Saturday, December 31, 2011

Inspiration Avenue: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue-- and Happy New Year's Eve!

I have been very remiss in submitting to I.A. lately. Better time-management, planning, and making sure to get done everything I need to, and participate in everything I need to, are definite things on my mind because of the time of year, and the very day, that it is. So, I hope to be more regular and back on track in the future.

But-- to close off 2011 on an arty note, and to make it in before the deadline expires, here is my entry! You can see one clip of my submission above, and another one below, that's a bit more of a close-up. As yet, it is untitled. I found this challenge to be a great one, especially since it was cool to see an old adage adapted to artist-world, and not used as it was traditionally. The borrowed/blue/old/new sayings really do apply to art-making --!!

To make things a bit easier, I'll sort of bullet point what in this piece fits the various requirements of the challenge.

OLD: The paper this was drawn on (Arches Watercolor paper that I bought a year ago), as well as the fact it was done largely in pencil. Pencil was a technique I used a long time ago, and with getting back into it, I'm considering it as a return to an "old" medium.

NEW: The piece itself. I think I am going to extend it into a full illustration and possibly pin-up drawing, so because it is still in process and flux, it is new. Also, I just got a great deal on a set of pencils of various hardnesses, so I used all my new H's and B's for the drawing.

BORROWED: The idea of a girl, or mer-girl, being friends with a marine creature (a Narwhal here, and a Seagull in the original)-- and brushing her hair with a fork. I kind of want to title the finished piece "The Dinglehopper," for the many Disney and Ariel fans who will understand the joke, although I am afraid that might not be allowed? In any case, my borrowing was more conceptual, but borrowing nonetheless.

BLUE: Blue will probably be more used throughout the finished piece. However, for now, her eyes are a (very dark gray) blue. And also, her Narwhal friend has bright blue eyes, perhaps as blue as the ocean they play in.

I have loved participating on this blog very much. Looking at inspirational ideas, works from others, and getting kind comments on my blog gave me many smiles throughout these past three hundred and sixty-five days.

Here's to hoping that everyone is having a great close to this year, to prepare for an even grander opening for next.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Creative Tuesdays: Twelve Days of Christmas (Four Colly Birds)

First of all, lots of Holiday and Good Future Tidings to everyone!

I was late this week on Creative Tuesdays, but it turns it has been postponed another week! I am very grateful and excited to get to partake in it one final time for two-thousand-eleven (I felt like typing that out; and no, I am not sure why).

So, I am lucky, and still get to submit. Below is my piece:

The theme was to illustrate one of the days featured in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song, and so I chose Day Four.

Day Four is often misheard as "Four Calling Birds," but in actuality, it is "Four Colly Birds." Which means Blackbirds. And so, I have two Christmas Angel Characters, playing with Heavenly Colly Birds. Since they're a happy couple, I thought it would also fit with the part of the song that says, "My true love gave to me," etc.

I thought it would be fun to give them clouds and fluffy happy things to fly about in, particularly since (as I understand it, given the old nursery rhyme with the "four and twenty black birds" lyric) back when the song was first written, Colly Birds were often given as a food item for pie. I wanted to create a Christmas illustration where the Colly Birds had a chance to celebrate the holiday, especially since they have a whole verse of a song dedicated to them.

To submit (rush rush, you have until January third with the pushed back deadline!) for the Creative Tuesdays "Twelve Days of Christmas Challenge", please go to the most recent link at:

Full directions as to how to pick a song verse and properly illustrate it are here at:

In closing, I am really grateful to have stumbled upon Creative Tuesdays, because Mister Toast runs a great ship, which is co-captained by the many great artists who submit to the blog. There are always fascinating themes, multiple interpretations, inspiring art, and positive energy from everything I read and experience through this forum. Tuesdays are a day to look forward to (-:

So, thank you Mister Toast, thank you artists, and thank you everyone, and I hope you all enjoy the rest of the year <3

Friday, December 16, 2011

Illustration Friday: Sink. Also, an argument for dating girls who read (or better yet, write!)

The lovestruck boy below is rather afraid that he will "sink" under the weight of the books he is carrying.

Even though she dons a princess crown, in these many books she is reading, she is far more interested with being the knight in her own story than being locked away in a tower (either metaphorically or literally), hoping some boy will come by and save her. Doesn't stop the lovestruck guy from trying, though. He is a bit afraid of what her magical to-do list says at the moment. Luckily for him, she plans on switching (he can look at the list and help her check off activities), and carrying the books herself, now.

And while we're on the subject of girls and reading, I have copied and pasted a great blog, and what I find to be a great argument. Originally at:

A Girl You Should Date

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes. (Highlighting my own, because 'tis so true ^_^ )

– Rosemarie Urquico –

Score! That post totally made my day.

To close this entry, here are some links:

Illustation Friday, for viewing or submitting:

My own website spot illo section, from whence this came:

Thank you for reading my blog. Now, go read some novels, graphic novels, and poetry! That blog made me smile, and for once, allowed me to read something that made me think, "Sisters, this IS the way!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Snuggles and Fuzzles

Snuggles the Bear was awesome, but so is snuggling the marsupial.

Alternative universe version of us <3

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rain rain pug away, cats, pomeranians, and snowmen today

A few pictures for purposes of warming the heart. They've helped me, at any rate, as my nose and toes are froze.

The little guy above is demonstrating how I am going to feel (and the face I will probably be making) when I venture through the hills, rain, and towards Barnsdall today. Is a watercolor lesson redundant in the #LArain? Perhaps, but as I have occasionally worked with the Department of Redundancy Department ( ;-) ), it is what I am going to go over in Cartooning Class later today.

It's a cold and Windy day out right now-- I'm used to way worse from New York, but I am always cold no matter where in the world I am, so I do not blame being out West for having weakened me. Truth be told, I kind of like wintery and cold weather out here, because eighty degree Decembers still confuse me. Anyhoo, onward.

If I were a pug, I would rock this raincoat. Actually, I love the pattern. I'd wear it if it were made for people. Are they doing a human edition? Probably not, but I can dream.

This doggie is adorable, and I am sure she works the heck out of anything they give her, be it booties, scarves, or rain slickers.

I heard about these, and then Google Image Search became my friend: Kitty Measuring Cups! is where I got the picture (she also posted about these very cute things), and her art is beautiful! I love unexpected finds, whether in person or via cyberspace.

For the first time yesterday, I discovered Little Tokyo's Four Leaf Tea Room creperie-- very cute, very good crepes (you can request coffee batter!), and a great place to get work done in.

While there, I finished an illo I've been working on for a project that centers around illustrating every paragraph of "Alice in Wonderland," while making sure to use absolutely no words.

It's called the "What is the use of Words without Pictures?" project, and the paragraph I was given centered on Alice, the Gryphon, and the Mock Turtle (who, bless his heart-- I had forgotten just what a manchild he was). I might post the picture later directly, but for now, here's a link to the image via the project's Facebook album:

This last picture of a friend's Pomeranian thanks you for your time.

(Fluffy, huggable, and very yippy, I <3 little dogs, no matter how much they yap)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Illustration Friday: Separated

I posted this page in the past for an Inspiration Avenue challenge, but I think it also applies to the Illustration Friday challenge this week, of "separate." It's a page from the story I did for the "Samurai: The Graphic Novel" anthology, which in part depicts two people who were once on the same path, but end up on journeys that are very separated.

This page is where they first physically separate, as the girl is going on a quest to the underworld, and the boy is staying behind on earth.

I won't say too much more about it so as not to give it away, but I'll direct any interested parties to a link about the book/other anthology creators, and to an interview I did about it last year.


Page from publisher, Karl Alstaetter of Hyperwerks, about the book with creator page samples:

For now, I am off to a holiday fair. Hope to see some friendly faces at the Majestical Roof, right off of Fair Oaks in that little courtyard near Union street, that will be full of artsy goodness :-D

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Illustration Friday: Brigade

According to Miriam Webster's second definition online, "Brigade" means:

: a group of people organized for special activity

So, the above illo I think qualifies. Not subject matter chosen by me; I did a couple of test drawings last year for consideration for an L.A. Sheriff's project. I did not end up doing it, but it was an interesting exercise. Obviously, those in law enforcement constitute a group organized for a special activity. Two, is small, but is still a group, of sorts. In this case capturing outlaws (or in this scene, just one outlaw) is the special activity at hand.

Anyway, I figured I'd submit this illo and put it to use, since it's sort of sat around and not had a use since I did it around ten months ago. And I fell off the I.F. bandwagon for a few busy weeks, but am happy to be back and participating.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Creative Tuesdays: Mistletoe

EDITED POST! Below is an image that properly shows Mistletoe-- before today, I actually thought Holly and Mistletoe were one and the same, except one version was red with fewer leaves, and one was white with more leaves. In any case, my corrected submission for Creative Tuesdays is below, and below that is my original submission (that shows Holly-- phew, confusing!).

Above, the card (a little bit "Nightmare Before Christmas" esque, as it's two girls, with witch-ish hats, for the holiday season), is captioned:

"Here's a little note to say, you look just bewitching today!"

Also, on the C.T. front: I was bummed about missing last time's Creative Tuesdays! Especially because I did not even miss-- I made my entry, but posted it to the site via my Android... and despite it saying on my phone it had posted, the sad truth was that it had not. Mercury in Retrograde is following me around, chuckling gleefully and caushing havoc. I didn't realize my image did not post, until the challenge was closed. But luckily, Mister Toast was kind enough to post a link right to my image on that week's blog, so, yay!

Again, my contribution to "Three" was here:

And below was my original contribution to this week's challenge, "Mistletoe!" Except, that one is more like "Holly," since, those are floating holly leaves (and apparently, not mistletoes).

I just made this card for the Holidays, and I captioned it, "Hope You Have A Magical Season! As they are playing with magic, hearts, and magical mistletoe.

To submit to this Creative Tuesday's Challenge, please go to the most recent entry on December 6th, 2011:

To see other Christmas Cards I have done, please go to:

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Inspiration Avenue: What is In Your Christmas Ball?

I've had a couple of weeks of complete madness, and so, am sad to have missed the past two challenges. Everyone's works were wonderful, and I think that "Aged Beauty" and "English Literature" were two very inspirational prompts. This week the theme is holiday related, and the question is: "What is in Your Christmas Ball?" And for this card below, her Christmas Ornament Balls are filled with snowflake, pattern, or heart designs.

Perhaps the more important question, though, is what is in her cylindrical present box? It appears to be a little seal, helping her juggle and balance those ornaments as only a seal can. Seals are wonderful animals, and once they're done playing together, I hope she gets him put back properly into his habitat-- whether he's at the zoo, or in the wild, he's going to need a bit more room than just that box to splash around in!

To submit to I.A. for this week, please go here:

Thank you for reading <3

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Characters: Day 30

Below is my final contribution to the #30Characters Challenge.

A quick and fun sketch, inspired by my trusted teddy. Ehrm, marsupial. Need to stop doing that ;-) While not a new character exactly, this is a side of Fuzzles Koala that hasn't been seen before.

That's right: like Odile, but Fuzzles style. An evil twin. The "Black Swan." One who can dance, with a ferocity. And, as his bubble is saying, one who knows that it is his turn.

Bonus to this, is that he's drawn on one of my friend Dave Castro's sketch cards-- note the logo. Check out more of his work at

Overall, this unofficial challenge participation has been great fun!

Thank you, #30Characters, and good night.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Characters: Day 29

Here is Koalenvie.

An anthropomorphic marsupial, she has green fur, green human like hair, and a green heart. She can be loving, but spends so much of her time being upset over real/perceived wrongdoings and slights, she is a jealous girl (Bear? Koala? Ooop, that's right-- marsupial).

Today is the Festival of Fuzzle, hence her celebratory balloon. However, she is upset-- her balloon is itty-bitty, in comparison to the one her friend has, and so she feels slighted. Poor Koalenvie.Below are some photos of her sulky self.

Her thought bubble is dark, cloudy, angsty. Oh, Koalenvie,

Drawing propped up on top of a doilie, which looks cool as it reflects from her costume.

Grouchy Girl.

Another headshot of Miss Envie.

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Characters: Day 28, and Written by Jamie Gambell!

Below is a design by the very talented writer, Jamie Gambell. Her name is Madam Gaia. So, drawn by me, conceptualized by him --!!

I have the pleasure of knowing Jamie, as he is the assistant editor on the Samurai anthology.

Below is his description for Madame Gaia:

Madae Gaia is a Madam Hydra style leader of the bad guys (based on the Greek mythological primoridal earth mother), and she is in charge of the Army of the Fallen Titans. They can be seen here:

Here is Jamie's website overall:

If he gets the chance to post this on the actual website, I will include a 30 Characters link as well. Otherwise, ta ta for now and enjoy ^__^

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Characters: Day 27

This 30 Characters girl is in process slash progress, but even though she is not done, I wanted to show her for the challenge. Both her story and her drawing are a little sketchy, so forgive how quickly the story especially, is described.

While not a mean Queen Bee a la "Mean Girls," she kind of is the Queen of the Bees. Roxanne Hunnies. Cyrano De Bee-Gerac has a crush on her. She is in her twenties, kind, and she hates cell phones. They give her migraines, and can kill her closest friends (since sadly, cell phones are attributed to the harm and death of many bees, from the radiation they emit).

Essentially, theirs is the story of Cyrano de Bergerac, except Cyrano de Bee-Gerac can't hide from Roxanne-- he simply avoids Roxanne because he likes her and is shy. However, she likes him-- and in the finished version of this, it will show her looking at him smiling, while he looks on all concerned. Anyway, Roxanne is also the Human Queen of those little bees I posted about some time ago-- and I am happy to be ("bee?") finding more uses for them.

They were mentioned back here during the challenge:

Also something else is different about this drawing than some other things, but secretive me, I will not say. Moo-ha-ha!

Just got to keep slowly plugging along until it moves past this pencil stage and into the world of color.

But for now, Miss Roxanne Hunnies will remain sketchy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Characters: Day 22

Haunted, haunting, or both? Pastel melancholy tends to do both. Oh dear, for both Gia, and the previously posted character, Melanie.

I will freely admit that Days 22-26 of my unofficially doing this challenge were drafted, not finished, and not posted on time. I am going to backdate them each to be the proper date so as to avoid confusion for the challenge-- but with being home in New York for Turkey Day, life overall, and it being sometimes difficult to get internet access, I fell off the mark a bit. But I'm back to punctuality, and Days 27-30 should complete according to plan.

Anyway, onward: Gia , the Ghostly Theatre Girl.

NAME: Gia Simon
OCCUPATION: Phantom-- not an actual ghost, but someone who people notice so little, she feels like Miss Cellophane.
STORY: A college student who does not get along with her roommates, she has taken to crashing in her schools theatre department. It is unorganized to the nth degree, so nobody really notices this quiet girl kind of being a creeper in the wings. There's a green room nobody notices, so when she isn't watching rehearsals, she's doing her work/reading plays/hiding from life in the world in there. Maybe she's less Opera Ghost, and more "Milton" from "Office Space."
LOCATION: The suburbs of a big city.
SECRET DREAMS: To be onstage, and write a play. She has yet to see "Phantom of the Opera--" and perhaps she shouldn't, as it might give her some unhealthy ideas.
SECRET SHE DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT: The student who does tech has noticed her, and he wants to reach out to her/get to know her (he is intrigued by her, as well as the possible element of crazy/danger), but he feels a bit torn. Also, he is very superstitious, and suspects she could be a ghost and that he is losing his mind.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Characters: Day 21

This character is named Melanie Cholia.

Her unfortunately spelled, and sounding, name is appropriate. An angst-y little thing, she was named for the sorrow present in the town she was born in. Her parents are kind, but unable to be happy-- after all, it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the citizens.

Ever since Melanie was old enough to walk, she has always tried to run away to the town of Smiles (which is the next city over), but nobody between the two places is ever allowed to cross over. It would disrupt the balance of the universe. Butterfly effect, you know. Anyway, this quick character headshot shows her mid-sigh. I suppose as she's only twenty-two, there's plenty of room for sighing and angst still. Especially since she lives in a town that is a bit like Halloweentown (a la "Nightmare Before Christmas"), she cannot really go against the grain. And thus, we have her sad face.

Close up of her eyes.

Close up of her face again. She was drawn on conte paper, using pastels, paint, and ink, then glued on another piece of darker conte paper. I like how the rainbow shadows flicker across her face, even though they accentuate her less than stellar mood.

Perhaps one day, she will figure out a way to break convention, and sneak over that fence into a happier place. Hrmm, hrmm...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Characters: Day 20

Today's character only lived a short while, much like his real life counterparts. Like the Wicked Witch of the West, Water would be what made him meet his demise. But as a face Butterfly, he knows that come crayons, water, and face paint, he will rise again on a new person's visage.

(There he is! Sitting on top of the lovely woman's face upon which he appeared today)

This creature was born of face paint, and fluttered onto a person's face today-- I'll explain.

I had a gig painting faces at two different Blockbuster stores today, as each was having a community holiday event with jumping castles, crafts for kids, and a face painter-- which was me. It was a lot of fun! Many people wanted designs or pre-existing characters (such as the Joker, Venom, and Batman), or flowers and butterflies-- one such butterfly came to life in my mind to an extent that I felt him worthy of the challenge.

NAME: Flutterby, although sometimes called Flutterface
CREATURE: Wide eyed butterfly, whose existence is transient, fleeting, yet full of vitality when he is actually in existence
PURPOSE: To bring splashes of color, and happiness, across a child's or a grown-up's face, for at least a few hours a day. He himself enjoys the compliments made on the face painting-- which is a compliment of his lovely insect looks!
LIKES: Parties, happy children, people who do not scratch/rub their faces carelessly
DISLIKES: People who wipe their brows (and thus destroy his life even more untimely than it will be already), people who forget they're wearing face paint (see previous complaint), water, and tears (if they fall from someone not liking that he has appeared and been created onto a person's cheek, forehead, etcetera)

Flutterby can hear and see everything that goes on when he is painted onto a person's face. When he gets erased, he floats into space and into a kind of limbo. Yet, when he senses a party or gathering with face painting, he channels through lightwaves, into a crayon, and infuses himself with the material, eventually splashing through onto a new person's face, to live for a few more hours and make them happy with how fun and interesting their design looks-- never knowing that mister Flutterby has a mind all his own.

An odd #30Characters, but I hope an entertaining one. More to come, mehopes (-: And as I'm tired, I am off. Perhaps I'll post other painted faces pictures if I get the time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

30 Characters: Day 19

Priscilla is my nineteenth character for thirty characters, and part of the bigger piece I've been showing portions of for the past few days.

Priscilla was living in a shelter, and is young-- she's only just turned eighteen. Her parents passed away in an accident when she was sixteen, and after being bounced around, she knew she'd be better off being by herself. She'd been at the shelter for about a year and things had been going all right. She had a good friend, someone who was like a sister to her-- as an only child, that was something Priscilla craved.

Yet, the best friend she made at the shelter passed away. And then, Priscilla decided to leave. She's been by herself and on the streets for two months. In her shopping cart, she carries her own belongings, as well as useful things she picks up. She'll trade and barter them with other people. The only thing she won't trade is her Dodgers tee-shirt (the one she's wearing), because it was a gift from her Dad. She doesn't care how tattered it gets, it's the one thing she has that holds her to her old life.

Priscilla also collects stuffed animals that she finds abandoned on the streets, and cleans them up whenever she is able to go and wash up. She gives a lot of them away to kids on the street who she thinks could use them-- yet, she keeps a lot of them for herself, because she's always loved them and finds them to be good company. After all, a toy can only smile at you, and never judge you-- if you have enough childhood in your heart you can believe they're secretly real. On an even more practical level, a toy cannot get sick, choose to hurt you, or ruin their own lives, thus breaking your heart in the process. She particularly loves stuffed toys because her Mom did.

Here is another shot, showing Priscilla's cart of items, her teddy, and even a Viola. She traded and acquired it recently, and means to try and play it soon-- she played it seriously until she was sixteen, and keeps hoping things will calm down enough for her to pick it up again, and perhaps make some money with it.

Lastly, this is a close-up of Priscilla's face, as she is happening upon the scene of Bettina being arrested. She is saddened but not surprised, and is planning on circling the block, hiding around the corner, and watching to see where Bettina walks, in hopes of helping her. The two know each other in passing,

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Characters: Day 18

In a continuation from my last #30Characters post, we now see the creature being evicted from the street. She is a bat-- an anthropomorphic animal, representing what humans go through. Bats do have their troubles, but usually police brutality is not one of them.

When I post the other characters from this whole thing, I'll note that the only human-esque characters are the faceless officers, while all those suffering on the street are animals with human characteristics. I am not picking particular animals for particular reasons-- I am simply drawing whichever ones come to mind. No matter what species they are, they each have far more personality (and I believe, far more sympathetic situations) than the officers in their space.

Above you see the Bat getting the eviction notice, showing that she cannot stay in her little sleeping bag-- at least not where she's sitting. Notice her right wing is a little ripped. Her name is Bettina, and she is partially on the street because she has no where else to go, and partially because she is protesting what is going on around her. She lost her job. She is injured (see her wing). She is stuck trying to care for herself as best she can, under these kinds of circumstances. Even in all of this sadness, she wants to connect to others desperately-- the other disenfranchised animals she's met while bouncing from sidewalk to sidewalk have been some of the kindest she's ever encountered. Her life is still difficult and dangerous, but at least there is some support around her.

Unfortunately, many of Bettina's friends have either left voluntarily on account of the changing climate, or they have been arrested. I say this every time I create a sad story or picture, but creating the characters from this particular story makes me want to create new stories with them, showing them in better circumstances, times, and with more happiness. Unfortunately, though, today is a sad day for Miss Bettina. She not expect to be so unceremoniously made to leave, and she now has to make the terrifying decision of whether to stay and fight, or acquiesce for now for her own safety.

Close up of Miss Bettina, who needs a hug, and who needs compassion-- not rough handling and cold form letters.

Final shot is a phone photo, pulled out to show the framed scene of Bettina, the police officer evicting her, and his friend watching. I'd say stone faced, but as they have no faces at all, that might even be too descriptive.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Characters: Day 17, and some social/OWS/commentary-esque stuff

I started this piece a while ago and as I am finishing it now, I am posting pieces of it as I go for the #30Characters (unofficial) challenge. As I finish sections of it over the next few days, I'll show my progress and showcase different characters from different parts of the scene for #30Characters.

It's ink and paint/marker on wood, so hard to scan (although I have yet to attempt scanning wood--can it be done?) and still a little hard to take with a phone photograph, but I am trying my best.

When I started the piece, it began as a commentary on police brutality in regards to homelessness (and how, especially in neighborhoods that are getting more and more upscale, great care is taken to keep up the appearances of new lofts and apartments--causing people who sleep on the street to get arrested, and told to go elsewhere-- all the while not being given a solution to their problems, lack of shelter, or at least options,).

However, with what with everything going on with #OWS and people from all walks of life protesting/sitting/sleeping-- and still being forcibly abused and evicted from where they are-- I feel like this piece is taking on a different turn.

Whether it is because he or she is protesting, or because a person nowhere else to go, I do not believe it's right to arrest someone for sitting or sleeping someplace. If the person is not causing harm, bothering, or hurting themselves or others, how is that a crime?

In any case, my character for this challenge does not have a name. People call him "Goon," but they call him other, worse insults, almost as much of the time.

He doesn't have a face, and he really only has force. He's one of a few clones, almost, as he and his unit all have the same task. Drones, clones, whatever the term, he carries out orders, and he can never feel or show emotion when he does the things he does-- hence him having no facial expression, emotion, or anything discernible about his character. He will show his face at home sometimes, and perhaps release his anger, frustration, or sadness at what he has to do-- but when he is at his job, nobody can ever see his feelings or his weaknesses.

While the main character is the one standing on the right giving an eviction summons, you can see his friend watching him-- also, a similar-type goon character. I felt that this part of the piece got very #OWS-y, although again, the original commentary had been going to focus on skid row.

I'll also say that I'm not one of those people who automatically hates on people in law enforcement. Perhaps this sounds like a disclaimer, but I still feel like I ought to say it-- my Great-Grandfather was a police officer, and I think a chief (if I remember corectly), and he was one of the best people I have ever heard about. He was kind, protective, did whatever he could to help and serve his community, and was a great father to my Grandmother, and grandfather to my Mom. He actually upheld the whole "protect and serve thing."

Unfortunately, both in this #30Characters drawing, and IRL (especially in New York City right now), a lot of police offers are not doing that.

It's sad when people live up to bad hype, but if you're breaking the shoulders of peacefully protesting students and telling them they "have no rights" (misquoting the event, but I read about such an incident that happened near UC Berkeley, I believe), and assaulting eighty-four year old female protesters (that was out in Seattle, again if I remember correctly), and you are a police officer-- you are embodying cruelty, and giving people who inherently distrust those in positions of force and power even more reason to do so.

Whether it's a payout, an abuse of power, the riot mentality, or something else I can't even fathom-- I find there to be no acceptable excuse for people whose job it is to protect others, to be gassing them, beating them, and destroying their personal properly, when they are doing nothing but sitting, being civil, and expressing the rights that, in theory, we at least have for right now in this country.

Le sigh. The next few posts will cover characters from this piece, so hopefully those won't also get too ranty/politically heavy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Harlequin" for Inspiration Avenue, with "panache"-- for Web of Whimsy!

Double post for November "Web of Whimsy" (hello again, as I've been away!), and this week's "Inspiration Avenue," of Harlequin.

I absolutely love clowns (I think they're cuties and am not afraid of them, as I've mentioned in entries past), and Harlequin clowns are perhaps the most beautiful of all. So, I present a Harlequin clown, with the requisite makeup, outfit, and a little pup who also has on a fun little clown-ish outfit.

As the optional "Web of Whimsy" theme is panache, I'd also like to mention that I think this little clown girl pulls off the definition, at least according to the Miriam Webster online definition.


1: an ornamental tuft (as of feathers) especially on a helmet

2: dash or flamboyance in style and action : verve

I dare say, she does have an ornamental tuft (or fluffy ball, kind of like the way winter hats have one) on her clown's hat. And, I think she has a dash of flamboyance in her clothing's style ;-)

To submit to I.A., please go to the link below for this week's challenge:

To submit to Web of Whimsy, please go to the link below for this month:

And please go here to see other spot illos I've drawn:

Thanks for reading! <3

P.S.-- Because I love dogs, and because these particular ones are magnificent creatures, I am including a photo of a Harlequin Great Dane (with a little Chihuahua friend) at the end of this post.

These perfect puppies thanks you for your time.

Day 16, 30 Characters

Meet Clara, Wendy's sometime paramour, and continuous object of confusion.

She is a principal dancer in the Star-Crossed Galaxies modern and ballet dance company, and cares about little else other than dance. However, she does like to play games, and as a tease, she sends mixed signals. Unfortunately, her downfall is that she loves power.

In fact, the more love she holds, while making sure to never reveal her own heart or emotions, the more strength pours into her body. Strength, light, and the energy of all the stars and moons surrounding her. And thus, the better able she is to dance. She is not malicious, and would never intentionally want to hurt anyone-- she believes what she has with Wendy is a mere fling, and won't admit to herself how much Wendy really likes her. But that said, when her "Black Swan" takes over and she loses herself, well... goodness help those around her, particularly those smitten and confused.

She must have a solo coming up, because she is truly feasting on Wendy's heart today. She can take it back and forth, and it will more or less heal... but what will happen the day that Wendy can finally reach Clara's heart? As she is so used to having total control, that fluttery feeling you get in your stomach might just throw her off her game-- and out of her powerful ballet spins.

Above is the full illustration. Thanks for reading, and ta-ta for now <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Creative Tuesdays: Three--!!

Here is a card of three girls, all good friends, quasi-based upon me and my two best friends from college!

In keeping with the C.T. "Three" theme, this is a trio of girls/friends. And also, the inside of the card reads as follows:

"Whenever you wish to feel warm and snug,
Open this card, for three free hugs --!!"

And for good measure, there are a few hearts and bluebirds of happiness fluttering around.

To see this and other such cards, please go to:

To enter, please go to the most recent post at:

Happy Tuesdays and Happy Creating <3

30 Characters: Day 15

Day fifteen, unofficial thirty characters.

Meet Wendy-- her heart keeps being broken, but for some reason, she can't turn away from the person doing it. Such is the life of a girl from the Star-Crossed Galaxies, with hair that curls up like the edges of crescent moons.

A twenty-something hopeless romantic, she is in a cyclical situation right now, where she keeps giving up her heart, only for it to be played with. She can live even if it exists outside of her body (the benefits of existing in the Star Crossed Galaxies), but it causes her undue pain and duress.

Were she real, I would give her my "Sister, this is not the way!" schpiel (a la this entry: ). But as she exists only on paper and via the pixels on this computer screen, I will only hope for the chance to draw her again in less angsty circumstances.

If you're noticing another's shoes poking out towards the right corner of the picture, you'd be noticing correctly. Just as with my first post, this character is from an illustration where there is also a second character. Cropped for now, but you shall soon see the identity of Wendy's affection/stress. Just wait for Day 16! And as always, thank you for reading.

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Characters: Day 14

Not sure what all the buzz is about (yuk yuk), but the clock has struck midnight-- and thus, it's time for the fourteenth day of (this unofficial attempt to conquer the) #30Characters Challenge.

Unlike my last little bees, this one is a little bit more in my regular style. She's still just quickly sketched out, and not as detailed as some of my other inky things-- but, still, she's pen and inked. And, not as geometrically shapely as the other Bee/Ladybug I wrote about a few entries past.

This girl here is named Petunia. You can't tell, but she's wearing sweater tights over her little legs, and her tights. It's to keep her from getting too cold. Of course, in Magical Bee World she won't get hypothermia anyway (I'm pretty sure the real little guys would not be able to hover near ice, much less skate on it)-- but still.

She's a Teen Bee (on her way to one day be the Queen Bee-- meaning, she's the most popular bee in her clique at the hive, and it will also her future job when she takes over for her Mom). She's popular because she's genuinely nice, although at a loss for what to do when everyone gets stingy and catty towards one another. This had been a pretty rough day for her. So, she decided she wanted to have a day by herself, away from the pressures of school and teen girl (bee?) b.s. Or, I should say "bee s."

Petunia then snuck away to enjoy the impending winter season at the local ice-puddle, only a few gardens away from the hive. She was all excited. Having bought a hand spun scarf from a caterpillar on the way there, and having rented her skates from the ladybug who runs the puddle-rink, she was ready to start doing spins, axels, and skating up a storm.

Unfortunately, she's never skated before. It's harder than it looks. And poor Petunia is having trouble keeping her balance-- both on the rink, and in her head, since she's stressed about so much.

But luckily, she's a teen. With her nicer hivemates and classmates, and her true friends, things will get better. I have hope that for Petunia, as for many teen girls, things are rough/dramatic/angsty/etcetera, a lot of the time. But, there's also a lot of the time where things are fun, silly, and can "bee" (I have no shame, I know), fun.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Characters: Day 13

So Treble over here is Tatiana's best friend (see here:, although they work for rival agencies.

Given his wings and horns, and her wings while floating on a cloud, you can probably guess. His eyes are closed, and he is laughing with glee-- perhaps he just saw some singing on Youtube, and realizes he has been doing well at what he does!

Also given that her mission is to prevent bad music from reaching the ears of human beings, you would also be guessing correctly, if you were to presume that his job description is just the opposite.

Given the wealth of things that get professionally produced, as well as the slew of videos on the Internet that never go viral and are still a little bit chalk-on-chalkboard-esque for one's ears, perhaps little Treble actually does somehow exist!

Treble and Tatiana became best friends when she was playing in the clouds one day, stealing flat and sharp notes (which should not have been flat or sharp) out of the air so they wouldn't ever be heard by anyone. But just then, she tripped, tumbled down a few clouds, and bumped onto the cloud Treble was sitting on.

He caught her notes for her, so they didn't fall into the soundwaves. He liked her so much he gave the notes back, never telling his boss the truth as he would have been in trouble. Ever since, they've been the best of friend-- each agency kind of rolls their eyes, but puts up with it. The two kids have worked out an arrangement where she sometimes "drops" notes, and he "steals" her notes. In other words, they help each other out to where she prevents enough badly played music from being heard, and he makes sure just enough bad stuff gets through.

Again, I haven't decided if this lil' devil came into the world as is, or was a kid first-- but either way, he's just playful and a prankster. He isn't "bad," as the Westernized good vs. evil doctrines would say, and no matter whether a kid in this world is connected to his agency or to Tatiana's, they still get to play, have fun, and be involved in music-making somehow-- whether it's improving it, like Tatiana does, or making sure drek gets through, like Treble does.

I'd try to think of a different "note" to end on, but I'm falling "flat." Wow, no "score" for me on that one. I should give it a "rest," in a "major" way. The "key" is knowing when to stop...

And there I am, stopping!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Characters: Day 12

Made a quick sketch of an Anime Angel for today's unofficial submission. She is an Angel of Music (not a POTO pun, although perhaps it should be), in that she catches bad notes before they can fall through soundwaves, and into the ears of unsuspecting humans.

This angel's name is Tatiana. She is a child (perhaps seven or eight, although eternal as she's not a mortal human-- the same way vampires are over a hundred, but feel and appear to be seventeen), and has always loved music. I haven't decided if she became an angel, or in some way she was born into this world as is, without ever having dealt with the normal parts of humanity and a mortal life.

She has a best friend (who shall come along later in the following post) who works for the other side. He (and his bosses) loves when bad music is filtered through to the masses. They are still close, even though she works for those who seek to do good, and he works for those who delight in mischievous things.

Wink --!!

And here, we can see her notes that were captured. Perhaps she's like an angelic, cartoon version of Autotune. I'm not sure Autotune always even helps or improves things, but, I digress.