Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Envelope, Please...

Folks who work in the animation industry are really strange. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but last night, as I watched the 36th Annual Annie Awards unfold on-stage, it really hit me that in choosing to pursue a career in this industry, I must really learn to embrace my inner freak. There's no holding back!

The evening was, as expected, eventful. In a nutshell?
- SpongeBob's (uber-buzzed?) Tom Kenny hosted.
- Dreamwork's Kung-fu Panda swept the ceremony - leaving front-runner Wall-E and the critically acclaimed Waltz with Bashir with "nada." (Wall-E was robbed!)
- I wore vintage Yves Saint Laurent, yet was seated in the nosebleed section of Royce Hall - amidst a Nickelodeon-biased crowd. *sigh*
- Brit Nick Park (best known for Wallace and Gromit), gave two heart-felt and gracious speeches for his Winsor McCay award and Best Animated Short that left me feeling the warm and fuzzies.
- The fantabulous Billy Crystal (or as his grandkids call him, "Grandpa Wazowski") was in the house to present another Winsor McCay award - this one to animation rock-star, John Lasseter.

Good times.

Friday, January 30, 2009


- Michelle Williams' hair color in this strange Francesco Vezzoli trailer.
- Hand-made Taza and the Prince headband by uber-talented, taste-maker, Naomi.
- A new bed for Beans. This one looks comfy.
- And ooh, an edible gem from Laduree. The L'Ispahan is my fav.

Pictured: In class doodle...


After tonight's awards ceremony, I'll be sleeping-over at school.

Every year, current and past students of the UCLA animation workshop gather for
Falling Lizard weekend (The term "falling lizard" comes from a Nigerian definition of animation coined during a 1982 workshop given by Dan in Nigeria). The purpose of this event is for everyone to make a film (or films) around a common theme, agreed upon the first night and completed in a single weekend. This event is open to friends of the Workshop and prospective students.

In town? Festivities start at 6:30pm in Melnitz Hall - Room 2487. At midnight we'll be playing four-square and whiffle ball in the back lots of the film school. Come with?

Pictured: Page o' doodles from my sketch book. I should probably finish filling it...

Tonight is the Night

I've been really looking forward to tonight's Annie Awards because I've never attended an awards show before. And ooh, will be catching a free screening of Coraline in Beverly Hills next Wednesday. In 3D, no less!!!

"Dancing Party"

When I was a toddler growing up in the Valley (the one of porn, not silicon fame), my mom used to hold "dancing parties" in her bedroom. My younger brother and I were the only VIPs invited and we loved them. My mom would blast a bunch of EMI/Capital Records tracks from a wimpy boom box (she worked for the record company, so all cassettes were free), and we'd all bust-a-move right on her bed.

Years later, my mom (and let's not forget dad) are still big on family "dancing parties." Lately they've been particularly fond of reenacting pop music videos, and their most recent obsession is, embarrassingly, Beyonce's Single Ladies video.

A crude animation of B's nutty dance (per my father's request) is long overdue. Am working on it, pop...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Set Design

Concept art for my C-film is due tomorrow. Am trying to create the set in which the drama surrounding my baby clown shall unfold.

Pictured: Shot of the first layer of my opening scene (a stage)... and ooh, one of my experimental panels of water. Without sharing the plot of my film just yet, let it be known that my still-nameless baby clown is a circus performer, and his performance takes place above water...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Joaquin Baldwin, a third-year MFA candidate at UCLA's animation workshop signed my sketchbook this afternoon! Huge deal. At least to me.

I had him sign right next to a sketch of my bread and butter bob-headed girl with ta-ta's exposed. Joaquin insisted that the nips I'd sketched looked more like a second pair of eyes than like nipples, and actually wrote, "They're not nipples." before his signature. Hmm. It's not everyday that I can get an up-and-coming star to scribble "nipples" for me.

Anyhow, read more about this talented young man HERE in an article titled, "Student vs. Studios: Animator Vies for Hollywood's Annie Award". Awards show takes place this Friday.

What to wear?!

Pictured: Model sheet for my C-film, "Le Voyage Magnifique". The hero of the short is this lil' guy. Don't like clowns? Aww... but clowns are people too. Yeah, people who want to kill you... :) (Source of this quote? Kathy's brother's magnet.)

Game Over

Conde Nast announced today that it is ceasing publication of style magazine, Domino, and the mag's website as well. But I just renewed my subscription...

So sad.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Whistle While You Work

Yeah, well, I would if I knew how. Sadly, I'm whistle-challenged.
Pictured: a panel from my first quarter film. Will post it when I finally land my own copy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Awards Season

What's awards season without the Golden Globes, SAGS, and Os... er, I meant ANNIE AWARDS?!? This year's Annie (Animation) Awards are being held at Royce Hall at UCLA. I will be seated in the audience with le cub as my date. Should be fun. I've never been to awards show before. Will be super "neat" seeing the masterminds behind some of the most beloved characters on both the big and small screen dressed in black-tie... Will definitely bring my camera!

Home Sweet Home(r)

Back in El-A, and the weather is great. But it ain't all beautiful. Le cub and I came across this homeless Homer at a long-term parking structure. *sniffles*

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Last night in Circle Pines, Minnesota. Had a fantabulous time bonding with le cub's family. Couldn't possibly forget...

- New Year's Dinner at the Huang's. Mama Huang's cooking was scrumptious. Particularly the yeo fan.
- A long awaited meeting with Joe and Liz. Le cub's brother and his brother's wife. Proud parents to a toothless bunny. An uber-cool couple that will, one-day, give birth to kids cuter than John and Kate's. (Yes, I'm referring to John & Kate of Plus Eight fame.)
- Caribou Coffee. The Midwest's answer to Starbucks and The Coffee Bean. Their Mint Condition is to die for. Broken bits of Andes chocolates are dropped into the beverage! Need I say more?
- Choo-choo. My first time playing Ticket to Ride - with le cub's entire family, no less. Leave it to beginner's luck. Le cub and I (we were a team) won!
- Fit for a First-Lady. And me! Purchased THIS gorgeous dress by Thakoon for Target, er Tarjay. A bargain at $35.99 (tax included as there is no tax on clothes in this great state). Saving it for le cub's graduation... but I may cheat and wear it earlier.
- Friends. Grubbed with le cub's Minnesotan gang at Korean restaurant, King's. Then checked out le cub's friend's newly purchased HOUSE. Houses are so-very grown-up - don't cha' think?
- My favorite grump. Clint Eastwood is so freakin' awesome. I highly-recommend Gran Torino. Grrrrrr.
- Sub-zero temperature. Yet I survived. Hoo-yah!

Good times in le cub's hometown, but am eager to reunite with Beans in LA.

Pictured: Sketch of a caribou from this week's trip to the Museum of Natural History...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Full Support

My parents are funny. Especially my dad. I received the following message in my in-box earlier today:

you draw a cartoon on this beyonce single ladies singing and moving with your own characters. dad. Beyoncé Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) Music Video on Yahoo! Music.

I couldn't stop laughing as I visualized him watching the video. Don't think I'll have time to animate this video, but I will definitely do "something." Haha. "Something" to come :)

Pictured: Close-up panels from my last storyboard assignment.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Remedy

Pooped. Refueling by watching Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew. I wish I could dance.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Sketching to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Enola Gay and A-Ha's Take On Me playing on loop. If le cub were home, I'd force him to dance we me like a Peanut. But he's not, so I'll just have to dance with Beans. He can be Snoopy, and I will be Chuck.

Ooh. Apparently Just Dance by Lady Gaga is also on this loop. I don't understand a verse in this song (one that also happens to be my favorite part of the song... I can't help but visualize Richard Simmons in his teeny-tiny shorts swaying to the beat):

Go! Use your muscle, carve it out, work it, hustle
I got it, just stay close enough to get it
Don't slow! Drive it, clean it, lights out, bleed it
Spend the lasto
(I got it)
In your pocko
(I got it)

Say what?

Pictured: A panel from my c-film storyboard

Feeling Shleeepy

It's 4:25am and I've yet to hit the sack. So tired, but what's a girl to do when everything's due? You DO!

Flying out to Minnesota this weekend to celebrate Chinese New Year with le cub and his family. Am particularly looking forward to meeting Joe (le cub's older brother) and Liz, his sister-in-law, excited that I'll be reuniting with "My Mai", and ooh, can't wait to dine at 112 Eatery! Le cub is always raving about the place, and hey, we've yet to post a Minnesotan joint on our food blog.

On a side note, my dear "chum" Kathy presented me with a belated Christmas gift late Monday. Not a life-sized paper mache of Michael Cera as she'd previously mentioned (aww...), rather an autographed poster from a show we'd caught together at the Coronet Theater in West Hollywood starring SNL darlings Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen! The sketches were co-written and directed by Maya’s baby daddy, Paul Thomas Anderson (of Magnolia and Boogie Nights fame)... So yay! I've now got Maya and Paul's Hancocks in a great big frame. Feeling oh-so-special. And of course, oh-so-tired. Night.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today is the day. Happy inauguration, President Obama!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009



Happy Ending

Back from an indulgent weekend in Vegas! Enjoyed some good times with old Anderson classmates and "My Mai" (Josh's friend who I am now claiming as my own). Highlights!

Gluttonous escapades. Happiness comes plated! A perfect croque madame paired with a mimosa with le cub and the recently-promoted Mai at Payard Patisserie and Bistro and the lovely Bosco pizza (one word: truffles!) and prosciutto-pear salad at Stratta were particularly heavenly. *close eyes, swallow and smile*

Night out at Tao. Fourteen of us arrived at the Venetian in a un-PC white Hummer limo. Bit douche-bag? Maybe, but the ride was fun. There's a first time for everything - not to mention a last time for everything...

Oh crap(s). I finally learned to play! But at a cost...

D-listed. Le cub and I ventured over to Wynn's Encore and saw Ice-T (who apparently spells "tea" with a single letter "T"... I had no idea) and his classy wife, Coco. Don't know who I'm talking about? Look HERE.

T'was a fun weekend, but boy am I happy to be back!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Day in the Pits

Will be at sketching skeletons, taxidermy specimens, and live, roaming children at La Brea Tar Pits from morning to afternoon. I'm no Vilppu nor James Jean, but I shall try my best. Inspired by James, I'm bringing along a ballpoint pen. Just you wait and see.

Sketches to be posted. (If they're any good.)

Obsession du Jour

And du jour after that... and du jour after that.
James Jean is may-jah.
I think I'm in love.
With his sketchbooks.
Le cub, you're still my favorite.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Eye, Not Buy

Less is more if we're talking Lanvin. Who needs a closet full of shoes when you've got these? I buy one pair of Alber Elbaz' admittingly-over-priced flats each year, and I swear my toes fist-pump in triumph each time I wear them.

Will be in Sin City with my former business school classmates this weekend. Should I find myself getting lucky at the tables, mama's gonna' have some happy feet...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Like a Moth to the Flame

Someone recently told me that Cheez-Its smell like "feet" - this following a confession that I, along with le cub, am sadly addicted to the processed cheese crackers. I disagreed with the gentleman who said this at the time that he did. But a couple nights ago, I had one too many servings, and well, the gentleman was correct in his assertion. After four or more servings, the crackers do start smelling like... er... FEET! Ugh.

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2009 is to avoid deep-fried foods. And I've done just that. It hasn't been easy, but two weeks into the new year, I'm still fried-food free! I have, however, in defiance of my resolution to get healthy, found myself a fried-food substitute in the Cheez-it.

I hoard the little squares like a chipmunk hoards nuts.

Doodle to come.

America's Got Talent

And they're roaming the halls of UCLA.

Melissa Graziano, my T.A. at the workshop, has been given a shout out on Cartoon Brew! I watched Love on the Line at last year's Animation "Prom" (end-of-the-year screening) and was hugely entertained...

And while you're at it, check out an oldie but goodie by yet another UCLA Animation Workshop student , 2009 Annie Award nominee, Joaquin Baldwin. Papiroflexia. Beautiful, no?

This quarter I begin working on my "C-film". It's about a baby clown reaching for the stars... The project is currently in its storyboard stage, but by next week, I will have to present an animatic. Yikes! Am seeking out French circus music and am considering Paris Musette by Claude Bolling, but I'm open to suggestions. Help?

Pictured: Concept art for my film. Higher?

Monday, January 12, 2009

IF: Contained

Illustration Friday topic: Contained

Mup's halitosis has been contained. Whew.

Not a Doodle...

But it is a Nara.

Dine amidst Susan Hancock's rockin' collection of Japanese pop art at Royal/T in Culver City. Drool-inducing pieces by Takashi Murakami, Aya Takano, Hideaki Kawashima, and Yoshitomo Nara (as aforementioned) are featured - amongst many others. The waitresses served us in french maid costumes... That said, the gallery/cafe is not only a suiting place for ladies-who-brunch, but for curious fellas as well.

P.S. The food was only so-so, so if you're not hungry, no worries. There's no admission to browse the 10,000 square feet gallery :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh Hey Guys!

My boys are back on the tube. It will definitely be a happy new year.

Finished Bill Buford's Heat and am now devouring A.J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. Loved Jacobs' first memoir and am unable to put down his second one.

Desks at UCLA's animation workshop are Disney studio desks from the '30s. Used during the production of the cinematic masterpiece, Snow White, they're historical relics! And I get to touch them daily. Oh-boy!

Obsessing over merbabies.

Karaoke-ed with my professor, Chuck (and a bunch of my other classmates). The man has won an Emmy for directing The Simpsons AND he sings like Bowie. Life's unfair.

Pictured: A Waste of Space

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I haven't been posting as many doodles as I should be. What started out as a sketch blog has turned into a space in which I profess my love for baked goods. That's no good... That said, wah-lah! A doodle from my evening animation class. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Plain as Toast

French boulangeries are awesome, but they don't carry "fat toast".
I don't know if it's a Taiwanese "thang", as I've seen fat toast at Japanese bakeries as well, but this stuff is amaaaazing. Le cub and I hand-carried two fluffy loaves back to California...

Photo courtesy of

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back to Life, Back to Reality

"Back to the hear and the now... yeah..." Loving me some '90s En Vogue to jump start the new year!

School's back in session at UCLA, and I'm psyched. Visualize a photo of yours truly with craft art googly eyes glued onto my actual eyes. In the photo, that is. Feeling giddy...

Posting childhood photos of myself (left) and my dear friend, Emily (right). Click on the image for the full-effect. Gals from mymomisafob and mydadisafob, take note. It takes extremely fobby parents to dress tots up like this.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Fresh Start

Happy New Year, my peeps. I'm back from visiting my family in Taiwan and am happily reunited with Beans. *clap hands* In celebration of our lil' reunion, le cub, le pup, and I feasted on some McDonald's goodness at 10pm; In doing so, I think I may have already broken one of my resolutions for 2009. D'oh. Let's try this again. *Wayne's World Rewind* Drum-roll, please... Debs' new year resolutions, take two!

In 2009 I, Debra Chow, resolve to:
1. Send handwritten thank-you's whenever possible. (everyone "heart"s snail mail)
2. Gift handmade presents. (drawings and paintings and cookies, oh my!)
3. Avoid deep-fried foods. (french fry allotment stops at five.)
4. Edit my closet. Less is more!
5. Always wear a bra. (T.M.I.) The girls just aren't looking the way they used to.
6. Learn to take freaking-fabulous photos with my Holga.
7. Learn to cook new dishes for le cub.
8. Take Beans on longer morning walks.
9. Continue reading an unassigned book per month. Bill Buford's Heat. Read it!
10. Make Flaring Nostrils a reality by offering products via the site in time for Christmas 2009.

And ooh. A resolution that I'd like to make but foresee myself breaking *sigh*
11. Provide a fresh, new doodle for my blog each week.

First doodle of the year, titled, "Is Less Really More?"
Also check-out my newly-launched website: Site improvements and additions to arrive shortly. Thank you, Corine, for the big help!


Related Posts with Thumbnails