Collaborations with an Angel

My mom’s art alias is Angel. I love when we collaborate! She’s more of a crafter than an illustrator, and I’m more of an illustrator than anything else, so we make a great team!

She traced some of my digitally-drawn coloring pages with acrylic paint pen onto clear plastic sheets to create these “stained glass” crafts. She’s actually the inspiration for the frame mandalas, so seeing her use them in the exact way I envisioned is so satisfying!

This one has been modified for privacy, obviously.

Thank you mom, for making such beautiful art with my art! Being a part of collaborations with fellow creatives is one of my greatest joys in life.

Hope you all are having a wonderful Labor Day, thanks for tuning in! Take care, and I will see you in the next post!

Frame Mandalas!

You can use these mandalas to frame a drawing or a photograph, or just color them and leave them as-is! Use them however you want really, it’s up to you 🙂 I’d love to see your work if you ever do use them for anything!

You can find these and all my other digitally-drawn coloring pages in this Google Drive folder.

These were inspired by my mom, who decorated clear photo holders to have fun frames, in which she displays photos of her granddaughter! I would love to paint real frames in the future, perhaps after my No Buy is over!

Thanks for stopping by, stay safe and healthy! I’ll see you in the next post 😀

Yet another sketchbook filled! That makes 4 this year!

Stickers courtesy of The Dollar Tree. I would love to credit the original artist but unfortunately they don’t so I have no idea who painted these lovely cacti!

These images are just a small sample of my favorite pages from this sketchbook.

The comic strips are collaborations with my partner, Jasper Rae. She did half the panels and I did the other half! It was a drawing game we came up with, one person draws a panel of a comic and then the other draws the next but with no communication or context other than the panel itself! It is based on other drawing games we’ve played and probably already existed in this same form before we thought of it, but nonetheless it is loads of fun and I highly recommend it!

I started this sketchbook all the way back in November of 2019, right after filling up the first sketchbook I ever filled from cover to cover! Most of it was actually filled in the last few months though, as part of my Art Supply No Buy side project of trying to finish up as many of my partially filled sketchbooks as possible. I “restarted” this sketchbook back in March, so it took only 4 months to fill the remaining 2/3 of the sketchbook!

While I won’t put a ton of pressure on myself to do so, I think it would be amazing if I actually managed to fill all of my semi-filled sketchbooks before the end of this year. I do own some blank ones still, so I won’t count those, but to just finally use the rest of all the ones I abandoned would be excellent. I hope to never abandon sketchbooks in such a way in the future, I plan on making much better purchasing decisions from now on!

I’ve got a couple things cooking in my drafts. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted (relatively, given how I used to go months between posts) I’ve just been rather busy lately! Thankfully it’s not because of procrastinating anymore, I’ve come to really enjoy writing and I look forward to making these posts.

I sincerely hope you are all doing well. Thanks again for all the support! See you in the next post, whenever that may be!

I’m on a roll!

Released a new traditional art coloring page today, and even got a sketch in too! Just as I had hoped, as a side effect of not playing video games, I am creating more frequently. I’ve started using my watercolor sketchbook more, and I’m hoping to actually get it wet soon.

Working on my mid-year Art Supply No Buy check-in post, so stay tuned! See you soon!

(Water)coloring page!

I drew this new traditional coloring page in my watercolor sketchbook! I plan to use my watercolor paints to color the original myself.

I’m “getting high on my own supply” so to speak, I’ve recently started coloring my own coloring pages. Now I’m addicted, and I need more line art to color! It’s not like I’ve never colored before, I spent my childhood coloring like many of us did, and being an artsy type it was one of my favorite activities. However, over the last several years I have mostly focused on drawing, and for some reason I never really considered coloring my own coloring pages.

Now I’m coloring out of boredom and a desire for some low-stress creativity. I consider coloring to be an art form in and of itself, but there’s something particularly rewarding about coloring in line art drawn by oneself! I figured that since I have created so many of my own designs, and I think buying coloring books goes against my Art Supply No Buy, I might as well have a go at coloring them myself.

Since I started using Mandoo I have been able to create line art so much easier, it has really helped me ease back into drawing regularly. Wanting new designs to color is also a huge motivator for me now! I have been itching to get back into watercolor but I have been feeling intimidated, so I figured coloring would be a great way to start again.

I do plan on showing off some of my colored coloring pages soon, so stay tuned! Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you in the next post!

Happy Pride Month!

You can find the original files for these coloring pages in my digitally-drawn coloring pages Google Drive folder!

This coloring page was a special request from my mom, who gave me the idea for the little blank flags. I went with something super simple and open-ended so it is very customizable! I am eternally grateful to have a mom who accepts me and wants to support me and my community.

My queer identity has a very long and complicated story behind it. Today I have settled with the labels of “nonbinary lesbian” but it’s still something I continue to question on a regular basis. Luckily I am happily partnered to the most wonderful woman in the world so I don’t really need to think so hard about it!

I hope June is kind to each and every one of you, see you in the next post!

Mandala made easy!

While it might read like it is, this post is NOT sponsored. I’m just excited about this wonderful tool I recently started using and I want to share it with the world.

These 3 mandalas were made in the android app Mandoo. It is completely free, no ads or in-app purchases! I love this app so much. It’s rare to find good apps that are completely free, but when I do I am so incredibly grateful.

Mandoo lets anyone create a mandala, from absolute novices to experienced veterans. This is because you only have to draw one section of the mandala, the app will automatically copy the design around the facets for you.

This isn’t a new concept, Mandoo is only one of many apps that can do this, but I love Mandoo for being ad-free and very simple to use. Many mandala coloring pages you find in coloring books are made this way with similar programs, and I can see why, It gives you perfect symmetry effortlessly and it saves loads of time!

If you’ve been around here long enough you should have gathered by now that I am a fan of “easy” art that is accessible to all skill levels. I am very much not someone who argues about what is or isn’t real art, I find that all to be overly pretentious and unnecessary. My whole mission is to inspire ALL people to embrace their creative side, so there’s no room for that nonsense here!

What I started using this app for is jotting down ideas for traditional pieces later, as lately I found myself overusing certain motifs and I have grown bored of them. The possibilities are endless and I want to unlock more of those possibilities! Even just by scribbling at random I can find new shapes that inspire me and I can use them again later. I have found myself making finished pieces in this app more and more though, since I enjoy using it so much.

Nothing really beats the experience of drawing a mandala entirely by hand for me, the repetition is actually part I like most. But if you’re someone who looks at mandala art and thinks it’s not for you because it looks too tedious, you might want to try a tool like this, because then you can make the same fancy circles I do without having to do quite as much work!

You may know that I have a Google Drive folder of all my free hand-drawn coloring pages, but I’m going to start a new one for these digital tool-assisted pieces. This will make it easier to choose coloring pages based on what better suits your personal tastes, and I will be able to release new line art faster using this tool. I can’t lie, my traditional pieces are more sentimental to me though since I have to put more work into them. You can expect to see me putting out both traditional and digital mandalas in the future, as I enjoy them both for different reasons.

See you in the next one, have a wonderful day!

Paper plate mandala doodle!

I went to my first in-person NA meeting since the start of the pandemic today, and once the meeting actually started I realized I was missing something very important: doodling supplies.

Luckily I had a fresh clean paper plate in front of me, all I needed was some ink. So I asked my sponsor to borrow a pen and with that I was all set!

Personally I find it much easier to focus on listening when my hands are busy drawing, especially something like a mandala or other abstract doodles. Otherwise I get too caught up in my own head to pay attention to what’s being said!

It’s nothing too impressive visually but I wanted to share anyway, as it’s the first drawing I’ve done in a while. I guess lately I’ve been having trouble drawing in sketchbooks and I’ve found a lot more enjoyment from drawing on random objects. I’ll definitely keep this in mind for when my No Buy ends.

Maybe it’s time for me to move on from being primarily a “sketchbook artist.” But I set a serious goal for important reasons so I’m not going to stop my No Buy now just because of this realization. I think I will always keep sketchbooks even if they aren’t my primary thing, and this year will be over before I know it.

Well that’s all for now, see you in the next post! Happy doodling 🙂

Laminated mandala bookmarks 🔖📖

I’ve gotten really into reading again lately, and we’ve been frequenting the library. It’s hard to come home with just one book so we often find ourselves short on bookmarks! I’d been meaning to make some personalized ones for a while and I finally got around to doing it.

First I removed a sheet of paper from my sketchbook and divided the sheet into 6 neat rectangles on what would become the back side. My partner helped me with this part, I kept doing something wrong with the measurements and it became very frustrating. She managed to make perfect sixths. Thanks, Jazzy!

The second step was to lay guidelines for the mandala. I used an orange colored pencil so I wouldn’t have muddy graphite lines. Decided to use tools this time, even though I love fully freehanding mandalas. I knew if I wasn’t satisfied with the artwork I would start from scratch, and using guidelines usually prevents that from happening, so I decided to play it safe this time.

Then I doodled away until finally all of the white space was filled! As a finishing touch I added some glitter pen here and there, I just can’t resist sparkles! ✨

Next up was slicing up my work! A bit nerve wracking but I knew the results would be worth it. I signed each bookmark separately on the back before arranging them in the plastic lamination sheet.

Finally, the part I’d been waiting for, running it through the lamination machine! It’s my mom’s and it’s over 15 years old now but it still works like the first day we got it. Shout out to my mom for her help with this project! Couldn’t have done it without her. We ran it through twice, then I cut out the bookmarks to their final sizes and then ran each through the machine one last time.

And there you have it, some cheap DIY bookmarks that are built to last!

I used Tombow water based marker and INC glitter pen on Strathmore mixed media sketchbook paper. I want to try doing watercolor bookmarks next time!

Lamination machines are probably not a common household item, but if you know someone who has one or happen to have one yourself I really do recommend trying to design your own bookmarks. There are some alternative methods to “laminate” things that you could also try.

It’s really nice to have that personal touch added to a frequently seen and used item. I know these babies are gonna be used a ton and I’ll always remember making them! Hopefully they will even motivate me to keep up my reading habit!

Custom fountain drink lid!

I wanted the gas station clerk to know the drink was a refill, so I doodled on the lid in the car on the way there.

I ended up being able to use the self checkout station, so it didn’t even matter in the end!

Well at the very least I ended my streak of not drawing, and I found the texture of the Sharpie on the smooth plastic very satisfying. Plus now I will definitely be reusing the drink cup many times!

I think in the future I’d love to put my art onto a more reusable and eco friendly cup! I wonder how the big brands do it…