Our company, Pukka, is featured on Malakye in Company Q&A section this week. (A few months ago, I mentioned that I started a new job. Well…to be more specific, I’ve been working as a graphic designer at Pukka Inc, formerly known as FDI or Factory Direct International, for a little over seven months now.) You can read the full article and view sneak-peek photos of our Irvine office and products here.
I love working for Pukka and am very proud to be a part of the design team here.
Pukka also recently won the “Best new Product Award” at 2013 PGA Show in Orange County, CA. Here’s my awesome boss, Shawn Rogers, holding the award.
Photo of Shawn Rogers via Pukka Facebook
I apologize for the lack of blog posts for the last three months. I’ve been staying busy with this holiday season and my new job — I started a new job in August this year and am in love with it! Speaking of the holiday season, are you all done with your Christmas shopping? If not, there will be Unique LA Holiday Show this weekend — December 1 & 2 — and I’m going!
R.pellicer and Collisionware — two of my favorites from this year’s Unique LA Spring Show — will be selling their products again at the Holiday Show. Even if you’re done Christmas shopping or used up all of your shopping budget, it’d still be fun to see what other fellow designers, artists, or crafters have been working on and to support the US-made products!
Unique LA Holiday Show photo via stateofunique.com.
As you may already know, I graduated from Art Institute of California — Orange County with a degree in Media Arts & Animation. While attending AIOC, I had a few favorite instructors and Mike Tracy was one of them. I’d always try to sign up for his figure drawing or digital animation/painting classes. (Oh, and Mr. Ewing was my other favorite figure drawing and painting instructor!)
Mike Tracy is an amazing artist with a great passion for his students. If you have ever been in one of his classes, you probably know what I mean. He’s been teaching at Art Institute of California — Orange County for eleven years but was recently fired for refusing to sell students e-textbooks that he didn’t think were necessary for some of his classes.
Since my graduation, I’ve heard stories about how AIOC has become more of a corporate trying to make as much profit as possible rather than a school that genuinely cares about what’s best for their students…judging “teachers by another criteria: how many e-textbooks each teacher sells to their students (excerpt from Cartoon Brew).”
Tracy, who has taught drawing and digital painting for eleven years at AIC—Orange County, felt that his class didn’t require the textbooks he was suddenly being asked to sell and told the school that he would prefer to teach without them. Tracy’s reward for working in the best interest of his cash-strapped, loan-burdened students was a termination notice from the school.
Here’s what Mike Tracy wrote on his Facebook a few days before he got fired:
As many of you know, I have been in a dispute with our school, the Art Institutes, for some months now, over their policy of mandatory e-textbooks in classes where their inclusion seems arbitrary, inappropriate and completely motivated by profit. In July I asked the US Department of Education, the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education and WASC (our accrediting agency) to look into my concerns. Since that time, the school and its parent company EDMC have escalated the pressure on me to select a book for a class I teach that I don’t think requires one.
Today, the President of the school, Greg Marick, presented me with an ultimatum; either choose a book by Tuesday, Aug 14th or the company will terminate my employment for insubordination. My response, of course, is that I will not change my mind on this issue and that I’m determined to resist the policy however I can. I think this means that, as of this week, I will no longer be teaching at AI.
I want you, my students and colleagues to know that it has been my great honor and privilege to have worked with you over the last 11 years, and that I will miss the opportunity to work for you and with you. I have enjoyed my time as a teacher very much, but it appears as though it is now time to move on. Furthermore, you can count on me to continue the struggle that I have instigated on this issue, if only from the outside. Although it aint over till it’s over, it looks like a 99.5% deal, barring an 11th hour change of heart by the corporation, which would surprise me.
To me, the reason why AIOC fired Mike Tracy seems so unfair and ridiculous. AI students now have lost a very valuable instructor and Mike Tracy will be missed very much.
I do not regret going to AIOC. I’m glad that I received my Bacehelor of Science degree. I met many great people while attending AIOC and I still keep in touch with some of them. I also got to learn a lot of things I may not have learned if I didn’t attend art school.
If you’re thinking of receiving a degree in art or design, I highly encourage you to do a lot of research — research on AIOC and other art schools — before you make your final decision on which school to attend. Most of the instructors I’ve met at AIOC are great but I sometimes feel like the school cares more about their profit than their students. Also, you do not need to go to an expensive art school to be a successful artist or designer. I’ve met and known plenty of talented, successful artists and designers who are all or mostly self-taught. Well, I myself studied animation in art school but have never really utilized my major since graduation.
I’ve been to Orange County Fair twice this year and you know what that means! Lots of adorable animals, heart-attack foods that you may only see at Orange County Fair, rides, games, all sorts of shops, shows, etc.
A couple of years ago, when I went to OC Fair for the very first time, I ate fried chicken with fried zucchini for dinner and fried Oreo for dessert…which eventually made me feel too sickly. Haha! Never doing that again. This year, I tried one of the chicken shish kabobs and had a tiny bit of OC Fair junk food — I shared a fried Klondike with my boyfriend and it was delish.
This Sunday, August 12, is the very last day of 2012 OC Fair. If you haven’t done so, yet, make sure to check it out. Oh, when are you at the fair, don’t forget to try at least one of these: fried Oreo, fried Klondike, apple fries, and chocolate-covered bacon!
I hope everyone had a fun Easter Sunday with family and loved ones! It’s been a while since my last blog post and here’s what I’ve been up to lately.
I had a half day at work on Good Friday. Right when I got home from work, I went straight to a grocery store to buy ingredients for Easter cupcakes. That night, I spent 5+ hours baking 48 cupcakes. 24 Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting + 24 Vegan Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. The next day which was Saturday, I took 28 cupcakes with me to Park Terrace Senior Living in Rancho Santa Margarita where my best friend, Veronica, plays flute every Saturday during church service (Park Terrace has a small chapel inside the building). As you can see in the photos, Veronica and I were having a lot of fun (probably too much fun, hehe) setting up the table with cupcakes.
Just in case you’re interested, here’s the recipe for Vegan Dark Chocolate Cupcakes and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Oh, by the way, the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting was a little too sweet for me, so I tweaked the recipe by adding more cocoa powder. I also added extra milk since I like my frosting on a more creamy side.
I recently created another online portfolio at Coroflot and finally added a couple of projects to my Behance page. I created the Behance account years ago but never added anything to it until now. I’ll continue updating my Coroflot portfolio as I update my portfolio here at Daxis Design. I plan on adding more stuff to my Behance page as I keep working on personal/self-initiated projects as well.
Nowadays, I’ve been busy working on The Sketchbook Project: Limited Edition. I need to complete my sketchbook and mail it back to NY by April 30, so I’ll probably stay busy for the next couple of weeks. 🙂
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!
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!
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!