New Books by Melissa Iwai

Pizza Day, written and illustrated by Melissa Iwai, will be released October 31 by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt. Soup Day, also by Melissa, will be released as a board book companion book at the same time. Both books celebrate the joy of cooking for kids and adults alike! 

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Hive notes – Late Summer edition



Hi there!

Well it's already September and Summer 2017 has moved right along. All of us here at the Hive have been busy this Summer- taking classes, working on freelance, some even being involved with Surtex and Blueprint.

It’s good to be busy and we are grateful but it nice to have some down time- that’s when we get a chance to take a breather and do personal work – it feeds our portfolios and our creative spirits!

Art is such a personal thing – and we artists are like sponges- we soak up everything we see and hear. It’s like a recipe- a little bit of this and a touch of that and soon, an idea is born and you can’t wait to get it down on paper or a digital canvas! It all starts with a spark, a germ of an idea, but where to find it…….

So, we posed the question: Where do you find your inspiration?


Terri said she finds her inspiration in Podcasts, Random everyday things, and Fine Art.


Melissa gets her next great ideas from the Cinema, people watching in her neighborhood and going to museums.



Jan looks to Folklore, Vintage Textiles and Local Flora and Fauna to get her creative juices flowing.



Casey finds her muse in her garden, walks around the city people watching and other artists.



Diane dives in by people watching, looking at all forms of art and being in nature.


And Lynn loves to check out Kids and Art books, vintage Disney animations and all kinds of flowers to inspire her next piece.




Inspiration is everywhere-from the local coffee shop to the local Gift shop, from the beach to the mountains- everywhere you look, something is waiting there for you, waiting to INSPIRE your next creation- all you have to do is to look intentionally around and get those juices flowing -Where will you find yours? 

Site Launch!

We, here at the Art Hive, are proud to launch our site at last! I'm Melissa, and I'm so pleased to introduce each of the members of our collective to you -- in our very first blog post! We've been working together like busy bees for several months, figuring out how and preparing to present ourselves and our work to the world as a group. 

Originally, we "met" in Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells courses a couple of years ago. Though we are spread across the continental United States and haven't all met in person, I feel I know these ladies via the years of internet communication we've taken part in! 

Art Hive 2017

I was thrilled to be invited to the group by Jan Gerardi and Diane Neukirch, who initiated the collective's inception last year. Using Skype and Facebook, and good old email, the six of us have been discussing our goals and plans for the future, as well as dividing up tasks for getting ourselves up and running. 

We decided on the name, Art Hive Collective, and logo ideas as a group. Jan, a consummate designer, crystalized those ideas into the final bee logo which represents our collective. Casey designed the banner header; Diane gathered all the elements and put the site together; Terry managed the domain name and Squarespace and Mail Chimp account set up; Lynn wrote the questionnaire questions, and I wrote the first blog post that you are reading and set up our social media accounts. 

Each month we will be sending out a newsletter about our group projects, giveaways, individual processes, and works in progress. Please sign up to receive updates.

And please follow us on Instagram and Twitter to keep in touch on a daily basis!

Below is a little snippet of what each of our members are about professionally and personally. Take a peek!


Lynn Gaines

 Lynn Gaines is an artist who loves all things cute!

She is a designer for a greeting card company by day and an illustrator-for-fun , toymaker and avid reader at night. Her work is inspired by vintage kids books, nature and frankly anything colorful. She loves to illustrate digitally and traditionally, draw, sew, craft, plays with illustrated lettering  and specializes in kid oriented product and art with a storybook feel, although she does dabble in all subject matters.

Lynn lives in Ohio with her husband Mel, her mom, and 2 fur-kids.

 Lynn Gaines 2017

Lynn Gaines 2017

What's your favorite trend right now? Chickens!

What art stuff do you use? Ink, Schmincke Watercolors and Photoshop

What blogs do you stalk? Print and Pattern, Love Print Studio

What was your craziest project? Designing a repeat wallpaper, 30" x 40" in goauche 

Describe the style of your home or studio - Early College Dorm

Jan Gerardi

Jan Gerardi is an illustrator and designer based in New Jersey. She has art directed, designed and illustrated many books for children and is the author/illustrator of the Teenie Greenies series of board books. Jan also creates illustrations and lettering for packaging, giftware and textiles. 

Clients include: Penguin Random House, Time Life Inc., Carolrhoda Books, and Sky Pony Press.

 Jan Gerardi 2017

Jan Gerardi 2017

What blogs do you stalk? Design Sponge

What do you do in your down time? Ride and show my horse, read

Favorite fictional character? Lucy Ricardo

How do you create - digitally, traditionally, or both? Both - I like creating traditionally, but love the flexibility of digit

What's your dream project? Illustrating a line of packaging designed for the gift market.

Melissa Iwai

Melissa Iwai is the children’s book author and illustrator of Soup Day. She has also illustrated numerous picture books, including Let’s Go to the Hardware StoreTruck Stop, a 2014 Bank Street Library Best Book, Hush Little MonsterB is for Bulldozer, as well as many others. All of her books may be viewed at:

 Melissa Iwai 2017

Melissa Iwai 2017

What art stuff do you use? ink, watercolor, Photoshop, Illustrator

Favorite binge food? Popcorn!

Favorite fictional character? Arya Stark

Dress or jeans? Jeans for sure!

What do you do during your down time? Spending time with my family, crossword puzzles, ken ken, and cooking.

Terri Fry Kasuba

Terri Fry Kasuba creates cute, clever and somewhat twisted illustrations for projects in advertising, publishing, product and surface design, as well as galleries. She enjoys working for a variety of clients including Hallmark, Urban Outfitters, Andrews McMeel, ishares , and Portland General Electric.

 Terri Fry Kasuba 2017

Terri Fry Kasuba 2017

What's your favorite trend right now? Girl Power

What art stuff do you use? Golden High Flow acrylics

Your favorite song or kind of music? Modest Mouse is currently my favorite

What's your dream project? Creating a whole line of gift products and a children's book

Casey Krimmel

Casey Krimmel is an illustrator and designer with a love for watercolor and ink pens. After graduating with a BFA in Visual Communications from Washington University in St. Louis, she returned to her native Oregon and worked for a number of years in web design before branching out into surface pattern design and art licensing. Her work has been described as elegant yet loose and she is inspired by nature, people watching, walks in her neighborhood, and funny stories. When she is not designing you can find her at dance or yoga class, checking out the Portland food scene, or buying too many plants for her garden. 

 Casey Krimmel 2017

Casey Krimmel 2017

What art stuff do you use? Pencils, black copic pens, random assortment of watercolors and inks

Favorite binge food? Chocolate covered peanut butter malt balls from the bulk food section.

Your favorite song or kind of music? Depends on my mood but I'm usually listening to NPR or an ever growing list of podcasts.

What do you do in your down time? Taking Ballet and modern dance classes, reading, buying too many plants for my garden.

What was your craziest project? Designing a website for an RV waste tank dumping system early in my design career.

Diane Neukirch

Diane Neukirch is an illustrator based in Madison, WI. She has taught both Fine Art and Computer Arts classes for over 20 years and her freelance experience has covered a broad range of clients in and around the Midwest.

Diane discovered a love for drawing at a very early age and has been obsessed with digital art ever since going back to school to learn computer graphics over 10 years ago. For her work, she draws inspiration from the everyday, nature, textured surfaces and quirky stories. When she is not gazing into her computer monitor, you will most likely find her on the tennis court ready to poach at the net.

 Diane Neukirch 2017

Diane Neukirch 2017

What art stuff do you use?  I mostly work digitally and need a daily dose of Photoshop to feed my addiction.

What blogs do you stalk?  The Jealous Curator, Illustration Age, Print and Pattern

Favorite fictional character? Rick Grimes from the Walking Dead

What's your dream project? Illustrating a children's book.

Describe the style of your home or studio? Modern Rustic.