Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It's fairly common for kids to have obsessions, and for my youngest son, it used to be turtles. He still likes them very much, though there are many competing interests now. When he was younger, our whole family learned a lot about turtles through osmosis, since turtle facts had a way of popping up in the boy's conversations. Sea turtles are especially fascinating, the way the babies overcome ridiculous odds to crawl out of their sandy nests, migrate over a thousand miles, and spend 50 years maturing before they can lay their own eggs.

But now, in addition to the natural predators in the wild, five of the world's seven sea turtles are threatened by the BP oil spill. I've been kind of sheltering my son from pictures of the disaster, because I don't want him to feel what I feel when I look at a brown pelican so weighted down by thick, gooey oil that it can't lift it's head. I feel my own head hang from the weight of despair, rage, frustration, and helplessness.

Illustrator Kelly Light felt the same way, which is why she set up ripple. In her words, "A small sketch - a small donation - each small act helps. Together we can cause a ripple in the oil soaked waters of the Gulf." Artists from all over the world contribute a small sketch. For a $10 donation to help the animal victims of the oil spill, you can have one of the sketches. I purchased this beautiful portrait of a sea turtle for my son. It was created by Carmen Yount, from Spokane, WA.

So check it out. Make a ripple.

Friday, June 4, 2010

You thought we wouldn't notice . . .

The internet is a wild and wonderful thing, but as everyone knows, it has a dark side. That's why it's good to have friends to watch yer back. Fellow illustrator and PBAA member Maurie J. Manning got the support she needed when she found herself going up against an unethical website that was ripping off her ideas for digital stamp designs. Mo went for help to a wonderful blog that every artist on the internet should know about called You thought we wouldn't notice . . . and pleaded her case. Although the offenders originally went on the attack, the pressure and condemnation directed at them from visitors to the YTWWN blog seems to have convinced them to back down. It's hard enough making a living as a freelance illustrator without people ripping off your art. (Incidentally, Mo is an amazing illustrator, and if you'd like to see more of her art, check it out here.)