9 Before & After Sketches of IllustrArticles Illustrations

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This coming Sunday, my project IllustrArticles will have been running for 9 months. For fun, I put together a bunch of before and after sketches of some of the illustrations I’ve created for the site. The left side is the initial sketch of the idea. The right side is the completed illustration:

“Fool’s Gold” from 4 Awesome Reasons Why Thinking INSIDE The Box Gets You Ahead

“Bag of Chocolates” from 4 Awesome Reasons Why Thinking INSIDE The Box Gets You Ahead

“Pick of the Litter” from 4 Awesome Reasons Why Thinking INSIDE The Box Gets You Ahead

“Call of Nature” from Learn Your Life Purpose By Drinking Coffee (It took every fiber of my being to stop myself from calling this one “Call Of Doodie“)

“Flooded Basements” from 3 Reasons Why Your Flooded Basement Is A Great Thing

“The Pigeon Whisperer” from Average Heroes

“The Hygiene Genius” from Average Heroes

“Cups Of Royal Tea” from What Does Your Halloween Costume Reveal About You?

Drinking Game For People Sick With Colds

So far, I’ve managed to speed up my drawing process by cutting out some steps that I used to do. I used to draw the entire sketch with a non-photo blue pencil onto the watercolor, ink it, erase any showing pencil, and then do the watercolor.

Now, I just scan the small sketch, printed out a larger size of it, and then put that printout on a lightbox, and put the watercolor paper on top. From there, I ink out the lines right onto the paper with brushes. After that, I paint the watercolor. Sometimes watercolor goes on before the ink. Cutting out the steps of drawing in pencil on the watercolor paper has made the process faster and makes cleaner illustrations in the end.

The Tale of Tattletail

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I’m excited to be a part of the SPECIES Showcase by Animal, coming soon to New Delhi, India. Artists were asked to create artwork of an animal. The only rule is that it had to be in the shape of the Animal logo. So, I created “Tattletail” inspired by parakeets.


The title of my Animal artwork is Tattletail, emphasizing the long tails of parakeets. When I was a kid, I got an aqua-colored parakeet named Kesha for my birthday. He was a sweet little bird, who learned how to talk and even tried to compose his own phrases. Eventually, he passed away. I missed him a lot. Years later, I did what any well-adjusted teenager would have done: I got a new aqua-colored parakeet and named him Kesha. But this one had a completely different personality and didn’t talk. That’s when reality hit me like a ton of bird droppings: No matter how similar the characteristics, each animal is unique and tells its story in its own way.

Additionally, here’s a tiny video I made that shows the drawing process and close-ups:

(Song: “I Like Birds” – The Eels)

A Lesson On Improvement and Improvisation From A Flower

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“Improve-isation” is an illustration I created in 2009, while living in Peoria Heights, IL. A couple days ago, I saw this little sunflower growing on a highway in Milwaukee, WI, while on the way to the Paul McCartney concert.

When I created the artwork, I was inspired by the nature preserve I lived next to, where I went hiking in the trails nearly every morning. This real sunflower is very persistent on growing, even in the asphalt, because that’s what sunflowers do!

Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? This is great example that sometimes all a little seed needs is a little dirt and a little water to create something beautiful in the most unexpected place. Go on to bigger and better things, little sunflower!

Brrrds Chillin in Chicago

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Oh, snow!

It snowed again. A whopping 3 inches. With all the reports raving about the WINTER STORM HEADING FOR CHICAGO, I mildly pondered if I should have shopped for the groceries I’ve been neglecting to go get for the past week, before the snow comes. But then I fell asleep.

I happened to have experienced the Snowpocalypse of 2011 when I’d been living in Chicago for just 4 months at the time. I had just gotten a new job, and even though every place was closed, somehow my mind tried to convince me, “Where is your dedication to your job?! You still have to show up!” So when I couldn’t access my car or public transportation to get to work, I tried calling the store (no one picked up) and I panicked my way through the day, hoping I won’t get fired. By the next day I had to work, most of the streets have been cleaned and, of course, it was just a regular day. I found out that the day of the Snowpocalypse, the store was closed because no employees could make it in. And there was no one at the store to take calls for people calling off work! Duh. I’d been panicking for no reason.

Ah, those were the good, old, anxiety-ridden days. Since identifying as an introvert and reading a little here and there about introversion, I learned that anxiety is just a part of the personality. Well, no wonder, since introversion is looked upon as a weakness! A weakness deemed by who? Extroverts? SOME extroverts? Introphobes?

Whatever. Introverts know themselves better than anyone else does.  Some things are not worth getting worked up about. Most introverts are chill and stay true-blue, like these Brrrds of a feather who chill together 🙂

The Russian Meteor: From Cupid, With Love

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From Cupid, With Love

BREAKING NEWS: The real culprit behind the Russian Meteor is believed to be none other than Cupid.

Experts note that Cupid has been behind many different disastrous relations with his past attempts to make people fall in love. With his favorite day, Valentine’s Day, just passing, it comes as no surprise that the Love Sniper been up to his tricks, again.


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What better day to reveal this new piece than Valentine’s Day. It may have been labeled as a Hallmark holiday, but to me, it’s a day that celebrates love & passions.

I created this in watercolor & ink and it’s 20×30 inches, largest I’ve painted so far. I even changed the title a few times, deciding to stick with “Glow,” because it rhymes with the word ‘go’. A big painting with a little reminder that you are the light at the end of the tunnel.

You may have heard the quotes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And, “The light at the end of the tunnel.” And then, Aerosmith said, “There’s something wrong with the world today, the light bulb is getting dim.”

Imagine that we, the humanity as a whole, are that light bulb. Each one of us is a little ball of energy contributing to the brightness. Each one wants something to happen.

But hoping, wishing, waiting, talking, and thinking about what we want doesn’t make anything happen. Any change that we want to happen begins within ourselves first. The only way the light bulb can be brighter is if each one of us becomes a little brighter. It’s a lifelong process.

The best part of all is that you get to decide what all of this means and you get to decide what works for you.

Icebox Turtle

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Icebox Turtle

Created this for an art jam with my friend, Joshua Dixon. He chose the topic for us: “Quirky & detailed house guarded by a significantly large creature/animal, attached to the house as a guard.”

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