Zoe Sparks: Stuffie Rescue Squad

My new all-ages graphic novel launches on October 6, 2014 at To give a little bit of insight into my process, I thought I would share some of my sketches and show the stages I go through in creating the artwork. 1. Writing/thumbnailing I start with a story goal in mind, a short written […]


Blog Post Roundup

If you’ve missed any of my posts over at the SCBWI Canada East Illustrator’s Blog, here is a round up of some of my posts that you may find of interest: Streamline Your Workflow With Manga Studio Story Editor How Manga Studio Convinced me to Draw Digitally Illustrating Characters: Personality Goes a Long Way Adventures […]


Spot illustrations for Clubhouse Jr.

Here are some recent spot illustrations I did for the joke page in Clubhouse Jr. Magazine. Which birds really stick together? Vel-crows.   Some concept sketches for the vel-crows: What kind of fish likes to listen to music? A tune-a fish. Who gives cows money when they lose teeth? The Moo-th fairy.    


New Kids! Poster

I recently collected some of my kids character designs onto a poster. I’m planning to send this along with some other samples to various potential clients. I also have it available for purchase here.


“Just Kidding” Illustration for Clubhouse Jr. Magazine

I recently had another super fun assignment for Clubhouse Jr. Magazine – creating the illustration for the “Just Kidding” feature in the May 2014 issue. The Clubhouse magazines are always full of wonderful illustrations so I get excited every chance I get to contribute. I had a lot of fun adding the little details in […]


Skate Park Puzzle – May ChickaDEE Magazine

The May 2014 issue of ChickaDEE Magazine is now available, and I had the pleasure of illustrating the puzzle spread for this issue. This puzzle features a bike trail maze, which was a really fun challenge to create. I used to draw mazes in my school notebooks all the time, so this one brought back […]


Twins in Time – eBook

I’m excited to announce the launch of Twins in Time, a children’s eBook written by Zach Weinersmith with illustrations by yours truly. The book is now available – Get it here! Here’s a short book description: Twins in Time is a visual adventure written in verse. It is written with children in mind, but particularly […]


Clubhouse Jr. March Cover and Rebus

I recently had the pleasure of working with the wonderful team at Clubhouse Jr. as I illustrated the cover and some interior illustrations for the March 2014 issue. When I’m working on a cover, I’ll usually work up a couple more concept sketches than I normally would – just to be sure we have the […]


The Explorers

I recently completed this personal piece and I thought I’d share some of my process. 1. I start off with a series of small thumbnail sketches to explore composition 2. Using my thumbnail sketch as a guide I produce a larger more refined sketch. At this stage I also do a quick value study to […]



Here’s a quick Superman illustration. I’ve been experimenting with a bit of a new colouring method lately – doing the flats colour blocks in Manga Studio and only adding a few necessary lines. I’m working on a few larger pieces like this trying to come up with a better, faster way to work. Trial and […]


Snowflakes Cover art for book proposal

We wrapped up our final strip on Snowflakes last year, and are now in the process of trying to find a publisher. Below is the cover promo art that is part of the proposal package. If you are a publisher and are interested in a copy of the pitch proposal, please contact me.


Happy New Year!

To start off the new year the Once Upon A Sketch blog is newly relaunched! I will be a contributing regularly to the blog, along with my fellow contributors: Donald Wu Mary Reaves Uhles Norm Grock Jennifer Zivoin Jannie Ho. Here is our first collaborative post, What We Wish We Knew.


Winter Holiday Posters!

Each year I like to come up with a unique holiday piece to send to my clients. Rather than a traditional card, last year I made a small 11×17″ winter themed poster entitled “Sled Slang”. This year I was feeling a little extra inspired so I’ve actually produced two posters! The first one is called […]


Movember Madness! – Daily Drawings

This November I challenged myself with a daily #movember moustache drawing. Each day during the month I posted my daily drawings on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. For this series I tried out a tool I hadn’t used before – the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. What a great little brush pen this is –  the line […]


Puzzle Spread illustration in November ChickaDEE

The November issue of ChickaDEE Magazine is all about China. I had the super fun job of illustrating the full spread puzzle page for this issue. Below is the final version – click to view larger (For demonstration purposes I modified it a bit from the version that appears in the magazine – removing some […]


The Pumpkin King

Happy Halloween everyone! Here is an illustration I recently completed for my latest postcard mailer: Here’s a photo of the postcard (front and back): I had these printed by Overnight Prints, as 5×7″ glossy with rounded corners. Ever since I first started printing them with the rounded corners I’ve not been able to go back […]


Here are some cute little monster illustrations I recently completed for an educational French language poster. I don’t have an image of the final poster yet, but I will post it here when it is published.


My interview on Draw Me a Robot!

I was recently interviewed by Krishna Sadasivam on Draw Me A Robot! The concept of the site is to talk with different illustrators and cartoonists about what their studio and hardware set up looks like and then have them draw a robot. There are a lot of great interviews with a lot of talented artists. […]


Waking Up The Farm

At the SCBWI Canada East conference I attended earlier this month, all of the illustrators had a pre-conference assignment. We were given the manuscript for “Wake Up, Rupert!” (by Mike Twohy) by Simon & Schuster’s Art Director, Laurent Linn. We worked on our sketches leading up to the conference and gave each other feedback. We […]


2013 SCBWI Canda East Conference

I’ve just returned from the SCBWI Canada East conference in Montreal. I had a fantastic time! It was great to meet some new people, and reconnect with friends. A huge thank you to Peggy Collins, Alma Fullerton, Lizann Flatt and Rachel Eugster for all of the hard work organizing such a great event. The weekend […]


Experimenting with inking in Manga Studio

Above is a test of line work in Manga Studio vs. Hand drawn (with China Marker). I’ve been experimenting lately with Manga Studio for my line work. My usual process involves drawing and inking traditionally, but so far I’m really impressed with the line quality I can get with Manga Studio. I may have to […]


September Cover ChickaDEE Magazine

I recently had the super fun job of illustrating the cover for the back to school issue of ChickaDEE Magazine! It’s on sale now, so make sure to pick up a copy. While working on the sketches, I worked up a few alternate poses for the brain character that weren’t used in the final: I […]


To Be, Or Not To Be

Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics, Adventure Time, and many more awesome things) recently published a Choose Your Own Adventure style Hamlet book, ” To Be, Or Not To Be”. It was first available on his wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, and is now available for purchase from Breadpig, and on Amazon. The book is full of great […]


Quick colour doodles

Here are a couple of recent quick colour doodles. I’m testing out some new colouring and texture techniques here. For each one, I spent about 10-15 minutes doodling until I came up with a little drawing I liked, and then spent about an hour colouring each one. Always fun!


“Inside Look” Puzzle Page from June ChickaDEE Magazine

In the recent June issue of ChickaDEE Magazine I had the fun task of illustrating some kitchen items for a puzzle page feature. Here are a few below – can you guess what they are? During this project I sketched out quite a few alternate ideas that were perhaps a bit too easy to figure […]


June Cover ChickaDEE Magazine

I recently had the pleasure of illustrating the cover for the June Food Issue of ChickaDEE magazine. Big thanks to Susan and her team at Owl Kids for the opportunity to work on this fun cover! While working out ideas, I sketched out a few alternate fruit characters that didn’t make the final cut. Here […]


My Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is a global blog tour to showcase authors and illustrators and their current work.  I was tagged by the wonderful and talented Peggy Collins. I have a book I’m working on that involves a boy and a dragon, but it’s still in the very early brainstorming stage, so I’ll be talking […]


“The Mean, Multiple-Meaning Troll”

I recently had the pleasure of illustrating “The Mean, Multiple-Meaning Troll”, an educational children’s book published by Benchmark Education. Illustrating this was a lot of fun – How can you pass up the opportunity to illustrate a troll? And a mean troll at that – even better! Here are a few sample spreads and spot […]


Strange Kid Shorties: Mail Order Monster

I recently completed a guest comic for Rondal Scott’s  Strange Kids Club comic – Strange Kid Shorties. Rondal ran it on the site in 3 parts, but here’s the full version. Thanks again Rondal for letting me have fun with your character, I had a ton of fun making this! Click here or on the […]


Drawing on Comics: Developing My Visual Communication Skills

Early Influence I grew up reading comics. Every Saturday my buddies and I would ride our bikes to the local comic shop and pick up the new issues. It was a ritual. I remember the small sweaty store loaded with awesome artwork— posters, figurines, graphic novels, and the colourful display of comics with the wonderful […]


“Sled Slang” Poster

This poster was inspired by a childhood spent sledding down the biggest hills I could find! Instead of sending out the usual holiday card this year I decided to try something a little different, so I came up with  this poster, which I’ll be sending out as my holiday mailer. I also have 2 sizes […]


Interview with Illustrator Genevieve Kote

This week I am excited to feature an interview with the talented Genevieve Kote! Genevieve is an illustrator with a very unique, fun, and colourful style who specializes in drawing lively ladies, kids and teens. Her work has appeared in newspapers, parenting and lifestyle magazines, children magazines, puzzles, books and educational manuals. Genevieve is a […]


Interview with Children’s Illustrator Wilson Williams Jr.

Wilson Williams Jr. has been a successful commercial artist and designer for the past twelve years, but his recent work and focus is now in children’s illustration. Wilson combines his wonderful painterly style with great technical/composition skills to produce some truly delightful artwork. Earlier this year, Wilson completed his first hardcover children’s book, “A Perfect […]