Category: Illustration

Jake Parker: Fan Art


Jake Parker is an incredibly talented and prolific artist with a particular interest in pop culture and fan art. His newest book, Drawings III, was recently released in both digital and print. His art empire stretches across numerous projects and social media outlets. In 2009 Parker started Inktober, a popular annual celebration of ink drawing during the month of October that spawns hundreds of thousands of images each year. His YouTube channel and online art lessons are also very popular. Last year he launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new project called Skyheart. He lives with his family in Utah.


You grew up reading comics at a comic book store in Mesa while your mom bought sewing supplies next door. Explain what appeals to you about these characters and stories. I grew up reading Superman and Batman. I collected Batman for a couple of years. That was fun. I love Batman because, for the reasons everybody loves Batman, he’s a vigilante, he’s taken law into his own hands, he’s got the cool gadgets, and the crazy villains that he’s up against. I switched to collecting X-Men. I really got into X-Men because I was fascinated with their mutant powers and the whole, just the interesting world that Marvel was building. It just felt like it was way more connected, interconnected, than the DC Universe, at least during that time when I was collecting in the early ’90’s. Then things transitioned to Image comics when all the Marvel artists left to make their own comics.

There was a comic that came out that really stood out to me, and I remember I saw it in the comic shop, it was Hellboy #1. I looked at it, you know it stopped me in my tracks and I was like “No this is different. This is something really special.” From that day on I was a huge Mike Mignola fan and a Hellboy fan. I collected all those. The thing that I love about Hellboy is his world is our world. The things that happen in his world have consequences, just like the things in our world. When anything happens … You know I feel like there’s a status quo for Batman. Right? There’s always going to be crime so that there can always be a Batman. As soon as crime is stalled there’s no more Batman. The thing with Marvel is, is everything, as soon as all their problems are solved new problems start and New York is destroyed all over again. Then they fix it and build it up, and then another thing destroys New York. With Hellboy that world is permanent, and the things that happen in there stay happened. If a character dies, they’re dead. They never come back.

But what’s cool, and you know the thing that kind of, I think, worries creators and writers for Marvel or DC, is that if you kill Captain America now you can’t sell Captain America books anymore. What Mike Mignola has done, and the other people who are collaborating with him is, let’s say you kill Hellboy, which they did. Well now we can follow his adventures in Hell, where he was sent, and we get to see him in this new world where there’s completely different stakes, and there’s different consequences, and there’s a different reality and so there’s weird and strange things happening. On one level it’s like we still get to follow Hellboy, but it is a completely different Hellboy now.

The other thing is, if you want to go back, if you want a more traditional Hellboy story where he’s fighting a ghost in some small village in Ireland, you can do a story about Hellboy that took place in the ’70’s and say “Oh we never told this story, but here’s what happened to Hellboy in 1973.” Hellboy has a very strict timeline in that certain things happen on certain dates, and you can’t change those dates, and it isn’t some fake 1970’s or 1990’s. It’s the actual 1990’s and 1970’s. In a way I think Hellboy is a lot like Indiana Jones, in fact it really is. Things have consequences, he interacts with our world, there are things in our world that interact with the Hellboy world. That’s really what I love about it. When I tell stories, and when I create my own worlds, it’s very much inspired by what Mike Mignola and his collaborators have done with the Hellboy world.

I love the Asterix series but few have heard of it. What characters that you grew up with do you wish people appreciated more? I guess in that same vein I really did love the Smurfs growing up, but it wasn’t a comic, it was just a cartoon. That franchise really has been ruined lately with what Sony’s done for it. I think there’s a really cool world there, and some neat stuff with the Smurf’s, I just wish it was being shepherded by a different creative team. You know, the people at Sony are very creative, but I think that the problem there is the actual studio executives not knowing, not having a vision, or having a weird dumb vision. Also, Thundercats are good, yeah they’re really good. It was frustrating because they did the new Thundercats version. They did a sort of revival, or a reboot of the Thundercats, which I thought was really cool but it never really took hold. So I wish there was more Thundercats. Actually SkyHeart is somewhat influenced by Thundercats too, so I guess it’s me taking matters into my own hands and doing it the way I want to do it.

Visit Jake Parker’s website.

Follow Jake Parker on Instagram.

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Garrick Infanger: April Fools Artist


Garrick Infanger is not an artist. He does work hard on an unsuccessful art website called The Krakens that only his mother and sister read. He explains about his series Lunch Bags, “I work with two rules. I can only use a Sharpie and I have to work fast because everyone is trying to get out the door in the morning. I also love the fact that the bags are completely ephemeral–they don’t make it out of the cafeteria.” He lives with his wife and five hungry kids in Tampa, Florida.


Tell us about your evolution as an artist. Again, and I can’t say this any more emphatically, I am not an artist. I did doodle a lot growing up. I spent most sacrament meetings trying to craft a comic that would make my family laugh out loud. My dear mother was wise enough to see that my piano career was going nowhere and switched me to art lessons. My teacher, John Thrasher, was wonderful and is now on the faculty at Ohio State University. I will forever remember those quiet Friday afternoons in his eclectic apartment as he labored to teach a hapless, talentless boy to pen and ink.

Your series Lunch Bags, is…okay. The artwork is a little rough, but can you explain a few of these that don’t seem to make any sense? I feel like I keep repeating this, but I am not an artist. One is a pretty accurate series of aircraft. Another is a crude homage to cars from famous 80’s pop culture (can you name them?). One of my favorites is modeled after teams from the English Premier League. I also enjoy hiding birthdates or incorporating their names into the designs.


What’s been the reaction to Lunch Bags? I’ve received some nice reviews from the lunch ladies. My mother feigns interest when I text her pictures of the bags. But, like so many things in my life, I am the only person who enjoys them. My kids show mild amusement when they see the bags each morning, but after a few weeks of Dad’s doodles they diplomatically ask for lunch boxes and I put the Sharpies away for a spell. One of my favorites was the series I did for September 11, but my wife deemed them not-appropriate-for-a-grade-school-cafeteria and they didn’t leave the house. I thought they were pretty good–considering I’m not an artist.

Visit Garrick Infanger’s website.

Follow Garrick Infanger on Instagram.


(April Fools! Huzzah.)

Cami Goldman: Animals


Cami Goldman is an illustrator and creator. Her recent series is a geometric approach to animals. She lives in Utah.

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Tell us how you became an artist. I grew up in Utah with five older siblings. Both my parents and most of my siblings have always been very artistic and creative. I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember. As a kid I took art classes up through high school and was always sketching something. As I got older and busier I did it less and less. In 2014 I was really missing it and feeling the need for a creative outlet, so slowly started picking it up again. Friends and family saw my work and encouraged me to keep with it and even start selling it. So I decided to go for it and here I am.

How have Mormon artists been influenced by social media? I think Mormon artists have been influenced quite a bit. It used to be that you only saw the traditional LDS art in religious bookstores and even on the Internet, but because of social media and the artistic community within it, I think LDS artists have felt more encouraged to share their art and have had more success doing so.

What do you wish you would have known when you were getting started? When getting started I wish I would have known that even though I get lots of emails and “likes” there will always be people who don’t necessarily care as much about my work as I do. It can be easy to feel rejected. But you just have to remember to keep focusing on doing what you love and worry less about how many people follow you or don’t.

Visit Cami Goldman’s website.

Follow Cami Goldman on Instagram.


Best of 2015 ‘Brian Crane: Making Pickles’


Brian Crane, creator of the Pickles comic strip, won the 2013 Reuben Award for ‘Cartoonist of the Year’ from the National Cartoonists Society. Previous winners include Charles Schulz, Garry Trudeau, and Bill Watterson. Crane was born in Twin Falls, Idaho; grew up in the San Francisco Bay area; and graduated from BYU in 1973. He worked for 17 years as an illustrator, designer, and art director before realizing his dream of creating a comic strip—and the strip has been running for 25 years. He lives in Sparks, Nevada with his wife, Diana and they have seven children and fourteen grandchildren.

Pickles features Earl and Opal Pickles who have been married for over 50 years. As his bio states, “Whether observing the differences between genders and generations or taking a wry but sympathetic look at life in the twilight years, Crane’s good-natured wit and dry humor are sure to please readers of all ages.” In 2013, Baobab Press published a Pickles collection entitled, “Oh Sure! Blame it on the Dog!”

As he once said in an interview, “I hope I can do this until I die. I’m still pinching myself after 20 years. I would like nothing better than someday dropping dead into a bottle of ink.”

Pickles Strip




Brian Crane

You have said comic strip artists are the hardest working artists on earth. What is your daily routine? My daily routine is comprised of a lot of thinking and a little drawing. It is hard to tell that I am working sometimes, because the hardest part of my job is trying to come up with a funny or clever idea for a comic strip every single day of the week. Keeping the ideas fresh is a challenge. But I find it to be somewhat easier now that I am closer in age to the 70-something-year-olds that I am writing about. It has become a case of art imitating life I guess. After I finish writing and drawing a week of strips, which usually takes most of the week to do, I scan them and email them to my daughter Emily, who colors them with Photoshop for me.

You probably grew up with Pogo and Peanuts. Which comic strips really sparked your imagination? The first comic strip I remember reading and being inspired by was Li’l Abner, by Al Capp. Then came Pogo, by Walt Kelly and later on, Peanuts and B.C. They inspired me to want to be a comic strip artist when I grew up. But by the time I was in high school I had given up on that idea, mostly because I didn’t think I could come up with enough funny ideas for a week of comic strips, let alone months, years and even decades. It wasn’t until I was approaching 40 that I decided to finally give my childhood dream a try.

Visit the Pickles website.


Images courtesy Brian Crane, BYU, and Deseret News.

Evelynne Hatchard: Are You My Mother?


Evelynne Hatchard is an Australian illustrator with a captivating new book call Are You My Mother? The book beautifully approaches the subject of our Heavenly Mother. The topic of our ‘Mother in Heaven‘ was recently addressed in a new essay at, “As with many other truths of the gospel, our present knowledge about a Mother in Heaven is limited. Nevertheless, we have been given sufficient knowledge to appreciate the sacredness of this doctrine and to comprehend the divine pattern established for us as children of heavenly parents.” Hatchard lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia.

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Tell us where you grew up and how you became an artist. I grew up in Queensland, Australia. Art and English were always my favourite subjects at school and I always knew I would end up doing something creative, but it took me a long time to find out exactly what. A number of years ago I was watching the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional and was, as we all are, mesmerized by the beauty, the detail, the care that was taken to create the decorations. I couldn’t help but think, “That must have cost a fortune! (Was it really worth it?)”. Then the brother offering the opening prayer said something along the lines of “We thank Thee for these beautiful surroundings, for they remind us that Thou dost deign for us to be happy.”

The Spirit carried those words straight through my heart and I knew that yes! It was worth it! That beautiful things are SO important because they are a representation of the love that God has for us. I knew that creating beautiful things was what I needed to spend my life doing, because in doing so I could be an instrument in connecting people with the love of God.

The following year I enrolled in a Diploma of Graphic Design, which I was able to complete from home while I cared for my three small children. It was so exciting for me to discover the marvellous world of design. It was like an entire universe existed that I previously had no knowledge about. I had absolutely found my bliss. Once my children were all at school I was able to continue my studies and upsize my Diploma to a Bachelor of Communication Design which I am almost finished. I sincerely believe that good design has the power to change the world–to connect people to themselves, each other and God. I feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to acquire the skills I have and look forward to learning and creating so much more.


How do you see the Church’s relationship to art these days? What would you like to see moving forward? The Internet really is God’s gift to artists. Literally that is how I see it. We have the opportunity to have our work shouted from the rooftops, giving our voices reach like never before. The Church as an organization does some great things to encourage and support the arts, but the REAL magic is happening from the Church in the sense of its membership. We support, encourage and enable each other to share more, create more and to think more! I think we are headed in a fantastic direction.

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Your new book Are You My Mother? is beautiful. The book came about as consequence of two events. Firstly, I was in the temple one evening and for a few different reasons I came to ponder on my Heavenly Mother before the endowment session started. As the session proceeded a deep, aching grief overcame me as I failed to see any representation of my Heavenly Mother in what was supposed to be the story of human creation. I literally sobbed through the entire session and all the way home.

That night I determined to put my trust in my Heavenly Father and began a search for answers to my questions and comfort for my heart. I was very quickly lead to a number of journal articles and discussions that provided me with many of the answers I was seeking. I came to realise that although generations of degradation had all but removed our Heavenly Mother from cultural consciousness, symbols of my Her can be found everywhere–in the temple, in the scriptures, in the world around us–I just had to learn how to read the language. I decided that night that I would be part of the movement that would help to bring Her out of obscurity and darkness. I determined that I would create artworks that depicted my Heavenly Mother not only to soothe my own soul, but for others who experienced the same yearning that I did and for the sake of future generations.

Very soon after this experience I was given an subversive art assignment for a class called “Audience, Viewpoint and Commentary”. We were to create a series of artworks which commented one of a number of topics, one of which was “Tradition–The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” I didn’t even have to think about it. I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to make good on the promise I had made to myself. I knew that it was going to be a very different approach to the assessments than my class mates were going to take, and I knew that there was a risk that it would not be understood or well received by my non-religious teacher, but in my mind the task had already been completed. I just had to get my hands to do the work.

As it happens, my work was extremely well received, supported and appreciated by both my peers and my lecturer. The Spirit was undoubtedly present as I presented my work. As part of the assessment I had to get some feedback from others about my project so I put a call out amongst my friends on Facebook to see if anyone would mind having a look at the eBook. I received over 100 requests for a copy within two days, from both members of the church and non-members. The feedback I received was incredibly positive and supportive and there were many requests for a printed copy and even an offer for publishing.

All of this happened a year ago and over these past two weeks I finally had a block of time where I had the opportunity to finish what I had started. I decided for a number of reason to self-publish and got to work designing and creating a printed version of my eBook. The book and prints were made available recently. This has been an extremely soul-satisfying experience, from the inspiration I received to embark on this project in the first place, to the joy of the creative process, to the incredibly supportive, kind and uplifting responses I received from people all over the world as they have viewed my work. I am so grateful for the ache that I felt in my heart that night in the temple which ultimately lead me here.

Visit Evelynne Hatchard on Facebook.

Follow Evelynne Hatchard on Instagram.

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