Mixing Media Video

Saturday, July 9, 2016

On Saturday afternoon, I went to another Showcase Gallery art reception in Santa Ana, California. It was from 5pm to 7pm, and the art theme had to do with Mixing Media. The featured artist for this art show was Dominique McKenzie, while the special guest artist was Maureen Nolen and the visiting guest artist was Janet Bludau. Other artists displayed their work in this show, which included Susan Cole, Sue Cong, Bill Fisher, Veronica L. Kortz, Maureen MacDonald, Donna McFarland, Shari Mildon, Kim Lac, Vartan Ohanian, Laura Rice Robinson, Dodie Sy, Jim Van Eimeren, Nancy Villere, Kathy Worden, and George Yu.

This video displays the artworks and the art reception ambiance.

There is a two-man jazz band performing inside this studio, and I decided to use this original background music for my 13-minute art reception video, unless youtube will have a cow about it, claiming it is copyright material and I have to somehow remove it and play over it with one of youtube’s monetized featured tracks. So, we will see what happens by the time I finish uploading this video. But it uploaded well and the everything worked out well. I didn’t need to remove anything and look for a youtube music I can use. I uploaded the video as is, without making any changes this time. Enjoy the art and the art reception party on the above video!

There was a raffle, and Vietnamese artist, Mung Deo, won a gift bag prize, in which all the gifts inside the bag were art-related.

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Writing/Drawing Inspiration

Monday, June 27, 2016

After an hour of yoga, I returned home to draw a scene in my graphic novel. I drew another scene at the writers’ group meetup. I don’t have anything in common with these people, but I think that drawing a scene at different areas is a good idea for me because it is inspirational. It takes me two to three hours to draw one page. I plan to take my drawing pad with me different areas in order to draw scenes that inspire me of that particular area, in which I think it will make my story more interesting and adventurous as well as add current realistic scenes.

Both these scenes are in different areas of the graphic novel, and I will need to reorganize all the pages when I finish drawing the whole graphic novel. I think I can connect all the pages together and make the story flow. So, the inspiration that I got today is to go to different places and draw a scene of whatever that catches my eye or interest. I might need to take my drawing pad with me to the gym on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, and hanging out there for two hours drawing a page. Places to go that I am considering includes malls and shopping town centers, and UCI campus. There are three major malls in my area as well as many mini malls or town centers, which will give me a variety of scenes to draw because these places are usually very crowded activity, especially on weekends.

I returned home at 9pm, and I enjoyed a corn on the cob and some cherries.

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A Career in Photography


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I checked out a two-hour seminar at Canon Experience Center about looking for Photography work and getting clients. The guest speaker is photographer, Steve Anderson, and he talked about his experience in photography and what works for him in the commercial and retail industries. Photography work usually ends up being a part-time job, which in most cases will require a second job in order to make a decent living, unless you are just very lucky and you just happened to have many connections. He teaches at the Art Institute, located on Harbor Blvd and Sunflower Ave, in the Santa Ana/Costa Mesa area of Orange County, CA.

Here are some important information to consider for a career in photography:

  1. You must have a unique vision in order to effectively sell yourself to the business industry and others who could use your service. Know yourself in order to effectively and professionally express yourself to others. It all depends on who you are and how you express yourself.
  2. Agency Access site is a marketing site for artists, but it is very costly to sign up. It has database, emailer, and consulting sections, in which it allows you to search the names, telephone numbers and email of certain key people in the creative and business industries. It is important to seek out certain decision makers in a company or firm, such as the Director or Manager.
  3. Orange County Business Journal
  4. If you are just getting started and you need to build up your portfolio, then consider contacting local charities and do work for them for free. Pick causes you really like and want to help, and you can also promote your cause as you build your portfolio. As you build your portfolio, remember to remain professional at all times in order to build lasting relationships with people you meet.
  5. Check out Linkedin groups and organization for further promotions, networking, and marketing. Such groups might include AIGA—graphic arts group and FGI—fashionista group. But there are many more out there, depending on your skills, interests, and experience. Moreover, check out meetups in your area, or areas that you want to work at, in order to find certain meetup groups and make the right connections. Search for certain groups that you like, and attend their meetings. There is also wedding photojournalism group, or WPJA, American Photographic Artists, and Marketing Blog. Found Folios—portfolios of photographers, isn’t free. It costs around $400.
  6. Marketing tactics must be consistent. Consider the site, overnight.com to do professional postcards of your photographs and stand out.
  7. MAG.CLOUD enables you to make a photo booklet of four-color photographs for around $5 each. It looks like a good promo tool to show prospective clients what you can do.
  8. He recommends checking out the artistic photographs in certain magazines, such as Wired and Time, because Wired has great branding and photos.
  9. Consider trying Split-toning in lighting as well as color.
  10. Pricing your service and photographs involves a lot of research about the industry, clients, and your budget as well as your experience and competitors.
  11. Photoshelter Blog is a free website, and it is a good place to display your photographs for feedback and photography discussions. There is also live links for discussions.
  12. Notes to a Rep’s Journal site has industry insights, marketing tips, and other information.
  13. Mobile Internet includes Pinterest and Facebook, which are currently slowing down. So, consider other sites, such as Cinematic Pins, which uses vertical screens and content, Snapchat.com, which uses vertical videos. Twitch involves live streaming of gaming, where others will make donations in order to watch you play games.
  14. Branding of your service gives you a solid identity, in which involves making a logo, letterhead, business card, postcards, and envelope that will help you effectively promote yourself and your work to the right people who are interested in your service. It can also help you find your niche. Files should be in vector files. In commercial photography, the brand is your name; but in retail photography, you can be more creative and artistic with a fun logo.


The process of effectively promoting yourself involves 5 steps:

  1. Getting Awareness involves always marketing yourself and gaining visibility.
  2. Attracting Interested people involve attracting as much people as you can to your service and work.
  3. Conversion involves converting these interested people into actual clients. It is important to be creative and find effective ways to convert more interested people into more loyal clients.
  4. Loyalty is all about clients liking you and your work, and they rehire you a couple of times for more work.
  5. Referral is a good sign because these clients like you so much that they will tell others about you, which will get you more work. (Loyalty and referral are important for the retail industry).



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Photographer Working on a Hollywood Set

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I decided to check out another photography seminar at Canon Experience Center. Tonight’s seminar started at 7pm, and it is about “Shooting on a Hollywood Set with Mike Kubeisy.” He worked on such TV series as NCSI, CSI, and Dragnet, where he photographed forensic-related props for movies and TV series. He told us some stories about working on a Hollywood set, which included working with war vets with PTSD.

A couple of days for he starts on a job, he receives a memo, which is like a production sheet or chart, detailing what he needs to do on a particular day as well as where it takes place. This chart includes the set, scenes, cast members, days, direction or instruction, shooting notes, stand-ins, props, atmosphere, time, and his assignment throughout the day, on each day that he needs to show up. The scenes tend to be gory, but the forensic details are not real. Each episode takes one week to shoot.

He displays some behind-the-scenes pictures of working on the set. (I have been around some films, TV shows, and infomercials being filmed in my area, and I have stopped, just to check it out.

He talks about some important and useful tools for photographers, which includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Kelby 1, Aurora HDRm Hunt’s gift card, and some Social Network sites, such as Linkedin.

There was a raffle for some items, and some people won something.

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Creative Portraiture in Fashion

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Around 6:11pm, I drove to Canon Experience Center, which is close by at a neighboring city, to check out a Creative Portraiture seminar at 7pm. Photographer Laura Tillinghast explains creative portraiture in fashion. I notice that she uses lots of butterflies and ravens as well as bird cages in her images. She also uses Photoshop and Lightroom to manipulate photos and fix certain errors.

Creative portrait photography involves narrative storytelling, symbolism, expressive movement, strategic props, and shooting a series of photos. Fashion images must tell a story utilizing props and a background scene, and such scenes are often dramatic because of the colors, composition, layout, and the model’s expression. The model needs to interact with his/her surrounds and props, which would involve looking else and ignoring the photographer. But when the model looks straight at the camera, then it is a straight portrait. Certain props in a scene add to the story in order to lure viewers to the ad and product.

Joyce Tenneson is a photographer who uses lots of symbolism in her images.

Laura Tillinghast demonstrates some photo tricks with a model, Hannah Stacey. Hannah has an identical twin sister, Leah, and they are both fashion models.

There was a raffle, and the woman next to me, as well as couple of other people, won something.

Stacey Twins, Hannah and Leah video

For people interesting in avant-garde fashion photography and images, consider googling avant-garde fashions, and clicking on the images.

For more information about the photographer, Laura Tillinghast, check out www.lauratillinghast.com

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PhotoJournalism as Artform

Tijuana Mexico - Copy

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The quote,“People who do not think of their future always have a harsh present,” is by Israel Romero, just someone on Facebook.

I checked out a photojournalism event, which was interesting. A retired photojournalist, Don Bartletti, displayed some photojournalist scenes about the life of illegal immigration in Mexico. He used to work for the LA Times, and this journey was one of his jobs, where he had to report on the illegal immigration problem, where many desperate Mexican continually try to cross the border to escape and seek better jobs. He adds that photojournalism is all about telling a story.

Since the eighties, the border enforcement has wanted to build a wall on the Mexico/USA border. This wall was actually put together by the Latinos in America, and there are obelisks with markings placed at certain areas to mark the long and high wall, which resembles the wall on the Palestine/Israel border. (And, remember, obelisk is a symbolic sign for Zionism, whether US Zionists or Zionist Israel).

In 2007, the Mexican war with the drug cartels killed 138,000 people in Mexico. And, the drug cartels live a good life, similar to upper middle class Americans. The problems with drug cartels have created a debt in Mexico’s tourist entry because many Americans fear visiting Tijuana. The Mexican police department is also corrupt, and they are often paid off to shut up. Twice a year, there is a ritual, where confiscated marijuana is burned in front of American officials, but who knows how much is actually burned.

Marigold petals are scattered over a coffin in a funeral because marigold symbolizes death in Mexico.

There were many burned victims during these drug cartel wars, which killed and deformed many people of all ages.

The new foreign aid to Mexico has lured many Mexicans to cross the border in order to seek jobs. But the elderly and very young are often left behind, although money is often sent to them in Mexico.

Young Central-American people travel throughout El Norte, Mexico to find their mothers. The poorest people live in dumps filled with buzzards. They often rummage through the filth seeking food to eat and items to sell. Twelve abandoned kids live under a bridge. They often suck on glue to survive because it gives them a certain high.

At the Honduras to Guatemala border, there are many rafts. They follow the train line on their journey. As the young people cross over the bridge, via the train, they look for their mothers. There are food throwers who often give food and other items to these young migrants on the trains.

At the Rio Grande River, there were two boys sleeping inside a huge pipe.

Many kids in Mexico are forced to join gangs. Gangs often fight each other, and the drug cartels kill many people. There are scenes of an abandoned strip mall and slum alleys where poor people reside. Every day, many people are killed. Young kids want to join gangs and drug cartels when they grow up because they see gangsters and drug dealers drive nice cars and have attractive women.

Smugglers help desperate Mexicans cross the border, but for a price, which is as low as $25 and as high as $7000.

Hotel in Mexicali houses many migrants, who sleep on floors, which looks like a concentration camp.

The last photographs are of all the protests against the border walls as well as for the border walls. (And, Donald Trump wants to build a border wall).

He also talked about the wildfires in San Diego that created destruction of many homes and deaths of many people.


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OC Artists Awards 2016

red carpet photo booth

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Annual All-Media Judged Exhibition involves the Artist’s Eye Competition, judged by Garrison Means and Steve Radosevich. Since this video is thirteen minutes long, I probably won’t find background music that length as well as can be monetized within the youtube featured tracks section. Enjoy the art in the June 2016 art exhibition. Although there wasn’t a red carpet gala, and everyone were dressed casual, I added my red carpet selfie photo shoot at a mall fashion event for this post.

This video displays the announcement of the winners in the Artist Eye 2016 Competition as well as presents each winner and runner-ups with a ribbon and money prize.

The third video that I made on Saturday of Artist Eye Competition is the red carpet modeling for each winning artwork and its ribbon earned. Three of the winner artworks didn’t have their ribbon next to them, which includes the Cat Fancy, which won a dark blue 1st place ribbon, Girl in a Bubble won a light blue Honorable mention ribbon, and a pottery sculpture won a 2nd place red ribbon.

Check out these three videos, each embedded in this post under keywords link, such as “Annual All-Media Judged Exhibition,” “Artist Eye 2016 Competition,” and “red carpet modeling for each winning artwork.” One video is only five minutes long, while the other two videos are a little bit long at thirteen minutes and twenty-one minutes long. They are casual, light and entertaining of artworks on display as well as people partying together and socializing. Saturday was a long and hot day from 8am to 7pm, and I stayed on the computer until 2am trying to upload three videos on youtube, which took forever to do.

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24 Hours of Art on Saturday


The Sand Dollar by Fifi Leigh

The Sand Dollar by Fifi Leigh

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I added some photos of my art journey since UCI. The first four are graphic design work for my first novel that I self-published, two drawings from a UCI drawing classes, movie collage from Platt College when I continued my education for graphics certificate, paper collage on metal board with magnets, Showcase Gallery art gallery in Santa Ana, and Geico dolls from UCI because I think Geico is a UCI sponsor. A photograph that I took for a UCI photography class, but I took this photo on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, of the family statues, and a reflection of my mother in the store window display. We enlarged the negatives ourselves because this UCI photo class was about developing your own prints. During Saturday art exhibition, one of the photographers, Sue Cong, gave me a photo of myself she took at one of he art gallery receptions, where I was taking a break from recording the event. The upside self is of my at the Studio Art festival on Saturday. I look tired because it was hot, and I think my makeup melted off in the heat. But I like the bright sunlight from overhead, which looks like the bright light of God shining above me. The next photo is of a cute Bengal cat on a leash at the Studio Arts Festival. (Gumby still needs to practice being on a leash). And, the last photo is one of my surreal mannequin photos, where I took it to a Canon photography porfolio meetup for analysis and feedback of two of my photos, and they end up enlarging this one to a huge size, like the one I did myself at UCI. I still need to find a frame for my enlarged mannequin photograph that I just remembered.

These photos summarize my art journey from UCI until now. I have learned a lot about drawing, graphics, computers, and photography, in the process. I self-published one novel, and working on a 2nd novel, which is a graphic novel this time. I have been an Art Pimp on the internet, promoting, many artists’ work, some are local and some are worldwide.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

I was on the computer trying to finish a game’s mission, and I suddenly noticed that it is getting late. The time is 1:11am, and I need to go to sleep now because I have a long day on Saturday, from 9am to 7pm, at two different locations.

Today, there wasn’t indie filmmaker meetup because I remembered last Saturday they talked about going to LA for some filmmaker event.

At 8:30am, I drove to Heritage Park to check out the Studio Arts Festival. It was a nice, warm summer day, as I checked out different booths of artwork, from paintings, art sculptures, clay sculptures, graphics, photographs, jewelry, clothing, loomed and knit items, and other arts and crafts. I also noticed three women looming their own yarn with a big mechanical looming machine, which kinds of looks like a sewing machine because it has petals, but it uses yarns instead of thread. It was interesting to check out different artworks and crafts. There were also some woodwork items. There were also some dogs and one cat on a leash. I don’t think Gumby is ready for that yet. And, besides, it is too hot right now to take Gumby out on a leash. I will probably start again in September when it starts cooling down.

After browsing all the artworks and chatting with some people, I decided to leave at 12:30pm because it was hot. I came home, ate my lunch, and relaxed for a while. At 5pm, I will check out an art gallery reception, where I will do an art video.

So far, I didn’t need to make any kind of decision about my life. At 4:30pm, I drove to Showcase Gallery to check out the ANNUAL ALL-MEDIA JUDGED EXHIBITION: ARTIST’S EYE AWARDS. Winners were announced and given ribbons as well as envelope with money for their chosen artwork. I ended up doing three different videos of this event. The first video was 21 minutes long, showcasing all the artwork on display. The second video is the awards show, where artists were announced, and each winner was given a ribbon and envelope with money. There were four different ribbons—1st place dark blue ribbon, 2nd place red ribbon, 3rd place white ribbon, and Honorable Mention light blue ribbon. I recorded a third video, which displays ribbon placed next to the winning artwork, but three of the artists forgot to place their ribbon next to their work, in which I will try to make a note of it on the video with a caption. The third video also displays the after-party awards dinner, where people are eating, mingling, and drinking wine or champagne. Some drank a cup of coffee with a piece of cake.

I stayed up until 2am working on uploading three videos. I added some captions on the third one, although the third one was short at five minutes. I decided not to use any background music in any of them because there was a jazz band playing at the art gallery, and youtube google accepted it as OK and not copyright. So, the videos have nice jazz music playing in the background by a two-man band. I even recorded the band on my video, entertaining the artists and friends, as they socialized and discussed art.

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Day 4, Spring Garden Show 2016: Succulents, Rain Gardens and Bio-Swales

Sunday, May 01, 2016

At 2:30pm, I went to the West Elm home store to check out a seminar about succulents, which provides tips on successfully growing succulents in southern California.

Succulents collect and store water in their leaves, just like cacti. They need two hours per day of sunshine because they need the sun for growth and health. But at coastal locations, it is important that succulents are planted in shaded areas as well as they thrive in sand and rainwater.

The demonstrator displayed two repotting demos. The first one involved placing the plant in a big container, and then arranging other succulents of different colors and sizes in order to create a staged art sculpture with native plants. Then, add some soil, before topping it off with rocks for aesthetic purposes. Then, add some decorative-themed toys to create mini outdoor nature scene.

The second demonstration involves using a glass container. First, add rocks for texture, before placing the succulents inside the container. Then, add more rocks. This project requires watering via ice cubes because there is no drainage in this glass container.  The container should be placed near a window.

It is important to cut out the succulent flowers, or the plant will soon die.

One way to tell when the plant is dry and needs watering is to lightly tug on the plant to pull it out of its pot. If the plant pulls out easily, then it is an indication that this plant needs to be watered.

Day 4, Spring Garden Show 2016: Rain Gardens and Bio-Swales

The last seminar that I attended on the last day of this year’s Spring Garden Show was at the Williams Sonoma home store. They explained the importance of Rain Gardens and Bio-Swales, in which I learned something new at this seminar. A variety of plants can be used in rain gardens and bio-swales, which include begonias, carnivorous plants, roses, and succulents. Rain gardens are mostly used at residential areas, for people’s yards, while bio-swales are used at commercial businesses, such as industrial landscapes, freeways, highways, and parking lots. But these landscape features are used mainly to rid lawns and prevent storm water runoffs. Such landscapes methods also help the environment, wildlife, and nature. The invasive plants tend to force out the native plants.

The first step involves picking the right location, which needs to be a downhill slope or driveway that needs a drainage area for excessive water.

The second step involves amending the soil, which has to do with using stones, barks, and organic matter.

The third step involves figuring out the size and layout, before start to do the digging and creating the berm.

Then, the fourth step has to do with channeling water by stabilizing the entry with stones. Sometimes, an overflow pipe is used.

It is recommended to use native plants for butterfly and bird habitat. Place plants in some artistic layout and composition. Then, water your rain garden.

Rain gardens shouldn’t have any mosquito issues. These two methods help preserve soil and help build soil, which looks like mini ditches that help water drain, but this ditch has decorative native plants, wood or logs, and/or stones in the ditch for aesthetic purposes.


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Day 4, Spring Garden Show 2016: African Violets

Sunday, May 01, 2016

At 11am, I went to the Z Gallerie home store to check out a seminar on growing African Violets in Southern California. Leonard Re is with many African Violet groups, such as Tustana African Violet Society, and shared some information about successfully growing African Violets in Southern California.

African Violets is considered to be an indoor plant, but it needs light, and it is best to place the plant by north and east windows inside your house as well as at an area which has diffused light. You can also use those old fluorescent tube lights, and the bulb should be eight inches above the plant. But don’t put the plant in direct sunlight. It is originally from Tanzania, Africa.

Watering an African Violet involves using the wick watering system, which involves a strand of nylon yarn, size 8. An old panty hose also works, but it should be cut to ¼ of an inch. Don’t put an African Violent plant in direct sunlight because it will get sunburned. Once a week, pour ½ of an inch of water from the bottom plate, under the pot. If the plant is in a ceramic pot, then let it dry for a couple of days before re-watering. You are likely to overwater when using a ceramic pot, in which will prevent the plant from blooming. Southern California water is hard-water, which has chlorine, fluoride, and other substances. So, it is recommended to use distilled water. Don’t use softened water.

Fertilizer should have the Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus ratio of 10 X 10 X 10, 15 X 15 X 15, or 20 X 20 X 10, but you should use only ¼ teaspoon of the instructed amount on the package. The amount in the instructions is way too high for an African Violet. It is important to use a low amount of fertilizer at all times. Moreover, Southern California humidity is around 40% to 50%, but it often varies because southern California weather is very unpredictable, and it changes every day.

When choosing the soil, it is important to use a light mixture. The store-bought soil ingredients tend to be too heavy for an African Violet. So, mix the soil with half ratio of perlite to half ratio of soil. Also, add equal parts ration of vermiculite, plant charcoal from Home Depot, and Canadian Peet Moss. (He adds that the American Peet Moss is lousy).

Since African Violet flowers attract pests, it is necessary to use some insecticide to rid these pests. But be sure to buy the smallest quantity as well as use the smallest amount. Then, dispose the rest by spraying roses in your garden, since roses attract a lot of pests. Ticks and Mealybugs are the most common pests in Southern California. Mildew might occur when there isn’t enough space for the plant to grow when the weather changes a lot.

There are four kinds of African Violet, which includes the standard version, miniature version, semi-miniature version, and trailers.

Repotting should be done at least twice a year, but he repots every three months. Transfer the plant into a bigger pot with fresh soil. Then, start picking out the blossoms from the plant. A 4 to 4 ½ inch pot is required for a standard-size plant. Then, pull out the outer leave because these leaves are the oldest. Then, pull out the second oldest rows of leaves. Then, pull the plant out from the pot. Then, loosen the soil around the roots in order to loosen the roots.

You can buy nylon yarn at Joannes and Michaels art stores, and place a strand at the bottom of the plastic pot, which looks like a little tail. Place the plant into the new pot. The crown of the plant should be level with the pot. If it isn’t, then take out more soil from the bottom in order to make it level. Fill the pot with fresh soil, from the sides. The plant will absorb water from the yarn wick in the bottom and the bottom bowl that is filled with water.

To start a new plant, use ½ ratio of perlite and ½ ratio of vermiculite. Place plant into the pot with the yarn hanging down. Add soil around the plant, before adding the mixture on top. Then, all you need to do is just water your plant. While he was repotting the first African Violet demo, he gave out leaves that he didn’t need from the plant. Since they were still good leaves, people could reuse them to grow new plant. So, I decided to try it out, hoping to actually grow a new plant from the leaf.

Start out with your leaf, and cut off the stem to one inch. Use 50-50 ratio of perlite and vermiculite with little water. Put leaf in this mixture and cover with plastic bag. Check it every one to two weeks. It should grow into a new plant by three months. (It is late now, so I think I will try it out on Monday, after I return from yoga workout).


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