Random Acts of Creativity by Karen Windness

Tattoo Mama

All kinds of moms, one big kind of love.


Paper Unicorn

Hey noodle noodle, a unicorn doodle! Playing with cut paper and digital texture on this one.


Drawing Babies

I create little tutorials like this for my illustration students, and I thought it might be helpful for other illustrators, too. Children are often mistakenly drawn like small-sized adults. This looks off because a child’s proportions are not the same as a grown-up’s. Their heads and eyes are bigger and their bodies are softer and rounder. Here’s the student sample followed by steps on how to baby it up.

windness-baby-tutorialHappy drawing!

-Kaz Windness


Don’t blend. You were born fabulous!cammy-windness1

SCBWI Conference Postcards

For illustrators, the conference postcard is a must-have. Not only will you use it to introduce yourself to other attendees and network, if you’ve entered the Portfolio Showcase, the judges will be using your card to cast their vote, so make sure it stands out!

This is the first year I’ve ordered postcards from MOO, and they did a great job! I’ve had many years where the postcard print didn’t match my design in color and value, and this one is nearly exact! Sure, you pay a bit more for Moo over something like Vistaprint or Overnight Prints, but I’m not going back now that I’ve seen the quality of Moo.

Original cover design:

karen-rocco-web1A few friendly design tips:

  • For the front of the card, choose an image with a clear central focal point and strong contrast and/or color.
  • Make sure your name is clearly visible.
  • For the back of the card, choose artwork that relates to the front of the card. This can be another illustration from the same book project or the same character doing something different. Show both consistency and variety.
  • Include your name on both sides of the card and at least two methods of contact. If you never answer your phone (me), don’t offer it. Email is totally acceptable.
  • Include links to your web page and any applicable social media you use often. Most kidlit people are on Twitter and/or Facebook. I’m more of a Facebook person, but I do check in on Twitter a couple times a week, post, like and follow a couple new kidlit creatives.
  • Print 150-200 cards. You’ll burn through 100 at the Portfolio Showcase and will want extras to hand out around conference and mail to your favorite art directors and prospective agents.
  • Follow showcase guidelines. GUIDELINES. The postcard must be 5″x7″ or smaller. I printed the max size. Bigger is better!
  • Optional: Print a corresponding business card. Schlepping around large postcards isn’t always convenient, and it’s nice to have business cards ready to go in your lanyard. I didn’t do this step this year, but I usually do.
  • As Dory said, “Just keep swimming!” This won’t be your last postcard, and it’s never going to be perfect. The important thing is to keep producing and put yourself out there… and even more importantly: Enjoy the process!

Happy Creating + Conferencing!!!

Karen “Kaz” Windness

Batty Vladdy

Romantic but deadly.



Axolotl & Ukulele

Have you ever seen an axoltl? These adorable pink salamanders that are always smiling. I couldn’t help but draw one. Meet Ax:


Ax was drawn in pencil and then scanned into Photoshop and colored. I used a new set of impressionist brushes from Kyle Brushes ( Great textures, fun to work with!

Karen Windness –

Twisted Mother Hubbard

This woman really puts herself into her cooking!


If Jill invites you for a moonlit stroll, I suggest you skip it.jill-windness.jpg

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