Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review 2010

Granted, it's the last day of the decade, but it's been a tough decade so I choose to just focus on this last year, which has been so beautiful and amazing in so many ways.

2010 Favorites

Movies: Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, The Social Network
(runners up: Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Harry Potter 7)

Music: This year I fell in love with Owl City, Ratatat, and Phoenix

YouTube Favorites: Media mixers The Gregory Brothers and re-mix master from down under, Pogo

Books: "A Return to Love" by Marianne Williamson, "Why M.E." by Alex Howard, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle (all spiritual guidance that jump started my journey to recovery and health)

Blogs: Pascal Campion, Brittney Lee, Le Petit Doodler

Highlights of my Year:

-Sept '09 - June '10 : Was the teaching assistant for two amazing mentors in computer animation, Valerie and Richard...
-February: Attending my first Annie Awards, witnessing and loving the great work of the Animation Industry
-Visiting the DreamWorks Animation Campus
-Taking Cinematography and learning how to use a REAL camera

-Had a very snowy and fun Spring Break in Denver, during the biggest snow storm of the year!

-Organized UCLA's Festival of Animation with my two stellar partners Adam and Natalie and thus got to organize and meet with Animation Great Randy Cartwright

-April: Screened my film Squirrel Tale at the Newport Beach Film Festival (and subsequently the San Diego International Children's Film Festival at Comic Con)
-June-Completed my MFA and Thesis Film for UCLA's Animation Program

-Took a little trip to Hawaii with my bff Danielle and went parasailing!
-July- Volunteered for the SIGGRAPH conference in LA and saw some awesome things and met really amazing like-minds....
-August: Started working with the Optimum Health Clinic (in London) via Skype to get my health back to awesome... so far my life has changed from the inside out completely....
-October: Had a baby shower for my sister Nessie... going to have a little Neice next year!!
-Christmas 2010: Spent in Denver with my sister. Was SO RELAXED!
-End of 2010: Decided on a life change... 2011 brings a new life in Denver, Colorado

Goals for 2011:
-Get as healthy as possible following my new health plan
-Find a job that fits my new needs
-Draw more! (Always a goal) And Create MORE!
-Be as happeh as possible, always being grateful and compassionate

I wish you all a very happy New Year! Next year will bring a completely new world to me, so I'm looking forward to ringing it in!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fallen in love....

I have fallen in love with a new artist. She currently works at Disney Animation Studios and her work is so ... *sigh*...
Brittney Lee's work can be found at her Blog...
I am head over heels in love.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Big News, Big Trip, Big New World

Feeling a little like Rapunzel in her tower, this princess is ready to explore a new world...

In January, I will be driving out to Phoenix with my car packed to the brim, to meet my sister and embark on a road trip to a new destination: Denver, Colorado. This is no ordinary trip... this might be giving "stay-cation" a new meaning; you stay where you have vacationed. My visit to Denver will last anywhere between a month and the rest of my life, depending on what destiny has in store for me. I would bet on the latter rather than the former.

My health has improved enough that I'm ready to shift into a new gear, and this is actually necessary in order to get to the next level of recovery.

William Wordsworth said, "A deep distress hath humanized my soul." and through this challenging and dark experience, I have come to see life turned inside out, and a new life is just the thing to initiate exactly the change I need.

While logically, my brain is still doing cartwheels trying to figure out "WHY!?", my little heart that beats leads me to believe this is precisely what I need to do.

My biggest sadness came about when I questioned: "What about my career in animation? what about my friends? what about hollywood!? WHAT ABOUT DISNEYLAND!??" to wich my happy little heart reminded me...."Disneyland will still be there in 5, 10, 20 years". And I believe it. Everything I am leaving behind will resurface again at another time in my life when I am ready.

Plus... Denver has great shopping.

(My new Home)

(Actually, this is what it will be like until like... May... )

Rapunzel courtesy of Disney Animation Studios , Tangled is absolutely my new favorite movie of all time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Monsters To Tea

A drawing I've had in mind as I've been learning about the technique of letting your monsters be who they be. It was my idea to invite them to tea.

I so enjoy it when I have the energy to create. I hope for more to come. I am working on a Monsters Under the Bed series as well. =D

Guest House

Rumi - Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Image found at DeviantArt

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Favorite Harry Potter Moments

In celebration of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1, I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes from the books and the movies throughout the years.

"It only put me in Gryffindor, because I asked not to go in Slytherin."
"Exactly. Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
- Harry and Dumbledore [ch.18 Dobby's Reward]

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. ~Steven Kloves (screenplay), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

"You are protected, in short, by your ability to love." Dumbledore to Harry
in the Half Blood Prince

"The time will come when we must decide between what is right, and what is easy." Dumbledore to Harry (Goblet of Fire, the Movie)

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real? ~J.K. Rowling, "King's Cross," Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 2007, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cracks in the Dam

I'm at a new place in my journey... it is so strange, this journey looks nothing like I would have expected it to!
I can't claim any leaps and bounds forward from my previous state because I feel like I'm in a completely new place all together! I feel like there are cracks forming in the dam.... there is a breaking up in symptoms, beliefs, emotions, everything... there are little holes of light.... little trickles of change... and I imagine these to just get broken open wider and wider until the River of Health is flowing once again!

After reading "The Power of Now", and "A Return to Love", I have turned much of my thoughts towards .... prayer. If you had told me at the beginning of process that I would in three months be praying to God, I would have run as fast as I could in the other direction, but after reading these books I feel like someone out there understands how I in my heart have been feeling about spirituality with no way to express or share it. Once, a good friend asked me (on what looking back was one of the last encounters of our friendship) asked me if I believed in God. I took a moment to respond and said, "I believe in People". My sentiments have not changed, though now I can use the word "God", infusing it with the meaning I have in mind for ME. I don't think I'll go around preaching to others any time soon, I'll keep the relationship to myself mostly, but my faith in God is a reflection of the enormous faith I have in People; in their Power, in their Potential, in their Kindness.... and now that definition has also spread to the events of the world, and of my life.

"The world needs healing desperately....People know this, and millions have prayed. God heard us. He sent help. He sent You."


Not long ago I was so confused because EFT was not showing me that I had any emotions or blockages. I felt very strange because I wasn't having any emotional responses. Now I have been able to witness those strong emotions. I have found that my beliefs around money and life have been centered around struggle and hardship; that one must struggle to work, and therefor money was hard to come by. I had this belief that the more you sacrificed yourself the more worthy you were of receiving, but I was sacrificing in suffering and in martyrdom, not in the way that sacrifice is really meant to be, "to make sacred" (which you would know is the real meaning of sacrifice if you were into dead languages or Dan Brown novels...) . Present Moment Awareness, Openness to Love and Abundance, is to sacrifice, and to make sacred. To put aside your ego, to release your worries to God, that is the sacrifice we're meant to make.

Now I practice my affirmations and prayers, "Dear God, I surrender this situation to you. May it be used for your purposes. I ask only that my heart be open to give love and receive love. May all the results unfold according to your will. Amen."

"There is room enough for everyone to be beautiful, successful, and rich."

On a physical note, I have well settled into relaxation mode and am starting to enjoy my time at home. Some days I believe that my fibromyalgia pain is essentially gone. I used to come home from school and work and slide directly into a hot bath because my body was in so much pain. Now I am taking care enough of myself that that pain has no place in my life any more.

I can leave the house about once or twice a week to have dinner or go see a movie. It takes me quite a bit of time to recover but it is worth it. I spend my days meditating, reading, playing video games (which I love!), and watching films (for educational purposes, of course, it IS my profession!)

I also make dinner most nights of the week for my parents. I know that before I moved in, there was no meal schedule in place, and they were just eating what was easy. Now I know I am contributing in some small way by making a very healthy dinner for us all as I am able to. I think it makes my parents much more peaceful.

Today is a good day, tomorrow may be another down on the roller coaster, but I use that time to just hold on, and to meditate, and to witness the ever flowing movement of life.

Little Buddha a healing gift, courtesy of Le Petit Doodler. Thanks Debra!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oh! Hallow's EVE!

Happy Halloween Everyone! Got my creative juices flowing and finally made another drawing! woo hoo completed goals!

Had fun dressing up like Hermione last night and seeing all my awesome animator friends.

Have fun!

Polaroids courtesy of LePetitDoodler

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Slàinte mhòr agad! • Good Health To YOU!

A Student of Life, I suppose is my new title, since I have started a new journey since finishing grad school. This journey is one that will serve me for the rest of my life and hopefully is the beginning of the end of my health struggles and a launching into living my life's purpose.

These books are a fraction of the recommended reading (I've done about half so far), and in addition to that there are hundreds of hours of recordings online to listen to, and each day I have an hour of meditation as well as a strict protein and veggie diet. I should be also doing Yoga and some walking but that is still working its way into my schedule....

I have really enjoyed the journey so far, though occasionally I can get caught up in the what ifs, the shoulda's and coulda's. When I sit and think about it though, this is work I have wanted to do for a very long time, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do it. May the rest of this year serve as a cocoon of wellness (and lots of reading/record keeping/yoga/meditation/nutrition!).

A toast to your health and mine!
Slàinte mhath! • [ slanj'-uh va' ] (Scottish toast to good health!)

baby, baby, baby, OH!

Nothing like a baby to inject some fresh perspective into day - to - day life. Granted this baby is only the size of a lemon at this point, but it is still so inspiring!

Last weekend my sisters and I were together for #3's baby shower: the first pregnancy for the stistars.

We had fun decorating and making foods galore. Yummmmo!

Heather found this amazing puff-ball-creating-kit at Marshalls, which filled the space beautifully!

The best part about ANY party, the gifts! Did you know you can do virtually no wrong with a baby gift? ALL OF EVERYTHING IS SUPER CUTE!!!

Next time the Sherman Gals are together, there will be a darling little dumpling to add to this bunch.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Jack-O-Lantern WIN

My lil sis carved our first jack-o-lantern of the season, and low and behold: TRI-FORCE!
Now all those Ganon and Ganondorf's minions will stay away....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making this house my home...

I've been back at my parents' for a couple of weeks, and this time around things are a lot different. At first I wanted to keep things as minimal as possible, but being away from LA has made me feel very disconnected from Animation and the industry I love, so as you can imagine, I felt a lot better when I put my *friends* and inspiration around me.

For my birthday on Monday (October 11, woot woot!), I took myself shopping with some gift cards that have been sitting in my wallet for quite some time and got some pretties for my room:

This pretty retro-clock radio goes perfectly with my ocean green walls...

And this Canvas Print of Buddhist prayer flags over the Himalayas was a perfect karma find since this time last year I was searching for images just like this one for my initial thesis idea. That film may still come to fruition, but for now I hang these prayer flags over my bed-head for sweet dreams:

(both finds are from Urban Outfitters)

My mom also gave me this thoughtful Disney plate to aid me on my journey to recovery:

And that fits in to my cork board, which is a blank slate each time I move it to a new location. It's already filling up with current, relevant inspiration and love from friends and family:

And Finally, I also have my gang of 'toon fiends here to protect me from nightmares, pain, and illness:

I'm settling in. The journey has been rough so far, but I am reminded constantly of the infinite possibilities and opportunities out there. Plus there is always inspiration in my favorite 'toons and the inspiring people who make them and love them as well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Packing Ye Olde Boxes

Just a quick note to mark one of my last days here in LA for the forseeable future. It is in some ways going to be really wierd moving back to my old home town, but my focus is set on healing so I am optimistic and actually excited about the experience and the journey.

In the four short weeks since I started the program, I am already noticing a significant reduction in my Fibromyalgia pain. I am experiencing far different types of fatigue with my ME/CFIDS, sleeping better at night, and my immune system has been revving up tackling lingering bugs in my system. So far, so good.

No cupcakes or yummy frappaccino's for me, and I've been stoked at my discipline regarding my diet, because really, I would do anything on this earth to be healthy again. A $6 blended confection is well worth the sacrifice.

Hasta Luego, my adorable apartment that I have loved living in for the past three years. No regrets as I leave the town that started my faith in having a creative career. As they say in the biz, tune in next time, folks, cause while this show is moving to a new network, it definitely isn't over.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Everyday Happehness

Because my dear friend Natalie has a bottomless heart of gold, she loves to buy every-day-$1 gifts for her friends.

Today, Natalie thought of me when she saw this:

awww... it's even for "Sensitive Skin".... for my special... needs.... =P

"It's always open season on princesses..."

"The best thing I know is to do exactly what you wish for a while."
The very fun and romantic "Roman Holiday" played all night long as the backdrop for one of the most if not THE most enjoyable and beautiful weddings I have ever been to. My talented, fashionable, and very hairy(less) animation friend, le petit doodler was married to adorable "le cub" last weekend at the Smog Shoppe in Culver City (

(Yes, she made her own cake topper as well as guest souvenirs!)
Congratulations to the beautiful happy couple, and thank you for helping me gain about two pounds in one weekend.
Love you BOTH!! (and Beans!)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bless'ed Jewels

My heart is so full from all the support from my friends and family this last week with my decision to start a new journey and with the recent publishing of new clinical studies. I have really felt all your thoughts and prayers and so appreciate your well wishes. It is really amazing how once you decide to do something you know is truly right for you, no matter how hard, you can kind of slip into it with confidence and ease, knowing that others around you truly want you to be happy and well too.

In the words of the fabulous Rachel Zoe, you are all my very bless'ed jewels.

Photo by Eibo-Jeddah

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thus is the Noble Truth of Suffering

Today was one of the hardest days I've had in a long time. I'm going to be finished with my job at the end of this month and people are starting to say good bye. Some are saying "congratulations" and "bon voyage" without really understanding where it is I'm going.

I guess in some ways congratulations are in order. I've made a decision, and that deserves some credit. Bon Voyage will stick as an optimistic message as I embark on this very real and very grounding experience.

Yes, my friends, after a long achey summer full of fevers and debilitating pain, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to take matters into my own hands and dedicate my near future to healing. So I have to move back to mom and dad's to do so, but I'll have the support of a speacialty clinic to help me regain some ground on my well-being.

I saw a form at work today for a student who is going to be an intern at DreamWorks, and I nearly just started crying my eyes out. That should be me, is all I could think over and over. Not that I deserve the internship, but that I wish I could be the one even setting my sights on getting an internship or a job at a place like DreamWorks. I would give anything to have the chance to work hard and prove myself to get into the industry I love with all my heart, and in the end really, that's what I'm doing. I have to give up the next three months of my life in order to get to a place where I CAN apply myself to the world-out-there. This will be impossible for anyone to understand who hasn't been chronically ill or debilitated, but it is so excruciating to finally admit to yourself that you are not what you want to be, and you have to face that head on. It's so scary.

Leaving LA is like walking away from my dreams and aspirations. I wish more than anything that I could stay here to persue my career in entertainment, but reality is that my body is simply not capable of completing the tasks that my mind and heart wish to.

I'm not ashamed, just in mourning. To look at myself in the mirror and admit that I need help is like looking the four noble truths straight in the eyes.
1. thus is the nobel truth of suffering.
2. Thus is the Noble Truth of the Accumulation of Suffering
3.Thus is the Noble Truth of the Elimination of Suffering
4. Thus is the Noble Truth of the Path that Leads Away from Suffering

Now I am on that path. Embracing this suffering is also the beginning of the cessation of it.

I am in deep mourning, but still am holding on to utmost optimism that this will only lead to great things.

Or maybe I'm just extra low because I gave 12 vials of blood this morning for clinic tests and I just need an ice cream sundae.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

pandora I.R.L.

For all of you crying over the imaginary world of Pandora, wipe those non-nav'i tears and watch some Discovery Channel! Behold: Awesomeness from the magical planet EARTH.

No need to build an avatar to see such beauty....
thanks Epic Win - FTW for the inspiration

This, my friends, is a beautiful sea slug, the Glaucus Atlanticus... nerd alert!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On my way to AWESOME!!!!!!

I've graduated with my masters degree in animation and have no real job (just a nice little part-time perfection at UCLA admissions), and yet I do not feel lost or free falling or anything. For some strange reason I feel perfectly cradled in a little time-sack arranged perfectly for me to organize myself and my artwork so that I may continue the pursuit of my dream career. Any time I start to question or lose confidence, I just remind myself that life is short, time is limited, and the joy of our life is just out there waiting for us to grab it. All we have to do is work for it, and keep working for it. My problem, as always, has been focus, but I'm working on it and getting better.

Enjoy, my friends, my Animation Demo Reel and my Thesis Film (with full music still TBD, but temp music works too). My Website is also up, as a works in progress.... Please enjoy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ni No Kuni, the future is now

After watching this amazing video game trailer for Ni No Kuno from Level 5 off of Cartoon Brew , a dozen conversations were happening in my head simultaneously. Watching this trailer makes me feel extremely grateful to have started at UCLA's animation program when I did, just as our own old master, Dan McLaughlin, was leaving the program. Because of Dan, us kids who were raised in a digital world got to experience cel animation and shooting on film, classic old school animation style. That paired with my two years of computer animation training can really help me to appreciate the history of animation as a technology and as an art, and while people will look at Ni No Kuni (and all that which follows this style) and go "is that 2d or 3d?" I'll be pleased to know that the mediums have come to a near perfect union.

We've reached a point in our technology where artists can be artists and our medium does not have to suffer because of a lack of computing time/power and knowledge of software work around. 3D doesn't have to look like plastic molds, and 2D doesn't require tedious pencil to paper. I've entered the industry at a magical time, and seeing the trailer for this game makes me so hopeful for the possibilities of animation.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Skyward Geek Out

Yes, I have much more important things to blog about, like my graduation, my job search, my trip to Hawaii, and the 20 stitches (minus two...oops) that I currently have holding my body together, but I can't help it. I need this post so I can purge my utter-inner-Geek-Princess so that it doesn't fester and grow into permanent all out extro-verted-geek-monsterness....

Just heard from E3 news that the new Zelda game is finally planned to be released this holiday season. "Skyward Sword" thankfully continues the more realistic style that I appreciated in Zelda's Nintentdo 64 through Game Cube era minus "Wind Waker". Unfortunately, I see now that Link, our slightly-feminine-fairy-boy-hero, is now wearing MANLY PANtS! WTF? Link is known for wearing a tunic and peter-pan tights! His voice is also a tinge on the more baritone side, leaving my 25 year girl-next-door crush on fairy-boy Link feeling very confused (yes, I have loved him since the very day I was born...what does that say about me? I'm not sure, but maybe that is a topic for other blogger exploration...).

The realistic look works for me better on these larger-game-system formats. The toon-shaded, chibi-Link works great for the Nintendo DS format, on which I am currently playing "Spirit Tracks", ("Phantom Hourglass" was fun, but WTH was up with that gee-golly-darned temple you had to play 20 times!?!?! So annoying.)

While the trailer for the game looks pretty standard for Zelda games... (albeit, not enough rainbows and sparkles for this sparkle rainbow pony...), reviews so far have been positive. Doesn't matter though, nothing could stop me from getting my hands on every "Zelda" game ever.

*doh* and now he's right handed as well!? Does that mean I have to flip the controls over?

Ok. Geek out over.