Saturday, March 8, 2014

Instagram: Instant Creativity

I never truly embraced my artist title until about a couple years ago. The biggest hurtle of owning my abilities as an artists was a combination of working a dead end job, surrounding myself with a supportive community of fan friends and creating personal projects that I enjoyed.

Ever hear that saying "Turn Your Passion Into Your Career?" Well always be sure to take any virtue with caution and not completely literal. In my case I had lost my passion for my work because I chose projects that were paying the bills but not necessarily good for the soul.

 Knowing yourself and your process is the key to maintaining a healthy and happy freelance career.
-Have a schedule: Time is your friend, I promise you as long as your are effective with your time.
This means make time for distractions, work, snacks, adventure walks, naps etc. Designate your time efficently to work hard and play hard, even if the napping hard is only 15 minutes. DO IT!

-A good idea is a good idea: Just like Don Drapper always says "You know a good idea, when you just know." Brainstorm/Sketch phase is such a crucial part of the pyramid of success. No idea is a bad one! Remember that exercise you did in elementary school where you had 10 minutes to write straight without stopping? Yeup, keep your hand moving until time is up.

-David Airey the author of the popular blog and book "Logo Design Love" logodesignlove wrote about getting suck and how it's so easy to feel alone in that phase. I don't know why but think about all of those talented people who seem almost super human. We all get stuck, period. Don't waste your time beating yourself up that you don't know the answer to the problem your trying to solve. I now embrace my artist block, it's my brain's way of telling me I need to take a break. (drink some water, take a deep breath, move around and relax for a bit)

Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm a bit of a workaholic. My process is very detail oriented, time consuming and full of research. In 2012 I was fortunate enough to explore the Tim Burton exhibit at the Los Angeles California Art Museum. Tim Burton was a traditionally trained illustrator but much of his success is due to his transition to film. As an artist I believe each individual has a very clear understanding of their own aesthetic. I find it fascinating to see that vision translate in different mediums. Burton's gothic subculture world found home through the vehicle of film.

Good design is intentional, existing in all aspects of life.

Bringing me to my point, Instagram is a godsend for meticulous creators who need creative outlet completely opposite of their normal process. Today, here standing proud to add my title as a photographer. I have been using Instagram for the last two years. It was not until recently have I realized my talents as a photographer. With my new tool I have learned what it actually means to be prolific. At a rate of 2056 photos in counting I have learned my personal obsessions/motifs. These subject matter motifs also apply to the compositions, lighting, colors and other art fundamentals. Understanding your typical patterns is a great place to start when knowing how to grow as an artists. You begin to have more control by knowing when to break your own rules.


The following photos were taken in Oakland at a abandon warehouse wrestling show "HoodSlam."
At first glance you see two people standing amongst the crowd. If you look carefully I managed to capture the blonde's face in my boyfriend's glasses.






In this Photo, again it appears to be two friends in the crowd. This central composition you see I captured the man and poster of the man's eyes perfectly. If you have trouble seeing it just squint your eyes.





Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Horrorwood WWA Art Gallery

Saturday November 16th was the reception to the "Horrorwood" show at the WWA Gallery in Culver City. 

Horrorwood is a show curated based off of classic Horror films. 
Check out the WWA Gallery in Culver City here: http://www.wwagallery.com/default.asp


I wanted to talk a little bit about my process. I know a lot of artists have different processes but I was taught to create a final sketch and then I use transfer paper or a light table to transfer the image onto the paper. Sometimes I use tracing paper to go over the initial sketch. The creepy girl figure from the ring was giving me a lot of grief so I had to redraw her pose probably about three times until I was satisfied. 





I would also like to mention that I use a ton of reference photos. I can not tell you how many embarrassing photos I have of myself trying to understand the lighting and the connections of the figure. It's a lot of extra work but totally worth it.



 

If you have seen the movie "The Ring" the American version you know the climax scene is extremely green. A lot of the undertone painting is yellow and green. At one point my painting was looking like the jolly green giant. I had to cool it down with some purple.

I always forget when using watercolor you have to work backwards. You paint light to dark. Be careful when adding your darks. Remember you can always add dark but it's difficult to make white. If you mess your painting up by going way to dark like I did on the creepy long haired girl use acrylic white to add highlights. I had to learn the hard way and used gouache. Gouache is difficult to use because when you go to paint your next color it always picks up the color that was previously put down. 


Final image completed in the pre frame stage.  


One thing that always make painting fun is adding small details. Make sure that for people who are hard core fans in any subject matter that you add small details that only die hard fans would understand. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Music is Art


I finally feel settled in the Bay area. With all of the hustle and bustle that comes attached to moving, it's comforting to know my music and art help me retain my sanity.
I can not believe I am actually going to be say this but I actually miss the tedious production of creating a mix CD. My last automobile was a 2000 Nissan Altima that was completely devoid of any AUX jax. Therefore the previous 10 years of owning the vehicle I was a prisoner to my CD player. I was reduced to these bulky tangible discs that would create nothing but clutter and distress to my life. Oh man! The griefs of skipping a songs due to a tiny little scratch. A scratch created none other than a fellow CD member! Overall I am grateful I experienced the frustrations of that terrible bebop system. In the end it only made me a better producer. 

Since listening to the radio was to repetitive and adolescent for my taste, I developed skills on how to produce a timeless mixed album. When I began my first mixing endeavors during high school I would create mixes very carelessly. As time went by my expendable time became limited and I based my mixes on emotions opposed to trends and fads. 


After selling my automobile ("VanilliaBean" you were a fabulous 2000 Nissan Alitma and I will never forget you.) in December of last year it has been about 10 months since I created a playlist. All of my friends encourage me to open a Spotify account. I have my reason for being anti Spotify but happy to announce my very first Soundcloud playlist.

Without further adieu here is my first online playlist. It's a compilation of tracks from the past 5 years that best describe my vision of a future romance. I am envisioning a dark and deep sexy adventure. The other day my co worker commented that my music reminds him of ambiance porno music. #fml.

Soundcloud allows you to import your own album cover art for playlists create. Immediately, I began rummaging through my instagram. Below is an image that spoke to me about my new beginnings in the Bay area. 


I took this image on my way to my first interview in the city. It felt appropriate that I use this image to represent the first of many new playlist to come. 

I manipulated the image to represent this concept: a square peg can not fit inside a circular hole. Magic occurs when everything flows and fits together perfectly. 
Soundcloud Playlist Title: Cheers to the Imaginary Love of my Life

Monday, May 13, 2013

Head Shots: Thi Nguyen

Yesterday my dear friend Thi and I decided to have a photo shoot. As an L.A. based actress our goal was to capture 5 new looks in a one day shoot. A little ambitious perhaps but luckily for us this was not our first time prepping for a photo project. You can find more information about Thi here: http://msthinguyen.com/



 



Working and helping your friends accomplish their goals is a gift in itself. No one can accomplish large projects by themselves. This shoot was the second and we both observed our personal growth as a model and as a photographer. We completed our shoot within a more efficient time frame and larger variety of looks.

One particular memorable moment was on on third look - "hipster look". At first I began art directing Thi. I would communicate to her how she was photographing. "Your chin is a bit to high" or "can you turn your body more?" I would say with the additional "Be sure to relax and shake out you body." The point is to make your model feel comfortable and let them know how they come across in a shot.

After 5 mins of directing we stopped talking to each other. This is what I call flowing. Flowing is when you give your model the permission to get into their characters and the photographer becomes invisible. Thi got to do what she does best which is act and I basically follow her lead. Once I felt she was in the right pose I would snap and then so on and so forth. In my opinion the best images are always the candid ones. If you allow people to be natural and play your images will capture with that authentic energy.

As someone who personally take photos almost every day with instagram. I admit that the best way to become a strong photographer is to do what Annie Leibovitz says "Take a ton of photos, know how to edit and it's about the story/series." You can find her interview here.
http://www.theverge.com/photography/2011/11/17/2569568/annie-leibovitz-iphone-4s-camera-brian-williams




Here are some of my favorite shots from the shoot. I hope you enjoy them.
Thi Nguyen - Los Angeles Actress 
Shot #1: Hipster/Artists Look


Before


After

Color Correction - Use your Curves RGB palette in Photoshop. It give you more control than Color Correction in Adjustments. Make sure you are using RGB for web and CMYK for print. 












Shot #2: Sport/Athletic Look











Actress/Model: Thi Nguyen
Wardrobe Styling, Hair and Makeup, Photographer/ Art Direction and Edits: Krista Turner
Special Thanks to: Jaemin Yi http://jaeminyi.com/ and the overcast Venice, California Weather.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Paper Goods and Window Displays


Summer being right around the corner I'm inspired by all of the blooming flowers.
To celebrate the season change I created a few new floral pieces to bid winter adieu! 




Salon NESOU in Santa Monica is one of the leading taste makers in hair and fashion industry on the westside. Between their involvement with updated trends and advance educational courses, no wonder their staff participates in events like NewYork Fashion Week and other LA red carpeted events.

More importantly NESOU is an environment filled with an engaging group of artistic individuals who simply put adore what they do. The goal here is to guide individuals to play and discover a look that reflects the way they feel on the inside. NESOU is a community of laid back fashion forward artists. Here is the website to NESOU. I redesigned their website and took majority of all of the photography. http://nesou.com/


CONCEPT: My goal was to create a tagline that reflected the salon's aesthetic and the season. "NESOU Loves Santa Monica." A short and sweet sentence that gets to the point that the city is not only NESOU home but the staff here helps to creates that culture. With Spring and Summer being one of the dominant seasons for weddings, the window display had to reflect those values of togetherness and rebirth. Essentially the display is a romantic picture frame or wedding invitation. I designed a 3D floral frame made 100% out of paper. To give the appearance that the frame is floating I used 5 invisible fishing lines. With the remaining flowers I staggered them in the far left window to give the display a more cohesive look.

After I designed the display I assembled a team of five stylists to help execute the production of this piece.Special thanks to: Marcus Hoey, Katie Chandler, Lawrence Gonzales, Jessica Lyu and Taylor Hood.


DETAILS: 8ft x 5 ft  / paper window display














Monday, April 1, 2013

Brainstorming Back to Basics: Stationery Project 101


This year I am going to be launching my own stationery line!
Big news right?! I couldn't be more happy to announce this exciting news to the world.
I have assembled my team of friends, supporters, mentors, and my courage.

Even though most of the work is done. In terms of marketing and branding I still feel light years away from completion. I spoke with my dear friend Danielle over at TALLWORKS today and she said beginning at the basics is the best way to start fresh.

Today I am working on a new name and playing around with the feel and look of my personal aesthetic. Here are some mood boards that I worked on today to grasp inspiration.

When I begin any creative process I would say mood boards and bubble graphs are a great way to cultivate new ideas. I also agree with Danielle by trying to be as specific as possible and avoiding words like "good" or "cool" the less specific the more you tend to remain in limbo.






[Support the Artists of the World]
Reference Photo Credit to:

Jon Contino - http://joncontino.com/
 LuvAj - http://www.luvaj.com/
Hello!Lucky - http://www.hellolucky.com/
Max Wagner - http://maxwanger.com/
Christina Winklemann - http://christinawinkelmann.com/
 Mylan Nguyen - http://www.mylanski.blogspot.com/
Ken Garduno - http://www.kengarduno.com/
kristatomic - http://blog.krisatomic.com/
Crooks and Castles - http://crooksncastles.com/
the hill-side - http://www.thehill-side.com/lookbooks/ss-2013 
papersource - http://www.paper-source.com/


Monday, February 25, 2013

Portfolio 2013


I have recently revamped my portfolio for 2013.
Here are some images of my new and improved portfolio.

Portfolio is a 24 pages book printed dual sided binded together using a two valley fold and an inside pamphlet stich.