Have a cool idea you'd like to see covered in an article? Let me know!
If you're like me, you've got a lot of interests. You want to do everything. And when you've developed the skills to be able to actually do quite a few things... you're then faced with the big question. What do you want to do?
This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of meeting so many passionate young artists at CTNX in Burbank, CA. Many of them expressed how the expo added fuel to their inspiration and motivation, but others expressed how the expo was overwhelming and made their views of themselves and their futures that much more terrifying.
Do you or your friends ever get worried about the future, or overwhelmed by life's challenges? Take a break, drink some hot cocoa, and read this week's positive message on how to deal with worry and overwhelming moments.
The hiatus is finally over!! It's been an incredible few months since I last wrote, and I cannot tell you how much my life has changed. Oh wait... yes I can! Read on to learn about my newest adventures, and what the future may hold.
When thinking of a substitute article, there was one subject I found intriguing and wanted to briefly highlight: learning vs procrastination. It's a common mindset that we as artists should always be learning, and find opportunities to expand our knowledge and skills. After reviewing my interview notes, completed questionnaire forms, and reflecting on my personal experiences, I believe this to only be half true.
Hooray! It's been one year since graduating my alma mater, and life definitely didn't go the path I expected. When I graduated, I knew I wasn't ready for the real world (none of us feel like we're ready when the time comes), but I felt having a plan would leave me better prepared than not. Most of you who are friends with me know that I like making plans, backup plans, and backups for those backup plans. So how did this past year turn out, and did I survive? Well, I definitely survived. I'm not exactly where I thought I'd be, but I know I'm where I should be. I'll explain this as we go further.
This review is long overdue, so to make up for the delay I'll be touching on the experience in 2015 as well as the aftermath news to follow. There have been a lot of speculations of what to expect of 2016, and I hope this article can give you the facts you need to make an informed decision if CTNx 2016 is right for you. There was a lot of love and support poured in from the community in conducting the following research. I'm grateful for those of you who took my surveys, and have gone so far as to reach out to me privately. This article would not have been as successful without you.
Several nights ago a painting from a Facebook group called Level Up! was on my Facebook feed. This image, like many on Level Up!, was seeking critiques; and as usual I checked the comments to see if there were any actual critiques being made or if they were simply expressed opinions. There weren't, and I was slowing down on work, so I decided to look over the image thoroughly. However, based on the content of this image I knew my critiques could either easily be accepted or rejected. I took a gamble, I wrote, made some draw-over suggestions for clarity, and went to bed. The next day...
When it was time to leave [my parent's house] and settled back into routine, I could already feel myself failing my new year resolutions. I would push them saying "tomorrow", and "tomorrow" again. What do you do when you keep finding yourself saying "tomorrow", even if they're for legitimate reasons?
Several nights ago, I had a very interesting conversation with a professional artist who shall remain anonymous. We got to talking, and this artist noted to me how they have thoughts of how the expo could improve, but they don't want their words to be viewed the wrong way and end up ruining relationships or their image. They recognize the industry is a small world, but expressed appreciation that I'm writing these articles. Though I'm very well aware of the fact I'm sticking my neck out there to share information, it didn't click till now...
For years, I've seen art theft happen. It's happened with me, with friends, even professionals. It's especially common to see people highlight "hey, this person stole art and tried to pass it off as their own". However, what I don't see as often is people talking about how to handle the theft. The first question to always ask: was is truly art theft? I've decided to share a few personal stories, and the lessons I've learned because not every art theft situation calls for the same solution.
What a treat! This article is way overdue, but the feelings are still there. On Friday, November 13th from 7PM-9PM at the Atelier Gallery in downtown San Francisco was the first Spectrum book signing to be co-hosted by the Academy of Art University and Flesk Publications. With 21 Spectrum published artists all in one room, the gallery caught immediate attention especially among art students.
The past few weeks have been fairly busy, but no where near as intense as the past several days. I've been working on my personal project in preparations for showing at the Creative Talent Network Expo (CTN) in Burbank, CA. It is coming along so well, and I'm learning so much from the entire experience. With that said, CTN is coming fast and all my attention is focused towards completing this project so this week's intended article, Spectrum 22: Book Signing Review, will have to be pushed towards next week.
The Alternative Press Expo (APE) 2015 has been a huge topic for artists ever since the end of APE 2014 when news spread that Dan Vado, creator of APE, bought back his ownership of the expo from Comic Con. The largest discussion subject among artists was and still is whether to hold a booth at APE in future years or pass. I've reached out to the booth holders and audience for their review, which you can read about in my APE 2015 Review. However, I still wasn't satisfied with that and wanted to dig deeper all the way to the source, and learn what was in APE's future. Shortly after that article I got the chance to interview Vado, and after reviewing his response I wasn't sure how to write this article. It took lots of consideration, and it came down to sharing the interview with you all; no alterations. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
The past few weeks have been keeping me busy! CTN is coming up, so I'll need to be finalizing plans and preparations. If you are attending CTN this year and want a sneak peak of what I've been working on, hit me up.
As we get closer to the end of the year, we're dealt with all types of stresses: nearing the end of a semester and tackling final exams, solidifying plans and preparations for holidays and convention events, planning when we can schedule vacation time to spend with family and friends, you name it. With stress often comes panic and with panic poor decision making. We always wish for more time, but everyone is granted the same 24 hours in a day. So make that time for yourself.
Lately I've been very ambitious in my life goals. I often reflect on life goals, and how I plan to achieve each one. When I'm unsure how to achieve a goal, I would imagine I already achieved that goal, and work my way back through history as if shifting through memories. If this is a new technique to you, and you have a huge goal you want to achieve, try it.
APE was full of surprises this year! For those unfamiliar with the Alternative Press Expo (APE), it is a small artist focused expo that used to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area owned privately by Comic Con. After last year's APE, news spread that the original creator of APE, Dan Vado, bought back the rights to the expo, and had big plans of switching up the game. That frightened many artists, myself included, and stopped us from investing in a booth. On Saturday, October 3rd, as an attendee, I took that hour drive to APE to see what artists holding booths and regular attendees thought of the new APE.
Many of you know I focus a lot on positive vibes, and keeping yourself motivated and happy. What's interesting is that for most it's easier to focus on the negatives, especially those with low self-esteem, and honestly it's tiresome. It sucks out energy, makes you less productive, and sometimes can deeply affect you mentally and physically. So what can you do about it?
DragonCon continues to amaze me every year. This year, I decided to focus particularly on how booths were prepared despite where you may live. It's one thing to have a great setup and interact with your customers, but what is it like before the convention starts?
THE ARTIST PATH (AND THE EMOTIONS WE FACE)
Practically every week, I see a post on Facebook or a text message on how an artist is discouraged to keep pursuit of their dream. "My art isn't good enough. There's too much talent out there. No one likes my art. I don't get a lot of likes, or words of support. My family says I should just quit. Maybe I should." The list literally goes on forever, and I am always surprised by the people who do post those comments.
I found this quote from my sister's collection of novels. She is notorious for reading just about everything, and judging the writing all throughout. I was really just skimming through the digital pile until I came across the collection of Elizabeth Bear, an author my sister highly respects. So I picked a title that seemed interesting, and that was in the first paragraph.
The blog will now be updated EVERY TUESDAY @ 9AM as oppose to its typical every month schedule. That means more tips, inspiration, and adventures from yours truly. Also coming up is DragonCon 2015! The lineup of artists is looking astronomical this year, so I can't wait to share the followup right after.
Only a month has passed, and yet so much has happened. I've completed my garage sale which spanned over three months, donated lots of valuable art supplies to my old college's illustration department (was nicknamed "Christmas in July"), moved to my new home with the help of friends, was treated by my best friend Alvin Geno to see Pixar's "Inside Out", attended Schoolism's San Francisco Workshop and Pixar's "Inside Out" Panel held at ILM where I got to meet and befriend many amazing artists, and so much more. There's just so much energy in me I can't keep it all in!
It has been months since I've last published any post, and so many things have happened since then. Graduating college, job hunting, helping my best friend with international forms and figuring out where to live, selling my belongings, and balancing my day job has been just a small glimpse of the journey thus far. Though there are many life-changes and stresses going on, I have been training (aka. leveling up) on how I can stay positive. Positivity converts into good vibes as well as motivation. Not just for myself, but for my friends, family, and colleagues who have supported me and continue to do so. Without it, this whole journey would have stopped ages ago.
Life has been a sea of nonstop applications, competitions, revisions, creations, responsibilities, scheduling, organizing, planning, and coffee. I shouldn't say coffee, actually, since I primarily keep myself going with a healthy routine of sleep, gym, water, and occasional bananas when pulling late nights. Buuuuuuut coffee smells better and gives the main point that everyone can relate with. It's an interesting thought when you think about it.
Those who know me well know that I am capable of great work... if given enough time. Like many artists and people around the world, time is not the easiest thing to manage. As predictable as it is (always keeping a steady pace) time is somehow able to sneak up on us.
2014 has had its share of lessons. The biggest lesson possibly being you only get every second once. This has been a stressful lesson I continue to relearn every year. For those who know me well, I tend to overload myself with work. That or something work-related always finds a way of interfering with what I actually want to do.
My first booth setup at a convention. Even though it's been a full week since then I'm still feeling the hype and thrills from the experience. Everyday I've been dedicating time to writing up new sale presentations, strategies, renewing forms of income and contracts, etc. Just seriously too much fun. Now I know some of you are brand new to my blog, and I thank you for taking the time to read. I'll be covering some of my experiences as well as what I've learned from this year's APE 2014. Let's get started.
So first off DANG I'm delayed on my post for this month. Apologies to you guys as things have been hectic. I'm gonna actually see if I can schedule around my posts a little more, and hopefully can make some modifications. The article written below is of information collected shortly after my experience at DragonCon 2014. Special shoutout goes to my sister for purchasing my ticket, allowing me to stay in her home, and essentially making this experience all the more affordable and worthwhile.
Getting things done is always a challenge. Sometimes it's our busy schedules or complicated life that gets in the way of our goals, or sometimes it's our work environment or our physical/mental struggles we go through everyday. You think "Everything would be so much easier if... I didn't have to work two jobs... I didn't have to deal with relationship issues... I had a larger and quieter space to work in... I wasn't depressed all the time... I didn't have back or wrist problems."
This is something I've found has worked for me for years, and every so often I'll forget it works, struggle for a month or so, and rediscover schedules. Organizing your time in the most realistic way possible can really benefit your life in more ways than one. After a while, you'll start to realize just how much more time you have and how much more alert and productive you become.