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November 2017 Newsletter

Hi everyone! It’s only been a few weeks but a lot has happened! A couple of new paintings, final week of the new Kickstarter, and some upcoming events. Keep reading for details! And thanks for all the support and good vibes! Justin Hillgrove


Overwhelming Odds squid painting

“Overwhelming Odds”

Acrylics on 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas.


The tables have turned on Arthur, and he now finds himself outnumbered by the locals. This is the fourth installment of this delusional squid’s antics. See also: “Deep Cover” (2013), “The Squeeze” (2014), and “Behind Enemy Lines” (2016).

Mad Max Blockhead Road

“Blockhead Road”

Acrylics on 18″ x 24″ stretched canvas.


I’ve been wanting to re-visit my friend Chuck again for awhile but I didn’t want to do another zombie-themed painting. I sketched out a Conan x Charlie Brown piece and was considering painting it when Mad Max popped in my head. I loved “Mad Max: Fury Road” and so chortled to myself as I sketched out what I would paint. “Blockhead Road” was a joy to paint and I am really happy with how it turned out.

See also “Good Grief” (2012) and “It’s the Army of Darkness, Charlie Brown” (2012).

“JABBERWOCKY: A Nonsense Coloring Book”

My Jabberwocky coloring book is on Kickstarter for just another week (ending Monday November 13th @10PM PST) and It is already fully funded with some stretch goals. The books are being printed locally and the artwork and files are already complete, so turnaround will be quick and they will arrive by early December – hopefully in plenty of time for Christmas (US Delivery).

More info here:


I’m at Art Center Gallery in Westminster, CA this Friday, Nov 10th 2017. I’ll be hanging out and signing so come on by and say hi. We are doing a “Group Hug” and “We’re All Mad Here” limited metal edition release at the show:

“Stunning new Museum-quality metal prints bring out the luster and impact of Justin’s pieces with a mirror shine. Each metal print is hand-crafted using 1/16″ thick aluminum and is ready to hang.” This metal edition will be released during my Show at Art Center Gallery on Nov 10th 2017, but quantities are very limited (9 of “Group Hug” / 21 of “We’re All Mad Here”) and they can be pre-ordered now through Art Center Gallery. Also, ACG is offering $50 off each pre-order for my friends and customers so give them a call!

Art Center Gallery | 2075 Westminster Mall, Westminster, CA 92683 | 1-866-254-6523
Direct links (more info, photos and pricing):

Justin Hillgrove " We are all Mad Here " Metal " 16" x 32" Limited METAL A/P Edition of 25 Only

Justin Hillgrove " Group Hug " Metal " 16" x 20" Limited METAL A/P Edition of 9 Only.


Designer Con – Pasadena, CA November 11-12, 2017 | I will be sharing a booth with Jon Malmstedt of Rampage Toys for this fun event.

Art Exhibition at Art Center Gallery – Westminster, CA Friday, November 10, 2017 • 5-9 pm | 2075 Westminster Mall • Westminster, CA 92683 |

Black Friday Open Studio Sale November 24 – 25th, 2017 • 10am-5pm Friday and Saturday | 7110 184th Street SE, Snohomish, WA 98296

4th Avenue Street Fair – Tucson, AZ I won’t be attending in person, but Charlie will be representing Imps and Monsters in Tucson this December.

Art Exhibition at Tsuga Art Gallery – Bothell, WA Saturday, Dec 16 – 22, 2017 | Pop up at Tsuga Art Gallery. I’ll be there 12/16 Saturday and 12/22 Friday night live-painting and signing prints. 10101 Main Street, Bothell, WA 98011 • (206) 547-5221

NOTE: Though I usually attend “Urban Craft Uprising” every December in Seattle, I will NOT be there this year.

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Jabberwocky Coloring Book On Kickstarter

“JABBERWOCKY: A Nonsense Coloring Book”

My Jabberwocky coloring book is now on Kickstarter for a very short campaign so please check it out and share! I don’t usually use Kickstarter for smaller projects such as this, but I wanted to make the books locally and really high-quality so I just need a little help with the printing costs. Because I am having the books printed locally and the artwork and files are already complete, turnaround will be quick and they will arrive by early December – hopefully in plenty of time for Christmas (US Delivery). Note: Original inks will also be for sale via the Kickstarter.


“Jabberwocky” has been my favorite poem of all time ever since I was introduced to it in middle school. I can’t remember if I memorized it as part of an assignment or just for fun, but I do remember thinking after reading it a few times that maybe poetry was kind of cool after all. It was written by Lewis Carroll around 1871 and included in “Alice Through The Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There.” In the story, Alice travels through a looking-glass where she meets all kinds of interesting characters. She finds the poem “Jabberwocky” in a book, but can’t read it until she holds it up to a mirror. After reading the poem she says “It seems very pretty…but it’s rather hard to understand! …Somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate.”

In October, I decided to post consecutive ink drawings of “Jabberwocky” via social media, breaking up the poem and presenting it in storybook-like fashion. Being a fan of coloring in general, I thought this would make a great coloring book. So here we are…

Thanks for checking out the project and sharing!
🙂 Justin Hillgrove

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“Tyler Sigman’s Crows”

Crows Game on Kickstarter

Hey everyone! Just wanted to send out a heads up that my indie boardgame team’s latest just launched via Kickstarter. In “Tyler Sigman’s Crows” you compete against the other Outcast Mages of Tessandor in this remake of the classic tile-placement game designed by Tyler Sigman (Redhook Studios/Darkest Dungeon). I hand-painted all the art for this game in acrylic paints on wood and had a blast working on it.

Click here to visit the kickstarter page

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“By Order Of The Queen” Board Game is on Kickstarter

After a full year in the works, our  2-4 player cooperative fantasy board game is finally on Kickstarter! There is a reward level that includes my original inked drawings but those are limited so grab one quick if you are interested. You can find out more about the project by clicking the link below. And if you want to support the project but aren’t able to back it, please share via social media!


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Daily Sketches Are Starting Up Again! Drawing 1 – 3.

Sketch-A-Day #1
Sketch-A-Day #1
Sketch-A-Day #2
Sketch-A-Day #2
Sketch-A-Day #3
Sketch-A-Day #3

Not-Quite-Daily Sketches Are Starting Up Again

It’s been awhile since I ended my sketch-a-day but I’ve been wanting to start it up again and it is finally happening now! I may post some of my new Daily Sketch feed here in the blog, but the best way to follow them is to follow me on Instagram or Facebook. I’ll most likely be posting 3-5 sketches a week but I’ll try to keep it up.

instagram @impsandmonsters

facebook @impsandmonsterspage

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Goldilocks “Just Right” Timelapse Video

YouTube 3 Bears

Here’s another acrylic painting time-lapse video with voice over – I hope you like it.

YouTube video URL:

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Two New Miyazaki – Sendak Mash-ups by Justin Hillgrove

Its been a couple years since my last Miyazaki/Sendak crossover and I’d been itching do another these last few months, though I think what really sparked the desire was listening to “Howl’s Moving Castle” again on audiobook (for probably the seventh time). I finally sat down in June and started looking over my worn out copy of “Where The Wild Things Are” (easily my favorite Children’s Book of all time) and started roughing out what new spread I might use. There were two spreads in particular that I could not decide between, and in the end I decided to paint them both.

I started with rough pencil doodles to figure out what Miyazaki characters would best fit the roles they’d be playing, and then I spent three days cleaning up the drawings and inking them while in my booth at the Edmonds Arts Festival in June 2015. Afterwards I picked out a couple canvases (18″ x 36″ is probably my favorite size canvas to paint on) and then spent the next few weeks painting…

Hungry and Homesick

“Hungry And Homesick”

18″ x 36″ acrylics on canvas. 2015.

Another in my tribute series mashing up “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak and some of my favorite Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki) characters: Kamaji, No Face (Spirited Away), Totoro and San (Princess Mononoke). There are a kodama and some soot sprites in there too.


Hungry and Homesick


Well Eat You Up

“We’ll Eat You Up – We Love You So”

18″ x 36″ acrylics on canvas. 2015.

Another in my tribute series mashing up “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak and some of my favorite Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki) characters: San (Princess Mononoke), Totoro, No Face (Spirited Away), Ponyo, Turnip Head (Howl’s Moving Castle), Haku (Spirited Away), and an Ohmu (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind). There are kodama and some soot sprites in there too.

The title is part of the text from the page of “Where The Wild Things Are” that this painting is based on.


We'll Eat You Up - We Love You SoClose Up

Close up details…


Work in progress…

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Designed by David Gerrard • Art by Justin Hillgrove
Design and Layout by Travis Torgerson

Successfully Funded on Kickstarter and Arriving Fall 2015

The Game

JunKing is a 2-4 player strategy card game (UPDATE: 5-6 player expansion now included) set in a corner of artist Justin Hillgrove’s Imp Lands world called the “Junk Lands”. The Junk Lands are a place where old, lost and broken items collect into huge heaps and mounds. Scavenger Imps are the dominant creatures there and they love their home – to them the Junk Lands are full of endless riches and so their days are spent sifting, collecting and guarding their individual junk hoards. Scavenger Imp society is built on this and so those with the best junk hoards rise to the top of their tribe.  That’s what “JunKing” is all about. Each player hoards valuable junk, while keeping an eye out for the most prestigious piece of junk in the Junk Lands… The Crown.

JunKing was designed with three goals in mind: It had to have simple mechanics, take as few as 15 minutes to play, and it had to have strong strategic layers interwoven into it.

During play, everyone draws off the same shuffled deck of cards in the center of play, called the Junkpile. On your turn, you draw a card, place a piece of junk into play from your hand, then activate one of the actions on your junk or use your character’s ability.

All junk is worth something. In the junkpile, there is one card that is the most coveted of items called The Crown. Once a player draws that card, the game is over and everyone adds up the points displayed on the pieces of junk they have found. You also have a Hoard of used junk that increases the value of your collection. The player with the most points wins the current round. The game only takes about 15 minutes to play, and is designed for multiple rounds of play.





Downloadable Rules PDF

Junking On KickStarter

Board Game Geek

Interview with David Gerrard by Inquisitive Meeple



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Adventure Time Cover #36

Adventure Time Inside Cover #36

Last year I painted a cover for the Adventure Time comic book (Kaboom Studios / Cartoon Network) and it is finally out in stores. Issue #36 (Main Cover A) can be purchased online direct here: or at your local comics shop.

Adventure Time Inside Cover #36

Adventure Time Inside Cover #36

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Sketch #240


Sketch #240 ©2014 Justin Hillgrove.