Tag Archives: scbwi

Tuke the Specialist Turtle

Tuke! by Tory Novikova

Back in August 2012 I was approached by Chowder Inc. to collaborate on an awesome children’s book project for CCMI, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute in the Cayman Islands. They hoped to teach students across the islands about the importance of marine biologists and how their work is crucial to the survival and upkeep of the diversity in the surrounding waters.

And so, Tuke the Specialist Turtle was born. The book depicts Tuke’s coming of age from puny to self confident, and with the help of some friendly marine biologists he learns of his own importance to maintain the habitat of the reef.

Below you can check out some scenes from the 60+ page book – I don’t want to give away all just yet. Hopefully, come Earth day in April 2013, the book will be published and all will be revealed for the world to see.


Tuke! by Tory NovikovaTuke! by Tory NovikovaTuke! by Tory NovikovaTuke! by Tory NovikovaTuke! by Tory NovikovaTuke! by Tory NovikovaTuke! by Tory Novikova

– Tory
Follow on Facebook! Follow @torynova on Twitter! Follow @torynova on Instagram!


Back from the Dead

Jeepers, my last post was at the end of February.

It’s been a full 2.5 months now since I started as a full-time concept artist for an educational software company in DUMBO, Brooklyn. So for the past 20 weeks I’ve been working in their games division, assisting in the overall visual design experience of the multitude of games that will be included in their amazing new product that will REVOLUTIONIZE EDUCATION! This is such new territory for me, and it’s really exciting to be able to work with big-name game vendors on production art as well as coordinating the conceptual development (art direction) for games.

So, forgive me if my blog posts lag. I will strive to stay on track.

Also, I would like to mention that I am a supporter of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and ordinarily I focus on the benefits the organization can bring to illustrators but recently I did a little design for a kidlit author, Tara Lazar, whom I met at SCBWI. She is raising funds for an organization called RIF (Reading is Fundamental). They promote literacy in the US. So check out the design, and if you’re into the idea of helping a worthy cause, click on the graphic below and help yourself to a t-shirt or tote.

– Tory
Follow on Facebook! Follow @torynova on Twitter! Follow @torynova on Instagram!

Exciting Things! (Pt 2.)

So this weekend was the SCBWI NJ Summer Conference. Wow. If you think that’s a mouthful, then you’ve got an inkling of the frenzy at the conference. It was a 3 day event for me:

  • Friday was an Illustrator’s intensive with illustrator curator Leeza Hernandez and Martha Rago (Creative Director at Harper Collins) or Patti Ann Harris (Senior Art Director  at Little Brown). This was my piece for the intensive where we had to select a passage from one of two manuscripts to interpret it in a spread:

  • Saturday was the most active! It included guest speakers, agent panels, illustrator/author panels, workshops, portfolio reviews, and agent pitches. Thank goodness there was breakfast, lunch, and dinner, otherwise I don’t know how we would have had any energy to stay active in the freezing vicinity of the Wyndham Princeton Hotel.
  • Sunday was only half a day, which included guest speakers, panels, and the wrap-up for pitches and reviews. It was also the day for #winning! Congrats to the Art Show winners and to the raffle winners (mental note, next time buy 20+ tickets to get all of the prizes.)

Every instance of the conference was valuable for any illustrator or author interested in the children’s book market. For me, a few guest speakers were definite rock stars like Grace Lin and Holly McGhee (who brought tears to the eyes of a few hundred people).

To give credit where credit is due, I think Kathy Temean and Laurie Wallmark did one hell of a job with organizing. As someone who has been to the humongous winter NYC conference – this event really was a treat! Of course, I was also driving back and forth between Bergen County and Princeton for 3 days (pain in the arse) but it was still worth it!

I want to showcase a few new pieces from my portfolio:

Red Riding Hood

The Little Mermaid

Hansel and Gretyl

Here is also some artwork from Torynova Couture. Three of the prints will be on display/sold at the Digital Print Exhibit in the D&D Building in NYC for 2 years. More info on tomorrow night’s reception for that event is in my previous post.

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake

Georges Bizet Carmen

William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

Now remember folks, all of these images are indeed copyrighted with the government copyright office so please be courteous and don’t take them without my permission. (That means you Chinese hackers! lol jk….)

– Tory
TNC on Facebook
TNC on Twitter

Exciting Things! (Pt. 1)

This past Friday night was the reception for the Society of Illustrators “Pulp Art: Robert Lesser Collection” show in NYC. I hope you all went! The gallery looks exceptional, filled with imagery of comics, violence, sex, and crime. Expect busty women, dark hansom mystery men, and a whole lot of action!

Coincidentally, Friday was also the first day Torynova Couture was inducted into the Society! Our silk scarves are available for purchase in the Society Shop. We even have a display up upon entrance into the gallery – look for a busty mannequin dressed in our Carmen dress (illustrations based on Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen). The dress is not for sale there, and fits perfectly into the running Pulp art theme throughout the gallery.

Here are some photos of Torynova Couture‘s presence at the Society of Illustrators. I won’t disclose any images from their gallery, it’s up to you to go check them out! It’ll be worth it.

Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to a big opening this Tuesday, Jan 7th, at the D&D Building (Design and Decoration Building for Interior Design) in NYC for the Digital Print Exhibition.

It’s an event sponsored and curated by Pratt Institute, featuring digital prints by some of the alumni from the institute. The exhibition will last for 2 years. Each of the artworks on display will be for sale as archival to-size prints. 3 of my prints for Torynova Couture will be in the gallery, including Annabel Lee, Carmen, and Swan Lake.

It should be a very exciting show! Pratt has been bombarding my inbox with reminders about it, so I expect a ton of people to show. The exhibit is free, it’s from 6-8pm. The invitation is below, but you can find out more info here. I’ll be there tomorrow, probably in something very illustrated =). Hope you will be there too!

— Tory
TNC on Facebook
TNC on Twitter


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

Illustrator’s Day!

This past weekend I was at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Princeton with the SCBWI’s NJ Chapter. It was a small event by comparison to the annual SCBWI Winter and Summer conferences but it was pretty informative for both writers and illustrators interested in children’s books. Saturday was the Mentoring Picturebook workshop (with Leeza Hernandez) and Sunday was Illustrator’s Day (for writers it was Writer’s Day).

Saturday’s workshop was fun – it was my first time meeting Leeza! She really tried to cover all the basics of what the creative process is like for children’s books by offering her own experiences as examples to connect with. As wonderful as Leeza was in explaining the craft, Sunday was even more informative because it specifically targeted helping illustrators.

After signing up for this weekend with Kathy Temean (and paying the fee to attend), each attendee was emailed a “homework assignment” to work on for the mini conference. The homework was basically a manuscript provided by an art director that each attendee had to inspect, choose a scene, and interpret into a two-page spread that would be brought in and discussed on Sunday. The title was “Halloween Dude” =) very cute. So Sunday, we were divided into groups with the two art directors, in which we discussed each person’s work one by one.

This is my spread (sketch and final) – I think it came out looking pretty good! (and the art director seemed to agree):

Afterward we had a one-on-one portfolio review with the art directors and a final closing ceremony where we got prizes (yay!) from the coordinators.

Last year, I had gone to the Winter conference where there were like… 1000… attendees that all wanted to network and suck each other’s blood. This event was much calmer and intimate, allowing for a kind atmosphere where each person was given a fair chance of getting their questions answered and their work reviewed. I definitely recommend going to one of these smaller gatherings if you’re interested.

– 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.