Birthday Greetings (a SociallyAwkwardComic

Birthday Greetings (a SociallyAwkwardComic

work week

Proper birthday greetings

There is a certain etiquette when providing birthday greetings to the Steve. The Steve is a man of simple tastes – mainly, to be left alone. So, one most take that into consideration when approaching the Steve. I have provided this handy illustrated guide on the various acceptable (?) birthday greetings in our household. 😉



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Harry Potter Land (a Socially Awkward Comic)

Harry Potter Land (a Socially Awkward Comic)

work week

Travelling with a NON Harry Potter fan…

This is my first guest-post (ghost-post? ghost-written-post?) user inspired comic. True story, this happened when my good friend and co-author, Heatherlyn Egan, and her friend Caleb went to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Caleb, bless his heart, is not the die hard Harry Potter fan that Heatherlyn and I are… but I’ll forgive him, since it led to this hilarious back-and-forth between the two.

Enjoy! 🙂

Jazz Lounge Singer (a SociallyAwkward comic)

Jazz Lounge Singer (a SociallyAwkward comic)

work week

Jazz it up a little

This week’s comic is brought to you by a fun Instagram contest for the end of August. The only rule for the subject was: black-and-white. I decided to go with a vintage jazz style straight from the Roaring Twenties. (Which, let’s be honest, is awesome. The height of jazz, big band, and swing music? Don’t even get me started on the fashion!). The comic depicts me as a lounge singer belting out a tune with Steve rocking the bass* in the background.

*Side Note* You have to admit, he’d totally be one of those bassists. Or, maybe one of those bass guitar players who stands around bobbing his head to the music and plucking at the strings. You know the kind I’m talking about.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top performing in San Antonio Texas 2015 1 - Jazz Lounge Singer (a SociallyAwkward comic)

Yeah. Just like that.

Favorite childhood books: things that inspire

Favorite childhood books: things that inspire

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Everyone treasures those select few favorite childhood books. You know the ones. These books have been read so many times, the binding is cracked and splintered. And, these books came to life when we read them, and the words engraved into the very marrow of our bones. These books hold stories that were our dearest friends, our closest companions, and our solace in many a darker time. Finally, they helped us to escape from the drudgery of life. They became our first loves. And, they taught us how to dream big.

So, what makes us gravitate to certain books more than others?

In all honesty, I have no answer for what makes this book greater than that book and vice versa. I know only that the books I gravitated toward had a tendency to show one or more of the following characteristics:

  • A character I identified with: If I could not find a character to identify with, I put the book down. I have always needed that connection to the story, a person who made me cheer for them, cry with them, feel everything they felt. Otherwise, a story lays flat and wooden to me.
  • Fantasy: Honestly, the more fantastical a story, the more I loved it. Real life can get pretty darn bleak, after all, and I wanted my stories to take me away from real life.
  • Humor: No book is complete without the ability to make me laugh. Sure, most of the time I laugh, then cry, then laugh some more, then get angry… whew. But, while a really good book sends me on one humongous, emotional roller coaster, it needs to make me laugh a lot to make up for it.
  • A happy ending: That’s right folks. No tragedies for this girl (see Fantasy section). Now, don’t get me wrong, I can handle a book where I KNOW there’s going to be some sort of tear-jerk ending (Fault In Our Stars, anyone?). However, I just tend to avoid seeking out those books unless they come HIGHLY recommended (and, to be honest, FIOS is absolutely hilarious, too, so I can forgive the sob fests). That said, I absolutely loathe being blindsided and will hate a book forever if it tricks me with a horrible, dark, tragic ending.

Want to know more?

Then, keep reading my top 5 favorite childhood books:

Check out the slideshow* below:

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Just Imagine

favorite childhood books

My all-time favorite picture book, and one of the many reasons I wanted to be an illustrator when I grew up. The rhymes are ridiculous and lovely and chalk full of fantasy – from dragons and fairies to teddy bear knights and beyond – and each illustration captures the reader. Honestly, this book is too perfect for words.

Sadly, this one is out of print, but it can be purchased used and, to me, is worth so worth every penny!

buy now from amazon


winnie the pooh book coverAnother huge favorite. I have always loved the sketchy, soft quality of the original illustrations. The stories are sweet, whimsical — and the characters, beloved. I loved these stories so much that I have always vowed my first nursery would be a Classic Pooh theme. Sadly, that hasn’t been possible, but it doesn’t keep me from having my own little collection of keepsakes. 😉

“Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A.A. Milne, who wrote this book for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave Pooh and his companions shape. These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.”

buy now from amazon


True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs LLED 402 Blog 241x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireI remember winning this book at my elementary school, and it was an immediate favorite. The story made me laugh out loud, but the illustrations really drew me in and made me love it. It’s such a silly premise that I would be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t enjoy it.

“In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs.'”

buy now from amazon


Anne of Green Gables

619RpdGjmwL 275x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireI consider Anne of Green Gables another classic series. The story follows a young orphan girl through life, from finding a family, to finding friends, to finding love and beyond. It warms the heart, has all the whimsy a girl like me could ask for, and has been read by me more times than I can count. Those characters are MY kindred spirits.

“Favorites for nearly 100 years, these classic novels follow the adventures of the spirited redhead Anne Shirley, who comes to stay at Green Gables and wins the hearts of everyone she meets.”

buy now from amazon

Chronicles of Narnia

the chronicles of narnia 199x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireLast, but CERTAINLY not least – C .S. Lewis tops my chart of all-time-favorite authors. I’ve read about everything he’s written twice and three-times over, this series most of all. I cannot say enough good things about it, from the character development to the breathtaking description and the poetic way Lewis writes. You aren’t dragged into the story – you go willingly, excitedly, through that wardrobe and into an amazing world where things aren’t always what they seem.

“C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia has captivated readers of all ages for over sixty years, enchanting them with fantastical talking creatures, epic battles between good and evil, and magical doorways into new lands.”

buy now from amazon

As I mentioned before, these are only a small sampling of my favorites. After all, I was a huge bookworm growing up so to really delve into all of the books who touched me in some way throughout my childhood — well, we’d be here a long, long time. 🙂

Now that I’ve shared my favorite childhood books, tell me, what are yours? I’d love to know! Just write them in the comments below.

*Advertising Disclosure*

This post includes affiliate links. I may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
Never-ending Cycle (a Socially Awkward web comic)

Never-ending Cycle (a Socially Awkward web comic)

work week

It’s a never-ending cycle…

I’ve been on both sides of this coin. Thin. Fat. The cycle is never-ending. And while I definitely prefer the thin side, the path to get there is long, arduous, and requires me to give up sugar 100% during the journey – a feat I loathe with every fiber of my being, despite it being the only thing that works for me and – let’s be honest – a healthy thing to do (we eat entirely too much sugar in this house and my family has a huge history of diabetes…. *shudder*). So yes, the cycle is never-ending. Yes, the path isn’t easy. But it’s worth it. Mostly. Until I’m really craving something sweet.

Beach Vacation 2017 (a SociallyAwkard comic)

Beach Vacation 2017 (a SociallyAwkard comic)

work week

 Beach vacation – SociallyAwkward style!

Okay so this didn’t *really* happen. (And, as much as we looove our fur babies, vacation time means the kids stay at home with a sitter while we frolic and recharge.) But, we are both huge beach bums. We do a yearly trek down to the Emerald Coast to soak up some sun (well – him more than me). Anyone else just love the sound of the ocean? The feel of that salty breeze? I swear as soon as we get close I can feel my stress melt away.

Darn it. Now I really want to go back.


Anger (a Socially Awkward web comic)

Anger (a Socially Awkward web comic)

work week

Everyone deals with anger differently

We all have different levels of anger. Our anger manifests in unique ways. When people push my buttons, I react swiftly. Like a fire, my rage burns bright and quick, then fizzles. Steve, on the other hand…

Well, Steve is like an immovable mountain. Things rarely get to him. I mean, seriously – the world could be crumbling around him and there he would stand, stoic and logical as always. Always one step ahead of the game. Except for that .0001% moment when something really gets to him and he flies of the handle. And EVERY TIME it’s some teeny, tiny, insignificant thing.

It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so dang shocking. o.O

Vitamin D (a Socially Awkward web comic from young@art)

Vitamin D (a Socially Awkward web comic from [email protected])

work week

Vitamin D: catching some sun on a nice summer’s day…

My immune system and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. Mainly, it hates me. Most days we are not on speaking terms. Because of this, I have a vitamin D deficiency. I take supplements (like, a LOT) but there’s no cure than good, old-fashioned sunshine, am I right?

Only, I’m also pale. Like, vampire pale. Like, just a shade darker than albino pale. So, while I need vitamin D, I can only handle the sun in small doses.

I’m not even kidding on this. I wear INFANT sunscreen – which is supposed to last 80 minutes before reapplication is necessary. Yeah, no. Try 30, if I’m lucky.

Makes going to the beach a fun time. 😉

Anyone else have this problem? Has anyone else considered one of those burkinis? Because legit, I have. What do you do to combat the harsh sun rays? Inquiring minds want to know!

Liberty for All (a SociallyAwkward comic)

Liberty for All (a SociallyAwkward comic)

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Liberty (and justice) for ALL…

Sometimes I get so tired. Tired of all the hatred, dissent, division, and fear. Or, tired of feeling helpless, voiceless, and lost. Most of all, tired of praying and wishing for a better tomorrow, when it all just feels so impossible. Our world crumbles into chaos. Due to this, we fight — we kill — in the name of supposed liberty. But do we really understand what we fight for?

Liberty, at its core, is simple. It means freedom, or the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. Seems like a pretty straightforward idea. But, that simple idea gets twisted into something almost unrecognizable by the people who claim it as their battle cry. Maybe we should focus on the pledge, “…liberty (and justice) for all,” more than the phrase, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”

Funny how people forget that the right to freedom claims no color barriers, no restrictions.

Funnier still how people oppress others’ freedoms in the name of their own.

Except, I don’t find it funny. Not one bit..

And, I will not be silent.

GOT S7 Premiere Reaction (a SociallyAwkward comic)

GOT S7 Premiere Reaction (a SociallyAwkward comic)

work week

Game of Thrones (GOT) Season 7 Premiere – My Reactions

Ours is a staunch GOT household. We do not, as a rule, watch a lot of television. One show before bed (our living room TV has legitimately not been touched since last Thanksgiving. Or when our pet sitter stays over. But I don’t count that because WE aren’t technically the ones watching it…)

Anyway, all that to say that GOT is one of the only shows we will watch on the same night it airs. So when they finally – FINALLY, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! – aired the season 7 premiere, I was oh so ready. And I may have gotten a little excited during Arya’s intro. Or cried a little too hard at the scene with the Hound in the middle of the night. Or — well, let’s just say a lot of different emotions were involved. So, I thought I’d share them here. 🙂

What about you? Favorite parts of the episode? Least favorite? I’d love to compare notes!

P.S. Enjoy the comic! <3


Advice for the artist: what I’ve learned so far

I have been asked many times for advice from artist friends, or artists I have mentored in the past. When someone came to me recently with the same request, I jumped at the chance to offer some of what I have learned over the years — and decided why not post it on here, in hopes that my advice it may help other artists out there.

The most important advice I have learned so far:

Create for you, not for everyone else.

Heart in Ishihara color blind test plate

Being an artist is rough at any age because we creative types crave affirmation and praise – sometimes to the point that when we don’t receive much, we start to doubt our own talent and self-worth. Don’t fall into that trap. You would not be creating art if you did not love it. Maybe you started because it offers stress relief. Maybe you started because it just came naturally. Think of those reasons when you start to get discouraged, then pick up a pencil, or pen, or whatever your tool of choice is, and just keep at it!

If you are unsure about something, learn.

20170703 TryingToAdult e1501268444220 300x263 - Advice for the artist: what I've learned so far

There will always be those who are more skilled or more talented. Don’t be discouraged by them – learn from them! This was a hard lesson for me, but it’s been a good one. Once I let go of my need to be “the best,” I actually began improving tenfold because the insecurity wasn’t holding me back.

Always strive to be better, but recognize the value in your own work. You have a style that is all your own. Embrace and nurture it. Definitely learn new things, but don’t try to be something you aren’t.

Surround yourself with positive people.

Steve likes to do this little thing where he pats my head and says, "There. There." like Disney's Baymax

If someone tells you that you can’t do something or that you’re no good, ignore them and try harder. Oh, and kick them to the curb. You do not need that kind of negativity (we usually do a much better job at being our own worst critic, anyway).

Figure out your personal brand.

young@art - illustrations and stories by Danaye L. Shiplett

This is important when you start marketing yourself. It’s important to think of you as a business and your artwork as the product it sells. How will people know what accounts are yours, that a site is yours? Not only by your unique art style, but also by how you market yourself. That means your “business” name, logo, color scheme, etc.

Many artists I know use their own name, which is the common thing to do. You can also make it more of a business-style name – for instance, my brand is [email protected]

If you are curious and want to know more, I wrote a blog post on this very piece of advice.

Building a following is a long, slow process.

advice for the artist

Trust me on this. It doesn’t mean that your art is no good, it just means that we as a society are over-saturated with – well, everything. Just keep at it. Engage your followers. Post as often as you can (but not too often! I’d say no more than once or twice a day) – and definitely look at the best days/times to post based on the social media platform. There are lots of resources that can help schedule posts in advance and whatnot.

Anyway, I hope that this helps! If you like, I’ve got lots of other resources on my site. And I’m always available if you have any questions, need a critique partner, or just want to chat about art.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary (a Socially Awkward comic)

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary (a Socially Awkward comic)

harry potter

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary – 20 years of love…

A couple of weeks ago was the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary, celebrating J.K. Rowlings beloved children’s series. I myself am a diehard Potterhead. Steve and I (and the fur babies) watch the Harry Potter movies frequently throughout the year. It’s a long-standing favorite, and that will certainly never change (been going on for over a decade!).

So, this was my little tribute to the books and a nod to J.K. Rowling, for creating some of the best stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and living. <3

Best Dad (a Socially Awkward comic)

Best Dad (a Socially Awkward comic)

best dad

The Best Dad always has the same top qualities…

What makes a “best dad,” really? Simply put, I feel that a “best dad” is: (1) a provider, (2) a protector, (3) a teacher, and (4) a big old softy at heart. To me, a dad is a dad whether his children have two legs or four. Because, my Steve is DEFINITELY a “best dad” to our fur babies. If we could have kids, I know that he would be a “best dad” to them, too. <3


Wine o’clock (a Socially Awkward comic)

Wine o’clock (a Socially Awkward comic)

wine o'clock

Wine o’clock…

If you’re like me, you love wine. I mean, I looooooove wine. (Unfortunately most wine doesn’t love me, because I have a sulfite allergy, but that’s another story for another time.) Whenever wine o’clock rolls around, I’m ready to dive into my favorites:

Pinot Noir

  • Belle Glos Meiomi
  • Belle Glos Clark & Telephone
  • La Crema


  • La Crema
  • Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve

So, now that you know mine… What are your favorite wines?

Adulting is hard! (a Socially Awkward comic)

Adulting is hard! (a Socially Awkward comic)


Adulting is hard!

We’ve all been there. Responsibilities – adult things – loom over our heads. We get a sudden burst of productivity and think, “Yes! I will do this! I will do the adulting!” Only to be curtailed by something every. single. time. Social media, the internet, reading, TV… videos of cats… doodling little flowers on paper… staring off into space….

Well, you get the idea.


Fangirling over a movie (a Socially Awkward web comic)

Fangirling over a movie (a Socially Awkward web comic)

fangirling over a movie

Fangirling over the live action Beauty & the Beast…

I can’t help it. Certain things just make me go crazy-dumb. Disney is one of them. Beauty and the Beast? Forget it. Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, and Dan Stevens, and – and… oh the list goes on! I started fangirling the day I saw the first teaser from Emma Watson about playing the role of Belle. I major fangirled when I saw the first teaser trailer.

And – I’m slightly ashamed to admit – I may have sung the songs (quietly) throughout the movie when we saw it at the theater…

Spring Cleaning: or, how I make even bigger messes

Spring Cleaning: or, how I make even bigger messes

spring cleaning

Spring cleaning always gets the best of me.

I don’t know what it is. Every time I sit down to start a spring cleaning endeavor, I am determined to clear out my closet, our bedroom, the spare rooms, everything of all the junk that has accumulated in the past year. And every time, I have the best of intentions. I channel my inner cleaning goddess, roll up my sleeves, and go full-out KonMari.


That whole thing where you’re supposed to take EVERYTHING out where you can see it, then start purging? Well… sometimes I don’t get that far. Sometimes (okay, most of the time) as soon as I start taking things out of their boxers or containers, I am suddenly walking down memory lane. Before I know it, HOURS have passed and I haven’t made even a single dent in all of the clutter!

But, hey, there’s always a need for a pair of Minnie Mouse bride ears, amiright?

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