draped over furniture, looking like a colorful shawl. Or some kind of grain-based spaghetti shot out of a cannon into the living room.

    (And people, you need to visit her Web site. Some great projects there, too!)

    Jules, I love visiting here and seeing all your grown-up professional activities… juxtaposed with stuff like that trailer. (“SO… MOTCH… FAHN!”)

    And Goldfinch, still. Le sigh. Still, I promise not to be heartbroken if you end up not finishing it.

    Hey, Miz Willow. Seats: what everyone else said. But also……… patterns. Mmmm. So allusive, your kicks every week!

    emmaco! Cornwall! Cold snaps! (You understand, I’ve got to whisper that last exclamation around here, lest I be locked away.)

    Good to see you, Shadra. I kept thinking to myself when I saw your name in Elizabeth’s writeup, “Hmm… where do I know that name?” (Hadn’t clicked on the link she provided, duh.) … and then of course the lightbulb went on. I’d missed your own Kicks Sunday here (a couple months before I first visited 7-Imp). But then, oh my, that image from Bird… Your complimenting Elizabeth’s linework is high praise!

    Hi, Jone — it did not escape notice that you bracketed the word “Portland” with TWO references to sunshine. 😉

    Why hello, Tarie, you ephemeral imp. Per what I know of your schedule, I’ll just thank you for setting aside time for the extra exclamation points!

    Kicks here:

    1. Derby Day yesterday…
    2. …even with the bloated hangover today!
    3. I get these automated email notices from NASA, alerting me to upcoming opportunities to see the ISS fly overhead. So far, I’ve been prevented by weather (and, shall we say, inertia) from actually experiencing this. But each little notification is like a mini-kick of anticipation.
    4. That moment when a long story suddenly demands chapterizing.
    5. Binge X-Files re-runs, on DVD.
    6. Binge John Denver re-listens.
    7. Mentioned this on FB a little while ago: found a Web site which evidently collects magical-seeming photographs of one kind or another. It’s all in French, which I can’t read, but I love the subtitle: “Là où l’asphalte et les certitudes finissent.” Per Google Translate, this equates to “Where asphalt and certainties end.” I don’t even care if that might be an awkward over-literal translation, I love that phrase so much.

    Have a great week, all!

  10. Very fun illustrations this week – love Geraldine! Thanks for sharing your work Elizabeth!

    Jules – what a fun and busy week! Can’t wait to hear what you think of The Goldfinch. (love that trailer!)

    LW – Love your kicks this week, especially the first 3!

    Emmaco – snuggly babies and lemon cake! Mmm, lemon cake.

    Shadra – hooray for your last week of teaching, and buying patio furniture is so fun in anticipation of enjoying it in warmer weather.

    Jone – wasn’t the weather this past week wonderful? Farmer’s Market, kittens and sunshine is a lovely week.

    John – Derby Day! Were there hats and mint juleps involved? I abstained in favor of home projects & watched at home with friends, but now have a Triple Crown bet in the works. Love your translation of the French, can you share the link to website?

    My kicks this week:
    1) Gardening in the warm sunshine.
    2) Cooking with dancing breaks in the kitchen.
    3) My poetry postcard! Jules is right, it is like getting sunshine in the mail.
    4) Reading The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden. Heading to New Orleans soon, and I always read a book set there to get me in the mood to go home.
    5) New curtains! A simple thing, but they make me so happy.
    6) Business lunch with a new friend.
    7) Giving presents that were well-received.
    7.5 ) The Blazers & Damien Lillard’s last second 3-pointer! Amazing!
    8.) The Timbers’ last second win!

    Have an amazing week everyone!

  11. Hi, Rachel – dare I ask about the Triple Crown bet???

    No hats, which I believe to be a good thing, but plenty of juleps. Also Hot Brown sandwiches to feed THAT Deadly Sin.

    Didn’t include the link in my original comment ’cause I already had a couple links and didn’t want to awaken the automated “he’s sp*mming again!” guardians. But the specific page I linked to on FB is this one. (The specific post/image is the one headed “Cathédrale végétale.”)

  12. JES: I see patterns everywhere. I like that phrase you shared. I’m going to go write it down. Which seasons of the X-Files are you watching? and/or: Favorite episodes?

    Rachel: Yay for postcards! I love snail mail. Enjoy the new curtains and the new friendships.

  13. John – Merci beaucoup for the link! It’s a big bet, still fine tuning the details, but should involve loser taking winner to a warmer locale. Not having a Triple Crown winner since 1978 it just seemed to merit higher stakes than usual.

  14. LW: working way through the X-Files, a season at a time. Now in Season 3 — quite possibly the greatest. (The one with a. “War of the Coprophages,” b. the B&W episode with John O’Hurley, and c. I *think* the one with the creepy interbred Southern Gothic family.)

    Rachel: that is a BIG bet. (You forgot the capital letters. :))

  15. Hi, Tarie!

    Little Willow: I *might* be watching some Orphan Black tonight!

    Ooh, John, that IS a great translation. Also, JOHN DENVER! Ever heard The Innocence Mission cover “Follow Me”?

    Oh, and of course, I’ll finish The Goldfinch. I do like it so far. I wish I had uninterrupted reading time.

    Rachel, what good kicks. Have a great trip to New Orleans — safe travels, too!

  16. Jules, one of the albums that Innocence Mission cover was released on looks like quite the quirky find! But no — I’d never, until now, heard that cover. Lovely… thank you!

  17. Here it is, John:

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