Owl Girl Illustration

How long can I dwell on this little owl girl? I can’t seem to figure out how to finish her off and have been playing a lot with different color experiments. It would be the start of a beautiful series now that I’m getting really comfortable with this style of character drawing.


My little helper seems to think any marker color will do – perhaps all colors! But I’ve been learning that I like the muted, soft colors. Happy colors for sure, but not in your face. I like to think of it as quiet, happy.

Slowly but surely, I will find my way! What do you think?

Succulent Dinnerware Designs With Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells

For the second week of Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers, we learned all about the home decor market and ended up playing with designing dinnerware. I decided to concentrate on my drawings of succulents and transforming them with splashes of bold color.  It was a design that immediately came to mind, I just had to make it happen.


I think there’s really a place for bold hand-drawn lines with bright colors these days – can I call it trendy sophisticated? It was my attempt to try something different – instead of my usual cute factor. I like the results, even though by the end of the week I realized that I’m not a huge fan of designing for the round shape.



More and more I’m realizing that my joy lies in conceptualizing the art to begin with… not necessarily all the layout and details afterwards. I would not be fit to be the manufacturer’s technical designer. LOL! Maybe that means I’m just lazy!


I could pull out the baby card and say that I don’t have time while taking care of a 3 month old – but that’s not really the reason. I just don’t like to tinker because it kills my joy in the end.


I think it’s important to learn what part of the process you enjoy the most, so you can maximize the joyful time and minimize everything else. Makes sense doesn’t it? For everything in life. I believe that striving for that will make the world a better place…  and will make you a happier person. I’m so zen today, huh?


As I was playing around, all the designs overlapped looked appealing as well, albeit chaotic. I started to think my designs were too simple. I suppose that I need to achieve a balance that suits me in the end. Still learning, still growing.

Enjoying my time in Lilla’s class and loving her creative wisdom, as well as the entire group of students. Tempted to take the course again in October just because… :)

Just Draw It – Pensieri Issue 7 is Digital!

The most popular issue of Pensieri is by far issue 7, Just Draw It! It’s about doodling fun and letting go of the fear of drawing. I go through the basics with lots of examples and fun exercises.


Read about my philosophy of drawing fearlessly – 31 pages of creative wisdom and playtime. BTW, CraftyPod interviewed me about this zine a while back.


You can grab a digital copy and download instantly in the tortagialla shop along with all the other issues of Pensieri. Let me know what you think and enjoy!

Peek Into My Sketchbook

Working on cute girls – what a surprise for me, eh?

I realize that calling them “big hair girls” is not the most creative… but my first thought of “hairy girls” is decidedly worse. LOL. I crack myself up like that all the time, because I am that much of a nerd. Sigh sigh… hope you are having a lovely happy start of the week – let me know what you think!



Peek Into My Sketchbook

Doodling away variations of girls. A head here and a head there…brewing in my head! I think it’s going to end up being a cute little print…


Peek Into My Sketchbook

Spending time getting organized and less time in my journal. But did play a little. Just randomly drawing with a big fat Sharpie marker…



Then I decided to add color very loosely. What have you been up to?

Peek Into My Sketchbook

I was put into place this week as I started to lament not having time to do this or that… then the news flash came on about the Boston Marathon bombings. Yeah, we all have our own problems and challenges, but it’s never helpful to wallow. Chin up and move on.

Sending love out into the world, because there’s never too much and it’s always in need…


Peek Into My Sketchbook

Random musings in my sketchbook these days. I haven’t been able to spend much time playing around with all my baby duties in full swing. Just a few minutes – literally  - here and there. Lots of collaging and collecting of bits and pieces.


Sometimes it’s a creatively frustrating experience to not have the time. But when there is a quiet lull in the day, I’m just too tired physically and want to nap! I suppose this is how it is in the beginning months.



I’m still happy to be able to accomplish some little tasks. In terms of time management, having tiny blocks of time is like a natural pomodoro technique! Seems that I might even be more efficient because I know my time is limited.


I enrolled for a mini digital illustration class on Skillshare and was able to turn a sketch into a digital piece.


You can see my project progress here if you are interested. Would definitely appreciate your feedback. Since my studio/baby room is in such an upheaval/mess, I am really appreciating the cleanliness of purely digital work. But I like paint as well…

I have lots of good intentions in progress… hopefully I can work on cleaning up a bit this week!