Adventure time!


Going to San Diego today! This is the first time I’m visiting in a year! Whoa! I’m so excited to see my family and friends! This animated gif I found online from the show Adventure Time pretty much sums up how I feel!

(Above source here.)


Happy Tuesday Inspiration

It feels like a Monday because of the long weekend! Anyway, here’s a little inspiration to kick off your week. I love this line from the movie Ratatouille and one of the themes that stand out to me is to always follow your dreams no matter who discourages/disapproves of your dream. We must hold onto our vision of what we want to create for our lives. I love this movie! Can’t get tired of watching this with my ten year old son!

Disney and Pixar?s RATATOUILLE movie image

“You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work. And you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from.”— Gusteau, Ratatouille


Silly sketch I drew today.

Wow, its been a rough Spring Semester of grad school and its finally over! OMG. What do I do now? Its as if the last couple of months went by like a blur and I didn’t even really get to see friends all that much or go out altogether. I’ve been stuck after work and on the weekends working, drawing, painting my backgrounds, etc… at home!  I have to come up with a printed Visual Development book to include all process sketches and finished paintings by the end of this year on a story I picked or came up with.  So far so good, I’ve finally settled on a style! YIPPEE!! I sketched this little doodle today to reming myself that no matter how hard it got this semester– that I would not give up and get lazy about getting my work done for my two classes. This semester was a SUCCESS since I really did make a true effort to make sure I got everything done every week, I didn’t have to do much with refining or re-doing any assignments. The two background paintings I did, took the longest. If you are curious about my work, you can visit my artblog here. 

I’m glad I sailed through and didn’t give up when I was half asleep most of the time. I almost burnt out! My life has been extremely busy the last few months and its nice to be able to wind down a bit. New summer adventures await me! I’ll be traveling in the next few weeks. First stop San Diego at the end of this month to attend a good friend’s wedding and then back to New York again for two weeks and then jetting off to Italy in mid-June! Firenze here I come! I’m studying abroad in Florence this summer and taking a plein-air painting class through my school and I cannot wait! I’ve been preparing and looking forward to go on this trip for the last couple of months. All systems go! Its always been a dream of mine to go to Italy and experience the art, culture, and food of course! I’ll be able to study painting much more closely and to just breathe in the city, it will be nice outdoors. A change of scenery will do me good, it was a long disgusting New York winter that I had to endure. I feel very blessed and lucky to be able to go on this trip and study at SRISA in Firenze. Cannot wait! Will post pics indefinitely.

One Big Blog Dumpage…

What I’ve been working on the last few weeks and my initial sketches and thumbnails, color studies before I did the final painting in Photoshop. It could use more tweaking but for now this is fine. I will probably be working on this during the summer time and getting my work polished before submitting my portfolio.

Before I do a final black and white drawing, I draw smaller thumbnails to work out the composition and to make sure all the foreground, middle-ground, and perspective are all working together. You don’t want to invest too much time and effort on a concept that may not work, so drawing the smaller thumbnails either 2x3s or 3x5s will help with quickly coming up with concepts. If one doesn’t work, you can do a few more from a different view to get a more dynamic scene. For this establishing shot, I probably re drew the thumbnails more than twice. Then I drew the black and white rendering in col-erase Tuscan Prismacolor animation pencils (so that it doesn’t smear or you can use graphite, whatever your preference) on a 9×12 drawing pad Strathmore 400 series. You want to use better paper so that when you are doing the shading and values, its easier to render. The actual drawing is 7×10 and after I scanned it I desaturated the color in Photoshop to get a more penciled look. Then I was ready to paint.

Dream Facts

I’m sure there are many more out there, but here is a list that I thought was interesting. Source here.

Interesting Dream Facts:

  1. Every human dreams. There are tons of people who can’t remember their dreams when they wake up, but they still get them
  2. Human beings spend roughly around 6 years of their lifetime dreaming
  3. Sometimes we dream outside of our REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement)
  4. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians were the first to create a dream dictionary in 4000 B.C.E
  5. We roughly spend around 1/3 of our lives sleeping
  6. People who suffer from a personality disorder lack dream activity
  7. Our brains tend to be way more active when we sleep, than when we’re awake
  8. Humans tend to have around 3 to 7 dreams a night. We dream around 2 to 3 hours in a whole night
  9. 90% of the dream is lost the first minute we wake up
  10. Drug withdrawal can cause more intense dreams. People who also quit alcohol and smoking experience heavier dreams and nightmares
  11. You can lucid dream for up to 30 minutes if trained properly
  12. It’s impossible to dream when you’re snoring
  13. People who experience Sleep Paralysis hear voices and see strangers in their rooms
  14. Nightmares happen more to kids than adults
  15. Blind people dream. Their dreams are auditory if they were born blind. If they became blind at an early age, they still dream of what they remember
  16. Your body burns more calories sleeping than it does in the day time
  17. Information that we learn before we go to bed tends to stick with us longer than information any other time
  18. If you avoid your sleep for more than 10 days, you will die
  19. Most dreams are based on visual images (Except in people who were either born blind, or who lost their sight at an early age). Occasionally, dreams will include sound and touch.
  20. The normal rules of logic do not apply in dreams. For example, the dream may be taking place in one location – then, abruptly, the dreamer is translocated to a completely different place.

Final Character Rendering: Sacha North.

This is my finished 3D character rendering of my character design for the thesis book I’m working on. I have to say that I had such a fun time doing this! To concept a character, imagining their personality, designing the clothes and the movements are what I truly love doing the most. This is the protagonist of my thesis story “Neo New York”, character’s name is Sacha North. As you can already tell its got a Native American Indian look and feel to it. I’ll post more of the Visual Development soon…. Below you can see the finalized sketch I started with before I painted this in Photoshop. You’ll notice the differences as I’ve changed the design of the feathers and skirt shapes in the finalized versions. The original skirt shape just didn’t make any sense and I thought it didn’t fit with the character, then i found a reference photo and it made all the difference =).


A moment of insight and revelation.

I love this! Image via Pinterest.

I’ve been having many insights all day today… about how I’ve grown up, all the jobs I’ve had and the many places I’ve lived. You can say I’ve just about tried almost every kind of job! I’ve been a waitress, worked at a bakery, did telemarketing, worked as a sales associate at a clothing store, and at one point I even got my Life Insurance licensing as a Life Insurance Agent! Good god, saddest job ever. The point is, none of these jobs ever lasted more than six months– ok so I was a bit fickle minded, losing interests quickly and getting bored with things that never excited or ignited my passion. And maybe you’re thinking, get a grip and settle down woman! Yes, I am and will get to that in a minute– But what I want to say is you can’t judge your experiences as being bad, I look back and I see now that these jobs taught me important lessons. Sometimes you need to learn the small lessons to make big changes in your life. If my mom is reading this, she’d say I could never hold down a job– but in reality I quit all those jobs before I got stuck in them, I never got fired. Except maybe once when I was 23 working as a Secretary in a boring Contracting company in San Diego and I called in sick because my son, who was 14 months old at the time was sick. Stupid job anyway! And I once had a manager complain that I was too mean to the other waitresses I worked with. Boo frickity hoo.

I promise I have a point! Life sometimes throws many things at you, you surf the waves for as long as  you can. And then things finally clicked when I decided to go to art school in 2003. I never knew I wanted to be an artist/illustrator, it was never a dream growing up. I was never interested in drawing until I turned 21, pretty late in life huh? I’m 31 now, its been a long journey and I still feel I have a lot to learn still even though I’m nearing the end of my grad school studies in Visual Development for Animation. But I learned from other people around me that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been an artist, what matters is how fast you learn and the skills that you develop along the way. Being an artist is about working hard and not stopping until you have tried your best. It took me so long before I figured out that I wanted to work in the Animation industry, I’m close, I’m almost there. To be able to tell stories is what I love best, it brings me back to that space as a child when I’d get lost reading fiction. I finally found the one thing I never wanted to quit on, my art and everything that I create.

We don’t want to hear it, but we have to be patient in reaching our goals. Everything is a process, a set of things learned little by little as it accumulates over time to build the foundation of your house. What I mean by that is all your skills building up to make you a strong artist, to be at that place where you’re happy and confident enough in your skill set to tell the world, “Hire me, I’m good enough and I can only get even better.” Grad school or art school is no cake walk. You have to do the work, you have to slave away and practice in your own time and space to develop the necessary skills you need to land you a great job. Talent is nothing if there is no discipline.

I love what I’m doing. I’m working on building my portfolio and sharpening my skills to be in the place that I want to be someday soon. I used to think that school would take so long to do but here I am now just almost a semester away from graduating and finally being done with school for good! I look back at it now and I realize that everything was divinely orchestrated, the lessons I’ve learned in life, working at other jobs, moving to different cities in the last couple of years has all in fact contributed to my understanding and perspective about the world we live in. Has taught me to be a better artist, taught me to be a better ME. No regrets in life so far. I’ve completely accepted the way my life has turned out. I’m still young, my life and what I want to do is just now beginning.

At the end of the day, you have to do what you love– what you’re passionate about, what fuels your fire. Life is inspiring, there are so many things in this world that inspire our art and our writing.  The first step is to embrace our creativity and to let go to whatever and where ever it may bring us. Let go completely and unleash your soul or spirit into this amazing world of creating. I promise you it will be worth it.