Friday, July 27, 2012

Swirling, Swirly, Swirls! Inspiration Avenue

So I use swirls a lot in my art, but this piece seemed to have a few more than most.  It's part of a series I'm doing called "Faces," and these portraits tend to get swirly in the hair, especially with the hidden images.  This girl is "Dia De Los Muertos" themed, and there are swirls in her curls, as well as swirls in the bodice of her dress.

Sorry I missed I.A. last time, and I LOVE Paris so I was so bummed.  "Phantom of the Opera" is an obsession of mine.  I've been super swamped with work on a summer project, but am happy to get the chance to post here, and excited I finished this new piece in time to submit.

I'm turning into a Pumpkin, look at the time.  But here are some links before I shove off:

Here are the "Faces" I'm talking about, if you'd like to see the others:

Here is the link to submit to Inspiration Avenue for this week's theme, to submit at the most recent entry about "Swirls:"

Thanks for reading :-D

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Beatles Song" for Creative Tuesdays... Guess Which!

I created a card, and played around with it a little bit, for the "Beatles Song" C.T. Challenge... any guesses which route I took?

"Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds!"  As evidenced by kids playing in the clouds (I've not yet decided which girl should be Lucy, but perhaps the one on the right), and with the border surrounding them of said gem.

Hope everyone is well!  To submit to C.T., please go to the link below:

Thanks for reading  --!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

"Carry," Illustration Friday


Here is a Momma carrying her little boy, thus, staying on the I.F. theme of "Carry."  A family Valentine's card.  A bit out of season, but dreaming of more wintry weather to combat the oppressive heat lately.

To see this and other Valentine's or Romantic cards, please go to:

To submit to Illustration Friday, please go to: 

Thanks for reading <3

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Lost" for Illustration Friday

I initially posted this image for a challenge some months back, called the "Thirty Character's" Challenge.  I didn't sign up in time to be officially on the challenge, but I did it on my own as practice.  Essentially, it was to draw thirty characters in thirty days-- as well as come up with character traits and personalities for the characters.  I did a number of characters.  Fell a bit short of creating a full thirty, but it was a good exercise.

Below is Priscilla-- she is "lost," not in the literal sense, but in the overall life sense.  The world is dark and difficult, and she is not sure what her next move should be.  Determined, though, she wants to keep pushing ahead in spite of the difficulties.  Priscilla is clipped from a larger piece, but for purposes of this illustration challenge, I'll only focus on her.

The whole piece shows anthropomorphic animals struggling, with faceless, human-esque policemen adding to their struggle.  I began it quite some time ago, and while it originally mostly focused on homelessness/how cruelly law enforcement sometimes can treat those who are on the street, the point of the piece seems to have also grown to expand the strife between OWS protesters and the polcie.  Other animals in the piece are a hummingbird, a rat, a rabbit, and a bat, to name a few.

Below, I've copied and pasted the character description I came up with. for the original challenge.  If that's a bit TL;DR (as they say in Internet-land, to describe those of us who are over-verbose like myself), scroll down to the very bottom for more links:

"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."

Link to Bettina the Bat, and her story here:

Link to submit to Illustration Friday:

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creative Tuesday's "Christmas In July"

 Woo-hoo!  This Christmas date is going on in a tropical place, although the characters have insisted on dressing still with the colors of the season, as well as the layers.

It's July in this magical, tropical world-- the sun is brightly shining and smiling down on these two lovebirds.  There are actual lovebirds flying about-- bluebirds, and a few of them are even holding holly (which I previously had thought was interchangeable with Mistletoe, as can be seen in this 2011 C.T. entry: ).  With candy canes, sweaters, red, and green, this guy and gal are enjoying Christmas.  And with Palm Trees and A Happy Sun, they can enjoy it in July :-p

To submit to this week's "Creative Tuesdays" challenge, please go to:

Make sure to sign up by July 24th so your submission is on time (-:

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Paradise Island" for Creative Tuesdays

For some people, a paradise island would be all about being surrounded by water, being isolated from the rest of the world, and if you were lucky, only having the company of the most special people you cared about!

Such is the case for this little couple on a floating island, surrounded by pink heart-esque water.  It's a greeting card that says, "I just wanted to 'wave' hello, because it's true-- I love you so!"

Their island may have no trees, but it's enough land for them to sit and play together, and eventually I'm sure it'll float towards a body of land where they'll have all the tropical shrubbery around that they need.

To submit to C.T., please go to:

To see other cards like this, please go to:

Hope everyone's weeks are feeling like paradise!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Fly" for Inspiration Avenue

Missed two I.A.'s recently!  So swamped recently, but I want to see everyone's wonderful works and get the chance to post, so here I am.

This is a greeting card, without a caption, showing a little boy and his Mommy, playing with their bird friend.  Who, it seems, fancies herself a fashionista and is wearing a hat-- but I digress.  The point is, she is a creature who shall "fly," and is therefore on theme :-D

To see other cards alongside this one, please go to:

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

May everyone's inspiration take flight for this challenge!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Illustration Friday: Suspend

I just finished this piece and wanted to share it.  It's part of my "Faces" series, which are portraits of people with hidden imagery and stories around the figures, in their hair or clothing/background-- mostly thus far, it's been the hair.  Here is a cartoon portrait to honor Karen Huff Klein.  it is titled "Live With Integrity."

For anyone who hasn't read the story on the news, Karen Klein was a bus monitor in Greece, New York, who was bullied by middle-schooler boys while on the bus with them.  This story went viral because the children thought bringing someone to tears with cruelty was funny, videotaped the whole encounter, and put it on Youtube.  Presumably, they thought people would be amused.  That was not so much the case.  After it went Viral, a man named Max Siderov set up an account on IndieGoGo dot com to help raise money for Karen so she could take a vacation.  The goal was five thousand dollars, and it has well surpassed 6K by now.  Karen's story hit a chord with many people.

I personally can't watch the video because it will make me too upset, but I read the transcript and was really horrified.  I can never tell if things in the world have always been a certain way, and the age of the Internet has just made it impossible to not see things for as awful as they are-- or if things are continuously getting worse.  In any case, kindness to people-- especially people who are somewhat older, or somewhat younger-- is something I think should be natural, and come naturally when dealing with others.  (I mean you as in the overall you, more like in Spanish when soemone says "ustedes"-- an actual word that, more or less, means "you all").  Someone who has weaknesses, at least in your estimation, should not be someone you gleefully think of as a target.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

One of the things that the children teased her over was her purse, which has several inspirational sayings on it.  Two of those are "Be Remarkable; You Already Are," and "Live With Integrity."  Karen herself has said that she tries to live by those words.  By all accounts, she very much seems to-- hence the title of my drawing.

Karen did not speak back against her tormentors.  She has been very kind, and surprised, in all of the subsequent interviews and events she's attended, with her newfound fame.  Now she will be able to retire, and with the remaining money, she is going to donate some to Down's Syndrome research, and she is going to give the rest of it to her grandchildren.  As for the bullies, nobody really knows what prompted them to do what they did.  Since the events, they have received death threats, harassment, and a suspension.  The city of Greece is now working to protect the students, as going after them for what they did is not going to help anybody. 

That last fact is why I am submitting this piece for "suspend" and Illustration Friday.  That, and I think mean spirited-ness should be "suspended" indefinitely, but I digress.

In any event, the boys have been suspended for a year, will go to a continuation school of sorts, and will have to do community service where they work with the elderly.  Again, I do not know why they felt the need to be so cruel, but I hope the experience really changes them for the better.  If they have serious problems in their lives and they were acting out, I hope they are able to overcome those problems for themselves, and so as to also never so hurt another person in the future.  If they have more of what you'd call a charmed life, and have been indulged to the point where they're young teens and have currently forgotten about the importance of treating other human beings decently, I hope this experience wakes them up and teaches them something valuable.

The massive support of Karen, and the fact so many people donated to her fund-- something she never asked for or even thought of--  because they felt for her and her situation, was an incredible story over the past few weeks.  I read many articles about her, because I wanted to do a portrait.  I wanted to show things about Karen as a person, and not reflect the bullying or cruelty she experienced in the drawing.  I finally found an article that discussed her life in detail, and the below article was what I drew much inspiration from:

Any interested readers can look at her hair, and see which things from that article are alluded to/hidden in her portrait.

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

To see more works I've done in the "Faces" series, please go to:

Thanks for reading, and hope all is well for everyone ^__^

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Simply Cute" for Creative Tuesdays

Yay, so excited for the "Simply Cute" challenge! (-:

 Below, I'm posting a piece I finished at the end of the spring this past May of Twenty-Twelve, with little forest animals, creatures that I myself always find cute. It's a bit of a blend between North America and South America, as one of the little critters is mostly from the latter (But can be in the southernmost, westernmost part of the former). Below, check out "The Fur Tree." Yup, that's a pun. Two versions below, with the second one being the final!

The final version is the colored one, but I liked the B/W one very much so I kept a scanned copy. Curious to know which version people like, or would be more drawn to as a print. I feel like the colored one pops, and in that sense works as a print, but the B/W one could be cool if printed on paper that was possible to color in, for a child perhaps.

In any event, could anyone guess which animal was the one from a different region?


Ding ding ding!  The Coati, on the right hand side, who is a type of raccoon that dwells in the Southwestern United States, and then in Central/South America, from what I recall.

I first saw one at the L.A. Zoo recently, and he was the cutest.  Coatis are long nosed creatures in the raccoon family (whose noses move around when they sniffs for things).  The one I saw in person seemed comfortable in the enclosure, curious enough to come right up to the people.  His nose moved all over the place, leading him to walk in different circles and paths depending on how it guided him.

My heart is divided on zoos.   I think they need to exist for the conservation of animals, particularly ones that will get hunted, and those with a great conservation effort I think are doing invaluable services.  Of course, unfortunately, there are also some zoos that are more about the displays than the animals themselves.  And as much as I love being in such a close space with all these wonderful animals as a zoo-goer/animal lover, the fact that some do not do well in captivity, and/or humans are not always respectful enough of their needs, and are too loud/glass banging when visiting, makes me feel torn and sad.  Unfortunately, when the other option for some species is to be in the wild and be at risk for being hunted and poached, I think there's a better chance for them to be treated kindly, both by keepers and zoo-goers, and for them to adapt to the as-closely-as-possible-but-still-recreated environment they're given.

In any case, here is the link to submit to the upcoming "Simply Cute" Creative Tuesdays Challenge, July Tenth!

Check back on that date for everyone's posts on "Simply Cute."

Thanks for reading, everyone!  And, Happy Fourth to anyone stateside doing anything.  Have fun, be safe, and--speaking of animals-- snuggle your pets if home when fireworks go off and they get scared/unimpressed (-: