July 29, 2014

Post #17: sun and moon

For the past eight weeks, I've been taking a night class at Art Center on children's book writing/illustrating and it's been... a lot. A lot of learning, encouragement, mental blockage, inspiration, and late nights. A few weeks in, I was feeling frustrated because I didn't have clear direction of my story and was beginning to consider scrapping the idea altogether. But after showing my bare-boned book dummy to my instructor, all I needed was to hear, "There's something there. You're so close." Sometimes, all it takes is one person to really believe in your story.

So in short, I'm going to the SCBWI conference this weekend to learn more about writing and illustrating children's books, make new friends, and be inspired by an amazing line-up of authors, illustrators, editors, and agents. Fingers crossed, the perfect ending will magically fall from the sky so I can finally wrap up this crazy story. The likelihood of this happening is pretty slim, so I'm preparing for a few more sleepless nights ahead. Here above are two of the characters I'm working on. I probably won't show much more than this, but thought I'd share a sneak peek of what's been keeping me busy these days.

P.S. Also, I'm thinking about not posting the blog entry links on Facebook anymore. If you want to stay updated, feel free to subscribe via email (see right column) or through other apps like Feedly or BlogLovin. And seriously, thank you to everyone who has sent me kind words of encouragement and/or listened to me blab on about my wisheshopesanddreams. I really, really appreciate it.

July 25, 2014

Post 16: pun times




I was recently commissioned by a friend to make a set of 20 cards for various occasions. Here are a few of the painted ones I cranked out this week. My original plan was to open an etsy shop this summer, but my focus has shifted over the last two months. More on this later!

P.S. If you're wondering if I have a life outside of work (day job) and more work (making stuff), the answer is no.

July 18, 2014

Post #15: Forelsket (Lost in Translation Series)


Practicing digital + analog + foreign languages

Click here to see the previous one: Waldensamkeit

June 30, 2014

Post #14: Weddings and Signs

A few weeks ago, I was able to make a trip back home for a friend's wedding celebration. It was held in (what seemed like) a secret field in the middle of nowhere. I swear, when the directions on the invitation gave no address and just instructed, "exit the freeway and after the third bridge, make a sharp right," I was pretty sure we'd get lost. Thankfully everything worked out, and after fighting through some unexpected traffic we made it 30 minutes late just barely missing a scene where the wedding cake had apparently fallen over. But what I appreciate about Taylor, the bride and my friend since elementary school, is that she didn't even make a big deal out of it. "Oh well!" She just laughed and shrugged it off as she told us about it when we arrived.

In the same way, when she asked me to make signs for her reception, I was surprised to see how little she appeared to be stressed from planning and how much she trusted me to do this. I was pretty free to do whatever I wanted with the chalkboards. All she knew was that she remembered my handwriting from school and that she needed signs. It reminded me again that a wedding is a beautiful and important symbol and a sign, but it doesn't take the place of what it's supposed to represent- the marriage itself.

Anyway, a big thanks to Taylor and her now-husband James for letting me take part in their special day! And another thanks to Alyssa for driving up with me (and for being totally okay with getting ready in a McDonald's bathroom). It was nice to catch up with friends, make s'mores, forget to eat the s'mores, jealously watch kids who can bust a move, and spend some time at home!


June 1, 2014

Post #13: Lego Duplo Triplo!

One of my favorite movies of 2014 (so far) was The Lego Movie. It was silly enough for kids and sentimental enough for adults. Plus, I love Chris Pratt. After watching the movie, I went home, pulled out an old drawer of Legos and attempted to create something amazing. Unfortunately, it worse than Emmett's Double Decker Couch. I just couldn't think of anything to make. So when Esther from Egg to Eggi & Noniland asked me to make a poster for her triplets' Lego-themed birthday party, I was determined to do better. The poster she asked me to make was specifically for the doljabi. To my non-Korean friends who are reading this (all five of you), a doljabi is a fun, traditional game played during a baby's first birthday to "predict" his or her future career. Various items are placed in front of the child and whichever one he/she grabs shows what they will be when they grow up. It usually results in a grandparent pushing a stethoscope closer to the child in hopes that they will become a doctor. LOL.

A little bit about Esther- I met her around three years ago while I was still in college. I had signed up for Face 2 Face, a program at CCSC that partners you with another woman to make church feel a little smaller. I was probably the worst person to be matched with because I was always late to our meetings. I remember one time we were supposed to meet at Sweet Lady Jane in Santa Monica, and being the noob that I am, I drove east (instead of west) on Wilshire... and wound up in Echo Park where there is also another street called Montana almost twenty miles away. What. Yeah... we didn't meet that day. Hahaha. But she was (and is) always so patient and generous with me and I'm really thankful that we've still been able to meet up and continue our friendship since then. She and her husband are also ridiculously talented and manage to do creative work while having four young kids at home. Seriously? 

For the poster- I wanted to try out hand lettering so I sketched out a few different ideas, but realized it was a lot harder when it came to painting it. I know the best way would have been to measure every line and and use blue tape to paint straight edges, but after a while I gave up. And I kind of liked the cartoony effect anyway. The Lego characters, however, were easier (and also more fun) to create. For fear of messing up on the actual foam board, I painted them on a separate sheet of paper, cut and pasted them onto black card stock and then used mini 3d adhesive squares to attach them on to the canvas. My favorite four are the ones shown at the beginning of this entry. Is it a coincidence that I'm naturally drawn to these types of jobs in real life as well?  You can see some pictures from the party below (including the final product).

Finally, happy birthday Kate, Mark, and Samantha! It's amazing to see how much you three have grown in just one year, and I'm excited to see you guys continue to learn and laugh and soak in everything for the first time in the many years to come!

Guests voted for which item the triplets might choose.

pen, stethoscope, gavel, paintbrush, Bible, whisk, and maraca

Dessert table (the 축돌 towers were made out of Legos too!)
An amazing spread made by Esther. I know, right?
Photo credits to James Hyungjoo Lee and Min Joo Lee
Check out more of Esther's work on her blog and event styling page.

P.S. I listened to Everything is Awesome on repeat while I was writing this entry. It lasted for about forty plays until I just had to stop.