Random Acts of Creativity by Karen Windness

Roses Are Dead

I’ve been busy creating new Mother Goth Rhymes artwork and expanding existing pieces into full 2-page spreads. It’s a lot of work in a short amount of time, but I’m living my dream and drawing what I love! Bats and graveyards and zombies, oh my!


More art and gothy fun on Mother Goth’s facebook page:

The book comes out Summer 2019, but you can pre-order your copy now by going to 10% discount using coupon code: ORDER2018

Kaz Windness

Mother Goth Rhymes Book News + Special Offer!

Coming this Summer to a creepy bookshelf near you!


Mother Goth invites you into her world of grim and gruesome tales that celebrate the macabre with a selection of poems created especially for you! Feel your spine tingle with a new look at some old classics, from “Rock-A-Bye Zombie” to “Roses are Dead,” these poems explore the dark underbelly of our childhood favorites.

Come over to the darker side of life…it’s more fun there!

SPECIAL OFFER! October 13th-20th,  2018: To celebrate this announcement (and author/artist Kaz’s birthday!) we’re offering a spectacularly spooky deal! Get 20% off your entire order! PRE-ORDER your copy HERE!

20% off with this code: MOTHERGOTH2018

And if you go to Mother Goth’s Facebook page and message her with a proof of purchase and good mailing address, Mother Goth will mail you a set of pins! (For buyers in the United States only, sorry!)



Chicken Demo

If you attended my RMC-SCBWI session Color, Composition, Texture
and the Secret to Working Fast, here’s how I finished the chicken demo illustration:


Original contour line drawing and color inspiration:

Resources: Intro to Children’s Book Illustration

Resources for 2018 RMC-SCBWI Letters & Lines conference attendees and blog fans with a children’s book illustration interest.

Sample thumbnail dummy books:


32-Page Sample:32-page

Sample contract for illustrators working with Independent Publishers:


Colorado Independent Publishers Association:

Portfolio Check Sheet:


Local RMC-SCBWI Opportunities:

RMC-SCBWI Mentorship Program (NOW – Oct 20th):

Critique Connects and other events calendar:

National SCBWI Opportunities:

Full list of SCBWI Illustrator opportunities:

Submission requirements for SCBWI Bulletin:

Links to RMC-SCBWI social Media:

NOTE: To share images with us, post using hashtag #rmcscbwi

Facebook Private Group (must be a member and ask to join):

Instagram: @scbwirockymtn


My (Karen “Kaz” Windness) social media handles:

Facebook: @karen.windness

Instagram: @KazWindness

Twitter: @KWindness

My web Links:



Pinterest (TONS of pinned resources, inspiration and weirdness):

Specifically for attendees of my Color, Composition, & Working Fast session:

Member Badge (save image and use!):


Recommended Books:

Publishers, literary agents, magazines, contests, and more: Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2019: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published

BRILLIANT book on the elements of design for picture book illustrators: PICTURE THIS by Molly Bang:


How to illustrate children’s literature: Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books by Uri Shulevitz



Kitty Queen

I recently created this posh kitty cat for a client. She let me have a lot of creative control, which is always

Original sketch:


I’m always thinking about overall shape and silhouette. Is it pleasant to look at? Can you tell what’s going on without any details?


The final was done in Photoshop using textured dry brushes.

Wear that crown, queen!



Pencil Jewelry DIY

I spent the afternoon eating delicious food and crafting pencil jewelry with a beloved fellow Ravenclaw. Here are the results. Our cutting board will never be the same, but it makes for a pretty backdrop!




-When school supplies are on clearance (late August, early September), take full advantage. I raided my local grocery store.

-The “My First Ticonderoga” pencils are oversized and great for making a pencil-y statement.

-We cut the pencils short with a fine-tooth hacksaw and sandpapered smooth.

-The holes were made with a dremel tool and small drill bit.

-I used a Sharpie to draw lines on the white pencil and sprayed with Crystal Clear to minimize rub off.

-I sealed the pencil tips with clear fingernail polish and painted the flat ends with gold and silver polish. Clear would work, too.

Happy creating!



Jim Can’t Swim

In solidarity with the Key Largo pool noodle crocodile. I can’t swim either, buddy.
Jim Can’t Swim, pencil and digital jim-swim-windness

Inspiring original photo and news link:


#crocodile #poolnoodle #swim #colour_collective#cornflowerblue #kidlitart #illustration

Ellis & Shelly are Friends

I was doodling at the SCBWI conference in LA, and these characters appeared. Meet friends Ellis & Shelly!



Original doodles.ellie



SCBWI conferences always get me noodling on a simpler, more tactile style. Drawing like a child is harder than you think! Here’s a little platypus in plaid.

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