Sunday, March 28, 2010

Examined Life of an Illustrator

So Josh, my fiance, announced just yesterday a solo podcast he has decided to start... I haven't heard it yet, as I cannot download to this computer, but plan to listen once I am at my work computer.

So, for those of you that are interested in checking it out, feel free to check the Blog (I'm sure there's a link there to download) by clicking on this post title.
I also went ahead and added a link on my link list.

YAY for Josh!
Sorry about BIPT but I guess that can happen sometimes.
Hope you all like what you hear and keep coming back!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I forgot...

check out this cute littl' Easter wind-up toy my mom got me.

Chevelle and children's books...

I don't know why but I find that listening to Chevelle while I paint helps me keep pace with things... if I paint sometimes I find myself sitting there spacing out.... heh...
Right now I am in the middle of trying to get through a couple pages that sort of look similar which will leave me with a couple more complicated pages... sometimes grouping these together helps me feel like I am closer to being done! HAHA... ah, I love to trick myself.
And then of course, once I am done, I think... "now what? I wanna do more!"

I think maybe there's a bit of a sicko in all of us, isn't there?

This band makes me think of .. weird imagery and gets the creative juices flowing though. I think that the anger and frustration and sense of urgency in the music makes me sort of dive into painting. Even though I prefer to paint happy images... :)

Sometimes I forget how much I love music... how much I love painting. It's weird... I had a long span of time where I could not stand listening to anything while I worked. I also had a long span of time where I would play a movie in the background on repeat... (my two favorites to play were the Burbs and Father of the Bride). I would still do that except that I am sharing space in my sister's room at the moment and can only access her computer once in a while and both of those movies are VHS... (hehe, that's right! good ol' VHS!!!)

Anyway, love Chevelle... miss the ol' punk days and all the crazy teen angsty feelings... aw... how cute.

Which reminds me of Keegan (like everything does)... as soon as he could walk he would make a little one-man/baby mosh pit in our living room while he listened to Cursive... now what is more cute than that? Did I tell you he can do nun chaku ("nunchucks") now?

Ok, enough procrastinating... must go paint.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So I have a plan in the works to get my fiance and my stuff down from Portland toward the end of April! that's exciting for me... I miss him a lot.

meanwhile... I of course, need to try and really kick some butt on these illustrations and finish up one of the books!! Yikes!

I listened to Beck's Seachange at work today and remembered one of the first dates that Josh and I went on... back when we lived in Long Beach... it was one of the times I remember that I knew he was the one for me... we were sharing his I-pod, sitting on the metro on our way up to LA to window shop. Well, that was the first time I heard Seachange. Funny, that an album based on someone's heartache made me feel totally at peace with the world... I felt like the person next to me and the music and the scenery passing by in the window were like those moments when everything feels pretty darn good. That was a good day :)

I drew this little sketch a while ago... but forgot to post it. I was watching the Mummy one of the days that I was still feeling pretty ill and trying to sort of get back into the swing of feeling normal and drawing... but I always liked the costume in that movie- as cheesey as it was and possibly, totally inaccurate??? I don't know??? I really love the Mummy movies. ;) Anyway, I also think about one of my favorite novels The Hero and the Crown
(or) The Blue Sword (both written by the ever-wonderful Robin McKinley)... but I imagine a little baby girl princess of ancient Damaar and sort of drew this with those stories in mind as well.

I know that there are people who are sort of ... drawn toward the desert and those that are drawn to the ocean... etc etc... I guess that's how I feel about Japan. I will have to see when I visit again if it is as strong of a feeling as I remember. Does that happen to everyone? I've often wondered...whether "home" is something that you find in another person or in a place or in yourself?? Or maybe it's all those things... I know that I feel at home in different ways with different people and different places. I suppose I'm lucky. I guess it might be for all the places and people I always feel so out-of-place.... :P

Anyone else jealous of all the rad children's clothing at Target right now? I sometimes peruse through there to get ideas for what to draw on my characters and also because I have nephews and nieces... My mom dragged out a box full of old dresses we wore when we were little girls- all hand sewn by my cousin!! She is SUPER talented and when I finally get a camera or am near a camera, I promise to photograph them all before she gives them to my nieces... these were ... the kind of thing you find and just oooh and aaaahhh over the detail and the pattern and the pleates and the buttons ... it's very, very, very hard to not want to keep them all so I can just pull them out and hug them every so often.... but they deserve to have them. :)

(to think I hated wearing dresses when I was a pre-teen/teenager... now all I want are boots and dresses... wish I had more).

enough about me...
hope you are all doing fantastic!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Penguin & Fish

I saw this the other day...
apparently I was featured on this blog!


Click on the title of this post for the link!!

Thank you!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I just scanned and pieced together a PDF of some revised pages as well as some ideas for a book jacket... but I also managed to scan a very simple painting I did while waiting to use the computer... I hadn't painted anything of my own in so long I thought, what the hey?
Although I really don't have the time...

Here is my moment of guilt...

I will also post a couple of things that show I have been working a lot, too!


Anyway, I am tired!!!! It feels like a good tired, though... like the kind you get after you work out.
And now... I will go to sleep!

Friday, March 19, 2010


So today was "80s" themed day at ASW ( and my twin and I decided to participate... she dressed as Robert Smith and I dressed as Siouxie. We will have to take a picture and post one later... unless they have one up on the ASW Facebook page (??? Mark our general manager did take one).

Meanwhile, I got a lot of stares from customers as almost NO ONE on the floor dressed up.... bummer. My old co-worker, Jason, in Oregon would have been sad, too... he was the only Office manager that would get into the Halloween costumes (well, him and Sasha :* ) Anyway, I eventually had to get out of the two belts, bracelet, and crazy eye make-up...

But I pulled a bunch of stuff from the top stock (backstock) which involves a ladder three times my size and heavy boxes heaved down by twiggy girl... needless to say my back hurts and now I am wondering how our bodies work!!

I was talking it over and all of us were pretty amazed at how our bodies function and are held together and the crazy design of it all... thus the title of this post: fascination... and maybe a little ode to the Cure's Fascination Street ;) for the 80s theme!

ok, look at this pug:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feeling a bit prickly? Feeling a bit snuggly? Can't decide?

I am listening to the fan in the window pumping out hot air and sucking in cool air... and remembering a funny realization that I made when I came back to California.
The sky is different by the ocean. It may sound strange, but I never realized this until I came back after a year in beautiful Oregon and looked up... to see something so wide and wonderful in the sky I had been staring at since I was a baby. It is totally different... you can almost TELL that a few miles and boom! there has to be an ocean in that direction!

Anyway, the heat also reminded me how HOT it is here... yikes! I don't deal too well in heat. I also don't really like showing skin (??? maybe it's related to the shyness) so this makes it worse. HAHA. I used to walk around in white undershirt/tank-tops and "shants" (like pirate pants) when I was 17 and didn't care if a shoulder strap or two was hanging out... now... not at all. Why? I don't know.

So today was St. Patrick's Day! Keegan has tacked to the kitchen pantry door a 12" Leprechaun which he colored-- the head is held to the body by a tack so it can move... and he said:
"Mai, Mai, you know, today, when we were in uh, class, Mrs.T said... for us to uh, pick up our papers, and there under it was a gold coin!!"
"WOW! Can I see it?"
"Yea, it's right there. It's because it's St. Patrick Day. And I got pinched."
"Why? You were wearing green?"
"Yea but they had these other shirts so I changed to that and I got pinched."
Anyway, I saw The Gold Coin and it is very shiny. I'm very jealous... I wish my money was that shiny. Well, at least my ATM card is gold. Oooh fancy...
So I'm sure all the people up in the Northwest are enjoying their green beer!
Well, back to work. This coming weekend will be more painting and storyboard revisions!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a crazy post with lots of pictures!

Painting away on my book... I finally received notes back on the other manuscript and have some small re-working to do on the storyboards before I can start painting that one. Phew. It's a crazy world we live in!I am sure every illustrator is familiar with the crazy juggling act we must do with our personal life vs. our careers... Having a day job as well makes it hard too! But I won't complain too much about that...
I am wanting to post more of these paintings, but I also don't want to show too much yet!Here is a snippet of one of the pages... sketch-phase... just to give a little more to look at.... it's funny how different every character I have worked on has been so far... I wonder what it would be like if little did we know, but they were all in the same class!! Could they all be friends? Hmm, some are a little more out-going than others... some a little more girly than others ;) but for the most part, I think they could?
I keep trying to tell myself that all of this will pay off... I tend to trust the world to send me where I need to go, although I know you have to do your part to get there, too... Isn't life nerve-wracking and wonderful at the same time? Wouldn't it be nice if I made any sense and my thoughts actually connected?
Anyway, it's getting warmer and warmer! I also know that last night around 4 am there was an earthquake that woke up many of my co-workers last night. The odd thing is that I was awake and felt nothing? I keep waking up around this time (as I have tweeted) and can't seem to fall back sleep until around 5 am.... so these past few mornings, I have been a zombie!

I keep fantasizing about Japan... I should post a picture of Japan so we can all be jealous of my twin who was able to visit a few years ago with my bestest buddy, Christine...Here is a picture of my two cousins (my mom's sister's girls) and their children. In the middle with a hat and green shirt is my twin, Mei, next to her is my mom, next to her (the only caucasian) is my best friend Chris. (from the left: Kaori, Chieko, Satoka, Mei, Shinji, Mom/Keiko, Yuuki, Chris, Shintaro)This is a typical scene from the train in Shizuoka/Mieken (near my aunt's home)-- pretty rural but beautiful!! Rice fields- whoohoo!
Here is the street leading up to my aunt's house (the gray brick wall is just in front of her home on the right there).This would be the view leaving...

And this would be the view toward sundown...

Anyway I miss it quite a bit... it's very beautiful there.

Just felt like sharing those pics.
Meanwhile, this is what me, Mei, and Chris normally do to make up for not being there:

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Up late

I just scanned and emailed a couple paintings to my publisher to be used in some meetings... but I thought I should post the painted version of the sketch I posted earlier.
Its been a crazy night.

We also started our Annual Arty Gras Sale at Art Supply Warehouse (Westminster, CA) so I am recovering from Friday's mayhem. You can click on the title of this post to see the website. I work here during the weekdays. Oh and one of my fellow CSULB graduates is doing a watercolor demo tomorrow (Sunday) too!! Click on his link: Sketchboy (or Chris Kawagiwa) which you can find down on the right side of my blog.
Anyway, I ran around like CRAZY during the sale on Friday and am very sore... I hardly ever nap and I passed out earlier this afternoon before painting and scanning a bunch of paintings. Tomorrow should be more of the same.

I think the computer stuff takes the longest and is the most aggravating for me...

Although I would love to write more and more and more interesting silly tidbits, I am TOO tired...

Hope you like it so far... not much and there is certainly more to show, but I think I will have to wait for another time.

For some reason tonight I think of the last line in Anne of Green Gables... which I think goes something like "God is in his Heaven. All is right with the world."

I am glad to be going to bed now! :)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

This is Rad

Thank you Josh for this Video!!
(If it doesn't work, you can click on the title of this blog to view the music video).