Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category


Sunday, July 26th, 2009


How do you freak Rachel out? You make her think she has a finished marked-up manuscript –  then you let her think SHE LOST IT. Hilarity ensues… as long as you’re not Rachel, anyway.

I turned the house upside down looking for this special pile of papers before I vaguely recalled (conjured?) my mom plopping them in her carry-on before returning West a few weeks ago. A phone call cleared that up, and my heartbeat returned to a speed that wouldn’t cause me lasting anatomical harm. It wasn’t actually finished, so she took it home with her.


On a similar note: while my mom was in town, we had the following disturbing conversation.

The Mom: “Now, okay, imagine a wave, and every event in your story is building up to the crest of the wave, and then you have the climax, which is the crest of the wave.

Me: “… you mean rising and falling action?”
The Mom: “Er, yes, exactly…”

And then she promptly changed the subject. So I was left wondering if a) that comment had serious bearing and D2 lacks the plot building that would make it an exciting adventure, or b) the mom hadn’t discussed stories and writing for over 1 1/2 years and wasn’t sure how to begin.

Thankfully — at least as far as David’s concerned, anyhow — it seems Editor #1’s attentions are simply split three ways from Sunday. Her third child is in his teens and she’s working a full-time job for the first time since we were all but wee chilluns. Her foray back into an office setting has revealed that those same vindictive manipulators and jerks we all grew up with? The ones that we assumed would eventually mature into something more resembling a human being? They never evolved. They’re still around, still nasty, and someone gave them power. So she’s dancing a political tango while editing her daughter’s grammatical nightmare. Poor woman.

Currently, however, I am sitting next to pages 1 through 62, ready to dive in. I’m very excited about it.

But first, in the realm of random productivity…

I am now a member of city’s spiffy Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, which I’m all sorts of tickled about. I expected them to stifle giggles, passing my portfolio around and poking fun at its amateur skill and the silly, cute/creepy vibe. If they did, they graciously let me in anyway. It seems populated with interesting, talented people, and I understand the have a killer Christmas party.


Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Josh, Val and I went screen-printing last night. We were initially put off after some print-on-transparency drama, but we made it to AIR before the place became too busy. Josh made some shirts. If you have any nerd blood coursing through your veins, you can probably read it.



This is one of mine:


Don’t ask, because I don’t know. But I have a bunch of them, because once you go through the process of designing, burning, rinsing, drying, and setting up? You might as well make ONE HUNDRED OF THEM. Want one? $5 and it’s yours (plus shipping if I can’t hand-deliver). Request a color and I’ll see what I can do. Inks are silver or white.


Ah, Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 7th, 2009


I like love and happiness and chocolate at much as the next human, but I hate seeing pink in February (especially now that the Great Pink Candy Aisle rears its ugly head January 2nd…).

You’re free to give this to your honey if you wish, although I can’t take any responsibility for what their reaction will be. You might get smooches, but I make no guarantees.

Best case scenario? Probably cupcakes, but they might be poisoned. Watch your back, Casanova.

And I am totally double dipping. Don’t get mad. You’re still the favorite.

Impossible Projects

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

misscleo.jpgWay back when, when we weren’t hunting bears in our bare feet in the overgrown and thorny wilds of West Virginia, I was continually exposed to commercials for the Psychic Friends Network, represented by the boisterous Miss Cleo. Her artificial Jamaican accent would shout out over her crystal ball about reading your tarot: You have to call now! Only 99 cents a minute! Is he cheating on you? You’ll never know unless you call! Limited time offer! 99 cents!

I am going to be Miss Cleo for a moment*, and predict my own future.

Around May, or very possibly before then, I am really going to hate myself.

The project that will rob me of my sanity? One illustration a week for all of 2009.

I came up with the idea over my Christmas-to-New-Year’s time off work. The plan? Buy a domain, set up a little Wordpress, quietly update and if, at the end of 2009, I was able to successfully complete it, perhaps I could have a little show for all the pieces. If nothing else, I’d have a hefty collection of 52 new pieces and there’d be solid high fives all around.

I told Josh my idea and he, in complete amazement and disbelief at the impossibility of the project, began hyping it up to anyone that would sit still long enough to listen. And after hearing him talk about how crazy it is over and over again, I’m now wondering if that kind of discipline is actually possible at all. But he’s gone and told people, which means I can’t fail now. Check out, and wait for me to crash and burn.

No pressure.

*without the false advertising, lawsuits for fraud, multiple aliases and other various other untruths.


Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I’d do the obligatory apology for not blogging more, but after a stint several years ago of blogging every itty-bitty detail of my life, I resolved only to update when I had something other people might like to read. Otherwise, I’d be apologizing for stupid filler content. So: no sorrys*. Instead, here’s a general update on things.

The Sum of David (1): I’ve been having problems getting myself to write the necessary query letters needed to find an agent for this series. After an exhausting week of personal drama, I find myself with a renewed fire in my belly to get this done. We’ll see how long those embers burn.

The Sum of David’s currently untitled sequel: The third draft is now with it’s first editor (aka “Mom”). This year said editor has a full-time job, however, so she can’t go through it with her usual speed. I jeeringly requested sometime in 2009, but now I’m beginning to wonder how seriously she took that. The good thing about it being out of my hands is that I can concentrate on those query letters. Well, except for…

The Sum of David’s third and FINAL installment: I made my first notes for this series-ender last weekend after a lot of time on the road. Since then, I have post-its in my jacket pocket, doodled napkins in my purse and scribbles on my notepad at work. I think it might be time to start carrying the D3 Notebook around full-time. Considering I was feeling lost and uninspired about this not long ago, I am very excited about this change in motivation. I had feared the spark/gestation period I usually experience wasn’t going to happen. It turns out David’s story won’t be determined by whether I get picked up or not. I’ll write as long as it takes to tell his tale. It’s more honest that way anyway. And hot dang, there’ll even be romance.

Illustration: The long road trip last weekend also solidified the idea that I would like to do at least as much work for myself as for other people in the near future. There’s a screen printing play-date scheduled — what I hope to be one of many this year — and I’ve undertaken a personal growth project I will probably hate myself for once we hit, oh, about May. More on that later.

*Yes, that’s right: my “A” game. I’m giving you guys my best stuff. ..I know. It’s sad.

Beware of tooth-rotting cuteness

Friday, November 21st, 2008

It’s not a pony or a wii, but I hope she still likes it…


I got a sugar high just making this. I can’t take credit for the poem, I found it online. And although a seven year old won’t appreciate the illustration all that much (at least not now), she’s also got a new friend to accompany it:


I mean, dang: that’s just adorable. Cloud by My Paper Crane, purchased from Pittsburgh’s Handmade Arcade. Seriously, go there and try not to buy something. Super cute!

The Sum of David 2.2

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

I met half of my goal. My intention to edit through The Sum of David’s sequel twice before Sept. 1st didn’t go quite as planned, but I made it through once.

And I rewrote the ending, and it was a toughie. I kind of cried a little.

So there. I want a cookie.

Now I have a binder full of my efforts (all 215 pages of it) and a big, nasty red pen that can’t wait to *slash! slice! boom!* through it. Let the slaughtering of words begin!

Also: I really need to hash out a title for this manuscript. I can’t keep calling it The Sum of David 2, that’s just silly.

Also also: I’ve been working on some illustrations that I can’t wait to show off. It’s pretty much the best stuff I’ve done in a long time. Maybe ever.

And I bought a suitcase. I’m going to paint it. You can’t stop me.

C’est la vie, n’est ce pas?

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Remember last month when I declared that I was going to take a month off to concentrate on my writing?

Recall, if you will, that I was going to weed through the first draft twice before the Sept 1st deadline.

Remember that sometimes, just sometimes, I’m a big fat liar.

Recent events have forced me to adjust that schedule a little. It’s not because I’m lazy or don’t want to — on the contrary, I’d love nothing more than to sit and dedicate a nice delicious block of time to it.

Taking August off didn’t work out quite out the way I had intended, but it is absolutely 100% okay. An exciting project came along that I just couldn’t pass up; and, considering the grand scheme of things — you know, the things that don’t contribute to me meeting my writing deadline — in the grand scheme of things it will work out wonderfully. I get to flex my illustration muscles and creative mojo, and the financial boost will be perfectly timed by the project’s completion.

I pulled the trigger on a two-week trip overseas last week. Which is very frightening. And very exciting. And très cher.

I truly never thought I would ever deeply care about the value of the American dollar (that’s for old people, right?) but I so do. If it could shape up in the next week to something reasonably comparable to the Euro, that’d just be grand.
In other words, I have to take into account the extra-curricular paying passion, instead of the just time-eating passion. Nothing eats my insides like excuses, but I’m not really considering this as an excuse — rather, I’ve dubbed it necessary prioritization.

My words will still be there when I get back.

Tastey Walls

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Design Sponge is one of my favorite blogs. They post several times a day, and somehow encompass so many of my interests: art, furniture, design, color… YUM.


They recently posted a short piece on one Ami Suma, a fashion editor doing some fantastic murals in New York. I’ve seen children’s murals before, but nothing like this. They are amazing. I love how she has uses the window and door frames, and wraps the artwork around the corners and onto the ceiling. The designs and colors really make the room a little child’s imaginative wonderland and playful sanctuary.


If I never had to work again, THIS is what I would want to do with my time. Adorable gum-drop murals for little kids. Yes, please.

I’ve been playing with the idea of doing a mural in my studio when I redo it. The only thing I did when we moved in was to remove the nautical wallpaper trim. Suma has converted that desire into a desperate burning need.

Check out the rest of her gallery out here.

Remember, kids:

Sunday, July 27th, 2008


Well, from what I understand Lazarus did it first; but Jesus made it cool.