Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blog Overhaul

So basically I'm going to be doing some spring cleaning to this blog, to make it more of a professional one. Yes, I have my portfolio to be professional, but basically it's just a hop skip and google search away to this one. So, from here on out you can find my weird posts over at 3 AM octopus, because I'm going to only do art related stuff on this blog now.

Seriously this time, too. I'm going to focus the blog. Finally. Focusing the blog...focusing the blog...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Color testing

I just can't decide which one. Of course, I'm leaning blue...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Painting only 30% done

So James thinks that it looks like her butterfly hat is eating her.

Is this a bad thing? Anyways, soon to have a portrait painted for the face.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Actual Illustration

This totally happened to me once, stuck in the worst venue of my life with the worst singer of my life and an accordian for 2 hours.
Yes, I'm still illustrating. I found out ppl seem to like my humour stuff. In fact, this is now a Halloween card at Etsy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

LOL this blog is a joke

I never post art in here anymore! This blog has turned into such a joke!

Really, it's because I'm busy. I'm doing large scale peices that are 3 foot by 2 foot and I've never done anything that big before--well other than that 10 foot mural but it deosn't count because it was black and white housepaint. I took a picture of one for you. It's still super unfinished and I hate the color I'm putting in for the sky--I'm going to change that.
Case you're wondering about the deeper meaning of a landscape of a california condor painting a landscape: I decided to make it based on artistic creativity and it's relationship with creation and destruction (in this case, destruction embodied in extinction.) There's more meaning behind it. I kind of make up meaning as it goes, youknow? So long as I have something to tell the San Jose indies when they drop by.
I'm currently trying to save a struggling image which has a whole womb + egg visual going on (it's not phallic, don't worry. you wouldn't even notice unless I pointed it out to you) but it has this random portrait in it that is done so well technically I don't want to erase it. But lo, here it goes: I'm going to erase it...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Check out this shirt!

Shruti wearing our shirt--you should buy one for yourself...!

Pictures of Carmel

Isn't this forbidden island awesome!?

I don't know why I never posted these! They came out real nice although it was with my not so great camara. Anyways, I'll stagger the posts of Carmel pictures, because there's like 30 of them and you don't need to see that all at once.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cesc Fabregas shirt is up!

Buy this shirt!

I know you want to! It will make Shruti and I very happy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


So I have this great friend of mine, Auriana, from my old Architecture days (ya, it was a while back) who got a job at a Yoga/Salon that has a gallery space. She was so wonderful to refer me to her boss and get me a month to display my work! Hurrah! My first gallery show in California! And it's connected to the San Jose Art walk, that is done down first street (and if you know First Street you know what I mean, it's a super hippie/artsy street, I love it.)

In fact, its my first gallery show where I have to fill the entire space with just myself (uhhh) by a week before November (double uhhh) and while I know I can do it, I just went from doing nothing, to doing EVERYTHING (especially when I want to finish a book for a client by the end of this month ((Triple uhhhhhhh). It's great. I actually enjoy having a busy life.

Anyways, here's a recent commission I did for Shruti of Cesc Fabregas, who plays soccer.
It will be on a yellow shirt. (I watched about 40 minutes of slow-mo soccer kicks to find this pose. Most of the ones online are groin kicks or backflip-kicks, both of which Shruti thought weren't exactly real to the game of soccer, although I secretly wanted them to be.)

However, depending on whether or not she'll be printing white and black, it could also look like this.

I think both are cool. (too bad you can't see his face when it's this small) The white and black thing was a happy mistake, in the end. The final shirt to be sold soon in online-stores--I'll put up more info for any soccer fans out there reading this after Shrut's figures out the details.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sick Rachel Makes More Bad Art

I'm fascinated by how badly I paint when I'm sick. I mean, how is it that being sick impairs you from thinking artistically? It's like your body is that in tune with your artistic ability or something, so when it's off.

man it is off! This is so funny to me--I woke up today and was like--this, what is this?!

And yes, it took me two hours to do that many strokes--it's a total of 5 inches that are very poorly rendered. If you can't tell, it's a flower. Backlit for some odd reason. It looks like a funky pancake like I dunno.

And then the very next day I do something better in 1/4 of the time. Sick Rachel is weird.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

See how I draw when I'm really sick

today on 3 AM Octopus, I talk about how to find where someone lives in the hills of Los Altos/Saratoga with some really poor drawings. It's great.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Epiphany + Cats

I had an epiphany yesterday:

I used to care about being creative around other people. It felt like this:

And while I can draw in front of people, there were other things I could not do. Like, if I made up songs I wouldn't play them. If I made art I'd show it, but I'd usaully purposefully stick in a lot of photo-realistic representational stuff amidst my cartoons.

I remember going to a children's book conference just a year ago, showing my stuff and almost passing out because I knew there were only 5 other illustrators there so mine was sticking out like a freaken sore thumb... that and I hadn't slept the night before but thats just insomnia.

But now I just don't care anymore. At all. Now I do comic books of cats and stuff and I just don't care. I paint what I like and send it off saying "Here's my annoying portfolio. Sucks to be you because now you have to look at it!" Without worrying if they'll rip it in half like I did in college.

I play my weird jazzy stuff on the piano as I have fun with a-tonal chords and composition and it probably sounds awful. Its great, I've been freed from sone inner fear, and I don't really know........when that happened.

But yesterday I noticed it. I mean, even back in College I never made up stuff around the roomies unless they asked and that I think only happened once or twice.

But now, only 1 year later, I have a style, I shop and I don't think " this--what is this?" like I used to think as I shopped for clothes--i just don't care and I buy it--which doesn't sound all that impressive because girls generally do that shopping sort of thing, but I'm really picky and so I usaully only buy clothes 3-4 times a year.

Yet now, although I'm still picky, I'm actually finding stuff. Of course, this could be because I moved to California and I just like the style here better than Utah...I dunno.

So, because I no longer care, lets talk about cats.

I'm still working on my neices comic, about a stray cat with only one ear lost in a world of magical evil dragons and cats (seemed like a good nemises of eachother) and I want to get it to the third chapter by her birthday (24th, Pioneer Day.) I've gotten intrigued with the weird and sort of creepy story, so I'm officially going to make it better than it has been--I'm going to do a second draft!

but here's some clips of things to come. No, it will not be pencil-tastic like it is right now.

I've been building this paralell world for it, one that has no sky, and characters that don't live on Earth but like to copy Earth. So the characters that go between Earth and this other place get some culture shock that is unsettling (the name of the other place is still undecided, it has to match their language, which is still up in the air) .

Making cats look like Egyptian Gods while still dressing them in modern clothes is also a fun thing. Except for the Himalayans who are obese nudists. Because every comic book needs nudity.

Whats odd is that only 30 minutes a day got me 30 pages by now. Amazing what an outline does for me.

Visual pun, see? Train wreck? I guess I'll find out next draft through...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oh Almaden!

I was driving to work through this shopping mall down Almaden, happened to look to my left and stopped when I saw this:

Too bad I only had my crappy camera. But it was just the perfect little house with the flowers and all...I feel the need to paint it. But I shouldn't pull out my easel in the middle of a parking lot.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I know I said no more than two posts a day for me

...but I totally just downloaded a font and the only reason I did (other than it was free, apparently bug-less, and decent) was because it was called "Parsel Toungue" and I clicked the button and I downloaded it without any other thought.

And then I realized something, and I will tell it to you in Parsel Toungue.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


There was a bee in my garden and so I took advantage of that.

I also finally painted those cookies and they turned out better this time. No jupiter, though, sorry.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finally got a real camara!

I have a big girl camara now, which is fantastical for everyone because now I don't have to borrow everyone's camara every time I need to reproduce something, that and the quality is like this:

which means that my illustrations are going to come out a lot better. I've been struggling the past year with reproducing and so now I hope the struggle is over. And what does this mean? It means Etsy!

So now I'm slowly packing my stuff into card packages on Etsy under pthaloazul. Yes, I spelled phthalo wrong. But it was taken already and it's a shop name so it doesn't matter really.

Friday, June 11, 2010

At my doorstep

Fantastic clouds lately.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Make Logos

New Logo project underway, he wanted a Victorian, Fleur-de-lis, controlled chaos. If that makes sense...anyways, here's some from the first run. They need some tweaking.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Day Without Art

So I was getting some bad art-anxiety. I'd sit down at my desk and feel dizzy, I'd pick up a pencil and feel this pang in my gut. So I decided, since I was slowly painting myself into a box and nothing I was doing was looking any good, that maybe I should step back from art for a little while and come back to it again with a different perspective. Which is pretty normal for the creative world, to stop what your doing for a while and calm the heck down.

So I decided I would go 24 hours without doing any art, and what I discovered is that I have almost nothing else to do. By getting rid of all my usaul distractions I pinpointed what has been bothering me this whole time, and I compare it to a little voice in my ear that talks in all caps, saying

"LETS DRAW GEORGE WASHINGTON FIGHTING A ZEBRA ON A FLYING SHARK WITH A BOOMERANG!" (yes, these are the thoughts which often drift through my mind) and I'd have to tell myself
"No. I am taking a break from art."
"I will draw Narwhals tomorrow. Today I am taking a break from art."

and thankfully the idea is gone forever because what the hell?

So, to try and starve the little stupid little voice I did some more excercise than I usaully do and tried to take a couple of naps. I played piano (which I decided wasn't visual art so it was OK) until my pinkies hurt. It was really really boring and I thought to myself "Is this what normal people do when they have a day off of work? This sucks."

Throughout it all I kept getting these pangs of guilt saying

"WE HAVE NOT DRAWN ANY CATS TODAY. SURELY YOU CAN DRAW JUST ONE CAT." and I'd ignore it to read this book on Russian Communism (which is some reasearch for a pet project of mine that might not go anywhere if my History is incorrect) and my guilt would say


and I'd say "Oh crap those are really cool clouds." but decided I would just admire the clouds and let them go. Like normal people let clouds go.

and so I thought the best thing to quell my inner super-ADD art-anxiety voice was to go back to learning programming. So I was reading through my Flash Actionscript 3.0 book and I was still having problems


and I was going to give in to the stupid little voice, until Apple and it's horrible Monopoly stopped me, because in order to make an Iphone App you must 1.) Own a Mac 2.) Own an expensive program for the mac 3.) Own an Iphone 4.) Give them some more money and 5.) write it in XCode because Iphones apparently don't take Flash.

And so I went to watch TV, and it was at the moment when I was watching Cops that I heard the voice die


and it was dead. And so now I'm back and I feel so much better! I'm totally ready to go back to work. Yay!

And I still drew George Washington, but in a way that is a lot more senseable and less havoc than on a narwhall fighting a zebra.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finding my 'zone'

So I was reading some stuff in my inbox, I'm suscribed to this mailing list for writers by David Farland (free, for those interested in writing. Talks a lot about himself but he knows himself best so...) and he's an epic fantasy writer which isn't what I'm really into or anything, but still good basics of story to know as I get ready to enter into the Children Book World, and he said something that hit on the head what I'm doing wrong with my drawings.

Kinda weird, yes? It always blows my mind how similar the process is for art, music, and writing.

Anyways, he was talking about how when we do programs that stress us out, or when we work under stress we produce a lot of stuff, but he said

"I find that I have three problems when I’m writing while stressed: 1) I lose my sense of humor, and my tales become darker and grimmer. 2) Because I’m trying for a high page count, I take less time to think about plot twists. Thus my tale becomes more predictable. 3) I take less time for wordplay, and I find that my style suffers. " (DF)

Which is exactly the problem I have with my art! It's dark, its grim, I make a lot of it but its getting too simple (see my excuse of a mermaid) and my style has been meh.

So maybe I just need to relax more?

I've realized as I've been underemployed and at my parents house, forced to relax, forced to sleep-in, forced to not work (Because there isn't any), forced to not date (because its one of those times in my life), and where my only real paying job is a super-easy service job for a nice old lady, I have had something unforseen come out of it: my expression has improved--a lot--not in my art, but in my piano playing.

I'm not even focusing on piano right now. I don't play nearly as much as I did in college or high school. But my expression in the piano playing touched on my sketchbook (because, to me, playing the piano is like the sketchbook, and when no one's around I make up a lot of good/bad songs like I make good/bad drawings.) And so I looked at my sketchbook, the one place I was never stressed, where my line quality was the thing that my teachers loved and kept wanting me to do, but, by the time it was a final painting would dissapear under layers of stressful paint application, and saw it was a distinct and different style I always had but never really paid attention to.

So I'm thinking I should...not stop painting...but produce more drawings. Somehow keep that spontaneous and more humorous energy all the way through the painting and finished stages. Basically I need to calm down and relax. I'm not the only one in this situation. I've met dozens of others, who have 'real' careers with math and logic and things that actually make money who are also unemployed. I was never really any good at this whole relaxing thing. Now I'm going to stress out about it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What did I do today?

I painted a cookie to look like Jupiter.

See the Great Red Spot? See it? No? O well. At least it tastes good. Got the cookie from Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos. Mm. I love that place.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Looked at too many depressing blogs

I was looking around at some other blogs yesterday, at the really artsy ones with the vintage and the prose and the dresses and the 70's style collages, and I felt with a pain of regret that I really wasn't one to dwell and sink anymore as others dwell and sink in the blogsphere in a thoughtful pretty way.

Don't get me wrong, I used to write a lot more. I sometimes put some prose in it with quite a bit of the sinking and the dwelling, sometimes too much so, because the prime reason I stopped was because I was tired of the dwelling and tired of the sinking, and I had all these words that needed to be written but I didn't know where they went or even if I wanted to write them down. And so I wrote a bunch of sappy songs about it.

That being said, I look at where my blog is now years and years later, and instead of being clearer because it isn't wrapped up in the sinking and the dwelling, it's confused and complicated.

I started this new blog to try and find a voice, and I find that I'm still searching. And I can't push from my head words from an old doctor I had at a walk-in-clinic who told me, quite frankly

"what are you going to do when you grow up?"
"I dunno."
"I don't know either." And I stared him down and he suggested, "I just keep trying out until I know."

which isn't really the thing you want a 60 year-old doctor to tell you before he does minor surgery on you, but thats life for you. An endless search for a type of vision and distinct voice, and by the time I find it I might already be dead.

But the one thing I can promise, is that, at the very least, I won't get stuck talking about my 'darkness' or any of the other sinking dwelling terms that permeate through this emo blogsphere in vintage colors and super-saturated filters. Since I've been there done that, and while I might not be the same writer that I was, because I remember being wittier and I remember being more clever, at least I'm not that same writer that I was. And that I know worth something.

So I'm reminded of another thing I learned from an old teacher of mine that when you feel like you're drawing worse than you were in Kidnergarten--it means your about to grow, you're about to get better really soon, and you just have to keep pushing it and you'll be better than you ever were before it.

and I think I know why now, it's because I know how faulted my art is, and that's the problem with being an artist and the ability to be an artist all in one. Like you can always be a good accountant when you graduate school, but not in art. Art is a life-long process without anything test to show how good you are, and you might never be 'good artist' as long as you live to yourself while everyone else insists 'of course you are.'

So I'm in a slump to try and be better, using everyone elses ideas to try and fix my artistic problems. I've been reading other peoples lives as if it were a premonition of what mine could be. I've been trying to copy other people's trends thinking 'will that sell?' and while that's good to a point, I still wonder in the midst of it...but what do I really want to do?

And apparently all I still want to do is draw cats and fat chickens. Sometimes penguins. And people in weird outfits with long skinny legs.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Finished it!

And it doesn't make my room too crazy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

actual art

I have a new goal, and that is to do a head painting a day. Just a sketch because I'll stress myself out if its a full rendered out painting.

Also because I feel like a super lazy artist lately. Half because I'm between commisions. I need to finish a mailer or something.

Because I felt like I was spamming my own blog

I have moved my TINACS to a different location. There were just so many of them and it made my blog look all confused to be a tutorial blog and a finished art work blog for my illustrations. So from here on out I'll post the finished product, but the tutorials will be on my blog drop by and see the one post so far of my TINAC list, my wire medallions.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sidetrack Saturday!

(London Jewellry School)
My internet was out for a real long time today, which was a downer, but at the same time kinda good for me, because if I get hooked to posting, then I become one of those Blogger Boobs with constant 8 posts a day and I don't want to be that person.

But I do want to post something for Sidetrack Saturday, and my TINAC this week is a little something unexpected, it's called Wire Wrapping a Stone :

no, I didn't make this, or take this picture, and I forget exactly who was the dude that did.

I feel like posting other people's stuff, because what I made is kinda so-so, see:

this is what I put together. Took forever, my thumbs hurt. I had a lot of problems because A.) I didn't set it up right and B.) I didn't use enough wires to make an edge and C.) I didn't straighten my wire and it shows. I have to post what other people made to make up for my semi-disaster, so on with other people's mesmerizing creations before I tell you how to do it.

talitha gems

Care More


Care More


So OK, the cooler part of this is that it doesn't take a lot of material to do. It only takes some of your round-nose pliers (and whatever random sized pliers you happen to have around) and about 20-40 inches of wire. A Rock is also necessary, but in my case I used one of those weird little bobbles I've been making for the intent to sell (if I ever feel like my products are good enough)

Another cool part of this, is that a 10 dollar rock and about 1 dollar of wire turns into a 50-70 dollar pendant. Woo-hoo. Takes practice, though, this was a very difficult TINAC. I had a headache.

The only decent tutorial I found for this, also, was at a site called Tumble Weed Glass

all the other tutorials either a.) cost money or b.) have some pretty awful video on you tube or c.) some bland tutorial with not enough details.

It's kind of sad, because if you do a Google Search on Wire Wrapped Pendants, you'll see that there is a very fine line between something that is cool looking and something that is tacky. Very Tacky. That, and wire is a little bit unforgiving.

However, there's something about using a bare rock and just a wire that makes it an experience for me that surpasses the confines of typical 'craft'. There's nothing I hate more than having to buy lots of little accesories to make just one project, and I feel like projects like those tend to be money-making schemes by some co-op somewhere pushing Cri-cuts down everyone's throat. One of the reason's I abhor scrapbooking and I try to, at all costs avoid Micheals and Roberts and try to buy all of my art supplies from Home Depot or .
Not only that, but I've noticed there is such a lack in tutorials (other than the basic frame that can be found at tumbleweed) becuase the prettier part of the wire art really relies on the form of the rock, which is different for every peice. It's something that can't be a general format tutorial.

So go pick up that shiny rock that's been sitting in the back of your closet, some old jewelry wire you were going to use for something way-back-when, and try it out, because it's a nice Saturday Project and its hella better than this chunky-munky knitting craze.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

looking through the archives

Whilst searching my computer for those gesture drawings I drew two years ago, I stumbled upon this picture I took of the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and realized I wanted to post it, but never did.

I didn't notice that pile of rocks when I was taking the pic, I wonder what its for?
and this is my last post for today. I think I'm starting to get annoying now with all the updating but no commenting on other peoples posts.

Still drawing

Silvia and Harriet really hated their Prom. But they did have neat dresses.