Audiobook Giveaway!

December 31, 2017
Guys, I'll be honest. When I look at my art or writing, I often cringe internally. Ahh! Can't believe I actually shared that! It could be so much better! What was I thinking?! 

(I imagine this is the feeling Winnie-The-Pooh explains so eloquently: "When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.")


I am so. very. pleased. with the audiobook of A Really-Truly Princess. The narrator, Sarah Kempton, did an absolutely amazing job of bringing the characters to life and making my little book sound like a really-truly actually story!

You can get it on Audible or on Amazon, and if you're not already a member of Audible, you can sign up for a free trial and listen to A Really-Truly Princess for free! kick off the New Year I'm giving away four copies of the audiobook! 

You can enter through this blog post, or on twitter, instagram, or facebook. I'll be choosing one winner from each platform and announcing the winners on January 10th.

Giveaway Rules:

Four winners will receive an audiobook download of A Really-Truly Princess from (value $6.95) Entries are open from January 2 through 11:59 CST on January 9, 2018. All participants must be US citizens 18 years or older.

Participants may enter in one or more of the following ways, for a total of up to four entries:
  1. Twitter: Follow @storyseamstress & retweet the giveaway
  2. Instagram: Follow @storyseamstressart & tag 3 friends in a comment on the giveaway post
  3. Facebook: Like Amanda Kastner Illustration share the giveaway post & comment on the post (so I know you entered)
  4. Blog: Join the newsletter & comment on this post (so I know you entered)
Four winners will be chosen (one from each platform) using and will be contacted via email or social media to receive the audiobook download code.


December Sale!

December 01, 2017

I'm a little too late for the CyberMonday party, so instead I'm offering 20% off in my shop through the first full week of December with the code DECEMBERSALE. I just added a few new things to the shop, so go and check it out!

I'm also cleaning out my stash of random older prints and cards and things, so your order may have a few extra surprises included. :)

Tutorial: Coloring in GIMP

October 27, 2017
I wrapped up my illustration class this week; it's been fun to see everyone's artwork and help them on their way to new artistic endeavors! To finish up the class, I did a digital coloring demo in GIMP. I decided GIMP was a good program to show them since it's free so there's no super expensive investment to start with.
Since I already had everything typed up for the class, I decided to share it on my blog, as well. Without further ado, here are the steps behind this ink-to-digital illustration!

coloring book

A Really-Truly Coloring Book!

October 26, 2017
There are just a few more days to get a copy of A Really-Truly Princess through Kickstarter, and I'm excited to announce that you can now add a companion coloring book to your reward! I chose 50 illustrations from the book and put them together in an 8.25" x 8.25" coloring book. Now I'm just waiting for proofs to make sure everything is right. Remember that you can read the first chapter for free, or check out the Kickstarter campaign!


Ask Me Anything event this week--come and ask me a question!

October 10, 2017
Hello, friends! I wanted to let you know I'm hosting an Ask Me Anything (AMA) event on Thursday and Friday of this week.

If you already have some questions--about art, writing, kickstarting, or creative projects in general, you can go to the event now (or wait until it's live!) and I will do my best to answer on Thursday and Friday. :)

Hope to see you there! 

(Here's a twitter link to share the event with your friends--the more the merrier!)
fairy tale

A Really-Truly Princess is on Kickstarter! (& follow my Inktober sketches!)

October 03, 2017
That's right, today is the day!

Here's a link to the Kickstarter campaign for A Really-Truly Princess. I'm super excited to finally share it with you! On the campaign page you can see a couple of illustrations from each of the five stories in the book--can you tell what fairy tales they're based on?

(And, just a heads-up, there are a limited number of signed copies available at the same reward price as the regular books!)

Don't forget that you can read the first chapter for free!

And, since it is October/Inktober, I am hoping to post a new sketch every day on my Instagram feed--here is what I've posted for the first three days. I just got a brush pen, so I'll be experimenting with that and trying to get a feel for how it works. Come follow along!


A Really-Truly Princess: Book Kickstarter!

September 28, 2017
For the last several weeks my mailing list has been getting a behind-the-scenes looks at my process and progress as I work on an illustrated children's novel: A Really-Truly Princess.
There are more than 80 black and white illustrations planned for the book, and I'm on schedule to finish them in the next few weeks--I'm so excited to share the full project with you!

I'll let my mailing list know as soon as the Kickstarter is live next Tuesday--and in the meantime, you can read more about the book here, or download the first chapter for free at my Gumroad shop!
fairy tale

The Mermaid & the Polar Bear

May 31, 2017
This month my instagram feed was full of artists participating in MerMay, so I decided to join in! (Actually it was mostly an excuse to make myself draw polar bears.) I only finished three ink-and-watercolor pieces for this arctic fairy tale mashup--you can see larger images below--but here are super-scribbly sketches for the end of the story!
The original 5"x7" watercolor illustrations will be up in the shop soon, so check back or join the mailing list to be notified!

Watercolor Portrait

February 28, 2017
One of my Kickstarter backers commissioned a portrait of his wife in the style of the miniatures I sketched for Inktober 2016. As with the Inktober sketches, I limited the colors to brown and pink, with a bit of white highlighting. I love how perfectly the stylized updo-and-flowers look suits her!

Howl's Moving Castle Fanart & free wallpaper download!

February 04, 2017

"Get back here, Calcifer! I'm still cooking breakfast!"

Howl's Moving Castle is one of my (many, many, many) favorite books--sorry to all you movie people, but I'm definitely a book purist!--so it's kind of surprising that this is only the second piece of fan art I've done. (We'll have to fix that.)
I scanned my inks and decided to color it the lazy way! I ran the GMIC colorize lineart filter in Gimp which gave me a wonderful patchwork of colors, then used the fill tool to combine larger areas of color and define shadows in Sophie's dress and hair. I selected Calcifer and colorized him, which unified the colors, but kept a variety of values. (Calcifer is two layers--a blue one and a yellow one, with layer masks to blend the two together.) I finished it off with an ink-and-tea texture I made recently.
free howl's moving castle wallpaper

Jane Austen

Pride & Prejudice Kickstarter Commissions!

January 02, 2017
Happy New Year! Here's a peek at the original illustrations I did for two of the top-tier backers for my She Coloured Kickstarter! They both chose quotes from Pride & Prejudice.

...He looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said: “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.”

Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings toward him. She told the story, however, with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.

Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 3
This was a super fun quote to illustrate; Lizzie tells her friends the story of Darcy's snub with "great spirit" and a pose somewhat mirroring his own haughty attitude.

“Oh! my dear, I am quite delighted with [Mr. Bingley]. He is so excessively handsome! And his sisters are charming women. I never in my life saw anything more elegant than their dresses. I dare say the lace upon Mrs. Hurst’s gown—”

Here she was interrupted again. Mr. Bennet protested against any description of finery.

Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 3
Ok, not Canon Austen, but this quote from the '95 BBC version is certainly true to the scene's spirit! I like how Mr. Bennet is almost lost in the pattern of the wallpaper and chair. The lacy borders are inspired by images of Regency-era lace and embroidery. 

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