August 8, 2018

Portraits of Pets

About three months ago I was really sick with a bad case of the flu, holding the sofa down and bored out of my mind. I decided to do a few digital sketches of my dog, Inkling, on my Surface tablet. When I posted the drawing to Facebook I was approached by people asking for dog and cat portraits.

So now I have a website dedicated to my portraits,, because the style is quite different than my "Animated Woman" stick figures. I am versatile.

Here's a taste:

Look at this silky muzzle.

My pet portraits are digital, drawn in Sketchbook; you get a high resolution file and take care of your own printing, or I can take care of the printing and framing for you. You can go up to 16 x 16” or even 20”. I work from one photo; adjusting lighting and colour as I draw, enhancing the expression and personality. I ask for 3-5 photos so I can get a feel for your pet’s personality, and we usually decide on one together; it should be nice and sharp, with a good silhouette, and no missing or shadowy, obscured parts. The price is $100 USD until September 2018, so book now. Find out more here.

I'm still drawing AW stuff in between portraits; currently working on my graphic novel, "BALL". Updates on that and more festival selections for HONESTY coming soon, I promise!

April 29, 2018

Film Festival Laurels - updates!

Yes! My film "Papa Pasquale" has been selected to screen in the Footcandle Film Society's Children's International Film Festival in North Carolina.

The true story of Folino family's migration from Italy to Canada in the 1950's has collected a few laurels since it's release.

Stream Papa Pasquale here.

More news: my recent short film "HONESTY" (featuring the irrepressible PickleWeasel) has made Official Selection in the VAFI & RAFI 9th International Children and Youth Animation Festival, Croatia.

PickleWeasel has to learn how to listen to his conscience: should he be honest or run away?

Stream HONESTY here.

If you're making little films and you want to get them out there, entering them into festivals is so much more viable now than it used to be. Everything goes online; no more sending hard copies and filling out complicated forms. Many festivals are free to enter, and some cost a little. If you're considering a festival tour for your film, get yourself a budget, research the festivals that showcase films like yours and narrow down which ones you think are a good fit. Check out FilmFreeway and WithoutABox to get started.

Support independent film, go to a film festival.

March 20, 2018

International Day Of Happiness

I made this for you.
You do not suck!
Happy International Day Of Happiness.

March 19, 2018

Totally LAME.

Hurrah for Medicare in Canada! Sure, I spent the night sitting in a wheelchair in the ER but hey, I did catch a glimpse of an elderly hospital-gowned gentleman's backside, complete with some very low-hanging fruit. We're talking knee-knockers. We're talking tennis balls in long socks. We're talking Newton's Cradle. So the trip to the ER wasn't a complete washout. Also, I got a diagnosis and treatment plan for my bum hip.

I have a Calcified Hematoma. Which means, when a dog named Buddy comes running at you exhuberantly and jolts your hip in a high speed joy leap, you will limp lightly for a month and then suddenly be unable to walk. Because excruciating pain.

How do I know the dog's name was Buddy? His owner was yelling it over and over. I think she should have shouted louder because he obviously couldn't hear her.
Inkling was good. And along came Buddy.
Meet my new best friend:
Senior walker? Or FREEDOM MACHINE.
At the hospital you get asked what level of pain you have from 1 to 10, 1 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain you've ever felt. I mean, how can they tell how bad it is? My 10 could be someone else's 5. So I said, "I'm holding a steady 7 allatime, shooting 9s and 10s." And they're like TAKE THE MORPHINE GIRL.

I can't take those drugs though because I'm alcoholicle. Instead I opted for anti-inflammatories and acetaminophen. It takes the edge off but leaves me with just enough shooting 8s to make my kids feel sorry for me. And why shouldn't they? My parkour career is in jeopardy.

I'll be laid up for two to three weeks. Usually I'm the Helper, so it's difficult to assume the role of Helpee. I'm learning though. There are ways to ask for help without becoming annoying. For example, this afternoon I had a bath; I have strong arms and low body weight so there was no problem getting myself into the tub. Getting out was impossible. I called out to The Huz, "Hey! Do you want see me naked?"
He answered straight away. "Coming!"

See what I did there.

March 16, 2018

Elephant In the Brain

The Ides of March, my sobriety anniversary, or "soberthday", came and went yesterday without fanfare. It's been four years since I quit drinking. 

Every year an old friend of mine calls to congratulate me on staying sober, and yesterday was no different. He said that he was impressed that I had made it this far, and that he knew how hard it was to quit. My reply, as always, was that I didn't find it hard. I found that continuing drinking was hard; not drinking was so much easier.

No self loathing. No little mind games. No shame. Much easier.
But I'm carefully ignoring something: the elephant is no longer in the room, but it's still lurking in my brain.  I'm not accounting for the hidden costs of sobriety. I'm not acknowledging the losses. There are friendships and communities of drinking buddies that fall away and disintegrate. It's painful. Even though you have no issue being around drinkers or being at parties, the invitations dry up. You are excluded from certain events.

The photos posted to Facebook of a girls night out, or a trip to a winery stings a little. You can see the party going on inside the bubble, but you know that you are not welcome. Not because you can't handle it, but because they can't.

And that is just the superficial pain. It runs deeper and with greater intensity, and it touches the raw nerve of your identity. People who have known you your whole life accuse you of having changed. They don't recognize you. They're even angry, as though you'd cheated them, or stolen something they felt was theirs.

You spent so many years covering up the fear and doubt, drowning out the loneliness with booze and being a happy, funny, party girl. They miss that girl. But she is not who you are - she never was.

February 13, 2018

HONESTY laurels!

My short film that I animated for kids to learn about honesty, has picked up a few more festival screenings and one award. So I figure it's time I update the credentials, because my fleet of personal assistants have yet to materialize.

Poster for the short film HONESTY, with PickleWeasel, and festival laurels.
Collecting laurels is fun.

Here we go:

• Ajayu International Animated Short Film Festival 2017, Peru - Official Selection.
• The World Animation Celebration 2017, Los Angeles - Official Selection.
• Canada Shorts 2017, St John NB - Official Selection, WINNER Award of Distinction.
• Providence Childrens Film Festival 2018, Pawtucket RI - Official Selection.
• KidFilm Festival 2018, Dallas - Official Selection.
• Athens AnimFest 2018, Athens Greece - Official Selection, European premiere.

HONESTY was specifically animated with kids in mind, so I entered it into a few childrens film festivals. I'm especially pleased that it got into KidFilm and wow, delighted it made it into Providence - that is such a cool festival, they really care about the filmmaker and give valuable feedback. That Providence Children's Film Festival runs from Feb. 16-25, so if you in the Pawtucket Rhode Island area, get your tickets here.

Thus far this film is entered into about fifty festivals, and I've got twelve rejections and six selections. Rejections hurt, but they help you figure out what festivals your film is right for. I learned this while doing the festival run on my last film, "Papa Pasquale". Celebrate the laurels!

Once I finish my graphic novel, "Ball", I'll set my sights on my next little film. I can't wait to get back to animating.

Support indiefilm for $4 : HONESTY is available for streaming on Teachers Pay Teachers. 

January 29, 2018

"Ball" work-in-progress.

Been busy with all the things of life, but still plugging away on my graphic novel for a few hours every day. The frames are more detailed than I usually do, so it's taking more time.

Here's a few work-in-progress images.

Downshot of girl nearly submerged in rain.
Apparently, water represents the subconscious...

Girl meets the Black & White Thinking Shark.
Facing the Black & White Thinking Shark.

When the story sucks you in, you just have to let it happen. In a way, it's like the story is already there, waiting to be uncovered. I'm super-enjoying this.

More sneak peeks here.

January 4, 2018

Working on a graphic novel: "Ball".

A while ago I was moved to start an illustrated series call Ball. I posted eight chapters (starting HERE) and then stopped, intending to complete the series as a book.

Life happened, my family needed me, I quit drinking and got a dog. There have been some money worries too, so I focused on producing clip art and videos for teachers. Now it's time to draw for myself again. I don't have as many free stretches as I once did, but I do have enough to focus on one of my many projects for a few hours each day. After internalizing Ball for so long, it deserves to be let out.

Here's a sneak peek:

Running through the rain.

 Ball is the story of someone who loses a precious thing, and has to somehow find their way out of darkness. It's... an adventure.

I'll try to post updates as I go, and hope you'll follow along.