Friday, December 28, 2007

More tech...

Happy New Year and Merry post-Christmas!

I've been keeping busy working and making new pieces for my portfolio during the holidays. One of the things I've started to do is participate in 'Industrial Design of the Week' over at The past week's theme was main battle tank, so I figure now was a good a time as any to start up. I barely made the deadline, but after getting some very good critques from the other artists, I took more time to rework it into something thats MAIN BATTLE TANK! HUH!

This time around I dropped in my process from quick thumbnails, to exploration passes in three-quarter views into the final render.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Continuing the night life excursions that we set before knowing our current unemployment dilemma, Cirque Du Soleil's Kooza has come to town! And, of course, Carolina and I have tickets. Not just nose bleeds mind you, oh no. But Carolina was able to score second row! Sweet huh? I think so!

Now, I have never been to any Cirque Du Soleil show. I have heard of it, but it wasn't something I really wanted to see. My parents took me to various circuses when I was younger. But, nothing too fancy, Ringing Brothers? I don't remember, but I guess says why I never got into it. However, I do love the idea of circuses. Trapeze, cannons, high wire acts, and a ringmaster. Big tents, popcorn, and acrobatics! What more could you ask for?

The show is a visual and exciting experience. It takes everything you expect from circuses, but adding in wonderfully eccentric costumes and momentous set designs. When we sat down, we took time to look around and take in what was already there. Soon, clowns (not the scary kind) entered the audience and kept us entertained with silly skits and acts. Leaf blowers into people's popcorn boxes and audience members wearing a tutu on stage. And as these acts started to wear thin, the show started when the The Trickster/ringmaster popping out from a box opened from our endearing actor, The Innocent. With the Tricksters magical wand he started all the acts:

The contortion act with three young ladies was simply amazing. They twisted and moved with grace on a small stage rotating around, which gave everyone a great view of the contortionists movements. Seeing this on 'Ripley's Believe or Not' is one thing, but live is another. Watching them twist and contort their bodies was... shocking, but beautiful. The poses they would hold was pure performance art at its best.

The trapeze act, by 17 year old Darya Vintilova was very cool to see, amazing solo act in the air. It was just fun to see and immediately surpassed what you expect fro
m a trapeze performance.

The high wire act was excellent, considering we watched everything from a very unique perspective in our second row seats. Four men walked with ease 30-35 feet up in the air on a wire. Leaping over one another and landing was a feat without safety wire hooked on. Once, the performer almost fell off, but caught himself on the wire and pulls hi
mself up. While you could say it was intentional to build tension, to me, it only made for a better act. Something about not being perfect in your performance adds to the performance?

The juggling act is a shiny high energy performance that comes at your a little bit silly at first, but the way the juggler goes on and on, you forget how silly it seems and just enjoy how skilled his is with pins, balls, and rings. You get to see a rhythm in a flurry of spinning objects flipping all over the stage. Its quite an act I loved watching.

My favorite act was the Wheel of Death. Yes, the Wheel of Death.
Two circular cages attached by a set of bars rotating in the air with two men running and jumping with confidence and swagger. Our great seats, again, gave us a greater appreciation of the act. Watching their jumps from inside and outside the cages was scary but amazing too. I flinched every time it seemed they would fall unto the hard stage below. The best part was their attitude that nothing will go wrong. It made it all the more fun to see.

The remaining show was great to see too. The troupe of acrobats, jumpers, and dancers were highly entertaining. They carried themselves so well and smiled at everything, they seemed to really enjoy their jobs. The only scary part was when a dancing pair didn't catch the other during a series of flips. The woman cracked hard on the floor, I wonder if the man survived the night, for she could have killed with her eyes the moment she got back up! The teeterboard was a great way to end the acts with high energy and fun. Everything winded down with the Trickster and troupe waving goodbye to the Innocent and us. Cirque Du Soleil is certainly worth your time and money if you have the opportunity to go.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Keep on truckin'...

Well, the job search continues, some down times in looking, but I won't let that stop me! So, I cranked out a new concept of a armored personnel carrier. Just keeping up with the genres I do well, tech designs. I plan for couple of more tech pieces then moving on to some more background work. Hopefully, I'll round out my environment portfolio soon enough.

Too bad I didn't do this when I played Cyberpunk or something, I think it would have been fun making art for the games I played with my high school friends. Ah well, too bad everyone has to grow up.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

My website is finally been redesigned and reworked. Its been long overdue, since I barely worked on it since I graduated, but here it is!!

Also, in between figuring out code, here's my latest doodle, a steampunk inspired tank. Boom! Boom! Boom! Hope you enjoy!

Back to Philly and then to CA

New York was pretty exhausting. So, it was good that we didn't have any other places we had to see in NY, I'm sure there is much more. But for our first trip, it was enough. So, we headed back into Philly and decided to see the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In contrast of the Met, Philly's was wonderfully relaxing and peaceful to just take our time and walk around. The American Collection was laid out well and given the space the paintings deserved for these great American Illustrators. Great pieces from Sargent and Homer's collection was great and sizable, but Thomas Eakins piece, the Agnew Clinic was the most impressive there. Wow. There was so much story, such execution, and size. A great painting to see in person. I used to think a person could enjoy great work from the internet or a well printed book, but now, I'm going to be on a mission to see all artwork I can in person. I wonder when the low season is for Paris?

We also saw more medieval armory pieces, journeyed through impressive mock sets of a variety of cultures, and viewed some great European painters. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a excellent museum. I really enjoyed my time there and would love to go back there as much as I would to the Met. And the topping of it all was when I finally found the statue of Rocky. Yeah, I like the movies and heard there was a real statue at the museum. I wasn't sure if the city still had it out there, but out there it was!

Our third trip back in Philly we went all the way from the Italian market (having another Philly cheese steak), back through South St, all the way back to City Hall. It was a perfect way to wind our trip down. Saw some great neighborhoods, wonderful historical buildings, and great shops all over. Its a great place to consider moving to. If only there were a good opportunities for us in Philly, but, ah well...

Finally the week was up and it was time to go home. It was a great time, but eventually home called and we were happy to go back. Linda gave us a ride to the airport after our goodbyes and we headed back home to the Bay Area. It was a great time that we needed to reset everything and take time for us.

New York pt.2

Back to New York we headed and our the Met was our goal. The Met. What can you say but to say its one of the most impressive places to see incredible collections of art in the US. An overwhelming amount of collections from every period that you can think of. Megan warned us a day wouldn't be enough, after we got there, I question if a week would be! We started in the Greek/Roman collection admiring the great collection of sculptures. In fact, we weren't the only artists there, many art students were there using that incredible resource. Soon, we wandered through the Egyptian collections to the Medieval collections. I loved seeing the armor and weapon masterworks there, we took many photos for future reference. Eventually wandering through the maze like Met with its many reconstruction projects, we got to the American Collection. Sadly, much of the work was in storage within these reflective and poorly lit glass cases. Not the most ideal setup to view them, but the paintings were still great to view. The Sargeants, Eakins, and Cassatts were beautiful. It made the hassle of wandering through the Met really worth it to see such great paintings.

Afterwards, we headed to see the Guggenheim building. I've read a lot about Franklin Lloyd Wright and his architecture, not the biggest fan, but the Guggenheim certainly merits a visit. Well, that was NOT to be. The damn thing was all shrouded in catwalks, safety nets , and "come back soon" signs. Yeah, thanks.

So, spending so long in the Met, hunger set in once again. We took the subway and surfaced near the Chrysler Building look for restaurants. Before the trip I wanted to somehow fit in some authentic NY thin pizza. Much is to be made of this vaunted pizza that somehow, however unlikely, to be better than Chicago deep dish. Many an debate I've been a part of concerning this, which always comes down to... "Sure, you've had NY thin pizza, but have you had it in NY?" A point I would use for Chicago deep dish, the best IS in Chicago. So as we looked for a place to eat, I kept an eye out for a place. None smelled or looked any good. Eventually we came to the area where we had dinner the last time. The place of excellent Chilean cuisine, Pomaire. Then it dawned upon me, who cares about thin flaky NY pizza? I rather have delicious Chilean food. So, once again, we ate as kings did. Steak, wine, and pisco sours!

Unfortunately, I think I angered the pizza gods or something, because we missed the train in New Jersey that would bring us to John and Linda's. Thus, we had to take the owl service bus back. And let me tell you that a night right through Trenton isn't fun, but the NJ Transit driver was extremely helpful and we got to our stop 2hours later. We then a very very long walk back to the house. Now, as a walker in San Francisco, I can say this was a long walk. The worse was when we got to the long unlit driveway, we realized this is the part of the horror movie were we should turn around and not walk that dark path to the dark house with no lights on Halloween night.

Was this our trick or treat?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New York pt.1

The next leg of our trip was in New York City. Now, I have never been to NY, just like most people, I've seen a pretty good share of it in TV, movies, comics, etc. A typical New Yorker will probably tell me that I have no idea... and they would be right.

Caro and I headed in on the train from Jersey and got to Penn Station. The moment I headed up the stairs, it was pretty cool to see the sheer mass of buildings in NY, the busy streets, and flow of the city. It is a fast paced city that I'd love to live in, despite the initial overwhelming power NY has.

We headed to Fifth Ave to meet a good friend, Megan, for lunch. We chatted about life and work and she gave us the low down on the places we wanted to see. Like the Met, MoMa, and such. Afterwards we all went to the MoMa to see the latest and greatest modern art. Before I journeyed to NY's MoMa, I went to San Francisco's. I didn't like much of the work there, now seeing major works that I've studied in school, I can say for certain, I don't like modern art.

We started off to the Neue Gallery to see the Klimt work that came back from tour. During our hike, we went through Central Park. And that was a nice and relaxing walk. Its a welcoming beautiful park with paths all over. We stopped by a cafe for a cup of caffeine and to slow down enough to enjoy our vacation. So many people rush according to a time table for all the sights, but you're on vacation! There is no schedule! Thus, relax and enjoy we did. Central Park is a beautiful place that so starkly contrasts the stone and steel of the city. Golden Gate Park is so different from Central Park. When you leave Golden Gate, you're in smaller residential homes, where Central Park is directly next to the skyscrapers of NY.

Later, we made it to the Neue gallery and walked around all the Klimt work. It was great to see so much of his finished work, but whats amazing was his sketches. His figures drawings are loose and shows off his talent. We spend a good amount of time there admiring his work and we brought a book of his drawings.

Soon, Carolina took me down to Times Square and it was a sensory wave of lights and more lights there. It was a tad stunning at first, but after a moment it was very interesting to look around. We wandered to Broadway and all the plays. Making it to Broadway as an actor certainly makes more sense to me now. Then, for dinner we found Pomaire, a restaurant on 46th street. Having eaten everything in Chile I could when I was there, this place was authentic Chilean food and it was delicious! The best meal I had in the east coast! The ribs... mm mmm!

And, like Philly we ended our first day in NY with our tummy's full waddling back to the train to Jersey. But, one day sure isn't enough, so we were determined to come back.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back from the east coast

Hi everyone and thanks for checking out my blog and first post! I'm planning to relaunch my website with some new work, removing old ones, and working out a better layout. But more on that later...

The main news is I'm back home after a week on the east coast. Carolina and I headed out after a week getting laid off from the videogame company, Secret Level. It was bit of a letdown considering it was my first full time job as a concept artist, but what can you do but pick yourself up and move on huh? So, Caro and I still headed out to the east coast for a long deserved vacation to reset and clear our heads.

We had decided on Philadelphia because of the great memories that Caro had from a previous visit years ago. Since I had never been there, so it sounded like a great idea. We flew into Philadelphia and headed over to Caro's ex-parents in-law in New Jersey to stay... hm, I wonder which is weirder, staying with my girlfriend's ex in-laws or Jersey? I'm happy to say neither is as bad as it appears to be. John and Linda's farm is a wonderful spot of land right next to the Delaware River. Scenic, rustic, and extremely charming. I loved my stay there. the air was cold and crisp. Sadly, the season I miss most is the change to Fall.

We first checked out Philadelphia starting with the Old Town, the historial area. Being a bit of a history geek, it was great to be in the area where Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights was written over 200 years ago. Seeing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall was truly amazing for me. It was interesting finding out the history of the bell, attempts to fix it, and its symbolic meaning for people outside of the US. The architecture of the area had so much history.

Afterwards we headed to South St and checked out Isaiah Zagar's work that dotted all over the walls of Philadelphia. His work covers entire sides of buildings in found materials all over the city. Random places you might look, you do find a wall he adorned sometime ago. One wall of his work is fantastic, but when we got to his building where he worked for the past 20 years on, absolutely staggering. All the floors had every inch of the walls covered in his mosaic designs. He even moved his work into an abandoned building next door and covered that too. Its a multi-level maze of mosaic designs and patterns. This gallery is one of the highlights of Philadelphia.

Eventually hunger set in and we headed out for real Philly cheese steaks. I had these cheese steaks before elsewhere and was never saw the appeal. Like the one in North Beach on Columbus St, Busters was... meh. But on our way back Caro lead me to Jim's on South St. This place had a line that wrapped around the corner and took us 20 min to even get our order in. Was it worth that? The locals had spoken, that cheese steak was damn good, really good. I was ready for another, but a second one would have exploded mah belly! Makes you wonder how the hell people get it wrong elsewhere?

It was a good way to end our first trip into Philly as we waddled back to Jersey.