Celebrating sisters

In a few days I will turn 33. It doesn't weird me out one bit. Not one...

Mid August, I started a painting class at my old community college in town, and as I gawk at the kids there, embarking on their educational path, I feel kind of ancient. This is silly because I'm not even in the "middle" of my life. I've just completed about a third of my life. I have so much to learn, and I'm honored to be in that class, but I guess perspective on how far I've come is also a useful tool.

That said, with 33, I'm happy to say that I've made it over a weird hump of frustration and confusion about what I'm supposed to do and how I'm supposed to live.

This I learned: THERE ARE NO RULES.

I was waiting for something spectacular to click the last 4 years. Like a kind of understanding of my sexuality, my talent, how status worked, and how to do a "good job", but no I think all that is just a ploy into buying stuff to make me think I'm doing it right and abiding by "the rules". Those magazines and their ads are so effective!

No no no, I'm always learning, trying my best, and will continue to do this. That's the only truth, and nothing will ever click except the seatbelt in my convertable of freedom that comes along with having NO IDEA what life is about. Ha!


I have a twin, by the way. She's amazing and smart and sassy, and she is a good mirror to me, showing me that there are lots of other humans going through the same things as I am, and maybe just sharing and hugging each other is all I need to do to feel sparks fly. And make art. That makes sparks fly, too.

I ALSO moved back to my hometown and I feel wildly grounded but also like a barefoot child with boundless appreciation of the oak trees and various fruit trees in my neighborhood. *I'm so happy to be home.

Tarot Deck alllll Day

It's been a while since I wrote a blog post, but that's because I've been head down, but seated, working hard on the Spacious Tarot and my new picture book. I can't talk about the picture book too much right now (I think) but I'll post a snippet of the illustrations I've been refining. Still wating on the green light to make final art but it's getting there!

You’ve seen some of it already, but here’s the illustration style of a new book in the works.

You’ve seen some of it already, but here’s the illustration style of a new book in the works.

In the meantime, I have moved from OC to NorCal, closer to family. I love it. I love them.

I'm looking for more involvement with my community and finding it through regular coffee shop visits and lots of walks downtown.

Taking a painting class at the local college to get my feet wet with oil paints and explore some concepts that have been inside of me, waiting to emerge. For instance, I realize most art before the 1900s were made for men only. What do women want to see in art? What subjects, what colors. How do you want it to make you FEEL?? I'd love your thoughts on this.

And also working on another draft of my MG novel. What are you reading these days? What do your kids love to read? I need some recommendations!!

xoxox, Annie

Here’s my face saying hi, friends!!!

Here’s my face saying hi, friends!!!

Spacious Process

Some have asked about how I go about illustrating the Spacious Tarot cards, so I thought I'd give an insider's look into the process. Until a month ago, I strictly used a Wacom cintiq, but I've since switched over to an ipad. I continue to work in Photoshop, however, so I recommend downloading astropad so you can work PS on your tablet.

Here's how I start. A sketch!


I love working with fake, digital pencil brushes because my heart flutters over texture. From there, Carrie and I talk about the composition and make sure it's clear what w'ere trying to communicate with each card.

Next I "ink" it and drop in basic color. I use Kyle Webster brushes, usually the "rough inker comics" brush and the "big wide softy" and "big fat spongy" thing to add a little sumin' sumin'.


As you can see, there's not a lot happening at this point, so from here I start adding darker tones and some lighter tones to create contrast.


We're getting somewhere! Once I can get here, then the rest feels like frosting a cake. I usually play with tones for a bit, but after that I add details and texture, focusing on strong lighting.


Believe it or not, this almost the finished card. After adding a couple more highlights and darker shadows to give it that "pop", I do a watercolor overlay, which ever card has, so that it feels organic and deep.

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This is always where the magic happens for me. I love this particular overlay and the slight pink hue it gives to the card, bringing out the purples.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the 4 of cups in its many stages. See you soon!


Ladies who launch.

I'm sitting on the floor in Carrie Mallon's office here in Salt Lake City. Her cat, Lulu, is purring loudly on her lap, and the sun is shining almost lazily outside while birds chatter. It's nearly June 21st, the summer solstice, and pleasant attitudes exude from everyone as we visit some cafes and walk amongst the blooming neighborhoods- summer is here.

I relish in this awareness of a sweet moment, where the two of us can share a creative space and also celebrate the fact that we worked really hard on this tarot deck. I bet anyone who reads this could use a reminder that they have acomplished something terrific with their own will, be that making a glorious dinner or earning a degree. Even watering all the plants in their fantastic garden which took hours and hours to cultivate is a task worthy of celebration. Behind most feats that take concentration, are hours of dedication, often to earning a living, yes, which in turn allows us do the things we love. I am thankful to the people in my life who have guided me and journeyed along the way, since they are huge players in my game.

In two days the deck will launch on kickstarter. I hope you'll come along with us! This deck has seen me through losing a job, living with my folks, moving to new york, and moving back to southern California- all transitions that have helped me grow into the woman I am today (Which is a woman i am proud to be!) It has taught me the value of patience, trust, enjoying my own creative imput, and the serendipitous relationships that manifest in our lives. All hail our journies to getting HERE right NOW.

I hope you enjoy this deck. Here is a video Carrie made to show the cards and how they will feel in space and time. Happy solstice and see you soon!