Today we take a peek inside the brain of Ghostie. Be sure to buckle in and keep your hands and legs inside the car at all times.

I consider myself an average artist – I can draw things reasonably well and know how to paint a bit. Mother Dearest and GhostSister are much more talented, compared to them I’m that kid in the back of the class whom everyone suspects eats the paste when no one is looking. The Things and GhostBoy show signs of having a love of art, they all draw remarkably well for their ages – GhostBoy can do some very nice work in the manga style.

I could probably improve my skills with a class or three, but I don’t have the patience for that. So I doodle and learn from my mistakes.

I made an ATC for a swap recently that was a bit different from ones I normally make. It was for a “pick one” forum swap – the person listed several themes she would like made into an ATC, I picked one and posted my own list of themes (I have not received my ATC yet) One of this swapper’s themes was Art Deco, something I’m slightly interested in but not a subject I have done a lot of sketches on. Since I like a challenge, I chose to make her an Art Deco card. I checked out her profile to see if there was something listed under her likes that would inspire me, which is when I noticed that she liked cats.

My brain, she started working.

Art Deco, like it’s predecessor Art Nouveau, has a lot of flowing, asymmetrical shapes with an organic feel. It has a pretty lush appearance and I find it quite beautiful, but I’ve never been brave enough to try it for myself. Since this was for someone else though, I felt compelled to try my best.

I’ve noticed that a lot recently – when I sign up for these different swaps, I’m more likely to try things I would never have tried just for myself in an effort to please a total stranger I will never meet. Odd.

So I start doodling and trying out different things. I do a Google Search for Art Deco cats but don’t really see anything I like until I spotted a set of bookends.

These.

I liked the arc the cat’s body made and I got to thinking about cats clawing things and the flowing shapes of Art Deco, which led (eventually) to this sketch.

Probably the tenth version of this particular design.

I had the hardest damned time with that head. Every version I did either looked like a squirrel or a dog or was the wrong size for the body. The tail was also problematic – too big and squirrel-like. I finally took it to Mother Dearest and she gave me a few suggestions that eventually led to this version, which I’m quite happy with.

Final version, colored in with India ink and watercolors. Lots of little lines.

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