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david habben, habbenink, fine art, illustrationOur first Guest Blogger in this series is David “HABBENINK” Habben.

HABBENINK is an artist and illustrator based in Salt Lake City, Utah. He works both traditionally and digitally for a variety of clientele, including publishing, apparel, advertising and interactive media. He also enjoys teaching and has recently taught “Professional Practices for the Illustrator” at Brigham Young University. You can find him online at, as well as @habbenink on Twitter and Instagram. (Photo Credit: Anne Cummings)



I’m honored to have the opportunity to participate in the VAGABOND ORIGINAL Guest Blogger Series, but more so honored to be friends with the great people behind it. My sincere thanks go to Jeff and Allison, and also to you, for allowing me to share these thoughts. I had originally intended to write some quick tips for success or insights into the mind of a freelancer, but then it seemed that the most honest message I could convey is this:

I love to draw.

david habben, habbenink, fine art, illustration

I love to draw. I mean, really love to draw. I love the smell of the ink, the sound of a pencil sharpener, the scratch of toothy paper, and the tiny flecks of ink that catapult  off the end the brush. I love to sculpt a character out with razor sharp lines or pull it forward through the fog of a toned blank sheet of paper. I love to find hidden details in costuming and subtle smirks in the corners of a face. I love to tell a story without writing a word and then change the narrative with a wash of watercolor or twist of an eraser. I love to draw.

david habben, habbenink, fine art, illustration

I love to draw. Most of all, I love to draw in my sketchbooks. Plural. I have a few and they’re all different sizes and colors and shapes and they will inevitably become covered in stickers. They will be thrown in backpacks and tucked into jackets. Like a baby, they start out innocent and, like an old warrior, end up with scars and survival stories. If there is a blank page, they are unfinished works. If the pages are full, then on the shelf they go, only to be pulled out later, criticized and memorialized, and then drawn in again. They are living works of thought, somewhat conscious and most definitely unconscious. I love to draw.



I love to draw. I love it because it gives birth to great big thoughts that I didn’t know I had and puts a decorative gilt frame around the small thoughts that I sheltered in between pages of doodles and collaged magazine cut-outs to hush and obscure them. It pushes me to be ridiculous and then pulls me into serious conversations with myself that erupt further into serious dialogue with others about that ridiculousness. I love to draw.

david habben, habbenink, fine art, illustration

david habben, habbenink, fine art, illustration

Finally, I love to draw and share my drawings with you. I love to hear your comments and stories and thoughts and “likes”. When I hang a drawing on the wall or share it in the digital gallery of the internet, I love to hear people say how the character tells a story. To this, I nod and smile and say “oh, thank you” and “how interesting” because I mean both of those things sincerely, but also because I’m amazed that you would take the time to pause and look for more than two seconds at something I made. You honor me with your insight and perspective and it only makes me want to draw more. I love to draw.

Thank you,



Danny – an eLearning multimedia developer, audio engineer, and guitar ninja – will give us his insights on getting your work seen on social networks, gaining subscribers, and keeping their attention.