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