Latest Posts

When Your Heart is in Your Throat?

In the category with accidentally brushing your teeth with Ben Gay, or swallowing a Zinc lozenge whole instead of chewing it (which my father did once), I’ve created this whimsical cartoon.


“Seven days without laughter makes one weak.”

(Mort Walker)

Funny cartoon of man swallowing a biscuit by Joana Miranda

Is It Too Soon to Think of Spring?

Like usual, I’ve been using every free moment to work on my illustrations.  But now my thoughts have been turning more and more to spring…’cause this winter has gone on long enough, thank you very much!

Case in point, the other night in the Wicked show pit, I sketched this funny little guy:

Pencil cartoon sketch of boy with watermelon

I liked him so much that I decided to ink him and bring him to life:

And then I immortalized him in a new greeting card and print version for my Etsy shop!

Photo of One in a Melon Cartoon Boy Print by Joana Miranda

(I guess you can say he’s one in a melon!)




My Favorite Things – Social Media Connections (the GOOD Kind!)

In this age of Social Media, it’s easy to get obsessed with followers, status and likes.  I’ll be the first to admit that I get discouraged when I “earn” some new Instagram followers only to find, two days later, that my numbers have dropped back down again.

If progress is measured in number of followers, then I’m certainly still in the Dark Ages across ALL of my social media platforms.  However, the bright light that keeps me going is the truly lovely connections I’ve made with  quite a few people here on my blog, and on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Case in point…today, when I opened up my Instagram account, the first thing that popped up was this delightful portrait of me done by a friend in Dublin:

Watercolor portrait of Joana by Emma Montonen

I “met” Emma on Instagram about a year ago and was drawn initially to her beautiful watercolor architecture and landscape paintings.  Along the way I also learned that she’s a kindred spirit in the music world as well – a classically-trained violinist who studied in Helsinki. We’ve chatted over music, her art and my cartoon posts, and when she put out a request for pictures for a portrait project, I jumped at the opportunity and emailed her a photo.

Emma’s openness about her process, her triumphs (and struggles) and where she finds her inspiration is fascinating to me.  Short of being able to hop over the pond to talk art or music over a cup of tea, I’m doing the next best thing by following her blog and keeping up with her Instagram posts.

Being honored with such a lovely portrait is the icing on the cake…and proof that social media works best when it’s about making real connections and finding kindred spirits!

Thank you, Emma!




From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles (or, The Story of My Sunday in Three Cartoons)

A church gig plus two shows is fun,

(Though it’s something I’ve rarely done.)

Not too sure what the plan is.

(I’ll just eat some more bananas.)
Cage free monkey cartoon

Was her trill a little flat?

Did my finger just go splat?

Gotta try and keep my focus,

Through the silly hocus pocus.


Diva Cartoon.jpg

Could it be my brain’s retired?

No! There’s still more work required!

I started out today a whiz,

Now feeling defeated by the biz!

Cartoon of sleeping violist

The Making of a Cartoon – Or, Where I Find Inspiration!

In spite of working long hours as a freelance musician, I make an effort every day to create a new cartoon.  Whether that be a cartoon with a gag or just a funny caption-less drawing (or “cartoonopic” for my Instagram account), my process always starts with a word, story or concept.

Here’s a collection of caption-less drawings I did this past weekend in the short breaks during my 4 Wicked shows.  The inspiration for each drawing came as a unique process.

For the first cartoon, the “light bulb moment” came when I glanced at the title of the next number…

Funny circus trapeze cartoon by Joana Miranda

(By the way, in spite of having subbed on Wicked for over 3 years, I have yet to actually see the show.  That said, I do know that the plot has nothing to do with a circus!)

In Saturday night’s show, the fatigue of a double-show day was starting to set in.  When the concertmaster sneezed, my first instinct was to pass him a tissue.  The second instinct was to create this drawing…

Cartoon drawing of sneezing box of Kleenex

As the show proceeded, I wondered how many people were looking forward to a late night reward…

Cartoon of drunk martini glass by Joana Miranda

(Though we musicians are all mindful of course of the far more healthy benefits of hydrating with water!)

Water bottle cartoon by Joana Miranda

Then, as my luck would have it, my stand-light started flickering before it suddenly died.

Cartoon of dead light bulb by Joana Miranda

On Sunday, I returned refreshed and ready to tackled another two shows.  However, in the first show, the only idea that initially came to mind was an “S-shaped” gesture line on the page.  Then a violinist colleague turned and asked, “Do you have ideas in mind before you start drawing?” To which I responded, “Mostly, though sometimes I start with just a jester. [sic]”  My accidental play on words made me laugh and the S-squiggle turned into this little guy…

Jester cartoon sketch by Joana Miranda

By the end of Sunday night’s show – an 8-show marathon of a week for us all – I was feeling haggard, a little punchy and ready to fly from my perch.  Not surprisingly this is what emerged…

Witch cartoon by Joana Miranda

If you like my cartoons and know of someone who might like them as well, please feel free to share this page (or follow Joana Miranda Studio on Instagram or Facebook.)