Blissfully Inspired.

One of the things that I was taught early on was that if you wanted to live a creative life on a daily basis, you had to surround yourself with things of beauty that inspire you. As I live my life online and off, the digital and the analog often carry over into each other.

As an illustrator, one who will never stop learning and always marvels at the creative world we live in, places like Flickr, Kickstarter, Swiss-Miss, Pinterest, and Etsy have become places that feed my soul. Being an avid gamer with a desire to work in the industry, I love exploring the ways gaming and play have impacted our lives and how it can be used for education.

When I can, I enjoy backing other creatives with Kickstarter projects. Being almost ready to launch a campaign of my own, I appreciate the hard work and attention that goes into one of these (successful) campaigns. One of the ones I threw in ten bucks for (had to have the coloring book) was Ukiyo-e Heroes.

As a fan of Asian art, I am enthralled with Jed’s ingenious designs.

As a gamer, I think the project itself is brilliant and pays wonderful homage to the classic games that led us all down the rabbit hole.

As someone who aspires to lino-carve, I am in humble awe.

David Bull, the gentleman doing the hand-pulled woodcut prints for Ukiyo-e Heroes, has posted a process video of the creation of one of the proofs for the project. The detail of the woodblocks and the accuracy of the placement of the different layers of ink are beyond impressive. Enjoy.

Make it stop. Sign up. Get the kit. Now.


Our bracelets are coming in the mail.

Inspiring things afoot

Calling all adventurers! Jesse over at RawToast Design needs your help with a fabulous project. The funding has already passed but he has pledged some great addons if it goes higher. Read up and show him your support!


New York holds a special place in my heart so I am excited to see this happening. There is a city of underground tunnels covering more square footage under the city that possibly the city itself. Some of these spaces are incredibly beautiful, like the abandoned New York City Hall Station. If it gets funded, I think this will be the beginning of some fabulous new alternatives to greening up big cities. Help get them funded, they are sooo close.

Frustration is the Mother of Invention

Ok, so I finally got tired of futzing around with the old theme. It wasn’t mine, I had found it on the internet as a free download and thought I would try on a magazine layout. And while it was a nice theme, it had more complexities than I had cranial capacity to handle. Lesson learned: Make your own. I mean, really, I kinda do this for a living so I should know better.

Things have been really busy the past few months. College, clients (God love them) and homeschooling have taken up most of my waking moments. We have had a few bouts of illness here and there, mostly dependent on how thick the yellow pollen film is on our cars outside and whether or not we have each mutated the germs and recycled them back to each other.

Friends that do not normally have allergies have been suffering from them this year and I don’t know that it is going to get better. We had a harsh winter, the temperatures dropping to way below freezing on several occasions, so Mother Nature seems to be working overtime to make up for it.

Things are warming up, no cool reprieves, and I am not really looking forward to it. My days of enjoying the beach are gone almost completely; the sound of the surf lapping at the sand, the sun warm overhead as the salt spray hitches a ride on the incoming breezes. I can head out at dawn for some beachcombing but as soon as it starts to get hot I have to vacate as, with my lymphatic system not working, it makes it uncomfortable at best. There are still shade trees and pavilions in the park though and I am looking forward to a day outside this weekend.

A friend of mine from the museum has asked me to partner with her as a mentor to high school-aged creatives here locally. The group, YASO (Young Artist’s Society of Ocala), is having its first event this Saturday. In conjunction with Tom’s ShoesOne Day Without Shoes event that ran today, YASO is doing Barefoot in the Park. Combination cookout, play date, and shoe drive for Soles4Souls, Barefoot should be a lot of fun. I am going to be doing some fake henna (read brown liquid eyeliner) on people vs face painting, we have a few teens bringing their acoustic guitars, and there will be board games and other activities. Mostly it is a day to share the fresh air and remind each other that it is our responsibility as human beings to look out for those around us and that compassionate giving should be part of our daily lives; we shouldn’t have to wait for Easter, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day to show people that we care. So often we get caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to breathe and it is time we all slowed down a little. Life moves by so quickly as it is.

I took Val to the Latin mass at Queen of Peace here locally on Easter Sunday. I was really impressed. Everyone was so incredibly nice they made us feel right at home; which is saying a lot considering I am not Catholic. The almost three hours (yes you read that right, three) that the Latin mass lasted went by so fast I didn’t notice. The church itself is lovely but the people were what made it such a nice experience. We will be going back regularly starting this weekend but for different reasons.

Val, aside from being obscenely fluent in Latin, was trained in Tridentine mass when he lived in Arizona. As soon as our new friends found out he got swarmed, happily, and it was nice to see how bright it made him smile. He really missed doing it and I am looking forward to watching my gargoyle in action. If you are reading, thank you to all of you for making our first visit such a warm and inviting one. See you Sunday!

I need to revamped my sleeping schedule. It has gotten totally out-of-whack lately, as my mother would say. Speaking of which, 3am, that’s my cue…

Art Book Fundraiser for Sophia Tavolacci

UPDATE 1117.09: After some consideration, I am extending the deadline to November 30th for submissions. I got an email from Sophia’s mother earlier today and she said that she had gotten a positive response for the project.

Sophia isn’t giving up. Neither am I.

We did not get the number of submissions I had hoped for, too few for a large book. Many thanks to those creatives who have sent in work so far. Please help me spread the word. We need more creatives!

– – –

My girlfriend Julee forwarded information to me about this precious little girl because I run Art for Cures. As a mother, my own little girl is 8, I cannot imagine what Sophia’s mother is going through. Please help in any way that you can…sophia


Sophia Tavolacci is 2 ½ yrs old and was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia.

This is a rare life threatening disease. Her mother is leading fundraising efforts toward the only option to save her life. Her mother would have to have a special procedure to have an HLA identical sibling so that Sophia can get a bone marrow transplant from her sibling. This procedure will save her life. Insurance covers a little but not everything, so they need a LOT of help. See comment below for links to more information on Aplastic Anemia and the procedure.

Please support this family and come out to her fundraiser this Sunday the 8th if you are local to them in Woodside, NY; details on their site. You can read her story and find more information here:

Every little bit helps! If you cannot donate financially, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you can donate the proceeds of an original piece of artwork or something in your Etsy shop, etc that you could sell on her behalf it would help. They really need this! I know times are tough, they are for all of us, but imagine if this were someone you loved. How important would it be to you to help?


One image is all it takes.

I am using the 10″x8″ standard landscape template on Blurb, here are the specs if you need them…

@ 300dpi = optimal image size is 2888px x 2475px

I will make your images work but minimum 300dpi is requested for them to look good and work well.

I have the Blurb software which is plug-in-and-go easy so we can do this fast and help them raise money. Please please please email me directly at and include one high resolution image (no need to crop, I will) with your name as you would like it to appear and one link or your email for credit. By submitting your artwork you are giving me permission as Art for Cures to use the image in all promotional aspects for fundraising for this family and to help sell the book.

If the image is not appropriate for the book I will contact you to find a replacement. I am reserving the right to decline submissions if they are inappropriate.

All proceeds will go directly to Sophia’s family via Art for Cures and you will get credit for your work, mentions in the book and on the site(s), etc. You retain all rights to your work. Please help.

Any positive images that represent love, hope, compassion, caring, mother and female child, angels…keep it light, happy, hopeful. If you would like to send loving thoughts to them directly please check out Sophia’s mother’s journal on the site above.

ADDENDUM: I am looking for someone that would be willing to purchase a copy of the final book for Sophia’s mother. I am not getting anything out of this monetarily, and probably won’t even be able to buy my own copy, so I need someone willing to step up and help with a copy for Sophia’s mother. If you would like to help, please email me. I will include you in the thank yous on my site(s).

Thank you!

UPDATE 1105.09: Spoke to a representative of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS Foundation today. As a “personal fundraiser” they are not allowed to help publicize things BUT I suggested we could make a donation and their rep said donating 10% to AAMDS would get the project on their site. WOOT The other 90% goes to Sophia’s family; I spoke to Sophia’s mom and they are excited at the possibilities…

Now we just have to fill the book up so COME DONATE IMAGES!

And the official name of the project is now “Hope: The Sophia Project”.