Sunday, June 2, 2019

April 2019

Last month was a time of introspection.  I discovered that I don't have time to do everything I want in a lifetime; that I have to decide what's really important and focus on that. I stopped all my origami studies, and devoted more time to reading and journal writing. Books I've finished reading are: Pegasus book 1, The Flame of Olympus by Kate O'Hearn, and Shadow of the Dragon book 1, also Kira by Kate O'Hearn. I'm enjoying O'Hearn's juvenile writing style. The double spaced print and simple vocabulary make each chapter easy to read, and the stories are packed with the kind of action I've seen in movies like Percy Jackson's The Lightning Thief. After a completing those books I leveled up to reading and finishing The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. There were a lot of big words in that book that would normally have frustrated me to a point where I would never have finished the first chapter, so I was thankful to have strengthened my reading skills with O'Hearn's books and I want to continue reading them while challenging myself with more complex novels like The Dark Tower The Gunslinger by Steven King, and literary classics like Around the World in 80 Days or 2000 Leagues Under the Sea. I have found a wealth of free information at the local public libraries, and found a program called Link + that will find any book from any library branch, place a hold on it and deliver it to any branch that would be most convenient for me to pick up.
I'm currently reading Pegasus book 2, Olympus at War by Kate O'Hearn, and I got a really nice drawing instruction book by Jessica Peffer called Dragonart How to Draw Fantastic Dragons and Fantasy Creatures. This book is great because it shows how to use a line of action to figure out complex poses, simple geometric shapes for building anatomy, and principals of light and shadow for different styles (flat cel and soft shading) of rendering. All of these things I've already learned from over 6 years in art colleges, but the book offers a way for me to hone my skills, and hopefully improve my artwork over time. Maybe at some point I might consider enrolling in an online class, but the free library books are enough for now.
It's important to remember that thoughts can become things, but one must dedicate the time to focus on dreams we wish to manifest into reality. It doesn't mean we have to loose sleep or sacrifice the quality time we want to be with loved ones.  It can be 10 minutes a day, in the morning before anyone wakes up! ( my favorite time). With persistent dedicated focus things so magnificent as the Golden Gate Bridge have and will come into being. Have you ever wondered how the Golden Gate Bridge was built? At one time it was just an idea in one man's mind, but the idea spread like a wildfire into many minds of engineers and businessmen. There was tremendous opposition from the military and from the ferry boat companies that were afraid of losing business as a result of the bridge, but Joseph Strauss found a way. He was just a human being like you or me, but his drive to succeed was what made a difference in all of our lives. When I get frustrated I look online for people like that to inspire me; that I can learn from. Here is a link to the article I read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Bridge

Also, vsit my website at www.stanimation-productions.com to see more of my artwork.


March 2019 artist's update

For the past 4 years I have been living a double life. In one life I have been working full time as a class B Commercial Driver operating a paratransit bus for passengers with disabilities 5 days a week. In the other life I haven been a professional artist drawing caricatures on weekends for parties and events. During the time when I'm not driving or drawing I am a father to 2 cats, a boyfriend, and a son. I try new things in an effort to stay inspired. For a while I followed many origami tutorials on Youtube. I even got gigs folding origami for parties. Here is a list of the origami models I memorized and performed:
1. crane
2. beating heart (Action Model: when you squeeze the flap on the back the heart expands out and looks like it's beating!)
3.butterfly
4. jumping frog (Action model: When you press down and slide your finder off the back it jumps up!)
5. cat
6. flowers in a vase
7. flapping dragon (Action model: When you pull on the tail the wings flap up!)
8. Batman
9. Yoda from Star Wars
10. barking dog (Action model: When you pull the tail the head moves up and looks like it's barking!)
You can find photos of my origami on my Facebook channel
For a few months I tried cooking.  I made all sorts of recipes. My favorite was the triple chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo Cookie crust. There was no restaurant or bakery that made it, so the only way to obtain it was to follow the recipe online. Cooking and the cleaning that goes with it took up so much of my time I stopped painting, and I was not happy about that. I decided it was time to get more focused, so now I just paint with acrylics on canvas and draw caricatures when I'm not working as a commercial driver. Even now that I have narrowed my focus to a more specific discipline as an artist I struggle with the realization that along with the painting I have to hit the pavement and hustle to sell my work, because it takes away from the precious time when I enjoy painting.
Last month I read a really good book called Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang. It's about a fictional character named Waylyn that was raised by wolves.  The novel was a great escape after work, and I think a daily reading practice promotes creativity.  Since I started reading everyday I experience increased intellectual ability in conversations and I feel more excited about life, because I never know what kind of adventure I'll have when I read my next book.
This month I went to a "Landscapes of the Mind" show at the aRt Cottage  in Concord. The" R" is intentionally capitalized by the owner to symbolize that it's a place for everyone to enjoy and create art.  I enjoyed meeting the artists at this show and learning about their process. The aRt Cottage recently partnered with the Concord Art Association .
Since I decided to focus on painting last year, and have a few finished pieces that need to get out and be seen so the world can experience the joy I have found in my painting obsession, I joined.
 Also, I visited the Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery A new pop-up art gallery in Lafayette that has a show called New Currencies with over 40 artists selected from an open call. I asked the liaison there how I could get in my paintings in a future show, and she told me my work has to fit the style they're looking for and I have to have a following on Facebook and/or Instagram. I am actively seeking opportunities to promote my art, make friends and be supported in my struggle to take my art to the next level.

Monday, December 1, 2014

 Each of us is but a falling star
Burning up in the friction of time through space.
Burning bright.
Lucky if anyone notices.
Burn bright!
Burn bright!
After this moment you will never be again.
This one chance is all we have.
Make the best of it because in a moment it will be gone.
Only in memories do we live on.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 2012 Artist Update

Today is December 20, 2012. Life has not turned out the way I had hoped. I remember waking up at 4am because that was the only time I could use the recording lab to put together a project I was working on for an audio productions class at the California College of the Arts and Crafts now known as California College of the Arts CCA in Oakland California. I was highly motivated and fueled with ambition to reach my career goal of making lots of money and having lots of friends and respect as a great film director. I remember back then when I was 22 years old with long hair, a leather jacket and keys dangling from my hip. I'd ride my motorcycle to my internship City Centra Digital in the pouring rain just to answer phones. Then on a nice clear Saturday I would meet with the other interns and the our production director David Moragne would teach us how to make movies. He told us about composition, lighting, and the logic and theory behind Hollywood Style narrative film making. Then I would spend hours in film appreciation class where I would watch movie after movie, and fall asleep as the professor Marc Lassur would lecture on and on about stuff that I could not understand with his thick french accent. I remember all the frustrations with needing help in each class. Having a learning disability, I had tutors and I never would have been able to graduate college if it weren't for there help. After all that struggle, I still never found a job where I could put my degree to use. I worked at Blockbuster for a year. Then I got into adrenaline. I think it was to cope with the depression. I got really into motocross and motorcycle racing. I lived in a fantasy world where I thought it was realistic to pursue a career as a world champion motorcycle racer. I watched videos of my favorite riders and attended races at Sears Point now known as the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma California, and Laguna Seca in Monterrey. I drove out to Southern California to race at Madera, and took classes with Keith Code and his road racing school. I raced at Buttonwillow with the American Federation of Motorcyclists and the Snarlsport Racing Team. Then I broke my elbow, and the doctor told me I'll never have full range of motion again. That put the fear in me and made me realize I'm not invincible. Since then I've had upper back and shoulder pain. The accident made an impact on me and since then I've had all sorts of physical limitations as to what activities I can participate in. This year I tried dragon boating, but my shoulder injury limited me from being able to enjoy that sport. Now days I occasionally walk and work out lightly at a gym twice a week. That's about all I can do. It was really hard being knocked off my hopes of being a motorcyclist for a living. I wasn't sure why I was alive. I got help and decided to pursue a career as a 3D animator at the Academy of Art University. I've always enjoyed drawing. In high school art was my best subject. Since I completed all my academic courses at CCA, all I had to take was studio classes. Ruban De Anza taught me about light and shadow and how to render with charcoal. Shawn Featherstone and Mesha Klein taught me principles of animation and character animation. Jason Patnode taught me how to use Maya, a 3D animaiton program to animate characters that were provided by the school. I worked hard in the lab and had tutors teach me how the program worked and to refine my work until it was at a quality that would make me eligible for hire. I worked with Linda Bell, the animator that brought life into Yoda in the Star Wars Movies to refine my demo real; polishing each piece until she was ready for me to start applying for jobs. I applied at Lucas Arts, Pixar and Massive Black, and out of all, only Pixar was nice enough to send me a rejection letter telling me that I don't have the skill set that they are looking for at this time. I kept working on it, but at some point I lost all hope. I think it was around the time my student version of Maya expired, and I started making money as a caricaturist. It wasn't a lot, but it felt good; like the universe was saying "Hey! This is what you're supposed to do! You're good at this!" So I've just been doing that at parties ever since. Still..It's not what I originally intended and that is the moral of my true life story. That life throws curve balls at you. It's not fair. You can try your hardest and still you may not succeed, but as long as you're breathing..As long as there is life in you, you can still contribute something to this world. It might not be as glamorous as being a 3D animator for Pixar, or winning races on a motorcycle, but there might be someone like an elderly person who would not be able to eat without you taking the time to deliver a meal from Meals On Wheels. There might be a smile you can bring to a child at a birthday party by drawing a simple cartoon portrait. Consider all of your gifts and talents no matter how unrecognized they might be and you'll find some simple way to matter in this world. Stay positive my faithful Stanimation Fans! Remember, it's not so much about what you take from your experiences in this life, but how much you can love and give to others. That is the ultimate Buddah. Peace, Stan







Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Update: What I've Been Working On


I recently finished a commissioned watercolor painting for an online client. He described the desired piece as a depiction of Jesus Christ on as a life guard sitting on top of his watch chair with a family playing in a distant ocean. There was also a request for there to be a surf board in the painting. I began working on this project using photo references that the client provided. By the end of the first week I presented 2 sample 9"X12" water color paintings for the client's consideration. The client used Photoshop to restructure one of the sample paintings and sent it back to me as a file attachment. Using the client's digital revision, I was able to create the 18"X 24" poster sized final.

Another commissioned art illustration I had finished earlier was of a sheriff.
I had drawn several different versions of this character and before the client and I had reached the desired result.

I am still drawing caricatures at parties and events. I have advertisements published in Golfer's Digest and Parents Press. I also continue to advertise on Craigslist, and once a week I draw a caricature just to keep my skills sharp.
This recent sketch depicts the crew of Serenity; a spaceship in a discontinued science fiction television show called Firefly. I had watched all 5 DVDs from Netflix and was very impressed with the character development and story telling of this show. It could be compared to Friends, only it's in space and people are constantly trying to kill them. It's very exciting entertainment. I can't really decide which character I like the most. They are all very dynamic people.
I also finished some landscape paintings.

This acrylic landscape is of Point Lobos in San Francisco right near the Beach Challet Restaurant. This 10"X 10" acrylic landscape painting sold the day I posted it to my Flickr photo sharing account.

I also finished a portrait of my friends dogs:

And here is another one I finished of a cat:

Last week I enrolled in a painting class. Now I am getting individual instruction from a far more experienced painter in a studio space with other artists on a weekly basis. I am hoping to strengthen my ability to add realism in my work. Realism takes an acute attention to details, and being a cartoonist I have always captured the essence of my subject matter with exaggeration; using caricature. It's important to challenge myself and to always be learning new things to promote brain growth, increase the range of styles I can work in; offering more to clients, and adding value to each work I produce.

I also continue to work on the comic book collaboration "Who Is It?..Doomsday!"with Los Angles writer David Moses. This graphic novel is about a madman named Countdown who goes on a killing spree of vengeance after witnessing a team of medical professionals denying the one thing his father needed to live. Here is a recent sample of my progress on the comic book:

Countdown's hoses have mechanical locks that connect to a pump in his chest. Each hose has spring loaded talons that hook deep into his victims before the pump starts sucking it's blood out. Countdown possesses a unique ability to metabolically breakdown the compounds of blood and convert it to energy faster than the pump intakes it. His power can regenerate wounds in seconds. He is virtually indestructible! I started working on this project in 2010. I still have about a third of the story to illustrate, but I am hoping to get it finished and published for sale online by the end of 2012.









Friday, June 1, 2012

New Beginings

For a short while I had recently spent a time in solitude. I meditated, practiced yoga, painted, and made lots of progress on a comic book that I have been working on since 2010. I also folded origami, made balloon sculptures, and paper crafts. Then I started to feel like the more time I spent by myself the more isolated and a feeling of being separated from the rest of the world emerged. I had created a prison for myself. I lost my inspiration, and stopped creating art. I began to actively seek a place in the world working with people. I started volunteering and working a part time job. This involvement with people in the world triggered a personal Renaissance. An expansion of consciousness; an awakening of spirit was born from ashes of the past. I started thinking of the rules of 3. I say rules, because in the Wiccan religion it is said that the rule of 3 is that what ever energy you emit into the world returns back to you 3 fold. Another rule of 3 applies to the cycle of change, and what I say here is not something I read but wisdom that I've obtained through much personal struggle. Birth, death, and rebirth. Water, gas, ice. These are the eternal states of change. Without change there would be no growth, and without growth spirit could not exist. Spirit thrives through the dance of change. In landforms we see depressions and from depressions a terrace forms into a mountain and from volcanic eruptions or erosion a mountain falls back into depression. Each wave of energy has a high point and a low point. Just as warmth transforms ice to gas, so can time, love, and compassion for others dissolve anger and hatred. Feelings are the many manifestations of spirit, and they are always changing. So when you feel down know that change is near. Something new is always forming. All change is a divine gift from the infinite. We don't always understand why things happen to us. Sometimes it may seem totally unfair, as if the universe is plotting against us. We can even get paranoid and create opposition for ourselves. When we turn against ourselves we contract into our small selves, isolating ourselves apart from the divine gifts the universe is always offering. When we advocate for ourselves and others we are unified with all life and love fills us everywhere. In life, shit happens. It hurts, but it then something good comes along and there is release. Namasday, Stanimation Productions







Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Butterfly Dream

We were all gathered around a table eating. There was a friend of the family that I have known a very long time, her daughter and daughter's friend. We were eating eggs. I cracked my egg open and in the yolk, there was a green caterpillar inside. I watched it for a while. I asked the woman next to me if she has ever seen anything like this before. She shook her head no and we all watched. The caterpillar started to change as it crawled. It transformed into a monarch butterfly before our eyes. I gave the butterfly to the woman and she delicately handled it. She studied it, and the kids were very amused. The kids started to play with it, and the mother began to worry. They opened a window and tossed it outside where it flew away. The mother began to cry. She was sad that the butterfly was gone.
We had to let it go, I explained. Now it can go be free, and be with other butterflies.
She stopped crying and although she didn't say anything, in the silence there was an understanding that she agreed.