Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Illustrator Tennis with Marla Scott

It’s been an embarrassing long time since I asked Marla to play a game of Illustrator tennis with me. We got excited, agreed to play, got busy with work, then the holidays… I feared my first move… I didn’t want us to start with an illustration similar to the other two I’ve done. I didn’t want to impose “my thing”. What should I draw?… How far should I take it?…

The experiment was stuck on a hopeless case of procrastination until a few minutes ago: While aimlessly browsing old files, I found a very simple doodle I made about a year ago. It was supposed to be my first playground entry but I never posted it. You’ll soon see why… It’s so simple, that it is in fact perfect to get us started — ehem! — ok, to get ME started. So without much thought I wrapped it up and hit send. Now, Marla is supposed to get inspired and do something beautiful with it. Then I’ll put my paws back on it completely ruining it again, and then she’ll gently fix it, and so on until we call it done.

We’re both “busy executive” people, so I’m not sure when Marla will be able to make her move, but I’ll post it here as soon as I get it, and will keep this post updated with our progress. This is supposed to be fun and help us get better at vector illustration.

Okay! Here’s that first ball. Weak move, I know…

Illustrator Tennis [1]

2. By Marla (03/14/07)

Illustrator Tennis [2]

3. By Maria (09/14/07)

Illustrator Tennis [3]


  1. On , Danny wrote:

    That’s a neat idea, I like it. It should be interesting to see what comes of it – how many times do you typically go back and forth? Or do you just both get a sense of when the illustration is “done”, or at some sort of stopping point?

  2. On , Maria wrote:

    We didn’t set any hard rules — other than carrying some of the elements from the previous iteration. So I think it will be pretty free, and at some point we’ll both agree to stop… Who knows how long it will take…

  3. On , Marla wrote:

    There is an idea taking shape already. Can’t wait.

  4. On , Marla wrote:

    Hey woman,
    Are we ever going to resume this? I know with all the pregnancy stuff and the project load you might have other things on your mind…

    Just following up.:)

  5. On , Maria wrote:

    I know! I know!
    I will do it. It’s not over. I swear!

  6. On , Mafe Maria • Changes: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly wrote:

    […] So after six months, we finally have a third move on the Illustrator Tennis match none of you are probably following at this point. […]

  7. On , marla wrote:

    Nice! Reminds me of fall. I notice you didn’t keep any yellow. Haha, tired of yellow now?

    Anyway, cool! i like it.

  8. On , Maria wrote:

    Cracks me up… I did two figures, right?… But focus on the orange left side and while squinting move towards the right. I see the profile of a pregnant belly!… Oh, the subconscious plays some games with us…

  9. On , ksr wrote:

    I like it!
    Is that a madonna???????????LOL

  10. On , Maria wrote:

    Yes! I was going for a “Santa Mafe Maria”… A very short woman once confronted me like that… He! he! We’ll see what Marla does with her…