RAW: Hartford Presents MARVEL…recap!

14 Apr

Wow. I finally have the time to sit down and write this thing!

As you may know, most of my energy has been focused into making my show with RAW: Natural Born Artists the best it could possibly be. And I have to say, it really turned out to be a fantastic night!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the theme of the show was Marvel comics, which was thrilling for a lifelong nerd like myself. I was always the kid reading books about dragons on the playground, wearing Pokemon backpacks long past the point of it being cool, and impatiently awaiting the next chapter of Naruto.

Yeah, I know a thing or two about being a nerd. And so do the folks at RAW!

My signature piece for the show, “Nerds Never Die”, came from a really nostalgic place in my heart. I’m so glad I got to share it with a group of people who understand how much fun it is to be a nerd!

Nerds Never Die by The Tiny Hobo

(Psst…prints of this piece are available in my Etsy shop!)

I want to thank everyone on the RAW staff from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for inviting me, thank you for welcoming me into your great big family, and thank you for providing me with so many awesome opportunities. I look forward to staying in touch with you all and seeing where RAW:Connecticut goes in the future!

I also want to thank all of the other incredibly talented and inspiring artists at the show. It was so fun getting to pick all of your artistic brains! And of course, last but not least–thank  you to everyone who came out to see us. I’m glad to see that the art scene in Connecticut it alive and well!

Since they say a photo is worth a thousand words, I’ll let these incredible photos from the night do the rest of talking. Thank you to my dear friend Jen Warga, and to RAW’s very own SabatoVisconti for these stunning shots. Take a look at the rest of the photos from the night on Flickr!



Inside the Artists: Valerie Doty “The Tiny Hobo”

10 Apr

Hey guys–while I’m busy writing my recap of the RAW:Hartford show, check out my interview with Matt Cassar!

Thanks for doing such a bang-up job!

Inside the Artists: Valerie Doty “The Tiny Hobo”.

The Tiny Hobo at RAW: Natural Born Artists’ “Marvel Showcase”!

19 Mar

Heeey everyone! So as I’m sure many of you may have noticed, I’ve been pretty gone as of late. In fact, my last blog post was nearly two months ago…yikes! That’s more than a little embarrassing….

But I’m glad to say that my hiatus has been filled with nothing but good things, some of which are a surprise until further notice….but what I’m happy to share with you all tonight is that I’ll be showing my art with RAW: Natural Born Artists on April 4th in Hartford, Connecticut!

Hartford Marvel Flyer by The Tiny Hobo

To say I’m excited is the world’s greatest understatement. I’m thrilled. Elated. Pumped. Freakin’ stoked.

The show will be held on April 4th from 8-12pm at The Russian Lady in Hartford, Connecticut. The theme of the evening is “MARVEL”, so you can expect to see a lot of great illustrators, comickers, and tons of general geekery going down.

I had the chance to meet with the other artists last week, and I have to say everyone seems incredibly cool and ridiculously talented. So if you’re in the Connecticut area, I highly suggest you come!

Anyway! Here’s one of my contributions to the show, just to tease you all!

Nerds Never Die by The Tiny Hobo

Connecticutters–you know you wanna come. More info about the show here!

You all can also help me out by buying a ticket for the show! Even if you’re not attending the show, you can still support me by buying a ticket!

And here’s the cool part– everyone who buys a ticket for my show will receive a TINY HOBO MYSTERY GIFT PACKAGE!!!! ♥

Yes, it IS as cool as it sounds.

If you buy a ticket for $10, I will send you a gift package of randomly selected goodies from my Etsy shop worth about $20!!!

Your mystery gift package will look a little something like the picture here! (Remember–prints are randomly selected and will vary depending on availability! That’s what makes it a mystery!)



If you buy a ticket, please send me a message or shoot me an email at vjd_1990@yahoo.com with your mailing address and I’ll ship it on out!

Woo! Wish me luck, you guys! I’m sure I’ll have tons of photos and crazy stories from the show. Stay tuned!

Thank you for your support! ♥ ♥ ♥



I Still Have a Dream.

21 Jan

MLK by the tiny hobo

Today is a day dedicated to a man who needs no introduction: Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

Today celebrates the life of an incredible human being who fought fiercely without ever throwing a fist. He fought with weapons which are much more powerful: love, knowledge, and courage.

Today is also the day in which Barack Obama, America’s first black president, is ceremonially sworn into office using the very same Bible that Dr. King traveled with across the country as he spread words of love, hope and peace.

And today, I feel so much pride for this wonderful little world. We really have come a long way, haven’t we?

But the struggle for equality and peace that began over 50 years ago is far from over.

People are still being oppressed by the very same hate which forced black children to attend different schools from white children. People are still shunned, imprisoned, and even killed for what they believe in. People still live stripped of rights that are due to every single person on this planet. Indeed: the human race still has a long way to go.

So what do we do?

First, let’s stop for a moment and appreciate the truly world-changing work that Dr. King did which has allowed our society to flourish in ways once unimaginable. Listen to his speeches. Read about his life. Learn about all of the other amazing individuals who were right there beside him, fighting the good fight with just as much passion and resilience.

And let’s continue to live out Dr. King’s legacy of love, peace, and equality for every single human being on this planet—not just for some people, but for all people. Black or white, rich or poor, man or woman, straight or gay, and anywhere else in between.

No one is truly free while there are others being oppressed.

But every single one of us can change the world, and we do not have to stand at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and address a crowd of thousands of people to do so. We do not have to be famous, we do not have to be rich, and we do not have to write sermons, books, or songs to get the world to listen.

We simply need to speak and act with limitless and unconditional compassion for our fellow beings.

Remember this: no act of compassion is too large or too small. True change and action begins with a single small seed that grows into a mighty oak.

Smile at a stranger. Say please and thank you. Support a local business. Write a letter of appreciation. Stand up to a bully. Speak for those who do not have a voice. Do something good without expecting anything in return. Dr. King said it himself: “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve”.

Don’t wait for others to change—be the change, and watch others follow in suit.

So please keep this in mind today as you’re out shopping, surfing the Internet, or just hanging out at home. Remember the amazing power you have to change this world into something beautiful and imperfectly perfect. And please, use this power every day in any small way that you can.

And just as Dr. King did, I too still have a dream. Yes, even in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.

It is a universal dream.

It is a dream born from the highest and lightest of love and good.

It is a dream that rightfully belongs to everyone.

And from the bottom of my heart, it is a dream that I pray will someday become a reality.

365 Day Art Project: Week 2

15 Jan

Week #2 in my 365-day art project was all about COLOR!

I’m really very excited because I feel like I learned a lot! You’ll see that I got a bit experimental  too.  Who knew I had it in me?!

NOTE: I decided instead of spamming you with tons of drawings in one post, I’ll use my blog posts to highlight the best of the week. If you’re interested in seeing the entire week’s progress, please feel free to check it out on my Tumblr. For some reason, I feel like it’s okay to spam people on Tumblr…but not you, dear readers!

I started off this week pretty normally, but by the end, I diverged quite a bit from what I’m used to.


~Monday: Lola~

(Another drawing of Mika for his doodle contest!)

Lola by The Tiny Hobo


~Wednesday: A Study in Something~

Things are starting to get weird…

a study in something by The Tiny Hobo


~Friday: Babel 121:~

By Friday I kinda felt like I was going mad with this new-found love of color. I felt like I needed to color everything and use everything in my power to do so. Yeah…two weeks in and I’m already going insane.

So, I decided to test out the watercolors my friend gave me for Christmas!

I’ve never really used watercolors before, so I didn’t wanna jump into a full piece just yet. Instead, I went with some warm up pieces to start. I saw this excellent idea a while back about making pixelated water color paintings, and I figured this would be the perfect time to try it out!

My first subject was the cover for Mumford & Sons’ album Babel. I swear I like their photos more than I like their music. Not that their music sucks or anything, but damn, they take a mighty fine photo.

Aren’t the colors in it just gorgeous?!


Annnd, here’s my pixel painting version!

Babel 121 by The Tiny Hobo

So if you stand really far away and squint, you can totally see Mumford & Sons in there…right?


Here, I’ll do it for you:

SEE?! Mumford & Sons! I freakin’ told you!


~Sunday: CAROLS 91~

I had so much fun with Babel that I wanted to do another album cover. Seriously, I’d suggest any artist to try this–it’s so fun and relaxing, and an excellent way to practice mixing colors, too.

This time, I made the squares quite a bit larger so I could focus more on water color techniques. I also chose an album cover with a brighter color scheme to test my chops.

This time I used Ayumi Hamasaki’s CAROLS. Ugh she’s so perfect. ♥

And here’s Ayu (sort of) in all of her pixelated gory:

carols 91 by the tiny hobo

And just for fun, let’s compare:

carols 91 cu-tile

Cool, huh?!


I had a lot of fun working on these.  I think I stayed up (waaay) later than I should have, and I probably annoyed a few people on my Facebook page with all of the statuses and photos of my water color palettes I was posting. Eheheh. Sorry, guys.

So now that I’ve got watercolors under my belt, I wonder what kind of crazy shenanigans I’ll run into this week!?

Stay tuned to find out ♥

365 Day Art Project: Week 1

8 Jan

Did you all think I fell off the bandwagon that quickly?!

Well, I’m happy to report that I didn’t!

In case you all missed last week’s blog post, I’ve embarked on a new year’s resolution to do at least one drawing/piece of art per day. Whether it’s a finished piece, a little sketch, or any other mark on a paper/canvas/my face/my cat.

So far, so good!

Here’s my first week in review:


Day 1: “The Ugly Squire’s Beautiful Day”


Day 2: “Find a Reason”

find a reason


Day 3: Kishi Bashi

I really like how this one turned out. I’m having fun experimenting with techniques and styles, as you can see!

kishi bashi


Day 4: “9 Thick Chicks” and “Audrey Hepburn from Memory”, respectively

More style exploration!

9 thick chicks



Day 5: “Just a Mermaid” (I’ll probably color this one very soon!)



Day 6: Origin of Love

(A piece drawn for Mika’s doodling contest–I’d appreciate if you could vote for my entry here! ♥)

mika origin of love


Day 7: “Mantra”

As stated in last week’s post, I’ve been reading a great book called Kick-Ass Creativity, and this is a mantra from the book that I’ve decided to make my own! I’ve been trying to find a positive mantra that felt right, and this one clicked right away as soon as I read it. Not only is it relevant to my art, but to my life as a whole.

highest good

Woohoo! I did it! And it was fun! Can’t wait to see what happens next week!

Talk to you all soon!

Music and Art!

7 Jan

I’m the type of person who cannot function without music. For me, music is my cup of coffee in the morning. If I leave the house and forgot my iPod, you best believe I’m going to be miserable the rest of the day. Music is my soul. Music speaks the words I can’t find, music breaths life into all of my artwork…music is kind of everything to me.

So it goes without saying that music has a huge amount of influence on my artwork.


Sometimes a particular song or musician can inspire me to try a completely new style, which has a lot to do with why my art has so many faces. I’m also very inspired by really great album artwork.

Here’s a chance to pick my musical brain. I’d love to hear some of your musical influences as well!

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac was my first favorite band. I still remember being an awkward little thirteen year old, practically worshiping and emulating Stevie Nicks in any possible way, learning the band’s history like I was going to be tested on it, and just drawing and drawing and drawing.

Stevie Nicks has been an especially big influence in my art, my fashion, and my life, and sometimes I still see a little bit of her sensibilities sneaking into my art.


Ayumi Hamasaki

I am going to attempt to keep this short, because you need to believe me when I say I could write an entire encyclopedia on Ayumi Hamasaki.  I bought my first Ayu CD at an anime convention when I was 15, and even though I’ve quite thoroughly lost my interest in anime conventions, I am still ridiculously obsessed with Ayu.

Sure, she doesn’t have the best voice in the world, but I find Ayu to be a true performer. She’s kind of a walking piece of art. I can feel the passion in everything she does, and that’s probably why I’ve obsessively kept up with her for 8 years and counting, and she still dominates my playlist while making art.


The Decemberists

I think a lot of artists really enjoy The Decemberists because their music evokes such incredible imagery. Colin Meloy can write one hell of a story, that’s for sure. Plus they’re just super artsy. What’s not to love?! Not to mention, Colin Meloy is married to Carson Ellis and she’s practically a goddess of illustration.

I probably have way too many pieces inspired by The Decemberists, but I just can’t help it!

Most of my art inspired by The Decemberists turns out pretty dark. Being dark can be deliciously fun!


Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch is one of my most current influences in music. I’ve become a pretty avid connoisseur of folk and bluegrass music since I started playing the banjo, and she has to be one of my favorites.

Her songs remind me of sitting on The Blue Ridge Parkway at sunset, and that’s something that is really inspiring and dear to my heart right now. She’s good for when I’m feeling really happy or really pensive. Haha!

miner's refrain prev

I could go on for hours with this blog post, but I’ll spare you….this time. For now, I’ll leave you all with a few more of my music inspired pieces!

Kishi Bashi (part of my 365 Day Drawing Project!)

kishi bashi

Gogol Bordello

no can do this

Skrillex (don’t judge me.)


Mika ♥


And I think it’s only appropriate to end this blog post with a little bit of Freddie Mercury. Because all good blogs need a little bit of Freddie.


What’re you all listening to now?! ♪