Sunday, February 23, 2014

Grumpy Cat.

I told my friend a while back that I'd make her a drawing of Grumpy Cat because my friend loves Tard so much. So here it is! I think my friend is glad she waited. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

New series: UP AT NIGHT

I've been working on a series I'm calling UP AT NIGHT. This series is a collection of comics and illustrations that address experiences with insomnia, low self-esteem, and other daily struggles (and awkwardness?) told through a fictionalized version of me. This is the first image in the series.

I am very excited about future iterations of UP AT NIGHT and I can't wait to share more with y'all!

I am also still actively doing pet portraits, which you can buy here:

Use the promo code VALENTINE until Feb 14 for 10% off!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Watercolor Pet Portrait- "Yola"

Custom watercolor pet portraits- $60 for 9"x12" 

Email: carlyagarza ( at ) me . com to place an order

Monday, September 2, 2013

Journal, Sketchbook, Diary-- What do YOU call it?

My sketchbook (journal, diary, notebook, whatever you want to call it) is the only type of art I have consistently kept up throughout my life. It's the place I explore and record ideas. It's the place I feel safe. I can create my own strange little world there and it won't judge me, because it's an inanimate object. I can pack it up and take it with me. My journal is my closest friend and confidant.
I've stopped journaling for periods of time but I always return to it.

I started keeping a journal when I was probably 10 years old. I was obsessed with Harriet The Spy and her black-and-white marbled composition notebook. She put on her tool belt with vintage binoculars, a flashlight and a compact mirror, threw on a yellow rubber raincoat, and set off to SPY. She was (and still is) my hero. So after I saw the movie and read the book, I got a notebook and started writing.

My favorite book-turned-90's movie.

I kept a journal in middle school and wrote mostly about my crushes. I pasted the front cover with stickers and old photos of Josephine Baker.* In high school I met a girl named Monica in my math class who kept one just like mine. A black-and-white composition notebook. Monica filled hers with writing and used colored markers to create fun graphic design masterpieces, and even wrote in it sideways. She was actually the one who thought mine was cool.

My journals have brought me new friends and I am constantly fascinated by other people's journal entries and sketchbooks. They provide an insight into artists' creative processes. Looking at someone's notebook is like looking into someone's mind.

There are as many ways to journal as there are people who journal. There are many different versions of published sketchbooks, such as the highly introspective and intuitive works by Sabrina Ward Harrison, and creative journals that combine drawing and storytelling, like the collaged graphic novel What It Is by Lynda Barry.
Some journals (Kurt Cobain's, famously) have been published posthumously, and are interesting looks into the person's hidden life. Photojournalist and artist Dan Eldon's notebooks tell stories of activism, adventure, and the search for truth and compassion.
I hope to one day join the ranks of these and other artists I admire who have published their journals in book form. For now, that will have to be in the form of handmade zines and blog posts like this one. And ultimately, I write in a book for me and nobody else.

Want to share photos of YOUR sketchbooks/diaries/journals? I'd love to see them! Email me with (journal) in the subject line at: and I'll post your photos and a link to your blog, on MY blog! See how I did that? I'm nice.

Also, feel free to leave a link to your blog or photo stream in the comments below. Discussion is fun.

*Note: I searched for my first couple of journals (including this one) while writing this post and was devastated to discover I got rid of them before my move to Seattle a couple months ago. Heart = broken.
A small selection of my personal journals. The bottom one is my current book.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Look Inside My Sketchbook

 I have recently felt like I hadn't set out to make much art in the past two years. I've felt a little stuck. I worked as a retail caricature artist for the better part of those two years, and although it was a "creative" job, I just didn't feel like I was making art that mattered. Since I drew all day at work, I didn't take much time to make art at home.

I did learn a couple valuable things during that job, though. I learned that parting with your art, this thing you have created with your own hands out of nothing, just comes with the territory of being an artist. I learned how not to become so attached to the art I made; I learned not to be precious with my art, and I learned to let it go.

Another thing I learned from being a caricature artist was that humor in art is important. I learned that I wanted to incorporate humor and whimsy into my art. I'm not sure if I have succeeded yet.

Finally, I learned that I really should be making an effort to create every day. Even if it's just a little.

I thought I wasn't making much art during that period, but the truth is, I probably made more drawings than I ever have in any other period of my life. That's pretty impressive in itself. Now, I'm not going to show you examples of the caricatures I did (mostly because I don't have many photos of them), but I will show you a look inside my sketchbook. My sketchbook is something I visit and create in almost every day. I'll be adding excerpts of my other journals on a regular basis here in the coming weeks.

Cover of my Summer 2012 notebook. I took it to Seattle when I visited last year.

I was really interested in exploring hands. 

Menu from a restaurant on Capitol Hill.

Drawings inspired by The Virgin SuicidesJean-Michel Basquiat, and Seattle artist Brandon Vosika.

Marbles and Kermit as Siamese twins!