Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Over the Rainbow! Inspiration Avenue

Here is a card that I did that fits the I.A. theme this week.

"Over the Rainbows" are the theme, and these kids and bunnies are playing in a rainbow-y field. They're technically underneath it, but perhaps they feel like they're over the rainbow in the having fun sense ;-)

I'm in a rush so I can't go on, but hope everyone enjoys!

To submit to "Inspiration Avenue" or view submissions, please go here:

To see other such cards I have done along these lines, please click on:

Hope everyone is enjoying Spring! (Or Summer, if you are somewhere where it feels like it came early and is very very hot!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Asleep!" Web of Whimsy and Illustration Friday

Here is a spot illustration of mine for I.F.'s weekly theme, "Asleep!" And because there are a couple of whimsical plushies in the drawing (especially Mister Teddy with sunglasses), I am also submitting it to Web of Whimsy.

I'm in a bit of a hurry, so that's all for now. But I'll paste some links before I go.

To see more spot illustrations of mine, please go to:

To submit or view other submissions for Illustration Friday, please go to:

To submit or view other submissions for Web of Whimsy, please go to:

Happy Friday and Upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, everyone !!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Purple and Green :: Inspiration Avenue Edition

For this week's "Inspiration Avenue," the theme is Purple and Green. So the illustration I am including is one where those are the two dominant colors. Also, this one will hopefully appeal to fans of Audrey: be that Hepburn, or the gigantic Venus Fly Trap (slash, Alien) from "Little Shop of Horrors."

(Image had to be removed, but will be put back up soon!)

The title of this is "Breakfast at Audrey's," and it's a Pen and Ink with Watercolor Illo. Basically, Audrey II is trying to glam out with diamond necklaces a la those from "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and Audrey (as well as Cat) are not entirely amused. As I am a fan of both Audreys, and know a lot of people especially love Audrey Hepburn, I feel the need to give a disclaimer: Audrey II is simply being fashionable!

She is not trying to eat Audrey Hepburn, Cat, or any of the other plants in this picture, for that matter. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that is all Audrey II is doing.

As I like creating funny/punny/quirky illustrations that combine characters that wouldn't per se go together, I had fun combining unexpected Audreys.

To see more Color Works I have done, please go to:

To submit to Inspiration Avenue's "Purple and Green" Challenge, please go to:

Hope everyone's having Inspirational Weeks (-:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Creative Tuesdays: Tree

So, this post is coming a bit early.

This week's "Creative Tuesdays" excited me, as I recently finished a story for a comic book anthology where one of the characters was a tree! "The Warrior and The Nightingale" is my story, and it was published in "Samurai: The Graphic Novel," which came out in January of this year.

My story is admittedly downbeat (which is a bit of a change from the cards I often share for these challenges!) but I had a lot of fun creating it and drawing it. And, as one of my characters fit this theme, I thought to share a peek from my story.

"The Warrior and the Nightingale," is about a girl whose lover asks her to descend to the underworld and bring someone back. She does so to prove her love, and in hopes of fixing tragedy that suddenly struck their lives and shattered their relationship.

But before any mortals can even try and bring back inhabitants of the underworld, they must first get past the Guardians: a Nightingale and a Rose Tree. Mortals who want to get through the underworld's gates must prevail in a dangerous, near-impossible-to-win Samurai style battle against that Rose Tree.

If that at all sounds familiar, to any fans of Oscar Wilde, that is because the guardians of the underworld in my story are also adaptations of characters from his story, "The Nightingale and the Rose."

For those who do not know the story, here is the (rather watered down) Wikipedia entry describing Wilde's original tale:

"A nightingale overhears a student complaining that his professor's daughter will not dance with him, as he is unable to give her a red rose. The nightingale visits all the rose-trees in the garden, and one of the white roses tell her that there's a way to produce a red rose, but only if the nightingale is prepared to sing the sweetest song for the rose all night with her heart touching the rose, and sacrifice her life to do so. Seeing the student in tears, the nightingale carries out the ritual, and impales herself on the rose-tree's thorn so that her heart's blood can stain the rose. The student takes the rose to the professor's daughter, but she again rejects him because another man has sent her some real jewels, and "everybody knows that jewels cost far more than flowers." The student angrily throws the rose into the gutter, returns to his study of metaphysics, and decides not to believe in true love anymore."

The Nightingale from the original story sacrificed her life for love. Unfortunately, the boy does not appreciate her giving her life for him, and the girl he loved did not appreciate the rose he felt he wanted to give her so badly.

Thus, in my story, the Nightingale is a guardian of the Underworld who urges people not to make similar mistakes, and not to risk their lives for love. She tries and convinces mortals to turn back without risking any more than they have already. The Rose Tree, however, is a bit more malicious. He is both scornful of, and amused by, mortals who have grown desperate because of love. He knows there are awful risks (which I am keeping secret-ish in this description), yet he eggs on anyone who considers going to battle with him. The clip of my comic I've included here for "Creative Tuesdays" shows him doing just that with the main character of my story.

So, that's all I can say about it without giving it away! But for anyone who likes comics, I can say that the Samurai Project (the Anthology that the story I created is part of) is a great book, with many different art and story styles that still stuck to the same theme. The other cartoonists' stories are all very well done, and range from the alternative to the traditional, and I really liked seeing the breadth of style everyone brought to the project.

Since he explains it better than I can, here is a clip of Karl Altstaetter, Comic Creator and the Editor of "Samurai," talking about how it all came together:


If anyone wants to see peeks of the other stories (and a different peek from mine), they can be seen at the order page for the book:


To submit to Creative Tuesdays, please go to the most recent link at:


Excited to see what everybody else has submitted for this challenge! Also, my thanks to anyone who read through this rather wordy post of mine.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Illustration Friday, Web of Whimsy, and Happy Birthday: Soaked

This week's theme for I.F. is Soaked. Also, it is a Whimsical card with bubble bath goings-on, bright colors, and rubber duckies.

So, I am submitting the card below for both challenges (Web of Whimsy, AND Illustration Friday):

This is a Birthday Card, and it says, "Have a Splashing Good Birthday!"

And speaking of Birthdays, I'm dedicating this post to my Grandpa. Today, he would have been Ninety-Eight. Happy Birthday, Grandpa Mario-- I love you and hope you are restful and happy.

To see other Family and Friends style cards I have created, please go to:

To submit to Illustration Friday, or view the submissions other people have sent in, please go to:

To submit to Web of Whimsy, or view the submissions other people have sent in, please go to:

Hope everyone's well on this Friday, Friday (-: (Forgive my quoting the infamously catchy song)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Inspiration Avenue: Tropical

Loving this theme! Even though L.A. (where I presently live) is pretty desert-ish, it can be construed as tropical what with the palm trees, sometimes balmy winds, and the beach. While it's not at all tropical right now (cloudy and March-y weather, actually), I decided to submit a tropical themed piece I have: "Everything's Coming Up Frida."

I was inspired by a real life church in Downtown Los Angeles for the church, and the rest of what inspired me was from Frida Kahlo herself, who is one of my favorite artists. I did this piece for a Frida themed show at a gallery/resturant out in Topanga Canyon. I figured this piece would fit the challenge, given the content, colors, and that Frida herself used many tropical themes in her own work.

Speaking of inspiration, I am on break from one of my jobs, which is teaching cartooning to kids. Last day of the term (sad), but the kids seemed happy. It's been nice, especially since so much else has been busy and/or stressful lately. Anyway, I gave the students pens as end of term gifts to encourage them to draw, which they seemed excited about. Yay! But I must rush as my next class is soon. Then, I am off to meetings, and perhaps to see a play with a friend. Exciting times
Also, all the anecdotes I've just shared are random, and not really related to the theme of all things "Tropical." That said, as all that was cheery and I felt inspired by something, I felt I'd share. As, of course, this is "Inspiration Avenue!"

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


To see more color works I have created, please go to:

Hope everyone is feeling tropical and sunny, even if it is cloudy where-ever you may be (-:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Illustration Friday: Safari

I posted this illo once before in a Web of Whimsy post, but I had to share it again for "I.F."

I felt that this picture, featuring an Ostrich, fit the theme of "Safari" all too well. In a literal AND in a punny sense!

A) "Safaris" can be explorations to see the terrain and animals of Africa, and the Ostrich is a bird from Africa.

B) "Ostrich" was an application that was a Twitter extension for Safari, the internet browser.

So, there you go! Two different interpretations of the theme with this illo.

To submit, or view what other people have submitted for this week's Illustration Friday, please go to:

To view more spot illustrations at my site, please go to:

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Purple For Creative Tuesdays

This week's Creative Tuesdays theme is purple! So, here is a card with mostly purple and lilac hues, and light tones, with hints of yellow and green.

Below you can submit to Mister Toast's blog at the most recent link:

Hope everyone is having a good day!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wizard World Anaheim Recap and Pictures!

So, as the Wizard World Anaheim Convention happened a week and a day ago, this is rather behind, but better late than never? That's an old adage, and I'm sticking to it.

In any event, I had not yet had time to recap the events of two weekends past -- the Convention weekend itself was really busy, and I had lots of work to do the following week. As well as lots of sleeping, because prior to ACC I hadn't really done much of that in quite a bit of time.

(Quick picture of me at my table-- yes, Fuzzles came with me, because that is how I roll. I stocked my table as fully as it could be stocked, with original works, original comics pages, prints, handmade greeting cards, handpainted sneakers, copies of "Samurai: The Graphic Novel," and Sculpey toys.)

I keep thinking about Wizard World Anaheim, because it was super fun, and it was honestly one of the best conventions I've ever been to. Make that one of the best I have ever exhibited at. Everything was organized, the hall was spacious, the Artist's Alley was in a prime location for the exhibitors-- all was well! People who run the Wizard Conventions know their shiz, as do the people who work the Anaheim Convention Center. It was a tightly run ship, with kindly sailors steering the boat (a corny analogy, but I'll leave it). The attendees were also really awesome, and intrigued by everything people had at their tables-- whether it was more art-y, comic-y, or everything-y.

(Another quick picture-- there are a few of these before I get to the rest-- and once again, silliness on the Convention floor with Fuzzles!)

Overall, I really enjoyed getting to meet the other artists, attendees, and exhibitors; to talk comics, illustration; and to just have a good time. Being in Anaheim, surrounded by comics, art, friendly faces, new and old, and wonderful energy made me feel like I was at a different one of the happiest places on earth.

(Above is another picture of silliness. I posted in on Facebook and called it "Fuzzles Overexposed Nuzzles." There wasn't much downtime at the Con, but with the little there was I got as many shots of Fuzzles and myself as I could. Because, I am a nerd. Shamelessly so.)

(Additional Sidebar: regarding my earlier paragraph, I have to apologize to Mickey Mouse for using the Disneyland catchphrase. I know that the "happiest place" thing is your phrase for your Kingdom-- I'm not trying to steal it, so don't worry. ;-) Actually... it would have been awesome to do Disney and the Convention all that weekend. But, apart from cost issues, that might have been somewhat of a sensory overload! A fun sensory overload, but an overload nonetheless.)

Anyway, it was one of the best weekends I've spent in a long time, on both professional and personal levels. The Convention itself was enjoyable and very busy, and the post-con dinners and talks also made my weekend.

(One more Fuzzles and I table shot!)

As far as my table in Artist's Alley went, I was privileged to share a row with the other creators on the "Samurai" project:

Karl Alstaetter ("Samurai" Creator and EIC; at http://komickarl.deviantart.com/),
Jamie Gambell ("Samurai" Creator and EIC; at http://jamiegambell.com),
Gerimi Burleigh ("Samurai" Creator; at http://optichouse.com/gerimi/) ,
Dan Smith (a.k.a. Smif) ("Samurai" Creator; at http://www.dansmith-smif.com/),
Jesse Mesa Toves ("Samurai" Creator; at http://www.jesse-toves.com/),
and Drew Johnson ("Samurai" Cover Artist; at http://cursethatmonkey.blogspot.com/).

Please check out their sites, because their work in the "Samurai" project and otherwise is stellar! Just in case you miss it above, I will be sharing those links a second time in this blog :-D

I feel very lucky to have gotten to work with such kind and talented people on this project. It was great fun to spend time with them on the floor and off. When we (meaning the "Samurai" Crew) hung out to grab dinner after the Convention each night, there was so much laughing and silliness I couldn't breathe some of the time. Laughter is important, as well as good for you-- so I am grateful I got it in spades during ACC.

So, without further ado, here is the more picture-y portion of this recap.

Everyone in the crew carpooled back and forth each day. Luckily, I carpooled down Friday to set up on Friday, and back on Sunday when we had to return-- although I opted to stay down in Anaheim Friday night and Saturday night, rather than commute.

(Friday night. Fuzzles and my at the time in-progress Supergirl Commission, sitting on my desk at my fancy Travelodge digs-- honestly, they were actually pretty nice!)

I was rather worried about that because of Yelp.com horror stories I found on every single place I considered staying. For budget reasons, I could definitely not afford a nice Disney area hotel-- but nor did I want to book a room at the no-name, non-chain motel that somebody on Yelp pleasantly described, "Like that hotel from the movie, 'Monster.' "

I decided to go for a chain, and that was a good choice! It turns out (despite mixed reviews on teh interwebz) that the Travelodge is affordable, clean, quiet, and a great place to get commissions done while not on the convention floor! It felt like a mini-vacation, with the big room, big bed, desk, and bazillion channels. Anybody who knows me knows I don't watch much telly. With the exception of certain CW shows I (embarrassingly) stream via the Internet. But that said, I think television can be nice to have on in the background while working on other things.

(Fuzzles, as he is full of "magnifithenthe," had trouble parting with a picture of a character named "Supergirl." He realized finally, however, that the commission had to go to its rightful customer.)

Drawing the Supergirl commission was tons of fun! A man asked me to draw it for his friend on Friday night, and I had it ready for him on Saturday. The Con got out late on Friday, so I did nothing but go and get food with some peeps, then retire to my hotel room to stay up late, draw, and have the coverage of the Royal Wedding on in the background.

(Sidebar: while I am did not really follow the Royal Wedding at all, I tuned in Friday night because I do love London, I love elaborate costumes (and everyone's outfits were amazing), and also, that highly publicized moment where the unimpressed little flower girl covered her ears because of the incessant cheering was super funny/cute. Sidebar addition: Disney Channel's very cute show for very young children, "Charlie and Lola," came on at around one in the morning and I was captivated. The cartoon character's voices were British, they were quite dear, and they had a little dachshund looking dog named Sizzles! Sizzles! Yay, funny dog names. Anyway, onward. Because Kate Middleton and Sizzles truly have nothing to do with superheroes or Wizard World Anaheim.)

(Finished Commission above!)

As I said above, the person who commissioned me to draw Supergirl was collecting the drawing for a friend. I believe her name Becca, and apparently she had requested me specifically to draw it in my style (since, I do have a style, although it is not what one would call superhero-y, at all). It was a lot of fun-- Becca, if you ever read this, thank you! And hope you enjoy your drawing (-:

(A greeting card of Shogun Vader is above.)

One of the many cool attendees I met this weekend was Alexander Lam. He cosplays as Darth Vader in various ways. But what's quite cool, is that he cosplays as various versions of Darth Vader... as a Samurai!! That's such an awesome combination. For anyone who frequents comic cons, you have likely seen him before. The picture in the link below? Yes, that's him.


We did a trade, as he is a fantastic Origami artist (and he made me a blue paper rose! Yay.), and he offered Origami to me in exchange for an individualized card commission. So, since I have a character of my own from "The Samurai Project," and he is his own Samurai character, I put the both of them into his greeting card. Vader is happy in the card, as he's dancing to music. And so is the girl from my story. It was fun to draw a silly and fun card, since A) It's fun to give Darth a break and let him let loose, and, B) My own story from the anthology is... rather dark, so it was fun to draw a version of the main character getting to smile and dance around a bit.

(The above picture... is silly! California Pizza Kitchen on Saturday night was laughter madness.)

This picture was taken Saturday night with Jesse's... itouch? I forget what the camera thing that's not an iPhone is called. Something fancy and cool made by Apple. It was a picture that he took rotated, and it managed to come out as one long picture. From left to right, is Brady, Jamie, myself, Gerimi, Dan, Karl, and Drew. We kept laughing about very silly things-- not the least of which is that it was prom night, and lots of kids were milling about the mall and the food places... in huge gowns. Gerimi was wearing a tie, and I had on a fancy-ish jacket and a headband... so everyone kept teasing us and saying it looked like we were also at prom. It doesn't sound that funny re-typing it, but whether it was punch-drunk exhaustion from the convention, the high of what a good convention it was, or us being overcome by the massive amounts of food we ordered, I think the picture shows that we were all highly amused that night.

(Me and Marco from Alakazam Comics, with the Commission I made for him.)

Sunday finally rolled around. Sadly, conventions do end, and real life has to resume. Boo. But Sunday was a lot of fun. I got to catch up with Marco, who runs a terriffic comic book store down in Irvine called Alakazam Comics. My booth at Long Beach Comic Con was right by his, and it was great fun to get back in touch! He commissioned me to draw a picture of Alakazam, who is the character in his store's logo. He's a little guy who lives in a magician's hat. I pretty much took that theme and ran with it.

(Alakazam Commission above, while riding an abnormally large and horse-like rabbit friend! Out of his hat. I guess since they're magical they can both shrink and live inside it when they retreat, since it's their house. It's definitely Alakazam's house, and perhaps the bunny is visiting.)

As mentioned, Alakazam is both the name of the character and the store. To check out their great collection of books, toys, and other cool items, go to:

In any event, Wizard World Anaheim, the Anaheim Comic Convention, or WWA-- whatever you want to call it-- it was awesome. If I had a time machine, I would go back and enjoy the weekend some more. But, the best I can do is re-live it through a blog. So, hopefully this has been an enjoyable (if extremely long) read for people!

And to finish off this Convention Recap, I will finish off by showcasing pictures and information about the "Samurai" crew.

Here's Jamie Gambell at his table. In addition to being an editor on the "Samurai" project, he is a great writer. He is the writer of "The Hero Code" and "Omnitarium," and more about Jamie and his work can be seen here:

Karl Alstaetter: I could not find a good picture of Karl at his table, but he is truly responsible for bringing the "Samurai" project together. He is a fantastic storyteller and artist (and editor, as a matter of fact), and he has a large, awesome body of work. If you like "The Wizard of Oz," you need to check out his series, "Emerald City Blues." You may have already seen seen his work through MTV Geek. But if not, you should check him out here, forthwith:

Above is a picture of Gerimi Burleigh at his table. He is a writer, illustrator, cartoonist, and even painter! His graphic novel, "Eye of the Gods," is in his words: ENEMY OF THE STATE meets DEAD ZONE. It chronicles the adventures of a man whose life spirals out of control when he is cursed with the ability of remote viewing. To check out more, go to the site of Gerimi's publishing company:

Here's a picture of Dan Smith, also known as Smif. He is a fantastic cartoonist and game artist, and I love his book "Thirteen Cats!" It is a wonderful cartoon board book for kids, that teaches them how to count. He's done a lot of great work in comics, illustrations, and games. Check him out at:

The picture above is of Dan, as well as Drew Johnson. Drew did the cover for the "Samurai" project, and has done a lot of work in the comic book industry, including work on "The Authority" for Wildstorm, and "Supergirl" for D.C. To see what he's up to right now, check out:

Jesse is a concept artist and graphic novelist, who publishes the series "Trouble, Guts & Noir." His story in the "Samurai" project is one of the stories that is ongoing as opposed to a one shot, and it's entitled "Encoding Bushido." To see more of what Jesse is working on, go to:

And lastly, here's a picture of me and Dan.

As Dan said on Facebook, he was hoping to pose with Fuzzles, but I showed up instead. Oops! Fuzzles was napping in my purse from a long weekend, but he'll be out for photo ops soon enough ;-) !

So, that's that. Anaheim Comic Con! Hope anybody who made it to the end of this blog enjoyed the read. I enjoyed the Convention. Being with the "Samurai" crew in the book, and doing the convention with one another, was a great experience. And I am looking forward to being involved with future Wizard events in the future.

Thank you, and good night.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Illustration Friday: Beginner

For this week's theme, I thought that this spot illustration fit the bill.

Surely if you come across a genie, it's going to be the "beginning" of many adventures! Also, these girls may be "beginners" at dealing with magic, making wishes, and the like.

Hopefully fun ones, with the kiddies remembering that old adage of "Be careful what you wish for."

To see more of my spot illustrations, please go to:

To submit or view other I.F. submissions, please go to:

Have a good weekend, everyone!