Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Final Yearly C.T.! Favorite Pieces of 2014: One from Creative Tuesdays, One Otherwise

Hi Everyone!

So for today's C.T., I am going include two pieces: My favorite piece of the year not posted to C.T., and my favorite piece of the year posted to C.T.  I know Mister Toast said ideally the piece could be from C.T., but could also not be from C.T. if it was just a strong yearly piece, so, I've gone ahead with both.

First, here's my new piece.  Well, not new, but new for C.T.!  This is "The Sengi Shrew in Thai Elephant's Clothing," and probably my favorite little illustration of the year (he's also now on my business cards).  I did him with watercolor, and Japanese Pentel ink brush pens.

Sengis are these really cool little African Mammals.  I saw an article about them in the spring and was blown away with how interesting and cute they were.  They're Elephant Shrews, but genetically, they are actually more Elephant than Shrew, despite being teeny itty bitty.

So, I decided that I had to draw one.  I started drawing him while getting food in this L.A. Restaurant called "Leela Thai," which is amazing decorations and art featuring eleborately dressed Thai elephants.  I thought this little African Elephant Shrew would look neat in Thai Elephant's Clothing.  So, here he is hanging out in finery (maybe he went overseas to meet his larger Thailand based cousins), and also using his trunk to play with a teensy Lotus Flower.

And next, is my favorite piece that I submitted to C.T., for the theme of "I want to go...!"

I am honestly tied between this as a favorite, and the one I did last time with the "Shar-Pei Diem" pun, but this one was a ton of fun to make, and I love Australian Animals.  So, the punny "Wom-Batter Up" Wombat won.  I also was thinking about this piece as I sold the original at the Holiday Fair I did at one of the places I teach at, and it was fun to have this happy little guy go off to a home where he can inspire the little boy he was a gift for, to play ball :-)

I never get to blog as much as I'd like, but C.T. is an inspiration to blog, to make work, and to check out amazing stuff being done by other artists.  I've probably said it before, but that's one thing I really like about the Internet.  The possibility to connect and have a happy supportive community of web-friends making art, even if you are all too far to connect past the pixels of a screen.  Anyway, I'm really happy Michael/Mister Toast has been running the blog again this year, and I'm honored to get to be a part of the collective and post on the very cool themes ^_^

So, here it is as my favorite 2014 C.T. submission!  Perhaps these unusual little marsupials and other creatures I draw can all come up in a future drawing :-) I do have an idea for a future project involving all Aussie animals, but then again, it's also exciting to discover cool animals worldwide (such as the African Sengi).  Maybe I should suggest one of these ideas as a C.T. theme for everyone :-D

And now, without further ado, here are some links!

It's Tuesday of this challenge being due, and it's down to the wire, but if you are running late like me you can still submit at the link below:

Here is the Creative Tuesdays overall link:

And here is my link to my website, with the patterns and fun animals section, which showcases both of the little dudes I posted about above:

Thanks for reading, and hope everybody is well!  Merry Yearly End!  (And many virtual hugs for you all)



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Dreams of December" for "Creative Tuesdays"

Hi All,

My post will be a bit un-orthodox, but I hope fun!  Or, mostly fun.

My "dreams of December" are not actually Christmas related, but more life related, in wanting to be able to be happy and enjoy things.  I finished the picture below and wanted to submit it for C.T.  Like last time, it prominently features a Shar-Pei wrinkle-pup.

I started this a while ago, and decided to make sure to get it finished for the C.T. theme.  I didn't want to rush and do a specific holiday picture and do it poorly, so I decided to pour all my energy into finishing this off-beat submission for the theme (in addition, since a lot has been going on with me I knew I'd have a chance of finishing something I started, but that starting something new was likely going to be impossible).  

In terms of something specifically December-y, I hope to print up card and print versions of this to sell at a December Holiday Fair I'm doing through work.  In terms of "Dreams of December," well, it would be a dream to wear a fun outfit, to frolick around with a magical and wrinkly dog friend, and to play while flowers rained down on you.  

More practically, this entry is a bit of a reminder to myself to try and "Seize the Day," and keep punning ("Shar-Pei Diem" instead of "Carpe Diem"), both in art and in life.  Some really stressful situations are going on in my family life right now, so I guess my "Dream  of December" (knock on wood) is for things to be better all around, and for myself and everyone I love to be able to seize the proverbial day.  That's something necessary for December, when we turn between years, and overall in life, and yet, it's so hard to do.

Anyway, although I didn't finish the below submission for C.T. specifically, I'll submit it as a Part II. to make sure I stay totally on the December/Holiday theme.  Another "December Dream" of my own, and I'm sure everyone's, is to have a Happy Holiday Season.  I'll let the silly and punny card caption and characters speak for themselves.

Incidentally, that's a wish I have for all of you great peeps over at C.T.!  To have a happy, fun, enjoyable holiday season, with perhaps some animals thrown in (of course, if you like animals, and/or kitties and owls).

And now, for some links!

The main C.T. link by Mister Toast is at:

And, here's the link to submit, and you still have a bit of time today, a day later than the usual "Creative Tuesdays" day, on Wednesday December 3rd!

I will get to looking at everyone's work tomorrow, and have not forgotten.  From the Day after Thanksgiving until Today have been rather mad/stressful/a bit of a shock, and I was out of town Back East.  I'm back in California for a Spell until later in December, and as soon as I'm fully re-settled I'll comment on peoples' work.  I've glanced around and seen some great work (a Christmas kitty, if I recall!), but I"ll look at the "December Dreams" more thoroughly tomorrow.

Best wishes, and thanks for reading my very long (even more so than usual), hopefully a bit silly, and definitely a bit somber post.  But I do truly hope your holidays ("howl"-idays, if dogs are involved?) are a "purr-fect" hoot ^_^

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Ho Ho Ho," for the Christmas Themed Edition of Creative Tuesdays!

Hello, Everyone!

This week's Creative Tuesdays we had an option of three sets of Festive Words or Christmas Phrases we could use in our submissions.  "Ho Ho Ho," "Good Tidings," or "Christmas Wonder."

So, for once, I did not draw a Koala for my submission (although the temptation to create a Santa Ko-ho-ho-ho-ala was tempting).  Because I love wrinkly dogs, and I met one that inspired me last week, my piece has a Shar-Pei Santa.  I met a Shar-Pei puppy, she was adorable, and now I am working on a couple of different Shar-Pei pieces.  First one below.

My friend who saw me working on this remarked that these are the least "ho ho ho" looking dogs there are, but, I disagree.  Their eyes are super puppy-dog-ish, and if they pout the wrinkles appear to exaggerate their mood, but overall I think they are cute and cheery, wrinkles and all.

In this design, I wanted to make it a Christmas-y one that also blended elements of doggy things, hence the Gingerbread Bone he's sitting on, and the Gingerbread Bone Lettered "Ho Ho Ho."  In addition to the Christmas-y pattern around him, I also gave him a Santa Hat and a Snow-Dog.  

(If this Shar-Pei had magical powers and was hiding away, maybe he'd have a sad sibling sitting outside his doggy door, sadly singing, "Do you wanna build a Snow-dog??"  "Frozen" reference for any one else into animation and/or that particular movie, which, I still probably sadly like just as much as my elementary school aged students).

This was such a fun illustration to make!  I will be doing a holiday fair at one of the places that I teach, so methinks I will print up a few cards and prints for sale of this doggy.

And now, for some links:

The overall Creative Tuesday Blog run by Mister Toast is at:

The link to submit today (the last day) for the worded Christmas themes is at:

Below is my Instagram link for any C.T. people I am not connected with, in case you are on and want to follow one another:


And finally, the link to my website.  I'm linking to the section this my Shar-Pei will go into, even though I haven't uploaded him there yet.  Even more fun, is that I am using my Yoga Koala (for the found object assignment) that I created here for C.T. as a bit of a logo on my site, which I just re-did.  He can be seen at the top left corner of all the pages.  Thank you for the inspiration, Mister Toast!


Thanks much for stopping by, and hope everybody is well (-:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Recap: "Dork Diaries Of A Wimpy Kid" Workshop at the Burbank Library, and Designer Con!

Whee!  So, I"m too tired to go into detail about all of it, but, the summary is: I did a workshop for kids at the Buena Vista Burbank Library (teaching them how to write and draw comics) on Thursday November 6th, and then on November 8th and 9th I tabled at Designer Con in Pasadena.

These events were both super fun, and I am le tired.  So, I"ll do a quick photo recap of what went down.

Whenever I teach, I give the students printed out little books that are self-published zines, which I write and do the drawing tutorials for.  We read along with the text and the pictures together, they work on the lesson, and then they have a little book to take home at the end of class.

Below are a couple of sneek peak examples of the lesson the kids did at the Burbank Library, which focused on character designing.

All that text is c. 2014, written and produced by me, Donna Letterese, etc.

Anyway, the kids did a great job, and it was a ton of fun.  I love teaching in the afterschool programs I teach at regularly, and getting to do library workshops is also great.  Jenny Darwent and Donna (another Donna!) were wonderful librarians, really sweet and great with the kids, and lead the first hour of the program splendidly.  The first hour was focused on the kids learning from the "Dork Diaries" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series and making their own comic journals, and the second hour was spent with my teaching them the character design/newspaper comics lesson.

They were nice enough to let me keep the giant poster that was printed out for the event, and it really was an honor to do it.  My name is on the poster, and it's a little hard to see in this photo, but it's there ^_^

And next, is my (even quicker) recap of D-Con!  It was a lot of fun, overwhelming (but not in a bad way; in a 300 vendors way), and a sensory overload.  It was both the first time I had attended and tabled at it.  At some point I am going to be writing up a recap for it as a guest blog for the Academy of Handmade (a really cool handmade/makers guild I recently joined).  

But until then, I will post this little photo collage of me at my table, and a few closer up shots of some greeting card-toons I had for sale, some original works, and some Polymer clay toys/Marsupials.

Thanks for checking out my blog, and until next time.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Pun-Up Zine! Sneak peeks of pictures of the funny animals and people and captions

Being released soon!  Really excited about a few new illustration zines I have coming up.

Wanted to post a sneak peek of this one, which I'm calling "Pun-Ups" (or perhaps the "Funny Anima-zine") as this zine consists of different punny images and captions, all featuring illustrations of animals, and animals and people.

Some are sweet, and some are snarky.  I also made a card version of that first one; I feel a little amoral making it as it's an apology card for when someone's been a jerk, but, I couldn't resist a hedgehog pun.

Scroll down and check 'em out; yay for sketchbooks, zines, and illustration overall ^_^

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Minty" for Creative Tuesdays!

I finally got my entry for "Minty" done just in time, and I quite like my little character so much that I might want to re-draw her again as a regular character, or possibly sculpt her!

My "Minty Marsupial" is below:

She is a "Merry Minty Marsupial." as she's so Christmas-y and Seasonal.  As per the theme (and what I explained over on my Instagram page), she is a Koala with Peppermint ears, Peppermint leaves making up her skirt, holding a Peppermint candy-cane, and drinking Mint Tea.

Also, last month of October was #inktober for people online who wanted to draw and tag their ink work with that hahtag.  This month apparently a popular hashtag is #dinovember.  I love Dinosaurs, and while I will in the future just keep posting actual Dinosaur character drawings, this one is my second #dinovember drawing as the koala is wearing a shirt with a Christmas-T-Rex.  Also eating a Candy-Cane.  Or should it be a Tea-Rex, given the C.T. theme?  Hrmmm, just given myself more ideas of silliness...

Anyway, without further ado, some links!

Here's the link to the overall Creative Tuesdays Blog:

Here's the link to submit to "Minty," for this week's challenge.  You have until today, Tuesday November 4th, so there's still a tiny bit of time!


Below is my Instagram link for any C.T. people I'm not already connected with on that site, to get connected with in the future:


And lastly, here is a link to an event I'm doing this weekend!  It's Saturday and Sunday November 8th and 9th, out in Pasadena (near Los Angeles), and it's called DesignerCon.  I'm Booth 1031.


I've been going mad trying to draw originals, print cards, and make Sculpey figurine toys for it.  I'm making a lot of Koala characters for it, and I think I may just add Miss Minty Koala to that lineup :-D Creative Tuesdays is such a fun co-op, and I love how it gives me lots of ideas and inspiration that carries me through the two weeks in between each theme and everything we create.

So, that's all for now.  Thanks for reading, and hope everyone is super well!

:-), Donna

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pre D-Con Zine Peek!

So, I will be pushing my zines and minicomics less at Designer Con than I will at specific comic and zine festivals.

But that being said, below is a sneak peek of "Matters of the Harp," my minicomic which is kind of like a Mr. and Mrs. Smith story, but with clams.  One works for Heaven, one works for Hell, and they both have drama with a dramatic Dinosaur who is an actress.

I'll have issues 1 and 2 at the festival, and when I start doing conventions in 2015, the drawn out version of issue 3 will finally have been scanned and printed ;-p

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Found Object" for "Creative Tuesdays"

I've had a lot of fun doing this one!  My found object was one I get a lot of use out of (an eraser).  At first I was blocked on what to do, but then I realized I could use an actual block for my submission for this theme.  Observe, below:

As I've been getting into Yoga into the past couple of months, I though it would be fun to do a Yoga illustration, and incorporate the eraser as a Yoga Block!  As you can see, my trusty muse Fuzzles the Koala is the Yogi in this picture, smiling, stretching, and wearing some Yoga-Friendly Threads.  

I've kept this picture all in black and white, in honor of #Inktober.  I used an XS tip Fabercastell Cartooning pen, and also a Japanese Brush Pen.  It's beginning to fray a bit, actually, which gave it some cool effects for the shadows and the fur of the Koala.

And finally, for some links!

Here's the link to the overall Creative Tuesdays Blog:

Here's the link to submit to "Found Object," for this week's challenge.  You have until tomorrow, Tuesday October 21st, so there's still a bit of time!

And lastly, I'll be posting this to Instagram later, and will include my link for any C.T. people I'm not already connected with on that site, to get connected with in the future:

Thanks for reading, and hope everyone is super well!

:-), Donna

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Pie" for Creative Tuesdays

As I posted via Instagram for those of you guys on that site as well, My entry includes Pie (Sweet), Pi (Mathematical), and Pie (Pizza, given that as one who dwells originally from New York, we often refer to Pizza as "Pie").  Here it is below:

I also chose to keep my cartoon sketch black and white because it's October, and online there's a thing going on called "Inktober."  Mister Toast is doing it too; yay for #inktober!  :-D  

It's a challenge to try and do a drawing every day in October, but the caveat is that the drawing has to include ink!  So, I used gray (or light black, as the packaging says) and black ink to draw my Raccoon.  I also drew it in a sketchbook I found and didn't realize I still had, which has textured, natural paper, which you might be able to see some of the texture of from the above photo.

I think he is a Math teacher, and perhaps amateur chef (who forgot to take off his hat upon entering his classroom).  Regardless, he happily brought some pie in for his students to try, while wearing a mathematically appropriate shirt for the occasion, and drawing about "Pie" and "Pi" on his blackboard.  While, secretly dreaming of Pizza.  It would be appropriate that this Raccoon was from New York, as they are critters who have overrun the suburban areas of NYC.  I've mentioned on the blog before, probably, about my dealings with these cute, but unfortunately destructive if they get into your attic, little (or sadly usually thirty to fifty pounds; not that little) guys.  I try and make cartoons and art about them as an homage/peace offering/incentive for them to do their thing in the forest, and not my house.

In any case, I loved looking at everyone's work!  I'm going to include a few links below.

If you are like me and getting this in late, below is the link to submit to this week's challenge for "Creative Tuesdays," of "Pies!"  Mister Toast has a fabulous illustration of a cute little boy carrying a ginormous, sky-high pile of yummy looking pies.

Here's the link to Creative Tuesday's Overall Blog, run by the fabulous Mister Toast, and posted to by a variety of really cool people and artists:

If any of you guys are interested in seeing the similar (but shorter) post/write up of this piece on my Instagram, that link is below:

And for anyone who is also on Instagram, I'd love to follow you/be C.T. buddies!  Link below.

Thanks guys!  Grateful for the inspirational themes, awesome people, and fun challenges of Creative Tuesdays, as always.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Red Apples" for Creative Tuesdays!

Hi everyone, eep, nearly forgot to submit this!  Been so busy with health things and changing life and then also working, I almost forgot to get this in.  But I had a great time doing this "Red Apples" challenge for Creative Tuesdays!

I decided to do a character design, of a girl with an apple inspired ensemble, apple scrunches, and an oversized (and ultimately, shrunk and edible) apple in her hand.  I decided to size this "Extra-Large," so my apologies if both my images below go a little bit outside the blog frame.

I may or may not have mentioned this online, but in addition to my own cartoons and drawings, I also teach at different afterschool programs in and around L.A., where I live (I visit home to NY pretty frequently, and would love to do a workshop there, but have not yet had that chance-- would be fun).  I teach kids how to draw comics and cartoon art, and it's a lot of fun!

Anyway, I always write a lesson for us to go over, and this is from my latest lesson on "Character Design," which means coming up with how a character will look in your comics and/or illustrations (and the next step is then making up their story, name, backstory, background, life, so on).

Character rotation is very important, since you need to know how they'll look from every angle.  I had to draw a human character as an example, and as it's "Back to School" time, I thought it would be fun to have my little character be Apple themed.  I literally spent ten hours working on writing my lesson plan this past Sunday, and she was the final drawing/design I made.

Usually I only show this to my students, but below is a sneak peek/screencap of a bit of the lesson's text, along with this girl character.

So, there you go!  I hope you guys have fun with my little educati-stration.  Or is it an ills-ucation?  Ehh, neither of those were my best puns (and I usually pride myself at my bad joke and wordplay abilities).  This was a fun challenge, and I love what everyone else did, too!  

Incidentally, given health changes I am eating apples like a fiend (although more often the Green Granny Smith's than the pure Red; occasionally I'll have a Gala Red/Yellow), so I doubly enjoyed this.

Without further ado, here are some links!

Here's the link to Creative Tuesday's Overall Blog, run by the fabulous Mister Toast, and posted to by a variety of really cool people and artists:

Here's the link to submit to "Red Apples," while there is still a tiny amount of time today!:

And lastly, I have yet to update my actual site with my educational drawings and writings (I need to get on that), but I'll link to my Instagram in case any of you guys are also on IG and would like to follow along on one another's progress/art posts:

That is all, and thanks so much for this theme/for everyone's awesome participation!  Internet collectives like C.T. make me really grateful for how the web makes the huge distance of the world not so spread out and communal afterall ^_^

Monday, August 11, 2014

"Poppies" for Creative Tuesdays

Hello, Everyone!  I missed the "Red Balloon" C.T. prompt, but I am back and did a lot of work inspired by "Poppies."  Really sorry I didn't get online; I was in New York visiting my family for my birthday.  

One of those important (so they say), decade marking birthdays (eeek!) :-p  Anyway I was so busy with family/not getting out to Starbucks to get Internet, I didn't get to make a new C.T. drawing for that week, and I didn't get online.  But I hope to make up for it this time around  ^_^  Below, is my prompt for "Poppies," as well as other versions of the piece.

As you can see, this watercolor and ink piece refers to "The Wizard of Oz," and the scene with the Poppies.  I immediately thought of this story for this challenge, as I'm a fan of the story and the musical.  Plus, when I was in seventh grade, my middle school put on the production.  I played a Winkie, a Tree, and a Poppy, appropriately enough.

My illustration more playful/less dark than the original scene, but Toto, Dorothy, and the Cowardly Lion are still all a bit sleepy from playing in the Poppies.  I wanted to add the Tin Man and the Scarecrow but my watercolor paper was too small; I'm thinking of making it into a Triptych, and adding two more panels where I could add them in one panel, and then the various witches in another panel.  Will see about that later.

Anyway, Poppies are beautiful, and they were very enjoyable to watercolor.  I got a lot of inspiration from vintage "Wizard of Oz" illustration, and worked towards making my piece semi-modern, semi-vintage, in execution.

This image above is how it looked with just the colored inks, before I added the watercolor.  I like the color version best, but I think this version might be useful if I ever tried to make it into a tee-shirt design.  Although, maybe the color would work better.  Either way I wanted to show my process :-p

And finally, I played around with making both version of this piece into patterns.  The patterns are a bit trippy, but I had fun making them and think they look kind of cool.

Color version of pattern:

Outline version of pattern:

So, that's all for now.  I have to leave a comment on my other blog entry and this week's blog entry page, but a big Thank You to Mister Toast for leaving me a super kind comment on my last C.T. entry, checking in to see if I was okay.  I am, thank you so much!  I missed C.T. and am glad to be back for this round.

Thanks, Mister Toast for all your great hard work and giving everyone a platform ^_^  I'll close with some links.

The link to my website, with print and pattern designs (as of this posting my "Wizard of Oz" work is not on there yet, but I am aiming to get it on there by or before August nineteenth):

The link to go to, to submit your own Poppy illustrations, due on August nineteenth:

Mister Toast's Blog (Home of "Creative Tuesdays"):

Mister Toast's Illustration Website Overall:

Hope everyone has a wonderful week and a day!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Creative Tuesdays and the theme of "Bread and Jam"

Hello All!  I decided to do a simpler, graphic sketch for this C.T., and I had fun!

First off, the theme was bread and jam.  I thought of doing something sweet and classic, maybe a child wearing a Victorian outfit eating some bread and jam.  But then I couldn't stop thinking about Kawaii-- that means super cute in Japanese, and there are a lot of tee-shirts, designs, and just drawings on the web of Kawaii food, where food becomes anthropomorphic, has cute little faces, and has a life of its own.

So, for my "Bread and Jam" submission, there are two tiny pieces of toast who are friends.  One has to help the other, as you can see from the caption above.  I had fun doing this as it was a fun pun to create, and a fun little scene to draw.  I suppose it's a bit cute yet dark given the predicament of the toast in the jam, but, luckily he's got a friend there to save him from the sticky situation.

With maybe a bit of tweaks and re-drawing, I feel like it could work as a tee-shirt or a silly card design.  I know Mister Toast and others have discussed the merits of Traditional art over Vector art, but I'm glad that I drew this one with lines that I think could translate to Vector-ing, if necessary.  I used a pentel brush pen for the lines, le plume markers for the blue background and some of the coloring (those are like copics but not as much), and watercolor for everything else.

Hope everyone is having a great day!  Here is the link to Mister Toast's website, where you can see his wonderful illustrations and read his blog:

And here's his blog entry to submit for today's theme of "bread and jam," for which there is still a bit of time:

Thanks for reading!  Hugs and take care.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Pig" for Creative Tuesdays!

Hi everyone!  Above is my initial submission for the Creative Tuesdays challenge of "PIG!"  It's done in a looser, more cartoony style than I sometimes work in, but I've been playing around with this (and I think this style works good for one panel, gag-cartoon images where the image should be clear-er to read, without too many distracting details like I sometimes am prone to use).

I sketched this out with a brush pen and filled in with Le Plume (like Copic, alchol based and not water based) markers.  My "Pig" piece has to do with the phrase "When pigs fly," which people (or other animals, I am sure) don't think ever happens in real life.  My silly cartoon has a Pig, actually, doing just that, while being confused at seeing a Pink Elephant, who is in turn confused at seeing the Airborne Swine.

A tiny Pink Mouse is also sneaking up, and has no idea what to make of the scene.  Maybe they were all born bright pink.  Or maybe the Elephant and the Mouse wandered into a vat of paint.  Either way, these animals are all a little skeptical of one another, but I'm sure they'll eventually get over it and play together. Maybe if Piggy is strong, he can pick them up and fly them places.

I just got the aforementioned Le Plume markers over the weekend while attending an Anime convention, and they are often used for cartoon and comic illustration.  So, I thought it would be fun to do a little scene for this C.T. submission in a comic-y format, and put these markers to good use.  I also converted the illustration to a Vector style, to see how it would come out looking more digitally:

I'd wager nearly the same, except the vector would have looked much better if I'd either not colored in the grass and sky I think, or if I'd done it in watercolor, as you can see the lines of the marker in this version.  Oh well.  Living, learning, and verrrrry gradually figuring out the whole digital aspect to art :-p

And now, without further ado, here are the links to the great Mister Toast, and his blog/Creative Tuesday Challenges!

To submit to the theme of "PIG," make sure you do it today, the eighth of July!  Click over to this link to do so:

To check out Mister Toast's site, please go to:

And for Creative Tuesdays overall, please go to:

Hope everyone is doing well, and looking forward to seeing lots of cute Piggies for this challenge :-D

Thursday, June 19, 2014

"Creative Tuesdays," and the theme of "I want to go..."

Hello, everyone!  Below is my illustration (a children's illustration) with a double meaning for the C.T. prompt, "I want to go!"


My initial "wanting to go" response was, "I want to go outside and play!"  And, if we're going to get technical-- it is a dream of mine (because of an obsession with Koalas, and a love of traveling) to visit Australia ^_^

So, my full sentence I guess would be, "I want to go outside and play-- In Australia!"  (With a Koala, Wombat, Kangaroo, Bilby, and any other awesome Zoo Creature).

I guess since I'm from New York and descended from some serious Yankee fans, I can consider this little illustration of a Wombat as a spirit animal, representing what I myself would want to do if playing in his homeland.  Not necessarily playing American baseball, per-see, but frolicking outside would be nice.  Speaking of, I also styled his outfit after the Vintage baseball outfits, a la what Babe Ruth wore.

This piece's pun is obvious, as he's outside, playing baseball, and the caption is "Wom-Batter Up!" (Heh heh; oh, wordplays).

In any case, this illustration is one I've done as a children's illustration, and I am trying to do a lot more kids' illustrations with puns, that could be hung in someone's room, or other things with a combination of pictures and texts.  I'm also trying to do various pieces featuring Australian Animals (not only Koalas, Kangaroos, and Wombats, but other ones which aren't as well known).  A friend of mine ordered the print of it, which I have to ship later this afternoon :-p 

And now, without further ado, here are links!

To submit to this "I want to go..." theme for Creative Tuesdays, head to this link of Mister Toast's before Tuesday the 24th of June:

And to check out his overall blog, head here:

Lastly, here's the link to my website-- specifically, the section with prints, patterns, and Australian Creatures:

Thanks for reading, and hope everybody is well!

Hope everyone has a G'Day ;-)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Birdcages for Creative Tuesdays

Hello All!  I will be brief; just writing to show I did two pieces for this week's "Creative Tuesdays."  I did one looser and free-er sketch that is somewhat downbeat in nature.  And I took one happy card I'd done with bird-cages, and turned it into a graphic pattern.

Above, is my first, looser sketch.  Called "Freelance hourly bird," this little birdy is dreaming of going outside, but even in the bird economy he works by the hour, is up late working on the computer with coffee, and very much stuck inside his birdcage if he wants to be able to earn enough to finally leave his nest and get himself some birdie seed.

And on a cheerier note, is the pattern I created out of an old Channukah card!  The girl is feeding seasonal cookies to her rooster and chicken friends, and some of them are in pens/the chicken version of a birdcage.  I digitally cut out the image, repeated it, and included a border with hearts and the Star of David.  As you can see, these little birdies and the human are happier, more upbeat, and less reliant on caffeine than the first birdie in a cage that I sketched for this challenge.

Thanks to everyone for taking a look!  I am very swamped like now like my little bird drawn in the first brush-penned image, but I am looking forward to viewing everyone's lovely pieces when things calm down.

Please check out Mr. Toast's blog:

And go here for more of this Creative Tuesdays "Birdcage or Birdhouse" theme, and to submit by tomorrow, June 9th:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Creative Tuesdays: The Joy Of Socks!

Hello All!  Happy Memorial Day, if you are in the U.S. :-D  Below is my submission for C.T. and "The Joy of Socks."

I took an illustration I had done and re-designed it digitally for this theme.  I wanted to turn a completely unrelated to fashion piece, into somewhat more of a fashion illustration-y piece.  So, I did some digital changes on her outfit, and made the background and floor a bit more graphic (I think the original detail was distracting from the main point of the picture.  Apart from the girl's face, the socks are the biggest part of her outfit that stands out. Now, with the purple, black, and white changes I made working on this digitally, I think they pop out better.  And it was a lot of fun to design the sock pattern itself, which works for the theme "The Joy of Socks!"

I am behind and have to get to commenting on everybody's work from last, and this time.  I am hoping to get to everything tomorrow.  Everybody's drawings that I've peeked at are very fun, and full of sock deisngs I'd wear in real life!

So, without further ado, here are important links!

Below, is the link to Mister Toast's Website:

Next, is the link to his overall Blog:

And finally, the link to the entry where until tomorrow May 27th, you can post your "socks" submissions:

Hope you are all well!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Retro" For Illustration Friday

So, for this week's "Illustration Friday submission," I'm submitting an ink and watercolor illustration I recently finished entitled, "A Bilby, and Quokka, and Dingo, Oh My!"

They are Victoriana-styled marsupials, which I felt was appropriate for the theme of "Retro."  I took care to design their costumes according to that old-fashioned and retro period, and even their toy (the hobby horse) is vintage and not one you'd see as readily available nowadays.

I've had vintage children's books with Edwardian or Victorian-styled costumes cats, dogs, rabbits, and other more immediately recognizable creatures-- and they always inspired me.  But one thing I've been working on lately is a theme of Australian Animal Illustrations.  Finding those in Victorian costumes is a little harder.  And in my illustration, these three are either less known, or less appreciated, creatures of the Outback (for once in my life, not a Koala to be seen)!

The one riding the hobby horse is a little Bilby girl.  Bilbies are a sort of rabbit-like rodent with a mouse nose and tail, with bunny ears.  In Australia, they're endangered-- so people are encouraged to buy Chocolate Bilbies to support the "Easter Bilby" (and not the bunny), as proceeds from said chocolate go towards saving the animals.

The Quokka has gotten popular recently in memes for being cute and smile-y looking in appearance, and mine is smiling while eating a cookie.

And lastly, is my Dingo, the second girl of the group.  They have a bad rep, and can be violent (they are similar to wolves and coyotes), but they are wild creatures and they can also be beautiful- and they play an important part in the Australian ecosystem.

Plus, the great thing about cartoons, illustrations, children's illustrations, comics, and any kind of made up story-- is that realism can be suspended.  Perhaps my Dingo is like the Sharks from "Finding Nemo," but without a chance of relapse.  She's a Vegetarian Dingo who loves her little friends and wouldn't eat them :-p  To paraphrase "Finding Nemo," "Marsupials are Magnificent- Not Meals."

In any case, I'll have prints of these for the comic-con, "Special Edition NYC," coming up in June.  June 14th and 15th at NYC's Javitts' Center.  Got to finish some more comics and prints before that show!  So many things, so little time.

Finally, for links:

To submit to this week's topic of "Retro" for "Illustration Friday," go to:

To see the section of my site with this piece, other patterns/designs, and more Australian Animals, go to:

And for an introduction to neat Aussie Animals, go to:

Thanks for reading!  Hope everyone has a great week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Oak Tree for Creative Tuesdays

So, here's my first C.T. submission in a while!  I'm so glad it's back, and I missed seeing everyone's work, being inspired by themes, and being excited for each time Mister Toast would come up with a different prompt..

My piece this time around is a little different stylistically from what I usually do.  I tend to go heavy on cross-hatching and details, and I wanted to do something a little more free.  So, the above is a sketch I did with Pentel Brush Pens, mostly, and a couple of markers I had in my bag from teaching earlier.  It was a lot of fun, and next time I will use watercolor paper.  The drawing paper I used was quite thin, and pulled a bit with the weight of the ink.  Anyway, I tend to work in super small and thin lines, so for a change of style/less wear on my hand, I let my wrist go free-er for this drawing.

Obviously these oak leaves are stylized, but I wanted to get the feel of the leaves (hence the quick and freely rendered lines), and to include acorns.  There are a few places the acorns are hidden.  And the bark also has hidden things (as hiding animals in bark is something I love to do, and submitted for a C.T. theme a while ago- I'm hoping to create more drawings, either like the one above or the one in the link below, featuring animal characters and neat hidden things):

Anyway.  Since 2013 I have had more dealings with raccoons than I can comprehend.  They are so cute, but so destructive, and ever since my experiences having to help re-home some, I find they're popping up everywhere in my own drawings, and also my life- I have now endless sightings of raccoon children's books, toys, advertisements, and I even noticed a raccoon change-purse in JFK when recently in NY to see family.  But, I know from experience they like to climb Oak Trees.  So, in my Oak Tree, one is snoozing, and the other is thinking.  It's a little hard to guess since it's cryptic, but he's thinking, "Aw," and then there's a picture of an acorn in his thought bubble.  So, that's a pun where he's saying "Aw. nuts."  Since the other one took his favorite spot and is sleeping in it.

In any case, it's now time for some other links!  

Here is the link to submit to "Oak Trees" for Mister Toast's Creative Tuesdays (due Tuesday May Thirteenth):

Here is a link to my site overall, where random raccoons can also be found:

And, finally, below is a link to Alexandra of Blue Chair Diary's Etsy, where her art can be bought:

 She is an amazing artist, with inspirational and sweet watercolors that are rendered with fine ink lines.  She is also married to Mister Toast!   I wanted to link to her Etsy so people can not only see her work, but support it.  She deserves all the love and support possible right now.

Hope you are all well, and looking forward to talking to the longtime C.T. members again, and meeting some new ones.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Natural" for Illustration Friday

For the latest "Illustration Friday," here is a link to my several animals hanging out together!

The theme is "natural," and I decided to submit this illustration since-- while cartoony and a little fantastical with the hearts (and the Kangaroos pocketing hearts and flowers in their pouches)-- animals hanging out together in the wild is one of the most natural things in the world.

Plus, it's "natural" for bees to pollinate, and for there to be a circle of life, and thus the circular design/pollinating bee/other animals in this piece all "naturally" relate to one another!

Bonus inclusion: I turned the design into a little repeated pattern, as seen below.

I've been working on doing more design-y illustrations that are a little more graphic and less line-y and cross-hatch-y.  This one was especially fun, as I could see this kind of repeat pattern on fabric or wallpaper or some such, and I could see the single original design as something on a bag, tee-shirt, or what have you.

Still need to do a bigger update, but very busy!  So this will have to be all for now.

Here are some links!

The print and pattern section of my site (still to be updated, and the site overall must be renewed, eep!):

And, the link to do I.F. for this week's "Natural" theme:

Thanks for reading, and hope everyone's off to a great week :-D

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Zodiac" for Illustration Friday

Woo, second blog post in a while!  #OnARoll.  Anyway, here we go.  This is just an art post, but a news post will be soon-ish, I'm hoping :-p

So, this week's I.F. theme is "Zodiac."  On a whim, I Googled "Koala astrology," and lo and behold! It exists! It turns out that in the "Primal Astrology" zodiac calendar, marsupials abound.  A platypus, a koala, and a kangaroo all have their own sign/description, the way the Horse does in the Chinese calendar (for example), or the Lion for Leo does in the Western calendar (For another example).

So, keeping in this theme, above are three animals from the Primal Zodiac: a sepia ink illustration I did of a Platypus, Koala, and Kangaroo, all wearing Victoriana styled clothing.  It's an illustration of The Advetures of Miss Roo, Mister K. O. Wala, and Sir Plat. E. Pus.  This will be in color eventually, but I wanted to keep one scan of the just brown/sepia inked version. 

I'm rather familiar with the Western Zodiac, and the Chinese one.  I'm a Leo Western wise (with a lot of Cancer elements; which on the one hand can help make me a more tolerable and better listener type Leo, but on the other hand means I can tend towards putting up with too much/being a more repressed "White Swan" kind of Leo when the natural, un-filtered urge would be to completely "Black Swan" out). 

It was pretty cool learning about this new Zodiac calendar, which is like the Western and Chinese calendar combined (it goes by month and year you are born), and seeing how many different animals and their qualities were talked about on this calendar. I personally was not a Koala (sadness), but found out I was an Otter. 

Some of that description was very accurate, and some wasn't, but it's still cool to now know between all the various calendars of the Zodiac, I am a combination Lion/Rat/Otter.  Hrmmm.  Perhaps that mashup of a creature would be something fun to draw...

In any case, for parties interested in some links for art/Zodiac shenanigans, they are below.  Thanks for reading!

Some Other Marsupials on my Site, via Prints and Patterns (To Be Updated with this illo as well, soon):

The Primal Zodiac Otter Description:

The Primal Zodiac Platypus Description:

The Primal Zodiac Koala Description:

The Primal Zodiac Kangaroo Description:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Illustration Friday: Survival

So... been really busy and bad about blogging, but, busy is good!  I really miss blogging and have to manage my time better.  Boo.

Anyway, I will update later with more details on art things, but for now, here's my entry for the I.F. theme of "Survival:"

To survive, one must eat.  To survive happily (at least if you are me), chocolate is involved.  And for raccoons (who I've had some dealings with, as I may have alluded to), a key component of their survival is not just eating, but, gorging.

At least the ones in the suburbs like sugar, so, you could easily see a raccoon surviving on a diet like the one in the "Rac-cookie'' illustration above.  He's from a pattern I created.  But for this theme, I decided to isolate him as a single illo.

Running to work now, so I shall leave off with some links:

Here's my updated site, with a few patterns (including the pattern version of the dude above!):

And here's the link to submit to Illustration Friday:

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Works In Progress

So much going on!  Going to get back to regular blogging.  For now, here are some progress updates.

Above, there are the Circus-Supials!  Or are they mar-circus-als?  Either way, they are a traveling troupe that I began as an illustration for cards/possible packaging and bolt-fabric, and also am going to start a webcomic with.  My favorite one is probably the Koala dressed up as a lion.  Because who doesn't prefer to dress up as something seemingly more fun than yourself, at least some of the time?  Perhaps one of his story lessons will be to accept himself, without needing a huge costume or idenityt change.

Next, here's a clip from my new comic with Dya the Diva Dinosaur!  It's my newest mini-comic, all centered around puns, silly animals, Dinosaurs (or, one dino), and clams.

Quick backstory/pitch, now that you've read those pages.  There are two clams: Sam (Samantha), who works as a bad conscience.  Bob works as a good conscience.  Despite their opposing jobs, they are actually best friends, and also a couple.

Dya the Dinosaur is also Sam's friend,  Dya, specifically, is a T-Rex and an actress.  Unfortunately, Sam may have kind of messed up a future movie gig for her... so, the two clams are out on a date at the Times Square Toys R Us, and trying to avoid Dya.  Unfortunately, Dya notices.  And kind of has a fit.  Only posting a couple of page peeks, but more can be found in the comic itself!  (Which I debuted at L.A. Zine Fest and will have at the other cons and fairs I'm doing).

Now, back to the Marsupials.  The above character is from a painting of mine I've posted about before, but in keeping with the Koala theme, I keep coming back to her.  An off-shoot story from this print is in the works, too.

And finally, as I've now gotten really into prints and patterns (still learning and got a ways to go), this is a simple little racc-ookie print I made.  Yes, that's a pun on raccoon and cookie.  Given that I have first hand experience dealing with trappers to safely take them out of houses and to the forests where they belong, I am very aware of how much they love human food.  And sugar!  Like, cookies.  Anyway, in a cartoon pattern they are kid friendly, cute, and fun.  In real life, they're cute, but unfortunately from a distance and not in your house.

That's all, and I hope everyone reading is well!  I myself am looking forward with a mix of excitement, and trepidation, to NYC's latest snowfall (as I'm here for a week, before going back to California and it's at the moment rare rain, and back again-- but, those are stories for another time). (-: