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.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Inspiration Avenue: Needlecraft

"The story of the Craftswoman and the Seamstress" is the I.A. theme this week.

This theme is dear to my heart, because my Mom made beautiful needlepoint works for a long time-- and because I love puns (and when kittens play with yarn), I submitted a card that says,

"You Are 'Sew' Sweet!"

To participate in the challenge, or see people's wonderful works, please go to:

Thank you for reading ^___^

Inspired by a Madonna quote, some TV ramblings, and paraphrasing Kanye: "Only you, should have that much power..."

If "no one man should have that much power," then I agree that only you should have such a large influence over yourself.

By "man" I mean human beings, not just dudes. No one, of any gender, should get to push another person around. Even if it's just a person taking up too much mental space in another's mind, because of overbearing behavior, drama, etc.

Sentiment (and subsequent rant) came out of finding the awesome image in the middle of this blog, first seen at Troian Bellisario's Tumblr:

(All you theatre peeps, yes, that blog name directly references McDonagh's "The Pillowman.")

She portrays Spencer Hastings on "Pretty Little Liars.

I love Spencer, and need to infuse more of her fierceness into my own persona. It's there, but White Swan style, often hiding under the surface. In any case, Spencer is now on my list of favorite strong teen girl characters, joining the ranks of my previous (still current?) favorites, Veronica Mars (portrayed by Kristen Bell), and Blair Waldorf (at least the Season One version of her, portrayed by Leighton Meester).

PLL has also surpassed GG in terms of shows I like, with the Hitchcock-esque filmography, horror movie aspect of it, and strong storylines alongside the great performances. Meester is still great on GG, but the writing on the show is all over the place. But I digress.

Here is a blog dedicated to Spencer Hasting's many unimpressed side-eyes and expressions:

Also, clearly as a person in real life, Miss Bellisario has great taste in photography (not only the picture below, but the blog as a whole), as well as killer quotes.

Anybody who knows me knows that:
"Sisters, this is not the way --!"

Is a catchphrase that I often say. Usually not to someone directly, but when lamenting about various situations to third parties.

I say it when I see people making what (at least that I perceive) are bad decisions, putting up with b.s. or degrading behavior from others. It also extends to people acting out vehemently against someone who has hurt them-- only to embarrass themselves, derail the dignity train from the station, and not even get vengeance on the wrong-doers in the process.

Here I go, segueing into talking about yet another character on TV that I'm a fan of :-p

Emily Thorne, on ABC's "Revenge," is Count of Monte Cristo style organized and pissed off. She has evil plans. That's actually fine with me (even though homegirl's a bit of a sociopath). For one, she's just a fictional character. But in the world of the story, she had her life ruined from age nine on, her Dad's life was unfairly destroyed, she has plenty of motive, and she knows what she's doing, pretty much down to every last detail.

However, if she were randomly flipping out against those who ruined her life, and just throwing craziness and tantrums at the wall to see what sticks/might hurt someone, she wouldn't really be accomplishing anything.

In so many words, I often wish that people would choose better courses of actions for themselves, in many walks of life-- whether it's company they keep, or their own reactions to things that happen.

I'm not immune to any of this stuff, and I know it's part of the human condition to feel things out, learn from bad experiences, sometimes stay in friendships or relationships after they should not longer be stayed in, to feel humiliated, to rationalize things that are toxic when one should simply run, and all the rest of it.

But, whether it's about myself, or about a loved one, or even a fictional character, many situations make that "Sisters, this is not the way!" phrase run through my head.

Point being, the above image and quote is the very picture of:

"Sisters-- this IS the way --!!"

I like Madonna, but I'm not a die-hard fan, so I had no idea she had ever said this. It's quite accurate, and unlike ideas being put forth by certain tween series that shall not be named, I think it's a far better message for people as a whole (and also, impressionable teens), that the ultimate power is to keep going.

It sucks to be rejected, unloved, or not accepted-- yes. But doesn't it suck more to let another person's opinion and douchery bring you down?? A bit of a riff off that "Haters gonna hate" meme, but I am serious.

"Power is being told you are not loved, and not being destroyed by it."

Thank you, Madonna, for my new quote of the week (and for having said something I like enough to now go on my list of favorite quotes).

Also, for those of you who like PLL? Vote for them here! The show's up for a People's Choice Award.

My White-Swan-ishly nervous spot illo of a ballerina thanks you for your time ^__^

Combination Post. "Silent," Illustration Friday. And (Unofficial) 30 Characters, Day Eleven: Bunnimorph

Quickly sketched character, born of a brush pen. Anybody remember "Animorphs?" It was a cool series when I was in elementary school, of people who had the ability to transform into certain types of animals-- I don't remember it exactly, but one of my childhood best friends won the contest they had for a child to write a story based on the characters, and it was published in one of the books. Pretty amazing for her (-: Anyway, creating this character made me reflect back.

This "Bunnimorph" character above is a Queen, yet she is "Silent--" For she cannot communicate with words to her actual bunny subjects, so she must rule with smiles, hand gestures, and the offering of carrots. She thinks she intuitively knows how to speak both English and Spanish, but she knows no humans to practice with, so she chooses not to speak at all.

A close up of her face, we learn her name is Connie. "Coneja" is her real name, but she for some odd reason has Anglicized her name. Perhaps it's because the few sounds the rabbits make (little squeaks, at times) sound closer to that, than to her real name. She does not know her family, but grew up in a warren. When she was old enough to understand, she realized that little rabbits were raising her. There was a human village nearby, but she knew she was not quite one of them, either. After all, "normal" humans don't have one of their limbs as an overgrown rabbit paw, and they don't have bunny ears that protrude from their heads.

Connie even continued to be met with kindness by the rabbits even once she became human sized-- for she was always gentle with them, and her large size has caused her to be able to protect them. So, she is their Queen, and wants to stay with them forever. She longs for human contact at times, and has even found a few newspapers that blew by in the wind, to read up on what goes on. But with what she's read in the paper, she has learned about enough cruelties that humans do to each other, it scares her off from ever wanting to know more. Plus, she is afraid they would hurt her colony of loyal friends and bunnies.

Close up of the bunny. Hungry one, isn't he? His name is Jason although he can't tell Connie that-- their relationship is loving, but again, silent-- for not only do they not speak the same language, a la "Happy Feet," it just sounds like noises when each one hears the other's voices. But luckily, intuition goes a long way. Sometimes, best friends "get" one another, without ever a word spoken. Luckily that is the case here.

Final facial close-up. It appears that Connie might slightly be wincing. Was not unintentional, but perhaps I can't contain my frequent unimpressed-ness... even in the faces of my characters.

To submit to "Silent" for Illustration Friday, please go to:

To see the official works being submitted for 30 Characters, please go to:

Thank you for reading, and hope everyone has a "Hoppy" Weekend! "Hoppy" and Happy Eleven Eleven Eleven, day.

I'll close with the two eleven word stories I submitted to Twitter's #11Words Story Challenge:

"Blood rushed to her cheeks, flushing with the fire of shame."

"Doug sunk into his stuffed toys... his only friends."

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Characters: Day 10

For today's "Thirty Characters," Day the tenth of unofficial participation, we have... a character. In her late twenties (whose background did not get entirely drawn), who is a bit down on her luck.

She has had to do things which she didn't wish she did, to get by recently-- and I don't want to speculate on what she's watching, but I would imagine it's either a scene of violence and/or betrayal, given the expression she has on, and the fact she's hiding in the shadows, while watching other goings-on in the shadows. She is not particularly religious, but her best friend gave her the necklace she's wearing, and Cross or not, she never takes it off.

Her name is Green. Well, her real name is (or was), Emily. But everybody calls her green, because her eyes are bright green. They flash green, almost-- especially when she's mad. And she gets jealous a lot, so it's an apt color with which to describe her. Hopefully she won't run into whoever she is watching, because she sure does not look happy. Green would be in full force.

Close up of Miss Green's face, and with the shadows she's standing in (plus the fact it's drawn in black and white), you wouldn't be able to tell here what color her eyes are.

Slightly pulled out close up, showcasing her face, hair, and enormous necklace.

And, full body shot of Miss Green, and her outfit.

Now to plot tomorrow's character.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Characters: Day 9

And now, I continue the saga of Mister Bee! But instead, featuring Miss Aloof Leafy Ladybug, as the character being shown for my unofficial ninth submission to the "Thirty Characters" challenge.

She is friends with Mister Buzzy Bee, but always flying away, and giving him mixed signals. She too, is a creation made with Prismacolor markers. Also quite geometric, she is mostly made of lines and circles-- and even has seven, luckily, spots on her back wings.

On the subject of light and dark, I'd say her personality is far more gray-- but to the shy Mister Buzzy Bee, she seems more confident/"Black Swan"-ish, making her behavior harder to read, somewhat more frustrating, and also complicating his crush on her. Hopefully, she can teach him to unleash parts of him that he ought to, without him having go fully irreversible "Black Swan," using his stinger, etcetera.

And, I will close these late night, quasi-coherent rants with a picture of the two of them. Again, to protect his privacy, I've whited out Mister Buzzy Bee's thoughts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Characters: Day 8

Can't sleep, clowns will eat me. Well, here is a bee. And where he is, it is snowy.

Only the second two of those sentences are true-- just being up and being silly, I wanted to make something rhyme :-p

Like my first thirty characters post, Day 8 and Day 9 are going to feature two characters, so a two-for-one submission, if you will. Posting this one late into the evening, and then the second one early into the morning.

As for this character? Oh, Mister Bee. Buzzy is his first name-- because this late at night, I can't come up with anything better. There's more to his story, though.

I used to draw a lot of sad buzzing bee characters five years ago, just like this guy, when I was experimenting with Prismacolor markers for the first time. I would make a lot of geometric, just like this guy here, focusing mostly on shapes and colors. I now prefer Copic, but Prismacolor are still quite nice.

Those bees were, and this bee is, a bit "White Swan-" ish. Watching life from the sidelines, but too shy/sad/scared to take risks and fully let go. Note his expression in the cropped picture below. Forgive that I whited out his thoughts-- he requested that I not tell the world his most private musings.

For those of you familiar with "Black Swan" (a movie which is beginning to override my other long-time obsessions, and which I talk about way too much), it focuses on the themes in "Swan Lake" that delve into the very Westernized concepts of "Good vs. Evil," and "Light vs. Dark." Not necessarily an accurate or healthy way to think of the human condition, but an interesting and sort of eternal one, nonetheless. You can't escape it as a theme in classic literature (or even in religious texts).

(Coincidentally, or not so much? I am listening to Lady GaGa's "Judas" as I type this. Anyway.)

In any case, the "White Swan" can mean beautiful, but fragile, repressed, and eventually too shut down and held in for said Swan's own good. The "Black Swan" can mean powerful, dangerous, sensual, exciting-- but ultimately, destructive, if the person trying to reach those emotions or states of being has to break through many issues and repression to get there, and may drag themselves into/through hell in the transformational process. Basically, once a "White Swan" snaps and turns into the evil twin, it can be freeing, exhilarating, yet, ultimately destroy who he or she is. At least, that's the message the film itself hints at.

Well. This species of cartoon bee spends much of his time buzzing around, all sad, trying to please everybody, without anybody really paying attention to him or his feelings... but we all know what happens when bees get mad/scared/defensive.

They have a stinger. It has venom in it. For that period when they fly around, and get the adrenaline rush to sting something/someone, they have all the force of a "Black Swan." In flight. Powerful. Able to hurt, perhaps even destroy. Perhaps the most powerful moments of a bee's life. But, the sad price to pay is that a bee cannot live once it has stung something. So, finally letting go leads to the bee's ultimate destruction, if the bee is pushed that far.

The bee I drew here is still shy, scared, and not at all about to turn from an Odette to an Odile. That's why he walks sadly through the snow, and is watching another character (to be featured in the next post!) sadly from afar, without questioning the situation. However, if Mister Buzzy Bee continues on this path, it may not bode well for him.

Perhaps I will do another #30Characters (unofficial) submission, either showing him able to continue living on the "light" side of things, and stick up for himself without losing his mind. Or perhaps I will turn him full on "Black Swan" Bee, and have him finally express those held in emotions. But truth be told, I think he is a cute little guy, and I would feel bad drawing him once he had reached that point of destruction.

Instead, before my next characters post, I will include an MS Paint Masterpiece of Mister Buzzy Bee as "The Black Swan."

I, Mister Buzzy Bee, his above Evil Twin, and elegant dancing Waterfowl everywhere (both evil and good) thank you for your time.