Digital Illustration

I don’t own and have never used photoshop. Just always found it to be too expensive.  Instead I used CorelDraw, scanning in images etc. and later on I downloaded Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Twisted Brush Studio (pixarra). Really though Autodesk Sketchbook Pro has been my main go to program especially in learning to work in layers and with brushes at differing sizes, opacities and saturations.

A book Cover

I designed this for a friend’s book that was published in 2013. She needed a cover pretty fast, hated the generic one the publisher was suggesting and asked me to design a cover instead. I sent a thumbnail to her via email which she sent to her publisher and  they said to go ahead. Took no time at all to do the artwork. Took longer to find compatible software options for her publisher to use since I don’t have photoshop. And I had to get permission for one of the fonts to be used or embedded in the document.

Character ideas

I have been looking at lots of drawings, some traditional and many digital. A lot of animated things too. It has an affect on how you begin to approach drawing characters. I doodled this in just about half an hour. Thinking about how animated manga graphic novels and tv series handle hair almost as a character all by itself. And it doesn’t have to be blonde or brown or any set color.

Plus things like hair can almost convey the character’s emotion or personality. It’s kind of fascinating to me. To design emotional settings by dressing the hair of my character.

Anime Play




I never had children of my own so I never watched anime shows. However my grandniece Madilynn is interested in being an animator which made me as an artist curious about animation too. Eventually I saw some very beautiful animation movies from Studio Ghibli, like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away and his first film, Nausicaa.

But the other anime stuff around on Netflix and Hulu for example was much different than Miyazaki’s works from Studio Ghibli. I watched the gruesome dark Death Note series. I watched the very sweet, Your Lie in April, and Violet Evergarden. Finally finishing up my research into anime by watching the entertaining Naruto and Naruto Shippudden.

I find myself knowing all kinds of things like terms: genin, chunin, jonin, samuraii, kazekage, mizukage, hokage, sharingen, basically the world of naruto, sasuke, and all their friends and sensei and rivals. While there is no way I could convincingly draw characters using ninjetsu or taijetsu it’s still fascinating how the characters are colored and drawn to be within their scene environment. Naruto has intensely blue round eyes and bright neon yellow hair…..but not always. Some scenes especially introspective scenes or very emotionally charged scenes have him colored very very differently. And while hes in sage mode with nine tails chakra hes completely yellow with black symbols and red eyes and yet entirely readable as naruto. Very interesting stuff visually speaking.

None of that was intentional. I was only interested in the anime art. But as a storyteller I got caught up in the characters. For 14 seasons of 50 episodes each season. Phew…. but in the end I was drawing passable anime figures. Learning by watching how the artwork informed the characters. I don’t really know if my season is over yet. There’s still 70 episodes of Boruto and quite a few naruto movies. Maybe certain character arcs will play out (sauke and sakura.) These are just screenshots from my phone and I didn’t edit the images.



All my writer friends are working (doing the verk) blogging, writing morning pages, doing timed writing (500 words 30 minutes)

I feel like a slacker. I finally have begun engaging with three pages of morning (ish) page writing. Only because stories were fading away from lack of engagement daily. I find daily commitments either become obsessive chains (like ODC) or I prevaricate and procrastinate until the deadline is gone and the burden of guilt eases.

However if I am to write then I must throw off being ODC and procrastinating. I finally am finding a daily process of engaging in some writing “verk” and it’s not as unpleasant as I imagined it to be. Story seems to flow in and out of the writing. I may start with mundane details but then an idea creeps in and as I follow along other ideas, revelations & visual scenes come into play.

I don’t foresee myself becoming anything famous or clever but I am enjoying being a storyteller. A lot.


A story could be made for this silly bird that wants to nest in a plastic grocery bag.