Showing posts from 2020

MerMay Challenge for May

I decided to try and participate in the MerMay 2020. I created a video on my drawing process and then the final animation. I'm going to add some more videos on using After Effects basics. I'm new to After Effects. I'm also going to work on some more drawing tutorials. How to draw a rabbit. Looking forward to making these videos. This week I had an interview with Mariyka Auber a surface designer for Carter's. I also have an interview next week coming up with freelance illustrator Maggie Roth.

3.11 Mariyka Auber Surface Designer & Illustrator

Mariyka was a delight to speak with as we share the interest of surface design and children's books. Here is a bit about Mariyka. Mariyka Auber is a freelance illustrator and in-house designer for Carter's. She specializes in cute animal characters and whimsical hand lettering, and infuses humor and emotion into everything she produces. Aside from art, Mariyka loves taking care of her ever-growing indoor jungle, watching home renovation shows, and taking weekend hikes through the forest.  She lives in Atlanta with her fluffy bobtail cat, Jasper. To see more of her work visit Listen to the podcast interview at My Creative Life.

3.10 Anna Brettschneider, Textile and Rug Designer

Today I had Anna Brettschneider, textile and rug designer based out of NYC. Here is more about Anna. Anna is currently a textile & rug designer at Crosby Street Studios and resides in New York City. She focuses on designing hand-painted surface patterns with bright, bold and modern color schemes. While incorporating her skills in painting, drawing, and printmaking her design work maintains a very organic style and upbeat aesthetic. Vibrant color and spirited use of linework can be found in all of her work. When she is not creating, you will find her reading design magazines, researching and shopping upcoming trends, and also seeking adventure while traveling to new spots. Anna InstagramAnna Brettschneider WebsiteCoolstuff.NYC Visit My Creative Life to listen!

My video tutorial on How to draw using a Loomis head.

I think it is really nice to provide some type of system that works for drawing heads. The Loomis head was a system created by Andrew Loomis an American Illustrator. I use it all the time now.

Surface Design Collab with @typebyNikita

I made a video of my check out the pattern in Adobe Illustrator. Nikita is a graphic designer and professor of graphic design. He has been creating this comprehensive Adobe Illustrators for free on is IG. 
Check out @typebynikita.

3.09 Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, Children's Book Illustrator

In this episode, I got to talk with award-winning children's book illustrator Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. She is based out of Australia. Here is more about Marjorie. When I was a little girl I escaped to the library as often as possible where I spent hours devouring picture books and minutely examining their illustrations. I was very young when I decided to become an illustrator like my then-favorite illustrator C.W. Anderson (what little girl doesn’t love horse drawings?). Encouraged by my creative family, I gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Northern Illinois University. Following my move to Australia, I worked in many areas of illustration, including picture book illustrations. I live in Sydney with my husband and son and spend my days happily illustrating books in the company of my dog, Junior. I love to experiment with new techniques for my illustrations, but always seem to return to my beloved and well-used color pencils. Released November 2016, One Christmas Eve …

iPad stand and how I record my videos demonstrations

I've had people ask me how do record my video demos. I use a stand I made from PVC pipe. I'm posting a video on youtube and here are the plans. I've also included a photo of what the cutters look like. $6 at my local hardware store. I made 11 of these stands. The cost was about $3 for each stand. 

Here are the related videos for what I use to make my videos.

3.08 Jen Dunlap textile designer and owner of Bon & Venture

I interviewed Jen Dunlap a talented textile designer and owner of Bon & Venture based in Savannah, Georgia. She has a lovely selection of scarves, kaftans, and bags with her textile designs. The designs capture the charm and feel of living in the South. It was a really informative interview and learned so much about how she got into the business of textile design.  To see her work visit her store site Bon & Venture website Bon & Venture Instagram Bon & Venture Facebook Listen to the interview at My Creative Life.

Drawing a Stylized Mouse Tutorial

I made a video recording of how I would stylize a mouse. I also included details about what types of pencils I like to use to draw with.

Top 5 Beginner Mistakes learning Photoshop CC

I just posted this video on the top 5 beginner mistakes in Photoshop CC. I added a bonus tip if you stick to the end of the video.

I forgot a tip/mistake. Students accidentally will change the layer mode to another option instead of Normal. This causes their brush strokes to not show up as they want to.  Tomorrow I'm going to be trying a live zoom with a friend Nikita Prokhorov. He specializes in Adobe Illustrator. He's going to be giving his top 5 tips.

3.07 Katelyn Yoder, surface designer and illustrator

I had a wonderful time talking with Katelyn Yoder, surface designer, and illustrator. She does beautiful work. Here is a bit about her.  My name is Katelyn Yoder. I am an illustrator, painter, textile designer, and crafter who wants to bring happiness to others my joy for life and passion for friendship and faith with my art. I use a variety of mediums to express illustrative arts, such as watercolor, pen and ink, graphite, oil, acrylic, embroidery, printmaking, and digital art. I am proficient in technology such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Procreate. I am an outgoing, energetic, person with a passion for travel, nature, and food with a great sense of humor who is very easy to get along with. I always make sure my art is a work of heart. To see more of her work visit her website. Instagram @work.of.heart To listen to the podcast visit My Creative Life.


Working on an illustration for #BringTheJoyCards that was started by Josh Cleland an illustrator based in Portland, OR. It's a great way to spend some time making someone else's day by creating a custom drawing for the special day. I'll be working on value and color tomorrow.

You don't have to be a pro. Visit the site.

How to draw a Magpie Bird Video

Posted a tutorial on how to draw a Magpie Bird using a pencil. 

Here is the low opacity file if you just want to try inking. Free for personal use.

Positive Message

I think with all the turmoil that is going on in the world right now I wanted to work collaboratively with my fellow people to share a positive message. I feel for those that are struggling. This virus is like nothing I have seen in my life. The closest is probably 911. It's a time that leaves us uncertain of the future, but I truly feel that things will get better. This place we call the USA has so many great things going for it. I feel fortunate that my parents that were immigrants moved to this country for us to have a better life. I feel lucky when I became a US citizen.

My wonderful creative friends have come together to help out with a word in the message. They come from all over the United States. CA, NY, GA, and IL. There are probably more states, but it's hard to keep track.

Message is "We may be apart but we're in this together. Social distancing. Stay safe. We'll meet again."

I'm posting a template of what we have so far and I'll update it …

3.06 TeMika Grooms, Children's Book Illustrator

I had the pleasure of meeting TeMika Grooms via the SCBWI Southern Breeze. She is such a generous and knowledgeable illustrator. I think her passion and kindness shine through in this interview. Here is a little about TeMika.

TeMika Grooms is an Atlanta-based artist, author, and arts advocate. Her interest in art and storytelling began early in life under the influence of her mother, an artist, educator, and librarian. Creative art practices provided TeMika with an outlet during challenging transitional periods as a military child settling in Columbus, Georgia. Under the direction of wonderful teachers, she was provided a well-rounded education that supported her artistic talent and ability to capture and animate the human form with strong, fluid lines and expressive movement. To expand on her traditional art-making skills, TeMika is exploring the use of technology in art by creating digital paintings and surveying new avenues to bring interactive art to the public.

 TeMika was se…

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, and made this coloring sheet to celebrate the holiday and remind us to accept one another.

3.05 Gregory Christie, Award Winning Children's Book Illustrator

I am super excited to share this latest interview with you all. I had the honor of having Gregory Christie on my podcast. I met him from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I got the courage to ask him to be a guest on the podcast. Here's a bit about Mr. Christie. R. Gregory Christie is a multi-award-winning children’s book illustrator with more than 60 traditionally published books to his credit. He is also the owner of GAS-ART GIFTS (Gregarious Art Statements) an Atlanta based traveling children’s bookstore that provides art services to private and public groups. He is an NAACP Image Award Winner.
The 2013 Kwaanza Stamp designer.
A Caldecott Honor Winner A Six-time,
Coretta Scott King Honor recipient.
Has won many awards from The New York Times and Boston Globe.
An artist for a New Orleans Jazz Festival poster.
Has films on Netflix through Karyn Parson’s “Sweet Blackberry” projects.
He’s done many album covers including John Coltrane’s and Joe Sa…

Botanical Drawings and Watercolor

I got some amazing new brushes Windsor and Newton series 7. I got them in 6, 4, 2, and 0 sizes. I'm a fan of Beatrix Potter and decided I would try and do some botanical studies to test out the hotpress paper and brushes. I had never used hot press. I'm loving it for the pen and ink portion. I'm in the process of starting to paint. I'm sharing the JPGs of the images so you can print and try inking or you can go and paint in. Either or. I'm including the reference photos I took outside for the flowers. It is called Spiderwort. Pretty and it comes back each year in the Southeast.

Here is a link for more information on the flower. Spiderwort Flower Friday Article

Color Schemes

I saw a post on another artist's Instagram talking about how they find color schemes. Everyone is different about this. I've found color schemes on Pinterest, photos I've taken, artist's work I like, and color wheel sites online. I've used the sites with my students as well.

I also provide a JPG for a free color wheel worksheet for students about basic color schemes. Feel free to download.

How to make a interactive worksheet in Google Slides

I made a video tutorial for teachers that need to create interactive worksheets for their students in Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint. Here are the video tutorials.

3.04 Hayley Ward, Artist and Art Teacher

In this episode of My Creative Life, my guest was Haley Ward. She is an art educator and artist. I had the pleasure of getting to know Haley from working in Bulloch Co. Schools. She talks about her passion for being a teacher and an artist. She started a digital media program at her school for visual arts. She talks about her experiences.  To see more of Hayley's work and teaching visit:

Here is the link to the interview.
My Creative Life Podcast

3.03 Sumam Azzam, Illustrator

In this episode I had Sumam Azzam, a fellow grad student in the MFA program at SCAD. We had Digital Solutions for Illustrators together. He has some outstanding work in portraiture and concept art. He's working on his thesis and took some time away from his busy schedule to talk about his passion for painting and teaching. If you would like to see his work check out his Instagram @sumamx.
Listen to the interview at My Creative Life with Nancy Miller.

09 Speed Painting and Talk. Adding Value in Photoshop CC 2020

I've learned a lot in my Drawing for Illustrators Grad class. I think I'm starting to realize that I have better instincts then I think when it comes to my own artwork. I am getting better at critiquing artwork. 
In this 09 episode, I do a talk while speed painting about the importance of adding values in your illustration work. Also found this amazing app called Brush Box. Extensions are a great way to add those little things you wish Photoshop did better. I got it from
It does a great job. The only thing is sometimes you have to click the brush maybe more then once to switch it. Don't care like the ability to organize and color code my brushes. For $15 it's pretty sweet.

08 How I paint a watercolor of a mouse

Just posted a new video on my process for painting a mouse character using watercolors.

I'm also posting this coloring sheet version of it for those that want to paint their own mouse. It is a JPG file and you can copy it and save it. I took the image and put it in Photoshop and used the Image>Adjustments>Threshold option. Then I put it on a lower opacity. That way you can print and then color it in. If you are printing this on an inkjet printer please be aware that the inks will run. Print to a copier or laserjet printer for best results. Enjoy!

06 How to Photomerge a traditional drawing in Photoshop CC 2020

I created this video to show how to merge sections of a drawing you want to merge together in Photoshop. I had someone in my class ask me how I did it. Figure make a video tutorial on it.

05 Episode Tracing Your Sketch in Photoshop CC 2020

I've made a video 2. I'm posting on the weekends. Currently working at a sweet little coffee shop and getting some classwork done for my graduate class and getting a video posted. I'm getting all the business stuff done today. Saturday is a good time to do it. I'm posting links to my videos, adding to Instagram stories. The things that every artist just loves to do, said No artist ever. I've learned to try and start treating my work as a business.

I had a talk with a writer from work. He has had several books published in the SCFI genre. Discussed the nature of creative work. I want to make it a full-time job and still do some teaching on the side. I told him I feel like there is always the push in school to try and shoot for excellence which is great. I'm practical in my old age. It would be great to be a Caldecott winner, or place gold in some prestigious illustration contest. When I was first working I did get into the SILA competition. Who has the money to …

04 Youtube Tutorial on my Digital Illustration

I've started a Youtube Channel with some videos of my process of how I create my digital illustrations. This is the 4 episode on my channel. I'm also going to try and do some art product reviews of supplies I find that are great to use. 

I'm also going to include a JPG of the sketch if you would like to follow along and try doing the steps in Photoshop. I'm using Photoshop CC 2020 in the video. See the drawing below.