The First Day of The Last Semester

In case you were curious and wanted to hear about my first day of class.....

Did I mention I'm still a student?  So today school started again!  It's the last time school will start for me, cuz next comes graduation.  (weird... weird)  My family would probably say, "Sure...  We've heard that one before."  This time it's happening!

Oh, I go to Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah by the way.  Go wolverines!

YouShouldYouShould: Watercolor?

The critical artist in me hates that I'm showing you this.  You better feel very special. 

Remember this is still like a "rough draft."  Normally I'd put a lot more time and planning into it but this is just to get a general look and feel...  ya know?  Anyway.  So here's one example.  Not too bad...  I'm just not sure though.  Watercolor is just a whole animal of its own!  I was missing the way acrylic works, surprisingly enough... and I don't feel as satisfied with this... but maybe that's cuz it's a little messy compared to a real finished piece.  I just don't know!  lol

YouShouldYouShould: Choosing a Medium????

This choice has held me up for some time!

I have to pick between: 
pen and ink with water color, 
or ball point pen and water color, 
or graphite (pencil) with watercolor, 
or gouache paint, 
or acrylic paint.

I have the most experience doing children's book illustration in acrylic paint, but I really love making art that involves more use of LINE.  So I'm testing a couple things out.  These are small 8x10'' cold press illustration board.

TOMORROW:  I paint on these with watercolor!  Then we'll see how we like...

YouShouldYouShould: Thumbnails

A tiny small sketch used to put ideas down quickly on paper, as well as to figure out quickly the start of placement and design, is called a thumbnail.  So if you hear artists use this term, now you know they're not just strange "unique artists" who are obsessed with weirdo things like the dead ends of their thumb.

So today I spent working out thumbnails!  Some of my old ones were bugging me, and once I put pages next to each other I saw too many similarities in size relationships and camera angles.  Makes for boring reading and dull page turns.  I also hadn't finished the last third thumbnails of the story board so I got those knocked out today as well!  Yay!

As promised, here is my progress work:

(believe me, these ugly little sketches took a lot of time and thought)

Music and Art: Left Brain, Right Brain

First, I'm sorry for the delay--I'm in process of moving right now.

So.  I'm all excited to draw again!!  I'll tell you why, but first let me give you some background so you understand.

As an early art student I took "Drawing I" and my professor set up some cones and boxes with direct lighting in the center of the room for us to draw, and then.... turned on some music.  "Cool.... music!  I like this guy," was my only thought.  I soon discovered there was more to this trick than met my naive ears.  He explained that drawing is a right brain activity, and if we put on music, we distract the left brain which will allow the right brain to go to work and draaaaaw til there's no tomorrow.  Surgeons do the same thing while operating.  You've probably found that music or audio books help while you're cleaning or cooking.

So back to why I'm excited to sit and draw again: I've had a lot of advice about tapping into things that inspire me.  I was sick of all my music and didn't have that to look forward to anymore.  And music is one of my main inspirations and passions in life.  SO... I recently found the BEST pandora station.  Escala Radio.  I highly recommend.  Especially when in brainstorming, idea-oriented, thumb-nailing stages (because left brain is needed).  If you're like me, you can't listen to your favorite songs, especially if you love singing along, because you won't be able to concentrate and think of ideas.  But once you get the thumb-nails knocked out, you can put back on your fav songs and sing along again because now your art is back to right brain--thinking about color, shape, texture, design, etc.  Now I'm all happy to sit and work cuz I get to plug into Escala Radio.  If I'm being really honest, the real excitement is that I also only just remembered pandora existed.  Where have i been!  How many amazing stations are there to discover??!

So it's awesome.  That's what works for me.

What inspires you?


Dear Anxiety

July 2012

Dear Anxiety,

Just wanted to thank you for being a part of my life.  I enjoy the time I spend afraid of all the people who will look at my every upcoming blog post of art.  What joy I have worrying about failing, worrying about deadlines, worrying about succeeding and responsibility, worrying about being a pretty penniless illustrator, worrying about what my dear supportive audience will think, worrying about opinions expectations and disappointments of college professors, gallery owners, editors art-teams and publishers, bedtime story readers, my friends and family, cats and dogs, me.  Worrying I should have become a nurse.  Oh anxiety, my dear friend.  Nobody can quite overwhelm the way you do.  The loss of focus, the lack of concentration and energy, the time we spend in bed together staring at the ceiling, thinking thinking thinking of all the work I haven't done.  Oh what would I do without you.  Your smooth way of immobilizing creative passion and desire.  The way you disintegrate artistic fuel.  What talent and skill you have at magnifying each tiny expectation by a thousand.  The way you coax me into hours on facebook and youtube.  Your potent influence never fails.  Aren't I lucky.

Just wanted you to know.

Yours truly,


August 11, 2012

Dear Anxiety,

I'm sorry.  I've thought it over carefully, and decided this relationship needs to end.  I've got WORK to do!  So.  Take a hike!!  With a porcupine!!  Bye!

Not yours,


P.S.  I know that due to your chronic and pathetic attachment to me, you'll be back to visit.  Know this: no more Miss Nice Girl.

Dear Fellow Artists,

Here's a helpful article written by Ami Mattison: