Ravens and Orcas

My beloved’s favorite family of animal is corvidae, which includes crows and ravens. They are phenomenally clever and also have a delightful sense of humor… Traits that my beloved possesses in abundance himself.

His intelligence, playfulness, and graceful strength always makes me think of another animal that I adore — the orca.

Ever since I met him in 2015, I could get lost in the windswept energy of the lively, free-spirited, force of nature that is Nick. I tried to capture a little of this feeling in my artwork and I ended up making this series of drawings for him as gifts each year.


This was the first one that I drew for him. I drew it in my sketchbook leading up to the first time we met in person (we corresponded through email for the first couple months of our courtship). He loved it and put it up in his bedroom.

For Nick, pencil in sketchbook

The second one I drew for his birthday in 2016. We were now officially a couple and we were overjoyed! I used charcoal so I could get the darks very dark.

The Joy of Us
 charcoal on pastel paper

This year I drew one entirely with crayons. I really wanted to create something bold and surprising!

Out of the Mist,
crayons on watercolor paper

Green happens to be his favorite color so I added hints of green here and there, but it’s a fun change to make pieces almost entirely in gray scale. I plan to continue adding more in this series in the years to come.

My snail succulent themed wedding

At the end of January 2017, I married my biggest cheerleader, Nick. He is the love of my life. He’s also my favorite art subject.

My Nick, oil pastel

This was the most fun I’d ever had making a portrait! It doesn’t quite capture his magic, but even just that tiny bit there in the pastel strokes makes me gaze and gaze at it… Attempting to capture him is the labor of love I am going to relish for the rest of my life! Expect to see more of this guy around here. ^_^


I knew our wedding would be unique. We chose snails and succulents as our theme and it was even more otherworldly than I could have imagined! My family and friends helped tremendously to pull off the most beautifully breath-taking wedding I’ve ever seen. Shout out to my incredibly talented and dear friend, Valkyrie Johnson, who made the gorgeous bouquets and boutonnieres.

Photo by Pamela Palma

All my wonderful bridesmaids helped make colorful paper snails for table decorations. Both my mother and my mother-in-law made cakes. My mother also made my dress, which was so perfectly “me” it’s hard to believe it wasn’t done with fairy magic.

Nick’s music, the first song he ever wrote for me, accompanied me down the aisle. Absolute magic. You can listen to the song by clicking on the title here: A Golden Spiral.

Not only was our wedding beautiful, it was unique and just a bit quirky. The perfect blend of elegance and oddity.

I made personalized snonkeys to go on the scrumptious purple cake my mother baked and which my friend, Priscilla, decorated with modeling chocolate succulents (she’s amazing! She seriously should consider a profession in cake decorating).


Straights’ Snonkey Cake Topper, 2017


I made the invitations myself and had them printed at moo.com as postcards (I highly recommend their printing services). I loved using postcards because I could make a full drawing on the back in addition to the smaller images on the front next to the invitation text.

I drew each image with crayons, scanned them, then made up the designs in Photoshop.

Snail and Succulent Wedding Invitations, Crayola crayons 2017

Here’s a closeup where you can see that funny crayon texture:

Snail and Succulent Wedding Invitations – Detail


And I was able to print a custom sticker at moo.com that sealed the envelopes!

Snail Succulent Sticker, Crayola crayons 2017


After the wedding, I made thank you postcards to continue the theme. Again, I used crayons and had them printed at moo.com

Snail and Succulent Thank You postcards, Crayola crayons 2017


I would like to again thank everyone who helped make our wedding so beautiful. It was a perfect day and I cherish the memories that flood back every time I think of it. Thank you!

And a thank you to anyone reading this. I am so grateful to share all these wonderful things with you! My art is the joy of my life and using it to celebrate the day I united with the man I love is truly blissful.