I’m going to declare here and now that I will write a story and make a book. THERE I SAID IT!

All I know right now is that this is a story about a girl struggling to deal with her negative emotions, which manifest in the shape of a wolf. It all started from this drawing.

When I drew this I was thinking about moments when I looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognize myself anymore. Ugly emotions had turned me into a monster, and I could no longer remember how to be me. But what if the monster was in pain too? What if it was just trying to reach out to tell me something?

For a while, it felt like “write a story” had taken up permanent residence on my to-do list... I would look at the task guiltily as the days turned into weeks, promising I would get to it “tomorrow”. It’s the one thing I really wanted to do but somehow became really good at avoiding.

Recently a friend suggested I break down this nebulous task into smaller, more concrete action items and this has made ALL THE DIFFERENCE! I had been staring at a blank page expecting to come up with an entire story in one sitting, when in fact there were so many puzzle pieces to be considered.

So I sat down to write out all the things I could think of that go into making a book, and a path is starting to emerge. It’s a long long path, but nonetheless it’s exciting to have a sense of direction😊

My main goal for this month is to get to know the main character. This entails the following:

  1. Personality - spend an hour brainstorming personality traits (likes, dislikes, motivations, quirks, etc.)

  2. Visual - spend an hour exploring different silhouettes (start with basic shapes)

  3. Visual - spend an hour exploring different facial expressions

  4. Visual - spend an hour exploring possible outfits/accessories (must reflect her personality)

  5. Environment - spend an hour putting together a Pinterest board of furniture that might be in the character’s room/home (I’m imagining the story taking place primarily in her room)

  6. Create a character sheet with a fully designed character in different poses/expressions

  7. Review progress and decide on next steps!

That’s a good start, right? In addition, I’m taking a class on Schoolism to study visual development (this class by Victoria Ying is amazing! I signed up for the non-critiqued sessions that you can take at your own pace), and will also be going to the library/bookstore to research different book formats and styles.

I’ve always found the combination of words and pictures to be such a powerful mode of expression. Writing intimidates me but I know I have stories to share, surfacing all the time in fragments through my art. I want to breathe more life into my characters and make them whole so they can go out into the world and make new friends.

Wish me luck, and I promise to keep you posted with progress (or struggles) for the duration of this journey!

I also just realized my last post was about a wolf and girl too😂This concept has obviously been brewing for way too long!


Part of a series of animal + girl paintings I'm working on🐺🌙✨

I recently read Picture This by Molly Bang, and it really opened my eyes to how much can be communicated through the use of shapes, lines, and colors. For example: triangles can give a sense of stability and vitality (among lots of other things), diagonals imply motion, and entities with similar colors are seen as being associated/connected. 

I tried to incorporate some of what I learned into this piece😊 A great read for anyone interested in how pictures work!

“Night Light”
Blue Dot Sessions


Moulin du Roy Cold-Pressed Watercolor Paper, 300gsm

Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor Set

Escoda Perla Toray White Synthetic Round Brush
Raphaël Kolinsky Red Sable Fine Pointed Round Brush
Princeton Neptune Oval Wash


A short video of the beginning of a friendship🐻💛 

I'd been sketching ideas of this pair forever, and finally got around to painting it. I really like how the colors turned out☺️ Hoping to turn this into a little series...! 

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Podington Bear

Arches Cold-Pressed Watercolor Paper, 300gsm

Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor Set

Blick Scholastic Golden Taklon Round Brush
Escoda Perla Toray White Synthetic Round Brush
Raphaël Kolinsky Red Sable Fine Pointed Round Brush



Some of the things I enjoyed in June:


1. Sketch day at the zoo with Kira of Kirakiradoodles and her hubby Lorenzo. Drawing from life is hard, especially when life is animals that won't hold still. Must keep practicing! I had a lot of fun, and Kira even made a cute video of our trip.

2. Roadtrip with brother to visit parents = hours of REAL TALK. We didn't really get along as kids. Who knew we'd grow up to have some inspiring conversations about the artist life (he's a musician).

3. Totoro on the big screen! I hadn't seen this movie in so long, and experienced a whole new world of feels watching it as an adult. So much love T-T I still can't get over what an amazing big sister Satsuki is, which makes me feel guilty about what a poo sister I was at her age.

4. Hannibal the TV series. I binge watched all three seasons and really enjoyed it! I love the books, and the show did some really cool things with the source material. Great cast, great music, and so much beautiful food. It did get pretty bloody though, so I'm ready to get into something a bit more lighthearted this month.

5. Books I read/am reading

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
I Can Hear You Whisper by Lydia Denworth
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron


Stuff I Use

A few weeks ago I asked on social media if anyone had any questions about watercolors, and got some amazing feedback! Thank you so so much to everyone who left questions and comments! I love watercolors, so it makes me really happy that so many of you are interested in getting to know it better. Since the questions covered a lot of ground (materials, techniques, etc), I’m going to be creating separate posts for different topics. Kicking things off with a list of materials I use.

A quick disclaimer that I’m forever practicing and experimenting, so will probably continue to explore and change things up as I go. I always find it really helpful to get a peek into an artist's toolbox since there's SO MUCH out there to choose from, but at the end of the day I know it's perfectly fine to use whatever I like (cheap or expensive), however I like. THERE ARE NO RULES. 

Okay, here goes!


I purchase most of my supplies online through Blick, which is local to where I live. I'm also incapable of walking out of any arts & crafts/stationery store without finding some amazing thing that I never knew I needed.



Out of all my painting supplies, paper is the only thing I’m somewhat particular about. I say “somewhat" because I’m not loyal to any brand, but it’s the one area where I actually notice a difference depending on what I use.

For doodling and practicing I use whatever is cheapest at the local art shop, but for everything else I use 100% cotton, cold-pressed (textured) paper. Both types of papers can produce lovely effects, but I noticed that most of my favorite techniques work better on the cotton sheets. They can take a lot more water, and the colors do beautiful things on them.

Here’s what I’m currently using (they’re all great!):

Strathmore Ready-Cut Watercolor Sheets

This cotton paper is pretty affordable, and I love that it comes cut into convenient 5 x 7 inch sheets.

Arches Watercolor Pad
Fabriano Artistico Extra White Watercolor Block

These are both great brands! I use the 9 x 12 inch sheets for most of my paintings these days, although I'm starting to dream about painting bigger.

Various Sketchbooks + Practice Papers


Paper is pretty much my partner in crime when it comes to watercolors, and I think it really is as much a part of the medium as the paint. I wish I could paint on all kinds of surfaces and get the same beautiful effects, but have yet to figure out how. Must continue experimenting!



I use a combination of a bunch of different paints:

LEFT: Angora Watercolor Pan Set

I was gifted an Angora pan set when I first started painting, and just bought this new set. I usually mix and match the colors or use them in combination with the paints below. I love the portability, and having a bunch of different colors to play around with.

RIGHT: Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor Set

I love love love this set! The colors are all amazing (especially the indigo, which is almost gone because I use it for everything T-T), and the intensity of the pigments is just wonderful. 

Tube paints

Tube paints are great for mixing specific/custom colors, or if I need a large amount of a certain color. I have colors from different brands, including Daniel Smith, Grumbacher, Holbein, Schmincke, Utrecht, and Winsor & Newton — some were gifted to me, others I bought because they were recommended, or just on a whim because they happened to be on sale. Here again I’m not partial to any brand, but I've noticed that I use ridiculous amounts of the Shell Pink by Holbein Artists' Watercolors, and lots and lots of blue from all the tubes. 

Mixing pans

The semi-clean one on the left is for when I want more control over the colors, and the messy one (that I never clean) is for spontaneous mixing/experimenting.

LEFT: Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Liquid Watercolors, Titanium White

I use this little guy to add a drop or two of white to my colors when I’m in the mood for pastels (which is pretty much always and forever). 

RIGHT: Holbein Artists' Gouache, Pearl Gold

I've tried a lot of gold paints, but this one is by far my favorite! I use ridiculous amounts of this one too. 



I’m all about the round brushes, and own a few in different sizes. They’re really versatile and can create a lot of different effects, so I haven’t really ventured out to use much else. 

From top to bottom:

Pentel Aquash Brush Pen

This one is for when I'm on the go (it carries water in the brush, so you don't need to worry about water cups). It takes a little getting used to, but it's very convenient once you get the hang of it! 

Blick Scholastic Golden Taklon Round, size 14
Escoda Perla Toray White Synthetic Round, size 12
Raphaël Kolinsky Red Sable Fine Pointed Round, size 3

The trio of brushes I use the most. The size 14 and 12 to fill in larger areas, and the size 3 for details. I buy new brushes once in a while to test them out, but always end up coming back to these guys.

Princeton Neptune Oval Wash, 3/4”

My one non-round brush. It's a mop! I use it mostly to lay down water (like in the video below).






LEFT: MUJI color pencils, toothbrush and sponge

Color pencils for adding some finishing touches, toothbrush + sponge for creating different textures/effects.


I don't use pens too much, but the Pigma Micron Pens work great with watercolors since they're waterproof, and the White Uni-Ball Signo Gel Pen is handy for adding little details.

BOTTOM RIGHT: The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver

Keeps my brushes clean and in good condition.


…And that’s it! Woohoo we made it! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, or if YOU have any favorites when it comes to art supplies. I'd love to hear your recommendations♥


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Something New

One of my goals for this year is to be more open, and the idea of an online journal has been floating around in my brain for some time.

So I decided to stop thinking about it and just post something already.

I’m not sure what exactly I’ll be talking about here, but I’m excited to have a place to share things with whoever is out there listening. Maybe nobody, but that’s ok! The point is that I’m practicing being open. 

Something new.


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