Top Menu

Author Archive | Sonya Andrews

Swooning Over Nutcracker Holiday Cookies!

This holiday season brings about some exciting news for me and some delicious news for folks here in Kansas City. Not only can you enjoy looking at my artwork, now, but you can EAT IT, TOO!

A few weeks ago, Swoon Cookie Crafters asked if I might do a couple of nutcracker illustrations for them to use to decorate cookies for a massive order they needed to fill for the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. The cookies would be for the Kansas City Ballet‘s performance of The Nutcracker. I couldn’t possibly say no. My art? Piles of cookies? Ballet? “Yes” is the only answer.

The Cookies

Nutcracker Cookies by Sonya Andrews & Swoon Cookie Crafters

I know. Pretty sweet, right? (Pun intended)

The illustrations were printed on icing sheets with an ink jet printer using food grade colorings (there’s a great blog post on icing sheet printing here). I’m hoping this is just the first of many similar endeavors. It’s fun to see my work being used to bring delight to others and I’m happy that I got to work with a bakery that takes a lot of pride in their work and produces such a great product.

Original Nutcracker Paintings

Nutcracker #1 & #2 by Sonya Andrews

The original works are for sale in my shop. I had so much fun creating these that I hope to make more characters from The Nutcracker Ballet soon.

Order Some Holiday Cookies

Would you rather eat your art? I don’t blame you. Forget slaving over the oven, baking cookies when you could be caroling or finding better hiding places than last year for your kids’ Christmas presents. Visit Swoon online and place your holiday cookie order! You’ll be glad you did.




PPT: Nicolas Cage, Rembrandt Painting, Mix Tape

Nicolas Cage, Rembrandt, Mix Tape

“Nicolas Cage, Rembrandt Painting, Mix Tape” — the next installment in my Person Place Thing series. You can read all about the complete story behind this in my previous post where I posted the original line art. If you are unfamiliar with my Person Place Thing series, I ask people at random for a person, place, and a thing and I create an illustration based on the answers I get. It’s a great exercise for creating narrative and focus. It’s creative and challenging and I enjoy the surprised faces of those who’ve made the suggestions, not knowing why I’m asking.

I tried to make this a regular part of my facebook page, but I was barraged by too many suggestions from people who knew what the game was. It wasn’t as fun this way, so I’ve reverted to only asking people who know nothing about this project.

You might wonder how a Rembrandt painting is a place, but the person I asked replied, “Inside a Rembrandt painting.” What I love about this project is that you’re never really sure what people are going to say, so I was pretty excited when the “place” was more conceptual and fantastic. I had to search for just the right painting to reference that would incorporate the mix tapes in a way that seemed natural as well as silly. I am pretty pleased with the result!

If you would a fabulous throw pillow or tote or other merch with this lovely image on it, you can find a variety of options here on Redbubble!


PPT Line Art: Nicolas Cage, Rembrandt Painting, Mix Tape

Nicolas Cage, Rembrandt Painting, Mix Tape

Well, here’s the line art for the latest in the Person Place Thing series: “Nicolas Cage, Inside a Rembrandt Painting, Mix Tape”. I called my pal Sarah, who is not at all familiar with this series, to ask her for a Place and a Thing. I didn’t ask her for a person since I was already planning to use Nicolas Cage. I’d been wanting to make a Nicolas Cage pillow for her, as she is a huge Nic Cage fan (yes, even National Treasure — I know, and despite this I still think she is a lovely person). The problem is that you can’t simply swipe photos of Nicolas Cage off the internet and make them into pillows. Well… you CAN, but it’s not very ethical and definitely not legal if you sell them to other people.

So I thought I’d incorporate his iconic visage into some artwork of my very own and use him in my Person Place Thing series. Since the final artwork will be used to make a pillow for Sarah, I thought it only appropriate to ask her for the place and thing. She gave me “Inside a Rembrandt painting” and “mix tape”. This seemed like it had a lot of potential.

I used Rembrandt’s “The Jewish Bride” as my painting to reference because it allowed me to also incorporate Sarah, which is simply an added bonus for her and a fun thing for me. It also allowed me to portray a tender moment of Nicolas Cage exchanging a mix tape with his lovely bride to be. Certainly, mix tapes in the 17th century were deeply meaningful betrothal gifts. I can only assume there was a lot of edgy, underground lute and viola de gamba music on those mix tapes. I bet some court ladies’ tail feathers were all a-ruffled by these sweet and sexy jams.

At any rate, I’ll be painting this in over the weekend and will post the final piece when I am done. Of course, this line art will be added to the eventual Person Place Thing Coloring Book that will inevitably be rejected by Dover Publications when I submit it to them in 2015.


Throwback Thursday: Chickens of the Sea

Chickens of the Sea ©2000 Sonya Andrews

Chickens of the Sea ©2000 Sonya Andrews

So I went through a bunch of my old artwork last weekend in an attempt to sort out what things were unfinished pieces and what things were orphan artworks that had yet to be placed in a loving home. I came across this cover I painted while I was in college for a pretend zine that never happened and that I had never really had any intention of creating. I just wanted to make the cover for it as I was inspired to paint some chickenfish.

The marketing concept of “chicken of the sea” as advertised by, well, the Chicken of the Sea seafood company, had always sounded ridiculous and hilarious to me. I envisioned all these chickenfish cavorting in the ocean — some of them fat and googly eyed like a Oranda goldfish, others flapping out of the water and soaring through the air like a cross between Camilla the Muppet chicken and a flying fish.

Maybe one day I will create an illustrated book of all the different varieties of chickenfish that I’ve imagined. I don’t suppose I can really call it Chicken of the Sea, though. I suppose that’s probably a trademark infringement. At any rate, if you’d like your own chickenfish branded item, I’ve got them up on Zazzle and Redbubble – just the chickenfish, no text.

And today you can get 15% off at Redbubble by using the code GET15



Throwback Thursday: Kansas Cityscape

Kansas Cityscape

Kansas Cityscape ©Sonya Andrews, acrylic on canvas

I painted this cityscape of Kansas City when I was in college. Basically, I collaged images of different Kansas City buildings and landmarks together and painted my own “memoryscape”. Conceptually, what I wanted to convey was what I see when I close my eyes and think of Kansas City. I don’t really think of individual specific scenes, but rather a surreal amalgam of different buildings that hold a specific significance or that have simply stuck in my mind due to proximity and repetition.

I photographed each building and then created I layout I liked in Photoshop. Then I printed that out and projected it onto a canvas and traced the basic outlines of the buildings. I painted according to my own whims and added some people in the foreground. I did a few paintings like this and would like to return to this theme again at some point, but maybe using my current style.


David George and a Crooked Mile

So this is the latest band poster! I haven’t done one in a while so when David George and a Crooked Mile approached me to do a poster for their upcoming EP release, I thought, “YES!” Sometimes I get so bogged down in more commercial design work or web work that I forget to put on my illustration hat. It’s a hat that is very comfy and I sometimes wonder why I ever take it off.

David George and a Crooked Mile

This was also my first time incorporating “gold” leaf into a project. Metal leaf doesn’t photograph or scan well so it took some finagling to get everything just right. And, of course, in the prints, there will be no actual metallic sheen.

What? Prints, you say? Oh, but of course…

Prints are available 🙂



Boston Terrier Portrait: Tank, aka Himsmostpretty

Having just posted the painting of Ruby, it occurred to me that I also have this painting of Tank (aka Himsmostpretty) that I did for my friend Emily Sloan. Tank was a beloved Boston Terrier and I always enjoyed seeing her posting about Tanks various adventures and doings on facebook. Now I get to enjoy the adventures of The Dingo, the dog she adopted last 4th of July. The Dingo is very pretty, but Tank was “most pretty”.

Himsmostpretty Boston Terrier


RIP Ruby the Pitbull

A friend of mine’s pitbull, Ruby, passed away earlier this year, so I made a little painting of her to commemorate her life.

I don’t usually do pet portrait commissions, but will do this sort of thing for close friends and family from time to time, when I can get it worked into my schedule. I didn’t have a chance to scan this, so all I have is this kinda blurry iPhone photo. Sorry ’bout that.

Ruby the Pitbull


Art Unleashed 2014: A Benefit for the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City

Art Unleashed 2014 is just around the corner! Every year I donate an original artwork or limited edition print to the Art Unleashed benefit for the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. This organization has helped many people, including myself, with low-cost veterinary care and has brought together thousands of new friendships between people and pets.

Art Unleashed 2014 will be held at Cerner’s Riverport Landing, Friday, August 22, 2014.

If you are interested in attending,  you can purchase your tickets here.

This year I am donating my original, matted and framed painting, Brachiolope and Chupacabra: A Crypto-Valentine.

Brachiolope Crypto-Valentine