[x] MechaniKal Koi - Construction Ongoing

Here's an updated progress shot of the koi since last entry. I picked a limited high-key palette inspired by a piece from one of the artists I e-Stalk on my tumblr.

Still gots more works to do's... I need to paint my shiet faster... :-/


[x] Art-Hop

Kumo had the perfect idea to spend Labor Day weekend doing an "art hop" - basically, artgallery-coffeeshop-bookstore hopping throughout San Francisco and San Jose to essentially inspire and introduce ourselves to other styles of art. It was extremely motivating, indeed.

Among the stops was Fabric-8 gallery/store in the Mission where we happened upon some of Erik Otto and Martin Hsu's recent work. F*ckin' awesome, I must say. F*ckin' awesome.

Took a couple pics along the way... these two come from Clarion Alley in SF. A collection of some really good street art murals and graffiti. T'was fun. Gotta do this again.


[x] CATCH!

==UPDATE - 18Sept2009==

My part in the project is almost complete... Just need to tweek a few things here and there with the programmers, but I was to do a bunch of action-animation frames for the characters as they ran, threw, caught throughout the game, as well as designing the overall playable area of the game in general.

game screenshot (sans game interface)


Been working steadily with POW Studios, an independent game development company over in New York, who's been contracted to design games for a rather large medical company. The concept is very similar to the Wii Fit but for the purpose of physical therapy, meant to be used in medical facilities in conjunctions with their pre-existing interactive physical therapy games and equipment.

I'm definitely learning a lot when it comes to developing artwork for games and such. Learn-as-you-go, but still quite an educational experience. Fun, too. w00t!

Here's a few of the approved characters I've done so far.

Additionally, they've also asked me to do a UI re-design of their pre-existing equipment interfaces to be a little more streamlined and modern. I did a few mockups and sent them over for their approval. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a couple of those soon.


[x] MechaniKal Koi

Inked it out and hand a grand ol' time erasing the colored pencil sketch lines... this phase is now finished. Now it's on to color comping it and thinking of a painting style that would both enchance and add contrast to the line drawing. W00T!

As far as digital conversion, converting it into vector lines and tweaking the lines to be cleaner and smoother is definitely going to be a bitch. But hey... a fun bitch.

===UPDATE // 27Aug2009===

So, with Kumo's assistance, I've got the damn thing vectorized... and lemme just say that it looked so much cleaner as a sketch. Anchor points, handle bars, and vector paths are my enemy this night... and they have gathered against me en masse.


[x] Wear it with Pride

available in black bean sauce (black) or on sweet white rice (white)
black bean sauce // sweet white rice

"Bok Choy Apparel supports the Gay community with its dedicated line of 'Family shirts' in celebration of unique identities and collective strength."

June is national Gay & Lesbian Pride month in the United States and this coming weekend is the Pride Festival in San Francisco. Having done a mini-series of sexual identity designs for Bok Choy Apparel a month ago, I was thrilled to find out BCA selected my shirt as their official 2009 shirt at this year's festivities. (Unfortunately, the lesbian and straight options are not yet available - to make it available, feel free to head over to the apparel page and submit your vote.)

So, if you happen to be gay and would like somethin' to wear with Pride, feel free to click on over to Bok Choy's site and purchase a shirt for yourself to sport proudly; or head on over to the Bok Choy Apparel booth at the Pride Festival in San Francisco's Civic Center plaza this Sunday, June 28th to pick one up in person.

However, if you don't want this particular design, it's all good. I ain't gon' hate. But feel free to head over to the website anyway to see what other designs and themes we have available for voting that appeal to you.

Thanks for all your support, you guys...


SF's Pride 2009 was pretty fun. It's always an experience to watch the Parade and partake in the festival activities and just be a witness to all the activism and community involvement in addition to all the music, performances, and, well, debauchery. Heh.

I took a group of Shrunkenhead friends to the celebration and we eventually came to the Bok Choy Apparel booth. It was both awesome and surreal to see my design floating about the festival grounds and definitely around the Asian/Pacific Islander alley. :-)

Genius marketing, really...
a t-shirt company... selling t-shirts... by having their t-shirt model... shirtless.

Oh, my...
How, ever, did the logo of the Shrunkenhead make it on to the shirt? :-P
I wonder...

Heehee... a simple shoutout to the Animation/Illustration crew at SJSU. :-)


[x] Wakeup Call

It's been a while since I've been issued a production test, especially one for a fast-paced gaming company, so you can imagine my anxiety and excitement when I received one with less than 24 hour turnaround time.

Suffice it to say it was quite the wakeup call that I need to refresh and definitely refine my speedpainting skills. I found myself spending waaay too much time finessing details that only came out muddy and sloppy when I stepped back from it. I will say this, though... it was fun. I'd almost forgotten the intensity and pressure of quick turn-around times. :-) I both love and hate it.

Ahh, c'est la vie. Definitely need to do some speed painting practice pieces now. Anywhoo.... quick nap... then it's off to be an office rat for the day.

[x] Spartan Film Productions - Superhero Party Clown

I think what also ate up a huge amount of my time was that I scheduled a meeting to go over some possible illustration work for the new student/independent film production at SJSU. In retrospect, had I been more serious about the test, I would have rescheduled the meeting for later in the week after the test was due.

However, I'm still excited about the film project and the work they've asked me to take care of... plus it gives me an opportunity to collaborate with Jake Panian and Nelson Hernandez... two of my peers from the Shrunkenheadman club/cult (heehee) at SJSU whom I admire and respect a great deal. It'll be awesome to work with them and the other artists involved on this film project.

I was told Superhero Party Clown is going to be featured at Cinequest in 2010... Holler.


[x] MechaniKal Koi

An 11x17 illustration sketch I started...
Tryin to think of a style to paint it in... both digitally and traditionally.


[x] BlueTooth Fairy

She's finally done. Moving on to the next project...


[x] Bok Choy Apparel

Bok Choy Apparel

Bok Choy Apparel has been live for about a month and a half now and things are going well. Joey's been made Creative Director and is working closely with all the contributing artists to ramp up the quality of the designs to make them more unique, eye-catching, and overall awesommer.

As it stands now, we're generating a fair amount of traffic but still need more votes to get more of the designs (other than the Flagship logo designs) printed and produced. So, feel free to peek on over and vote on any of the designs that appeal to you.

Half a dozen new designs have been added to the voting pool including a Katipunan Sun design that I did to follow my first Katinpunan Sun. Heh, what an awesome way to commemorate Philippine Independence Day. :-)

To Vote for a Design:
1) click on link: Bok Choy Apparel - Designs
2) click on the design that appeals to you.
3) enter email addy in the space provided.
4) click 'submit'!
5) give yourself a cookie for voting. YEAY!

NOTE: You will NOT be spammed by Bok Choy Apparel in anyway.
Submitting your email will only be used to send you a notification that if/when the design you voted for gets selected for production

P.S. Vote for my designs and be automatically entered to win a date with the model wearing the shirts. :-)

(How's that for marketing tactic!)



[x] 7 Creative Principles - John Lasseter, PIXAR Studios

In an article in the German news magazine, Sueddeutsche Zeitung (South German Newspaper), Disney/ Pixar's chief creative officer discussed seven creative principles that have helped him realize his visions for his animated movies:

1. Never come up with just one idea.

"Regardless of whether you want to write a book, design a piece of furniture or make an animated movie: At the beginning, don't start with just one idea—it should be three. The reason is simple: If a producer comes to me with a proposal for a new project, then usually he has mulled over this particular idea for a very long time. That limits him. My answer is always, `Come again when you have three ideas, and I don't mean one good and two bad. I want three really good ideas, out of which you cannot decide the best—you must be able to defend all three. Then we'll decide which one you'll realize.'

"Creative people often focus their whole attention on one idea. So, right at the beginning of a project, they unnecessarily limit their options. Every creative person should try that out. You will be surprised how this requirement suddenly forces you to think about things you hadn't even considered before. Through this detachment, you suddenly gain new perspectives. And believe me, there are always three good ideas. At least."

2. Remember the first laugh.

"A big problem in the creative process is related to the enhancement of your ideas. Revising, retouching, refining is very important, but it carries a danger. If you have a story, a joke, a thought, which you write down, it loses its effect over time. It wears itself out. When you hear a joke for the second time you still laugh heartily, on the third or fourth occasion already less so, and when you hear it the 100th time, you hate it. "I say to my writers: `Take notice of the first laugh, write it down if necessary.' At times, this may be bothersome, but it is important. Many times, good things got lost because people could not remember anymore how it felt when they heard the idea for the first time."

3. Quality is a great business plan, period.

"There is a crucial rule: No compromises. No compromises on quality—regardless of production constraints, cost constraints or a deadline. If you get a better idea, and this means that you have to start again from scratch, then that's what you have to do. In any creative industry, quality is the sole business plan that prevails in the long run. Many managers fail to understand that, but the audience understands it. The process is only finished once the creative professional in charge says it's finished. That does not mean that there isn't any pressure—there's pressure all the time anyway—but the individual creator always needs to have the last word."

4. It's all about the team.

"One of the most popular questions is always whether groups are more creative than individuals. My answer: In most cases, it's the team—provided you follow certain rules. As a manager, it is my task to abolish hierarchies. It doesn't matter at all who has the idea; that's a very important rule for us. The group must be honest, direct, and endeavor to sincerely help the creative individual. But in the end, nothing that the group says is binding."

5. Fun invokes creativity, not competition.

"There is this idea that you put two people, who cannot stand each other, into a room, hoping that all this negative energy leads to a creative result. I disagree. Co-operation, confidence and fun—that is the way. Creative people must believe that all others support them in making a great movie. They need to believe that all people involved understand what they are talking about. Creative people are easily bored, moody, a bit difficult to handle. You have to make it fun for them, care for them.

Creative people only produce really good work if you creatively challenge them. They have to like what they're working on. They have to be damn proud of the fact that they're a part of a particular project. That is again the manager's task. Each time, you have to give them creative challenges. That's difficult, but nobody said it was easy to lead creative people."

6. Creative output always reflects the person on top.

"Poor managers harm the creative process. Laughter, being crazy, freaking out and being silly are hard work. A manager who spreads his bad mood and who forbids his employees to have fun impairs their creativity, and thus harms the enterprise. I would fire him. I cannot risk so much money just because a manager indulging in his bad mood harms my business."

7. Surround yourself with creative people you trust.

"Bring only those new members into your creative team whom you consider to be at least as talented as you. If they are also pleasant and good-natured, even better. Most managers don't follow this approach, as they are insecure. Insecurity and creativity do not get along with each otherwell. Most managers surround themselves with yes men, and as a result, audiences get bad movies."



[x] Bluetooth Fairy

Thanks to Neil, he referred me to a client who needed a reconstruction of their company's 'mascot.' The company is a bluetooth technology retailer called "Bluetooth Fairy". Their current fairy mascot was somewhat... lacking... in appeal and Neil and I looked her over and thought she could be vamped up considerably to be more eye-catching, appealing, and definitely market-friendly.


first-pass revision

updated revision - close to finish
just have to tweek some details that the client isn't a hundred percent on.
She needs to be "sexier"...

Essentially, the client wanted me to keep the same essence of the illustration... the pose, the wings, the color palette, etc. I did alter the figure, though, specifically the body posture and the face. The original illustration's pose wasn't very... structured... and felt like the spine was either broken or not there entirely. As for the face, it just wasn't striking me as something that made me want to stop and look at their product.

Anywhoo... that's where the fairy is so far. I have some other detailing to work out. Should be done before week's end.

the revisions continue...


[x] Bok Choy Apparel

[best viewed in anything EXCEPT Internet Explorer]

It's been a long time since my last blog... but I'm back and I've got a bloggie entry for ya.

Over the past couple of months, a group of friends have been working tirelessly almost every night to get a new apparel website online. "Bok Choy Apparel" BokChoyApparel was "created as an outlet for the growing 'Asian Artist' as well as providing support for various non-profit groups, BCA was from the beginning about what we care most about: our community.

We envisioned doing this by making people look good. Everybody loves a t-shirt and they love it even more when the shirt fits both body and personality. To this end we print only on 100% cotton American Apparel shirts, for the softest feel possible. We are also constantly on the look out for artists whose work appeals both aesthetically and socially to us and our causes. Artists are passionate about their work, community organizers are passionate about their causes; we are passionate about providing a medium to unite these forces, and make some great clothes along the way!" [About BCA]

As a member of their creative team, I submitted a few designs that could be turned into screen-tee's - provided that the designs generate a decent amount of votes. [Please vote - teehee]

The way that BCA is set up, the designs are put online and then they are voted on by the community (i.e. YOU) to be turned into actual shirts - very similar to how Threadless.com and Designbyhumans.com operate. So... um... wanna vote for my designs? Pretty please? :-D Just enter your email under the design that you like [P.S. You won't be spammed. All you'll ever receive is a simple notification that the shirt you voted for went into production and is now available for purchase.Just in case you guys were wondering.]

A very illustrative take on the Filipino Sun
[to vote, click and then enter email addy]

Because girl-on-girl is hot... and hopefully my design for lesbian love makes it hotter.
[to vote, click and then enter email addy]

Gay and proud...
[stop staring at the model! it's the shirt I'm trying to showcase here! Sheesh!]
[to vote, click and then enter email addy]


Heterosexuality's gotta look cool too. :-)
[to vote, click and then enter email addy]

Hope you like these, you guys. If you don't please feel free to leave comments with constructive criticism. :-)

P.S. To my fellow Shrunkenhead... find the skull of the Shrunkenheadman. :-)


[x] EmoBot

8x10 - watercolor & acrylic

What if TinMan wanted to return his heart to the Wizard...
...to exchange it for a thermonuclear device? :-P

I dunno what prompted me to paint such an emo piece. Anywhoo... introducing my "Emo Bot" :-P


[x] So You Think You Can Dance...

11x17 - acrylic
finished unfinished-painting of the day

Decided to paint this one with a really painterly unfinished feel - partly because I didn't feel like fleshing it out all the way and partly because I didn't want to spend too long on what should have been just a quick painting sketch. Anywhoo... on to the next painting. Now, if only I had an idea of what to paint...


[x] Mabuhay

Igorot man
11x17 - watercolor/acrylic

painting of the day...


[x] Paint Drums

Having to sit out of practice for at least a month is extremely frustrating. I could potentially be removed from the performance roster for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown coming up in April. Extremely bummed...

Meanwhile, physical therapy is painful, but that was to be expected. It has been recommended by my doctor that I take vicodin twenty minutes prior to starting the PT sessions. Oy vey... And it is going a little slower than I had anticipated. I have a series of exercises I have to do at home to strengthen the hamstring and restore mobility and range of motion to the knee area. I wonder how fast I can speed up the recovery... Hmm...

It's quite discouraging having to sit on the side like an observer while my peer group, not only continues to add new students, but also gets to learn the new routines for the festival. GRRR...

In my frustration, I decided to paint. It's been far too long since I've painted with traditional paints, so I pulled out my acrylics and watercolors (dusted them off accordingly) and decided to paint my frustrations out. This is what came out. I know I've done a speed-sketch of an odaiko drummer before, but I wanted to see if I could flesh one out more realistically while still having it keep a certain artistic flare. And, of course, because this is a more detailed painting in terms of figure, lighting, and color tones, I had to gather the accurate reference. This is the end result...



[x] Animated Caffeinated Awesomeness

Dedicated to my peers, friends, brothers & sisters, bleeders & sweat-ers, fighters and pioneers of the Animation/Illustration and Entertainment Design industry...



[x] Stop! Mucha Time!

I decided do a digital painting of the sketch that I scribbled in my sketchbook yesterday and I wanted to do it with an Alfons Mucha feel. Mucha always chose women for his subject matter so I painted a male version of the concept of Time. Compositionally, it's inspired by Mucha, but my roommate says the painting itself has an Alex Ross feel. :-) Totally not a bad thing, in my opinion. HAHA.

Anywhoo... Hi. :-)


[x] Sketchbook Musings & Photoshop-ness...

work in progress

In addition to the SF matte painting I'm working on, I dug up an old illustration that I did as a reinvention of the Alice in Wonderland story that I did when I was at school at the Laguna College of Art & Design. I came across it as I was cleaning out some old image folders I had on my computer and decided to re-paint it partly because of reading the books The Looking Glass Wars but mostly because I was inspired by some of the concept art for it by Chris Applehans.

Below are a couple sketches I did during one of my regular coffee-shop adventures with my homie and roommate, Derek Brand:

Hail, Caesar!
A lot of time when I'm sketching, I do a lot of "stream of thought" drawing where I doodle with no particular idea of what I'm drawing or what it's going to end up being. For this sketch, I dunno what I was thinking about, but it started off as a straight-on sketch of a Roman woman... but then my pen started drawing lines on her face and it turned into a Roman woman...assimilated by the Borg. HA!

Father Time...when he was in his late 20's...


[x] Fire

Your next Firelord of the Fire Nation. Bow down... and fear him. :-D HAHAHA (Probably one of my more geekier moments.)


[x] An Apple a Day...

Today's photoshop-sketch - a still life study of some apples that my mommy wants me to eat before they turn. Heh... (Instead of eating them, I ended up painting them. At least I put them to some sort of use. HAHA. Maybe I'll have one right now, actually...)

::CHOMP:: Om nom nom nom...


[x] Lazy Boy

Not sure why, but I painted out the ultimate recliner of the 21st century... fully equipped with hovering flatscreen television screens and computer monitors and a small drink table for all those diet cokes. :-D