50s Gal by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com60s Gal by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com70s Gal by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com80s Gal by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com90s Gal by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com

Maybe I’ve been watching too many SATC, Friends, and Seinfeld reruns, maybe it’s having watched The Breakfast Club for the first time over the weekend (WHAT?!. I KNOW). Maybe it’s the new project I’m working on, but I had a little fun over the weekend drawing some ladies by decade the last few days. I kept the face shape the same, but changed the hair, shirt, and glasses to reflect the appropriate decade to which each belongs. Can you guess the decade each gal belongs to?

You can see more of my work and plenty of silly characters in my portfolio.


by Kayla on 08/26/2013

tagged as , , in ART,INKLING PAPER


There’s always that person, no matter where you go, no matter where you work, that makes you just want to rip your hair out. I’ve been struggling with a person like this at my day job for a while now and I think I finally need to say something. Any advice on how to deal with a difficult person at work (specifically one whose position is quite above mine)?

My apologies for a rainy Monday (emotionally speaking). It’s not always rainbows and unicorns over here, but I’m hoping some of you can relate. And here’s a cute sheep drawing to make up for the downer post.

Illustration from my Cargo


by Kayla on 07/29/2013

tagged as , in ART,MY LIFE

Zoo Parade by Kayla King
Happy Friday everyone!  Today I wanted to share a new illustration that I did for Minted last week, along with the process behind it.  I often get asked about my drawing process, so this post is a long time coming.  I’ll do my best to break it down, but if you have any questions, please feel free to email me.  I’m happy to share my secrets (p.s. they’re not at all secret).

So the first thing I always start with is a sketch.  It doesn’t matter if I’m hand inking the drawing (as in this particular piece) or drawing straight into Photoshop or Illustrator, I feel most comfortable with a pencil and paper and feel that it helps me get my ideas out in a way that is much less restrictive than if I draw straight from my crazy brain into the computer.  This piece was designed for Minted.com, for a children’s art challenge.  My goal was to create a piece that was fun and illustrative that kids would enjoy looking at in their room, but could be personalized as a gift for new parents, as well.

I like to start with a small thumbnail sketch (or sketches), trying to think out the initial composition.  You will see here that all I knew at this point was that I wanted some animals and instruments.  I wanted the animals to all come from the same region of the world so it didn’t seem haphazard, so I went with Africa.  I made a list off to the left of my sketch of a bunch of animals that seemed like they might work in this piece. I didn’t end up using all of them, but it’s a good reference to be able to come back to if you get stuck later.  I also made a list of instruments commonly found in a marching band.  I would have loved to have had the lion playing the banjo, but for consistency, I took it out, as banjo’s aren’t found in marching bands.

Next, I laid out rough sketches of the animals in approximate body positions with the instruments I wanted them to be playing.  I also started to think about putting them in band uniforms here.  You’ll see the instruments and uniforms change throughout the process.

My Image My Image

After rough sketching, I like to take a first pass at inking.  I use tracing paper and micron pens for this task.  I used a Micron .005 here.

I wanted to show the evolution of some of the animals here.  I first had an antelope where the zebra was, but I felt like I needed a visually heavier animal here, so I drew a zebra instead.  I felt like the stripes of the zebra lent a better visual weight in that space.
Zoo Parade Process by Kayla King

I thought about incorporating a honey badger, but he didn’t have quite the character of meerkat, so he was nixed. Hedgehog swapped out a harmonica for a simplified take on a bugle.  I also started thinking about how to add personalized elements.  Hedgehog got a hat and banner for this purpose.
Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingZoo Parade Process by Kayla King

Once I got all the animals worked out with their approximate personalized elements and locations, I overlayed the entire piece with a fresh sheet of trace paper. I inked the entire piece all together at this point and scanned it into the computer.  A little cleanup in Photoshop using Levels and the eraser tool and it looked pretty good to me.  Time to bring it into Illustrator for color and text.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingIn Illustrator, I began by coloring the band uniforms using the pen tool.  I chose a pink fill color for now.  I also added some vector music notes.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingAs I colored, I made groups of all the same elements: band uniforms, sheet music, banners, cheeks, and birds.  This makes it easy to select everything in one color group later on.  Alternatively, you can click on the element you want to change color and then Select>Same to select everything with the same fill, stroke, or both.  It’s pretty handy.

Once I had everything pathed where I wanted color, I added in the personalized text.  I used the type on a path tool for some of the curved text elements.

Now, Minted always wants 2-3 colorways for their artwork, so I went ahead and created some different color groups.  I made sure to group all the color elements together and then simply copied that group twice, right on top of itself.  I turned off the two new groups to focus on the colors for this first colorway.  I knew I liked the fuscia, so that’s where I started.  Here’s a handy tool in Illustrator for quickly looking at different color combinations: in your panels, you’ll find a little tool called “Color Guide”. With your base color selected, click on the color guide.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla King

This tool gives you a palette of colors based on your selected color. You have shades to the left and tints to the right.  Now, these colors were a little boring for me, so within this Color Guide tool, there is another one located at the bottom of the palette.  It looks like a color wheel and is a tool to edit or apply colors.  Click it.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla King

Within this command, you can look at lots of different color combinations very quickly.  The drop down box at the top shows you different color combinations on the color wheel.

Process-9Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingIf you click on the edit tab within this tool, you can check out all the colors in that color group.  You can view the color wheel three different ways and recolor your art quickly based on the new base color you choose.  For example, I am looking at the color wheel in a segmented view here.  I’ve moved the primary color over to the yellow area and chosen “Tetrad 2″ under the Harmony Rules tab.  When I check the “recolor art” box at the bottom left, BOOM!  Color palette changed.  The possibilities are endless. You can also save interesting color palettes so you can apply them later.

I wanted to share this trick in case some of you hadn’t played with it before.  Not only is is a neat way to see lots of different color combos, it’s a huge time saver.  Bonus.

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingThe final three color schemes I came up with are below:

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla KingNow, all I have to do is turn my text back on and the piece is finished!

Zoo Parade Process by Kayla King

Did you guys like this post? Would you be interested in seeing more process posts? If so (or if not), let me know! Hollar back on Twitter @InklingPaper or in the comments below!

1 comment

by Kayla on 07/12/2013

tagged as , , , , , in ART,INKLING PAPER

Cycling Sausage by Kayla King for minted.com | tinyinklings.comGood morning!  I just wanted to pop in and share a little illustration that I did for the latest design challenge over on Minted. This cycling dachshund was inspired by my two sausage dogs, Indy and Fritz.  We caught Fritz dreaming the other day and running and woofing in his sleep.  I can only imagine the things he dreams about, but I like to think that racing to the finish line in doggles on his vintage bicycle is one of them.

If you felt so inclined to cast a vote for my work over on Minted, you can do so here.  Thanks!

1 comment

by Kayla on 07/10/2013

tagged as , , in ART,INKLING PAPER

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops | tinyinklings.comI have to admit, we are such babies here on the Central Coast of California when it comes to actual weather.  If it drops below 50, people go crazy with the scarves and hats.  If it starts to rain, stay off the highway.  Seriously, people do not know how to drive in the rain.  And, perhaps, worst of all, when temperatures “soar” above 85, everyone starts to complain about the heat.  The trick is having a secret stash of tricks to beat the heat.  Mine include a fan, a sprinkler and bathing suit in the back yard, going to the beach, and ice pops.  Lots of ice pops.

My Image My Image

You guys know me, though.  I can’t just go out and buy popsicles.  Not only are the store bought ones often (not always), loaded with refined sugar and other unpronounceable ingredients, but it’s so easy to make your own, you’ll wonder why you never did.  This time around, I dug through my pantry and found a can of coconut milk, a jar of honey, and a jar of vanilla bean paste (graciously sent to me by the folks over at Singing Dog Vanilla).  I had two limes left from a party the previous weekend.  Perfect.  All these ingredients were just begging to be put together, so I obliged.  The result is a creamy, limey ice pop with a hint of vanilla.  Perfect for days when hot means 80°.  I know.  Wusses.

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops | tinyinklings.comCoconut Vanilla Lime Pops by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops
makes 4 ice pops


1 can full-fat coconut milk (organic if you can find it)
juice of 1/2 a large lime
zest of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste*
1 tsp. organic honey**


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour mixture into ice pop mold and Freeze until solid.  Enjoy on a hot day!

*If you can’t find vanilla bean paste, substitute 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste for 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded.  Increase honey to 2 tsp.

**Make it vegan and swap the honey for agave nectar!


by Kayla on 07/08/2013

tagged as , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

Just wanted to share a pattern I worked on lately.  I’ve been practicing making my illustrations into repeatable patterns and it’s been a lot of fun!  To see more of my illustrations, click here.

Kitchen Essentials by Kayla King

1 comment

by Kayla on 06/12/2013

tagged as , in ART,INKLING PAPER

Lavender Cream Biscuit Recipe Card by Kayla King | tinyinklings.comLavendar cream biscuits with classic peach jam | tinyinklings.com
Sometimes there are those really productive weekends where the house gets cleaned, all the laundry gets done, the dogs get walked, and a nice Sunday dinner is prepared. Those weekends feel great. You go back to work on Monday feeling like all is right with the world (or at the very least there won’t be a mound of dirty laundry waiting for you to wash when you get home).

And then there are those weekends when all you want to do is sit around in your pajamas and watch episodes of Breaking Bad.

Guess which kind of weekend I had?

To be fair, sometimes it’s easier for me to have a lazy weekend because my husband is a firefighter and I often find myself with a weekend alone. And while I miss having him around, it can be really nice to have time to do all the girly things I want to do. Like make jam and biscuits.

Our friend brought us two giant boxes of peaches and apricots over the weekend, and while I would have liked to have chowed down on as much as I could stuff in my face, my tummy certainly doesn’t fare well when bombarded with fruit. TMI? Moving on.

So what to do with all of it. Why, make jam, of course! And you can’t have jam without a flaky pastry. That should just be illegal.

Our lavender bushes out front are going crazy right now, so I thought I’d infuse my favorite sweet biscuit recipe with lavender and see what happened. Hot damn. I almost OD’d on biscuits, you guys. Almost.

Lavendar cream biscuits with classic peach jam | tinyinklings.comHalf and half gets infused with lavender blossoms on the stove and then integrated into the biscuit dough. The floral flavor is subtle, but really lends a nice flavor to the whole thing. Almond flour stands in for part of the all-purpose flour, and of course our friend butter makes an appearance. The dough comes together very quickly and bakes up into a nice flaky biscuit with a crunchy top. Straight out of the oven, these are really great. But add a dollop of homemade peach jam and you’ve got something really special.

Lavendar cream biscuits with classic peach jam | tinyinklings.comLavendar cream biscuits with classic peach jam | tinyinklings.comFeel free to omit the lavender if you prefer, these biscuits are equally great on their own. I use this same dough without the lavender infusion as a topping for fruit cobblers. If you’re allergic to nuts, omit the almond meal and use 2 cups of all-purpose flour.

Lavender Cream Biscuits
makes 6 large biscuits


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
scant 1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup half-and-half
4-6 fresh lavender blossoms


In a small saucepan on the stove, combine half-and-half and lavender blossoms. Heat over medium flame until steamy, but DO NOT boil. Once the mixture is hot, remove from heat and cool in the refrigerator until very cold. Remove flowers after 20 minutes of infusion. This step can be done up to a day ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl combine egg, vanilla, and infused half-and-half. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add butter cubes and pulse until the size of the butter resembles small peas. Pour flour butter mixture into a large bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Mix until just incorporated. This is a sticky dough, so don’t be alarmed if it seems really wet.

Divide dough into six equal pieces, about 2 inches in diameter, using your hands to shape them into rounds. Slightly flatten each biscuit into a disc.

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the biscuit comes out clean. Cool slightly and enjoy warm.

These biscuits will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but they are best the day they are baked.

Small Batch Classic Peach Jam
recipe from Canning for a New Generation
makes about 1 pint

Note: this recipe does not contain commercially produced pectin. The Granny Smith apples are high in natural pectin, so cooking them in the jam mixture with the seeds, stems, and peels yields a jam that sets up just fine, albeit slightly less so than if using commercially produced pectin.


12 ounces Granny Smith apples (2 large or 3 small)
4 pounds peaches, peeled and pitted (about 6 cups)
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. strained fresh lemon juice


Put a small plate in the freezer. Wash under hot water and dry your pint jar (or two half-pint jars) and set aside.

Cut the apples into quarters and core them.. Tie up the cores and seeds in a cheesecloth bag and set aside.

In a large 6-8 quart pan, combine peaches and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the juices just cover the fruit. Pour the mixture into a colander set over a large bowl and give the peaches a stir to drain off as much juice as you can. Return the juice to the pan along with the apples and cheesecloth bag. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the syrup is thickened and reduced by half (about 15 minutes).

Return the peaches with any accumulated juice, along with the lemon juice, to the pan. Simmer, stirring frequently, until a small dab of jam spooned onto the chilled plate and returned to the freezer for a minute becomes slightly firm (it will not gel completely). Remove from heat and stir to distribute juices. Remove and discard apples and cheesecloth bag. Ladle the jam into your prepared jars and cool to room temperature. Lid and store in the refrigerator. Preserves will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

*Note: for those who would like to preserve this jam, this is a good guide to follow. Follow the recipe above, but use half-pint jars. When you are ready to fill your jars, leave 1/4″ head space. Process preserves in a water bath for 5 minutes. Remove from water bath and set upright on a clean kitchen towel out of the way. You will not want to move the jars for 12 hours. You should hear the lids “pop” into place shortly after you remove the jars from the water. After an hour, check to see that all of the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each. If the lid can be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed and should be refrigerated immediately.


by Kayla on 06/10/2013

tagged as , , in FOOD + DRINK

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port | tinyinklings.com
In 2006, I spent a month after college graduation in a foreign immersion program in Paris. I didn’t know anyone going over, but I had high hopes that I’d learn some French, eat a lot of bread and cheese, and meet some new people. The day I arrived, I, and six other students in the program, were picked up by the program director via shuttle bus and taken into the city. I remember the bus driver pulling into a gas station to get fuel and coming out with a cheap bottle of champagne for us to share. A sort of welcome to Paris, if you will. On that bus ride, I met my friend, Joy. She hadn’t met anyone from the program yet, either, and after talking for maybe 15 minutes, we decided to be friends and go exploring the next day. Our classes didn’t start for a few days, so we had some free time to explore the city. We wandered up to Montmartre and saw the Sacre Cour. We took lots of pictures, and basically got lost in the city. It was fabulous.

Once classes started, I met some other friends: Val, Erik, Heather, and our instructor, Terri. Val and I quickly bonded over the excruciating heat (it was so hot that summer in Paris) and 3-4 boules (scoops) of glace (ice cream) a day. I remember one afternoon walking over to the Orangerie. We waned to check it out, but for some reason it was closed. It wasn’t Sunday, so what was up? I think it took us 10 minutes of standing and trying to decipher the sign before we realized that “fermée le Mardi” meant “closed on Tuesdays”. Duh. We decided to go get some peach sorbet in the Tuilerries instead. No bigs. We went back to check out the paintings another day.

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port | tinyinklings.com

Midway through our stay, our class took a trip up to the north coast of France to a little port town called Saint-Malo. There was a tall ships festival going on and sailors everywhere. This is when I remember meeting my friend Lauren. Perhaps we had hung out before, but I distinctly remember walking on top of the wall surrounding the city one evening, looking at the tall ships all lit up with twinkle lights, and watching the fireworks explode overhead.

It was in this tiny port town that I first had melon with port. Apparently, this is one of the ways the French eat it and let me tell you, they are genius. We were served half a small musk melon with the seeds scooped out so it resembled a small bowl. The servers then came around and poured a tablespoon or two of port into the melon bowl. You ate it with a spoon. A little melon. A little port.

On our last night in Paris, my friends and I took a picnic down to the Seine and feasted. There were cherries, figs stuffed with blue cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, saucisson-sec and sliced meats. Olives and bread. Cheese. And wine. Always wine. That summer was one of the best summers I’ve ever had. Perhaps it was just being in Paris, but I think it had more to do with the company that I was so fortunate to keep, the fact that we were all exploring the city together, and that we met under these extraordinary circumstances, which we knew would never be present in the same way again. And so we celebrated.

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port | tinyinklings.com

Cantaloupe sorbet by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com

This recipe is a riff on those musk melons with port that I ate in Saint-Malo and the “glace” all seven of us were obsessed with that summer. I urge you to try it with the wine, but the sorbet on its own is delicious as well.

Cantaloupe Sorbet


1/2 medium-sized cantaloupe or musk melon, seeds and rind removed, cubed.
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. vodka (this keeps the sorbet from getting too icy in the freezer and gives it a nice soft and scoopable texture)


Puree cantaloupe in a blender of food processor until very smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in honey and vodka. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Process in an ice cream maker. Scoop soft sorbet into a container and freeze until more solid, 3 hours or preferably overnight. Let sit at room temperature at least 10 minutes before serving.

To serve, pour a Tablespoon of port in the bottom of a small bowl. Place a scoop or two of the sorbet on top. Tear mint leaves and sprinkle them over the sorbet. Try and get a little bit of each flavor in each bite. Enjoy on a hot day.


1 comment

by Kayla on 05/28/2013

tagged as , , , in FOOD + DRINK

Moodboard: getting outside | tinyinklings.com
This month, I’m taking a label design class on Skillshare with Jon Contino. It’s been really fun so far. The first part of the assignent was to decide on a brand you’d like to make a lebel for and then put together a mood board to guide the design. I chose a local farm who makes fantastic juices and sells them at our local farm stand, but whose packaging could use a little spicing up.

I’m in the sketching phase right now and I’m focusing the design around hand-drawn type, fresh colors you might find in an orchard, and the idea of using a kraft packaging tape with the ability to simply write in or put a tick mark in a box next to the flavor in order to keep prosuction costs down (only using one label instead of a different one for each flavor of juice).

If you’d care to follow my progress or see the other pieces from the class, you can click here.

1 comment

by Kayla on 05/23/2013

tagged as in MOODBOARDS

Cardamom plum and vanilla bean paletas | tinyinklings.com
Can I just be honest? I’ve watched the movie Pitch Perfect about 8 times in the past four weeks. It was one of those movies I wasn’t sure I was gong to like (probably coming off my Les Miserables fail), but I ended up LOVING.  Synchronized lady dancing to a Mariah Carey chart topper?  Yes.

I may or may not have made this song my ring tone.  Don’t judge.

Other things I’ve done in multiples this month?

Consumed too many Americanos.

Made these cookies.

Listened to Tegan and Sara’s new album Heartthrob.

Dreaded Mondays.

Made ice pops and ate them out back in the sunshine.

Cardamom plum and vanilla bean paletas | tinyinklings.comTruth be told, these paletas came about from a need to use up some plums that were looking questionably wrinkly.  While they hadn’t gone bad, there we’re a bit too unappetizing looking to eat fresh.  I could have thrown them to the chickens, but decided to make a quick plum jam instead.

In a pan went plums with lemon juice, honey, water, and a pinch of cardamom.  Had I not been making paletas, I would have sterilized some jars, made a double batch, and preserved this business.  The jam is fantastic on it’s own, but combined with cool and creamy Greek yogurt, it’s on a whole other level.

I used natural sweeteners here to keep this recipe a little cleaner, but feel free to use any sweetener you like.  Or shortcut it and straight-out buy vanilla Greek yogurt.  Make it yours. Recipe after the jump. [click to continue…]


by Kayla on 05/20/2013

tagged as , , , , , in FOOD + DRINK