What happens when you’re “just doodling.”

The other night I couldn’t sleep, so I pulled out my iPad and began doodling, with nothing in mind. At first I wasn’t feeling it and almost gave up for the evening, but the insomnia had kicked in by then, so I kept going.

Somehow I hit a zen moment where suddenly everything felt so easy and natural, and I wound up with a pile of cute little animal sketches.

They’ve received a warm reception from my online groups and various Facebook friends, all encouraging me to turn them into something. Nursery decor? Kid’s t-shirts? Fabric?

Great, right?

Yeah, not so much, because as mere sketches I created all of them at about 50% of the size I’d need in order to upload them to a POD site for production. I’m going to have to make them again from scratch at a bigger file size.

While playing, I got lost in all my fun brushes and textures, and have no idea what I used in order to create these pieces. I’m sure I can figure it out. That’s not what worries me, though; I’m dreading the loss of that zen feeling I had when I wasn’t “trying.” I dread ending up with a series of lifeless, wooden drawings, as so often happens when you switch from a study to a final piece.


Gonna do it anyway. 😌

Character design

I’ve been developing a character for the SVSLearn June contest—the brief asks for a furry mammal character, around the size of a 5-year-old, to be used in an animated children’s show, a picture book, as a plush toy, and, I dunno, a blockbuster Pixar movie, maybe? One can dream.

Here is my interpretation of the brief for Albert, the “kid” who comes to live with a human family and must learn a few manners along the way.


Just received my copy of What They Don’t Teach You in Art School, by Will Terry, and wish it had been around when I first graduated. Thought-provoking, well-written and fully illustrated by the author, this is a worthy addition to my bookshelf.
I’m also waiting for my (used) copy of the 15th edition of Graphic Artists Guild’s Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, a book I’ve purchased in the distant past and never had the chance to implement as a designer charging an hourly rate.Simpler times, but also less interesting; the pursuit of greatness requires risk.

Also on my nightstand:
It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, by the brilliant Julia Cameron
Make Your Art No Matter What, by Beth Pickens
Illustration Workshop, by Mary Kate McDevitt
Making Comics, by Lynda Barry
Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire

What are you reading, artwise?