Saturday, May 10, 2014

Local illustrator named to worldwide top 200 list
Written by Staff Reports | |
By Chase Will

After 20 years of honing her skills, local painter Penny Collins has been recognized as
one of the Top 200 Illustrators Worldwide by Lüerzer’s Archive.
Lüerzer’s Archive is a bi-monthly magazine for the advertising industry, based in Europe with a global circulation of over 38,000 subscribers.

“I’m still on the ceiling with this,” Collins said. “I could not believe it when I got notification.
Out of the billions and billions of talented people out there, and even in Toledo alone, to be picked for
something like this is really great.”

“I love that she’s from Toledo. Out of everyone who enters, only about 20 percent are even from the U.S.,” said Claudia Coffman, chief executive of ad sales at Lüerzer’s Archive. “We sent out a call for submissions for the illustrators and they submitted their work.

It was free to submit and they could upload as much work as they wanted. We got over 5,000 submissions, which were judged by afive-person jury and had to receive at least three markings to be

The painting submitted by Collins, titled “Save the Bunnies,” featured a bunny wearing a gas mask, sitting in front of a skull. It was created for a company in California who specialize in rabbit rescues. “It’s rather dark,” Collins said. “I ended up being inspired to do it for them because ofthe horror stories they would tell me about these animals.”

Collins runs Studio 566, where she sells her artwork and does commissioned pieces when requested. Her primary artistic focus is rabbits.

“What they tell you when you get into the business is find something you’re passionate about, because that’s basically what you’ll focus on for all your projects,” said Collins. “My next big project is doing a little cartoon strip with rabbits. I found a niche with these rabbit people, so I’m working on this book of cartoons I’m planning for next year.”

Collins credits much of her success to the Internet, which allows her to find opportunities to submit her work and communicate with peers in her field.

“Everything’s at our fingertips now. Everything you’ve ever wanted to do, you can do,” Collins said. “The Internet helps yet it doesn’t, because everyone and their mother is out there doing it. You’ve got to hit it hard. You basically make your own opportunities as opposed to waiting for them to come along.”

With several years of passion recognized in a prestigious magazine, Collins said she’d like to encourage other aspiring artists to pursue their dreams.

“That would be a piece of advice I’d give any artist struggling to make it; you’ve got to get online, and you’ve got to take advantage of what’s out there,” Collins said.

“Toledo’s just one town. We’ve got the world at our fingertips.”

Studio 566 is located at 425 Jefferson St. For more information on Collins’ work, visit:

Toledo Free Press

Monday, April 21, 2014

TOP 200

by Lürzer's Archive
Inspired by the “war stories” of rabbit rescues (and their rescuers), I designed and illustrated this WATERSHIP DOWN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE poster (AKA “RADIOACTIVE” for the 2014 MIDWEST BUNFEST to advocate rabbit rescue).

Lürzer's Archive is a bi-monthly magazine for the advertising industry. This piece was chosen to represent yours truly as one of the Top 200 Illustrators Worldwide 2014!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


The advice of many creatives these days is to develop a major project and then DO IT. With the technology we have, things such as publishing/world wide exposure via internet/etc, the sky is the limit!

This year I have been contemplating some sort of publication. I have been in contact with a publisher. I have narrowed that down to a publication of my rabbits (albeit NOT the 365 project yet). I have gotten even narrower with the idea of IN THE CONSIDERATION OF THE SECRET LIFE OF RABBITS.

Today, I decided to make installment number one.

I stared at a blank art board for 2 hours and drank 2 cups of coffee.
Not in that order.
Then I Googled: HOW TO WRITE A COMIC ...

“Why did BC cartoonist Johnny Hart give himself over to God, and then to total madness? Because writing a comic strip is a lonely, dispiriting, depressing enterprise teaming with self-doubt, self-loathing and self-employment. To combat such demons some cartoonists turn to God. Others turn to drink.”
- excerpt from:

Rule One: Avoid Successful People


Friday, January 3, 2014


"I believe that everyone has greatness in them. 
...and I think regret is never knowing what that is."
- Will Terry


After a rather long re-gathering of my wits, I have returned to the blog-life. This year, look forward to my general antics, opinions, life in These-Here-Toledo, experiences and as always, the art. There is always something brewing in the studio.

I have made the decision to engage Chris Oatley of :
I started my new year by indulging in the podcast: AM I GOOD ENOUGH? The interview and discussion with Will Terry is lengthy - but every word of it is GOLD. The discussion covers everything from feeling "not good enough" to the artist's work ethic. My personal favorite part of the entire show was a discussion about "branching out" from art. This is the basic philosophy that in order to be able to CREATE work that grabs people emotionally, we, as artists, have to go out and have LIVES separate from "art."

Also important to note: the definition of SUCCESS. What does success mean to artists? Is it the steady 9 to 5 that puts food on the table? Or is it creating pieces that grab people and pull them in?
I love the fact that the two people involved in the show are also very pragmatic. There is a "realness" involved - a no-holds-bar reality check.



Time to push into new ways of seeing... here - the shadows are built from some warmer tones. I also took the ever so comfortable graphite into a world of textures. The result is this year's "entry": that ONE PIECE that will be forced upon every illustration./design/art annual/competition I enter in 2014.

See it here: Illusion Scene 360


Tuesday, July 9, 2013


 The kid is surely going to kill me. But - I get amusing stories to tell...


I am an avid GAME OF THRONES (HBO Series) fan and am often asked: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE CHARACTER?

Not anymore.





Monday, June 24, 2013


Graphite Pencil

A river runs through Toledo, Ohio named the Maumee River. It is currently the focus of the possible resting place of a missing 18 month old baby. The river is thick and muddy on a good day. I have sat on the banks of that river for over 30 years. I can't imagine if that river could speak...

Sell Art Online

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I am now posting on FAA - Fine Art America. I am told if I post a specific link - one of my pieces will magically appear on the page. So... consider this an evil experiment birthed from the dark recesses of the creative spirit...


Actually, these are my current current prints with rabbits. More subjects and prints are available...
For instance:


Monday, May 27, 2013


Greetings! Long time no blog! I have been ultra busy with this artist life - and I am still ultra poor. But look what I earned!!!


And look where it is going to hang!

Or anything that ends in "ARTS"

Sometimes... this town actually rocks.

Upton near the Central Ave. Exit.


Currently, I whipped up something for a big client which was summarily rejected. And... I did lots of drawing.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


My daughter - as a wee one. Seen here honing her own artist skills with one of her best friends...

Illustration Friday

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013


Please vote by clicking the link!


For all of you passing through, please vote for my art piece at the link!

The piece is a study of a crone -
She is rendered in graphite - the crow silhouette is a simple vector.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Meanwhile… back at the ancestral ranch:

I was given a gift of ANCESTRY.COM some time ago. I have been tracing back everyone and their mothers – literally. I have come to find out that my roots go back to THE SALEM VILLAGE WITCH TRIALS.


Only, none of my relations were accused of the craft. My relations were Quakers. They were Quakers in the middle of a Puritan community. It seems the Puritans weren’t so tolerant after fleeing England in order to escape… you know… religious intolerance.

Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick entertained two Quaker preachers in their home. They also held some writings of those preachers. The Puritans considered this heresy. The Southwicks were fined, left in abject poverty and were summarily excommunicated from the settlement. They were never to return as it was punishable by death. Their two children were then sold into slavery (Daniel and Provided) to pay off the court costs/fines. Provided Southwick is listed as the only white woman ever to be sold into slavery. [ - Slavery Comes to America]

As fate would have it – she never did become a slave. No one wanted any part of it.
“…none willing to take them thither. One master of a ship to whom he applied, in order to evade a compliance, pretended they would spoil the ship's company. Butler replied, no, you do not fear that, for they are poor harmless creatures that will not hurt anybody. The master rejoined, will you then offer to make slaves of such harmless creatures? and declined the invidious office of transporting them, as well as the rest. Disappointed in his designs and at a loss how to dispose of them, the winter approaching, he sent them home to shift for themselves till he could find a convenient opportunity to send them away.”

Provided married a man named Samuel Gaskill.

Provided spent her free time fighting heresy charges, protesting the intolerance of the status quo and relaxing in the town’s stockade on more than one occasion.


During the witch trials, a girl that Samuel’s parents had as a border (Abigail Somes) was charged and tried as a witch. Samuel Sr. was overlooked… but the Gaskill name stayed in the middle of the trials.

"You are in theire Majest's names hereby required to apprehen and forthwith bring before us Abigaile Soames Single Woman, now Liveing at the house of Sam'l Gaskill in Salem; who stand accused of Sundry acts of #[Sundry] Witchcraft, (or high suspition there of) donne or Committed by her Lately. on the Body of Mary Warren & faile not

Dated Salem, May the 13'th 1692 P us
*John Hathorne Assis't
*Jonathan. Corwin Assis't

(Reverse) Abigaile Soames
I heave Aprehended the person of Abigall Soams Acordinge to warrante exprest on the other side and heave broughte hir to the how of mr Thomas Beadles pr me *Peter Osgood Constable in Selem

May the 13; 1692” (Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2 Page 50)

More Relations with Bunnies

The documents of the trials shows that Provided Gaskill signed petitions for the defense of John and Elizabeth Proctor.
“To Constable peter Osgood
“We whose names are under witten havinge several yeares knowne John Procter and his wife do testefy that we never heard or understood that they were ever suspected to be guilty of the crime now charged apon them and several of us being their neare neighbours do testefy that to our aprehension they lived christian life in their famely and were ever ready to helpe such as stood in need of their helpe

Nathaniel Felton sen: and mary his wife
Samuel Marsh and Prescilla his wife
James Houlton and Ruth his wife
John Felton
Nathaniel Felton jun
Samuell Frayll and an his wife
Zachriah Marsh and mary his wife
Samuel Endecott and hanah his wife
Samuell Stone
George Locker
Samuel Gaskil & Provided his wife
George Smith
Ed Edward: Gaskile”
( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 28 )

So there it is. I am proud to present my 7ggm –
PROVIDED GASKILL - a rebel - standing for human dignity and what she believed.

Thank-you, Great Grandmother Provided.
We women of the bloodline still fight the good fight.