Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 30, 2016

Take A Look Sunday – Nicole Stremlow Monahan



T2 Children’s Illustrators is a diverse group of dedicated, timely, and enthusiastic illustrators and writers from across the United States and several countries abroad. Our focus is on children’s picture book and juvenile educational publishing. But our expertise does not stop there. T2 Illustrators have collaborated on advertising campaigns, editorial features, toys, games, gifts, children’s apps, and e-books. We’re a well-versed group ready to meet your needs.

Nicole and Jeremy Tugeau are the agent/owners behind the T2 Team. They are ecstatic about their ever-growing agency, and they are committed to working hard for the network of illustrators who surround them. Nicole heads up the agency on a day-to-day basis.

What she enjoys most about being an Agent is the partnership-making, the relationships and of course the success stories. Jeremy is a long-time children’s illustrator, and he continues to work as an artist in this field while maintaining some involvement with T2 Illustrators as a creative resource and promotional guru.


Nicole has put forth three daring pictures in watercolor. I have to say, I was inspiring reading Nicole’s bio alone!  Her parents had a bookstore and a workshop. That’s incredible!  I love that Nicole infuses her love of nature and animals into the paintings.  They really are beautiful.


In the first picture, the fly is getting an aerial view of the park and playground.  And bird is seen zooming closer at right.  I love the vantage point, but we seem to get a much wider view of the edge of the earth the way the green/terra firma rounds in a sphere-like shape behind the fly.  It’s unrealistic from a fly’s height. Something to me mindful of, maybe Nicole could be sure to make the texture of treetops visible so we know we’re looking down into the trees surrounding the park as detailed in the second piece.


The sequence continues in the second painting with quite a change of perspective!  I love how bird suddenly dwarfs the fly.  And the one escape route for fly appears. A pipe!  So we’re closer to the ground. Maybe even near that playground we caught a glimpse of in the first picture.  The action is wonderful – bird’s beak is agape!  And the textures are rich here. Fly feels a little more animated than he was in scene 1. For consistency’s sake you’ll want to review how in scene 1 he is rather realistic and in scene two the fright has changed his eyes and demeanor – as it would for anyone!  But it’s important to keep animals in either their natural state or personified consistently.


The third picture is so interesting, another play on perspective with bird’s eye just above the pipe searching for fly.  I do wonder how he’s perched there.  Or if he’s able to hover or grasp on there. No matter, it’s a powerful image. What’s next?

Nicole has presented a lovely sequence. I think they might be heightened by more drama in the sky or more details on the ground below. It’s wonderful to see animals in nature take on narrative roles, but Nicole has to decide how to handle the communication and the expressions.

Well done, Nicole.  Keep working this out!

Very best, Nicole T.



Thank you Nicole for sharing your thoughts and expertise with us. I look forward to next Sunday.

Here’s Nicole’s bio:

After many years as an Architect and then directing a Seattle Art Gallery, Nicole decided to focus on her passion for illustrating children’s books and teaching art. 

For Nicole, this lifelong journey with art began in childhood, where she spent countless hours pouring over children’s books in her mother’s book store. From painting a mural on the wall of her childhood home, to building in her father’s workshop, Nicole’s parents fostered her love of creativity and today, Nicole enjoys helping others find their inspiration and artistic nature.

In her personal time, Nicole enjoys the active outdoor lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest with the company of her husband, 3 sweet kids, and the wide variety of pets they love, including 2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 lizards, 1 turtle, 2 goats, 3 chickens, fish, and a beloved duck who wags her tail when she meets someone new. Every one of them provide a lot of inspiration and models for Illustrations.

You can also visit her site at:


If you do not have an agent and would like to be featured and hear what is working or how it could be tweaked to help you sell your work, then please send Two or Three SEQUENTIAL illustrations (Two/three with the SAME “story/characters‎”) to:

Kathy.temean (at) Illustrations should be at least 500 pixels wide and your name should be in the .jpg title. Please put ILLUSTRATOR PORTFOLIO in the subject area and include a blurb about yourself that I can use to introduce you to everyone.

Each Sunday one illustrator will be featured.

Talk tomorrow,


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