Life Drawing

Went to a life drawing session at Opus yesterday. Here are some drawings from the session.

This is a 20 minute pose.


These two are both 10 minute poses.



Day in the Life

Tuesday April 9

7:30am Wake up

8:30am Admin and tax prep (bleah)

9:15am Go to Staples and do some printing

10:00am Tax prep (bleah)

11:30am Leave for a meeting downtown

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Meeting with an entrepreneur friend, to help me with my e-mail marketing. She is guiding me on how to write better, more targeted e-mails when I am e-mailing magazines for illustration work.

2:15 Head to Staples to do more printing

3:00 Go to Opus to pick up my digital prints and package them for selling.

3:30 Go to Dundarave to price my prints and add them to my inventory at the print shop.

4:00 Go to Vancouver Fish Company and have some well deserved beer.

4:40 Head home and call it a day.



I recently bought a mug with “Hustle/Align” on it. “Hustle” is crossed out, and “Align” is underneath. This got me thinking about “hustle”; it is a popular term that implies always working hard and marketing yourself. Working on weekends and evenings, on top of your full time job. Doing this constantly can negatively affect your health; you will burn out. I think hustle is necessary, but only if done in balance with self care. Limiting which days and times you hustle is a good thing. For example, I limit my hustle time to two days a week, because I also work full time. I make sure to take at least one day off a week, as well as evenings off.

“Align” is also important. When marketing yourself, don’t market to everyone and think you can do any type of job. For example, when launching my business, I did graphic design as well as illustration. Recently I have cut out graphic design jobs (I only take them on if they come to me, and I am interested in the job). I focus my marketing efforts on illustration, as that is where I want to focus my work. Specifically, I focus on editorial illustration. I am aligning my work with my interests and skill set. This helps me feel fulfilled with my freelance work, and I enjoy doing more work outside of my full time job. Eventually I want to scale my full time job back to part time, and do illustration full time, but that is a long way away yet.

Thanks for reading!

Self-promo Mailer Spring 2019

I recently put together another self-promotional mailer to send to magazines and newspapers. I decided to make a pin/button this time, for my special add-in. I ordered it from Awesome Merchandise, and was really happy with how it turned out.


This is what I put in my mailer: postcard, Tarot card, business card and a pin. I did a bicycle/cyclist theme this time. I thought bicycles would go well for a spring theme.

I learned that sending buttons in the mail counts as an oversize mail, so the postage was more than I was expecting. Mental note for next time, maybe stick to flat items. I plan on doing two mailers this year, along with two e-mail blasts for my illustration marketing.

Poseidon – The Lino/Digital Process

So I switched gears on my Poseidon piece, and decided to do my linocut/digital method instead. The etching wasn’t going as planned, and I had some new green lino to try out from work. I will probably re-visit the etching later.

I took my drawing and carved it out on the lino. The scales took a while, lots of tiny, tiny marks. This is the resulting print.


I then scanned in the print, and brought it into Photoshop to color digitally, and also play with the background a bit. I used some of my textures that I keep on my computer. The texture on the left is ink rolled out onto paper using a brayer. The image on the right is ink splatter.

After playing around with colors and gradients, this is the final image:


This image will be in the upcoming “Water” show at Dundarave Print Workshop on Granville Island. If you are in the Vancouver area, check out the show!

Poseidon – the Drawing Process

At the end of March, Dundarave is having a group art show on the theme of “Water”. For this show I am working on an etching of Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the sea. I started my drawing process as I always do, with thumbnail sketches. This is the thumbnail sketch I settled on.


Then I fleshed out the drawing, and started by drawing a merman.


I drew the tail separately.


After looking at this sketch, I decided I wanted more of a facial expression on the merman, instead of a neutral expression. So I flipped through my facial expression book and drew this:


Then I scanned all my drawings into the computer, and did a digital comp in Photoshop:


This is the final drawing I am working from for my etching. Stay tuned next week, and I will take you through the etching process.

Winding Career Path of an Illustrator

Watched a YouTube video by Kendyll Hillegas about the career path of an illustrator. In it she talks about the different phases one goes through with types of clients. Your first clients will be friends and family, then will be local businesses, and then move up to international or big clients. There were other phases in-between these. She also mentions it might not be a linear path; not 1-2-3. One might skip a step or go through the phases out of order. My path was out of order and looks like this:

  1. Friends & family
  2. Local non-profit magazines (non-paying)
  3. International magazine (The Progressive – USA)
  4. National magazines – Broken Pencil, Monitor (Canadian)

Kendyll also mentions it is likely you will need a day job when you are beginning your career. Make sure it is a job that doesn’t suck your energy, as you need energy to be creative. Your job can be full time or part time, but you must be able to have the energy to work on projects in your off-time. This is one of the reasons I like my job at the art store – it is not energy-sucking and I can leave work at work. It is not too mentally or emotionally taxing.

I also like that I have the option of working four days a week, so I can devote more time to my illustration business. I work at my J-O-B four days a week, work at my business two days a week, and take one day off. Of course if I have a client project, I work in the evenings of my J-O-B days if I need to. Depending on the client deadline, I can usually fit the majority of client work into my two days delegated to business. I may do e-mailing or admin work in the evenings – stuff that is easier on the brain after a full day of J-O-B work. At this point in my illustration career, I don’t have a lot of regular freelance work, so this schedule works for me. I’m expecting as I get more work, I will have to scale back the J-O-B, or do more juggling.