Humor Motherhood

Interview With Marriage: Illustrated With Crappy Pictures Author Amber Dusick

Interview with #crappypictures author @AmberDusick via @chgdiapers

Post contains affiliate links. I’m a huge Crappy Pictures fan and I’m not sure there are words to express how excited I am to share this interview with Amber Dusick! One of my favorite Crappy Pictures posts is the one about cloth diapers, the good, the bad and the crappy.

crappy pictures cloth diapers

Photo credit: Crappy Pictures

At first when your child chooses their cloth diapers, it’s cute. Until the one they want is dirty & they freak out about it! Crappy Pictures author Amber Dusick also illustrated what it’s like to change a diaper and toddler diaper changes, which are equally hilarious.

I feel like there’s a Crappy Picture to fit every situation. Did anyone else have this experience recently?

Cookie Decorating with Kids Real vs Imagined

Photo credit: Amber Dusick

I started to list all my favorites, but, well…there are too many. Although she definitely knows exactly what it’s like to have chickens

What it's like to have chickens

Photo credit: Amber Dusick

…and make dinner for children

Making dinner for kids

Photo credit: Amber Dusick

…and asking your child if they want ice in their water, and determining whether you’re a slightly or very “crunchy” mom. Basically, if you haven’t been a Crappy Pictures reader for the past 3 1/2+ years, you’re going to want to read this interview, then leave and go read the entire Crappy Pictures site. Just sayin’.

It’s been nearly two years since I laughed until I cried reading the first Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures book, and I was psyched to buy the Marriage: Illustrated with Crappy pictures book, which was just released into the wild. (I also have the wall calendar so I can get my daily dose of Crappy Pictures!)

I read the second book while in a waiting room, which I don’t recommend. Fortunately my side of the waiting room was empty so I don’t think anyone heard me laughing out loud and trying not to snort. The book covers everything from division of chores to the more “adult” areas of marriage, and included the most hilarious illustration I’ve seen yet, complete with censor bar. 10/10 going to read it again (even though I think the first book is still my favorite)!

amber dusick

Photo credit: Amber Dusick

Without further ado, my interview with Amber Dusick herself!

Maria: Can you tell me a little bit about the first time you sat down and created a “Crappy Picture?” What inspired you to create the first one?

Amber: It started as a joke. I drew intentionally crappy pictures for a diaper changing story on my personal blog that I wrote for several years. It was just for fun, I didn’t ever intend to do more. However, my handful of readers liked it so much that a month or so later I wrote and drew another one. Again, it was just for fun. My blog was mostly personal, craft and art related and I hardly ever wrote about parenting. That second illustrated post went crazy viral though so it suddenly became the “thing” that I do.

Did you ever think people would love your “Crappy Pictures” (so not crappy, better than anything I could draw, ha) so much?

I had no idea it would turn into what it has. I’ve never, ever considered myself a humor writer or even slightly funny. It still feels very unreal.

What program do you use? Has your method or style evolved?

I use photoshop. My method is exactly the same as it always was. I’ve definitely gotten better at drawing with my finger on my laptop’s trackpad though. You could say they are slowly getting less and less crappy.

Do you draw each one from “scratch?”

I draw each story from scratch, but within a story I’ll sometimes use the same image and just adjust certain things within the image.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with an idea? Do you remember in the morning? 😉

I don’t wake up in the middle of the night but I often think of things just as I’m trying to go to sleep. I have three journals full of ideas for stories I’ll likely never get around to writing.

What is your creative process like? Do you have a schedule or do you work when you’re inspired?

All of my work has been done after the kids are asleep which unfortunately was a fast track to burnout. This is the main reason that I’m writing and illustrating less lately. I work much, much better when I work only when I’m inspired to work. Sometimes this means there will be several weeks between new posts, but that’s okay.

Do “Crappy Boy” and “Crappy Baby” give their input? I remember when you weren’t sure about leaving Crappy Baby a baby as he grew up.

Much of what I write isn’t appropriate for children, including my own! They have seen some of the stories (and they laugh till they cry) but not many. They have at times said things like, “Mama, you should make this into a crappy picture story!” so they definitely understand what it is that I do but they don’t have much involvement other than that.

Have you ever had anyone recognize you when you were out & about? (I think I’d be disappointed if you weren’t wearing a purple dress, ha!)

I’ve never been recognized! I do have several purple dresses, but I look too much like a 3D human in person and less like a cartoon. It’s always disappointing for people.

What is the weirdest thing anyone has said to you at a book signing?

I’m such a nervous wreck at book signings. It’s like speed-meeting people and then you have to still be able to sign your name. I don’t remember much after they are over, only that I’m exhausted. Introverted much? If anything weird was said it was probably by me.

When did you decide to write your new Marriage book?

I had started writing the Marriage shortly after my Parenting book came out. It was finished over a year ago so it has been a long waiting process based on the time of year (in time for Valentine’s Day) that my publisher wanted to release it. I’m so thrilled it is finally out!

Was there anything your husband veto’ed from being in the book?

Yes! There was one story he didn’t want in print. However, he said putting it on the blog is totally fine. So it will grace the internets soon. It’s about mammograms. It will be awesome.

Thank you so much for answering my questions Amber! I can’t wait to see a stick figure getting a mammogram!

Go ahead and spend the next few days reading every Crappy Pictures post (you can start here), then shop for (not) Crappy books and calendars!


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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.

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