In her message today, she shows you inside her sketch pad.
Ellen Forney is an cartoonist and public artist. Today, she shows you inside her sketch pad. Courtesy of Ellen Forney

Good morning.

It's Monday, March 30, and today's message comes from the cartoonist and public artist Ellen Forney.

"I'm going to show you a drawing game that is very calming and meditative. And it's a game that you can play by yourself," she says in her message. "I'll show you."

She adds, "This is the first time I've been outside in a couple of days."

Ellen is the author of the New York Times-bestselling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me, the story of her diagnosis and struggle with bipolar disorder. Her other books include Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life, which is a handbook full of coping tools and a guide to maintaining mental health.

Her work has appeared many times on the cover of The Stranger. A gallery of those covers is below.

Ellen won a Stranger Genius Award in 2012.
Ellen won a Stranger Genius Award in 2012. Photo by Kelly O

Ellen's two permanent large-scale murals for Seattleā€™s Capitol Hill light rail station have become an iconic part of the neighborhood. Erstwhile Stranger art critic and Pulitzer Prize finalist Jen Graves wrote about those public works here.

Forney grew up in Philadelphia and lives in Seattle, and teaches comics at Cornish College of the Arts. You can follow her on Instagram here.

In addition to all the comics of hers that have appeared inside The Stranger, here are some of her memorable covers:

A cover from July of 1993, back when The Stranger was produced out of a house in Wallingford.
A cover from July of 1993, back when The Stranger was published out of a house in Wallingford.

A cover from March of 1995, when the paper was going through a redesign, so the theme was change.
A cover from March of 1995, when the paper was going through a redesign, so the theme was "change."

A cover from November of 1995.
A cover from November of 1995.

A cover from March of 1996 acknowledging International Womens Day. Note that the usually-phallic rockets look like breasts, Ellen has said. Thank you, youre welcome.
A cover from March of 1996 acknowledging International Women's Day. "Note that the usually-phallic rockets look like breasts. Thank you, you're welcome," Ellen has said.

A cover from November of 1996.
A cover from November of 1996.

An April 1997 collaboration with the artist Shawn Wolfe.
An April 1997 collaboration with the artist Shawn Wolfe.

A cover from February of 2003.
A cover from February of 2003.

A cover from July of 2007.
A cover from July of 2007.

A cover from September of 2008 (a self-portrait of the artists mouth).
A cover from September of 2008 (a self-portrait of the artist's mouth).

A cover from December of 2008.
A cover from December of 2008.

Thank you so much for your message, Ellen, and for giving us new ideas of how to relax with nothing more than a pen and piece of paper.

And thanks for showing us inside your sketch pad!

Have a calm, creative Monday, everyone.


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Also in this series:


John Rodericks message to the city on April 3.
John Roderick's message to the city on April 3.

Bill Cartys message to the city on April 2.
Bill Carty's message to the city on April 2.

Price Suddarths message to the city on April 1.
Price Suddarth's message to the city on April 1.

Kary Waysons message to the city on March 31.
Kary Wayson's message to the city on March 31.

Ellen Forneys message to the city on March 30.
Ellen Forney's message to the city on March 30.

Major Scaless message to the city on March 29.
Major Scales's message to the city on March 29.

E. J. Kohs message to the city on March 28.
E. J. Koh's message to the city on March 28.

Ken Jenningss message to the city on March 27.
Ken Jennings's message to the city on March 27.

Demarre McGills message to the city on March 26.
Demarre McGill's message to the city on March 26.

Lynn Sheltons Message to the City on March 25th.
Lynn Shelton's Message to the City on March 25th.

Timothy White Eagles message to the city on March 24.
Timothy White Eagle's message to the city on March 24.

Cookie Coutures message to the city on March 23.
Cookie Couture's message to the city on March 23.

Sarah Rudinoffs message to the city on March 22.
Sarah Rudinoff's message to the city on March 22.

John Osebolds message to the city on March 21.
John Osebold's message to the city on March 21.


Ben Gibbards message to the city on March 21.
Ben Gibbard's message to the city on March 20.

Nathan Chans message to the city on March 19.
Nathan Chan's message to the city on March 19.