Welcome to The Habit of Art by Kelcey Ervick, a free illustrated newsletter about the ups, downs, loop-de-loops, triumphs (temporary), joys (fleeting), and life-changing power of making art and telling stories. By a writer who draws.

I’ve got some fancy new hardware to share thanks to my post A Woman Reading (vs A Man Powerwashing) being featured on Substack Reads:

I’ve been writing for a lot of years. I got a PhD in it. I’m a professor of it. I’ve published multiple books. But a few years ago, I started drawing every day, and it changed . . . everything. How I look at the world, how I SEE the world, how I think, how I write, how I teach, how I draw. It also led to getting an agent and publisher for my graphic memoir.

I am passionate about writing and drawing these Substack posts, where I share insights, struggles, and creative inspiration based on my work as an author, artist, and professor—and where I am equally inspired by the community.

Subscribe for free to receive illustrated posts about:

  1. Why it’s so important and radical (and hard!) to make art and tell our stories—and how not to let the “hard” part get in the way.

  2. How to cultivate a “habit of art”—lessons from my years of daily art-making.

  3. Books I’ve read. Cats I’ve loved. Birds I’ve watched.

Free Subscriptions: The Habit of Art is a free publication on Substack with access to all posts. You can support my work simply by commenting, sharing, and restacking posts.

Paid Subscriptions: You can also join a number of folks and become a paid subscriber. The newsletter is free, but paid subscribers will receive occasional surprises and bonus material: video demos, signed copies of my books (a recent promo), postcards in the mail.

On the web

Author website: https://kelceyervick.com/
Art and stuff on Instagram.
Twitter, X, whatever nevermind.
I wrote about the experience of daily art-making at The Rumpus, twice.

On the bookshelf

I’m the author of 4 award-winning books including the graphic memoir, The Keeper (Avery/Penguin), which was featured in the The New York Times Book Review’s Holiday Gift Guide. It’s about growing up in girls’ sports in the early years of Title IX, and figuring out how, if I can’t become Miss America, I might become a writer like my fellow goalkeeper Vladimir Nabokov.

Inspired by my own shift toward visual storytelling, I co-edited The Field Guide to Graphic Literature, which is about how to make all kinds of comics, graphic poetry, and literary collage.

My previous award-winning books are For Sale by Owner, a story collection of suburban surrealities; Liliane’s Balcony, a novella set at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater; and The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, a poetic biography of a long-dead female fairy tale writer—and the postcards I wrote to her. More about all books here.

On the river

I live on the banks of the St. Joseph River in northern Indiana, where I am regularly attacked by geese and red-winged blackbirds. I’m a professor of creative writing at Indiana University South Bend, which also happens to be on the banks of the St. Joe River.

In the studio

After two decades and three books written in shared spaces, I finally have a room of my own.

Subscribe to The Habit of Art by Kelcey Ervick

An illustrated newsletter about the ups, downs, loop-de-loops, triumphs (temporary), joys (fleeting), and life-changing power of making art and telling stories. From a writer who draws.


Hi! I love to write & draw. I’m the author of 4 books including the graphic memoir, THE KEEPER (Avery/Penguin). Co-editor, FIELD GUIDE TO GRAPHIC LITERATURE. Comics in Washington Post, Rumpus, Believer. English Prof at Indiana University South Bend.