MY CREATIVE JOURNEY SO FAR...

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Oh my, the last blog entry I did was done at the beginning of the year 2018. Whoops. Since then, so many things, little and big, have happened. I want to emphasize that the year 2018 was good to me. My biggest creative project of that year was a collaboration with Starbucks. Needless to say, the experience of working with them was seamlessly wonderful as they do know how to collaborate with freelancers like me. That experience itself makes me want to explore further with my creative career and tap into the abyss of my capabilities as an illustrator. Some of you might notice that I’ve spent some time applying for public art exhibitions and that’s one of many things I’ve done to test my creative abilities. Not just public art that I’ve been dabbling in, I want to see if I have a shot in the tech industry — as a designer. With cutting-edge & advancing technology available out there, I know I have so much to learn and evolve - as in gaining certain skills to catapult myself into this field. I know it’s a long shot. As I plan to study design on my own, I hope to apply it for the career I desire. Wish me good luck!

P.S. I’m still planning to work on my graphic memoir…and I hope to write more often here. *facial grimace emoji inserted here*

New Year, New Everything...

The year 2018 has just ushered its way in...

Bye 2017. 

What a year it has been. It's the year when I made several hurdles such as establishing this website and partnering with Route 66 for the tee shirt projects. Despite the accomplishments I made, big or small, I had to make some sacrifices. I had been freelancing full-time until I secured a full-time job which provides stability that I desperately need. Yet with the new job, I still encounter wonderful opportunities of creating art. I'm forever grateful for any opportunities that come my way. 

Though I have been doing this for several years now, I still feel like an awkward teenager when it comes to managing my business. The technical part of business, sort of. It feels as if I've been swimming in a pool of tar, feeling sluggish and stuck at times. Dealing with such feelings often wipe me out that I've decided that this year I will make some investments by taking a class that'll help me master Adobe Illustrator and possibly seek some help from a deaf-friendly business consultation agency. Looking forward to experiencing some growing spurts (and umm, yes, pains) in this area of my life. 

Yes, I mentioned last year that I will be creating a graphic memoir.  I've been processing a lot (maybe overthinking, ha) about how to start creating it.  I've sought some advice from some pros and one suggested that I start a webcomic -- to help with the structure of the novel itself. Yet I'm still wrestling with some certain topics -- whether to address them or not -- based on my raw experiences. There are some things I think would be worth sharing with the public, while at the same time, I need to be 100% sure and ready about sharing them. That's where I am at this point with the graphic novel project. 

Lastly, I look forward to see what unfolds this year. Bring it on, 2018! ;) 

Throwback Thursday: The 1984 me with a coloring sheet. 

Throwback Thursday: The 1984 me with a coloring sheet. 

 

 

SHINE ON...

Despite what's going on out there, let's shine on by bringing out the best of ourselves. And to brighten up our world with our innate talents and gifts. Let's shine on!  

Artwork: Created with inspiration from the works of the great Lisa Congdon. 

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The Art of Overlapping...

Proud owner of this book! Love that shade of blue and the look of it. Simplcity galore! ;) 

Proud owner of this book! Love that shade of blue and the look of it. Simplcity galore! ;) 

I now have Sean McCabe's book called "Overlap." It's about managing two careers: one that gives stability and another that inspires creativity. Basically, this book is intended to show the ropes of starting a business while working full-time. Though I already started my creative business years ago, I still find myself juggling with so many things going on besides holding a day job as an advocate. I've been thinking about ways to streamline my business and I have some ideas. Yes, ideas that may involve some risks, financially and artistically...yet I know things will work out one way or another. That's the exciting part -- revitalizing my creative outlet with new ideas and "never-tried" methods... Plus I am in this place where I'm starting to embrace my relatively new career title: "artist-advocate."  Have had plenty of awkward moments of maintaining my newly hyphenated work identity - since I returned to the 9-5 working world last spring. Just looking forward to a time when I'm able to do both careers -- with confidence and openness to learning. 

So, with all that said, I'm so excited about gaining some new insights and tools, if any, from this book. Something that will help me to balance both my day job and my side hustle. I'll share more later on as I delve deeply into that blue book... 

Onward and upward with the arts!! 

 

 

 

 

 

As I was turning pages of my idea book, I came across this and I recall having created this few weeks ago. Then I thought, what a perfect visual prop to this entry! (Personal revelation: Also I'm using this as a visual reminder to get my "ideal" body back... *sacrasm*) 

As I was turning pages of my idea book, I came across this and I recall having created this few weeks ago. Then I thought, what a perfect visual prop to this entry! (Personal revelation: Also I'm using this as a visual reminder to get my "ideal" body back... *sacrasm*) 

The Reveal of the BIG Project...

Some of you may remember a mention I made about creating a personal project -- via Instagram and Facebook... Well, I've decided to make this public so I could make myself accountable to getting this project off the ground...

So here's the juice: 

I'm beyond elated (yet wholly anxious!) to announce that I recently started a new project and it's going to be hefty big, possibly requiring few years to completion. It'll come in a form of a memoir along with a lot of boxes to fill in -- with my drawings. Yes, a graphic novel. What struck inspiration inside me is Allison Bechdel's "Fun House: A Family Tragicomic." I recently read it and loved it! I admire Alison Bechdel's courage of sharing difficult things and she shows me that humor can help ease hard, gritty things -- and that is by creating a comic novel. 

Stemming from a certain tone from the aforementioned book, I hope to cover and address various issues (not often discussed out there) I've faced and witnessed throughout my life: family tragedies, mental health, sexuality, being Deaf, and few more things that'll bind all the stories together. I know this journey as an artist won't be easy as I know I -- eventually -- will have to deal with some underlying issues and I know doing this will help with my healing process. 

Instead of waiting to see more representation of Deaf queer in graphic novel literature, I've decided to jump onto the wagon by creating one so that my peers could see themselves through this medium. Not just that, with my background in mental health, personally and professionally (yes, I hold a Masters in Mental Health Counseling), I want to open a conversation about this issue as I notice it's often hushed about in our daily talks in person and through social media. I even find myself feeling ashamed and uncomfortable whenever I discuss about it -- despite my professional background. So maybe doing this will help lessen the discomfortable feelings we have about mental health. While addressing mental health and other sensitive issues, I trust that humor can lighten up the darkness and heaviness of issues we deal with...hence the reason of starting this project. 

I look forward to sharing my process with you. I will document the process from time to time, letting you all in on the process... Knowing there's a long, laborious road ahead, I could use some encouragement and with you tapping on my shoulder, asking how it's going -- that'll keep me going. Thank you in advance. 

Here's a snapshot of the first "scratch" I made for the novel. 

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welcome...

After a long journey as an illustrator, I decided it's time to set up a website.  Yes, about time, finally.  That way you could easily find my works, while at the same time...learn why I love doing this. 

      Drawing. Sketching. Lettering. Scribbling. Doodling. 

Such actions are my favorite form of meditation.  Art therapy in a sense, yes. 

So, with this blog being the extension of the website, I will share about things I like, things I learned, things I want to show (i.e. tutorials), and lastly, my personal and professional works. 

With all that said, I so look forward to engaging with you all here. 

Onward and upward with the arts! 

-jena 

A doodle I did recently -- it's my way of saying yes to doing certain things I've been putting off... Also to things I'm scared shitless of doing...such as publicizing this website.