Questions and the answers who love them

I've bought your book the moment it was released: awesome and thanks for writing that story. The book itself lived up to my expectations, regarding the "previews" released by you on YouTube. I have a question: on your website you have two graphics about Gracie: Gracie's Fall and Gracie Gets Back Up. The accompanying texts made me hungry for more. Is there a complete story coming up sometime or do you leave it at that? The latter would be a pity although my imagination carries me towards a nice story too. But that could never be something that you would create. And that's what interests me.  -EA I have always wanted to do a longer story for Gracie but haven't gotten around to it yet. So, let's just say that I have no immediate plans, but she's on my mind. Glad you liked the book! :)

Hello, Ms. Katy towell I know your very bussie, but I just had to ask if there would be more books for the Skary Childrin, with the same kids. I loved it by the way! My friends want to read it so I'm letting them brow my book. Your drawings were great! I read pages 174 and 175 before I went to bed, I was a little freaked out but that just made it more fun! It's cool how you got the bugs on the page, I just finest the book. I was a little sad, I always am when good stories end. -C

Aw, thank you! And I don't know if there will be more books with the same band of kids just yet. I am working on a second novel at the moment, but it's about another kid entirely. That doesn't mean never, though!

Hey Katy, um Few things:

1) thank you for signing my book.

2) Thanks to the 31 letters from previous inhabitants I'm jumpy now but, seeing how I'm too wussed out to see the ones that says "Click Link Bellow" could you tell me what they were?

and 3) ....were those based on actual events? 


1) You're welcome! 2) They were letters from ghosts, of course. As to what those letters said, you're just going to have to take the risk and click those links. ;-) 3) Yes. ...In my mind.

I just saw that you published you book, congrats on that, i love your animations on youtube (that's where i found you ^_^) and i was wondering if your book will also be avalible in the Netherlands (where i live). If so, where can i buy it? -J

I am a girl 12 years old I loved your animations I would appreciate if you could inform me, your book is sold in Brazil? I live in Brazil and would love to read your book! -H

Hi. I'm an 18 years old girl from norway, and i'm a huge fan of you and your work. where do you get your inspiration from? i also wanted to know if your book, the carousel of sorrow, is sold here in norway? i haven't seen it anywhere :( I hope you will answer me ^^ have a skary day =D -B

For those of you seeking the book outside the US and Canada, check with your favorite book store first. If they don't have it (and they very well may not), you can order it online. I recommend BookDepository for this because they have free shipping wordwide.

Hello katy I got you a question.... why did you make SKARY.NET? -AC

Because childrin r skary? Really, though, I started drawing the series to cheer myself up. It was cathartic and fun and nearly never meant to be taken seriously. Several years later, it's still fun! Beyond that, I guess the answer would be the same as if the question were why any artist makes anything.

Because the mothership commands it.


Firefox themes! Book updates! Other stuff!

Hooray! My first three Firefox Personas have been approved, and you can install your choice of Ida, Elsie or Shawnee themes here. There will be more in the next few days. (Their approval process takes a while.)

Firefox themes and personas

And an update on Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow - I've finished the text! Now I'm getting serious about the illustrations, so you may have to wait a little longer for other projects of mine. Not to worry, however. The annual 31 Days of Halloween project will still begin on the 1st. You didn't really think I'd forget Halloween, did you (see last year's)? Blasphemy! I'll find time to update the fan art gallery in there somewhere too. I have some really great ones I can't wait to post.

Now to answer some questions I've gotten recently - haven't done that in a while, have I?

How old are you? - Anonymous

Old enough to rent a car. Not old enough to get a senior discount.

Did you go to a school to learn how to do the movies, or did you use an online tutorial? -B

Neither. Learning how to do these was a process of trial-and-error. That's often the best way to learn.

how old is ida, genevieve, and all those other Skary Childrin.  they look like nine or ten, mabe eleven. -N

They're all under 5 except for Shawnee Jenkins, who's 8. I'm a little concerned about the eleven-year-olds where you're from. ;-)

Have any furries ever suggested ideas to you? well, one who have furres whom are goths (such as myself, though I am no goth.) and finally I noticed you said you worked with preschool children, did any of them belong on the ASD (Autistic Spectrum)? -M

I'm not sure if furries ever have suggested ideas to me or not. Or goth furries. I'm not sure. I don't accept suggestions for story ideas generally, so it's possible that I've forgotten!  I don't know if any of the children I worked with were autistic. Some very well may have been, but it wasn't something the parents discussed with me. Autism didn't have quite the same focus then (this was the late 90s) as it does now, so there was a lot of misinformation about it, too.

How do you handle criticism? I worry about it so much I'm afraid to show people my work. -B

To quote my college graphic design instructor, "Don't fall in love with your work." It isn't perfect. It never will be. Nor will anyone else's. Once you accept this, it's much easier to see honest criticism as a tool rather than a personal attack. Of course, there are those who will make personal attacks, but those people aren't your audience anyway. Ignore the immature jerks and take time to consider the real feedback. It's surprisingly calming to say to yourself, "Yeah. They're right. I should've done this instead of that. I'll remember that next time!" Sometimes you won't agree with the criticisms, but you may be able to see where they're coming from. Whatever you do, don't lash out. I've even lost respect for some of my own heroes who've done that. Keep your temper in check. Go scream into a pillow if you must. Then remember all of the above.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered

I get a lot of email from you all (which I love!), and there are a few questions I get more than others. Once upon a time I had an FAQ page, but I think it fell down the rabbit hole. I couldn't tell you what happened to it, but I imagine it's probably having tea with a festively bewigged Johnny Depp or something. So, here's a new one! [toc title="FAQ Contents:" hint="Click a title to jump down to it!" style="inline CSS style"]

What software do you use to make your movies?

Adobe Flash.

Where do you get your inspiration?

From everything around me. Memories, music, nightmares, things I thought someone said but actually misheard, shapes in the clouds, interesting patterns in half-mixed cake ingredients. There's no one source for creativity. So, if you're hoping to find a magical font of inspiration, all I can say is look around you. It's everywhere!

I have an idea for a cartoon. You could do one about...

No, I couldn't. If you have a story idea, I wholly encourage you to do something with it! Invent your own characters and make your idea come to life. Don't give it away to someone else! I just can't take anyone else's idea, no matter how great it might be. It wouldn't be mine, you see, and that's important. (But thank you for the suggestions, of course!)

Where do you get the music you use in your movies?

Sometimes friends write it for me. I've occasionally found songs in the public domain. Sometimes I purchase a license for royalty-free music, and there are a variety of places to order such tracks. I will not use anything without permission. Unfortunately, this also means you usually can't look up the tracks on iTunes and order them for yourself.

When is your book coming out? Where can I find your book?

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow came out on August 23rd, 2011 and is available pretty much everywhere. If you can't find it in a local shop, you can most certainly order it online. BookDepository offers free shipping worldwide, so that's usually my recommendation for those of you outside the US.

What's the book about?

It's about a terrible evil that takes up residence in the woods of a small, forgotten town already cursed by dark forces and locked in perpetual autumn. People have vanished! Ghosts shriek desperate warnings! And there are signs of worse to come. It's up to three strange girls and one rather awkward boy to save this town, even though they have been cruelly outcast by it.

How do I get you to autograph my copy of your book?

Send it with return postage, preferably on a self-addressed envelope (USPS priority mail envelopes make this easy if you're in the States) to:


Be sure to let me know who I'm signing it for and if there are any special messages you want me to write!

Will you make a music video for my band?

How much are you willing to pay? ;-) And, well, no. Probably not. It's not that your band isn't great. It's just that animation is an arduous process for me, and I don't know how I'd manage to find the time!

Can my band make music for one of your videos?

I'm extremely selective when it comes to the music that I use, so unless I've posted a call for music submissions, I've probably already got something in mind. Also, I'd feel bad about asking for a lot of changes, and you know I would ask.

I'd like to offer my talents as a voice actor.

Thank you! ...but, just as with music, unless I've made a specific call for voice actors, I'm not really looking for anybody as I already have a list of go-to people. It wouldn't be an easy job, anyway. I'm a mean director. I made Tim Jones cry when he was working on The Little Girl. Um... don't tell him I said that. It's, uh, very upsetting for him. Yes.

How did you come up with the idea for Skary?

The Childrin were mostly inspired by the antics of actual children. I worked with preschoolers a long time ago. Loved it. But I found that kids really do say the darnedest things. The darnedest, creepiest, most disturbing things. And they have no idea how strange the things they're saying are! Yet they say it all with such sweet, cherubic smiles. Parents don't usually allow their little ones to play with sharp objects. You think that's for the kids' protection? THINK AGAIN.

Who does your web design?

I do!

Can I send you my resume?

Er... okay, but it won't do you much good. I'm a one-woman operation.

Will you answer some questions for my school project?

I usually do, but it can take me a while to get to all my email. So, please don't ask if you've got a close deadline, and I recommend having a backup plan!

Have you thought about collaborating with Tim Burton?

Sure. But has he thought about collaborating with me? I don't know! Let me call him up and ask. Hold on. Got another call. Oh, drat, it's Scorsese again. I gotta take this.

Those are all the FAQs I can think up at the moment! As always, if you have other questions, use the form and ask away.

Downloads and Photos

Did you see? Well, did you? There's a new Downloads page! At the moment, it simply has a few Twitter backgrounds for your use, but there will be more downloads in the near future. As far as those Twitter backgrounds go, I've included the most requested characters for now. Are there any others you'd like to see? In other news, the first place winner of Casilda's Hat Contest has received her hat. And look! She's taken pictures!

Rena in Casilda's hat Rena in Casilda's hat Rena in Casilda's hat

I think it works for her, don't you? Rena is also a model for House of Pomegranates, which I encourage everyone to check out.

In case you thought I'd forgotten, I'm still working on an animated short, and as soon as I can figure out how, there will be close captioning of some sort on the YouTube videos for the hard of hearing. I'm also putting that collage together. I've received a lot of wonderful photos, but I can definitely use more. Have you seen anything that reminded you of Skary? Send photos! There's no deadline, and the collage will be updated as long as I continue to receive pictures.

Okay, all right and what-have-you. That's the news. How about a few emails, eh?

My webcomic is usually just posted onto my deviant art account, but only about 8 people read it. I know it's pretty good, and i was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to get more people to see it. Should i submit it into a collaborate website for comics, or should I keep it on my deviant art and hope more people see it? Do i have any other options? -ML

Your best option is to just keep creating. You can put your existing artwork absolutely everywhere, but if you aren't producing quality and regular work, the audience you have will never expand. You want your existing 8 people to tell their friends about it, who will tell their friends and so on. You're also going to need patience. You won't have a huge following overnight! I'm still working on growing my own audience, if that tells you anything. Even if you do create something that puts you on the map, so-to-speak, it will be a flash in the pan if you don't keep at it. Now, all that aside, it really helps to take advantage of the tools that are at your fingertips. Use Twitter, Facebook, your blog, everything. And keep it all current. If you're truly dedicated to your webcomic, I also recommend having your own site for it. If that site is a dedicated blog, that's fine. Just give it a home that's uniquely yours. You can still post your content on other places like DA, but you want your style to stick out in everyone's minds. Another tip - if you see an artist you like who also needs a little promotional help, tell your friends about him/her. Aside from the good karma, they just might return the favor. :)

I'm a huge fan of your sixcasts, do you have any new plans or ideas for :) - SL

I miss doing the Sixcasts! Some day, if I ever have time again, I will return to those, and I'll find a use for Crooked Sixpence again. For the time being, however, all of that has to sit on the back burner.

I'm a big fan of yours and I just wanted to ask you a question about your art style. Where do you get your inspiration? Because I've always admired your unique style, even being a little jealous cause I have such a hard time finding my own.  Maybe, if its not too much trouble, but you do have any tips about style? I thank you one hundred times over. -M

You've probably heard this a lot, but that doesn't make it any less true - just draw a lot. The more you draw, the more your own style will come out on its own. I didn't sit down and decide, "Hey! This is how I'm going to draw!" Some of it was a happy accident. Look at a lot of art, too. Don't do it with the intention of copying someone else's style, of course. Just introduce yourself to as much creativity as possible and study all the details. Don't limit yourself to styles you already know you like, either. By the way, have you ever noticed how delightfully creepy medieval artwork is? The proportions are all wonky, that's why. But it's GREAT. And Edward Hopper. That guy made light and shadows an art form of themselves. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't inspired by certain artists (Alphonse Mucha, Harry Clarke, Edward Gorey, etc), but there's so much more to it than having some favorites.

This one isn't a question, but I had to share it because it made me laugh. Driver's ed handbooks! Ah, memories:

I was bored at midnight (dangerous prospect) and realized I hadn't checked your site in a while (having been a bit frightened into the fact that you had disappeared and become one of those boring adults who works 8-5 then watches the news then goes to sleep) so I checked it and mulled away a good hour sifting through everything NEWslashIMPROVED. I like it a lot! *high five* Very professional, very awesome, very Skary. (Ugh. Unintentional rhyming.)

Also, it made me nostalgically pull out my old Drivers' Ed book because, well, I had newly found your work (and was therefore obsessed with it, as is my way of doing things) at the same time I took Drivers' Ed, and therefore... there are scribbled quotes (primarily repeated word-for-word renditions of "Never Woke Up," my favorite piece of yours), frightening sketches, and a multitude of other Skary doodles.

I really hope to sell that book to:

a) a friend who will get a laugh out of it and (strangely) still want to be my friend

b) a stranger who will either be scarred for life or become a great fan of yours (which with I would take my chances)

Have a chipper day! I can't wait to see more from you in the future and I will use one of my 11:11 wishes to wish that you get on the big screen one day (though with major influences in the film so it's not a yucky sell-out because GOD KNOWS we need more of those in the world... *grumbles*)



VE, I promise not to sell out too much. ;)

Question-and-Answer Time

Happy Sunday evening, everybody. I hope you're sitting at your desk with a cup of black tea, your computer, and some Billie Holiday. But if you're not, that's all right. I'll carry the responsibility this time. (But next time....) As you know, I recently relaunched! There's new art on the way, a very short animation in the works, and I'm in the middle of a couple of writing projects as well. That doesn't mean I've neglected my inbox, of course. Without further delay, here are a few of the questions I've gotten over the past week:

I love love love your drawings and movies. The illustration titled "Midnight Snack" I adore. Nosferatu, am I right? - LF

You are correct! "Midnight Snack" is a parody of a famous scene from F.W. Murnau's 1922 film Nosferatu, which I admit I don't watch very often because it gives me nightmares.

hey hey hey! its FAT ALBERT have u bought your candy for halloween i hope so cuz i'll be there to eat it all! - Fat Albert

All right. You do that. But I'd put on my running shoes if I were you.

I have all of these dreams that turn into cartoons than into great question is how to get started into the way of creating movies as you? It has always been my dream to do so, I have the artistic talent but no idea how to start. -W

Well, I use Flash for animating my cartoons, and a lot of practice. There are so many people better at it than I, but they'd probably say the same thing: learn the software and practice your heart out. After that, post your creation everywhere and wait for feedback! Even negative feedback is immensely helpful. Your start might be a slow one, but don't lose heart! And good luck.

I have a quick question though, what happened to the movie 'Stage Fright' ? Where the girl flips out because everyone's staring at her (i'm sure you know that, being it's creator an all, lol) .. I can't seem to find it anywhere. -C

I sort of... well... took it down. It was my very first animation effort, and I've never been especially proud of it. But if you'd like to see it anyway, it's here.

i love your website, its really great. and im just thinking that if i could promote your web (i dont need to be pay) with some labels to put on my blog or anything i could do to promote yor web i really like to do it. - L

That's not a bad idea, L. I'm pleased as punch whenever anyone wants to promote my site, and you're all free to do so however you wish! But if you would like something more official, here are a few for you:

Skary Banner 1 Skarry Banner 2Skary Banner 3Skary Banner 4Skary Banner 5Skary Banner 6

Skary Banner 7