The September prompt word for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Draw This contest was more challenging than usual. The word was “trouble.” I like to create children’s art that is positive, upbeat and funny. So “trouble” initially gave me some, well, trouble! Suffice to say I had to let my imagination run in order to find the funny in “trouble.”

Creating children’s art appeals to me…

(Especially when you consider that we all are children at heart!)

India ink and watercolor children's art submission for SCWBI Draw This! contest
Trouble – India Ink and Watercolor Children’s Art by Joana Miranda

I drew my illustration using dip pen, India ink and watercolor. The inspiration was, as usual, close to home. My mom’s little Siamese “beastie” might seem innocent…

Siamese cat inspiration for my latest children's art illustration

But he has been known to eat yarn. Fortunately, my mom’s latest knitting project – a green baby sweater for some friends (note the green yarn in my illustration) emerged unscathed.

If you think this illustration is a winner, you can get your own print of it in my shop at Etsy. If you’re curious to see more cute pictures of little Puck and how he influences my art and illustrations, make sure to check out this post and this post.

P.S. If all this playing around seems like frivolous fun, remember this:


We don’t stop playing because we grown old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw


  1. sharonia628 says:

    Oh yes he did eat the yarn. I’d be knitting away and suddenly come to the wet end of the yarn. Have to always hide the ball from the lil rascal. Good thing he’s cute….

    • Joana says:

      I suppose the yarn is good fiber? 😉 Probably best not to tell the parents-to-be that Puck personally chewed or slobbered over every inch of the baby’s sweater, though….

      xox – J

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      I’ve missed you! I was just about to email you, but then you sent the funny art photo and commented here. 🙂 How are things? Are you glad to be starting yet another MSO season? Are you busy in your shop at Etsy? What’s new?

      The NYCB fall season started up this week so I’m back to subbing and trying to find the right balance between time with the viola and time at my drafting table. I spent quite some time recently experimenting with different fountain pens and inks (for drawing) and am pleased that I finally settled on a solution that works for me. Yay to progress!

      Sending lots of love your way,

      • HR says:

        Hi Joana,

        I sure am having trouble getting my comments to show up on your blog! Sometimes it works, often not. It doesn’t like my gmail address anymore, and in any case, it NEVER saves my information. But I certainly am enjoying all your drawings!

        For the first time in a VERY long time, I have over 100 items in my Etsy shop, but boy, sales have been sparse. September was worse than July and August. I can only wonder if everyone is busily reading the WaPo, their political blogs, and their Twitter feed, like I am! It’s been very crazy and distracting, which is the hallmark of the Trump Era. I don’t expect any of THAT to calm down anytime soon, but I’m glad something’s brewing!

        So yeah, MSO, new boss, pops concerts at the Riverside (boo), Jun Markl this week (yay), new cat-proof couch (so far), I survived an opening week visit from my brother and his wife (a high-maintenance couple). Jason Seed stuff in November, I think, and maybe weeks subbing with the Jacksonville Symphony in November or later in the winter.

        I’m impressed with your daily drawings, just as I was impressed with those daily jewelry designs from years ago. Oh, I should tell you, our old nemesis Instagram has now become just about impossible. After I stopped with the growth service I was using, my engagement gradually went downhill until it got pretty bad, so I started up with the same growth company again. After a couple weeks, I realized nothing was happening, so I sent them a polite email inquiring about what I should do. They said that Instagram had changed its algorithm again, and they couldn’t quite figure out what to do, and neither could anyone else. Fast forward to the ICSOM conference in Park City, Utah: I met up with one of my customers and his wife…..he had ordered about 8 fish pins for his wedding, and sent me modeled photos to use! Well anyway, we were having a drink and I was complaining about Instagram. This guy gave me the phone number of of one of his friends, who seems to be the only person in the world who now knows what to do with IG. I talked to the guy, and he said that nothing we used to do matters anymore, and that he could help me for MINIMUM $300/month, and that’s just because I was referred by a friend. Well, that’s not really in the realm of fiscal responsibility, so now I mostly just use Pinterest.

        Hugs, kisses,

        • Joana says:

          Hi Helen,

          I loved reading your comment! It occurred to me that maybe the issue you’re having stems from me recently changing my blog domain name to from I still own both domains, but formerly the default domain was the atalentfordesign. I switched the domains around last month…that was around the time that I noticed that I wasn’t hearing from you. Could it be that you need to resubscribe to (I’m just guessing here – my mom has continued to comment on most of my posts without issue.) Hopefully, we’ll be able to find out what’s going on.

          I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having trouble with Instagram. But it certainly sounds like it was wise NOT to go the $300+ per month route. That certainly seems fishy to me… These days I’m trying to be a big girl and just tell people about my work in person (if it comes up naturally) instead of hoping to capture the anonymous masses through the internet. It’s slow going of course, but it does seem like the right thing to be doing.

          Today was the first day of real fall-like weather we’ve had. The temps dropped 30 degrees overnight (yesterday was 92 and humid in the city) and it appears like the cooler weather might be here to stay. Yippee! I love wearing sandals, but I was beginning to feel hostile to my summer clothes. All of a sudden I feel like going shopping tomorrow. Maybe it’s because it’s cooler out, or because I’ve been subbing a lot at the ballet. In any case, I really don’t need any new duds. (Plus I just got my two new fountain pens. 🙂 Fortunately, they’re cheap. I think each cost about $12 or so.)

          By the way, if you do sub in Jacksonville you’ll have to say hello to Jim Neglia the new personnel manager. He was PM in New Jersey for many years and hired me there a lot. He continues to hire me for gigs around the city (Game of Thrones type stuff) and I know him fairly well.

          I think Etsy may have changed its algorithm again, too. I’ve had some sales in September but this summer was very dead for me. However, I did have my shop in vacation mode for almost 5 weeks – certainly not ideal! These days I’m trying to write descriptions that use as many of my title/keywords as possible. But now that you mention it, I do notice that my stats seems to indicate that my viewership is down 50% as compared to last year…which surprises me because I didn’t think I was doing so well last year! 😉

          We’ll have to find a time to talk on the phone soon.

          XOX – Joana

Leave a Reply