October Online Drawing Clubs Like Inktober and Mab's Drawlloween: Yes or No?

A few years ago, I took a risk and played along all 31 days of “Inktober”, the online October drawing club/challenge to create one drawing per day from the same spooky, scary, monster prompt as everyone else in the club. I posted my drawings online under the hashtag (#inktober) and saw mine along side everyone else's drawings. I ended up finding it a really unpleasant experience. No one really commented on what I created or even gave me likes, so I felt alienated and lonely.

Despite that, I’m going to try a different drawing club this year, “Mab’s Drawlloween Club”. All the art folks who I revere are doing it and they have said it’s a very caring and supportive community. I’ve even voiced my nervousness at doing this and already received some kind words and encouragement.

So here I go into October, throwing myself into the fray again. Maybe, this will be a lot different experience. Maybe, I’ll enjoy it this time. Wish me luck and follow along on my Instagram Account where I’ll be posting my Drawlloween drawings daily. The hashtag to follow this year is: #mabsdrawlloween2019 Will you join in? Yes or No?

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2 Big, Bad Art Events I'll Participate In: Coming Real Soon!!!


As you may recall, I’ve been anticipating the Rose City Comic Con for a long time because I paid for my artist table early to get the discounted rate and before all the tables sold out. I’ve talked to other artists who have similar art to mine and they’ve told me this is a good event for them. I’m hoping that will be true for me too. Wish me luck at this big, bad comic book convention, or come by and make sure I have a successful event by dropping by, cheering me on and partaking of my strange art wares. I’ll be at table O06 as you can see in the map below.

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This will be the lucky number 13th time that Guardino Gallery will be hosting this big, bad, day of the dead group art show. It will only be my first time to participate. Would you expect me to have candy skull art or skeletons in my artwork? Well, I don’t. Mine is a little bit different and strange than the other art, but hey, would you really expect anything less of me? Come by to see all your favorite kinds of spooky art and a few new, surprising ones like mine. Details are below in the poster.


What Does Cellar Mean to You? A Strange Evening of Shared Creation & Shared Artwork

What does the word cellar mean to you? What images, stories and memories does it conjure up? What would you create with that word as your prompt? Could you finish your art creation within 2 hours?

I was invited to do just that when I attended the Portland, Oregon SHARE which is an invitation only “ bi-monthly event that brings different groups of artists together to create from the same prompt. Artists have two hours to work before sharing their creations.” Below is my drawing for the evening. I didn’t know I’d feel so strange or have such a struggle coming up with artwork for cellar. If you go to their website, you’ll read what made it so problematic for me, plus you’ll see the other artists’ creations from the prompt, cellar.

Melissa Kojima’s drawing from the prompt word, “cellar”.

Melissa Kojima’s drawing from the prompt word, “cellar”.

For me, the best things about the evening were sharing my process/struggle and meeting new creative folks. When we shared, I realized that I wasn’t alone in my art-making experience. Everyone had ups and downs during it. We gave each other hugs at the end before we parted.

Since the evening, I’ve gone to some of their local art events, like gallery opening receptions and art sales. It feels really good to support my fellow artists and expand my world a bit more.

Come One, Come All to the Spooky & Fantastic Creeping Museum Artist Market

That’s right….you know who you are….you, who loves spooky, magically, dark things….this is the artist market for you. I invite you to a wonderful Saturday afternoon and evening with the Creeping Museum in which they will inspire awe and enchantment in you. I’ll be there with over 40 other amazing artists who will show you a good time with all their dark art goodies. Come one, come all tomorrow, August 24th 4-9pm at Alberta Abbey (126 N.E. Alberta Street in Northeast Portland. Free general admission 4-9pm). See you there.

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If You Ever Forget What's Happening, Go to the New Events Page

Things have been heating up for me as an artist. I think it’s because I’ve gotten a lot of support from fellow artists, art event organizers, and galleries to name a few of the people who have helped me and who I’m grateful to. Because of the rising heat, I have events that overlap each other, so I’ve had to really keep close track of everything. I put them on my phone calendar and then I created a new page on my website, “New Events'“.

I’ll be adding all my strange art happenings to this calendar page. If you are ever trying to keep track of what’s happenings, you can always go to the page and find out. BONUS: What’s also great about this calendar is that you can click on any event and then add it to your phone or desktop calendar. I added the location for each event too, so you’ll have the address when you add it to your phone or computer. If you check the months ahead, you’ll see that October will be the craziest month for me with 3 concurrent events. As my art happenings gets closer to the date, I’ll be sure to let you know more.

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Last Minute News! I'll In The 2019 Monster Drawing Rally

It’s only a few days until the Portland Art Museum’s Monster Drawing Rally, and I only heard back this morning that I’ll be a participating artist. I wasn’t sure if I would be one or not, since the spaces are limited for returning artist this year. This is their 5th Annual event and this will by my 4th year as a participating artist. It will be held this Friday, July 12th, 5:30-9:30pm.

I always love drawing in front of a crowd and raising money for children’s art programs, so this is a real treat to be a part of this event. If you like helping children’s art programs too, please come and watch me draw and then buy the art….mine….or any of over a 100 other Portland artists. I’ll be drawing in the last round of artists from 8-9pm. Will you make it? If yes, please come say hello to me. More details are below.

What Would You Bring to a Holiday Art Exchange? (The Tiniest Ring Master in the World Drawing)

I have been invited to a few white elephant gift exchange parties, but this was the first holiday party where I was invited to do a holiday art exchange. Everyone had to bring a piece of art they created and, just like a white elephant gift exchange, we drew numbers to discover which artwork we’d bring home.

I wasn’t sure what to create. I didn’t have much time, so I drew something tiny. In fact, I drew, “the Tiniest Ring Master in the World”. She is a sight to see, triumphantly perched on top of some kind of green stag beetle. You can see the work in progress below.


Of course, I was nervous about whomever would receive my art. Would they genuinely like it? Would they just pretend they were delighted by it? I mean, I really wanted someone to squeal with excitement upon opening it and seeing this tiny drawing.

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The gal who won mine got a kick out of my Tiny Ring Master. Others said if she didn’t want my strange, little drawing, they would happily take it off her hands. But she kept it. That made me feel satisfied that I had done a good job.

What did I win in the exchange? Well, the artist was just as nervous as me, unsure and doubting his art. It was a large, canvas, drip painting by a good friend of mine in lovely purples, blues and pink that formed a pretty lady in all those splashes and blurs of paint. Of course, I was happily surprised to receive it. Now, I need to find a frame to make it shine and proudly hang it on my wall.

Hell Yes, I'm Going to the Monster Drawing Rally!

This will be my 3rd year to participate in this Portland Art Museum fundraiser. Why do I keep doing the Monster Drawing Rally?  Is it because it raises money for the children's art programs?  Is it because it makes me feel a part of something bigger than myself?  Or is it because I just have so much damn fun?  Well, all of the above!  But really, I just have never gone and had a bad time...and I cannot say that about many things.  

And honestly....there's something magical about that evening for me.

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I'll be drawing LIVE in the first hour from 6-7PM.  You know I'll be excitedly anxious...or is that anxiously excited?.  Afterward, I'll hope to mingle with my friends and family who came to watch me and to...of course....watch all the other great artists make live art in the next couple of hours.  Let me know if you come by.  I'd love to say hello to you.

  • WHERE:  Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon
  • WHEN:  Friday, July 13, 2018 6-9:30PM
  • WHAT:  Watch over 100 artists make art LIVE and sell it for only $35/piece
  • WHY:  Raise funds for children's art programs and to have a hell of a lot of fun!!!

Win A Custom Retro Portrait (by me) at NW Dance Project's Silent Auction

If you love amazing dance performances and winning luxurious prizes, you won't want to miss the NW Dance Project's Silent Auction and Golden Gala, this Saturday, May 12th, 2018.  I mention it because...well, I love this dance troupe...and I'm supporting them by donating a custom retro portrait for their silent auction.  During this deliciously decadent event, one lucky winner will get a beautiful portrait by me.  Read more about it below.


How to Get Your Vintage Fantasy Portrait Painted Here (My Donation to NW Dance Project)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to time travel back a 150 years or more?  Have you ever fantasized about wearing top hats or corsets and frilly dresses?  Well, you don't have to wonder about it anymore.  You can get your fantasy self portrait painted here!  I'll make you look dapper and comely in all the clothing and accoutrements of the Victorian and Edwardian era. 

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I take your stories; like the moments you're most proud of, or the trips you've taken, or your favorite pet and combine them into a special painting that celebrates your life and your accomplishments. 

I do this for anyone, but right now, I'm donating one custom portrait to the NW Dance Project for their silent auction.  They are one of my favorite dance troupes so I am happy to help them raise money to keep up their amazing performance art.  If you win this portrait painting, here's what you'll get:

  1. You or up 2 people of your choice painted on an oval 16x20" canvas.

  2. Your stories, accomplishments and/or dreams illustrated in this portrait.

  3. A favorite animal or pet in this portrait with you.

  4. An in-depth interview so I can get to know who you are and what you want in this custom portrait.

  5. You painted in subdued vintage colors and clothing.

  6. A one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, valued at $650.00.

Below are a couple examples of portraits I've been commissioned to paint before.  Make sure you go to the NW Dance Project's Golden Gala and put in your bid to win this luxurious fantasy portrait.  It's May 12th, 2018!

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