Happy New Year!

It’s December 31st already and I’m not entirely sure how that happened.  It’s been a busy year for me and I’m looking forward to an even crazier year in 2010.  Some highlights from my year:

  • Getting engaged and moving in with my fiance!
  • Moving again thanks to crazy upstairs neighbors and finding a new, amazing place.
  • Making the decision to kick-start an illustration career and getting a few real jobs.
  • My Christmas miracle: Somehow getting bumped above the 23 people on the last standby flight to Omaha on Christmas Eve, that flight actually taking off despite snow in Minneapolis and freezing fog in Omaha, and getting to my brother’s house safely.

All in all it was a great year.  I have a lot to look forward to next year including my wedding (and honeymoon, of course!) and the possibility of moving to another state.  I have also set a couple of goals for myself like finishing my portfolio and having my work appear in a publication.

What goals have you set for yourself in 2010?

Below are a few sketches I did in my Moleskine over the holiday.  I received a set of Posca Uni-Paint markers that I’ve started playing with. I love the way they look and they are so easy to use. Unfortunately, they do bleed through Moleskine pages a bit … The baby chicken in army gear was a detailed study for a larger piece I’m doing based on the Illustration Friday topic “Hatch” from about 2 weeks ago.


Jamie Tanner, Bobby Chiu and WiP

Just in time to be an early Christmas present, I received these nice little gifts from Jamie Tanner as a reward for supporting his Kickstarter project.  I was expecting the handsome Bird Man mini sketchbook and the mini zine of his Inktober drawings, but the lovely squid ‘Thank You’ print was an extra bonus.  So a big thank you to Jamie and a huge congratulations on having his project more than fully funded!  I look forward to continuing updates on the project.

I feel bad that I haven’t had as much new work to show you lately so I thought I would show you some of what I’ve been working on.  Above is a shot of my drawing table and my larger, in-progress version of the recent Illustration Friday topic “Hatch.”  The sketch is what I had submitted as my entry and I liked the topic so much that I decided to work on something more finished and more complicated.  There will be many more chicks in a more complete environment.  When I think about it in my head I imagine it in color, but I plan to do it in my black and white, cross-hatching style.  I can always do a digital painting of it later – which I just might do.  Later this week I plan to start one of Bobby Chiu’s digital painting classes over on Schoolism. The self-taught classes are on sale until 12/26 if you’ve wanted to learn more about digital painting.  Bobby Chiu’s work is fantastic, along with the fact that he’s just a nice guy (he called me immediately after I emailed a question about the classes) and I’m really looking forward to learning from someone with such talent.

And with that, I would like to wish you all a Happy Holiday season and a Happy, creativity-filled New Year!

Business Cards!

I have business cards!!  Now that I’ve actually started to get a job here and there, I want to start putting myself out there in a more professional manner.  And my new business cards arrived just in time because I had a meeting with a new client last night.  The picture on the front turned nice and clear and I’m so excited to start handing them out (and leaving them in coffee shops and subway cars! Yay for guerilla marketing!).

IF: Hatch

Again this week I didn’t have the time to actually complete my concept for Illustration Friday.  Between the illustration jobs (yay!) and trying to see friends and family for the holidays, my own work has taken a back seat.  I decided to share this sketch because it has inspired me to do a much bigger and more complicated version of this concept.  That being said, I would really love some critiques on this – particularly on the layout.  I plan to do this much bigger with a wider angle and lots more chicks (“Chicks Maaan” sorry – channeling ‘The Soup’).  I will probably adjust the angle so that the viewer isn’t looking at the aisle head-on.  Also, the speech bubble probably won’t exist, that was just for fun.

Illlustrator Ben Mounsey aka Green Glasses

Gone Fishing


Since I’ve been working on some client work and haven’t had anything new to show you for a few days, I thought I would feature one of my favorite illustrators.  Ben Mounsey is an illustrator and animator who has worked for both Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and his work is fantastic

I simply cannot say enough good things about this guy’s art.  He creates beautiful color palettes and dynamic characters in both tradtitional and digital media..  Regardless of the subject matter the work has an incredible impact that I can only hope to achieve one day.  I want the above piece hanging on the wall behind my drafting table for inspiration!

Bus Stop


I’m not much of a wordsmith, so I’ll let Ben’s work speak for itself.  Please visit his website. You can also find him on Flickr and on Twitter – I recommend that you follow him on both of those sites.

Journal 12/12/09


Have you ever noticed that the more you draw, the more you want to draw?  That has been my experience over the last couple of weeks.  I’ve been working on a few things for clients and when I was ready to stop for the evening, I wasn’t ready to stop drawing.  It was a very productive weekend.  This drawing that just sort of happened without a lot of thought behind it.  The fact that our apartment was frigid and ‘March of the Penguins’ was on may have had something to do with it!

Winter really snuck up on me this year.  It may have something to do with the fact that this summer in New York was rainy and really not summer at all and Fall was very short-lived.  The only solace is that it is the holiday season and I’m looking forward to traveling home next week  to Nebraska to spend time with my family.

IF: Crunchy – Unfinished

"I warned you about eating armored knights."

This is my entry for Illustration Friday this week.  It’s a bit unfinished but I wanted to get in on time!  It’s been a busy week!

Medicinal Honey


This is an illustration I did to accompany an article for my company’s newsletter on the medicinal value of honey.  I like the way the drawing came out and I thought I would try something a little different by only coloring a portion of the image.  I would like to go back and redo the color.  Last night I was a bit rushed and wasn’t able to use my drawing tablet so I think I will go back in and try to give it some richer color and a more painterly look.

Also, a bit of news:  I officially have four legitmate illustration jobs!  I was starting to feel like it would be a very long time before I was able to get real work, but now it’s here!  I know that working as an illustrator comes with times of feast and famine so I’m going to do my best to enjoy this time and not stress if it’s a few months before something else comes along.  These are great opportunities for me to gain experience and hopefully a few portfolio pieces for when I’m ready to start promoting myself to art directors.  Thank you to everyone for all your supportive comments – it means a lot to me!

Illustration Motivation Featured

Today I was informed that Illustration Motivation is currently being featured on the art blog of web designer Leora Wenger.  I’m so flattered to be included with the other talented illustrators that she has listed there so please take a look at their work as well.

Carin Berger

Gabi Companario

Timothy Banks

Lotta Nieminen

Journal 12/3


It seems that I haven’t been in the mood to do much writing lately.  This was a drawing inspired by how I was feeling at work this week.  Just trudging through.  Since then I’ve managed to snag a genuine illustration gig (or two)!  I don’t feel like my portfolio is ready to be promoted to art directors yet, but I do feel like I’m ready for a few tiny little jobs to get my feet wet.  Now I have to quickly learn as much as I can about the business of illustration so that I don’t get taken advantage of.