Summer Spiral Print on Society6

I uploaded this piece on Society6 maybe a month ago and forgot about adding different sizes for different product offerings. Yesterday I finally had some time to upload more sizes for cases, tapestries, pillow covers, etc. It actually got hand picked into the Society6 store! So excited! Check this print out on Society6 here! 










I also created this pattern with a set of 20 Spiral brushes I created for Creative Market. I wanted to create these brushes with the purpose of creating spiral patterns and I thought it would be cool to offer these to other people who wanted to create digital tie-dye patterns without the mess. Check it out here! 




Finding Inspiration + Creative Market Shop!

In the last few months, I started to really go within to figure out what kind of art I wanted to create – even though I have an MFA in Animation, my first area of study was Graphic Design and I had spent a few years working as a Graphic Designer first before diving deep into drawing & story. One of my first jobs after design school was an Illustrator/Product Designer at Hurley Accessories in San Diego back in 2007. And it’s interesting because I find myself going back to those roots now. March of this year really marked the end of freelancing with clients and really focusing on working on my own personal art.

I’ve been obsessed with creating digital tie-dye patterns. Yes, digital tie-dye! In the process of creating these patterns, I’ve had to create a set of my own Photoshop brushes to get the results that I was aiming for. I started to find inspiration in the things I liked from my wardrobe at home, I’ve compiled a photo of all of my tie-dye inspired clothing that I’ve bought over the years and started to think about what attracted me to these designs. A lot of it is color and pattern, each design is so unique and different that I decided I wanted to apply this to my own creations. I also do a lot of research online for color palettes, what brands I like to follow on instagram, and also the boho style home decor inspires a lot of my creations.

Screenshot 2016-07-09 22.56.17

I’m also selling my art on print on demand products on Society6! Check out some of my work below or see the full list of art and products on my Society 6 Shop here! To see more current work, Visit my Instagram account here.

I recently set up shop on Creative Market back in May and I am so excited to start selling Digital Tie-Dye Photoshop brushes! There’s a bunch of other digital graphic resources I sell, check out my product offerings here on my Shop!

Here’s one of my first products I released, a set of 18 Digital Tie-dye Photoshop brushes Vol.1, Get this set here!


Brushlayout-Guide tapestry1

  • .abr file to load onto your brush preset palette
  • Formatted for Photoshop CS5 (if you need it formatted for an older version please send me an email through my blog)
  • All brushes are high res 2000px by 2000px across for creating higher res files.
  • 8 Large Tie-Dye Brush Clumps : for blocking out bigger areas.
  • 10 Individual Tie-Dye Stripe Brushes
  • Includes an in depth 10 Page PDF Guide Book for using brushes and Pro tips, techniques.

Tie-dye patterns and fabrics have been around for a while with roots in India, Japan, and Africa. Tie-dye is most commonly created by tying a string around the fabric, folding it in different ways and then applying the dye to fabric. It’s a very involved process, one that is messy and takes time to dry. Tie-dye in America was popularized by the hippies of the 60s mainly as an expression of their free-spirit and rebellion from the strict social norms of the 50s. Its interesting to note that a more modern version is starting to come back and finding its way into home goods, apparel, shoes, etc.

Simple tricks for creating a design:

  • Pick a color scheme and do some research online to find some inspiration
  • Paint your designs into separate photoshop layers so that you can adjust the placement of elements to your liking.
  • You can transform and edit the layers horizontally and vertically to get different results.
  • Play with duplicating the layers and changing the layer blend mode to multiply, color burn to get interesting effects. I also recommend playing with the layer opacity to get different effects.
  • Play and have fun!

Academy of Art Alumni Panel Summer Expo ’16

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I was recently asked to speak at an Alumni Panel at the Academy of Art University in June along with a few other alumnis. We talked about our first jobs and how we hustled to get to where we are now. When I moved to LA in 2013, all I did was freelance and go from one contract job to another for two and a half years. I was constantly calling and bugging recruiters and always following up with people on a lead that I was hopeful on. I even wrote something on Linkedin about “How to Find Work as a Freelance Illustrator/Designer” Check it out, I’ve outlined 7 Steps that I used to go about finding work as a freelancer, worth a five minute read I promise!

The artist path and journey is never a straight one – and I think that is the beauty of being an artist and creative. Its part of the fun. From my experience, hustling to land my next gig kept me creatively hungry and gave me an edge. And did I really live my life on the edge for a while! Versus having landed a job and being too comfortable in a job that I wasn’t as creatively fulfilled. In the past, I’ve gotten some really amazing jobs– one job back in 2007 was an illustrator/product designer for Hurley Accessories in San Diego that I worked really hard on a test project before they hired me.

Being comfortable in a full time gig always bored me and never kept my interest long enough for me to want to stay there. I needed challenge, I needed stimulation, I need so much more than just going to a regular 9-5 everyday without purpose. But on the flip side of that I’ve also managed to stay at other jobs that I’ve very much enjoyed and liked– jobs that challenged my thinking and creativity, I was able to stay on longer. I’ve gone on to working with some really good companies in LA some include Hasbro Studios, Skechers USA, William Morris Endeavor, Fuhu Inc. to name a few.

Job security is great don’t get me wrong– but I also love the freedom of being able to have some down time in between freelance jobs or projects to be able to explore my own art.

Creating art is a spontaneous act and trying to control the creative process too much is just unnatural. Sure I think its super important to have a list of goals for the day, week, or month– but you also have to give room for growth and evolution of who you are and what kind of art you want to create. Patience with oneself and one’s own process is the most important thing. Too many times I’ve seen younger artists not being patient enough with themselves and also judging themselves too hard. Every new insight gives us an opportunity to grow and develop our understanding of the world around us.

Creating art for me is so sacred, the creation that comes from deep within me always has a purpose and meaning. I create beautiful work to inspire other people and that creating daily is a process of communing with my own spirituality and feeling connected to something greater than me.

There may be naysayers in your life– especially our families or people close to us that give us bad advice or force us to think in terms of being part of the “rat race” mentality, influencing us to get a full time job when in fact it may not be the best thing for us. But I always say try everything and see how you feel working within a company or corporate structure in a 9-5 job. But each and every one of us is boundless. We have so much unlimited potential inside of us, the best way is to guide that and focus it onto something that would truly give us happiness– and of course figuring out a way to make money from the thing that which gives us true happiness and the freedom to be our true selves.

It was very enlightening to have younger students approach me afterwards and tell me that my story spoke to them. I didn’t find art until my early 20s, having my son at 21 made it a bit challenging but thank god I had my family to help me while I attended college. Even though I had a few obstacles in my way, I still did everything I wanted, I still had the drive to want to be a better and successful artist. I had a vision of the type of life I wanted to create and providing for my son was motivation enough for me to want to succeed.

My main advice to younger artists or people just starting out as an artist– embrace your own journey. Sometimes we have a slow start but that also forces us to look deep within and to know what we truly want. Don’t let fear, negative self-doubt, and what others have to say cloud your own vision of what you want for yourself. It’s your life, at the end of the day you have to ask yourself what will make you the happiest. Build up your confidence as an artist and seek support from other artists/friends who support your vision. Find a mentor that will help you. I had a wonderful mentor for a year before I went to grad school that encouraged me to become a better version of me. Also, have discipline–practice your craft, let your passions fuel your creations and let it lead you where it wants to lead you. And please have lots of patience with yourself and know that this is all a part of a process and a bigger plan for your life that you probably don’t know about just yet. Let if unfold the way its supposed to. So that when you do finally stand on your own, your foundation and structure will be so solid that nothing can ever break you apart or tear you down.


Expo Alumni Panel_09

Living Freely

I recently just moved from LA back to San Francisco in February. I decided to move back to San Francisco after being gone for five years. In those five years I have lived in NYC for two years exactly and then LA a little over two years. I’ve lived in 3 different cities since 2009. 2009 was the year I began my journey.

I was feeling stuck in LA and the driving an hour a day in the morning and at night really didn’t alleviate any stresses I had.

I’m addicted to change.

If you subscribe to numerology and spiritual meanings in life – I’m a 5. Movement, change and travel has been the only thing that’s constant in my life.

I really thought I would be working full time in SF with a start up company that scouted me out on Linkedin and but it turned out to be even better when it didn’t happen. Instead I started to focus on working on my own art and creating products. I’ve been able to create artwork that I could probably not have explored if I had gotten a full time job. I have now been able to direct all my focus on creating work and also starting to see money flow through these online shops. It’s been such a life changer.

Getting older means also re-evaluating what you want in life, and what I want most in life is to have a better quality of living where I work only on passion projects and people I like to work with and spending more time with my loved ones. At the core of my being I just want to be and spend time doing things I enjoy.

The most important thing I’ve learned if I’ve learned anything is to trust your gut intuition and to let go of where you think you should be. Releasing judgement on myself and accepting who I am now instead of who I thought I should be is the biggest lesson I’ve ever had to learn.

When I fight the flow and try to plan and overthink things in my life is when everything gets screwed up. Control is something I had to learn to stop doing. Just letting go and moving towards my intentions & focusing daily on what I wanted to create has helped me to move things in my life along.

Inner strength builds inside when we have gone through the worst of things. In the last couple of months I wondered where my journey was going to take me. But in my quest for living freely did I really start to learn to live in the present moment and not to think too far ahead into the future. Because being present means you are co-creating your reality and shaping it into the future you want to have.

As an artist and creator, creating art is a spontaneous process and a very in the moment act. Of course there are things you want to plan to work on, but in the moment is where the magic happens– embracing that inherent act of creating work is a sacred space within ourselves. Patience and lots of inner reflection within ourselves is necessary to grow as an artist or a creator. Rome wasn’t built in a day, therefore we must have patience with ourselves. Our journey to self discovery takes time in order to live a free and artistic life.

To be happy means being true to yourself.

Gypsy Soul

As a writer and illustrator I’ve been very retrospective of the life I’ve led and the life that I am continually living. Before I studied art and animation I had always been a writer. I had always kept a journal of my day to day living for as long as I can remember. Writing was my solace and a time to gather my thoughts and to make sense of the world around me. Mainly I was interested in people, relationships, observing the details that made people who they were. My love of reading books also allowed me to escape and to get lost in these stories, my imagination would then fill in the blanks.

I was thinking about where I was a year ago today, still struggling to finish my thesis project for grad school and doing freelance jobs that I wasn’t too fond of. I worked different odd jobs here and there in LA like sales jobs, small design jobs, one children’s book project gig, some press junkets BS gig and I tutored one student part time at Otis College. I HUSTLED to get my bills paid.

Last July and August of 2014 through the first week of September that I dedicated finishing my thesis project for grad school and dedicated those two and a half months working on it day in and out on a small 10.5 screen tablet fujitsu that I found on craigslist that I drew on and I went and worked at a different cafe everyday. I was up early everyday, I was restless, I couldn’t sleep. I had an internal clock that wouldn’t leave me alone. I HAD to finish… there was no other way. Diligence paid off. And soon I was done and as soon as I declared being done… many companies I had applied to started calling me back. I started getting a ton of interviews with different companies.

By October I started freelancing again. Then I had a medical condition I had to take care of through surgery and I spent the next 9 weeks recuperating on my grandparents couch in San Diego through November. I was lucky enough that I found a start up gig in November that allowed me to work from home on my laptop while I got better. It was no cake walk, I had never felt so crappy with my health as I did then – during the 3rd week I had low blood pressure and almost passed out. I hid my crappy health from everyone except my family. I had never spent so much sleeping in those 2.5 months as I did. And I’m not the kind of person who sleeps early and neither sleeps in too late, I’m comfortable with 5 or 6 hours a night. But by November I had gotten a gig at WME in Beverly Hills for a few days to do some in house character illustration work that I completely enjoyed and it helped bring my spirits up when I needed it. It reminded me of what I love doing the most. Looking back at this last year, I’m thankful for what I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had, and the people I met colored this landscape.

And I think about this year… I’m sort of in a similar but different boat. I’m still freelancing – but getting better gigs. I’ve learned that summer is the slowest time in LA to freelance – companies are on hiatus or out having some kind of summer vacation. I’m in a similar boat this year like last because I am working on what was once my thesis project and now an Animation project that I’m trying to pitch to different studios. I’m so glad I stuck with finishing it last year–that no matter what I persevered and I finished it. And I know I will somehow see this project through, I’ve already committed to seeing this through no matter what the outcome– at least I can say I tried. I’m not the type of person to ever give up especially when i am completely passionate about a project.

I am a gypsy– because I have no permanent home and I am constantly on the move, I’ve moved out of the house that I used to rent a room in since last year in West LA. And quite recently, I packed up all my stuff into storage– To once again be a gypsy. To save money I am living with my family in SD and traveling up to LA once a week to freelance with a company that I have freelanced with since December of 2014. Half the week I am working on my animation project “Northstar Warrior” in San Diego.

Excited because the project is moving… I  have a few friends and people I know that I went to school with at the Academy of Art University helping out for free and wanting to be a part of something. The collaboration has been the key thing to push this project further along. Any smart person knows that one person can’t do it alone– not without a team of amazing artists and creatives who are willing and able to provide support and encouragement. Having my core group of friends and colleagues to provide this support has been so beneficial and I am so grateful– and its a testament that this project has the potential to be something. Could be something amazing.

I think about all the things I’ve sacrificed the last two years working on this project. One: sacrificing raising my kid and allowing my ex-husband to take on the responsibility. Two: My time, energy, effort… spending lots of time alone to work on this… was never the life I wanted to have. Three: Not having much of a social and dating life, I haven’t kept in touch with a lot of friends through this process. Its been hard. But sacrificing myself for the love and passion for a  project is the most beautiful thing in the world.

At the end of the day you have to do what you’re passionate about even if it means sacrificing a piece of yourself for the bigger picture. Otherwise you can live a very unhappy life.


Burning the candle at both ends.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here! Well, lots of great things happening in my life. For a while I was freelancing from company to company, taking on projects here and there in the last year. Jumping around really! You do what you can as projects come up as a means to a living!

This new year really was off to a great start. I was freelancing with a small digital web/marketing company in El Segundo for three months and then one of the recruiters that I work with called me with a small freelance project at Skechers! I hopped onto their small animation project they were creating as a promo video for a new shoe that’s coming out. They had hired me on to design and create the character and the visual development of the animated commercial. And then my first day there, Hasbro contacted me! So now I freelance there in-house as a Product Designer at Hasbro. All of this happened the second week of March. I finally feel like my life is going in the direction that I want! I couldn’t be more happier.

But my other freelance gigs had to be tied up. I was finishing a web design project on the side with the small company in El Segundo I’ve been freelancing with. I had to come in on one weekend to finish it out after the first week working at Hasbro. And then come in two hours after work on a Monday night to finish it out. That last week in March, I was super burnt out finishing work after work. I was burning the candle at both ends.

How many times have we burnt ourselves out? For those of you who have full time jobs, you probably know what I’m talking about. When you’re used to taking so much on, you don’t realize that in the midst of doing it all, you suddenly get exhausted. And the only person hurting is you. We don’t realize that taking time out for self care should be number one. And by doing too much can be hazardous to your health and overall well being.

I actually treated myself to a yoga class after work today and it was the most enlightening class. Yoga really is good for balancing the mind, body, and spirit. Not only do you get to stretch and feel like you’re in your body, but its also a good way to re examine the present moment. Our instructor was very good and he mentioned something about the yoga poses that clicked and it also kind of served as a metaphor for what I was going through. He said that when you move through the yoga poses, its ok that you don’t give your absolute 100% as you transition, and that we need to take our time to move through things. Otherwise you’d burnout the candle at both ends. And it all just made sense.

I was burning the candle at both ends. Saying yes to too many outside freelance work after work and I was starting to burnout. I realize as I get older that more rest and relaxation is needed and that I can’t just power through things like I used to in the past. I’ve been very used to this lifestyle in the last couple years of holding down a full time job and also studying online after work for grad school for two years. I need to change.

I want the quality of my life to change and to not be filled with so much work that I can’t enjoy my life. I really don’t need to take on extra freelance work and I realized I wasn’t respecting and valuing my own free time and energy. This also goes the same for family and friends asking for too much of your time and energy when you don’t even have time for yourself. The most important thing is you. If you aren’t taking care of you, then who is? Respect yourself enough to rest, to make time to relax, and move through the transitions in life more gracefully. Take on extra projects only when you do have a little bit of free time. So many lessons to learn, this is by far a very important one that couldn’t have come at the right time.


Discipline, Routine, and Following Through.

Many artists and creative people fantasize about creating a project that they have a great passion for. But the reality is that these projects remain a fantasy and never get brought out and shared into the real world. This is the one thing that I think artists and creatives have trouble with. They often ask themselves, “How do I get my ideas out into the real world? How can I go from fantasy or fantasizing about my passion project and set some realistic goals? You can and you will. You need DISCIPLINE, ORGANIZATION, and ROUTINE.

Quite recently, a good friend inquired about the creative process and how I managed to finish my Graphic Novel “Dreamwalker” that I self-published back in 2011. Looking back in reflection now, I have to confess that it was not an easy process. Often times I wondered whether I would make any monetary gain or if people actually would be interested enough to read it. And there were many reasons I almost didn’t create it, and those reasons were just outside noise and distraction. And I realized that none of those things mattered. What mattered was that I was passionate about creating this project for my very own self satisfaction and at the time I was creating it – there were months where I had a burst of creative energy running through me. This burst of creative energy kept me up at night.  Almost every night! When inspiration hits, you have to go with it – let it flow through you, let it come out the way it wants to come out with no judgement. Over thinking these amazing creative projects won’t help it from being born. Its like a baby that you need to constantly nurture, be patient with, and there will be struggles and challenges – but that’s part of the process.

Sometimes you’ll doubt yourself or become completely over joyed, but regardless of what you think the outcome should be – you must enjoy the process and follow through with it.

Being able to do what you love is sometimes the reward itself. Our passions fuel us.

Well its easier said than done right? How do we even begin or start the process of creating these amazing projects? Whether it be a graphic novel, a novel, a short film or a painting/drawing, whatever it is you have to put pen to paper. Write that shit down. Record it. Track it. The process of writing something out by hand does some amazing things to the brain. It helps us remember so much more than merely tapping a few buttons on your phone or even typing out words onto your laptop. I’m not going to go into this in detail, but here is a cool article I found online explaining this. Click here

Think of working on this passion project as part of your routine everyday, setting aside a few minutes to an hour everyday to your passion project can lead you closer to finishing it. Routine makes for good building, in order to build something amazing, you have to do the work. If you’re on the verge of finishing a page, a drawing, and its 2 o’clock in the morning – that’s probably a sign to quit and save the rest for the next day. Balance is what helps us, if we don’t get adequate sleep and rest – how can you put your all and your 100% best into something you love? The only way to get real world results is to constantly work on this project, whatever the amount of time you can dedicate to seeing it through – Do it. No excuse. Got back to back work meetings all day? Go to a cafe right after work and give yourself 20 minutes to work on it. You’ll get more done in those 20 minutes than trying to think about it during work.

Every artist has their own special and unique process of creating things. Some of us struggle with many different excuses or procrastination. How did I finish my “Dreamwalker” Graphic Novel? Well for one, I had a constant obsession with a story that was stuck in my mind for about two years before I even produced it. And let me tell you, it was a never ending process! When I went about planning my pages and how best to convey the story, I had thumbnails upon thumbnails of stick drawings with dialogue notes on the side! ( I work in 1×2 in thumbnail boxes) I ended up re-drawing and editing a page more than twice, I’d mess up, I’d spill ink everywhere or realize I totally missed a drawing that I wanted to include. I’d have other friends that I trusted to help revise my work or give me ideas at different points of the project. Art is such a collaborative process that I relied on the good advice that my friends generously gave to me, even if you want to do your own thing – constructive criticism is very valuable. It took me about 6-8 months to finish my graphic novel. the first three months was just solely working on story ideas and research. The next 3-4 months was spent drawing and inking. I think by the end of it all, I developed a system for myself in managing the drawings that I ended up cranking things out in April and May of 2011. Most of the things that I did in the last month was scanning, designing the layout for the pages and color correcting jpegs in photoshop. Make a list from start to finish and you can determine what needs to get done when it needs to be done. If you don’t, you can burn out and waste time.

The most important element to be able to finish a project is COMMITMENT. Commitment to yourself, to the project, and commitment to following through to finish. You decide what’s more important to you.

Do something about it. We all have a a very special way of looking at the world – and to have something born out of you leaves a very special energy pattern on the world. And that should be enough motivation for you to finish your work. You are important.

The very thing that you choose to do now can positively alter your future. No pain, no gain.

I’ve made a list of things that I do to get myself going and whether you find it useful or not – it will serve as a good reminder of getting yourself organized. The key here is ORGANIZATION. Organizing your thoughts, ideas, notes is the first step really. If you can’t do that – I don’t know what else to tell you. Learning to discipline yourself is a good lesson to go through, if you don’t have discipline than you can’t focus. If you can’t focus on one thing at a time or that moment you set aside to work on your passion – then it will remain just a potential. Who wants to spend their life just being a potential? Set the bar high for yourself and you’ll succeed even if you think you’ve failed. Do what you believe is great work.

Keep track of you. Some ideas to get you started.  

Get a journal, write in it 10 minutes a day or more to record tasks, make lists. Jot down notes on research or things you want to accomplish for the week.

    • Schedule. Use your Google Calendar to sync to your mobile phone calendar. Even if it is a small increment of time such as 10-25 mins, schedule it into your workday –  you’ll benefit from working on one small thing every day and soon you’ll start to see those little things adding up. Schedule in anything that has to be done that day, whether its sending an email or doing the laundry – you’ll be able to track your time better and see whether you are making progress or just wasting time. ( But time is never wasted in my opinion, things you may never use as part of the research and development process can teach you a lot.)
    • Setting realistic goals. They could be short and long term goals, you can make separate lists for yourself and re-evaluate on a weekly or monthly basis.
    • Give yourself a deadline. If you want to put something out there into the world then you must give yourself a reasonable deadline and mark it on your calendar. Having a deadline will help you get things done.
    • Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this project?” Is it monetary? Is it my passion? Regardless of your reason, giving yourself a specific outcome will help you in finishing this project. Maybe you want to get your work ready for a festival, workshop, submission to a publisher, etc.
    • Tune into your inner self. How? Well, get quiet and find a comfortable space and let yourself DAYDREAM. This is the only way great ideas can come in – is when you are open and receptive to that universal flow of energy. Einstein was said to have “thought experiments” when he scheduled in a period of time in the afternoon to let his thoughts wander and lead him into some amazing insights. In one year he published a collection of essays on the theory of relativity. Go ahead Google it.
    • Get Visual. Do some image research online – find things that inspire you – it could be about the story’s location, a character outfit, etc. Use your imagination! Print your images out and create a Vision Board for your project. You can also create a mood board on color, places and environment, character drawings and ideas, this is your world – Create it and let it fuel your imagination! Better yet, find images on Pinterest! This is a great way to create some digital boards – if you wish!
    • Listen to Music. Create a playlist in your computer, ipad, mobile device, etc. Or get on Pandora, spotify, or any of those awesome music sites.
    • Watch some Movies for inspiration. Feeling stuck or hindered by your project? Watch some Princess Bride, or the Matrix, or whatever suits your fancy.

Questions, comments, or a simple hello? I’d be happy to hear them!