A Giant African land snail (Achatina fulica) ‘massages’ a customer’s face at a parlor in Krasnoyarsk, Russia on Nov. 19. Believed to speed up skin regeneration and eliminate wrinkles, heal scars, snail massages have become increasingly popular at Asian and Russian beauty salons and female health clubs. The beauty properties of snails dates back as far as the Ancient Greeks, “when Hippocrates was said to recommend crushed snails to soothe inflamed skin,” reports The Huffington Post.


daily draw: the four of swords

today, the four of swords calls me to tap out temporarily from my daily struggle with life and look inward for answers. its reversed position implies that soon, the swords will be drawn away and action must be taken, but now is the time to gather my thoughts and draw on the resources i have accumulated up to this point. i find it interesting that i drew this card today because i have been thinking about meditation lately, and how i can better incorporate it into my craft. appropriate! maybe today is a good day to buckle down, light some incense, and get to know the deeper recesses of my mind.

Loving myself through loving others.

           I began my last semester of college with visions of afternoons spent journaling, weekends of solitary hiking, and meals spent reading. I truly looked forward to the months that I would call “time for me”, but what I later realized was that this isolation was doing more harm than good. It forced me deep into my own chattering mind where deeply held insecurities and my battles with body image overwhelmed me. Although I had always identified myself as an introvert, and spending a Saturday night alone was much more comfortable to me, I was becoming agonizingly restless. Unbearably uncomfortable.

           Six months passed like this. Uncomfortable. Of course there were times spent with friends and there were also times spent in satisfying seclusion; but nevertheless, six months passed. The semester ended with a painted graduation cap and a road trip back home and I soon began to feel the loneliness lift from my shoulders. Family and friends surrounded me once I returned home and I began to realize that the unhealthy mind-chattering was waning. Although many things were changing for me (I began volunteering, the stress of school had ended, and I was painting and reading much more), the most significant change was that of my social interactions. I went from spending full days avoiding interaction and cultivating my separation from others on a campus of more than 30,000 strangers to a small house with three family members and a few readily accessible close friends. Spurred by a lightness of mind, I spent some time reflecting on that last semester. I was aware that I felt much different now that I was home, but I had no idea why.

           My old habits of behavior were conducive to my own isolation. I was closed from most people, from new experiences, from change. I thought I was protecting my individuality, but I was really hindering it. By distancing myself from others, I was limiting my connection with others, and as a result, impeding a precious connection with myself.    

Every person you interact with leaves something with you. That something may be a positive or negative experience, a good or bad feeling, a smile or a worry, but it is something. We learn more about ourselves through interactions with others than we ever could on our own.

           Unfortunately, it took me six months of ‘trying to find myself’ in isolation to realize that the most valuable parts of me can only be unearthed through my interactions with others. For the past few years, I have worked to make honesty and authenticity a daily intention and I’ve discovered that there is no longer a filter to squeeze my words and actions through. I have found myself diving deep into conversation with strangers simply because my walls are down. The irony, however, is in the comfort I’m beginning to feel. That introverted little girl inside me struggles to keep her identity, but the maturing, loving, and more confident soul is beginning to overshadow her. That little girl is just scared; scared of the love she may find if she opens up her world to it.


I am an explorer

Hitting the road and letting the journey unfold is one of my most cherished past times. My life has been bumpy lately. Transitions, changes, growth. Full of all those emotions that define humans.

Somewhere inside, always though, regardless, a deep longing to take an adventure surges. The adventure is truly where I receive new insights, inspiration, and story ideas. The road is my PEACE place.

This is the first adventure I’ve been fortunate enough to embark on this summer, as finances have been strapped and time devoted to just getting by, draining relationship commitments and just trying to elevate with grace.

But, today, I got a chance. The direction offered, the insight gained and freedom won is a victory I will not soon forget. The center, and power place within my SOUL a treasure. One, I am certain will need continual vigilance and protection.

For now, this victory pulses through my veins, ignites my source, and offers peace……


daily draw: the six of wands

what a beautiful thing to see on a monday morning. this weekend has been a little strange mental health wise, so it’s refreshing to pull a card that so strongly indicates revival, renewal, and most importantly, emerging from the darkness. this butterfly kind of gives me phoenix-y vibes; that is, rising from the ashes into a new, hopeful beginning. also very appropriate for the new moon! despite the looming mercury retrograde, i’m excited to see what this week will bring.

A zoo volunteer plays with an eight-day-old white lion cub in a Belgrade Zoo on October 4, 2013. The female white lion cub, still unnamed, was born to parents Masha and Wambo. A male was also born but died. Belgrade zoo has a total of 11 white lions. According to the Global White Lion Protection Trust, only 10 of the rare beasts exist in the wild. Close to 300 live in the world’s zoos, however.


daily draw: the magician

as i was driving to work today, i said affirmations to myself along the lines of “today is a good day!”, “you’re very happy today!”, and “nothing can bring you down!” as a way of manifesting those things for myself. when i resolved to draw a card for myself this morning, in the back of my mind i think i did it to verify whether or not my manifestation would work.

i should have known that the cards wouldn’t just give me the plain, black-and-white answer i secretly hoped for. the magician is a person who acknowledges the power of the universe but then takes it one step further to use that power for their own purposes. they are an active force, with the skill required to focus their energy into manifesting what they wish to see in the world. i suppose this is an encouraging card: i have the power to manifest anything i desire. however, it also serves to remind me that sometimes, the answer we seek isn’t just that what we want to happen WILL happen… it’s that we had the power to do it all along, whether or not we get the exact results that we want. thank you, my alchemist, for reminding me that it’s in my hands. i know, i know. i’m getting there.


I haven’t posted on here in a while, and I haven’t had a chance to configure my digital art setup since I got home. Having to take care of a puppy and get ready for a new job does that to you. 

Here are some of the illustrations I did from my last job as comic artist at the University of Texas at Austin’s student paper The Daily Texan, where I drew illustrations for articles in the paper as well as my own personal comic Wild Boy.

Hundreds of Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings (Lepidochelys olivacea) sit in a basket at the turtle camp in Tomatlan, Mexico before their release into the ocean on Nov. 15. Twenty years ago, Mexico’s government implemented plans to protect the sea turtles from being hunted for their leather and meat, establishing conservation areas and a pay system for local residents to safeguard turtle nests. Between November and December 2012, 20 million baby turtles hatches on Mexican shores.



May 16th, 2015

Today has been absolutely marvelous. I woke up and headed down to the Seaside Aquarium which was located right on the beach. It was small but full of personality and interesting sea critters. I even got to hand feed seals, they just melted my heart as they splashed around and danced for the fish! I then ran into this beautiful giant pacific octopus. They had him in a pretty small floor level open tank, something that powerful and giant should be free in the open ocean. But I am grateful I got to meet him. I watched as he moved around his home with such grace and beauty. I wondered what kind of life he wished to live. I then ventured off and walked along the beach for quite some time. I watched fishermen fish off the shore, collected shells, and did some deep soul searching. The fresh sea breeze and the sound of each new crashing wave made me feel so in sync and at peace with myself. I could listen to the waves and the birds all day.

After taking some me time I headed back up to Astoria, where I spent all day walking around the city. It was then that I decided that this was truly the place I wanted to end up. It’s so beautiful and personable. I talked to so many different types of people, all of which were extremely welcoming and friendly. I then wandered into Buoys Beer, which is totally rad brew house/restaurant right on the ocean. I sat at the bar and watched the waves go by as I ate an amazing chicken sandwich and drank a wonderful dark lager. I also then spoke to the management about working there, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

I feel tired and overwhelmed now. I made my way down to the outskirts of Portland. I plan to pass out and wake up to venture around this city before returning back up to Astoria to look for a new place to live. I am scared shitless to know that this is it, I’m actually taking the plunge to start my new life but I could not be more thrilled. Positive thoughts my way please!

Hope everyone had a marvelous day like I did!