Paper Opera

15 Illustrations: The Damsels in Distress Cakewalk


I am working with Inktense pencils, Micron ink pens, and Canson Illustration 11×14″ 150lb art pad to create 15 illustrations (that is how many pieces of paper are in the art pad) of my current family life and inspirations.


This work is narrative in content and uses color in a monochromatic way accentuating one part of each drawing. These fun and quirky illustrations are a reflection of the current joy and activities I have been experiencing.

“The Damsels in Distress Cakewalk” is a piece based on an event that happened a couple of months ago. Our friend Mr. C invited us – The Damsels in Distress – to be one of the opening bands for Chris Staples who was stopping through Springfield on his “Golden Age” album release tour on a Monday evening Labor Day.

We were sitting in the kitchen and talking about what our set list would be when M asked me, “what would get you out on a Monday night to see a band play?” I immediately said that I would go somewhere if there was free food and if there was a chance for me to win a prize. And then I said, “like a cakewalk.” Then we both looked at each other and nodded vigorously. We would do a cakewalk! So, I made up some flyers.

We taped numbers on the floor and had a volunteer roll dice after each song. Whoever was standing on the number that was rolled won a cake from HyVee or coffee from the Coffee Ethic or the Mudhouse. It was a fun time. I drew this picture of what it looked like when I imagined it, and used Inktense pencils Iris Blue and Mauve blended together.

Some of my favorite parts of this drawing are the people walking in a circle,

this guy’s stubble and this girl’s crown,

this girl’s braids, this guy’s party blower, and this girl’s Lularoe bicycle dress,

The Damsels in Distress playing the guitar and accordion,

our baby and friend who carried her during our show (thanks Gallery Gal!),

the fun party decorations,

and all of the delicious looking cakes!