Happy birthday to me!

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. I did the following things:

Celebrated my birthday! Hooray! I’m now the big 2-9!

Whew! I got some AMAZING presents, including a bunch of art books. My brother and his wife flew up for a week so that we could celebrate. It was so fun having them, and we had an amazing time visiting NYC and playing way too much Kingdom Hearts. I didn’t do any art, buuuut I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, and feeling new inspiration from all the books I got!


In order:

  1. 101 Things to Learn in Art School: Kit White. This book is REALLY good but I’d say borrow it from the library or your friends and just take notes, because it’s a quick read for the money.
  2. Dark Inspirations 1 and 2, published by viction:ary. This is a collection of paintings/sculptures/art for all your inspiration needs. They’re both super great, but if you can only get one, I recommend you get the second one. The selection is just far better. I plan to do a master study from these books (hey, who says the master study has to be by someone who’s dead…?)
  3. How to Sketch People and Plants by Matt Pagett. These books are GREAT if you’re a beginner. They come with sketchpads too to practice the lessons. They’re also funny and really informative. They provide a lot of practice for things like tone/lines/etc, which people always forget about. Drawing isn’t just about drawing a person or a thing, it’s also about the quality of your lines and shading, so these books dedicate some time to those too. Definitely recommended for any level.
  4. Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics. This is the quintessential comic how-to. I’m really excited about this because I’ve had a comic idea brewing in the back of my brain forever. I plan to read this cover to cover, while taking notes, before I start. Can’t wait to dive in.
  5. The A-Z of Visual Ideas. This book is basically a how-to for solving creative briefs. My day job is as a designer, and I’ve been getting more and more into the world of illustration, so this has already come in handy for my day job. It breaks down the most important thing for an artist or designer: BRAINSTORMING. Brainstorming is a skill we are NEVER taught, and one that we’re expected to just “pick up.” The first part of the book is a how-to for brainstorming a creative brief broken down into 16 steps. The second part is an A-Z for inspiration. I have a strong feeling this book is going to be my design bible, and I really want to do a post about brainstorming soon.

Went to NYC and to the Met and the Natural History Museum


As a Bostonian, I don’t LOVE New York. It’s fine. I like going for some things. But I don’t LOVE it. Still, it was nice to visit and see the Natural History Museum, which I love. My favorite section is the section nobody’s ever in – the dioramas! I did a TON of sketching while I was there, and took a TON of pictures to compile into my inspiration/reference gallery.

Otherwise, we did all the touristy things, which was fine. By the end, though, I was so ready to be home!

Oh, I also bought a giant beanbag from Muji, and managed to sneak it on the train, despite the fact that it took up an entire set of seats!


Went to Cape Cod with Rob’s family

And apparently took 0 photos while I was there. It was nice to get away… AGAIN. But after just getting back from NYC, I was exhausted.

We did swing by the Curiosity Shop, which I mentioned in my last post. And guess what? I sold 50 stickers in 3 weeks, and it was only open for 4 days a week. That is NUTS. I’m seriously so proud of myself! Now I’m trying to decide what the next steps are for this. Open an Etsy? Try to get a table at a festival? Approach some other local shops to sell my stickers? What do you guys think?

Anyway, it’s been crazy busy! Glad to be home and relaxing though. And it’s time to get back into art!

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  1. Happy birthday, Becky! Those are some awesome gifts! The trip to NY sounds like it was a blast. I would love to visit NYC one day, but I think Boston may be a better city to live in XD

    By the way — nothing wrong with playing too much KH! 😀 Glad you had a good one! Enjoy your last year in your 20s!

  2. Yay! Happy (belated?) birthday!!

    And those art books look really interesting. I will have to look into them. I only ever draw Batman (with ink) lol but I’ve been trying to branch out more!

    You should also totally open an Etsy store. I would definitely buy something! Congrats on selling so many stickers!

  3. Happy Birthday! It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful and tiresome one thus far. I love art and those books all look like something I’d read. You should open an Etsy! Congratulations on your sales! That’s awesome! 🙂