Thursday, April 28, 2011



I love this ornament. I love the shape of the moon holding the red screech owl. The image is on both sides.

Owls are special creatures in my family. I tend to relate the screech owl to my sister. Upon her passing, I saw a momma owl with her owling. They landed not 5 feet away from me, she hooted, I stood there looking for what seemed forever. Then, off they went. She was magnificent.

I love the look of peace here -- yet, she seems to be standing guard.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The sirens were all aflutter today for a tornado warning here in these Toledo, Ohio. I was cowering in the downstairs bathroom with 2 bunnies, 1 laptop and a box of tampons. In the time that we were waiting for the air to clear, I scrubbed the floor. This is the glamorous life of a freelance illustrator/designer. Don't be hatin'.

Here is the latest project sneaking through the cracks of Studio 566. 


The screech owl is in its red phase. I’m not sure what “the red phase” is exactly, but if it is anything like peri menopause, I sympathize. She is probably sitting in her tree hating the rest of owldom, wondering about all the choices she made in her owl life. She wonders why the hell she stays up all night and sleeps all day. 
Did you know that in some middle and far eastern cultures, the owl is a sacred guardian of the afterlife, ruler of the night, a seer and keeper of souls transitioning from one plane of existence to another.
Want to know more?

Having said that, allow me whore myself yet one more time.
Gifts and prints are available at: The_Bunny_Stop - WHO DO YOU LOVE?

As seen on


Seriously, WTF? A word of caution: you will either need to smoke a cigarette or take a shower (or both) after viewing. I felt dirty. I had to view it several times before the feeling went away. I shudder to think about whom the demographic is...

Not only are the actions of the bun pretty realistic, the kitty’s brown eye alone kept me cracking up.

Speaking of which, here is a product to cover your pet's embarassing asterix: ( * )
Gotta have the pine tree!

As if it isn’t enough I want one of those small giraffes featured in fine American television advertisement, now I could spend a good 5 solid minutes watching this. Maybe I already have. Don’t judge. This is living proof that size DOES matter...



This tutorial really peaked my interest. I am considering taking the plunge with one of my raging bunnies utilizing this method. It is odd in that these post modern styles rarely really catch my attention. (I am trying to sound graphically educated here). Post Modern Hippies. Get a real job.If I had a nickle for everytime I heard that, I wouldn't have to work at all!

But I digress...
Here is the illustraion tutorial:


My Childhood

During the most important work of Vanity Googling, I found this signature.

This is not my signature.

This IS my signature.
I can spell

This is the signature of a serial killer.

But I digress...
I was excited to be labeled a “highly gifted seller” on Zazzle.

As it turns out, Zazzle states that about EVERYONE who has a store.  Now, I feel so cheap.
This is NOT me although it IS PENNY COLLINS:

She refers herself to PENOGRAPHY. I wish I would have thought of that.

This IS me:

I gained 40 pounds since then. I guess it is time to diet. Or take photos from the waist up only. Or take photos of me standing behind various pieces of furniture.

Including one of the more bizarre products of my sketchbook is becoming a tradition for this blog. So here is another sketch from the most dangerous place on earth: MY SKETCHBOOK. (See what I did there? Aren't I clever?)
Isn't she a beaut?

Monday, April 18, 2011


The last couple of weeks have been weeks filled with waking. Apparently, I have lost the ability to sleep when I am up against an illustration. I was hired for four commission pieces, plus I had class work. Two of the commissions were familial discounts: I received love and respect. The other two actually paid some bills. I’m not sure how other artisans are, but I dream about the pieces I am actively working on. Sometimes I dream that I manage a beautiful masterpiece only to wake up to find abject disappointment. Sometimes I dream that the pieces are miserable failures only to wake up to find, at least, mediocre meanderings. Sometimes, I just dream and wake up with an assortment of crackers pressed up against my face from whenever it was I fell asleep. Either way, I am awake at my witching hour, 3 am. The illustration goddess pours me a cup (or two, or three) of coffee because THERE WILL BE NO SLEEPING.

as seen on:


Logo design for CBI: COLLINS BASEBALL INSTRUCTION. This is for an independent artisan who mentors people on batting and fielding, located in Tyler, Texas. The idea was to capture a vintage major league look. The entire design came from the client, I simply put it together for him. Life can be so easy when the client knows what they want. Everything is bigger in Texas, including Collins’ balls. Personally, I think that tag line would work. Of course, no one would take their little leaguers within 8 feet of the premises.

“She loves bunnies…. a LOT.” That is all he had to say. The original is now in the hands of “She.” I can't, for the life of me, resist his big brown cow-eyes. He reported that "She" squealed upon receiving her gift. "She" better be good to Honorable Number One Son.

Prints and custom items available at:

I received a request for some recycled Blues goods. I am ecstatic that they love the look. Happy BDay, Mud! From your forever Puss-Puddy!

Everyone knows a Helga in some way shape or form. This character was once described as having a whip in one hand and a Bible in the other. She is the ever-vigilant vigilante of Gawd.

Helga Helios knows the devil is in you…                     Judgement
Ink and Pshop                                                      Uppity Evangelicals are the best at it.

This commissioned piece you have all been waiting to see… was a bear, of sorts. I do not know much about motorcycles, let alone vintage racers on wooden tracks. I love the research that goes along with all of my jobs, but I was often in a quandary as to what exact bike part I was rendering. Here is the final show:

Graphite Pencil

My latest assignment was to render a wild animal in illustrator. I thought it would be swell to render one of my favorite specimens, a Jack Rabbit. The Jack Rabbit was actually called the “Jackass Rabbit” because their ears are reminiscent of an ass (as in mule… sheesh). Mark Twain was the first to coin the phrase “Jack Rabbit.” This rabbit isn’t a rabbit at all, but is a HARE.

My instructions were to create a rendering as realistic as possible with some stylization – from a photograph. I figured ILLUSTRATION + RABBIT (I know – it’s a HARE) = PIECE OF CAKE.
I refer to this project as: THE JACK RABBIT EXPERIENCE. I will never be the same.

To make the fur, I rendered “Blades” of hair and grouped them. Some of the blades were different in color and/or tone. I copied and created a PATTERN BRUSH to fill the stroke. I also chose COLOR AND TINTS so that I could change the look on a whim. After figuring out the best lengths, thicknesses, etc, I used the action palate to record switching the stroke to 30% opacity and MULTIPLY transparency. I thought I was going to shoot myself… but this actually worked out. Everything else was hit and miss with cross hatch filters, Gaussian blurs and swear words.
black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)
Photo Credit: Dreamstime Photo Imaging
(photo image – my rendering)

And remember kids, Easter isn’t about Jesus, it IS about the bunny! It’s even Biblical!

Brought to you from the pages of my sketchbook -
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth.


Monday, April 4, 2011


I have just begun another illustration class. We are already getting into hot and heavy discussions about copyright. I can hardly wait to share my sordid tales of past employers and their illicit use of illegal images. Also, 566 is up to their eyeballs (that would be my eyeballs) in a graphite illustration. Oddly, it's a love/hate relationship. So goes my experience with commissioned pieces.

The process starts well enough. Someone seeks me out for my illustration skills/style/quirkiness - however one labels my work. There is always a very serious discussion. I am so serious when it comes down to business and talking shop. The idea is that people will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am serious about what I do.

After the business is negotiated, the project begins... the process is unleashed. I spend at least three days avoiding the job and trying to not think about it.

As seen on

And so it goes: Motorcycle Man is the latest project. I am chronicling the adventure.

So far, the piece resembles Darth Vader poking something in his eye. I know not motorcycles so research is a must. I am drawing things that... well... I just don't know what they are.