Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Latest for Macleans

Latest for Macleans! Flight is definitely a theme for this one. 

The sketches for these tend to crowd into the centre so I'll often trace each element digitally so I can resize and shuffle stuff about until it all works. Usually it ends up looking pretty close to the original sketch!


-- Julia
Portfolio site

Monday, November 7, 2016

Latest Macleans

 Latest for Macleans! I love drawing the great outdoors.

I finished this one digitally with no intermediate inking step. I still like doing the preliminary sketch by hand, though!


-- Julia

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hallowe'en for St. Louis Family magazine

Here's a fun one I did for St. Louis Family! The art director was super helpful and provided me with reference photos for the event from years past. So that carriage and that Cinderella were both really there!

Went on (American, and I assume St. Louis!) newsstands on September 27. 

-- Julia

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Latest for Macleans!

I did the sketch by hand, then took a bad iphone photo of it and opened that in Photoshop. After that it was all digital! Sometimes I use a paintbrush and ink and I did a recent Macleans illo with a brush pen -- But they all look fairly similar. Still, it's good to know I can produce decent results with whatever the situation requires.

Bad iphone photo of the sketch:

-- Julia

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Latest for Macleans

This illustration ended being in the same issue of Macleans as the Tragically Hip spread, so it's a twofer!

I used a brush pen (Pentel Color Brush) to ink this one. Usually it's a Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold II, 202 Size 1 brush with Speedball india ink. My friend Robin Nishio got me onto the brush pen and I gotta say it's kinda hard to put down. It keeps a super fine point and can go super thick. And great for sketching because it forces me not to overwork stuff!

Occasionally I'll do one of these 100% digitally but I do prefer finishing the illo by hand.


-- Julia

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tragically Hip for Macleans

I've been psyched to share this one -- a map published in Macleans paying tribute to the Tragically Hip and the Canadian locations mentioned in their songs. 

It was a challenge squeezing all of that stuff into the map -- hope it's not too much of an eyesore!

I've always loved the Hip. Favourite songs: "Nautical Disaster", "My Music at Work", and "So Hard Done By". I can't say anything about the band that hasn't already been said, but their music is magic and truly Canadian.

Art without layout:


-- Julia

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Latest for St. Louis magazine

Yay, I love when I get sent the issue that's got my illustrations in. These illustrations were for St. Louis magazine, for an article about real-life detectives trying out an "escape the room". 

Here's the article:

They get double-booked into a room with some recent college grads, compounding the chaos!

-- Julia

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Father's Day 2016

Here's my Father's Day card this year! My dad requested these birds, as they are ones he and my mom have seen this past year. 

From top to bottom: Sandhill Crane, House Wren (who has settled into this nest box at the end of the yard!), Kentucky Warbler,  and American Avocet.

The House Wren would try and get these long twigs into the nest box. Sometimes he succeeded!

-- Julia

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass -- Hero Complex Gallery

I'm happy I can finally share this illustration I did for a gallery show hosted by Hero Complex Gallery! The show opened yesterday so if you're in LA check it out! Giclee prints of this illustration are on sale at the gallery.
The show is based around Alice Through the Looking Glass and is sponsored by Disney (they've got a new movie coming out). Nerdist and Amy Poehler's Smart Girls and Insider Disney have all posted about it.
It's been an educational experience for me, dipping my toe into the gallery world. Last year I did PIXELHEARTS with Gallery 1988 and I was in the Showcase 100 with Hire An Illustrator over in the UK. I hope to exhibit more in the future!
-- Julia

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Latest Macleans

Inspired by Yuko Shimizu's (one of my favourite artists!) article on using Google Maps for photo references (here's the article) I decided to give it a try.

I was able to find images of Arnprior, Ontario's Sears and No Frills, both of which figured into the life of this week's Macleans illustration.

It's nice to have another research tool at my fingertips!

-- Julia
Portfolio site

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Latest for Macleans

Latest Macleans, should be out now/soon! Mostly stays true to the sketch. Hope you like it!

-- Julia

Friday, March 4, 2016

Latest for Macleans

This one's long gone off newsstands I think, but here it is! I like to include buildings and landmarks sometimes, places that would've been important to the person.

There's something about water towers that really catch my eye. There's one by my house and it's always made an impression on me. Tallest thing around for quite a ways, weirdly cylindrical and smooth and featureless, except for the painted sides. Folks seem to not be able to resist painting those things and it's often with the town's name! Kinda adorable.

-- Julia
Portfolio site

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Latest Macleans!

I think this one is off newsstands now, but my latest one. Sometimes I start directly digital with my tablet but for this one I did a pencil sketch. I'm not sure which way I prefer, but I get the feeling that starting by hand might give the whole thing more flow. 

Some minor alterations between sketch and final but overall fairly close!

-- Julia
Portfolio site

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Momohime! (Kinda pronounced mo-mo-hee-meh). A tribute to Princess Peach and also to Momotaro, a Japanese folktale in which a boy is found inside a giant peach that's floating downstream. "Hime" means princess in Japanese!

I had fun making the Nintendo characters into characters from Japanese fairy tales such as:

Bowser/Oni (a demon),

Goomba (he's called "Kuribo" in Japanese because a developer kept telling Miyamoto that the character looked like a Kuri (chestnut), so I made him look even more like a chestnut),

Koopa/Kappa (Kappa is a demon with a weird haircut and water in the top of his head),

Mario is a woodsman, holding a Hammer Bros. hammer,

Mushroom retainers are fairly unchanged, same goes for the squid and the fish!

I also used something close to the same colour palette as Super Mario Bros.

Prints On Wood wrote an article about the show, read it here.

To see more artworks from the show, check out the Tumblr!

-- Julia

Monday, January 25, 2016


I'm excited to announce I'm part of CHOGRIN's latest art show, PIXELHEARTS! The show will be displayed at Gallery1988 West in LA. The theme is video game culture. Each artwork is printed on a 12x12" wood panel that's 3/4" thick and cut into a pixelated heart shape. A pretty fun and unique project!
The show's tumblr is here.
And here's a peek of a bit of my piece:
More to come!
-- Julia

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New illo for Macleans

The subject of this illustration was very safety-conscious so I gave the frame those soft foamy safety corners. Or they could be those Styrofoam corners that picture frames come with.
I'm always pleased to do these. My parents have a subscription to Macleans so it's a treat for them to get my art delivered right to their door!
-- Julia