June 17th, 2012

livetrace in illustrator has some great potential! i have to mess with it some more. i used it to make some damasks out of the collateral bits + pieces left over from a commissioned picnic wedding invitation:
picnic pests damask, color
gerber daisy damask

gotta figure out where to use that sweet lemonade pitcher and firefly jar:
picnic nouns

this was said couple’s invitation, a good opportunity to practice the vector illustration skillz i’m learning at my design job:
picnic wedding postcard

sweet gerber daisies, sweet couple!

bike kitchen, birdseye

May 25th, 2012

bike kitchen birdseye view (color)

a couple of my friends are bike kitchen volunteers and they very nicely let me occupy the ladder for a couple hours and spy on the general kerfuffle from my lofty perch.

dr. sketchy’s bicycle night

May 18th, 2012

i get in a rut of drawing side facing bicycles all the time. dr. sketchy’s to the rescue!

into the woods

November 21st, 2011

my illustrator pal carrie sometimes drags me out of the house and we have a ball drawing at cafes and cackling. here are some woodsy things i got up to last time we met up.
party animals:

party animals

i got really excited about labeling my party animals in logs and ended up drawing a whole alphabet:

woodland alphabet

heh, check out my double-l ligature! i am discovering the usefulness of alternate glyphs at my design job.

bike basket pies for bicycle times

May 12th, 2011

bikebasketpies final

For Bicycle Times issue #11 (out on June 1st), I made a painting of Bike Basket Pies’ baker and biker, Natalie. (Some friends pointed out that I have a nifty start to a food delivery bike oeuvre, what with having illustrated the Soup Peddler a few years ago as well.) I was just gonna draw Natalie and her bike, but I know she delivers in the Mission district and thought it would be fun to make up a little storefront. I love papel picado, so I made up some bicycle ones, and a San Francisco bike rack really needs a guerilla knit cozy (knitta please!!).

here’s where I started:
bike basket pies sketch
You’ll notice I got a hold of one of her pies, a yummy but important step in my research.

here’s step two, with a photoshopped actual storefront temporarily standing in:
bikebasketpies rough


May 3rd, 2011

javelinas at four barrel coffee

bike kitchen

April 28th, 2011


I spent a lovely evening at the Bike Kitchen the other night. It’s a community bicycle repair space where a couple friends volunteer. I got to lurk in a corner and watch all the chaotic action and draw lots of nifty collections of gadgets.

a proliferation of gears…

a clanging of rims…

a jumble of forks…

…and finally, my pal esther!

sweet schwinn fastback

February 5th, 2011

schwinn fastback

love that banana seat and awesome gear shifter.

i saw a schwinn jaguar while out to brunch this morning:

wee penelly

September 7th, 2010

penelopoley & the roley poleys

for penelope’s 2nd birthday. i started it when she was six months old! she used to have far less hair with far more lift.

penelopoley & the roley-poleys sketch

blue bird

May 23rd, 2010

to remind me of the little mountain bluebird that wouldn’t sit still for a picture last year in truckee.

alexa, wolf, & crow

May 19th, 2010

the other night, i went to see alexa woodward play with her friend hunter paye at the bollyhood cafe. wolf & crow played first, which was a pleasant surprise, i’d heard good things about them.

alexa hallelujah color
i also made one with purple lettering <--click

alexa told a story about growing up in north carolina. she would bring her cool 90s grungy friends home, and her uncle doug would spoil it all by saying, “let’s go out for ice cream — hallelujah!” (everything ended in hallelujah, he was a preacher.)

here is the wolf & crow bassist:

wolf & crow bassist

black shapes, so pleasant and inky!

wolf & crow bassist sketch

when she packed up her case to go home, it reminded me of this:

a little girl in white ankle socks bent over double under a yellow flowered cello case, struggling down divisadero like sisyphus.

alexa caught me droring:

ants fer me dinner

May 13th, 2010

we have been gobbling up david attenborough documentaries like giant anteaters gobble up ants. the life of mammals series is totally mesmerizing! it’s a wonder that deer and owl people keep drawing deer and owls over and over again (ha! guilty!) because the world is full of crazy, adorable, and just plain weird creatures. for example, the aforementioned giant anteater:

anteaters gallumphing on the pampas. i think they are actually fairly solitary, but i couldn’t resist.

here is david attenborough running one down at about 4:26 in this life on air segment. of course, you can’t have fun like this anymore!

and the pangolin, a walking artichoke! i always pictured them scrambling around like armadilloes, but they trundle along on their hind legs, i had no idea.



April 23rd, 2010

“you are so beautiful, it hurts to look at you!”

angela for merilee

i drew this for merilee cuz i accidentally gobbled up the entire my so-called life dvd set (including writer commentary and actress interview) in 2 sittings and it was all her fault.

i was afraid to watch it again for a long time because i was angela’s age when the show came out and it resonated SO TERRIBLY MUCH. would watching it again give me grave purple anguish? would i melt into an embarrassed plaid puddle? would i think about that boy? (the one i referred to, jordancatalano-esque, by his first and last names, because i liked saying his last name)

to my mortification, i ended up identifying with the parents this time around!! like, GOD. sick.

magpie bits & bobbin

April 21st, 2010

magpie bits)

getting sketchy for a panel i am thinking on to go with the bowerbird one. why do magpies collect shiny things, anyway? maybe what they really want is the moon and stars.

magpie panel rough

the actual panel will probably look something like this, unless i have an epiphany.


April 5th, 2010


bee wings sure are hard to draw. bbz helpfully revealed that they are voronoi diagrams, which made it a little easier. i still kinda wimped out, though.

also, dr. ph martin’s inks in their little glass bottles are so pretty! especially cyclamen.

Dr. Ph. Martin's Radiant CONCENTRATED Watercolor


April 4th, 2010


how i used to know it was easter: merilee would show up at my house and look kind of shifty in the back yard, so i’d come out to see her. then suddenly there was cascarone smushed all around in my hair, and merilee, hands all confettied and eggshelly, looking extremely satisfied with herself.


March 1st, 2010



February 21st, 2010

i was riding my bike past the california academy of sciences and the music concourse the other day and saw a horde of little kids making stick houses under those trees that look like gnarled hands (pollarded!). i had to stop and watch them for a while, it was really wonderful. none of them were hitting or poking each other! there was one little boy lounging in an enormous nest.

here i have put my sister into one of the stick houses. of course this cannot be, as she is working on her phd and living in brooklyn. but she is the default little girl i draw.

it looks like the stick structures appear every once in awhile after the trees get trimmed. here’s a picture from last year round about this time:

photo by ranjeet.rao

at first i thought it was a cal academy activity, cuz it looked so organized and the little houses were so numerous and nicely spaced. but it couldn’t have been, right? do organizations even allow kids near sticks these days??

saturday drorings

February 20th, 2010


i wish there were fireflies in california! we stayed at a b&b in pennsylvania last summer, and when the evening went purpley-red, we sat on a picnic table and watched the fireflies blinking. there weren’t any fences between the backyards in the neighborhood, so you could see the fireflies aglow on this long stretch of grass for blocks. i’d never seen so many! it was amazing.

fox knick knack wall with shelf fungus shelves:


victorian fox lady in bloomers riding a pennyfarthing:


ghost birthday party

February 13th, 2010

this is for a picture book i’m thinking of writing. the picture is based on the time i electrocuted myself on my second birthday. my mom says she found me awhile later behind a door, talking to ghosts.

here is a ghost who has eaten some birthday yummies: