Posted on October 9, 2014
This will be my second year exhibiting at Designer Con at the Pasadena Convention Center. November 8 and 9 is fast approaching and many preparations need to be made! I just need to squeeze this in along with my teaching, custom jewelry work, and design work for Virgil James. Can’t we all have minions?!? I could use some right now. 😉 I just finished the graphics for my ad in the brochure for the convention. I had to make some minor tweeks to swtich the ad to a vertical orientation but I’m satisfied with how it turned out.
The colors are a bit off here because the color model is CMYK which is commonly used for printing. Just imagine that the image isn’t quite so purple and green. 😉
I definitely have some new cast dessert-themed jewelry pieces that I am currently working on that will be debuting at Designer Con. We all love sweets, don’t we? However, since this is Adorable Mayhem there will be a little dark twist on these sweet numbers. I will be posting images when I finally finish casting them.
I always have new felt animal sculptures at every show. I sold out of virtually everything at Comic-Con and have to build up my inventory. My jewelry inventory is pretty well depleted as well. I have some new ideas I plan on testing out with my felt sculptures by incorporating more metal components. I think this will really enhance the look of the sculptures and make them a little more detailed.
Lastly, I’ve been having a wonderful time going back to my illustration roots! There is something so satisfying about the immediacy of painting which offers a much needed break from the tedious nature of jewelry making. I have been creating tiny art on small birch plywood canvases. These illustrations are 4 by 4 inches and I’ve been painting with my favorite medium: gouache. I love the matte finish of gouache and I enjoy the limitation of painting in blocks of color. I plan on offering both original artwork and small giclee prints on cotton rag paper.
Save the date! If you happen to be in the city of Pasadena on November 8 and 9, definitely stop by my booth at Designer Con! Here is a link to the show: http://www.designercon.com/
Posted on April 6, 2014
In January I made the decision to apply to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts artist’s residency program. Haystack received an anonymous grant that allowed them to offer artist’s residencies for the very first time!
For a period of three years, starting last year, Haystack started offering a juried artist’s residency program. I attended Haystack on scholarship in 2007 and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life! Because I have such fond memories of my time there, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity since I knew that this program will only last for a limited amount of time. So off to work I went and I scoured over my application for two months before I submitted it! Fortunately, my hard work paid off, and I am very happy to say that I will be one of the artists in residence this summer at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts! Fifty artists from varying craft backgrounds from across the country will be participating in the residency. We have the opportunity to utilize all of Haystack’s incredible studios to make our art! I truly look forward to having this two week period of time completely set aside where I can focus making my own personal work! I certainly recognized some of the well-known metalsmiths from the list of artists chosen: Jeffrey Clancy, Tina Rath, and Lauren Kalman.
I will talk a little bit about my past experience at Haystack so I can paint a better picture of what an incredible school Haystack truly is! Haystack Mountain School of Craft was founded in 1950 by a group of craft artists in Balfast, Maine. The school is located on the coast of Deer Isle, which is a remote area in Maine. The school is tucked away in a beautiful forest next to the ocean. The scenery is breathtaking! Anyone would feel inspired just walking the grounds at Haystack!
I was awarded a scholarship from San Diego State University School of Art to take a class at Haystack. I wanted to experience working in a completely different medium, so I decided to take a table making class. The instructor was Matt Hutton, who is head of the furniture department at Maine College of Art. Matt had two teaching assistants: Yuri Kobayashi and Cory Robinson. All three received their MFA from San Diego State University studying under Wendy Maruyama. Yuri graduated from SDSU while I was still in the graduate program and was happy to see a familiar, friendly face!
As I mentioned earlier, the studios at Haystack are well-equipped and well-maintained. Below are some images inside the wood working studio.
The atmosphere at Haystack is wonderful. My fellow students were friendly, supportive and driven. We had 24 hour access to use the studios to make our work. There were many instances when I hobbled out of the studio at 1am or 2am and still saw students working away in other areas. The students understood that this was a special opportunity to focus on creating art at this amazing school and therefore, everyone wanted to fully utilize their time at Haystack.
Arthur, one of my classmates, was in his eighties taking his very first woodworking class! He was a retired doctor and he very generously invited us to visit his home where he could show us his breathtaking craft collection! Arthur had traveled all over the world and had acquired well-known works of art, including original Hokusai Japanese woodblock prints. The few pieces that really stood out was his collection of original George Nakashima furniture pieces.
When Arthur was living in Pennsylvania, Nakashima was a neighbor of his. Before his career took off, Arthur purchased several furniture pieces which included a dining table, chairs and coffee table. George Nakashima was born in 1905 and was given the title of “Living Treasure” by the emperor and government of Japan in 1983, which is the highest title any crafts person from Japan can achieve. Some of his furniture pieces have sold at auction for over 100,000.
In my furniture class, I decided to make a very small table, since I knew I would have to lug this back on the plane to California. I designed the table to look like a tree and be about the size of a foot stool.
I made my table out of cherry wood. Above, is the table top, the foot of the table and a small leaf-shaped shelf.
All meals and housing are provided when attending Haystack. Generally, people have the impression that camp food isn’t very good. I certainly did. Oh, was I so wrong! My classmates and I would often joke about students coming to Haystack simply for the food!
All the meals were freshly prepared with local produce. There were plenty of vegetarian options as well. Of course, we cannot forget about the dessert!
Someone was so inspired by the desserts at Haystack that they chronicled their experience through sketches! The desserts were amazing and always eaten up very quickly!
I became friends with many of the students in the textiles area. I went on a walk through the forest with a few of the students and their instructor, Jon Eric Riis. Jon is an internationally recognized fiber artist whose work resides in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian and Metropolitan Museum of Art just to name a few.
At the end of the two week session, the students displayed their work in the studios for everyone to view.
My classmate Caleb made a beautifully designed coffee table. He was barely twenty and was clearly very talented. I love how his modern table doubled as a magazine rack!
Below are the furniture pieces that my classmate, Arthur, made.
He made a Chinese Go table and was ambitious enough to make a second piece: a wine rack.
Above, are the tables that my instructor, Matt Hutton, made for Haystack’s auction. At the end of each session, artists donate some of their work which go to auction. The proceeds help to support Haystack’s programs.
Below, is my “finished” table. I finished all the components of my tree table but didn’t finish the assembly. It took a little longer than expected to carve. 😛
I just taped the parts together so people could get the idea of what the table would like when complete.
Below, is an example of work made in one of the other craft studios.
In the paper making class, the students made sheets from alternative materials, namely vegetables and fruits. The above paper was made from thinly sliced garlic.
I took this picture while standing at the top of Haystack’s famous wooden flight of stairs. I wanted to capture a view of the trees, the school and part of the ocean on my last day at Haystack. These images above were a sampling from my Powerpoint presentation that I gave to SDSU’s School of Art in fulfillment of the requirements of my scholarship to Haystack. I hope these images inspired you and I cannot wait to step foot again on this amazing campus.
Posted on August 10, 2013
I would first like to extend a big thank you to three people who helped me so much during Comic-Con: Pat, Starr and especially Shane! There is so much that goes into exhibiting at a show from set-up, to actual selling, and break-down. Comic-Con spans for 5 days, therefore having a little extra help makes my job so much easier! I would also like to thank everyone that came out to support my work! Many of you have come back to visit my booth year after year, and I sincerely appreciate your business. Your support helps me to continue making new work and to do what I love!
Because I had a little help, I had an opportunity to wander the exhibit hall for a bit! Of course, I had to purchase a few things! The Small Press area is my favorite! You see a variety of independent artists approaching the art of comic making in such creative ways! I encourage everyone to support local art.
I picked up a couple of comics from Toshwerks which is a small company based here in San Diego. I was first drawn to the Peaburt comic.
I love how the comic comes so cleverly packaged in a peanut bag sleeve! The comic itself is beautifully illustrated in watercolor.
My next purchase from Toshwerks was Broken Buttons.
Broken Buttons offers a unique approach to the comic book format. The author combined photography with traditional illustration. The layout of the comic is similar to a family photo album, where actual photographs are attached to each page. I really enjoyed the creativity of this comic and I look forward to picking up the sequel to this story.
The next thing I purchased in Small Press were corgi stickers and postcards!
I love corgis, so I immediately fell in love with Boudika’s illustrations! Growing up I used to have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named, Hobbes and he always had such a cheery disposition. The illustrator captured the corgi’s charm perfectly!
My fellow exhibitor, Tae Young Choi, gave me a present of an original acrylic painting of a tree! I love the painting! In exchange, I gave him one of my hamster tote bags that he could give to his daughter. He is such an amazing illustrator! He currently works for Blizzard as a video game concept artist.
I came across Drawn and Quarterly, which is a company based in Montreal that publishes independent comics. They gave me a great deal on the two comics I purchased and in addition they threw in a screen-printed tote bag!
The first comic that caught my attention at their booth was Big Questions.
I just finished reading this comic about a week ago and I am very happy that I bought this! The book is well-written and very thought provoking. The book questions the idea of reality and how everyone will interpret the same event or experience in their own way. That interpretation can be so vastly different from another person’s. That person’s perspective becomes their own reality.
Not only is Big Questions an excellent story, the illustration work equally matches in quality. The illustration is incredibly detailed and each page is well-composed. The author, Anders Nilson, spent over a decade writing and rendering this nearly 600 page graphic novel! This was definitely my favorite purchase at Comic-Con and I cannot recommend this book enough!
The second book I purchased from Drawn and Quarterly was Susceptible by Genevieve Castree.
Susceptible, like Big Questions, is philosophical in its approach. I just barely started to read the first few pages. I will definitely write a review about this book in a future blog post.
Next, I purchased a print from an exhibitor across the way, Helen Yoon.
I love the soft, pastel colors and the little foxes nestled in their den! It’s a gorgeous illustration made by this recent graduate from Art Center.
The next two pieces were also from a fellow exhibitor across the way. The artist was Brett Bean and I purchased a print as well as an original work of art. Brett Bean works as a freelance character designer in Pasadena.
If you look at the print closely, the wolf has a subtle Celtic pattern on his coat. I love this hidden detail as well as the pool blue color scheme.
The second piece from Brett was an original painting/ink drawing.
I bought this as a present for Shane for helping me out so much during the show. I love the whimsical quality of this piece. Brett created this painting by taking a sponge soaked in brown ink and then haphazardly dabbing it across paper. He then went back in with pen and ink and created fantastical creatures. Shane loves to draw patterns and odd animals, so I thought this would be something that he would enjoy!
My last purchase would be my second favorite! I purchased a tote bag from Awkward Animal.
Awkward Animal is a recent business that was created by the popular YouTube sensation, Wong Fu Productions. The Wong Fu trio is primarily known for creating short films online, however, they recently launched their Awkward Animal business that debuted last year at Comic-Con. They sell stuffed animals, prints, tote bags and t-shirts that they designed themselves. I was lucky enough to meet one of Wong Fu’s members, Ted, as he happened to be walking down my aisle.
He stopped by my booth and we had a conversation about jewelry making! His mother actually makes jewelry through the lost-wax casting method as well.
I made it a point, later on to stop by their booth and picked up this tote bag.
Not only is the bag cute, but it is well-designed with nice details!
The above image is the back of the bag. All the graphics are traditionally screen-printed. I love the colors and cute graphics!
The interior of the bag is lined with a pretty pink polka dot pattern. It has few pockets and a zippered pouch inside.
I only noticed much later that the bag has a surprise compartment! It has a hidden zippered pocket! What a nice detail! The zippers on the bag are all cast with the company logo.
The surprise side pocket is even lined with the same polka dot interior lining. Great job Awkward Animal!
I hope you enjoyed reading about all of the fun things I picked up at Comic-Con! Seeing great work definitely inspires me and I hope you feel inspired too! If you would like to watch the video review, click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLX_Un0imKM
Posted on August 8, 2013
I cannot believe it! Another year of Comic-Con has flown by again! This was my fourth year exhibiting at Comic-Con International and it continues to be a better experience each and every year! This has definitely been my best year yet!
There were many, many late nights spent in preparation for Comic-Con. I was building additional components for my display as well as new pieces for the Adorable Mayhem collection. Time flies so quickly when you are racing to beat the clock to finish in time! Fortunately, all my hard work paid off in the end. Here is just a small sampling of new pieces that I created for Comic-Con:
I designed and created new jewelry and felt animals for the show. This was by far and away the busiest Comic-Con in my history of exhibiting at Comic-Con! As pieces would sell out on that particular day, I would later go home and fabricate more pieces of jewelry. Though it was a little crazy, I certainly wholeheartedly welcomed this “inconvenience”. 🙂
Of all the shows I attend, Comic-Con is infinitely the most exciting! As I hopped off the trolley each day, I would weave through the seemingly endless sea of people, so many of which are elaborately dressed in costume. Some costumes are so intricate that you know the wearer must have been painstakingly working on their outfit a year in advance!
Fortunately, I had a little bit of time to wander the exhibit hall thanks to Shane and Pat who so generously donated their time to help me at the show! I was able to take a few pictures of some awesome costumes and displays.
This was just a little taste of what I experienced at Comic-Con! I also had the opportunity to make some purchases from fellow artists! I will be writing another blog post shortly about my Comic-Con haul! There are way too many awesome temptations that I very badly wanted to take home with me!
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