Jessica Warrick: Illustrator of Crazy Things, Lover of Pets

Being a children's book illustrator, I get to draw a wonderful variety of subject matter. From aliens to jelly bean vines, I've seen it all...but among this fantastic array of possibilities, animals always find their way into the scene.

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Lately, it seems dogs, cats and any other kind of creature that can have their own monogramed food bowl have been showing up in my work.

Pets. All kinds of pets! From lazy Persian cats with a snotty sense of entitlement, to talented lizards who can lick their own tails, and upside down parrots...it's been pretty damn fun. 

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But I'm especially enjoying pet portraits, such as Bruno the Bulldog (commissioned for the creator of hahasforhoohas.com):

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I love creating these, and want to share that love with the world!

I'm doing custom portraits at a 15% discount for anyone looking to immortalize their pet in a work of art. 

Sign up below for the details:

P.S. I think Vanessa Morgan of the Traveling Cats Blog is a kickass gal, so check out her site sometime!

Cat Bite

Just a quick digital sketch depicting how my cat bites me...lovingly.


Irene, The Retired Mermaid

She's golden brown, she's in her golden years, she has affordable health coverage for semi-active seniors...She's Irene, and she's retiring from mermaiding. 

Learn more about my latest print projects:

http://jessicawarrick.com/prints

 
 

Swimming with the Fishes

As you could probably already tell, I really love undersea...stuff. I've tried to fight it, but when digital pen touches digital paper, my lines turn into scales, fins, and cold, soulless, staring googly eyes.

And now its gotten worse...I've taken on a secret project that will allow me to indulge my nautical sweet tooth, and you will see its progress on this blog. 

If you're interested in print projects like this and want to see more, MORE MORE!!! then sign up below.  

Under the Sea...

Here's a preview from book 2 for a Kane Press chapter book project. I love drawing undersea junk...will be drawing more of it for my own personal projects (in color).  

Meat on a Shirt!

Hey folks,

Just a little note to announce that my meat design is currently being scored on Threadless. If you get a chance to vote so that this artery clogging, carnivorous orgy of fun becomes a printed reality, I'd really appreciate it!

What's Pretty and Pink and Bratty All Over?

...the kid I'm drawing for a new children's picture book.

But there's more to the story than just a little angry white girl who wants to get her way (other than terrorizing the cat)...stay tuned for more revealing glimpses into this work-in-progress.

A UFO in the Playground

I've been having a lot of fun working on a chapter book series centering around my favorite subject matter: aliens! The stories are funny too, so you really can't go wrong here. Here's just a tiny sneak peak of a page spread:

Creativity, Meditation and Earl

This week while sketching in the park with a friend, the subject of meditation came up. We talked about the voices in our heads that play out while we’re trying to sketch or create something…how we seem to always be fighting with “ourselves.” How our thoughts seem to run rampant, making us doubt our artistic abilities and we spiral downward with them, following these rambling ideas into deeper, non-productive patterns of thinking.  
 
When I find my creative confidence in the toilet after following these thoughts, I have found that simply sitting quietly has given me profound clarity and unexpected breakthroughs.  

Whether I am struggling to find motivation, am stumped on a challenging problem or feel boringly stagnate with a lack of inspiration, this simple act of pause has made all the difference.
 
In fact, as my illustration career has advanced, I have found the single, most helpful tool to be meditation.
 
However, meditation can also be one of the most frustrating things to “practice.”

Most of the time when I began in the past, I felt like I was doing it wrong, was too restless, and didn’t see how it could connect in a practical way to the goals I had in life (like becoming a better illustrator). But what I found was quite simple, just acquainting myself with…myself, was like greeting a long lost inner child. 
 
I had a great teacher in 5th and 6th grade. I guess she left an impression on me because I had her two years in a row (they did that at my school where the teacher can keep her whole class into the next year…is that unusual?) Anyway, I remember when a new kid came to class who nobody really liked. He looked really similar to the kid on a Christmas Story now that I think about it…but with a crusty runny nose, hyperactive outbursts, and a blunt, offensive honesty.
 
Earl.
 
(There is a reason for this story, it all connects, just stay with me)…
 
I remember our teacher preparing us for Earl’s classroom appearance before his first day. She informed us that he was special somehow, and needed to talk a lot, and that we should all be patient with him. My teacher brilliantly arranged his desk next to hers so that he could aim all of his pent-up banter at her understanding presence while she looked up with an occasional smiling nod before returning to her homework corrections.
 
This is precisely what we need to do when we meditate. Your thoughts will chatter at you, begging for attention and acknowledgement. Don’t abandon them and send them to the back of the classroom. Just stay with them and lovingly let the chatter pass on through, but you don’t need to encourage it.
 
Don’t abandon your mind when it wants to chat with you. It’s like a small child with divorced parents who was left alone a lot and never had friends to socialize with. 
 
So when you first sit down to meditate, your mind will want to chat with you. This doesn’t mean you failed. Let it talk. 

You don’t have to talk back or hang on every word (or any for that matter); it just wants someone to sit with it for a change. You may even learn a thing or two, like what’s been rambling on beneath the surface as you do your day-to-day activities. You may see some baggage you’ve been unknowingly carrying with you, bringing up anxiety. But remember, it’s a child. Don’t analyze it, its just being silly, there’s no need to find meaning in what it says. Just observe with compassion. If you’re just a little patient with “yourself,” you will find that it no longer seeks your attention; the voice will quiet down.
 
I invite you to give it a try and be patient with yourself. 
 
There’s really no right way, but here’s a suggestion based on what’s worked for me:

1. Start with just 10 minutes sitting quietly in a comfortable position.

2. Breathe deeply at first to start relaxing, putting focus on your breath, perhaps counting to 4 on the inhale, and 4 on the exhale. Then breathe normally as you relax more, and just watch what happens.

3. Just be the observer of your thoughts and don’t run away from them, even if they are uncomfortable. Maybe some thoughts correspond to parts of your body. If you’re me, then you might feel anxiety in your stomach. Just watch it. Don’t try to get rid of it or change it.

Don’t get mad at little Earl.
 
After all, if you are frustrated with yourself when you sit down to meditate, chances are you’re frustrated with yourself when you sit down to illustrate (or do whatever it is you do that rhymes with “ate” at the end…kidding). Meditation only magnifies what is already present in you. What would happen if you stopped running away from that annoying aspect of yourself? Instead of forcing yourself to get used to trying to work with a chattering child in the background, why not let him get it all out so he doesn’t bother you while you’re trying to accomplish something? Be nice to him, and you’ll find you’re being nice to yourself.
 
And then interesting things will start to happen…
 
I’d love to hear your experiences with meditation. Have you tried it before? Have you used it to help you with illustration or something else? Has it helped?
 
Email me, it would be cool to hear from you!

 

For more information on how people are using meditation to increase their creativity and productivity, check out these great articles!

What Daily Meditation Can Do for Your Creativity

Boost Your Creativity With This Guided Meditation

7 Ways Meditation Increases Creativity

HIP HOP AND MEDITATION: INCREASE CREATIVITY, DECREASE STRESS

Hairy Mystery

A preview of the mystery project I am working on. I left out the text to make it all the more baffling. Guessing is certainly welcome:)
*This is the updated version with additional background details.


Warm Fuzzies

You can never have too many warm fuzzies this time of year...unless you're heartless and frozen inside. ba dum chhh. Merry Xmas all!



Running to the Sun

Running to the Sun, Another Collection of Rhymes Without Reason: 

A new book o' poetry is being sent to the printers, and will be available soon! If you liked the first collection, Swimming to the Moon, you'll love this one even more...chock full of naughty children, parties, bizarro creatures and shifty-eyed cat killers. Get a peak at my cover and sample illustrations...







Piping hot clipart!

I have a new section on my website for digital downloads, showcasing my growing collection of stock illustration. Hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza for all! Oh yeah, there's some healthy food in there too somewhere...

Digital Downloads


An original, watercolor and digital hamburger clipart illustration great for small business use and fun, personal projects.

An original, watercolor and digital hotdog clipart illustration great for small business use and fun, personal projects.

An original, watercolor and digital pizza clipart illustration great for small business use and fun, personal projects.
An original, watercolor and digital vegetable basket clipart illustration great for small business use and fun, personal projects.