Friday, October 31, 2008

Random Order

Yesterday, I tried to do an experiment — draw whatever comes out of my head. It was one of the most challenging tasks I have ever done. I did not have fun at all! I almost gave up. I cannot draw or do something without thinking first. Yesterday was the first time I did not think about the outcome. I simply recorded whatever was in my head. I did not like it at first because it was chaotic and I love order. And then I finally let go and achieved this result. It is a little crazy but I had fun with the colors and I sort of like the randomness of the piece, just like me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boards, boards and more boards!

Aside from being a Graphic Artist, I am also required to do boards in my job on weekly basis and sometimes monthly. The amount of the boards depend on how big the store is. I normally do 4 boards a week and 8 boards every 2 weeks, which is quite a lot. These are some boards I’ve done in the past couple of years. I should’ve had more but I didn’t start taking pictures until last year. Since I change it every week, I didn’t bother to take photos. It’s been awhile since I’ve painted this much — I do mostly graphics at Old Town. It takes me about half an hour or so to complete one. The most challenging part is having to use narrow tip chalk markers. Erasing them is easy; I simply use water. For those who love chalk and dislike the dust, you can use either liquichalk or chalkink. Happy painting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Watercolor Painting

Cat - Age 12 (?)

I don’t know how old this card is; I should’ve written down the date when I made it. This is something everyone should remember – DON’T FORGET to write the date whenever you’re creating something special. I made this card for my mom on Valentine’s Day, (?) years ago. I might’ve been 12 years old. I dabbled with watercolor when I was a kid but like most kids, I preferred crayons and markers over watercolor, simply because they are easy to maneuver. But I really wanted to do something nice and watercolor always intrigued me. My curiosity led me to creating this – my first watercolor painting on bond paper!

You won’t notice until you see the card in person that I cut out the squares from the window and glued a piece of cellophane underneath using rubber cement so it would resemble a glass window. I wanted it to look as if the cat is peering outside the window.

If you look closely you can tell how bad my grammar was and still is (^_^). I don’t remember where I acquired this image, perhaps from one of my notebooks, which consisted of cute animals. I can’t believe my mom still has it and in great condition! She saved most of our letters and artwork from when we were kids — I’m glad she did.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Little Prince

I am a huge fan of children’s books. I love to read them even though I’m not a child anymore. When I go to the store or library, I always peruse that section. There’s some magic in them that other books do not possess. As adults we forget about the simple things and these books help us remember them. One of my favorite books is the The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint - Exupe’ry. Here are some great quotes from book:
If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20,000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”
“Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful.”

“When he lights his street lamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower. When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep. That is a beautiful occupation. And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful.”

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
all grown-ups were children once – although few of them remember it.”
I recommend everyone to read this book. I assure you’ll LOVE it!

The Refacing of the Five Dollar Bill

Since the economy is not doing well, I decided to make my own money by replacing Lincoln’s face with John Mackey’s, the CEO of Whole Foods Market. This money can buy anything from WFM. Okay, this isn’t actually true but this money can buy you lunch if you work at Whole Foods at Old Town. This is created as an incentive for team members to excel. If you do a great job you get rewarded with this lunch money, which I designed a couple of weeks ago. However, there are very strict rules you must follow when printing reproductions of paper currency. Please read below:

U.S. Currency
The Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992, Public Law 102-550, in Section 411 of Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations, permits color illustrations of U.S. currency provided:
  • The illustration is of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of the item illustrated

  • The illustration is one-sided

  • All negatives, plates, positives, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices, and any other thing used in the making of the illustration that contain an image of the illustration or any part thereof are destroyed and/or deleted or erased after their final use.
If you want to know more about printing currency, please visit the United States Secret Service website.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Elephant Rider

I’ve always been intimidated by watercolor. I had my first watercolor experience around nine and once in high school. I haven’t picked up any watercolor since then until this year. I wanted to do something different –I want to combine painting with drawing. Above is my attempt to paint an elephant and below is my giraffe. My goal is to do at least one painting a week.

Little Things Matter

A page from my sketchbook with Leo Buscalia’s quote:
‘‘I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things...I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.’’
Dr. Felice Leo Buscalia is a renowned author of many New York Times bestselling inspirational books such as: The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, Bus 9 to Paradise, Living Loving and Learning, Love and My Father.

My first Monarch

Here’s a couple of pictures of a Monarch butterfly I took from our garden this summer. I thought it was dead when I saw it inside the chrysalis hanging from the Ice Ballet milkweed. I only realized it was alive when I went back to explore the garden once again a few of hours later. I couldn’t believe there’s a full grown Monarch in my garden! It was the most amazing thing I witnessed that day. I ran inside and grabbed my camera and took a lot of photos. It remained on the leaf for a few hours pumping its blood from its abdomen to the wings and then flew away as soon as the sun dried its wings. I hope to see more of them next summer. I can’t wait!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A present from Ayame

Our little friend paid us a visit on Saturday and showed us how to draw Christmas presents. We assisted her in drawing some of the gifts. Here’s an early Christmas present from Ayame. (A collaboration between a great artist and her two apprentices.)

5% Day for EWI

Shirt I designed for EWI (Empowered Women International)

EWI is is a non-profit organization that fosters empowerment, independence, and business skills for immigrant and
refugee women and families. They provide business skills for emerging artists and artisans. This entrepreneurial model is similar in mission to Whole Foods Market’s Whole Planet Foundation. Giving to Empowered Women International enables us to support global and local communities.

You can support this program by shopping at WHOLE FOODS MARKET in all Northern Virginia locations on Wednesday, October 22nd from 5 - 7 pm .

For more information, please visit: