medium /// illustration

kazuaki horitomo


Cats with tats… I mean, come on! LOVE! Now, that final image features a phoenix, but seeing how 2017 is the “Year of the Rooster” I’m going to pretend it’s a rooster. Go with it. This is the beautiful, and funny, work of California based tattoo artist Kazuaki Horitomo. I love the cats with their final tats in place, but I have to say those “tattoos-in-progress” make me laugh out loud … alone at my computer. So good.

{via Hint Magazine}

kyle skor


Whoa. I feel like I just woke up from a really weird dream … and I wanna go back to sleep so I can wander around in there a little longer! These are the paintings of American artist / children’s book author & illustrator Kyle Skor. I already wanted to be friends with him when I found his beautifully bizarre work, and then I read his bio…

Kyle Skor grew up playing in the prairie snows and forests of the upper midwest, which nurtured in him the spirit of the wandering mystic. At one point he went to Williams College and studied art history and psychology, and chose somewhat prematurely to enter a doctoral program at Harvard at the age of 22. As a graduate student, he spent more time skipping class to read poetry and sketch at the museums of greater Boston and Cambridge than not, an awareness of which ultimately led him to drop out of school and assume a variety of odd jobs, working by candlelight on his “work”. Between 2005-2013, the fruits of most of these efforts found themselves consigned to various landfills around Asia and California. 

See? Now I really want to hang out with him! Happy Friday.

hsiao-ron cheng


Seriously, every time I drop by her portfolio site, Taipei based artist/illustrator Hsiao-Ron Cheng has more fabulous pieces! Her portraits are my favorite… can you tell? Sigh. Elegant and dreamy.

sarah walsh


Love, love, love! These pretty gals {and plants} are the work of American artist/illustrator Sarah Walsh. Her portfolio is absolutely full of fabulous personal pieces and gorgeous brand collaborations. Oh, and I had to include this, because it makes me want to make stuff:

“I typically use a mix of gouache, cut paper, pencil, ink, watercolor, and colored pencil depending on my mood and what I want to draw. Exploring different mediums is so much fun to me. I like to try new techniques, play, make random connections and get a little lost when I’m creating.”  

Yes! Getting a little lost is THE BEST. This work … and a bunch of cool pieces by her talented husband Colin Walsh… is available in their online shop, “Tigersheep Friends”,

ps. also, this:


zach montoya


Boo! Bats, cats, and tiny little fangs that seem to glow. This is the eerily beautiful work of Baltimore based artist/illustrator Zach Montoya… I love it. And I’m kinda scared. Happy Halloween!

{ps. Some of this work is available in Zach’s shop  ///  found via Booooooom}

“patterns ‘n positive passwords”


If you were an early adopter to the world of Etsy, you’ll know exactly who my guest is today. Yep, I’m talking to Portland based artist Ashley Goldberg! I loved her work before I even started this blog {which was almost 8 years ago}, and watched from across the interweb as she evolved into what she refers to as “Ashley 2.0″… I wanted to hear alllll of the stories that went along with that, and she told me! Weird little critters, vibrant patterns, and the positive passwords that helped her along the way. You can listen right up there under those little faces, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Ok, let’s start closer to the beginning… remember these? I love all of them, and these pieces are actually still available in Ashley’s Etsy shop:


Ah, love! Quite a few of those pieces were from the “ashley g 1.0” phase of her art career, but as 2.0 came along, so did these patterns:


Ok, I could have posted thousands of them {literally}, but I tried to control myself. Well, to a point… here are more of Ashley’s patterns out in the world! Wallpaper and bedding and teepees, oh my!


{1. Jimmy Cricket  2. Urban Outfitters  3,4,5. Land of Nod}

That teepee. I mean, come on! How cool would it be to see your work this way? Very. What about seeing your work all over your own clothes!? Even cooler:


{1,2,3. Gorman  4. Lazzari}

YES! I need that sweet “All My Little Friends” dress! I totally pictured Ashley wandering around Portland in head-to-toe “Ashley Goldberg”, but apparently it’s all black, all the time, for her. I understand. Completely.


See. Black… with just a bit of color on her paint-covered hands! I loved every second of finally getting to talk to Ashley. There are links to her karaoke choices below… yep, they paint quite a picture! Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting episode 74; thanks to for making my new book into an audio book – it’s officially available now;  and thank YOU so much for listening every week… there will be more art for your ear next weekend.


Other links:

  1. Ashley’s Etsy shop
  2. Ashley’s insane number of patterns on Flickr
  3. Ashley’s lovely Instagram feed
  4. The two karaoke songs were Biggie Smalls- Juicy (the PG version) and R Kelly ignition remix

agata wierzbicka


Can you tell that I couldn’t decide which I loved more? The flora or fauna… both so beautiful. This is the work of Warsaw based artist/illustrator Agata Wierzbicka. Lovely.

lindsay stripling


I need an invite to that disco! This is the magical world of San Francisco based artist/illustrator Lindsay Stripling. There’s got to be a weird bedtime story in there somewhere… and I wanna hear it!

ps. She has a lovely Instagram feed that shows lots of in-studio shots.

“pinups, pulp, comics, and canadiana”


Pinups and Canadiana, indeed! Today I’m talking to Vancouver based artist/illustrator Ryan Heshka, a proud fellow Canadian, about his sassy, pulp-inspired work. There are mean girls, “Mystery Twins”, and so much perfect found paper I can hardly stand it … we also covered important topics like underage drinking in barns on the Canadian Prairies. You can listen right up there under “The Wood Gang”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Ok, let’s kick things off with a few of my favorite gals:


Yes. I love these! I told Ryan I pictured him being a comic-obsessed kid when he was little. Apparently I was right, and here’s proof… two of Ryan’s “early” works, followed by a more recent piece:


Ha! So cute, so funny! Well, given his love for Batman, it’s not surprising that these masked ladies eventually showed up in his portfolio. Batman + babes =


Oh, the bubblegum… those two might be my favorite set of Ryan’s “Mystery Twins”! Up next, we were talking about a few of his pieces where text, from the found paper he uses, shows through into his work:


So, so, so good. And I can almost smell that old paper from here! Mmmmmm.

There were two pieces I wanted to hear the story behind… they’re the first two below. They kind of led us into a Canadiana tangent, so I put a couple of those here too {note “Rolanda” on the jacket of the Blue Bird on the right}:


Ah yes, makes me proud to be Canadian… I was never Miss.Canadiana though. Well, something to work towards I suppose.

Ok, now Ryan’s books! He’s done a few: “Welcome To Monster Town”, “ABC Spook Show”… but this one has to be my fave:


Smoking, drinking, and stealing bras. Yep, mean girls being mean. If you want your own copy of “Mean Girls Club”, you can find it here.

Oh, and I always like to know what an artist’s studio looks like, so Ryan sent these along for the post. Check out his amazing view of that Vancouver sky:


Wowza! His cat doesn’t seem impressed though.

And finally, after all of that pinup / Canadiana action, I felt like this was the perfect painting to finish with:


Yep, there’s even a beaver. Thanks so much to Ryan for taking time out of his very busy, sleep-deprived day to do this with me; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; thanks to for making my new book into an audio book! To preorder a copy for FREE {or to pick up any other book you might want} just use my link: And as always, thank YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Martha Rich  / Mark Todd  / Esther Pearl Watson
  2. Kate Larkworthy Illustration, NY
  3. IKEA Ribba Frames!
  4. Corn & Apple Festival, Morden Manitoba


step-by-step. every day.


“Drawings are like wine, they need time to develop.” Lovely words from an amazing artist … who I might just have a major girl crush on. I have loved, and I mean loved, the work of Berlin based artist/illustrator Tina Berning for years. And now, if it’s even possible, I love it even more. Tina is obviously insanely talented, but I found out today that she’s also very smart, poetic, funny… and organized! I tried not to gush too much, but “fan-girling” was the name of the game. So, let’s get on with it. You can listen right up there under that lovely washy woman, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, these are just a few of Tina’s gorgeous paintings on found paper that are currently showing at Alison Milne Gallery in Toronto {until Nov 5, 2016}:


Gah! See? How can I not fan-girl over her! Now, here’s where the smart/organized part comes in. Everything she does goes into one of three boxes: CRAP*, NOT SO GOOD, NOT SO BAD:


*CRAP not shown here … Tina assured me that there really is a CRAP box, but I can’t imagine any of her work ending up there. I love love love this system and I am totally going to implement it in my studio, and I honestly think every artist should. She comes back to the CRAP and NOT SO GOOD boxes later and uses those pages for collage bits, or as a base for new work. Truly brilliant, and a perfect jumping off point for creativity.

Next, one of my favorite projects ever, “100 GIRLS ON CHEAP PAPER”… which is exactly that:


So beautiful. This project started online, it then became a book, and then a show… and then a traveling show. Most of the girls from the original exhibition sold, so when it traveled to New York and Japan, Tina had to paint 80 new women for each show! Here are two pieces from NY and two from Tokyo:


Do you know how much self control was required for me not to post all of the pieces from this series? Very. Difficult.

So, when you work on vintage found paper, most of your work will be small… unless you use old record album slips, or stitch lots of small pages together. Yes. That’s what Tina does from time to time, and no surprise, they’re gorgeous:


The staples! I love the staples!

And finally, in the not-so-speedy speed round, Tina told me her favorite paint colors are black and red. I guess she wasn’t kidding:


Yep, two words… Fan. Girl. Oh, I enjoyed this so much, and I hope you did too. Stunning work, a lovely person, and advice that I will use forever. Thank you so much to Tina for doing this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and thanks to for making my new book into an audio book! To preorder a copy for FREE {or to pick up any other book you might want} just use my link: But wait, there’s more… thank YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Tina’s current show at Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto 
  2. Heinz Edelman