Sunday, March 22, 2009


On Friday, I received a call from Otis. The admission counselor left me a message saying that she wanted to talk about my application with me. When I received the message, I thought...I didn't do anything wrong...
if they wanted to reject me why not do so with a letter?
But I called back and turns out, they wanted to accept me as a sophomore. My portfolio and transcript showed that I was ready to jump right into my major :)
I'm really excited and I want to take the offer.
But on the other note, I'm still enrolled in the portfolio program. I still want to make my portfolio stronger because I promised myself that I would apply to CalArts one more time.
I thought about it and I knew that I would regret it if I didn't try again.

This fall, I will be attending Otis and majoring in Digital Media. But at the same time, I will be applying to CalArts. If CalArts decides to not accept me, then I will still be at Otis and already finishing up my sophomore year. In the case that CalArts does accept me, then I have the option of going there as well.
I'm happy about this plan because I don't have to waste another year waiting for CalArts. I will be productive as an artist :)
My parents support my decision. It's time to take out those loans and get to work!

I'm currently working on an illustration piece at the portfolio program right now.
I posted up my thumbnail sketch. Ignore the huge circle in the middle of the drawing.
This was an idea that I had a while ago that I doodled into my sketchbook.
I guess it can be part of my... guy-in-dress-shirt-with-no-head series.
The object covering his head is a wind chime.

I decided to use oil paint for this piece.
So I made another glass palette :)
This palette has a 14" x 14" piece of glass and is a pretty good size.
The other palette that I have is MUCH bigger.
I recommend a 14" x 14" piece of glass. You will be taping the edges of the glass anyway, so what's left is about a 13" x 13" glass palette. Which is still a really good size.

Such a huge change of plans means that I won't be living in Irvine anymore :(
I will miss Irvine.
But I'm looking forward to finally attending art school. I've been spoiled as a part time student :P
It's time to go into art student mode!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Recently, I joined a portfolio prep program to revamp my portfolio for CalArts. I decided to try once more with the help of this program. After some conversations with the instructors there, I realize that my portfolio really was not ready. I currently do not have my portfolio, but I do remember most of my pieces that went in. And I see that my portfolio was very traditional. Maybe much too traditional. I had my life drawings, my animal drawings, my landscapes, and a sketchbook. So maybe I did have everything but I didn't show creativity. I was so set on the gestures and animal drawings that I didn't realize that my portfolio was actually boring in a sense. My portfolio didn't stand out in the end. Even the sketchbook that I submitted consisted of mostly observational drawings.
I remember viewing other people's portfolios; the ones who were accepted into CalArts character animation program and I am beginning to see a trend.
My goal for the next time I apply is to show that I have the ability to be creative, quirky and traditional.
While I am attending the portfolio prep program, I will have the opportunity to explore the themes that I have been keeping on this blog. I'm pretty excited about that. I've been sketching some thumbnails of some concepts that have been shut away in my head.

I realize that I am in a very pivotal point in my life right now. Whether or not Otis chooses to accept me, I don't think I will be attending Otis this year. I will apply to Otis again when I apply to CalArts again so that I have options. But this time, I want to try CalArts again. And if it truly doesn't work out, I would like to attend Otis and major in Digital Media. I wish the process didn't have to take an entire year, but I can wait one more year. I think that either way, it will be good and I will be on my way to an art school.

I am currently on my spring break, but not really. I'm still attending classes at the portfolio program.
But I've had some time to read through the book that I had to buy for my oil painting class.
It's called Oil Painting Secrets from a Master.
This book is filled with notes and pictures from an artist named David Leffel. The author, Linda Cateura, took notes during his painting class while he critiqued and assembled them into this book.
I wanted to share 2 of my favorite things about the book:

The drawing below is by Karl Gnass. I took it from his website gallery because I thought it stood out the most.
Another drawing that shows disembodiment :)
The way the drapery hangs from the head of the figure and is so large is very intriguing.
I remember flipping through his book Spirit of the Pose and I saw another drawing with the same elements.

I'll be working very hard until the next time I apply. It's always a good time to be inspired.
and Happy St. Patrick's Day!
(I almost forgot). It's also a good time to bust out the corned beef and cabbage soup.... yum...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Show and Tell

For this post, I'm going to do a show and tell sort of thing.
I think that my painting class is opening all kinds of doors for me and I really like the direction that it's taking me.
It's taking me down a good path in paint. Which I'm glad because painting is very important and a good challenge to pursue.
But all that aside, what I really want to show is the palette that we are using in our oil painting class.
My instructor is Julie Kirk and the one who told us how to make the palette. She said that throughout her career as an artist, and through trial and error, she has found that this palette is the best.
And just a few weeks with the palette, I find that it is extremely convenient and I definitely fell for it.
So I want to share the glass palette on my blog so other artists can experiment if they happen to stumble upon this post.
This palette requires:
One 14" x 18" glass panel (can be found at Ace Hardware and they cut it for you! 14 x 18 is the recommended size, but depends on how much paint you want on it.)
One large piece of foam core with a 0.5" thickness. (about 20" x 30". depends on how big you want it to be. using foam core with a 0.25" thickness will be too flimsy to support the glass.)
Lots of Masking Tape
One utility knife
One ruler
One pencil or something else to draw on your foam core with

I guess the process of making the palette is pretty easy from here. The one thing to remember is to map out your handle and finish cutting your foam core before taping everything together. The glass breaks easily.
Also, the handle is not required but I highly recommend it because it makes it portable. And the palette is big which is a slight downfall but not really :)
Put masking tape on the edges of the foam core so the edges don't get beat up. It helps a lot.
When taping the glass onto the foam core, use 2 layers of masking tape so that you have extra support.
After applying your paint, you can use plastic wrap to cover it up to prevent it from drying.

*What's so great about having the glass palette is that when you're done with all your oil paint and it's dried up, you can just remove everything with a paint scraper. It comes off so well and it's very clean.
I saw some of my classmates using a citrus degreaser to try to remove some of the paint, but it's not necessary. Just a paint scraper will do :)

In the pictures above, my palette is holding 6 main colors. For the second project, we are painting a still life with a limited palette and observing color temperature. I started painting today, and it's a more challenging project. But I'm enjoying it and I hope it turns out well.

Continuing from a post long long ago...
I've been looking at Julie Kirk's website (which is under construction) and exploring her paintings.
I think they're paintings... it's witchcraft I tell you, they're so great.
I picked out a painting that omitted body parts and that I think is so beautiful.
The face is gone and even half the body is gone. The painting has become very mysterious but at the same time, holds a sense of elegance.
The name of the painting is Icarus.

Also, my spring is next week. Which is perfect because Wednesday March 18, Gallery Nucleus will be holding a figure drawing session at night. I don't really have a chance to take any figure drawing classes right now so I'm looking forward to March 18.
The link shows that the workshop is March 11, but my email says it's being held every Wednesday March 4, 11 and 18. Hopefully it's not sold out and March 18 tickets will be online soon, but we'll see.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not yet

Today, I found out that CalArts didn't accept me.
During the entire process of waiting, there were a few times where I would breakdown and stress about the rejection letter. There were some days where I would forget that I was still waiting for the letter.
Some days, I would just wonder and think about the school.
But it's over now, and I just have to keep going forward. I am sad and disappointed and I'm a bit ashamed too because I felt like the whole point of starting this blog was to document my success with art school. And now I have to post disappointing results. But I guess even if I was accepted into CalArts, my journey would'nt be over.
And it still isn't. I have one more art school to hear from: Otis.
If I get accepted into Otis, I can gain another year of art until I try again for CalArts.
If not, I will continue taking classes and still try.
I remember that day at CalArts portfolio day when that lady told me that I wasn't ready for CalArts and that I should'nt even try to apply. I took that lady's advice and did all that I could to make sure that I was ready.
My portfolio went through such a makeover and I thought I would have a better chance and I still applied.
But this letter that I just received tells me that I'm not ready.
There is no end to this journey as long as I am an artist. So I'm ready to plow forward again.
I do admit, when I applied back then, things were a bit shaky.
But this time, I have the full support of my family, friends and most importantly myself.

on the other note...
We're starting another still life in oil painting. This time with a limited palette of 6 colors.
I'll be posting again soon on the palette and such... just some information that I want to share.
This one will be challenging, but I'm really glad that I'm heading in a great direction.