The Joy of Arting

tl;dr for naturally artistic-types: posterize smaller images you want to use and then use a large window as a big ol’ lightbox.

This is a post that I have wanted to write since 2015, and I am delighted to finally be sharing this with y’all. Basically, I want to show you how to do this:

Don’t panic!!! I believe that you can do this.

What I’ll be sharing with you is something that my husband Bruce introduced me to: lightboxes.

Here’s a picture of the lightbox that Bruce used as a child:

Nowadays you can search “tracing lightbox” to see more examples of sleeker versions that many different types of artists use.

Okay. Here’s the cool thing: you already have free lightboxes at work and at home – your windows! I know that many of you will read this and think, “I have a projector which basically does the same thing.” True. But usually you need to be in a dimly lit room, and your hand can get in the way of what you’re wanting to trace. My technique can be done during work hours in full view of the public, and both parents and kids get a kick out of learning about what you’re doing.

Without further ado, here’s a step-by-step on how I created the above window display (and how you can, too!):

Find an image that you’d like to enlarge. Once you find something, then you can use whatever computer program you have that can print a “poster.” You’ll have options on sizes, so pick whichever will work best in your space. I opted to do a four-page poster using ledger paper.

After printing it out, you could simply cut and tape the paper together and hang it up that way, but it could look so much better. Like, people might think that you hired a professional artist to create your art.

The most likely limitation you may experience is having large enough paper available to cover your posterized image. Fortunately for me, the large roll of white paper that we use to cover our activity tables happens to be the perfect size.

Once you have your poster taped up onto a window so that it doesn’t move around, then you can cut a larger single sheet of paper to go over what you just taped up. Again, use enough tape to make sure that your top paper doesn’t shift while you work on it.

It’s tough to see in this picture, but I have all four corners of the big sheet taped down.

Next you do a heckuva lotta tracing.

highly recommend using Sharpie Brush pens – they don’t bleed as much as regular Sharpies, and they easily let you flow from thicker to thinner lines (or vice-versa). And for the larger black areas, I recommend the Sharpie Magnum – it’s a great time-saver.

Now you have the option to complete the entire tracing on the window, or once you get the outlines done, you can take it down and finish up the lines on a flat surface.

If the image is going on a non-transparent surface like a wall, then you’re done! But if it’s going in a window, then you’ll want to flip the paper over. You can either take down your taped-together poster and flip your sheet backwards (taping it up again) in the window to trace the same image, OR if the marker bled through enough, then you can trace it on a flat surface.

Cut out the completed artwork however you’d like. I left a bit of white around the edges to give a nice buffer between the image and the comic book paper. That’s what’s filling out the window: randomly torn up pieces from leftover Free Comic Book Day comics stuck up with many, many small cut-up pieces of packing tape. Many.

And there you have it: an attainable way to make yourself look like an artiste extraordinaire!

Epic Rainbow LAFE

A new Rainbow Libraries Are For Everyone design featuring 90 languages. Available at both Etsy (as a digital file), and Society6 (as wall art) | #LAFE

I know that I’ve been posting a lot lately, but it feels like my creative fire has reignited after a long time of smoke and ashes. Overall, I’m pretty optimistic that I’ll return to my more “normal” blogging here very soon. Until then, hopefully this will be the last post about me selling things for awhile. Thank you all for sticking with me – it means the world to me.

Yesterday a school librarian in a Facebook group requested this, and I loved the idea so much that I went to work on it immediately. And a day later, here it is! A rainbow version of Libraries Are For Everyone featuring 90 languages!!! 

A new Rainbow Libraries Are For Everyone design featuring 90 languages. Available at both Etsy (as a digital file), and Society6 (as wall art) | #LAFE

You can either get a digital file for $10 at my Etsy shop, or a high quality physical version (poster, art print, canvas) for various prices at my Society6 shop.

For those of you who are curious, the 90 languages are in alphabetical order by language name. And if you’re even more curious, here’s a list of those languages:

Afaan Oromo, Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, American Sign Language (ASL), Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chickasaw, Chinese, Cree, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dine Bizaad, Dutch, Esperanto, Farsi, Filipino, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hopi, Hul’qumi’num’, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Karen, Khmer, Kiksht/Wasq’u, Kinyarwanda, Klingon, Korean, Kurdish, Latin, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Mandarin, Marathi, Marshallese, Nepalese, Norwegian, Ojibwe, Oriya, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Sepedi, Serbian, Sinhalese, SiSwati, Somali, Southern Sotho, Spanish, Sugs’tun, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamazight, Tamil, Teluga, Thai, Tigrinya, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukranian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, Wolof, Wôpanâak, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Rainbow LAFE

Hafuboti's Etsy shop for her digital artwork to help support her blog |

Recently I received a wave of requests for what I call the Rainbow version of my Libraries Are For Everyone design. This was something that I created to try and generate some revenue to help offset the cost of keeping my blog ad-free. Previously, you could only get the English rainbow version at my Society6 shop. But yesterday it occurred to me that I could use my dormant Etsy shop to sell the digital file. And why not have more languages available too?!

So that’s what I’ve done. I chose a handful of languages to get the rainbow treatment, and have the high-res digital files for sale at $5 each.

If you would like me to create and upload any other language, then don’t hesitate to ask here in the comments, email me at, or through the Etsy convo system. For now I’m only posting a core dozen since it costs money to post products through Etsy and I’m trying to be as economical as possible.

And yes, if you download the image then you can use or modify it however you’d like.

Have a rainbow-filled day!!!

Rainbow Libraries Are For Everyone (LAFE) high-res jpegs are available for $5 each at Hafuboti's Etsy shop |

Librarians Can Do It!

Last year I had the honor of being the keynote speaker for the Lake Superior Libraries Symposium – it’s a great conference that if you get a chance to attend, then please do! Not only did I keynote, but they asked if I would design a logo for their theme of Advance, Challenge, Transform. After a failed initial design, the conference committee suggested that I go back to what I do best. And I did!
And here’s the result:

Librarians Can Do It universal library logo design that riffs on the famous WWII poster |

I shared this image on my social media accounts, and there were requests for merchandise, so I went ahead and added this design to my Society6 shop.

Three examples of the Librarians Can Do It merchandise in Hafuboti's Society6 shop |

And as with anything that I post on my blog, it’s under a Creative Commons license. Beyond that, I also ask as an artist that you do not credit me on my minimalist designs (like this one). I feel that it takes away from the impact of the image, and that’s the most important thing to me.

Now go do all the things!!!

Mouse on a Gruffalo

As I was checking in our library’s copy of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo, I had a sudden inspiration. Then I had to wait until my lunch break to turn the inspiration into a reality. And did I ever make it real!


A silly inspiration guaranteed to get the "Guy on a Buffalo" song stuck in your head: it's Mouse on a Gruffalo!!! |

If you don’t get the reference, then check out this awesome music video.
Fair Warning: you will get that song stuck in your head.

And you’re welcome to everyone who now has that song stuck in their head. Heh.