Art!, Real People, Ryan & Me

mystic coffee



I’m pretty excited to have finally finished the first non-100 Days piece of art that I’ve done since I dunno, before the 100 Days started. While I love doing the 100 Days and it’s definitely helped me commit to daily art more, it’s kind of felt like I’ve been pidgeonholed into those drawings. I get home from work and I do a drawing and then I play video games until I get too tired by 9:15. Then on the weekends I’ve been busy with various wedding stuff, either my own or others, and now it’s the holiday season.

So, here’s this! I missed drawing textured hair (Ryan and I basically have shoujo hair), and I LOVE how all the ethereal cloudiness turned out. I worked really hard making the colors unified and I fixed the skirt last night, bringing it from boring to lovely super fast as soon as I started fucking with it. I love the nice mixture of small flicks and big fluffy washes in everything.

Art!, Emotional Breakdowns, Original Characters

only one

lol so I’m a bit embarrassed but I’m going to write about my entire thought process behind this drawing anyway. This is not only not my first drawing of this color palette, but it’s not my first sad Myoku drawing, and it’s also not my first featuring Fall Out Boy lyrics. But like, I love this song, and I hear it in my head every time I read it, and I really wanted to do some art today that didn’t have to do with the wedding.

So what better solution than to get really weird and essentially do a picture of Myoku where he’s essentially grieving not being “part” of me anymore? Hehehe, ahhah….hehh…so yeah, like I said, super uncomfortable, but my sentiment was that there were times when I would pretend conversations with him where it was like “you’ll always be around in some form or another” and at this point in my life, I have so moved past that. And I stop and think about it and think about what it would be like if he were like, still “around” and it would just be terrible for him. … Hehe so that’s that.

I love the dusty shades of purple and red and all the great texture to this. It took me forever to sort through all my brushes but it was worth it.

Also on note of my 100 days project, I must say I’m impressed whenever I think I’m out of ideas, settle on something, do it, and then immediately come up with two whole separate ideas I could’ve done instead. Best part of that is, I’ve got more ideas for tomorrow!

Art!, Emotional Breakdowns, Ryan & Me

100 days: a project


I thought I’d post about what I’ll probably be up to for the next while. I can’t help it and I’d better just admit that wedding planning has completely overtaken my attention. Tonight, I happily crafted my little comic bubbles for my table markers while making my fiance help me. Didn’t even think about how specific of a craft it was. Just did it, because it’s what’s on my mind.

Well, on Wednesday last week it hit 100 days till my wedding on 1/7/17. I decided in light of my obsession with wedding stuff that I’d do a project. I know since I met Ryan (literally since I made a drawing of our first kiss) that my art has become dominated by him. Somehow without realizing it he really did become my muse in every sense of the word. Between that and the fact that weddings are a lot of work, especially when you’ve got an artist stick up your bum and want to do it all yourself exactly as you prefer it, I don’t really have the energy for aimless drawings as much as normal. So I figured, why not channel my crazy consuming love into productive art in another form besides making centerpieces or banners. And like, if I decided that this project would be something I could share at my wedding, then it’d scratch that itch for feeling like I need to be doing something for the wedding all the damn time.

So, while most artists are celebrating Inktober (which, yes, I’m still super jealous of), I’m 5 drawings into my 100 Days of Love sketchbook project.

Every day, I’ll draw something that comes from Ryan and I. Whether a goofy anime doodle, or a sultry, emotive charcoal drawing from a real, raw moment when Ryan pulled me out of the darkness in my head, I’ll draw SOMETHING. I’ve already even had one throwaway day where I just started a sketch for our private ceremony invites. That’s the thing, I know they won’t all be winners but that’s never the point of daily art challenges. The point is to produce work. And I am, and in this case every time I draw for this project I’m also reminded why I want to marry this nerdy guy scrolling on Twitter while watching football next to me. In every way, this project is an amazing endeavor that I’m excited to have made a commitment to doing.

Here’s a few so far that I’ve really loved.

95 9997

Art!, Original Characters

worthy of its own

I’m pretty excited for this random product. I think I was browsing a generic shoujo blog on Tumblr and saw this tiny gif of someone paint bucketing a pair of shoujo girl eyes black to create a classic manga look. I saw it and I was all OKAY THIS NEVER OCCURRED TO ME, and then my brain started avalanching about possibilities for a digital manga style where I don’t have to wrestle with color till I inevitably peter out and don’t care about the colors I choose as much as I care about finishing the product. See, I technically did the same amount of work on this one – if not more – but I loved it 100% more.

I’m glad I loosely knew about Manga Studio’s screentones but I’m super excited with how I delivered. And I didn’t even hesitate with the lineart; I think it probably took me 15 minutes. Granted, it’s not treading new ground for me by any means, but SHE’S SO DANG CUTE

And for once, her belly button doesn’t even look weird.still-

Art!, Real People

digital doodling

I haven’t had any big serious projects to work on since “For Life,” but I’ve been making digital doodling a fairly regular part of my daily living lately.

Here’s a collection of what I’ve kind of finished.

When Ryan coined the verbage “Nerd Girl and Big Boobs” for me and my bestie, I couldn’t help but picture a fun anime doodle of us. Got lazy on the coloring. What else is new.

Friday night I sat down and wanted to draw a girl to contrast my usual lanky sultry style, and as soon as I drew her big boots she rather naturally evolved into a “Batgirl in Repose” drawing that I’m too scared to share with Batgirl artist Babs Tarr via social media.

Random doodle of me and my nerd love.bone dry Just discovered this badass brush in my Kyle Webster pack and immediately fell in love. Tried to add color, ruined the poise.cupcakesonthemind

Was drawing during my fiance’s family fantasy football draft. Spent the weekend choosing and discussing wedding cupcakes, so you can say they’re on my mind.



This is from a while ago and I kept pretending I was going to add color to it, but what for? The line art is STUNNING. I started doing this concurrently with For Life and that one understandably won out, but how cute are these idiots?

Art!, Ryan & Me

for life.


Well, my first full illustration with my new tablet is finally complete~!

I think I started working on this the last week in July, and between transitioning into a new job, and fully committing to a rendered, detailed digital painting, this shit took foreeever.

It came to me on my drive home in rush hour one gray afternoon, when the sight of two tiny goldfinches darting over my head across the interstate caught my eye. They were bright and hopeful against a gloomy backdrop, and the first thing I thought of was, “That’s like Ryan and I.” It only felt better when I remembered my 5th grade research project on goldfinches: they mate for life. I realized everything about these darting, hopeful things with feathers (*Emily Dickinson reference, ftw) were what Ryan and I were being to each other during a time of professional upheaval and admittedly intense levels of Mary stress and anxiety. What this gave me on an artistic level is a color palette, a motif (wings), and a subject: us. As usual. Only more thorough than ever before (except maybe since our cityscape picture from early 2015).

This is honestly the only thing I’ve been working on because I was singlemindedly determined to make sure that it got completed and refined.


Art!, Emotional Breakdowns


So today was my Grandma Stewart’s funeral, and it was tearful and emotional and yet made me proud of my family.

But in a very bittersweet sort of day, I also decided to use some extra money and my increasingly stable financial situation to UPGRADE my digital art life. With the help in many ways of my fabulous fiance, I bought my first Cintiq! Obviously I got the smallest, most affordable options but it is






Art!, Real People, Ryan & Me


I’ve been trying to wait till I finish my current digital coloring of a drawing I did during Super Stories this week, but it’s taking forever so I’m going to post what else I have instead. That can be its own damn post. Maybe then I’ll actually shade it too.

In light of the murder of Philando Castile I wanted to a painting in support of Black Lives Matter. I haven’t quite taken the plunge there yet; I never include anything like that in my paintings normally so I have to work myself up to it. In the meantime, I did this painting of a violet-skinned guy with Lucio-ish dreads staring at the rain while the sun shined behind him. That’s what I tend to do, too, and though it doesn’t retract from the beauty of the rain, it’s not the full picture.
I tried to push this painting farther than normal in terms of developing shading, but I don’t think I did as much as I could have still.


Also, yesterday was the second birthday of my kickass fiance’s gaming podcast, North Saint Podcast, so here’s Beep Boop their mascot celebrating with a cake.
beep boofday

Art!, Original Characters, Sun-Walking

summer palette

If only it weren’t so perfectly transparent when it’s summertime and I start using pale yellow in ALL my pictures, hah. I bet you my color choices are actually seasonal though. Cool blues or dark reds for winter, warm pale yellows for summer, and sometimes heather pink.

It’s teaching season right now and I’m in Bloomington about to teach 3 kids Comic Book Design for the rest of the week, and then next week I’m doing my second week of the summer with my Super Stories bunch. That’s gonna be super nice after my first week because I have nine students instead of 16. But MARY DON’T FORGET TO CALL MIA OKAY

I very halfheartedly started a story idea based on the kind of element magic I’ve always wanted to do and on my super complicated relationship with one of my students. I have a scene and a half written. I love the first scene, and then I’m not sure how to move it forward.


I did this drawing during the last day of my class last week when my kids were busily at work and I was really bored. Not gonna lie, I kind of all but forgot about Manga Studio until I was showing my kids how it worked, and then in the process I figured out how to close a bunch of menus and naturally got super into it again. I wanted to draw Micah but blond hair looked better with this color palette. DOESN’T HIS PIZZA LOOK DEFRICKINGLICIOUS

I was feeling sleepy and content Sunday morning, and I’d been reading Sun-Walking over again a few weeks ago and it had me on a bit of a Lucy/Lee bender. I love them so so so much. They’re so fierce and stubborn and tender at the same time. I love how much Lucy gets humbled in the last part of the book after building and building up till she can’t really keep up with herself anymore. I think it’s kind of a coming of age novel in that Lucy takes a risk and then grows into her choices and the realization that while she made herself better, it’s not the only way.

That’s it. Time to teach!

Art!, Cadence, Emotional Breakdowns, Manga, Writing!

ok so

I really didn’t mean to go into blog hiding! It’s just weird when I’m in a graphic novel phase because all my artistic efforts go into pages which obviously get posted at instead of here, and then I look silent and distant but I’m not.

Here are the illustrations I’ve been working on in the last few months!


Okay so I love this lady possibly just because I finished her hours ago. But she covers everything I wanted to artistically do. I wanted to add a drawing to my old-ass drawing portfolio. I wanted to make her clothing semi-transparent. I didn’t want to choose a race for her. And 100% because it was raining when I was coloring it, she’s dew-drizzled and blue. Also her hoodie was inspired by my recent jaunt by a waterfall in pouring rain in a clingy plastic poncho that I kept grabbing like this, hah.


Here’s a birthday drawing I kind of did more for Ryan than me. I just realized proper shoujo legs should be twice this long. BUT ALASvamp comic
Ryan came up with this comic idea like a month ago, and I finally delivered on it – naturally while watching Van Helsing with him. God I love that movie, Hugh Jackman is such a goof in it. Anyway, ISN’T THIS COMIC THE BESTESTgold_steps__

I did this painting because of a student and I sent the original home with her on the last day of school. She got me into an amazing pop punk band called Neck Deep because I asked her to give me some lyrics to fill the book space on the right, and when she found these I got intrigued and had to listen to the song. And naturally loved everything about it. The punk pop bands Ryan and I love are from the early 2000s, and we didn’t know new bands like this but of course they’re what we love. So yay for students expanding my interests!ch4-crTo give myself a break from pages, I did the chapter image for the next chapter of Cadence that would start up after the scene I had finished inking. As you’ll see in my next illustration, I’m kind of into the ornate frames around portraits lately. It easily classes up what would otherwise be a basic portrait.

When I knew I needed an emotional break from people when I had my friend/bridesmaid staying in my living room last week, I shut myself in the bedroom and blasted Neck Deep as loud as I possibly could in headphones just like I was a teenager again, and I chose green in contrast to my folder full of pink-background digital sketches, and I used my sketch brush and drew the punkiest pop girl I could muster, who is somewhere suspended between exhaustion and rapture. Also yes I did listen to LA Devotee approximately 10 times in immediate succession. witchlassIsn’t this little vignette just lovely? I do love a good hood to create its own frame for the portrait.


Anyway, in other news, I’m afraid I’ve lost steam for Cadence once again. This time it’s more because I’m looking at all the huge forks in the story that are supposed to happen and going HOW COULD I EVER FINISH THIS PROJECT. Like, so much happens in it that I have barely concluded the introduction. And I’m looking at all these plots and arcs thinking how I’m not really excited to do them. I was ashamed to write about it and make it public but this blog has always been a safe place to discuss my whims and woes. There is a strong possibility I’ll return to Cadence, but for now I am going to see if I can develop an idea I had for probably a novella starring Lucienne, Levi, and the rollercoaster of a relationship I had with a student this last year (god that sounds sexual, but of course I mean it in a mentor/mentee sort of way).

Also, I am focusing a lot of energy lately on wedding things. I made my silhouettes for the vases I’ve been planning for some time and I’m hoping I’ll be able to churn out 5 more Saint Pauls and Minneapolises in the next month or so.