Monday, December 17, 2012


Close-up of the inked detail

I have been spending quite a bit of time working in my sketchbook these days. I spent my Friday night sketching away amongst a bunch of talented people. We worked through the night on our different projects and I found myself craving a little bit of hands-on art making rather than my purely digital process.

I did a pattern the 'good ol fashioned way' this time, where I inked each layer separately, then compiled them together in the computer and colored them.

The repeat tile

I'm really enjoying letting the inky brush strokes show on these and backed by a dark background you really see it.

This pattern is inspired by the olive flower. I really like the shape of the leaves more than anything, so I did something a little viney -- reminiscent of a wall paper pattern.

And here it is repeated

School just ended this week. Another semester is over and I'm feeling a little sad from it all. It's funny -- I've felt the same way every time another semester goes by. From the time I got out of school to now, it feels the same. I miss all of those people that I got close to over the semester. I won't get to see some of them until the new year, and some of them I may never get to see again for a long while -- or ever.

Waah, maybe it's the music I have on right now, or maybe it's because it's 3am and I'm finally posting this pattern before I head to bed, but whatever the case, I was just thinking about those guys. I had an amazing last day of class with everyone. I suppose nothing can last forever. I'll just be thankful I got to share the semester with everyone. It was a blast.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Piano music in the background

RaspberryFlower by Lindsay Nohl
Inspired by raspberry flowers and little shoots

Recently I've really enjoyed making patterns that are a little more free-form than the normal rigid patterns I've done in the past. I think in the last year I've really liked the organic feeling patterns the best -- the ones that feel like they're floating in the wind, or the ones that look like they're drifting on top of the water.

This is a good example of what I mean. I wanted to make something quiet and understated, with some little guys that look like sprouts.

I've also been listening to a lot of piano music these days. It's comforting.
This pattern reminds me of that music...

RaspberryFlower by Lindsay Nohl
And here it is repeated!

I woke up really late this morning - though it's not unusual for me to wake up late into the morning, today was ridiculous. The sun was still out (thank goodness) and I went for a walk in the snow. It was the first big snowfall of the season and though I'm not a huge fan of it most of the time, it made everything really quiet and serene.

I guess that mood carried over into the night for me, so here I am, continuing to listen to my comforting music and contemplating the winter ahead.

I've been writing and sketching a lot more than usual. It's liberating and meditative.
One of these days I'll try to get some of my sketches up on here. Until then they're safely tucked away in my sketchbook. Maybe I'll slip and post a bunch of them one of these days while I'm in one of my relaxed modes. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Marigolds Galore


I wanted to do something a little nested today, and a little sketchy.
Here's a vintage inspired pattern where there's little-to-no negative space.
It was nice doing things in line work and silhouettes!

I spent a little bit of time shopping for Christmas presents this afternoon on Ebay, where I inevitably end up looking at vintage wrapping and wallpaper. Today I was smitten with the bright papers of the 60s.

I'm on the ultimate hunt for all of the amazing things for my wonderful friends and my awesome family. I found the perfect gifts for some of them today. I'm sure there's someone out there that makes all of the other things I'm looking for. I'm really excited that I found some amazing things today that are made by other creative people.

I can't even explain how much I love the holidays. It's hard to narrow things down and I agonize over the little things. I am having a crazy good time.

That, and I got a chance to decorate part of the studio today! I bought a bunch of garlands and Chris and I put them up around the outside windows. I'll have to take some pictures of how the outside windows look!

Well, I'm off to try to find a couple more presents! Exciting!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Got some Gouache


This weekend I got the chance to head to the art store where I treated myself to some new gouache. It was super cheap, but it was definitely still fun to work with!
So, instead of taking the normal digital route, here is my gouache-painted floral pattern!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Want this pattern in my bathroom. 101florals: Tiger lily


I got to visit the Animal Humane society earlier today with Chris (one of my favorite places to visit, but one of the hardest places to leave!) and was excited to see that on our way in a couple was coming out with a new friend! There- we found a little nine-month-old siamese mix that looks just like our kitty, Jadey.

It took all of my will-power not to walk out with him! They would have made great friends! For those of you that are wondering why I couldn't bring myself to get another kitty -- it's because I definitely have my fair share of cats at home. And the dogs. -- Don't forget about those dogs.

Still, I fall in love with every single cat that I meet! Even the naughty ones!


I am really looking forward to a little bit of a slower week this week.
We have one class for CVA tomorrow - and another one for MCAD tomorrow night, but then Thanksgiving break starts. I'm a little surprised! It totally snuck up on me.

I'm thinking that while I have some time, I might just get a little personal art done. I was thinking of starting a couple new pieces. I'm not sure yet if they'll be digital or if I want to do some kind of traditional-media / digital hybrid.... or what.

I'm sure I'll figure it out! Oh yes. And - I still want to draw a million little cute pieces of food / creatures. That's what I get for playing Megu!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Man Lips and Corel Painter


Wow, this week (like all weeks) seems to be a crazy one!
I had a great time today in all of my classes.
It's been a heavy load this semester.

This afternoon I got to be a guest speaker in Kelly Brown's digital illustration class - which was a lot of fun. Even though I spend Monday and Wednesday nights over at MCAD, there were a lot of new faces in the class that I hadn't seen before! I was happy to see a couple great people in Kelly's class from my Monday / Wednesday Tools of the Trade class.

I had the chance to teach digital illustration for the last two years over there and it is a really fun class. Being that I spend the majority of my time in the computer for work(s) - it's really nice to go to school and demo some of the really fun stuff that I've learned over the years.

Today I did a really short Corel Painter Demo using a sketch that has been around for a while. It was a sketch of a man that I did in an old sketchbook -- brought to life today by 10 minutes of working with the pastel tools. I actually really like it!

I also had to say goodbye tonight to my Thursday 'Developing Professional Prints and Patterns' class that I teach at MCAD for the continuing education program. It was a really inspiring day watching everyone bring in their patterns from the last 10 weeks in for one final sharing / critique day.

Sometimes I just have to shout into the universe how great it is to be a teacher. I can't believe it'll be 10 years of being on the MCAD faculty list this next spring! Yipes! Anyway. I had a great day and I thought I'd share! I hope everyone is staying inspired and having a great time doing so! :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Today was a good day.


I'm really proud of myself today.

Chris and I took a early afternoon trip to Turtle Bread, got some breakfast and then headed down to the Science Museum of Saint Paul to look at the Ancient Egypt exhibit. It's funny - we've got this year-long pass to the Science Museum and we don't go as much as we should go.

This was the second day in a row I was over there -- yesterday I went with Chris to go see the late night showing of Tornado Alley, a great Omni theatre movie about tornado chasers. Man, I love science.

The rest of the day was spent making vats and vats of butternut squash soup from the 7 or 8 squashes we got from our CSA, and topping it off with some home made pumpkin pie.

I have a flower pattern to show again today - this one is the bauhinia blakeana - the flower that is on Hong Kong's flag. I had a sketch in my sketchbook that I finished up in photoshop. I'm really enjoying the white ground on this one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Going back to normal.


This weekend was a long one and I am longing for a little simplicity.

We had a great time at the opening reception for the Tarot, Mystics and the Occult Show at Light Grey Art Lab. I absolutely had a blast with everyone there!
I have to admit that with all of the events this weekend (and -- for having spent most of my day doing billing) I am beat!

So, when I did my pattern tonight I was looking for something a little simpler. Something graphic and bold. What I ended up with was something a little Marimekko-ey, which I love!

And with that, I'm headed to bed! Good night, everyone! I've got quite a week ahead of me!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crystal Studies


Over the past couple nights I've been livestreaming a series of crystal paintings that will be shown this weekend in the Tarot, Mystics and the Occult Show at Light Grey Art Lab. I'm really happy with how they're turning out and I'm really excited to do more!

Here are five of the eight I'm hoping to put in the show. The whole process for putting together this show has been really interesting. It seems my life has taken a turn for the mystical -- in that I've been spending a lot of time researching some of the meanings and symbolism that's come with the project.


While I was visiting my parents this summer I went to a local gem shop and bought this fantastic book filled with gorgeous photos of crystals and rocks of all types. I've always had a fascination with gemstones. Francesca was with me this time and (because of the upcoming exhibition) our gem-radar was on and becoming ever more fine tuned.


As far as I know, people have been using gems for a million and one uses -- besides their symbolic use as birthstones and besides wearing them as jewelry, there's a whole universe of energy, healing and mystery around them.


For the show I've got these studies paired with their healing properties. I'm hoping that we'll all find one that can help us out a little, whether it's for creative, love, energetic, calming purposes or to bless us with successful endeavors.


I'm really looking forward to it. If you have a chance to visit these (and me!) in person this Friday, you should come on over! We're throwing a big party for the reception of the Tarot, Mystics an the Occult Show. It's from 7 - 10pm this Friday, October 26th. Just in time for the holiday.

If you're interested in seeing a livestream of the last two crystals. Here you go!
You can see a little of my process!

Watch live streaming video from paperbicycle at

Rose Quartz Livestream

Watch live streaming video from paperbicycle at

Lapis Lazuli Livestream

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fun News! Making things in 2013!


I had to share this here, too! We've been working super hard to get this together for Light Grey Art Lab, so I wanted to share it with you guys, too!
I'm cross-posting the little write-up for the amazing event we're having in January!
Here you go!

We can't contain it any longer! Not only are we in the midst of a frenzy of shows, projects and upcoming exhibition ideas -- but we have the best news ever!

We're serious and we're excited! You know those New Years resolutions to do more, get better, collaborate and get stuff done? Well, this is our answer to making those come true!

Awesome illustrator, Kali Ciesemier, is coming to Light Grey to head up a two and a half day intensive workshop for a group of motivated, excited artists, January 4 - 6th at Light Grey Art Lab! She's excited, ready and has a ton of great things planned for everyone to conquer in the first couple days of 2013!!

This workshop is open to anyone interested in coming to Minneapolis for this creative retreat, so we'll be offering accommodations for those of you excited to visit us!

You'll learn all about her process, she'll guide you through one-on-one creative sessions, lead everyone in in-depth and frank discussion about the world of illustration, mediate discussions with a half dozen visiting guest speakers from the industry and share a lot of advice on the world of illustration.

As part of the workshop, Kali's got big plans for an in-studio creative project that will challenge you to one-up yourselves! We're so excited about her project that we've even saved a section of our gallery to showcase the work from MAKE:2013!!

And finally, smack in the middle of it all, we'll throw a big party for all of the creatives in the Twin Cities and host our second ever - ALL ILLUSTRATORS Meet & Greet!

So! Now you know why we're so excited! Please help us spread the word and tell your friends that have been waiting to kick it into high gear! We're ready for them!

All of the specifics, schedules and details are here! Thanks, Kali! We're so excited!

Monday, October 15, 2012

On a white ground


I wanted to do something a little simple this time - something with a white ground.
This time it's a mixture of flowers with a tiny bit of texture.

I was thinking about blind contour drawings tonight and how interesting things look when you allow shapes to connect. So, there you have it! These flowers look as if they were made with a piece of spaghetti -- one continuous line.

Well, besides that, I finally booked my trip to Iceland for next year. I got the cheapest tickets imaginable. I'll be counting the days down til I get to spend two weeks adventuring. I'm really excited to see some of the crazy things I have been searching for. After going there a couple years ago and loving it, I am ready to go back. It's been a fantasy of mine to go there for a month to do an artist residency, but, with everything going on, it might just stay that way : a fantasy.

If you've never looked at any photos of Iceland before, I strongly encourage you to do so. Some of the things that happen on that land are so intense and so serene at the same time. It really is a magical land.

Monday, October 8, 2012

When it rains, it pours.


Well, I cranked this one out a little late tonight. Things have been ridiculous at work(s). We've got a million deadlines and a million more projects going on. They're all really exciting, but man, when it rains, it pours. I was up late tonight working on my piece for an upcoming exhibition and trying to help Chris get a bunch of holiday cards done for one of my clients.

The color palette for my pattern tonight comes from all of the weird drinks I've been trying over the last day or two. I went to Whole Foods and bought some probiotic vegetable drinks, some chia seed drinks, and some other weird flower essences. Most of those drinks are green, but there was one beet and ginger flavored drink that I snuck in there that was a bright magenta.

I also was trying something a little looser tonight. I've got this brush pen that I've been playing with that runs out of ink pretty quickly, but I like the texture it's got and I keep using it. Ah, those happy mistakes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Biker Doodle: Felix

Felix was growing a beard but shaved it off recently. He decided it probably didn't look that great. Every once and awhile, Felix thinks he needs a fashion update, even though he's not that into fashion.



Monday, September 24, 2012

101 Florals : Under a microscope


Today's pattern has a little bit of a twist to it. For some reason I was stuck thinking about microscopic organisms all day today. It was just one of those things that stuck in the back of my mind. Do you know when you un-focus your eyes and just stare into space --- then little spots swim across your vision?

I was thinking about those. Those little tiny floaty things.

Then I made this pattern. It's a very pretty flower on it's own and though my first intentions were to show them as they were, in a cluster, I started drawing other things and just went with it.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Biker Doodle: Sandra

Sandra has a bike but she doesn't ride it anymore. She likes keeping it, though, “because it's a really nice bike, if someone would actually use it.”



My posting has been pretty sporadic this past few weeks, but I think I'm ready to say I'm going to be moving Bike-posting days to Thursday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

101 Florals : Clusters


Happy Monday! This weekend was a crazy one. For some reason it felt LONG. Really, really long. When I got home from manning the gallery on Saturday night I went to lunds and bought myself some flowers. They weren't Hydrangeas like the ones I've drawn for today's pattern, but a dozen roses. Bright Orange-pink ones. On sale.

Because I deserve them. Then, because I couldn't help myself, I bought roses for everyone else I was going to see that night. Yellow roses, orange roses, pink roses, peach roses. Llew and I once went to a psychic -- (which, now that I think about it, seems like a long time ago) who told me I need to buy flowers for myself more often.

I've remembered that ever since and I've made a point to get myself flowers at least once a month. I wish they lasted longer. I suppose that's why they make silk flowers. So you can have something a little more permanent brightening your day.


Anyway, speaking of permanence. I did this whole pattern with ink and no pencil. Just one group of sketches with a brush pen. Just one whole page of plant parts with no stopping. It was therapeutic. Here they are! Loads and loads of Hydrangeas!

Monday, September 10, 2012

101 Florals : Good Morning


After spending an hour making lots and lots of icons, and a couple different patterns, I finally scaled back and made something simple. I went with the star-shape and did a bunch of mini Morning Glories as a polkadot.

Today I was playing around with using a new medium called Art Graf Black Carbon. It's a block of black carbon that, when used with a wet brush, turns into ink! It's a nice, portable material to use and I ended up doing quite a few sketches with it before settling on these icons.


Here's how it looks repeated. I wish I had some sheets that look like this!

morningglory_scan 1

morningglory_scan 2

Here are some images of what I started with. I spent about an hour making all sorts of marks for this pattern so there are a lot of pieces I haven't used (hopefully I'll be able to use them later!)

This week has been a whirlwind of stuff. On Wednesday night we were broken into and a lot of our equipment was stolen. Luckily we have all of our files and things safe on a cloud server, and the things that were taken are all replaceable. It's a strange thing to know that people were in your space and going through your things.

Strangely enough - It doesn't make me fear our neighborhood and we're all feeling ok about it now. It sucks to think that there are crazy people in your neighborhood that are willing to go through that much trouble for a couple of computers. You've got wonder how hard up they are to chance getting caught. Thursday was crazy and we had the cops there (with the forensics team! Can you believe it?) for half the day as we ran through all that was missing.

Needless to say it set us back a little with work and it's awfully hard to get things done when you're trying to patch things up!

All is good now, but I thought I'd mention it here. We're doing just fine now and we're making the appropriate adjustments to the space to make sure it doesn't happen again. I'm hoping this week will be nothing but sunshine and roses! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Biker Doodle: Andrew

Andrew has a collection of strange collections: a collection of bottles manufactured before 1980, a collection of patches that are at least 70% yellow, a collection of cheap plastic dollar store toys…

007_Adjust 007_Bike

I like the concept sketches for Andrew, so I thought I'd share those, too!


Monday, September 3, 2012

101 Florals : Greys! Hello, Fall!

A Detail

It's a three-day weekend! We've got a whole day left to enjoy!
It's unseasonably warm these days in Minneapolis and though I should be celebrating the remaining days of summer, I'm actually looking forward to the cool days of fall.

My wardrobe is stuck somewhere between the weird tank tops and short shorts that I had been sporting, and the too-many-layers situation I like to bring on when I start to see the leaves falling. I woke up today and when I looked outside, I noticed the majority of the trees outside my window are already turning yellow and leaves have covered the windshield of my car.

So! With that, I headed to an autumn flavored color palette. I figure I might as well usher in the cool weather with some grey, mustard, teal and neutrals. Now that I think of it, I just went out and bought a couple outfits in those exact colors...hmmm.

The full repeat pattern

With fall comes all of the other things I love. Like school. I begin teaching a pattern and product design course at the College of Visual Arts in St Paul on Wednesday and soon I'll be teaching a hands-on patterns class at MCAD. That, and I've got a lot of other fun things to look forward to as I get further into fall. Back into the groove, right?

For now, I'm running through all of my favorite types of patterns and trying new things. I think this Calla Lily pattern worked out well for me. I'm thinking of trying something a little different next time! Happy Fall, everyone. And enjoy the holiday!

Cross posted with 101florals blog!

Monday, August 27, 2012

101Florals : Cosmos, Inked!


Tonight I was getting ready for my Tools of the Trade Class at MCAD and I got lost in messing around with ink. I figured since I was already covered in black ink, I might as well keep going, so I made my pattern tonight with the tools I had handy.
I love that school. Also - I can't believe that it 's starting already.
Where did the summer go? I'm not sure.

Either way, it's nice to break out the ink and do some florals by hand this time.
I did a page of icons, scanned them, cleaned them up and tossed them around. I like how random they are.


Here's what it looks like repeated!

And here's what it looks like before all the coloring and tossing!


I'm in my 9th year of teaching. I'm not sure how that happened either, but hey, at least I'm headed into a fun semester.
Keeping busy, that's for sure.

This week is going to be a doozy, I've got my first week of school to teach for one of the two schools I'm teaching at this semester (MCAD is school #1, and CVA is school #2!!, a doctors appointment (no one ever looks forward to those...), Work #1 (Paper Bicycle) and Work #2 (Light Grey Art Lab) ... and hopefully some personal art in there for the upcoming shows.

But! If all goes well, I'll be rewarded by smiling faces at school and some awesome long awaited packages in the mail. Wish me luck! Agh!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Biker Doodle: Frederick

Frederick is amazingly dexterous for a man his age. He believes it is the biking and the reading. He usually carries a book with him to read at a coffee shop or to share with someone on the bus. 006_Adjust 006_Bike

Monday, August 20, 2012

101 Florals : Ouch. Prickly.


I just got back from a trip to the Virgin Islands, where I saw my fair share of cacti growing off of the rocky cliffs.

My friend Atom made a point to try and gather as much plant life as he could while we were there (not a good idea) so he could take it home with him to good old Minnesota. (This was, of course, after repeated warnings that customs would get him on his way back in.)

I remember after a couple days of gathering seeds and little plant cuttings - we went on a guided tour where the guide told us there were poisonous plants all over the island of St. Thomas.

This didn't stop him from continuing to gather specimens til the end of our trip.


Which he promptly ditched at the airport after seeing how intense the customs guys were!

I chose to focus more on the cacti-element than the actual prickly pear.
Here's an endless field of pointy cacti.

Monday, August 13, 2012

101 Florals : Magnolia Jumper

Colorway one of my magnolia ditzy pattern (calico)

Let me tell you a story...

It's very seldom I get a chance to go shopping. I mean, actually go shopping, like, in a real store. These days it's been hard to find the time to go out for a couple hours and just browse.

So. To combat that, I spend a lot of time putting all sorts of things in various digital shopping carts, amassing hundreds of dollars of things, then closing my browser window. It's some kind of fake shop-therapy, I think.

The most dangerous times are when I am actually near my purse and I'm doing these things, -- or if some stores make it easy to pay with paypal. Then it's all over.
One time in particular, I was on one of my favorite clothing sites and saw a kind of harem-pant style floral jumper, I put it in my cart, and before I could talk myself into closing the browser window, I bought it, along with a million other things I shouldn't have.

I don't know how many of you have seen me, but I'm about one foot tall, and I believe that most clothes that you see on the models are built for someone that has a torso that is longer than an inch. So I get this thing in the mail a couple days later, put it on and I look like a cheap circus clown with a saggy top and lumpy knickers.

Now, this would be the colorway of choice if I were to wear a granny night-gown or a floral shoulder-less shirt!

I will now leave you with that thought as you stare into the depths of my ditzy-floral-print. If I ever design a line of jumpers, this would be the pattern I'd want on it.

Here's the original ink drawing I used to make this limited-negative-space pattern!

Also posted on

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Biker Doodle: Dolores

She lives with her dad, who is a meteorologist and calls her Dolly. She knows a lot about the weather because of it. She doesn't know where her mom is.