Author Archive: justjane

I am a graduate student in forensic anthropology at Michigan State University, and illustration has always been something I enjoy. This is year #2 for me with the 30 Characters Challenge and I'm pretty darn excited about it!

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Archangel Michael

| November 1, 2012 | 1 Comment

The Archangel Michael is also the Patron Saint of Law Enforcement. I wanted to sketch him first because my thoughts are with some of my good friends here in Michigan who are currently working on cases involving some pretty unsavory characters. I hope everything goes well for you guys and I hope all of you stay safe in the coming days/weeks. Thanks for everything you do!

| October 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

Hello Everyone! My name is Jane, and this is my 3rd year participating in the 30 Characters Challenge. This challenge got me to start drawing after a LONG dry spell a few years ago, and I’ll be eternally grateful. I’m looking forward to the challenge again this year (time is pretty limited these days, so I’m going to do my best) and I’m excited about seeing everyone’s characters!


| November 7, 2011 | 6 Comments


| November 7, 2011 | 2 Comments

#20 The Monkey Dog

| November 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

Goisagis Nisya’do;deh (you look like a monkey) or “Monkey Dog” is a contemporary Native American reservation legend, usually talked about among the Iroquois Confederacy. As the name suggests, it acts like a mixture of dog and monkey, jumping and scampering around from ground to treetops while flitting in and out of your vision. Most people who see it claim it looks like a flying squirrel with large red-orange eyes, and shadowed black, brown, and grey coloring, the ears of a German Shepherd, and pointy poodle-like teeth. It stands around 3′ to 4′ tall and has a 3′ to 4′ long tail of an oppossom (which it uses to grab and or throw things). It is a creature that moves on the periphery of the night, on the edge of a woods, lurking in dark corners, living in the mist and thriving by popping out when you least expect it to scare the crap out of you, as it feeds on your fright. For those who are not startled by it, the monkey-dog gets more bold in it’s attempts to frighten by playing pranks that have been known to result in injuries and death.

~The Monkey Dog myth was told to me by a friend; credit for the myth itself has to be given to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people.

#19 Polaris

| November 27, 2010 | 3 Comments

#18 Vampire Skeleton

| November 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Vampire Skeleton is the entity of a sorcerer who was killed by the Seneca people in the 1300s, but instead of dying he became a blood sucking vampire skeleton. He has no problem killing people and sucking their blood, but most of the blood flows down his bones as he feeds on the loss of life that blood represents and not the blood itself. He is the epitome of evil in the Seneca Tribes’ folklore.
He is a rather small human skeleton (5’6″) that is almost too perfectly intact with pronounced cheek bones, oval eye sockets, long black hair that is attached to his exposed skull (he is known to wear the hair of those he kills as he is very vain about his hair, thus adding feathers and beadwork), and pronounced fangs that cannot be hidden by lips. There is an aura of evil that surrounds him at all times that shimmers even in complete darkness. His magic allows him to shapeshift into a Screech Owl. He is cunning, often feeding on young female victims while others sleep in the same room or even share the same bed.

~ Seneca History

#17 Vampire Bat

| November 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

#16 Serpent Slayer

| November 26, 2010 | 2 Comments

#15 Hada

| November 26, 2010 | 1 Comment

“Hada” is “fairy” in Spanish.  This Hada is inspired by my niece.

“She’s a little fairy with a temper. Don’t piss her off or she’ll turn you into a frog.”~C.D.F.

#14 Bradley Lightningsmith

| November 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Bradley Lightningsmith is my nephew’s alter ego.  He is, “king of all wizards and is always ready for a duel.” ~K.L.

#13 Hero

| November 20, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Hero is one of the few superheroes without an alter-ego.  His identity is completely consumed by his role as a savior of humankind, and because he has no way of hiding who he is, it is impossible for him to show his face to anyone whenever he’s not saving the world.  The Hero spends the hours while he is not saving the world in a dark, solitary place and is perpetually alone even when he is surrounded by others.

#12 Faerie

| November 20, 2010 | 4 Comments

In a little known battle, long before the time of humans, the faeries conquered a little known land full of wispy androgynous creatures who were known for being generally quiet, peaceful and solitary…and for their hunting prowess with large machetes. As what would be considered a colonial power by today’s standards, the faeries forced the local creatures into servitude, humiliating them and torturing them into submission.  Faeries demonstrated their wealth by wearing jewelry made from the horns of the enslaved creatures under their control.  A small sect of these creatures eventually fought back, hunting down every fairy in sight and cutting off their wings as revenge for the humiliations they had suffered at the hands of their captors.

#11 Gritzfalde

| November 14, 2010 | 1 Comment

Gritzfalde is, well, a demon.  He’s adventurous and headstrong and has a touch of a problem with authority figures ordering him around, which is somewhat problematic considering the underworld is ruled by bureaucratic regime which can only be described as Vogonesque.  Gritzfalde has met his intellectual and spiritual match in Angel (see post #10).

(Gritzfalde and Angel are inspired by friends of mine.)

#10 Angel

| November 14, 2010 | 1 Comment

Angel is a kind, gentle soul whose graceful, caring nature is infectious.  She looks like the other angels on the outside, but she has a tendency to crave just a little bit of danger.  Angel travels to the beat of her own drum and has managed to find the kind of true love that evades most of us in her partner, Gritzfalde, even though the two of them are from completely different worlds (see post #11).

(Angel and Gritzfalde are inspired by friends of mine.)

#9 Karynn

| November 14, 2010 | 1 Comment

Karynn is a succubus unlike any other.  Sure, she’s a female demon who seduces her victims into having killer sex, literally, just like any other succubus.  However, unlike others of her kind, Karynn has a predilection for consuming her victims once she has had her way with them.

#8 Betta

| November 8, 2010 | 10 Comments

#7 Valkyrie

| November 7, 2010 | 5 Comments

#6 Odile

| November 6, 2010 | 1 Comment

Odile is known to her patrons and admirers as the “Black Swan.” She’s the most desired belly dancer who ever lived. She’s a plus-sized girl who knows how to shake her money maker…and she’s an absolute diva who loves herself considerably more than her self deserves.

#5 Quetzalcoatl

| November 5, 2010 | 11 Comments

Quetzalcoatl is the feathered serpent deity that featured prominently in the belief systems of Mesoamerican pre-Colombian cultures such as the Maya, Aztec, and the civilization of Teotihuacan. The deity was important to several cultures, and therefore has various associations.  Among other things, and depending on the culture, the feathered serpent deity has been associated with the morning star, the dawn, knowledge, the arts, fertility, maize, warfare, culture and civilization.

#4 Blind Voodoo Priest

| November 4, 2010 | 5 Comments

#3 Fairy Hunter

| November 3, 2010 | 7 Comments

#2 Fat Djinn

| November 2, 2010 | 7 Comments

#1 Hel

| November 1, 2010 | 6 Comments

30 Characters Challenger: Jane Wankmiller

| November 1, 2010 | 0 Comments

Hi Everyone! My name is Jane. I’m not a professional artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve always enjoyed drawing and I’ve always been especially interested in human anatomy.  I just received my master’s degree in forensic anthropology from Michigan State University, and I’m still at MSU working toward a Ph.D. in physical anthropology.

Recently I’ve been making connections in the forensic art community and I’ve been trying my hand at forensic facial reconstructions. Hopefully reconstructions will be a large part of what I do professionally when I get out into the real world.

It’s difficult for me to describe my work because I’m not asked to do it often, but I can say that I work in traditional media–mostly graphite and soft pastels–and you’ll probably see some fantasy themes from me, with some glimpses into my obsession with anatomy here and there.

I heard about the 30 characters challenge from someone I admire who is also participating this year.  I wanted to join the challenge for a few reasons.  I tend to be a starter not a finisher…so I thought the challenge would be a great opportunity to force myself to finish something (well, 30 somethings).  I also thought it would be fun to be part of this experience and to get to know other artists and their work.  There’s also nothing better than a reason to push yourself, so I’m looking forward to the challenge!