Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Waltz with Polonsky

David Polonsky, the art director for Waltz With Bashir, dropped by the workshop yesterday. Such a pleasure seeing an illustrator make the transition into animation with such success. For according to Polonsky, "Illustration and animation are two opposing mediums." An illustrator-turned-animator myself, I agree completely.

Couple of interesting tidbits I scribbled down during his presentation:

- Polonsky and Foreman (the director of the film), had 3 weeks to put together a 3 minutes trailer to present at the Toronto Film Festival in hopes of raising the $1M necessary to complete the film. (The film would ultimately cost $2M.)

- Limitations (budget-wise) was the main contributing factor to the look and feel of the movie. Polonsky enjoys working within limitations even if it is more challenging.
A cast of 10 animators worked on the film for 2 years. (Note: They started with 6 animators, at one point increased the team to 8, and only in the last two months did the final 2 animators get hired. 8 of the animators who worked on the film have been incorporated as extras in the film.

- As an Israeli, Polonsky wasn't able to travel to Beirut. That said, the images of Beirut in the film were completely based on images plucked off the Internet.

- The film was not rotoscoped - contrary to what many critics have assumed. With the exception of one scene which was hand-animated, the film is achieved via cut-out Flash animation.

- The scene in which the soldier dances amidst bullets depicts a true moment. Numerous soldiers witnessed the dancing soldier who, as Polonsky described, was "so out of it" as he tried to cross the bullet-filled street, that he began to dance his way across it. Snipers stopped shooting at him, yet continued to shoot at the others...

So what's next? The 2-D dream-team that is Polonsky and Foremon are going to attempt sci-fi! Looking forward to seeing their next masterpiece.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bang For My Buck


Four days after Valentine's Day, everything in the holiday-themed aisle at my local Walgreens was priced at ten cents. EVERYTHING! Naturally, Kathy and I allowed ourselves to go crazy. My final intake came to a grand total of $0.90. For less than a buck I was able to bring home 2 heart-shaped boxes of Hershey Kisses, 1 heart-shaped box of Reeses peanut-butter cups, 1 ugly-cute stuffed singing frog for my Aunt Su-Su, 2 Palmer chocolate bars shaped as fish (sounds gross, but they were really cute), and 2 bags of Dove's chocolate and almond hearts.


Monday, February 23, 2009

I Think We Should Name Them

"He offered her the world, she said she had her own..."

Can't recall where I read this, but the message is empowering.

Pictured: A b-school classmate of mine, whom I've nicknamed "Swayze", gave these two teeny-tiny (an inch-and-a-half tall) potted friends to me for Valentine's Day. (Seeds included.) Le cub didn't think they'd grow, but with good lovin', they're already showing green...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Note to Self

Keep looking up. That's the secret of life. - Snoopy

Feeling a little overwhelmed with school and life lately. Once again, I did not accomplish as much over the weekend as I'd hoped. Come next weekend, I am going to have to climb out of the ginormous hole I dug for myself. *eye-bags emerging* Grr.

On a brighter note, this weekend did not go to waste. Le cub's older brother, Joe, was in town this past weekend, and it was real pleasure getting to spend time chatting and eating with him. (Beans LOOOOOVES Joe.) Pity that le cub and I did not have enough time to take him to grub at Park's in K-town. I think he would've liked that. Something to look forward to during his next visit to the West Coast with his wife, Liz, I suppose...

Finally, much appreciation to those who've been emailing me or leaving messages regarding my Aya. Not one to grieve over death, as I sincerely believe that all things happen for the best in the grand scheme of things - even the seemingly "bad" events and occurrences - I'm making most of the situation by doing what I can to honor my gramps. I'm going to designed a character inspired by him. Will post "Aya" soon.

Loving Amos Lee's Sweet Pea.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

When Will I See You Again?

My Aya has passed. Peacefully.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kitchen Savant

Inspired by the chef's tart I had on Valentine's day at Monsieur Marcel, a photo of Ah-Yi's warm breakfast tart at Joan's on Third, and this swiss chard tart that I came across in the blogosphere, I made my own chard-onion-mushroom-topped version for le cub this evening. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I'm quite the tart maker *toot!* Click here for the easy recipe :)

What else:
- Learned to use Animo (an ink & paint program) today. Not a fan. ButI managed to sneak a doodle during the demo. Used a Bic. It was fun. See above.
- Rooting for Top Chef's Carla. Hootie-Hoo!
- Counting down the days until Conan makes his big move to the West Coast. Anyone else watch the O'Brien-Colbert invisible-string dance-off last night?!? Woah. Moves that swept a nation...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hump Day

I've just been told that my grandpa, "Aya", the father of my father, is nearing his end. While I realize that death is a natural part of life, it pangs me to think that life "progresses" the way that it does... I suppose there's no point in stating that I wish he could pass more peacefully and comfortably - within the comfort of his own bed, and not one at a hospital...

I wonder if my father is feeling lost at the thought of no longer having a father figure. Parents, even parent's parents, are supposed to be invincible...

On a cherrier note, some pleasant, and appropriately irrelevant discoveries to share:

- "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them .....and then there are others." I'm taking an Animation seminar this quarter, and one of the shorts viewed was the claymation masterpiece, Harvie Krumpet. Watch the entire Academy Award winning short HERE. Very charming.

- And in case you missed my previous posting, watch a little girl narrate a picture book about kittens HERE. A guaranteed smile.

- Alexander McQueen's capsule line for Target will be out in March 4th. Music to my recessionista ears.

Pictured: An elaborate doodle from today's class. Drawn with a Bic and colored using ArcSoft.

Almost There

My layout animatic's incredibly close to being finished. Couldn't get the digital downshooter to work, so I ended up scanning all my layers and composited all of 'em using my ArcSoft PhotoStudio software - the poor man's version of Adobe Photoshop that came bundled with my Canon scanner. With my animatic out of the way, I'll finally be able to start animating. Yes!!!

Random Tuesday observations and confessions:

- Jane Birkin. I want to bottle up the essence of Jane. This woman carries around a straw basket the way one might an Hermes Birkin. And I mean that quite literally. See HERE.

- Sun Chips. Baked or fried? Wikipedia's telling me they're fried, but folks in the forum discussions I came across (while procrastinating late at night), claim they're baked. Sadly, I think the latter bunch is merely in denial. The Sun Chip people have got to stop toying with our emotions.

- Books. They're good for you. Nearly finished with animator, Shamus Culhane's Talking Animals and Other People. Bad-ass writer, chef, traveler, Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential is next on my reading wish-list.

- Jello Jigglers. Miss Block and I have created a clubhouse within the UCLA animation workshop. We're the "Perspective Killers," and if you want to step into our well-decorated and supplied animation corner, you've got to know the password. Fortunately for you, we're bad at keeping secrets. The password? I just gave it to you...

Stream of Consciousness

Kids crack me up. Watch THIS pleasantly weird video. (Thanks to le cub and his sister.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eyes Like Saucers

I should be finishing up my layout animatic, but I'm awfully distracted by an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. The particular episode I speak of is one covering Spain. And at this very moment, Bourdain is yapping about the cuisine of San Sebastian - the hometown of a good friend of mine from business school. Now I've never been to Basque country, but the region looks AMAZING. Why'd my friend ever leave?!? Gosh, I really want to go. To eat! The level of creativity involved in the creation of all the featured dishes is astronomical. Watching Bourdain eat at his favorite restaurant in the whole-wide-world, Arzak is causing me to physically salivate. Pretty pathetic considering it's two in the morning...


Last night, The Simpsons debut their first television episode in HD, including a freshly tweaked opening sequence. Thoughts? I'm usually for the old-school versions of things, but I'm kinda' digging the sharper, clearer version of my favorite family. Marge is lucky she's animated, because even the teeniest of flaws and skin imperfections can seem glaring under a studio's bright lights when broadcast in HD... I'm just saying.

Pictured: My latest addition to my mini art collection. Click to see the detail. Can't afford an original James Jean, but a couple months back, I went ahead and splurged on the above giclee. It's titled, "The Willow Tree No. 4," and is from Jean's Recess collection. The concept of having the tree trunk bleed like raw flesh is a tad disturbing yet Jean's beautiful, flowing line work puts me at ease... I LOVE this piece, and ended up spending the same amount framing it as I did to buy it. To be fair, the folks at Allan Jeffries did a phenomenal job.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Romping Over to the Dark Side

Spring fashions are out and I've noticed an abundance of rompers.
- THIS one is cute.
- As is THIS one...
- And THIS one.

Now I'd like to think that I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to clothes, but seriously, should a 29 year-old like myself be sporting a onesie beyond the bedroom? I think not...

Designer rompers (HERE's another... and HERE's another!) seem awfully impractical... though I should credit all these designers for designing them all in black. Unfortunately, this dark side isn't appealing to me.

That said, I think I will stick with that which works for me. Vintage geek chic.
- THIS Inspector Gadget-esque beauty would look lovely paired with tortoise-shell glasses. And it's so A.P.C....
- THIS lil' secretary-eque number sports an Alexander Wang-esque print at a fraction of what an actual Alexander Wang dress would cost...
- And if I were to scoop up THIS top, le cub would surely comment, "Are you going to go churn butter today?"

And it is when he makes statements like that that I know that I've REALLY got my geek on... *woot woot*

Only Have Eyes For You

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” - Agatha Christie.

Le Cub bee-ing mine on Valentine's Day 2009. On our faces are remnants from our dinner at La Paella. It's become our Valentine's Day tradition to share their delicious Arros Negre (seafood squid-ink) paella. Le cub looked increasingly ridiculous with each bite of paella and sip of sangria (the ink and wine temporarily stain teeth and lips), but I couldn't help but "lovings" him more and more anyhow.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sorry Ladies, He's Taken

- Our breakfast feast of eggs over-easy, Pillsbury crescent rolls and berries.
- Le cub's card accompanying not one, not two, but an entire box o' See's chocolates. T'was everything i was hoping for... and then some! I also recieved fresh-cut roses amidst a spray of baby's breath. They smell super sweet. Ask Beans.
- Truffle oil fries from our lunch of tapas at the charming Monsieur Marcel at The Grove. Yes, I broke my new year's resolution to avoid deep-fried foods. Complete avoidance was an impossible task to ask of me, but I will, however, continue to lower my intake through out the year.

- My gift to le cub (other than sweet-sweet "lovings" - obviously,) were tickets to see his beloved "The Flight of the Conchords" perform live at the Greek Orpheum end-May. V-day extended!
- Ticket stub for "Slumdog Millionaire". A very good movie that we gluttons, were fortunate enough to catch between meals.

Le cougar hearts le cub, and I'm pretty sure le cubs hearts le cougar back.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fest O' Love

Le cub and I are passionately in love... with Korean barbeque. Last night, having endured what felt like a ridiculously long week, we rewarded ourselves with a delicious meal at the magnificent Park's in LA's Koreatown. We were proud to introduce Park's marinated galbi and perfectly crispy seafood pancake to the newbies (we were dining in the company of b-school friends and out-of-town guests, Billy and Amanda), and left the restaurant smelling of meat and garlic. Ahh...

Valentine's Day is tomorrow. An overly-commercialized holiday reminding us to love more, and hate less. I don't know about you, but that sounds good to me. And to all the love-haters, half-priced, Hershey's products dressed-in-pink call for celebration as well, no?

Will be rockin' my latest purchase tomorrow - a lil' red A.P.C. skirt. Paired with an old navy and white striped-top, high-waisted belt, and bangs, I will soooo be in character for an evening of amoré. Muah-hahahaha.

Pictured: Le cub. He's my banana. Yellow on the outside, white on the inside :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All Work and No Play

Makes Debra a very cranky girl.

It's 4:26am, and I just returned home from the workshop. Was working on my layout animatic all day and would've finished the entire thing by the time I left had I not encountered some technical difficulties. To have stayed up as late, er, as EARLY as I have, and not be finished, is maddening. Ugh.

Anyhow, as a means of decompressing, I am going to go flip through my very last issue of my beloved Domino. The March issue arrived earlier today, but I didn't even have time to get a glimpse of the cover!

On a happier note, THIS video was shown to me earlier today, by my classmate, Lil' Miss Block. Totally awesome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


"Aya" (my grandpa) is in the ICU back in Taiwan. He is, at the moment, not breathing on his own. Sadness.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Rain or Shine


It has arrived. My Taza-made headband! I'm not very good at putting it on (I blame my short forehead), but I will post a photo of it (on me) when my Mac's PhotoBooth feature starts functioning again.

Fellow Conan O'Brien fan? If so, check THIS out! DBD, much thanks for the link.

Guilty pleasure. Larry and I will be attending Taylor Swift's LA concert end-May. Sure, listening to songs titled, "Fifteen" at the age of 29 is somewhat disturbing, but hey, her album's underlying theme of unrequited love is actually kind of universal...

Kitchen Savants. While in Morocco, our party of six will be taking a cooking workshop HERE. Jealous, much?

Oh What a Night

T'was an eventful evening with my Columbia bff, Katherine "Mama" Chang...

After picking me up at my front door (like a good date should), "Mama" and I split a satisfying meal of assorted sushi rolls at Fat Fish in West Hollywood. As was expected, neither one of us was able to exhibit self-control, so we ended up indulging in a massive review-worthy banana split sundae towards our meal's end. Satisfaction.

Alas the joy obtained from our dinner together was not enough for us Epicureans. We met up with a third fun-loving pal, "Coco," and our poncho-donning trio sat through and laughed through the reality-play,"Point Break Live!". I'd been wanting to go since the last time the crew was last in town... SO much fun!

Pictured: Two pages from my what was the beginning of a potential web-comic titled, "Waste of Space." (It reads funny. From the top, left to right. Then to the next row, left to right. And so forth.) Anyhow, Beans ended up chewing up both pages, and I took that reaction and the fact that no one other than dear Madge, was visiting my blog, as a sign to shelve the idea. Thoughts?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

If I Were a Boy

I've been told that boys can be dense, so I've decided to go ahead and voice my heart's desires for V-Day 2009. (Last year, because I was busy dining with girlfriends on Valentine's Day, le cub ran off to Santa Barbara with his boys and didn't return until the following morning! To be fair, he asked me if he could go, and I said, "Sure!" *Marge Simpson grumble*) So drum-roll please...

Dearest Cub,

I have been a very good cougar this year. In order to ensure that my great expectations for Valentine's Day 2009 are met, I am, unabashedly providing you with absolutely unsubtle hints at what I'm yearning for.

Christian Lacroix's Parisian gem would make for a pretty freakin' awesome gift. I'd share it with you, of course.

Too much? Don't have 2.6 million bucks just lying around? Yes, I thought so. Then how about a shop like THIS one. We can run it together back in the Bay. Mom and pop style.

What? You think I'd eat all our inventory? How dare you? Grr... you're probably right. Very well. Lest you find all of the above too much to handle, then I would be equally happy with some smaller tokens of love. A "butter and the cheese" sandwich would be fitting. Because you love "the cheese" and I love butter. A Choo-choo-choose You card from you would also make me smile.

And my wish-list goes on: One See's scotchmallow, one See's walnut square, and ooh, one cub.

Looking forward to getting through midterms week and celebrating Valentine's Day with you.

Love always and always,


Sketches from the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. If you were to see Professor Vilppu's sketch pad, you'd laugh at mine. Feeling a bit like Salieri today...

Speaking of Salieri, check out this week's finds:
- THESE. Because watching the pros at work is inspiring.
- THESE. Akina's handmade cloth-bound books are physical works of art. Her characters are Blythe-like - delivering just the right dosage of creepiness.
- Trying to lower your caloric intake? Feast on THESE.
- THIS gentleman's work leads me to believe that if I were to trade in my Bic pens for a Namiki Falcon, I will no longer be Salieri. Alas, I do not think my choice of drawing instrument is to blame.

The Reviews Are In

After sketching stuffed animals (not toys) all morning at the Museum of Natural History, a couple of my classmates and I braved the rare LA rain and hit-up the Arclight in Hollywood to watch "Coraline" in 3-D.

As expected, the feature was a feast for the eyes. Flat-out gorgeous! I'd seen all the marketing materials generated by the clever folks at Wieden-Kennedy and knew that I'd be pleased with the aesthetics of the film, but the folks at Laika did such an incredible job working the models in this film, that viewers are likely to forget that the movie was done in stop-motion.

Although I felt that parts of the story could've been improved upon (the search for the ghost children's eyes was so "blah"!), I think that Henry Selick and his crew did a truly brilliant job presenting Neil Gaiman's novella in an appropriately-dark-and-disturbing fashion.

A must-see.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

It's raining cats and dogs in LA.

Although Beans prefers frolicking in the nude - all nipples exposed - last night, I forced him to put on his hooded toggle coat (from God-Mama Emily) to minimize his "Eau de Wet Dog" scent. Beans is nearly 80lbs, yet he photographs like a puppy.

Headed to the Paige Museum/La Brea Tar Pits for another morning and afternoon of sketching. Might catch a showing of Coraline! I sadly missed the free Wednesday evening screening by ASIFA to attend a Sito make-up class...

IF: Flawed

This week's Illustration Friday theme: Flawed

“Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst,” advised the philosopher Marcus Aurelius. With that in mind, Moy Boy proudly exposed his "flaw."

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Must. Get. Sleep.
Pictured: Doodle (they're getting elaborate) done during Professor Sito's make-up lecture. Click to see details...

Coloring Within the Lines

In an effort to keep things old-school, all the backgrounds for my c-film will be hand-drawn and hand-colored. Check out my stage curtains. Color pencil on Prismacolor marker.

What I'm Made Of

Mush. I'm made of mush.
Everything's due, and I'm feeling overwhelmed.
I wish I were snowed in...

But that would mean my morning massage at Bliss Spa would be tragically canceled. Yes, you heard me. I'm getting a a long overdue Blissage! Am finally cashing in the gift certificate my dear friend Lydia sent me for my birthday two long years ago. Perfect timing as I've got a mountain of knots for the masseuse to unravel...

Pictured: Angie's boss at a bus stop in London.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Winter Wonderland

My Aussie-but-England-residing friend, Angie sent me the above-posted photo. According to my Ang, "The last time London saw this much snow was 18 years ago. Most Londoners were snowed in and couldn't get to work and school. Everyone from 2 to 70 years old were in the park making snowmen and having snowfights. I've never seen so many snowmen in one place! I think there must have been 50+ snowmen in the park including this snow couple chilling on the park bench. And the pubs and cafes in the village were choc full of people warming up on wine, hot chocolate and coffee. We even saw.a couple cross country skiing in the park. London is a winter wonderland!"

I wish I were in London... Kinda. Sorta. Wait. Didn't I just return from Minnesota?!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Much to Come

Am eagerly awaiting the arrival of THIS - handmade by my internet girl crush, Naomi.

And THIS! Going this Saturday. It will be awesome!!!

Pictured: Concept art for my c-film - a short about a trapeze-ing baby clown. Because so many things are better as babies. Muppets, puppies, Kampachi... (that's baby Hamachi, er Yellowtail for non-sushi-eaters.)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Hello YouTubes!

Ronald Jenkees is a musical genius. LISTEN.

Lazy Sunday

While editing Single Ladies in the workshop during the wee hours of the night, Lil' Miss Blockhead and I popped in a DVD of "Beauty and the Beast." THIS is my favorite shot in the entire movie. *tee-hee* My feelings about the Beast's final transformation and reveal as Fabio-esque Adam are echoed by THIS young artist featured at Deviant Art. (Thank you, Alexis, for digging this up for me.) Hahaha. Beast, change back!

Single Ladies

Spent the last 12+ hours on campus slaving away to grind out a goofy short - all in honor of the UCLA Animation Workshop tradition, Falling Lizard. As mentioned in an earlier entry, the purpose of the 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.

This year's theme was "Bad Dreams." Since the boys teamed up to create a CG masterpiece involving 70 virgins (don't ask...), a couple of us girls (namely Lil' Miss Blockhead and Feme) teamed up to fulfill my pop's dream of seeing Beyonce's "Single Ladies" in cartoon form. In order to meet the theme, our music video features the fugly man-hunter, Brunhilda (le cub, thank you very much for the name), who is as persistent in delivering her message to all boyfriends that, "If you like it then you should've put a ring on it," as she is enthusiastic when it comes to shaking her bubbly booty.

We had fun putting together this crudely animated piece. That said, we hope you enjoy watching it!


Related Posts with Thumbnails