From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles

Peace and quiet is a grapple,

When you live in the Big Apple.

So bring a book when you’re en route,

And you’ll enjoy more your commute.


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Filed under Art, From My Sketchbook, I Love What I Do, ink sketches, practicing drawing, Project Sketch, Short Rhyming Poems, silly poems, silly rhymes, Sketch Practice

Friday’s Thought – A Sweet One

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

(Charles M. Schulz)

P.S.  To see more of my cartoon illustrations, click here.


Filed under Cartoon Illustration, Friday's Thought, funny art, Funny Illustrations, Humorous Illustration, inspirational quotes, Joana Miranda Studio, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy

Sneak Peak Into the 2018 Joana Miranda Studio Cartoon Calendar

I’ve been busy at work on the cartoon illustrations for the 2018 Joana Miranda Studio Cartoon Calendar.  Here’s a sneak peak at one of the illustrations…

Like the 2017 Joana Miranda Studio Calendar, this calendar will feature 12 of my brand new, unpublished cartoon characters and animals accompanied by funny gags.   You don’t want to miss out!  More information will be coming in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned…

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Filed under Cartoon Illustration, funny art, Funny Illustrations, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, Joana Miranda Studio at Society6

From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles


For an interesting profile,

Why not sport this cool hairstyle.

Man buns these days are the rage,

If you’re of a certain age.

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Filed under Cartoon Illustration, Drawing Practice, Face Sketch, From My Sketchbook, ink sketches, Pen Drawings, practicing drawing, quick sketch, Short Rhyming Poems, silly rhymes, Sketch Practice

Why I Love What I Do…

(Even though it’s a balancing act sometimes!)

As a musician and illustrator, I work very long hours.  When I’m not “on the clock” officially, I’m always busy trying to improve – whether that means putting in extra time sketching at my drafting table, or standing in front of my music stand practicing the viola.  The beauty of loving what you do is that you can lose yourself in a state of flow where time seems suspended and work doesn’t feel like work.  And the advantage of wearing two hats (in my case, as an illustrator and a musician), is that when the going gets tough in one arena- and there WILL always be difficult days – you can retain some sanity by focusing on how you will move forward in the other.  On the best days, both loves serve each other fueling focus, creativity and smart time management.

How did I develop my passion for both music and art?  In the music case, it was easy.  I grew up in a musical house where both parents were heavily involved in music.  Playing an instrument was a part of my upbringing.  Fortunately, I did love music, and I was even one of those rare kids who actually took lessons in piano and also music theory from both parents.

My love for visual art, drawing and illustration evolved more organically.  I always drew as a kid, but it wasn’t until I got engaged and designed my own engagement ring that I discovered how much I loved drawing, and, initially, designing jewelry.  Those of you who have followed my blog from the beginning will remember the year where I posted a new jewelry design (rendering) a day.  If you’re new to this site, type “A Design a Day” into the search bar and you’ll see my jewelry designs…there’s 365 of ’em.  Enjoy!

I like to think of my path from jewelry designing to my current cartoon illustrations akin to the zig-zag pattern of how pilots pilot airplanes.  As the years have passed and I’ve put in my hours, I’m zeroing in on my illustration focus – or how best to say who I am and what’s important to me in my art.  Creating visually compelling art has always been a love.  These days, finding the humor in the everyday and adding that into the mix has taken my work a step further.  I figure if I make you smile or laugh, we’re both better off!

You can find my illustrations here.  And if you’re in the New York City area you can hear me playing this coming week at these locations:

New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center and New Jersey Symphony (Morristown and the NJPAC)





Filed under Cartoon Illustration, Do What You Love, funny art, I Love What I Do, Joana Miranda Studio, motivation

Friday’s Thought – All That Glitters

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

(J. R. R. Tolkien)

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Filed under Friday's Thought, inspirational quotes, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

My Favorite Things – Making Progress in the Race to Catch Up

These days I’ve been burning the midnight oil even more than usual.  The reason?  I’m playing catch-up trying to master the art of SEO and related business growth tools.  Mostly, what I’ve learned so far is just how much I don’t know!  (For those of you even more in the dark than me, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  It’s what gets you seen on the internet…and these days, since we’re all absorbed in our devices, it might just be the only way you have a chance to be seen. Period.)

Since I’m no expert, this is not going to be a tutorial on SEO.  It also won’t be a tutorial on how to gain 40 million new followers on Instagram or Pinterest.  If I crack those ceilings, I promise I’ll share how I did it.

No, the only things I have to offer are the following tips:

  1. Even though it can be frustrating, it’s much more rewarding in the end to tackle what you need to learn rather than farming it out to an expert.  Keep in mind that no one will care about your business or your product more than you do.
  2. Read everything you can about the issue you are trying to solve.  Reach out to the experts to see if they will offer guidance, but be very wary of people claiming that they can give you shortcuts to overnight success.
  3. Overnight success is a myth.  Malcolm Gladwell does a great job of debunking that myth in his book Outliers – The Story of Sucess.
  4. Do what you love and the money will follow?  That statement should be followed by rinse, repeat, rinse repeat, rinse repeat…(and read Outliers!)
  5. Connect with others in real life.  Offer to mentor someone who knows less than you do. Give of your time and attention.  The only true legacy we leave behind is in the lives of the people we touched.  Make your legacy a positive one!

How about you?  Where do you want to be, and who will you help today?

P.S.  I’m a self-taught illustrator and I love what I do.  I’m also self taught as a photographer and photo editor.  The image above was put together using my favorite photo editing program – Corel Paint Shop Pro X8 (which happens to be a lot cheaper than Photoshop, but still has many of the same bells and whistles.)



Filed under Cartoon Illustration, Do What You Love, education, Funny Illustrations, Joana Miranda Studio, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, New York City, photography, ten thousand hours