September 10, 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Long time no update! Have a lot to unpack from the past 7 months, including transitioning from illustration to software engineering, moving, and just finishing up my first artist alley experience at LightBox Expo this past weekend!

I only told a few friends but these past few months I've been stealthily switching industries. I was pretty unhappy at Monomi Park and thought being in SF was the perfect opportunity to learn programming rather than the hassle of packing back down to LA for the chance to work at more relevant studios (the curse of owning furniture). My first experience with programming was back in my senior year of college. I'd fallen in love with the flexibility + possibilities of exploring interactivity through code but wasn't quite sure how to develop my skills. So, although I had tried to teach myself some computer graphics and python through the years, I thought I'd try the fast track with a bootcamp.

I chose App Academy purely for the strong community vibe that reminded me of RISD's bonding through suffering environment (and I suppose the ratings) and it's been an interesting journey! The excitement of learning something new and meeting new people let me keep up a brutal pace of waking up at 6am, commuting for 2hrs, studying from 9am-9pm, commuting 2hrs back, trying to keep up with homework until 3am with 3 hours of sleep @ - @. And although I resented the program at times for some pacing problems, it was incredible to discover how much an individual is capable of in those conditions and I could never regret the people I met and continue to meet; the App Academy network is truly a family!

In art news, LightBox was a blast for meeting up with a lot of old and new friends I hadn't seen for several years; ran into multiple classmates and it's crazy to see where everyone has ended up! And also managed to snag a few things, including a print by Sophie Diao I had been eyeballing for 2 years!

Tabling was a different experience from other cons I had a chance to attend; a beautiful venue and a chance to explore Pasadena again; the audience was definitely more geared towards entertainment professionals and it was wonderful to be able to strike up conversations with anyone who passed by. I was sharing a table with HumanForScale and we got to test out a pvc display that he had thought up- super lightweight and breaks down easily for travel!

Overall, would recommend going as an attendee if coming from outside of the area (unless you've got a huge fanbase or industry clout; then go for it!). A great event to meet other creatives, get some autographs from industry giants ;), and check out some interesting panels! Until next time!

March 5, 2019

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

More of a personal update this time.

Hoping to manage making merchandise on throughout the next few months allowing as I've committed to artist alley at LightBox Expo (my first!). I'm thinking sticky notes next 😏😏.

I've drawn a ridiculous amount of food throughout the past few years and it was surprising how difficult it was to draw something so simple keeping in mind that the result had to be flatly lit enough that writing could easily be seen while remaining recognizable. Embarrassingly enough, it took me a few tries.

Everything I make merchandise-wise is secretly inspired by the packaging I want to make. Still a few more ideas I want to test out and have several more breads I want to include, but drew up an initial backing card:

Also dedicating the next 3 months to intensively learning programming :)...

February 26, 2019

Thursday, February 26, 2019

Initially started as an idea for a public anthology, I've recently stumbled into designing potential merchandise based off the zodiac. Starting off with a prospective plushie design based off boars in the shape of steamed buns for the Year of the Boar- literal pork buns ;)

I planned on having 8 different color options as I wanted to create super indulgent hypothetical packaging in the form of a paper bamboo steamer. Color variations were thus based off other known steamed bun fillings.

Ultimately I cut down to 4 colors to start as production costs were higher than I expected and would have been unwise to invest in an idea that might not sell. I held an incredibly rudimentary vote via social media to see which colors were most popular and went with top 3 in addition to the original color.

Unfortunately due to the limitations of Pantone swatches, final colors differed slightly from initial design.

Sent off final color design sheets today, so I'm currently holding out for a prototype :).

As for packaging, did I say hypothetical?

I spent 2 days that I probably shouldn't have creating a proof of concept prototype :'). Constructed entirely out of chipboard and paper, I wanted to use the idea behind soda cup lids to create packaging that didn't rely on plastic molding and so was entirely recyclable. Albeit, being handmade and relying purely on layering to keep a solid structure, the box was a lot heavier and bulkier than ideal.

February 4, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019

Left my job at the end of last year when I realized I was both intensely unhappy and no longer learning anything at my position.

Keeping busy while looking into other positions with some continued freelance work for Aspire Education-

as well as playing with making merchandise-

and planning a larger project.

I'll also be at Lightbox Expo this September <3.

November 27, 2018

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Spent most of November traveling in Japan/Korea and only managed to create assets + play with a rough website for a short hackathon. Hustling to make up some work 💦💦.

October 27, 2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Spent the rest of October helping with a website/print rebranding for a local education nonprofit, Aspire Education, with Lisa Fischer and Kiersta Wild as a part of Make a Mark San Francisco.

Here's a snippet of the resulting collaboration draft with Lisa (visual identity, logo), Kiersta (web design, ux), and myself (iconography, illustration):

For the illustrations, I wanted to incorporate an overarching theme to keep all the images cohesive and suggested 3 possible routes:

  • Plants: to symbolize growth, with hard work yielding into a future harvest of opportunities.
  • Dreams: reflecting the endless possibilities of a career by using otherworldly/ nontraditional representations
  • Space: ability to reach great heights with no limit to potential
The team at Aspire were drawn towards the idea of space, supplementing that space could further represent expansion and how students can make new discoveries and take different paths to success. As the final redesign focused on 3 pages, I decided to have the narrative focus on home -> training -> space.

The landing/ home page was therefore based on the idea of community and cyclic nature bringing people together and giving back and so depicts a neighborhood. The image also not only reflected Aspire's roots in Oakland (the bay area via San Francisco's hills) but the nonprofit's dedication to students regardless of income levels through the use of layering.

As the page providing resources for learning + preparation, the tutoring page depicts people in training.

And for the page containing success stories + routes for continuing education, the third design depicts the result to the overarching story with an image of the reader having reached space. The multiple planets were to signify the different paths that can be taken while showing those who've come before, depicting a continued community of people striving and helping to reach their respective goals.

Icons followed the same principles of the illustrations, following Lisa's guides for color and use of line, to remain cohesive.

October 16 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Halfway through October and I've been dabbling in a mix of freelance, volunteering, and looking to practice new skills. Have yet to find an ideal balance, but I've been trying out a bit of everything including hackathons, online bootcamps (not for me..), a blend of local events and talks, and online courses (would recommend in particular; wonderful mix of informative videos of technical techniques with additional engaging practical assignments. Absolutely love it!).

Here's my favorite illustration of the month so far, made to help promote Klasse14 watches. I wanted to capture the feeling the design gave me: a mysterious, otherworldly yet familiar object, combined with the colors that reminded me of the moon; a bright light in a seemingly empty space.

Continuing on with practicing motion graphics, I spent the last few weeks focusing on animating in aftereffects with walkcycles while creating concepts for a larger, more narrative driven project on the backburner. Had to completely change the way I approached illustration, relying more heavily on basic shapes and reducing extraneous unique details, keeping in mind that vector shapes were far more organically animated in the program.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Been exploring using motion graphic techniques to make more dynamic illustrations + decided to start on a project where I could practice both! Will be working on/off this project, but planning on studying a new technique with each isometric block based off the routes in the Pokemon games.