I have a confession to make. During the past year I probably spent $800 on shoes. Except I didn’t really. Because all of the boxes I ordered – except for one – ended up getting returned. (Such is the life of online pandemic shoe shopping!) My seemingly futile quest for the perfect pair of shoes probably explains why shoes were on my brain when I sat down to create this Designer Shoes – An Illustrated Guide in my Moleskine sketchbook.

Designer Shoes – An Illustrated Guide

My Designer Shoes - An Illustrated Guide puts a humorous spin on real (and imagined) shoes.

By the way, the shoes I ended up buying are in the “brogue” style – though they’re not orange and blue. However, they did come from overseas. (I’m feeling good about doing my part to stimulate the economy in the Ukraine!) My new shoes made their maiden voyage (to Trader Joe’s) yesterday and they’re breaking in very nicely. So far, I have only rave reviews about my experience with the Julia Bo company. Not to mention that I’m all for supporting their mission to empower woman through economic opportunities, fair wages and free apprenticeships!

When I haven’t been obsessing about shoes…

I’ve had fun continuing my illustrated journey through the alphabet. “O” will be next. (If you come back tomorrow, you’ll see my “N” illustrations!) These M illustrations were a lot of fun to create; then again, every letter so far has brought unexpected inspiration and delight.

Continuing on my alphabet series of freehand drawn ink and watercolor illustrations, here is the M is for...Moleskine sketchbook spread!


Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.

Marilyn Monroe


    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      That illustration was Andy’s favorite, too. In fact, he said, “There I am with my mask and glasses.” I hadn’t exactly meant it to look like him, but I guess he’s never far from my mind. 😉

      xox – Joana

    • Joana says:

      Thank you, my dear! My new shoes are still breaking in, but I can tell that they will work just fine. I actually wore them out on a lunch date with Andy today. Imagine…a lunch date! (I was beginning to fear that such things would never be possible again.) Wish you lived closer so that we could gab in person. Boo hoo!

      xox – Joana

  1. Mm says:

    Aww. Such a nice potriss of MOI, your MOM. I love the shoes! Where are lê sneakers? ( the only shoes I can now wear, sigh….) xoxo

    • Joana says:

      I thought of doing Le Sneakers, but I guess I got sidetracked. If I did draw sneakers, I’d make sure they had sparkles and glitter laces…just for you! xox – J

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