The holiday card I'm currently working on requires a small house. Above, the front of the house (center) and assorted wall and roof pieces (to the upper left) as they appeared last night. Below, the current model with my hand for scale. The porch is still in-progress; I don't want to add it until the glue dries on the rest of the model. The windows are covered with wax paper so that they'll glow when a small light is placed inside.
When I was in elementary school, my dad put an addition on our house. He made a scale model of the existing house before he started working on the drawings, and it always amazed me to see our house in miniature. I've always loved architectural models. While I can read blueprints, there's something fascinating about a physical rendition. For one house project my dad even made a model with removable parts so that the client could see exactly how the proposed plans would change the existing house. Few architects still make models by hand, but it's incredible when they do. My model is not to scale (honestly, I haven't the patience) but it is based on the actual house of the family whose holiday card I'm making.
I'm currently working on a Christmas card for a friend. Above, heads in-progress (Super Sculpy) and below, painted with embroider thread hair. The curls were made by wrapping the embroidery thread around paintbrush handles, dampening it, and letting it sit overnight.
Marika McCoola is an author, illustrator, and educator. She studied illustration, art history, creative writing, and ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and received her BFA in Illustration in 2009. Marika then went on to study creative writing and children's literature at Simmons College, receiving an MFA in Writing for Children in 2012.
In addition to writing and illustrating, Marika teaches Studio Art and Illustration online for the State University of New York, Empire State College, and works as an indie bookseller. When not in danger of being squashed by books, Marika may be found skiing or contra dancing.