Category Archives: photography

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

Friday’s Thought – Pondering the Fountain of Youth

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

(Sophia Loren)

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Filed under Influences, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles

It doesn’t take much to be a bag lady.

Just a hat, bag and a look that’s shady.

Course if you’re a man you’ll find it more hard.

(The lady part means going an extra yard.)


Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, From My Sketchbook, funny art, Humorous Illustration, New York, practicing drawing, quick sketch, sketchbook, subway sketches, weekly sketch project

Friday’s Thought – The Little Details

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”

(William Morris)


Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, Friday's Thought, funny art, Humorous Illustration, illustration, Influences, inspiration, Joana Miranda Studio, marker and ink illustration, New work, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles

The New York City Ballet fall season started up today, and I headed back to Lincoln Center for a full day of rehearsals on Swan Lake.  The pace at NYCB is always in high gear (opening night is tomorrow!), and to top off 5  1/2 hours of orchestra rehearsals, I then headed off to the Empire Hotel to support my husband who was acting as emcee for an evening of music and talk with some of the choreographers of the new works being put up this season.

Not being as youthful as I once was, I found myself fading fast as the evening wore on.  A big hint that I had reached my limit was when my black ballpoint pen ran out of ink and it felt to me like the world was ending.

Note to self: Get more sleep and carry around a spare black ballpoint pen!

I did manage this sketch of a patron listening in rapt attention to the music.  (She actually WAS wearing a striped shirt in shades of blue!)  So…

It’s all good!

She listened to the tune,

Which ended all too soon.

Then my black pen up and died,

And I left feeling fried.


Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, From My Sketchbook, Humorous Illustration, illustration, ink sketches, New York, New York City, practicing drawing, quick sketch, sketchbook, weekly sketch project

Friday’s Thought – The Fires of the Mind

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”



Filed under photography, wisdom, wise quotes