Two weeks ago, I was sent an invitation by DeviantArt HQ to visit them so they could interview me. We set the date and time for yesterday afternoon. They gave me a tour of the whole place. The place is beautiful, colorful, fun, and exciting space to be in. The view of Hollywood and Los Angeles from the office windows is spectacular. I didn't take photos of the insides because there are things they are developing that I promised not to reveal until they happen. Just as a precaution, I left my phone inside my bag, but you can see the photos I did take below.
They asked me about how I use their website. By showing them how I use it, I ended up talking about my education and work background because the site is very useful for holding and sharing my artwork, projects, drawing lessons, and student artwork. I told them how I got into blogging about art, art education, jobs and careers. After that they wanted my opinion about the new stuff they are working on. At the end of the interview they gave me a box of goodies to take with me.
Being invited to DeviantArt is a wonderful rare privilege that I didn't mind doing at all. DeviantArt has been and still is the best social media platform for me. Learning and making art can be a very introverted and isolating thing. We all need isolation to get work done, but what happens when the art piece is done? Developing artists need both real physical spaces and digital online spaces to build their professional identities and connect with real people they could not on their own. It is through this site that I made all kinds of connections to real people who do all kinds of cool things.
Los Angeles is where I went to college and university. I made a lot of friends here. To become a professional working artist, I knew I had to be here in order to grow.
Art as a career is a journey that doesn't end once you start it, and so will my connection to this social media platform.
Just do your best everyone, who knows, you might be invited to HQ someday too!
This is something I want to share with my students:
Forword, Biography, & Introduction
This story has its own story that began 18 years ago.
Back in the summer of 2000, I was interning at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank. I was making copies of some drawings I completed for a Hey Arnold! project on a copy machine in the hallway. Brian Mark, the background layout supervisor who guided and supervised my work, was on his way to something.
We said a quick hello as he passed by, but then he paused in his tracks. He turned around and said to me “You are one of those people who are going to have their own tv show someday.” He then turned and continued on his way.
It blew my mind that he saw that in me. Before that moment, I was content to the idea of quietly drawing in a little cubicle until the day I die. What he said gave me so much to think about. He planted a seed in my mind. In times of hardship it would not die but continued to grow. It kept me going by giving me something to work on.
After graduating from University of Southern California, I worked at a caricature drawing stand at the Los Angeles Zoo. During the slow quiet times the guys who worked with me would talk about and draw their own comic books. “I should make one too! Why not?” was what I thought. So I started to really think about a story I wanted to tell. Carrying around a plastic clipboard that stored paper, I started to write down and doodle ideas. The girl was at first a representation of my younger self and Zeba was the older self I wanted to become.
When I left that caricature job, I was offered work as a cartoon drawing teacher's assistant every Sunday at Irvine Chinese School. I began building long term relationships with many of the students who liked hanging out with me. Zeba and Katie evolved to represent the relationship with my students.
My writing ability wasn’t that great at the time. I wrote 14 pages on a computer and drew several comic book pages but I did not feel brave enough to write the first chapter or know how to end it.
Then I was enrolled in the Digital Media program at Otis College of Art and Design.
It was there I developed the story a little bit further and made a pre-vis 3D video of a couple of comic book pages for the thesis project. fter graduating in 2007, I put the whole project aside and forgot about it as I became busy with working and living a little.
Late 2017, I decided to dust off the old word document file and have a crack at it again after sitting in on weekly OC Writers meetings. Listening to other people talk about writing projects encouraged me to write again. Thank you to everyone who has tagged along on this long long unending journey with me. I hope you have as much fun reading this as I had living, learning and writing this story out.
Back in November, I signed up to participate to be a book reviewer for the Multicultural Chidren’s Book Day celebration. I received The Underground Railroad: Navigate the Journey from Slavery to Freedom by Judy Dodge Cummings, Published in 2017 by Nomad Press.
This is actually designed to be a classroom textbook for students ages 9-12. The book is 122 pages long. It contains 20 content related activities along with glossary and index. Many of the pages have a list of important vocabulary words to know in order to understand the text. Within the history text are pictures, charts, maps and QR code internet links to additional related content.
This book points out important details about the practice of slavery in its many different forms in other countries. It talks about how much more oppressive it was compared to those other forms of slavery. In the opening chapter it talked about how the concept of racism against black skinned people was created by rich plantation owners so that they could hold onto a permanent work force. The things they put in place to make slavery possible is laid out in this book. Also the first chapter said that as slavery was dying all around the Atlantic, it increased in the United States because of Eli Whitney's cotton gin invention. It made the south's cotton industry incredibly lucrative for the plantation owners.
Important tiny details like that are things I had never heard of. This book is very eye opening and I recommend it for everyone who wants to know more about this time in United States history.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press
2018 Author Sponsors
Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: bit.ly/1kGZrta
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
This was their goodbye video. It is so pretty and sad at the same time!
Here is the 1 hour PBS NOVA show about the Cassini mission and all its discoveries:
New Yorker Interview -> www.newyorker.com/tech/element…
Current project he's working on airs this Sunday. If you can't work on the real Star Trek, then you make a Star Trek of your own, dammit!
I have posted all of the finished student work from Sunday. January 28 & 29 is the Chinese New Year festival. We will have a booth and I will display as many finished pieces as possible there as well.
Bold lines, shading and colors is best when it comes to catching the attention of a busy crowd. I am going for variety of styles and subject matter to display. Thanks for all the hard work students! Hopefully I will see you all at the festival!
Making Movies, Stunts, Green Screens, Wires & Flying Harnesses
Akira Kurosawa's great advice to aspiring filmmakers
It starts at Uganda and you can move out from there --> radio.garden/live/kampala/conn…
Earth is a pretty neat planet.
"This confusion is not just a matter of semantics. In businesses, schools, offices, even newspapers, design is often associated with the art department. That’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the aim of design. When art and design are confused, the designers’ domain becomes limited to style and appearance.
In truth, good designers are primarily problem solvers. They seek to understand the purpose, audience, technical parameters, and strategic nuances of an assignment before reaching for their Moleskine sketchpads or going to town in Photoshop. Next time you work with a designer, start with an overview of your goals, before diving into a discussion about colors, fonts or materials."
Link to original article here.
To be funny requires skills and other practices working together to build up to one big joke that is universally funny without need for language or understanding of a particular culture. Actually we learn about cultures and social behavior by watching other people do their thing.