Star Gazing

Hey Guys! Bea here 😀 Long time no see!

It’s been a while since I updated– a little over a month, which I didn’t plan for or expect, but  a few curve-balls got thrown my way and sitting down to write, just wasn’t on my mind.

But, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t still busy doing what I could manage. which means I have lots of arts to share with you guys!  So you can expect that for the next couple of days, there will be posts galore! Especially now that I’m back in good spirits 😀

What better way to kick off this Bea Bomb  than with a character sketch/paining of Estelle, the girl and the stars!

Estell1

Whenever I’m winding down from a grind that’s lasted a long time, I come to find that I enjoy drawing Estelle the most. I guess it’s because I created her as the embodiment of my goals, dreams, and inspirations, so when things get rough, working on her is a steady and pleasant reminder of what I’m doing everything for.

It’s weird because, even though most renderings of her are rough concepts that I don’t deliberately put a lot of thought into, the choice of colors I usually use, the body language and her facial expressions all seem to work together to calm and lighten my mood, and I guess it’s become a theme with her now.

a little more information about Estelle,  she is Japanese, and has very anime-ish features,  which tie into what my inspirations were, growing up. I loved anime, still do, and it was one of the first art styles I adopted in my early years, so it was only fitting that she be Japanese with an anime-ish flare. Also, her signature constellation freckles on her face, I decided to make glow like stars to make them more noticeable in this sketch.

Before I close– a little gallery featuring all my drawings of Estelle or with Estelle in it (the last one) to date-

 

As I mentioned tho, more arts to share over the next couple of days! Till then, I hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy!

 

Evolution of a Concept

Sometimes it’s good to push an idea a bit further, beyond the point you would usually stop– just to see if you can make it a little bit better.

Here’s a simple follow up, of the process to making my 2016 self-portrait: Dreams.

ProcessOfMar1

I started this sketch back in November, with a simple idea in mind- to draw myself with a vibrant bouquet made up of art supplies, and my sketchbook. At the time, I was very confident  that I had everything figured out, and this was the final draft. I even took the time to do a clean pencil line-art in my sketchbook for inking.

inkpen1

But because I simply wasn’t ready to finish it at the time, I stepped away from it, didn’t look at it or touch it, until New Year’s Eve.  After giving it some thought, It needed a little bit more…

Sometimes you have to take a step back, to see the better picture

It’s easy to run the risk of being too intimate with your own work. You could become so obsessed with the details, that you lose sight of what the bigger picture is all about.

In my experience during figure study classes,  the instructors always encouraged their students to step back, or away from their canvases every once and a while, because when working in such a large format, the artist is only able to focus on whats in their direct line of sight. When the artist fails to do this, very often when they look at the final piece, they find various problems.  For example, the eyes may not line up, the face may be out of proportion, different parts of the body may be disproportionate, or out of scale– All, which could easily be fixed by simply looking at the work as a whole instead of focusing on the finer details.

This isn’t a concept that’s exclusive to working in large formats either. The same can be said by simply stepping away from your work for a period of time, so that when you come back to it, you have fresh ideas on how to make it better, and it’s a trick used by writers, musicians and artists of all kinds.

So, when it came to working on Dreams, I certainly saw room for improvement.

ProcessOfMar2

Laziness is not a Virtue: The importance of having your very own support group

ProcessOfMar3

Bea: im really debating if I should color this
Zygona:  i think you should
Bea: I know I want it to have like, a watercolor look…
Zygona: that would be cool
Bea: i dunno if I just find line-art more appealing or if I’m just being lazy lol
Zygona: well, save the line and try coloring it, and if you still like the line better then you can say you do like the line better and its not laziness
Bea:  aka no being lazy lol

forever

Bea: lol I’m glad you made me not be lazy and actually color it
Zygona: indeed. i like it colored

Zygona– Always the voice of reason in my every-day life >_<. Justin and my friend D’andre are also two individuals who have a lot of say in my work, and their input has been essential to my growth. After-all, how do you know where to improve if you don’t have anyone there that you trust to critique you?  Thanks guys ^_~.

Conclusion

One thing that I’m happy about, after finishing this piece, is being able to see my growth in comparison to my first Constellations/Dreams illustration from last year, that featured Estelle, a character I created for the sake of marking my own progress as an artist.

As far as this illustration is concerned, I’ve always wanted to work with more vibrant colors, and play with collage like concepts, especially since both have always been very difficult for me to do. But I took the time to reflect on what I’ve learned this year, allowed myself to exercise new ideas and try new things, and challenged myself to work outside my own comfort zones with the encouragement of my friends, and it lead to a piece that I am very proud of. Going into 2016, I intend to do much of the same, with the hope that by the New Year of 2017, I’ll have another illustration to share, that not only marks my progress for the year, and my growth as an artist, but sets a new standard for the years that follow.

And with that, I leave you with a little animation showing my process to the final piece 🙂

 

 

MarryAnimate

Hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy!

2016: From Challenge to Change

Hey Guys, Bea here! And a Happy New Year to you all!

This post will be dedicated mostly to my plans for 2016 and how I’ll be running my blog going forward, but before that, I’d just like to take a a brief moment to reflect on the past year, and how it’s changed me, as an artist 🙂

Prior to January 1st 2015, I was really struggling as an artist, just trying to find the right inspiration to get off the ground. Most of my time was spent working my day jobs, greatly dividing my attention. So, my art suffered, simply because I couldn’t find the time to invest in my ideas and the betterment of my skills.

But something clicked on that day, Jan 1st 2015, and I decided I’d stop making excuses for myself and just go for it. And to keep me motivated, I started this blog to not only share my work with the world and those who care to see it, but to document my process. From the start, I knew that this was going to be a challenge, because of how easy it is to start something and not finish it, and how tempting it is to give up when things get hard, and believe me, I had my moments lol. But looking back on that day, and at how much I accomplished by the end of 2015, by simply simply sticking with it, I would have never guessed that it would take me so far, as an artist, and as a person, or that it would bring me one step closer to my dreams…

That said, I have arts to share!

mar1

Despite all the hardships 2015 brought, it did not come without its rewards, and turned out to be a year of many firsts for me!

  • I went from producing maybe 3-5 pieces of art per year, to the over 50+ Illustrations and Sketches that make up my portfolio, as of today.
  • From those pieces, I created my first portfolio book, which also turns out to be my first full portfolio of new and original work since I left college over 5 years ago.
  •  I flew out to San Diego and experienced SDCC for the first time, and had the opportunity to sit down with major companies, like Blizzard, and Nickelodeon, among others, and received my first set of portfolio reviews, outside of school.
  • And, as of Nov 22nd, I decided to stop working my day job, and be a full-time artist– which is the news I’ve been waiting for the right time to share.

So, November 23, 2015 was the day I began working as a full-time artist. Ironically, this did not happen by me quitting. Instead, the company I was working for simply decided to close the division I was working in, and though they offered me a position working elsewhere, I figured instead that I would take this opportunity to give my dreams a try instead.

I had considered leaving on my own many a times, but this was a company that I had been with for almost 8 years. I knew the work, I did it well, I had been promoted, and I didn’t want to leave, for fear that if I did, I’d have to start back at square one… so I stayed. But when they told me they were closing out, It was like a door had opened just as that one was closing, urging me to…take the next step. To go for it, even harder.

Since then, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how I’m going to spend the extra time I have– and how this is all going to work out. To be honest, it’s a bit scary to think about. But like many of my friends, and people who I’ve met who reached the same fork in the road and made the same choice, I’m confident that if I play my cards right, and put in the work,  I’ll experience success like they have.

This brings me to the main topic of this post– My blog and my plans for 2016.

Posting Schedule:

After giving it much thought, I’ve decided to just scrap the Monday Evening Posts entirely, and for good reason. As much as I like the idea of having a regiment, I’ve found that in trying to stick with it, I’m more concerned with showing work for the sake of keeping time, than taking time to put more quality into my work, and the posts themselves. Instead, I think it’s best I post casually, when I have something to share, especially since it allows me to put more soul into my work, and my writing.

Goals and Expectations:

If I may, I’d like you take a moment to talk about the art shared in this post. I started this illustration back when I decided to let my job go, in November, and it began with me drawing myself in a wedding dress, holding my sketchbook, and art supplies as part of my bouquet. When my friends asked what it meant,  I simply told them, I love art, that I’m married to it,  and committed to my dream of being a “successful” full-time artist, so that someday, I will be able to tackle the ideas, stories and concepts that I’ve been stockpiling for years, to share them and be recognized in the big world of art.

Of course, like the girl in the constellations, Estelle reminds me that my dreams are like stars- some farther off, but all are within sight, and some even branch off into others. Though touching the stars of your dreams may seem impossible at times, the goal is to aim high anyways, and see where it takes you. I’ve learned that chances are, you just might hit your mark 🙂

The mark for this year? I want to focus on creating art that is driven more by narrative. Most of 2015, my work consisted of character designs.  Instead, I want to strengthen my ability to tell a story, and Illustrate. In addition, to keep my focus where it needs to be, I will be less concerned about how polished these illustrations are– and more about how well I communicate my ideas, so you can expect that most of my personal works will be either sketches, rough concepts or speed paintings. I’ll also be experimenting with various different mediums, like watercolor, pen and Ink.

So that’s what the art shared today is all about. Experimenting with different art mediums, my sketchbook spilling it’s pages of rough concepts, my ideas finding new life, and my dreams my goals– which embody and all the things I hope to share with you this year!

This post has gone on long enough though!  Thank you for reading, I really hope you all had an awesome New Year celebration,  and here’s to 2016! *Cheers*

As always, till next time, Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constellation Girl

The girl who touched the stars finally has a name!

Introducing: Estelle

Stella

It’s been such a long time since I’ve made mention of her, so in case it was forgotten, Estelle is the girl in my first banner illustration for this blog, which was a painting I did to test how much I’d learned after completing my 30 day sketch challenge back in January.

BannerBlog1a brief caption from that post “January 1st, I took a challenge– to draw every day for 30 days. I was not prepared to do it, I just know I wanted to do it, to kick start the new year. It wasn’t a major accomplishment in comparison to other challenges, but for me, it was. The truth is, I don’t draw much…I always wished I did…I wish I had more time to draw freely, to learn and grow and become a better artist. But Life and obligations typically get in the way. So when I was given a month to relax, I decided I’d take that time and be productive and do the thing I always wished I could. I’d draw. So to follow up with my challenge, I combined everything I learned in thirty days, into a finished painting that gives life to the idea that we all can reach our goals– and with each one, we can touch the stars of our dreams.”

This simple illustration sparked a lot of discussion between not only my friends and family, but also with some of the people who’ve been watching me through this whole process. I made friends, I gained motivation, I’m still going strong, and Estelle is a reminder of that.

So, a month after creating this illustration, I decided to test my skill again with a painting of Estelle to mark my growth,

Preview1but because of SDCC, and portfolio prep, she was one of many personal projects of mine that hit the back burner. that is until I stumbled upon a different sketch I did of her– the one at the beginning of this post.  Now I know it sounds weird– me stumbling across art I did, as if I forgot I ever drew them, but I juggle so much with my day job, and commission work, that many of the illustrations or sketches I start for myself, get lost in the mayhem.

Now as promised in my last post of Estelle, I’d tell you a bit more about her. Her name means Star, and she is technically the embodiment of many interests I have, and an homage to things that inspire and influence me, as an artist.  For example, Japanese animation is very near and dear to my heart. I love anime, especially the ones I grew up on, so I decided to draw Estelle in such a way that she resembles anime and a Japanese woman. Much like me when I was younger, Estelle has a very bubbly personality and an overactive imagination, aka she can literally get lost in the wonder of her dreams. Because of this, Estelle sees the world differently than most and imagines that her dreams and goals in life are stars, bound up in a sea of constellations waiting to be reached, and what she sees is so real to her, she could touch them. In terms of looks, she has a bouncy/playful hairstyle, big brown doe-like eyes, a quirky smile, and has 7 beauty marks/freckles– forming a mini constellation across her face, neck, and chest.

Estelle wont be attached to any particular narrative, but I will draw her from time to time, to mark my growth, so each time you see her, she may look  a bit different as my style improves!

That said, look forward to seeing more of Estelle! Till next time, Enjoy 😀

Monday Evening Post

Hey guys and gals, It’ Monday! And I’m here with another update on our Mystery Girl!

A Familiar Face

Preview1Still don’t recognize her? This might help!

Preview

Since February I’ve been studying and practicing painting faces, and many of you got to see my progress in the last two illustrations I posted. Since it was the end of the month, I decided to take my continued studies to who I will for now refer to as the Constellation Girl. This is again just a sample of the full illustration, and because I’m actively trying to learn as a paint, I’m taking my time.

Basically I wanted to see how my skills had improved in a month’s time after my studies, and our lady of the constellations seemed to be the best candidate for comparison. Overall, my lines got tighter, cleaner, and I understand the contours of the face a bit better and how light hits it. There’s still much to learn about her– who she is, her personality– all that good stuff, so expect to see more of her!

On a side note– because the earlier parts of the month is a time where I have to generate ideas for future projects and meet obligations with my clients, it’s difficult finding time to draw at my leisure. It’s only around the latter time of the month that my schedule frees up enough that I can truly commit to my studies. Because of this, between the 1-15 of every month, I’m going to dedicate my Monday and Thursday Evening posts to other artists and articles geared towards helping artists.  I am still kinda finding my footing with this blogging thing, and I thank everyone for their patience as I figure out how mines is going to flow.  Till next time, Enjoy!

Touch the Stars

January 1st, I took a challenge– to draw every day for 30 days. I was not prepared to do it, I just know I wanted to do it, to kick start the new year. It wasn’t a major accomplishment, I’m comparison to other challenges, but for me, it was.

The truth is, I don’t draw much…I always wished I did…I wish I had more time to draw freely, to learn and grow and become a better artist. But Life and obligations typically get in the way. So when I was given a month to relax, I decided I’d take that time and be productive and do the thing I always wished I could. I’d draw.

It was rough at first. I was so out of practice I didn’t even know where to begin. I had my doubts. But after about day 5, all that passed. It’s as if someone got the wheels turning my head and the ideas were flowing through my pen as I wrote them down, one after the other.  I felt alive– inspired– this is what it meant to draw! The joy of bringing those ideas to life!

It wasn’t all fine and dandy though. My arm hurt something awful because i wasn’t used to it all… but I kept pushing a sketch each day because I knew that some of you were watching, and I didn’t want to conk out, after I’d already committed…even when I hit a low and began thinking of my future as an artist. I have dreams and goals, but some of them seem so far out of reach…

I halfway wanted to quit, after that thought…but then another one came to mind.  If the endgame of your goals seem so far off you cant touch them, reach for the ones nearest to you that you can. Creating my blog, and completing this challenge, was one of my goals. and those small accomplishments, gave me the confidence that I can reach others.

So to follow up with my challenge, I combined everything I learned in thirty days, into a finished painting that gives life to the idea that we all can reach our goals– and with each one, we can touch the stars of our dreams.

BannerBlog1Thank you, everyone for helping me kickstart the new year, and for inspiring me, to keep goin! Stay tuned for more updates, and Enjoy!