After dark all cats are leopards —Native American Proverb

I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of success. How do I define success for myself? Where do I want my art to take me? What are my dreams and how do I get there? How do I start living my dreams?

Halloween is next week. To get in the mood the Flourish Forum, an online group of calligraphers around the world, do an annual envelope exchange. A close friend of mine wanted me to paint her some gold cats. Using this as inspiration and my current thoughts on dreams and how to live them, I created the adorable little cards.

It started with this great proverb that just seemed to speak to me. “After dark all cats are leopards.” They don’t dream and fret. They do. They don’t just dress-up one night every year. They be.

Golden leopard suite
Golden leopard card close up shot
Golden leopard envelopes



The leopards were made by painting gold over cat shadows. The gold paint adds a bit of shine to the heavier italic lettering beneath. On the black envelopes the gold surname really pops, while the white ink compliments the suite.

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My process for making these cute cat shadows into golden leopards.

  1. Start with a sumi ink shadow.
  2. Mask spots with Pebeo masking fluid
  3. Paint with Finetec Aztec Gold
  4. Remove masking fluid

Sped-up 8x.