Mermaids are fun, yo.

Salutations, world!

It’s me again.  I’m back!

Life is going along swimmingly here.  The weather is all kinds of beautiful, and I’ve been climbing trees and visiting forests and talking Harry Potter with friends.

I’ve also been reading The Real Boy by Anne Ursu (author of BreadcrumbsThe Shadow Thieves, etc.) and enjoying it immensely.  It’s about a magician’s shop hand with a forgotten past and a knack for magical herbs.  He’s very socially challenged but incredibly intelligent and goodhearted.  Exactly the sort of protagonist I love.  Double thumbs up so far.

As for artwork, I haven’t done anything new recently.  However, upon reading through my old posts, I noticed a rather labor-intensive art project of mine was conspicuously missing from this record.  *gasp*

In January 2015, I took a class called Nordic Myths and Fairy Tales, for which we read a collection of stories by the magnificent Hans Christian Andersen.  As a final project, we were asked to create a modern adaptation of one of his stories.  Some people did videos or board games.  I chose to do a graphic novel / comic strip style adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.”

Yes, yes, I know.  That story is overdone.  But it’s usually overdone WRONG.  (Sorry Disney.)  So I wanted to look at some of the darker parts of the story and explore its more melancholy ending.  (Spoiler: The mermaid dies.  Alone.)

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my results.  I would have liked to have spent more time on every part of the process – planning dialogue, outlining, drawing, and coloring.  But I still thought it was worth posting, since it’s unlike most of my other work.

So, here are some pieces of the project:

Mermaid 1

Mermaid 2

Mermaid 3

If you’d like to read the whole thing, click here!

I’m not sure if the graphic novel medium is one I will return to or not – it is a challenge, but a very satisfying one, I think….

And now, I really must do my homework.  So, off I go!




Hey look, a post!

Me with Pottery!

Greetings, everyone!

I hope you’re doing well!

As you may have noticed, I have not posted on this blog in a long time.  Rather, I have channeled my blogging efforts toward my college blog.  However, I thought for old time’s sake (and because I’m on spring break), I would return to J’adore Dessiner with an art update!

I’ve actually done a great deal of artwork since I last posted.  During the fall semester, I continued to work as a graphic designer for my college’s library, and I also took a pottery class.  Pottery was an interesting (and soul-sucking) experience, but I learned a LOT – including how to throw on a wheel, a skill I’ve always wanted to learn.

I don’t even know where to begin describing what wheel-throwing is like (Strenuous? Exhilarating? Messy? Radially symmetrical?), so I guess I’ll just show you the finished products, and explain a bit of the process as I go.

So the first real shape we learned how to create on the wheel (after a not-so-basic cylinder) was a bowl.  After throwing bowls, we also learned how to trim “feet” for our bowls, although sometimes I chose to trim off my bowls’ feet entirely, to create a perfectly round bottom.

image (7)

Glazing these bowls was one of my favorite parts of the process, because you never know exactly how the glazes will react with each other.  You can get an idea of what different combinations will look like from example test chips, but ceramics is an inherently unpredictable discipline.  So you wind up with some surprises!

There is also a wide variety of glazing techniques.  Solid-colored bowls are achieved by dipping the entire piece into a glaze with tongs.  You can also dip just half of a bowl into a glaze and allow it to dry before dipping the other half in a second glaze.  Similarly, if you want to glaze the inside a different color than the outside, you can pour glaze into the bowl to color the inside, then turn the bowl upside down and plunge it into the second glaze.  This creates a vacuum, coloring the outside of the bowl but leaving the inside untouched.  I also enjoyed using splattering and dripping to create some more spontaneous patterns.

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Our next project was to create vases.  We would start by creating a tall cylinder shape and then manipulate the form by guiding the clay outward or inward.  This was a very delicate process, because clay that is too stiff is difficult to work with, but too much moisture can cause a collapse.  Here are two vases I made:

image (2)

You can also see that we started doing some more intricate design patterns.  This was achieved not with glaze (glass particles applied after an initial firing) but with slip (colored, watery clay, applied before firing).  Above, I applied white and black slips before firing the vases, then added clear glaze for a second firing.

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We also worked on some cups and mugs during the class.  We threw these pieces, then added handles afterward.  Cups were difficult to throw, because the walls must be very thin…and prone to caving in.

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In addition to working on the wheel, we also did some hand-building in the class.  I especially enjoyed creating this pitcher.

image (10)

Another project I used hand-building for was my final project.  My final project involved crafting several pieces inspired by the incredible pottery of Laguna Pueblo.  Here is an olla I hand-built for the project:


I also threw and decorated some bowls inspired by Laguna artist Max Early:

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So, while that by no means covers all the pottery pieces I created during the fall semester, hopefully it gives you an idea of what I was up to!

And, as I mentioned above, I also created a lot of art for the library, which I will dump below:

Cupcake poster shaded with typed date


Treats and Treasure Hunt Colored

Hot Reads for Cold Nights- Poster

Winter Wonderland

Star Wars

Hunger Games

So!  That’s what I’ve been up to – whew!  :)

And in addition to making lots of art, I also became a resident assistant (RA) in my dormitory, which is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me!  So perhaps I will do another post about that someday and feature the bulletin boards I’ve created for my dorm….

Until then, keep on keepin’ on, and remember you’re fabulous in every way.  :)



What I’ve been doing for the past (way too many) months!

Ahem.  Hello there everyone!

So…it’s been awhile.  A very long while, actually.  I’m sure some of you were wondering, “Where did Jillian go?  Is she alive?  Did she vanish off the face of the planet?”

The answer is no.  I didn’t.  But I did go to college, which is, I suppose, a similar experience, in some respects.  I’m currently sitting in my dorm room eating “Apple Crunch Trail Mix,” which is not as crunchy as one might expect given the name.  But it does include apples, so that’s something, I guess.

But why haven’t I been blogging?

Well…actually I have.  Just not here.  You see, my college now pays me to blog once a week about collegiate things, so I’ve been quite busy with that (among other things) and therefore haven’t had much time or motivation to write on this poor neglected blog.  Until now, when I actually have some free time!  What a concept!

If you’re curious to read about college-y stuff, you can check out my school blog here.  If you’re interested in other stuff…well, I’ll be posting some of that here.  :)

So, I haven’t done as much fancy fine art as one might hope.  I haven’t actually taken any art classes at college yet, so there hasn’t been much opportunity besides scribbling in the margins of my homework assignments.  But I have a work-study gig doing graphic design projects for the campus library, so I do a lot of crafty/illustrating stuff for that.  I’ve done a lot so far this year, so I think I’m just going to dump it here for you.  Feel free to click on any of the images for a larger view!

photo 1(2)

Cupcake Poster 2

cupcake flyer pic

LinkedIn Poster

photo 2(2)

photo 3

Frozen Poster

Let it Go bulletin board

Christmas Card

Zotero Option 1_copy


Suggestions Poster



Cocoa Poster

Finished Phish JPG


So that’s what I do for my job.  Gosh, I love my job.

Apart from my jobs of blogging and coloring (because let’s face it – they pay me to color!), I made the competitive ballroom dancing team and joined a club that brings together college students and kids from the community for fun mentoring events.  And, naturally, I’ve also been doing a lot of homework.  And next semester, I’ll be doing psychology research of some sort as well, so that should be interesting!

Overall, I’ve had a really great experience at college so far!  I honestly do enjoy it tremendously!

But I enjoy waking up at 6:35 am considerably less, which is why I am going to finish this post now so that maybe I can do some other stuff and get to bed at a semi-decent time.  Yay for sleep!

Until next time~




A Summer Post!

Hello, Internet Adventurers!

I hope you are having an awesome day!

So it’s been awhile since I posted, mostly because I spent a week volunteering at my church’s vacation Bible school, and then spent the next week having a terrible cold, and then spent the next week in Wisconsin, and then spent the next week trying to come to terms with the simultaneously fabulous and terrifying fact that I’m going to college this month.  (Oh, and also because my computer was being slower than a slug.  This has been remedied by a new computer.  Hooray!)

So it’s been awhile.

But I have done a bit of art since my last post.

Thing #1 is some artwork for the website of Hai Ngo, Photographer Extraordinaire.  My graphite sketches are featured on his “About” page, and you can see them all by clicking here!  Or you can see them right here:

Artwork by Jillian for Photographer Hai Ngo

Thing #2 is a GIANT dream catcher.  If  you are unfamiliar with dream catchers, they are a form of Native American weaving art.  Legend has it that good dreams will pass through a dream catcher’s center, while nightmares will be caught in the web.  I love the concept, and I think they look cool.  So I took an old kiddie hula hoop from the garage and some twine and beads and feathers and made a really, really big dream catcher.  Here’s what it looks like now that it’s finished:

Hula Hoop Giant Dream Catcher


I’m considering hanging it in my dorm room at school, although…it might be a little bit too big.  We’ll see!

Thing #3 is also a potential dorm decoration.  It’s made of old license plates, twine, and beads.  Hypothetically, it’s a wall hanging, although so far it hasn’t been hanging on any walls.  But one day soon, it can live up to its name!


License Plate Wall Hanging


The photo is really dark and the plates reflected the flash (oopsies!), so it’s difficult to see the beads, but they’re in super bright colors!

And finally, we have some KNITTING!

Yes!  KNITTING!  Bwahahahaha!

My mother taught me to knit this summer while I had the Horrible Cold, and I loved it.  I think it’s so fun to write my own patterns.

The first pattern I designed was this capelet.  Not exactly sure when I’ll wear it but it’s extremely warm, so it should be good for fall:

Knitted Capelet


And next we have some cabled legwarmers, also of my own design.  I had a ton of fun with these, and they are very, very warm, so they will be good for wintertime when everything is a snowpocalypse of doom.

Knitted Legwarmers

Note: taking a picture of your own shins at floor level is extremely difficult and not for the faint of heart.

And finally, I knit a hat.  This was not my own pattern; it is actually from the book Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel, but I had to post it because it is Hermione’s hat from the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie!  Squee!

   <–Hermione’s hat

My hat –>  Hermione Hat Prisoner of Azkaban



And that is all I have for today!!

Have a fabulous morning/afternoon/evening, and keep on keepin’ on!



A Post! (In which I give mediocre excuses for my prolonged absence, shoot the moon, and dress up like a wizard.)


Well, obviously, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted.  Actually, I think this is my first post of the year, which is a wee bit pathetic, honestly.  But I’ve been super busy, so I have many excuses which I will share:


  • I had to decide where to go to college!  So that was crazy.  Researching, visiting, applying, and making decisions for college was super time consuming.  After much deliberation, I’ve decided to hold off on art school, even though I really do want to be a toy designer.  However, art is not the only subject I’m passionate about, and I want to leave my options open.  Going to a liberal arts school, I can double major in art and psychology.  Or something like that.  I haven’t really ironed out all the details yet.


  • I went to Kentucky for a week!  Also crazy.  I had no idea Kentucky had so many hills.  Coming from the State of Supreme Flatness, I am not terribly accustomed to hills.


  • While in Kentucky, my family played a game of hearts, and I played so horribly that I shot the moon by accident and nobody noticed.  (For those of you who don’t play hearts, shooting the moon means to get every point in the deck.  Normally, points are bad, but if you shoot the moon, 50 points are added to everybody else’s score and you get none.)  I guess that’s not really an excuse for why I haven’t been posting, but I felt that need to mention this momentous accomplishment.


  • Since I am a senior this year, my high school does an ABC countdown, in which every day of the last 26 days of school has a theme and everyone dresses up.  My favorites were Injured Day and Quidditch Day.  For Injured Day, I used eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, and lip gloss to paint my face to look as though it had been skewered by some sort of rabid unicorn.  And, of course, for Quidditch Day, I dressed up like Hermione Granger!  Planning for the ABC countdown used up some of my free time as well.


Injury Makeup - Eyeliner, eyeshadow, lip gloss, mascara            Hermione Granger Costume / Cosplay


  • I took a lot of standardized tests!  I took four AP tests this year, which is disgusting (and finished, thank goodness.)  The four I took were psychology, English, statistics, and government.  I actually just took the government test today, and it was not that bad.  Statistics, on the other hand, may have pulverized me.  We shall see.


  • I have been working on several other projects, which may make their way onto the Internet someday.  Or perhaps not.  But they have consumed much of my sketch time, regardless.


  • I had a display at my school’s art show!  At my school, some seniors are chosen to have their work displayed in their own section, rather than having their pieces dispersed throughout the show.  This year, I got to have my own wall!  :)


Jillian's High School Art Show Display


So, basically, I was pretty busy.  But I am now posting – FINALLY – so I have artwork to show you!


First, I have a painting I did for school.  The assignment was to do an acrylic “pastiche” painting, which means to paint in the style of another artist.  We had just finished a unit on art history, so we were supposed to choose a painter from one of the major artistic movements.  I chose Maurice de Vlaminck, who was a leader of the Fauvist movement.  Using Vlaminck’s style (and taking some artistic liberties), I designed this painting.  It’s supposed to be an interpretation of suburbia.  I think the suburbs often get a reputation for being bland and boring, but I wanted to portray them in a more positive way, since I like living in a suburb.


Houses Painting


Next, I did a painting inspired by the style of Kelly Vivanco, who I love.  Ms. Vivanco’s paintings are so filled with color and life, but they also have this mysterious, surreal quality that I think is really interesting.  Anyway, I’m calling the painting I designed “Bouquet.”  It is painted with acrylics.




And, lastly, I have a photograph I took of these roses dusted with snow before the cold made them wilt.  I really liked the colors of the pink and green against the snow.  I know flower photographs are pretty common, but I couldn’t resist taking this one.


First Snow Roses Photograph


And that is all the new artwork I have for you today.  I graduate from high school next Sunday, though, so with any luck, I will have much more time to draw and paint then.

Have a terrific day!


A New Year! :D


Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and are having a great day. 😀

After celebrating Christmas with my family, I’m back on my blog, and I’m excited for a new year of art and fun experiences.

As for artwork, I haven’t made anything during my vacation yet, but I do have a few new ceramic pieces to show you.  I gave both of them to my family for Christmas.

The first is a teapot.  I was pretty happy with the shape, but the “Herb Garden” glaze wound up being quite different than I expected.  The example test chip I saw for the glaze was a very pretty blue color.  Unfortunately, the chip had been mislabeled, and the glaze was most certainly not blue.  In addition, the glaze sealed the lid of the teapot to the teapot itself, thus rendering the pot completely useless.  But, hey, it was fun to make.  And that’s how you learn what not to do next time, right?

I made the body of the teapot using flat coils and worked on it upside down until it was done.  Then I flipped the body right side up and attached the slab handle and lid, which I molded with my hands.  Then I re-cut the lid so it would come off nicely (haha – so much for that), and slipped and scored on the pulled handle.

High School Student Ceramic / Clay Teapot

More successful was my ceramic vessel.  The vessel is quite large and heavy, and it took about six weeks (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) to complete.  I used flat coils of about 1-2 inches in height to build it upward, and then decorated the lip with braided clay, which was more difficult than you might think, since each strand of the braid had to be slipped and scored to the others before the whole plait could be attached to the piece.  The glaze was several coats of “Wheat” over a layer of “Bronze,” which makes a very pretty mottled green and gold color.  I left the braid unglazed and later painted it with diluted gold acrylic paint.

High School Student Greek Style Ceramic Vessel with Celtic Braid

Here is another view of the vessel from above:

High School Student Ceramic Greek Style Vessel

And a closer view of the gold braid detailing:

High School Student Clay / Ceramic Greek Style Vessel with Celtic Braid

And that’s all the art I have for you at the moment.  Hopefully I’ll have some new things to post soon!!  Sadly, I won’t be taking a Ceramics class next semester – I have to take Government instead.  Plus, my Painting class will be doing an Art History unit for the first few weeks.  So I might not have quite as many pieces.  But I’ll try to do some work on my own time!

Until then, have a Happy New Year!!


Happy Winter, Everyone!


Hello, world!

With autumn coming to a close at tomorrow’s winter solstice, I thought it would be a good time to write a new post!

In terms of news, I finished my first semester final exams yesterday, which was a relief!  Now I have two weeks of vacation to enjoy.  With my birthday and Christmas over the break, I’m looking forward to lots of wintery fun and family time!  Speaking of which, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!  I hope you make lots of warm memories and hot cocoa. :)

As for books that I have read recently, here are some of the titles I have been going through:

  • Eon by Alison Goodman – a MOST EXCELLENT story about dragons and magic and a girl pretending to be a boy
  • Eona by Alison Goodman – another PRETTY GOOD story, continuing the story begun in Eon
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau – a SUPER GREAT story about a dystopian society in which competition in applying for university is literally cut-throat
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare – a REALLY OLD story about a prince who wants to kill the king (who is also his father’s murderer as well as his uncle) but goes about reaching this goal in the most convoluted way possible
  • Death of a Salseman by Arthur Miller – an EXTREMELY DEPRESSING story about some people who can’t pull their lives together
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth – a VERY EXCITING conclusion to the dystopian Divergent Trilogy.  I’m technically not finished with the book yet, but I’m turning the pages so fast that it won’t be long until I’m done!


And finally, it’s art time!  Woohoo!

So, I can’t actually show all the art that I have just yet, because two of the pieces are wrapped and under the tree for my family.  Pictures of these will come at a later date. :)

However, I can show you some other recent projects from my ceramics and painting classes at school, as well as some photographs I’ve taken for fun.  As usual, feel free to click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

First is a ceramic piece.  It is a small cottage which I painted with acrylic paint instead of glaze, a look which I prefer.

Ceramic House

And here, at another angle:

Ceramic House

Next, I have a painting.  It was supposed to be a “non-objective” piece, which basically means it’s not supposed to actually look like anything.  This was a very different experience for me, since I generally prefer my pictures to resemble something.  But it wound up being a really fun project, since I got to attach tissue paper to the acrylic-painted canvas for a three-dimensional look.  I focused on a citrus theme, and I’m happy with the result, considering modern art is really not my thing.

Nonobjective Painting - Tissue Paper, Acrylic, and Canvas

The second painting I have to show is a fun painting of my house.  I had a lot of fun with the different textures and bright colors in this picture. :)

Colorful Acrylic House Painting

And finally, I have a few photographs.  The first is a picture of the winter sun on a cloudy day.  I liked that the clouds obscure whether the light is the sun or the moon, and I enjoy the contrast of the brightness with the dark branches.

Winter Sun

And last but not least, I have a picture of yesterday’s sunrise:

December Sunrise

Can you believe how pink it is?  Sometimes I forget that the sky can be that color.  :)  Waking up at six o’clock in the morning for school definitely has its perks.

And that’s all the artwork I have to show you today!

M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S !


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