Lunchtime Doodles


Lunchtime in the summer is my favorite.  It’s the time of day when I can step away from my office, go to a nearby park, sit in the grass, and draw.

The park I go to is nothing to inspirational – a few baseball diamonds, a playground off in the distance, some hiking trails, and a construction project of a nearby office.  However, I’m fine with my uninspiring scenery – I can just sit in the sunshine and draw whatever comes to mind.

Last month, I attended an SCBWI-Wisconsin Workshop led by the talented Eliza Wheeler.  Prior to the workshop, we were assigned to create a sketch of a scene inspired by our childhood. The first thing that came to mind was a Marble Run game my brother and I had as kids – colorful pipes that we could connect and drop marbles through.  It wasn’t a huge part of my childhood, but it was the first thing I thought of and had so many creative ways to draw it.

I suppose I could have drawn a sketch of me playing with the game (and that actually sounds like a good idea in hindsight) but I went a different direction – I build a world inspired by the game.  I created a city connected by tubes, wheels, and funnels.  Eventually, it started looking more like a water park, so I took it in that direction, but still kept the marble idea in the back of my mind.

During the workshop we learned and explored ways to improve layouts, so I do have a second version in the works that plays more with perspective.  However, I still really liked my original sketch, so I started bedazzling it first.

So this is my progress over about a month of lunch breaks – just me slowly working on building and inking a world inspired by marbles.  (Cars and characters will be next months’ lunch breaks).  Enjoy!



Crazy Driving Squirrels – Illustration Friday (Squirrel)


As I look at the calendar and realize that tomorrow is already the first day of summer, I am overwhelmed with the realization that I have been hibernating way too long.  Not hibernating in the sense of living off body fat and sleeping all winter/spring (although that does sound lovely), but instead, have been hibernating creatively.  In the midst of a year filled with an awesome book project and some exhausting things at my day-job, I have barely had time or motivation to create illustrations just for fun.  And for that reason, I have let my social media sit dormant.

But that changes today! – No more hitting the snooze button, no more feeling lazy and unmotivated, and no more hibernating! I am crawling out of my den and getting back into the fresh air of blog posting.  This week, I am creating a piece for Illustration Friday’s topic, “squirrel”.

Now, to make sure I don’t take away too much time away from my projects, I’m just sticking to black and white line art.  I do love working in color, but it’s kind of relaxing just sitting and drawing in ink.

So onto my squirrel…

As I brainstormed how I should draw my squirrel and what I should have him doing, I thought back to my childhood and experiences with squirrels.  For the most part, I had a pretty squirrel-free childhood – I’d see them running through the yard, fed them some Cheetos at a park, but no major interaction that I could recall.  Then I remembered something my mom would always say in the car when we’d see a squirrel running across the road – “I don’t swerve for squirrels.”

Now, to my knowledge, my mom has never hit a squirrel, and I’m pretty sure she has slowed down for numerous squirrels that darted across the roads.  The saying was more of a response to my dad’s driving and how he would avoid hitting a squirrel at all costs.  So there was my inspiration – squirrels and cars!