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Have your work be exhibited in Finland!

In transit > <Käännöksessä is an exhibition at Bokvilla Gallery in Helsinki, Finland from March 1-31, 2017.

Translation is Dialogue invites you to submit artworks and short texts for an exhibition that celebrates Finnish Multilingual Month.

Your works will be translated by visitors to the exhibition, used to create more artworks and stories! You will be able to follow the translation of your pictures and words, to see how many different ways we can translate.  The call is open to all ages.

What to do?
Translate into a drawing and/or a short text of your interpretation of the theme, In transit or Käännöksessä. What comes to your mind when you think of In transit or Käännöksessä?

What to submit?
– Drawings (no bigger than A4)
– Short text (1-2 sentences)
– Please include your name, date, and place where it was made, on your entry.

Submission deadline: February 21, 2017

Mail artworks and stories directly to:
Arlene Tucker
Hämeentie 130 E
00560 Helsinki

Documentation of this will be posted on

Have Fun!

Please note Your artistic contributions will not be returned.

Arlene Tucker and Heather Connelly are artists, researchers and art educators based in Helsinki, Finland and Nottingham, UK, respectively. Their work explores translation, translatability, and what it means to translate.

Translation is Dialogue (TID), a multi-disciplinary art curation, is a project that builds a mobile platform where everyone is given the chance to create. Tucker establis hed TID in 2010. In transit > < Käännöksessä will be the 9th phase in the project. For more information, please email .


Scribble Artist Interview with Shetal Soni!

Profile-pic-1-300x221Scribble Town (ST): Oh my, all the things one can do! Shetal Soni moves from the sciences to the arts in the most graceful of ways. Her artwork and creative energy into the opening of Little Wing Shop gives so much inspiration for all.  It’s hard to say just a little about yourself, but let’s try!

Shetal Soni (SS): A little bit about me… well I’m someone who since childhood loved to draw and make things myself. I’m also a daydreamer and so although I’ve never formally studied arts or held a ‘proper job’ in that field (I’m officially a scientist :)) I have continued to feel the need to draw and make things in my spare time, believing that someday it can develop into something less private and a bigger part of my life.

ST: You daydream, but you also makes things come to life! What are you up to at the moment? I’m sure busy with Little Wing Shop!

SS: At the moment I’m trying NOT to read too much about Google Adwords and advertising!! 🙂 Sales and marketing are totally new to me so I’m trying learn about how to get my new Web shop seen. The designing and learning about production was an amazing journey, but there are parts of having a Business that are just not as ‘fun’ but nevertheless are important. I also have a day job, which has nothing to do with arts and crafts, but pays the bills and is stimulating the other half of my brain :).

IMG_8219-300x300ST: Who does the designing for Little Wing Shop?  There is a very particular look and the symmetry are so calming. I’d like to fall asleep to those designs, for sure! What inspires the designs?

SS: I started designing the patterns for textiles (initially without knowing they would be block-printed) while I was on maternity leave. Inspirations came from many things including parts of my old drawings, studying Indian tribal art drawings, Islamic geometric patterns and also from cellular biology! I have experience with Photoshop from work so I scanned my favourite ‘prints’ and started to play around with them, fascinated by the endless ways a single ‘form’ could be duplicated and arranged to create very different whole patterns. I did this for several months!! When you add colour the possiblities are endless! 🙂

ST: What is the production process like seeing that Little Wing Shop requires much creativity and attention from both Finland and India?

SS: Being a lover of arts and crafts I fell in love with the textiles (amongst other crafts) when visiting India as a child. The enormous variety of fabrics, colours & tones, weaves and means of decorating the fabrics was like nothing I had seen before. I have always been in awe. What I’m doing now is a teeny tiny part of that. Luckily the area where my grandma and family are from, Gujarat is still very rich in crafts and tribal arts so I was fortunate to be able to contact organisations from there and speak their language.

Please let us know more about block printing.  It has such a beautiful outcome!

Block printing is one very common traditional method for decorating fabric in this part also and so was very familiar to me. It involves carving a pattern onto a wooden block to make a kind of ‘stamp’ and using this to print traditionally with vegetable dyes onto fabric. As the process is done by hand, by a person.. the prints can be applied according to the artists wishes and also used together with other blocks and colours. Traditionally the patterns can be very intricate, colourful and complex and the art is passed down generations. To learn you simply must go and ask to watch and learn from a ‘Master-printer’.

I have started with very simple designs in my 1st collection as I didn’t want to risk ‘making a mess’ 🙂 Working across continents was quite nerve-wrecking at times as I waited for the printer to send me the 1st photos of the trials or especially of the fully printed quilts or Duvets. What is great about block printing by hand is that even though the print is the same thing repeated, it looks slightly different every time the block is pressed down onto the fabric because the pressure can vary abit or one edge has abit more dye this time.. etc. This gives the whole print a much more alive and natural feeling than a machine printed pattern. Its the same in nature for example when looking at a field of grass or flowers, that’s why it feels nice to look at 🙂


ST: Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  How did they encourage you?

SS: As a child I wasn’t particularly encouraged to draw, however my Father and Aunt were very skilled drawers so I first got interested when I saw them draw. I was quite shy and drawing and crafts was my way of having fun and expressing my self.  I made many toys out of cardboard boxes e.g. I fondly remember a puppet theatre and moving puppets for which I would make a play and perform for my family, forcing my little sister to ‘help’.

ST: Now I really want to try block printing! Any advice?

SS: Block printing can of course be tried by anyone!! That’s why its a craft that exists in many parts of the world and still continues. Try using a large potato cut in half (an adult needs to help with this) and cut a simple shape to make a stamp. Have a few plates of different coloured paints, dip your potato and stamp on paper/cloth. Try making different patterns using the same stamp…. there are no rules! e.g. a a triangle can be stamped in rows, or alternating (point up, then point-down), or even in concentric circles. Your imagination is the limit :). Have fun!

ST: Thank you, Shetal for sharing with us! Little Wing Shop is going to fly to great places!!



Scribble Artist Interview with Guy Laramée!

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Scribble Town (ST): We are constantly traveling on a journey.  It’s amazing how each part seems like a whole world of it’s own with all it’s intricacies and surprises. From books, to words, to feelings, all these experiences connect us, either to each other or to our surroundings.  That’s how I felt when I saw Guy Laramée’s work.  I found myself walking through his artworks, which are fantastical microcosms in the grand scheme of things.

Due to it’s uniqueness, I would rather not attempt to classify your art, but how would you describe it?

Guy Laramée (GL): People define me socially as an artist. I make art.

ST: What are you up to at the moment?

GL: Right now I’m doing exactly this : beginning what looks as an “Atlas of No-Mind”.

ST: Wow, I can’t even begin to imagine just how overflowing with indescribable findings this atlas will be!

Your artwork is very full, complex and interdisciplinary in a playful and magical way!  How do you combine music and art?  And what about words and art?  For example, your poem titled Rain has many oil paintings related to the text.  What came first?

Pour Calame (2010) Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm

Pour Calame (2010). Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm

I don’t combine music and visual art. They were different moments of my life. Maybe I’m more multi-disciplinary than interdisciplinary.

I have a love-hate relationship with words, that’s why I both love and destroy books. I find that words are beautiful, they open up entire worlds, but at the same time they fix things in a way that binds us.

Rain (pluie in French) came as a body of work first. But while I was doing the research and starting the actual paintings, I collected poems and texts to understand my feelings about rain, how rain is profoundly nostalgic, calming and beautiful. To translate these feelings on a more existential level, I wrote the poem.


May it rain
May it rain on this troubled world
May this rain erase borders
May it mix colors, forms, and times.
May it rain upon me
May the sound of this rain
Wash myself from myself
May this rain dissolve me
Until I recognize myself in trees, mountains, and people.
May I keep hearing this rain
Through the clamour of ambitions.
May it rain
May it rain upon our confused minds
And (that) through this rain
May we return home.

-Guy Laramée, March 2010

 It’s a beautiful poem!  It lends itself to giving the reader images in their minds and context for your paintings. How have your studies in anthropology inspired your artwork?  What has been you artistic path?  I can see your interests run deep and wide with the range of mediums and concepts you use.

GL: Anthropology came as a way for me to understand that there exist different worldviews and that in their own world, they are all equally valid. They clash one with another, but all worldviews have some fascinating coherence. Thus my problem was/is : if truth – by definition – is unique, if truth can be equated to Oneness, then how come it manifests itself under so many guises, in so many forms? How can Truth encompass contradictions?

The variety of mediums I used only reflect the incapacity of each medium, of each piece, of each work to say it all. The incompletude (uncompletedness ?) of each art work keeps me on the move.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.

 The way you manipulate and use books as sculpture is amazing!  How did you start carving books?  Please let us know more about Les Livres-Lumier.  I would love to visit those mountain tops one day!

GL: I cannot really say how I’m doing it because I feel more and more that it is not me who is doing this. When I enter the process (often reluctantly…!) I am possessed by a force that is quite powerful and that “decides” so to speak how things are going to go this time, what tools will be used, etc. Tools and processes change all the time, sometime new tools have to be created. The only thing I know for sure is : since I invent tools, I’m not a monkey, thus I must be human (lol). Even that I don’t really know for sure. I’d rather see the artistic process as a process of Unknowing rather than a learning process.

DRAGON OVER THE CLOUDS. 2014.  Webster dictionary, inks,  pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.  18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches.  (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)

Dragon Over the Clouds (2014). Webster dictionary, inks, pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.
18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches. (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)

 Your work ranges from 2D to 3D.  Do you feel that some of your 3D works could also work at 2 dimensional pieces?  How do you decide what mediums and platforms to best portray your ideas?

GL: Once I showed an art magazine to a friend who happens to be a photographer. There was a piece in there that was quite ambiguous, like a painting stretched on a sculpture. I asked him ” “What do you think, is this a painting or a sculpture ?” I went for the sculpture. I shouted at him, laughing : “It’s neither ! It’s a photograph !!”

Think about it : 99 % of the art works you saw in your life, you know then only through photographs. Interesting, right ? So in a way you could say that the ‘essence’ of the work can make it into a translation, either photographical or textual; or you could say that for you, the real work is the photograph. If you were to be true to yourself, the work for you is a photo.

So of course my 3D work works very well in 2D, people buy it after seeing it on the internet…!

Guan Yin. Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter). 2011.

Guan Yin (2011). Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter).

 You’re absolutely right!  The transformations between mediums and documentations of those changes creates a whole new piece of it’s own every time.

When you come up with an idea what is usually your process for working it through?

GL: If I had found a recipe to make my work, I would SELL IT ! There’s no recipe. Like in love. The moment you fix it, it’s gone. That’s the beauty of it, that’s why also I’m always in a state of profound anxiety (half kidding : it is not easy to make insecurity your home…).

ST: Did anybody encourage your creativity when you were a child?

GL: Nobody encouraged me really. My parents gave me the usual painting boxes and tools, but when they saw that it was becoming serious, they did their very best to discourage me. I wish they had succeeded, really, because see in what mess I’m in now : don’t know where the next $$ are going to come from, don’t know what I’m going to do this morning, don’t know how I will ever come out of that terrible state of solitude that I ended up closing myself in, etc etc. Creativity is not a choice and thus it cannot even be fostered. Creativity is an imperative. It is the imperative of life itself. We chose nothing. We follow the current of life or resist it. Even to think that we decide to follow or resist is fallacious. The current of life is all there is.

ST: Guy, what would be some artful advice for our Scribble readers?

GL: Don’t fear solitude. That’s the only advice I can give. When you are alone, don’t try to escape it. Drop your cell phone in a pond. Put your TV to the trash bin. Stop losing your time on computer screens. These things suck your creativity.

Be alone as much as you can. Then the voices of the muses will take care of the rest. They will guide you.

ST: I understand what you mean. We are, in the end, our own best friend even though sometimes it can seem like we are our own enemy!  Thank you so much for sharing with us!  You have given us all whole lot to chew on- from concepts to techniques.  Scribblers, for more inspiration please have a look at Guy’s website at

How do you see The False Mirror?

In honor of the great surrealist René Magritte Scribble Town has made an coloring sheet for you, Scribblers! Your own version of ‘The False Mirror’ will be unique and dreamy, just like you are.

While you are filling the eye with color perhaps you can ponder, why are there clouds in the eye?  Is it a reflection?  Or is it a cloudy eye?  What does that mean for you?

Download, print, then color in your own version of René Magritte's 'The False Eye'.

Download, print, then color in your own version of René Magritte’s ‘The False Mirror’.

If you happen to be in Brussels, Belgium, you can visit The Magritte Museum.  Inspiration everywhere!

Scribble Artist Interview with Kelly Blake!

Big Eyed Cat by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Cat by Kelly Blake

Scribble Town (ST): We are so very happy to have the talented Kelly Blake with us! When I came across her artwork I could see how sensitive this person is to the world around us. From that, I just had to know more about her. What are you up to Kelly?

Kelly Blake (KB): Hi Scribble Town! I’m Kelly Blake and I live in the creative city of Bristol, United Kingdom. I’ve spent a long time studying throughout my life but I now feel I’m at the point where I have learned everything I felt necessary and I now feel confident enough to pursue the dream of producing my own art. I actually moved to London several years ago to complete a Masters in Production Design (movie art direction for anyone who is unsure) but after finishing and eventually moving back home I realised my true passion lies with illustration and creating my own individual artwork. So that’s what I’ve begun.

Normally when I produce some artwork there’s a reason why I’m producing it. The main factor behind all of my work is that I absolutely adore animals; it’s the common thread behind all art I create and I have a large array of artwork under my belt which (I hope) shows just how much I love all things fuzzy. At the moment I am focusing on publishing my very first adult colouring book called ‘Into the Wild’ and I’m working to raise the funds necessary to complete the project by producing my own Kickstarter campaign. If anyone is unsure of what Kickstarter is, it’s basically a crowd funding website where you launch a campaign and ask for the public to fund you. Imagine Dragon’s Den but will a billion different dragons! It’s going rather well at the moment so I’m doing everything possible to ensure I raise all the funds and so I’m able to complete the project successfully.

Please take a look at my Kickstarter campaign here so you can get a feel of the project.

ST: The concept is wonderful!  Is Into the Wild: A Coloring Book About Nature just for adults?  I think many people of all ages would enjoy seeing the pictures come to life.

KB: Thank you! I’ve initially created Into the Wild as a colouring book ideally for adults, but of course all ages are welcome to join in. The reason it’s for adults specifically is because the images are a little more detailed than perhaps some of the colouring books on the market today –even more detailed than most of the adult ones too! Each illustration is comprised of lots of different angular shapes/blocks and it’s only as you begin to colour each section that it reveals a hidden design within the image. Think of it as a slightly abstract and more challenging version of paint by numbers, but with the freedom to choose your own colour coding. It’s rather quite complicated when you get down to it so perhaps it might become a little too confusing for the younger audience; but of course they’re completely welcome to have a go!

Surreal 'Goddess' Illustration by Kelly Blake

Surreal ‘Goddess’ Illustration by Kelly Blake

I originally came up with the idea because I know a lot of people who are very artistic but are not able to draw even the simple stick figures. I have received a lot of compliments for my artwork in the past (especially my abstract pieces) and it led me to think about creating something that enables other enthusiasts to produce something that they’re also proud of without feeling like they’re lacking the talent to do so. It’s also been a proven fact that adult colouring books are being used as a way to de-stress and calm your mind so why not hit two birds with one stone!

ST: That is so thoughtful of you to create something that includes all ages! When and how did you start illustrating and drawing?  Is there a piece of art that always inspires you to create?

KB: When I think back to when I actually began drawing I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t being creative. I’ll always remember at my earliest of ages in Primary School one of my paintings was framed and featured on the wall inside reception as an example of a ‘good piece of art’. Of course, when I look back at it now all I can see are the dodgy eyes and weird shape of Henry VIII’s head, but I feel like I wouldn’t have come so far without all the support and positivity of the people around me. It’s the constant reassurance of ‘that’s great’ or ‘wow!’ that really drives me to produce more and more art and to get better and better. Granted, there’s always a few pieces that make people think ‘hmm, how odd’ but as long as I create something that I feel I’m proud of, then that’s what pushes me to continue with my work. Who cares if 90% of the population dislike it, what’s important is that the other 10% can appreciate it.

Eagle Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Eagle Woodcut by Kelly Blake

There will always come a time when I think to myself ‘I want to do an illustration!’ and the ideas just start flowing, but for those times when I can’t get myself into the mood or I can’t feel any inspiration coming then I start to check out illustrations online to get some creativity flowing. Even things such as typing phrases or keywords into google can help immensely. It’s amazing how much variety of different artwork there is out there and it’s surprising how much inspiration you can get from looking at other people’s work. Pieces that I personally love to flick through include modern and quirky works by artists such as Michael Godard and Fabio Napoleoni, but someone who I look up to as a huge inspiration for my work itself is the work by Canadian artist Nicholas Di Genova. I love the way he mixes processes such as freehand illustration and digitally enhanced methods to create something rather surreal and unique; but very, very special. It’s him who’s helped me develop a signature style myself and I do feel that a lot of my work has a thread of ‘Nicholas’ running through it.

Big Eyed Lemur by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Lemur by Kelly Blake

ST: What is the artistic process of your paintings?  For example, how did your Kinderschema series come about? Do you usually sketch first your idea?

KB: My Kinderschema Collection was originally inspired from an article which I read about cats. It basically went on to say that the reason we find cats big eyes and overly big features so adorable is because of what is genetically programmed into our heads at birth. This led me to research into the science of why the human brain naturally reacts to these traits and I came across a German term called Kinderschema. Kinderschema defines the 5 basic traits that lead us to believe an animal is adorable and these can include; a large head, a large forehead, large eyes, rounded cheeks, and soft body surfaces.  I then decided I wanted to explore some of these factors in my own work and I created an art collection of digital paintings showing us just how much we love all things cute.

When I have a rough idea in my mind of the art I want to produce, I normally go about creating a really quick drawing trying to communicate what’s inside my head. Sometimes this will turn out to be a really crude or basic sketch but I can normally see if the idea is going to work on paper. I’ll also look online and check out other artist’s work to see if this takes me into a different or more creative direction to ensure my idea will definitely look good on the page. I have found that with the majority of my illustrative art, I tend to keep working on a piece until I am 100% happy with it. My motto normally states, “the more ink on the page, the better” but there’s still a fine line between finishing and overworking a piece of art.

Lion Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Lion Woodcut by Kelly Blake

ST: What mediums and techniques do you work with?  Is there a method that speaks to you more than the others?  Why do you think that is?

KB: It’s funny because throughout all my growing years I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly which field of the creative world I wanted to merge into. This means I’ve studied everything ranging from photography to sculpture, and illustration to video editing and I’ve spent a very, very long time working hard to develop some extremely valuable skills. Due to engaging fully in many of these different fields I now feel that I can make a strong decision as to which route to progress into further. This has meant that my artwork created in the past includes a huge range of different styles but I believe this does make me stronger as an artist. It means I’m capable of merging materials and thinking outside the box. If in the future I decide to create a half illustration-half sculpture, then I know that I require the necessary skills to do so. This means that despite my love for illustrative art, I’m not tied down to producing everything in 2D.

For example, I have recently finished a collection of woodcut prints which involve intricately cutting away small sections from a wooden block. This block is then rolled with ink and printed onto a paper surface. This gives a beautifully rustic alternative to simply using paint brushed onto paper.  This method contrasts nicely to the hand drawn illustrations from some of my previous collections, or to the bold look of the lighting installations that I have formerly produced from recycled materials.

At the moment I am concentrating purely on producing this range of surrealist animal illustrations to publish into my first adult colouring book; but I love that if I choose to, I am able to stop and produce something completely different at any given time. How I feel is that if you don’t have to tie yourself down, then why do it.

ST: When you are not creating, what do you like to do?

Big Eyed Owl by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Owl by Kelly Blake

KB: Well, it’s actually funny that you ask this because I was thinking about this myself the other day. I’m currently working from my own studio at home and so I find myself working on projects throughout the majority of each day; quite often from morning through to late into the evening. I’m very dedicated to my artwork and it’s lucky that I really love what I do otherwise I don’t think I could stay so dedicated to working this hard. All I strive for is being able to maintain a well-balanced and happy life whilst spending a career doing what I love. When I actually do decide to take time off I quite like to get away from home and stay somewhere peaceful as it gives me an excuse to stop working and to clear my head. I normally spend a few days down at the sea or in the countryside with good company, and I find the calm atmosphere refreshes myself and sets me back up for busy days when I return back home. Also, archery, who doesn’t love a bit of archery? I fancy myself the Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games when nobody is looking!

ST: From a person who seems to appreciate their surroundings, I wonder who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  Do you think being raised in the creative town of Bristol had an effect on you?

Cat Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Cat Woodcut by Kelly Blake

KB: To be honest, whilst growing up I’ve always considered myself a bit of a nerd. While there’s nothing wrong with being a nerd, it meant I perhaps didn’t get out as much as I should. Instead, I spent a lot of time studying and working hard throughout school and I always made sure I put everything into getting my grades as high as possible. Whilst this is obviously extremely important, it does mean I probably didn’t get as much creative influence from the city as I should have. Bristol is known as a hugely influential artistic city and I live amongst some huge pioneers of the art world. This means I was very self-dependant whilst studying and I would love to say that a certain someone was the reason for me producing art today but I don’t believe anyone really was. Sure, I had people who supported me and pushed me along but I feel confident in saying that I was the one in the driving seat of my own artistic career and hopefully this will continue for a long, long time.

ST: Any tips, advice, or ways of encouraging our scribblers? 

KB: My greatest piece of advice would be to create art that YOU love and do it for yourself and for nobody else. There’s been quite a few times in my life that I’ve produced something that the masses don’t like but the minority do. I could have succumbed to produce what most people out there would deem as ‘good art’ but then what’s the point in creating it if it’s not for yourself; then you become one of those people who have their passion turned into a chore and may become quite resentful. If I were given a penny each time someone called my work too-weird, odd, or simply had a lack of faith that it would be well received then I’d have a pretty full bank account by now. Don’t ever let someone tell you that something isn’t good enough because simply put, art is perspective and if you feel that something is to be proud of, then wave that proudness-flag up high and display your work for others to see! I guarantee you there are people out there who will absolutely adore it. Don’t give up and show those people just how creatively talented you are. 

If you wanted to check out some of my work that’s available on the market at the moment, please take a look at my website here at:

You can also purchase any artwork from my Etsy shop at:

ST: Thank you, Kelly, for sharing so much valuable creative information with us! I’m sure your Kickstarter campaign will go great and your artwork will continue to inspire us!

Wolf Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Wolf Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Frida and Flowers for You

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán. Known for her self-portraits, which symbolically express her own pain and sexuality, these images extend beyond herself allowing us, the viewer, to ponder, reflect and raise inquiry.  Her vibrant colors were painted in a style influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as by European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism.

The New York Botanical Garden has curated an exhibition highlighting Kahlo’s love of nature.  Catch the show between May 16 — November 1, 2015. Read more about the exhibition here.

We have made a coloring page for you, Scribblers, based on Frida Kahlo’s great work titled Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.  Feel free to download and print. Watch the picture come to life as you fill in the spaces!

Scribble your own version of Frida Kahlo's elf-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

Scribble your own version of Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

For teachers and art lovers I recommend you watch one of MoMA’s art education video, which delves into how to critically look at and discuss one of Frida Kahlo’s portraits. Enjoy!

Keeping it surreal with René Magritte

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.” –René Magritte

René Magritte, Homesickness, 1940

René Magritte, Homesickness, 1940

Surrealism began around the 1920s as a movement that explored expression and the imagination of the subconscious. René Magritte, a painter part of the movement, did just that. Much of the work during this time was very dreamlike and bizarre. Artists such as Magritte truly created some amazing and legendary paintings that breaks boundaries between dream and reality.

Magritte was born on November 21, 1898 in Lessines, Belgium. He began his paintings in 1910 when he was only 12 years old. In 1922, he married Georgette Berger who was also his childhood friend. Four years later he produced his first surreal oil painting called ‘The Lost Jockey’ and held an exhibition to present this work. He soon moved to Paris and became involved in the surrealist group. His work was finally exhibited in 1936 in New York City where he became more popular day by day. His work can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was added in 1992 and also at the Museum of Modern Art that was added in 1965.

Magritte not only keeps us fully interested in his work but also in our own. He helps us to think outside the box and brings us into another dimension of art. Try and remember one of the last dreams you’ve had that you can remember quite vividly and sketch it out. Maybe even make a painting about it. You may discover and create something you never imagined. Dreams are a part of our everyday lives whether we remember them or not. Something is always drifting through our subconscious, and if you can get a hold of it, pay attention to it and try to make sense out of it.

René Magritte, The Lovers I, 1928

René Magritte, The Lovers I, 1928

Posted by Andi Thea, on June 15th, 2015 at 6:38 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Artists,Featured,Painting,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , , ,

All about Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci is a very well known Renaissance artist.  Throughout his life as an artist, Da Vinci was constantly inventing and coming up with one extravagant painting after another. Many are still talked about and adored to this day. One in particular, that is commonly seen hanging in the homes of Catholics or Christians is The Last Supper, created in 1498. Here he re-created the scene in which Christ and the apostles are gathered together for the Lord’s Supper, which is an Easter/Lenten tradition, celebrated on Holy Thursdays. The painting is set up in an extraordinary way that truly makes the meaning and significance of the scene come to life.

Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, 1498

Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, 1498

The figures are seated at the table in a rectangular room. There are tapestries on either side of the table that hang on the walls. In the background, behind Christ and the apostles the audience is shown a beautiful landscape which consists of mountains and skies that are represented in tones of blue and gray. Da Vinci is using a very commonly used technique from the Renaissance in this area called aerial perspective. This is when an illusion of depth is created that depicts the landscape. You can also tell because the colors become gloomier here. Da Vinci also puts major thought into setting up the painting’s composition. As Christ is the most significant character in this painting, he centers him and places his apostles along side him. He also does this by using one-point linear perspective to create even more emphasis on Christ. This allows the audience to be drawn right into the painting, center stage. The apostles are then set up to be touching. Although their hands are not interlocked, they are loosely linked to portray their prominent roles in the scene that is taking place.

The Last Supper highlights two very significant early Renaissance traditions that were used by painters of this time, composition and perspective. Da Vinci does an excellent job in doing this and also adds much emotion and logic to the story behind it. His choice of different shadow colors also illustrates and sets the mood of the scene, which delivers great sensation to the piece.

Create your own Last Supper!  Print the coloring sheet below and see how you can create depth with color as well.

Posted by Andi Thea, on April 27th, 2015 at 9:38 am. No Comments

Category: Arts & Crafts,Drawing,Featured,Illustration Labels: , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Pieter Van Eenoge!

Scribble Town (ST): Oh the colors! Oh the design! How beautiful, charming, and exquisite they can be! I’m of course talking about Pieter Van Eenoge’s work!  We are lucky to catch up with him as he is busy illustrating and creating visual images for our eyes to play with.  Pieter, how do you spend your days and can you give us a sneak peak on what you are up to these days?

'Joris Jan Baas' - poetry poster

‘Joris Jan Baas’ – poetry poster

Pieter Van Eenoge (PVE): Hi, I’m Pieter, an illustrator living in Bruges, Belgium. I spend my days painting for magazines, newspapers, ad agencies, corporations and publishing houses, renovating our 80 year old house and playing with my wife, two sons and two cats.

Right now I’m working on the cover of the spring issue of Dutch Weekly Vrij Nederland and a new picture book that hopefully will be ready by the end of the year.

ST: Your illustrations are wonderful!  In your portfolio I see a combination of personal, illustration, and editorial work.  With your personal work, where do you come up with your images for your illustrations?

PVE: I keep a little notebook where I write down ideas and possible titles and draw some quick sketches. Or I use a rejected idea for a commission that I thought was better than the final illustration. Most of the things that inspire come from everyday life, images I see around me, graphic design, art and artist behavior, masks and costumes and opposites like good/evil, darkness/light, beauty/ugliness,…

Antverpia, acrylic on paper, 2013

Antverpia, acrylic on paper,

ST: Any themes you are fascinated with?  For example, what is your Antverpia painting about?  Maybe it has something to do with Antwerp?

PVE: For the Antverpia painting I had the idea of making graphic combinations with the ghost Sus Antigoon, a famous Flemish comic character, and a woman in burqa. They both share the same visual characteristics and I thought they would team up perfectly. But there is also a second layer where I criticize the growth of right wing politics in the city of Antwerp where there is a large muslim population. Trying to live together is the only solution and the efforts should come from both sides. Antverpia is also the name of Sus Antigoon’s ship.
'Will play for pay' - self promo poster

‘Will play for pay’ – self promo poster

ST: How does it go when you are given an editorial job?  For example, in your painting Fox Hunt I can imagine that it had to do with horses and hunting. What is the process like in working with the client?  Does it help to read what the article is about in order to come with an image?

PVE: ‘Fox hunt’ was made to accompany a very funny article in Departures written by Jane and Michael Stern about Michael’s recent passion for fox hunting in Connecticut. I was completely free in what to paint, but it obviously had to depict people on horses and dogs chasing a fox. But apparently fox hunting is more about presence, posture and poshness than actually catching the fox itself, so I left the latter out of the painting. I focused merely on showing the speed and elegance of the ritual.

Reading the article isn’t always necessary, but sometimes when it’s about very abstract issues like finance and economics it can be rather helpful.

ST: You are from Bruge, but grew up in Cologne and now are back home.  Both places are absolutely beautiful and very well know for their architecture and the art!  How have these historical places influenced your artwork?  Is there a lively arts communities in these places?

Bruges city game

Bruges city game

PVE: I lived in Cologne until I was 14, so I can’t say it had an influence on my work. I don’t even remember it as a beautiful city, but I guess that has more to do with the interests of a teenager 😉

Bruges on the other hand is very attractive and an ideal environment to live in (although I live just outside the city walls). It is rather small and easy going and that is something I need for my ease of mind. Yes, there is art on every corner of the street and the few museums are packed with masterpieces from the Flemish Primitives to the Flemish Expressionist. There are a few elements that unconsciously leak into my illustrations like color and shape, but I can trace those influences back to other illustrators I like, so I think it has to do more with taste than influence.
ST: The book of Illustrated Dreams looks wonderful!  Please let us know more about this project.  Do you illustrate people’s dreams?

PVE: The book of illustrated dreams is an ongoing project by Mexican artist Roger Omar, where he asks illustrators from around the world to illustrate the dreams of children. There is a Flickr page with all the contributions:

'When we pollute the ocean, we pollute ourselves' - ad campaign for Surfrider Foundation

‘When we pollute the ocean, we pollute ourselves’ – ad campaign for Surfrider Foundation

ST: That’s a great idea!  What is the last dream you remember?

Last night I dreamed about a school with an Olympic sized swimming pool on top and students celebrating the last 100 days of the school year. And everybody was taller than me. Do you have any idea what this could mean? 😉

ST: Oh wow!  Perhaps your dream is projecting one of your son’s feeling about the school year coming to an end.  Soon summer vacation start.  Or maybe you want to go back to school.  Only you are the master of your dream, Pieter!When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?

PVE: Go for a run with my wife, watch a movie, read comics and look at art, do some carpentry. And this year, yes, it has to be this year, I’m going to finish that shed in the garden so I can start playing the drums again.

 How encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  Did you ever think you would become an illustrator?
PVE: Probably like most artists I was always the one who could draw best as a child. But that doesn’t make you an illustrator, I didn’t even know that it existed. So I studied graphic design instead. It was only in art school when I discovered the work of my teacher Ever Meulen that I decided to become an illustrator one day. After graduation I worked as a graphic designer for a few years and became a full time freelancer in 2003.

ST: The teachers we have always make such a huge impact on us.  Which artists inspire you to create?

PVE: I waste too much time on blogs so the things I see there definitely influenced my work in the last years. I’m a big fan of great painters like Matisse, Van Dongen and Hockney but recently I fell in love with a lot of Scandinavian artists like Kustaa Saksi and MVM. They make completely different things than I do and that pushes me to evaluate my work and try new ways of painting. The changes are, like a child growing up, hardly notable and that’s the way it should be.
ST: It’s the little things that count.  Any tips for us, Scribblers?
– When it comes to art, as a kid, never question yourself. As a grown up, always question yourself.
– There are no ugly colors, only ugly combinations
– If you see something good, keep your eyes open. If you can’t say anything good, keep your mouth shut.
ST: Thank you Pieter for all your positivity and insight!  Now we go back to drawing 🙂  Check out Pieter’s website for more inspiration at
'I can't work like this!' - cover for Das ZEITmagazin design issue

‘I can’t work like this!’ – cover for Das ZEITmagazin design issue

A Lee Hodges Activity!

Make some characters from old toilet rolls, give each roll a white coat base first and then sketch out the shape, then fill it in with colour, this could be acrylic or poster paint. They could be animals or maybe a group of characters from a circus (imagine an acrobat troupe all on top of each other) or a jazz band. I’m going to make a Mariachi band!

Lee Hodges is full of amazing ideas!  Check out his website at!



Springy Pot Holders

Nothing is more refreshing and beautiful than that first pot of flowers you plant in the springtime. You’ve been waiting and waiting for this cold to disappear already to enjoy some fun flower planting! Don’t worry the warm weather will be here before you know it. In the meantime, you can start on a super fun craft.

Today I’m going to show you how to make your own potholder. This way you not only will be able to plant that beautiful flower you’ve been waiting for, but you will also be able to hang it up anywhere you’d like so that everyone can see it!


– Sturdy rope. Depending on what size and how heavy your pot is will depend on the thickness and strength of your rope purchase, but you should try and stay away from flimsy rope.

You will need 6 separate strings. It is easier with 6 different colored strings so that the tying process doesn’t become too confusing, but it is your preference on the colors. You will want to cut the rope around 5 feet long, just in case you need extra.


Tie the six strings together.
1Tie a knot with two strings about 3-5 inches down from original knot. Do this with all 6 strings, so you will have 3 new knots. Make sure your knots are the same distances, so each level is equal otherwise your pot may become lopsided. (Knots are circled for you.)

2For a second set of knots, go ahead and repeat step number 2. Knot each adjacent pair once again. Once you have finished this you will repeat this process once more for a set of three knots. (This image only shows 2.)


For example, the next step would be to knot the purple with the light blue, the green with the yellow, and the pink with the dark blue.

4For the final step, you will slide your pot into the 3 sets of knots. At the top of your pot you will tie all the strings together for closure. Make sure all knots are tight and feel free to hang wherever you want!


Send in pictures of your potholders to and we’ll post it in our online gallery!

Posted by Andi Thea, on March 26th, 2015 at 12:57 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,Uncategorized Labels: , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Lee Hodges!

Goulash Disko festival - This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Goulash Disko festival – This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Scribble Town (ST): Here we have a beautiful collection of splashes of colors that speak to you in all sorts of sounds and languages! Lee Hodges knows how to make images fun and lively! He is an illustrator/artist, and as he so eloquently puts it is “based in the temperate climes of south west Uk.” Let’s see what he is up to these days.

Lee Hodges (LH):  I’m luckily very busy at the moment (so I hope it lasts!), I have been working at creating a series of posters for kids activities for the RHS gardens, a few editorials too. I have been creating a lot of gig posters for music nights (including my own) and album covers, plus some really big jobs which I can’t tell you about right now…just keep looking…all in all I absolutely love it.

ST: Nice!  Well, you are keeping me on my toes with all the good stuff that you are making!  Your illustrations are wonderful.  Your posters alone make me want to go to the events!  What’s the concept development process like for you when designing posters for these places?

Panama Cardoon - Hasta La Wiggle An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

Panama Cardoon – Hasta La Wiggle
An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

LH: Thanks, that’s very kind. It’s often the title or subject matter that gives me the ideas, for my own gigs I create my own title or subject matter, which is great fun. For other peoples gigs they usually have a subject and title which then inspires the imagery. For the Spring party poster that was inspired by the Jamaican ghosts called ‘Duppies’ and a particular editorial job I did recently about them, so I thought I’d channel the imagery and ideas into the Spring Party, which has a Tropical theme. I usually chuck on some great Tropical tunes to get in the mood as well!

ST: Ah that makes perfect sense- take inspiration from words to images and vice versa.  When designing your illustrations do you first sketch in pencil?  What is your artistic process?

LH: Yea, I generally squiggle in pencil and develop them from there, adding in colour as I go along, sometimes if the idea is really clear I just jump in and create a finished piece without sketching!

ST: Just go with your gut! Your images have a special feeling to them- like I want to touch them and I’ll find paint all over my hands!  What mediums do you create in?


Day of the Dead Poster – This was for one of my own big nights which we do every year, this idea was to capture the music and feel of the festival and the night.

LH: Funnily enough, it’s predominantly digital, my aim however is too make it look as un-digital as possible, but I use a drawing tablet and try to create a screen – printed, warm feel to my images, that have a fun, vibrant edge to them. I am working more and more at applying these techniques out of the digital realm however, which is how I started.

ST: How did you get started with illustrating?  Was this what you had always set out to do?  So curious about your path!

LH: I have always drawn and been very creative, it was and is my first love. Being an artist is right at the very core of who I am, it’s just a question of channeling all that creativity in the right direction. I have been illustrating for the last few years but it’s only recently that I have decided to give it all of my focus and I’m loving it. I am a very curious person so I have tried and experimented with many different mediums over the years, including film design/animation. It’s important to try new things and experiment with your work, by doing that you are able to apply something unique to your work.

ST: So lovely to hear that art is your first love.  You two belong together!  Who are some artists that inspire you?  What about them do you like?

LH: I like lots of different artists for different reasons…I have always loved Picasso for his versatility and sheer output of images! I love street art, particularly Os Gemeos, when I was in Argentina and Chile, most of the pictures I took were of street art! I often go through phases of liking different artists or something I see of theirs jumps out at me and inspires me, I really like Eduardo Munoz Bachs the Cuban poster artist at the moment.


The Bellman – This is one of my images from the Hunting of the Snark. I have tried to make this fun, colourful and intriguing…It is illustrating the line – “The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies – Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face! ”

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?  Any games you like to play?

LH: I like to take my imagination on long walks! Generally being anywhere near the sea, up and around the wilds of the South west, I love the raw energy of the coastline especially Cornwall, which is where I am from.
I love watching films too, weird and wonderful films, short ones, long ones. I also run a club/arts night which entails making props for the gigs, crazy interactive inventions and most importantly DJ-ing, I Dj quite a lot and run a Radio show every two weeks.

ST: I can hear the music in your illustrations too!  Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?

LH: Well, no-one really gave me direct encouragement, it was just something I did, loved and kept at, supported by words of encouragement when I had shown my work to my parents.

ST: Well, now you have a whole fan club supporting you! Scribble Town and beyond :).  How is your project of illustrating Hunting the Snark coming along?  You are right- Tove Jansson’s version is great!  What are you hoping to bring into your pictures?

The Jub Jub Bird - Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book - “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

The Jub Jub Bird – Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book – “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

LH: It’s a great and crazily surreal book, it’s almost an artists dream to illustrate! It’s a little on hold at the moment as I have been busy with other work, being a personal project it has been put to the back for a bit. I’m hoping that I am bringing  my own interpretation to it, imagining it with a colourful south american twist, almost like lost explorers discovering a strange land….

ST: I’m looking forward to seeing that in the future!  For now, any last minute tips for our Scribblers?

LH: Tips – Experiment, play – make a mess! Use your sketchbook as a scrapbook too, fill it with colour, ideas. I love to listen to music when I work, it really helps you get into the mood! Think out of the box…!

ST: Will do! The mess in on. Everybody, have a look at Lee Hodges website at  Thanks so much Lee!

Tropical Pressure festival - A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

Tropical Pressure festival – A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

A Kenneth Michael Zeran’s art techinque for you!

Kenneth Michael Zeran has given us Scribblers a technique to try!

– Tape down 2 pieces of white paper- one on the left side of you and one on the right side.
– Take any instrument (pencil, brush, etc.) and place the same type of  instrument in each hand at the same time.
– Pick out a subject to draw or paint and do so with each hand at the same time. Both hands need to move at the same time.

– Now switch the papers and continue embellishing.
Learn about the unexpected.

Thanks Ken!

M. C. Escher, 1948, lithograph, 28.2 cm × 33.2 cm (11.1 in × 13.1 in)

M. C. Escher, 1948, lithograph, 28.2 cm × 33.2 cm (11.1 in × 13.1 in)

Posted by Andi Thea, on March 23rd, 2015 at 11:48 am. No Comments

Category: Drawing,Featured Labels: , , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Kenneth Michael Zeran!

"Abstr Action"  Acrylic Paint on Canvas  48 in x 48 in  121.92 cm x 121.92 cm  1980

“Abstr Action” Acrylic Paint on Canvas, 48 in x 48 in,
121.92 cm x 121.92 cm, 1980

Scribble Town (ST): From one medium to another, Kenneth Michael Zeren is an artist that portrays an array of ideas and concepts. Always surprising and always thought provoking his works make you think of all the possibilities.  Ken says, “I am a creative person whose journey brought me to the realm of Fine Art.” Indeed he is!  Ken, what are you up to these days?

Kenneth Michael Zeran (KMZ): At the moment I am creating a glass work that is an element within a larger ongoing project (14 pieces) involving different mediums.

ST: Wow this sounds like a huge project! Your artwork ranges from painting to printmaking to new media. Is there one that you are more drawn to?  What is one of your favorite styles and why?

KMZ: I am more drawn to original painting because it is distinguished in our replicating digital world. I don’t have a favorite style because I am constantly evolving. Collectors want an artist to be defined- to use the same style. I have always felt that is boring. After you have done something it is done.

"Family Portrait"  Serigraph on American Etching Paper  Silkscreen Ink with Gold Medium  21 in x 50 in  53.34 cm x 127 cm  Offset Poster Edition Released for Bicentennial  1976

“Family Portrait”, Serigraph on American Etching Paper, Silkscreen Ink with Gold Medium, 21 in x 50 in,
53.34 cm x 127 cm, Offset Poster Edition Released for Bicentennial, 1976

ST: You’re right! We develop as persons along with our ideas, so working with different mediums seems so natural. How do you figure out which medium to use for your concept?

KMZ: Choice of medium is important because ‘it does the talking’. It is all about concept. If it is cerebral then representational control is the focus. If emotionally driven, then losing control to find it in the process.

ST: Since we are talking so much about evolutions I wonder what has been your artistic path.  What is the first memorable piece of art you have made?

"Twilight Zone Man"  Video Frame  1980

“Twilight Zone Man”, Video Frame, 1980

KMZ: My artistic path started in film production. While it was/is rewarding it is a medium that is quickly consumed. I am more interested in lasting permanence, as in Fine Art.

My first memorable piece of art was creating football uniforms with crayons on thin cardboard and covering with wax paper and using an iron to melt the crayon color.

ST: Even your first memory has you mixing mediums and combining techniques!

You have made portraits of important figures such as Salvador Dali and Andi Warhol.  What role do these artists have in your life?  How do you choose the people you would like to make a portrait of?

KMZ: Having spent time with these artists allowed me to take a ‘reading’. I experienced the natural essence of them. I was able to perceive things that have not been expressed in media accounts. Such experience has played a role in my life- call it authenticity. Knowledge of the core that led to new ways of expressing the human condition. I choose portrait subjects based upon social relevance and the result of an engagement of my own perceptions about what makes the individual function. If it is a commission, I process the subject in a very conceptual manner- looking for the edge. Whoever the subject, my interest is to place them in an unresolved state so the viewer keeps coming back.

"Oh Picasso!", Homage to Pablo Picasso, Serigraph on Strathmore Bristol Paper, Silkscreen Inks, 30 in x 40 in, 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm,  1974

“Oh Picasso!”, Homage to Pablo Picasso, Serigraph on Strathmore Bristol Paper, Silkscreen Inks, 30 in x 40 in, 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm, 1974

ST: When you were younger who encouraged you to be creative?  Also, what triggers your imagination?

KMZ: As a child, my brothers (2) and I were beneficiaries of our superlatively talented mother. She cared for and involved us in everything. I have always had an active imagination. Perhaps it was spending an important part of childhood handicapped and relying on imagination.

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?

KMZ: I am always in a mode of interaction with the intent of ‘sparking’ living creatures.

ST: You are a sparker! I would say so too. What is something that you have recently seen that amazed or sparked you?

KMZ: Something I saw recently that was amazing was driving through central California in the middle of the day with the sun blotted out by dust storms severely limiting vision – brought about by drought -a visit to the ‘dust bowl’ of the 1930’s.

ST: You just described a very beautiful vision. I imagine the sky to be very shiny and sparkling from the flying sand.

Your painting are generally very abstract?  What are they about?

"Turning Point", 48 in x 60 in, Mixed Media on Canvas

“Turning Point”, 48 in x 60 in, Mixed Media on Canvas

KMZ: My paintings are physical and masculine with heroic pursuit. It’s a two way process. It’s communication. I make a move and the paint informs. It’s about the paint. (Impressionism was all about the paint itself).  Losing control to gain control. It is high wire and on a edge and you can lose it in an instant- it is intense.

ST: I feel that your paintings are so different from your recent “Turning Point”.  What prompted you to make this painting?

KMZ: “Turning Point” is about the subject of sports and, as such, requires ‘familiarity’. Sport is all about uniformity. My longtime friend LeRoy Neiman coined the ‘look’ of sports painting and I kept this is mind when creating “Turning Point” so the masses could relate. I did the painting because it is of a major subject in Seattle culture and history. The role of Fine Art is to permanently capture such moments. Of course, I live in the Seattle area.

ST: Your painting does capture that excitement and ecstatic energy that comes from winning!  I’m starting to get the feeling that you are a football fan because your first memorable artist moment was creating football uniforms. Any last golden pieces of advice for us Scribblers?

KMZ: My advice to ‘Scribbler Nation’ is trust yourself with the unique natural gifts only you have. Use them with the power of innocence. Use yourself!

ST: From ‘Scribbler Nation’ we give you a big Thank You, Ken! That’s beautiful advice! Scribblers, have a look at Ken’s website for more inspiration,

"Dali!"  Serigraph on Arches Paper  Silkscreen Inks and Gold Metal Medium  22 in x 22 in  55.88 cm x 55.88 cm  1974 (Re-released in 2010)

“Dali!”, Serigraph on Arches Paper, Silkscreen Inks and Gold Metal Medium, 22 in x 22 in, 55.88 cm x 55.88 cm, 1974 (Re-released in 2010)

All about Ice Art!

Ice is an amazing medium used to create sculptures. Believe it or not ice sculptures have been around for a very long time. Although they are not common, ice sculpture’s elegant qualities make these pieces uniquely powerful. The first time they came to use was in the 1600’s in China. In this time, they would create lanterns made out of ice for dark winter nights. They would first fill buckets with water and would wait until the water was frozen. Next, they would pop the bucket shaped ice cube out of the bucket, dig a hole in the center of it, and put a candle in it. This became very popular in this time and people not only used these lanterns at night, but also used them as decorations in the home and would display them in carnivals.

Photograph by Kim Iverson – Courtesy Ice Alaska: World Ice Art Championships

Photograph by Kim Iverson – Courtesy Ice Alaska: World Ice Art Championships 2013.

The first monumental ice sculpture was created by Russians in 1740. It was commissioned by the Empress Anna and designed by Piotr Eropkin. Although there is no picture of it today, this ice “palace” was magnificent. It not only featured a palace made of ice blocks, but also an ice elephant which linked to pipes that sprayed water out of its trunk, ice cannons, and ice cannons balls. In 2000, a replica was created in the first International Sand and Ice festival at Saint Petersburg. It was made at 980 square feet and 21 feet tall. Here is a picture of the replica of Anna’s ice palace.

Festival of Ice Sculpture at Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia

Festival of Ice Sculpture at Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Today much of the ice sculpting takes place in arctic areas, for example, Alaska. Sculptors prepare ideas all year in hopes of winning the World Ice Art Championships, which take place every March. It includes over 70 teams competing against each other from all over the world. The crowd gets into it as well with about 45,000 audience members cheering them on. This years WIAC begins February 23rd and lasts until March 29th. This event provides the competing sculptors with the largest natural ice blocks in the world! This gives them all a fair chance to bring their A game when sculpting their amazing masterpieces. Definitely put this event on your bucket list, it’s quite a site to see! Click here to see more pictures of the 2015 ice art pieces.

Scribble Artist Interview with Steven van Hasten!

securedownload-1Scribble Town (ST): Let’s go to the jungle! Let’s go help our Hippo friend brush his teeth!  Steven van Hasten has a painterly touch for his illustrations that sweep you away to imaginary places.

Steven, what are you up to at the moment?

Steven van Hasten (SVH): I am a Belgian artist who grew up in Courtrai, a small commercial town in West Flanders. I am huge comic book fan and have a large collection. I never go to sleep before reading a comic book.  I am doing some different projects now, commissioned and personal projects… One of the commissioned ones is an illustration for an adoption card, very pleasant to do. I am also doing a children’s book based on a script of my wife …

ST: I’m sure you and your wife are inspirations for each other! Your illustrations are wonderful! Where do you come up with your ideas for your illustrations?

SVH: When I start a new illustration, I always first go for a walk. While just thinking about anything, ideas start to come. Almost everything I encounter on a walk can lead to an idea, a picture on a wall, something lying on the street, something that happens on my way, a strange house … But the greatest source of inspiration are the people I meet and see in the streets… Everyone can be the next person in my illustration :).

ST: In that sense, everybody is magical. I believe that! And can see that in your illustrations.

I noticed on your website that you have many different styles that you work with. What is one of your favorite technique and why?

SVH: I make digital and painted illustrations, but I prefer the classic way of drawing and painting a lot more, because I like the smell of acrylics and holding a pencil feels much more comfortable then moving a mouse. Sitting at the table with a paper in front of me gives a much more relaxed feeling then sitting before a computer.


ST: I think the tactile process shows in your artwork too. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  What has been your path to becoming an illustrator?

SVH: As soon as I was old enough to hold a pencil, I knew I would do something with drawing. As a child I drew on every surface in the house: walls, tables, etc.. My parents were very happy when I was old enough to go to the local academy and start to draw on regular paper instead. One of first things I can remember is a comic book about a knight I made when I was the age of 10. When I was older I completed a Masters from St. Lucas, School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium where I studied Graphic Design and Illustration. That was the start of my career as an illustrator.

ST: Have you ever been interested in creating a TV show series of your own?  What is your favorite cartoon on TV?

securedownload-3SVH: I never considered it. I think my style is to complex for a tv-show, it would cost to much time to make a show or I should have people helping me and I rather work alone like I am doing now.

I don’t watch much television, I am more of a reader, so I don’t know much about the cartoons that are on television right now. As a kid I liked ‘Tom and Jerry’ and I still like ‘The Simpsons’ … And animation like ‘Despicable me’, ‘Spirited away’, ‘Persepolis’, ‘Rango’.

ST: I see you have a variety of themes in your illustrations.  What is a theme you are currently working on?  What is the Tekeningen series about?

SVH: The theme comes back, most of the time, in my illustrations to people. I love to draw people with all the strange habits they have, how they dress, behave, how they act funny. You could say that the human behaviour is my most popular theme. I do love drawing animals too, but even the animals always have a human touch, the act like humans, not like animals would do…

The ‘tekeningen’ series are live-drawings. Every week I hire a model for making quick sketches. This is important to evolve and try different things. These drawings are exercises in technique, motion, colour, line. I make hundreds of them, most of them arrive in the wastepaper basket. In a 2 hour drawing session I make 20-30 sketches. A sketch doesn’t take more than 5 minutes, so I can’t get lost in drawing details, it has to be basic and direct. If I have one drawing at the end of the evening I find good, then my evening was successful.

ST: Those sessions are also great to just get movement within your drawing and lose yourself in the motion. When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?

SVH: Being in nature is the thing I do most when I am not illustrating. It gives me the peace I need to keep me going with fresh ideas. I like hiking, especially in the Scottish Highlands, where I go at least 1 or 2 times a year. Or walking in nature closer to home.

 I also love to read books (mostly fantasy) or comic books, which I do almost every evening after drawing. Otherwise I would be thinking all night on my illustrations. It’s like making my head empty. 

And riding my motorbike is a favourite too…

ST: You have some exhibitions coming up.  Please let us know about them.  What artworks will you be exhibiting?

SVH: Next week I have an exhibition in London on the Parallax Art Fair. I will show some artworks I recently made for a memory-game and for a puzzle-game.

In April there is an upcoming exhibition with some other illustrator. The brief was to make an illustration about the pencil in the art world. There will be shown only one illustration.
ST: You surely are busy! Which artists inspire you to create?

SVH: Heronimus Bosch, a Dutch painter from the 15th century, has always been a great inspiration. He must have been a little insane, I guess, because he drew very strange things :). And illustrators like Shaun Tan and Rebecca Dautremer, because they are very passionate. And also Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died too young..

ST: You are an inspiration for us! Any tips for our Scribblers?

SVH: If you have a dream follow it, no matter what it costs. Working hard and practicing everyday is much more important then talent. Of course you need a little talent but in the end it is who works hard that will be the winner. Keep your eyes open, ideas and creativity are everywhere, you just have to see it. The most important thing I learned at art school, is not how to draw, but how to look to the world, with an open mind.

ST: And with an open mind we continue our day! Thank you, Steven for sharing with us :). Scribblers, please have a look at Steven’s website to see more of his artwork and learn more about him.


Happy Year of the Goat to You!

year_of_the_goat_silhouette_with_flower_pattern_2015_312413The Chinese New Year has arrived! Every culture has their own unique ways of celebrating their special holidays. Many of the Chinese traditions are celebrated several days before and on New Year’s Eve in preparation of the New Year to come. A few traditions that are practiced a week or two before the New Year include cleaning and making decorations. The Chinese feel as if the act of cleaning make possible to remove the old and welcome the new by cleansing their home.

Red is an important color.  Often times lanterns, paper cuttings, door banners, and other decorations are red. On New Year’s Eve at 12pm there are fireworks that are launched. It is said the person who launches them has good luck to come in the future. Fireworks are a symbol of celebrating the coming of the New Year as well as drive the evil away. The most significant part of the celebration is New Year’s Eve dinner where the family has a gathering.  Fish or dumplings is typically served. This reunion is usually held at a family member’s home rather than in a restaurant. Another interesting tradition to add is called “Red Packets.” In these packets or envelopes includes money that are given to children or young adults from the grandparents or parents. This money helps to keep them healthy, give them a long life, and keep away evil.

In Chinese culture, each year is dedicated to one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animal signs. Depending on which year you are born in, you are placed into one of the 12 animals. These animals include Monkey, Ox, Rat, Tiger, Rabbit, Pig, Dog, Rooster, Horse, Goat, Snake, and Dragon. This year is the year of the Goat! Some of the Goat’s personality traits can include being creative, thoughtful, calm, honest, and persevering. It’s lucky numbers are 7 and 2 and lucky colors include red, purple, and brown. As you can see each year or “animal” has its own characteristics that relate to you depending on what year you’re born.

Which zodiac animal do you belong to? Happy New Year to you!


Posted by Andi Thea, on February 22nd, 2015 at 10:48 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Event,Featured,holiday Labels: , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Dan Reeder!

Buddha and Jo by Dan Reeder

Buddha and Jo by Dan Reeder

Scribble Town (ST): Always inventing, always creating, Dan Reeder makes the imaginable life size!  Dan says, “Around the Pacific Northwest I am known as Dan the Monster Man.”   He made my first dragon when he was twenty-two years old and that was quite a while ago. Dan, this career started when you were younger.  Do you see it coming?  Perhaps as a kid?

Dan Reeder (DR): I don’t recall thinking at all about careers.   I have always done art because I enjoyed it.  But I never dreamed of becoming an artist.  I was just busy being a kid.  (And that’s the way it should be I think!)
ST: Being a kid means to be in the moment! Can you remember the first time you saw a paper mache project? What inspired you to get involved with this technique? 

Bulldog by Dan Reeder

Bulldog by Dan Reeder

DR: I was teaching elementary school in 1972.  The budgets were being cut and the first thing to go was support for our “art specialist”.    So the kids only got art for 40 minutes every other week, not long enough to make anything that they were truly invested in.   Because I’ve always believed that art is important, I wanted an art project to do with my 5th graders that would a) take significant commitment, b) guarantee their success (that was “goof proof”) and c) that was fairly inexpensive.   A paper mache monster unit was the ideal solution.  I made my first monster in preparation for teaching that unit.  It ended up almost defining my career.  The popularity of that unit was beyond anything I could have imagined.

ST: Our paths are full of surprises! Paper mache is obviously your forte. Did you ever get involved in any other types of mediums before you discovered your passion for this one?
DR: I dabbled in several mediums growing up.  I worked with clay, but gave up after breaking some of my best pieces.  I loved using water color and pen and ink.   I resurrected some of that interest when I wrote (and illustrated) my children’s book, William’s Treasure.

ST: You are full of talent!  I see you’re very much into mythological creatures.  Any particular mythology you are fascinated with? What draws you towards them?

Sea Dragon by Dan Reeder

Sea Dragon by Dan Reeder

DR: I’m really not into mythological creatures. I’ve only made one I think, my Minotaur. I would like to make a Medusa and maybe and Hydra.  But I’m only interested in mythology in so far as there are interesting creatures to consider.
ST: Do you ever see yourself exploring and creating a different type of theme in the future?
DR: I just want to make dragons.  It’s what I love to make.  I force myself to make other non-dragon projects just to show my skill with the medium the versatility of paper mache.  But I have made many different kinds of projects over the years.
ST: Did you ever study art in school or was it more of a side hobby?  What has been your artistic path? 

Maleficent by Dan Reeder

Maleficent by Dan Reeder

DR: I didn’t have any formal art education other than my classes in high school.   Once I started doing paper mache I added my own innovations.   And I just haven’t been interested in other mediums since (with the exception of doing my children’s book).   If you want to do art I think it’s important to experiment for a while, but to eventually land on a medium that you can make your own.  I consider myself fortunate for having found a medium that I love.

ST: Many of your videos are shot in hyper-lapse. Around how long does it take you to complete one of your masterpieces?

I’ve tried to time how long it takes but have failed miserably.  Partly because there is drying time to consider and I’m always making more than one piece at a time.  And I’m usually taking video and photos which adds time to the project.   So I would guess that most are 40-80 hours of work.   But that is a guess.   btw.  The videos are actually in time-lapse.  They are fast because I shoot at only 1 frame per second. 

ST: Masterpieces don’t happen over night!  You are full of wise tips, anything else we should know?  

DR: I think you can do paper mache at any age, but you must obviously adapt the medium to the age you are teaching.   My only advice is to make something.  Don’t avoid the messy art.   Practice is key. 

ST: Practice and play with the medium. For sure!

DR: My best advice for someone wanting to learn my techniques would be to watch my videos and visit my blog.  I show many of my pieces being made, step-by-step on my blog,   Of course I also have how-to books on my website,

ST: We will definitely do that.  Thanks Dan and keep us posted on your artworks!

Naga by Dan Reeder

Naga by Dan Reeder

LOVE & Robert Indiana

“Some people like to paint trees. I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than painting trees.”

–Robert Indiana

Hero, childhood drawing, 8 ½ x 10 ¼ in. (21 x 26 cm.), ca. 1936. Artist's Collection.

Hero, childhood drawing, 8 ½ x 10 ¼ in. (21 x 26 cm.), ca. 1936. Artist’s Collection.

In honor of the season of love, an inspiring artist who makes Valentine’s Day even more interesting is Robert Indiana. Robert Clark was born in New Castle, Indiana in 1928. Carmen and Earl Clark, his adoptive parents, created a somewhat nomadic lifestyle as they moved many times throughout Robert’s childhood. It is said that he lived in 21 different houses before the age of 17. When he entered the first grade, his teacher spotted his artistic talent right away and encouraged him to continue his art.  His teacher had a feeling that one day he may become a great artist. They were right!

GINKGO, 1957/1959  gesso on wood panel 15.5 x 8.8 x 2 in. (39.3 x 22.5 x 5 cm.)

GINKGO, 1957/1959
gesso on wood panel
15.5 x 8.8 x 2 in.
(39.3 x 22.5 x 5 cm.)

Robert was never bothered by his families’ lifestyle of moving from place to place. In fact, he was very successful in many different areas of his life. He attended high school at Arsenal Technical High School, which was known for its strong art department. He got involved in writing for the school newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, where he became a runner in the advertisement department. He graduated with several achievements including valedictorian, member of the newspaper, medalist in Latin and English, captain of the honor society, and photographer and photo editor of the class yearbook.

Robert was also involved in the U.S. Air Force for five years. Once he was discharged, he entered the School of Art Institute of Chicago where his talent for art truly began to flourish. Robert was involved in many different mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, and poetry.

Today he is famous for his LOVE sculptures that can be seen in many different parts of the world and have localized versions of the original sculpture. The original LOVE sculpture was made of steel and has been on exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1970. The iconic pop art image began in 1964. It was used as a print image for the Museum of Modern Art’s Christmas card. It consists of LO over the letters VE. The reason the O is on a slant is because of the line it creates on the inside, which leads down to the V. Although the letters aren’t all on the same line, they form together.

Robert focuses on the beauty of words and numbers. He feels that many people tend to forget how powerful a word or number can really impact someone. It was therefore significant for him to spread the word LOVE in as many areas of the world as possible. This effect of spreading love is a great influence for everyone. We should all do the same in spreading as much love as possible, not just on Valentine’s day, but each and everyday.

Love, 1971. Love is on the corner of 55th Street and 6th Avenue.

Love, 1971. Love is on the corner of 55th Street and 6th Avenue.

If you are interested in public art visit Art in Common, a blog about public art in New York edited by Jason Farago. To learn more about Robert Indiana go to

LOVE, Valencia, Spain

LOVE, Valencia, Spain

AHAVA (LOVE in Hebrew), , Israel Museum Art Garden, Jerusalem, Israel

AHAVA (LOVE in Hebrew), , Israel Museum Art Garden, Jerusalem, Israel

LOVE, Love Park, Philadelphia, PA

LOVE, Love Park, Philadelphia, PA

Posted by Andi Thea, on February 14th, 2015 at 7:55 am. No Comments

Category: Featured,holiday,Robert Indiana,Sculpture,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Nannona!

valo_boy_snorkel_nannnonaScribble Town (ST): What’s happening over there?  Oh it’s a Forest Party!  Let’s go there!  Life can be so adventurous especially through the eyes of Nani Brunini aka Nannona.  I’m ready to enter a world of bright colors, bright minds and big smiles!

Nani Brunini (NB): Hi, I’m Nani and I’m a professional doodler.

ST: Where are you located and what are you up to these days?

NB: I’ve been living in San Francisco since 2011. I’m originally from Brazil, but my husband and I have been abroad for about 12 years – Germany, United Kingdom, Finland and now the US.

Right now I’m working on my portfolio – mainly updating my website and social media. That’s the side of becoming an illustrator that I’m learning more about – if you want to stand out and get the cool jobs, you have to make sure your online presence is as good as your portfolio. It’s a lot of work, but still fun. Oh, and I also can’t go too long without drawing, so I’m always doodling and experimenting with new things – new pens, new styles, new themes, etc.

ST: I think your website it looking great!  Your illustrations are beautiful and whimsical! I love your play on words and image. For example, your illustration titled ‘FINGER FOOD – ice cream’ is made of fingers! It took me a second to see that those are nails, but when I did, I made a little chuckle : ). How do you come up with these word/image games? How did you think to draw fingers as ice cream?!


NB: How I get to fingers as ice creams and running burgers, I guess it’s more of a matter of “why not?”. Why draw a house with a regular roof if I can put a gigantic flamingo hat over it?! That’s a lot more fun. Pens, pencils, brushes, cameras and etc are super powerful tools – you can do whatever you want with them. So because I have all that freedom, I like to stretch my sense of reality and play around with unexpected possibilities.

Now, about the names, they are really funny and several are my husband to blame. He’s the king of puns, so I always come to him when I need some clever wordplay.

ST:  That’s a great way to approach creativity.  Just ask ourselves, “Why not?”  How did you get started with illustrating? Who encouraged you?

NB: I just looove drawing! It’s something I often do when I want to relax or when I need to understand something. In school, for example, I made so many sketches for biology, geography and chemistry classes. I even drew some historical personalities to help me remember where they were from, why they were important, etc.

I actually decided to leave the corporate world and dedicate all my time to illustration rather recently. I studied Fine Arts a long time ago, but along the way I fell in love with design and human behaviour. I worked as design strategist for big corporations, thinking and presenting concepts for products that could be developed in 5 or 10 years. I only came back to drawing when I moved to the US – when I came here I had a “spouse visa”, which didn’t allow me to work. It was very difficult, but since I had a lot of time on my hands, I started to make drawings for my nephews and nieces in Brazil. I got my work permit a year later, but I couldn’t go back to my old life; I was once again addicted to my colorful pens!


ST: One things leads to another and it seems that drawing will never leave your path.  What’s your process for creating these illustrations? What kinds of techniques do you work with?

NB: A lot of what I do is hand-drawn with pens – ink, gel, paint, chalk, calligraphy, Sharpies, etc. I find them easy and unfussy.

Most times I have no idea what the end result is going to look, or even what the drawing is going to be about. I usually start with something I want to experiment with – a new technique, a different pen – and then one shape leads to another.

In the case of “Finger Food“, for example, I was fascinated with interlaced objects at that time. The first doodle I made for that had actually nothing to do with fingers, nor food – it was some kind of psychedelic city being invaded by worm-like creatures; those later became some sort of interlaced soft serve ice cream, which then became an ice cream full of interlaced fingers and so on.

No matter how many plans I make beforehand, the drawing always end up changing, even if a little bit, when it’s on paper. It’s quite cool to see how it develops and what it becomes in the end.

ST: Everything is connected so why not intervene that in our drawings?  I can see that nature inspires you and gives you loads of ideas! Your Bizarro Fruit poster is testament to that. Please let us know a bit about this project. Mmm how do you think Witchfinger Grapes tastes like?


NB: My goal with the Bizarro Series was to bring attention to nature’s weird, beautiful and unexpected diversity. I started it because I wanted my nephews and nieces to be more curious about what is out there. I want them to know that “C” is for “cats” and “cows”, but it’s also for “cassowaries”, “capybaras” and “cuttlefish”. I want them to ask questions and try new things.

During the making of the Bizarro Fruit poster, for example, I ended up trying some fruit that I had not seen before, like mangosteen, rambutans and horned melons; the latter by the way tasted a bit like a cross of a banana and a melon to me! I haven’t tried witchfinger grapes yet, but they certainly look delicious.

ST: Who are some artists you get inspiration from?

NB: I get ideas from a huge number of people and sources. Lately I’ve been fascinated with traditional Japanese illustration, some Brazilian graffiti artists and psychedelic advertising from the 60s. What a mix, right? 🙂

ST: Your Doodlebomb series is great! How do you choose your magazines to bomb? What are you hoping to say with them?


NB: The doodlebombs originally started as lettering practice to me. I had a bunch of magazines that I didn’t know what to do with, so they became an inexpensive way for me to make mock-ups. I could of course do that with Photoshop or Illustrator, but I do prefer having my real-life pens and brushes.

The texts on those doodles come from all sources – sometimes it’s what I’m listening on TV or some lyrics in my head… I might make them more meaningful later, but so far, I’m more interested in seeing the letters as visual patterns.

ST: I guess the bombs can come from the explosion of ideas we get sometimes.  It really feels like that for me!  Any last tips on creativity? Can you give any advice on how one can express themselves or develop their ideas?

NB: To me, art is about making things intriguing and interesting; not necessarily beautiful or accurate. It’s completely irrelevant if what you do looks like the real thing or not; what matters is why and how you express your ideas. I had some teachers in art school that told me I couldn’t draw and I was silly enough to hear them. It took me 10 years to unlearn that.

I think the best advice I can give is to cultivate your curiosity, experiment a lot and challenge conventions. Go crazy and remember that everything is possible on paper!

ST: 1, 2, 3, go crazy with a pen, marker, colored pencil, crayon, anything you can find and color away!  Thanks Nannona for being such an inspiration!





Getting Started with Paper Mache!

 Papier Mache Sculptures by Shirley Hintz

Papier Mache Sculptures
by Shirley Hintz

Are you feeling crafty? Well, of course you are! Why not make something fun and easy that will leave you wanting to create more and more? The good ol’ Paper Mache technique allows you to build your own creation and develop any form or shape you can imagine! Starting in 1725, paper mache as a craft was first experimented in Europe. It began as a low-cost alternative to creating sculptures. It has developed successfully to this day and continues to be one of the most popular creative methods to explore.

In essence, the process is quite simple. First you need a pile of newspaper. You can form the inner piece, or frame of your paper mache object by simply folding a bunch of newspaper together and taping it to develop the shape you want. The frame can also be made of wood or chicken wire. From here you rip up newspaper into strips. Next you must coat your pre-built object with the paper mache paste. There are several different ways you can create this paste. The way in which most people make it is by mixing water and glue together. Another way is by mixing flour and water together. Either way your paper mache will still come together, so it’s really your choice whether you want to choose the glue or flour!

After your paste is stirred and ready to go, you then dip each piece of ripped newspaper into the paste. You then begin to place these pieces of wet newspaper onto your object one by one, filling up all the spaces and building your masterpiece. Although it can get a bit sticky, paper mache is always worth the mess! It can take a while for paper mache to dry. Best thing to do is to wait 24 hours and continue working on it the following day before adding anything extra to it. Once your paper mache dries, you can paint it the way you want!

Dan Reeder is an artist that takes paper mache to the next level.  He is a paper mache artist from Seattle, Washington. He is known as “Dan the Monster” for his exquisite work and has been creating these pieces for over four decades. He was given this name because of the article written about him in 1982. Without him knowing, his mother sent his work to the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s “People” section of the Seattle newspaper. From the newspaper many heard of his amazing work and were astonished by what he was able to come up with. Here is also a 360 view of his artwork in his own studio! Click the link and click again on ‘Auto Rotation’ on the bottom right hand corner.

Check out this video about one his great paper mache dragon trophies. Enjoy!

Posted by Andi Thea, on January 29th, 2015 at 12:44 pm. No Comments

Category: Arts & Crafts,Design,Paper Art,Uncategorized Labels: , , ,

Happy La Vijanera!

What a better way to spend the New Year than by dressing up in your own hand made creative costume! On the first Sunday of every January, thousands of people are drawn to the first carnival of the year in the town of Silio, Cantabria, Spain.

Photo by Ana Aldea

Photo by Ana Aldea

La Vijanera, the title of this celebration, is one of the earliest winter masquerades of pre-Roman origin. This celebration originally took place throughout northeastern Spain and became very popular throughout the years. Not only are these participants celebrating the start of the New Year, but also the end of winter in Spain.  La Vijanera is a celebration of the cycle of change!

More than 130 people come to participate in the actual dressing up and walking of the parade. About a few years ago there was an estimate of only 50 participants. The number steadily grows each year as the tradition continues to increase and become more popular. The natives design their very own costumes based on the theme of La Vijanera, which is the celebration of festive nature. The most eminent costume is Los Zarramacos. These are known as the warriors of the good. They include a cowbell with their costume.

Los Zarramacos. Photo by Esther Hidalgo.

Los Zarramacos. Photo by Esther Hidalgo.

Another very prominent costume is El Oso of La Vijanera. This character takes on the role of the protagonist. He is the embodiment of evil. El Oso, which translates as The Bear, is a young man dressed in sheepskins that symbolize winter. As winter comes to an end, it symbolizes the death of the bear. The spring then arrives with the beautiful growth of nature, symbolizing the other characters.

El Oso of La Vijanera. photo by Ana Aldea

El Oso of La Vijanera. Photo by Ana Aldea.

Other costumes involved include Danzarines Blancos y Negros. This translates as black and white dancers. Participants also create scavenger and rag picker costumes, which are known as Trapajeros and Trapajones. Some young men even dress as women, known as La Preñá, which means The Child-bearer.

Danzarines blancos. Photo by Esther Hidalgo.

Thousands of tourists join in every year to observe these fascinating characters masquerade the streets. I don’t know about you guys, but all of these interesting photos make me want to hop on a plane over to Spain next year for this spectacular celebration! Every country has it’s own way of celebrating the New Year and getting creative in the process of it. For Spain natives, designing your own costume and mask play a big role in rejoicing the end the year festivity.

La Vijanera is a beautiful Spanish tradition with the artwork to show for it.



Posted by Andi Thea, on January 22nd, 2015 at 4:04 pm. No Comments

Category: Arts & Crafts,Featured,holiday,Past Events,Uncategorized Labels: , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Dorian O’Connell!

DorianOConnell--225x300Have you ever had one of Dorian O’Connell pastry?  I think you’ll be happy with her tasty delights!  For a person who started working in restaurants by the age of 14 she knows her way around the kitchen.  Dorian has won several awards and has studied and worked with the top pastry chefs around the world.  After having lived and worked in France and Canada she has moved back to her hometown and to take care of Juniper.  Dorian juggle ceramics, baking, watercolors, and being a mom.  Dorian say, “Juniper is always at my side watching me make everything or she is sleeping. I just hope she will love baking and the arts as much as I do.”  With sugar floating in the air, I don’t see how Juniper  could not grow up to be a sweet and creative person like her Mom!

Scribble Town (ST): Where can we find you these days?  What are you up to?

Dorian O’Connell (DO): Right now, I live in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. I have lived in eight plus states and also Canada for work. I traveled around working for the best Pastry Chefs in the country. I was Thomas Keller’s Pastry Chef in Napa Valley at Bouchon Bakery. That is one of the best bakeries in the country.

When I gave birth to my daughter Juniper back in September things changed a bit. My four month old daughter is my boss and she tells me when I can do my projects. While she is sleeping I’m busy making cards. I realized I’m not able to bake as much as I would like and needed a way to express my art. So, I decided on cards because I can stop anytime and play.

ST: I’m sure busy with your Kickstarter Campaign raising funds for your Valentine’s Day Cards.

DO: I’ve also started a Card shop on Etsy called Maiden Creek Paper, which connects people through cards with drawings & messages that evoke laughter, smiles, and an extra kick!

ST: Your illustrations are so sweet and whimsical!  I love your play on words and image.  How do you come up with these cards?

DO: I just draw up a cute creature then I think about the words for a while. Sometimes I get feedback from my sisters at the dinner table.

ST:  How did you get started with painting with watercolor?

il_570xN.706928245_ke7fDO: Since I’ve been little I have been painting. At age four I was able to sell my paintings at art shows with my mother.

ST: Wow! Not only are you creative, but you are also courageous enough to put yourself out there since a young age.  Who encouraged you?

DO: My mom.  When I was little I was always able to help her out.

ST: What other mediums do you work with?

DO: I have done all the arts: ceramics and watercolors mainly. I realized when I little if I make something people can eat and a piece of art it means more. It’s more of a memory I create. Still people remember me by my sweets. Oh you are the brownie girl or you can make the best chocolate chip cookies.

ST: It seems you have found your way to combine art and taste. I feel like your pastries are a piece of art!  Please let us know more about 101 Sweet Pastry. I’m getting hungry already!

DO: I started a blog mainly because I baked all the time and wanted to share it with others. I usually take a bite or two of what I bake then I share it with whoever wants to eat it. I’ve walked the streets handing out cupcakes before just because I wanted to bake. I also have an Etsy Store :dorianoconnell  where I sell my sweets.

Sweet Pastry specializes in handmade cookies, marshmallows, meringues and gourmet food gifts. Welcome!


ST:  I have to give it to you, that You make things happen!  You have had a couple of campaigns on Kickstarter.  Your Tiny Bowls are so cute!  Are you still making those?

DO: Yes, I still do, but not as much. Right now ceramics is very hard to do with a baby the clay is toxic. I do sell them on Etsy:Juniper Pottery.

ST: Anything else up your sleeve?

DO: If it’s the arts I can do it. My biggest accomplishment was back in 05 when I was Pastry Chef of the USA. I had to create a Chocolate and Sugar Showpiece with a cake. I was at the time the youngest one to ever win. I practiced for a year straight.

il_570xN.645260427_k672ST:  Who are some artists or situations you get inspiration from?

DO: My mom: She’s awesome and my mom.

ST:  An amazing sense of humor and imagination naturally runs in the family!  Any last tips on creativity?

DO: Don’t worry about what people will think. Just do it and it will all come together. People seem to criticize and half the time they can’t do anything or they don’t.

ST: Can you give any advice on how one can express themselves or develop their ideas?

DO: Check out Pinterest for ideas or try getting a group of people together and paint. Just pick up a pen and start drawing. In the beginning you may get a little frustrated but with time it gets a lot easier. Just believe in yourself and it will all work out. I can’t seem to draw if I’m upset so I need to be happy if not my creatures are not. I believe it has a lot to do with the pen. I take trips to New York City to pick up my fine Japanese pen but you can use any ink pen.

ST: Thank you Dorian! Enjoy your days creating with Juniper!

You Can Make Art Too

Judith Scott, Untitled, 1989

Judith Scott, Untitled, 1989

It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from, every individual has the ability to create and inspire others with their own art. The beauty of art is that it has no limits. Everyone is able to contribute and develop something wonderful from his or her own ideas. What is truly central about art is the freedom to explore and create whatever you put your mind to. Even if it does not necessarily come out as planned, the challenge and the fun you have within your work is what is most significant.

A very inspiring artist, Judith Scott, is an excellent example of this idea. She was born on May 1st 1943 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was a fraternal twin to her sister Joyce Scott. Judith was born profoundly mute, deaf, and with Down syndrome. She was sent to a hospital when she was seven and remained there until her sister, Joyce, became her guardian 35 years later.

American Visionary Art Museum, Maryland

Photograph of Judith Scott. American Visionary Art Museum, Maryland

In 1987, when Judith was 44 years old she began taking art classes at the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California which employed individuals with developmental disabilities. Here she was able to explore painting and other hands on activities such as stitching and sculpting. Her exceptional originality was recognized quickly and she was able to choose her own materials in creating her pieces. Her main focus then became sculptures made from yarn. She would take found objects and wrap them up in selected colored yarns to create different sculptures in a variety of shapes. Judith passed at the age of 61 from natural causes. She outlived her life expectancy at birth by almost fifty years! The amount of passion and dedication she put into her work is what truly kept her alive and continue creating.

Scott’s work soon became enormously popular in the art world. Her pieces sell for more than $15,000 and can be found in several museums throughout the country. Some are also located in France and Switzerland. Her most recent exhibition called “Judith Scott—Bound and Unbound” can be found in the Brooklyn Museum. This exhibition is on view until March 29, 2015. The opening hours for this event are Wed, Fri—Sun 11am-6pm and Thursday 11am-10pm.

So there it is! Didn’t think you could be an artist, huh? The thing is you don’t need to become the next Picasso to be an artist. Everyone has their own style, own imagination, and own ideas in creating something wonderful. We encourage everyone to go visit this exhibition and enjoy the magnificent pieces that Judith created. Do not miss out on this amazing and original artwork that will leave you feeling inspired on starting your own work!

Judith Scott, Untitled, 1993

Judith Scott, Untitled, 1993

Posted by Andi Thea, on January 11th, 2015 at 2:07 pm. No Comments

Category: Arts & Crafts,Event,Featured,Uncategorized Labels: , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Martina Miño!

Animals playing in the water

Animals playing in the water

Scribble Town (ST): Martina Miño, an artist from Quito, Ecuador, combines theory and the practice of art through her collages.  Her work challenges the viewer to create their own interpretation from her mix of images and text.

Martina, where are you located and what are you up to these days?

Martina Miño (MM): Currently I live in Helsinki, Finland. Moving away from Ecuador has given  me a lot of new inspiration and material to explore the media that I currently work with. At the moment I make physical and digital collage and writing. I feel very curious about where the limits lie between the meaning created by the word and the meaning created by the image. The juxtaposition of ideas and different media interest me because I can build meaning through contrast and through the close exploration of fragments.

ST: It’s from these juxtapositions and created cut together contexts that your collages are such good story instigators!  The titles seem to play a very important part in your artwork.  How do you play with text and image?

MM: The titles of the collages play a huge role for the building of sense of many of my projects. The presence of the title not only portrays the collages as narratives but also gives tools for the audience to access them. The use of both the word and the image allows me to explore the permanency of ideas through their immateriality. Through the collages I wish to reflect upon the randomness and awkwardness our reality is built on.  The projects may tell and inhabit recognizable stories and settings that we can explore in a new way through our own subjectivity.

The void in inside you.

The void in inside you.

ST: Your titles really set the stage for the image, but in the end, we perceive them so individually with our personal histories. From an image comes one thousand stories! How did you get started with creating collages?

MM: My involvement with collage has been part of a very long process of exploration. I have always felt attracted to writing and the thing I enjoy the most about it has been to create questions. I have always felt uncomfortable expressing definite truths or closed answers through my texts because for me truths are completely subjective and answers are in many cases temporary.  Many people use images to support the meaning of a text and its understanding, but I realized I wanted to do just the opposite. I wanted to create a void and an opening to portray narratives of uncertainty. I have a great passion for the universe of images as well and how our world works through their appropriation. We live overexposed to a huge amount of images that work as instigators and ask for a reaction. The interest I have had in creating the collages has probably started when I realized the power of the fragments and how could I create meaning through the juxtaposition of incomplete ideas.

ST: What’s your process for creating these collages?  Do you feel that the images you find inspire you or do you have a story you want to tell and then you seek the images you need to support that?  What prompted you to create “You Never Come Around Anymore”?

You never come around anymore

You never come around anymore

MM: The process of creating a collage normally  starts when I overexpose myself to a huge amount of images through the internet, magazines and through my own camera. In most situations I get initially inspired by an element I might have found in a particular picture that interests me. This can be a facial expression, a texture, or the feeling I get when I look at it. From that point on I start to think why do I feel this interest and how can I emphasize it. Inspiration comes from feelings and situations I can’t understand and through which I try to portray that state of confusion or strangeness. The characters of the collages come most of the time from my camera while the landscapes and surreal backgrounds are created with the help of the internet. In the cases of all the works the title is created in the end of the process, and its based on the general feeling I get of the finished image.

In the case of “You don’t come around anymore”, this collage was initially inspired by the background which is the moon. This setting was perfect to represent the sense of loneliness inside an unexplored feeling. Space portrays for me a fascinating but hostile and asphyxiating setting, where life and love are impossible, and death almost certain.



The building of ICE:FLESH was also very interesting for me because I guided this collage through the exploration of the sensuality of textures. This collage seeks to explore the physicality of sensations such as the carnality of love and the coldness hidden inside a flame of passion. Another project that opened new horizons for my work was “Rushing Somewhere, Going Nowhere” and “Ups..” Through these collages I used some important narratives from video-games. Even though everyone understands that the video-game reality is fictional I focused in certain behaviors that are replicated in our society such as the lightness with which some pull off the trigger as they press Enter in their computer keyboard.

ST: From 2D a 3 dimensional world comes to life! What tools does one need to start collaging?

MM: For me, and indispensable condition that has allowed me to explore the world of collage is to de-attach myself from the preconceptions of reality and accept the fact that our subjective realities are always in a transformative state. It is also important to believe in the value of imagination, most of the ideas that are created through imagination are not conceived in a rational way but many gives us amazing ideas  to express the way we appreciate life and the world. As I said before I work through physical and digital collage. The wonderful thing about physical collage is that it is born from waste, for example, the old magazines we don’t use, old books and newspapers. This wasted images and texts carry a historical weight of the contexts they used to belong in before and that makes them even more interesting for a new use.  In the case of digital collage my main tool is Photoshop. The feature that attracts me the most about digital collage is that it exists only in a virtual world which makes them accessible only through the use of technology. These are exposed to a virtual audience that is very unknown to me. This gives me the sensation of creating something in a reality I do not control, trust, or will ever understand completely.  The results achieved through physical and digital collage create very different results from each other, but a thing is very important for me to maintain in both of them is the feeling that each fragment comes from a different context and its relationship with the other elements is uncomfortable but existent.

Rushing Somewhere. Going nowhere.

Rushing Somewhere. Going nowhere.

ST: Here we have subjectivity again; one persons idea of garbage is gold for another.  The images you have found in the trash are now being used to create more stories.  I find comfort in that nothing is always something.  Your artwork proves that too.

Who are some artists you get inspiration from?

MM: I get inspiration from some collage artists, assemblage artists and photographers. Gabriele Beveridge and Wangechi Mutu are a great source of inspiration for me. I feel inspired by them because they have been able to make interesting statements about femininity and have transcended the bi-dimensionality of collage with the use of unexpected and interesting materials that linger through the poetics of the assemblage. In the future I would also like to  work with three dimensionality because it would give me the opportunity to have more contact with the physicality and real texture of objects. Another artist I get inspired by is Roger Ballen, through his white and black photographs he transmits “complex meanings through simple forms” which is something I would also like to attain through my work.

ST: I am sure you are full of creative tips. What are some of your secrets?

MM: Some tips for collage making!



Paper, scissors and glue is all you need to start collaging! These following tips can make your experience more enjoyable:

– I normally work with spray glue, because it doesn’t wrinkle the paper and gives you flexibility of movement of the pieces for a while until it dries. It is better to use this glue in the exterior due to its strong smell, or wear a mask during its use.
– Canson paper is a good option for doing collage, its texture is thick enough to resist the humidity of the glue.
– Collage is not only about cutting and pasting. Drawing and writing can also bring you interesting results.
– Organize the pieces in the paper without glue first and manipulate the pieces as little as you can, especially if you work with newspaper because its ink might spread.

Some tips on creativity an ideas!

– If you want to get inspired you can think of a story you would like to tell through your image!
– Sometimes it can be helpful to imagine one of you favourite fictional characters and build their world or explain their life through the images! This will introduce to another worlds and realities.
-You can also imagine your life in another country or another planet and build the landscape, create the animals, imagine weather etc.
-Trust you imagination, anything can be possible!

ST: Thank you, Martina! You have been a great inspiration for many! Please have a look at Martina’s blog to see more of her artwork at 

Gabriele Beveridge Untitled 2012 Magazine pages, glass, frame, spray paint 84 x 42 cm

Gabriele Beveridge
Magazine pages, glass, frame, spray paint
84 x 42 cm

Scribble Artist Interview with Joy B. Thurston!

Scribble Town (ST): Joy B. Thurston’s collages take you to another world!  A surreal place where buildings stand diagonally and the sky feels like it’s flying.  With such images the creator of these artworks must be a visionary storyteller!

Meteor Over Tribeca, 16"x16"

Meteor Over Tribeca, 16″x16″, Joy B. Thurston

Joy B. Thurston (JT): I was very fortunate to have attended New York University in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Soho and the art world were just beginning to become the epicenter of all that was new.  It was a very exciting time. One did not venture too far off of West Broadway as it was dangerous and dirty. There were about seven art galleries and just two places to eat. Artists’ lofts were accessed by having a freight elevator lowered each time there was a visitor or one would have to walk up flights of steps that were unstable and sometimes not always there.

A Laurelton Sky, 16"x16"

A Laurelton Sky, 16″x16″, Joy B. Thurston

ST: Yes, that must have been a super exciting time!  Maybe that is why your collages take me to another space!  They carry very much feeling of adventure.  NYC is a place full of the unknown, widely talented, and everything in between. That deep seated characteristic is felt in your collages.

How did you get started with creating collages?

JT: While attending NYU for my Masters Degree, I had the rare opportunity to study with Chuck Close and do independent study with Sol Lewitt. Sol also had a class in which he would take his students to the lofts of his friends. I was able to see some very accomplished artists such as Dwayne Hanson, Richard Serra, Brice Marden, Lynda Benglis, among others at work in their studios. These studios often did not have hot water or much heat, but they were big and cheap and allowed the artists to have huge spaces where they could work and live.This remarkable education has never left me and has instilled an aesthetic I hold precious.
The House on Hockey Trail, 16"x16"

The House on Hockey Trail, 16″x16″, Joy B. Thurston

I eventually moved to the suburbs to raise my children. I needed an outlet for my creativity and I needed to find something I was able to pick up and put down and keep simple in between carpooling and working.

ST: What tools does one need to start making collages?

JT: All I ever need is a scissor and some rubber cement.  Rubber cement is good, because, if you change your mind, it is easy to remove a piece. I work inside of a picture frame to give me boundaries. Some collages happen right away, sometimes, I have to wait for many magazines for the right piece to find its way to me. Some collages are very simple and some require a lot of pieces.  Sometimes, I cheat and go to the color copier at Staples to reproduce an image I like so I can use it again. Moving a piece even a quarter of an inch can also change the balance. I have to be careful not to disrupt the composition before I glue it down. An important thing  is to know when it is finished and stop!

Hotel del Coronado, 16"x16"

Hotel del Coronado, 16″x16″, Joy B. Thurston

ST: You must collect a lot of magazines!  Where do you find your material?

JT: One of my great loves is architecture and I collected a lot of magazines. I see buildings as just big sculpture.  I could not save all the magazines I had collected so I started to tear out pages that I really liked and saved them in boxes.  A lot of my time is spent  just cutting out these images.

After moving around a few pieces, it would illicit a memory or a feeling and then I would have to search for the rest of the puzzle pieces. The sky and clouds became important to me as a source of memory, too.  I have to search out the perfect sky and I keep a big box of assorted blues, grays and greens to choose from. No matter where you are, in a city or in the country, sky is the only part of nature that is always there. You can tell the time of day, the temperature and the season by the color and cloud formations. I also find the idea of airplanes and other forms of space travel moving in the sky exciting and mysterious.

Twin Palms, 16”x16”

Twin Palms, 16”x16”, Joy B. Thurston

ST: When I look at your collages, I ask myself, “What lies beyond the BIG BLUE sky?!”

Who are some artists you get inspiration from?

JT: My favorite collagist is Joseph Cornell. While most artist in the 1950’s was doing some form of abstract expressionism, he was making these precious boxes filled with objects he found as he wandered around New York City. I consider him an “outsider artist”, someone who has little or no art training but makes art through innocent eyes. Romare Beardon is another exciting collagist who through his work tells an important part of american history. Man Ray is also a favorite of mine. He was a groundbreaking artist who led the way for many experimental art forms.

Big Blue Blows, 12”x18”

Big Blue Blows, 12”x18”, Joy B. Thurston

I still enjoy going into a gallery or a museum, but art is different today. There are no longer any affordable neighborhoods for artists to live and work in. There are no longer any “movements” i.e. conceptual, minimalist, pop etc. Artists seem to work on a more personal level and i think there is more concern as to its marketability then anything else.

ST: Thank you, Joy for sharing with us!  Paper and cement glue, here I come!

 The Worldport, 16”x16”

The Worldport, 16”x16”, Joy B. Thurston

Artful thoughts from Jacqueline Chwast

Jacqueline Chwast is a childrens book illustrator amongst many things creative.  She has worked on books such as I Like You, How Rabbit Lost His Tail, and Tinker Tales: A Humpty Dumpty Book. Scribble Town asked Jackie questions about her path and passions. From her responses below I get the sense that this person is full of life and thanks.  Thank you, Jackie for sharing with us!

As a child I fell in love with beautiful watercolor illustrations in the book “Water babies.”

My first job out of art school was as an assistant to the editor in a small publishing firm. Though they most often reprinted art, to my surprise I was offered to do a new picture book about time. The illustrations had to be done in the evenings after work, and on weekends.

After months, keeping awake on buckets of coffee, I brought the finished art in on a Friday.  When I returned to work that Monday morning my boss (forever careless) had accidentally burned the office down.

IMG_0842I’ve illustrated more than fifty books since, without another fire.

I am retired now, living in New York, doing pottery and cutting paper silhouettes, happy not to have deadlines, and very grateful to have had the company of art for my lifetime.  I did illustration for books, magazines and newspapers.  A manuscript was given to me by an editor. Writers and illustrators never spoke (to avoid disagreements). It was the illustrators’ job to interpret the mood and meaning of the written word.

I had a very brief blue period, but was rarely asked, as a commercial illustrator to go down very dark or deep.

Though I am moved and impressed by work so different than my own, I feel most at peace expressing attitudes in life with humor.

— So, draw, sculpt, view, write, listen, read, enjoy and accept your own voice.


Scribble Artist Interview with Bill Lawrence!

Scribble Town (ST): Bill Lawrence is a poet set out to write his first children’s book. His writing is earnest and the illustrations portray that sensitivity and playfulness.  Let’s learn more about Bill!

DSC_0207.mediumBill Lawrence (BL): First, thank you for your interest in my writing.  It is humbling to be asked to share what I’m doing and I’m honored to be a part of Scribble Blog.  I’m an inspirational writer, meaning I can’t just sit down and write whenever I have the time to do so.  Something has to trigger my creativity and that isn’t always convenient.  But when the thoughts come in it is fun.   I’m a dedicated husband and father to great kids who turn out to be the inspiration for much of my poetry.  Watching them go through the triumphs and foibles of life give me the third person perspective that rings throughout a lot of what I write.  Writing is also a way to bond with my kids as I’ve written some pretty cool stuff this way.  It shows them that writing isn’t as daunting as they may have believed and it really opens a window into what they think and feel.  It sometimes replaces the question, “what’s going on with you and your life, what are you thinking about most?”  It all tends to come out when you allow them to express themselves in art…and they’re proud of it, too.  Currently I am mid way through a series of children’s books but I’m also writing a science fiction novel and have other poems that will hopefully end up illustrated, as well.  I’m also a guitar player and have penned a few songs that I hope to record in the next year or so.  Writing and music are themes that run strong through my life.

ST: Bill, where are you located and what are you up to these days?

BL: I live in Denver with my wonderful wife and family.  I’ve enjoyed great support from them as I’ve set out to publish my first book.

ST: Congratulations on reaching your Kickstarter goal!  I’m sure you are so excited and WE are doubly happy to be able to soon read your story.  Scribblers, have a look here to read more about ‘Odie and Snowflake’.
Snowflakes08-2ST: What is ‘Odie and Snowflake’ about or is this a surprise?  I like the idea that it’s a series because then we’ll get more involved with the characters and story.

BL: ‘Odie and Snowflake’ is my first book and it is set in a winter scape.  The books will be set to my poetry with illustrations that follow along.  Each poem/book will revolve around a season (summer, spring, winter and fall) thematically and I’m having a lot of fun with them.  Hidden in the art is a purpose, however.  Exposing young listeners and readers to a higher level of grammar, diction and meter provides a stark contrast to the more simple kid’s books we know and love.   These simpler books definitely have their place but so do those that raise the bar on thought and expression through art.  I believe that kids gain from stretching and exposing their vocabulary to interesting grammatical tools like consonance, assonance, alliteration, etc…  The timing and rhythm of a person’s speech is affected at an early age by what literature is exposed to them and hopefully people see in my books an interesting alternative to what they may see out there.

ST: What inspired the story?  When did you write it?

BL: Watching my son play with his cousin in the snow last winter inspired this poem/book.  Their interactions and expressions of joy brought up my memories and thoughts of winters as a kid growing up in the mid-Atlantic area.  It was a purely analog time in my life reliant on imagination and the friendships developed along the way.  Those memories matched with my adult perspective have provided a vehicle to relay my creativity through poetry.


ST: How did you come up with the characters and illustrations?

BL: I’m not the most skilled illustrator so I asked an artist to help me create the scenes for the book and they came out terrific.  I can’t wait to crack open that first printing and see it on the page!

ST: What is your personal connection to poetry?

BL: My path to writing purposefully took a turn in earnest about 16 years ago.  I wrote poems that helped me deal with the joys and lows in life and found it cathartic.  It’s great therapy for me as it provides an outlet for my thoughts.

Portait of Shel Silverstein

Photograph of Shel Silverstein

ST: What was your favorite book as a child?

BL: I had several memorable book exposures as a kid.  Goodnight Moon, many Shel Silverstein stories, and the Tolkien series Lord of the Rings, with many in between, of course.  These stories stretched my imagination but more importantly provided the glue for my bond with the most important people in my life… Mom and Dad.  My parents read to me as a child and that was an important factor in my reading and writing success later in life.  It is so important to read to your kids, even the books they insist on hearing after you’ve read them over 100 times.

ST: Any last tips on creativity? Can you give any advice on how one can express themselves or develop their ideas?

BL: Don’t be surprised if it takes you until your 30’s/40’s or later to “hear” your voice.  But feel fortunate when you do and then take advantage by putting your words and thoughts to the page.  Don’t worry about being perfect or trying to reach all audiences.  It may be that your only listener is you, but that’s highly unlikely.  In staying true to your word, you will have the greatest lasting satisfaction with yourself and others will respect your genuine expressions.  Here is the poem upon which my book is based…

Ode to a Snow Flake

Nature’s perfection
This I know
A freshly fallen
Flake of snow

Nothing in nature
Can compare
To this uniquely constructed
Defier of air

As cold settles in
For seeming an age
This symmetry of nature
Takes centerstage

While under assemblage
And hid from the sun
It falls for a mile
To land on your tongue

Stellar in appearance
Defying winter’s shroud
Can this beauty really come
From so sullen a cloud?

Light as a feather
A contradiction of sorts
Put two together
A maker of forts!

Viewed through a window
It lasts but a minute
So knee-deep is the way
To find yourself in it!

Singular in aspect
Yet countless they seem
Both magic and mystic
The glint and the gleam

Take a moment to study
And you’ll notice in time
Simple plates and prisms
Graupel and Rime

Double plates and dendrites
Capped columns and bars
They’re proudest of the 12 branch
And fancy themselves stars

Winter can last
For an age, it seems
A perfect time
for snowbound dreams

Goodnight Moon is an American children's picture book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.

Goodnight Moon is an American children’s picture book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.

ST: Thank you, Bill for your words of inspiration!  I feel that there is always so much to look forward to. We look forward to reading your book before turning the lights out for a good night’s sleep.

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings

Posted by Andi Thea, on November 16th, 2014 at 3:10 am. 1 Comment

Category: adults,Books,Illustration,kids,Scribble Artist Interviews Labels: , , , , , ,

Storms and Silences: Jaanika Peerna’s Art Book


photo by Reelika Ramot

Finally, a book about Jaanika Peerna’s is in production!  Storms and Silences: Jaanika Peerna’s Art Book will be a beautiful art book revealing the first decade of Jaanika Peerna’s work as an artist, from drawings to performance to swoops of mylar.  After ten years of work as an artist, it’s time to release the first book of Jaanika Peerna’s drawings, installations, and performances.

Jaanika Peerna is an Estonian-born artist living and working in New York, Tallinn, and Berlin. Her work encompasses drawing, video, installation and performance, often dealing with the theme of transitions in light, air, water and other natural phenomena. She has exhibited her work extensively in New York, Berlin, Paris, Tallinn, Helsinki, Lisbon, Rimini, Dubai, Honolulu, Novosibirsk and Rome. Her work is in numerous private collections in the US and Europe and was recently acquired by Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris. Her work is represented in the United States by Masters Projects in New York and ARC Fine Art in Connecticut.


photo by Arvo Wichmann

“My elements are line and light,” says Peerna. “My materials are pencils, vellum and video camera. I am a vessel gathering subtle and rapturous processes in nature, using the experiences and impulses to make my work. I record mist turning into water. I use slowly changing lights to cast shadows of mylar strips onto a wall—The slowness of shadows makes one wonder if there is any change at all. I let wind move my body so that it leaves traces on paper. I swim through thousands of layers of gray air and mark each one down. Most of my work is born in the solitude of my studio. Sometimes public performances with musicians and dancers draw me out from the safe silence of my space and expand my drawing practice with sound and movement. I am interested in the never-ending process of becoming with no story, no beginning, no end—just the current moment in flux.”

Starting with photography and digital work, Peerna has moved more and more into drawing with a real sense of physical movement combining dance, movement, and performance. After a decade of this work she has decided to put it all together in a book which will showcase all these aspects of her work, from large square black and white maelstrom drawings:


It’s going to be a beautiful art book, printed and designed in Estonia by Martin Pedanik, with essays by Heie Treier and Fiona Robinson, and photos of my performances in Europe, taken by many good photographers, including Ave Talu, Reelika Ramot, Arvo Wichmann, Yavor Gantchev, and others.

She says: “There is something special about beautifully printed pages in this world of fleeting digital images. Perhaps some of you will agree, and can do your part to make this project possible.”

To see how you can contribute to the making of this wonderful book, please go to

To read Jaanika’s Scribble Artist Interview you can click here.

Posted by Andi Thea, on November 13th, 2014 at 11:53 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Books,Drawing,Featured,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Katherine Belsey!

Scribble Town (ST): When I first came across the website, Make Pop-Up Cards, it blew me away.  The site allowed me to immediately make what I was imagining in 3D! How amazing it is to do that!  My next step was wanting to learn more about the creator of the site and all these wonderful projects. Thanks Katherine for being with us in Scribble Town!  Please tell us a bit about yourself.

downloadKatherine Belsey (KB): I was born in New Orleans but I grew up in the French-speaking region of Switzerland, overlooking Lake Geneva. My parents are American and we spoke English at home, but I went to school in French and became a Swiss citizen — but now I’ve come full circle and I’m back in the US, living in Brooklyn, NY. I feel very much at home here because so many people are transplants like me, they come from somewhere else, they don’t quite belong.

ST: From the looks of your website, you have many creations happening. What are you up to these days?

KB: Recently I’ve been working more and more on custom projects. It’s very fun to collaborate with other people and translate their ideas into pop-ups. It pushes me out of my comfort zone sometimes, when they want something I wouldn’t have done on my own — and that’s a very good thing! (

download 2
Wow! Creating custom made pop-up cards must be fun. Kind of like making mini sculptures of this person. You are so talented in many different fields!  From paper engineering to designing swimming pools, there you are!  Please let us know about some of these adventures.  Your path is so unique.

KB: It’s true that there seems to be a world of difference between a pop-up card and a swimming pool, but in many ways they are very similar. They’re all about using and dividing space, and about solving seemingly impossible obstacles, overcoming constraints. For pop-up cards there are very strict rules to follow or the paper will just not open and close properly. In the case of the pool, we couldn’t dig any deeper and there was not enough ceiling height in the basement location to have a pool with a satisfying depth. I realized that if we split the entire space with a sheet of glass, we could fill up one side with water and make the pool as deep as we wished. The result was stunning. Without the limits imposed by the difficult location the house owners would simply have built an ordinary pool. Without the requirement for a pop-up card to fold flat and then open in 3D, you just have a paper model — which can be beautiful too, but it won’t take your breath away like a pop-up card does.

download 3
I see what you are saying. A folded object can also be seen as a closed world to an open space. Where do you think your craft and curiosity came from?  Who encouraged you to create?

KB: I didn’t get active encouragement by which I mean classes, tutors or anything like that, but I was given plenty of opportunities in other ways. I was surrounded by music, art supplies, books, and lots of unstructured time with nothing to do. An incredible luxury! It wasn’t that long ago but it was a different world; not only pre-internet, it was pre-home computers. My mother just set me loose. If I complained of boredom she would tell me to go draw or read a book. I started out being an avid reader rather than a download 4maker, and I would become completely absorbed by the stories I read. I lived the stories and I saw them, so I hated seeing movies of “my” books because they always got it wrong. I also hated watching the movies first and then reading the book, because then I was stuck with someone else’s images as I read. It’s funny because after college I ended up going to film school. By then I had become much more of a maker: I was in the creative writing program at Brown, but I took a lot of art classes at RISD in sculpture, glass and industrial design. Film was the perfect way to blend storytelling with my growing interest in visual expression.

ST: How did you get into Paper Engineering?  Are there any basic tips you can share to get us started.

KB: After working for a few years in film production I started a family, and 60 hour work weeks were no longer an option — so I quit that career, and I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with my two young boys. Taking care of babies is rewarding and wonderful but it is also one of the most difficult physical and emotional challenges there is. Overnight your whole identity is eclipsed, you are now a mom. You carry snacks, you wipe noses, you’re too busy to see your old friends, and too tired to read a real book. On the other hand you get to read “Go Dog Go,” lie on the floor, and you get to play with paper for hours on end. That is how I became a paper engineer. After drawing countless cats and dogs, I got a request for a house. A real house, not a drawing. I live in an apartment where space is precious, and I knew that if I made a big cardboard castle it would eat up a room, gather dust, and cause tantrums if I tried throwing it out. Years before I had seen a book called “Paper Magic” by Masaharo Chatani, which included an entrancing pattern for pop-up stairs made from a single sheet of paper. I decided to make a pop-up paper house (

download 5After the kids played with it, I reasoned, I would be able to fold it up and store it like a book. The boys lost interest after about 15 minutes, but I was hooked for good. It gave me the intellectual stimulation I needed, plus I didn’t feel guilty spending time working on it because officially, I was making the house for the kids. The first version of my two story, eight room house took months to finish. I worked during naps and at night. I looked at pop-up books, and downloaded patterns from the internet so I could see and feel how pop-ups moved. I was slowly figuring it out as I went along, and making tons of mistakes — which is the best way to learn. Try, even if you don’t think you can do it. Make mistakes. Try again. You’ll learn better from making, and making mistakes, than from following any tutorial — even the one which I wrote! (

ST: It’s so valuable that you took your constraints and used them to your benefit. You have inspired many, but now I’d like to know, what inspires you?

KB: They say necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s absolutely true for me. Most of my ideas come from a problem. Needs, obstacles, and constraints are what inspire me. My kids ask for a house, but I want a toy I can fold up and put away. Solution? A pop-up paper house. My husband’s eczema flares up with commercial creams? Make up my own moisturizer recipe with fresh pure ingredients. download 6I need a coffee table AND storage for junk and books AND I want it to be attractive and affordable? My only choice is to design it and make it myself, because a piece that specific doesn’t exist in the real world (especially the affordable part…). I love discovering new techniques and doing research, so whenever I can’t find something I need I’m thrilled to have the excuse to go out, learn something new and make it myself.

ST: Your positivity and creativity make anything possible! What is your creative process like when the light bulb flashes in your imagination?  Do you first sketch with pencil, for example?

KB: First I see what I want to make in my mind’s eye, then I draw very rough sketches on paper, translating the 3D idea into 2D. For pop-up cards I have to start drawing fairly quickly on the computer, because pop-ups are all about precision, measuring distances between the planes, and drawing angles precisely. I print the first draft using regular paper (rather than card stock) to see if I made any mistakes. The paper will rip or buckle when folded if I measured a distance wrong, and the thinner paper is less forgiving, it will show the errors. After the mistakes are cleared comes the long process of refining the design, and I go through dozens of drafts as I tweak the cut and fold lines to make the card both more expressive and also a stronger pop-up. For each draft I have to draw, print, cut, score and fold, so it can take a while. Although I have a cutting machine (it’s like a plotter with a tiny little blade attached) using it requires more steps, so when I’m designing I usually do everything by hand.

ST: You are all about Making and Doing!  What are you making now?  What is an art technique that you are playing with these days?

KB: Just last week I filed the preliminary patent application for an incredible little paper puzzle box. It can have many applications, but the design I posted on my website is for a 2015 desk calendar ( It’s a cube, and like all cubes it has six faces. There is one month per face — and yet all twelve months fit on the cube! The form is so simple and pure, and the transformation is magical. Watch the video, but the only way you’ll really be able to wrap your head around this one is to make it….

ST: This will be great for the upcoming new year! Oh I’m already getting ideas for Holiday presents.  What is your favorite invention?  How and why does it wow you?

KB: Back in 2008 I had perfected a recipe for chocolate flavored lip balm ( because my kids flatly refused to use the mint flavored commercial kind. Lip balm is essentially a mix of wax and oil, and one day, as I was putting away their crayons, it occurred to me that lipstick was the same thing, with pigments. Pigments you could find in crayons…. which also happen to be made of wax… It seemed so simple and obvious I was sure somebody must have come up with the idea before, so I searched all over the web but I couldn’t find anything about it. I tried to find out what pigments crayola used, to make sure it would be safe, but that’s a secret they guard jealously. Still, I figured that since crayons are designed to be safely swallowed by toddlers, surely trace amounts on the lips of adults would be OK. I published an article and recipe on my website and on Instructables (, which became very popular… And now tutorials and recipes for making lipstick with crayons are download 8ALL OVER the web. I’m proud to have started this trend and glad I gave the idea away — but I do get a little annoyed when some people think they have improved my original instructions. True, heating ingredients in a double boiler is a bit inconvenient, but putting oil and wax in a microwave is a BAD idea, very unsafe. Whatever you’re making, always do lots of research and be safe!

ST: Another great holiday gift! You are full of them :)Any last tips on creativity? Can you give any advice on how one can express themselves or develop their ideas?

KB: Read, dream. Sit outside and feel the sun. Don’t be afraid of doing nothing. You don’t get ideas by trying to be creative. If you have a problem to solve usually the solution will come to you when you least expect it, when you’re walking the dog or taking a shower, not when you’re sitting at your desk trying to come up with that special, original idea. You’ll spend plenty of time at that desk later working out the details, but for that first spark, carry a notepad so you can jot down your thoughts or sketch ideas when they occur to you, and a camera in case you see something cool or inspiring you want to remember…

ST: Thank you, Katherine, for sharing with us. Keep us posted on your Pop-Ups!


All about Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera was a Mexican artist married to Frida Kahlo who allowed one to think about life in all it’s beauty and pain.  He is famous for many things, but one of the most groundbreaking pieces are The Detroit Industry Murals.  They are a series of frescoes by the Mexican artist Diego Rivera, consisting of twenty-seven panels depicting industry at the Ford Motor Company. Together they surround the Rivera Court in the Detroit Institute of Arts. These frescoes were painted between 1932 and 1933.

Detroit Industry, North Wall, 1932-33. Detroit Institute of Arts.

Detroit Industry, North Wall, 1932-33. Detroit Institute of Arts.

The two main panels on the North and South walls depict laborers working at Ford Motor Company‘s River Rouge Plant. Other panels depict advances made in various scientific fields, such as medicine and new technology. The series of murals, taken as a whole, represents the idea that all actions and ideas are one.

Detroit Industry, South Wall, 1932-33. Detroit Institute of Arts.

Detroit Industry, South Wall, 1932-33. Detroit Institute of Arts.

“The Flower Seller paintings was painted in 1941 and depicts a young woman kneeling with a very large bundle of calalilies. Her clothes are simple yet she is colorfully and neatly like a typical young woman of Mexico in the early 20th century. The double braids in her hair indicate that she is a young girl not yet married. We cannot see her face because she has her back to us, facing the lilies, 600xNxflowerseller.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Swl2_wW1-Iwith her arms around the bundle. The rest of the image is dark so there is not definition of the ground that she sits on or a background behind the lilies. Can this young girl carry the lilies? They seem too big, yet the title indicates that she is supposed to sell them. Did Diego choose to hide her face because she is quietly struggling with her burden? Or is she simply preparing for a day at the market by carefully lifting her flowers?

The calla lily, a sensual, sculptural flower – and quintessential example of Mexico’s exuberant flora – was celebrated by Rivera many times, particularly in frescoes depicted peasants with indigenous features carrying bundles or offerings of them.”

Scribblers, print out the sheet below and color in your own Girl with Lillies!

Diego Rivera-Flower Vendor-01


Posted by Andi Thea, on November 5th, 2014 at 11:07 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,Featured,Illustration,kids,Uncategorized Labels: , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Curious Ruby!

IMG_20141006_155528Scribble Town (ST): Curious Ruby is full of color, adventure, and good energy!  These qualities pour out from her watercolor paintings.  When I first contacted Ruby she was traveling and now I can understand more how motion is carried into her images.  I’m so excited to learn more about you, Ruby!

Curious Ruby (CR): Hi! I’m Ruby. I love to travel and explore new places, and I love the outdoors! I have been to 14 different countries in the last 10 years! Being in nature helps me relax! I love camping and hiking, of course I love drawing, yummy food and being with my friends and family.

Where are you located and what are you up to these days?

CR: I live in Brisbane in Australia, but right now I am traveling around Iceland (it is beautiful) I had never seen snow so this was exciting for me! Next I am off the Norway and Sweden (yay!) So you can see that I love to travel!

ST: How has your Kickstarter campaign been going? I really like the video you made and would like to share it will everybody.  Please let us know what your project and goal is so that we can support you!

CR: It is my first campaign, so I am learning a lot! I might not reach my goal this time, but that’s not entirely important, its a great learning experience. My project is primarily to get my designs onto fabric. I chose silk scarves for this campaign after a trip to Japan. I saw how they used beautiful fabric to wrap gifts in, so it was both functional, re-usable, wearable and beautiful. I thought having designs on silk gave people the option to wear the art, or hang it in a space. Or even wrap gifts in! My goal is to get enough support to print these designs on high grade silk, which is not cheap here in Australia. Also I want to use some of the campaign to improve my website and online store

ST: You have a great attitude! How will you choose which ones to make into a scarf? They are all so beautiful!

CR: I chose my four geisha girl designs, inspired again by Japan (of course!) I fell in love with these designs as soon as I drew them, and saved them for something special. I have never made these available for prints or sale. I realised also that my pattern designs are popular, so have given some the option for patterned scarves.

ST: Your watercolor and ink paintings are so dreamlike! How do you come up with your designs? What’s your process for developing these ideas?


CR: Honestly it starts with drawing. I just put pencil to paper and see what comes out! I am still developing and changing as an artist, but ever since a kid I have drawn girls, they just have changed a little over the years! After that then I play with watercolour and see how it turns out! The fun thing about watercolour is that for me its luck of the draw…sometimes it behaves how you want it and other times it does it’s own thing!

My favourite thing to do is use the sakura ink (from the markers) and then fill in the colour. I don’t use a fixit or masking medium, so its a little game I play to see if I can stay in the lines. Sometimes I’m like “who cares about the lines let’s go crazy!” It sounds silly but it keeps me entertained for hours!

ST: You mentioned you have had a 7 year break from drawing. What were you doing? What brought you back to drawing?

CR: I was being all serious and thought having a hobby was a waste of time. I tend to be someone who can’t sit still, always having to do something, so as I was traveling and adapting to new cultures, I became so absorbed in them I didn’t have time to do any drawing. That changed after a long trip on a boat in Laos. Four days of no internet, TV, mobile phone reception or knowing a single soul on board reignited my love of drawing. Since then there was no looking back. Hobbies are good kids….they help you relax!

ink and watercolor drawing by Curious Ruby - girl dreamingST: Was there somebody that encouraged you to become an artist? What is your first memory of being creative?

CR: I have drawn and painted ever since I could remember. But my first memory is in Grade 9 high school art class. Our art teacher was super supportive, and we would ooohh and ahhhh over the work the seniors would make. Our art teacher looked at me and said, one day you will be doing work 100 times better than this. He’s been my hero ever since!

ST: What tools are in your toolbox for creativity?

CR: Easy: paper, Sakura Microns, Winsor &Newton watercolours.

ST: What is your favorite color at the moment? Why?

CR:  Winsor green. It is so bright and cheery and vibrant.

ST: Any last tips on creativity?

CR: I’ve read dozens of blogs and articles in relation to this question and I agree with almost everything they say: practice practice practice. Make mistakes. Practice. Try new things/ styles – even if you don’t like it…just try. Practice. Have FUN. Enjoy it. Did I mention practice?

ST: Thank you, Ruby for sharing so much with us!  I can see that Iceland has been an inspiration for you with the painting below. She has Aurora Borealis hair and is wearing an Icelandic sweater.  Now your painting has inspired us to explore with art and adventure!

Scribblers, click here to see how you can support Ruby’s Wearable Watercolour Paint Project!

aurora Borealis Iceland sweater ink and watercolor drawing by Curious Ruby

Amanda Seyderhelm’s 7 tips for artists

Small painting. Copyright Amanda Seyerdelm

Small painting. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Artists are always full of ideas and feelings.  Sometimes there are just so many of them! Play therapist, artist and author Amanda Seyderhelm gives us 7 activities for us to get the most from our creativity and artwork.

1. Cut pieces of card into strips, and write down one word on each strip – a word that evokes a feeling from a painting you have chosen, or one you have painted yourself. Stick these words into your Journal. Keep a jar full of card strips at the ready!

2. Regularly sort your paintings and drawings into themes: colours, sizes, shapes, places, people. The act of sorting functions on both a physical and emotional level, and helps to categorise your memories associated with these themes. This makes it easier to link between the memories – like creating a huge art journal in your mind!

3. Don’t be afraid to throw stuff out! Keep your bin handy. If articles and research are now longer necessary because you’ve either used it, or moved on, chuck this out.

4. Create a unique filing system for your research. I work on several projects at the same time: writing my adult books, collecting images and ideas for my children’s books, and idea for workshops, and keep separate files for each one. They link up in my big vision, but need to be separate while I am in research mode.

5. If you collect postcards like I do, store these in a treasured pot or basket. I keep mine in an African bowl that I bought on a trip to South Africa. Each time I look at this bowl I am reminded of that place. This is one of my sacred anchors. Whenever you feel stuck for inspiration, look at one of your postcards, and let your mind free associate for 5 minutes. Write down your feelings, and see what ideas pop up there.

6. Organising, sorting and storing are three of the most sacred acts in the creative process. Make this a regular habit.

7. Chaos comes before order! Allow yourself time to sit amongst your work – laying mine out on the floor allows me to literally sit with myself and my work. This is a meditative practice, so don’t rush it. Expect to feel strong emotions, and recognise that this practice is as vital to your sacred work as the work itself.

Tree. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Tree. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Children will often move directly to the art table in my play room, and wordlessly create images that over time, express the heartbreak they are feeling and don’t have the language for. Through these images I see a glimpse of this heartbreak.

The key with art therapy is to allow the child the space to create their own images in whatever form and colours they choose. I am not directing them to draw in a particular way, nor am I interested in their technique. What I am interested in is which colour they choose for their images, and what their movement is like while they are painting, and also what I am feeling as their therapist while they paint. It’s my job in the play room to bear (often in silence) what they find unbearable, and say through their paintings. Afterwards, some of these paintings affect me, move me, which is what they are designed to do. That is what they child is feeling herself.

I am in awe of children who want to draw and paint images over time, carefully and thoughtfully, and sometimes angrily, for they are speaking up for the child about issues they find difficult to put into words.

At its heart art therapy will guide you and your children on a personal path of personal growth, insight, healing and transformation. Doing art therapy is liberating because through the body of work created, the child is creating a powerful narrative of their life, which in turn gives them access to feelings and insights they will have been struggling with and often suppressing. The paintings become safe containers for these feelings.

Thanks Amanda!

Songlines V. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Songlines V. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Posted by Andi Thea, on September 13th, 2014 at 10:50 am. No Comments

Category: kids,Scribble Picks,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Amanda Seyderhelm!

Scribble Town (ST): We are so happy that Amanda Seyderhelm is here with us today!  Amanda Seyderhelm is the author of two books, and the creator of Helping Children Smile Again,

Alltherage. copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

Alltherage. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

Amanda Seyderhelm (AS): Hi! I use play and the creative art therapies to help children aged 5-10 yrs find their voice, rebuild their attachment, and increase their emotional resilience following trauma (loss and bereavement, parents divorcing, parents who are ill, and bullying.)

ST: Wow! You do so much for the community through the arts and play therapy! Where are you all located and what are you up to these days?

AS: I live and work in the UK, in the smallest historic county called Rutland. At the centre of Rutland is the large artificial reservoir, Rutland Water, which is an important nature reserve for Ospreys. I moved here 3 years ago from London to be in the country.  I am studying part-time for my Masters in Practice-Based Play Therapy, while building my private practice. I specialise in loss and bereavement, and work with children aged 5-10 yrs of age on a one-to-one basis, and in small groups, in Schools and Hospitals. I write children’s books, and lecture and train practitioners, family care workers, social workers, teachers, teaching assistants and parents, on the role of therapeutic storytelling in building a child’s emotional resilience. Within this teaching, is the lesson for adults to recover their own lost inner-child, so my teaching style is integrated and holistic. Contented parents create contented children!

ST: How did you come up with the idea for your book, “Isaac and the Red Jumper”?

Isaac and the Red Jumper by Amanda Seyderhelm

Isaac and the Red Jumper by Amanda Seyderhelm

AS: The idea originally came to me in 2001, the year before I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Looking back, I see that the idea was a premonition of some of the issues I would face myself regarding my own mortality and healing, and of my 2nd career as a Play Therapist and therapeutic storyteller. I woke up one morning with the story in my head, and wrote it down. I edited it over the years when I realised that children process loss and bereavement differently from adults. Using a therapeutic story gives bereaved children a non-confrontational way to access their feelings and grief by identifying with the character in the story.  Parents learn to develop empathy with their child when they read the book with their child, and use the questions at the back of the book. The questions provide openings and prompts for those conversations that are so important, but often difficult to begin. Before my Mother died in 2012, I published and dedicated the book to her. I donate 10% of the book’s proceeds to TreeTops Hospice who cared for my Mother at home.

ST: What exactly does it mean to be an Art Therapist and Play Therapist for children and families.  I’m so curious about your methods.

Art Therapy in action. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Art Therapy in action. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

AS: During my cancer journey, I was introduced to art therapy, and was taught by three gifted art therapists. Regular practice introduced me to the idea that when words cannot be found, images will tell the story. Painting bypasses the critical left brain, and taps directly into our creative, intuitive right brain, so we can enjoy a direct connection with our true voice, and develop our soul’s narrative. I have continued to paint, experiment and develop my art practice, and teach expressive art workshops, sometimes adapting these for children with special learning needs. It’s interesting that the children in my practice are all drawn to painting, and over the course of the 12 weeks that I work with them, they reveal their emotional faces through their paintings. Sometimes they start by making abstract marks on the paper, and gradually move towards a clearer and more defined image, which reflects their renewed clarity and emotional definition.

Play Therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy that uses play to communicate with and help children, to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges. This is thought to help them towards better social integration, growth and development. In my one-to-one work I practice non-directed Play Therapy, which is a child-centred approach, founded by Virginia Axline. The child is free to choose any toy in my Play Therapy toolkit, which includes sand tray, therapeutic storytelling, music, drama and movement, painting and drawing, puppets, masks and clay, and through these express their feelings, and find new ways of coping, and building internal resources, and emotional resilience.

During my group play therapy work, I choose a theme for each group, and create a directed set of exercises for the group to complete, that involves them using some elements of the Play Therapy Kit. At the heart of all group work is the notion of the journey each child will take to reach the goal. Group work is particularly useful for helping children gain confidence and social skills.

Collaboration 2. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

This collaboration shows how Amanda’s art process has been adapted for working with special needs children. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

At the centre of all my non-directed and directed work is the intention of building a strong attachment with the child. When this is established, the child will show me their inner world, and together we play, and they begin to recover their creativity, vitality and integrity, so they can learn to:

accept themselves

respect boundaries

understand their feelings

express their emotions safely

be responsible for their actions

be creative in confronting problems

establish self-control and self-direction.

ST: How did you get involved with play therapy?  I wonder what your path has been like.  Your artistic nature probably lends to this practice really well.

Cradling. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Cradling. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

AS: When I was 16, I read Virginia Axline’s classic book, DIBS: in search of self, about an emotionally damaged little boy, whose parents and school teachers believed was mentally damaged because he refused to interact, and conform socially. Over the course of 18 months, DIBS had weekly Play Therapy sessions with Axline, and was transformed into a talkative, engaging, and socially adept child. The book made a huge impact on me, so much so that I stayed up all night reading it! So, I always knew that at some point I wanted to practice as a Play Therapist, and my first career in Publishing set me up well because through that I have developed my interest in storytelling. The other book I read which influenced me was The Drama of Being a Child by Alice Miller. Miller challenges conventional child rearing and education, and shows how many children have adapted to the needs and ambitions of their parents, and essentially lost the capacity to express their true feelings. This struck a chord with me, and since then I have been on a mission to help children and adults recover that lost connection with themselves.

ST: You have found your calling! Was there somebody that encouraged you to become a therapist?  Your creativity shows through in your books and I’m sure at school and in sessions!

AS: My personal therapeutic work revealed my path, and various teachers and colleagues have highlighted this as well. Some would say it is an obvious choice for me, as I am deeply curious about how people connect to themselves and others, and sustain themselves creatively. My early life in South Africa has influenced me deeply because of the level of trauma I witnessed children and families experiencing during the apartheid regime. Like most therapists, I have a need to encourage healing and transform suffering, and I believe through play and the creative arts I am able to make a contribution to that.

Conception. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Conception. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

ST: What was your favorite toy or game as a child?  Why?

AS: Storytelling and drama! I am an only child, and was always creating and directing plays at school! I also had invisible friends, something which is common with only children, and this gave me access to a vivid and creative imagination.

ST: Your brain is probably a library of art techniques!  Is there one that you particularly like to use?

AS: I am fond of using the no brush technique to create images that look abstract, but which contain patterns and clues that expand one’s consciousness. The process allows images to emerge, and like meditation, enables the artist to shift from trying to be creative, to simply being creative. Painting in this state, creates paintings which are often surprising, and yet also a reflection of the possibility within our own emotional and spiritual nature. Using this technique I will paint up to 30 small paintings at one sitting. I then choose one or two paintings, and stand these on my bookshelves where I can see them. Over time, the paintings will reveal ideas and clues that unlock a problem or question I have, and I find this therapeutic and inspiring.

ST: Any last tips on creativity?  Any advice on how one can express themselves or develop their ideas is appreciated.

Cromford3:6. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm

Cromford3:6. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

AS: Here are my recommendations for nurturing your creative process:

I believe that if we nurture our intuition and body wisdom, we are rewarded with insights that automatically guide us, which enables us to reduce our dependence on external approval. One of my most insightful moments came after a period of deep meditation. My daily sitting practice enabled me not only listen to, but also hear what my body was telling me. In this case, the message was to have surgery. That surgery saved my life.

Noise pollution, stress, and general life busyness keep us from being able to listen to our inner voice, but what if your life depended on you listening more? What if everything you needed to know was available, if you could only learn to listen?

So what can we do to turn the volume down, so we can hear our intuitive voice?

Meditation works for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. I have friends who can’t meditate, and who have found other ways of ‘tuning in’, like gardening, or pottering as one friend calls it! It really is about finding the way that works for you. Don’t beat yourself up if meditation isn’t your thing.

Walking is a great way of getting into your physical body, and switching your analytical mind off. The act of moving forwards tells your brain to settle down, and allows you to pay attention to your surroundings. Pretty soon, you are hearing the birdsong, the traffic, dogs barking, your feet crunching on leaves. It won’t be long before your mind track changes away from, ‘must get back and do that email’ to, ‘I wonder what would happen if …’ I’ve solved some of my biggest challenges by walking, and been rewarded with some inspirational ideas simply because I’ve given myself permission to listen differently. Try 30 minutes every day.

Heartsore. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

Heartsore. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

Write your questions down. I have a jam jar on my desk that contains strips of coloured card. Next to it is another jar full of my favourite coloured pens. Before I close my office each day, I write my question on a card strip and paste it onto my cork board, or stick it into my Creative Notebook. This act triggers my sub-conscious to start processing the answer. I then let go of needing to know because I trust that the answer will pop into my head, I don’t need to chase it around my mind.

Eat mindfully. Slowly. One bite at a time.

Inspire yourself.Take yourself out on what Julia Cameron calls an Artist Date. This can be anything from seeing a movie during the day, visiting an art gallery, and going rollerskating! The only rule is you must go alone on your date. Dates top up your creative tank, so you aren’t living on empty.

Then wait for the insights. They will come, just be ready to catch them….

ST: As Amanda already mentioned 10% of her book proceeds go to TreeTops Hospice. She also donates 10% of her memoir book, Coming to My Senses: Finding My Voice Through Ovarian Cancer, proceeds to Ovarian Cancer Action Charity. Thank you Amanda for sharing all your wisdom and kindness!

Ode to my Mother. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

Ode to my Mother. Copyright Amanda Seyderhelm.

We Can Do It! We Can Scribble!

J. Howard Miller's 'We Can Do It!'

J. Howard Miller’s ‘We Can Do It!’

On Tuesday, August 26, is Women’s Equality Day! We can then celebrate the 94th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

“The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.”

The National History Women’s Day Project

“In 1942, Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller was hired by the Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee to create a series of posters for the war effort.  One of these posters became the famous “We Can Do It!” image  — an image that in later years would also become “Rosie the Riveter,” though not intended at its creation.  Miller based his “We Can Do It!” poster on a United Press photograph taken of Michigan factory worker Geraldine Doyle.  Its intent was to help recruit women to join the work force.

Norman Rockwell’s ‘Rosie The Riveter’ cover for the May 29, 1943 edition of The Saturday Evening Post.

Norman Rockwell’s ‘Rosie The Riveter’ cover for the May 29, 1943 edition of The Saturday Evening Post.

At the time of the poster’s release the name “Rosie” was not associated with the image.  The poster – one of many in Miller’s Westinghouse series – was not initially seen much beyond one Midwest Westinghouse factory where it was displayed for two weeks in February 1942.  It was only later, around the 1970s and 1980s, that the Miller poster was rediscovered and became famous as “Rosie The Riveter.”  But both images of Rosie – Rockwell’s and Miller’s – were used to help enlist women in the WWII workforce.  In later years, and in fact up to present times, these images have became iconic symbols of women’s rights struggles, and are occasionally adapted for other political campaigns as well.  But it was during the World War II years that “Rosie the Riveter” got her start.”

The Pop History Dig

Scribblers, it’s your turn to create your own poster!  Print out the coloring sheets below and color them in the way that makes you feel strong and proud of all the women who worked hard to bring us equality in the USA.

Women's Equality Day_original-01

What can we do? Scribble it and share with us at info(at)

I know you can so much! Scribble it and share it with us at info(at)

Take a picture of your “We Can ___!” and send it to us at info(at) Would love to see what you have come up with!

Paul Cézanne brings still life to life

Even the most mundane object can be an adventure for the eyes if you look at it in a certain light.  Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter.  He painted the path for the turning point from the 19th-century conception of art to a new and different world of art in the 20th century.

Paul Cézanne, 'Still Life with a Curtain', 1895

Paul Cézanne, ‘Still Life with a Curtain’, 1895

“Cézanne was fascinated by optics and tried to reduce naturally occurring forms to their geometric essentials—the cone, the cube, the sphere. He used layers of color on these shapes to build up surfaces, outlining the forms for emphasis. His deep study of geometry in painting led him to become a master in perspective. Until the end of his life, Cézanne received little public success and was repeatedly rejected by the Paris Salon. In his last years, and particularly after his death, his work began to influence many younger artists, including Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.”

More on MoMA

Scribblers, get out your paints and create your own Still Life.  You can also print out the worksheet below and color in Cézanne’s painting how you wish.

Cezanne_Line work-05


Paul Cézanne, Still Life With Apples, 1893-94

Scribble Artist Interview with Huzi!

Huzi is a HK-based design studio that creates a collection of eclectic design objects, giftware and furniture infused with a sense of play and timelessness. Each product has its own unique story that turns the ordinary into extraordinary and every design is an exploration of emotions, aesthetics and functionality of play in our everyday life.

Scribble Town (ST): Where are you all located and what are you up to these days? 

We are all in Hong Kong, working hard to create new things!

ST: Congratulations on meeting your goals on the recent Kickstarter campaign to begin the production of Mixed Animal!  What was preparing for the Kickstarter campaign like and now that accomplishment has been met, what’s next?

Thank you so much, we couldn’t have done it without our amazing backers! There is a lot of preparation that goes into a Kickstarter campaign, but it’s fun and exciting work. Next up is focusing on our production run and preparing the Mixed Animals to be sent out to their owners.

14644883500_cab90963c9_zST: I bet everybody is super excited about receiving their brand spanking new Mixed Animal! It’s such a great idea. How do you come up with your designs?  What’s your process for developing these ideas as a team?

We work with designers from around the world as well as create in-house designs. It’s important to us that the products are simple, playful and long-lasting, which are inline with our brand values.

ST: Sounds like the world is your playground! All of Huzi’s products have a beautiful, simplistic, and playful element to them.  Before working as a team, what did you all do individually?

It’s funny actually, some of us have a design background and some of us come from a different background, such as engineering, publishing and business.

ST: Was there somebody that encouraged you all to become artists and designers?  What is your first memory of being creative?

There is no one person that encouraged us to become artists and designers. The inspiration comes from your own explorations as a child which develops as you grow older. Some of our first memories of being creative include drawing, playing with wooden blocks or play-dough.

ST: What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

When asking our team, some of our favourite toys or games were playing with stuffed animals, creative building with lego blocks and drawing in colouring books.

ST: What is your favorite invention?

Favourite invention would be paper, because it’s one of the basic needs to help creativity, whether it’s drawing, painting, sketching, cutting out shapes, creating figures/animals, masks and so much more. 

ST: If you could be a sound, what would you be?

Either wind or the sound of ocean waves because it’s calming and helps you think of new ideas.

ST: Any last tips on creativity?

We think the key to creativity is imagination and play. It’s important to let children play and to give them the freedom to explore the world around them…yet at Huzi we believe that it’s essential to play at every age 🙂

ST: You are right! It is so important that we play regardless of how young or old we are. Thank you for making that even more possible and accessible!

Scribblers, have a look at to see all the ways you can add more play into your daily life.


Posted by Andi Thea, on August 7th, 2014 at 10:24 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Design,Featured,Scribble Artist Interviews,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with the creators of Illustration Challenge!

Illustrate a cafe by Kirsti Maula

Illustrate a cafe by Kirsti Maula

Scribble Town (ST): is a site for everybody to share their unique creative responses to fun and interesting challenges. For example, the current challenge is illustrate your mythical creature!  I wonder what you’ll come up with ;).

So, who are the genius creators of  They are Kirsti Maula and Mikko Sinvervo and we’re lucky to have them with us in Scribble Town. Please let us know a bit about yourselves.

Kirsti Maula: I’m a freelancer graphic designer and illustrator. I do print design, for example book covers, layouts, posters and brochures. My design work can be seen at With time I have found out that my favourite work includes always illustration. some way or another. I like to have a job where I can also find myself playing with playdough, sewing machine, or cutting shapes out of paper. The best work are always the ones I had most fun making.

Mikko Sinervo:  I’m an architect and my day job is in hospital design. However, my true passion lies in my artwork which is rather varied from small sculptures and miniatures to drawings and paintings. I also occasionally teach painting or architecture. My wife and I also wrote and illustrated a couple of children’s storybooks, which we’d be happy to share with you later.

Illustrate a boat Mikko Sinervo

Illustrate a boat Mikko Sinervo

ST: You two are very creative in more than one ways.  It makes sense that Illustration Challenge comes from two people who like a good challenge!  Where are you located and what are you up to these days?

Kirsti: I come from Finland, got married to a German and now we live in Berlin. Freelancing and internet makes me flexible so I don’t have to care about country borders. At the moment I’m one month away from giving birth to my first child, so that will be my biggest creative project so far!

Mikko: I’m currently based in Finland but through my Thai wife I also spend some time in Thailand. Now both of us have commitments in Finland so that’s where we’ll stay for now. Hopefully we’ll get a change to go and live in Thailand in the near future. That would allow me to pursue my artistic career as well. My next big artsy challenge is to build a diorama for the annual Dinosaur Toy Blog contest. (I’m a huge fan of dinosaurs.)

Illustrate Autumn by Kirsti Maula

Illustrate autumn by Kirsti Maula

ST: Congratulations on the the little one coming your way, Kirsti!  Mikko, you must keep us posted on your dinosaur diorama.  You yourselves are involved with other competitions and now tell us what is Illustration Challenge and how can we get in the loop?  Is it for everybody?  How do you find your participants or how do they find you?

Kirsti: is a platform for whoever wants to draw more! It is free, easy and without any obligations, we just wish to keep the creativity flowing! I have posted links to some forums that have connection to illustration and we have found followers from twitter and facebook. Participants come from all around the world, and they all have their own approach to the challenges. That’s what makes it fun!

ST: is all about being inspired by creativity and giving somebody a reason to create. What inspired you to make a platform for this?

Kirsti: To be very honest it was born out of being a little lazy. I love drawing, and had a dream of becoming an illustrator. But I never seemed to have the time to take my pencils out. As a designer I work well under deadlines and I thought that I should take the same approach to illustration. At first I thought of setting up a blog, but ended up making it an open platform for everyone. I just thought it would be much more fun to see what other people came up with the challenges!

Illustrate Bad Hair Day by Mikko Sinvervo

Illustrate bad hair day by Mikko Sinvervo

ST: Sometimes we all need a little push and why not encourage each other with creativity questions?! There’s a deadline soon coming up.  Can’t wait to see all the illustrations related to Life on Mars!  What prompted you to think about this topic?

Mikko: Well – my wife, Fon, is to thank for this challenge. She helped me come up with some ideas for the challenge and Life on Mars seemed rather inviting a topic. It’s not only a great song but an intriguing question – with billions of stars out there we surely are not the only ones, are we?

ST: I’m prone to believe that there are universes waiting to be discovered, but I wonder what other Scribblers think. Check out the creative responses to Life on Mars here.  What is your personal connection to illustration?  Before working as a team, what did you two do individually?  I’d love to know about your path.

Illustrate A Secret Seapon by Kirsti Maula

Illustrate a secret weapon by Kirsti Maula

Kirsti: I have illustrated for book covers and such for a long while but a year or two ago I realized it was getting more serious than that. started as a side project, as I wanted to have free hands to play with ideas and search for my style. For a long time I had a problem finding my individual voice and I got a little frustrated with the thought of having to have a “style”. With I just decided  to try to be versatile and try out as many styles as possible. The most important thing was that I decided that I won’t be critical of the outcome, I would just create something, whatever it was, every week. At certain point some ways of illustrating felt more “me” and I started to explore them. I still don’t feel I have to have a certain style but rather do something that feels like my own thing. has been a great way to discover myself and to create portfolio pieces.

Mikko: As I have two kids and a career as an architect, I thought this challenge was great for me because it forced me to draw. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make the time for it.

Illustrate a Jungle by Mikko Sinvervo

Illustrate a jungle by Mikko Sinvervo

ST: What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

Kirsti: I loved to play in my own imaginary world. I think sometimes to the point where other kids found me a little weird. I remember often having an imaginary horse galloping by my side wherever I went. If we traveled by car I imagined my horse galloping next to the car window.

Mikko: Dinosaurs! Me and my best friend used to build miniature worlds around dinosaurs, and we also built towns and cities inhabited by imaginary characters.

ST: If you could be a shape what would you be?  I’m guessing maybe Mikko will pick something dinosaurish 😉

Kirsti: I would like to be shaped like a barbababa. The pink one.

Mikko: I would be a yellow triangle. Don’t ask me why.

Illustrate a vegetarian monster by Kirsti Maula

Illustrate a vegetarian monster by Kirsti Maula

ST: You two are full of surprises! Any last tips on creativity?

Kirsti: Be brave! Don’t be too critical of you drawings. Explore, try different things, don’t be too serious and do what makes you happy. Most of all, keep on doing it!!

Mikko: Just have fun. I think that is the most crucial thing.

ST: Thank you Kirsti and Mikko for sharing with us!  Ok, Scribblers, now let’s get cracking on our next picture for!

Check out the books Mikko and his wife, Fon, have made at

Fon and Mikko made these books as Christmas gifts for their family and friends. Thanks for sharing them with us too!

Henri Matisse moves me with colors

Henri Matisse, The Snail, 1953.  This is an example of Henri Matisse's cutout technique.

Henri Matisse, The Snail, 1953. This is an example of Henri Matisse’s cutout technique.

Color and shapes play together in Henri Matisse’s artworks.  Matisse comes from a merchant family in the northern part of France.  He studied law and passed the bar in 1888, which led him to his job as a law clerk.  When Henri got sick with appendicitis in 1889, his mother brought some art supplies to company him as he recovered.  She encouraged him to experiment and try new art techniques.  This opened a window for a new passion and lifestyle.  From that moment onwards, Henri was an artist!

In 1897, Matisse met painter John Peter Russell.  Russell introduced him to impressionism and to the work of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.  Eyes widened and intrigue grew as he received inspiration from Paul Cézanne, J.M.W. Turner and Georges Seurat’s pointillism.

Matisse’s artistic explorations has earned him titles as painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, designer and writer.  His reputation came from being one of the founding fathers of Fauvism, one of the first avant-garde movements in 20th-century art.  Matisse’s decoupage or cutout pieces abstracted the essence of objects in a way never seen at that time.

Henri Matisse, Landscape at Collioure, 1905. Here is one of Matisse's Fauvist paintings.

Henri Matisse, Landscape at Collioure, 1905. Here is one of Matisse’s Fauvist paintings.

Let’s see how you color Scribble Town’s coloring sheet of Matisse’s The Dancer coloring sheet.  Print and enjoy!

Henri Matisse, The Dance, Scribble Art Coloring Page. Print then color!

Henri Matisse, Dance, Scribble Art Coloring Page

Scribble Artist Interview with Anna Hancock!

Anna Hancock with one of her niece at Chatsworth House. Anna says, "We were looking at a baby goat!  I love spending time with my nieces!"

Anna Hancock with her niece at Chatsworth House. Anna says, “We were looking at a baby goat! I love spending time with my nieces!”

Scribble Town (ST): A big hearty hello to Anna Hancock!  Her wonderful illustrations bring 2D images life and personality.  Let’s see how she does it!

Anna Hancock (AH): I am an English designer and illustrator, creating mostly digital imagery for the publishing and graphic design industries. For the last eight years I have worked from my home office but prior to that I freelanced in many design agencies in Australia and the UK. These busy and evolving environments gave me experiences, skills and a wealth of knowledge to support this latest independent chapter of my life.  My style lends itself to children’s illustration and character development, but I receive a diverse variety of commissions from clients locally and overseas.

ST: You’ve seen a lot, which probably gives you first hand insight and a special kind of empathy for your designing and illustrating.  Where are you now?

AH: I am currently living and working in the beautiful Peak District. I have two personal Greyhound assistants – Greta and Belle – who see to it that I get out twice a day (at least) for some exercise and fresh air. Summer seems to be the busiest time of the year for me and it’s on sunny days, like today, that I dream of having a garden office.

Here is Greta, Anna's greyhound PA! Greta and Belle are Anna's rescued retired greyhounds. She says, "I am a volunteer for Greyhound Rescue West of England. I am part of the re-homing team in my area. Outside of my work, this is what I am most passionate about."

Here is Greta, Anna’s greyhound PA! Greta and Belle are Anna’s rescued retired greyhounds. She says, “I am a volunteer for Greyhound Rescue West of England. I am part of the re-homing team in my area. Outside of my work, this is what I am most passionate about.”

ST: Working in the garden sounds like a dream! How do you come up with your designs? I can imagine that the garden easily allows your mind to grow.

AH: For both design and illustration work, I first of all absorb the brief from the client. If there is any ambiguity, I like to re-write the brief and send it back for them to ensure that I have understood fully and that we are all in agreement of the direction to take. If it’s a design job, I like if at all possible, to ‘live’ with the commission for a day or two (or more if I am lucky) to allow it to settle into my consciousness. And during that time I will do a little visual research creating a mood board that I may or may not share with the client – it’s purpose being to help me focus. (It’s easy to get distracted with random thoughts and left field ideas, and although these thoughts are valid, you can sometimes get lost in a maze of irrelevant concepts).

Umbongo illustrates Anna's packaging and range extension expertise.  "Umbongo, Umbongo, they drink it in the Congo”! She says, "I was asked by a Design Consultancy in the UK to produce 3 additional characters for a new flavour of UmBongo Juice Drink to join the Hippo, Rhino and snake in some jungle fun. They also required designs for a double fronted tetra pack."

Umbongo illustrates Anna’s packaging and range extension expertise. “Umbongo, Umbongo, they drink it in the Congo”! She says, “I was asked by a Design Consultancy in the UK to produce 3 additional characters for a new flavour of UmBongo Juice Drink to join the Hippo, Rhino and snake in some jungle fun. They also required designs for a double fronted tetra pack.”

I used to make mood boards with magazines, scissors and glue – these days I use Pinterest! I always begin with pencil sketches and notes, getting those ideas down as quickly as I am thinking them. After a break I will return to those first ideas and distill them into concepts that will both challenge and meet the client’s expectations. Once the client has established which direction they wish to go in, I begin the development work investigating fonts and colour and turning the pencil sketches into digital visuals. There are usually some changes to be made before finally producing the print ready artwork. I am happy to provide simple artwork, but prefer to outsource anything complicated to a finished artist specialist. If it’s an illustration commission, the process is pretty similar. Lots of pencil sketches and if the project is a large one, I like to provide a sample final illustration so that there aren’t any surprises at the end. I can’t think of anything worse than having to re-do dozens of images because the client wasn’t comfortable with the style! Similarly if there is a character or characters running throughout, I get them drawn and approved before I begin adding them to multiple compositions.

ST: Perhaps you get some feedback from your fans on Pinterest too.  Was there somebody that encouraged you to become an artist?

AH: Walking to school one day, aged 10, I had a bit of a junior freak out about doing a 9-5 job in an office or factory. A few years later my sisters and I befriended a neighbour who worked as a graphic designer in a shed at the bottom of her garden. From the outside it was just a regular shed. Inside it was a haven of creativity, packed with books and art and packaging samples. It was a very stimulating environment and I was very lucky to be invited to work alongside her – a kind of work experience. This is without doubt the beginning of my career.

Front cover of 'Wibbly Wobbly Tooth'. One of many books Anna has illustrated for the ‘Engage Literacy’ series - distributed through Hinkler Education in the USA.

Front cover of ‘Wibbly Wobbly Tooth’. One of many books Anna has illustrated for the ‘Engage Literacy’ series – distributed through Hinkler Education in the USA.

ST: Those experiences and revelations were really life changing moments!  And here you are making it happen.  Before that happened though, what is your first memory of being creative?

AH: I remember drawing a picture of my dad’s shed which sat at the bottom of our garden (well I never – I see a theme developing here!).

I must have been about 6. I took it into school the next day to show the teacher who told me off for lying and for passing off someone else’s work off as my own. When my mum came to collect me, the teacher mentioned what had happened and was made to eat humble pie when my mum confirmed I had indeed drawn this picture. She apparently thought a grown up had done it! I can also remember the smell of the powder paint we used at Nursery!

Sample inside spread of 'Wibbly Wobbly Tooth'.

Sample inside spread of ‘Wibbly Wobbly Tooth’.

ST: Sheds really are a running theme with you!  Maybe because they house tools and are places for people to experiment and get involved with their passion.  Gotta love those coincidences life offers.  Who inspires you the most among contemporary designers?

AH: Not necessarily contemporary – artists and printmakers like Sarah Young, Angie Lewin and the late Edward Bawden. There is a lady whose typography and pattern I love – she works under the pseudonym of ‘Inkymole’. Their work is both strong and graphic, whilst simultaneously being delicate and painterly! I love the pattern and the colours and could happily fill my walls with their work and not get tired of seeing it. In fact I have a Sarah Young screen print that I purchased over 12 years ago and I still get pleasure from looking at it on my bedroom wall every day.

ST: Hmm I wonder if they, too, have a shed story.  When you are creating your designs, who do you think about? Do you think about your audience or do you sometimes use yourself as the potential buyer?

AH: Whether I am illustrating or designing there is always a target market. Understanding that audience is the key to a successful result, so it does help if I happen to be that target consumer!

Silver Peacock - new brand identity. Here is an example of a job where Anna was exactly the target market. She says, "I was in fact a regular customer before I was her designer. The client was emotionally attached to her old logo and had to be very brave when commissioning me. This in turn meant that I felt under quite a bit of pressure to deliver something special. I am pleased to say that both myself and the client are very happy with the outcome and she has recently asked me to design some fabric for a limited edition range of collars."

Here is an example of a job where Anna was exactly the target market. She says, “I was in fact a regular customer before I was her designer. The client was emotionally attached to her old logo and had to be very brave when commissioning me. This in turn meant that I felt under quite a bit of pressure to deliver something special. I am pleased to say that both myself and the client are very happy with the outcome and she has recently asked me to design some fabric for a limited edition range of collars.”

When I am illustrating for children I like to immerse myself in their culture to ensure I have an understanding of what engages small people. Fortunately I enjoy watching children’s films and cartoons and my bookshelves are full of picture books. I know a lot of teaching professionals whose brains I can pick, as well as a wide circle of friends and their children.

ST: Where do you find yourself feeling inspired to create? Is there a different creative process for when you are illustrating as opposed to brand designing?

AH: Ideas and the desire to put them down on paper can spring up at anytime. I rarely feel like ‘creating’ when I go on holiday; I prefer to go somewhere and just enjoy the moment of being there. To give my eyes and brain a rest from evaluating the aesthetic. Taking a break is often the key to solving a creative problem or being inspired. Whether it’s a short dog walk in the park or a week by the sea, taking some time out and giving your brain some space to be elsewhere often results in a renewed energy and a better understanding of what you are doing when you return to the drawing board – or in my case the computer.

I have recently been asked to illustrate a family of Robots - this is the sample on the website that won the commission.

I have recently been asked to illustrate a family of Robots – this is the sample on the website that won the commission.

ST: If you could be a colour, what would you be?

AH: I can’t decide! Oh – that’s like asking someone to choose between their children.  OK – White! White light is composed of all the colours of the spectrum. Is that cheating?

ST: Not at all! Any last tips on art making?

AH: Yes! Don’t be afraid of the paper – it’s just paper! Many people want to create a perfect something straight away and this actually prevents them from starting in the first place. Draw the subject over and over – do pages and pages of the same thing. Paint the scene in front of you repeatedly – each time you will notice something different and each image will be unique. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes – making mistakes is the creative process. Sounds a bit profound – but it’s true. Many a good idea has come out of an unexpected mark on a page! That’s a good philosophy for life as well!

ST: Thank you very much Anna!  Scribblers, to learn more about Anna, have a look at her website

Here is an example of how Anna's pencil sketches develop into final illustrations. The parrot was one of 4 animal characters for a series of interactive digital books  I'm inspired!

Here is an example of how Anna’s pencil sketches develop into final illustrations. The parrot was one of 4 animal characters for a series of interactive digital books.
I’m inspired!

A collection of beach craft ideas!

Many of you are probably at the beach soaking in the sun.  While you are there, I’m sure you have seen some beautiful seashells by the seashore.  Next time, pick them up and collect them to make all sorts of crafts.

Here a few idea to get you started, but I’m sure you’ll turn them into something unique!  Share with us what you have come up with by emailing your photos to info(at)  Looking forward to seeing your creations!

Hasan Kale, an artist from Turkey, has used a snail shell to create a scene Istanbul.

Hasan Kale, an artist from Turkey, has used a snail shell to create a scene Istanbul.

Posted by Andi Thea, on June 19th, 2014 at 9:27 am. No Comments

Category: Arts & Crafts,Found Art,kids,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Yumi Sakugawa!

Promotional material for independent feature film SALAD DAYS (  2011

Illustration for independent feature film SALAD DAYS ( 2011

Scribble Town (ST): Sincerity, smiles, and superstar sister superheroes come to mind when I think of Yumi Sakugawa’s comics and illustrations.  Based in Southern California, she is the author of I THINK I AM IN FRIEND-LOVE WITH YOU and her second book YOUR ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO BECOMING ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE comes out in December 2014.  As Yumi puts it, “When I am not busy making comics, I am drinking a lot of coffee and eating a lot of tacos. I love tacos so much.”

Getting to know Yumi and her artwork has touched parts of my soul that were getting sleepy. Rise and shine!

Yumi, where are you now and what are you up to these days?  It looks like May has been a busy month for you!

Illustrations for online course “Peace Is The Way: An Online Course For By Deepak Chopra” 2012

Illustration for online course “Peace Is The Way: An Online Course For By Deepak Chopra” 2012

Yumi Sakugawa (YS): Currently I am working on freelance illustration work and my next long comic story. And yes, May has been a busy month for me! I was exhibiting at the Toronto Comics and Arts Festival and the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. They were both very fun events and in Chicago I finally had a chance to eat their famous deep-dish pizza.

ST: Comic book writing fits you so well!  What came first- the writing or the illustrating?  How and when did you begin putting the puzzle pieces together?

YS: I think the drawing came first before the writing, though both are so intertwined in my head it is difficult to decipher where one discipline ends and the other begins. I always suspected that I would end up becoming a cartoonist since I was 8 or 9, but it probably wasn’t until after college that the two disciplines really came together and I began pursuing comics full force.

Yumi's 2012 web comic I THINK I AM IN FRIEND-LOVE WITH YOU is now a hardcover book published by Adams Media

Yumi’s 2012 web comic I THINK I AM IN FRIEND-LOVE WITH YOU is published by Adams Media

ST: Was there somebody that encouraged you or inspired you to make such beautiful stories and images?

YS: My parents were always encouraging about my creative pursuits and I had a couple of amazing English teachers throughout middle school and high school.

ST: I always have to say, “Thank You, Teachers” whenever I hear that.

Congratulations on your recent book release of I THINK I AM IN FRIEND-LOVE WITH YOU!  I know exactly what you mean when you say, “in friend-love with you”.  It speaks to all of us, I think.  How did the idea for the book come about?  Who is the main character in the book?

YS: The idea for the book came from my own friend-love experiences during my formative years– middle school, high school, college. So yeah, it is pretty autobiographical. The main character in the book is me, you, anyone who understands what these words mean.

"Anxiety Is A Heavy Rock"   2011

“Anxiety Is A Heavy Rock” 2011

ST: Your illustrated meditation guides are absolutely beautiful!  For me, reading them was almost a  meditative practice in itself.  I slowed down and listened to how the words resonated in my heart and laughed at how the pictures tickled my eyes.  I’m curious how you discovered meditation and if you have any more tutorials coming up.  How does this philosophy and practice get integrated into your work?

YS: I discovered meditation when I was working abroad in Japan because one of my friends who is a yoga instructor lent me her copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle and my boyfriend gave me an audiobook copy of David Lynch’s book CATCHING THE BIG FISH, which is an autobiographical book about the film director deepening his creative practice through regular meditation.

Meditation is an important aspect of my creative practice. It clears my head, deepens my soul and challenges me to live more fully.

I started regularly making weekly meditation comics for You can check them out here!

ST: Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  Is there a different creative process for when you are writing as opposed to illustrating?

YS: Right now I am working on a 2-page comic essay for a publication I really love. I am having a really difficult time getting the writing part done. Usually with my comics, the writing and the narrative has to feel very secure before I begin drawing.

Illustrations for Hamlet by William Shakespeare with Modern Translation: The Ultimate Hamlet eBook. Created for eNotes 2012

Illustration for Hamlet by William Shakespeare with Modern Translation: The Ultimate Hamlet eBook. Created for eNotes 2012

ST: If you could be a smell, what would you be?

YS: Eucalyptus leaves

ST: Mmm, the smell of healing and freshness.

Any last tips on art making for our Scribblers?

YS: Be honest. Tell the truth. Be sincere. Work hard. Surround yourself with good company, with the kind of artists you want to be yourself. Keep going even if you hate everything you are making. I feel like I am still figuring things out.

ST: Thank you for that.  Yumi, it’s been so nice to have you with us in Scribble Town!  Scribblers, for more thoughtful thoughts, please go to

"Today I Got Attacked By A Robot" 2011

“Today I Got Attacked By A Robot” 2011

Make Broken Crayon Candles for Earth Day!

IMG_1603Do you ever find that the mountain of broken crayons around your household grows and grows from year to year? That each year, we buy more crayons that are needed and end up with scrappy little pieces in an assortment of colors all over the house? I believe that many of you will answer both of these questions with a firm “yes”.

To celebrate Earth Day, I have decided to share with all you Scribble Blog readers a use for all of those broken and unused (and recyclable) crayons…broken crayon candles!

broken crayons
jars (mason jars work really well and are really easy to find)
1 lb bag of soy wax (makes 3 medium sized candles)
candle wicks
hot glue gun
a medium pot


1) Use a hot glue gun to hot glue the candle wick to the bottom of the jar so it stays in place.

2) Tie a clothespin to the end of the candle wick and place it on top of the jar so it can hold the wick in place while you add crayons and soy wax.

3) Peel all of the paper off the crayons and place them into the jars. You can arrange them randomly or even make a pattern. It’s up to you and your kids!

4) Next you want to melt the wax in a pot on your stovetop on medium heat. The wax will melt very fast, so do not leave unattended. Wait till all of the flakes have melted, then turn off the heat immediately.

5) Pour the melted wax over each candle about ¾ of the way up (or 1 inch from the top, either way works).

6) Let the candles cool and then trim the wick to about the height of the jar.

7) Ta-Da! Light them up and enjoy your beautiful handiwork.

To get supplies needed for this craft, please go to Scribble Shop.


Posted by Andi Thea, on April 24th, 2014 at 3:31 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,Uncategorized Labels: , , , ,

Scribble Picks Judy Simonian!

Extreme Ikebana by Judy Simonian

Extreme Ikebana by Judy Simonian

Judy Simonian is a painter based in New York City and originally from the West coast.  Scribble Town asked Judy what moves her, how did she get started, and who is the person that creates these beautiful paintings?  Her thoughtful responses run deeper than the surface and with that the stories she shares give the paintings more meaning.  Thank you, Judy!

I was born in Los Angeles, CA were I attended California State University, Northridge and soon after that began exhibiting my artwork in LA and around the country.

As far back as I can remember I have loved to draw everything, but mostly people, and that included mermaids when I was in elementary school.

My family, friends and teachers were very encouraging early on. I loved trying to get a likeness and learned how to really “see”  from my mother who spent hours drawing my siblings and me. She was very talented. She also made me very curious about the east coast because she grew up   in Connecticut until her family moved west to Hollywood when she was 16.  The way she described the extreme weather conditions they had to deal with like freezing cold snow and dreadfully humid summers made me want the to see if I could endure that kind of daily challenge.

Two Red Chairs by Judy Simonian

Two Red Chairs by Judy Simonian

The fact that New York city was a mecca for artists of all types made me want to move here. I knew I could learn a lot more in this environment. So many great museums and wonderful architectural gems are here and you can see them all without having to drive a car. I visited the city several time and showed my paintings here before finally making the move in 1985 with my boyfriend, Milano Kaz.

Milano was a tremendous influence on how I paint to this day. He was always generous in his encouragement and willingness to show me how to improve my paintings and how to use acrylic paint. Another influential artist along the way was Charles Garabedian but many historical figures also loom large such as Alice Neel, Emile Nolde, Matisse, Manet, Goya, Bonnard and many more.

My preference for water media rather than oil paint has to do with my impatience with the long drying time required with oil paint. The medium I choose often is based on the size I’m working in and weather I’m working outside on location or in a studio. Smaller paintings are usually done with ink, gouache or acrylic while larger paintings in my studio are acrylic on canvas.

Yellow Bubble Fish by Judy Simonian

Yellow Bubble Fish by Judy Simonian

Lately I’ve been excited about painting fish that appear and disappear in water. They move quickly and can be represented simply as a blur of several colors painted with one brush stroke. Together they create a rhythmic dance that I enjoy paintings. Another newer subject includes still life objects that again I like to paint as if they were moving or changing form before our eyes.

I teach a few classes at the Cooper Union that include portrait drawing, painting, color theory and also drawing on location. My advice to all students is to draw or paint as much as possible because the more you practice the quicker you will improve. Soon you will have the courage to draw anything with confidence.  It is a pleasure to watch this progress.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my life as an artist with you.

To see more of Judy’s work, please go to her website,

Posted by Andi Thea, on April 21st, 2014 at 2:21 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Featured,Painting,Scribble Picks,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , , , ,

Art techniques with charcoal


Example of Gesture drawing with charcoal.

While charcoal may have it’s similarities to the everyday pencil, there are many drawing techniques which charcoal is especially great for. Charcoal is great for shading since it may be smudged and moved around, but it is best for when the artist is shading areas using hatching, because it is most expressive and conducive for sweeping strokes. This reason is also why charcoal is excellent for gesture drawing; sweeping strokes and grandiosity. While charcoal is good by itself as a medium, it is also fantastic for sketching before beginning to paint. If you want to paint over the charcoal, you may spray with a workable fixable and then you may paint right over it.

To create your first charcoal masterpiece, you may want to take a quick look at the Scribble Shop ( for some materials. The Scribble Shop has everything from charcoal pencils to also compressed charcoal. If you plan on using your charcoal as a primary sketch for your painting, you can also purchase a sprayable fixative to hold the charcoal drawing in place.

Here’s a link that gets you directly to the supplies you need to get started on your charcoal adventures:


Blog post written by Catherine Clark

Posted by Andi Thea, on April 19th, 2014 at 3:58 pm. 1 Comment

Category: Arts & Crafts,Design,Uncategorized Labels: , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Monica Shupe!

Baby Booties by Monica Shupe

Baby Booties by Monica Shupe

Scribble Town (ST): Monica Shupe won’t be caught without her knitting sticks and soon you’ll find out why.

Monica Shupe (MS): I am a mother of three children (16, 14, and 11 years of age).  I live with my husband of 20 years in upstate New York’s Taconic Mountains. Before children consumed my life, I worked in NYC as a Marketing Manager for a major international cosmetics company taking me to all parts of the world.

ST: From the city to the mountains, what are you up to these days?

Green felted bag by Monica Shupe

Green felted bag by Monica Shupe

MS: I currently work a the local Middle/High School of about 550 students. My days are filled with life playing “Soccer Mom” with my children and their various activities.  It is fulfilling to me as I meet all types of people through the various activities the kids are involved in.

ST: You are a knitting queen!  I’m amazed you find the time with your full schedule.  It must be weaved in naturally into your daily life and surely a passion.  How did you discover knitting?  Was there anybody that encouraged you?

MS: Knitting is a big part of my life no matter where I am.  I can remember as early at the age of 12 traveling across the US knitting a vest. The color was green and it was comprised of three rectangle shapes to be hand sewn together. Growing up as a child, my mother and stepmother always had knitting with them.  I remember opening Christmas and Birthday gifts to find a sweater or scarf that my mother somehow completed in secret without me knowing she was working on it.  I still to this day get hand knit projects from her at holidays.

Red Hat by Monica Shupe

Red Hat by Monica Shupe

I always bring knitting everywhere I go. My friends joke about how they had to turn around to get my knitting when I forgot it at home. I host a weekly Knitting Circle at our local library filled with all levels of knitters in the area.  Each week everyone brings a bit of their own expertise to share with the group.  When a member is having trouble with a pattern, or just needs a second pair of eyes looking at how they are doing, they know there will be someone there to help.  I enjoy meeting the group every week.  We are all in different stages of our lives, but we have the common love for knitting and that keeps us coming back and creating great friendships.

ST: It’s so wonderful that you turn this talent into a community art gathering.  How do you come up with your designs and patterns?  You have everything from hats and scarves to ornaments!

Vases by Monica Shupe

Vases by Monica Shupe

MS: My projects vary.  I love to show people how knitting is not just sweaters, scarves and socks. They can be seasonal, decorative, or just useful.  When I knit, it is usually with a person in mind.  Something they like or a color that they love to accent an outfit or their personality.  I also sell my work on (store name: Knitsbymonica), a website that is comprised of artisans work for sale. There I offer different things.  Sometimes I will  bring back a vintage knitted item as well as classic knitted items with more modern materials.

ST: You really do have an array of items showcased for sale on Etsy.  So many different styles, colors, and materials!  How long do these projects usually take you?  Some of them seem very detailed.  How does the choice of material effect your designs?

MS: How long a project takes me can vary greatly.  Recently I did 4 pairs of Legwarmers for a client where it took me 2 months.  It used smaller needles and the stitchwork was quite detailed.  It also depends on how everyday life allows for knitting time.  I normally knit at night but family life may prevent me from knitting.  During the holidays, I may have a few projects going at the same time..

Neck Cowl by Monica Shupe

Neck Cowl by Monica Shupe

ST: Lucky friends and family get handmade presents from you 🙂  Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  Is there something you do to get you into the mood to create?  Knitting also seems pretty therapeutic.

MS: Inspiration is everywhere with me and knitting.  If I attend a local fiber festival I will buy a new wool or angora blend where the color or texture is wonderful.  I then will search for the perfect pattern to match.  I am also inspired with patterns I find showing off
wonderful designs.  They inspire me to try and create my own.  I am always looking for new things to try and new techniques to explore.
It could be in what someone wears to work that day making me want to translate it into a project of my own.

Knitting is very therapeutic for me.  If I have had a stressful day and need to relieve all the anxiety, I will go to my current project and take 5-10 minutes to realign my day.  As I look back at some of the projects I have done, I remember good and bad events that occurred in my life a that time.  I feel knitting a gift shows how much someone cares for a person. Each stich that goes into a project and the hours of time spent plus the thought of the receiver means so much more than just going to a store and buying taking 5-10 minutes of thought.

Heart Lariat by Monica Shupe

Heart Lariat by Monica Shupe

ST: Knitting for you is like a picture or a song for others where all these memories flood in.  That’s a very special connection you have.  Are there other textiles designs you play around with?  Crochet, for example.

MS: I do crochet, but it is not my technique of choice.  From time to time a client will show me a picture of a hat or scarf where they think it is knit when in fact it is really crochet.  Most people either knit or crochet, but I feel one can compliment the other in any project.  I have been known to embellish with scallops or shell like stitches giving it a very nice touch.

Another skill I enjoy doing are Felted items.  This is where I use 100% wool to create mittens, bags, vests.  Wool to me is such an amazing material.  It is waterproof, warm and although knitted the felting process binds so tightly it doesn’t pull or snag.

ST: You’ve got me hooked!  Can you give any advice on how to start knitting?

MS: I have taught a few classes on how to knit and feel anyone can do it! I have taught all three of my children where from time to time they will pickup a pair of needles to make something they wish to wear or give as a gift.  I recommend as a rule, the size needles for a beginner (such as a child) be determined by the age they are.  For example if they are 8 years of age, size 8 needles are big enough to hold and learn to knit.

There are lots of youthful projects directed towards the younger knitter such as many wearable projects.  It is important to pick
colors and a project you are really interested in completing.  It will help to maintain by committing to complete the project and keep
interest in the project.  The sense of pride after completing a project is a great feeling of accomplishment.

ST: Do you have a simple project to get us started?

Scarf Pattern by Monica Shupe

Scarf Pattern by Monica Shupe

MS: My girls loved knitting for their dolls.  Here is a project where my daughter knit herself a scarf for her 18″ doll.

1 skein of yarn (dk weight yarn)
1 pair of knitting needles size 7

Cast on 8 stitches
Knit every row for 98 Rows (should measure approx. 10 1/2 inches long)

Separate hole:
Knit 4 stitches for 8 rows leaving the remaining 4 on the needle
Attach yarn to the second 4 stitches by pulling yarn from other end of yarn
Knit the second set of 4 stitches for 8 rows.  (this should even out the two strips of 4)
Knit all 8 stitches together again for 24 rows
Bind off the scarf

Cut 16 strips of yarn 4 inches long
Fold each strand of yarn individually in half
Use crochet hook to loop in each strand of yarn at end of each stitch creating slip knot making a tassle
Do 8 tassles on each end of the scarf
Trim the end of yarns to create an even edge


Cast On:
Knit Stitch:
Bind Off:

ST: Thank you Monica for not only inspiring us bet helping us get on our feet with knitting!

Beaded Necklace by Monica Shupe

Beaded Necklace by Monica Shupe

Scribble Artist Interview with Bradley Blalock!

Scribble Town (ST): Bradley Blalock, simply, is a thoughtful explorer expressing himself through the arts.

Finnish Sun Ray by Bradley Blalock

Finnish Sun Ray by Bradley Blalock

He asks, “Where can we meet where we feel the most peace, joy, abundance, and connection; pulsing alive with ourselves, the micro-/macro- -cosms of our community and nature?”  Bradley explores that question with the world as his mirror. His searches for answers is his life long mission as an artist, musician and massage therapist. Bradley, where are you now and what are you up to these days?

Bradley Blalock (BB): Today I am in Helsinki, Finland working on launching a creative wellness center with my partner whom is a holistic medical doctor.  I am also working on growing my massage therapy practice, music career, and documentary film about the differences/commonalities with Finnish Sauna and Native American Sweat lodge Ceremony.

ST: You carry many talents and one them being very musical!  Was there somebody that encouraged you or inspired you to make music?

BB: I have been gifted with such wonderful music teachers that turned me on to all the greats in music all over the world from many cultures.  To me, the teachers are the real greats.  Studying with them kept me participating with art, having wonderful diversified experiences, and kept me growing as an artist and I wish I had their scholarly teaching skills.

My parents were so kind to give me piano lessons starting at age 5 with Mrs. Hill in Flagstaff, AZ.  My friend had a piano and upon pressing the first key, I ran home told them about this amazing thing called a piano and begged them to let me have one.  Then I studied with Aiko Kawabe on piano.  I later studied classical percussion with Kirk Sharp at Northern Arizona University and loved playing in the youth orchestra, concert and marching bands with Jon Eder, Bernard Curry, Chuck Curry, and Bill Cummings.  I liked sharing the music with my classmates and getting feedback from judges so I could play the music better at state competitions (even though I didn’t like hierarchy in competition).

downloadI placed first in the State of Arizona my Freshmen through Senior years as a classical percussionist and I was the first percussionist to perform as a Flagstaff Youth Orchestra Concerto Artist  and The Redlands Bowl Youth Concerto Artist.  These won me full music scholarships and award opportunities to study with Gary Cook at University of Arizona, Leigh Howard Stephens (marimba retreat workshop), then at CalArts with Julie Spencer (marimba), John Bergamo (hand drumming), David Johnson (percussion), Jules Engel (world music history),  Alfred Ladzekpo (African Music & Dance of the Ewe speaking people of Ghana).

While in the San Francisco Bay Area I was lucky with Irena Mikhailova (vocals), Michael Smolens (piano), Silvia Nakkach (vocals), Anna Halprin (embodying music through somatic dance at Tamalpa Institute), Kathy Altman (embodying music through somatic dance The Moving Center School), Jamie McHugh (embodying music through somatic dance at Somatic Expressive Arts).  I also briefly studied with Ali Akbar Khan (North Indian Classical Music) and through the experience of performing in the Gamelan Sekar Jaya Balinese Gamelan Orchestra.

ST: Wow that is some list of accomplishments and accomplished artists!  You must have loads of wonderful stories.  I think the list may go one, but what are some instruments you play?  And where can we hear your music?

BB: I’m a vocalist, marimbist, pianist, percussionist, & creative soma dancer.

All my albums thus far:

Gestures in Silence:  This is a meditation album.  10% of the proceeds benefit the Gary Sinese Foundation.  The first track features Heidi Wilson on saxophone.

Futuristic Lullabies:  I wrote these songs while in a lot of pain about the world, trying to find peace.  Many of the lyrics suggest my spiritual connections, opening the heart, and the struggle to find peace at times.

ST: Your nature photography stands out on it’s own and is also really a beautiful accompaniment to your music, as well. How do you view your connection between making music and taking pictures?

BB: I had an amazing art teacher in high school named Karen Butterfield.  She won a nation wide teacher of the year award.  She taught me a lot about the color wheel, contrast, lighting, negative space, texture, and being evocative.  I love finding moments in photography where all that comes together and with the digital age it’s made it so much easier to have many great art moments and surprises that show up walking in nature or the community.  I would love to explore a way for my images to come alive with music and dance.

Relative Distance by Bradley Blalock

Relative Distance by Bradley Blalock

ST: On top of you being an artist you are a healer with your massage therapy.  I see more connections with nature and caring for the mind and body.  When did you start doing massage therapy?

BB: In 1994 at CalArts, I was was working on a multi-disciplinary sensory performance art piece without words I wrote when I was 19 called “Nature’s Mirror”.  The idea was to ponder the question, “What if everything in nature is reflection of ourselves in empathetic resonance as a mirror?  For example, is the oil, franking, or rainforest destruction in the Earth a wound to our own body in some way, yet oppositely positive for the beauty, health, peace, and abundance we can joyfully steward and heal?  With this awareness how would our choices be different?  What would we keep, buy, protect, nurture, love, and return to the Earth in a good way?

Bradley Hands. Photo by Jack GescheidtI was a week away from my first rehearsal with an artist collective I had met with that had a dancer choreographer, animator, filmmaker, lighting and stage design artist, and musicians when BOOM the Northridge Earthquake closed the school’s building for the semester.  A month prior I had received my first therapeutic massage and it totally changed the way I made music; it became more effortless and full of more awareness.  When the Earthquake happened, people were stepping outside and meeting their neighbors they hadn’t met in 20 years, you could hear birds instead of traffic, and electric waves weren’t pulsing through the air.  I decided that Nature’s Mirror was already happening and I didn’t need to make it an ego driven performance but instead make the concept a way of life.  With massage therapy, you’re utilizing all the senses (i.e. skilled touch, aromatherapy, music, creative visualization and a peacefully beautiful environment, & you can give someone a glass of water or an organic apple at the end of the session.  Massage therapy utilizes science based skilled touch that can positively affect every system of the body while unlocking the complex holding patterns, or wounding, each person has that keeps us so guarded from each other and nature.  Stress, isolation, disconnection, and lack of expression is a cause of many illnesses.  Massage therapy helps to prevent such illnesses and feels amazing for the body/mind/spirit/Earth/Universe.

Sedona by Bradley Blalock

Sedona by Bradley Blalock

ST: Your passion for caring and humanity culminates in your biggest endeavor with the building of the wellness center in Finland.  How did the idea form and who will it be for?  Can’t wait to visit it!

BB: Sauli and I both had dreams on opposite sides of the planet to open a wellness center.  When Sauli and I met, he had already acquired a historic mansion to renovate called Nuutajärven Kartano two hours North of Helsinki.  I was working on a project in Arizona to work with post acute addicts and PTSD folks to help each other heal by hosting retreats for people as they worked and learned for 3 months, returning to their communities with less stigma and more whole from daily practice in healing and education around nutrition, organic gardening, artisan markets, somatic expressive arts (i.e. massage therapy, yoga, pilates, feldenkrais, creative movement, & martial arts).  We bonded with our common goals and abilities, and decided to take steps to build our relationship and open our facility in a year.  Currently it’s call a ‘Natural Hospital’ in Finnish and my idea is to call it Eco Soma Arts Institute, or ESAI.

Nuutajarven Kartano

Nuutajarven Kartano

ST: I envision Nuutajärven Kartano to be a place where many inspirations take form and flight.  At the moment, where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create and what inspires you to create?  Is there a different creative process for when you are composing as opposed to taking photographs?

Right now I am writing new songs.  I have lots of melodies ready to develop.  I am looking for an abelton expert to collaborate electronic sounds with the live instrumental and vocal sounds I make.  I haven’t found that person yet here in Finland but I haven’t given up hope.  I also have tons of photographs I have made that turn ordinary objects into wondrous abstract shapes.  My problem is that I tend to do too many things at the same time but my ideal flow in life would be to; tend my goats and garden in the morning, see 4 hours worth of massage therapy clients, have lunch, work on my music and/or art for 2 hours, tend my goats and garden, have dinner while spending quality time with my partner/friends/family, then do it all again the next day.  I would love to tour my music around the world 3 months out of the year if I had the opportunity.  I have an idea to build community, culture preservation, creativity, theater, and music through storytelling I would love to get going in Finland for youth and elders.

DSCF1239ST: If you could be a sound, what would you be?

BB: Stars twinkling and the space in between them moving the Universe along.

ST: From the loving and creative person you are, what is a message you’d like to share with our Scribblers?

BB: Know that everyone has a gift.  See each other for it in all your glory, devotion, dedication, discipline, perseverance, and imperfect perfections.  Give yourself and each other more play and joy in the imperfections so that pressure to compete is cancelled by the joy of sharing, collaborating, growing/studying, & creating.  Be helpful, ask someone permission without imposing help, find out what would be helpful, and then do it.  Stay open to learning from other cultures as your preserve your own traditions.  Know there are many peace technologies through gardening, somatic expressive arts, science for the benefit of all sentient beings, meditation, community arts events, love, and laughter.

ST: Thank you, Bradley! Everyone has a gift and the present is a a gift too.


Get inspired with Dana Lyn’s animations!

Dana Lyn is not only a musician and composer, but also an animator!

Below are two animations Dana made in response to a poem.  The music Dana made for them or not in synch with the animation yet, but how about YOU make the music?!  Watch them and I’m sure a melody will enter your imagination.

This first animation is called Four Sisters.

This animation is called He never liked her fussing.

Better yet, why don’t you make your own animation!  Dana said, “all I did was draw, take a picture, draw, take a picture, several hundred times, put them into iPhoto for little edits and then into iMovie… old school animation!!”

I know you’ll come up with something amazing.  You can send your musical and moving pictures to info(at)

Posted by Andi Thea, on March 11th, 2014 at 3:03 pm. No Comments

Category: adults,Animation,Music,Uncategorized Labels: , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Dana Lyn!

Scribble Town (ST): Across many different platforms, genres, and places Dana Lyn’s music has found a way to serenade us beautifully with her violin.

Portrait of Dana Lyn

She is of Taiwanese descent and was born and raised in LA. Dana has been based in New York City since 2000 and is a freelance musician and composer.

Dana, you seem to tour and travel a lot.  Where are you now and what are you up to these days?

Dana Lyn (DL): At this moment of writing, I am in a Hilton hotel in Eugene, OR. My flight to LA has been delayed and it’s raining outside… So I took the staying warm inside option over breathing that lovely Oregon air. I was here for the weekend, playing at the Eugene Irish Festival.

ST: Oh that must’ve been exciting to have such a welcoming crowd!  What is your story of how you discovered the violin?

Dana Lyn

DL: I saw a woman playing it on the television and wanted to learn. I asked for lessons for three years before I got them, and that was when I found a random violin teacher in the phone book and called her up, unbeknownst to my parents.

ST: You were on a mission!  You followed your heart and looked towards the yellow pages for help.  What determination that shows about you.

Being a violinist, arranger and composer, I’m sure you have had many musical adventures and had been able to work with very many talented artists on different levels.  How is it for you changing from genre to genre when you work with a range of artists?  You and guitarist Kyle Sanna make such a great duo with Irish music.

a0635127638_10DL: It is easy enough for me to wear different musical hats because at some point, I wore each of those hats exclusively… I put in years studying and playing classical music, likewise Irish music, and these past five or six years I’ve concentrated on composing and arranging, though in truth my first arranging projects happened over twenty years ago.

Kyle and I have known each other for over ten years but started working together only recently, or rather in 2011, mainly because we started realizing that we were both in several of each other’s circles. We are playing in Georgia on St. Patrick’s Day.

ST: Congratulations on your recent record release!  Aqualude is a really fitting album title for your music.  From what I heard, your songs sound liquid-like and allow the mind to peacefully wander.  How did you conceive this record and is there a general theme?  On your website you have a track, which you say is “inspired by the hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean and the strange creatures that colonize them”.  How did these hydrothermal thoughts enter your ever so creative brain?

Dana Lyn Aqualude Cover ArtDL: I am an ocean science nerd.

Also when I am writing music or thinking up things to create, anything at all can be the inspiration. Usually it’s not a primarily musical impulse. Aqualude took years to make, but I never really set out to make a record about the sea… It happened organically. All of a sudden I realized that half of my band’s repertoire was inspired by unusual creatures that live 8000 feet below sea, as I was in a phase of learning about the hydrothermal vents, and the story developed from there. I wrote a few more tunes, with all of this imagery in mind. I might also add that I am an avid swimmer and work out a lot of my ideas when I’m doing laps in the pool.

ST: Listening to myself breath whilst doing laps is one of the most relaxing things I can think of doing.

I’m so curious what your project Slim Bone Head Volt is about.  What are you and Vincent D’Onofrio up to?  Looks so intriguing!

DL: I met Mr. D when we were both working on a play called “Clive”, directed and starring Ethan Hawke. Vincent had a habit of writing long stream-of-consciousness text messages and sending them to the rest of the cast after the day’s work, and I sort of fell in love with them. Then I dragged him into the studio and had him read them, and I got a six piece band together and scored his recitations. We have an album’s worth of material recorded, and another half an album not yet recorded. We did our first live show in January.

Dana Lyn & Vincent D’Onofrio photographed by Mike Weintrob

Dana Lyn & Vincent D’Onofrio photographed by Mike Weintrob

ST: You are a woman of many hats and you wear them all very well!  Is there a different creative process for when you are composing as opposed to arranging?

DL: Arranging is much easier… It’s like coloring in your sketches. Composing is like doing the actual sketches. Generally it helps to know what you want to sketch but sometimes you just have to start with no idea in mind…. Just improvise until you find something you can work with. And then you still can’t be afraid to throw it away. It is rare to feel inspired to create, but I do have these ideas that I want to develop. It feels more like something I just do and also that I like doing. It can be incredibly frustrating too. But generally I have a good feeling about it, probably because my life is structured so that about 2/3 of my time is spent freelancing and practicing, so that I can pay my bills and keep my projects afloat, and the rest of time is for writing. It’s treasured time so I try not to waste any of it and I appreciate it when I have it.

ST: It may be sound funny, but if you could be a color and a shape, what would you be?

DL: I would be a spherical orange.

ST: Any last tips on art making? Can you give any advice on how one can become more musical?

DL: Well… What I usually say to people is that there are no shortcuts… And there is no set timeline or schedule to adhere to when it comes to to developing your artistic voice. Everything you see and do and take in can be used to fuel your creativity, so you have to be careful about what you put in to your head! And the main impetus is love of the art, or the music, or all of those things… One can’t be motivated by an idea of celebrity or success or validation and expect to make honest art. To become more musical? One has to listen, to oneself and to everyone else, and always ask yourself what you think… Do you like the way that sounds, if so, why?

ST: Thank you, Dana! Making art comes out of love for it. It’s obvious that you hold that appreciation and dedication for the arts and thank you for sharing it with the world. To learn more about Dana Lyn have a look at her website

Dana Lyn at the acquarium

Posted by Andi Thea, on March 10th, 2014 at 12:30 pm. No Comments

Category: Music,Scribble Artist Interviews,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Laia Riera Sanjaume!

Picture of Laia Riera Sanjaume painting

Photograph of Laia Riera Sanjaume painting

ST: The bursts of colors in Laia Riera Sanjaume’s artwork matches her warm and open personality.  She’s an explorer of all sorts and you can see that in the various talents she has and from the many places she has lived.  From painting to textiles to being an art workshop leader, Laia shares her joy for art with the world!

Laia Riera Sanjaume (LRS): Hi Scribble Town! I’m Laia Riera Sanjaume, I live in Helsinki, Finland. Originally I am from Barcelona, which is very close to the Mediterranean Sea.  Ever since I was a small child I loved drawing stories.  I consider myself very lucky because my parents always encouraged me to develop my creative skills and they have been very supportive.  They are both linguistics and writers so you can imagine as a kid, it was fantastic to read as many books as I wanted to from their library and get inspired!  When I am not drawing I paint on canvas, or simply I make sketches for prints.  I also enjoy reading, doing Yoga and just chatting with friends around food.

ST: You move between Barcelona and Helsinki. What brought you from place to place and how have the different environments affected your artwork?

LRS: Some time ago, while in Barcelona, I met Jere and we fell in love.  He is from Finland and we decided to work together as independent designers.  Finland inspires me through Nature especially with silence from the woods that I am not used to.  It reminds me of the summers when I went traveling with my parents.  It’s an open door to new dimensions.

13 shamans by Laia Riera Sanjaume

13 shamans by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Yes, Barcelona is “home”.  Although, funnily, I realized it only after having lived in Winchester, Antwerp, Madrid and now in Helsinki.
Actually, each of these cities have been a bit of a home for me.  Home is our comfort zone.  Therefore, we tend to get relaxed and less observant to what surrounds us and to ourselves.  In order to draw, to imagine new scenarios, it’s necessary a good dose of investigating.

In my case this can be through reading,  traveling, being a foreigner in a new land…getting excited when meeting friends, being fascinated by the colours of the sky, trees, and hearing for the first time another language other than your very own.  Whenever I move away from my country I feel like I am suddenly awake.  And at the same time, whenever I return I see my city through renovated “lenses”.  It is very motivating, indeed!

At the present, I like to see Helsinki as a temporary place where I get to know myself better and where I explore new tools to express my inner world.  For instance, as a result of this, I changed from watercolor to oil painting, a technique I haven’t been using for years.  Right now I am working on a series of prints for the clothes Jere is designing and we will make together.

Hands in Hands by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Hands in Hands by Laia Riera Sanjaume

ST: It’s true, each environment brings out something special in us.  It seems like your Finnish winter is welcoming you to get more acquainted with more of your inner self.  Even in the darkness of winter, your paintings are so vibrant and imaginative!  What medium do you paint in?  How did you discover this medium that suits your imagery so well?

LRS: Thanks a lot!  Yes, in fact, the oil painting enables to create vibrant colours , bring texture to emotions and the expressions of the faces.  Usually, I am a bit chaotic when using the medium.  When I work on paper I treat it with tea and coffee because it gives it a yellowish and warm base colour.  I guess I discover mediums when trying to capture the right emotion when I start drawing  and I am working my best to register it accurately.  Actually, it happens through the work itself.  Work brings inspiration and more discoveries.  For instance, in my studies in Fine Arts in Barcelona University, or as Fashion student of the Fine Arts Academy of Antwerp I did research a lot!

Let me orget about today by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Let me orget about today by Laia Riera Sanjaume

On the other hand, every single day is a new beginning so you can always get surprised by a new twist in your own working process.

My favourites are Écolines, a never ending number of inks, water colours, oil painting, golden lacquers, glitter, bitumen judaicum paint…just to mention a few.  During my short stay in Winchester School of Art, I mainly did etching. Since then I use the hard point tools just to scratch the paint off, or just to add details.  Finally, to mention Collage or Mood Board as ways to get build up a new project.

ST: You are a true explorer!  You experiment and are inquisitive with mediums and textures.  Now I’m so curious about your ideas.  How do you come up with the themes for your series?

LRS: Normally, I start because of a feeling that later on will evolve into a story. A short story if you want, or an open story.  Sometimes it takes a month before I finalize a painting with which I am more or less satisfied. Sometimes it takes me only one day.  It can also be that I feel so happy when I finally come up with the exact idea of the painting that I need to paint it not to forget it. Other times, it can be as well, that by drawing I shake away negative moods that will bring on new topics to explore.

Painting by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Painting by Laia Riera Sanjaume

When I was a little girl I had a lot of imagination. In fact, my teachers throughout the years almost assumed I’d be a writer. My first years of life were a bit uneasy for my mother, because of a sad event.  Since then, the act of drawing is perhaps like going to an invisible shelter where I instantly get immersed.  I can be there for hours and hours and hours.  Drawing is a very powerful tool for me.  In truth, there are many times that first I write down the stories and slowly I begin to “see them” in colours, shapes, and volume.

I couldn’t say what it comes first as, haha.  Indeed, I am fascinated by the power of emotions and how these change our bodies and minds. How, as well, we change thanks to the effect of communicating to the ones we share our life, our present, the earth , ultimately. These are the essential themes I care about mostly.

Years ago I started focusing on memory, identity and transition. Since then folk culture, beliefs, myths ,storytelling are also my main themes of research. I love borrowing books on these topics from the public libraries to build up an atmosphere. Then, when the atmosphere is ready the working hours just flow.  As well, I am very interested in women dress and how did the fashion history changed because of the historic events and how these affected womanhood.

All of them witches by Laia Riera Sanjaume

All of them witches by Laia Riera Sanjaume

ST: Congratulations on joining Armuseli’s “made by artists” group! When you make your scarves for Armuseli do you keep in mind the size and shape?

LRS: Yes, I do have to be very careful with the size and the shape of the scarves.  Since the print adapts to the shape of the scarf.  And it had been a challenge for me, a very positive one! I did struggle a little to fit the original painting into the required size.  Itxaso Torrontegui is a textile designer and a graphic artist. I admire her colourful prints.  One day, my friend asked me to collaborate for her new project.We worked together in Madrid as designers for a clothes company.  We met as colleagues at work and we are now very good friends.  Armuseli “made by artists” is Itxaso’s initiative which brings together art, textile and fashion designers.  The result is a variety of small and unique collections of silks printed scarves. I am so happy to belong to Armuseli.

In this case, each artist has assigned a theme to be inspired by. It helps a lot, specially if there is a deadline. The print had to be inspired in Winter flowers and Frida Kahlo figure. Personally, I love Frida Kahlo art, so it was a lot easier to get started! Moreover, I had been truly inspired by the winterish forests from Finland. Actually, I took the chance to research a lot  the tradition in graphic printing and textile design in Finland.  Soon Armuseli will launch the website so you can give it a look; and the scarves are already on sale. It is wonderful to see your painting in a scarf in the streets.

After Hour by Laia Riera Sanjaume

After Hour by Laia Riera Sanjaume

ST: Oh how exciting that we’ll get to wear your beautiful designs!  Another congratulations on your recent exhibition in Spain!  What is this series of work about?  Hope I can see them in real life one day.

LRS: Thanks! The paintings that are exhibited in the art gallery Espai [b] of Barcelona are a series I did prior leaving Barcelona including some painting from a new series I started in Finland.

The gallery Espai [b] has been showing my works since 2011 and I am very happy to be chosen as one of their artists.  This group show revolves around the small format edition concept. For instance, the previous show was focusing on the idea of the face and the portrait.

Faces by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Faces by Laia Riera Sanjaume

In my works, faces are one of my strongest points, and as I said women’s dresses from different ages throughout history. I did a series on this topic for the gallery.

ST: In some ways it seems like you are a social historian in the way that you document people in context to time.  It’s really fascinating!

You are a textile artist, fashion designer, painter and illustrator.  Wow!  How do these industries support each other in your artwork.  Is there one field that you feel more comfortable in?  Adventures all around!

LRS: Haha, wow, said like this…The best thing, for me, in this is precisely that drawing and painting are the common denominator of these fields.  In addition, they can merge perfectly well and blend into each other. There is a very little separation from these disciplines, to my eyes honestly.  The fact that an illustration can be on paper, and can be converted to a beautiful print on a dress, jacket… it just gives me only more freedom as a creative.

When I design prints I rely on the imagery which fuels my painting, illustrations, and vice versa. So, it’s like just different chapters of the same novel.  The adventures had been and are very enriching.  I have been a former product designer for a clothes and accessories brand in Madrid.  There I used my skills to sketch and develop embroideries, prints and garments. It was my first real job after my long studies.  It was lots of fun!

When traveling to India or Hong Kong for field work, I always had with me a very small sketchbook and a mini water-colour box.  My bosses and co-workers taught me how to be myself as a creative at the same time I was a designer inside of a team.  On the other hand, I also had the opportunity to teach graphic techniques to young students. And I feel very grateful to transmit to them this knowledge and share with them.

Header by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Header by Laia Riera Sanjaume

When I worked for Inditex as a graphic  designer I drew on paper or on the computer all day long.  Although, I would say that the permanent adventure is to work as an independent freelance artist. It’s an incredible one and I hope it will be until I am very old.  And to be able to collaborate for projects like Dear You / Kära Du, Armuseli and so on.

Nevertheless, I am fortunate I could apply my knowledge and real vocation in a so called “office” job.  To answer to your question, the field I feel more at ease, is painting. Wait a second, drawing. Uhm I can´t simply divide these two!  🙂

ST: Indeed, drawing and painting for you are inseparable.  Your vibrant nature seems like it could be easily excited in the best possible way.  Is there a place you find yourself feeling especially inspired to create?  If you’re feeling stuck, what do you do to get yourself in the mood to create?

LRS: One of the best places for me is the living room table, instead of the one in the studio…ahem. I know it sounds strange, but it is where I quite usually start to sketch or write ideas.  You’ll find me there because it is a very lively place with strong energy from many different people that have lived in the house or passed by there. I like to feel surrounded by the sounds of people.

After a cup of coffee I automatically put the radio on the background, or long tracks of Jazz music, or anything from Ane Brun, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Patti Smith, The Knife and many others; depending on the mood.  Then I move to the studio room and I prepare the big table to paint with all my tools.  I like to create a big mess first.  Although in the end I need to see nothing else than the table and the paper or the canvas.  Definitely with a never ending list of music!

Laia Riera Sanjaume's working table

Laia Riera Sanjaume’s working table

Nowadays I am designing together with my partner our first clothes collection and parallel to this I am painting new series. In order to combine these two tasks, I separate the table by imaginary lines. Then I also like to pin all the images I had been collecting, from postcards, to sweets wrapping papers, to a simple found object like a fabric tape…I pin them into a board. If not I tape them on the wall itself. Every now and then  I separate myself from the current painting. It is important to take distances. I look upon this map of images on the wall and I try to match them with my mental map. As I said before, the right atmosphere to create is crucial!
When I get stuck I go for walking, running or seeing friends. It usually works wonders.

ST: Sounds like you know how to take advantage of space and appreciate all the corners of your home.  Creativity needs air to grow!  Just wondering what are the 5 most important things in your life right now?

1) Love
2) Family
3) To achieve goals, from the tiny ones to the huge ones.
4)  Happiness
5) To continue learning

ST: Thank you Laia for sharing with us!  Your stories, feelings, and beautiful depiction of faces give me a lot of inspiration!  Scribblers, please have a look at Laia’s website and keep up with her adventures on her blog

The fox, myself II by Laia Riera Sanjaume

The fox, myself II by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Happy 110th Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Geisel aka Dr. Seuss in 1957, holding The Cat in the Hat, which inaugurated his Beginner Books

Geisel aka Dr. Seuss in 1957, holding The Cat in the Hat, which inaugurated his Beginner Books

The idea of stepping into the doctor’s office, for some, was a nightmare that has come to life. There was only one “doctor” that children and even adults were happy to welcome into our lives. That’s Dr. Seuss!  March 2nd commemorates the 110th birthday of Dr. Seuss. While he passed away in 1991 at the age of 87, his stories and illustrations still live on in our hearts and lives.

Dr. Seuss (born Theodor Seuss Geisel) was born March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. During his lifetime, Seuss wrote 46 childrens books; including some of his most famous bestsellers, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and my childhood favorite, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Seuss was also the illustrator for all of the books in his collection. In the beginning of his career he used pencil and watercolor, but as time went on he migrated towards pen and ink (usually black and white), and few colors. He began adding more colors to his books by the end of his career. Many of his children’s books have even been adapted into animated and even live action screenplays.

During his lifetime, Seuss won numerous awards; including two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize. He also has his own star on Hollywood Boulevard on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Seuss’ birthday is commemorated every year by “Read Across America Day”, which falls on the closest school day to Seuss’ Birthday, March 2. This year “Read Across America Day” is on March 3.  Let’s go to the library and check out all of Dr. Seuss’ books. You can also visit Seussville.  Enjoy!

Dr Seuss quote Thing 1 and Thing 2

Dr. Seuss quote Thing 1 and Thing 2 from the book, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut.

Posted by Andi Thea, on March 1st, 2014 at 6:54 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Books,Scribble Picks,Uncategorized Labels: , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Laurent Lagarde!

Wonderwoman at Burj Khalifa by Laurent Lagarde

Wonderwoman at Burj Khalifa in Dubai by Laurent Lagarde

Scribble Town (ST): Superheroes to the rescue! These fictional characters come to life with their message of bringing peace and order into the public through Laurent Lagarde’s photographs. Let’s learn more about Laurent and how he brings hope in a real and fantastical way with his images.

Laurent Lagarde (LL): I was born in France, past 40 already, and have lived around the world for the last 20 years.  I’m trying to find my way and to put my suitcases down at some point, but traveling is great as much as getting lost.  Music and Graphical Arts have always been my favorite and obviously remain the best ways of expressing myself over the course of time.

ST: Amongst all the traveling, where have your suitcases landed now?

LL: I am living in Brussels, Belgium.  Feels like I closed a 20 year long loop after I lived consecutively in Lyon, Brussels, New York, Tel Aviv, Paris and back to Brussels…  I used to do a lot of music 20 years ago playing in Indie Rock bands and Electronic music.  But today photography is taking most of my (free) time between shooting, printing and exhibitions.  I am also working, a husband and father of two so I need to balance everything to make sure I keep everyone happy including myself. 😉

The Flash at Massada, Israel by Laurent Lagarde

The Flash at Massada, Israel by Laurent Lagarde

ST: You really have been around the globe!  Nonetheless, it seems that you have found a peaceful medium between family, work, art and play.  Your extensive traveling is documented through your The Mutants series.  What brought you from place to place?  Would you say your travels support your artwork or is it the other way around?  In any case, it seems like a real symbiotic relationship you have got going on here!

LL: Thanks to my work, I had the chance to travel all around the world and move in quite a number of exciting places.  I think it was programmed in my genes anyway because as soon as I was allowed to leave my parents house, I went to study in the UK.  That’s also one of my problems, I cannot stay still in one place for more than 10 minutes…

Hulk at Bryant Park, NYC by Laurent Lagarde

Hulk at Bryant Park, NYC by Laurent Lagarde

I think my travels kind of initiated the art work.  I always travel with a camera and with action figures (weirdo) in a small back pack.  Now, that does not mean something is going to come out at each trip. My best work has always been the spontaneous one and it’s difficult for me to deliver something great if I think too much about what I want to achieve.  Inspiration for me comes on the spot.  I get inspired by the light, the atmosphere, the architecture, the people… and this is why I love to be surprised by a place I don’t know.  Traveling helps a lot for this.

ST: It’s funny, in a good way, that your action figures go everywhere with you!  A man of the moment, your snapshots capture the magic.  The ability to be spontaneously aware is a skill we can work on, but it’s also something that is a natural gift for some.  I think you have that gift!

How did you discover photography?  Was there anybody that encouraged you?

LL: I think the emergence of digital photography in the early 2000s was a great motivator.  I always loved taking photos when I was a kid.  When I was 12 I had a Polaroid color camera.  It was so easy and so much fun, especially since instant pictures was a great fit to my impatient temper.  But the films and developing photos was much more expensive than it is now.  Nowadays, more people can afford the equipment and just do it at home.  Everyone became a photographer with their iPhone…

Two angels and a donkey by Laurent Lagarde

Two angels and a donkey by Laurent Lagarde

I bought a good digital camera before I moved to Tel Aviv.  At that time I wanted a digital camera that I could use like a real camera, playing with parameters, learning at my own pace, not worrying about the technique and being able to watch the result immediately.

When I arrived in Tel Aviv, I saw the light.  And I am half kidding when I say that as I think the very special light there made it the perfect place to learn and start photography.

ST: The accessibility of cameras is great!  Now we just have to find our way to Israel to experience this light you are talking about and capture the beauty.

How do you come up with the themes for your series?  The Mutants series really has taken off in a wonderful way!  What’s your fascination with superheroes and what are you trying to say with this series?  I also especially like the series of photographs where we see the world through puddles or in French, Les Flaques.  I wonder how you developed this idea.

Superman at Liberty in Paris, France by Laurent Lagarde

Superman at Liberty in Paris, France by Laurent Lagarde

LL: At the very beginning my inspiration was to show my reality of Israel.  I felt very alone in a country where I did not speak the language, where the culture was opposite to mine and with a political situation that did not make me very comfortable.  Despite all of this, I fell in love very quickly with Israel and my objective was to show my friends how reality differs from the reduced and manipulated version of the western media.  But don’t get me wrong this is not a paradise either and what came out through the superheroes project is an idealistic vision of the middle east saved by the superheroes invading the region and bringing peace.  That was naive in a way but I think at that time it was expressing an internal stress that I developed when the 2nd war with Lebanon started in 2006.  As a European I had never experienced a war situation before and suddenly I was confronted to preparing for chemical attacks, going to the bomb shelters in case of warnings and friends going to war.

Dr Jekkyl on Shenkin Street by Laurent Lagarde

Dr Jekkyl on Shenkin Street by Laurent Lagarde

The puddles came naturally as I started the superheroes project.  For the first 2 years I started photography, most of my work was based on the ground.  You would always see me sitting on the floor or lying in the street taking pictures.  People were really wondering if I was normal.  Taking photos in the puddles was kind of a game for me, first of all to catch the right light and moment of the day and second, to trap people in a puddle without them understanding what I was doing.  My favorite puddles are the one with people in it.

Captain America at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France by Laurent Lagarde

Captain America at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France by Laurent Lagarde

ST: Wow, your way of instilling optimism through the superheroes series is very strong.  And as a way to see the world differently, why not start from the bottom up?  Reflections are a beautiful way to appreciate the present.

Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  Is there something you do to get you into the mood to create?

LL: When I take a photo I always try to show a place differently from the existing clichés we are fed with.  Through photography, you can try to show how the world looks like but you can also decide to focus on how you would envision it ideally.  I like to show my own version of the reality but I also allow myself to add a piece of dream or hope on it.  And I am really happy to see that everyone wants to dream because most of my public today is an adult public, which you would not expect with action figures.  I always love to stand a bit away from my photos during an exhibition and the smiles or the eyes on the people’s faces.  It is the best satisfaction I can get!

ST: Seeing this superheroes in action around the world brings out a good feeling in people! We can’t help, but smile 🙂 Which super hero can you relate to the most?

LL: Spiderman!  He is an eternal teenager with great powers and a very cool outfit.  Spiderman is adored by the public, but still he has such low self-esteem and level of self confidence.  How amazing and conflicting is that for a Big Time Super-Hero?  I can completely identify with this conflicts of personality.  This just reminds you that we are all human and nobody is perfect…

Spiderman at the Defense 2 in Paris, France by Laurent Lagarde

Spiderman at the Defense 2 in Paris, France by Laurent Lagarde

ST: Perhaps our weaknesses make us stronger.  Can you give any advice on taking photographs?

LL: I am really the wrong person to ask about technique.  Something I discovered when I learned music is: Technique kills creativity as it embeds a discipline in a set of dos and don’ts.  And as true as Perfect is the Enemy of Good,  Technique is the Enemy of Creativity!  I have always considered Art as the only true expression of freedom, and therefore an artist should be free to do anything.  My main advice would be to concentrate on one thing: try to show or express what is coming straight from your heart.

ST: Laurent, your enthusiasm for life, culture, and art is spreading more positivity than you can imagine.  Thank you, merci, شكرا ,תודה !  To learn more about Laurent and his artwork, please visit

Make a Pop-Up Bird with Cheong-Ah Hwang!

How to make a pop-up bird with Cheong-ah Hwang

How to make a pop-up bird with Cheong-ah Hwang

Download the template below and get started on making your own pop-up bird.

Cheong-ah Hwang's template for a pop-up bird

Cheong-ah Hwang’s pop-up bird template

Feel free to share your pop-up birds with us by emailing jpegs of them to To learn more about the art of Cheong-ah Hwang, click on her Scribble Artist Interview.  Make your tweets come to life!

Posted by Andi Thea, on February 23rd, 2014 at 6:11 am. No Comments

Category: Arts & Crafts,Design,Paper Art,Uncategorized Labels: , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Sarah Saunders!

Scribble Town (ST): I can feel my hair blowing in the wind when I look at Sarah Saunders’ ceramic figures! There’s a familiar texture, a close calling for home, and a feeling for journey and adventure personally calls your name.  How does Sarah embody these visceral emotions in her artwork?

Sarah Saunders (SS): I am a figurative Ceramicist. I also work part-time as a lecturer at Doncaster College. I have been teaching ceramics for around 19 years now.

ST: You have been busy honing your craft!  When you are not teaching, what are you artistically working on these days?

I am currently working on figurative heads that have birds and various other animals perched precariously on their shoulders. I tend to make more ladies than men. This is because I enjoy the long flowing hair on the ladies.

ST: I think that even if you didn’t have long hair, one could relate to the feeling of being windblown. The hair looks like it’s drifting even if it’s still. How did you get started with your ceramic pieces?

SS: I started making figurative pieces whilst at university but back then I was making overweight ladies celebrating their bodies. I wanted to make their skin have lots of texture and look like slices of bacon. 533840_302665293172064_773639291_n[1]This technique was very frustrating as the ladies were very delicate. I had lots of disasters. I have changed my construction techniques considerably since then.

ST: We can learn so much from our mistakes!  With time our message evolves with our growth. What do you hope to communicate with your art?  From your website I see very stylized figures.  Who are they?

I just want people to like my art. It’s a bit of fun mixed with a pre-Raphaelite face. I want people to question why that person has a large bird on its shoulder or why that lady is holding a big fish. I like how people have their own stories for my pieces. The ladies were based and evolved from my daughter and the men from my husband.

ST: It’s true! When I look at these figures I start personalizing who they are in relation to my history. In a way, these are story starters. They seem a bit nautical to me so I always imagine adventures on boats and ships out on the great big sea.

Your sculptures have so much texture.  I just want to reach out and touch them!  What tools do you use to create this effect?

SS: I work with the clay as little as possible. By that I mean I bend the clay, cut the clay etc and do everything with simple shapes I try not to over model the clay. I draw on the clay, scratch the clay and use my finger marks to suggest texture in the hair. That’s it, nothing special really.

ST: Oh, you make it sound so easy 😉  Where do you get your inspiration from?

I like pre-Raphaelite paintings, I like the long noses, ruby red lips and long hair and I love people watching. I like seeing peoples body language and how we communicate to each other through our body and eyes etc

ST: Pre-Raphaelite paintings are also full of symbolism and storytelling. I see that connection in your sculptures as well. How old were you when you first started making art and who encouraged you to create?

I have always loved art, but I made my first ceramic pieces aged 11 with Mr Fishwick at Swinton Comprehensive in Yorkshire. He was a fantastic teacher along with Mr Brandam and they gave me the confidence to go onto university. I have a lot to thank them for.

ST: Teachers can have more influence than they get credit for. Thank you Sarah for sharing with us and thank you teachers for your encouragement! To see more work of Sarah Saunders, go to

Scribble Artist Interview with Cheong-ah Hwang!

Scribble Town (ST): The first time I saw these delicate hummingbirds by Cheong-ah Hwang I swooned at how beautiful life can be. And then I realized they were made out of paper and was floored by how precise and full of emotion they embodied. She can mimic life in paper form with the simple help of scissors and glue. Amazing! Cheong-ah came to the US from Seoul, Korea 20 years ago and speaks of herself as a paper artist, wife and mom. Under those three great hats is a person that knows how to capture life in a special way.

Hummer in My Hand by Cheong-ah Hwang

Hummer in My Hand by Cheong-ah Hwang

Cheong-ah, you move and travel quite a bit. What brought you from place to place?  Where are you now and what are you up to these days?

Cheong-ah Hwang (CH): My brother moved to the US, so I followed him. I came to Columbus, Ohio to study art, and continued living and working on paper sculptures ever since.

Flower by Cheong-ah Hwang

Flower by Cheong-ah Hwang

ST: Your pieces seem so fragile, tender and intricately realistic!  Do you ever need a magnify glass to complete your artworks?  Or tweezers?  How do you do it?! What tools do you need to create your paper sculptures?

CH: No, I don’t use magnifying glasses. I have pretty good eyesight. I use tweezers though when I work on tiny areas. I use X-acto knife, modeling tools, stylus, rulers, etc.

ST: How do you come up with your themes for your series? Did you start out by making birds?  What other things do you create?  They all vary so much and are so lifelike!

CH: I started out making animals, plants, architecture, etc. to study textures. Then, I got interested in paper itself and expressions, so I created rather abstract human forms, experimenting different kinds of paper, scales and techniques.

ST: Your Red Riding Hood series is beautiful!  You successfully reached your goal on Kickstarter.  Woo hoo!  How has this developed?

Little Red Riding Hood by Cheong-ah Hwang
CH: I received exposure I had hoped for. More people started blogging about my works. Eventually, Penguin Books commissioned me to make a similar image for the cover of the ‘Grimm Tales for Young and Old’ by Philip Pullman.  Penguin Books also used my sculptures for a short animation to promote the new book.


ST: Oh Pullman’s voice fits your images and story so perfectly! Seeing your animations encourages so much imagination and creativity! Please let us know your artistic process for the CMA animation.

CH: That was a collaboration with a local media company. Lots of communications. My part was to create 3d paper models of Columbus Museum of Art. I studied the building, simplified the design, and came up with moving mechanisms for some parts. I scaled the buildings down, and drew plans. I had to cut so many cardboard pieces. I ended up performing for the animation too.

ST: I think that’s a great animation for Scribblers to watch since we all like to go to museums and galleries.  “You break you buy it” doesn’t always work 😉  Especially after watching your animations where the characters flow so smoothly and everything just seems to fit in place, you make it seem so easy!  But I know it takes loads of skill and patience.  What tools do you need to do what you do?

CH: The most frequently used tools and materials are an X-acto knife to cut, modeling tools and stylus to emboss, an awl to score or curl, cutting mat and glue.

Hummer n Hibiscus by Cheong-ah Hwang

Hummer n Hibiscus by Cheong-ah Hwang

ST: Any special paper or techniques we should know about?

CH: My favorite paper to use is color drawing paper which has high cotton content and comes in many colors. I love working with translucent paper and Japanese paper too. They are so much fun. There are some paper sculpture techniques such as embossing, scoring and bending, curling, tearing and crumpling.  Do you draw to figure out the layers? Yes, I make a sketch first. Then, I use the sketch to separate and assemble layers.

ST: Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  I bet there is something you do to get yourself into the mood to create. Or what about music?

CH: Everyday life is an inspiration to me. I get an inspiration cooking ramen, reading my son a bedtime story, going to the zoo, driving down the street, etc. I have been living in cities in my entire life. One day, when I was siting on my porch, a hummingbird flew in right in front my eyes. I had never seen a hummingbird in person before. I can never forget how magical moment that was. I’ve been making paper hummingbird since.

Princess Iron Fan by Cheong-ah Hwang

Princess Iron Fan by Cheong-ah Hwang

ST: Amongst all the inspiration, what are 5 most important things in your life right now?

CH: Family, family, family, family, and my art.

Creative Paper Cutting: 15 Paper Sculptures to Inspire and Delight by Cheong-ah Hwang

Creative Paper Cutting: 15 Paper Sculptures to Inspire and Delight by Cheong-ah Hwang

ST: Cheong-ah, thank you for sharing so much with us! You a dedicated mother, wife and artist and I see that passion in your artwork. Do you have any last minute tips for us?

CH: You don’t need expensive materials or extra ordinary experiences to make art. Pay attention to every moment of your life. Don’t miss out anything. Use all of your senses. Try to make art with what you already have. 

ST: Thank you for your advice! Scribblers, if you can need more visual advice you can check out Cheong-ah’s book, ‘Creative Paper Cutting: 15 Paper Sculptures to Inspire and Delight‘, available on Amazon. Get started with your own paper sculptures!

Squid and Friends by Cheong-ah Hwang

Squid and Friends by Cheong-ah Hwang

Two Kinds of Hearts

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it’s time to turn these cold, snowy days all warm and fuzzy! Whether you’re decorating for a party or just bringing a little festivity to your home, these paper heart garlands are an adorable way to celebrate love. Add to that: simple, inexpensive, and mess-free? You’ve got yourself a winning craft.


There’s two fun ways to create your garland; one involves the outline of a heart (much like a paper chain), the other involves a solid paper heart. For the chain, you’ll need cardstock (red, white, pink—your choice), scissors, and a stapler.


First, cut lots of even strips of cardstock—it’s best to measure. To create your hearts, there are a few methods. Be sure to check out the tutorial links below each photo for ideas. Here’s one basic variation: Grab four strips and staple them together. Pull the bottom two down and together to form a heart. Add two more strips and staple together at the point. Repeat this process until you’ve got the desired length of your garland. Stick to one size and color or feel free to experiment. Try alternating colors or cutting shorter strips to create smaller hearts within the larger ones.

 Paper Heart Garland

Photo (and tutorial) via Blog a la Cart


 Double Heart Garland

Image (and tutorial) via Posed Perfection


For the second method, you’ll need cardstock, a heart punch, scotch tape, and string (baker’s twine, ribbon, fishing line—up to you). Use your heart punch to punch out tons of hearts from the cardstock. Cut a piece of string (however long you’d like) and tape your hearts to the string. You can hang it horizontally or make lots of garlands and hang them from the ceiling. This would also make such a cute photo backdrop.



 Hanging Hearts

Photo (and tutorial) via Hank & Hunt


 Ombre Hanging Hearts

Photo (and tutorial) via The Sweetest Affair


Your valentines are sure to love these sweet garlands. How do you like to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Any decorations or traditions you look forward to each year?

Scribble Artist Interview with María Schön!

Scribble Town (ST): Our experiences shape who we are. The colors and movement in María Schön’s paintings seem to be a result of a curiosity for adventure and understanding relationships of all kinds. We are excited to learn more about you, María!

Paintings by María Schön from her Landscape and Memories series

Paintings by María Schön from her Landscape and Memories series

María Schön (MS): Ever since I was a little kid, I liked to paint imaginary landscapes that depicted beautiful sunsets, mountains, trees, flowers, clouds and the ocean. I loved rendering these landscapes with vivid colors and textures.

Drawing and painting was not only a comforting and happy way to spend my time, but it was also a language that I used to communicate something beautiful to others. Language and speaking with others was not easy for me. When I was five years old, my parents moved our family from the United States to live in the beautiful country of Venezuela. I remember my first day of school in Venezuela. — it was first grade, and I was shy and did not know a word of Spanish. But I knew how to say something about myself through my drawings and paintings. I remember my teacher and classmates all standing around me as I sat at my desk drawing a picture from memory of me and my family building a snow man in the snow. They were amazed by my art. At the age of 10 my parents moved me, my brother and sister back to the United States.

ST: You found your own language and communicated it so well!

Chichiriviche by María Schön

Chichiriviche by María Schön

Congratulations on your current exhibition! Please let us know where it is and what the exhibition is about. Seeing your paintings in real life would be wonderful.

MS: At the age of 14, my school art teacher was so impressed with my paintings that she contacted a local art gallery and they decided to exhibit my paintings along side accomplished adult artist.This experience made me realize that I had a talent and had something that was special and worth developing further. As I grew, I continued to draw and paint as a way to communicate and to share my ideas with others. The more I worked at my drawing and painting, the better and more accomplished my art work became.

This past November, I had a one woman art exhibit at an art gallery in my town called Monika Olko. This month, four of my paintings and drawings from my “Landscape and Memories” series and “Tropical Elements” Series, are currently on exhibit with artSolar Gallery in East Hampton, New York.

Cuyagua by María Schön

Cuyagua by María Schön

ST: Your art school teacher saw something in you and really nurtured it. How special it is to have somebody in our life like that.

How did you come up with your choice of shapes and colors for your Landscape and Memories painting series? And for your drawing series of Tropical Elements, I wonder which tropics.  Perhaps from Venezuela?  Any other info about your themes would be nice to hear.

MS: My paintings are inspired by childhood memories of the colors, shapes and textures of the beautiful landscapes of Venezuela. I use my imagination and memory to invent each new painting.

ST: Your childhood sounds pretty magical, as do your paintings seem to match. Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create? Or what gets you inspired?

MS: I love music. It transports me to a place where ideas and feelings flow — where colors become shapes, and shapes become colors — like a dance.

Naiguata by María Schön

Naiguata by María Schön

I also love to visit art galleries and museums, to see and be inspired by the art work of order artists. If their art works inspire me, you can say that their art has communicated something special that makes me want to create something in response. Art is a form of language — a kind of never ending conversation.

ST: The playfulness is so apparent in your works!  I get the sense that color theory is a very strong and important part of your art. What is your process for color and shape combination?

MS: My paintings begin with many pencil drawings to help me develop ideas for images and compositions that I like. Using an art projector, I then project, enlarge and line draw these images onto my painting canvas. From this enlarged projected drawing, I begin to fill in large areas with colors of paint. Each area in the painting will need many different layers of colored paint to render a shape.

Tamanaco by María Schön

Tamanaco by María Schön

ST: You have studied film.  Do you still make movies?  In some ways I feel set direction or a stage when I look at your paintings.  They are so strong that they give a presence for how the scene should continue.  How does your painting and film career support each other?

MS: My experience with film has taught me how to tell a visual story not just through one painting, but through a group of paintings, one next to another — like the pages of a story book that are turned — from one page to the next — to tell a story.

ST: Yes, I see the narrative even within each picture frame. Who are some artists or filmmakers that you like?  What draws you to them?

MS: I have always been deeply inspired the the art works of Henri Matisse, Edward Hopper and Richard Diebenkorn! All three artist — and especially Henri Matissse — used vibrant color and playful shapes to create beautiful and amazing paintings!

I like the way that Edward Hopper used color and dark and light shadows to communicate how light falls on an object. Richard Diebenkorn was a California artist that painted paintings about the beach and the many colors of the sea. I like the way he used color, shape and texture to communicate the idea of water. His paintings always communicate something that inspires me to respond with my own story in my paintings.

ST: Thank you María for being with us! Keep on doing what you do because it is making us all appreciate even more the light and color around us! You allow us to see in a different way.

Paintings by María Schön from her Landscape and Memories series

Paintings by María Schön from her Landscape and Memories series

An Unlikely Pair

When creating a piece of art, what medium you choose to work in can be just as influential to the composition as your subject. Oil paints create a different effect than colored pencils. The same goes for charcoal versus pens, pastels versus markers, and so on. Some subjects will make the choice of medium more obvious—something like a sunset with a lot of beautifully blended colors is probably not best suited for pens, but pastels or oil paints or even colored pencils would allow for color gradations nicely.


However, sometimes rules were meant to be broken! Going against the obvious choice can add a jolt of inspiration and using a tool or medium you wouldn’t immediately think of can give your picture unexpected life. One great combination I’ve been noticing lately are cityscapes and watercolors.


 Watercolor of NYC Skyline by John Held Jr.

Watercolor of NYC Skyline by John Held Jr.


City skylines are formed by crisp lines and sharp geometric shapes. After all, they’re built of metal, concrete, and stone. So when it comes time to create your own artistic rendition of a cityscape, what mediums seem like a natural choice? Perhaps pens or pencils, maybe even a palette knife. Probably not watercolors. But that is all the more reason to try them!


Watercolor Cityscapes (London) by Elena Romanova Watercolor Cityscapes (London) by Elena Romanova



The unpredictability of watercolors paired with the stable rigidity of a skyline can make for an exciting pair! The softness of the paint will illuminate the urban architecture in a whole new light.


Play with precision, allow for colors to pool or bleed, vary how much water you use. What you initially find frustrating or erroneous may be the exact detail that makes your painting sensational.

 Watercolor Painting Abstract Cityscape by Susan Windsor

Watercolor Painting Abstract Cityscape by Susan Windsor


This experiment of “opposites attract” is a great way to break out of a creative rut. What other unlikely pairs do you want to try?

Posted by Andi Thea, on January 30th, 2014 at 4:47 pm. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,kids Labels: , , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with James Sugrue!

Scribble Town (ST): I hear loads of different sounds and voices when I look at the art of James Sugrue. Buzzes, boinks, and bonkers go boom boom boom! Let’s hear what James, a professional 2D animator has to say about where these great ideas come from 🙂

Drawings by James Sugrue

Drawings by James Sugrue

James Sugrue (JS): I love doing vocal impressions. Since 2010, I have worked with the prestigious Titmouse Studio in New York working on projects for Adult Swim, Disney XD, and Sony Pictures. I hope to someday bring my own projects out to the world because I love to make people laugh and smile when they had a bad day.

ST: Well, you are surely making people laugh and smile! Where did you learn how to illustrate?  What is your history with comics?  The comics you made from the 8th Annual NY Comic Con are super funny!

James Sugrue cartoon take on Comic Con 2013

James Sugrue cartoon take on Comic Con 2013

JS: I learned how to draw better at the School of Visual Art. My professors Matthew Archambault, Andy Gerdnt, and Steven Gaffeny taught me the foundation of good drawing skills such as finding the right shapes, forms, and techniques.

HA HA, I am more of an animator than a comic book artist. I think drawing comic panels is fun, but my passion lies in making characters move the way I want. The Comic Con comics were just a fun way to introduce my characters James and Lauren Sagoo, in which I hope to pitch to networks soon. When I go the the event, I try to find relevant pop culture costumes, toys, posters and have the Sagoo twins poke fun at them!

ST: What other kinds of artwork do you make? And in any special way?

JS: When I have free time, I like to do fan art, There is nothing more rewarding than taking your favorite cartoon, live action show, or video game and drawing it into your own style. I enjoy drawing on standard sketchbooks with pencil or ball point pen, but recently I have been using digital tools for my work. I animate in adobe Flash, and I enjoy using sketchbook pro on my iPad.

James Sugrue's drawings of silly heads

James Sugrue’s drawings of silly heads

ST: How did your creativity start to grow?  I can imagine you as a kid making sounds with your mouth and watching things come to life with your eyes!

JS: When I first saw “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and “Little Mermaid” as a kid, it inspired me to draw. Ha Ha, Watching a lot of Saturday morning cartoons and playing Super Mario Bros pushed me to start drawing in my parent’s phone book. My Papa would always send me drawings he did of Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” and wrote “Hey, James! Can you draw this?”, and that was very inspiring to me.

ST: What is something you’ve recently seen or heard that has triggered a splash of inspiration?

JS: As each day passes, something new inspires me to draw an animate. It can be anything from a kid’s show, a video game, a fashion designer, or even the shows I work on at Titmouse!

Drawings by James Sugrue

Drawings by James Sugrue

ST: It’s great that you remind us that inspiration is everywhere!  Even under rocks 🙂  What kind of music do you listen to and does that effect the artwork?

JS: I love a lot of 80’s dance music, especially underground artist. It definitely motivates me! I feel the music I listen to and enjoy correlates very well with what I draw. I need to feel that rhythm!

ST: What are you up to now, besides dancing your day away?!  What is a day like with James Sugrue?

JS: I am still working at Titmouse in New York, but right now, I am working on some pitches for my own ideas that I hope to get out to the world.  Ha Ha,If you spend a day with me, you will hear a knowledge of Warner Bros animation and non stop impressions of celebrities and cartoon characters. Also, at the end of my work day, I like to cook my own dinners rather than ordering out. If you are someone out there who wants to pursue a career, you have to work real hard for it and have a strong passion for what you love to do!

ST: Thanks James for being the happy beat we will do the two-step to! Your positivity and creativity is very much appreciated!  Scribblers, have a look at to see more of drawings that will make you laugh and smile!

Adventure Time Tribute Complete

Adventure Time Tribute Complete by James Sugrue

Posted by Andi Thea, on January 27th, 2014 at 1:01 pm. 1 Comment

Category: adults,Design,Scribble Artist Interviews,Uncategorized Labels: , , , ,

10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Dreary Winter

Image via Feed-Well on Tumblr


January can be tough a tough month—the excitement of the holidays is over and we’re still in the thick of winter. Discarded Christmas trees and grimy snow line the streets. Don’t let it get you down—it’s the best opportunity for a little extra creativity and color! Here are some fun ideas to brighten up those cold and dreary days and have you feeling inspired in no time.

1. Create a bright new piece of wall art to hang up.
2. Decorate your notebook covers—use washi tape, paint, magazine pages, anything! Now you can look at something pretty even when you’re taking notes or making your to-do list.
3. Make your own postcards! Design the front and write a note on the back—they’ll be sure to brighten someone else’s day, too!
4. Try your hand at a still life painting or sketch. Grab some colorful objects from around your house and record what you see. Perfect indoor activity!
5. Embrace the cold and throw an ice cream sundae party! Grab a few favorite flavors, fruit, and toppings and invite your pals over for a sweet treat!
6. Create a terrarium or get an indoor plant. Succulents are very low maintenance and come in tons of varieties. You can also paint the pot for a little extra flair.
7. Try a new indoor hobby, like knitting or making jewelry.
8. Make your own board game! Not only will designing the game get your imagination going, but playing with friends and family will be a blast.
9. Make a list of things you want to do this summer—it will give you some fun experiences to look forward to.
10. Make your own paper flowers. The gardens may not be in bloom right now, but you can still brighten a room with a beautiful floral arrangement.


Paper Flowers and Painted Pots

Paper Flowers via Sweet Pea Paper Flowers

Succulents in neon pots via The Proper Pinwheel


Do you find January to be a little dreary? What are your go-to ways for brightening up the post-holiday slump?

Entfaltung (unfold/expand/develop)

“Life is a voyage.”
– Jule Waibel

Watch how to make the magic.

Scribble Artist Interview with Diana Beltran Herrera!

Scribble Town (ST): Watching and being with animals in their natural habitat is a privilege, especially with the growth of cities and shrinking of forests. Wings in flight is like magic in motion. When I first saw these paper sculptures by Diana Beltran Herrera I felt a fluttery draft come from the flapping wings stopped in time! To recreate life so realistically one must have a unique relationship with it.

BIRDS OF FLORIDA - Orlando, FL (September 17–December 8, 2013)

(September 17–December 8, 2013)

Diana, we are all excited to know more about you!

Diana Beltran Herrera (DBH): I am from Colombia. I was a very curious girl since I remember, always trying to discover nature. My dad often took me to my grandma’s farm where I had contact with nature. I remember it made me very happy and it was peaceful, full of joy and astonishing. I guess since that, I am interested in what nature means to me, to us as humans, and also I am trying to understand how this relation started and how it is now a days.

ST: You move and travel quite a bit. What brought you from place to place?  Where are you now and what are you up to these days?

DBH: I have been traveling from one place to another, not as many as I wish but I hope I can discover more in the years that come. It has been a nice coincidence to find myself in such beautiful places in Europe, America, and see a variety and types of nature. How things are so different from one place to another or maybe how things are so similar. How nature manifests itself in such different forms and shapes and how it adapts and evolve. I am now living in south west England admiring this lovely cold and windy environment. I am studying a MA in fine arts at UWE. I am questioning myself and trying to find answers.

Flamingo by Diana Beltran Herrera

Flamingo by Diana Beltran Herrera

ST: Congratulations on getting into the Pictoplasma conference!  What will you be creating for the event?  Any sneak peaks of what to expect?

DBH: I am thinking of an installation. I have in mind a group of pelicans or maybe some fighting cocks. I have had a desire for a long time now to make a couple of pelicans probably standing on some locks. I think it will be interesting to show a bit of what I have archived throughout the years. I think this is the opportunity I was waiting for.

ST: This is your moment!  You have worked very hard for it.  When I look at ALL the animals, pictures, shapes, and collages you have created, I can see it is a result of a very passionate, imaginative, and playful person.  How do you come up with your themes for your series of paper constructed animals? Did you start out by making birds?  They all vary so much and are so lifelike!

DBH: I did start to explore paper in a tridimensional way. After that I worked a bit with sculpture and wood. I think one day my experiences just mixed up with what I had learned and I came up with some bodies of animals. And then I found the bird shape that I have been working for some 2 years now. It has been a long process of observation and hard work. Now I am happy with my latest works because they look very realistic. I am very visual so I work hard to get things done in the best way.

ST: As I was looking through your artworks I found myself really drawn to your Estudio del impacto de un movimiento en el espacio.  They are so vibrant and colorful.  You really are playing with space!

DBH: This was my early work that I had the opportunity to exhibit in Colombia. It was a study about how things form and move, and how in this movement things transform and mutate. It was an abstract work that allowed me to explore things in a basic way. This was also the beginning of the use of paper.

ST: What tools do you need for your practice?  Any special paper or techniques we should know about?

Tit by Diana Beltran Herrera

Tit by Diana Beltran Herrera

DBH: It is basically a blade, scissors, paper and glue. Everything comes from cutting and placing elements over structures that I do also in paper. That is called a tridimensional collage.

ST: Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  Is there something you do to get you into the mood to create?  When you were making the Birds of Florida would you go bird watching to see them in action?

DBH: I have been always very inspired. I remember spending hours when I was a child drawing, or making plasticine or clay figures. This is a part of me that I have done ever since I was young. I wake up to this everyday, it is like a need for me. I don’t have much of a plan really, but I sit with what I find on my table or in my studio, and I play to create compositions, to match colors, or shapes, to draw lines.

In January 2013, I went to Florida and took my camera with me, I started to follow all this animals and particular birds and takes photos of them. After I came back I received an invitation to create a group of works and I was very happy because I knew about these birds.

ST: When you were a kid did you always go to the zoo or the forest?   Have the native animals of Colombia made an impact on you?

DBH: I think it has been extremely important my background. Colombia is very diverse country and we as kids grow finding animals everywhere. I remember about going to the zoo a couple of times, but this animals never seem happy to me. I’d much rather to see the animals in the wild, it was a big surprise. I remember a lot woodpeckers and parrots. My mom allowed us to have all kind of domestic pets, I even had a cow, so yes, I have a strong connection with nature cause it was a part of me.

Swans, collage, 2013, by Diana Beltran Herrera

Swans, collage, 2013, by Diana Beltran Herrera

ST: That says it all! Your childhood friends were animals of every kind 🙂

DBH: I have a son who is 6 years old, his name is Simon. Since Simon was born I found motivation to teach him how to relate with nature. We found a nice way to admire and to respect. In my opinion this is something we need to teach children a lot because they need to grow strong for the future. Simon used to pick flowers, but one day when I took him out and showed him that there were lots of insects that benefit from these flowers he learned to respect them. Since then he draws everything he wants to have or everything he likes. We found in art a way to own things and collect without making any significant damage.

ST: Diana, you have taught us so much about how we can respect nature more. We must take care of each other for future generations to see the beauty on Earth! Thank you for sharing with us. Please keep us posted on your upcoming exhibitions and creations. To see more of Diana’s work, please go to her website at

Portrait of Diana Beltran Herrera

Portrait of Diana Beltran Herrera

Red belied woodpecker by Diana Beltran Herrera

Red belied woodpecker by Diana Beltran Herrera




Kid-Friendly Mocktail Bar

Perhaps the most quintessential tradition of New Year’s Eve is the champagne toast, but what about everybody who doesn’t participate in a sip of bubbly? Whether you’re under age or prefer to abstain, you deserve a fun and fancy drink to toast with at midnight. That’s why we love a good mocktail—or cocktail without alcohol. With a well-stocked mocktail bar, you can mix and match ingredients to create tasty kid-friendly drinks.


Cranberry Kiss Mocktail Image via Eat Drink Pretty


In fact, we think all these fun possibilities are even more delicious and interesting that traditional bubbly. With a few basic ingredients, you can make so many combinations. Use your creativity to whip up some yummy drinks that’ll have all your guests saying, “Champagne who?”


To create well-balanced mixed drinks, you need a few key components—mainly something bubbly and something sweet. Of course, you don’t need carbonation, but it is New Years, after all. Customize any ingredients you want to make your bar more sophisticated (cucumber, black currant, fresh herbs) or childproof (orange slices, fruit punch, crazy straws). Here are the key components to creating a fabulous mocktail bar:


A bubbly base: Ginger ale, sparkling cider, Sprite or Sierra Mist, seltzer—these clear sodas are the perfect vehicles to add a little spritz to your glass. Pick your favorite or have a few kinds available.


Juice: Orange, cranberry, pineapple, lemonade, peach nectar… these fruity liquids add sweetness and pack the flavor punch for your mixed drink. Stock as many as you like, but a good base is usually three different options.


Fresh fruit: Whether it’s muddled or used for garnish, fresh fruit is delicious and gives your glass a festive touch. Doesn’t it just feel fancier? Berries and citrus are usually best—raspberries, blackberries, lemons, and limes, etc—but feel free to try any other favorites.


*Another fun tip: Try freezing berries to create a tasty alternative to ice. They’ll keep drinks chilled without watering them down and look prettier, too!


Fresh Herbs: This is optional, and perhaps for the more adventurous, but some fresh herbs can really bring your mocktails to the next level. Mint, thyme, basil, and rosemary all add deep and complex flavors to an otherwise simple drink. If you’re looking to ease your way in to adding a little green to your glass, try starting with mint.


 Rosemary Citrus Spritzer

Image via The Kitchn


These kid-friendly bar basics will ensure tons of fun drink creations. Let the little ones play mixologists and come up with their own delicious concoctions. Keep in mind you can always tailor this to your friends’ and family’s preferences. If you’d like some recipes on hand, here are a few great suggestions:


Rosemary Citrus Spritzer from The Kitchn


Rudolph’s Nose from NCADD


Cranberry Kiss from Eat Drink Pretty


Strawberry Crush from La Fuji Mama


Alcohol content certainly doesn’t have the market cornered on festivity. Upgrade your cup of soda or juice this year and make a fancy drink worthy of starting the New Year with. Cheers!

Posted by Andi Thea, on December 31st, 2013 at 3:28 pm. No Comments

Category: adults,food art,holiday,kids Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Scribble Picks Pablo Picasso!

Picture of Pablo Picasso

Picture of Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain. He was the first child of Don Jose Ruiz y Blasco and Maria Picasso y Lopez. Perhaps it was because Pablo’s father was an art teacher, but from an early age he showed an interest in drawing. He was so much into art that his mother said his first words were “piz, piz”, which is short for “lapiz”, the Spanish word for pencil.

When he was nine, Picasso finished his first painting, Le picador, which shows a man on a horse at a bullfight. At first he painted very realistically, but then he started to experiment with new ways of drawing, painting, and showing his emotions.  Picasso was never that interested in regular school, but excelled in art school.  When he was 13, he was admitted to the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, Spain and at 16, Picasso’s father and uncle decided to send him to Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando.  Not surprisingly, this was Spain’s top art school!  That came to an end because Pablo was a person that needed to be free from instruction from his professors and confines of the classroom.

In 1912, Picasso began to paste paper and pieces of oilcloth to his paintings and then paint either on them or around them.  These where his first collages.  This technique is called synthetic cubism, which grew out of analytical cubism.  Synthetic cubism is a more decorative, colorful style of art.  Picasso and his friend George Braque together created and developed this genre of cubism.  Below is an example of Picasso’s work in this style.  How does Picasso play with the strong shapes and colors?  Where are the shadows?

Still Life with Mandolin and Guitar by Pablo Picasso, 1924 (oil on canvas)

Still Life with Mandolin and Guitar by Pablo Picasso, 1924 (oil on canvas)

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.”
-Pablo Picasso

Picasso’s very famous work titled Three Musicians is a large painting measuring more than 2 meters wide and high.  It now lives at  the New York Museum of Modern Art.  Three Musicians is part of series painted while he was with his family in Fontaineblueau, France in the summer of 1921.

Do you think Three Musicians is painted in the style of Synthetic Cubism?

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso, 1921

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso, 1921

Yes, it is!  You can see that because it gives the appearance of cut paper.  What are some other reasons that makes it cubist?

“In Cubism, the subject of the artwork is transformed into a sequence of planes, lines, and arcs. Cubism has been described as an intellectual style because the artists analyzed the shapes of their subjects and reinvented them on the canvas. The viewer must reconstruct the subject and space of the work by comparing the different shapes and forms to determine what each one represents. Through this process, the viewer participates with the artist in making the artwork make sense.

Picasso paints three musicians made of flat, brightly colored, abstract shapes in a shallow, boxlike room. On the left is a clarinet player, in the middle a guitar player, and on the right a singer holding sheets of music. They are dressed as familiar figures: Pierrot, wearing a blue and white suit; Harlequinn, in an orange and yellow diamond-pattered costume; and, at right, a friar in a black robe.”  For more information, please have a look at

Now you try!  Go ahead and download the coloring sheet below and Scribble your own Three Musicians.  Go wild with color!

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
-Pablo Picasso

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

Scribble Artist Interview with Valerie C. White!

Scribble Town (ST): Looking at Valerie C. White’s textile images remind me of a journey or a diary entry because they all seem to tell a story with much history, no matter which way you look them.  Let’s see what adventures she has been on.  Valerie, where are from and what are you up to these days?

Sara and Bird by Valerie White, 2012

Sara and Bird by Valerie C. White, 2012

Valerie White (VW): I grew up in Somerset, New Jersey, and graduated from Franklin High School in 1969.  Our home was located in a rural section of Northern New Jersey.  Many days I could be found outdoors playing with clay. I discovered a natural clay deposit at our front mailbox I would try and fashion functional objects and later bake them in my Moms oven… It was then that I knew I was drawn to making Art.

These days I can be found playing in my studio with the same excitement and curiosity I had as a youngster, playing with clay.  I am currently working a piece to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela. My dream is to see the work hang in South Africa at the end of July 2014.

ST: You felt that you were drawn to Art and you didn’t deny that feeling.  That’s wonderful!  When did you start sewing and quilting? How did you discover this medium and was there somebody that encouraged you?

Bernheim Forest, Fall 2011 by Valerie White

Bernheim Forest, Fall 2011 by Valerie C. White

VW: My Mother sewed beautiful couture garments, I was not interested in making clothing but it was her careful attention to detail and good craftsmanship that made a lasting impression. I try never to settle for less than my best even it means redoing it.

I started quilting about 20 years ago; I made mostly traditional work using patterns from other quilter’s.  Along the way to more serious and expressive work, I did crewel embroidery and fabric printing. I have always loved the feel of pulling thread through a needle this tactile experience fuels my approach to working with fabric.

Portrait of Valerie C. White, Quilt Artist & Educator

Portrait of Valerie C. White, Quilt Artist & Educator

As far as encouragement my family has always given me positive feedback regarding my work; their support sustains me when I’m feeling doubtful about my efforts.

ST: So you come from a family of makers, dreamers, and precise handcrafters.  Working with one’s hands really does give a different sense of building and constructing art.  Please tell us more about your multi-media approach to art making.  How does this approach support the message you are trying to get across with your images?

VW: My approach to the work now includes learning everything I can about a subject before I begin to design the piece; I begin each project drawing in my sketchbook before I touch the first piece of fabric. It’s there that I work out design issues and get a sense of what the finished piece will look like, although that sometimes changes. I find in making Art it’s the serendipity and the unpredictable outcomes that often produce the most interesting work.

Daucus carota Sweet Baby carrots by Valerie White, 2010

Daucus carota Sweet Baby carrots by Valerie C. White, 2010

My work is can best be described as series of layers; I begin very simply and continue to add color or remove color, adding texture to create a more complex cloth.  For me the texture added with stitch is what adds elegance.

ST: Yes, the more you bring into the mix, the more unpredictable outcomes there will be!  That’s so exciting!  Earth and nature allow for that and from what I can see on your website,, I get the sense that these topics are a source of inspiration for you.  Your colors are so real and your shapes are very organic.

How Deep Do Your Roots Grow by Valerie C. White

How Deep Do Your Roots Grow by Valerie C. White

It seems that you practice other forms of art by the huge range of workshops you offer.  The sky is the limit for you!  When is your next workshop and how can we get involved?

VW: My course offerings are targeted towards surface design and my classes fill quickly. My next class is Using Paint sticks on fabric, February 8, 2014 in Parker Colorado. The class is posted on my website.

My other favorite form of Art expression is knitting, I love the feel of the yarn and the endless colors available.

ST: What kind of music do you like? Is there something you are listening to at the moment while you make art?

VW: I do like to listen to music when I work, and I like all kinds of music from Miles Davis to Barbara Streisand. But what I find interesting is when I’m very, engaged in working I want silence…I find the music gets in my way when I’m concentrating.  If the work calls for me to cut or measure then I need for the room to be quiet.

ST: Creativity is all around.  It comes through our ears, eyes, and all of our other senses 🙂 Any final creative tips for our Scribblers?

VW: I would like to encourage both parents and students to find a medium to express creativity. Pick a night once a week or month and make it craft night for the family… Everyone can participate what better way to engage in good conversation and fun for the whole family.

ST: Thanks for sharing with us!  We hope to make art with you one day soon.

    Radish Row by Valerie C. White, 2009.

Radish Row by Valerie C. White, 2009.

Gingerbread Real Estate

Did you know gingerbread houses became popular in Germany during the 1800s after Hansel and Gretel was published? That’s pretty spectacular considering that in the fairytale, the beautifully edible house is used to lure two abandoned children into a witch’s trap. One wouldn’t think that makes a great selling point for creating confectionery cottages, but it seemed to really catch on and become a Christmas tradition. After all, that witch was on to something—she knew Hansel and Gretel couldn’t resist an enchanting gingerbread house… how could we expect anyone else to?


 Sweet and Simple Gingerbread House

Image via Shopgirl


This tasty craft comes in an array of sizes, shapes, and levels of difficulty. For those who need a bit of a head start, there are kits available to help create the basic structure. Others love starting from scratch and baking their own gingerbread. Some people take gingerbread houses so seriously that they create life-size structures or participate in competitions. Whatever your approach, this is definitely a fun and delicious activity to try on your own or with the whole family.


 Pretzel Log Cabins

Image via Worth Pinning


 Rice Crispy Cottages

Image via Land O Lakes


And don’t feel limited to gingerbread! Some folks have started branching out and using other delicious treats to build their homes’ foundations. Try pretzel rods to create the effect of wooden logs. Or use rice crispy treats to suggest stones or stucco. These houses can be as elaborate or simple as you want. Don’t underestimate the beauty of simple gingerbread and white frosting. For those who like a little more opulence, grab colorful candies and make a full-on edible estate! Piped icing, nuts, cereal, and candy canes also make excellent decorating supplies.


 Gingerbread Mansion

Image via Cake Central


What gingerbread house approach is your favorite? Clean and simple, cozy and colorful, or grand and luxurious?

Scribble Artist Interview with Alonsa Guevara!

Scribble Town (ST): Painter Alonsa Guevara shares with Scribble Town how her images are realized and constructed!
Alonsa Guevara (AG): I am a Chilean artist, born in Rancagua in 1986. I am a lover of light, colors, and shapes. I started oil painting when I was 12 years old, but I have been drawing since I can remember. My paintings are in between two worlds; Fantastical and Believable, always full of details and brightness that supports my obsession with details, realism and mimesis.
New Kitten Oil on canvas 24 x 72 inch

New Kitten Oil on canvas 24 x 72 inch by Alonsa Guevara

ST: You have a lot going on right now! Where are you and what are you up to these days?
I just returned from a trip to Chile. I always try to visit my family, friends and talented students that I used to teach when we had a studio there. But now I am back, finishing the 3rd semester of the MFA Program at the New York Academy of Art. I am preparing my paper research and making the last modifications to my paintings for them to be shown to the critique committee of my school. Here are a couple of
pictures from a workshop I did with kids.  I taught them my paper technique last year in Greenwich, CT.

3 Most beautiful girls, final work of the kids with a little of my hand

3 Most beautiful girls, final work of the kids with a little help from my hand

ST: Andi, aka Chief Scribbler, met you at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC as you were painting away.  What were you painting?  Is this something you often do?  Your copy looks like the real deal!
Alonsa Guevara painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

Alonsa Guevara painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

AG: I was painting “Madame Jacques–Louis Leblanc” which is a painting by Jean–Auguste–Dominique Ingres. I will be there, at the MET, a few more Thursdays between noon and 3:00 pm in Gallery 801 finishing it. This is my second copy at the MET, the first one was “Bashi-Bazouk” by Jean-Léon Gérôme, that is in the Gallery 805. Both paintings will be displayed in the New York Academy of Art at the end of December.

ST: How do you come up with your themes for your series of paintings? They all vary so much!  From Self-portraits and Mythology to Landscapes.  Do you choose your medium according to the topic?
AG: Painting is what I most love to do, so anything I could paint would make me happy. However female archetypes and stereotypes always call my attention, so I use advertising codes and allude to mythological characters. The purpose is to generate a reflection about the role of women used to sell a product and turn it into an imperative character in the painting. I work with different materials depending of the topic and how I want the work to look, from oil painting, to acrylic, color pencil, hot glue, magazine papers, wire, wax, card board, tape and more.
ST: You name and you use it.  I think it’s a sign that you have the ability to be creative with any material and medium- a true artist!  As I was looking through your artworks I found myself really drawn to your Paper Women / Mujeres de Papel paintings.  Please tell us a bit about this series; idea, materials, size.

Pointing Them - Oil on canvas - 40 x 30 inch- 2013

Pointing Them – Oil on canvas – 40 x 30 inch- 2013

AG: I am currently working with the stereotypes that mark women’s life. I am using a lot of images of thin elite models that were cut off from a magazine, wrinkled and then I create a maquette with either paper images, toys or other elements, which works as my own still-life model. I use this model to paint from life and change the scale to a bigger world in my paintings (usually the paintings are not smaller than 30 x 40 inches).

Speening wheel-oil on canvas-49 diameter-2013

Speening wheel-oil on canvas-49 diameter-2013

ST: Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  Is there something you do to get yourself in the mood to paint?

AG: No, not really. I think real artist are always inspired and ready to work. Of course if I am in my studio by myself it would be easier to concentrate, but I think sometimes we need to create art out of our comfort area so then we can challenge ourselves. Besides, we are real people, we make some bad art sometimes and that is ok, we are here to learn. Painting at the MET in front of hundreds of people, has helped me make that fear disappear. 

Round Mirror - Oil on wood panel - 11 x 20 inch- 2012

Round Mirror – Oil on wood panel – 11 x 20 inch- 2012

ST: I see what you mean because in a way you are performing at the Met. Well, we do wear our different hats depending on the situation and environment. Who are some artists that you like? Any art exhibitions that we should check out right now?

AG: I like a variety of artists. Now I am getting more familiar with American ones, so I would recommend to see Julie Heffernan exhibition at the P.P.O.W gallery, also Will Cotton at Pace Prints, and if you have more time you should go check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I just went there the last month and is magnificent! They have a lot of activities for kids.
ST: The family program at those museums are wonderful! Any last minute artistic tips for Scribblers?

AG: I think we have to encourage kids from very little to create new things. Creating opens their imagination, creativity and soul. To express their ideas will help them to communicate with the world and with themselves. I, as an artist that one day was a kid and as a teacher, believe that parents must be patient and must make the time to join their kids in artistic adventures.
If someone is interested see my work on live, having painting lessons or ask me for a commissioned paintings, please do not hesitate in emailing me at: alonsa(at)

Patience and passion is a recipe for a creative life!  Thank you Alonsa for being with us in Scribble Town!


Green by Alonsa Guevara

Snow Times Two

Winter may not technically arrive until December 21st, but once November ends, it seems that everybody begins embracing the holiday season. One of the biggest and most recognizable symbols of winter is undoubtedly snow. Now, no matter where you live or what the weather is like, you can bring a little snowfall inside your home with two different, fun decorating techniques.


For both of these tutorials, you’ll need a sewing needle and thread or fishing wire. The first technique also requires white paper and scissors. For the second, you’ll need cotton balls and glue (optional).

 Paper Snowflakes

Image via Paper & Stitch


The first technique is a classic with a twist. Paper snowflakes have been around forever, but usually you see them taped to windows. For a crafty update, try turning those paper flakes into a curtain of snow by hanging them in strands. First thing’s first: grab some white paper and cut out circles in different sizes. Trace things like plates, bowls, and cups for variation.  Then fold each circle and cut shapes to create snowflakes. You’ll need a lot of snowflakes, so feel free to get the whole family involved! Once you have your snowflakes, take a needle and thread and sew them together in strands; just a few stitches per flake will do it. Try varying the sizes for a more haphazard look. Once each strand is the length of your window, hang it from a curtain rod (or tape it to the head of the window) until the window’s width is covered. The resulting effect: falling snowflakes. Gorgeous, right?

 Cotton Ball SnowflakesImage via Flickr


Next up—a real oldie, but a goodie:  the cotton ball technique! This uses the same concept as above, but requires zero scissor work. Cut a piece of thread the length of your window and knot one end and thread the other. Separate your cotton balls into different sizes; puff some up so they look bigger, break others into equal parts and roll them so they’re smaller. String the cotton balls onto your thread, alternating the sizes for a natural look. Underneath each ball as it’s threaded, either make a knot or dab a tiny bit of glue so it stays in place. Be sure to leave space between each cotton ball so it resembles falling snow. Once one thread is full, hang it up, start your next thread, and repeat until the width of the window is covered. Again, the whole family can get in on the fun and the decorating will go that much faster!


Both of these delightful DIYs bring a little winter magic inside your home. Which technique are you excited to try?

Scribble Picks Leonardo da Vinci!

Leonardo da Vinci, “Self-portrait”, 1512 (?)

Leonardo da Vinci, “Self-portrait”, 1512 (?)

Leonardo da Vinci, born in 1452, came from the small village of Vinci in Italy has given the world many of the inventions that we still use today.  When his father Piero saw signs of artistic genius in his son he sent him to study with the artist Verrocchio in Florence, a city in the Tuscany region of Italy.  In addition to art he also learned sculpture and engineering. Soon he surpassed the artistic abilities of his teacher. At the young age of 20 he was accepted into the painters’ guild in Florence. In his lifetime, Leonardo has shown to be a painter, a musician, a sculptor, an architect, and a scientific investigator.

Leonardo used a painting technique called sfumato, which he described as “without lines or borders”.  This technique allows the subject of the painting to be blended into the background so that it becomes one with the background.  For example, if two objects were side by side, Leonardo would blur the line between them. We can see sfumato used in the Mona Lisa. Do you see it too?  Imagine how you think Mona Lisa would look if he hadn’t of used the sfumato technique.

Leonardo Da Vinci, "Mona Lisa", 1503–1517

Leonardo da Vinci, “Mona Lisa”, 1503–1517

Leonardo also kept a diary of all his sketches and thoughts.  He was a true observer and researched those observations with topics such as human anatomy.  Way beyond his time, Leonardo had ideas for inventions that would not be developed for hundreds of years.  To name a few, he had an idea for a flying machine, a propeller, and for weapons of war.  To fit his contribution of an architect, he designed and built bridges, canals and locks to carry water and move ships.

The possibilities are endless and it seems that Leonardo was hungry for an even bigger challenge.  Perhaps he had dreams of flying so he designed and constructed a helicopter.  Unfortunately, the helicopter wouldn’t take off and the glider he built injured one of his pupils who was trying to fly it.  Not wanting anymore disasters he quit trying to build the flying machines he was designing.  Nonetheless, it is believed that Leonardo is the one who initiated this great invention and look at what can be flown in the air these days!

A design for a flying machine, (c. 1488) Institut de France, Paris

A design for a flying machine, (c. 1488) Institut de France, Paris

Did you know that Leonard was ambidextrous, meaning he could write with both his right and left hands?  I wonder what he was trying to achieve when he wrote his notes backwards with his left hand.  Well, it sure is obvious that Leonardo had a playful approach to life.  Perhaps we can try and do the same.  Scribblers, let’s learn from Leonardo and don’t forget to dream, experiment, and play with our thoughts and idea because if we don’t try we will know know.

Let’s start with Mona Lisa! Go ahead and download Scribble Town’s Mona Lisa (below).  You can color her in or try the sfumato technique.  If anything else comes to mind, just go for it!  We’d love to see your own Mona Lisa so please email a picture of your artwork to  You are on your way to becoming a great inventor and artist!

Scribble your own Mona Lisa

Scribble your own Mona Lisa

For more fun facts about Leonardo da Vinci please go to:

Bottle Cap Pies

If Thanksgiving had an official dessert, it would definitely be pie. Pumpkin, apple, pecan, and so on… most Thanksgiving dessert courses involve more than one option. As you work on finishing up those leftovers, pay homage to this humble hero of the dessert table with this fun bottle cap pie craft. These pint-size pies are easy to make, versatile to display, and best of all… zero calories!


Bottle Cap Pies Image via Flickr

To get started, you have a few different options with materials to use. No matter what, you’ll need bottle caps to serve as the pie tins. As far as filling, you can use polymer clay, beads, felt, paint, glue, or anything else you think will work! Just as there’s an infinite variety of pies, you have many choices in how to create these mini versions.


Felt and Bottle Cap Pies Image Whimsy Love

Start by creating your crust. Press down tan colored clay or glue in felt, then trim the edges. Teeny tiny beads work perfectly as a berry filling (blue for blueberry, red for cherry, etc). If you don’t have beads, you can roll out your own with clay. Using clay is also great if you want to customize shapes for peaches or pecans. For a more solid filling, such as custard or pumpkin pie, use one larger piece of clay. Finally, add some lattice detailing by cutting very thin strips of felt, or again using clay, and any other details you’d like, such as whipped cream or a garnish.


Clay and Bottle Cap Pies Image via Flickr

There are a ton of possibilities, so have fun creating your own crafty recipes. These little desserts make adorable magnets, ornaments, or napkin ring decorations (just glue on magnets, rings, or ribbon to the backs), perfect dollhouse accessories, or just a sweet adornment anywhere you choose!


What was your favorite pie or dessert at this year’s Thanksgiving? What’s your all-time favorite?

Scribble Artist Interview with Stephanie Chambers!

Stephanie Chambers is a 2003 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives in New York, where she is originally from and works out of a studio space in Brooklyn. Her work has been shown at galleries in New York, San Francisco, Providence, Canada, Finland, Taiwan and Germany.

Bear by Sephanie Chambers

Bear by Sephanie Chambers

Scribble Town (ST): Stephanie, your new body of work, Emerging from Darkness, is so beautiful!  Your theme with animals continue, but this series have a sense of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for me.

If I Stay Still I'll be Ok by Stephanie Chambers

If I Stay Still I’ll be Ok by Stephanie Chambers

Stephanie Chambers (SC): The body of work is about emerging from darkness and trying to always look toward the light. I used woodland animals in the forest at night to showcase this.

ST: How does this series connect to your other themes such as Overgrown and your Bird series.  What is something in your artwork that you are trying to figure out?

SC: I work with animals a lot as symbols in a narrative setting. I think a lot about how dense a forest is or how much life is in the ocean. I live in New York City, so I experience a different kind of saturation with people, cars and buildings. The paintings are how I imagine nature would look through an urban lens.

Caterpillar by Stephanie Chambers

Caterpillar by Stephanie Chambers

ST: Urban lens explains a lot! Where you were living in Finland isn’t urban at all and especially for a city person such as yourself.  What was it like living in Finland for you?  Did you go to the forest to observe the birds and then paint them for your Finland Birds series?  I see the influence of Finnish patterns and textiles in your paintings.

SC: I loved living in Finland! It was such a beautiful place. I was in the country next to a lake and beautiful birch woods at the Arteles Creative Center. Every day I rode a bicycle in a new direction looking for birds. I photographed them and also sat and observed them. The textiles were inspired from trips to vintage shops there.

ST: The country is lined with second-hand markets, which are like windows into somebody’s attic full of treasures. Did Finnish culture have an effect on your creations as well? How was this process different than your New York Birds series?

Elephant Commission by Stephanie Chambers

Elephant Commission by Stephanie Chambers

SC: The culture of Finland and Scandinavia is so visually considered. People think of it as sparse sometimes, but each piece is deeply considered. Being in that culture made me think more about my intentions in what elements I include in a painting. The NY Birds series was inspired from a love of birds in NY, but since I grew up with those birds it was hard for me to see the uniqueness of the NY landscape until I studied birds elsewhere.

ST: What other kind of artwork and mediums do you like to do and use?

SC: I love to make patterns and any kind of flying animal. My favorite mediums are pencils, wax/oil and acrylic paint.

ST: How did your creativity start to grow?  As a kid were you making art too?

SC: My parents were so supportive of me making art. My mom is an artist, so we always had time lots of time to paint and draw. I used to make my own superheroes and comic books. I also drew a newspaper daily and left it outside my parents, sister and brother’s bedroom doors, wrapped in a rubberband each morning.

Triangle Crab by Stephanie Chambers

Triangle Crab by Stephanie Chambers

ST: It’s so wonderful to have a family that nurtures your imagination to grow. In your case, you probably were as encouraging to your Mom as she was to your creativity.  What is something you’ve recently seen or heard that has triggered a splash of inspiration?

SC: The autumn in NY has been so beautiful this year. I went upstate to the Hudson Valley recently and felt so inspired by all of the color in nature. The city seemed so gray when I returned.

ST: Concrete just can’t compare to living leaves.  What are you up to now?  What is a day like with Stephanie Chambers like?

SC: Right now I’m getting ready for a solo show in Taipei, Taiwan at the Sonnentor Art Space next Spring. I’m finalizing the concept for the show and trying to find inspiration outdoors. I draw and paint every day and I just finished a series of Winter birds for Buy Some Damn Art, which launches on Tuesday.

ST: Please keep us posted on your show!  Lastly, any advice for our Scribblers?

SC: Tips would be to remember to always have fun with what you’re making. Art should be something to enjoy doing!

ST: Thank you for taking the time to share with us, Stephanie.  Scribblers have a look at to view more of Stephanie Chambers’ artwork.

Two Foxes by Stephanie Chambers

Two Foxes by Stephanie Chambers

Twin Crabs by Stephanie Chambers

Twin Crabs by Stephanie Chambers

Thanksgivikkah Menorah

As you’ve probably heard, this year’s first night of Hanukkah falls right on Thanksgiving. This is an incredibly rare overlap in the Hebrew and Gregorian calendar that will only happen once in a lifetime. In fact, double holiday has unofficially been dubbed Thanksgivikkuh!


For those celebrating both holidays, it can be a lot to prepare for at once. As you get ready for Thanksgiving next week, don’t forget about Hanukkah!


To start things off, why not try making a recycled cardboard menorah?

 Cardboard MenorahImage via Chiro Mommy


You’ll need eight toilet paper tubes and one paper towel tube, paint, glue, decorating materials (stickers, glitter, whatever you want), and yellow tissue paper.


First, paint all of your cardboard tubes. Keep in mind that the taller one will serve as the shamash in the middle (if it’s a little too tall, trim it with scissors). You can paint them traditional Hanukkah colors (blue and white), Thanksgiving colors (brown, red, orange, yellow), a combination, or any colors you desire! Once the paint is dry, attach the tubes together with glue. Glue four tubes on one side of the shamash (paper towel roll) and four on the other. Finally, add decorations to your menorah!

  Wrapped Cardboard Menorah

Image via Making Friends

(Great alternative to paint: cover the tubes in wrapping paper or magazine pages.)


On the first night of Hanukkah, or the only night of Thanksgivikkah, display your creation proudly and use yellow tissue paper to create flames for the shamash and first candle. Add a tissue paper flame to a new candle each night of the Festival of Lights.


 Recycled Menorah

Image via Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish


Are you excited for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to overlap? What fun ways can you think of to commemorate this unique occurrence?

Scribble Artist Interview with Pamela Smart!

Scribble Town (ST): With us today on the Scribble Blog is Pamela Smart, creator of the Color Me coloring books.  They have been so popular that a fourth edition in the series is soon to be out!  Pamela, where are you and what are you up to these days?  I’m sure very busy with your Color Me #4.

Color Me Your Way by Pamela Smart

Color Me Your Way by Pamela Smart

Pamela Smart (PS): I live in Caldwell, Idaho outside Boise.  I am originally from the Hollywood area of California.  I have started Color Me #4 and my goal is to have it available by the beginning of summer.

ST: Great! The new book will be in time for us to take Color Me #4 on our summer holidays.  How do you come up with your themes for each book? Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?

Colored by a 6 year old boy

Colored by a 6 year old boy

PS:  The themes for each book are spontaneous with many suggestions from the fans on Facebook.  I do make a list of basic ideas and choose as I go.  I know God is with me and I am inspired by His creation.  Ideas pop in my head as I go.  You might call them elaborate doodles!

Inspiration is everywhere!  And it’s obvious that you breath creativity, but what encouraged you to make these books more public and accessible to everybody?

PS:  I prayed for an idea to help my husband out.  His work slowed down in construction due to the condition of the economy. I originally was going to make an ABC book with completed drawings colored in.  I used to sell completed colored works and black and white like the ones you see in the coloring books in my late teens and early 20’s in shows and on the beach in Santa Barbara.  When I started the book, I realized a coloring book would be even more fun for people to join in and complete the artwork their way!

Giving somebody the freedom to create with their own personal touch is such a beautiful gift.  What has been your favorite part about this project?  I think for me, it’s seeing how everybody fills the pages in their own unique way.  I even surprise myself!

Color Me My Way fans

Color Me My Way fans

PS: My favorite part in this adventure is finding out how the books help people and seeing them enjoy the coloring in their own way.  The Facebook page of Color Me Your Way has been filled with shares and interaction from all ages bridging the gap that electronics and games have produced.  I have received all kinds of letters of thanks for bringing families together at the table and the therapy it provides for all kinds of conditions from Alzheimers to cancer to depression and anxiety and more.

You are very much appreciated and it shows 🙂  Before your Color Me Your Way project, what other kind of creativity did you do?  Any favorite tools you like to use when making art?

 I love drawing detail with very fine technical pens and I love to bead necklaces and bracelets which I have sold in the past.  My favorite is drawing with pen and ink of which a high school art teacher introduced me to.

Smart Black by Pamela Smart. "The cat is one of my pictures I drew a long time ago.  I draw surrealism and realism as well."

Smart Black by Pamela Smart. “The cat is one of my pictures I drew a long time ago. I draw surrealism and realism as well.”

ST: Wow I feel like I can touch your cat and feel how soft it’s fur is. Who are some artists that you like?

I have always loved MC Escher.  I like some of Dali’s work and the great old painters of the past like Renoir and Monet.  Escher was so creative with the metamorphic ideas of things turning into things.  I love that!  Dali had many paintings with hidden pictures and optical illusions.  More fun for sure!  I do like surrealism.  Even my old Highlight magazines were fun when there were hidden pictures to find.

Colorful Peacock

Colorful Peacock

ST: Hidden pictures is such a great exercise because it makes you see things differently. Any tips for our Scribblers?

One of the things I like to pass on to the audience is discover the talents within and don’t be critical of yourself.  Enjoy what you do and know that we are all different like a fingerprint.  I know these coloring books have been a vehicle to bring that out.  We can have similar ideas, but not exactly the same.  Art is a way to express that more easily, but I believe in whatever you do, you have a gift that is different and unique to bring more color to whatever it is! 🙂

ST: Thank you so much Pamela for being with us! To see more of Pamela’s artwork and to get your own Color Me Your Way books please go to Color it Your way!

Dinosaur was colored by an 11 yr. old boy

Dinosaur was colored by an 11 yr. old boy

Turkey Take 2!

Let’s keep the Thanksgiving momentum going with another fun turkey craft! If you missed yesterday’s variation, take a look here. Today’s turkey gets a beautiful, natural twist by using dried autumn leaves. It’s the perfect way to celebrate both the holiday and the season!


You’ll need leaves (dried and flattened), cardboard or brown cardstock, glue, and crayons. If you’d like to make some substitutions (synthetic leaves, googly eyes, construction paper, markers), go right ahead!

Leaf Turkey Image via Baby Center

 There are several ways you can approach this project, depending on your desired final product, so feel free to put your own stamp on it. Cut out a brown cardboard or cardstock circle for the turkey’s body. Then cut out a smaller circle to use as the head and glue it to the body. If you’re mounting this to a piece of paper, glue the body to your paper and leave a little space unglued at the top for leaves. Start arranging your leaves by sliding then behind the turkey’s body (in the unglued space) and gluing them down.

  Leaf TurkeyImage via My Creative Stirrings

 If you’d prefer to leave your turkey freestanding, just glue the leaves to the back of its body. Finally, add some facial features to your turkey’s head—cut out leaves to make a beak and waddle and use crayon or marker to draw its eyes.

 Leaf TurkeyImage via 366 Days of Pinterest

 So cute, right? And it not only celebrates Thanksgiving, but really honors this beautiful time of year. Make sure to hang your turkey somewhere special as Thanksgiving approaches! What other Thanksgiving crafts are you looking forward to trying?

Teamwork Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming up in just about two weeks. Are you looking forward to it? This holiday combines a few of my favorite things—food, appreciating the little (and big) things, and family. That last one is particularly special because it’s probably what I’m most thankful for. That makes Thanksgiving the perfect time to try a craft that involves the whole family!


A traced-hand turkey craft is simple, colorful, and can include everyone! You’ll need scissors, glue, and either construction paper or cardstock in pretty fall colors (red, orange, yellow, green, brown, and dark brown).


Start by tracing each family member’s hand on a different colored piece of paper. You can use members of your household, or if you have relatives over, include them too! Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… the more the merrier! Cut each handprint out and arrange them as feathers. You can do this by color or size—one option is to order them largest to smallest so you can see each hand.


For the body, cut out a brown circle; for the neck and head, you can cut out a bowling pin shape, or skip the neck and just cut another circle for the head if you’d prefer. Once everything is glued in order (head onto body, body onto feathers), you can add facial details—cut out a paper beak and waddle and use a marker or pen to create eyes.


Paper Hand TurkeyImage via Pounds 4 Pennies

  Paper Hand TurkeysImage via Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

 Rainbow Paper Hand TurkeyImage via Happy Home Fairy


And there is your teamwork turkey! Display it as is or mount it to a piece of paper and frame it. What a great way for the whole family to start celebrating Thanksgiving! What are you planning for the holiday?

Scribble Artist Interview with Sarah Rosado!

Girl with Her Eyes Closed by Sarah Rosado

Girl with Her Eyes Closed by Sarah Rosado

Scribble Town (ST): Look closer and you’ll see an unconventional yet familiar material we see everywhere. Yup! Sarah Rosado makes art from dirt. I think that should spark intrigue immediately. At least it did for me!

Sarah Rosado (SR): I’m Sarah Rosado, a New York based illustrator and photographer. I love anything that has to do with Art and am always challenging myself in creating different styles of art form. I love variety and as such you will find a reflection of that in my art work, from fashion illustrations to thought provoking photographic images.

ST: I have never seen dirt used in such a way!  How did you come up with this idea? How has it developed to what it is now?  I’m sure it’s been quite the adventure!

SR: I wanted to do something different, something challenging. I had seen other artists do art with food and other objects but I had never seen art with dirt. That’s where the idea came from. I have close to 100 pieces and yes, it has been an adventure.

ST: I like your usage of mixed materials such as the hair in the Long-Haired Horse and the bubble in Bubble Gum Girl.  How do you come up with the subject for your pictures?  You’ve documented them in such a seamless way.

Long Haired Horse by Sarah Rosado

Long Haired Horse by Sarah Rosado

SR: The subject of my work could be something that I have seen in the park, street or internet that interests me enough to create something about it.  However, most of my work is an inspiration of my own feelings and thoughts. The process involves tossing a pile of dirt on the table and carefully shaping it into the selected object.  I then add real life accessories for realism.  Once done the piece is documented by taking a photo of it.  Although it seems easy it takes a lot of practice and having the artistic skill to draw is helpful in maximizing the output of the image.

ST: Real life accessories to natural materials makes for a great combination! What other kind of artwork do you do or tools do you use?

SR: Mainly my work involves photography, illustrations, graphic arts and cartoons.  I use several programs such as Paint-shop, Makeup Pilot and other software.

Up Up and Away by Sarah Rosado

Up Up and Away by Sarah Rosado

ST: I wonder how your creativity started to grow?  I can imagine you playing in the sandbox making pictures in the sand. As a kid were you making art too?

SR: As early as five years I began to show an interest in Art.  I remember doodling all kinds of shapes, sketches and drawings on anything I got my hands on. My grade school teacher was one of the first ones to notice that I had potential so she enlisted me in an Art contest and I won 2nd place. Also, my beloved uncle, an artist himself and a big inspiration to me spent a lot of time advising and offering tips and techniques on improving my drawings.

ST: You can’t escape making art because you were born to make it! What is something you’ve recently seen or heard that has triggered a splash of inspiration?

King Kong Empire State Building by Sarah Rosado

King Kong Empire State Building by Sarah Rosado

SR: The other day I came across the work of a mom, Queenie Liao, who creates amazing scenes around her sleeping child. I was taken aback by her work. It’s very creative.  She may have been one to trigger a splash of inspiration for my next project however, it would be, of course, completely different.

ST: We don’t have to look too far because inspiration is usually right in front of us. What are you up to now? What’s your day like?

SR: Currently, I’m in the early stages of creating a new project.  Hopefully, it would be as successful as my “Dirty Little Secrets” series.  A regular day with me would probably be spent going to the park, shopping, maybe a movie or just staying home cooking and watching my favorite shows and browsing the internet.

ST: Your day sound so playful and creative! Any tips for Scribblers?

SR: To the parents and teachers I would say to be on the lookout.  It is at an early age that a child begins to show an interest or a potential to become more than just a scribbler. If that is found I advise that they encourage, support and assist them every step of the way.

ST: And we’ll be on the look out for more great art from you, Sarah! Thanks so much for sharing with us. Scribblers, check out Sarah Rosado’s artwork at

Eagle Spreading His Wing by Sarah Rosado

Eagle Spreading His Wing by Sarah Rosado

Colored Pencil Jewelry

Colored pencils aren’t just for drawing anymore! In fact, they make some pretty adorable jewelry. Showcase your love of art and color with these fun colored pencil pieces. Usually, colored pencils are used to create something pretty, but here the pencils get to take center stage. By cutting them into beads, you can make bright and unique necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and earrings.


To make the beads, you will need some basic tools: a junior hacksaw, fine sandpaper, a drill and small drill bit. Then of course you’ll need colored pencils and thread. For specific directions and necessary materials, check out Kate’s fabulous tutorial on Design Mom.


Grown-ups will definitely need to help prepare the beads (there’s a bit of sawing, sanding, and drilling involved), but kids will love stringing the beads and creating their own jewelry. It’s also a great way to play with color; pick a specific scheme, build a pattern, or make a rainbow!

 Colored Pencil Jewelry

Image (and tutorial) via Design Mom

 Colored Pencil Jewelry

Images via Etsy  one and two


This would make a great activity for a birthday party, class project, or just a rainy day.  It would also be a perfect homemade gift (the holidays are right around the corner… hint, hint). Artists, art enthusiasts, crafters, teachers, and kids would all appreciate this simple, yet impressive jewelry!


What other art inspired jewelry would you create?


Posted by Andi Thea, on November 6th, 2013 at 1:09 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,classroom,kids Labels: , , , , , ,

Scribble Artist Interview with Francisco Bustamante!

Scribble Town (ST): To quote Joanna Greenhill, “Francisco Bustamante is both the subject and object of his work.” He pulls you in with his colors, lines, and unspeakable movement found in his works. The intrigue has been initiated and we are so lucky to have Francisco with us to talk with him more about him and his artwork.  Francisco, you work with a number of materials like oils, gold leaf, stoneware, etc. How do you choose which medium to use?  Is there one in particular that you feel most comfortable with?

Francisco Bustamente

Francisco Bustamente

Francisco Bustamente (FB):
Throughout the years that I have been working in art, my main medium has been oil paint. I feel very comfortable with this medium since has made me grow as an artist the last 20 years. Still, I have always been working in other mediums as well, and lately, thanks to close friend from Chile who works in ceramics I discovered stoneware. And that has been a big and nice surprise since in this case I am actually building forms with my hands.

Francisco Bustamente

Francisco Bustamente

ST: Your paintings are often gilded with gold. The shininess and vibrant colors brings an air of decadence and respect. What is your fascination with using gold leaf?  I wonder what it represents for you.

FB: I was born in Lima, Peru and in Peru gold leaf is present in many things. To start with, Peru was the territory of the Inca’s civilization, which among other things used gold in many ceremonial activities. They considered the Sun as their God, and the work with gold was one of their sacred materials. Later, with the arrival of Spanish people, they continued using gold in their religious activities (Catholic Church). These are some of the reasons which I think moved me to work with this material.

Francisco Bustamente

Francisco Bustamente

ST: Knowing the relation of gold to your personal history now makes the paintings even more meaningful! What are you currently working on?  You seem to be a very symbolic person. How have the themes of your artwork evolved?

FB: At the moment I am preparing an exhibition for Washington DC. and in mid-November I will show paintings at the Pinta Art Fair NY, which will take place in 82 Mercer street from Nov 15th to Nov 17th.

I am currently trying to achieve in paintings the idea of working with light and shadows and how each one relates to the other. My work has evolved throughout the years influenced by family reasons from one side, like for example the death of my parents at some point and how to translate those emotions into an actual body of work…..which by the way is very helpful. Nowadays my main concern is to get into the depth of the act of painting.  It is some kind of a personal fight, a good fight, that keeps me engaged with work.

ST: Art is a wonderful way to process conflict, joy and all the emotions that happen in between and beyond. On your website, when I look at your works, it is almost like I am reading your diary. Your artwork is obviously so personal. When and how did your creativity start to grow?

FB: Ever since I can remember as a child I was always drawing and painting with crayons or enjoying looking at nature. I guess I was a rather shy and silent kid, mainly because my head was somewhere else, sort of dreaming…….as many children, I guess.

Francisco Bustamente

Francisco Bustamente

I would always look forward to art classes in school, whereas on the other hand, I would suffer a lot whenever math or geometry were around :)……I was never good at it. In my family there are only lawyers so I did not know that I could actually give all my time to art. I started studying architecture for one year, but still, it was far from what I wanted. Fortunately my parents support my idea of getting into art school. From then on, I was all smiles.

ST: You just did what you had to do! And that was to make art. Who are some inspirational artists for you?

FB: I completely admire the work of the Spanish artists Diego Velazques and Jose de Rivera for their amazing talent in the use of light and shadow in their paintings. On the other hand I love the work of Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon for the powerful results in their paintings. Finally I cannot avoid mentioning Rothko. His paintings are as well so powerful, and the sizes he uses make the viewer get deep into his paintings.

Francisco Bustamente

Francisco Bustamente

ST: Those artists also are interested in your currents themes so I can really see the connection. What is an exercise or activity you do when you start making art in your studio?

FB: The first feeling I have when I am in front of a white canvas is being absolutely terrified. I don’t understand how I am going to be able to get the idea I have in my head into an actual painting. Fortunately, something strange and magical happens and work later happens. The first part of the actual work is to cover the canvas with gold leaf, which basically is the light that has already arrived to the canvas. only then I start the process of oil paint.

ST: I love how your work is built off of light! It reminds me that light carries all colors of the rainbow. Any other advice for our Scribblers?

FB: My tip or advice to anyone who is involved in the work of art, no matter what medium they are using is: JUST DO IT!  Do not let insecurities get into you or your work. There is no failure here, just the fun of creating and if at some point you feel there are errors, think twice, because errors can lead you to a deeper and freerer result in your art piece.

ST: Thank you Francisco! We can’t wait to see more of your artwork and have fun at your upcoming art exhibitions!

Francisco Bustamente

Francisco Bustamente

Spooky Pretzels

One of my favorite snack foods has got to be the pretzel. It’s crunchy and salty, it’s tasty on its own, and it pairs well with both sweet and savory ingredients. You can dip it in chocolate or cheese and both will be delicious (just not at the same time… unless you’re really adventurous).


Sometimes it’s fun to pick a favorite snack and then create variations on a theme with it. Here are a few different ideas for bringing Halloween flair to some yummy pretzel treats.


These pumpkin pretzels from Make Bake Celebrate are too cute for words! Chocolate-covered and dipped in sprinkles, they’re the perfect salty-sweet combination. Add leaves and stems with some piped chocolate for added detail.

 Chocolate Pumpkin Pretzels

Photo via Make Bake Celebrate



You can never have enough chocolate covered pretzels! For a fun variation on the same flavors, you must try these Frankenstein pretzels! Grab pretzel rods, green melting chocolate, black gel icing, chocolate kisses, and shredded coconut. With some simple assembly, you can make the perfect creepy cuties to compliment your bright pumpkin pretzels.

 Chocolate Pretzel Frankensteins

Photo via Simply Designing with Ashley


Finally, let’s finish up with a savory pretzel dish. With some pretzel sticks, string cheese, and chives for garnish, you can create the most adorable witches’ brooms. Cut up the string cheese to act as bristles, stick in a pretzel to be the handle, and tie on a chive if you like (you can skip this last part if you’re not a chive fan).

 Pretzel and Cheese Brooms

Photo via Babble


Yum! These make perfect Halloween treats, but are also great festive snacks for any time—be it in the classroom, after school, or for a sleepover.


Which of these variations is your favorite? Do you have any other spooky snack ideas?

Scribble Artist Interview with David Devries!

Scribble Town (ST): David Devries describes himself as a, “Dad, husband, illustrator, teacher—not much of a fine artist. Though I do gallery shows I am at heart an illustrator.” After you read this Scribble interview with David, you’ll know he’s a a great artist and a lot more than that! Plus he’s got great stories to match!

David Devries, The Monster Engine master!

David Devries, The Monster Engine master!

David Devries (DD): I once did a show and my work didn’t fit the space so I offered to redo it smaller.  The shocked gallery owners said they would never ask me to alter my art— but that is what illustrators do. What’s the job? What are the parameters? When do you need it by? In terms of personal philosophy I bend the rules when I can, break them when necessary—it is why I love kids—they are all outlaws at heart.

For my commercial work, I specialize in high impact, high drama images. I also publish a book called The Monster Engine that answers the question, “What would a child’s drawing look like if painted by a professional illustrator?” The results are startling transformations of flat childlike imagery into fully painted illustrations. This technique came from my illustration work, primarily in the entertainment field– specifically the comic book, advertising and video game markets. Some of my clients include Dreamworks SKG, Lucasfilm, Universal Studios, Sega, The 3DO company, Seed Studio, ASCAP, Tor Books and Marvel and DC Comics among others. Currently, I teach at FIT and Syracuse University as well as lecturing nationwide on The Monster Engine and my illustrations.

In addition to being well versed in traditional paintings skills I’m also an accomplished Photoshop artist and was featured in Best Practice: The Pros on Adobe Photoshop by Toni Toland from Del Mar Learning (Copyright 2007).

ST: David, the list goes on!  I think it’s wonderful that you are truly collaborating with children in the creative process of these Monster Engine artworks. In what capacity can individuals and schools get involved?

Blue Boy by David Devries

Blue Boy by David Devries

DD: There are two ways.  One—I can come to your school and either do a presentation or a workshop.  Presentations are defined here and workshops are either a 3-day or 10 week class of guided storytelling and drawing lessons designed to pique the imagination and bolster burgeoning artistic skills.

The other way doesn’t involve my presence at your school.  An an elementary school art teacher can team up with a junior or senior high school art teacher to produce collaborative art between schools.  Below are two examples.

4th Graders Use Funny Movie Maker Pro to Bring Objects to Life: An Approach Explored by Many Artists (Part 2) from Suzanne Tiedemann on Vimeo.

I only ask that the teachers, if inspired by my project, please give me credit for the inspiration in their descriptions and press releases.  Also a link to my site would be very much appreciated.  I have worked a long time to build this brand and any credit helps support all that sacrifice and hard work.

B.A. Kindergarten and XRoads So. Middle School Monster Engine Project from Suzanne Tiedemann on Vimeo.

ST: How did The Monster Engine begin?  I’m sure it’s been quite the adventure!

DD: It has been an adventure.  The idea came to me about 15 years ago and has gone on to big places—recently it was covered on CBS news this morning.

From my website…”It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it… no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life.”

Minot Beaver by David Devries

Minot Beaver by David Devries

ST: I wonder how it has developed to what it is now.

DD: After my niece had inspired me with her drawing in my sketchpad I thought that it would be cool to explore this idea but I just kind of forgot about it. A few months later, I was teaching at a comic book art school. The problem I faced there was that the students didn’t appreciate abstract expressionism. I explained that abstract art is needed especially in comic book work to visualize unseen worlds–places and creatures that can’t be referenced with a photograph. They didn’t care and said they still hated abstract expressionism. That’s when it hit me. If I could render a kids drawing–really detail it–then maybe they would see that abstract painting is useful.  After all, when I do a Monster Engine painting, I am rendering it with abstract thinking and planning. It worked—some of them got the lesson. After that, I wanted to see how a series would work so I did a few Monster Engine paintings of superheroes as Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews. The series looked great and then the book idea hatched.

Purple Monkey by David Devries

Purple Monkey by David Devries

I chose monsters because I love them and so do kids. That was in 1998 and it took 6 more years to paint all the art,  do the interviews, photograph the kids and design the book. I self published a beautiful 48 page hardcover with a dust jacket in 2005 and it became an Internet hit. During the first month of his web site’s launch, the site got 17 million hits and was linked to over 12,000 blogs. A month later I was flown to Japan and appeared on Nippon TV, where I showed his work to an astonished audience.

The Monster Engine by David Devries

The Monster Engine by David Devries

The website is internationally known with book buyers from all over the world since it opened in 2005. The Monster Engine has also been featured in many magazines and newspapers including Rue Morgue magazine alongside Lemony Snicket and Clive Barker.  In 2006 The Monster Engine was given an honorable mention for “Outstanding Book of the Year” at the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the category of “Most Original Concept.” I’ve been approached numerous times for TV show possibilities and but nothing has gone the distance yet.

ST: Wow! You’ve really accomplished so much! Aside from illustrating, what other kind of artwork do you do?  I have a feeling your talent goes beyond the pencil.

DD: I do concept art for games, advertising work, comic book covers and, teaching. Go to to see some stuff.

Some history:

In 2011 I finished up an expansive project called BlueShift, which is an eco-thriller, high-octane adventure – lots of action, lots of global warming. We did two issues of the graphic novel – it’s on MTV Geek I’m proud of that project.

I’m super proud though of winning a National Endowment for the Arts award last spring.  I was flown to Texas on the grant to work with underprivileged kids in Lubbock.  Watch it below or click here.

Out & About Bozeman, Dave DeVries from Lubbock ISD on Vimeo.

In addition, The Monster Engine was featured in its first commercial job.  Microsoft and Windows Phone sponsored a contest to get kids drawings in response to the following questions:

Jessica, age 4: “My Windows Phone can make kitty monsters happy with music! The kitty monster gets real real happy and dances around flowers.”

Jessica, age 4: “My Windows Phone can make kitty monsters happy with music! The kitty monster gets real real happy and dances around flowers.”

“What do you wish your Windows Phone could do? How do you imagine yourself, your family, and others using your phone?” We received tons of amazing artwork from children all around the world, each one a whimsical creation that showed how Windows Phone could help unlock a child’s imagination. It was a blast and was featured on their website—you can see them here.

Lastly, just visiting a lot of schools and doing my Monster presentations—and having a blast doing so. Here’s a video of one of them.

I use both digital and traditional paints.  For painting I use mixed media painting techniques… acrylic, airbrush and colored pencil to make the images you see.

ST: How did your creativity start to grow?  As a kid were you making art too?  If you have any stories or people that were there to encourage you, please share.

DD: I never thought of myself as an artist then. I drew pictures but no more than any other child my age. When I turned six, though, my older brother, Jack, asked me to come into his room. At the time he was the family artist—I thought I could never be as good as him. He told me to lock the door to his room. I did so. He then told me that the only way I could leave his room was if I drew from a photograph.  The idea of trying to draw from a photo was impossible to me—after all he did that–but after much crying and pleading I sat down and drew. After I was finished, the picture was so good that I drew 3 more. So, when Jack finally opened the door to his room I was a changed person—I was an artist.

As for painting—I had to wait till I was 21 years old. I lived in terror of painting till I was almost out of college—can you believe that?

ST: Baby steps…at least you took a chance and got over your fear of painting 😉  Please tell us about My Spooky Heart. I wonder what your son thinks of it now.

My Spooky Heart by David Devries

My Spooky Heart by David Devries

DD: You know I never showed it to him.  It was done for a charity and was sold shortly after his birth.  He never saw the original and I have never shown a picture of it to him. I’m waiting till he’s a bit older to appreciate it. He’s six and I would eventually  love to have a conversation with him about it and that time in our lives.

ST: What are you up to now?  We’d love to know and join you, if possible!

DD: Just school presentations and Monster Engine commissions for now.  Thinking of doing a graphic novel story based upon The Monster Engine—still a ways off but worth the journey.

ST: Go for it!  The time is now!  Any advice for our Scribblers, you’d like to share?

DD: Just always remember that your kid is always right when it comes to their work.  You cannot impose logic upon their creations. This will go a long way to making them confident in their own beliefs and decision-making skills.  No matter what they become as adults, they learn that their ideas have substance in those early years.  Just think about it—in no other school subject do kids have the right to tell a teacher that they are wrong.  Math, Science, English, or History are all quantifiable subjects. If a kid says 2+2 = 3 they are wrong no matter how they justify it.  Art isn’t quantifiable— it teaches them to rely upon their instincts.

Here is a quick time lapse video–fun to watch–wish I worked this fast.

ST: Thanks David for that!  Please check our & to see more of David Devries one-of-a-kind artwork!

Scribble Artist Interview with Gary Swift!

Gary Swift

Gary Swift

Scribble Town (ST): Gary Swift is an artist that creates, as he says, “From Apps’ to Adshells I never know what I’ll be doing next!” Let’s see what Gary is up to these days.

Gary Swift (GS): I am based in Yorkshire, England from my studio, and with the aid of modern technology, I work with clients all over the world. The internet means timezones are not a concern. Over two decades of supplying illustration work I enjoy it as much today as I ever did.

ST: How did Gary Swift Studios come about?  I can imagine the adventure has been an exciting one!

GS: I began when I left high school at the age of 16, I always wanted to be an illustrator, for as long as I could remember. I started advertising my work from day one, and luckily
things grew and grew, now I work for clients in all locations, from Brazil to Birmingham.

ST: When creating a logo for a company what is your creative process?  How do you come up with or do research for a theme that so succinctly shows what this company or cartoon is about?

Image for iPad by Gary Swift

Image for iPad by Gary Swift

GS: I always begin by listening to the client and understanding their vision for their business, whether they are multi-nationals or start-ups, they are all vital in importance and would receive the same creative effort. I remember illustrating a young Tiger Woods’ childrens book some years ago. The process remains the same for all clients, but obviously some customers are easier to work with than others 😉

ST: When and how did you get started animating and illustrating?  Do you make other kinds of art too?

GS: As a teenager I drew all kinds of things, from realistic cars for Porsche to wildlife paintings, but when I set up the business officially, I concentrated on the style that I am now known for. Your style is your brand and crucial to the effectiveness of your company. It makes you stand out. Animation just came about as clients requested it, and software became more accessible to one-man studios like mine. Today clients are requesting apps and interactive platform games. What I realized very early a this style had so many uses.

Elephant Move by Gary Swift

Elephant Move by Gary Swift

ST: Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  Your pictures make me smile!  For example, I really like your picture Elephant Move (above) and A is for Alligator (below). How did those ideas come about?

A is for Alligator by Gary Swift

A is for Alligator by Gary Swift

GS: That’s very kind of you to say that. I have ideas coming out of my ears, and luckily they are still developing after over 20 years, when people ask “where do ideas come from?” to be honest I can’t answer accurately, as I pick up inspiration from things in daily life, TV and reading. Inspiration comes in many forms!

ST: What are your favorite tools or medium you like to create with?

GS: I draw everyday and love the sketch ideas with pencil, then pen the linework when I am happy, and more importantly when the client approves the work, I color the work digitally like 98% illustrators today.

ST: When you get an idea for an animation or an illustration in your head how do you develop it?  Are there tips you can give us on how to make our ideas and images grow?  And what about when you work with a client- how does the developing process differ?

Super Uncle by Gary Swift

Super Uncle by Gary Swift

GS: To develop an idea, you have to satisfy yourself first and not worry about others liking it until you fine tune the concept. Some ideas are better than others, but always carry out your concept to its completion, you never know one day you may re-visit the idea/artwork? When working with clients you are often trying to fulfill their imagination or answer their brief. All clients are different and have different requirements, the important thing is to deliver the solution they want and to deliver on time.

ST: Who are some artists and authors that you like?  Why do you like them?

GS: I like too many artists to mention really, I am constantly seeing fresh images I love and new artists I admire. I do not really take note of too many authors if I am honest. I am a visual person and I am ‘drawn’ in by the illustration always. Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar book comes to mind of one of my very earliest memories of a children’s book.

ST: Thanks Gary for taking the time to be with us on Scribble Town! Scribblers, go check out more of Gary’s artwork at

Bunny Bunito by Gary Swift

Bunny Bunito by Gary Swift

Pumpkins & Crayons

Pumpkin decorating doesn’t have to be dangerous or super messy (think knives, pumpkin guts, spray paint, etc). You can create unique, vibrant pumpkins with a few simple materials and some creativity.


When it comes to pumpkins and crayons, Alexa of The Swell Life really nailed it with two great decorating DIYs. Fun and colorful, both projects feature white pumpkins and a box of crayons. No carving necessary!


First off, how could we resist this DIY called the “Crayon Scribble Pumpkin”? All you’ll need to create your own are bright crayons and a white pumpkin (white displays color so much better)! This is perfect for kids of any age since there are no sharp tools or mess involved. Just grab your pumpkin and start coloring! Create a random colorful design, draw a face or picture, or work on an interesting pattern—there’s no limit to what you can do!


 Crayon Colored Pumpkin

Photo via The Swell Life


For a fun twist with the same tools, grab some glue and a hairdryer for this next version. Take your crayons and this time, remove the wrappers and break them in half (you won’t need a whole crayon for this). Glue them around the top of your pumpkin (again, white shows the colors better) and apply heat with a hairdryer set on high. There could be some crayon runoff, so you’ll want to lay down a garbage bag or tarp under your pumpkin.


 Melted Crayon Pumpkin

Photo via The Swell Life


You can customize your color palette—try orange and yellow for a candy corn theme, or purple and black for Halloween. For a really creepy version, try melting all red crayons—it’ll look amazing and dramatic for a haunted porch.


And that’s it! Two main materials, two great projects. Don’t forget to check out The Swell Life for tons more great pumpkin decorating projects. What fun ways do you like to decorate pumpkins? How would you customize these versions with crayons?

Creepy Cuties

It’s just not Halloween until there are some sweet treats around! Save the wrapped candy for trick-or-treaters and add a little homemade flair for October festivities.


These spooky sweet treats are sure to be a hit!  All featuring marshmallows, they’re easy to make and more cute than creepy. With a few bags of marshmallows and some other simple ingredients, you can create your own rice krispies jack-o-lantern, chocolate and marshmallow witch, and marshmallow ghost.


These fun snacks provide the perfect balance of spooky and sweet—they’re festive without being scary—great for younger kids. Plus, since they mostly just require assembly, little ones can help you in the kitchen. They make perfect classroom snacks, Halloween party favors, or just festive desserts. For specific ingredient lists and directions, check out the source links.



Use the marshmallow as a binder for these deliciously sweet pumpkin rice krispies treats.

 Pumpkin Rice Krispies TreatsPhoto via Food Family Finds



No baking or cooking required! Just gather ingredients and assemble these spooktacular witches.

  Marshmallow & Chocolate Witches

Photo via Taste of Home


Keep things extra simple with these creepy-cute ghosts. All you need are marshmallows and an edible food pen (consider gel icing as a substitute).

 Marshmallow Ghosts

Photo via Cook Play Explore


What are your favorite Halloween treats to make?

Scribble Artist Interview with Kevin Whitlark!

The Twelve Cows of Christmas

The Twelve Cows of Christmas

Scribble Town (ST): Kevin Whitlark’s energy for creative is unbelievable! It seems as if he was born to draw. In 1989, Kevin started his own greeting card company, “On A Lark Greetings, Inc.” His career has soared and continues in many great directions, all that involve the sharing of funny, witty, and cute illustrations. Kevin, where are you and what are you up to these days?

Kevin Whitlark (KW): In Atlanta, Georgia. Working on some children’s books for Kindle (and other devices with a Kindle app) and hard copy. Also working on new greeting cards and puzzle designs. A lot of this is for 2014. We have a Christmas book coming out next week for Kindle–> The Twelve Cows of Christmas.

ST: Yay for The Twelve Cows of Christmas on Kindle! Please let us know more about One Hundred And One and all the products you create.

KW: One Hundred and One is expanding more than ever in 2014. Currently the concept is seen on jigsaw puzzles (sold by major retailers), prints, scrubs, fabrics/cotton. We are hoping to license and manufacture several new products and publish a major book incorporating the One Hundred and One concept and art.

ST: Sounds like things are on the up and up already for 2014 🙂 How do you come up with your themes for each book?

KW: With my six kids in the house and coming from a large family myself (I am the youngest of fourteen), inspiration abounds.  The hundreds of children’s books I have read to my kids motivates and inspires me also.  I have a vivid and overactive imagination naturally, so plugging these things into it makes for a very effective creative formula.

Kevin Whitlark's Family

Kevin Whitlark’s Family

Cleaning my studio, cutting clean paper, sharpening pencils, mixing water colors….Go out and visit book stores, read children’s books…GOING FOR A WALK. (Exercise)

Step Two 100 Cats by Kevin Whitlark

Step Two 100 Cats by Kevin Whitlark

I also love to visit my kid’s school and I read my books, but more importantly I draw on the big boards for the kids and they react immediately. Usually I will visit the schools for holidays…so for example…I created a book right in front of the kids…this is 3rd grade…”Thanksgiving Revolt”…  The fun is the live action, immediate response and the contribution from the kids!!

Kevin Whitlark with Anna's class

Kevin Whitlark with Anna’s class

ST: You have a really big family and I’m sure there’s never a dull moment at home.  Do your kids and wife often inspire your stories and artwork?

KW: BIG Family…  Again, the kids definitely inspire me. I have a book coming out based on a true story with the kids.  I am taking an already amusing (now, not at the time) event and making it larger than life, as usual.  The details are confidential right now, but I’m confident it will be a best seller.

ST: When and how did you get started writing and illustrating books?  What was the first book you made about?  I wonder what is the creative process like with Ryan McLemore, your editor.

KW: I actually started in the greeting card industry. I submitted some designs to a major publisher and was rejected. I decided to start my own company. A year later I had accounts all over the country and was eventually approached by Andrews McMeel Publishing, Owners of Universal Press Syndicate. They were the largest publishers of humor in the world at the time. Farside was their monster line and it paved the way. I established a very large line with AMP.

A page from the book, 'Hip & Helen Peg the Egg'

A page from the book, ‘Hip & Helen Peg the Egg’

I think in print they sold like 80 million On a Lark  greeting cards from their licensing came. And the art from the cards themselves jumped on other products.

Hip and Helen Peg the Egg by Kevin Whitlark and Ryan LeMark

Hip and Helen Peg the Egg by Kevin Whitlark and Ryan McLemore

Today my greeting cards are Published by American Greetings, Papyrus, Recycled paper Greetings, Inc. and Sellers Publishing.

Children’s books didn’t come until much later and really started with Scholastics. AMP published four humor books of mine. The Red Cat Society books were funny parodies on the Red Hat Society here in US.

I did the twelve Cats of Christmas and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas for Scholastic, and now we are publishing the Twelve Cows of Christmas ourselves. Ryan McLemore and I publish the Kindle version and hard back for book stores. Scholastic distributes directly to the schools.

Ryan wrote the book, Hip & Helen Peg the Egg, with me. We did all the layout formatting, etc…Kindle version and is selling on line!!!

ST: That just shows you that rejection can get you to places you never could’ve imagined. Your story is very encouraging! When you get an idea for a story or a picture in your head how do you develop it?  Are there tips you can give us on how to make our ideas and images grow?

Farm House Kids Basket by Kevin Whitlark

Farm House Kids Basket by Kevin Whitlark

KW: Getting an idea shouldn’t be limited. Write everything down, scribble everywhere, don’t even think about the actual final printed book. Take your idea and explore it on paper. Then refine it. Layer after layer comes off and sometimes you end up with an entirely different book. But you know that can happen then you should never hold back on an idea.

ST: What are your favorite tools/medium you like to create with?

Puppy Love by Kevin Whitlark

Puppy Love by Kevin Whitlark

KW: I like to sketch with pencil. I also will just scribble with pens…concepting, roughing etc… When I actually start a project I have a pretty clear method.

With Water Color paper…Pencil sketch, ink in, clean with eraser, then scan the black line art and file it on my MAC. I then go back to my original black line on watercolor and I paint. Light layers and after drying I add and do what is needed. I then scan this original art 400 DPI and open it in Photo Shop.

I brighten it, then I clean it up. Remove the background paper and take actual art and put in on another layer. I will thin lines, add, smooth etc…POLISH the art, I use air brush and maybe a shadow her and there or a reflection highlight. Because the art is on layers I may want to add tot he art. Say I create a really cool rabbit. I then have him finished and want to put him on a grass hill. I will actually scan a water color green/grass and bring it into that file on a separate layer and there is my grassy hill behind my rabbit, for example.

Once art is finished I save the file as a PDF, TIFF, JPEG for quick references and emailing, and I have a separate flattened file…and of course there will be that original Photoshop file with all of its free layers. You can change and move them for future needs.

Beach Cat Towel by Kevin Whitlark

Beach Cat Towel by Kevin Whitlark

The MAC is like a Stage and I supply all kinds of elements (Archives) water, trees, flowers, bugs, cars, houses etc…All supporting elements. Kindle is a fascinating venue and Ryan is all about Kindle (and is working on animated/interactive app development). He will get a file from me and he can format and move art if need be to conform to this version of the book. He also is a excellent editor and writer. Not so much for me as I write very simple children’s books but he can catch little thing.  He in is own right can be published as a writer. I am actually illustrating a few books he wrote.

ST: Who are some artists and authors that you like?

KW: Artist and authors: There are a lot of them!!! Ill be right back, let me go see. I’m bad with names…There are too many and most of the well known children’s book illustrators and writers are on my list but to name a few outside the box, say Jenya Prosmitsky..great illustrator, Dav Pilkey…easy one, Kevin Henkes, these two are both writer and illustrator… Tim Hutchinson..illustrator…I’m attracted to their clever use of words, puns etc..and I also look at their medium, art…There are a lot of artist that I pull from just because of how well they us their mediums.

I believe that I am just really getting started as a writer and illustrator and I have a million ideas so I am excited that for years to come we will be seeing my books.

ST: I think you’re probably on some Scribbler’s list of favorite authors now too. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Kevin!

Birds by Kevin Whitlark

Birds by Kevin Whitlark

Around the Globe

Happy (almost) Columbus Day, Scribblers! How are you planning to enjoy your long weekend? This holiday marks the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to America in 1492. Everyone knows any good explorer always has a few tools on hand and a definite crucial one is a map.


It seems only right to embrace the adventurous spirit of the day with some fun DIY inspirations involving globes and maps! This is a great way to use souvenir maps from past trips or vacations, old atlases, and road maps; or breathe new life into broken or shabby globes with these exciting updates. Have fun exploring these cute and timely crafts on your day off!



Take half a globe and turn it into a unique bowl. Globe Bowl

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Spread “peace” on earth with contact paper and spray paint.       Peace on Earth globe

Photo via Endlessly Inspired

Grab some maps and some modpodge and spruce up a piece of furniture with decoupage.

Decoupage Map Dresser

Photo via Shelterness

Decoupage Map ChairPhoto via Roddy & Ginger

Save souvenir maps from vacations and cut them into shapes to display. Try butterflies or hearts.Map Butterflies

Photo via Image Surgery



Are you going to give any of these projects a try? How would you transform your old maps or globes?


Have a great Columbus Day everyone!

Playing with Food

It always seemed like the official party line at mealtime was, “Don’t play with your food!” Well, the times, they are a-changing… A creative movement sweeping across kitchens and social media everywhere lately is food art. By transforming ordinary dishes into extraordinary pictures, many cooks, parents, and artists have been turning each meal into a cultural experience.


With all the beautiful colors and textures found in different kinds of food, it seems quite natural to turn them into art. This makes food preparation an even more creative experience, plus meals become that much more fun to eat!  Bonus: it’s a great way to excite little ones about eating more healthy foods, like fruits and veggies. When the broccoli florets are forming the treetops in a magical forest, it’s a lot tougher to reject them!


You don’t have to be an expert chef to compose clever dishes. Just have fun seeing what picture you can create with what ingredients you have.  It’s more assembly than anything else. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with!


 Food Art by Samantha Lee

Photo via Samantha Lee, Eatzy Bitzy

 Food Art by Idafrosk (Instagram)

Photo by Idafrosk (Instagram), via Handmade Charlotte

 Food Art by bambini_pucillo (Instagram)

Photo by bambini_pucillo (Instagram) via POPSUGAR moms

The gorgeous final products prove that you can be creative just about anywhere. Let the refrigerator be your palette and the plate your canvas!


Have you given food art a try? Would you? Show us your creations!


Posted by Andi Thea, on October 10th, 2013 at 8:54 pm. No Comments

Category: adults,food art,kids Labels: , , , , , , ,

Little Monsters

If you have younger kiddos, you know that Halloween is super fun, but can also mean tempering some of the extra scary stuff. Well, kooky meets spooky with these adorable tissue box monsters! If you want a great Halloween craft for some little ones that’s festive without being frightening, this is the one for you.


 Tissue Box Monster 1

Photo via A Girl and a Glue Gun

You’ll need empty tissue boxes (one per monster), but after that the decorations are up to you! A good decorating base is: some paper (construction, wrapping, computer, any will do), paint, glue, and scissors. For the creatures’ eyes, you can use cut up egg cartons, pom poms, paper, or googly eyes. Feel free to throw some glitter, stickers, feathers, markers, or pipe cleaners in the mix—whatever you have on hand will do.

Tissue Box Monster 2

Photo via Spoonful

Once you have all your materials set up… assemble! The box’s opening (once for tissues) should serve as the monster’s mouth, but how you align it is your call. Start by decorating the box, which serves as the creature’s base. If it needs to dry once it is complete, let it do so before adding eyes, arms, and legs.

Tissue Box Monster 3

Photo via Danielle’s Place

Explore colors, patterns, and shapes—they all add to your monster’s personality. Make it friendly! Or angry!  Be as creative or outrageous as you like. See if you can add fun details like hair, eyebrows or lashes, a tongue, moles, and teeth.


Once these crazy guys and gals are all finished and dry, you can play with them or add them to your Halloween display (or both!). Just Boo-ti-ful!

Scribble Artist Interview with Béatrice Coron!

Big Tent by Béatrice Coron. photos credit to Etienne Frossard

Big Tent by Béatrice Coron. photos credit to Etienne Frossard

Scribble Town (ST): Béatrice Coron is a visual storyteller who creates in the forms of illustration, book arts, fine art and public art. Béatrice describes her work as, “Collecting memories from individuals and communities, I stage narrative allegories in silhouette to create a dialogue with the viewer in playful fantasies.” Wanting to know more, let’s start with, where are you and what are you up to these days?

Béatrice Coron (BC): A lot of different projects, fences in Chicago (, a subway station on the A train in NYC (will be installed 2014-15), artist books, an ebook and of course papercuts for different exhibitions.

ST: Wow! How did you become so well versed in so many different mediums?!  How did these mediums get introduced to you and was there anybody to encourage you in your art practice?  It really amazes me when I look at your portfolio which consists of paper cuts, public art installations, animation, and what else am I missing? I can imagine the adventure has been an exciting one!

BC: Self-taught. See my TED talk:

You cannot make a living on papercuts alone 🙂 I’m always curious to cut my stories with different materials. The base is full and empty shapes, the material and techniques varies.

ST: Amongst them all, what tools and mediums do you find most helpful when building your creations and visions?

BC: Sketching with pencil, cutting with xacto knife

ST: October looks like a busy month for you already with upcoming workshops and lectures.  Please let us know about some of the events.  We’d love to participate, if possible.

BC: The workshop at the Future of Story Telling was really interesting as everybody comes to this conference with an open mind and looking to discovering new fields. It’s a yearly event.

ST: Where or when do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  Do you ever listen to music or look at other art to trigger inspiration?  I know that when I look at your work, I want to pick up some paper and cut away!

BC: I listen to podcasts about philosophy, history and current affairs. I also read poetry. Every domain is an inspiration.

ST: You have done some remarkable public art pieces like Postcards from North Carolina and Bronx Literature.  How do you go about creating for that space?  Do you sit in the space for a while and observe the visitors or is there some other way you work with the space?

"Postcards of North Carolina" displays the must-see of the region with Charlotte skyline, the mountains and seascape sceneries, while the trees reference the many historical roots of the region.

“Postcards of North Carolina” displays the must-see of the region with Charlotte skyline, the mountains and seascape sceneries, while the trees reference the many historical roots of the region.

BC: I research the history of the place and study the space. From there I visualize how it feels to arrive in that space and what I would like to see. For example in Charlotte’s airport “Postcards of North Carolina” depict the historical roots of the region.

ST: What or was there a pivotal point in your childhood that got you making art?  Where did you grow up?

BC: I grew up in Lyon, France. I am an only child and was very quiet. I often escaped with my imagination.

Children's Hospital Castle

Children’s Hospital Castle by Béatrice Coron. Photo credit to Etienne Frossard.

ST: Who are some artists and authors that you like?  What draws you to them?

BC: Among many and many artists I admired, I like woodblock prints of Felix Vallotton, I enjoy his black and white’s balance. I also enjoy Japanese prints for their creativity in composition.

ST: Béatrice, what is a good piece of advice for Scribblers?

BC: Just start to cut and enjoy!

ST: Will do! Thanks Béatrice! For more info on Béatrice and her artwork, please go to

In the City by Béatrice Coron. Photo credit to Etienne Frossard

In the City by Béatrice Coron. Photo credit to Etienne Frossard.

Magazine Strip Silhouettes

It seems like magazines always find a way to pile up. For some reason, I can never bring myself to just throw them out. Filled with beautiful images, colors, and articles, it feels wrong for them all to end up in the trash. So anytime I can put them to good use with an art project, I jump at the chance! This magazine strip silhouette is a great way to transform your old magazine pages into something creative, personalized, and beautiful!


For your silhouette, you can pick an animal, a person, your home state—whatever you want. Just keep in mind the level of intricacy involved in cutting the strips to fit the shape.


 States Magazine Strip SilhouettesPhoto via Meaningful Details on Etsy


You’ll need some old magazines, scissors, glue, a pencil, an X-acto knife, the shape you want to trace for your silhouette, and something to mount this project on—it can be canvas, cardboard, or poster board.


Start by cutting your magazine strips. Tear out any pages that have a lot of color (or just the colors you’re looking for). Don’t worry if it’s a picture of something weird—you won’t be able to see it once it’s cut up. Cut them into thin, straight strips, roughly the same width (the length can and should vary).


 Elephant Magazine Strip SilhouettePhoto via Apples of Gold Set in Silver


In pencil, trace the silhouette on your canvas. Then, start gluing down your magazine strips inside. You can trim each piece with your X-acto knife as you glue it down, or you can mark them with a pencil and trim them afterwards.


Once your silhouette is all filled in, it’s a good idea to finish it off with a coat or two of mod podge. This will seal down your collage.


 Butterfly Magazine SilhouettePhoto via Designed By BH

And that’s it! Let it dry and hang it up. Colorful, customizable, and recycled—this fun project is great for the eyes and the environment. What are your favorite projects with recycled materials? Any other fun ideas for magazines?

Posted by Andi Thea, on October 3rd, 2013 at 11:38 am. 1 Comment

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,Paper Art Labels: , , , , ,

Cute Candy Corn

Now that October has arrived, Halloween is on the horizon. That means costume planning, spooky decorations, and of course… candy and treats! Since it’s only the beginning of the month, one way to slowly start gearing up for the holiday is to incorporate things that work for both fall and Halloween.


The perfect solution: a little candy corn décor! This quick and easy craft is perfect for setting the tone for October… plus it has pretty fall colors! Bonus: it’s simple and safe enough for kids to work on, as well.


 Yarn Candy Corn

Photo via Danielle, My Life as I Pin It


You’ll need yarn (white, yellow, and orange), scissors, glue, and a foam cone (in a pinch, you can create your own cone with some poster board and tape).


Start at the bottom with your yellow yarn. Glue the end to the foam (you may also be able to just tuck it in the back… depends on your cone) and start wrapping! Once you’ve gotten about a third of the way up, cut the yarn and glue or tuck in the end. Next up: orange! Repeat the process with your orange yarn, and finally finish up with white to the top. Tada!


 Yarn Candy Corn

Photo via Sarah, Thrifty Décor Chick


These candy cuties add some festive fun to any room without going too overtly “Halloween” too soon. But as the month goes on… look out! More delightfully spooky projects to come.

Scribble Artist Interview with Patrick Gannon!

A Bright and Sunny Day, cut and torn paper art, Patrick Gannon

A Bright and Sunny Day, cut and torn paper art, Patrick Gannon

Scribble Town (ST): Patrick Gannon is a magician when it comes to paper arts and storytelling with images! Maybe he has magical powers elsewhere too! He knows how to play with paper in a way that shapes space and builds a mood for all kinds of places.

Patrick Gannon (PG): Hi, I’m Patrick Gannon.  I’m a cut paper artist, which means that I cut up sheets of really fantastic hand-made papers, then layer them on top of each other to make a picture.  I’m originally from New Jersey in the US, and now I live in Fukuoka, Japan.  I spend most of my time drawing, cutting, gluing, walking along the ocean, hiking up slightly creepy mountains, dreaming up odd creatures in the forest, and collecting tons and tons of paper.

ST: The way you’ve described your day look like this happy creature in your piece on the right, ‘A Bright and Sunny Day.’ Where are you and what are you up to these days?  I’m sure very busy with your The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar campaign on Kickstarter.  Please let us know more about the project so that we can support you.

PG: For the past 2 years, I’ve been making my home in Fukuoka, in southern Japan.  Before that, I lived in Tokyo around 5 years, learning as much as I could about hand-made washi and chiyogami papers, and creating as much cut paper artwork as I possibly could.

When I’m not hiking up the nearby mountains or exploring the island of Kyushu, I spend most of my time slicing increasingly intricate cut paper artworks.  The last few years, I’ve been showing my work in galleries, Art Fairs, etc. in Japan and more recently, Korea.

The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar is an annual project for me.  It’s a great way to share my work with as large a group of people as possible, and to introduce cut paper artwork to people who might not have the chance to see it in their daily lives.  The campaign (which has already met it’s goal) runs until October 7th this year.  Without the campaign, I wouldn’t be able to publish the calendar – or all the other cool rewards like laser cuts and stickers.

The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar - Cover option (people are voting to choose the cover, and this is in the lead)

The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar – Cover option (people are votin