Case Study: Branding + a little extra


i want to share a fun branding project with you. Months ago, i was fortunate to receive an email request from a very cool photographer in Alaska, named Leslie. Look at this stunning work she creates!?

We did so many fun elements! She wanted to do a logo,

some pattern for her site wallpaper,

a little initial watermark/favicon,


a business card,

and a blog header design with tabs,

We did these projects and had such a great time with them… and time marched on.

About a week ago, i was so excited to see Leslie’s name pop up in my inbox again! She wanted to add a few new “Alska-fied” motifs to her wallpaper pattern, (do you see the narwhal, moose & fox?)

and do some nostalgic, heart-tugging silhouette-style art for her packaging that features her own 2 little girls riding a narwhal; the veritable unicorn of the ocean. (Yes! they are real!) Kids + a fantastical looking creature that hails from the icy waters were just the perfect combination to tell Leslie’s story. Storytelling art is my very favorite kind of art to create! Woohoo!

In doing that piece, we stumbled into an unplanned project that turned out to be really magical. See, i think we both knew that the silhouette/graphic style would match the branding the most….buuuuut.….. a storybook-looking pen & ink illustration of her actual children would be just too special to pass up. Leslie decided to do both.

….and i got to google narwhals…..and draw with a very fine pen for the first time in a very long while.

Thanks so much for trusting me with your vision, Leslie! Helping you build such a special brand just makes my job so worthwhile.

If you would like to work with me on artwork that tells YOUR story…visit my “work with me page” and let’s get to chatting!

some fun sketches


i’ve been sketching a lot this past week. Did you ever get inspired by a particular look, styling, mood and then just run like crazy with it? Yep. That’s been happening ’round here. So here are some of the goodies; new prints for my etsy shop,  cartoon-ified avatars, and a cutie little illustration of one customer’s impossibly adorable little boy.

going for it

i’ve wanted to be a published illustrator since i first realized that was an actual thing. i took a class in college called The Children’s Picture Book. My instructor was an amazingly talented artist whose experience both inspired and discouraged me. What i mean is, she was phenomenal and let us know that the kids book biz was a tough egg to crack. i thought, if doors don’t fly wide open every which way for someone like her, what chance did i have?

Skipping forward some 15 years and i kinda wish i hadn’t been discouraged to the point of paralysis. i’ve been kicking around in every possible area of the art world ever since and i finally feel like i’m finding my most comfy niche… painting abstracts and sketching characters. i’ve just recently started combining the two and it feels like home.

These are a few of my latest kiddos. i’m on a mission to create throngs of them in the hope that practice makes perfect. And in the meanwhile, i’m actually shaking off the paralysis and dummying up a few of the books that have been collecting dust on the shelf. It’s feels like doing a class project and not really real. DO you know what i mean?

Aaaaaanyways…..i’ll leave you with this one last little sketchy-poo; it’s me, as i’d look in my little land of sketchy girls and bright colors…..think this would this look ok on a book flap someday? Because i think i like it better than my headshot. haha. Fingers crossed.



Meet my new buddy.

This is a little sketchy character i’ve been developing for a children’s story i wrote. She is my constant companion these days as i sketch her over and over again from every angle and across many ages. i’m making it my business to really get to know her.

How many freckles are on her nose? Does she always wear braids? Why does she love stripes so much?

Anyways, it seemed like a fun idea to start injecting her into some of my paintings by way of digitally overlaying her sketchy self onto some of my abstract acrylics.

i’ll be offering the result as prints in my etsy shop as i complete them and then….someday…..if she gets her sweet self published and onto bookstore shelves, i’ll retire the prints and all you folks who own one will have limited editions : )

Pop over to my etsy shop where you’ll find them.

Happy thursday! -xo

Recent Sketches courtesy of instagram


i was a latecomer to instagram, now i couldn’t bear to live without it. the quickest and super cutest way to share vignettes of my sketches on the fly….here’s a peek inside my sketchbook of late.

…..yeeeahhhhhh…..i haven’t decided which filters are my faves yet : )

The faceless stage…the part you don’t see

i get commissioned to do illustrations of people for special occasions a fair amount. Weddings and engagements seem to be the most popular.

In doing these projects, i spend the bulk of my time working on the faces, and i usually keep the face studies separate from the overall composition sketches.

Then, when faces are finalized, i plop them into the composition digitally using photoshop.

i thought it’d be fun to show you one of the completed composition inks…..sans faces. {above}

Creepy, right? i have tons of pages like this!

They’re less freaky when they’re finished : )


work in progress…. an illustration of a cute surfer

This cute surfer is new to the sport and loving it. His awesome mama commissioned this fun illustration to commemorate the birth of a new obsession! : )

The image above is a combo of a pencil sketch and some graphics tablet sketching once the original was scanned and opened in Photoshop. i also was able to give the client several color scheme options by adding color in layers in PS so it could be changed easily.

Since the proof has been approved, i’ll move onto the final, original artwork that will be inked on bristol board and colored with watercolor, marker and colored pencil.