I won a consultation with the AMAZING Janna Morishima, agent and creator of the graphic novel community called Kids Comics Unite. She gave me excellent advice for revising my website in the one hour that we chatted this past week. Janna also shared ideas on what to do with SEO and my blog. So, over December, I think I’ll be doing some planning for the new year and preparing to implement some of the strategies she suggested.

In the meantime, I’ll stick with more bird drawings. I hope you like them!

And because of the title I chose, I have the David Bowie song running through my head now.

Bird (on the) brain

There’s been a lot of talk about birds recently…that ginormous bird platform named Twitter, the other ginormous bird called turkey that people in the U.S. often have for Thanksgiving.

But I’d like to share some birds unrelated to either one because I don’t want to get started on venting about Twitter’s new evil overlord nor about the injustices brought on the indigenous population since that first Thanksgiving meal.

I’ve been keeping up with nature journaling and some of those sketches happen to be birds. Birds are fascinating and delight me most of the time (also do not get me started on Brown-headed Cowbirds). I’ve not spent much time studying their anatomy even though I’ve bought the Cornell Bird Lab home-study course on bird biology, so I’m hoping that doing these types of sketches will help me get better at drawing them.

Do you have a favorite bird? Is it your favorite because you can draw it, or because it comes to your feeder daily? Or perhaps it’s the tastiest?

Also, when should I stop sharing these posts on Twitter? All these questions…

Another challenge done

While I’m glad to be rid of the #SCBWIartober challenge, I am grateful I did it because it forced me to scribble something almost daily. Here are the last few drawings.

Day 25 “treat” was combined with day 26 “strange”

Day 27 was “broom” and day 28 was “spirit”; those got combined into this:

And finally, I combined the last three days of “bees,” “fall,” and “BOO!” into a single drawing:

That last one is pretty funny, I think.

Next week, I’ll blather on about an entirely different topic. I’m sure you’re breathlessly awaiting that. 😀

I ain’t afraid of no hands

A couple of weeks ago, I attended San Diego SCBWI’s MayFest virtual conference. Brian LaRossa, Art Director at Scholastic gave a fascinating and engaging talk on the “dos and don’ts” of an illustration portfolio. I’m a huge sucker for talks that have numbered points because those are often laid out in a clear, logical way that I can wrap my brain around.

One of the things he urges you not to do is to hide hands. A good illustrator needs to be able to draw hands. That was good news for me because I love drawing hands! I don’t do it often enough and I’m probably rusty at it, but I do enjoy it.

Here are some hands I did quick sketches of a number of years back…

You may have noticed that most of the drawings are of the left hand. That’s because I’m right-handed and my left hand serves as the model. That happens a lot, apparently. The one drawing of the right hand is of Kid1’s hand as they ate a noodle dish in Xi’an when we were there in 2013.

Have you ever tried to draw hands? What about feet? Now, THOSE I don’t like to draw. As I said to a friend, feet are like the ugly, malformed cousins of hands. Heh.

Random cartoons + a break

To the 5 people who read my blog 😆 , my brain is crying out for a break, so I thought I’d leave you with some random cartoons I drew several years back and bid you au revoir until the new year.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season filled with laughter and joy, and friends who understand you! See you in 2022 🕊💖

Writing versus Other things…who wins?

It’s apparently a draw. Or a drawing or five. I debated whether I should do the #scbwiartober thing. It’s never been a completely satisfactory experience doing these group challenges, but I still get pulled in every so often.

Then a friend on social media shared about this other challenge, ##autumnwoods2021 , and I stupidly decided that the best thing to do was to combine the two.

No, the best thing to do would be to ignore both altogether and work on my writing. But I never learn from past miserable experiences. 🙄 All is not lost, however, I’ve decided I should stop at 10. I’ll share the first 5 with you today and the last 5 next Friday.

I swear that panther is me. 😐
“Now where was that acorn I’d hidden?”
“Get off my tail, you stupid kids.”
I’ve seen this happen to insects and birds before! 😆

All of these were done with Tombow Dual Brush Pens. And to compensate for my whining, I have to admit that doing these forced me to think creatively when trying to combine the words into an interesting scene. They also gave me some practice with the Tombow markers. I’m not very good at making art with markers.

Have you participated in challenges where you look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “What in the heck were you thinking of???” Tell me about it on Twitter!

Challenge yourself

Because I wasn’t swamped and stressed enough with deadlines last month, I decided to try an illustrated journaling challenge on Skillshare.

Some people say that doing art lowers their stress level, but I don’t find that the case for me because I’m very critical of my own work. Despite that, it turned out to be surprisingly fun. And because I didn’t hate the results too much, I thought I’d share a few with you.

Let me know if you try this yourself! I’d love to see what drawings you come up with.

Past issues

I found drawings I did back in December of 2016 on my hard drive. I had a lot of anger issues over a certain event that November. Bet you can’t guess what precipitated those feelings.

But to end on a slightly upbeat note…

I don’t know why I don’t do more ink drawings. Could it be that I don’t have enough time between writing, authoring, baking, knitting, volunteering for SCBWI, 12×12, and a few more things?

What, this old piece of #art?

I did a drawing exercise in an art class for non-art majors once and hubby likes it so much he has had it hanging in his office for the past 24 years.

img_3306So sweet of him. And one of his grad students told me recently that he’s admired it when he’s in hubby’s office. That made me happy, too.


What a week…and not in a good way

In the past several days we had trespassers we had to call the county sheriff for, I had a couple of agent rejections, my dad has had recurring dizzy spells (he’ll be 80 next year), and a dear family friend (our age) died of cancer.

This old sketch (5 minute Inktober drawing) kind of captures how I feel right now.