Tag Archives: children’s illustration

What Do I Do?

Finally I can give a bit of clarity on what it is I actually do these days as a concept artist. The company I work for is represented in the general scope as part of News Corp‘s new media K-12 education division called, Amplify.

Amplify has recently launched its new website, and if you fish around, you can find great videos that highlight the key aims of the company, and if you REALLY dig deep, you’ll be able to find yours truly! As I said before, I get to work on a variety of conceptual as well as production art for tablet-based games. It’s pretty awesome to have been included, and since the videos are already made public, I can just pinpoint the shots that are relevant to me. =)

Here is the full video, you can find my work starting at 2:23 :

– Tory
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Whimsy Inspired Prints

Hope you are having a wonderful summer! July was a great birthday month for me, filled with many unexpected adventures and beautiful spoils. I’ve been taking advantage of the heat and lax days by spending some weekends at the beach. So my beach totes have been playing a crucial role this summer as my go-to bags for any light travel. They’ve been perfect for carrying that extra weight that doesn’t quite fit in a purse – a lady’s ongoing struggle!

I thought I would share some of the artwork I’m using for the fabric on the bags, since it’s crisper and cleaner to admire in this format. The bags are beautiful in their own right. They are made of voile, so light travels through them freely, making them feel air-light but sturdy enough not to disappoint and hold up. I plan to add a few more prints soon, featuring more urban-themes. There are so many projects on my plate right now that it’s hard to keep track. Keep an eye out for more updates!

Special shout-out to Stasia from The Stray Arrow, for modelling for me! Check out her amazing jewelry. It continues to be the subject of my dreams.

The Polar Bear Print

Night Owl Print

Woodland Fox Print

Mushroom Fairy Print

The Sea Voyage Print

– Tory
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Happy New Year!

2012 will be the Year of the Dragon (officially as part of the Chinese Zodiac). The most important thing to remember is that the Dragon loves splendor and grandeur so be sure to wear, bright vibrant colors. On New Year’s Eve you should look extravagant and glow with positivity. It will be the year of the water dragon specifically, so sea creatures and dragon figurines are a plus to have around.

“The dragon gives happiness and success to all good and honest people, especially those who have great talent.” — Chinese New Year Reference

Yes, superstition is silly but as are a lot of mainstream beliefs. So even if it’s just for fun, think of the mighty dragon when welcoming in this new year. It will be significant for me since I was born in the year of the dragon. =)

Goodbye Rabbit, y0u certainly won’t be missed.
Wishing us all lots of luck, health, happiness, and fortune!

– Tory
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Musical Inspiration

This chilly weather makes me reach out for specific comforts, like soup, tea, warm scarves, and music – particularly childhood songs. While reminiscing to some charmingly giddy melodies, I’ve also illustrated some inspired scenes for fun. Here are 2 song-inspired works. Their respective songs are listed below each piece, warning, they’re in Russian hah! Each tune comes from a specific cartoon [from the late Soviet era], but I was focusing more on the lyrics, which led to slightly different scenarios when taken out of context.

Song About a Grasshopper

The breakdown of the song is basically about this grasshopper chilling in the grass, being friendly with all the little bugs, when lo and behold, a frog comes by and eats him. Yes.  Seems like a bit of a downer, but the song is oh so fun to sing!

Song About Africa and Big Adventures

Fun fact: this is actually sung by Little Red Riding Hood about adventures in Africa, like crossing wide rivers and tall mountains while meeting various kinds of animals like hippos, alligators, monkeys, [specifically] sperm whales, and parrots. But like I said, I was listening to these songs out of context.

Clearly I am a kid at heart (and sure have a voice to match). Hope everyone is enjoying some kind of favorite songs this holiday season and are keeping cheerful in the utmost brisk winter moments.

– Tory

The Fox, The Owl, and the Polar Bear

Deck the Halls with Handmade Items!
(Support local artisans; buy “Handmade” this holiday season!)

This holiday season is just as busy as any other (what economic crisis?) with so many presents and holiday greetings to create! My list just keep getting longer. In-between all of that, it’s tough to squeeze out any creativity, but thankfully I’ve been concocting creations for a while and can finally post s0me here. And I have to apologize, it seems like the time between my updates is exponentially growing.

I’m itching for big fluffy flakes to reappear in the sky. Last winter the snow seemed endless and now in December it feels completely out of reach in NYC. It’s cold but alas, no snow! In-between shivers I’ve been working on some fabric designs. They’ve evolved into a small set of sweet fleece scarves (and may turn into more creations later).

The Forest Fox

The Night Owl

The Arctic Bear

I’m in love with each color palette and its respective animal:

Fox ~ Always bonkers for foxes (my first childhood love) but the print truly gives the animal a just habitat to play in – beautiful rusty oranges and red melding together with olive branches and leaves. The black painterly strokes also keep each creature looking wild and perhaps even wise from certain angles.

Owl ~ The owls are incredibly pleasant to wear because the colors are harmonious with denim and dark clothing (typical trend for winter) so they can be worn in a wrapped cowl or mini knot under any color coat with jeans. The fleece fabric is very friendly and warm so it is perfect for handmade scarves.

Bear ~ And frankly, who doesn’t love polar bears? The spot with the sleeping mother and cub bear warms my frigid heart. The geometric ice crystals are a nice contrast to the natural shapes of the animals. This scarf’s colors are muted grey teals. It’s actually very refreshingly beautiful and not too overtly “girly.”

Each scarf is sold in my Etsy shop, along with a variety of other cute handmade jewelry. Check it out!

– Tory


Inspired by a youtube video I saw recently, I took some time to relax today and draw a little porcupine. My schedule has gotten busier ever since starting TNC so it was nice to just do a cute illustration on the side. If you’ve never seen a porcupine, you ought to start with the video I’m talking about to truly appreciate my affinity for this rather large and rambunctious creature.

— Tory

Featured on Kathy Temean’s Blog!

Wow – Kathy Temean did a great job with presenting me on her BLOG (http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/illustrator-saturday-tory-novikova/).  She’s the Regional Advisor in New Jersey for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book Writers and Illustrators). I met her during one of the networking dinners held in NYC for the NJ chapter – which was a great experience for meeting people in a private setting.

I personally preferred it to the SCBWI Winter Conference because it enabled a more private conversation between the participants and editors/agents to actually interact without being afraid of encroaching on someone’s time. It’s something you have to pay to attend, much like most functions held for illustrators these days (*grumble*) but still worth the money. I encourage everyone interested in Children’s illustration/writing to participate in one of these dinners.