Welcome to LA!

This past week I took some vacation time. Therefore, no 30 min sketches were done. But, I didn't go without pushing the pencil around. This will actually be one of the things I worked on. This one even has a little story to go with it. So, here it goes. For the early part of the week I was in LA with my girlfriend visiting her new niece. So very cute. Coming from New York City, the warm weather was very welcomed. We mainly went over to spend time with the new baby, but we actually got some time to wander around as well. We(I) wanted to see how the locals spend their time. Being Asian, we went to see all the little "Asian" towns. The Chinatowns, Korea towns, and the little Japan. Places that my girlfriend's family would frequent. I enjoyed this greatly because these were the areas I did not get to see in my past visits to LA. One of the days we spent with my girlfriend's college friend and an interesting situation happened. This is one of the only times we were not visiting a Asian community. We visited a shopping area called the Grove. It was a very nice "higher end" shopping strip with a very nice farmer's market. And, since it was close by to where our friend lived, we decided to walk it. Yes, walking in LA. Highly not recommended. We had walked the strip and just enjoyed a home made ice cream and was heading back to the house when something interesting happened as we were making our way out of the parking lot. A car pulled up. A newer model silver four door sedan. As I see the car pull up, naturally I think it is someone looking for directions. Why else would anyone pull up to strangers, right? So, even though I wasn't from the area, I turned my head towards the car. As the car came closer, this is what I encounter. A car full of guys in dress shirts and ties pull up. The over weight being in the front passenger seat leans out the window as far as his fifth chin would allow and proceeds to shout gibberish equivalent to the old school taunting of "ching chong ching chong". And, the rest of the car erupts in laughter as they sped off. I wasn't scared or insulted, but more shocked. I remember thinking "REALLY? Did that just happen? What year is this? Do they still do that? How old were they?" I turned to my girlfriend and friend, and the harassment happened so fast they didn't even realize what just happened. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not one that is overly touchy about racial issues. I rather enjoy racial jokes when performed properly. But, tired old jokes are annoying in the fact that its been done way too many times. Usually, I write people that perform these uncreative acts off as "this lack of self control of theirs will only get them so far in life" or "why don't you concentrate more at your McJob and get me my number 2 and not hurt yourself trying to be clever." But, in this situation it was different. These guys were not "street punks". They were not hanging out on the corner in clothes that didn't fit. They weren't driving a beat up bucket. They were dressed in shirts and ties and driving a newer model car. More than likely, they were well off. These could very well be future bosses or coworker because of their connections. Which in the creative field, we'd hope not to see much of. I know I shouldn't be so shocked. I know racism is alive and strong. But, being confronted with it in LA of all places shocked me. They have two large Chinatowns, a Korea town, a little Japan, and a little Tokyo. The Asians that look "Chinese" are all over the place. And, as soon as I step out of one of the "Asian" towns, I'm faced with this. I'm only shocked because I've been to a good number of states. States where you'd expect racism to jump up and chase you down with a gun rack equipped monster truck. I've gotten my fair share of evil eyes and "what the hell is that" stares. I found them rather amusing. I was even raised in a state where some people still used the "N word" like there was nothing wrong with it. And, in all these states, I have never experienced a drive by harassing. If I had experienced this form of harassment in any of the states you'd expect it from, I would find it rather amusing. Not that I wasn't amused by the experience of the drive by harassment in LA, I was. But, it was also a little disturbing because of the location. I guess I think of LA like a New York City type of community. Where people are generally more accepting because there is so much of a mix when it comes to race and culture. And, to come face to face with an old school drive by taunting was disappointing. I guess it was a unexpected "welcome to LA" experience.

30 mins of week 3-17

I'm still going. Well, last week I was still going. This week of the 24th I'm on vacation and have slacked off a little since my days are pretty packed with activities. But, no worries, I'll still have things to post by the end of the week. I'm planning on finishing off some of the sketches that I started on my past 30 min sketches. But, I finally set a side some time to post the sketches I did last week. And, here they are. This is Bert as Flash. This is actually a character I created and animated in college. Of course, the sketch didn't get very far because I was too careful with the lines. This will be one that I will finish later. Here I attempted to do Ernie in a more TokiDoki style, but was unsuccessful . Just didn't have the time to work the details. But, folks in the office seemed to like it. For this night, I had no idea what to do. A picture of a dwarf hamster that I saw earlier in the day popped into mind. And, this is what I cam up with. This is Bert hulking out. I wanted to make him even larger, but time ran out. Let's just say he's in transition from Bert to huge. Here's the dwarf hamster attacking. Haha. Yeah, just thought the dwarf hamster was a little too cute. Had to give him a little edge. :) Not sure what this Ernie is all about. Just had a very angular flat idea in mind as I did the sketch. I really was all out of ideas here. This started as a guy I saw on the subway platform. But, as you can see, my mind was wondering. This is one I will be touching up later. Here's Abby Cadaby in a Disney-ish style. The pose took longer than I had expected to work out. And, the structure is still off. I'll go in and clean her up a little later. Here, my mind was already heading off into vacation. I sat. This came into mind. I sketched. That's all. :)

30min - week two

Here are the sketches of the last two days of this week. Here's Cookie Monster powering up. What's his power? Not sure. Are those cookies appearing from his palm? Yes. Why? Not sure. You can see here that I was really struggling for an idea. This is my pencil holder(a canister lid) taunting me. The pencils were not a good idea to add for a 30 min sketch. I wasn't too happy with the first "power Cookie", so I attempted this second one. I like this one better than the first. Even though Cookie doesn't look like Cookie with his fur all flared out. I'm adding to this sketch and will post later. This is another character that was inspired by shapes in a subway floor pattern. The eyes, nose, jaw, and head shape were the parts that were inspired. This sketch is very light compared to the other sketches. I wanted to take this one to a cleaner finish after the 30 minutes, so I didn't race to a "finish". This is how I usually approach a sketch. Very light and work to a finish. The cleaned up version of this sketch will be posted soon.

30 mins...

So, I actually kept up with the 30 minute sketches for another few days. I'm a lot slower than I thought I was. In school, 30 minutes in a life drawing class seemed like an eternity. You felt like you could accomplish fully rendered models in that time. And, there are many artists that can. I've very quickly discovering that I'm not one of them. And, now, 30 min. just flies by. It's actually getting kind of frustrating. I can't ever get to where I want to get to in the time alloted. And, everyone knows how frustrating not being able to accomplish a goal is and how it can take a toll when it happens day after day. Twice a day. And, the ideas aren't as free flowing as I'd hoped they'd be. I'm hoping that its just a phase before the brilliance strikes... then I'll do 90 minute detailed inked drawings. Ha! Kidding, I just hope that, with time, my speed picks up. And, my sketches resemble what I'm capable of in finishes. Well, any progression is better than none, right? Anyway, here's three days worth of sketches. Obvious inspiration. I can't wait to see the movie. Might still Netflix it. $30-$40 to see a movie with popcorn and refreshments is just a little hard to stomach. This is inspired by DJ Ryusei. The brother of DJ Sara, which I sketched earlier. Again, I scanned him at 30 min. and touched him up afterwards. His expression was giving me hell. I just couldn't capture the "feel" of his performance. This is the 30 min version. Again, obvious inspiration. I like the super hero and Sesame character cross. I'm thinking there will be more to follow. Oddly enough, this little guy was inspired by spots on a subway floor. The eyes, nose, spots and mouth were smudges I saw as I was gazing into the floor as I was in route to my home. And, the character was built around those spots. This was just a concept that popped in my head. A simple stackable. Like a simplified Mister Potato Head, but also using basic shapes. Probably, already made. This guy was also inspired by smudges on the subway floor. His eye, nose, and mouth were smudges and lines on the floor.


Every once in a while I get into these modes where I just troll the web for great artwork for inspiration. I start with friends websites and other great artist's sites or blogs. This day, I happened across Eric Canete's blog. This guy is gooood. Not only is he good, but he does these amazing 90 min. drawings. Finishes in inks and shading and all that. 90 minutes! Some with upwards of 6 characters! Not animated characters, but comic book characters! Maybe, to some, this isn't impressive(not sure who you'd be and why you'd be reading my blog if you're that good), to me... at first, it angered me, then inspired me, and angered me again. Seriously, the life, movement, and detail he is able to capture in 90 minutes is incredible. At least to me it is. So, with that said, I was inspired to challenge myself. I have a animation background. Not much of one, but that's what I went to school for. Well, a school where the teachers would ask us about job availabilities when we were interning. But, its what you make out of it, right? Anyway, so in attempt to practice more and focus my pencils more, I've started doing 30 minute sketching sessions twice a day. Once in the morning with Sesame characters. Jump start the work day with getting the creative juices flowing...that phrase always sounded a little off to me... And, once in the evenings of anything that inspired me. Focusing on character, but not restricted to. I'm in no way trying to one up Mr. Canete's 90 min. pieces. I'm no where near his caliber. 30 minutes is just a chunk of time that I can see myself maintaining. As you will see, its been a rough start. I'm finding my footing. It seems to be more challenging than I had anticipated. The morning 30 is easier since I at least have set characters to work wih. But, the evening 30 is proving to be more challenging. Conceptualizing, designing, and posing is proving to be harder than I had imagined. I'm hoping that this is what will become more focused with time. I have to admit, the thought of "what have I gotten myself into" has crossed my mind on several occasions. But, its only been a few days. For now, forgive the rough start. Hopefully, things will get better. We'll see. Here we go... This was my first. I was inspired by my girlfriend's niece. :)This was my first Sesame 30 min. And, this was , as you can see, my rough start. It was inspired by a creepy Jewish man on the subway. I totally missed the creepiness. And, I think I should lay off the inks for now... Here's Elmo in a home made super suit. Gentle giant inspired by a girl on the subway. She looked intimidating at first. Then, she looked up with a smile and her whole personality changed. This was a Elmo inspired by a character that Studio Espinosa designed. And, yes, this did take me 30min. It's surprising how long a simple line takes. This one was inspired by a video a friend posted up on Facebook. Her name is DJ Sara. The video was of her at age 7. Her and her brother are a DJ team. I don't know much about scratching, but they seem pretty badass to me. They are playing Emmy parties. Not too shabby. This sketch was stopped at 30min, but I did finish up some details afterwards. I'll probably post that later.

Hope you enjoyed my first 30mins posting. I hope I have better ones to deliver in the future... I better...

Indonesia gift

This is a little something I did for Sesame as a thank you gift to the Indonesian production team. Sort of a "thank you" for joining our Sesame family. They gave us a wood carving as a gift. And, Sesame was going to give them some glass type thing. And, someone figured a hand drawn piece would be better. I guess its a little better...