Upcoming Show


Somehow, amidst finishing illustration deadlines and preparing for my three-week journey to the northern part of the planet, I am also preparing for an upcoming public show of my work at my alma mater, Rare Device (the store I used to own & operate with Rena Tom, now owned by our friend Giselle). The show (which opens November 2) is called “This is My World” and will include a selection of small paintings, hand-painted objects and hand-made zines and books.

Here are the details:

Hope to see you there, SF & Bay Area friends! Have a great weekend, all.


365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 243



Frequently Asked Questions :: Why Don’t You Allow Blog Comments?


{Gemtastic, graphite and gouache on paper, 2010}

Today’s FAQ: People can’t leave comments on your blog. How come?

My answer: Let me say first that I think comments are great. I think blogging is an extremely valuable forum for discussion about all kinds of issues–about politics, child-rearing, art, design, life, etc. etc. So if you have comments on your own blog and value them, I get why you do. If you enjoy commenting on blogs, I get that too.

Here’s a bit of my personal story: In 2005 I started my first blog which I kept for a number of years (it no longer exists on the internet). That blog allowed comments, and I found that I got way too wrapped up in:

a) Whether people were commenting at all. For example, if a post had no or few comments, did that mean it sucked? Or was boring? Did it mean that piece of art I posted was horrible? I put much more weight on comments than I should have.

b) Whether I was obligated to respond to all comments and questions. I just didn’t have time, and yet I felt a responsibility as a show of appreciation to my readers. If I went to bed without responding to my commenters, I felt horrible. I didn’t like feeling that way.

c) Occasional negative comments. I didn’t have many, but they would appear every now and again, some from trolls, some from earnest but cantankerous readers. I felt like I gave those comments way more attention in my own mind than the hundreds of positive comments I would receive in a month. I didn’t like that either.

So, in the end, all of this caused me to close down my blog. Instead of being enjoyable, blogging felt stressful.

So when I decided to start blogging again, I asked myself what would keep it enjoyable and sustainable for me. The answer? No comments. And you know what? I’ve kept this blog for almost a year and it hasn’t felt stressful once. Not having comments helps me avoid get too wrapped up in what other people think about my work or my life decisions.

What I love is that if folks want to tell me how a post made them feel or if they have questions, they usually email me. After this past Tuesday’s post, I got six lovely emails the same day from readers. I also get a lot of feedback on Twitter and Facebook.

The lesson here? Make your own rules for your life, and let what feels right for you be your guide.


365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 242



Wedding Invitation Design


As I mentioned last week, I love making artwork for + hand lettering interesting and unique wedding invitations. My most recent invitation project fits perfectly into that category. When my friend Charlie asked me to design a hand-painted + hand lettered invitation for her upcoming wedding, I jumped at the chance. I’ve known Charlie for many years, and she and I share a love for the Golden State & all things California (e.g. we both have California tattoos!).

As part of the design process, we shared our favorite California imagery and batted our ideas back and forth until we settled on the imagery, which I drew in the composition you see above and painted in gouache. Once the design was complete, we had the invitations printed at the amazing Pinball Publishing. The backside includes all the formal invitation info (all hand lettered).

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be part of your special day, Charlie!