Dec 27, 2009

Promo Sketch

To start the new year off Candace and I are sending out promo postcards at the end of January. Here is the initial sketch I have for it. Our theme is Valentine's Day.

Below is the sketch with added trees. Not sure if they work or not. Any feedback is welcome. I'm trying to bring in different ethnics and ages plus some play with perspective. Thanks!

Dec 16, 2009

IF - Hatch

"Hatchlings of Loving Thoughts"
graphite pencil | 2009

For the past two weeks, hum, maybe longer than that, I have been in a very creative state of mind. Not only am I working on Christmas gifts, which are usually always handcrafted, but thinking about next year, 2010. Candace Camling and I got together a couple of times and discussed 2010, what we need to do, and encouraged each other. I was very excited when she approached me about teaming up and holding each other accountable for getting things done. So we talked about promotional mailings, networking, marketing, and all the other pizazz that goes with childrens book industry.

Our first mailing is in January, which doesn't give a whole lot of time to creating a piece for the postcard. I started this concept above for IF's word this week "hatch". I was able to incorporate the theme we want our mailing to have (valentine's day), so at least the concept work is near finished.

I have included my sketchbook ideas below, because as you may or may not know, hatch also means to create, or to make ideas. :)

Dec 14, 2009

MAJOR Holiday Sale

At my Zazzle shop!!!

Use code: 12DEALZAZZLE for all of these!

Buy 1 Binder, get 1 FREE
$9 OFF Calendars
$5 OFF T-Shirts
30% OFF mousepads, stickers, magnets, keychains, postage, and buttons
Buy 1 Mug, get 1 FREE
50% OFF 10+ Cards

You still have time to order and ship before Christmas! It's worth a look, you never know what you might find!

Dec 11, 2009


They just keep getting better and better!
$9 OFF of my Fairies of a Season calendar! That makes it only $12.45 (standard size)!
use code: 12DEALSCALS9

There's still plenty of time to get it in before Christmas! It's a beautiful gift!

Dec 10, 2009

Mermaid Cove

Added a few more products in my Zazzle shop for the Mermaid Cove collection. :) Enjoy...I'm off to working on Christmas gifts for the rest of the day!

Lusinga Mermaid Button button
Lusinga Mermaid Button by sarabillustration
View all buttons available on zazzle

Resting Mermaid Baby Doll Tee shirt
Resting Mermaid Baby Doll Tee by sarabillustration
Many t-shirt designs available at zazzle

Dec 7, 2009

How many days?!

Wow, Christmas is coming up fast, and we got at least three inches of snow last night!!! Whoo, it's official! I love the first true winter snow (we had some in October but it of course didn't stick). I guess we're supposed to have blizzard conditions Tuesday night and Wednesday. What am I doing?

Well I'm continuing to make zazzle products. It's still not too late to order items for your gift giving. And you can always order from my Etsy shop till the week before Christmas. I am always happy to ship priority mail. But aside from that, as usual, I wait until the last few weeks before I start creating my gifts for family. I'm not sure if I'll actually get them done in time, so here's hopin'! Mornings online, afternoons at the drawing board. It's all good, got the snow and got the Christmas tunes. :)

What are you doing up to Christmas day?

today's zazzle gift for you
Use code EMAIL12SHIRT for $5 off shirts and for 30% off postage, mousepads, keychains, buttons, magnets, stickers, bumper stickers

Go...quick...before the sale is over --->
visit Pumpkin's Closet for girls apparel and gifts
visit Fairy Blessings for girls and womens apparel and gifts

Dec 4, 2009

Mug of the Month

I was so excited about the calendar I got another idea! Taking the imagery from the calendar I created mugs for each month. Great of birthdays or gifts to those who's birthday lands in that month. It could also symbolize an important month too! What's even more awesome is Zazzle is having a sale on their mugs TODAY!


use promo code: 12DEALS2MUGS

Pretty cool huh! Also you may choose the kind of mug, colors, and size! So the prices range. There are 34 styles to choose from. Go ahead, have fun this morning with your coffee, or this afternoon with your lunch. :) I know I've been having fun!

Visit my Mugs of the Month collection -->

Dec 3, 2009

2010 Calendar

You know what I mean when I say there are somethings you just gotta do on your own. I have been in licensing for a few years now, and have yet to find someone who deems my work suitable enough for calendars. Take no offense, this is ranting and raving and I mean no hard feelings personally. So, I took matters into my own hands.

I'm not minding Zazzle too much, I'm finding a lot of great opportunities and have even made sales! Thank you! And why I chose to make my calendar through them is because they gave me options! I could do anything with this calendar. Choosing the font or look for the numbers, the title, the binding, the binding's color, and so on! I ordered my copy last night, quite curious to see how it looks printed and in my hands.

I titled my calendar Fairies of a Season and I believe I'm going to keep that title for each year. The reasoning behind it is my work changes. My techniques change, my favorite colors change, how I draw faces these calendars are mini collections of what my work was like then. So in 2010 my work will have no inked lines and more narrative. Before 2010 (which is featured in this calendar) my work was inked, the color was very rich, and the focus was on the fairy, not necessarily on the narrative/background. Make sense? So keeping the title each year will represent this is the collection of the year before work. Ugh, I feel exhausted, I'm sure you get the idea. :)

GREAT promo going on that is only around for a limited time!
use code: CALENDARS998 and receive your calendar for only $9.98
or visit my zazzle shop - Sara.B Illustration

Dec 2, 2009

IF - Engangled

{ Entanglement of Purr Love }
graphite & digital | 2009

Debating on painting this or not. Hum. And if I do, whether to keep it all blues or add in slight hints of pinks/reds. Think it would look nice in watercolor. :) But hey, at least I did IF!

Happy December :)

Gift of Hope

{ The Gift of Hope }
watercolor | 2009

Every piece of work has a journey within it, a story to share, and this one is not the exception to the rule. Asked to draw then paint Christ, a blessing all it's own, also brings a rawness one might find in a prayer walk or staring contest in a mirror. God revealed a lot to me through this process.

I was going through a very difficult time emotionally when I approached the drawing board. Frustrations with myself and what I do day to day, frustrations with God and what I have not been given, and lots of questions about where I should be or what I should be doing. I drew out thumbnails for the piece. I had already known what subject matter was to be included, but had many difficulties with composition. It took me all morning to draw just a few thumbnails. It took me all afternoon to erase the illustration completely from the tracing paper 5 times. 5 TIMES! I was beyond frustrated, mad, and tense! I knew I had to channel this energy, get it out of my system, so I put on some Linkin Park. That helped.

After my body calmed down and my mind wasn't racing I put on some Casting Crowns. Their title song "Lifesong" came up and from there Christ laid His hand on my shoulder and everything flooded out. I surrendered to Him, telling Him I was sorry for yelling at Him, and just took in His love. I cried and cried. The drawing after came beautifully. It was one of those times when you start drawing that you get lost in your line making, aggressive and speedy, yet when you get to the expressions of the piece you slow down and get into a trance of some sort perfecting each mark. Or maybe, that's just me.

Yesterday, as I finished this piece, I ran into similar frustrations. This time Brian was home so I didn't go insane like last time, but once again I lost my cool, went outside and walked, told God this was His piece (with a not so nice tone) and what did He want me to do about solving my scanner problem. Simply and quickly, He said move the piece from the corners (scanner language :P). And believe it not, He's always right.

Lord, thank you for always being here for me, loving me, and providing for me. Thank you for giving me renewed hope every single day and in every matter. Because of you I can rest knowing all will be right and good by your power. Thank you for your gift of grace, you validate my worth to you through your love and Holy Spirit. I pray you use this piece to bring hope to others this Christmas season Lord, and as we celebrate you.

Dec 1, 2009

Sale Extended

{ Hope magnet - $4.00 }
available on Etsy

I have extended the holiday sale till December 2nd! This kind of deal just needs to be more than one day. :) God bless!

Nov 29, 2009


Well how cool is that?! I have a free shipping sale going on and then come to find out Zazzle is too. So now you can purchase ANYTHING of mine and receive free shipping today!

This is for TODAY ONLY. Take advantage of it...I don't think it will happen like this again till next Christmas!

Free Shipping Sale

Tis the season to be giving, and this year I am giving free shipping on everything through tomorrow Monday November 30th! Not only that, but I'm giving free shipping to all items on in my personal Shoppe through December 12th!

Free shipping on all Etsy items thru Monday November 30th Free shipping on all items in personal Shoppe thru December 12th

Purchase an original painting and not only do you get free shipping, but you will receive a free 1x1 inch poppies magnet! Use the magnet as a stocking stuffer or keep it for yourself. This offer ends when the free shipping for etsy ends. Stay tuned for more goodies in the near future!

Nov 24, 2009

So Grateful

Today I started my first correspondence to Bristi, a seven year old girl living in Bangladesh. I decided at the beginning of this month to sponsor a child with the funds I receive through my business. A journey I hope many of us can take together.

I had no idea how blessed I would feel just printing out a couple of photos and writing her a five sentence note! I am excited to hear back from her, tho I have learned that will take lots of patience. Bristi will write me three times a year. That's not a lot. I'm anxious to see that frown turn into a smile and learn about her.

This decision came after a long desire to sponsor plus a great service at church that discussed faith with finances and doing more for others. I believe the timing couldn't be any better since this is the time of year that we are to give thanks (in our country). I am grateful that God brought this upon my heart, I can't see my money doing any thing better than supporting this girl. I look around at what I have then read about what she has. I am living like a queen compared to her and her family. My apartment is small and I don't have much in way of money, but that is according to our country's standards...which are high if you compare to the rest of the world. By doing this I know I will die knowing I helped at least her with what I have been given.

It is my hope and desire to sponsor more than one child, but this is a great start. The foundation I'm working with is Compassion International. Brian suggested it when I said I was thinking of going through Child Fund. He has worked with youth groups that have used Compassion and I liked learning that almost 100% of the money I send goes directly to Bristi and her family.

About Bristi

She lives with her mother, father, and one sibling. She enjoys playing with dolls and reading, and attends Bible class regularly. Her responsibilities at home are carrying water and cleaning. Her dad sometimes works as a laborer and mom maintains the home. She lives on the plains of Ophapur, where the houses are constructed of dirt floors, mud walls, and corrugated iron roofs. They eat fish, rice and lentils and the common health problems are malnutrition, viral hepatitis, diarrhea, and skin diseases.

Please pray for Bristi and her family this holiday season, and remember the hundreds of thousands, upon millions of people on this planet that need help from us, the rich.

Nov 20, 2009

Prices Reduced

Over on my Etsy shop I have reduced the price of several original watercolor paintings. Plus I still have a few paintings that MUST sell! The reason? I'm running out of room to store them. Awesome prices which make awesome gifts. :) Or if you've had your eye on a painting, it might be the one reduced!

Hidden - Matted Original 5x7 Fairy Watercolor Painting

now only $85

Hollyhock Princess Fairy - 9 x 12 Original Watercolor SPACE LIMITED MUST SELL

now only $125

Shipping on all large format paintings has been reduced to only $7.00.

Nov 17, 2009

A Sketch and the Magnet

Once upon a time there was this sketch who wished she could be a magnet. She would wonder around the land saying she was going to be a magnet when she grew up. All of the other sketches laughed and giggled at her, but nodded their heads in most disbelief. One day when the little sketch found a garden full of swirls and color! She reached as high as she could, all the way on her tippy toes, just to grace a drop of color above her. In that instant, the wind blew, the leaves and vines picked her up, and she disappeared.
The land of sketches searched and searched for her, but found nothing but one of her boots. They began to believe the worst, she had been erased. As they all turned to go in for the night, a glimmer of light caught the eye of a sketch. He pointed it out and they all ran up the hill to the garden full of swirls and color. There in the center of the garden stood this majestic and beautiful magnet full of gorgeous colors! As the sketches gathered around the magnet she giggled. "See, I told you I'd become a magnet!"

Lusinga Magnet
available at my Etsy shop
visit for more photos!

Nov 12, 2009

Lucky Charms

Er, I mean magnets. :P

So it has finally happened! The magnets are here and the charms are on their way. For the last week I have been crafting one of a kind magnets. Still getting the gist of them, but enjoying it to the fullest! With such large illustration projects going on, these are great little breaks.

Last night I created some package design too. Brian buys a lot of altoids throughout the year so we have tons of altoid tins sitting around. He came up with the idea of using them to ship my magnets and charms in. I'm so excited because with the package designed everything comes together so beautifully! Not an expert yet, but wow, I might actually keep up with these! Pray people, pray that I do.

Visit my etsy shop, there are four magnets up at the moment, and more will be uploaded tomorrow along with three charms for scrapbooking or jewelry!

Nov 10, 2009

Feelin' Crafty

{ silver fish | magnet | 2009 }

I'm in between projects at the moment...not wanting to continue on one of my paintings because I will be starting another next week that is priority. So with that what do I do with this week? Remember the charms I mentioned on my site and in my newsletter a few months ago? I feel out of my league. I didn't realize the intensity of making a 1x1 inch charm, if I was going to do this, it would take honing in a skill.

Yesterday I was led to visit Hobby Lobby. While I was there thoughts were racing through my head. I saw magnets and there it was, the thought that made sense to me. I love magnets...I love filling my fridge with them. They're like little mini collectibles and everyone has at least three.

After the accident with my charms (water spilled, they fall, some break, etc.) I decided to salvage what I had and make them into magnets. I want to add more than just an image. I have tons of little beads and want to use them. I also ADORE scrapbooking or any other kind of decorative paper. This way I can use both. Now cut me some slack, I'm no pro at these nor have I fully figured out how they will ultimately look as for design. But I have all week to work on that! I will be posting them on Etsy. I think that might tell me how I'm doin. :)

Nov 3, 2009

Nothing for Us?

So I got a Christian Book Distributors catalog today and thought how cool that I get to see who the publishers are of childrens Christian books! I found some names and started researching online. The only submissions listed are for writers. The sites they get their writers from are only for Christian writers. Authors, writers, etc....what about us? What about the illustrators? I'm a bit discouraged. The thought of sending a postcard to the editors has crossed my mind, and what would it hurt? But it sometimes feels like the illustrations are the farthest from their minds.

The online groups I have found for Christian illustrators aren't large or well known. If you know of one and I missed it please let me know! But if there are great big sites for writers, why not at least one for illustrators? Is it assumed that it doesn't matter the illustrator, as long as they can paint what the publisher wants?

I don't mean to sound rude, and if I do please do not take it personally (publishers, authors), but as a Christian illustrator I would like to be part of the club too. I think there are enough Christian illustrators out there to fill an online portfolio directory! If I could, I would create one.

Nov 2, 2009

A Challenge

Don't challenges just frustrate you? Do you run away from them? Or are you like me, you welcome them and half way through you're wondering if accepting was a bad idea?

I welcome challenges because I know they will help me grow, especially in character. And lately, life has been all about choosing to take the easy road or the challenging road. It seems nicer and simpler to take the easy road...but in the long run you just keep desiring more feeling unsatisfied with the life given to you.

I take the challenge because it reminds me that I'M ALIVE. As much as I struggle and grit my teeth over it.

The sketch you see here is the result of something very challenging. Two weeks ago I spent hours fussing, erasing, critiquing, and sighing over the piece "Scepter in the Lake". Working on perspective issues, flow, technique, etc. It's a long list if you didn't get the idea. But now this is the follow up piece. I created a small storyboard for this story...that I am making up as I go...and this new drawing is three pages down from "Scepter in the Lake".

Don't get me wrong, this was not walk in the park either...working with more demanding one point perspective. I challenged myself. But things clicked faster and I feel this piece is stronger! All because of the headache involved with "Scepter in the Lake" (which happens to be one of my favorite paintings btw).

Embarking on a Spiritual Challenge

In the last month or two, there has been other challenges whispering in my ears. My faith is no secret and it is a big part of my work. It's where the light stems from and the rhythm drums to. During the prep for the wedding, and even after the wedding, my time wasn't spent with God. I went on a retreat and was renewed! But it fades so fast.

Now, about a month later I find myself desiring what I heard, saw, and felt at the retreat, but not knowing how. I set what I want to do, but it's very hard for me to keep motivating myself and sticking with a routine. Yesterday morning during coffee before church I was led to Proverbs 31 Ministry for women. I was in search of devotionals to maybe jump start my routine again. What I found was a great devotional! Today's was about reading God's word and challenged me to read the Bible in one year. Never done it. Too afraid to I guess because I can never keep a routine. But this one sounds exciting and maybe doable. There is a blog where the woman who I think started this, named Wendy, writes thoughts on each day's reading, then others from around the world who are also doing this make comments. I want to try it.

So I ask for you to pray for this journey I am preparing for. That the Lord will provide the materials I need for this challenge, for my heart, that it will be guarded from lies and that I will find strength in Christ, for through Him all things are possible. :)

Oct 30, 2009

Autumn Mornin'

This is Fargo, my new identity.
{ winter 2009 business card design }

I can already tell its going to be one of those mornings where I can't seem to warm up and thus won't entirely wake up. Ugh, but hey, at least I got a full six/seven hours of sleep! That was nice.

So last night I worked on my identity. It's hard, just sentimentally, to go from Butcher to Burrier. In a way I feel like I'm disowning my dad and family...but I know that's not what I'm doing. I also feel like I might loose some of my following. I hope I've done enough that it won't make too much of a difference. I Googled Sara Burrier and pretty much all of the same stuff comes up. That's a plus.

Back to my identity. I've only sent out one postcard mailing, last year, so I know I can approach the publishers with my married name. Switching over the website and email has proven to be tricky. I've purchased two other domain names out of uncertainty and confusion. And now I'm about to buy more business cards on top of the 500 I have sitting in my studio sporting "Sara Butcher" and "".

Isn't there a handbook of some type for women who get married and are in this field? If not there should be! I don't have the mental capacity to figure it all out on my own. I mean I have, but not without using A LOT more time and mistakes to get there. It needs to be a smooth transition, which I think is why I find it so frustrating.

Oct 29, 2009

Fast Fargo (IF)

"He ran as fast as a rabbit! He was late!"
{ watercolor | 2009 }

I was updating my website this morning and decided to place up my links once again. I know why I took them down, I just don't know why I listened to poor advice. I can see where maybe having links on your site could distract or tarnish your online portfolio. But I can't get over the fact that we as artists, illustrators, creators, and directors all need to link together and support one another. I know personally I gotta have a network of friends who will give me honest feedback and support when times are rough. Whether it's art related or not. As artists we tend to understand one another maybe a bit more than those who do not make it their living.

all you childrens book illustrators out there. Listen up!
I have lots of room on my links page...Let's exchange links and make this community bigger and stronger!

Just comment to this post with:
your full name
web portfolio link
url where I can find my link

Next I'll add you onto my links page. If you post my link on your blog, I will do the same. :) Then, return the favor! Word of mouth works!

Oct 28, 2009

New Day

Just finished this piece, which created struggle and challenge for me. I wanted to place a fresher and newer spread in my portfolio, and one that showed an interesting perspective. This, I don't feel, is present in my portfolio at this moment. It took several sketches but finally got to this. I was struggling with letting go of the ice skaters and all of the interaction I had going on in the bkgr behind the girl. I learned, though, that you can't control what the image is asking. I didn't need all of that interaction, and although it was interesting, it wasn't interesting enough to create a strong visual story. I am very pleased with how this turned out and a HUGE thank you to my crit group. You guys rock!

I feel refreshed and so motivated to work! Yesterday my Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market book for 2010 came in the mail. There are already bookmarkers swamping the pages, and that's just for magazines. I'm excited to start sending out promo postcards and getting a schedule down for submissions.

I also got a beloved favorite from my childhood in the mail. I LOVED loved the book Rumpelstiltskin, retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Oh's De Vinici meets today. Classic oil painting but has a splash of expression and freshness only children's books provide today. LOVE IT! I used to have it in hardback, and when I ordered this one I thought it was too. Oh well, it wasn't. But that doesn't matter. I forgot how rich and beautiful the illustrations where. I'm definitely going to invest in buying more of Zelinsky's books. I know he did a few others...I'm sure there's more than that even!

Another book I purchased last week was "Ignis" illustrated by P.J. Lynch. I saw Matt Phelan mention him and checked him out. The book "Ignis" was perfect for my full page spread project. The entire book is spreads. How awesome is that? It's a very large format book filled with lush color illos and beautiful expressions. Exactly what you'd expect from P.J. Lynch.

The market book I purchased has an article in it from an agent about steps to take in becoming an illustrator. The first ones are one...know your market. Know what books are coming out, what books are winning awards, who's publishing who, etc. The other is know your children's books illustration history. Reading up on the masters (i.e. Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are), and start building a library full of books that you like. It's very helpful, as I've noticed just having P.J.'s book here by my side as I went through this project, inspired me and kept me motivated. I could see what perspectives were interesting and being used. I'm jazzed about the Rumpelstiltskin book because the perspectives in that book are just gorgeous!

Like I said before, I'm highly motivated and truly ready to continue on with this adventure. :)

Oct 23, 2009

Life Drawing

I was looking at a good oldie of a book yesterday, preparing for a lesson to teach on balance and rhythm. I have two old George B. Bridgman books on anatomy. The one I was referencing to for this lesson was "Bridgman's Life Drawing". He looks at the two, balance and rhythm, separately. I was so moved by what I saw and read I thought I would give his methods a try. It's great when I get taught a lesson through what I am about to teach!

Bridgman's method with balance is a straight line of gravity from the nape of the neck down. Wherever that lands is the center of balance. Just a straight line. Simple enough.

This section fascinated me! But this is what he said specifically to rhythm and the human figure:
So to express rhythm in drawing a figure we have in the balance of masses a subordination of the passive or inactive side to the more forceful and angular side in action, keeping constantly in mind the hidden, subtle flow of symmetry throughout.

That totally opened a new window for me when drawing the figure. And to think I just always opened the book to look at the pretty pictures. Glad I finally matured enough to read it!

Oct 22, 2009


Okay, so they might not be on the top of your list, but when I was younger I always envied those who rocked their keychains will beautiful images or cartoons. When I was finally old enough to buy my own it wasn't cool anymore. At least no one made me feel cool because of them.


Anyways, these will always be cool because their mature yet snazzy and full of beauty. Only $3.50 each, and the more you buy the cheaper they become. Great stocking stuffs or little blessing gifts to friends to say how much you care about them.

Random blessing gifts are just that, huge blessings!

Oct 20, 2009


{ Thankful Fairy Blessing | watercolor | 2009 }
Original painting for sale on Etsy:

I am thankful I have a God that loves me.
I am thankful I am His daughter.
I am thankful for my husband.
I am thankful for my mom and dad.
I am thankful for my sister.
I am thankful for my friends.
I am thankful for my families.
I am thankful for the food I have.
I am thankful for the roof over my head.
I am thankful for this computer.
I am thankful for my gift as an artist.
I am thankful I get to teach art.
I am thankful for having a car that runs.
I am thankful for not having cancer.
I am thankful for not being deathly ill.
I am thankful I can walk.
I am thankful I can breathe.
I am thankful for my five senses.
I am thankful for the clothes I have.
I am thankful for the troubles in my life.
I am thankful for the lessons in my life.
I am thankful for the sun.
I am thankful for my cat Madie.
I am very thankful for this life.

What are you thankful for?

Oct 19, 2009

IF - Frozen (sketch)

Working on more interesting's not that big of a stretch, but a start. Also wanted to add more people doing things to hold the viewer's interest. I'm pretty pleased with how the girl turned out in the foreground. Curious to see what happens once color is added. :)

Something New, Something Old

Let's start with old first. I've been wanting to hone in and focus just on children's book illustration. I recall being directed to just do that...but felt I still had to take control and make enough money to live. Who doesn't? But now with things changing, being married, and re-evaluating my business life, it has been agreed upon to do what I was meant to do in the first place.

So my energies will be placed in networking, zazzle shop, etsy shop (sales of prints and paintings), marketing with mail-outs to publishers, and illustrating. Thats it. Nothing else. I have spent so many years running around doing every little thing possible to make a cent...which um, I don't believe is my true purpose in life as an artist. Plus I truly hope this brings less stress to my business and I'll actually enjoy it to the fullest! Huge thanks to my hubby for all of his support, love, and encouragement.

Something new...I have new products that I created today on my zazzle shop. The purpose of the shop is for women of all ages, especially those between 4-15 years of age. :) So take a peak and see if there isn't something at the shop that would fit the little girl in your life this year for Christmas.

Oct 16, 2009

Attack of the Cold!

It's that time of year every body! Yay!!!! Cold season!!! Not to mention flu season. Boy, has the cold really taken over this time. First my mom, then my sister, then our friend Liz, then our friend Erica, then me, then, then, never ends. Thankfully Brian has not caught it being around me. He puts on the vitamin C armor along with bananas and all other vitamins. He's definitely a soldier when it comes to cold defense. I was doing the same (not the bananas), but still got it. Not too terribly bad tho, my mom and sister got hit really hard. By day four I'm feeling pretty four for them? Well, still on the couch sniffling and feeling miserable. :(

Unfortunately when one has a cold, one does not feel like doing anything. That's bad. I have a lot of great things to work on..but had no motivation to do it. Colds give you that whimsy up in the clouds feeling...light headiness. But not everything was in vane. I didn't have the energy to actually paint but I could click a mouse and type little sentences. So I created a Zazzle account. I used to have a cafepress account out there...and if you searched real hard you may still be able to find it. I stopped placing energy into it years ago. The part of Zazzle that interests it me is the customization I am able to do and the products they offer. Like the shoes, I think they're freakin' adorable and awesome!

I'm also spotlighting my Blessed Fairies giving them a copyright, and a logo. Brian just loves them and I created them for licensing specifically. Hopefully by the time I'm finished with creating products they will have their own line of clothing and shoes. :) There are already quite a few products up featuring them.
Check out their little part of my zazzle shop Fairy Blessings©

Visit my site for great holiday greeting cards with matching postage, the Mermaid Club, and more!

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Oct 8, 2009


Ikarian Mice - Julio, Raymond, and Evie | sketchbook 2009

Know when you're on a high for life, happy as can be, at peace, and everything just falls into place? Ya, that's how I've been since this's rainy, coooooold, and really kinda icky outside. Typically I would enjoy a day like this, there's always a sense of serenity with it. But not today. I'm at peace, but going REALLY slow. Not motivated and spiritually... seeing other people moving forward, getting their newsletters out (which I'm like MONTHS behind on), getting licensed products, finishing projects, etc...has been attacking me. :( I feel just...blah. blah blah blah. Physically my body feels fine...hungry...but fine.

I lost my motivation and that motivates me even less. I worked and worked on a new blog for a group of artists here in Des Moines that I'm a part of. It was more than I estimated, yet finally got it finished. I think after all of that I'm just now in a state of napping, staring off into space, and going "eh, I'm resting." I don't think that's what God had planned when He told me to slow down and rest. In my head I say I'll get to it tomorrow...but that means I'm not fulfilling my day today as if it was my last day on earth!

I don't think I even know how to do's such a distant concept for me. But since this weekend it's been MUCH easier to enjoy every day and be silly. Maybe after all the hyper activity you have a day where you just zone. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Oct 5, 2009


You stopped and looked at me.

This past weekend I journeyed through a small women's treat, and I am so blessed and grateful that I had that opportunity. My faith is no secret to those who know me and those who follow my work online. It's the place all of my work stems from. My ministry are the paintings and drawings I create, whether it's a mouse shivering in the cold waiting to enter a warm home, a child laughing, or a fairy flying through some leaves. They all come from God and I fully claim that.

With reorganizing my business I've been praying again for guidance and direction. I have felt like I'm in limbo with what I am doing. I want it to do more, to glorify the Lord and give back for all that He has given me! I mentioned this to a fellow Christian woman, one who is seasoned and wise. She said that I am, even tho the commission I might be working on at the time isn't clearly evident it's for God, it is. I can claim it, I can create the piece while saying thanks and create it for Him. It doesn't matter the subject matter, it doesn't matter the business surrounding it. What matters is the person it is going to, how it alters their life, feelings, or home. Love, hope, light, and peace goes to them. This is God, and He is in each piece of my work.

This became clear to me on this retreat, among many other things. I paint beauty, it's an addiction, but view myself very low on the beautiful scale. God said He created the earth, which is full of beauty, and created me. How can I be any less beautiful? No matter our appearance we are all beautiful inside and out. Regardless of our past, our scars, or mold (which isn't meant to fit a cookie cutter). I paint beauty because it is how God sees us. It's through His eyes.

So today I ask that you take a moment and do what I did. Rest. Take a deep breath, know that if you don't make that phone call right now, or email that person this very instant, that life will continue. Life isn't about our to do lists or our accomplishments, tho our society says that it is. Life is about relationships with others, love, finding peace, and joy in every little thing around us. Exhale that deep breath, close your eyes, and thank He who created the wind, water, earth, and sky for such a beautiful day.

Believe me, it's worth that moment.

Oct 2, 2009

Detail Makes It

Oh boy, has this been a strung out week! But a good one, I'm not complaining. I achieved something I didn't think I had in me, a highly detailed body of armor and wings. My hand, wrist, and eyes have gone out on me at least twice! Well, that might be an exaggeration, but they've been pretty sore. The piece is an 8x10 custom request from my etsy shop. The development of this piece comes from many manga/anime style characters. Way cool to see and admire, but to draw their kind of armor is intense. I highly respct those that can draw it, but man, I don't know how they do it over and over and over again. Or course, they're awfully darn smart...I on the other hand know very little engineering.

Nonetheless, the hard part is over. He's drawn fully on tracing paper. Inking is going to take a good amount of time, but at least it's only tracing. Color, that's going to be interesting and I'm anxious to see how it pans out. One reason I did the shadows in photoshop is I don't want to have to think about it when I'm thinking about color. There's a light above his head, but it's at night time. Then you have the sword of fire. Very strong, but unique sources of light.

But, the rest of the week I'm off to a womans retreat, much needed, and will get to inking/color of this fine lad on Monday. :)

Sep 30, 2009

Analyzing Portfolio

I visited fellow illustrator's blog, Wilson, and read his Wisdom Wednesday post this morning finding a link to Scott Franson's site. The reason for the link was Wilson was talking about reviewing and analyzing your portfolio (there's more to the story, you'll just have to visit his blog to read more back story). Anyhoo I visited Scott's site. Love it! Enjoy this creativity, and his spunk! Found the analyzing portfolio pdf that Wilson was talking about, what?

See this is where I get stumped. I'm staring at this sheet and it occurs to me that I've seen it, and printed it off before! The reason I haven't used it do I use it?! I don't know about others, but to stand away from my own portfolio and analyze it isn't one of my strong suits. Give me anyone else and I'll have a blast! But my own?! I don't know if what the first impression of my portfolio is, let alone score it based on a 0-5 scale. How do I know if my characters have credibility of expression and body language. I know the narrative, so when it comes to who does what to whom...I'm going to automatically know that.

You can't go backwards from what you already know and pretend you don't know it. At least..I'm not one who can. I can see giving this to another artist for critique, and believe it or not I am going to take this to my art group on Monday and see if we can't use it to support one another. But I would love to use this one my portfolio. :/ I know my portfolio, although pretty, needs A LOT of work. I'm so behind with becoming a children's book illustrator.

Sometimes I wonder if this is what I'm meant to do, or if there's something else. It's kind of scary being almost thirty and still not knowing where your work fits. Nothing has really moved me in any direction. I've illustrated two self publishing books...enjoyed both of them, but wonder if I could really do a true blue published book. Or if I'm fit for editorials.

Thus, I want to know where my portfolio stands. If I know where I'm lacking I can work and train on it more.

Sep 29, 2009


I have a membership with and really haven't taken advantage of it since I signed up, which was a month or so before my wedding. Last night I was going through my online galleries and visited EBSQ. They have month shows that members can enter and was curious to know what was up. I found that a topic I could easily approach was rodents.

I have always drawn my mice in a more cartoon form, but after reading the guidelines for the show I took it as no imagination involved. This is up for debate...because what they said is it must be a real or was alive rodent. A wee bit confused, but was stricken and immediately started to draw a small mouse. Also last night I ate some almonds...and when I was drawing I was drinking coffee. Thus, we have a small white mouse, eating almonds, by a coffee mug. Huh. Ever wonder where artists get their ideas? :P

Visit the show, members and non-members can view it. A good friend, Carmen Keys, has also submitted her ADORABLE works. No wonder she wins a lot of these shows...her work is just so soft, full of light, and precious.

Sep 23, 2009

IF - Infinite

"The Infinite Star" | watercolor 2009
Every person dreams of something impossible or irrational. But when that person continues on with life and forgets to dream, there's one night they look up and see a star. That star brings back the memory of dreaming. It never fails, always shining, it is infinite.

YATA! And it's only Wednesday! hehehe ;P yup, that's what I got to say today.