Mara Williams
Cartoon penguin wearing business casual clothes gives important business presentation

Mara Williams

lives in Eugene likes to code draws lots of cartoons



I'm an illustrator and computer programmer. I doodle a lot. Always have. After my first-round of college (for Medieval Studies), I started making zines and sharing my cartoons. It's one of the primary ways I think. Sometimes I draw a character I call “squid-in-a-bucket.” It's a simple joke - here is a squid who has to bring their environment everywhere they go. The squid's bucket always has a puddle of water underneath it. I love squid in a bucket. It resonates with my experience of the world - I need to bring my own water with me. When I went back to school for Computer Programming, I found a place where I'm not the only squid in a bucket. I'm looking for a job where I won't need a bucket every minute of every day, because my way of thinking is supported (and an asset!).

Two penguins on vacation take photos of a point of geological interest. One penguin stands on top of a cliff. The other stands at the bottom of the cliff. A cutaway reveals layers of sedimentary rock and fossils inside the cliff.

When I was a grad student in Communication, I used to introduce myself as a Fan of Fans. True, I did fan studies (and queer media studies). Also, that was a way of talking about teaching and researching where I wanted investment rather than distance.

In end, I left grad school without a PhD. The only thing I wanted about an academic life was a Big Dog. It turns out, you don't need a PhD to have a big dog!

After working a fancy job where I learned a lot of Excel tricks, I decided to come back to school to learn Computer Programming. It turns out, I like it a lot. I like math too.

My work as an illustrator is not the same as drawing for myself. On most nights, I draw on my tablet while watching (or re-watching) science fiction and fantasy tv shows. I draw animals, fan art, gifts for friends, plants, etc.

I like to crochet and I have a lovely stash of soft, colorful yarn. Also, I bake often. You should check out some of my recipes at Butter Mountain.


I do art and graphic design too!

Recent Projects

Weather Forecast App

Made in React, this uses OpenWeather's 5-day forecast API endpoint to fetch weather data for US zipcodes.

screenshot of weather website showing search bar and weather results
See more about the Weather Forecast App
Butter Mountain

This is a project I worked on in two web development classes. It uses ASP.NET Core, Entity Framework, and a MySQL database. This website allows me to upload original recipes and keep a log when I make the recipe.. but get creative with ingredients and techniques.

screenshot of recipe website showing home page and navigation
See more about Butter Mountain

How to Build A Wood Chipper in Excel (not really a wood chipper)

Presentation about Excel and Acrobat workflow to avoid seemingly endless Ctrl C + Ctrl V

screenshot of a powerpoint presentation title card that reads How to Build A Woodchipper in Excel (not really a woodchipper). The slide is illustrated with a stylized woodcut of a man trimming a tree Check out the woodchipper

Procurement Roadmap Poster

Have you ever tried to read municipal public contracting rules and felt like you needed a map? This is a poster I made to illustrate the Public Procurement journey.

Flat design graphic of diverging roads with yes or no questions. See the graphic
Welsh Siri

CS233 Javascript project to research and access an interesting public API endpoint.

screenshot of a website with an audio player and form Learn more

Send me a message. Let's talk about penguins.

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