magic trixieJill Thompson has a blog, and it’s just as chatty, smart and quirky as the lady herself.

I think the one bit of advice I gave out more than anything else during the 4+ hours of portfolio review was to ditch the pencil, get a ballpoint pen and sit in a cafe and do gesture drawings. I found that the luxury of the eraser doesn’t free up most people’s drawings, it actually limits them. Not every drawing is going to be perfect, especially in school. Skritch out a 3 minute figure and move on to the next one. And draw your friends. Especially their clothes and the folds in fabric. Study body language and gesture and the way clothing moves.
If you want to cheat and look at comics instead of doing the homework-study Jaime Hernandez. Can you get that elegance,body language, flow of clothing, and those subtle facial expressions in the minimal amount of linework? Look at the random doodles of Alex Toth. Pure drawing.

Also included, photos of a tiny owl, and a preview of Magic Trixie, her series of children’s books for Simon & Shuster.


  1. Great advice! Her work is soooo good. I feel bad that I didn’t like her work when I saw it in Sandman and Badger. Scary Godmother and the work she’s done with Evan Dorkin are beautiful.

  2. Her advice is pretty good. When I was in art school I noticed for myself that working with ballpoint pen made me work faster and got me to think differently while drawing. That was almost 12 years ago or so….

  3. Jill’s advice to artists is spot on. Drawing superfast with a ball point pen gets you past that control freak, OCD phase that comes when you first discover drawing. It gets you to think about shapes and positive and negative space and away from the need to perfectly render every hair and line on a face (for example). It helps make you an artist instead of just someone who can draw.

    An excellent blog and it’s nice to know what Jill’s up to so thanks for the heads up Heidi.

    Nice singing by the way, glad you weren’t “lying in the gutters” at the time.