Hi! I’m Christine Nishiyama, an illustrator, writer, and founder of Might Could Studios. I’ve taught 115,000+ students in my online classes, written 100+ essays on creativity through my email list, traditionally published 4 books in the Layla and the Bots graphic novel series with Scholastic, and self-published 1 picture book, We Are Fungi. I am currently sharing the process behind my next book here in this Substack. I also founded the online community Might Could Studiomates, where paid subscribers from around the world connect and draw together.

I’ve been sending out email essays since 2017 and this newsletter has grown over the years to over 10,000 subscribers—I’d love to have you here too!

The Four Pillars

I write, draw, and talk about art and creativity through four different pillars. Some offerings are free (🆓), while others are only for paying members (🔒). Here’s what’s up:

  • 🎨 Might Could Essays (🆓 + 🔒): Published bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Essay content varies, but it all revolves around how to live as an artist, mom, and human being. Current series: Exploring Life’s Big Questions. (Note: Each new essay is sent to all subscribers, but after one week the essay is locked in the archive and available only to paid subscribers.)

  • ✏️ Might Could Draw Today (🆓): Published monthly on the first Tuesday of the month. This publication shares drawing prompts and aims to be a gentle nudge for you (and me!) to draw. This drawing initiative was started in 2016 and together we have created over 20,000 pieces of art with more than 200 drawing prompts! Paid subscribers can share their art together in our private artist community, Might Could Studiomates. (Membership only available to paid Substack subscribers.)

  • 🧑‍💻 Might Could Draw Today LIVE (🔒): Hosted monthly the third week of the month. This is a live event series hosted on Zoom, where we draw and chat together in real-time! There’s nothing like putting faces and voices to names and avatars and having some dedicated time on your calendar to sit and draw for a full hour.

  • 📚 Might Could Make a Book (🔒): Published monthly on the third Tuesday of the month. This publication shares the process behind making my current in-progress book. Current book: We Are Jellyfish.

How Paid Subscriptions Work

Paid subscriptions cost $5/month or $50/year. Paid subscribers receive everything I write and help support my work as an artist. In addition to the free content, paid subscribers also receive my monthly Might Could Make a Book newsletter and get instant access to the entire Essay Archive with over 100+ essays on creativity and artmaking. Paid subscribers also get an invitation to join our private artist’s community, Might Could Studiomates, which includes monthly live drawing events on Zoom. Studiomates membership is only available to paid substack subscribers.

In early 2022 I quit Instagram, the last remaining social media account I had. I now primarily use this Substack as the home for sharing my art and process, connecting with other artists, and making a living. I shifted to a paid newsletter so I can focus my time and energy on writing and creating value, rather than on marketing and empty social media interactions. Your subscription directly funds my art and helps me keep writing these newsletters.

What Readers Are Saying

“…you've said and wrote about THE things I'm in so need to hear and finally understand. That's why I'm so grateful to you. I always read you in the morning, at my office (I work in a hospital) and when I read you I want to go out and draw!! You're speaking to my heart and mind so directly, that you're helping me so much. So I just wanted to take a minute to write these lines and saying thank you again! Looking forward to hearing of you always from now on!! –Dolores M.

"Just gotta say... I just signed up a few days ago and sat down while waiting on my 15 year old to get out of school and read this. I now have tears streaming down my face and felt more reading this than I have felt period in a long time! Great essay! Will have me reflecting rest of today if not rest of the week!" –Megan R.

“I love the way you tap into the mind and emotion, and connect it with art and the whole creative process. It just all makes so much sense.” –Aryln R.

“Christine, I love reading your essays! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. They always make me feel better and I'm becoming way less judgmental about my art. You're the best! Thanks again.” –April R.

“I have cried after reading the essay! These were the most beautiful thoughts I've ever read! Dear Christine, I wish I could be in touch with my feelings as you are now.” –Tatiana M.

“Dear Christine, in the years I've been reading your posts, I am repeatedly touched by your realness and wisdom.” –Ariel R.

“Christine, I LOVE you SO much for this! And I will be reading this to my son when he gets home from school later today because I think it’s an important message for all artists. There are a LOT of critics in this world, ready to point out our imperfections. And some, who take pleasure in doing so. After a while, maybe, we become that critic for ourselves—telling ourselves "it’s impossible, those people are not like us, they are somehow more special." But it only takes one small, pure voice (like my son for me) pushing back on those messages to help us see our way back to the things we love. Thank you for being one of those voices.” –Vanessa A.

“Just a quick note to say THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for your weekly essays! I ALWAYS enjoy them and you always seem to know EXACTLY what I need to hear. Thank you, thank you, a million thank yous!” –Jill B.

“I know these articles aren’t easy for you but please know that we love them! I think it’s fantastic how you try to break down the thought process behind the art because heaven knows, we need it! It is such a universal problem that it is our thinking (and unfortunately, thoughtless people) that hold us back from making art. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to put these thoughts together for us.” –Renee R.

Thank you for your support! <3

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Illustrated essays from an artist (and mom and human) on living the creative life. Currently writing and drawing about: the art of wisdom traditions, nature journaling, and jellyfish.


Christine Nishiyama
Illustrator + Writer