Mystery of the Haunted Barge

If you couldn’t already tell, my site has a new look!  It’s pretty similar to the old one, except that the featured images are a lot easier to change, and the big area on the main page is actually a featured content slider, so when I have more content that I want to feature, the image will change!  If there’s one drawback to this layout, it’s that I can’t make my blog a featured page without it trying to show all of my recent posts instead of just one, so the third one will probably be the Sketchbook, once I get that page up and running.

I also have a logo now!  I made my fairy dragon logo last month while applying for a graphic design job, and I’m very happy with it.  I’ll probably talk a little more about its significance later on, because now I want to get into writing about this new game!


haunted-barge-coverThe Mystery of the Haunted Barge by S.L. Vilkman is a supernatural adventure in which players take on the roles of a team of investigators called to check out the strange reports surrounding a mysterious new restaurant on the shores of the Mississippi River.  To say more than that would be a spoiler — even to show my character designs gives away a little bit about the true nature of the game —  so I’ll say a little more about it under the “read more.”  If you read the description on DriveThru RPG and you think it’s something you’d like to play, please don’t let my post spoil the surprise!  I’ll try not to give away too much, anyway.

Continue reading “Mystery of the Haunted Barge”


I will be updating the look of the site a little later today, so if anyone checks in while the updates are in progress, it may look like a bit of a mess!

I’m also really looking forward to writing about one of the latest games to feature my character designs, The Mystery of the Haunted Barge by S.L. Vilkman.  I haven’t actually read any of it except for the character descriptions, so I’m excited to learn more about the story, and about the concept of a systemless RPG!


New Projects

This year, I plan to keep busy in between commissions by working on some projects of my own.

The first is something that I started a couple of years ago, but didn’t finish because I began to think there was no need for it.  It will be a PDF collection of various first-level D&D characters, all of them women.  I got this idea when I thought of my own response to gaming art, especially the D&D art that I grew up around, which often featured highly sexualised images of women in highly improbable armour, and how this contributes to the idea of tabletop gaming as a hobby exclusive to men.  Later, after working on my character designs for a while, I began to think that this was silly.  Tabletop gaming, after all, has an enormous female following.  Many of the women I know play some sort of tabletop role-playing game and/or run their own.  I abandoned the project for a while, thinking it was unnecessary, but recently I have spoken to more than one woman who finds D&D interesting but a bit off-putting for the same reasons that I mentioned above.  So I’m starting again.

I don’t know yet how many characters will be featured in this PDF, but I hope to represent each of the major races and classes of D&D.  Each character will have a name and a story, an illustration, and a first-level character sheet.  Below, you can see one of the characters I designed two years ago and have redrawn, a Dwarf Fighter.  I’ll post more about this project as it continues.


The second project is newer and a bit more tentative, but it’s one that I’ve been considering for a while:  a webcomic retelling of Beauty and the Beast, set in the early 1800s.  Despite its problems, Beauty and the Beast has always been my favourite fairy tale (and my favourite Disney movie).  I especially love retellings that attempt to address its problems, and I would love to attempt my own.

I have the story mapped out already, and a good idea of what the characters will be like and how they’ll look, but I say the project is “tentative” because I’m not much of a writer, and I know how overwhelming webcomics can be.  Still, I’m excited to try, so we’ll see how it goes!

Here is a preview of the two main characters and their setting.  I think I’ll want to edit this drawing later and add even more roses.  I doubt the comic itself will be coloured in this style, because it was very time consuming!

beauty and the beast - small

I’ll have more to post very soon about a previous commission that I wasn’t able to show until now.  I’m also very close to being ready to change the look of the site a bit!


Update 10-1-19

As of yesterday, there have been changes made to every section of this site.  Most of them are minor except for the big update to the Portfolio page.  I’ve cleared out all the stuff I didn’t like anymore, deleted the Sketchbook section (it’s getting its own page later), and added a lot more drawings!  None of them are really new except for the latest wrestling merch design, but there are one or two things I haven’t posted before.

Below the cut:  New wrestling merchandise, two older drawings I’ve never posted, an announcement about contracts, and future plans for the site.

Continue reading “Update 10-1-19”



There are going to be some changes coming this week!  I’m going to be clearing out my portfolio, partly to make room for all the stuff I’m going to be doing in 2019, and partly because there are some things that I don’t think represent the stuff I do now.

There’s also going to be a new monthly sketchbook section.  I’m getting back in the habit of daily sketching, and while some of the sketches are related to projects I’m not quite ready to show yet, I intend to start sharing soon.  I’ve also just recently learned about Croquis Cafe on YouTube (these videos are not safe for work, unless your job is okay with nude figure drawing models!) and I’m going to be doing a lot more figure studies.  The sketchbook section will be cleared out every month to make room for new drawings, but my favourite ones will be archived.

I haven’t made a decision about my site layout yet.  I’m ready for something different, but I don’t have any recent illustrations that work as well as the cover for Raiders of Pertalo.  I’ll see what I can come up with though, because it’s time for a change!


Happy New Year!

Goodbye, 2018!  Last year was a rollercoaster ride, artistically and personally, full of exciting highs and crushing lows, moving too fast and over too quickly.  It was the year I left a stressful job to pursue art full-time, but still had to struggle with the anxiety and self-doubt that the job had created.  It was the year I started designing wrestling merchandise, something I never expected to do, and also really started to learn to do vector art.

In 2018, I had to apply to extend my visa to remain in the UK with my husband.  This was a process that took months to prepare for and months to receive an answer, a terrifying time in which I would often lie awake at night, wondering if something like a small error in paperwork would force me to leave my home.  Fortunately, my application was approved.  In a little over two years, I will go through all of that again for the last time.

In 2018, I was able to travel, something I have not done much since moving to the UK.  It was an amazing experience, and it left me wanting more.  In the new year, I hope to do a lot more of that!

There were setbacks in 2018, mostly toward the end of the year.  I made mistakes, and I allowed those mistakes to hold me back and slow me down.  But now I feel like I have learned from them, and I’m ready to tackle 2019 with renewed motivation and awareness!

I have so many resolutions for the new year.  I want to make more art in general, for myself and for others.  I want to take bigger creative risks by continuing to learn new things all the time, but fewer business risks; I have been rethinking how I handle freelancing, and there are going to be changes coming soon.  While I can take constructive criticism, I want to develop a thicker skin against the anonymous meanness of the internet.  And, most importantly, I want to start and finish one of the big projects that have been building up in my head, either an art book or one of three comic ideas.

Watch for changes to this site in the year ahead, a new layout and an updated portfolio section, more frequent posts with sketches, works in progress, and more!

Thanks for sticking with me, and have a very happy new year!


One tiny update before I disappear back under the pile of paperwork that will hopefully allow me to continue living in the same country as my husband:

I have created a separate section in my portfolio for wrestling merchandise, since I’ve had a blast working on these designs and really hope I get to do more in the future.  This includes the newest design for Candy Floss, and my first successful attempt at vector graphics!

And sadly that’s it for now.  I’ve got a lot of stuff on hold right now.  To my clients with ongoing projects, thank you very much for your patience, understanding and support during this stressful time.  Your work is my highest priority when all of this is done.  I also have some personal work that’s on the back burner until the more important stuff is finished, and one of these is a story that is very special to me, has been in development for years, and now finally has an ending.

I should have another update toward the end of next month.


Wrestling merch + Artist questions

Two of the three designs I’ve done for British wrestling are now available, and I’ve got permission to go ahead and share the third one!  I already posted the Spike Trivet one, but I’ll post it again here just to have them all in one place.

The second one is a design for Candy Floss, who is currently in Japan and wanted a design combining Japanese pop culture with her cute, colourful style.  Her design is inspired by Sailor Moon, with a font that mimics the title font of the anime, along with katakana that translates her name phonetically (“Kyandī furosu” = candy floss) and kanji that translates it literally (“Wata kashi” = cotton candy/candy floss).  This one was fun because I haven’t drawn anime style in ages!  More on that later.  So far the Candy Floss shirt is only available in Japan, but I’ll post a link when it’s for sale on her web site!

The third design is actually the first one I finished, for Millie McKenzie.  She is well-known for both her suplexes and her angry faces.  I sketched one of those angry faces and sent it to her as a sample, and she chose it for her merchandise, which is why I didn’t share one of my daily sketches for that week!  This particular drawing is the design for her stickers, but there is a t-shirt that’s basically the same thing but in black and white.  These also aren’t available yet, but I’ll make a new post as soon as that changes.

And I owe a huge thank you to Ash Versus for sending these awesome people my way.  I have really enjoyed working on these!

While I’m here, I’ll go ahead and answer the next artist question, including a note on drawing in anime style.

Continue reading “Wrestling merch + Artist questions”


Artist Questions #4 + Personal Projects

4. What defines your artistic style?

This is a difficult question. It took me a while to even figure out I have a style, so putting it into words is a bit tricky. I asked my husband “What would you say my style is?” and he shrugged and said “I don’t know. Cartoon, comic book?”

And I guess that’s it. My style was shaped very much by the cartoons of the 90s and early 2000s (especially The Zeta Project), and by the books and comics I borrowed from my Dad and copied. I like bright, solid colours and bold ink lines of varying weight. I like big eyes and flowing hair, throwbacks to my anime phase.

There is a later questions that asks “what are your artspirations?” and I think I can answer that one a lot more easily when the time comes. My style is shaped by the things I like, and it is a thing that keeps evolving. The best answer to this question, I think, is the one my husband gave.

Let me know what you think! It’s often hard for artists to see their own style, so tell me in the comments if there’s anything you can see that sets my art apart as distinctively mine.

Over the past week or so, I’ve been juggling commissions with babysitting and other commitments, and trying to develop some of my personal projects on the side. It’s teaching me a lot about time management, which is one of my weak points that I’m trying to improve. Here’s a quick look at one of the projects I’m developing, based on a story I’ve been thinking about for ages.


This is the ensemble cast. I’m still developing their unique looks, but this is a pretty good start. I think the only one I’m not really happy with is #8. She didn’t come out looking the way she does in my head, and her appearance doesn’t fit her character very much. Number 4 is a bit out of character, but I get tired of drawing her grumpy every time I draw her.

I had another one to show today, but I noticed a mistake in it and I’m not posting it until that’s fixed!  I will most likely make another post tomorrow afternoon, since I have a couple more wrestling commissions to show.  I probably won’t have any more personal work to show for this week since I’ll be cracking down more on commissions!