Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last painting of 2008

Ring of Seasons
6x8 watercolor
Original for sale on etsy

Ring of Seasons

Thank You notes

Thank You notes featuring this design are available in my etsy shop.

Year in Review

Since everyone else is doing it. I had to think for a while to come up with anything I accomplished, but maybe there actually is something there. Usually I don't feel as if I have done much.


• Survived until my 30th birthday (today)
• Finished 12+ paintings for my first book from a major publisher: "Watercolour Made Easy: Fairies And Fantasy" which come out in February.

• Was a vendor at a good size craft show for the first time in years and did surprisingly well considering we had snow in May and no heating.

• Self published my webcomic in an actual professionally printed book form. 
• Finished around 65 paintings total 
• Reached 500 sales on Etsy. 
• Completely my first digital painting since 2003. 
• Learned offering commissions in Artist Alley isn't so bad. • Re-designed my website to the first original design since it's birth. 
• Received an award from an art show 
• Sold an original at Dragon Con 
• Was featured in Art Scene International 
• Fixed some bad licensing choices to the best of my ability. 
• Got a bike and actually used it a bit.

• Realized my art is not good enough if I want to accomplish the illustration goals I'd originally had years ago and future projects I would like to do and determined things I would like to improve. Somewhere I got stuck being a "fairy artist" because it was easier to do things that I knew I could sell rather than work on improving things which were not immediately marketable. I have finally reached a point where I can look at something not completely beautiful and think it might actually be fun to paint.


• Be more organized. 
• Draw more comics and improve them because I am horribly out of practice. 
• Sketch more often just for the purpose of improving, not only when planning a painting (I've made a good start at this because I filled as many pages in a month as I did all summer).

• Work on sketching expressions, animals, kids, movement, proportions, buildings etc. Remember to sketch from a basic skeleton rather than starting with the head. Try not to center compositions. 
• Paint some ideas from my long list of painting ideas 
• Try to start on one of the themed illustration lists 
• Complete another painting with water soluble oils. 
• Try to get more illustration jobs. 
• Go to Cartoonist Conspiracy meetings.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Winter comes

Personally, I am not a fan of snow. I hate shoveling and scraping the car, and getting the car stuck in it. Plus I think people who go ice fishing have got to be crazy.


on the beach


In other news, there is a syndication of this blog available on livejournal.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Looking for Art Books

I've been a little unhappy with some bad habits in my work and need to simply start sketching more for practice. I am jealous of people who went to animation school. So tonight I thought that I would try to find a nice animation book that would help me with movement. The only problem is that 90% of the animation/fantasy/comic drawing books at B&N are now Christopher Hart books. This is unfortunately since most of them are the same book with slightly different art (yes it irks me that they continue to publish them). I only found one actual animation book, which I think I will pick up later. I don't have any intention of animating but I think it would help with drawing.

There's really no reason I should be doing more illustration since I'm seeing children's books with the quality of art I am capable of. I just need get myself to believe I can.

So what I did find with what I was looking for was book 4 and 5 from the How to Draw Manga series Ultimate Manga Lessons. Most of the older books don't have a lot of useful information on how to apply techniques to your art rather than just copying poses in the books. There's some later books that go into detail about inking and specific techniques that are better though.

I also saw a new John Howe Book on dragons and and a Licensing book that I thought looked pretty helpful. Other than the author's idea that self publishing prints is more difficult than using a publisher (Fantasy and comic genre art is different than the market for, say Terry Redlin and Thomas Kinkaide), there's lot of information that no one tells new artists such as actual %s for different products (believe me, I was sure this was somehow secret information for a long time).

And some sketches:

These were preliminary sketches for my Christmas card design this year:

Sketches for a future painting and some critters:


- Saw Bolt (in 3d) this weekend. It was awesome. That got me interested in checking out future Disney movies The Princess and the Frog, Rupunzel (I love the concept art but how are they going to do this with the main character stuck in a tower the entire time?), and King of the Elves
- I discovered Emma - A Victorian Romance season 2 is out and Netflix has it. Yay! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2009 Calendar and updates

I posted my 12 month 2009 Calendar at deviantart, at zazzle or cafepress. It features 14 images from the last year or so. It's was a little too late to do a print run this year but the quality from Deviantart's prints is quite nice.

My new website design is done and live now. I added a few new products while I was at it.

Site updates:
- Lotus Fairy ACEO
- Card sets featuring two Christmas images and anime fairies
- 21 new keychains. I've had these for years but haven't had them on my site before.

Monday, November 10, 2008

An Award!

I received an award from Anime Weekend Atlanta, which is actually only the 2nd art show award I've had. The first one was in 2003.

Award from Anime Weekend Atlanta

A recent commission based on the story of Undine by Friedrich Heinrich Karl La Motte-Fouqué. There is a part with a storm and the waters rage through the forest.

Gears and Glass is a painting inspired by gothic lolita and steampunk fashion.
Gears and Glass
I plan on offering prints of this but have not gotten around to it yet. I've been redesigning my websites and am almost done. They are looking good but there are a few things to fix still.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I am loved

Thank you for your lovely gift Sarah Butcher!

Rules of the Award:
1. Must display award.
2. Must link back to the person who gave it.
3. Choose 7 other bloggers to pass the bloggity love onto.
4. Let them know they have been chosen.

Here are my choices:
1. B Mousseau
2. Melissa Findley
3. Laine
4. Starrydance
5. Bread and Honey
6. Beth Hansen
7. Olga Ulanova

Friday, October 24, 2008


I'm enjoying it, but I decided to make a fan page simply because most of my "friends" on myspace are not people I actually know.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Books and updates

Today I was surprised to receive a copy of Linda Ravenscroft's new book "How to Draw and Paint Fairyland: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the World of Fairies" in the mail from the UK. I had almost forgotten about it. My painting Daydreamer was published in the back gallery section.

Link to Amazon

I have also looked over some of the page mock-ups from the publisher for my how to book this weekend and they are great. Now it's looking like a real book!

Some site updates,

New prints:
Natural Magic

Spirit of the Ginkgo

I added the printed version of my webcomic for sale also.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jury Duty?

I just got a letter today and saying I might have do jury duty in December for a week. The best part is parking in downtown St. Paul is expensive and they suggest I use public transportation. I am not looking forward to standing at the bus stop at 7 am, in the snow in December!

Like a bad citizen I say: What did I do to deserve this punishment? :) I can just imagine Phoenix Wright references invading my brain at the wrong time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Photos from central minnesota

One of my favorite things do has always been to collect rocks, especially Agates here in Minnesota. I might mean to go swimming but usually I end up digging through the beach instead. I collected two bowls full of small ones in on weekend recently.


Lakeshore stones

Agate collection 1


Agates close up


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Natural Magic

Natural Magic

Kyrn is a character I began writing and drawing in high school. I was asked to redraw her by someone who had a seen a much older picture. Originally she had dark hair and the white came about once when I decided I really liked a drawing in an unfinished state. Long, long ago, Gargoyles was my first fandom so Kyrn herself had gargoyle wings in one form.

My ideas have changed a lot since then with every painting, and now I associate her with magic, life, growth, change, and ivy. The title this time was surprisingly easy because there wasn't anything else it could be.

If you've read my comic she's in there a little bit so far.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

at the MN State Fair

I ran into a shop that carries some of my work. That was a pleasant surprise!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New paintings

I'm a great fan (addict) of tea and I recently designed this tea label design for Blue Raven Tea -
Tea Label

All of these were commissions, but for the last two I did with very little direction and as a result they are more me than some other paintings. I don't often get to paint men, but when I do I enjoy it. The armor was inspired by Burne-Jones's designs.

The Moonlight Spinner is available as a print

In mystic swirls of the night
her lamp suspended on gossamer strings
she captures starlight,
moonmoth, and fyreflye's wings
pearls of the moon entwined in her webs

Moonlight Spinner

Prepared (prints will be available soon)


Upcoming conventions and art shows:
Kakkoi Con - Minneapolis MN, August 1-3 *attending*
Anime Iowa - August 15-17
Dragon Con - Atlanta GA Aug 29-Sept 1

On another note, I found a good blog for anyone who loves the Pre-Raphaelites: The Beautiful Necessity

Monday, July 07, 2008

Medium: watercolor
size: 5x7

The painting is now up for auction starting at $24.99 and a buy-it-now price of $130. The reserve is somewhere in between and bids below the reserve are certainly appreciated no matter if they win or not.

Click to view auction

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Precious Butterfly ACEO

I think there was a little too much pink and blue lately. Here is a purple girl with a magical butterfly.

Click for auction and thanks for looking!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New art - Blue Ocean, Lily Fairy, Masquerade

I sent off the rest of my book stuff last week. Finally a chance to paint something not commissioned. I really love painting water now! :)

• Blue Ocean Click to bid

• Lily - 3x4 inch watercolor Click to bid

This is actually one that I did for the book but I didn't think it worked right for the purpose and re-painted it. So that's why it's an odd size.

Masquerade - 8x10 watercolor SOLD

Thursday, May 08, 2008

CCG Art - Porcelain Princess

CCG Art - Porcelain Princess
Originally uploaded by uminomamori
One of several pictures done for Orion's Bell - Wizard of Oz Collectable Card Game
Official site:

The game is not out yet but you can pass the website onto your local comic or game shop and ask them to order it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I'm getting stuff ready for Anime Detour tommorow (Sorry, if you didn't already register they won't let you in). I have to go to UPS later to pick up what I hope is the keychain rack I ordered.

I noticed Liquid Skin now has my tattoo flash set up. These are large prints for professional tattoo artists to use. Individual designs are available through their other site SkinU. Those have been up since last fall and I have completely forgot to point that out.

I just did some more small tattoo designs like moons last week, and re-colored one of the kitsune I did last week.

- amazing picture by an autistic artist who drew London from memory after a single helicopter trip
- Top 100 Aprils Fools hoaxes of all time
- Video: What if people spoke how they commented Online (warning for foul language, but it's really funny)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Behind on posting again!

Unfortunately I can't show the other illustrations I've been doing for Orion's Bell the last few months yet (actually you can see one on the link there), but I finished a really neat one yesterday. I also sent my comic book/graphic novel off to be printed last Thursday and should be getting them in a couple days. I'm excited! So I will have actual books at Anime Detour and Anime Central this year.

But this is what I've been up to lately:

Lavender Rose ACEO
Lavender Rose ACEO - Auction

I actually used tea on this too!

These are the last 3 pictures I've finished for the how-to book project:
Throne of Ravens
Snow Maiden

Site updated with New Prints:
A Magical Discovery
A Dryad
Wisteria 2

ACEO limited editions:
Moon Goddess
Blue Topaz
Vampire Elf

Friday, March 07, 2008

Featured in Art Scene International

Art Scene International is a German Illustration and Air Brush magazine. I just got this copy today and scanned it. Pretty cool, huh?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Steampunk Doll aceo

Click for Ebay auction

These two have already been sold,

Deception aceo


Monday, February 11, 2008

Disney Rejection Letter, 1938

Letter to a young lady who was rejected because girls were only hired for "tracing".

Friday, February 08, 2008

Snow White ACEO

click for auction

Nice to take a break and paint something that I don't have to completely plan out in advance for once :)

Friday, February 01, 2008


Just something I was playing around with

Click for auction

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just a reminder,

There just happens to be a FAQ on my site outlining how you can use my art, how it should be credited and what you need permission for. It's not that complicated. But, people continually don't read or disregard it.

I have free avatars available
I have licensing for tags, tubes and sigs available at CILM
I even have pretty link banners you can use to link to my site AND show off art, just so that you don't have to copy my entire site over to photobucket or flickr to show your friends.

And all I ask the rest of the time is that you don't post my art on commerical sites (where you are selling something or where there are ad banners, or sites like photobucket which sell prints), credit and link to me so that every time someone else takes that art they know where it came from:

Your site must be a non-profit web site.
- Must be properly credited with "© Meredith Dillman. Image used with permission" near the images. To type the © symbol use "option G" on Mac and "ALT 0169" on PC.
- You must link to my web site near the image:
- DO NOT crop or remove my name or any text on the image
- No hotlinking.

My watermarks do not negate the need to credit me. If you like something, you tell other people who made it. That's just common courtesy.

Sorry I don't write in here very often.

Here's some quick updates on what's going on.

It's been well below zero for the last week in Minnesota. On Thursday I was unable to start my car so I couldn't mail end of the week orders. Attempts at having a friend jump it failed so yesterday I called AAA and took it to get the battery replaced. I'm surprised it lasted 7 or 8 years anyway. So tommorow I can finally finish running my errands and get caught up.

I am working on 3 new paintings for the how-to book I mentioned earlier. Meanwhile I did put up prints of the previous 3: Castles in the Sky, Among the Mushrooms and Poppies. Yujean released 5 new sticker designs and those are also available from me

Time not spent on commissions has been spent on painting a couple of comic covers for Tempest of the Soul, as well as re-"lettering" the old pages I've scanned. I have to laugh at the number of typos I had in the old version. I am confident that even without touched up art the new typeface would make the new book will look many times better.

I opened a shop on Dawanda. There is not much there yet because I am still figuring the site out. But soon people will have the option to shop with Euros.

I finally got to looking into conventions for this year. So far I will be attending Anime Detour April 4-6 (in the dealers's room not artist alley this year), Anime Central, and Kakkoi-con, and most likely Anime Iowa. Other conventions I will have art at will be Farpoint Feb 15, Oddcon, Marscon MN Feb 29...

Saturday April 26 I will be at the Craftstravaganza Rogue Art and Craft Sale in the Fine Arts building at the Minnesota State Fair grounds.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Recommended books

John Howe Fantasy Art Workshop

This is a wonderful book. I am a big fan of Mr. Howe's work and much of the advice in this book is familiar from John's forum but it's a good chance to see how he works step by step, as well as how he organizes his studio and prepares for illustration jobs. There are lots of tips even I who has been painting for many years didn't think of before. John Howe makes a point to encourage readers to find their own unique style and way of painting, unlike many how to books which only show one way of doing things. I particularly love that his sense of humor shows. He honest about illustration and admits that he isn't perfect and procrastinates as much as possible before every job (just like me^^)

Scott Pilgrim 1-4 by Mal (Bryan O Malley but he'll always be Mal to me!)

Way back when I was a senior in high school I discovered the internet and the anime fanart community. Mal was one of the artists who was always around the forum and irc channel, and I did fanart for his online comic Winged Misa. Mal grew up and published the incredibly awesome and funny Scott Pilgrim. Read it!

(I still haven't read them all, but it took a month for the comic store to get them all for me)