Thursday, June 30, 2011

work in progress: peter pan

So here is my peter pan work in progress. I usually would never post a work in progress because I get so self conscious, but because I'm trying different things here I wanted to post this to see if I could get any tips or feedback. I'm not used to doing backgrounds really, and I'm trying to play with brushes to get different textures. My original inspiration was trying to get a light through the leaves look but I think that is a last minute thing.

I guess the trick is really to just keep inching forward but I definitely get stuck trying to figure out what's next! So painting tips welcome. *shrug*

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A little PSA

"magic hands" by B1nd1

I have an amazing life. And I am not being sarcastic in the least. I sleep in until I'm ready to wake up every day. I get to spend every day with my older sister and her husband, and their two dogs, who have become my own two little companions. I live in a beautiful city full of new things to explore every day. I have a job that keeps the perfect balance between creativity and hard work. I have my own bedroom full of little knick knacks that remind me of all my loving friends and all the things I love. I have a closet full of clothes which have mostly come to me without buying them, and they remind me of all the ways I have been so lucky and cared for.

There is another way to say all this though. I have a miserable life. I've been nearly housebound by an illness which keeps me in pain and agony 24/7. It's an illness which is so misunderstood by doctors I have an extraordinarily hard time finding support for my condition. My parents could no longer take care of me so I had to move in and be a burden on my sister. I'm unable to work a regular job so I currently have about $20 in my bank account and $100K in debt. I'm completely isolated from all my friends. All of my clothes are hand-me-downs.

The first version of the story is my Truth, though both scenarios are factual. It has been 5 years since June 20, 2006, the day I went surfing with my roommates in Newport Beach and got so ill I never recovered. Part of the reason I never recovered is because I was the kind of person who just kept pushing. I was working a job at an architecture firm, an ice cream store, and attending summer session to finish up my undergraduate degree. When I got sick I continued going to work, knowing I could just push through it. I kept telling myself things like 'people work three jobs and have kids to raise and STILL get through it, I can do this'. Having this attitude instead of listening to my body and my heart is what eventually led to a crash of my entire neuro-immune system. If I wasn't going to listen, my body was going to make me listen. (This was mirrored by my Mother's experience as well: a massive stroke she had in 2005 which ended her lucrative career as a powerful attorney and left her paralyzed on her left side, creating a life long journey of healing for both herself and my dad and the rest of our family.)

Since then I have been on the most important journey of my life. It has been about learning what is really important, how to listen to my heart, and how to not let anybody define who I was or what I could do. Moving from Fine Art, a world full of No's, into the field of Animation, a world full of Yes, was a major turn for me. I definitely got some flack in Grad school from people who did not understand my limitations and thought I was just taking the easy way out. They didn't know how much it killed me that I couldn't take advantage of the same opportunities they had. Today, even though I am not recovering as fast as I thought I would, I am better than ever. My spirit is so bright and my heart is so full. I finally found a clinic whom I've been working with for 9 months on improving my health and it is working greatly. My body looks the best it has in half a decade, and it is probably the healthiest it has been as well. I am surrounded by the love of friends and family who constantly show me their love and kindness in ways I never expect. I am always surprised and delighted.

I know a lot of people who think going on this kind of journey is a process of lowering your standards or learning how to experience disappointment. It is absolutely the opposite. My life now is full of more color and joy and beautiful experiences than I ever had before. My life is now a life of Flow. I used to suffer horribly from anxiety, trapped in my own cartoon jail bars that kept me in fear and a constant state of not-good-enough.

No matter how much some of my peers have, they are sure they are one step away from being a homeless bag lady. I am so much more sensitive now to people's states-of-mind and can see so clearly the bars that people build around themselves. They're standing in the middle of a beautiful garden, building a tomb of worry-stones right around their little bodies and I want so badly to open my heart and offer my hands to help them bring down those walls. All I can say is that I have seen rock bottom, and it isn't really all that bad.

JK Rowling said "Rock Bottom became the foundation upon which I built my life."

Your mind says "You will only succeed if you shed blood and sweat and tears" and your body says "OK we'll do that, as long as you don't mind taking 20 or 30 years off your life."

Either you will come to a point where you will get an "aha" and make an effort to re-balance your life, or life will break you open without your consent.

Let go of your plans. Let go of your expectations. Joseph Campbell said "You must give up the life you had planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you".

This doesn't mean I'm telling you to just sit back and watch your life pass you by, trust me, I've been forced to do enough of that for all of us. What I'm saying is to listen to the YES inside of you and follow that with all your beautiful will and energy. If something in you says NO NO NO NO NO! when you set out to do something, PLEASE LISTEN! Do not shed a tear or drop of blood in the direction of NO!

And about your student loans? Don't worry! We live in a society where a person who has $900,000 in student loans and a mortgage is (somehow) a WAY more responsible American than someone with no debt paying their rent on an apartment every month. Plus even President Obama just finished repaying his loans like last year! It's going to take some time! IT's OKAY!

And finally I'd like to share with you all a little blessing by Elizabeth Lesser:
May you be blessed on your brave search for the truth.
May your soul lead you to pools and rivers and oceans of wine.
May you drink and be intoxicated by love.
May you swim and be strengthened by life.
May you grow bolder and kinder.
May you be grateful.
May your body be charged with health and energy
and your life with Purpose and Passion.
May you know the dignity of mindfulness,
The openness of heartfulness,
the freedom of soulfulness.
May you remember who you are.
May you awaken.
May we all awaken.

Recommended Reading:
The Seeker's Guide by Elizabeth Lesser
Steering by Starlight by Martha Beck
Finding your North Star by Martha Beck
The Art of Happiness with HH the Dalai Lama
Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday needs a REBOOT!

Today the massive alphanumeric box set of Reboot: The Complete Series (Seasons 1-4) was released on DVD and I WANT IT ! ^__^ As Mike the TV would say, "It's absolutely FREEE for only ninety nine, ninety nine, ninety nine!!!" (it's actually only $45.99 on Amazon)

Reboot was one of those series I was obsessed with as a kid, and since my uncle and dad made sure my sisters and I were all up on computer shiz we understood all the little nerdy-nuances in the show. (Though I'm not as up on the computer-science world today, I did set up nearly my entire dorm's computer systems way back in 2002). According to Reboot's official Fansite, there is still a Reboot movie in the works, though it's been stuck in the Hollywood ether for ages. All I have to say is, I'll wait forever if you make sure it is a damn good movie.

So all you geeks get out there and get your box set. Maybe that will inspire Rainmaker to push ahead on the production of more reboot stuffers. *sigh* oh nostalgia.

Here is some great concept work from Matt Rhodes. Enjoy!

(I also want this release-of-the-day T_____T <3 LOTR extended blu ray box set yay!)
LOL by Phobs

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Joy: Fairies!

This month, Pixie Hollow (an online game created by Disney Interactive Media Group) hosted a contest to create a new pixie outfit. While I have logged about 2.5 minutes on the game, I have a particular attachment to the game since one of my mentors was an animator at DIMG for Pirates and Toon Town and would always make fun of my love for tinkerbell, yet affectionately sending me gifts and photos of interesting tid bits in the pixie hollow corner.

All the pixies wear clothes made out of bits and pieces from nature so I decided to make a pansy dress inspired by all the pansies my sister and I planted in our flower boxes this spring.

and here is my fairy:

(being recently blonde I thought the rules required the submission to be totally hand drawn, expilicitly saying "no screenshots" but my friend Natalie explained to me it probably meant no screenshots from the game. *shrug* happy to get my colored pencils out anyway)

and here is a fairy I drew way back in 2003:

I pretty much used to exclusively draw fairies and got many a request to draw templates for tattoos (though I don't know if anyone ever got the guts to actually do one!). Going back to my old sketchbook reminded me of days of old when I had more energy to draw, and gives me so much hope that once I'm fully recovered my vim and vigor will translate to my animation and painting. Right now it seems like the more I try the worse I get, but a lot of that has to do with my mental clarity and energy as I go through this bigger journey in my life.

ANYWAY, how about some great fairies from other artists!

By DarkMello (she has some great fantasy work)

By Imaginism, a very cool Canadian concept artist.

And then there is one of my fav painters, Josephine Wall, and her ridiculous fairy paintings here.
Coming up: I've been working on a digital painting of a famous fairy-boy and his pixie companion. I have some freelance work to do for now but if I have energy I'll have the new painting done in a couple of days! =D

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Artist of the Day: Destiny Blue

Alice de Ste Croix is an anime artist from the UK. She has a couple of pieces I find super cute.

Just a nice lazy sunday post today! Enjoy =D

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Artist of the day: Sakimichan

Sakimichan is another 20 year old genius digital painter, who is currently going to school somewhere for animation and art. *GAH GIVE UP NOW!*
She's amazing and an inspiration. I really am glad she posted this body guide as well for drawing basic figures. After devouring all her hundreds of works with my hungry eyes I went back to the painting I'm currently working on and immediately went... *headdesk* ..... WHAT AN AMATEUR!

This girl is 20. I figure though if I keep up at the pace I've been going at I can be like sort of decent by the time I'm 30, and I won't even be at my mid-life crisis yet! YAAYY.

Without further ado... please enjoy Sakimichan's beautiful work.

Also, here is the link to Sakimichan's BlogSpot... (please notice how she has 400 followers. I have 12. and they're all my mom.)

Friday, June 24, 2011


My "zen moment" memory that I access whenever I need to go to a happy place is Friday afternoons when I was in Junior High. Junior High is a particularly mortifying time for most, and on Friday afternoons when the school bell rang to let out for the weekend, I would hop on my 10-speed bike with super high-tech mileage counter and ride downhill all the way home to my pizza, cartoons, and TGIF TV blocks. That is my happy place.

ANYWAY since So You Think You Can Dance has been back on the air, I've felt that happy place zen moment watching all the dancers do their stuff. So amazing! And last night, my college friend Ryan Feng danced with Quest when LMFAO performed, and that gave me such a happy feeling of "Yes! We can do it! We can live our dreams!"

I drew this piece with ink and water for my sister for Christmas a few years ago:

These sketches drawn while watching this season's Top Ten Boys perform.

And now some REAL awesome artists and their works that say "Freedom" to me...

Artists: mehmeturgut (a macabre style, love his "dance in the shutter" series), LightformGR (digital art designer), Serena-Kenobi (painterly movie moments) , Infinite705 (Great digital photos w/ effects, hip hop style dancers and more!), and Strawberry93oo.

Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Friday! BE FREE!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Artist of the Day: AliceXZ

Alice X Zhang has a great painterly style, and her subject matter of course includes my fav movies like classic Disney and Harry Potter films. Love her color and light.

So inspiring. Love your work girl!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Artist of the Day: CartoonGirl7 aka MyRollingStar

Joanna is 20 years old, sells her work at conventions, has an art career that blows mine out of the water, and is a Radiological Sciences major in school so she can have a stable life and career. Gahhwahhh!?

Anyway... this girl does Anime style drawings in usually traditional mediums, between studying chemistry and radioactive biology or some **** like that. Good grief. Props to this girl, and this is just my opinion, but honey I think you'd do just fine making yourself a bona-fide well-to-do artist. Props to you though for also enjoying hospitals and... like... radioloicialitistimology or whatever you study.

(Click on any of the works to see their much larger much better versions!)
See her deviantArt page here at CartoonGirl7, and her Tumblr page here at MyRollingStar.

(maybe i should go back to school. I'll get my phD in C++ and hair simulation like the woman from UCLA Math department who worked on Rapunzel. There you go!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Aloha! Hawaii Drawings

This time last year, my bff Danielle took me on an awesome trip to Kona, Hawaii to celebrate my graduation and for her to run a marathon. I did some sketches and spent the last two days giving them some color. Love the girl!

I tried digital painting first but just couldn't get it to look right. Then I remembered a piece of advice reminding artists to get back to basics and work with hands and tools-in-real-life so I got out the colored pencils my pal Debra got me for my birthday. Enjoy!

This would be the perfect day ever.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Zoo Fun!

Became a member of the Denver Zoo today! Had a great time watching all the animals. See my video of the Tiger Habitat Here! Now that I'm a member I will hopefully become a pro at drawing animals... as long as they sleep in positions that I can see! I definitely got better as the day went on. Got to talk to a lot of people too, which was a nice surprise! I told all the kids to keep drawing!

I found a new favorite, a bird called the Paradise Tanager. He looks like a daft punk creation! The color is just so brilliant, and he looks like he's wearing a neon green face mask. An even better surprise is when he lifts his wings, underneath it is bright red orange and yellow!

Another bird I really enjoyed for the texture was this grey bird who looks like he's wearing armor, but then he turns around and it looks like jewels on his tail! I'm not really a bird person but these creatures got me so excited!

Haven't done much work with color and texture out in the field so maybe that will be a task on one of my many visits over the next year of my membership =D
Now I need a nap.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Artist of the Day: Brianne Drouhard

Brianne Drouhard

My friend Natalie gave me a precious gift when I was in LA, a fabulous print of Brianne Drouhard's magical work, and as I was doing my Brony research I saw she was friends with Lauren Faust on DeviantArt (I recognized her Billie the Unicorn Icon) and now I've been stalking her for half a day looking at all her super fun work. She blogged one week about watching Rainbow Brite and Thor and how they should totally become one in this amazing piece below uniting the rainbow bridge from both films.

Yes, starlight, you ARE magnificent!

Brianne has also done fan art for The Last Unicorn, one of my fav animated movies!

*sigh of relief* This morning I prayed I'd have some direction to move forward with my life, and after looking at Brianne Drouhard and Lauren Faust's work, my heart feels so happy!