Bark in the Dark

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How do people even keep up with multiple blogs?

This blog here is more of a behind-the-scenes thing, in case it helps anyone. But my main focus is IllustrArticles. I’m pushing myself to take more in-progress photos.

In the past few years, I’ve been pushed by several people to try teaching art that I actually started to consider it, but then my thoughts were like, “Uh. What?” and “Uh. Thank you! Here, buy some of my artwork, instead! :D”

I was lucky that I had good teachers in high school. Teaching takes a lot of planning, dedication, and patience. Yeah, I couldn’t be a teacher. Or maybe I just don’t want to teach…? I don’t know – not even thinking about it!


Here’s an illustrarticle I’ve recently finished:


It’s for a story about a dog I heard barking in the distance as I tried for fall asleep one night. A lot of dogs bark in my neighborhood. Basically, I don’t live in the Rogers Park neighborhood. I live in Rogers BARK.

After I wrote the story, the illustration started with this little sketch:


Then, it turned into an outlined final sketch:


And then, a finished painting:


Ta-da! Those little hearts were originally sketched out as dog skulls & cross bones. But right before inking the illustration, I realized that’s not the direction I wanted it to go. You can read the illustrarticle here: “Why Dogs Bark At Night”

An illustrarticle is it’s not quite a comic, not quite a blog. It’s an illustration with an article. Can’t have one without the other. Thought I should clarify that. New IllustrArticles are posted whenever important stuff happens. And sometimes, Thursdays.

“Bark in the Dark” illustration is available is a poster, framed print, tote bag, and more at the IllustrArticles shop.

#TBTart – The Artworks of 5 year-old Me

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Thursdays, most people post old photos of themselves on the internet for fun, but I want to post my old art. This is my creative edition of the #ThrowBackThursday.

Warning: last drawing might be NSFW for dogs. Cover your dog’s eyes for the last segment.











Space ships, human seesaw, exaggerated princess dresses, cigarette-smoking crab, urinating dog… You know, the usual stuff that 5 year-old me drew in 1990 while still living in Ukraine.

I wanna see your old creations. If you have some, post them here in the comments, or your Twitter/Instagram and tag them with #TBTart.

Super Studio Sale: You Will Get Superpowers By Buying These Prints

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An old Ukrainian legend states that if you buy any of my prints, their superpowers will be transferred to you! There are limited quantities left of the retiring prints/items. They’re about 50% off until they’re gone –


Buy 'Bad Ideas' Print


If you like to explore the world and experience new things, but you have no idea what you want to do next, I have an idea for you: Buy this “Bad Ideas” print. With it, you’ll suddenly have The Power To Come Up With Ideas. Most of them will be bad… But it depends on how you look at it – If there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then, Shirley, there’s no such thing as bad ideas! There’s only such a thing as this print called, “Bad Ideas.” That part is real (while supplies last).



Buy 'Beanstalk' Print

You thought that beans were a magical fruit? Just you wait until you get their super stalking power: If you buy the “Beanstalk” print, you will suddenly have The Ability To Stalk Beans! This is very useful if you need to hunt and gather food for your family. Beans are scrappy little creatures. Especially those jumping ones.




Buy 'Traveler' Print

If you’d love to travel, buying this Traveler print won’t get you the ability to travel. It’ll give you something better: You will suddenly have The Power To Sit In One Spot, With A Cup in Your Hand, And Stare Out The Window For A Long Time, While THINKING About Traveling™. Forget that window, even! Having this print to stare at will be your reminder that you’re not traveling enough.

See all the sale items here:


BONUS SUPERPOWER: Buying any of the prints will give you THE POWER TO PUT THEM ANYWHERE YOU’D LIKE – In your office. In your living room. In your bedroom. In your nose. In your butt.

Just kidding, I DO NOT recommend putting them in your nose or butt, because that might suddenly give you The Ability To Feel Instant Pain And/Or Bleed From A Paper Cut, and I may or may not be speaking from experience…

Pass The Torch Of Creativity By Sharing Your Stories

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One of my goals this year has been to write more and share more stories about illustration, creativity, and life. So far, I’ve been failing at that a little bit by not posting often enough. It’s been a rough few weeks since my last post that made it hard to fully focus on work.

Smoke sketch, part of an illustration in-progress.

There have been demonstrations and protests happening in my birth city, Kiev. My family that are there are alright, I guess, but they have been affected and are in shock, as well as the entire country of Ukraine. If you aren’t aware or don’t keep up with the news, you can Google for news and images of Kiev and Euromaidan (Independence Square).


Amy Ng is celebrating 6 years at her blog Pikaland and is giving away Issue #1 of her Good To Know zine series. It shares how artists deal with their setbacks. I contributed to the issue when it was originally published in 2009. You can check out my contribution on page 31. Here’s what I thought in 2009 was my stumbling block to creativity:

“My biggest stumbling block to expressing myself artistically is that I’m often taken too literally. I struggle with this because I usually don’t want to have to explain my work. The thoughts I put into the piece are my own and private and explaining those thoughts is like telling my life story to a stranger, to whom I just began to exist. I think my work invokes the feeling of curiosity, and just like lyrics of a song, my art could be interpreted in different ways, according to the individual.”

My views have changed within these 5 past years. I no longer mind if I’m taken literally and I don’t mind explaining my artwork. So, maybe that means I’ve made it past this stumbling block. Or maybe I misdiagnosed the actual stumbling block in the first place. That, the actual block, was me spending too much time focusing on the negative instead of the positive, and being afraid of what others might think of my artwork.

Long Stories - Print
“Long Stories” – Print

Since 2009, I’ve learned that “explaining” your work is just sharing your stories of life’s joys and heartbreaks. I, myself, love learning about other lives and I’m inspired by people’s stories. By sharing your stories, you’re passing along a torch that could inspire someone who needs it.

I’ve also learned I can focus more on positivity while accepting that negativity exists. It’s hard but not impossible. And I’ve learned to deal with the fact that I what I can’t do is control what others think of my work, just like I can’t bend spoons with my mind. Although, that would be a badass trick!

#IAmDriven Even Without A Car

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A fun thing happened! Land Rover picked me as one of their 5 First Prize winners of their #IAmDriven #Contest:

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It!

You can check out the write up on IllustrArticles for details. Long story short, my face in the above photo was my initial reaction when I got the email on my phone while I was at work and then Land Rover sent me some awesome camera lenses for my phone as my prize. I’m in love with the fisheye lens, always wanted one! I’ll be posting photos with the lenses on my Instagram.

Also, I currently don’t own a car. After moving to Chicago 3 years ago, I sold the one I had because I was needed to take a break from doing art fairs and started to use public transportation to get around instead. And because of that, every time I’ve done an art fair since or took a trip somewhere, I had to rent a car. This has been more cost-efficient but I do miss having the ability of driving to places anytime.



I have a lot of art fairs coming up this summer, including Wells Street Art Festival and more that I’ll announce as they’re confirmed. This means I’m going to be renting a lot of cars! And of course, I’ll be sure to rent a Land Rover. It might be a bit uncertain not knowing what I’ll be driving next but I’m looking forward to trying out different cars because that will help me decide what kind of car I will need to eventually buy for my career needs and life in general.

Romney. Just a little prick.

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Mitt Romney’s overblown ego didn’t help him win the election. Big ego, little much else to back up his promises– nothing new.

See below the process from sketch to finish. I originally had Romney dressed in the sketch phase. But when I thought of the title, it was only natural to show him au naturel.

I had fun voting for the first time in my life this year and I’m so glad that all the campaign ads are over

We all placed our ballots and kept our fingers crossed–hoping and wishing. Then we watched the results coming in live, kind of like watching an ultrasound and trying to make out what was developing. Sadly, there was hardly a chance that it would be a girl, Jill Stein. But when it was final, we got ourselves a Barack Obama. Someone who cares about all people, and women’s rights. Guess who I didn’t vote for?

Fair Man

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At a fair in Galva, IL. July 4th. Around 7 pm. The weather still in the upper 90’s. I ask this man how he manages to work under such conditions.

He replies, “Air conditioning.”