Lily the Boy Cat: My New Picture Book

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Ahoy there, mer-friends! Today I have something very special to share with you: a picture book that I wrote and illustrated! I am a huge fan of children’s picture books; especially the beautifully illustrated variety! It’s always been a (not-so) secret dream of mine to write and illustrate my own picture books. Well, I’m on my way! I am currently taking a children’s literature class, and we got to create our own picture book, which was so much fun. I wrote my story about my cat Lily, who is actually male. I loved being able to come up with my own story, and I already draw Lily quite a bit anyway (he’s got such an expressive face!) so it was really a treat. The story is based on events that actually happened in Lily’s life, but told through a child’s point of view.

I just finished the book, and I have it as a PDF, so I thought it would be fun to offer it to you, my dear readers, for free! Why? Because I like you! Spoiler alert: there is a pirate and a mermaid in the story!

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Just click this link: Lily the Boy Cat, to view the book as a PDF which you can download.

You can also right click and save the file directly if you’d prefer to do that.

If you download it (which I hope you will), please let me know what you think! It’s short, but I would like to expand it, or maybe even make it into a series. Lily does get into a lot of silly situations after all. I am looking forward to creating more books and zines to share, and I would love to hear any suggestions of what you would like to see in the future. I’m thinking that a tiki zine needs to happen, and maybe a mermaid coloring book? So many possibilities! Anyway, I hope you enjoy Lily the Boy Cat, and I will leave you with a picture of the real Lily, being fluffily lazy as usual.

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Happy Birthday Disneyland

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Disneyland celebrates its 60th birthday today! I whipped up the mermaid tribute above in honor of today… get it, whipped up? If you don’t know about Dole Whip, don’t worry, that post is coming soon! Anyway, the park officially opened its gates on July 17th, 1955. She’s lookin’ pretty good for 60, don’t you think? Disneyland has been and continues to be a huge source of inspiration to me and my artwork, and it even gave me my first job, as a pirate. I love looking through old photos of the park and I have found myself down the rabbit hole of vintage Disneyland memorabilia on eBay and Etsy many times. If you ever feel like losing a large chunk of your life in the best way possible, this Flickr set only has about a kajillion amazing vintage Disneyland photos. I have plenty more links where that came from to be shared in future posts.

In other news, the Atomic Mermaid Shop has finally been reborn from my old Etsy shop. I am in the process of dreaming up some lovely new items. If there’s anything that you would especially like to see, I would love to know! Also, you can now find the Atomic Mermaid on Twitter and Facebook!

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Inspiration: Mary Blair

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When it comes to inspiring artists, for me, few come close to Mary Blair. You may not have heard Mrs. Blair’s name before, but it is very likely that you have seen lots of her work. She created concept art for many of Disney’s great midcentury animated features, like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and two of my personal favorites, The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos. Blair also had a hand in designing many Disney attractions, most notably “it’s a small world” for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, now a beloved attraction at Disneyland. Many of today’s great illustrators cite Mary Blair as an influence. This wonderful blog post on Fishink, Mary Blair: Disney’s early inspiration traces Mary’s artistic evolution starting from the early work she did in her twenties, to her work with Disney, as well as her commercial projects. There are a lot of beautiful images to be seen in the post and also some great links. Last year, I was able to view a special exhibit of Mary Blair’s art on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. Sadly, the exhibit is no longer there, but there is a great post about it packed with photos on Hello Bardot. I also found a really cool animated tribute video to Mary Blair. It’s fantastic to see so much interest in Mary Blair and her wonderful art.

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Mary Blair Peter Pan mermaid concept art from Peter Brown Studio. Mermaid pin photo is my own.