Photos from our San Diego Zoo trip yesterday!
Photos from our San Diego Zoo trip yesterday!
Today the boyfriend and I re-visited the OC Zoo in Orange, CA and I’m so thrilled we did.
Let me tell you a little about this gem of a place. Firstly, it’s $5 to enter the park on a weekend (so cheap!). Secondly, the Zoo section is an additional $2 per person (again, so cheap!). There’s a visitor center, petting zoo, pony rides, bike rental, tons of bbq spots, snack bars, fishing ponds, the list goes on. Tons to do here, lots of space, beautiful trees and walkways. It’s a gem.
We went with the intention of walking through the OC Zoo. I have mixed emotions about zoo’s, for obvious reasons that I won’t get into, but I do love seeing the animals. I typically take photos that I’ll later draw, and I managed to get a few good ones, but today was dedicated to having a good time with Blue/Chris/The Boyfriend.
Parking wasssss…a challenge. There were “Lot Full” signs throughout but we were like “naaaaah, we’re gonna try over there anyway,” and yeah, the lots were full. A drive through 3 small lots, and 1 frustrated Blue later, we turned around and parked near the pony rides and wandered aimlessly trying to find the Zoo part of the park. Blue used google maps to guide us to the right direction and we managed to find it.
Word of warning, there aren’t any restrooms in the Zoo. Since we were fueled up on iced coffee, we decided it’d be best to find one before entering. Consider picking up a map if you come to this park, because we could not find the dang restroom. We’re probably blind. We found one but it was a trek to get to it. A pleasant, enjoyable trek.
Visitors can rent out tables for events, host bbq’s, one party even had a little nerf gun fight setup with little walls made out of cardboard. Made me slightly jealous that I couldn’t attend. Blue and I talked about how it’d be nice to have our families/friends join us next time we visit. One day….
Anyways, we trekked back to the zoo, paid that sweet $2 per person entry fee. AND I SPOTTED SOME PATCHES.
FRICKIN SCAVENGER HUNT PATCHES. Complete the scavenger hunt to earn a patch.
I asked the girl at the counter if it was for kids and she said it was open to everyone and I said “YEP, I’M GETTING A PATCH.” Found the Scavenger Hunt trifold map, dug into my Kanken for a pen only to find none (which is blasphemy I always have one on me for drawing), but luckily found one last lonely pencil where the scavenger hunt maps were. AND WE WERE OFF ON THE HUNT FOR KNOWLEDGE AND ENJOYMENT AT THE ZOO. The Zoo is pretty small, so I won’t spoil it for you in case you go so I’ll show you just a few animal photos.
Coyotes, doin’ their thang.
There’s a little <1 day old baby lamb back there! D’aw.
I spotted some younger people sketching and asked if they were students, and they happened to be art majors at Cal State Fullerton, and I said “hey I went there!” and they were taking the same class I did back in my college days. Sweet memories and a funny coincidence. I wanted to tell them not to give up on their dreams but I didn’t want to seem like a weirdo so I didn’t. I spotted a lot more students sketching and wanted to chat with them, but again, didn’t want to be a weirdo.
So basically the Scavenger Hunt was full of informational questions about the animals and plants that can be found at the zoo. The answers can be found within the infographics in front of each animal/plant. I. Was. INTO IT. Luckily, Blue didn’t mind and even helped out so it was more of a fun, team effort.
I had a sudden realization that I enjoy seeing the front view of bird faces. They’re hilarious to me. Doesn’t this look hilarious?
I think it’s because it reminds me of the eagle from Rescuers Down Under? Idk.
There’s Blue lookin’ all spiffy.
Here’s us in front of some trees that were NOT one of the answers we were looking for on the Scavenger Hunt. The tree/plant questions were the most difficult to find on the hunt, btw. Still fun though.
I was jealous of this dude’s salad. We were getting hungry.
This black bear was adorably awkward.
A wild diet high in carbs?! Sounds like me…
Again, so into the hunt.
I really liked these signs.
Then a peacock told us a tale during Story Time.
(They roam freely around this zoo, we spotted 2 while there)
Then a mountain lion tried to attack us!
…just kidding this was a stuffed mountain lion at the visitor center that we went to later on.
These two are always a treat to see. They were napping when we first saw them, but we had to make another lap around the zoo to find a few more answers on the scavenger hunt and the second time around they were both awake and active.
We had a fun time.
…We earned our patches.
We were starving so we walked over to the snack shack and picked up some goodies to go along with the lunches we packed.
Fries and a Sprite to share. I packed some vegetarian chickin’ nuggets and Blue packed a PB & J. We had ourselves a nice little picnic by the water.
Then walked over to the Visitor Center.
[ Insert Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls Joke Here ]
Then we took a nice long walk back towards our car.
Strongly recommend visiting if you’re in the area!
Hope you enjoyed the photos.
On Sunday July 2, 2017 I attended the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the first time! Blue has been there plenty but it was our first time going together.
Well this week was an exciting one, my boyfriend Chris (Blue) and I celebrated our Birthdays!
We took it easy during the week since we both had to work on our big day and made plans to go to the desert the weekend of. I was fantasizing about the desert all week. The thought of bringing out my camera and/or video camera and heading for the open road (away from people) seemed dreamy.
But alas, that thought was too good to be true (at least for this weekend). We felt so lazy Saturday morning that we didn’t end up leaving the house until noon and that was too late for the 2 hour drive to the desert. We made plans to go to Julian instead (historical town about an hour from where we live).
First we needed to stop by the Post Office so I could drop off a few Etsy orders.
I asked Blue to stop by Spin Records (the record store down the street) to pick up a new cd for our journey. Listening to a movie soundtrack sounded fun so we went straight to that section. The soundtrack from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was ideal but they didn’t have it so we searched for something familiar.
Boom. Perfect. Moonrise Kingdom.
We had a few more stops to make in Carlsbad Village before hopping on the freeway, like filling up our water jugs at Carlsbad Alkaline.
We hopped on the freeway and headed inland towards our destination. Everything was going great. We ate our lunches that we had packed, had our new tunes, no traffic…AND THEN we had to turn around because the road to Julian was closed.
I quickly whipped out my phone and looked at a map to see where the heck we were and where the heck we could go. Even though there were some California Parks within 30 minutes of us, I decided to search for something else. From what I’ve learned about California Parks, they will be labeled on a map, but once you get there it’s a hit or miss on whether it’s worth going to. SO. I asked Blue if he was down for some antique stores. (Funny, antique stores are usually hit or miss as well, but whatever) A quick gps search later and I found some in Fallbrook. And off we went.
We arrived at the Fallbrook Vintage Village and it was a gooood one! I had to hold myself back from buying a ton of stuff. I decided it was best to browse, take photos, immerse myself in some history, and get inspired.
Loved these. They gave me a Alice in Wonderland Queen of Hearts vibe.
Packed with goodies.
Blue knows my style and what I like so he’s always good with spotting things that I miss (much appreciated).
Another serious face.
Serious antique shopping stance.
After convincing myself on numerous occasions that I didn’t “need” anything from the antique shop, we were off again in search for a few more antique shops nearby. One was closed and one was terrible so we decided to find some parking and walk around.
We found a big ol’ library and decided to go in and check it out. It looked brand new! We also browsed through the book shop they had in front. Again, having to convince myself that I didn’t need a few things.
We kept walking and stumbled upon the Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Museum and Gift shop.
It was pretty cool! Apparently they are known worldwide.
She was my favorite.
We were told that we have to go into the dark room.
I’m glad we went in because, not only was everything really cool, but also because…
The dark room had reeeeeally cool lighting for these photos.
We signed the guest book and set off again down the street. Most of the businesses were closed (it’s a small town so the shops had weird hours) but we still enjoyed the stroll.
It was getting late in the day so we decided to head back to Carlsbad and picked up some coffee along the way. We spotted the park on our way back and thought it’d be fun to play basketball. We pulled into the parking lot, looked at the courts, looked at each other, and then turned around and left lol. Too tired. We decided to go to the library instead so I offered to drive.
Blue was relieved.
Carlsbad Library. One of my favorite places in Carlsbad.
Blue being Blue.
One of the many reasons why I like you. You weirdo.
I picked up a few fashion books during this trip. I always like having a little stack of library books at home. Keeps me inspired.
And there was the day in a nutshell.
Hoping to share more of these travel-y blog posts!
Hello everyone! Everyone? Anyone? lol.
I hope you are well!
If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Twitter you may know that I hit a rough patch when it comes to art and figuring out where I want to go with it (which isn’t really new, but it’s been more intense and crucial lately that I figure it out). In pursuing illustration, it. is. BROAD. You can do so many things by being a visual communicator and the amount of things that I can do is overwhelming. Editorial illustration? Product design? Narrative illustration? Apparel design? Graphic Design? Can’t I just do it all?! The answer is no. No, right now I just need to pick something and hope for the best. But upon choosing one area, if that area is tough to get into or maybe your portfolio isn’t ready, you’re going to be waiting around a while. And guys, I need money NOW.
I have started applying for jobs, both part time and full time. I am looking for something that will allow me to continue pursuing my Etsy shop and illustration career in my free time. I can’t tell you how nice a steady paycheck sounds. And Chipotle burritos. And Vegan buffalo chickin’ sandwiches from Veggie Grill. Mmm. If someone from a company I applied for is reading this right now…hey, how’s it going. Haha
Back to the point of all this! I’m spiritual in the sense that I like trying to figure out why I’m on this earth. What can I offer the world. I am keen on the idea that self reflection can help guide you through life when you’re feeling stuck. I enjoy analyzing why I am the way that I am, it helps me understand my traits and how those characteristics interact with others. When figuring out what my personality is like, it can help me analyze what I would be good at. When choosing a job, you want to choose something that feels like a good fit right?
Low and behold, I made a thing to help me better understand who the heck I am (while also playing around with Graphic Design a bit).
I recommend you make a thing too! Play around with fonts you like. I made this in Adobe Illustrator (a program I loooove). Ask yourself questions. Really dig deep and answer the tough ones. Is this vain? Possibly. However, when pursuing something scary (like being an entrepreneur) YOU NEED CONFIDENCE. When you figure out who you are, it can help bring a natural confidence that will help you with your everyday life. People will try to strip you of your confidence, don’t let them. Keep chasing those goals and keep doing good in the world.
This exercise can also be a good way of figuring out your art “style” (I know that’s a touchy subject amongst artists). Figure out what you like and create art based off the things in the world that inspire you. Easy peasy. Kinda.
Upon doing this exercise, I looked through my external harddrive and rediscovered a folder titled “Self Exploration” and in that folder were the results of a Strengths Finder test that I took in college. I was taking a class called Professional Practices in the Arts and my professor had us buy this Strength Finder 2.0 book which came with a test. Once you take the test, you figure out your 5 biggest strengths. Looking back on my results now, I am realizing how accurate they are, so I put them in as a reminder. (P.S. if you’re going to buy this book, you have to get it brand new. I think it only comes with one test so if you buy it used, you can’t take the test.)
Try this out! It doesn’t have to be super formal either, you can just jot some Q&A’s down in your sketchbook. It helps to have it written down somewhere as a reminder of your goals and strengths. + You can share your results with me if you’d like!
OH! I made an exciting announcement over on my Instagram today! I’ll be selling at Fan Alley’s Artist Lodge at their new location: Art Institute of Orange County. See the original Instagram post for more details!
Have a splendiiiid weekend everyone!
Hey all, how’s life? Can you believe it’s February already? HUH?!
Today, I am mentally exhausted. But…it’s a GOOD exhausted, because yesterday I participated in Hourly Comic Day for the first time. It was quite an experience! I first heard about this challenge while attending Cal State Fullerton as an illustration major, all my friends were doing it and I’ve always been intrigued yet felt my artistic abilities weren’t “there” yet to actually participate.
Well. Yesterday afternoon I saw that my dear friend Tara Johnson ( tarakeet.carbonmade.com ) was posting her hourly comics on Instagram. “Damn it!” I thought, “I’m frickin late!” I had no idea that it was Hourly Comic Day and never until that very moment did I think about participating. I took a deep breath said an internal “hell yeah, let’s do this” and got to work.
I’ve never made a comic before. I don’t even think I know what the general qualifications of what could be considered a “comic”, but whatever, right? So I started making the comics around 1pm and finished around 9:30pm taking a small break for dinner around 5:30. Not going to lie, I thought I wasn’t going to finish it during that dinner break. While I was working on the last painting before I took a break I realized that I had been holding my breath? My body was all tense and I was waaaay too focused. I do that a lot with my artwork. I put too much effort into everything and get burnt out pretty quickly. It ties in with my anxiety disorder, did I mention I had an anxiety disorder? I have an anxiety disorder. That dinner break I spent watching Parks and Rec on Netflix with my boyfriend and eating leftover pizza from the night before. I don’t know how I snapped out of it, but I got back to work pretty quickly.
Chris/Blue my boyfriend invited me to go to Dave and Busters (an arcade/bar/restaurant/thing) with him and his friend but I stayed home and worked. I’m really glad I did. I managed to finish it. My first comic-y thing! WHAAAT.
Anyways, here it is! So proud of myself. Anyone else participate in this?
If you weren’t already aware, there’s a wonderful little movement going around various social media platforms called #MeetTheArtist . Visual artists are encouraged to create a self portrait, share some details about themselves (such as likes and dislikes), and show what’s in their bag.
Here is mine!
If you haven’t already made one, I recommend you do! Fun little exercise.
Did you already make one? Feel free to share in the comments!
SO. Last night was the Laika Studios 10 year anniversary show at Gallery Nucleus. I’m so happy my boyfriend Chris and I made the 1 hour 40 minute drive from Carlsbad to attend because, wooooooooooooooooow.
Laika is a stop-motion animation studio based out of Oregon and I’ve been in love with them since watching Coraline in theaters for the first time. Seriously, from the first time I saw the Jones’ VW Beetle drive up to the Pink Palace Apartments, I was sold. They also made Paranorman (one of my other favorites), the Boxtrolls, and their latest, Kubo and the Two Strings.
The process of stop-motion animation is tedious, to say the least, but watching these films you would never know it. It is pure magic. Have a look at some of their behind-the-scenes footage, if you don’t believe me. Here is one video featuring the genius director of Coraline, Henry Selick, (who also directed Disney’s Nightmare Before Christmas).
The event took place Saturday night 10/29/2016 from 7-1opm at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA. I’ve been to a handful of events at this Gallery and it is always such a treat. There was candy & refreshments, tribute artwork of the films, live music that was inspired by Kubo and the Two Srings, puppets from the actual Kubo film, costumed characters of Kubo & Monkey, and Laika CEO Travis Knight was there signing autographs to those who purchased merchandise.
I have to say, I was a little bummed because I thought there would be puppets from all the Laika films there, but its okay!
Okay, first I have to describe how exciting it was to see Heidi Smith’s work in person. Heidi Smith is the character artist behind Paranorman. She. is. BRILLIANT. I’ve been fangirling over her concept art for the film for years. Approaching her charcoal drawing at the show, I knew immediately it was hers. I didn’t realize how large her drawings were! Just look at this piece, absolutely stunning.
Here I am, fangirling over the piece.
Just look at that texture!
Here are a few more of my favorite pieces of the tribute art (however, all of the pieces were stunning)!
Norman’s House by Pete Oswald – Gouache acrylic on illustration board
Beldam by Janice Chu – Digital
Laika Land by Guillaume Fesquet – Pen
(You know I’m a sucker for ink work.)
Speaking of ink work, look at this amazingness.
Re Vera, Cara Mea, Mea Nil Refert by Uli Meyer – Ink and Wash
Coraline Jones by Eren Blanquet Unten – Gouache
So happy to have run into Eren at the show! She is just as lovely as her artwork.
Angry Aggie by Sebastien Mesnard – Black Ink
A Bad Dream by Zaruhi Galstyan – Woodburning
This one is even more beautiful in person.
Here are some shots of the rest of the show!
Costume Designs for Kubo
Live Music and some super cool costumed attendees.
A couple of Boxtrolls.
Kubo and Monkey!
Myself with a Monkey Puppet and a leaning, accidental photo bomber. haha.
I wasn’t able to meet Travis Knight but I did get a smile from him which is cool in my book.
We had a great time!
Thank you Gallery Nucleus for hosting the event and Laika Studios for sharing the magic! Go see Kubo and the Two Strings!
If you’re not following me on Instagram already, I’ll be posting photos on there as well!
Until next time,
I get a ton of questions. I’d say everyday I receive at least 2 emails/messages asking for advice about Etsy and it takes a lot of time to respond to everyone. I must say, its nice knowing that it looks like I have my sh*t together enough that you’d ask me haha. So. I’m going to write a blog post about some of the typical questions I get asked. I still consider myself an amateur when it comes to all of this so I can’t offer you all the right answers. These are just the things that I did.
#1. How do you get started on Etsy?
Answer: You do research. Go to the dollar store, buy yourself a notebook, go home, and ask yourself questions. What will you be selling? Will you love this thing in a year? Who is your audience? Do you think these items will sell? Are there any sellers who are doing what you want to be doing? What do you think makes them successful? How can my items be unique? Do I have the finances to open a shop? How do I get finances to open a shop? What materials do I need? (If you want to sell art prints, I made a video about what you should buy, video can be found here.) Can I make time to have an Etsy shop? What is your brand statement? (honestly, I don’t even know that one yet) I can’t answer these questions for you, you kinda just have to search around until you get closer to figuring out your brand. It may take a while to figure out. You don’t have to have it all figured out to open your shop, however. You learn as you go.
#2. How do you price your items?
Answer: Trial and error. I think shop owners price their items differently. Personally, I started out by pricing my artwork based on how much I think I should be getting paid. I put a lot of effort into my items, it’s my full time job, I need to eat and afford to live. But recently I bumped the price down a bit because I found that other shop’s prices are just a bit lower than mine and some of my artwork is a year old now and its grown old in my eyes. If you make your prices too high, they may not sell. If you put them too low, you’re not getting what you’re worth and you’re messing it up for all other artists (some large shops are selling full color large prints for $5, WHY?!). Find your market, and see what sellers that are similar to you are pricing their items for and make a price that works for you. Trial and error. You’ll find something that works eventually.
#3. What resources did you use to figure all this out?
Answer: Good ol’ Google. I think a lot of it is common sense. When you think about opening a shop, you think “What will I need when someone makes a sale?” Packaging supplies. “What will I be selling?” Art prints. Google search: “How to package art prints”. Boom, there’s a YouTube video. I think what was great about my situation is that I decided on my own that I wanted to open a shop. I didn’t know anyone personally who was already doing it. I jumped in not knowing what the hell I was doing. I didn’t have anyone to ask questions and it forces you to make decisions. It forces you to get shit done and make mistakes. All these questions come naturally. Since I’ve opened my shop, I’ve watched various webinars and picked up some library books here and there, but honestly nothing teaches you better than just being in the thick of it and learning as you go. When I made my first sale (which was my mom, by the way) I remember thinking “Holy crap how do I do all this? What do I do?!” You just have to breathe and take it step by step. Etsy makes it easy to print shipping labels and receipts. Just remember to breathe and do your best. I can admit that when I first started out, what I thought was cool about my packaging definitely looked very amateurish and I can laugh about it now.
#4. How do you Advertise?
Answer: Personally, I advertise all over the internet. 80% of the time it feels hopeless so I don’t feel like I should be at liberty to tell you what to do in this case. Advertising goes hand-in-hand with figuring out your audience. I know some Etsy artists who do really well because they have a huge Tumblr fan base, some people have tons of Instagram followers, some people sell at conventions and they have a huge fan base, etc. It seems like each social media platform has different audiences. I’m trying all the ones that appeal to me. Right now I’m active on Twitter, Instagram, Twitch (streaming service), Youtube, Facebook, my website, and Tumblr. I’ve made a few sales from all of them but with great attempt. I’m not lazy about anything. I stay really busy and talk people’s ears off about what I do. Seriously, I annoy myself with how much I talk about it. You’ll discover new ways of getting your name out there, just don’t be lazy about it.
#5. Etsy SEO? What is it?
Answer: Its the keywords you use to get found on Etsy for each of your product listings. For artists, oh man does it suck. I never rely on Etsy SEO. I’ve tried out tons of different keywords and haven’t found any that really work. I rely on outside advertising. If you’ve come up with a formula that works for art prints, let me know! But pretty much, there are so many items on Etsy that yours can easily get lost. You can use Promoted Listings which is paid advertising through Etsy to get your products to appear higher in search results, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve done research about Etsy SEO on multiple occasions and I think it’s just trial and error when it comes down to it.
#6. How can you afford to do Etsy?
Answer: Honestly, I can’t. Etsy is expensive when first starting out. I’m in my starving artist phase and I’m in love with it. I get through it by thinking about how Steve Jobs started Apple in his parent’s garage (not saying I will ever be as successful as Steve Jobs was, but yenno). I have no house payment, no car, no kids, and in decent health, I may not get another opportunity to pursue my passion so I’m frickin doing it now, guys. I’m going all in. I’m taking risks. Going against society. REBELLING. Aren’t I so cool? lol No, its not cool. It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, I work my ass off 7 days a week and get burnt out a lot. But as they say, “do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life”…or something like that.
#7. Do’s and Don’ts?
Answer: DO be professional. Try your very best to respond to all emails. Be polite. Sign your name at the end of emails. Have business cards on you at all times. Celebrate small victories. Save your receipts and do accounting and pay your taxes. Support other artists/sellers on Etsy. DON’T be afraid to say no: if someone is asking if you can design something that you are not comfortable with or you’re just not into, just say no. DON’T neglect your Etsy shop and expect to still get tons of sales. DON’T make things you don’t like (people will want to see more and you’ll be making stuff you’re not into). DON’T stop learning and seeking knowledge. That’s all I can think of right now.
#8. Why are you selling artwork?
Answer: I should make a video about this. I’ll make a video about this sometime soon. Keep an eye out on my YouTube.
#9. What are your goals?
Answer: To be able to live comfortably working from home selling on Etsy and freelancing. To have my artwork spread across the world. To make a sale in all 50 states in America. To be able to fully express myself through art. To make spot illustrations for magazines. To finally get a hold of my social anxiety and gain the courage to sell at art fairs. To move to Oregon and live comfortably with my bf and cat Seelie. To have my art be so popular that I don’t need to sell on Etsy, I can have my shop directly on my website. To be so cool that my favorite popular artists will follow me back on Instagram. To be HAPPY and fulfilled!
I also make YouTube videos about Etsy, Art, and Life in general.
And for any further questions, I do live art streams every Tuesday morning on Twitch Creative from about 9:30am – 12:30pm, follow my twitter account to stay most updated. Its free and super easy to make a Twitch account. Just hit the “Follow” button and you’ll have the option to receive emails every time I go live. You can watch me work while interacting with me through a chatbox.
Live Art Streams: Twitch.tv/SheHeeps
You’ll learn as you go. Start out with a few items on Etsy, make sure you have packaging to ship them out so you can calculate the shipping charges for your buyers (you’ll need to know that when you post an item). Your family/friends may be your first buyers, that’ll give you some practice. Ask for feedback from them. Make your shop look pretty and complete. Fill out as many empty information slots as you can. Post a professional picture of you, the seller or your logo. Remain calm. Don’t feel the need to rush to the post office immediately after getting a sale. Pick times that work for you to go to the post office (my days are typically Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). Always be professional. Wing it 😉 Don’t be afraid!
Hope this helps a bit.
This is a huge week for me! I just launched my very first enamel pin design!
Since this is a blog where I discuss behind-the-scenes art stuff, I’ll talk a bit about the process it took to create these. When brainstorming what I wanted for my first pin design, I thought about what I would want to wear. The first thing that popped in my brain was something Tim Burton inspired. I really, really, REALLY love the result. This was incredibly fun to design.
The entire process was a learning experience. From figuring out how to make a simple design that would translate well from computer screen to the actual pin, to choosing the right colors, to designing the packaging, to finding a manufacturer, to figuring out how to ship it, to advertising for it. I knew nothing and learned as I went. That’s the glory of the internet, guys. You can figure out how to do anything by googling it.
So here’s the final result!
These are available in my online shop ! Get yours now!
Hope you like them.