September 8, 2014

Party Animals

Hey bros and ladybros, I'm off on some adventures again! I'm headed up to Alaska for a bit to soak up lots of magical inspiration from the North. Thrilled for the chance of some actual cool weather, so, suck it, unreasonable summer! I will be planning some new projects and dialing in some holiday show plans whilst wearing many sweaters and scarves. Can't bring eleventy billion markers with me, but I'll have at least a handful, so expect One Minute Portraits to appear at some point. Rhubarb and wild blueberries will be consumed! And what's cooler than being cool? Hangin out on a motherscratchin glacier, that's what! 

So how is my dedication to moose blazers made from blue tarps relevant to your life, you may ask? I'll be leaving my shop open while I'm gone, so you can keep shopping for some sweet back to school pieces of flair or pie artwork to inspire your seasonal baking plans! I'll plan to resume shipping orders on 9/26, and all orders placed while I'm gone will receive bonus goodies inspired by my trip. Your patience will be rewarded by 20% off orders of $20 or more during this time if you use coupon code ALASKA! And as those luscious winter clouds roll in, don't forget to start planning your own holiday radness - if you're thinking of giving someone a custom portrait this year, now would be a great time to reserve your spot! Thank you, friends!

September 3, 2014

Betty Turbo's Awesome Autumn Guide for Grown-Ass Grownups

Dylan McDermott has been quoted as saying "Never wear plaid," but we all know that's shit, because he wore the hell out of some plaid in this movie. It's FALL! It is totally time to wear plaid, AND totally a reasonable time to start watching Home For The Holidays every day until Thanksgiving or so. No, Holly Hunter, you crazy! Let him in your bedroom!

September has rolled in!  We suddenly rejoice, "FALL IS HERE!" as if we can instantly unpack all our sweaters and eat spiced things where yesterday we couldn't.  Nostalgic back-to-school feelings descend upon us even if it has been years and years since we were going back to school of any kind.  I drink coffee on my porch and watch little kids walking to the bus stop and college students stumbling down the road to campus, and feel a little pissed that all I get are anxiety dreams about still being in high school.  If you want to get on board with that excitement which arbitrarily rushes in on Labor Day, let's make a plan for how to tap into it even when we're old and bitter!

Such scholar. Very graduated.

Step One: Fuck Your Pumpkin Spice Latte!
 My utter disdain for this unreasonably lauded seasonal beverage is borne of the fact that I've never actually had one, because I'm allergic to cinnamon and therefore most pre-made "spice" concoctions are off limits to me.  But seriously, y'all?  That stuff is nasty!  It's a super-processed, unhealthy swirl of garbage, preying on your sugar and caffeine addictions, compelling you to BUY BUY BUY!  Save yourself some money and add a few years to your life by mastering your home spiced coffee skills!  Did you know you can mix some spices in with the ground beans in your coffee-brewing apparatus of choice and then your whole kitchen will smell lovely too?  If you're really down with the pumpkin part, you can cook a little pumpkin puree on the stove with your milk product & spices and get frothy!  No squished bug coloring or freaky artificial sweeteners required!

I know you want that spice melange.

While we're talking about spices, now would be a great time to get rolling on some spicy baked goods.  I'm a strong advocate for participating in physical rituals to help tap into the magic of the past, so why don't you summon all the bakers of autumns past by making some delicious pies and cakes?  Hey, it's less than three months till Thanksgiving, have you planned your menu yet?  Warm yourself a nice cup of cider on the stove and bust out some molasses cookies!  Have a chilly fall picnic in your sweaters and scarves and nibble some black pepper spice cakes and drink cocoa out of a thermos!  

From my Kitchen Calaveras series

Step Two: Setting the scene.  Now that we've got the important snacks squared away, let's reach out to Younger You and cultivate some of those back-to-school sensations with some environmental suggestions.  What music did you listen to in high school or college when you felt awesome?  Crank that shit up!  What are your favorite TV shows set in school?  I always feel a fall hankering to rewatch my favorite Buffy episodes, which strike a special chord since I was the same age as the Scoobies when that show aired.  Plus it's chock full of cheesy ghoulish things for the upcoming Halloween season!  My So-Called Life, Veronica Mars, and Felicity also bring back the FEELINGS in their own way for me.

Straight chillin with my friend Spike...

Step Three: Supplies!  If you are an art or stationery nerd like me (chances are pretty good, I think, since you're reading my blog), then you know the joy of a fresh box of pencils or a deliciously crisp new notebook.  Here's my pal Taco Tornado after collecting his first box of school supplies a few years ago. 

Want to get that feeling back but feel a little beyond animal print scissors and fuzzy koala pens?  I have great news: Rad and Hungry is a company that is a cross between cool, lo-fi supplies shopping, and awesome mail from your coolest, most well-traveled international penpal.  You can sign up for a subscription and have a new kit of stationery items and writing implements from a different country each month!  This is not paid advertisement, I just think they're REALLY AWESOME!  Check out this beautiful score from the France kit

With your kits you also get stories of their journeys to sources these items in each country, and they are always beautifully wrapped brown paper packages tied up with strings, which are a joy to open and unbox!

Step Four: Fall Fashions.  You don't need to get spiffed up for the first day of school anymore, but what will you do to reinvigorate your wardrobe?  Why not pull out your current stash and use your Responsible Grown Up skills to mend, improve, applique, and upcycle things you already have?  Get your friends together and have a Pocket Party where you add pockets to every dress that came without them, and then write some formal angry letters to your favorite dressmakers telling them what idiots they are for ever making a dress without pockets in the first place!  Need some snugglier styles for the chilly weather?  Perhaps it's time to acquire a unique handknit accessory from a crafty artisan like the amazing Yokoo!  Here's a chain scarf I picked up a couple years ago that makes me feel like a total boss.

Step Five: For Future You.  Growing up is weird, dudes.  Time just goes by so fast!  How did we become these different creatures?  Do Future You a solid and take time, even if it's only minutes a day, to record pieces of your life in some way.  You don't have a school picture each year to chronicle your growth, but what if you took a daily/weekly/monthly self-portrait?  Perhaps you could draw yourself on the first day of every month!  Keep a journal but don't bore yourself by feeling obligated to make it into some thrilling memoir - just choose small, manageable tasks.  How did you feel today in five words or less?  Or choose one theme word to sum up every day!  Would you like to chronicle what you wear?  What you eat each day?  You'll be amazed how just by choosing some specific parameters and making a mark each day, what a wonderful collection it turns into after weeks or months.  Create new traditions for yourself that you can return to every year at this time!  

Wheeee, fall!!  See, it's going to be great. And let's not forget the best thing about fall: WINTER IS COMING.  Do you have favorite fall rituals?  Anyone want to race to see who can get their Thanksgiving menu planned first?  What shows and movies put you in a bodacious fall mood?  Pour yourself some cider, put on some plaid, and tell me all about it.  

September 1, 2014

One Hundred and Forty One Minute Portraits!

What a week!!  Wow, guys, this was so fun!  140 drawings felt like a zillion million sometimes but I think it was a successful adventure overall!  I can't even pick which day was my favorite because each day had its own terribly awesome favorites and they sure are fun all piled together into collections!  Here are the results!

Day One: Selfies With Pets  got the most submissions of any day. I fell in love with every single dog (sorry, cat people!) and want to snuggle with ALL of them.  In a big pile.  It was very easy for my critical voice (the one that is not allowed during One Minute Portraits!) to click on and notice how difficult it was to make tiny marker doodles remotely resemble cat and dog fur, but I just had to roll with it and let the drawing happen.  Most turned out pretty fun!  We also got this image reposted by the Not A Bully campaign, so many more dog lovers got to enjoy as well!

Day Two: Show Your Tongue was when everyone realized I really wanted to draw awkward faces and not perfectly refined, flattering selfies.  Folks were a little more shy, but we still got some great portraits, and it was fun to see which "poses" naturally occurred to people when their tongue talents were requested.

Day Three: Do You Like My Hat? got really silly really quickly!  Babies, doggies, pirates, bears, three hats at once!  Such stunning noggin models you make.

Day Four: Lip Sync Champion was an effort to get some really soulful singing faces, and y'all did not disappoint!  I wish I had a caption indicating which song everyone was singing!  This day's faces were the some of the most distorted expressions & odd angles to draw.  Good job beltin it out into those wine bottles, hair brushes, and broccoli, guys!

Day Five: Mysterious Detective was me poking you with a stick to do something a little more playful and unusual, a theme that involved more imagination than just a straightforward drawing.  Lots of the themes I considered choosing were actually things for me to superimpose in the drawing, (like when I did Shark Week!) but I ultimately decided to start with content supplied by the reference photos.  The final day was a slight departure as I played with backgrounds more to enhance the mystery...

The mystery of the One Minute Portrait has been quite thoroughly investigated, but I think there's always room to collect more evidence!  I look forward to continuing these adventures and seeing what other magic happens.

If you would like to purchase any of the drawings I did from your photos, you can use the One Minute Portrait listing in my Etsy shop to pick up the originals, or if you'd just like a digital image, I'll email you a scan if you PayPal me five bucks! (agnesbartonsabo at  Please remember to credit Betty Turbo if you repost your portraits anywhere!

I really appreciate the participation from so many people, old friends and new fans alike.  If you ever wonder if your face is interesting, I tell you now that it is!  I totally enjoyed inspecting your expressions and dimples and cowlicks and gleaning little snippets of your story from your photos.  I regularly request photos on Instagram, so if you didn't get in on the fun this time, please stay tuned for more One Minute Portrait action!  You can always request a custom portrait through my shop of course!  And if you want me to look at your face for longer than a minute, I do that too!

One final bit of business to take care of... I have a $25 credit to my shop to give away! I had fifteen devoted participants who sent photos for all five themes.  I have put their names on pieces of paper and I will now draw one from my straw hat, whilst sticking out my tongue and singing some Hall & Oates to my dog, who is leaning on my desk with the curious look of a detective trying to solve The Mystery of the Random Winner... (Get it?  See what I did there??) And Detective Roxy says the winner is... Janneal!  Here are the portraits I drew of her.  She seems like a pretty rad lady!

Oh gosh, now I want to organize all the drawings in families like this!  *Disappears for hours.*  Janneal, please email me to claim your prize!  (agnesbartonsabo at  Thank you everyone!!!  Phew, I'm going to take my hands for a spa treatment and then shop for refill ink for my Copic markers.  Start thinking about what themes you want to see One Minute Portraits of next and leave your suggestions here!  

August 24, 2014

Instagram Bonanza! One Minute Portrait Extravaganza!

Ready to get on board with this One Minute Portrait party?  I've got an Instagram challenge for you!  I'm gonna draw One Minute Portraits every day this week and I've got a new theme for your source pictures each day.  Starting Monday 8/25, make sure you're following me, and post a photo for the daily theme!  Don't forget to tag your posts @bettyturbo and #drawmebettyturbo! Everyone who posts for all five days will be entered to win a $25 credit for my Etsy shop!

The Nitty Gritty Details:

1. This is an Instagram only event, photos must be submitted through Instagram and tagged @bettyturbo and #drawmebettyturbo to participate.
2. Themes are open to interpretation!  I just want fun pictures!  For example, if you don't have a pet, you are welcome to include stuffed animals, pet rocks, whatever, I don't care! ENTERTAIN ME.
3. I will draw several One Minute Portraits each day. Submission of photos is not a guarantee that they will be drawn.  I prefer close up head & shoulders images and may choose the funniest and weirdest ones first.  If you simply must have your picture drawn, you are welcome to place a custom order for one anytime through my Etsy shop!
4. Finished drawings will be for sale after I post them if you are interested. Please use the listing in my Etsy shop to purchase and indicate your Instagram username and the drawing(s) theme when you check out.
5. No, friends, I am not tired of seeing pictures of you. Please feel free to participate!
6. If you can't post for each theme on its intended day, I'll still enter you in the drawing if you get all five done by Friday! Please label which theme they're for if you're not posting on the intended day.
7. Randomly selected winner will be announced Monday, 9/1. Credit will be awarded as a coupon code good towards the pre-shipping total on any order from my shop.
8. If you repost my drawings online anywhere, please credit where they came from!

Please comment below if you have any additional questions!  It has been tremendously fun drawing all your lovely and gross faces so far, I hope we can do lots more!

August 7, 2014

One Minute Magic

BRRRRRRING!!! BRRRINGGGGG!! DOOT! DOOT! DOOT!  That's the sound of the alarm that goes off when I say "Ohhh I'm not good at that" as an excuse and pops in saying

and reminds me to take the opportunity to adjust my perspective on the situation.  So, this alarm was going off, because I received an email from my pal Hen at Rad and Hungry, asking if I would ever consider offering "quick portraits" of a loose and spontaneous nature, as a fun experiment to work in a different manner and attract different customers.  I had lots of responses about how I NEVER do anything quick and am incapable of doing anything other than obsessing over portraits for hours or days on end.  But then this alarm went off.  And I heard another little noise.  It was coming from these giant boxes of luxurious sketch markers on my desk!  They were crying because all they were doing was sitting there looking gorgeous.  Like many artists, I hoard lots of lovely supplies and feel immense pressure at the thought of USING them, especially if they're something new I haven't worked with.  What if I accidentally made something UN-awesome?!

Well, clearly you can see that this alarm was necessary.  I decided it was time to put on my Grown Up Professional Artist Pants and try something new.  I have piles of paper scraps on my desk, so I cut them to the size of photos you might get from a photobooth and took to the interwebs! I asked my followers on Instagram to send me their selfies and I gave myself about a minute to draw each picture IN INK with no revisions and then I colored them with my bodacious markers.  This was the first batch:

Let me tell you, as someone who definitely identifies as a perfectionist, it is nerve-wracking not to be able to erase anything!  It was LABORIOUSLY DIFFICULT for me to let the drawing "happen" and not obsess over making it look like an actual likeness of the inspiration photo.  However, this was TERRIBLY fun.  Everyone seemed to get a kick out of them too.

For additional practice I went to this flickr group I joined FOREVER ago and hadn't yet participated in.  I inflicted my one minute exercises on some pleasant strangers and accidentally made a few remarkably accurate portraits, and a few, um, something else.

It sure is satisfying to line them all up together in a little collection!  With that in mind, I returned to the world of Instagram with a request for pictures of people eating, which are A) usually really awkward photos, and B) difficult expressions to draw!  The results had me laughing so hard I had to go lie down.  I drew ten lovely ladies and one little boy. And a baby drinking a beer.

I picked some celebrity victims too, while I waited for more people to send me pictures.

I still can't stop laughing!  I consider this a triumph so far.  I still adore drawing (and seeing!) realistic portraits but this is something ELSE, a certain kind of magic that happens with certain rules and limited choices.  By popular request, I will now be offering these services on demand in my Etsy shop starting at $10.  I will also continue to post lots on Instagram, so follow along to get in on the fun!

July 23, 2014

Betty Turbo's Tips for Stayin Cool!

It's hot out there. Don't bother telling me how much you like it, or how I should feel grateful I don't have East Coast humidity, these comments do nothing to lower my body temperature or level of boob sweat.  I'm an Alaska-grown girl, born in the winter with snowflakes in my veins!  This is my idea of a good day:

I think my brother and I are imitating a rare species of snow cactus.

Today we are having some delicious, delicious rain here in Oregon. But in case that pesky sun comes back, LIKE A BULLY, SMACKING THE COMIC BOOK OUT OF YOUR HAND AND LAUGHING, here is some advice on STAYING COOL:

1. Watch movies and TV set in cold places.  We are enjoying rewatching Twin Peaks in the cool cave of our basement here, but it would also be a good time to revisit Game of Thrones and imagine you HAVE TO snuggle up to keep warm. Not like reality where the most snuggling you can muster is to touch bare toes briefly, saying "Yes, I'm here, someday we will make out again. Not today."

Your new meditation mantra is "WINTER IS COMING."

2.  Fill your home (and office!) with pictures of frozen things!  I have a collection of ice cream art I turn to when I want to chill.  Here are two awesome 3-D ice cream paintings by Tripper Dungan

Ice cream, you scream, we all scream for icy cold frozen desserts!

And don't forget, your friend Betty Turbo currently has seventeen items for sale featuring ice cream!  Art, pillows, and cards for spreading coolness through correspondence!

Be Cool Now.

3.  Keep your underwear in the icebox. I heard somewhere that Marilyn Monroe used to do this.  The story may be apocryphal but I think it's a hilarious suggestion and I tell everyone about it.  Try it!  Right before you go to bed in the disgusting heat.

4.  Make your own ice cream!  July is National Ice Cream Month, but you shouldn't need a special holiday to motivate you.  It's a really easy process to get the hang of!  My favorite ice cream cookbook is The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, if you were wondering, and I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker.  Get churnin!  So far this month I have made honey almond (not pictured), banana pudding with chocolate cookie crumbles, lemon with chocolate chunks and candied orange peel, and fresh mint with salted chocolate almonds!  

It's a recurring motif in my life.

5.  Use outdated slang & trite idioms that include words like cool, cold, and ice whenever possible.  Sing "Cold Hearted Snake" by Paula Abdul, "Cold as Ice" by Foreigner, and definitely follow that with "Ice, Ice Baby." Sing the snow song from White Christmas and pantomime washing your hair with snow.

Snow, snow SNOWWWWW!

Gosh, you guys, it has been persistently cool the entire time I focused on writing this!  See!  The power of positive thinking!  Holy smokes it's down to 62 degrees!  Okay, keep chanting the cold songs, and let me know if you make up any cold-summoning dance moves and I will send you a gift.  No, I will start a club for people who think Summer is Disgusting and we will have special badges.  I will invent a flavor of ice cream and name it after you.  Maybe all of the above.  STAY COOL!

July 18, 2014

Mix Tape Memories

I revealed some tape-related memories while writing the description for these Cassette Barrettes... now I can't stop thinking about them!!  Tell me your memories of tapes!  Mix tapes or albums you had on tape! Comment below with your cassette confessions and receive analog absolution!  The magnanimous forces of magnetic tape will bestow one felt cassette (also available as a pin if you don't rock hair clips) upon a randomly selected winner next Friday, 8/25.

June 27, 2014

So Many Reasons To Party

Summer's historically pretty slow in the land of greeting cards, so I'm discovering and inventing all kinds of possible reasons to celebrate and send thrilling stationery.  Lots more where this came from!  Make this the summer you send (and receive!) lots of awesome mail!  Make your kiddos earn a penpal merit badge!  Write a fan letter to someone you've always admired!  And if you have an occasion in desperate need of a card that doesn't yet exist, just let me know! I'm on it!  I've already got a hankering for holiday cards so I think we just might need to have ourselves a little Christmas in July too.  What else do you suggest??

May 18, 2014

Dada Y Papa

Hey party people!  Here are some fresh jams for your daddios!  I've got to sneak away from my studio for a bit on a secret mission, but I'll resume normal production & shipping by June 2nd!  Plenty of time to get awesome Father's Day cards out to you!  In appreciation of your patience, you can use coupon code SECRETSHHH to enjoy 20% off purchases in my shop while I'm away.  All orders placed during this time will also have bonus goodies added to them!  I'm enjoying spring time and listening to the new Chromeo album. What's got you boogying lately?? xoxo, Betty Turbo

May 2, 2014

Miss Joy + Betty Turbo Dream of Salt 'n' Pepa

Beautiful babes beveraging up at Portland Comic Con

Howdy friends! Our final expert witness is none other than the badass broad who makes your bows, Miss Joy of Lucky Cupcake!  Joy is ANOTHER wonderful human I was connected to through Bake and Destroy, and boy am I glad we know each other!  We met in person for the first time when we went to see a taping of WWE Raw in Portland.  We have since had adventures doing comic cons together as well as sampling the finer taco and donut offerings of the greater Portland area.  She is one of the sweetest human beings you will ever encounter, and we have much collaborative awesomeness yet to unleash on you all, so get ready.

Joy's pick, and the final addition to my studio sale which wraps up today is... S'Morrissey!  So pick one up for $12 if you don't have it already!  And if you're waiting on the pillows, rest assured I'll make a new batch in a few weeks after I get my studio resituated.  Thank you everyone for following along with my sale and Imaginary Coworkers Appreciation Week!  I'll be relocating my studio and broadcasting new awesomeness from the new digs in a few days.  Please visit Lucky Cupcake and check out Joy's goodies!

Betty Turbo

May 1, 2014

Cookoorikoo Hearts Conchords

I first heard of Shana and her inspiring slogan "Be fancy every day" through Bake and Destroy.  When I discovered she and her shop Cookoorikoo were based in Oregon, we got to high five in real life!  We have the benefit of consulting each other regularly on all matters Buffy and Veronica Mars related, as well as participating in the same real life craft events like Portland's awesome Crafty Wonderland shows. Shana has picked out this Conchords and Cupcakes print for today's sizzling sale!

Her reasoning for this selection was "Because Jemaine Clement is my boyfriend! Duh!"  So if you like watching tv as much as we do, you should follow us on twitter (@agnesbartonsabo and @cookoorikoo) and we can all chat about these great shows and be imaginary coworkers with imaginary hairy Kiwi boyfriends!  And don't forget to check out Cookoorikoo's shop, which is currently chock full of great embroidered quotes!  

One more bonus sale item and the final day of my studio sale is tomorrow!  Thanks for following along!

April 30, 2014

Sami Says!

Imaginary Coworkers Appreciation Week continues!  Today's special pick is a very important dose of Motivational Speakers, selected for you by my pal Sami Spoon!  It can be yours for just $12 now!

Sami is another awesome person I met through my 1000th sale blog giveaway.  She eventually connected me with Culture Vulture in Leeds, who became my first international wholesale customer!  She was also the one who spotted that some Chinese clothing companies had ripped off my drawing of Macho Man Randy Savage and put it on a shirt titled "Bob Dylan."  Which is horrible.  Yet hilarious.  I love knowing Sami will always weigh in on my latest drawing of weird food or melting eyeballs and totally be on the same page with me!  Plus, it is really fun to have long distance penpals to trade stuff with.  Sami has sent me the coolest jewelry treasures and I supply her with PopTart flavors which aren't available in the U.K.  Fwends Foreverrrrr!

Check out Sami's personal blog (enjoy her fun accessory finds and Black Milk leggings!) as well as her blog Yummy Unchi which is dedicated exclusively to Japanese snacks!!  (Unchi means poop, if you were wondering.) I will keep imagining what fun I would have with all these imaginary coworkers if we shared an office in real life, but we'll be back here tomorrow for you to meet someone else and find another print 50% off!  

April 29, 2014

Natalie's Pick! Bake & Destroy + Betty Turbo = The Stuff Internet Dreams Are Made Of

Couple of tough broads enjoying some Sizzle Pie

Today's featured imaginary coworker is Natalie of Bake and Destroy!  Natalie bought some art from my Etsy shop a few years back and we pretty much instantly bonded over wrestling, Rocky, and, of course, FOOD.  And swear words. The more I followed her blog and learned about SugarSlam, the wrestling themed baking competition she hosts, the more I grew to admire her.  She has been an AMAZINGLY GREAT supporter of my art and I was thrilled to work with her on illustrating her cookbook, "Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans" and other fun projects.  This lady makes me so grateful the internet exists so we can be pals.

We came up with this kitchen measurements print to go along with the cookbook when it came out.  This is Natalie's pick to add to the sale, so it'll be marked down to $12 for the rest of the week!  Pick one up to hang with all the rest of the wrestling art in your kitchen!  I also have my remaining stock of luchador tea towels already on sale, if you need more variations on the theme.

Check back tomorrow to find out what else will be added to the sale!  You'll find another gushy love letter to an internet babe and another print marked down!

April 28, 2014

Imaginary Coworkers Appreciation Week

Hello out there internetland!  This week is dedicated to you!  I love working from my home studio and being my own boss, but it can get a little lonely at times.  I don't know if I could do it without the internet!  I am so grateful for everyone who listens to my goofy ideas, gives me feedback, leaves comments, and helps me spread the word about my art and other related important messages.  I'm giving an extra shout out to a few folks this week, who I know would be my best work buddies if the whole internet counted as an office. Wait, who wants to be in an office?  The whole internet is a record store and it's the 90s forever.

I did not know that book was there. I thought I was super cool getting my
employee photo made in between the Beastie Boys and Beck.

My favorite part of working at a record store in olden times was the Staff Picks wall.  Someone who never made their identity known to me came in every week and bought what I recommended!  Such mystery!  It was like having superpowers.  So I'm putting up a Betty Turbo BFF Picks wall this week.  Each awesome lady is picking a print that's not already part of my Studio Sale and I'll put it on sale for 50% off!  The whole sale will continue through Friday, then I really gotta hustle and get serious with the packing.

Today's special friend is also having a BIRTHDAY today which makes her opinion extra important!  Anne and I became acquainted via this here blog back when I was doing a giveaway to celebrate my 1000th sale.  She is also the person responsible for introducing me to Rad and Hungry, which was the beginning of another beeeeautiful friendship!  Scope out more of Anne's excellent taste via the treasures she posts to her Tumblr

Anne's pick of the day is this illustrated quote from Henry Ward Beecher!  She says, "Aside from Beecher being just awesome in general, he recognized the necessity to embrace the better, weirder parts of being onself. This quote always reminds me to be me."  

There you have it folks!  This print will be 50% off, so pick one up if you need that reminder, and I hope you have an INSANEly wonderful week!  Don't forget to scope out the rest of the sale in my Etsy shop, and check back each day to see what other radness we'll add!

April 26, 2014

Rad Red Rhubarb

It's farmers market time again!  It was chilly out this morning, but I love the cold, and you know what else rocks a cold climate?  RHUBARB.  A glittering pile of rubies could not have looked more beautiful and radiant red to me today.  I remembered a lovely illustrated recipe I wanted to try, so I scooped up my treasure, and my dog and I baked this cake.

I am the girl whose suitcase has exceeded the weight limit because I filled it with rhubarb.

The inspiration is Rhubarb Strawberry Cake by Petra Hämmerleinova from They Draw and Cook. It's a very simple, biscuit-y kind of cake which is the perfect base for a pile of rhubarb and strawberries!  I love the recipe illustration, and regret I did not have a fancier tea set to serve my cake on!  If you try it  out yourself, don't miss Petra's note to toss the fruit in sugar, which got left out of the drawing.  See more of Petra's wonderful illustrations on her website!

And now that we've admired how lovely it is, who's gonna come help me eat it??

April 23, 2014

Artists, Archives, Accumulation

Fresh off reading Rad and Hungry's "The Fine Line Between Hoarding and Collecting," I'm wondering, IS there a line to tread?  How is it possible?! I feel somewhere in between my dad's pack rat tendencies and my mom's whirl-through-the-house-and-throw-everything-out anti-clutter stance.  As an artist I treasure my (sometimes embarrassing) old work and my sketchbooks and journals to see how I've changed and evolved over the years.  And in the midst of our digital lives, I am clinging to correspondence on pieces of paper, as they become rare specimens!

Bus & train tickets from my year abroad and bundles of letters.

Beyond collections that can be clearly organized, how do you decide what to save?  I am so fascinated to learn how other people structure their archives, and their criteria for selecting which pieces of their life and work will be tucked away for the future.  I'm paring down my boxes and boxes now, preparing to move and ready to consolidate my holdings. I have recurring anxiety dreams about moving where I just have TOO MUCH STUFF and some of it just has to be abandoned.  So I get the urge to purge... and then I open up these boxes and I find amaaaazing things, and how could I possibly part with them?!

My family before I existed.

Is it weird to wonder if I should be saving things for someone other than myself?  I certainly hope nobody wants to read my private angsty journals, but what about art stuff? What if someone wants to study me?  I love the storytelling of seeing artists' notes and process and personal lives alongside their work... But does any artist actually decide while they are alive that anyone will give a shit about that stuff?  Maybe just a descendant I don't know yet!  I collect the work of my great-grandmother Agnes and every piece of it is solid gold to me.

A book cover and a magazine page with fashion illustrations, by Agnes Heisler Barton!

Is there joy to be found in discovering digital archives?  I just can't imagine putting a cd or flash drive in the computer and having the same wave of amazement as finding a box of real, actual photographs printed on paper.  But paper is unstable and takes up way more space.  Should we put a couple of really cool prints with every digital storage device we file away to make sure someone knows THERE IS JUICY STUFF IN HERE?  I've finally thrown out most of the garbage I made in art school. But I'm sure as shit not getting rid of childhood photos!

Tiny me in olden times.

I'm feeling very accomplished that I've consolidated and reduced my collection of important pieces of paper down to what can be crammed in two large plastic totes.  No more cardboard boxes or stray plastic folders labeled "stuff to keep."  But that only covers pieces of paper up to 2004, (when I graduated college), so everything newer than that is still the hot mess that fills the bookshelves of my studio.  I still don't have a plan!

How do YOU decide what to keep and what to toss?  If you make art, how much of your own work, sketchbooks, feedback, press clippings do you keep?  If you have offspring, how much of their schoolwork and tiny genius art projects do you keep?  Do you coordinate with the rest of your extended family on the state of your archives and who has access to photos and artifacts?  Do you save all correspondence, or only the greatest hits, or only from the people who wrote to you most?  Do you have any time periods in your life that take up more space in your archive storage than others?  What do you store digitally?  Do you keep things in a safe, or cardboard boxes, or giant tupperware? For whose future entertainment do you save things?  Tell me!  I'm so curious to hear what your systems are and how you decide what makes the cut.

April 20, 2014

Origin Story

"Weird and Wonderful Anchorage, Alaska" 

Holler if you love Anchorage! I've just submitted this map of my hometown to They Draw and Travel.  It has been really fun discussing it with all my Alaskan friends and encouraging the curiosity of those who have never visited! The concept for this challenge was to illustrate what's "creative and curious" about where you're from.  So these are things that stand out for me, but it's not intended to be a comprehensive or particularly utilitarian map.  It took me a long time to decide what the point of view of the map would be! Anchorage is much bigger than this, but I narrowed it down to this chunk based on the format size and a few things I especially wanted to mark by their physical location.  It ended up looking like this crazy sketchbook of a few landmarks and a lot of weird memories!

Special shout-outs to:
The Pack Rat Antiques, co-owned by my friend BreAnn who has a typewriter tattoo, and has written me millions of letters on typewriters, (and I still have them all), and commissioned some illustrations from me which she uses on shop gift certificates:

Available on fabric, wallpaper, and giftwrap from Spoonflower!

Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, a delicious bakery owned by one of my high school math & science teachers and her family!  Last time I was there I ate an entire strawberry rhubarb galette myself because I figured that if it fit in my purse, it counted as a single serving.  Thank you, huge purse.

It's not really too huge but looks very majestic in the sunshine.

I drew heaps and heaps of images that didn't make the final edit! I finally concluded I'll just need to make this into a series of maps.  Possible additional Anchorage map themes: stories about my Dad, high school memories, weird tourist & celebrity incidents, places I remember from childhood that aren't there anymore, signs, all about Spenard... Such good potential for storytelling!  If you are from Anchorage I would love to hear your ideas about what YOU would put on a map!

Go visit my map, and scope out other amazing illustrated maps at They Draw and Travel!  

Update 4/21: They Draw and Travel use ImageKind to offer their maps as art prints or snazzy wrapped canvases and they've added this map by popular demand! You can order one HERE!

March 20, 2014

They Draw and Cook

Are y'all already familiar with They Draw & Cook??  I've been lurking & admiring over the past year, and recommended it in all my lettering workshops, but I just now got around to finally submitting something.  The site is run by a brother & sister design team, and it's all illustrated recipes! Lettering. Food. Designers & illustrators from all over the world. And food. It's super awesome! Food. You can search through the collection by different design criteria or by ingredients.  Go get lost in it!

This drawing I did for a challenge they have going to illustrate one ingredient in three recipes.  I can't wait to do more!  Oh, and they have ANOTHER site called They Draw & Travel which is illustrated maps!  I'm so excited.  I've been on a major food & travel kick in various activities lately so I am ready to draw a giant pile of maps and recipes.

P.S. I'm eating pancakes with funfetti sprinkles in them right now. Don't judge me. It was a hard morning.

January 6, 2014

RAZZLELUTIONS Only Beyond This Point

Ohhhh, New Year's time.  That time when we come up with lists of things to criticize ourselves about or things we expect to change by sheer magic?  I'm going to go ahead and ban those boring, trite, guilt-laden "resolutions" and declare we should focus on RAZZLELUTIONS.  Sassy mottoes, theme songs, and bold declarations of the new flavors of awesome we are going to introduce to our lives this year!  For which there is no failure, but for which every incremental inclusion amplifies the radness by a factor of HELL YEAH!  My patron goddess of Razzlelutions up there is "Empress of Fashion" Diana Vreeland, who said, "WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T BE BORING."  So keep that in mind, and feel free to emphasize with vigorous jazz hands.

I have a Razzlelution that is fashion related, probably something I have in common with many broads who work from home in shlubby pajamas.  This year is the year I dial my sewing discipline up to 11!  No longer will I settle for throwing fabric on the floor and cutting it out in vaguely a dress shape!  Here's the sum total of my garment skills at present date:  hemming straight lines, baggy sweatshirts that could be pajamas, and shift dresses that make me look like an overgrown toddler.

In addition to helping me dress snazzier, this plan will also assist me towards my goal of consuming less "fast food" fashion.  It's hard to resist buying cheap clothes when it's all you can really afford!  I love color, I love design, and how I dress is definitely part of how I express myself.  I am not ready to buy bespoke cashmere underpants for every day of the week, but I hope to redirect my meager budget away from things produced in sweatshops and more and more towards ethically produced garments, and my own creations! 

Step One in this plan also ties in something ELSE I wanted to explore: online classes! My fashiony dreams seemed like great inspiration for giving it a try.  I'm interested in exploring the possibilities for teaching online too, so it was high time I got on board!  When Twinkie Chan mentioned her friend, artist Mary Winkler, was teaching a fashion illustration class, it only took me about 2 seconds to sign up.  This class is being offered through Skillshare, and it's already great practice for drawing using a tablet (high on my list of professional skills I want to improve!) as well as getting stoked up about creating some clothes.  Come scope it out!  The class is brand new and will be way more fun if more people are participating and commenting!  You can even check out the projects and see what I'm doing before you sign up.  If you use this referral link to join, you can save $10 off your first Skillshare class!   Look, I'm drawing naked ladies!

I've also been checking out Craftsy for sewing classes so I can move on to things like Making Vintage Party Frocks Like A Boss once I get in full-on superhero seamstress mode.  

So what are your RAZZLELUTIONS?  Lay it on me!  Put your shiny intentions out there!