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 hundreds of artists 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!
I write about art and creativity through three different newsletters. About 2/3 of my material is available to everyone for free (🆓), while the other 1/3 is only for paying members (🔒). The newsletters are:
I Might Could Do That (🆓): My flagship newsletter comes out monthly on the first Tuesday. Through writing these essays, I explore my own struggles with making and living as an artist. I enjoy breaking down the thought process behind making art, and how we can overcome the mental roadblocks standing in our way. Common themes include self-doubt, self-judgment, perfectionism, uncertainty, motherhood as an artist, and artistic style.
Might Could Draw Today (🆓): A weekly newsletter, delivered on Mondays, that 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 150 drawing prompts! In this most current iteration, a new theme is emailed out on Monday giving us all week to draw from that theme however we choose. Subscribers can share their MCDT artwork in our private artist community, Might Could Studiomates. This is also where I announce details and links to our live drawing events both virtually on Zoom and in person in Boone, NC.
Might Could Make a Book (🔒): A weekly newsletter, delivered on Thursdays, that shares the process behind making my current in-progress book. My books tend to skew nonfiction, whether it be a kid’s book about jellyfish or an adult book about developing as artists.
How Subscriptions Work
Free subscribers receive the monthly Tuesday I Might Could Do That! essay and the weekly Monday Might Could Draw Today theme and event announcements. Paid subscribers receive all of that plus the weekly Wednesday Might Could Make a Book.
Paid subscriptions cost $5/month or $50/year. Paid subscribers receive everything I write and help support my work as an artist. 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.
Sign up for free today and give it a try! If you end up liking what I’m throwin’ out, become a paid subscriber.
Samples of My Best Essays
Some of my most popular essays:
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