Do you wrestle with what to draw? Perhaps you feel like the events of your life don’t merit being chronicled in illustrations? Well, think again. In this post, you’ll see how an illustrated life can have charm even when the inspiration is drawn from everyday objects.

An illustrated life…

Mine, to be precise, revolves these days around taking care of this little beastie:

An illustrated life - photo cartoon of the illustrator keeping an eye out for her little Toybob kitty, Ollie.

Ollie is currently on a three-month pill regime to treat FIP – the dreaded (often fatal) disease that affects some young cats. Fortunately, even though the meds are not yet FDA approved, success rate is very high with the treatment protocol. In addition to watching our little baby like a hawk, we are showering him with love and affection.

(By the way, no one is more loving than Ollie’s brother, Ziggy. And I’m pretty sure Ziggy’s hugs are medicinal, too!)

Photo of our two Toybob cats, Ziggy and Ollie, fast asleep in a cuddle puddle.

My illustrated life of late…

Has remained confined to our apartment. I was supposed to travel to visit my mom last week, but Omicron put a stop to those plans. However, I’ve still managed to find ways to have flights of fancy on my “staycation”:

Sometimes an illustrated life needs some flight of fancy in order to take off. (This is especially true when you're in Year Three of the Pandemic!)

One such way is my daily study of Spanish and French on Duolingo. I’m also watching Conta-me Como Foi, a fabulous Portuguese sitcom/drama that takes place in my native Lisbon right around the time I was born. There are no subtitles in Conta-me Como Foi; fortunately, my Portuguese is good enough that I can do without them. And, every once in a while if I get stumped, I can always stop the video to look up the word in question with Google Translate.

I’m also celebrating…

Because my hair has finally grown past these awkward stages:

To a cute 1920’s bob length!

Photo cartoon of the illustrator doing the Cha Cha as a 1920's cartoon.

Plus, this afternoon I put the finishing touches on the 2nd Quarter illustrations for my ongoing project with Nomura Research Institute. Finishing a month early is definitely reason to break out the bubbly and do a happy dance!



  1. Jen says:

    Adorable!! I’m sorry to hear about Ollie’s issues. You’re the best cat mom ever.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Jen,
      I’m so grateful that 1. the meds seem to be working really well for Ollie, and 2. that I have the opportunity to try my best at being a cat mom. 🙂 A few years back I wouldn’t have even described myself as a “pet person.” Funny how things change, right?
      I’m thinking of you and sending lots of love. And I look forward to being able to catch up on a phone date whenever the time is right.
      xox – Joana

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen, I actually went back to my hairdresser the day after the haircut to get him to take a bit more off the neck. I guess I’m fussy – but then again, with this style of cut every little detail matters. (Hee-hee!) Fortunately, he agreed with what I was asking for and had no problem making the change. Now I must cha-cha-cha myself into the bedroom to make the bed with fresh sheets.
      xox – Joana

  2. Sharon Miranda says:

    Ah, you should have seen Pucky perk up when he heard that birdie at the end of your pixie video. He approves of your bob, cha cha cha!

    • Joana says:

      Ooh, so happy to hear that Pucky likes my new ‘do. He has exquisite taste, of course.;-)

      xox – J

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