Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Welcome back to the Happenings in the Studio, AKA HITS, where I recap what goes on each month in my life as a visual artist. I cover real quick non-art related events to give a sense of where my time goes, but mostly focus on my current art commissions, writing gigs, struggles, thoughts and the like.

J.O.B., Housing and College (yes, I couldn’t stay away)

June was unusually busy with things other than art. Lots of major transitions are in progress. For one my U.S. Census job ended, leaving me on the job hunt again. Since my network of artists, favorite places to buy art supplies and there is a much larger art industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am focusing most of my job shopping out there. With that comes apartment hunting and getting new studio space. I am not excited about packing again, but living in the Bay does make me all giddy.

Another huge change is that I am back in college! My entire paychecks were going to my repay my student loans, not giving me any headway. So I enrolled for an online class at the community college of the East Bay to put off my huge payments. So far the class that I am taking is incredibly applicable and helpful. It is showing me web tools that help teach and create community. By the end of it I will have skills I have wanted to learn for a while like how to make podcasts, know the ins, outs and applications of Wikipedia, and how to more effectively use Google Reader.

In fact, the first assignment for Summer school was to make a survey using Google Docs, which automatically puts the answers into a spreadsheet! As you know I use spreadsheets daily (literally). I feel a tad disloyal to Excel, but they just don’t have all the features of Google Docs. I made a survey for this blog. It would be very helpful and encouraging if you would please take a moment to fill out this survey for this art blog. I would really appreciate you taking it. :-) Thank you!

Paper Lanterns

Typically I show a slideshow and/or video of what I have created but for June I have nothing much to share. I’m still conceptualizing and problem solving how to best create paper lanterns wired with LEDs to hang over my client’s master bed. More about the art process and thinking that goes behind making art installations.

I did get to meet up with my artist friend, Celeste Flores and art patron, Andrew, to talk art. It is so encouraging being around fellow artists and art lovers.

New Website of hot places in Sacramento

My Aunt Jenny asked me to join her in reviewing our favorite places in the Sacramento area. We are still compiling posts before debuting. For a sampling, I’ve written about a gluten free and vegan restaurant, traveling by train, where to pick up illustrated kid’s books in Braille, and several day trips of San Francisco’s Marina District with a google map plotting out the trip.

Inspiration/motivation: books, films and TV series

I’ve already spoken several times about the book that I got for my birthday called Crush it! By Gary Vaynerchuk, so I'll leave it at this- go read it!

My textbook for my Summer class is called Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. I’m learning all sorts of helpful things about RSS feeds, blogs and Wikipedia. It is written in a lively and upbeat style. Thank you San Francisco library for carrying this book. :-)

Besides designing paper lanterns, I watched Wild China, a documentary filmed by the same incredible folks who created Planet Earth. Stunning cinematography and some animal behaviors never caught on film before. My paper lanterns have a lot to live up to. Wow.

I'd eagerly awaited the Sacramento French Film Festival at the Crest Theatre and I was very surprised in a bad way. None of the films were rated and they were way more depressing, shocking and unnerving then I was expecting. After watching the short films I didn't feel like running off to France to drink absinthe and to paint. However dinner with my family and Celeste at Crepeville was wonderful, as was the coffee at the Naked Lounge and sweets from Ginger Elizabeth's chocolate shop. Plus the venue was adorable, old fashioned, smelt like real popcorn, and had sculptural wall sconces taller then me.

To read my thoughts and books read for this year, here's my 2010 booklist.

July goals:

  • Find a full-time job and an apartment in the Bay Area
  • Finish creating and installing the paper lantern commission
  • Finish the last four weeks of my online class and apply what I learn to better market my art and put the new skills towards creating a stronger community for my blog.
  • Continue typing and take typing certificate (Since May I have sped up from 35-50 WPM. My goal is to test at 50.)
  • Daily eat papaya, ginger tea, raw cabbage, steamed beets, take calcium, ginko and practice yoga

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