7:56 AM

Happy Halloween!
 I got to carve a pumpkin for Halloween this year! I think I forgot to last year, which is a real shame. I enjoy carving pumpkins very much. This year a bunch of friends and I carved pumpkins together - how it ought to be done! I decided I was going to carve a ninja turtle:
It's a little on the simle side, but I didn't want to take on anything too difficult when I was at a party with friends. This could have easily turned into "Have you seen Annie?" "Yeah, she's been over there carving a pumpkin for like five hours." I didn't want to be the anti-social one who took pumpkin-carving too seriously. So I went with the ninja turtle.

It looks infinitely better when it's lit up!

This was our group's final display:
Please don't fail to notice that one of my friends painted and bedazzled a cat on her pumpkin.


Going for a Walk-Walk.

7:59 AM

Clearly I'm on a bit of a Star Wars kick this week...
I came up with the idea of a little boy taking an AT-AT for a walk and I couldn't think of anything else until I completed it! I think the little guys are so cute together, walking off into the setting suns...I know, I know, the AT-ATs normally hang out in Hoth and this is clearly Tatooine, but obviously I'm way past the point of trying to make my artwork logical and fact-centered. 

And here's my original sketch, before I filled in the black:


...I Know.

7:56 AM

Sometimes I think things are cool when no one else does...This might be one of those times.
 I recently made a "decor" choice in my room that is probably pushing me a liiiiittle closer to eternal nerdiness. I mean, on some level it feels like I've crossed a nerdy line and there's no turning back. It started when I saw these on pinterest:
They're silhouette frames of Han and Leia (uh, from Star Wars, if that needs explaining) and below the two silhouettes are the lines "I love you" and "I know" from their iconic moment in Empire Strikes Back, right before Han gets carbonited.
I fell in love with the idea of hanging those silhouettes in my room!
I had two 11x14" frames that I didn't know what to do with, and they became the perfect placeholders for my little Star Wars lovefest. I hung them up right next to my favorite artwork (the treehouse print by Invisble Creature) and now I feel like my room is finally complete. This is the bit of wall right above my desk, so it mattered to me that I could look up and see things that make me happy and (at the risk of sounding artsy-fartsy) inspired.
 I just love these guys. 
But I'm sure they already know that.


My Week in Sketches

7:47 AM

Here's an illustrated look at my week:

Thursday night dinner with my friends! It never gets old.

 Vonette Bright, whose late husband Bill Bright founded Campus Crusade, came and spoke at Forest Home recently. It was cool to hear her tell stories about Bill and Forest Home and Henrietta Mears.

 Practicing watercolor technique while watching a James Bond movie. 
Those two things always go hand in hand, right?

 One of my roommates bought an incredibly heavy dresser, and then we realized we couldn't get it upstairs between the three of us...So we enlisted the help of our friend, Cameron, who practically carried that thing up the stairs himself. I was useless. I just kept giggling the whole time at how funny it was that the darned thing was so heavy.

 Tennis tennis tennis. My roomies and I play tennis ALL THE TIME and it's wonderful.
Absolutely wonderful.
 My roommates and I watch a lot of Downton Abbey. If we ever have a funny lull in the conversation, one of us typically breaks the silence with "So, Downton Abbey?!" and we go watch it and pretend we're British.

 And last but not least, I got to see my friend, Sarah, this week for the first time since she got married...

Heartbreaking & Hopeful

7:51 AM

This is sort of a do-over of yesterday's post. Yesterday was me trying new things, and today is me illustrating the way I love most - with pen and ink! (Saying pen and ink is perhaps a little redundant, but I think it sounds classier than just "pen.") This is my favorite kind of art - just sketching. Doodles and lines and no colors. My favorite part of this drawing (the part that really puts the "wild" in life) is, of course, the jellyfish. What the heck is a jellyfish doing there? I can't explain it. There I was drawing leaves, minding my own business, and then suddenly I was drawing a jellyfish. I don't know where these things come from. I considered removing it after I scanned in the image, but I just couldn't. Life is also whimsical and funny and slightly-to-moderately-ridiculous on a daily basis. The jellyfish stays. Somehow I feel like it's the part of this drawing that represents me best.

Wild & Lovely

8:07 AM

This is how I know I'm an illustrator and not a graphic designer - because things like this take me forever to complete, regardless of how simple they are, and even then - I don't like the finished product. I heard (and loved) this quote recently and wanted to remember it.

Adventures in Watercolor

8:03 AM

 This is perhaps not the most exciting post...but it's exciting to me! I've decided I need to learn how to paint with watercolors. Or figure out if I already know how. I've avoided watercolors for the majority of my art upbringing (I try to avoid anything that requires the use of a paintbrush because I love pens and pencils so much!) but now I think it's time. It's time to grow up and paint with watercolors already. So I'm trying it out. I'm still not sure if I prefer it with or without the pen lines over the finished product...when in doubt, I always use pen!


Comfort Zone

8:03 AM

Found this in the Annie archives...
It's a sketch of Jesus (or some unkempt hippie in a toga?) urging me to try new things and be a little less cautious. You know, in a be-open-to-life way - not in a try-to-pet-a-bear way. You know what I'm saying.


My Week in Sketches

7:41 AM

 I spent 10 hours straight in an underground lair parking garage last week getting set up for the Youth Specialties conference. Once the booths were all set up, it wasn't so noticeable that the "exhibition hall" was in a parking garage...but that set-up-day was a long one.

 The conference allowed me time to hang out with several friends that I don't get to see often enough. That was the highlight for me!

 And the next night I went out to dinner at Stacked for the first time,
which was a really fun experience. You order food from an ipad. Oooooh, so hip.
(Shannon, I'm so sorry I couldn't draw you better!)

 During the conference, my main task was to draw on mugs, as I've mentioned...It was a very fun task, but by the last day of the conference, my hand was starting to cramp and I was ready to not draw on mugs for a day or two.

Back home! My roommate and I had a fun roommate-date-night...Tennis and dinner and a movie.  

 I had Tuesday off from work and that meant that I finally had time to finish unpacking my room from when I moved (six weeks ago!) Now it looks like a desk instead of a cardboard-box-holder.

  When I was in college, wireless internet was a fairly new thing. None of my roommates ever knew how to set it up right. And it never just worked. I had to learn all about routers and default gateways and ip addresses and all sorts of things that a 20-year-old girl shouldn't have to know...but when our internet stopped working this week, and I was the only one who knew how to fix it, it all almost seemed worth it.
Don't ask me why I drew myself shouting "Still got it." Geez...I really am this dorky. I can't help it.

Van Gogh X-treme

7:58 AM

I suppose on some level this looks like some sort of commentary on the youth of America...It's like I've become a cranky old grandma muttering "The kids these days, they wouldn't know good art if it came up and hit 'em in the face!" (Or had controllers dangling from the frame.) I'm not trying to prove a point here. I just saw a painting last week that had some marble steps and railings in it, and I had a momentary lapse of logic and thought it looked like a fun level to play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (a skateboarding video game).  So I guess the point of all this is that I want to go skateboarding through classic art...



7:50 AM

This drawing makes me so hungry! I got to eat at a restaurant called Stacked this weekend, and it was just magical. It was everything I dreamed it would be. You can build your own burgers and salads, and the hardest part is just deciding between all the awesome options. I wish I could go back there every day for a week and build different amazing burgers and salads...or maybe build my own burgersalad! If there's anywhere that could happen, it'd be at Stacked. Anyway, once we ordered our food, a few people in our group were trying to figure out the most expensive burger you could possibly order, by adding all the available ingredients to a hypothetical burger...and I think it would look something like this. I decided to sketch it out (though I don't think t-bone steaks were actually an option.) $50 burger, anyone?


Mustache Party

7:46 AM

This drawing is to commemorate the fact that we live in a time where everyone poses with mustaches-on-a-stick in photo booths...and it makes me wonder how people with actual mustaches feel about this phenomenon. 



7:38 AM

As I mentioned last week, I've been drawing on a lot of mugs lately. Like a bazillion. Precisely a billion and a half mugs. Hand-drawn-painted. It's been both fun and...hand-cramp-inducing, to say the least.

I attended the Youth Specialties conference in San Diego with Forest Home this weekend, and at our booth we had mugs available for decorating. We also had coffee available, and it was my job to decorate enough mugs to keep the non-artist-coffee-drinkers supplied with artsy, campy mugs. It was a very fun task. I wish I took more pictures, but I only have a few. Here we have a cat-themed mug I was asked to draw for a cat-loving friend, as well as a few bears that I drew over and over again:

Once I tired of naturey, campy images, I started drawing whatever I felt like...so naturally, ninja turtles made an appearance. And I couldn't keep the mustache mugs coming fast enough! The hipsters, they love their mustaches.

Throughout the weekend, I was asked by several people to draw custom mugs, which was entertaining. One lady asked me to draw a guy bow-hunting in the forest because her husband bow-hunts deer. So that happened. And then my friend asked me to draw him a luchador-wrestling-mask mug...so that happened:

And last but not least, we have Henrietta Mears hanging out with a bear!:
I was pretty proud of that one.
If you're wondering, we used oil-based sharpies (we got ours at Staples) and then you bake the mugs at 350 degrees for half an hour to make the mug-drawings permanent and dishwasher safe. I know some people (pinterest, cough, cough) say that you can use normal sharpies and bake them and they'll stay permanent, but it didn't work for us. I highly recommend the oil-based sharpies, though, and mug drawing is such a fun project! You should try it! I sure did.


My Week in Sketches

7:47 AM

Last Thursday was the premiere of 30 Rock, and I was so tired that I fell asleep in the middle of it! This is tragic, people. It's a clear sign that I need to be getting more sleep. I was completely exhausted.
On Friday I went to Joann's Fabric and encountered some of the worst service I've ever seen. I'm a patient customer, really...it's just that there were 15 of us in line and literally no one at the front checkout. It's like we were on an episode of Punk'd. It felt like a prank or some sort of "Lord of the Flies" experiment to see how long we would stand there before turning on each other.

On Saturday I went to a wedding, and the whole thing was too wonderful to put into words. There were a great many moments I would have liked to sketch-capture, but I settled for this...when my friends and I were bundled up on the dance floor together, laughing hysterically at ridiculous dance moves and serbian music and how sweaty we were...it was a good night.
On Sunday my roommates and I left early and headed up to Lake Arrowhead for a night, which was a fantastic idea. After a day of swimming and lounging on the dock, we made s'mores on the deck. Then a raccoon came to visit us, which was cute, and then suddenly there were five and we were surrounded. It went from funny to terrifying very quickly.
 And more swimming!
Then I had to go on a shopping trip for work where I bought 200 mugs at the 99 Cent Store. Never done that before.

Aaaaaand to wrap up the week, I drew a giant map of California on a piece of burlap.
All in a day's work, right?


7:43 AM

I've been drawing on a lot of mugs lately! More to come later...when I'm not so stressed that I feel like my brain is going to explode. Onto a giant pile of mugs. More to come.


7:58 AM

This is what it would look like if a dinosaur was dressed up as a skyscraper. I mean, maybe dinosaurs aren't extinct at all, maybe they're all just hiding in plain sight with skyscraper costumes on...I think I originally meant to draw Godzilla, which would make a tiny bit more sense, like he's camouflaging himself to get closer to the buildings that he loves to stomp through and destroy without us noticing. Let's just pretend this is Godzilla's gentler vegetarian cousin, and he's happy with just sightseeing.

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