ella nilsson

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a drawing a day

Day Thirty-One – The Grand Finale!

Often, the toughest part of a mini-series is ending it.  I chose the wisdom of Obi-wan, who said, “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.”  This is also why I entitled this one as “Buzzkill;”  way to take… Continue Reading →

Day Thirty – Red Bats

The red bat is considered lucky in China.  Often these animals are painted together in groups of five; this is to represent the five blessings in life: health, longevity, love, wealth and virtue.  Also, the red bat has been immortalized… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Nine – The Year of Me!

Day twenty-nine corresponds with the Chinese New Year, ushering in the Year of the Rooster.  Additionally, roosters are often associated with good fortune and prosperity.  In Europe, it was believed that the roosters would scare off the evil every morning… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Eight – Fingers Crossed

It couldn’t be lucky series without a little superstition.  “Fingers crossed,” is the expression I use most to wish someone good luck, especially via text.  Now even easier with the latest emoji update!

Day Twenty-Seven – Break a Leg!

This is one of the weirder “good luck” expressions, as generally speaking, breaking any bone isn’t so lucky.  In my super limited research, this notion comes from the expression “lucky break,” meaning not a literal break, but more like an awesome… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Six – Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha is called Hotei in Chinese.  He is considered a symbol of good luck and was based on an actual Chinese monk, Ch’an, who lived over a thousand years ago.  Usually placed facing a door, it is said… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Five – Lucky…bird poop

Have you ever heard that it is lucky if it rains on someone’s wedding day? I think this notion of lucky bird poop is similar; it’s about trying to make a negative into a positive.  Sure a good attitude can go… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Four – Shooting Star!

The funny bit about shooting stars or falling stars is that they are not actually stars at all.  They are actually meteoroids falling into Earth’s atmosphere and burning up.  The trail of light is called a meteor, and if any… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Three – The luck of the keys

And no, I’m not talking about Florida.  I learned a lot about different lucky charms while working on this mini-series.  Prior to this, I had no idea keys were considered lucky, but given their symbolism , it certainly makes sense…. Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Two – Figa Charm

The Figa Charm is a good luck symbol, and it originates from ancient Greece.  In present-day, it is still considered lucky in Portugal and Brazil.  However, in other countries such as France and Turkey, it is seen as an obscene gesture…. Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-One – Lucky Lady Bug

This Day 21 – lucky lady bug seems to time perfectly with the events of January 21st.  On this day, I had the pleasure of attending the women’s march in Austin.  Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty – Owl in Leprechaun’s clothing

My father is from Iran.  Owls are considered bad luck there, or the sign of a bad omen.  I think owls are pretty cool, so this one dressed up as a Leprechaun to get into the Buena Suerte series.

Day Nineteen – Hamsa Hand

Today’s drawing is of the Hamsa Hand, which is considered a good luck charm in both the Islamic and Jewish faiths.  It is a protective sign, bringing its owner happiness, health, and good fortune.  It is also said to provide… Continue Reading →

Day 18 – A Kiss for Luck!

As an avid Star Wars fan, I had to make sure this image snuck in the Buena Suerte Series.  In this scene, Luke has just freed Princess Leia from her cell, and they are trying to escape the Death Star…. Continue Reading →

Day Seventeen – Dala Horse

The Dala horse has been considered lucky in Sweden since the 1700s and originated in the Dalarna province.  The style of each horse denoted what region you were from, and all are seen as a symbol of good luck in… Continue Reading →

Day Sixteen – Lucky Cricket

Crickets have been considered good luck as far back as 500 BCE, being a symbol of prosperity, vitality and good fortune.  This punny cricket happens to be playing cricket, with some wise words for us all.

Day Fifteen – Eyelash Wishes

Blowing a fallen eyelash off of your finger has been considered good luck since around the mid 19th century.  Much like birthday candles, you make a wish and then blow the eyelash off of your finger.  The curious bit is… Continue Reading →

Day Fourteen – Lucky Penny

“Find a penny, pick it up.  All day long you’ll have good luck!” Not all good luck charms have their own little rhyme, so I suppose the penny is extra lucky.  That, and my sister loves Abraham Lincoln.  From what I… Continue Reading →

Day Thirteen – Black Cat

When I started this series, my Irish stepmother was quick to point out that black cats are considered lucky in Ireland.  When I was plotting out what I would draw for each day, Friday the 13th seemed like the best… Continue Reading →

Day Twelve-Lucky Bamboo & Goldfish

Lucky Bamboo is kind of a misnomer; it doesn’t actually belong to the bamboo family. However, it is considered good luck and believed to bring happiness and prosperity.  As the legend goes, placing the “bamboo” stalks in groupings of 3,… Continue Reading →

Day Eleven – Lucky Acorns

In my continuing adult education about good luck charms, I learned the tale of the humble acorn.  Apparently during the Norman Conquest, the English carried around dried acorns to protect themselves against the harshness and brutalities of the day.

Day Ten – Senior Elefante

For Day 10, I decided to continue with the animal theme of yesterday, as elephants are lucky in India.  In the interest of continuity, this elephant also happens to be dressed like a dapper gentleman.

Day Nine – Lucky Piggies

Working on this series required a little bit of research.  I looked into all different kinds of good luck charms from all over the world, and I even kept a list going in my phone to keep it all organized…. Continue Reading →

Day Seven – Lucky Break

Today’s drawing for the Buena Suerte mini-series is of a wishbone. As the tradition goes, the wish gets granted to whomever gets the larger half in the break.  Also, this is where we get the expression, “lucky break!”  However, when… Continue Reading →

Day Five: Scarab Beetle

Official genus and species of the sacred Egyptian beetle is Scarabaeus sacer, and it is the latest drawing in my Buena Suerte series.  The scarab beetle managed to do two things that mirrored or coordinated with what two of the… Continue Reading →

Day Four: Lucky Rabbit’s Foot

Two things I’m quite fond of are the movie “In the Line of Fire” and animals.  When I was thinking of lucky charms,  of course the rabbit’s foot came to mind, even though i’m not sure it was at all… Continue Reading →

Day Three: Dream Catcher

The Dream Catcher originated with the Ojibwa people.  According to their legend, the dream catcher was made to  collect any harm that might be in the air.  This was the reason for the spiderweb-like netting within the hoop, as spiderwebs… Continue Reading →

Day Two: Lucky Horseshoe (Crab)

I’ve heard you have to keep a horseshoe upright, otherwise if you turn it upside down all the luck will fall out.  Just in case, I’ve added a horseshoe crab to keep an eye out…and also for the pun factor… Continue Reading →

Buena Suerte! A drawing a day challenge for January 2017

There’s something auspicious about a new year, whether it be positive changes, breaking of bad habits, or just plain superstition.  I’ve chosen to explore the latter for the month of January and create daily drawings of good luck symbols, icons… Continue Reading →

day 332…a lil cameo

Today’s drawing, and the very last of the twenty thirteen series, is a little masquerading cameo!

day 330…snap out of it!

Today’s drawing is inspired by one of my favorite bands, Arctic Monkeys! I adore their new album, AM, and am grateful for the inspiration 🙂

day 300…Simon Le Lichtenstein

Two people that have had a huge influence on me as an artist, share a birthday!  Simon Le Bon, with his amazing lyrics, and Roy Lichtenstein, my favorite artist of all time, are both born on October 27th!  So, for… Continue Reading →

day 221…mt. molehill

We’ve all heard the expression, “making a mountain out of a mole hill.”  This phrase meaning making a big deal out of something trivial.  However, this illustration is wondering if this mountain WAS a molehill.  It’s also being claimed for… Continue Reading →

day 220…ace up your sleeve?

There’s all kinds of aces you can have up your sleeves!

day 218…welcome to Amsterdam!

Today’s drawing is inspired by my trip to Holland.  I saw so many amazing things, especially the vast number of things people do while riding bikes!  I saw people texting, holding umbrellas, and even eating sandwiches!

day 213…don’t…don’t believe the hype!

Today’s drawing is in honor of the great Chuck D!

day 211…play the f*cking bass, John!

Today’s drawing is in honor of my favorite bass player, John Taylor!

day 210…the showman!

Today’s drawing is in honor of one of my favorite showmen, Freddie Mercury!

day 208…no dogs in pool!

My HOA, as with a lot of HOAs, is a little particular.  Today, three signs appeared in the pool area; scrawled in crayon (no joke, crayon!) it read, “No dogs in pool.”  It just made me feel really bad for… Continue Reading →

day 205…you hold me in place!

Today’s drawing is about thing that hold things in place.

day 204…levitation!

Today’s drawing is about levitation, pre David Blaine.

day 202…have you got color in your cheeks?

The worst thing about blushing, is that you can FEEL yourself blushing…and remain entirely helpless about this situation.  You certainly don’t need a mirror to see if you’re embarrassed, but in today’s drawing, I suppose you do.

day 200…got the guts?

I suppose, technically, that we’ve all got the guts.

day 199…calla lilies

I’m really bummed I couldn’t manage to get my Calla Lilies to bloom this year.  I thought maybe this drawing could send them some good mojo.

day 198…year of the Rabbit!

OK, it’s not really the year of the Rabbit.  It is however, the birthday of Niki, my second work wife, who was born in the year of the Rabbit.  She also just wrapped up her MBA, so today’s drawing is doubly… Continue Reading →

day 197…fond of ewe!

Today’s drawing is dedicated to my work wife, Angie.  Certainly not the first dedication she’s received, but after all she is my wifey 🙂 We have this 6 year-long habit of leaving each other post-its with song quotes on each… Continue Reading →

day 194…sorry, Ringo.

Today’s drawing is inspired by something my mom and I always say.  Whenever we listen to the Beatles album, “HELP!” we would usually skip the track, “Act Naturally,” and then say, “Sorry, Ringo.”  No offense to Mr. Starr, but the… Continue Reading →

day 193…passing ships in the night

This is how ships slip past one another, silently, in the night…

day 192…triple bagger!

There are days when you need caffeine, and then there are days when you need a lot of it.      Today’s drawing is inspired by one of those days.

day 190…pow pow!

Today’s drawing is inspired by the son of a co-worker of mine.  He replaces the phrase “beat up” with the phrase, “pow-pow!”  I’ll use it in a sentence; Mommy, don’t make me come over there and pow-pow you! Hilarious!

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