Tag Archives: animals

Tuke the Specialist Turtle

Tuke! by Tory Novikova

Back in August 2012 I was approached by Chowder Inc. to collaborate on an awesome children’s book project for CCMI, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute in the Cayman Islands. They hoped to teach students across the islands about the importance of marine biologists and how their work is crucial to the survival and upkeep of the diversity in the surrounding waters.

And so, Tuke the Specialist Turtle was born. The book depicts Tuke’s coming of age from puny to self confident, and with the help of some friendly marine biologists he learns of his own importance to maintain the habitat of the reef.

Below you can check out some scenes from the 60+ page book – I don’t want to give away all just yet. Hopefully, come Earth day in April 2013, the book will be published and all will be revealed for the world to see.


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– Tory
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Lots to be thankful for

I have a lot to be thankful for this year as it has been both impossibly difficult and remarkably fruitful. A large portion of my gratitude goes to the kindness of total strangers, who have transformed my world over the past 9 months, and the rest can be attributed to the strong shoulders of close family and sweet friends onto which I have leaned. Thank you all, my unnamed warriors.

At the start of 2012 I half jokingly claimed this to be my year – the year of the Dragon, and indeed it has been! It came with a thunderous reckoning! But it ain’t over till the fat lady delivers a heart-stopping vocal bravado (which will be me after the holidays *sob* goodbye waistline *sob*). And I have enough fight left to deliver some spectacular new projects in the next few weeks.

Honestly, I’m just glad to have power again. Hurricane Sandy left a total disaster zone and commuter hell. Storm Support is making an effort to give back to storm victims through great design! ALL profits from sales go to benefit various charities around the NYC/NJ area and will directly help those in need. My contribution is a cute lil’ french bulldog Storm Pup – go get him!

Most importantly, I hope that you are enjoying the best damn Thanksgiving meal of your life today (or at least, one worthy to be a close second).

Happy Holidays! Lets not lose our minds over Black Friday deals, mmkay?

– Tory
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Alessi’s Ark ~ Album Art

Post-musical-epiphany [very recently] my taste horizons have broadened. Among my new favorite artists is the charming Alessi’s Ark, a folk musician from the UK whose sweet voice would make the devil do good. Literally today, I discovered that she has an album cover art contest going on for the US release of Notes from the Treehouse. I wouldn’t ordinarily enter something like this on spur of the moment, but she’s so magnificent that even if for whatever reason my design doesn’t get picked, I am ok with having made a piece inspired by her delicate melodies.

I use the computer so much that sometimes I forget what it feels like to really draw. So for that experience alone, I am grateful. Now, go tell her how amazing I am! *wink* *wink*

– Tory
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Whimsy Inspired Prints

Hope you are having a wonderful summer! July was a great birthday month for me, filled with many unexpected adventures and beautiful spoils. I’ve been taking advantage of the heat and lax days by spending some weekends at the beach. So my beach totes have been playing a crucial role this summer as my go-to bags for any light travel. They’ve been perfect for carrying that extra weight that doesn’t quite fit in a purse – a lady’s ongoing struggle!

I thought I would share some of the artwork I’m using for the fabric on the bags, since it’s crisper and cleaner to admire in this format. The bags are beautiful in their own right. They are made of voile, so light travels through them freely, making them feel air-light but sturdy enough not to disappoint and hold up. I plan to add a few more prints soon, featuring more urban-themes. There are so many projects on my plate right now that it’s hard to keep track. Keep an eye out for more updates!

Special shout-out to Stasia from The Stray Arrow, for modelling for me! Check out her amazing jewelry. It continues to be the subject of my dreams.

The Polar Bear Print

Night Owl Print

Woodland Fox Print

Mushroom Fairy Print

The Sea Voyage Print

– Tory
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Musical Inspiration

This chilly weather makes me reach out for specific comforts, like soup, tea, warm scarves, and music – particularly childhood songs. While reminiscing to some charmingly giddy melodies, I’ve also illustrated some inspired scenes for fun. Here are 2 song-inspired works. Their respective songs are listed below each piece, warning, they’re in Russian hah! Each tune comes from a specific cartoon [from the late Soviet era], but I was focusing more on the lyrics, which led to slightly different scenarios when taken out of context.

Song About a Grasshopper

The breakdown of the song is basically about this grasshopper chilling in the grass, being friendly with all the little bugs, when lo and behold, a frog comes by and eats him. Yes.  Seems like a bit of a downer, but the song is oh so fun to sing!

Song About Africa and Big Adventures

Fun fact: this is actually sung by Little Red Riding Hood about adventures in Africa, like crossing wide rivers and tall mountains while meeting various kinds of animals like hippos, alligators, monkeys, [specifically] sperm whales, and parrots. But like I said, I was listening to these songs out of context.

Clearly I am a kid at heart (and sure have a voice to match). Hope everyone is enjoying some kind of favorite songs this holiday season and are keeping cheerful in the utmost brisk winter moments.

– Tory