The cartoonist behind Just Outside the box cartoons

My name’s Marti and I’m an engineer. Late 2011, I embarked upon a new challenge (I just can’t help it, I can’t sit still). I wanted to become a cartoonist and children’s author too. Yes, I know.  This was going to be a difficult journey as engineers aren’t known for their humour or grammar.

Engineer ≠ Humour

To add to this challenge, I’m also going to have to overcome my genetics – both my parents are of German heritage (doesn’t mean I don’t love you Mum).

Engineer2(German heritage) ≠ Humour

I also need to address years of working in an engineering environment, where logic and rational is king, and lateral thinking is a whimsical concept.

Engineer2(German heritage) / (Logic + Rational) ≠ Humour 

However, this only makes the journey more exciting. I’m embracing this challenge with enthusiasm and determination and hope this will start to swing the equation the other way.

{ Enthusiasm + Determination } – { Engineer2(German heritage)  / (Logic + Rational) } = Humour 

So the time has come to put my theory to the ultimate test – one book and one cartoon at a time.

If you love to laugh – anything from a snigger to a stomach aching LOL (sometimes the laugh is with me, but sometimes at me – it’s OK, I don’t differentiate), then join me in my journey, subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll share all my adventures along the way.  You’ll also get access to freebies and special book offers ahead of the pack.  I plan to have fun, so come one, click below and give it a go. If you want to receive a cartoon weekly, then click the subscribe button, top right hand column.

And if you want to visit my other websites, feel free to cyber space over to

  • Doug the Dung Beetle – Yes, the one and only favourite beetle of mine has his own website. Check it out. It’s full of fun and dung!Website dedicated to dung beetles
  • Cosmic Caboodle – This one was a lot of fun to set up and hopefully it will take you away from reality into one of outer space. Start with the About page to give you a flavour of what you’re in  for here.

Website on science and aliens


39 Comments on “About”

  1. crubin says:


    I have nominated you for the Awesome Blog Content Award. Information on the “rules” can be found here: http://carrierubin.com/2012/02/28/scaring-your-doctor-from-a-to-z/

    As I’ve alluded to in past award posts, I take no offense if you choose not to participate. I suspect you may actually have a life. But it’s my way of letting you know I enjoy your blog!


  2. hardrock45 says:

    Thanks for the like on my blog Mydaddysez. Congrats on realizing your dream to be a cartoonist. Your posts are very clever.

  3. amb says:

    Hi there! Found you over on the Funny Names Blog and love your cartoons 🙂

  4. aalif says:

    Awesome stuff! If I may ask, do you draw and paint digitally? What software do you use? I’m still trying to figure my way through digital drawing and painting so any tips would be helpful…

    • Hi Aalif, I now draw my cartoons using Adobe ideas App on the iPad for the black outline. I love this app as it has what I call an auto correct feature. It takes out the shakes and smooths the line out. I then colour it in using SketchBook Pro on the iPad. I like this App as it is intuitive and easy to add text and it has a variety of graphical type brushes (spots and what not). I then lay it out using Art Studio App. I like this App as it has really good move, rotate and size functionality (basically pixel by pixel type changes, rather than a finger reliant approach).
      If I was a better drawer I would use traditional means, but I’m more focused on the cartoon and end result for now, rather than refining my drawing.

      Hope this helps.


      • aalif says:

        Hi Marti, thank you so much for the detailed information! This is extremely helpful. I currently just use the SketchBook Pro on my Mac. Never considered using an iPad. Just one last question, do you have a specific stylus you use for the iPad?

      • Hi Aalif, I don’t use any particular brand. I tend to get through them in 3-6 months and that’s irrespective of price. I’ve tried 50 cent ones which have been just as good as $20 ones. I keep trying ‘branded’ ones in the hope of finding a dream stylus. I might just get there one day. I always have a stock of 50 cent ones in a draw as back up.
        PS let me know how you go

      • aalif says:

        Thanks Martin… will try out and let you know how it goes. I found my control while drawing on the Wacom Bamboo not as good as drawing by hand. It would be awesome if the stylus+iPad worked out…

      • A clever engineer + innate humour = great humour 🙂

      • Marti says:

        Oh shucks, you make me smile. Maybe I’m clser to humour than i thought
        🙂 Marti

  5. […] learn more about her, click here.  And now, the […]

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wanted to let you know I received my cartoon prize. Thank you!! Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but I don’t tend to check my PO Box as often as I should. But I love it. 🙂

  7. Marti, may I know what tool you use to draw out your characters?

    • Marti says:

      Sure I-am-this-and-that.

      I use a combination of apps. First I use Sketchbook Pro to sketch my cartoon and then export it to Photos. I use Adobe ideas to trace my sketch (a vector app which smooths the shake from my hand) and then export the B&W image. I colour it in Sketchbook Pro or Procreate (depending on the brush strokes I want) and then a final export to ArtStudio for formatting and layout.

      You don’t really need that many, but they all offer slight differences and they are so cheap compared with traditional computer software, that cost really isn’t an issue – so why not?

      Hope that helps.


  8. tkmorin says:

    Marti, every post you share with us makes me smile and laugh, thank you! I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. ( http://tkmorin.wordpress.com/awards/ ) 🙂

    • Marti says:

      Ooh, thanks – I’m honoured. I hope to get around to forwarding it on, I’ll give it a crack. I’m hopeless when it comes to awards.

  9. seeker says:

    Aha, an engineer with a sense of humour, yay. I took engineering, unfortunately did not complete the degree. Otherwise, there will be two engineers with sense of humour in this world. 😆

  10. seeker says:

    Let me see, my batch graduated in 1978 and I came to Canada in 1976. So that means 2.5 years of ECE (Electronics and Communication Eng) I am a token female then and in FB I am an honorary member of the group. I kept in touch to two “brothers”. That was almost 40 years ago!

  11. tkmorin says:

    Hi again! I have been quietly, but thoroughly, enjoying your blog. So, to share your blog with people who visit my blog, I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. I hope you can accept. Either way, you can read about it at http://tkmorin.wordpress.com/awards/ Thanks for keeping us entertained, at the very least! 🙂 [I am also hoping people will get your book 😉

  12. Really enjoying your cartoons.. Canadians and Aussies… We really share the same sense of humour!

  13. Sorry if I sound too opinionated, but I don’t think the dark gray background is very good for comics. I think a light, neutral color like white works best.

    • Marti says:

      Opinions are good. I hear your comments and have always toyed between white and black. In the end I decided for the strong contrast that black offers to offset the coloured comics.
      PS. Nice website with good theme choice 🙂

  14. sjvernon says:

    I randomly found you today. Amazing that I didn’t find you sooner. You’re on a similar path to me, only you are farther down that path. There’s no reason a good engineer shouldn’t be able to construct (see what I did there?) a good joke.

    I also see we have an insect connection (insection?? 😉 ) as my current comic strip is insect-based. I’m seeing some similar ways of thinking so I’ll definitely be back for more.

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