Sunday, December 30, 2012

An officer and a lady - quick sketch

I was doodling around yesterday, just practicing different poses when I came across a photo of Greta Nissen. It was a shot from one of her black and white movies called "Hells Angels". it showed a man in a military uniform dancing with the lovely Greta and I got very inspired to draw their pose.

So I drew an image freehand whilst looking at the photo and paying attention mostly to the uniform of the soldier. Today I sat down and added in some color in photoshop just for fun. I have to say I find it to be quite the cute image.

(c) Anita K. Olsen Støbakk

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen Støbakk

Contact info:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Arya Stark - A little part of me

Todays Game of Thrines character holds a special place in my heart. I feel a connection to Arya Stark, like a lot of girls and women who don't fit in to the girly-girl mold do. When my brother and I played together as children I always wanted to be the hero or the knight. I was never really the princess type. Now don't get me wrong I love dresses and skirts, but I never played with baby dolls and instead of playing house I liked to set up scenarios where my Barbies had to fend of sharks or make a living in the middle of a swamp. I had toy swords and guns spread around my pink and yellow room in between my Stuffed animals, my costume chest and my drawing equipment. I am still the same today. I would much rather be the knight in shining armor on my noble steed or a swashbuckling duelist instead of a swooning princess in a castle.

So without further ado, here is my rendition of Arya Stark:

Image: (c) Anita K. OlsenCharacter: George R. R. Martin

Do any of my trusty readers share this attachment with me? Maybe you have another character that you hold in extra high regard? I would very much like to know :)

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen


Daenerys for Christmas

I'm doing a little holiday project at the moment inspired by Game of Thrones. I'm drawing my favorite characters from the series. First up is the lovely Daenerys Stormborn of house Targaryen holding one of her beloved dragon eggs.

Image: (c) Anita K. OlsenCharacter: George R.R. Martin

She has a purpose which I will not yet reveal as it might spoil the surprise for some, so I will hold my tongue.
I did not intend for it to rhyme but there it is.

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My DeviantArt!

Hi all!
I got to thinking the other day about the fact that I have been on Deviantart for years, but I've never really made the effort to reach out to the community there. I've sort of just been hanging around not doing much.
I want to change that so I'm reaching out to you now. If any of my readers are on DeviantArt and want to
connect with me there you are very welcome! You can click the link below and it will take you to my one and only DeviantArt profile.

Anita's DeviantArt!

I put up a lot of things on that profile, stuff I wouldn't keep around in my professional portfolio so it's quite interesting to see the development of my artistic skills through the years :)

That's all I had to share with you this time but never fear I will be back soon with more quirkyness
or art or useful adult advice!

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen



Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Logo design - Norsk geek forum

These past two days I've been working on a logo design for a Norwegian Geek Forum that was started up by a friend of my fiancée. They have both been working on it apparently and suddenly found themselves in the need of a logo. They kindly requested if I could make one for them, and being the loving wife to be that I am I graciously agreed to help them out. Of course I was quite delighted to be asked to help out, since I am a geek of heart.

Below you can see the logo I designed for them. It consists of various gaming controllers inspired by the Atari 2600 joystick, a classic computer mouse, the PS3 controller and the old classic Nintendo controller.
The boys were happy with the design and so am I, so all is well that ends well!

(c) Anita K. Olsen

(c) Anita K. Olsen

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen


Wintertime blues... I'm not a big fan of winter. Which is quite unfortunate considering I live in Norway, one of the few inhabited places in the world with more winter than anything else! I don't have that big of a problem with the cold, I mean the cold has always been there. It's the nearly constant darkness that bothers me. Being bereft of natural daylight just makes me plain ol' depressed and bereft of energy. The dreaded - Wintertime Blues has struck again!

If you, like me have an issue with the changing of the season then you know how counter productive it is to any creative effort. I completely shut down for a couple of weeks unless I actually have a pressing deadline. So what can one do to get out of this slump?

I don't know if what works for me will work for you, but here are some of my creative wintertime tips!

1. Get smart, get a new hobby!
Use some of your creative downtime to learn something new or plunge into a hobby that you've been neglecting for a while. I have been beading like crazy for the past two weeks and the end result is that I have a ton of home made Christmas gifts to show for it. (Great hobbies are for example gaming, beading, reading, writing, scrapbooking, whatever floats your boat)

2. I know you don't want to hear this, but clean your house!
It's amazing how creative and fresh you can feel after all the clutter around you has been thoroughly cleaned and sorted.

3. Participate!
Participate in an on-line contest, or an artist forum or with your artistic friends on Facebook, Blogspot or Deviantart or whatever social platform you prefer. You are guaranteed to be inspired by someone or something in the end.

4. Do something new!
Do something that you haven't done before creatively, like trying to draw something you haven't drawn before or try a technique you haven't tried before. It may spark just the right plugs in your brain to get the creative ball rolling. I have never drawn an Atari 2600 joystick before but yesterday I tried it and that kind of got me going with other things too.

5. Don't stress out!
There is nothing more counter productive than stressing out over things you haven't gotten around to doing yet. I should know, I do it all the time. ust lower your shoulders and breathe a little bit deeper. If you haven't done anything yet then I'm guessing the world isn't going to end if you put it off a little bit more. The laundry is not going anywhere and neither are the dirty dishes. Life is to be enjoyed after all!

Yeah, this is what I do...except for the cleaning...
I do intend to rectify that today though, because even though I don't enjoy it it's necessary ;)

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Train your brain Contest!

So if you are on DeviantArt and haven't been paying attention lately then you should do so now. If you are simply not a DeviantArt member yet now seems to be a good time to become one. DeviantArt has come together with TAD (the art department) and are now holding a contest with the most spectacular prizes!

As a young struggling artist I make it my business to know about and participate in as many events and contests that are relevant to my field as possible. You never know what might happen. Maybe your next job will come from somebody who noticed you, or maybe you win the contest or you might just end up with a good piece of art you wouldn't have made otherwise. Either way I think it's a good idea to participate and be an active part of the art community.

I deeply recommend you guys to take a quick peek at the contest by following the link below:

Train your brain contest!

Hopefully this will get your brains and ambitions going!

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fictional Five - The List!

Ok, so get ready for a silly post. I have contracted the flu so I' have done..nothing all day except watching videos on youtube...
 I'm always behind on memes or hypes or trends. I just can't keep up and most of the time I can't be bothered either. Because let's face it a lot of what happens on the Internet is just plain old stupid. However today I watched Vaginal Fantasy Hangout episode 2 with Felicia Day, Bonnie Burton, Kiala Kazabee and Veronica Belmont. (I'm sick, I needed entertainment and those girls are awesome!)
you can watch the episode here:

Anyway they broached the subject of  "The List", you know five celebrities you could be with..sexually if you met them. They however put a spin on it and made their own "Fictional Five" characters from games, cartoons, tv-shows, films and books. Now I have always had crushes on fictional characters instead of real that sounded very bad, but you get my point..I hope. Drooling after celebrities just feels weird because you don't know them as people, you just get to see the outside. Fictional characters however, you get to know them, you get to know their life stories and get whisked away into their respective alternate universes. So much more interesting. Did I mention that I love list making, well now I have!

Without any more ado here is my Fictional Five list:

1. Prince Arutha from the Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist.
He is noble, brooding and dark haired. Sort of like my fiancée when I think about it. That's kind of freaky!
(btw he marries a woman with the same name as I have, I like the sound of princess Anita :P).

2. Dante from the Devil May Cry video Games. Do I really have to explain myself?

3. Aragorn From Lord of the Rings

4. Fenris from Dragon Age 2

5. Eric Northman...True Blood, yes!

What's your Fictional Five?

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Undead in red

This in my mind is a crazy undead redhead. I mean she is either undead or she has a serious general aversion to sunlight. Who knows, but as my dear fiancée pointed out she looks mental either way.

(c) Anita K. Olsen



Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween from a stressed out pumpkin!

Yaaay, I love Halloween. Unfortunately I have to work all day tomorrow so not a lot of celebrating for me.
Not that I would let that stop me, no! I've dedicated a chunk of my day to Halloweeny goodnes. Yesterday I made Halloween cookies..they're all gone now...;) Today I made a pumpkin lantern!

Below you can see the process and the end result of my pumpkin carving endeavors!

It begins with an ordinary pumpkin...

Some surgical marks are placed upon it's little noggin. 

Open brain surgery going on here!

 Poor pumpkin. He is obviously stressed out about loosing his lid :P

 But now he looks awesome and glows in the dark!

Trick or Treat everyone ^^

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feather tattoo desgin v.2

Below is a tattoo design I made for a client. He had lost three people who were close to him,
and he wanted a tattoo in honor of their memory. The design had to contain three feathers and the text " I may not see you, but I can feel you.

The client was very happy with the design, and I can't wait to see the finished result of his tattoo.

(c) Anita K. Olsen 2012

If you are looking for a tattoo design please feel free to contact me at:


Until next time,
Anita K. Olsen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Logopalooza! Lots of logo sketches

Yes, yes, yes, walk right up and sneak a peak at the lovely fruits of my labor!

As some of you may have read in one of my previous posts I was hired to create a logo for a local company specializing in fish and shellfish, namely Røa Fisk AS. As a result I blogged about how one should approach the process of logo design. (I don't know if anyone besides myself found it interesting, but you can read about it here).  

Anyway, I've finished the project, and my employers seemed to be very happy with the end result.
If you read my previous post about logo design you might remember how I talked about the importance of doing proper research, sketching down your ideas and choosing a selection of your best ideas to show your client in a semi-finished version? Well below you can see a selection of logo sketches I made. These are all sketches I showed the clients, and still there were quite a lot of ideas I didn't show them. I gave them a lot to choose from, and since they didn't know what they really wanted I think it helped them to see the possibilities of what kind of logos they could end up with. It helped me as well, because after having looked at other similar logo types and having sketched 15-20 different logo suggestions I felt very confident in the selection I presented to my clients. We still needed to have several rounds of editing, but having done all the prep work I never lost that feeling of confidence in my own work. So I can't stress it enough, the prep work in the beginning of your projects are the most important ones, because they are the building blocks for the rest of your projects. ( I hope I didn't get too preachy on you guys there, I just get all hot and bothered when I talk about illustration).

I haven't posted the finished logo yet because they haven't launched it officially in their store or on their website, and even if we don't have an agreement on when I can show the design publicly I have chosen not to show it until they are ready, out of respect for my clients. So you'll just have to wait and see.

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A good cause!

I wanted to talk a little bit about an issue I care about. Namely animals and animal rights. I'm not going to preach, but I feel like I have something to say and what better place to do that than here on my blog.

Say hello to Madiba, the chunky Halloween cat, and yes he exists. This illustration was inspired by my black, slightly overweight cat. We recently adopted him because his original owners had to move far away and they couldn't take him with them.

I have always loved animals, and I can't stand it when I see pets or other animals being mistreated. I don't understand how some people just leave their cats in cardboard boxes in the middle of the road or when owners beat their dogs or starve their livestock. It just makes me angry inside.

I know that there are a lot of people out there that share my views, and a lot of them are members of animal rights groups or work in animal shelters. Those people deserve a lot of praise for the work they do, but you don't have to work in a shelter or be an activist to help our four-legged friends. I believe in the greatness of little things, every little bit helps. I'm not a member of any group, but I try to do my part.  My first cat was a stray that I named Hedwig. Someone had just left her on the countryside, she was starved and tiny when she first came to us. I didn't have the heart to leave her by herself so I took her in. She was such a great pet, she was like a sneaky little cuddle-lovin' ninja cat. When I moved to Oslo I sadly had to leave her behind, but my grandmother took good care of her after that, but unfortunately she had to be put down due to illness (the cat, not my grandmother).

After moving around a bit and studying abroad we (my fiancée and I) decided it was time for a new cat.I chose to adopt a cat who needed a new home instead of buying a brand new kitten from a breeder. I originally wanted to adopt one from the local animal shelter, but they didn't have any cats that were suited to my living situation, and I didn't want to adopt a cat that I knew wouldn't be a fit. No-one would benefit from that. So I checked some on-line ads and we ended up with Madiba, a quiet, kind of shy black cat, who loves being carried around and snores when he sleeps. He loves food and he really likes sleeping in the hallway closet. Purrr-fect match.

My Fiancée and Madiba the cat.

A friend of mine has volunteered at an animal shelter for dogs and cats a few times. There volunteers can walk the dogs and socialize kittens and puppies. That is something I want to try one day as well. Now to all of my readers out there I want to encourage you to do some good too, because no matter what you do a little is better than nothing and will definitely be appreciated. Whether you choose to donate to an animal rights cause, adopt a pet from a shelter or from a home, volunteer some time or choose to join an organization. We all have favorite causes, and this is mine.

So if you've read this entire post, thank you, and remember to show some love for our furry friends

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen



Friday, September 28, 2012

My 5 egregious omissions in Fantasy Literature!

Today I am getting my geek on for real!

I was very entertained and inspired by a recent post made by Zachary Matzo over at Fantasy Faction.
He wrote a list of the top 5 fantasy reads he hadn't read. I thought it was a fun twist. He encouraged people to make their own versions of the list and since I love making lists (yes, I am fully aware that this makes me seem a bit odd), and since I do love love love fantasy literature I've decided to follow his lead and do a similar list.

Please don't hold this very sensitive information against me, I'm only human after all (unfortunately, if I had it my way I would be an elf..or no wait, a vampire..I can't decide.)

This is me..deeply considering the implications of being an elf or a vampire

My top 5 egregious omissions:

1. A song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
- I know I am terrible. I should be hunted with pitchforks by angry villagers, but in my defense it's not really my fault. I tried reading it when I was 14 or 15. I couldn't afford buying the books so I had to borrow them at the local library , and every time I tried borrowing the damn books they were not available or I would get wait-listed. So there, blame my local library, not me.

2. The wheel of time- Did you think this list would be getting less embarrassing right about now? Well think again. I have tried and tried to read this entire series. I've gotten as far as to book 4 or something and then nothing. For some reason I just can't get past the fourth book. Once again blame my public library. Not to mention that each time I try to read it again it's been so long since the last time I read it that I have to start all over again. Maybe if someone gifted me with the entire series, maybe then I would be able to get through it (hint hint)....OK, not funny yet...

3. Sandman
- Like Mr. Matzo I have never really read the sandman comics at all. I have one comic about the character Death that I purchased by happenstance once, but I never got around to actually buying the proper Sandman series. Which is kind of annoying, considering I've read quite a lot of Neil Gaimans novels.

4. Alice in wonderland- To me this one is a bit like swearing in church. I can't really believe I haven't read this one at all. I've seen the movies, I know the story well, I even dressed up as Alice for Halloween one year (in a dreadful wig, that I will not be showing any of you any time soon). There just isn't any excuse.

5. Anne McCaffrey
- I have never read Anne McCaffrey either. I bought one of her novels at a used book sale, it's been sitting in my shelf collecting dust for at least 7 years. I've never opened it, I just bought it because it had a dragon on the cover. Alas I got sidetracked by Maggie Furey and her Shadowleague trilogy. What can I say, the cover art on Fureys books just spoke to me in a way that the McCaffrey covers never did. I'm a sucker for good art..and considering my profession I guess that piece of information was a bit obvious...

So there you have it, my top five egregious omissions..Please do feel free to share yours with me or with Mr. Matzo over at Fantasy Faction!

Just to make up for that awful list, here is a short list of literary awesomeness that I have read:

The Belgariad by David Eddings
The Legend of Deverry by Katherine Kerr
Sheepfarmers daughter by Elizabeth Moon
The collected works of Raymond E. Feist
Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Lord of the rings, the hobbit and Silmarillion by Tolkien
All the Harry Potter books
Dragonlance by Margaret Weis
Shadowleague by Maggie Furey
The Dark Matter by Phillip Pullman
Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks
Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind
you get the picture...

currently reading the Malazan book of the fallen  series by Steven Erickson, book seven, Reapers Gale.

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Personal development (draw this again)

Yes today we are talking about personal development, but not of the emotional kind.
Today I am focusing on the development of technical skill. Personally I am never truly 100% pleased with my artwork. I won't allow myself to be, because the moment you do you become complacent. My goal is to  keep learning, keep improving and keep working hard for as long as I live. I love to learn and I have always strived to become a better artist, or a better person or a better, well everything. So naturally every once in a while it is nice to see how far you've come.

Below you can see two images. The first one is an older illustration of mine. I made it a couple of years ago, and it was one of my first completely digital illustrations.

This week I decided to remake it in the spirit of Deviantarts current "draw this again" contest. The whole point of the contest was to choose and old image from your own Deviantart gallery and draw it again. I thought this sounded like a great challenge for me, and it would also allow me to see how much my skills had improved since I made the original Illustration.

As you can see the two illustrations have the same original design, but the details and the colors differ vastly.
I decided to create a greater contrast between the background and the pendant. In the first version the pendant had a golden color very similar to that of the background and seemed to blend in with it a bit. In the new one however I feel that the pendant pops more. Also the new version is more polished, and neat. The details are more refined and there is actually a proper background. In the original version I got the feeling that the necklace was just floating in thin air, but in the new version it is placed on a background of silk. This gives the image more visual interest and puts the necklace into context, it actually belongs somewhere now.

I could probably bore you with more details, but lucky for you I won't do that.

What I am going to do is encourage you to try this experiment for yourselves. How far have you come in the past two or three years? Have you pushed yourself? Have you been slacking? If you have improved vastly was it because you had a goal to do so or is it more happenstance? To find out do the challenge ;)

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen


Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to create a logo?

Yeah, well I haven't been super good at updating this blog in the past few weeks. I have done it, but you know life keeps getting in the way.

Today I want to toot my own horn as it were. I am currently working on a gig. I am designing a logo for a business who works with seafood. It's not exactly what I usually do, but I have done it before on occasion. I'm getting into it more and more. It's an art unto itself to actually create a good logo that properly conveys the business behind it. I do however find it to be way easier to create logos for others instead of making one for myself. I think it has something to do with distance and perspective. Being on the outside I find it easier to pinpoint exactly what is special about another person or their respective business.

In the spirit of my new gig I thought I would give you all some pointers on how you should approach the process of creating a logo. My pointers is a mix of personal experience, the advice of other professionals or other sources as the interwebnets ;)

How to create a logo:

1. What do they want?
When you create a logo for someone it is always best to start with a meeting where you can discuss with your client, and get to know what it is they want. Sometimes a client doesn't know what they want at all, it then falls to you to figure out what that may be by asking questions about the business in question. what is it they need? How does the business want to be perceived? Do they want a logo with a symbol or do they just want one that is font based(just text)? What kind of colors do they want in their logo? The more details you can squeeze out of your clients the better.

2. Do the research!At this point you should research other logos that already exist out there. Specifically logos that are in the same field as the one you are about to design. By doing this you will get a clear idea of what is out there. You can see what others have thought about when faced with a similar challenge, and you can choose to be inspired by that or go in a completely different direction. One important point is that you can also avoid plagiarizing someones else's work by accident. After all great minds think alike!

3. Start sketching
After having met with your client and having looked at other logos you should have more than enough inspiration and concepts swimming around in your head. Now it's time to get them down on paper. You don't have to be very refined right now. The important thing is to get your ideas down on paper and not get too attached to any one given idea.

4. Develop!Ok, so you've developed some neat ideas now. You should choose some of the ideas you think stand out as the best concepts and develop them a bit more. Draw them cleanly, add some color and create a sense of what the logos would look like as a finished product.

5. Reviews and revisions
Once you are satisfied that your prototype logos are communicating your ideas properly you can send them to your clients for review. Let the client look at the logos and choose their favorites. If they are satisfied you can continue forwards in your process. It is much more common however that the client has some revisions in mind, like changing the colors, adding some details, using a different font, and so on. Based on the feedback given you revise your ideas. In the rare and frustrating event of the client not liking any of the suggestions you've made, you go back to the sketching process and start over or show them some of the ideas you scrapped earlier in the process. Hopefully the client will be satisfied the second time around.

6. Finishing up!
At this point both you and your client should be happy with the look of the logo. Now what you need to do is finish it up. Make the final product. Simple as that. Send the files to your clients and be sure to offer them help and customer service if it seems like they need it. A lot of small companies may be in need of some extra help when it comes to the use of their logo, copyrights and so on as they usually don't have a graphic design department or PR - rep. Helping your client like this leaves your client with a positive impression of you and this will make it more likely that they will recommend you to others.

Ok, so that was my quick guide to logo creation. It's a very general guide and you may find that you run into problems or specific terms that are unique to your specific assignment, but I believe that this is a good all purpose guide for those of you who want to take a stab at this specific field of illustration and design.

For more on this subject feel free to visit these pages:

Until next time!
Anita K. Olsen


Sunday, September 9, 2012

A couple of words on self-confidence

So lately I have been pondering a lot. I have been thinking about what it takes to be in the business of freelance illustration. It is a tough business, it's not for those who give up easily, or those who struggle a lot with self esteem issues.

I have also been thinking a lot about who I am and why I fit in to the business in certain ways and how I do not fit into the business in other ways. I do have rather large self-esteem issues, which is less than ideal. I've struggled with it all my life, even though a lot of people may not notice it. That's because I'm stubborn, and refuse to give up just because certain things makes me feel uncomfortable.

In the video below I talk about the subject of self - confidence, and share a simple tip on how you can start to build up your own confidence. It may be a bit long, but I think it's definitely worth the watch.

So enjoy episode 5 of Anita Illustrated:

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I have no idea how to manage my days!

Have you ever felt that way?
I have on so many occasions that I have lost count.
It's not because I don't have a clue about time management. I am a virtual master of scheduling and
efficiency. I can plan the hell out of pretty much everything. I have read the theory of time management, I have read about how other artists manage their time and what they spend their working days doing so the problem lies somewhere else.

It lies in execution.
It lies in the fact that I am big fucking scaredy cat!

Too many times I sit down to do some networking or to approach new potential customers or I'll try to look for an agent that can represent me and I have no idea of how I'm supposed to do it. I'm always terrified of offending people, writing the wrong things in my e-mails, sounding unprofessional or any number of silly things like that. I sometimes also find myself stumped when it comes to actually finding new potential clients and markets where my art would fit in. I'm not a 3D modeler, I don't do programming or graphic design. Even though I work mostly digitally I'm pretty much and old fashioned illustrator. I like to do book covers, character designs, spot illustrations, concept art, band merchandise like stickers and t-shirt designs and so on, but I can't do animation and my style is not really a modern editorial style, it just doesn't fit in with what the market seems to be going for these days and it's really frustrating.

I didn't fit in at school, or among most people in general before. I've gotten a lot better at it now though on a personal level, but I'm still struggling in most other aspects of my life. Most of my problems I find to be based in fear. I'm terrified of failure, just the idea of not being able to achieve my goals is sometimes enough to stop me from even starting a project, or I'll start working but I won't let anyone know about it because I'm scared that people will ridicule my efforts. However because I'm stubborn I force myself to do things I'm scared of all of the time. It's exhausting, and I fret so much over my own failures and inadequacies that I have trouble sleeping at night.

The most frustrating part of it all is that I don't have an answer to my problem. At least not a definitive solution. The only thing I can do is suck it up and keep going no matter how scared I am at times. Nothing is going to happen if I just sit around moping. I read once that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to fight despite of it. So I guess that makes me courageous, and maybe thats all one needs when faced with adversity or ones own fears and inadequacies. A little bit of bravery, mental strength, and I'm sure that a little bit of naivety goes a long way too.

Any thoughts people?

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alien queen illustration

Yay, another illustration finished. I don't have any projects at the moment, and usually it drives me insane thinking about it. To be honest I'm obsessive..manic maybe even. I am fully capable of stressing myself to the brink of  a panic attack This time however I'm trying something different. I'm focusing on having fun, doing challenges and personal pieces. Which todays illustration is a clear indicator of. I did this one for the ImagineFX weekly forum challenge(number 292). 

This weeks challenge was actually based of my very own theme suggestion. I'm kind of taking that as a small personal victory. I like celebrating the small things ^^
The brief was to make a portrait of an alien queen. She had to be wearing some sort of crown and it had to be a full on portrait. So this is what I made:

P.S. Full view is recommended! 

(c) Anita K. Olsen

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hulder - My first ImagineFX challenge entry!

So I just finished my entry for the ImagineFX weekly challenge number 290 yesterday. The deadline is today and I'm very excited to see the line-up. There are some pretty spectacular entries this week. This was my first time entering one of their challenges so I was a little nervous about my skill level. I wasn't sure whether I could hold my own, but I think I did pretty well.

The brief was to make a mock cover for the magazine featuring a creature design where the head and the shoulders of the creature had to be visible on the page.
I chose to draw a mythical creature from Norwegian folklore. It's called a Hulder. It's a creature from the underworld who takes the shape of a beautiful young woman and lures men into the underworld or deep into the forests where they can lie with them and then kill them if they are not satisfied. A Hulder usually has a tail similar to that of a cow or a fox depending on where in Scandinavia you live, or she can have a hollow back, much like an old hollow log.

Now that you have been duly briefed on Norwegian folklore, here is my entry for this weeks challenge.
The top one is the mock cover featuring the ImaginFX logo (which I claim no ownership of, it's there strictly for challenge purposes) And the bottom image is the original illustration without all the noise.

Image (c) Anita K. Olsen 

Image (c) Anita K. Olsen

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cooking with magic - colored version!

Ooh dear, this dish just went wrong in all kinds of ways :P Hopefully she will be able to save it.
If you want to see the original sketch please check out my previous post, you will find it there along with a little anecdote that goes with the picture.

Hope you guys like it.

(c) Anita K. Olsen

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cooking with magic!

Today I bring you a cute little sketch of an elven witch trying to learn how to cook with magic. Obviously it's not working out too well as she is having a nuclear melt down in her kitchen ;)

She is kind of inspired by my mother, who despite her best efforts often have accidents and bad luck in the kitchen. My fondest memory of my mother in the kitchen is the meat ball incident, where my mother being very sick of canned meatball/vegetable soup placed one of the meatballs on her spoon and sent it flying between the kitchen walls. My brother and I of course thought it was hilarious and I think we were allowed to shoot one meatball each as well. The incident never repeated itself though. We were too well mannered for such things I suppose 

(C) Anita K. Olsen

Anyway mom, this one's for you :p

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

What I did with my summer vacation!

Helloo everyone. How are you all doing? Good I hope.

Today I just want to talk about the little things that make the big difference. The last two weeks have sort of been my holiday this year. It's been raining almost non-stop and I couldn't afford to travel anywhere so I was pretty much stuck at home. I haven't drawn a thing in over a week. Not because I didn't want to, but because needed not to.

My mind and my body needed a break, to relax and to think of other things besides illustration. I have a tendency to get a bit manic when I work, and a lot of you know this already. I plunge into projects, work myself half to death and no one really gets to see hide nor hair of me for days or weeks at a time. That's why it is very important for me to take brakes when they are available,and try to have a decent life beyond that of illustration and promotion.

So what have I been doing all this time? A lot actually. My mother and some of my younger siblings came to visit, and they are quite the handfull at times, but it was very nice to see them again. Go shopping, go swimming, visit the amusement park and things like that.

My adorable siblings. He's trying to game in peace but she is not having it!

I have tended to my new hobby, jewellery making and beadweaving. Some of my results turned out pretty great as you can see below. It's tons of fun to have a hobby like this where I get to create something tangible and wearable.

This is a flat spiral stitch bracelet

 Brickstitched hoop earrings:

 Simple seedbead embellished bracelet:

Purple pearl earrings: 

 Wire wrapped blue droplet crystal, and silver angel wings earrings:

 Antiqued silver key, and cream pearl earrings:

I also decided to participate in the DnDNext playtest where players get to test the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons and take surveys and give the developers feedback on what they think of the new rules and systems. I can't really talk about it much since it's all very secretive but suffice to say that it's interesting and fun, and I'm the DM for the first time in my life which is kind of intimidating.

I've also attended a party, redesigned some band stickers and I've gamed a lot of Ratchet and Clank on my PS3.

Now the plan is to get back into working mode, promote the business, make new videos, try to get illustration gigs, participate in challenges on and and of course go back to my regular part time job...

My days are looking a bit full, but hey that's just how it's got to be.

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Octopus tea party

Yeah you read it! Begold the teeny tiny. but awesome octopus tea party. This illustration is based on the children's book story I am currently writing. The main character is a pirateprincess who befriends a giant octopus after discovering him in a dark dingy cave while looking for treasure.

(c) Anita K. Olsen

Hope you enjoyed it!

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Anita Illustrated: How to color a drawing in Photoshop - Part 3

Yaaaay, I finally finished my video tutorials! It’s taken quite a lot of time, but I am so proud of myself for doing this and actually finishing it.
I don’t make any money of it, the only thing I get in return is knowing that I might have been able to help someone out there with their own illustration projects.

I hope all of you have enjoyed watching my videos and if you did I would love if you would subscribe to my channel for new video updates
in the future. Here’s the last video, enjoy!

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Friday, June 29, 2012

How to color a drawing in Photshop - part 2!

Tadaaa! Yes, finially it is here! The second part of my new video tutorial has arrived.
Here we get to continue on the journey on the ways of coloring a pencild rawing in Photoshop.
Oh the fun of it eh?!

Anyway enjoy it, an part 3 will be available soon!

Any questions?

Until next time!
Anita k. Olsen

Monday, June 25, 2012

How to color a drawing in Photoshop - part 1

Okaaay! So it's finally here! Part 1 of my wonderful video tutorial is finally finished. This is a basic tutorial that shows you how I color a pencil drawing with the help from trusty ol' Photoshop. I believe I have done a good job describing the first part of my process. Part two will hopefully be posted in a couple of days time. I'm working on it right now!

Until then sit back and enjoy How to color a drawing in Photoshop - part 1, with me:

Any questions?

Until next time:
Anita K. Olsen

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Little elvish waif

Todays little marble is a sad little elf girl. I don't really know why she is sad. That is the mystery.
Any suggestions?

I am stil working hard on the first part of my video tutorial. Hopefully I will be able to publish it on Sunday evening or early Monday.

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunglasses and lollipops

Since it is now finally summer and the sun is nice and bright today I figured I would post something nice and summery. The only way this girl could be more summery is if she was eating an ice ceam instead of a lollipop.

I know this is a bit different from all the fantasy stuff I usually post, but I felt like it was necessary to take a step out of the fantastical realm and into something more ordinary and relatable. After all I am versatile artist, which means that I am capable of drawing more than just elves and heroes and dragons and stuff. Every once in a while it's good to remind yourself and  the people around you of that fact.

Hope the summer is treating you guys well so far, and that it will do so in the near future as well.

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Arch the Angel

Todays drawing is a lovely angel. Her name is "Arch" and she is the angel of twilight. At least that's what I think she is. Please note her fashion forward haircut! (fullview people).

She will be the featured drawing in my upcoming video tutorial about how I do my digital coloring. It was requested by one of the new followers on my Norwegian blog, but since I'm so into sharing I'll post it here also.I have yet to start making the tutorial but I at least have the base drawing and concept. I am spending some time getting acquainted with some editing software and the fraps programe tha will allow me to record my process. It may take a while, but it's coming I promise!

Tomorrow I will be at work most of the day, but maybe I'll be able to get started on this new venture on Thursday, we'll see ;)

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Contact info for Anita K. Olsen Illustration:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Scarab tattoo illustration

I recently bought the newest anatomy special from ImagineFX, my all time favorite magazine. I flipped through it and got the intense urge to draw human anatomy. Specifically a part of the human anatomy that I almost never draw. The human back. Let me tell you it is so much harder to draw a good image of the human back than you would think. There are so many subtle muscles and angles that need to be taken into consideration. I needed a lot of reference to do a decent sketch of it.

Just drawing the human anatomy is a nice challenge in itself, but since I love a bit of flair of detail in my art I decided to create an egyptian scarab tattoo on the womans back. I also went for some sort of interesting hair-do as opposed to the loose natural hair I often do.

I actually like this image very much. The colors are nice ant the anatomy looks decent. The fact that you can't see the womans face is kind of intruiging to me. it leaves questions in the mind. Who is she? How old is she? Where does she come from?

(c) Anita K. Olsen

Well that's all for now, I'll try to make a new video for the Anita Illustrated vlog, something useful, but also fun.

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen


Sunday, June 17, 2012

My very first podcast...ever!

Whoopi I just made my first podcast video thingy. Now you all get to enjy watching me blab on a bout the business of illustration in addition to reading about it. How awesome is that!

Seeing as this is the pilot it's not going to be the best video ever made, but It's a start. I would very much appreciate any feedback you could possibly afford me.

So sit back and watch 4 minutes of my make-up free face yapping about my new podcast project!

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen.

Smoke and shadows - a portrait

It's been a little while since I've been able to post anything. I've been struggling with a lot of work, exhaustion and well just a plain old lack of creativity. I needed a break, but now I think I'm back again.

I did some photos of myself which I plan to use for future reference in case I need to do some portraits. I was going to leave it at that, but I couldn't resist playing around in Photoshop a little bit so today I have some photographs to show you instead of my usual illustrations.

Hope you'll enjoy them and see them for what they are. A bit of fun. We all need that every once in a while :)

Original photo 1:

Edited photo 1

original photo 2:

Editied photo 2:

Digital media is just an endless opportunity for fun!

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My ghostly appearance and a good cause!

The story behind the portrait? It's not too big really. Rather it is part of a slightly bigger story. I was working on a skateboard design for the "Kickflip for a cause" contest, arranged by deviantart and the vans warped tour 2012. Kickflip for a cause is a contest held to raise awareness around Boarding for breast cancer. The assignment was this:

Create a skate deck design for one of the four bands that will be shredding up the stage at this Summer's Vans Warped Tour and support the work of Boarding for Breast Cancer! Even better, winners walk away with some awesome prizes! Boarding for Breast Cancer, is a non-profit organization educating young people on breast cancer awareness and breast health.

I liked the cause, I like one of the bands participating, I didn't really need more motvation than that! Anywhoot, I had a great idea for a board design, but for that I needed a female portrait. I didn't have the time to set up a photo session with a model so I photographed myself with make-up running down my face and into my eyes. It stung so much I could hardly see. You have no idea how hard it is to do a good picture when your face is smeared with make-up and water, but hey I got the right picture in the end. I based the portrait on my own face, adding, stretching, making up and beautifying my visage until I had something that looked like what I wanted. The result is below:

(c) Anita K. Olsen

it's too late to participate in the contest unfortunately, but if you would like to see some of the other entries and maybe show your appreciation towards the people who put in an effort for the cause than head over to deviantart and take a look at all the cool and different designs! Links can be found at the bottom of this post.

And of course below is my super duper bananapancakesawesome skateboard design. Enjoy!

(c) Anita k. Olsen

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Feather Tattoo Design

This is the most recent tattoo design of mine. The client, in this case a friend of mine wanted to tattoo a feather on her wrist with the word "breathe" written above it, but she couldn't find anything generic that she liked, and she also wanted something unique that would be only hers. This is where I come in, solver of design problems!

I had her give me some reference material to get a clear idea of what she actually wanted and then I fixed her up with some nice sketches and when she decided on a design she liked I whipped up a lovely finished feather for her.

Here is the design itself:

(c) Anita K. Olsen

And this is what the finished tattoo looked like right after it was finished:

Need a tattoo design? Then feel free to get in touch by contacting me either her on the blog or via

Until next time,
Anita K. Olsen

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The bumblebee post delivery system!

Today my head was a total blank. I had no ideas at all so I needed help. It doesn't happen often, this whole not having any ideas, but when it happens it hits my brain hard. A lot of people have different techniques for working through a block. I usually browse the web for stuf that I like and hope that I can pick up something useful. I vaguely remembered hearing about creative idea generators that you can find online and googled the term. I found a site that worked nicely for me. I pressed the "add a word" button twice and ended up with the words "envelope" and "bee". That really got my brain up and running again. I had three different ideas swimming around in there in just a couple of seconds. I liked two of them so I've made one which is the image you can see below and I'll be making another more detailed fantasy concept that I'll try to work on during the coming week.

So without further ado I present the "Bumblebee post delivery system" or BPDS for short
Got a block? Bored? or just plain curious?

Until next time,
Anita K. Olsen

Thursday, May 24, 2012

There are butterflies in my stomach

Not literally of course. But it sure feels like I either have an army of butterflies or a really large seagull flapping around in there.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had finally decided to start focusing on writing as well as illustration. I made a promise to myself and I made a promise to you my dear followers. I was going to finish my children's book manuscript and hand it in to a publisher.

Guess what? I did. Today, this very day. I attended the weekly editors corner at Cappelen Damms bookstore Halvbroren, which is held every Thursday. Editors from different departments who are ready to talk to you about your book idea and receive manuscripts are at the scene for an hour. I walked in there nervous as hell. I kid you not I was so nervous I was even trembling a little. That says a lot considering it's like 26 degrees celsius in Oslo right now. I came early because I didn't know whether there would be a long line or lots of people, but there was only me and one other girl. Imagine that.

I sat there waiting in the bookstore for about 20 minutes, I had to buy a smoothie from the little coffee shop next door to cool down, and to have something to focus on besides being anxious. It happens every time I do something big or meet someone who might be important to my future career. I sweat and I shake and my stomach clenches up. I think it's because I care so much about what I do. I really want to make an impression on the world. I want people to love my art, I want little kids to read my books and cherish the memories of them when they grow up like I cherish the books I read when I was little.

Anyway, the editor arrives, my number is called and I meet and greet with him. We talk briefly about the story and the fact that it was originally my grandmother that made it up, I've just put some finishing touches here and there and edited it. We spoke a little bit about my education and then he took my manuscript and said that in about 6 weeks time they would let me know what they thought about it.

I'm a bit in shock right now. I can't believe I did it, but I did. I handed in my very first manuscript. Yay!
Of course I will let you know how it all goes. In the meantime here is a little snack from an upcoming image:

(c) Anita K. Olsen

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Oh sweet sweet temptation...

I love cupcakes, I can't help myself. I bake them quite a lot, and I usually end up eating all of them in a feeding frenzy.

I was a little bored today and it is a sunday. So I decided to draw something for fun, but didn't know what to draw. So I scanned my apartment for something to draw and my eyes fell on my small ceramic cupcake jars. I think they are super cute, my fiancée on the other hand hates them and believes them to be totally useless...

Hah, proved him wrong didn't I, because they inspired me to draw this awesome blue cupcake:

(c) Anita K. Olsen

Tomorrow I'm starting a new week. Hopefully I will be able to get some paperwork done, since that is quite important when you are running a business. Have a nice new week everybody ^^

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Who says you can only have one career? Superstars nowadays seem to be juggling up to two or three careers at the same time, singer, designer, television  host, actor, you name it they do it. So why can't I?

I have grown up with dreams of becoming a rock star, an artist, an author, a dancer, at one point I even wanted to become a truck driver for the Coca Cola Company! (I was very little, don't judge). Some dreams faded and died and some are still alive today. I realized pretty early that I could not be a dancer because I don't have one co-ordinated bone in my body. I am afraid of cars and traffic so truck driver was out of the question, and I never learned to play an instrument, though I am still a decent singer so who knows. One of the dreams that have stuck with me so far is obviously the artist thing, I am an illustrator so that dream is coming true every day. The other dream that has made it so far is the dream of writing, and lately the urge to write has become stronger and stronger. I feel I can't ignore it anymore.

Illustration (c) Anita K. Olsen Illustration

I've been writing for years. Short stories or the beginnings of books, I have never published a single thing though. I love dreaming up characters and plots, weaving a magical tale that will set the imaginations of others on fire. I feel good on the inside when I write, just like I feel when I make illustrations. it's the intense joy of creation. Just thinking about it gets my heart pumping and makes my face feel warm. My only problem is that I am afraid to believe in myself and my own writing. I'm always afraid that it won't be good enough. I may love it myself, but will others? Therefore I have never submitted anything to a publisher. The closest I get to publishing things is when I write this blog. I enjoy it a lot, but I still dream of holding my very own book in my hands, written and illustrated by me...Aaah that is truly the dream.

I have a short children's story about the wind that I would really like to publish. It was originally created by my grandmother, she used to tell me that story when my brother and I slept over at her house. We absolutely loved it. Last Christmas my grandmother gave me the story, needless to say I cried like a baby when I opened the present. I think she hoped that I could finish what she had started. Her dream had been to become a children's book writer. She wanted to have her stories published, but she never got around to do it. Sadly, she died this year and thinking about it still breaks my heart into tiny pieces. So in honor of her memory my intention is to publish her story, as a last tribute to a wonderful person and a fantastic grandmother..Wish me luck..

Illustration (c) Anita K. Olsen Illustration

Until next time
Anita K. Olsen