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Sketching During Scourge

Sketching During Scourge

Some people want to know what Don is doing with his time during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite obstacles, I still find time to pursue projects each day. Here are some of the things I‘ve been working on.



Apes and Aliens Jigsaw Puzzle. In January, I got obsessed with the idea of apes waiting to make their way through security at the airport. Seemed like an image that could have the complexity and variety that makes a great jigsaw puzzle. I’m waiting to see a prototype from the puzzle workshop. If it is good, this could make a delightful spring-time Kickstarter project, right?



Sea Monsters. I’ve also been drawing 100 creatures for another jigsaw puzzle project that I think would be fun. The picture above shows a portion of the design. Perhaps this can be a Kickstarter in the summer. I need to draw a bunch more creatures to fill the pool.



Letterpress prints. I created two new letterpress print designs and my friend, Bryce Knudson at Bjørn Press will be printing them in April. Above, is my first sketch of an interplanetary tea party and below is the finished image. The other design shows architecture on a remote planet. While I’m under house arrest, I could be signing prints.




Holiday mug. My friends and colleagues, Jack and Lynnette, asked me to focus on ideas for the design of a holiday mug. I’ve been having fun revisiting Christmas cliches and giving them a twist. I completed a preliminary design (detail above) last week. But, because of disruptions to the global supply chain, it may already be too late for new mugs in 2020, alas. It will all hinge on whether or not the porcelain workshop in Poland needs to shut down for a few weeks (months?) because of the pandemic. 


Dinosaur shoppers. There was a time about two weeks ago when it seemed right to be drawing a pattern based on dinosaurs pushing shopping carts. Wouldn’t this make a great grocery bag?



Shower of Anvils. As the pandemic started to dominate the news cycle, I spent a day sketching a pattern based on falling anvils. I have no plans to make pajamas or wallpaper with this design, but the effort was therapeutic. Drawing the anvils lightened my mood.



Creature Comfort Comforter. Ever since I created the Creature Comfort Playing Cards, I’ve thought it would be fun to develop a woven-jacquard, cotton throw based on the design on the back of the playing cards. We’ve been evaluating weaving samples and trying to figure out if this project can go forward on Kickstarter.



Daily doodling. I try to make time in each day for pointless doodling for the pure fun of it. One never knows what new projects might spring from these carefree explorations. 


As always, I have the glorious freedom to jump from one project to another or to change my mind about what I want to work on. But my goal, until mortality overwhelms me, is to keep working on something fun every single day. So far, so good.

Thanks for your support. Good luck with all your projects. Stay safe.

Don—Pittsburgh, April 8, 2020

Comments on this post (63)

  • Sep 27, 2021

    Along with the Lost Pets (who are happy with anybody talking to them), checking out New Found Pets worries the imagination. Lin

    — Linelle Zimmer

  • Oct 12, 2020

    Why not design an umbrella with the falling anvil design? It will serve a dual purpose- protection from rain and anvils. These days it’s best to be well prepared!

    — Jo Ann Hamburg

  • Jul 14, 2020

    I really like the sea monster jigsaw puzzle. I like the one that looks like a math professor.

    — Auntie Spitless

  • Jun 07, 2020

    Hello Don
    LOVE the green dinosaurs AND the colorful monsters in the sea. Could we get these as: *gift wrap &/or


    — Nancy Rhoads

  • May 16, 2020

    I would love that anvil print on something! Not sure what, though. :)

    — Sara

  • May 15, 2020

    Please make yard goods of your frog fly design or others.

    — Stephen

  • May 15, 2020

    Please make yard goods of your frog fly design or others.

    — Stephen

  • May 13, 2020

    OMG I love every one of these ideas. I’ll keep watching. The twisted Christmas mug could be a winner any year, and I have always had a fascination for anvils. Gift wrap? Your work is inspired. Thank you.

    — Terri Colburn

  • May 13, 2020

    OMG I love every one of these ideas. I’ll keep watching. The twisted Christmas mug could be a winner any year, and I have always had a fascination for anvils. Gift wrap? Your work is inspired. Thank you.

    — Terri Colburn

  • May 06, 2020

    Happy Nurses Day To Me, and to any other nurses out there!
    Trying to be patient waiting for that slow boat to arrive with puzzles, as if I have nothing else to do. The other puzzle idea with sea monsters looks great, too. I’m also waiting (impatiently) for those large mugs to come in. Already raising my hand for a set o’ mugs.
    Thank you, in advance, for the Close Encounter print with purchase! I am excited.
    In closing, if you have any magical powers in regards to apparitions, please make this virus go away.
    Take Care, all 3 of you!

    Mavis Nolting

    — Mavis Nolting

  • May 01, 2020

    the interplanetary tea party would be nice on table linens in blue on white to coordinate with the blue and white china. willow collectors await

    — tobi

  • Apr 24, 2020

    Love the Dinosaur shoppers!! Shopping bags, tea towels and even a t-shirt would be great with that pattern. It is really fun!

    — Teresa

  • Apr 22, 2020

    Love it all, but that comforter / throw is gorgeous. I like that at first glance it is just a black and white graphic print.

    — Katie

  • Apr 21, 2020

    I love the idea of the dinosaur shopping bags!

    — Sharon Norelius

  • Apr 17, 2020

    Love your drawings and attitude of fun. Would love to see your full sketchbook (people show their on youtube and get zillions of views which earn them $ by the way – hint hint) or be able to purchase a book of just drawings.

    — Violet McCrady

  • Apr 17, 2020

    Ooooh. I want Calamityware fabric (Calamitywear?), either to make my own pajamas and robe, or to make masks with. I very much like the dinosaurs shopping and the glimpse of the endless seamonsters, but the falling anvils? Bliss!

    — Laura

  • Apr 16, 2020

    Definitely need a holiday mug! And fabric for masks!

    — Meg C

  • Apr 13, 2020

    These are the best! Need that Christmas design for next winter please. AND the shopping dragons. And all of them, honestly. Actually I may like the Lost Pet best. You make a lot of us happy! I’m sending out Calamity cards this month.

    — Linda B

  • Apr 13, 2020

    Shopping dinosaurs…yes, please!!! Zombie poodles could shop, too

    — Gayle

  • Apr 13, 2020

    I’ve made over 100 masks already. Now I want calamity fabric to make more. But it’s those shopping dinosaurs that I really want. Yes needs to be a shopping bag too.

    Dr Caroline

    — Caroline Sokol

  • Apr 13, 2020

    Your designs and sketches are one of the few bright points during this pandemic. Actually seeing your new designs has always been a bright point in my life but they have just become POINTIER. Please, please, please produce the sea monsters as fabric! seems to do a good job of it.

    — Tia R.

  • Apr 13, 2020

    SEA MONSTERS on everything!!

    — linda carlson

  • Apr 12, 2020

    Each idea you mentioned is intriguing. My #1 fave is the puzzle. #2 Dino Shopping Cart grocery bag. #3 possible Christmas mug.

    Thank you.

    — Liza Felder

  • Apr 12, 2020

    I would love to have one of your puzzles. I hope that there is a chance that they can be produced.

    — Debby

  • Apr 11, 2020

    I am so into the comforter idea, Don!

    Thanks for adding a bit of whimsy to these weird times (though aren’t our times pretty much always weird?).

    — Miranda

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