Uhto at twilight.

Couldn’t tell if he was lost or if he was resting.

I was a bit worried, since it was nearing 8pm and it didn’t seem like Uhto was going anywhere to stay for the night. Did he even stay in the city at all? Or does he just come during the day, like me, and go home after dark?

“Where is your home, Uhto? Do you live here?”
The city may seem especially lonely at night when everyone around you are bustling home to their families, a hearty meal and their comfy beds. I’m glad he looks fuzzy enough to keep himself warm; the autumn wind has only started to pick up recently.

“I hope you have a pleasant evening, then.”
And I walked to the train station to begin my commute home.


back to back (problems)

In early August I injured my lower back. Word was slipped disc and pinched nerves, which caused numbness in my legs and pain down to my knees. Least to say, because of this, I couldn’t do very much, and even sitting for a long time caused discomfort. But being the young and restless idiot that I am, I still went running, went out with friends, went climbing occasionally until a series of retweakings stopped me for good. When the injury first happened, I thought, “I’m too young, I’m too active, I’m still strong…” blah blah blah. Because your body doesn’t care about what you are; it just knows that its injured and it’ll take a lot of patience and time to get back to square 1 again. So here I am, having tweaked my back 3 times since the big whammo, and slapping myself on the forehead asking, “Whhyyyyy?????”

After 48 hours of lying flat on my back, I’m able to sit finally (or should I say, again) so I did some work on my polar bear stuff before my back protests. Swimming tonight to start rehabilitating myself. Sighballz.

The girl and the sea.

Ever since I was in preschool, I knew I wanted to be an artist. However when I was in the 7th grade, I had a brief stint of wanting to be a marine biologist. I wasn’t particularly fascinated by the scientific part of the biology, but it was the colors and mystery of the ocean that prompted me to change course. It wasn’t until I realized that being a marine biologist meant that I’d have to scuba dive into not just the pretty parts of the ocean, but perhaps the loneliest and eerie depths, I wasn’t so sure about my career change anymore. To this day though, the ocean still has a hold of me, but in a different way. Whenever I feel trapped or particularly shitty, I take a trip to visit the sea. Something about the waves, whether they’d be violent or seemingly calm, contain a sort of power that sucks the negativity out of my body as I watched them. When the waves come surging onto the sand, I feel all thoughts dissolve in my mind with the white foam. I feel cleansed and refreshed, and for a time being, I can just let the sounds wash over me and be at the center of focus. I think everyone has a head-clearing device; we just need to get away from things that stress us out, be it work or relationships. If  designers and artists can work off of each other for inspiration, why not start at the source of it all – nature. If anything, these moments of peace helps me clear my mind to solve problems, but they certainly give me that little spark, too. Here’s to a new week!

#21 Escapist

Lately I’ve been bombarded by some challenging things, but instead of charging in head-strong like I used to, I’ve been mentally escaping everything. I have this idea that weekends are reserved for maximum-relaxation, when in reality, the time should be utilized to do catch-up work and other obligations. It’s so hard to dig deep and extract that motivation to get me through the week when my mind is left by the running water, wanting to just go with the natural flow of things. When dunked in a strong current, maybe its better to just let go of it all and be pulled along. Long enough for me to regain some strength to swim where I need to go again.

#20 Prep Time

I went to a concert this past Saturday night, and as I stood in front of the stage waiting for the headliner to come out, I noticed how much wiring and setting up was involved. Literally, there were drums, keyboards, speakers and other stuff I couldn’t name all connected together and it must’ve taken forever just to set it all up. Presentation is everything; it’s not just music shows, but job interviews, art shows, anything you need to prepare yourself for in order to put out a complete and polished presentation. Most of the hard work is done ahead of time, but it can help define your moment of success. So far within this month, I’ve experienced the outcome of both a good/bad presentation, and the difference is astounding. For one, I got to see a vision  realized, but for the other, I came close to the goal but wasn’t able to attain it. If I had spent enough time preparing, I could have spared myself some regret as well, but this is one important lesson learned. Nothing is unachievable, but if you don’t give yourself even prep time, you may come up short when you most need that last extra stretch.

PIXEL Alumni Day ’10

I went back to Davis with Mei & Kien yesterday for the UC Davis PIXEL Alumni Day event. It was really nostalgic seeing some familiar faces and refreshing to see the young faces who are about to head into the world. I was one of the five speakers (3 of us were Viscomm, while the other two were interior design and fashion) and we tried to give our best take on the post-grad process. The speech theme was “The Rules of Design” where you had to speak about the rules that you follow in your own discipline but I chose to speak about not having rules at all.

You can read the speech behind the cut (sorry for the grammatical errors :P)

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Bears – a collab

My friend Julie Chow and I are doing a collaboration project that involves her incredible writing and my illustrations. We got together at Au Coquelet this Tuesday to brainstorm and bounce inspiration off of each other. Based on her written pitch and notes I started doing some character sketches to get things visually moving. Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg, since we have so much still to explore, but quite frankly I’m really glad she came up with this collab idea! I had been drilling myself on creating some new hand-drawn projects, but with this collab I feel like I have a stronger sense of direction. Anyway, below are a couple sketches I’ve done… more to come (this is gonna be a long-term collab, with the end product aiming as a publication piece.) Sigh, and I have no idea why my scanner is scanning these horrendous lines. I was too lazy to take them out in Photoshop :/