Now We're Cookin'!

For the September challenge, Crush decided to cook up a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes for They Draw and Cook. Each of us put our own twist on this classic recipe. It really shows off our different approaches. Who's hungry!?

State PRIDE!

For this month's challenge, the official bird and flower for a state each of us has lived in.

  • Illinois: Cardinal & Violet
  • Pennsylvania: Ruffed Grouse & Mountain Laurel
  • California: California Quail & Poppy
  • Indiana: Northern Cardinal & Peony
  • Nevada: Mountain Bluebird & Sagebrush
  • Georgia: Brown Thrasher & Cherokee Rose
  • Washington: Goldfinch & Rhododendron
  • Texas: Northern Mockingbird & Bluebonnet

It's Picnic Season

Our illustration challenge for July is picnic foods, yum!

It's Summer Reading Time

Now that the days are longer, we started thinking about all of the books we want to read, so our challenge for June was SUMMER READING!

Crushing It!

Our first illustration challenge...

The assignment was to illustrate the word CRUSH in any way we liked, and as you can see from our solutions, each of us took a unique approach. They came out great! 

First Crush

For our first post, we had some fun interviewing each other! Learn more about all 8 of us below...


Sarah Ferone

What would be in your signature cocktail?
It would be a variation on a Moscow mule by substituting gin for vodka, and then add a splash of Sambuca. It’s so good, and so weird 'cause I usually hate licorice.

What’s the craziest place you’ve found yourself at 3am?
In a dark alley tracking down a secret bakery in Florence for a nighttime treat.

Cartoon character do you look most like or most identify with?
When I was younger, I identified with Daria. Now, probably Linda Belcher.

Favorite celebrity chef?
Even with his known disdain for vegetarians, I love watching Anthony Bourdain’s shows and following his culinary adventures all over the world. (Even when there’s lots of meat.)

Which artist would you choose to paint your portrait?
Marlena Dumas. I’ve been drawn to her portraits for a long time. The portrait series I’m thinking about are painted with inky washes and a subdued palette, with unexpected color popping through at times. The figures emerge and almost feel vulnerable like some truth lies just below the surface.


Phil Scroggs

Would you rather have Thor or Ironman as a roommate?
I think Ironman would make the better wingman. And Thor would probably just scratch up all the furniture with his stupid hammer.

Would you rather time travel to the past or the future? When?
I’d rather go to the future. But, not too far ahead or I’d feel like an alien. Maybe just a 50-year jump…. when I’m sure all our problems will have been solved and our robot butlers will do all our swiffering for us.

What is/was your favorite toy?
I got an Atari video game console when I was a kid—and it cured my flu on Christmas morning.

Favorite celebrity chef?
The Swedish Chef. However, I don’t think he knows how to work with tofu.

What is the worst thing you ever ate?
Cauliflower. It’s one of those foods I know I should like eating. But, every time I decide to give it another chance, I remember why I hate it. #nastyvegetable


Melissa Washburn

Do you collect anything?
Like most artists, I’m a bit of a packrat. I collect bird art by other artists, and then “specimens” from the natural world. Everything from rocks and bones and fossils to feathers and insect parts. Also, books, though I’ve been trying hard to curb that one. I worked in bookstores all through college and graduate school, so I have acquired a ridiculous number.

Would you rather time travel to the past or the future? When? 
The past. I’m really fascinated with Fin de Siècle culture in Europe—the ideas, the art, the decadence. Toulouse Lautrec, Oscar Wilde, the whole idea that the turn of the century is a time of one thing ending and another beginning. It was a very fertile time creatively.

What’s your guilty pleasure (food or music or other)?
Pitbull and Ke$ha. I don’t believe food should ever come with guilt.

What would be in your signature cocktail?
I like making my own simple syrups (lavender, ginger, etc.); so I don’t have a name for it yet but I recently combined vodka, lavender syrup, and coconut seltzer. It was heavenly.

What’s the craziest place you’ve found yourself at 3am? 
Nearly being kicked off a train in Prague.


Lisa Kurt

What is/was your favorite toy?
I have this old miniature rocking horse—it’s about 8” high and has a music box in it. I’ve had it since I was little and it’s pretty well-loved. My mom rediscovered it in storage and gave it to me a couple years ago. I adore it so much, sometime I am going to add it into my work.

Heels or hiking boots?
Hiking boots, hiking boots, hiking boots! I love to hike and because I live in the Sierras and near Lake Tahoe—we really have some of the absolute best hiking you’ll ever find.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Don’t take naps.” I love a good cozy nap! Don’t listen to anyone who dismisses naps.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
“There are no rules.” This keeps cropping up and has served me quite well when I listen to it. It can be awfully burdensome if we obey limitations set on ourselves that in reality maybe don’t exist. There is no one correct way to do things or to live life so it’s best to make your own way and have some fun doing it. I realize this is a huge privilege to have so all the more reason to embrace it and put some good into the world whenever possible.

What would be in your signature cocktail?
Bourbon and I’m not sure what else, but that’s a good start


Laura Fisk

What were you afraid of as a kid? What about now? 
I was a big scaredy cat, still am. I hated haunted houses (even goofy ones), was terrified of Ghostbusters, and even at Disney World’s The Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Scary movies are definitely a no-go! And bees. They terrify me, but for some reason I love drawing them.

If you could illustrate any book, what would it be? 
Alice in Wonderland. I’ve always loved those classic illustrations and have a bunch of different illustrated versions. It would be amazing to do. Need to do a series just for myself. There are so many great strange and wonderful characters and creations, what you can do is just endless.

What song could you listen to on repeat all day? 
Well, right now it’s what my 3-year-old wants on repeat all day, which bounces from old school sesame street, 60’s pop, and the weird world of kid’s music.

Which artist would you choose to paint your portrait? 
Oh man, living or dead? Walton Ford if living, because I want to paint me with some crazy animals, and Corita Kent because I wouldn’t want her to do a portrait just create something amazing and inspiring for me (and maybe we’d get to screenprint together).

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? 
"If you haven’t made it in five years, quit."


Judith Mayer

mayerself.jpg

Cartoon character you look most like or most identify with?
Judy Jetson, for the simple reason that she shared my name, but she was also a cool, futuristic teenager. The only other Judys I knew on TV as a kid—in Leave it to Beaver and Welcome Back Kotter—were horrible pests that nobody liked, which completely misrepresented Judys everywhere.

Favorite celebrity chef?
Julia Child, the OG of cooking on TV. 

Would you rather time travel to the past or the future? When?
I find the 1920s and 30s a fascinating era for design, fashion and music. I have a penchant for geometric lettering (really, all the lettering), the lush patterns, exciting new inventions, and bakelite! And wouldn’t it be great to have a complete break from the digital drain for a little while? 

Do you collect anything?
I have a moratorium on collecting anything, as my apartment has no more room for objects, but over the last 5 years I have collected some beautiful, vintage wood and metal type fonts. I letterpress print, and wanting a large selection of fonts to choose from means possessing the actual, three-dimensional type (unlike printing with computer fonts). They are little works of art on their own, but the whole point is to keep them in use, so it's a working collection.

What’s the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
A trip. Definitely a trip. But where to would be the toughest decision. I can’t get enough of traveling—to experience the arts, culture, food, nature, and architecture—and there are so many places yet to explore. Fiji, Greece, and France would be top contenders. Wait, Australia too. How big is this jackpot?


Esther Loopstra

What song could you listen to on repeat all day?
Heijira by Joni Mitchell—she’s an incredible writer and artist. That whole album is about wanderlust and transition. It made a huge impact on me when I was going through big transitions in my life and it’s my go-to road trip album.

What were you afraid of as a kid? What about now?
I was afraid of everything. My mom said that as soon as I got out into the world, everything terrified me. I remember being at Disneyland and thinking that everything was real and it was just too overwhelming. Now I am mostly afraid of getting sick and nuclear holocaust.

Do you collect anything?
Most of my collections are passed down—vintage cameras from my grandfather and great grandfather, and a spoon collection that I inherited from both my grandma and my mother. I collect vintage books with interesting illustrations, textiles and art from around the world. I want to collect printing blocks, but I only have one right now.

What would be your memoir be titled?
"How to break all the rules and find your bliss."

Would you rather time travel to the past or the future? When?
That is a very tough question. I’m a lover of history and vintage things, so I would be tempted to visit the past, but I think my sci-fi obsession and interest in technology would cause me to visit the future…probably like 100 years from now. I would love to see how advances in genetics, science, and technology have changed our lives.


Alexis Amann

What song could you listen to on repeat all day? 
Isn’t that considered a form of torture?

Which artist would you choose to paint your portrait? 
I’d love to have Megan Lynn Kott paint me as a cat! 

What would your memoir be titled? 
“Playing Life in Hard Mode.”

Would you rather time travel to the past or the future? When? 
Ah! Depends on who I would be traveling with. If it was with the Doctor, I’d go anywhere. If it was by myself, well there’s always so many problems when it comes to time traveling like killing your own grandparents, meeting your past or future self, etc. Just to travel back in history would be fun as a sort of “museum tour,” but how soon before you get involved and start throwing off all of time and space, and making things go all wibbly wobbly? And how do you get past the urge to just go back a week or two, or a year or two in your own life and do that “one thing” differently? Eek. I wouldn’t mind getting to go back and hang out with Frida Kahlo, or Edward Gorey, or Dorothy Parker. 

You have an extra hour every day. What do you do with it? 
Currently: Play Zelda. Usually: Make art. Aspirationally: Sleep.