Created by Tabitha Jensen AKA @pabkins Among the Toadstools Volume II is a Collaborative Fantasy Art Book available now on Kickstarter.
You will find my art in this book and also if you get the tier TOADSTOOL HUNTER you might get one of my original cards (above) or from another amazing artist participating in the Collectors Card Highlights.
Join us now for lot's of amazing art and goodies. Ends June.
Social media is a great way to be part of someone's life for a second or two. But I never really felt like home. For the past years I have experimented all sorts of social platforms to find the ones that work best for me.
I love plurality and diversity.
This way I can give purpose to every platform in a unique way.
Patreon is for the fans who believe my art is worth the extra investment and really want to see the behind the scenes and experience my process of creation that won't be visible on social media. They will get a notification on the mail with the new posts to like or comment. FREE POSTS
- Sketches, art videos narrated, videos with behind the scenes, process of creation, creating a graphic novel from scratch, original artwork monthly on the mail, Q & A, blog entries, tips and I surpass my difficulties. I will start to share more and more there.
Once I reach my goal I will start posting Notfrombrazil new episodes and open new tiers for more gifts.
If this is not for you, and you just want the final product, don't worry. You can still support me by buying my final products, stickers, prints or the books that you can find on Amazon. That alone and reviews are a wonderful contribution.
Join Polly and Paws on an Art Challenge Adventure!
31 Fun May Days on Instagram
Use any art medium or style.
Do all days or just your favorites.
Raffle - Free Book ( to participate just do all prompts)
Tag me so I can see your art
Just make a new sticker design for your collection.
I was drawing this whimsical sticker (last Saturday April 13) when it started snowing like the Knight King from Game of Thrones had just arrived at Chicago with his army. The TV show's marketing resources can't be this good!
I hope our next donation will improve the lives of the animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Especially the ones that love Summer. At the same time, my heart goes for those who enjoy Winter and will face extreme hot temperatures during the next Season.
Remember how it works?
All the art presented in the Polly & Paws 4 a Better World page will serve this campaign. I will donate 60% of the revenue to the Lincoln Park Zoo from the art to the campaign. New Sticker Design available:
A project that started in 1995 and that has been slowly progressing. I plan to publish the first volume next September 3, 2019.
Working on the cover. Still needs a few details but it is a great start. I will put this aside for a few weeks and come back to it with fresh eyes to progress a little more.
This is one of my largest and oldest projects. Sometimes it's easier to work on something new that has notes than edit something that is so large. I'm having lots of fun though... bringing it to live.
After painting a set of Fantasy Field Guide artists cards, decided to turn it into a pack of stickers so everyone can have the opportunity of owning these little cute creatures.
The pack includes a handwritten description and instructions on how to deal with each one of them. Lollipop Bird, Pond Mermaid, Shrub Gnome, Spring Announcer and now two extras and exclusive of this pack Flutterfluff and Totie.
More and more making miniature original paintings makes more sense to me.
I'm used to work in a panel each time while making my comics and this is no different.
People can collect more, for the right price and collect so much more art than having frames occupy walls.
I have become quite a fan to the Atc cards and making then to trade with other artists is even more exciting.
This is a commissions that I'm working on and it's a lot of fun.
Working on a few commissions. Some for the Polly & Pet 4 a Better World. If you would like to participate and commissions me don't hesitate to contact me. See more information here.
Spring is almost here and the sun is inviting me to make happy art.
I've been playing with ACEOS and ATCS. These are artist original cards 2.5 x 3.5 that can be trade, auctioned or sold. It's been fun to be part of a community that loves and respects art as much as the next one.
We trade art, we make art and we feel happy and accomplished about doing it.
This card with Polly and Paws was made exclusively to launch the campaign
It's been so motivating to know that part of it will go to the animals.
You can commission me a card, buy a sticker, a print, or original art available on the page of the project.
I've moved to Chicago during the Summer, so I had no idea what was like to live under unimaginable below zero temperatures. Polly, Paws and I think of the little animals outside in the cold T_T.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is my favorite place in the city. It's a free Zoo, opened all year, and they take such good care of the animals. I want my art and stories to make a difference and this is how I will do it.
Read all here.
What's new and fun for the past days?
Finger Painting, Srcatchy Art... reconnecting to the things that made me love art as a child and never abandon it again.
My goal is to elevate these to a more fine art level and experience new things by getting out of my comfort zone more and more.
It's a journey into a Myst. Let's see where this will take me. At the same time, it's been a great week to edit and write new chapters of Whisperers and Keepers.
Also accepted the challenge and painted my version of Polly and her friends in watercolor of The Swing. Check out the video on my Youtube Channel.
There are a few art challenges ahead that I have to decided if I'm participating or not.
For now I'm going to explore the finger painting a little more. Waiting for a book to arrive with some techniques from the Brooklyn artist Iris Scott. Can't wait to start making some of the exercises.
It's been a week of experimenting if with mediums so I decided if I'm doing the next illustrations for my upcoming book The Silver Stone Challenge ( Whisperers and Keepers series) with pencil or watercolor.
Some of the watercolors I worked so much they look like pencil too. I'm liking the watercolor look and mood. I will experiment more with payne's grey monochromatic. My favorite grey color.
The story starts in Ivoer, the capital of Valkar Kingdom that hosts the Silver Stone Challenge and Festival once a year.
It's a wonderful city full of amazing building and architecture. It will be great to illustrate these chapters as I did for Beyond the Cliff and Courage... My goal is to release the first of 6 books this next September 2019.
Maybe it will have also more than 150 illustrations, maybe more, maybe less.
I've been dividing my time between writing, and editing and illustrating parts of it already: creatures, streets, cities, animals, characters...
Some of the creatures are very special and can only be seen by a few.
It's been awesome returning to this project after so many years and finally be able to share it. The first page came to life when I was 15 and now I feel it's time.
Continuing my journey of relaxing and painting portraits and flowers.
I have been cleaning up my portfolios full of art from other people.
Artists I met online, traded with or bought from comicons and art fairs. I still love all the art and the different styles but I'm running out of space.
But I can't say no to art and books, though. They make my home my favorite place and I keep getting inspired and creating surrounded by my favorite art and authors.
I realized that the size of the prints that I've been buying lately have been smaller. This way I can store them and look at them as an art book instead of having a hard time deciding which to put on the wall.
More and more my favorite size for a print lately has been 8x10. Do you agree? Do you have enough space and do you still get poster size print and art?
Working of this painting now. I'm still not sure what type of flowers these will be. Maybe begonias? or maybe dahlias?
I'm just focused on the shapes and light and shadow for now before I add more details. I based this one on the Pre-Raphaelite painting by Watts of the girl smelling a flower.
When I am not painting these I am writing my next novel, sharing my love for my other books to people who haven't met them. If have the ability to help, tell someone outside or inside social media about my art and books.
It will mean the world to me.
My doctor prescribed me: less worries and more painting. "Paint some flowers," she said. So I started with some sunflowers to summon Spring and Summer back. (You can follow the progress on my Instagram digital fantasy account or on these blog entries.)
I realized that I haven't stopped working in a million things at the same time since September 2018.
I began posting daily videos of Notfrombrazil character emotions and expressions, then 31 videos after I completed my first inktober challenge, 31 drawings of ink about having and not having ideas.
I got addicted to these 31 art challenges and done a bunch of them in a row and sometimes two at the same time. I wanted to see how far I could go before my mind was completely blank, but that didn't happen. Ideas pulled more ideas and it was my body that started to complain. Pain!!!! I guess I got the message. "I will slow down, stomach, alright? But I am not stopping, do you hear me, migraines? I just had great ideas for new projects...!"
That should teach them.!
As I was saying... new ideas. I already have so much things going on... I just feel that I'm not doing enough... that's all.
I still have some supplies in boxes that I never had the chance to use, so I want to do as much art as possible this year and progress.
February 2, 2019
Social media is hard to manage, so many failed expectations and everyone wants a moment in the spotlight to beg "Give me a chance." So it's very easy to get lost and despair.
When this happens I have to regroup my thoughts and reestablish my priorities.
Why do I create? For what purpose? I create because I have so many stories inside that I want to share and I know that I can make people feel these adventures and make them laugh and cry with my characters.
How many of us think like this right now and are writing the same thoughts... : D
My blog is a great place for me to feel free. Here I don't have to think of all the rules that upset followers, I can post twice... a day or not because this is my secret little corner.
I got some new mini canvas. I want to do something really nice with it. Something unique...I hope.
The Kindle looks great and all the illustrations are included. You can find a copy on your Amazon online store.
Please leave a review if you purchased and enjoyed this book.
Happy New Year, with lots of health, happiness, creativity and love.
I can't believe 2018 is over, it was so full of every possible color. I made wonderful friends that made social media be so much interesting and fun. No more frustration. We push each other up and become constantly rewarded with the art we create every day.
I have so many plans for 2019. Short and long goals.
...have the next novel ready to publish next September 2019 and share the process
...publish Never Give Up spring time
...share my already published books with those who don't know me yet.
...create all the art for the game Polly and the Black Ink Doorways
...January Polly Doors Watercolor collection
...February Polly Old Masters mash up collection
...Keep up with daily updating social media, instagram and youtube
...Participate in more art challenges
This has been a really great couple of months and ready to close another year.
This is what I've been doing...
Finished #inktober challenge
Finished #folktale challenge
Finished #huevember challange
Finished #childhooweek challenge
Hosted my own challenge with two artists and friends on instagram : #christmas_nostalgia
(from December 8 to 14)
Started to add Youtube videos twice a week, sketchbook tours, funny art challenges and process.
But the most important part of it, is that the daily challenges allow me to gain muscle to work a lot of hours each day and because of that I was able to finish my book Beyond the Cliff & Courage. 42 chapters of epic adventure with more than 350 black and white illustrations.
To celebrate I recorder the first chapter that you can hear on my Youtube Channel. I never done this before so please be kind.
The proof copy of Beyond the Cliff and Courage will arrive this Thursday or Friday and I'll be able to check and approve it. The goal is to have it available on Amazon worldwide day 11.
And now painting and hosting a challenge for everyone to participate.
This challenge was a lot of fun. My IDEA theme was challenging too but I put it out. I had the chance to make new friends, struggle with old and new friends and create a habit of working daily and faster. It was also a great opportunity to revive my Youtube Channel from the dead and it was very appropriated doing it during Halloween.
You can find sketchbook tours, long videos and the process of drawing, inking or even coloring it.
November is already here. So let's say Hi to a new challenge, full of color this time, only makes sense that I make it with Polly and the Black Ink project.
I will be posting daily art on the @pollyandtheblackink instagram account and one video in the middle of the week with the entire process of one of the watercolor paintings, and the usual sketchbook tour of the previous week on Sundays.
Now speaking of winners. As a way to thank with your constant comments and likes on my posts, here are the three winners for your loyalty to my art, lot's of activity and support. I might do the same with #huevember and Polly. : D
Our little pig made to the newspaper! What a proud pig mom I am. This was a great collaboration with my mother in law Lisa Marling to celebrate the love for the theater. And our little oinker raised $500. Isn't that awesome?
Taking a break from work this October to participate in the challenge #inkotber
I needed some excuse to make ink exercises. So I'm combining character design, humor and will be sharing what I've learned during these past years on HOW TO have IDEAS.
I'll be loyal to the #inktober2018 prompt list but I'll keep the same theme for all entries, making the words adapt to IDEAS and how to have them, find them, cultivate them or catch them all! Let's get it started! See you tomorrow on instagram @vanessabettencourtart!
👻For those who don't know what #inktober is:
Quoted from his site:
"Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. Created by Jake Parker.
1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
2) Post it online
3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2018
Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. Whatever you decide, just be consistent with it. Inktober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better."
Click if you want to find more about my upcoming activity book that will keep those ideas flowing, help you start, continue and finish a project. Subscribe to get a free pdf sample of the book and activities in your email soon.
These tips and activities apply to more than drawing or writing.
🆓 Get your FREE e-book sample by SUBSCRIBING to www.thevioletwest.com
Never Give UP! is a How To... book about 150 pages to be released at the end of this years, with lots of tips and activities to help you start, continue or finish a project, have more ideas, keep you productive and organized.
Subscribe and don't miss a thing.
I would like to share my experience in fighting my ups and downs, and how I got to a method that keeps me creating daily.
I hope this will reduce your time of research and trial and error to search for valuable tips by giving you a sum of actions and activities that I've gathered over the years.
As my students would say: "Warning comes with homework and positive results from it."
Something you don't know about me. I love school and homework.
It's back to school time. I loved it when I was a student, then when I became a teacher. I was inspired and then had the opportunity to inspire and again to be inspired, it was always a win-win for me.
Homework was the best way to teach me discipline and create the habit of practicing immediately what I just had learned.
It was also a collection of challenges that pushed me forward.
It taught me to acknowledge work in artWORK.
Research, writing and executing all those activities became steps of a quest and there was only reward at the end. I became more knowledgeable in the subjects or got used to set daily goals and practice enough to see a quick evolution.
Diverse activities taught me to select the right classes or to take none at all and become self-taught in some subjects. Because I had the tools that allowed me to quickly search, research and find the right book, tutorial or lesson in books or online, it pushed me forward.
It taught me that taking action is moving forward.
18:01 Tuesday ...
Sometimes I just start to listen to all my playlists on shuffle and take random notes of all possible ideas, the ones that look the silliest, or ready to erase are the ones that I pay more attention too.
They can be inverted, transformed and reinvented in the next best idea. The more you let them out, the easier it is to have more and better ones.
Keep those dialogues with your thoughts going and your sketchbooks closer.
Working from home allows me to wear comfortable clothes, but it does not mean I do not put the same effort and working hours during the day as other jobs.
I just have the option of sometimes working more hours than a regular job while wearing my pajamas. :D
So many thoughts become ideas at the end of the day.
I keep my notebook around so I can dialogue with my thoughts and don't forget a thing.
Something I see, something I think, something I need to rethink, a sketch here, a sketch there. Get a little memo pad and keep it in your pocket. Ideas generate ideas and bad ideas generate even better.
Keep those thoughts flowing.
Stay close for news on the next project "Never Give Up!" a How to... book just for you.
The anthology is a final nominee. I'm delighted to be part of the theme with one of my notfrombrazil exclusive episodes (for the Magic Bullet) This portraits the time that we expected an inspector from the immigration to knock on our door for a surprise visit to check out if we were married.
Unfortunately, he didn't appear, but I tried to bake fresh cake every day... just in case.
16:15 I do understand that often people in social media follow an account because they only love sketches, or they only want to see the webcomics, maybe just see the digital art, and that is ok I do it too... but that is the same as asking them to be made only of hair and nothing else, or eyes...or fingers. I love all parts of my favorite artists. Their sketches, their video, their happiness and sadness. I kinda like to let them surprise me. The human body is complex... The human mind is worse, but a creative mind it's impossible to keep simple, limited and monotonous. We fought to accept diversity. So yes to a diverse feed too.
Think outside of the... tablet!
Think you didn't do much the past week? Take your little notebook from your pocket or bag and check out the intense and pages full of good ideas, bad ideas.
The worst ideas are my favorite because they challenge me to search for a solution and come up with twenty other ideas - to prove the first bad one was not a dead end. Start those dialogues with your creative brain.
Subscribe to the new website, all my books, and news coming soon.
6:30 mind is full of ideas for a new story.
It's my brain fighting the 42 chapter illustrations remaining.
I have a schedule to keep, a focus and a goal to accomplish.
Let's stay in that path.
Working from home requires discipline.
You put your personality to the test and intensifies some of the weakest traits one might have when you are developing a project for yourself - when you are your boss.
It took me some time to adapt to a schedule that made sense to me.
August always makes me stumble. However, it's also impossible to keep the same one hundred percent perfect energy and creativity going daily.
Art is not about doing something relatively just ok every day.
It's about evolution, process, struggle, failures and the sweet rewards that come after it.
So let's do that five minutes a day or 10h of little steps forward... towards success.
Thank you for keeping up with this blog. Don't miss the next events, projects or book releases. Subscribe to The Violet West.
7:30. Have my water and oatmeal bowl.
Sitting at my desk, shoving demons and disappointments away from my mind.
Warming up for a day of full chapter illustrations.
The deadline is close and my high expectations of the quality of my own work makes it harder to get it done quickly or have fun. I'm still proud of it.
I just can't look at the total of illustrations required to finish the book without panicking. 43 chapters and 4 to 5 illustrations each. Instead of doing math... I have to look at small steps. Small goals to reach the larger one.
Set the limit for maybe 2 or 4 a day, maybe a chapter in the morning and another after lunch. That's about 8 to 10 full drawings. The journey is a lonely path but so are the rewards.
Start small... One little goal at the time.
Maybe today I'll do one illustration in the morning and another in the afternoon. After all I was the one who set the impossible and short deadline to start with. One month for all? Let's see what happens just today.
I'll let you know...
For news or events, new projects and book releases subscribe to The Violet West.
Started a 365 character expression doodling project.
Drawing character expressions anime style, different moods and with some tips.
A collection of expressions to help you create more. Check out daily videos on Instagram or Facebook page.
Visit www.thevioletwest.com for my published books and subscribe for news on upcoming events or book releases.
Music Credit goes to: http://www.freesfx.co.uk
This is what I've been working so hard the past weeks. It's finally live. One site, all the books. The epic fantasy series catalog from the author Jacob Falling and author and illustrator Vanessa Bettencourt on a single site. Follow THE VIOLET WEST for updates on upcoming projects and events.
Books arrived and are perfect. I can finally start making my shipping preparations! Yay!
Drawing inside my "pizza-boxes-slice-of-life-favorite-pizza" to deliver soon to those who pre-ordered Notfrombrazil Volume II.
The book is available worldwide on Amazon online stores .
Chicago is a great city and I'm loving all the art and diversity. In less than a month we decided to change our lives and here we are. A great change for the better. There is so much to see and do that we can plan for something different every weekend for the next two years at least.
I never lived in a place where temperatures drop below 0 more than 5 degrees so I'm almost excited and fearing the cold. I can see Mr. Blizzard showing up in a Not From Brazil panel and freezing into a Popsicle. I just can't imagine the beach (Lake Michigan frozen... but it happens) -Ojibwa Indian word mishigami, meaning large lake
I'm still trying to catch up with everything. We didn't have much time to plan and execute, so settling down and restarting will take a bit more than I expected.
All seems new and sort of vacation and not at the same time. Different sounds, smells, temperatures and people. It's exciting and the adrenaline of it exhausts me and makes me want more at the same time.
Taking a lot of notes and saving all the inspiration to start creating soon.
It's so much that makes completely sense to start sketching and outlining a third volume. Who hasn't experience the stress and hilarious moments of moving into a new house?
Check out Not From Brazil official site from now on, I will post some of the episodes as I outline the Not From Brazil volume III - Nesting: the art of moving without... divorce!
Today we celebrate more than the beginning of a new chapter. I am blown away by your kindness and generosity. Everyone has been so lovely.
It's been three years in a new country and new city, but I already carry so many friends ( close and virtual) with me to my new location. It only makes me grow as a person an artist even more.
Thank you so much to those who donated and in a few hours made my goal possible.
To those who donated $20 or more, I will mail a personalized copy of NFB volume II ( first copies and edition).
We met the goal, but you can still use this app to make pre-orders of Notfrombrazil Volume II ($20)
I will be publishing it July and shipping your books in August.
I can't wait to make more and share more with you.
Thank you for the Holy pony moment today between the coughing, the medicine, the packing, the checklists, the dust, the running away from spiders, the packing of all cutely before time ( we still need for the next six days...) making this goal was a great start!
So... Yeah! Thank you! ! You know who! Yes you!
"Buy me a coffee!" because there is no app for "buy me an ice cream" instead.
I have to thank the team of "Buy me a coffee" for giving artist and fans a secure and easy way of supporting out art. With just a simple button have the option of sending me $3 to my PayPal.
This motivates me and shows I deserve a coffee for my efforts so far : D Thank you!
A special thanks to the people who since last Friday used the app and helped me to come closer to my goal.
If I meet my goal soon, I will publish Notfrombrazil Volume II earlier than Summer. YAY!
All with your help I can also continue to post longer free episodes on notfrombrazil.com official website. A good way to celebrate 3 years of 500 free webcomic episodes so far.
All orders and thank yous are packed and ready to send. For more personalized signed books or portraits contact me directly : email@example.com
Here is a treat! Free Polly and the Black Ink
free printable stationary... because I love snail mail.
Write to your friends or write to me I would love to get to know Polly's fans better. (subscribe and answer to the newsletter to request my address).
Nothing like getting unexpected mail with fan art to brighten my day.
I was just about to announce my new space on my official website for a gallery of Polly and the Black Ink when I got these beautiful drawings!
Notice how the young artist made a draft and planned the work first, this is too precious!
Thank you so much!
See all the art I got today... click to enter gallery.
Do you want to send me your art? Contact me so I can provide the address or send a photo to:
Heir of Scars, Polly and the Black Ink Volume I volume II sold out! It was three Awesome days!
My heart raced with joy when parents and new fans came back the next days to buy the entire collection.
To see how kids and adults' eyes shone while speaking of Polly and Paws made my day. Three days of fun! More photos and news with the newsletter special edition at the end of this week.
Polly and the Black Ink falls into the All-Ages category graphic novel (+7) with lots of mystery, adventure and superpowers.
Studio Ghibli and animation fans understand that it is not only for kids. They get it so well that they saved me from trying to convince them to get the books. Thank you!
P.S: Reviews are very important to us. If you can review the books on Amazon it will help us a lot.
I am setting up a gallery for Fanart. If you have art from Polly and the Black Ink that you would like to see in the gallery contact me.
I still have some of the FRIDGE MAGNETS available.
I will send a free package to who buys a Polly book from me, or you can get it directly from me (free shipping) just send me an email.
When I am not making cartoons for Notfrombrazil, I create funny flyers and posters for individuals or companies advertise their events.
The next one is for the Cinco de Mayo Party event hosted by the theater.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you design the flyers?
A: I gather all the clients information and list of needs for the event.
Usually they already know my Notfrombrazil cartoon style and humor and they trust me to come up with a composition that expresses all their needs. Then, I send them the draft and they suggest changes if needed. It's a team work and my goal is to make the best end product.
The more information I get from the client the easier it is to come up with something that pleases everyone.
Any other questions contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a great time talking about our process of construction worlds and characters for novels and graphic novels.
Thank you so much for coming to see us and for all your input. And Alexandria Library for having us. (Some of you made into the funny pages - click cartoon)
Next event will be at Awesome con - check the event section for more detail.
Notfrombrazil climbing the ranks!
It's an official best seller graphic novel in Humor & Entertainment Category!
Looking at this past weekend's reports. This feels awesome. Thank you so much! Got your copy? Free with Amazon Prime.
Não do Brasil a escalar os tops!
Ao olhar para os relatórios deste ultimo fim-de-semana. Muito obrigado a todos!
Ja tens a tua cópia? Leitura grátis para quem tem amazon prime.
Collect and Organize. What do you collect for your work? Are you keeping those favorite recipes organized?
Build your library to quick access and get inspired.
I have lots of notebooks and sketchbooks with relevant information that saves me time from searching online for the right and appropriate term.
Today I am updating my onomatopoeia collection so I can use it while I create my graphic novels and comics.
Visual sounds are always funny and give a lot of motion and action to the graphic novel panels and pages.
For those who are not creating art, keep a journal of your memories and thoughts.
What are you working on?
What a perfect St. Valentine's Day. A very funny and relatable Long Distance Relationship Graphic novel book with extra tips on how to survive a long distance relationship and how to travel without stress. All in comics format. 70 Pages full color comic book. On Sale.