Logo for annual scientific meeting

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Cure the Kids-Logo for annual meeting.

I’ve just added this new logo to my portfolio of Logo Art.

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation has a special meeting each year to address the progress in the research to help children suffering from brain tumors. The conference theme is “Translating Discoveries to Cure the Kids.” I developed this logo for them, adapted from another version of the design that I provided for the program covers for last year’s meeting. The heart-helix concept so well represents the purpose and title of this think tank-like meeting that they chose to brand the annual meeting with this design. With tweaks to thicken the strands and neutralize the colors of the heart helix, this design became the logo for the annual event. I created the artwork in Adobe Illustrator. Learn more about the PBTF’s work at

It feels great when my artwork serves a good cause.

Illustration Students’ Tulip Festival Artwork

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Yuko Miki's Tulip Festival poster © Yuko Miki

I’ve been offering a new class at Bellevue College for illustration students to build portfolio samples in their own styles. By the end of the 5 week class they should have 4 new portfolio pieces.  We critique and discuss the works in depth to help students get lots of feedback and direction for making their work unique, consistent and viable for the illustration market. Last quarter they were assigned poster art for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and the results were so diverse and well executed that I want to share it here.

Ashba Zulfiqar's Tulip Lady © Ashba Zulfigar

Jessica Brown's Tulip Festival poster © Jessica Brown

Victoria Peters' Tulip Festival poster © Victoria Peters

Alexandra Browning's Tulip Festival poster © Alexandra Browning

And from Fall quarter:

Lee Ready's Tulip Festival poster © Lee Ready

Meet my new assistant!

Thursday, March 6th, 2014


Alex Ballenger

Alex Ballenger is an art student on leave to figure out what she ultimately wants from art school.   She has big aspirations for a career in art.  By assisting various artists in different ways, she’s getting a broad, hands on look at the creative and business side of the lives of artists and illustrators.

Alex joined my studio in January to help me with the daunting tasks of managing and updating the image files for my illustration and fine art web sites, my Workbook online portfolio and my store. Her familiarity with photoshop and Mac computers made it an easy fit, and, she’s a fast learner.  It took me way too long to realize that I needed help and to let up on my do-it-ALL-myself philosophy of self employment. She’s handling the tasks that have been easy for me to put off and avoid, but by showing up twice a week I’m able to keep her busy and know that my internet marketing is getting cleaned up, on track and ultimately, expanding.  Thanks Alex!

Contact alex at



In Memoriam – Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Monday, February 10th, 2014


Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote

I am deeply saddened by the early death of a great actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman.  I had the honor of drawing a portrait of him in his role as Capote when Vox Advertising in LA was tasked with creating the movie poster and wanted to explore an expressive line art approach.  This was my favorite of 4 compositions that I submitted and which I’d hoped would be the icon for the movie.  As it turned out, an atmospheric photograph was chosen and this image became a staple of my line art portfolio and one of my favorite pieces.  In rendering a portrait in any medium the artist becomes very familiar with the subject’s facial features and a sense of intimacy is felt.  This closeness, even on just my part, carried with me through the countless amazing roles played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.


GAG-Illustration panel

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

My friend Sandy O’Connor took these pictures at the Illustration panel at the SPGA chapter of the Graphic Artist Guild last Wednesday. There was a good turnout as the 5 of us tried to address questions about the illustration market and our experiences in the business. The panel consisted of  Henk Dawson – 3D artist, Nina Laden – children’s books, Blanca Santander – children’s illustrations, and Diana Fairbanks – Scientific, and myself.

After the presentation

Chatting with Annette Kraus

Graphic Artist’s Guild – Illustration Panel

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on illustration at SPGA, the Seattle Chapter of the Graphic Artist’s Guild (GAG) later this month.  If you are in the Seattle area, come and check it out.  Here’s the info, or click my link above to go the web page.

Graphic Artists Guild Workshop
Wednesday, October 30, 2013,  12-1:30 pm

Illustration: What Does It Take…Besides Talent?

A Panel Discussion moderated by Sara Chapman


What is the state of illustration today? Can you find jobs and make money? What skills do you need? Join us for a stellar panel of working illustrators as we discuss what it takes to be a successful professional illustrator.

We’ll be asking our panelists about:

The Market
Can you make money, and how do you do it?
Which specialties are in demand?
Where is the market headed?

Getting Noticed
Which portfolio sites are best?
Is social media effective?
Do you need an agent?
Is paper promotion dead?

Work Process
Which techniques and media do you use?
What are your steps in creating an illustration?

Seattle Design Center
Plaza Building Suite 292
5701 6th Avenue S.
Seattle 98108

Preregister for discount tickets


Henk Dawson has over 20 years illustration and animation experience, creating visual assets for large corporations, ad agencies, design firms, and startups. His goal is to continue to stay small and focused on creating quality 3D illustration and animation. 

Nina Laden, award-winning, best-selling children’s book author and illustrator, lives in Seattle and on Lummi Island, WA, but mostly she lives in her imagination. She has over a dozen books in print including “The Night I Followed the Dog,” “When Pigasso Met Mootisse,” and “Roberto the Insect Architect.” She also visits schools and inspires students to be creative. 

Diana Fairbanks has a background in biology, fine arts and medical illustration. She has taught at various schools including Bellevue Communicty College and University of Washington. Currently, she is a full-time visual artist who fulfills commissions and teaches through her studio, OlyImages. 

Originally from Peru, Blanca Santander’sheritage and energy resonate in her use of color and magical themes. She has been selected multiple times as the Barnes and Noble Featured artist during National Hispanic Heritage Month. Ms. Santander illustrates children’s books and paints in acrylics. 

After an early start winning poster contests as a child, Sandy Haight has had a successful and varied career using her spirited colors and expressive line on book jackets, packaging, posters, logos, and web pages.  She also finds time to teach at Bellevue Community College and create fine art paintings


Illustration for Web Site Header

Monday, March 4th, 2013

I Love Learning - Home Care Institute

Lu Post came to the right place when she contacted me to illustrate a header for her institute’s web site which trains home health caregivers. Its an e-learning/computer training course for the home health and hospice industries whose main icon is an apple. She was looking for something colorful and happy. ”I want to convey the following emotions from the image – engagement, happiness, enthusiasm. That’s why we love your illustrations. They all convey these emotions to us.” She referred to several images on my searchable stock page for color schemes that she liked.

With that encouragement, these required elements to fit into the long skinny banner proportions fell right into place:

  1. End-users are female nurses (30-40 years old).
  2. a warm, happy and colorful home setting.
  3. female working on a laptop at a dining room table (instead of a desk) that’s in front of a sunny window with flowers. Preferred flowers: star lilies.
  4. an engaged expression.
  5. a coffee cup that says “I (heart) Learning”.
  6. a hint of medical reference without the subject wearing scrubs or a lab coat.
  7. with an apple as their icon/theme, include one or more apples in the image.
  8. with an office is full of dog lovers (especially Yorkies), incorporate a dog.

Once a sketch was approved, I executed the final image that you see above as a vector drawing to read best on the web. I got all elements squeezed into the designated space and it was received with enthusiasm.  With great direction, such as Lu provided, its much easier to deliver great results. Here’s the link as seen on the web with the logo connected to the artwork.

Valentine’s week

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Giving Heart Illustration by Sandy Haight

During this week of hearts and flowers, love and chocolate, romance and delight, I have a valentine image for you. This illustration was created for a book published by Peter Pauper Press and titled “Friends Make the Best Presents”. It’s a miniature hardbound book with a dangling red ribbon bookmark and charm attached. The book actually shows more Christmas present images than Valentine’s, but this picture has a heart so is fitting for this week. The text accompanying this full (tiny) page illustration is:  “Accept affection with open arms, and give it with an open heart” written by Holly Stevens.  I wish I could offer you chocolate affection with my open heart. I hope this eye candy will suffice.  Happy Valentine’s week!

Love, Sandy


New Montana License Plate

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Friends of the Wild Swan sponsored license plate

If you drive through Montana, you quickly notice a wide variety of license plates on the vehicles you follow or walk by in parking lots.  Any organization in the state can sponsor a license plate to promote and raise funds for their cause giving a new customer over 125 choices at the DMV. Look here at just the available wildlife plates. I was contacted by Steve Kelly, a board member of Friends of the Wild Swan, and Wild Rockies Alliance who, as a gallery owner and artist himself, was in charge of putting together the license plate. I was thrilled that he wanted the subtle elegance of a sumi painting of a bull trout to represent the wilderness and wildlife protections they advocate. After painting dozens of trout, this image was chosen then assigned a blue-grey color.

Bull Trout-1 © 2012 Sandy Haight

I enjoyed working on the design as well, following a template with drill holes, tab and alpha-numeric spaces, consulting with the graphic designers in the prison, then watching, by way of Steve, as they enlarged the state name, lightened the trout even more than the 50% requirement and added a borderline over the course of several months.  Now, I wish I lived in Montana to see the plate on the road.

Here are some of my other sumi trouts that we considered. All are available for purchase.

Bull Trout-2 © 2012 Sandy Haight

Bull Trout-3 © 2012 Sandy Haight

Bull Trout-4 © 2012 Sandy Haight

Bull Trout-5 © 2012 Sandy Haight

Holiday greetings – 2012

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

© 2012 Sandy Haight

It’s that Retail time of year…Art for Macy’s

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Macy's Drum Majorette © Macy's

As December marches on and it gets harder to avoid the need to shop for gifts (or materials and ingredients to make gifts), I’m reflecting on some illustrations I did for one of the big retailers, Macy’s. These line art and color images were used for holiday ads. Ho ho ho…

Santa's Watch-Macy's © Macy's

Macy's Gift Box © Macy's

Macy's Sleigh © Macy's

I Heart Macy's Car © Macy's

Macy's Shopper © Macy's

Illustrations for Happiness Strategy Teleseminar

Friday, September 7th, 2012

This Sunday, September 9 at 11:00, Ragini Michaels will present a FREE Teleseminar featuring 16 of the 26 illustrations I created to help her explain her strategy for achieving happiness and peace of mind as described in her recent book Unflappable. (I posted a blog about my sumi illustrations in that book on May 19, 2012). Here are some examples of my NEW stylized “stick figure” characters acting out their tensions both antagonistically and as a creative dynamic as they struggle to resolve their quite unresolvable dilemmas.  These illustrations are quite different from the book artwork as they are totally created as vector art for the web in Adobe Illustrator.



Each concept is formatted with a boxed heading labeling the issue category that we may be struggling with. We fluctuate between polar opposite feelings that are stated by the text that makes up the character’s torsos. Antagonistic expressions of the tensions have jagged bases labeled “dilemma”, while the Creative Dynamic Tension expressions have a rounded base with the “dilemma” label.  The polar pair characters are made of one rounded character and one angular character, also distinguished by tone. Here’s another simpler set:


You can see that I had fun with colors, fonts and vector art while creating these illustrations.  It was also fun working with Ragini to figure out what sort of actions the characters might be doing.  Here’s a set just in time for football season:


Tune into Ragini’s Free Teleseminar on Sunday to see the rest of these illustrations. It will be fun for me to see them in use and perhaps we can all find more enlightenment, happiness and insight for dealing with our inner tensions.


“Unflappable” sumi book illustrations

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Hot off the press from Conari Press is a long awaited book by Ragini Michaels titled “Unflappable:  Six Steps to Staying Happy, Centered , Peaceful – No Matter What.”

I contributed several sumi paintings to this book about navigating the paradoxes of life, represented by the infinity loop,  that has us continually cycling through the polarities of our emotions.  Ragini draws upon the wisdom of the mystics and contemporary psychology to give us a process to become truly unflappable in a “land of  unresolvable dilemmas.”

Ragini has been a pleasure to work with.  Her upcoming webinar will feature 26 of my illustrations in a whole new style.  Stay tuned.  Congratulations, Ragini, on realizing the dream of this book coming into being.

Seeing Green for Saint Patrick’s Day

Monday, March 12th, 2012

With the higher demand for vector illustration these days I’ve been recreating some of my favorite traditionally drawn images as vector art.  This gives me a chance to update the line work to my current stroke styling, opening it up.  Below is the original art for a packaging design for Caravali Coffee’s Irish Creme flavor.   I credit that assignment with the birth of my current style.   With creative freedom, I had 13 flavors to illustrate, creating a new direction and a new portfolio to present to a wider market.  The strong line and vivid color has found many uses in print and web as seen on this web site.  My styling lends itself well to vector, don’t you think?   But, I still welcome any opportunity to paint!  Let’s paint the town GREEN!

Illustration in Connecticut Magazine

Friday, February 17th, 2012
Connecticut magazine illustration

Illustration for laser surgery article

My line art image of a hand and face was used by Joan Barrow at Connecticut Magazine to enhance a Health story about the advances in laser surgery.  Not only are lasers useful for vital surgical procedures but also for making our slightest flaws disappear without damage to surrounding tissue.  A magic tool for health and beauty!  Here’s how the art looks on the page in the current February 2012 issue!  Sorry, I don’t have a link to the whole story which is hard to read here….

Happy Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Book jacket illustration

"Talking to Addison" by Jenny Colgen-Warner Books

Have a LOVE-ly day to all my online friends and family.  This image was a book jacket illustration I did for a comic novel about a young London woman with a crush on her flat mate.  He was online ALL the time making it almost  impossible to get his attention.

Holiday Greeting Cards Portfolio

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Are you looking for ways to spread cheer for the holidays?  Check out my new portfolio of published seasonal cards on this web site…

When you  click on a thumbnail to enlarge the image, you’ll see the caption written inside that card.  Some sentiments are heartfelt, some whimsical with others written by poet Gary Wood.

The designs here are published as 5” x 7” cards with deluxe envelopes by Emery Burton Fine Cards.

Ho Ho Ho!

Sandy Claus