BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS is a weekly project exploring the ups, downs & in-betweens of this emotional life. We’re gonna feel those darn feelings and draw them out, making them into something tangible and less destructive. The title is an amalgamation of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s biography Savage Beauty (after finding a free copy on the curb), Millicent Patrick’s epic Gill-man (omg this photo), and Husky Rescue’s super pretty Beautiful My Monster. This project is about the beautiful, ugly and tragic monsters creeping around inside all of us.


Thoreau peeking #beard #animation #illustration #beautifulmonsters #newproject

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My own time out in making this artwork had me reading Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, which was said to be “part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and (to some degree) manual for self-reliance.” [1] Though Thoreau was controversial to some, who can argue that taking a little time out for yourself isn’t important; when you take time to examine your thoughts and feelings you can find gems in there.


Life In The Woods #henrydavidthoreau #cabin #interiors #walden #sketch #beautifulmonsters #newproject

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The monster is never just there where we think he is. What is truly monstrous is our cowardice and sloth.

Much like Thoreau, I had to go into the woods, take a step back from all the noise to investigate my own head, and plant seeds for the next steps in my art.

As a milestone birthday approaches, I did something I have never done before: slowed down and invested time solely on art. What emerged is BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS, a playful look into emotion. Putting this project together wasn’t easy for me at first. I spent a lot of time creating stacks of drawings but not finishing them; obsessing too much and trying to talk myself out of it (it’s so easy to go down the road of “what’s the point? if you think about anything long enough).

I was getting too distracted by news and politics (like the rest of us), feeling enormous resistance to share the work or talk about it with anyone else; slowing myself down by cramming too much into one idea. Fear morphed into a slothlike creature and too much time was passing by.

To quote Steven Pressfield from the The War of Art, “the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” It’s time to push this monster out of its own slothy gates of hell and move forward into the unknown:

Monster: Slothus Goeth Nowhereicus
Description: the slothy resistance that keeps you away from real movement or change, dragging its feet in place forever. Slothus Goeth Nowhereicus would love for you to stay in your pj’s all day, every day, and sink into the couch until you’re molded together as one. Be wary of its Snuggie™–wrapped, cheeto-eating charms. You’re going nowhere, my friend. Get out into the real woods and take an actual walk; the longer you wait for everything to be absolutely perfect, the longer ol’ Slothy sticks around.

Beautiful Monsters: New Project


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Creating monsters + learning how to defeat them #saturday

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The weirdos are coming! New illustrations coming soon #BeautifulMonsters

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Week 39-52: A New Hope

Oh 2016, what a complicated beast you were. You took away great artists. You exhausted election coverage and then provided devastating results. You delivered heartbreaking news from all over the world. I wanted to avoid repeating the masses by simply stating “you need to end,” but the passing of real life Princess Leia (rebel leader against a fascist regime)—along with her mother merely one day later—may have been my breaking point for throwing in the 2016 towel.

“You broke my heart. You broke my heaaart!” (said like Douglas Reyholm)

The drawing above illustrates where my head was at right after the election, which was not a good place at all. I’ll keep a lid on politics, but a silver lining is how much I learned this year. I learned a great deal of compassion for myself (which is difficult when you’re super hard on yourself) and a great deal for others. I also worked an enormous amount on my art and illustration, and feel like a different person because of it.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.


(I hear Rebel Girl when I look at this. Photo credit by Anne Jenkins)

A new year gives me a renewed sense of hope. The important thing about hope though, is that hope needs a plan. We can’t passively drift down the current from one year to the next and expect anything to change. In the spirit of Star Wars, “do or do not, there is no try.” I am kicking off the new year by asking myself: what can I actively work on? What is within my power to make 2017 a better year for myself and others?


(new project in progress)

Good things happened too, of course. I covered as Art Director for Tablet Magazine, May through December, and worked with some really stellar folks. I attended Creative Works in Memphis and met great designers. I illustrated the Gender Cards for NARAL, which was not only one of my biggest art projects to date, but they even sold out and are being reprinted again in the new year. People seem to find my Instagram and either follow me or commission my work, for which I am immensely grateful, especially given that I post so little (thank you so much to everyone who reached out this year! I plan to post more in 2017). My MFBA class—led by illustrator & podcaster extraordinaire Andy J. Miller—is coming to a close and it was a total life/art changing experience. I’m excited to share this new project on the complicated topic of ’emotions’. Here’s a sneak peek:


(new project in progress)

To wrap up 2016 on an upbeat note, TV shows of note: Fleabag, The OAInsecureMr. RobotLady Dynamite, Take My Wife, and Atlanta. A quick sketch from my favorite scene in S2 Mr. Robot):


Week 16-38: Where The Wild Things Went

Last time I blogged we left off with drawing prompts and sea monsters. That was April and it’s almost October! Since then I have illustrated Diana Vreeland for Harper’s Bazaar Español, painted over 54 portraits of trailblazing women for NARAL Pro-Choice America’s playing deck Gender Cards (including our next president, Hillary Rodham Clinton!), illustrated a unicorn t-shirt for PBS Idea Channel, updated this website, started a 16-week art class led by Andy J. Miller (Creative Pep Talk), and became an art director for Tablet Magazine. Whew! My #Sketchbook365 project had to take a backseat, though I really miss the extra time for sketching.

I wish I was a animal.

Before you correct my lack of the indefinite article “an”, this was overheard on the subway. Tim came home with the story and we’ve been repeating it ever since. “I wish I was a animal.” The woman who said this was referring to the desire for an easier life, to which another passenger replied, “being an animal doesn’t make it any easier, you would always be worried about survival.”


(the real beast)

160920_artsparrow_tiger5Sometimes I feel like an animal. Artists worry a great deal about survival; can we make the art we truly enjoy and still pay the bills? I’m drawn to the animal world and their symbolism in art, so I figured the best way to bring this website back is with some philosophical questioning and a little pink tiger zest:160920_artsparrow_tiger19124034658660461083-account_id=1

Speaking of wild beasts, I fell in love with this horse pin from the Rhinebeck Antique Market which feeds right into my obsession with flying animals and their apparent hypermobile joints: