belVita Breakfast animation by Paperfashion

February 22, 2012 / Illustration, Inspiration / 0 Comments

Katie Rodgers aka Paperfashion recently worked on a short illustrated stop motion for belVita Breakfast.

I love how she used her watercolor illustration cut-outs to create this fun, colorful animation. It sounds like this was the very first stop motion Katie worked on and I think she did a great job!

Don’t forget to check out Katie’s fashion illustration on her Paperfashion blog.

Image from Paperfashion.

R.pellicer x Daxis Design

February 14, 2012 / Illustration, Process, Work / 0 Comments

I recently worked on another collaboration project with my great friend, R.pellicer.  R.pellicer makes fashionable-yet-functional laptop bags and has collaborated with various artists for its Artist Series Bag line.

R.pellicer Artist Series Bag #7, featuring my hand-drawn illustration, is now available at R.pellicer online store.  Entire illustration is drawn freehand with archival-quality permanent markers.  My very first R.pellicer Artist Series Bag was sold out soon after it was released.  So you should go grab it before it’s gone forever!

Below are photos showing the process of my illustration work.

I first did a light sketching on the bag with a pencil before working with markers.  Drawing directly on the heavy cotton canvas fabric with a maker was a little bit of challenge, especially when I was using the ultra-fine-point marker for the hair, due to the heavily-textured fabric surface.

Once I was completely done with the illustration on the back of R.pellicer bag, I started working on the front pocket illustration. This time, I didn’t do any sketching with a pencil.

Nowadays, you can find R.pellicer products and also meet Rochelle Pellicer, the designer and owner of the brand, at various events in Southern California.  If you like R.pcllier products, make sure that you follow her on Twitter or Facebook to stay updated on their upcoming sales or events.

Hello 2012!

January 25, 2012 / Personal / 0 Comments

Image source

Wow, it’s already the end of January.  Time goes by so fast!

2011 was a pretty exciting year for me.  Last year, I left my comfort zone and did a few things that I never thought I would do.

In the beginning of 2011, I finally started a church small group with my best friend, Veronica — Veronica is the host of our group.  Initially, we had only four people in our small group including myself but it has grown over the months and we now have 8-10 people.  In August, I had completed a 30-week-long training at Saddleback Church.  Then in October, I ran a half marathon and successfully fund-raised for the very first time in my life.

In 2012, I want to better myself as a designer/artist and listed below are some of my design-related New Year resolutions:

Finish Updating Portfolio

If you’ve been visiting my website since before December 2011, you probably already noticed the changes.  My entire website is now re-designed with clean and more minimalistic look.  Once fully updated, the portfolio section will be much easier to browse through.  Also, some of my old (and not-so-great) work will be removed and I have some new work that needs to be added to my online portfolio.

Draw More Often

Since I was very little, I created or drew something pretty much every day.  However, since graduating from college several years ago, I’ve been drawing less — way less.  When I’m at work, everything is done on the computer.  This year, I will push myself to draw more regularly.

Open Up a Shop

I first heard about Etsy from my former co-worker about four years ago.  Some of my friends have been telling me that I should sell my creations online for years and I’m finally determined to start my own Etsy shop.  Etsy may be the perfect solution for my longtime craving for a creative outlet.  I’m not even sure what I will be selling, yet.  Haha!  Probably prints, cards, or t-shirts….  The idea of sharing my creations with the world definitely sounds fun!

Well, I hope 2012 will be a great year for everyone!

2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

November 28, 2011 / Personal / 2 Comments

Image from Los Angeles Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series website

It’s already been almost a month since I ran in the 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon as a member of Team ASPCA.  I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about my first half marathon experience soon after the race and it’s already the end of November.  My apologies for the delay!

First of all, on behalf of ASPCA and all the animals who cannot personally thank you, I want to thank all of you for supporting me throughout the training and sending a donation to my fundraising page.  I had to raise at least $1,000 to run the race and there’s no way I could have done this without you.  Thank you so much for every dollar that you donated.

I reached my fundraising goal in about 30 hours after I (somewhat) actively started fundraising.  By the race day, I had raised $1,965!  You have no idea how overwhelmed I was with gratitude, excitement, and joy.

I trained hard for 16 weeks.  Team ASPCA staff and coaches — we had coaches in San Diego, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco — were all very supportive and helpful in every possible way.  With virtual training available 24/7, they made it easy even for people with hectic daily schedules to train for the half marathon.

I had never run such a long distance before and was pretty nervous about the race.  Thankfully, I finished the race with no injuries.  It was definitely not easy but not as hard as I expected to finish the race.

Watching all those runners who dressed up for Halloween and cheerleaders and strangers who were cheering for runners, I had a lot of fun running.  There were also 6 or 8 bands playing throughout the course and Bret Michaels was performing at the event.  If you want to see the photos of runners in Halloween costumes and Bret Michaels performing, click here.

As part of the ASPCA’s involvement in the half-marathon, we distributed $280,000 in grants to Los Angeles-area animal shelters and rescue groups.   Some of the fans who cheered on Team ASPCA from the sidelines (or the nearby Bark Park) were homeless dogs from Bark Avenue Foundation.  Rock star Bret Michaels, an animal lover who was performing at the event, met some of the dogs up for adoption and even named one “Little Bret”.

-Ed Sayres, President and CEO of ASPCA

Before the race, I thought I wouldn’t want to do another race once I was done with the half marathon.  However, I had so much fun on the race day that I’m thinking of doing another race in near future.

Now I’m done with rambling.  Here are the photos I took.

On Saturday morning, October 29, 2011, we had Coaches Breakfast where we got to meet all of the coaches and mingle with other Team ASPCA members.

The youngest Team ASPCA member and runner was an 11-year-old girl.  Surprisingly, I saw a few young kids who ran the race as Team ASPCA members.

The highest amount raised by one person alone was about $7,000.  Isn’t that amazing?

Right next to the room where we had Coaches Breakfast, there were on-site tables where you could buy Team ASPCA exclusive gear and fashionable jewelry by CrushCrush Couture (CrushCrush Couture donates 25% of proceeds to charities such as Team ASPCA).

Next to those tables were cute, adoptable dogs from Bark Avenue Foundation.  You can see only a few dogs in the photos above but there were many more.

Do you see the little guy with shaggy hair?  His name is Todo.  I fell in love with him the moment I laid my eyes on him and almost brought him home with me.

It broke my heart to see so many sweet, adorable dogs who were waiting to find forever homes.  I would bring them all home with me if I could but I’m not in a situation where I can have another dog (sigh).

If you live in or near Los Angeles and are interested in adopting a little friend, make sure that you check out the website of Bark Avenue Foundation.

After Coaches Breakfast, we all had an opportunity to decorate our Team ASPCA race shirts.  All decoration materials were provided by Team ASPCA.

Some people attached photos of their pets and/or foam letters to their shirts.  I kept mine simple.

Subaru — one of ASPCA’s sponsors — even had a car with all runners’ names on it.  See my name in the close-up photo?

Here’s the medal I got when I finished the race.  It’s little hard to see in the photo above but the star is sparkly pink enamel and I love it!

Again, I want to thank you for all the support and donations.  Also, I want to thank Team ASPCA staff and all of the coaches who were there for us every step of the way, from the very beginning of our training to the end of our race.  Both the training and race were great experiences!

Steve Jobs: 1955 – 2011

October 10, 2011 / Inspiration / 0 Comments

“For the past 33 years, I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?’  And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

“Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

-Steve Jobs during a Stanford commencement ceremony in 2005

RIP, Steve Jobs.

Ugmonk Celebrates Their 3rd Anniversary

August 28, 2011 / Design, Inspiration / 0 Comments


Ugmonk is one of the indie clothing brands that I love and find inspirational.  Ugmonk applies minimal, typography design to t-shirts, posters, tote bags, and mini sketchbooks.

Soon after Jeff Sheldon graduated from college with a B.S. in graphic design, he started a full-time design job and launched Ugmonk as “an outlet for his passion and entrepreneurial experiment”.  Ugmonk quickly grew.  Just in two years, Jeff was able to quit his job and go full-time with Ugmonk.  The story behind Ugmonk is truly inspirational and you should definitely read more about it.

What I really love about Ugmonk is that Ugmonk gives back to the community and that all of their products are made in the U.S.  Also, Jeff spends many hours brainstorming and sketching for each design he creates.  He sometimes even shares photos of his sketches or sneak peeks of upcoming designs on his blog.

Another pillar of Ugmonk is the desire to give back to those in need. Just a few months after opening shop, we decided to hold our first annual Ugmonk Gives Back charity drive – donating to children in need for each item sold during the holiday season. Each year we’ve partnered with Samaritan’s purse, and through three years we’ve been able to give over 2000 meals to needy children around the world. We are grateful for the support of our customers and the ability to share our success with those in need.

-Jeff Sheldon, founder and designer at Ugmonk

Ugmonk is now turning 3 and 3rd Anniversary Set was released last Friday to celebrate their 3rd birthday!  Only 200 of these sets are made and about half of them are already gone.  So you should go grab yours now before they are all gone for good.  Here are some of the images of Ugmonk 3rd Anniversary Set:

As a part of their 3rd anniversary, Ugmonk is also having 20%-off sale which ends on Monday, August 29 at 11:59 p.m.  This discount applies to everything in the shop including the 3rd Anniversary Set.

All images are from Ugmonk online shop.

I Need Your Help

July 6, 2011 / Personal / 2 Comments


Say “hello” to my little sweet boy, Dax!

I adopted Dax from a dog rescue group at Petsmart in 2008. He has everything I can possibly ask for in a dog and I love him dearly. If you really know me, you know Dax is more than just a dog to me. He is a very important part of my life and this led me to make a goal I’ve never made before—running a half marathon and fundraising.

On October 30, 2011 I will be running in the 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon as a member of Team ASPCA, a national fundraising and marathon training program. I am excited to be participating in the inaugural season of Team ASPCA and honored to be raising the awareness and the much needed funding to support the ASPCA‘s programs.

Your donation will help the ASPCA continue to provide local and national leadership in three key areas: caring for pets and pet parents, providing positive outcomes for at-risk animals and serving victims of animal cruelty. The ASPCA is very important to me and I appreciate your help as we fight to end animal cruelty, homelessness, and neglect.

Please visit my fundraising page and support me by making a donation.  Please help me make a positive impact in the lives of animals living in my community!

I need to raise at least $1,000 to run in the half marathon. Every dollar counts and even the smallest donations will be greatly appreciated. If you are not in a situation where you can support me financially, I understand. I would really appreciate it if you could at least share this blog post or my fundraising page with other people who may be able to help.

I’ve been training every week for the half marathon and am looking forward to cross the finish line!

As this is my first time fundraising and participating in a half marathon, I need all the support I can possibly get from family, friends, and everyone else.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and helping me support an organization that does so much for animals!

Hello Kitty x Johnny Cupcakes

June 4, 2011 / Design, Inspiration / 0 Comments

Johnny Cupcakes just released their second collaboration work with Hello Kitty yesterday which could be exclusively purchased at all store locations, including London, and through their online shop. There are three t-shirts, one hooded sweatshirt, one tote bag, and two mug cup designs as well as a handful of pins and stickers.

When JC released their very first Hello Kitty collaboration products a while ago, they were all sold out before I even had a chance to take a look.  So when I found out about JC’s second collaboration with Hello Kitty through their e-newsletter a few days ago, I was very excited and determined to grab a JC x HK t-shirt this time!

The Johnny Cupcakes x Hello Kitty release has been such a hit that their website server crashed yesterday during the day.  So I thought maybe I should come back later at night and grab a t-shirt.  I checked JC’s online store 6-8 hours after the release just to find out that everything except for sweatshirts were sold out.  I’m sure the sweatshirts will be all gone soon as well.

Here are some images of the JC x HK products that were just released yesterday:

I really hope that there will be another JC x HK collaboration in near future.  Next time, I’m buying a JC x HK t-shirt as soon as they are up for sale no matter what!

So what’s Johnny Cupcakes?  No, they don’t sell cupcakes. They create and sell t-shirts with cupcakes on them and everything at JC is limited edition.  Also, almost all of their products are made in the U.S.

The first time I ever heard of Johnny Cupcakes was when he had a lecture at Laguna College of Art and Design years ago. My cousin was a student at the art school back then and told me that I would love the lecture since I’ve been very interested in t-shirt business for years. I had never heard of JC before and I wish I got to learn about this amazing brand and the story behind it sooner! Even if you are not a t-shirt person, you should definitely check out the story and find out how Johnny Cupcakes was all started and why so many loyal customers are in love with JC.

This may sound like a cliché but JC, founded by Johnny Earle, is not just a clothing brand. There are hundreds and thousands of customers all over the world who “like and appreciate the story and work ethic” behind Johnny’s brand.

Customers like and appreciate the story and work ethic behind my brand. I started this as a joke from the trunk of my beat up ’89 Toyota Camry. A college drop out with a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle, I never wasted my time going out and partying but instead focused only on brainstorming and sketching up my wacky ideas. I turned down investors and took countless risks like keeping my shirts out of chain stores.

-John Earle, Founder of Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny has managed to turn JC into a multi-million-dollar business without selling out.  He’s done it with no college education, no start-up loans, no investors, and little-to-no advertising.

Johnny also enjoys hanging out with customers.  He builds great memories with customers through in-store and outside-of-store events such as movie nights and suitcase tours.  He also donates a lot of his time for charities and encourages kids to stay away from drugs and alcohol so that the kids would have more time and money to spend on building and accomplishing their dreams.

In 2008 John Earle was even voted America’s #1 Young Entrepreneur of the year by Business Week magazine.

Many of JC’s regular customers love the brand so much that they even have Johnny Cupcakes tattoos.

I absolutely love Johnny Cupcakes.  I love the brand, the  story behind the brand, and everything that JC does for their customers and the community.  I can go on and on just talking about why JC is so awesome and why I love it so much but I will let you guys read everything about JC on their website — the story & F.A.Q.

All images in this post are from Johnny Cupcakes.