Inktober 2018

Since the start of inktober I have been a mess and completely forgot to blog last week. The daily drawings have been amazing and super helpful for me. Its a start to filing out more sketchbooks with ideas and sketch’s that aren’t food. After the month is over I’ll try to continue with different daily projects to get more drawing in. Some ideas I might even return to for finished illustrations. I attached a peak at what Ive done so far. Please follow my instagram to see the daily words illustrated by me!

The Power of Critiques

Todays blog is more of a reflection on a critique I had in NYC. It was incredibly insightful yet blunt. Heartbreaking in the sense that I noticed things that I hadn’t before. I see so many issues with my artwork now but I know this critique has helped me move forward to make my illustrations into much stronger and consistent portfolio pieces. The Illustration in this blog shows a few of my issues. I reused an old idea, made a beautiful food painting on top of a not so detailed or skilled painting. There seems to be a great unbalance with the things I paint and draw. Im proud with how far ive come with color but notice I need lighter colors or more empty spaces to even things out.

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 Thankfully I had time to stop by Blick Art supplies in manhattan so I could grab two beautiful, new sketchbooks to help improve my drawing skills on non food items.

Thankfully I had time to stop by Blick Art supplies in manhattan so I could grab two beautiful, new sketchbooks to help improve my drawing skills on non food items.

What's In Your Cereal Bowl? Part 3

Being sick and running around for the last few weeks has been brutal. But I am happy to say that i’m continueing to create really amazing and awful paintings. I may have created a lot of horribly drawn/painted things in the last month but having at least one good thing to show for it per week has been well worth the push. With that said, enjoy more cereal and odd stuff within it.

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Trusting The Sketchbook

With my NYC trip coming up along with running between two jobs, ive been a ball of nerves. I have so many ideas for illustrations that I would love to show but know none are guaranteed to be portfolio worthy with the time frame im working with. After a few failed attempts of painting for days ive decided to trust my sketchbook more. I play a lot with watercolor pencils and the paper I use is a extra thick/multi media for when I do want to paint in it. I decided to use a sketch idea I had that seemed really cute and fun. I ran with it, made it into a more professional portfolio piece and absolutely love it!

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Moving Foreward

Ive discovered that forcing myself to sketch on a daily basis has been helping me be more creative in my thinking. It's exciting to see my style show more brightly and be more fun and playful. I still have a lot of things to work on but Im proud of myself for not giving up. Recently I actually decided to take a trip to NYC at the end of the month for a portfolio review at an agency I like to keep tabs on. Im so overwhelmed by the things I want to create and show. All I can do is remind myself that no matter what happens at least im doing something with my art. I cant just sit around and paint cute things that no one will ever see. Its time to be a part of the creative community even if it takes me the rest of my life. 

For this week I painted this adorable little cat staring up at an aquirum from the bottom. I might draw a few more paintings and make this into a one page comic. 

 

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Whats In Your Cereal Bowl? Part 2

When I eat cereal I love to put the milk in first and then put small amounts of cereal in at a time. Its the best way to avoid soggy cereal, completely brilliant if you ask me. Its my time to imagine different ideas and zone out. Cinnamon toast crunch used to be one of my favorites but is unfortunatly not yet Gluten Free. Now its like Star wars, old and untouchable. 

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What's In Your Cereal Bowl?

Cereal has been my new recent obsession as of late. I love how cereal comes in different flavors, color, texture and different shapes. Thinking of fun things interacting with different types of cereal started my next series of paintings, "What's In Your Cereal Bowl?

 Painting #1, dragons love lucky charms

Painting #1, dragons love lucky charms

 Thinking process for some of my cereal paintings. 

Thinking process for some of my cereal paintings. 

Remaking Old Artwork

Every now and then I like to revisit the artwork I created in college. Since Ive had a inner battle lately with what I want to do with my art I figured the best way to figure it out is to retrace my steps and visit the passion that was once there. Approaching this new project, I knew my skill level would be different but I didn't realize it would also display a completely different person/artist. I remember spending weeks painting this comic and loving every moment. I only redid a portion of it with a few hours of work  but even then its surprising. I love the style of the original but I don't remember being that person. 

I guess this is the first step to a long path of self discovery. Keeping to my schedule of every Wednesday from here on out with a lot of really amazing and terrible work to come.  

 Old artwork from a methods and media class My Freshman/early Sophomore year at Pratt. Acrylic medium, 2006-2007. 

Old artwork from a methods and media class My Freshman/early Sophomore year at Pratt. Acrylic medium, 2006-2007. 

 Newer artwork, 2018. Done with watercolor and Adobe Photoshop. 

Newer artwork, 2018. Done with watercolor and Adobe Photoshop. 

Right or Left

The last year for me has really been a year of reflection. All the things I have gone through, how it has changed me and where my future as a freelancer stands. There's still so many unanswered questions. I still find it difficult to not beat myself up over past decisions or "could have been situations". Reflecting has been great but every now and then it leads to dwelling on things from years ago. I know theres certain things that will always leave a bittersweet feeling in my thoughts. There will always be artists I envy and situations that have made me feel less then. I suppose this year will be a continuation of pushing though these negative thoughts. This weeks blog may not have any art in it but it's still part of the process. 

There are so many things to show I'll just have to be patient as I move into larger and more complicated projects. I can promise that my food drawings will become a daily thing. I figured painting a snack before getting into my more time consuming projects will be a great daily warm up. Most of these sketches/paintings will appear on my  instagram. Please follow me if you wish to see daily, delicious, delights!

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A New Year A New Recipe

How could I not start the new year with yet another Hot Chocolate recipe? It was something fun and colorful to play with while imagining what I want this year to look like for myself. Theres so much I want to get to and so much i'm afraid to even start. My job situation is still a bit shaky with getting my budget and my learning curve situated but things are looking up. Im very optamistic with this year and hopefully I can put my fear of failing aside. At least long enough to get things done here and there.  

Oracle Cards

I suppose it's not that surpring that I would turn "A Letter To My Twenties" into oracle cards. I felt like it was a great purpose for the cute little paintings. Each year meant so much to me in such different ways. Oddly enough, once I finished it's like that part of my life truely ended and soon things started happening for me. I left my job for hopefully a less stressful and more dignified position. Im continuing to persue my love for illustration and hopefully I'll have something to show for it one day. 

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End of Chapter

For me, more ended this year then 2017. I finally feel able to move on from my early twenties and all the negative situations and people that twisted in out of my life. With the new year I really want to start taking responsibility of my own happiness. I now have the great social foundation I always wanted. Now it's time to really take of my mental and physical health along with being patient with my dream as a freelancer. 

So far Ive given my notice to my current job. Im leaving graphic design and pursuing production art for a better future in having my own business. It might take me a few more years to really gain the confidence to be my own boss but it will happen. I'll continue my weekly blogs and hopefully wont skip too many. There are so many exciting things ahead and Im so glad I have no idea how they will come or go. 

 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 30)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Today will be my final painting for this project, although I might have a remake or two for other ages. Next week will show what i plan to do with all the paintings i've made. 

Age 30

Looking back on my twenties and revisiting how I felt and reacted with certain situations only justified my idea that Id change nothing. I would love to know what I do now back at 19 or have the art abilities and focus I have now. There's so much I wish I took advantage of that I know I couldn't have back then. I had to learn those lessons to become who I am now. Going into my 30's I'm trying to not foresee what will happen or be. My goal is to follow my instinct, listen to my intuition and push to do the things I love day by day. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 29)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Today will be my final post before the big 30. 

Age 29

This age I decided to make similar with 27 and 28. I still/am struggling with this constant identity crises followed by a crippling depression. What artist isn't? The difference this year was I felt like I was making choices to slowly walk out of it. I'll always have my feet in the water but at least most of my body is in the night air again. This year was difficult in the way that I had to cope with the bad job that Im still in. I had to find ways to not be so disappointed and defeated on a daily basis. I started my Hot Chocolate series, TheyDrawAndCook became my sponsor, I started this series and hopefully the beginning of an amazing comic collaboration. There is so much good happening it's just pushing myself to get up every day and not criticize all my choices. For my 29th birthday I actually got my first Tattoo as a reminder of everything i've gone through. Its two peonies with a mandala on my hip. It took six hours to complete and I'm proud to say I sat through the entire thing in one go. A few months later I got a peony in a triangle on my forearm. Whenever I felt silenced and helpless Id look at it and be reminded that I am not that person. I try to wake up everyday with the determination to get small steps done towards a better career. I use all my free time at work to look up publishers and work on my photoshop skills. I try to fit somthing thats personally important in every part of my day. I might still have this not so pleasant day job but nothing lasts forever.  

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 28)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Since Im a little behind today will be age 27, tomorrow age 28 and Wednesday will be age 29. Enjoy!

Age 28

Age 28 was much like Age 27 in the way that I struggled with my identity. I was happy with everything for the most part but the more I tried gaining peace of mind the more split I felt. It was like two half's of the same person reflected. One part had great friends, family, a relationship with a bright future. The other half felt stuck and just wanted to run away to a more successful state. Depending on the day Id wake up as a different side. Granted I did have a rough last few years. I had gone through four graphic design jobs, been laid off twice and with each job came worse and worse treatment. My desire to be a graphic designer as I worked hard for a career in illustration started to crumble. I loved designing but I hated my day job. The more I tried to make things better the worse my situation became. Looking back, if I hadn't been so miserable I wouldn't have started drawing again. I wouldn't be working so hard and often to do the things I love. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 27)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Since Im a little behind today will be age 27, tomorrow age 28 and Wednesday will be age 29. Enjoy!

Age 27

As this project continues i've realized its becoming increasingly more difficult to explain how I felt. It took a long time and lots of sketch's to really think about it. So with age 27 and age 28 I'd like to call these two the "Happy Depression" years. Everything in my life was great and slowly falling together. The problem was I was so used to things being dramatically bad or good all the time that I anxiously waited for the bottom to drop out. It was only a matter of time before someone better and prettier would come along. If someone knew me long enough they would see my faults, my difficulty grasping my own language, my insecurities with my speech and health. It was incredibly difficult to let these thoughts go and just enjoy the present. 

The most memorable thing to me this year were the nightmares I had. Running from tsunamis, getting stuck inside of waves as if I were in a washing machine. What worked for me was a bit of therapy and writing tools to control my OCD/Perfectionistic personality and some reiki meditation. This year was really the start to figuring out who I was and gaining some peace from it all.

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 26)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Since my last blog post was late by a week I will be posting twice next week. So ages 27 and 28 will only be a few days apart to meet my birthday goal. 

Age 26

To this day this was my luckiest year with the most confidence ive ever had. Everything happened at once in so many ways. I moved into my own apartment finally, I met someone who would become a great friend and ended up being my first Art Director at my first Design job. My social group became filled with amazing, creative and kind people. Most of all I had one of the best nights of my life that went wrong in every way possible and it was perfect.

Let me explain by, "the worst and most perfect night". A month before my 26 birthday I dyed my hair the most vibrant red I could find. It felt great to have my outside and inside voice become so loud and confident. From this my hair dressers friend contacted me. Of corse I shrugged him off at first and then I pushed myself to reach out and maybe meet for a coffee. It was a date but nothing serious. Just a fun night with boring clothes and maybe some good food. I had never expected to meet a person like him. Unlike other first dates we couldn't stop talking. We were so distracted by each other that we couldn't find the restaurant originally picked which we walked past a few times. It was also lit with obnoxious and very obvious pepper lights. We ate at the Muse and talked about our goals and dreams. It was never "I wish I could do this", it was always "I will do this and be amazing". We were equal in bad humor, optimistic bluntness, and a obsession for good food. It was also the last night I would ever eat a calzone. We joked about the possibility of me being gluten intolerant and how it probably wasn't real (hello celiac disease!) He even enjoyed Evanesence. In my distracted state I managed to lock my keys in my car at the end of the night. Instead of being embarrassed we laughed. He bought me a hot chocolate and waited nearly two hours with me. Three months later he moved in. Six months later we got our own apartment with a very sick kitten named Eddie. Godzilla the bearded dragon would come into he picture much later. That date was four years ago and if everything in college never happened I would have never moved home and met this amazing person. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 25)

Very proud of myself for getting this out on time considering how busy things have been lately. If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19.

Age 25

If I were to put a word on this age it would be random. Random as in, everything was all over the place and every decision was a bit neurotic and impulsive. I was finally confident enough to be myself again but at this point the person I was and wanted to be were slightly different. I wanted to be smarter so I read more. I wanted to be prettier so I worked out and started penciling my eyebrows. I wanted to be more confident in my looks so I handed out a number awkwardly once or twice. I forced myself to act more extroverted in the hopes of discovering myself again. I even went through a blond period that thankfully only lasted a few months. 

Overall it was a great year. I attended my first SCBWI Children book Conference in NYC. It was incredible and beyond expectation. I worked a ton as a house cleaner/ Waitress at a Chinese restaurant and Illustrator. By the end of the year I had the courage to explore my stomach health which eventually turned into me disowning my father. Random I know but after a lifetime of feeling unwanted and unworthy, the realization hit that I would never be enough for this one person. It finally became too much and I knew I deserved better. Due to health issues i'll always be there for him because its not in my nature to abandon that relationship. But that year I accepted I had no father. It was incredibly painful and relieving at the same time.

A Letter To My Twenties (Age 24)

A little late this week but better to have good quality then rush things. If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19.

Age 24

24 was actually very difficult to paint how I felt. At first I planned to illustrate myself shopping with arms filled with bags and box's but it didn't feel right. Im not a materialistic person and I cant say that year was amazing in any way. It was a year of reflection, rediscovering who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. I did go shopping a lot especially with my mom. I had no school or work that year. Just my own thoughts, a chance to catch a breath after years of chaos. In a way it was deeply humbling with a sprinkle of sadness. I still waited for reasons why, for friends who never cared to ask, and for anyone to say I mattered. 

I had a small group of great friends and an incredibly supportive family that helped me through my depression but it still surprised me how many people had dropped me. I tried opening up and admitting my own misdoings as well. I tried to better myself as much as I could. I blogged every week for the next three years, I read everything I could get my hands on and I tried to care about myself. It was a year of nothing and everything. Quiet with a constant "To Do List."

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