Archive for the 'Life' CategoryPage 2 of 5

A Girl and Her Dog

I was having lunch outside at Bloom Café last week, when I sketched these two. She was lunching with friends while her pup trotted around on the sidewalk all around and under the table. The drawing might be a little confusing, but the dog was not standing on the table. Also, he was about half the size shown here in relation to her. I don’t know much about dogs, so I can’t tell you what breed he is. Maybe you know? At any rate, he was damn cute.

Sketchcrawl 15, Little Tokyo — part II of II

Tents and City
This (above) was near the cultural center. After sketching & painting the giant float, I felt I needed to loosen up and keep things simple. I liked the colors and the composition of this view, so I banged it out, just trying to focus on the key elements.
Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Street
A sketch of the monument to Ellison S. Onizuka and the Space Shuttle Challenger. The street this is on is actually named “Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Street” and is an exception to Los Angeles’ letter limit to street names (Though I’m not sure what that limit is. Maybe 16?). This monument and place is significant to me for at least two reasons. One, I remember when Challenger disintegrated. I was in my fourth grade classroom when we listened to the live broadcast on the radio. I remember a fair amount of emphasis being placed on the death of Christa McAuliffe, a schoolteacher from New Hampshire who was on the shuttle, and I wasn’t quite as aware of Onizuka. My fiancée Jamie, however, is from Hawaii (where Onizuka was from) and so I think more emphasis was probably placed on the death of Onizuka there. Granted, it was a tragic event for all involved.
Secondly, this place is significant to me, because I used to live here. I lived in Little Tokyo for about 2 and a half years, right on the 200 block of East 1st Street and the back of my building faced out onto Onizuka St.
Incidentally, I had a roommate from Japan who once told me that “Onizuka” translates to “Devil’s Tombstone.”
Smokin' Geisha
I sat at a table near a group of young (maybe 16-year-old) Japanese-American girls dressed in Kimonos, while they smoked cigarettes and talked about makeup. One of our other sketchcrawlers, Akiko, said she overheard one of them say, “Okay my dad is here, so I don’t do anything, okay? I don’t smoke and I don’t drink!”
Pippy Legwarmers
Another view from the back. It’s easier to draw people from the back, especially when they’re not going anywhere. I don’t think this girl was even Asian. Maybe hapa, but it was hard to tell if that was the case. She had her straight black hair in pigtails and her short kimono or “happi coat” with the big ribbon wasteband/sash (Obi) — plus legwarmers and sneakers!
New Otani Gardens
Lastly, we went up to the New Otani Hotel’s Garden. Where there was this inspiring view of the beautiful California Bank & Trust building.

Sketchcrawl 15, Little Tokyo — part I of II

Here is part one of my sketches from Sketchcrawl 15 (and the first sketches to go into my newly modified Moleskine)! A small group of five of us (in all of Los Angeles!) managed to meet up in Little Tokyo in the midst of the Nisei Week festival. It was really lively, with bandstands and food vendors and people everywhere. There was so much going on that I didn’t know what to sketch next.
300 block, E 1st. St.
It started out on E 1st Street, where we met in front of the tower at the Little Tokyo Village Plaza. This (above) is looking across the street with City Hall in the background and the renovated Chop Suey building at the far right.
Afro Kid
I sketched this kid with an afro as he passed by. It seems like sketching people in public often yields these angles from directly behind.
Go, Granny, Go
Did this one while in front of Yamazaki bakery in the Village Plaza. I saw this little old lady and just couldn’t pass it up. I realized her vehicle was like a little cherry sports car or something. Her whole appearance on this thing just cracked me up. I heard the “Go-granny go-granny go-granny-go” part of the song Little Old Lady From Pasadena playing in my head.
We made our way toward the cultural center building and I was stopped in my tracks by this giant. This is a float that I’m guessing was about 12 feet high or more and the exterior was made of paper. It had so much energy and character and vivid color. But I think I bit off a little more than I was willing to chew in a short amount of time. The pencil sketch I initially laid down had a certain energy and form that was lost when I then went in with the rushed ink. I would’ve liked to stay a little looser with the whole thing in retrospect. Gone in with expressive strokes of watercolor over the pencil and then just added accents of ink afterward where it would seem to need it. Still, I suppose all is fair in sketching, but sometimes less is more.
I will post part 2 of my Sketchcrawl results tomorrow!

Conan O’Brien

Conan O'Brien
Another caricature. If you’re in the U.S. (or anywhere else Late Night with Conan O’Brien is syndicated) and if you ever stay up past your bedtime, this will probably need little explanation.

I get the sense that Conan is always in the midst of an existential crisis while doing his show. No doubt, the self-deprecating is an intentional aspect of the comedy, but there may also be some authenticity to it.

Noah Kalina

Noah Kalina
Caricature of Noah Kalina, the guy who took a picture of himself everyday for six years. Well, almost everyday. Close enough. It looks like he’s missed a total of about 35 days in the last seven and a half years, actually. Though I’m a little confused about some of his absences. Like on September 8th, 2001, in place of his photo for that day, there’s a message stating, "Crossed International Dateline," but the photo on September 7th and the photo on September 9th are in the same location. Did he fly to Japan and then get right back on the plane and return to New York? Also, the photos for August 20th, 2003 and August 27th, 2003 appear to have been taken on the same day, because his hair is exactly the same in both. Plus, in the second of these two photos, I think he has the biggest smile of the entire series. Maybe the joke’s on us?
Noah gained net-celebrity status with his YouTube video of 6 years worth of self portraits edited together. It generated copy-cats, spoofs, praise, and criticism. A simple and clever idea, though perhaps a sign of the rampant narcissism that seems to be flourishing on the net, this has been his gimmick — his schtick — and it’s garnered a lot of attention. He appears to be using this attention to promote his professional photography, which he happens to be pretty talented at.

Creature from the Black Ink

Creature from the Black Ink
A sketch from last week. Loosely based on a girl in a photo I came across here (by Noah Kalina). Just an attempt at capturing her extremely gleeful expression and pose and another effort in my continued attempts to identify those elusive contours which signify the female form. It was also an opportunity to experiment with the white paint pen to give a good well-polished shine. Sure, I took a few liberties here and there (read: big boobs). It’s not a portrait or caricature of a specific person. Just a study and a sketch in which I had some fun.

Femme Fatale

Femme Fatale
“Here she comes, you better watch your step.
Shes going to break your heart in two, its true.”
I observed this woman during lunch, and while I don’t really know if she’s a Femme Fatale, it certainly seems plausible. The curves seem pretty dangerous and she exuded a confidence and a high-maintenance luster only seen in shampoo commercials. She seems well mannered, but I think if she didn’t get her way she could turn a man into a eunuch with one step of her heel.


These are some sketches from my ongoing quest to find the cartoon me. I am still warming up to doing some autobiographical or semi-autobiographical illustrated tales (a.k.a., “comix”) at some point. Note: The character in the bottom right is not me. I don’t know who that is.
I’m in the process now of compiling a list of story ideas and there are a lot more than I thought there were. I’m keeping them in a journal I’m calling “Short Stories” in homage to Roald Dahl. In a story by Dahl titled “Lucky Break — How I Became a Writer” (The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More), he explains that he kept a journal bearing the name “Short Stories” and whenever he’d get the inkling of an idea for a story, he’d jot down a line or two. He kept it very simple and straight forward. Just, as Dahl described it, the “slender threads” of a plot. Almost every story he ever wrote started out as a thought written down in that journal.

Oliver Sacks, 1986

Oliver Sacks, 1986
I doodled this while watching this one-hour interview from 1986 with Oliver Sacks:

As you might see from the comment I left on the YouTube page, I found it fascinating and inspiring. Now I want to read his book, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.” I’m pretty sure this title has come up in conversation fairly recently, it so rings a bell, but I also think one of my figure drawing teachers in college may have handed out an excerpt from this book. Something about learning to see and a recounting of a blind patient who became able to see, but did not understand what he was seeing. Because he had never seen, everything was completely abstract and he had to take the wild sensory information of color, light, dark, and shape, and learn to associate it with actual 3-Dimensional forms and space, of things he’d been familiar in a tactile way for his entire life thus far. It’s possible this wasn’t from Sacks’s book, but watching the interview called this to mind, all the same.

…Aaaand I’m Back.

...Aaaand I'm Back.

Yes! Hello. I’m Back! I know, it’s been a while. I skipped a couple months. Hey, sometimes you’re just not in a blogging mood. And sometimes that feeling lasts for two months or maybe more. And anyway, I’ve been busy. My girlfriend and I went to New York on business (for her) and pleasure (for me) and then we both vacationed in Paris for a week, where we got engaged! It’s been exactly a month since we got back, and I’ve thought about posting to the ol’ blog, but… Blogging is a habit and like many habits, it can be fallen out of. Once that happens it can be difficult to pick it back up, but that’s what I’m going to try. It’s July 1st. A new month and the first day of the second half of 2007. Beginning of Act II. I’ve got doodles and photos and inspiration to share, so… we’ll see what happens!

Warmest Bloggy Regards,


Hey, Kid

C’mon. Everybody’s doing it.

Muttering Mug

Hello again.

Grumble Grumble

Nathan Fillion gives good face.

I’m A Sneaky Bugger

Drawings of people when they weren’t looking.



Beachgoer in Bra

Another one from Sunday.

field34 - Beachgoer in Bra

More About Me. Bla Bla Bla.

I’m still working on self-characterization. I think it’s getting better, but the process remains rather elusive. I think I have a design that works, I step away from it for a couple days, I come back, it looks like shit. The self character I posted previously now looks like some kind of strange bird, or something. Ah, well. Below are some sketches I did last night. Of course, they’re not hammered down designs. One sketch looks different from another. I’m working it out. Still, I think I’m seeing some progress in these. Tomorrow they will probably look all wrong to me.

char23 - More about me. Bla bla bla.