Saturday, December 26, 2015

Watercolor Playtime!

Hi readers. Meant to post about a week ago or so, but suddenly couldn't think of anything to say. Now, I have stuff to post.

Found an awesome watercolor book in my favorite book store last week and decided that I needed to play. Nothing planned, just winging it!

Have more drying now. Will post soon. Don't know what I will do with them. As I said- just playing. I think occasionally, if not ALWAYS with art, it's important to do that.


YAY! Uploading a few more experiments. These are fun. And I am starting to get ideas! Many, maaaany ideas!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Camera War Rages On...

Back in the very first week of my freshman year at CalArts, a classmate and friend of mine, Elyse Filigheri, challenged me (well, maybe we unofficially just challenged each other- it's been a really long time!) to a Camera War. We would stealthily attempt to take photos of each other- at all times of day, in every situation! In class, on trips, at dinner, while we were sleeping.... okay, maybe not so much the last one... Whoever took the most 'won'. Well, for the longest time, I truly felt I was in the lead... Then, two weeks ago, Elyse asked me to shoot some photos of her for her portfolio, website, etc. purposes. I said nothing of the war. Why should I remind her that it still exists?!

So, I took a bunch of photos of her around her gorgeous place (met her cute puppies!) and battled insane winds and cold and came up with a few I am very proud of!

I informed her after I sent the finals to her that I, of course, had won the war with this!

She says I have won the battle...

The Camera War rages on...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Second Dream come true...

So, I discovered yesterday that the second dream I wanted has come true- almost without my knowing.

My co-worker was Googling me at work to find out about me (which I find REALLY funny since we chat all day long) and in a panic, I rushed to Google myself, too, so that I might see everything she might see. A couple of seconds in, she said, "Oh, you have an imdb page."

Not gonna lie- my heart did a hiccup. I have an imdb page?! I rushed to find the link (it was half-way down the page- I have no illusions here, I ain't a star!) and discovered that the work I did for Bento Box has finally come to fruition.

My biggest dream, besides attending CalArts, of having my own page on has finally come true.

I know that sounds like a silly thing to say- I mean, you must be thinking, "But you WORKED THERE! Why would you not get credit?" And in that, I cannot argue, but I left before all of the episodes I worked on were released. I did not know how the company would handle it. After all- I've never done this before!

Now, since the show only shows on Hulu, and I don't have Hulu, I never knew when the episode was going to air. Thankfully, the internet exists.

So I found this.

That is my name- in the credits- of an animation production. This has been a dream of mine since I was 19. To say it has been a long time coming may be a serious understatement. Also, not gonna lie, I may have started to tear up a bit... There are so many emotions for me attached to this one little thing, even though it seems like such a silly thing. As a friend of mine nearly pointed out (before I stopped him from saying it so that I could enjoy the moment), it's really easy to get an imdb page. But when you are an artist in a small Texas town, Hollywood is so very very far away and it seems utterly impossible. Well, I am here to tell anyone still in the pursuit- it's not impossible! It can happen! You can MAKE it happen! Never let anyone tell you that your dream is silly or unattainable. If you want it badly enough- it is yours for the taking. So...

On to the next Dream!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Drawlloween 2015- Day 30: Spider

I hate spiders.
Garfield hates spiders.

I like lasagna.
Garfield likes lasagna.

Clearly, we were meant to be....

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Drawlloween 2015- Day 25: Mummy

Not gonna lie.... this was the first thing that popped into my head... Not ashamed.

Friday, October 16, 2015

As Herbie Hancock and Peter Gabriel say, "Don't Give Up"

Been a little quiet on this blog for a while- even though I am posting nearly daily- I've not been saying much... Well, I finally have something I want to say. Been stewing in it for a few days, trying to make it make sense in my head- also, I was playing the Waiting Game until my laptop was repaired.

Don't know if you all have noticed- haha- but I've been doing Inktober and Drawlloween all month (it's really been a struggle most days!) and I keep posting my stuff both here and on Facebook, and I don't get a whole lot of Likes, comments, or basically recognition of any sort. (I admit, I am a habitual "checker", in that every few minutes after I post something, I check to see if anyone has Liked it, commented, etc. Eventually, I only check every few hours and after a couple of days- feeling very dejected- I give up.) Admittedly, I do this to myself. It's not anyone's responsibility or duty to go around liking everything I draw or post. HOWEVER- it does eat at me sometimes. Especially this month when so many talented people I know are also posting daily, and it feels like they get lots of Likes, etc. Whether they do, in fact, or not does not always register in my brain. This is because I am human. No points deducted.

I found myself a few days ago talking to one of my best friends (who, by the way, is devastatingly talented, in my humble opinion), telling her that I was thinking about quitting Inktober and not trying anymore. I felt like it wasn't even worth my time to create this stuff if no one cares enough to even acknowledge me, right?

Cue the inner voice saying: Oh, but Amanda! You're supposed to be doing this for YOURSELF, not for others! Who cares what they think?! Yadda, yadda, yadda..." Yeah, I don't listen to her much...

And as right as the pain-in-the-butt is- ALL ARTISTS want SOME sort of recognition, right?! Whether it's your name in the credits of a film (me!), or mass-worship (not me!), or just SOMEONE to say, "Oh hey, I saw that thing. It was good." (Oh yeah- me!) And to deny the few people who DO comment and Like my work their recognition makes me a terrible person. Is it like saying those handful aren't enough? Well, yeah... I admit- I want more. Two people liked the last Inktober piece I posted on Facebook. Two. That hurts after all the time I spent on it, you know?

Cut back to me telling my best friend that I was going to quit: I was ready to do it. Put the pens away, put the paper away, and just chalk it up to another failure to complete something. But-- on a whim, I decided to try one more Drawlloween prompt: Zombie. My wholehearted intention had been to do a cartoon style classic zombie. Get out of my comfort zone, you know? Push myself. Instead, my brain took a nice detour. I made this.

Is it a masterpiece? No. Do you need to see anything spectacular in it for me to feel what I felt when it was done? Hell no. It may not be the best thing I have ever drawn in my life, but when I put down my pen- I was HAPPY WITH IT!

HAPPY! And suddenly, I didn't care if anyone Liked it, faved it, commented on it or thought anything of it. (For the record: 12 people liked it and 3 commented.) Still don't care. I LIKED IT! I liked something I had drawn just when I had decided that I wasn't going to do it anymore.

This brings me to my point. For those of you who read this and draw- whether you are a CalArts alum, current student, there bound, or just on your own journey-- It is the hardest thing in the world to be surrounded by so many talented people you admire. You will feel "not good enough", you will feel dejected, lost, and maybe even insignificant. But none of that shit matters!!! Are you reading me?! What MATTERS is that you get back the fuck up and carry on! Don't let that crap get the best of you! You're going to let something that probably only exists in your mind beat you?

I am not trying to get down on anyone or make you feel bad- all I am saying is: Whatever your goal is-- it's got to be worth the pain and the sacrifice, otherwise-- why the hell are you even doing this thing? What?- you're only going to shoot for goals you KNOW that you will make? There is a movie that was released in the past few years (that will remain nameless) where the main character got everything he ever wanted. He never had to WORK for anything! When I talked to one of my professors about it, about why I didn't like the character- he asked me, "Well, did he ever have to fight for anything he wanted?" He didn't. The character had everything fall in his lap. No sacrifice- no sense of glory.

The characters in films that we root for and love are characters who have had to overcome GREAT things. Usually, it is not actually THEMSELVES- it's something like Nazis, or bias, or money, or a really really high pole. But for those of us struggling- we need to defeat ourselves. We need to silence that little voice inside us that tells us to quit. That it's "too hard", or "not worth it", or "we're just not good enough". Because I will tell you right here and now- if you want it bad enough, you will find a way. There is a reason I named my blog "Making Dreams Come True is a LOT of Hard Work". I have had the honor to learn it first-hand. And as much as I wish I could spare others the heartache that comes with it, I only hope you all someday find that thing you want so badly that you too will sacrifice everything in the hopes that it will one day be yours.

Keep drawing! (And post it so I can Like it!)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Drawlloween 2015- Day 12: Moon

I always wanted to draw an exploded moon.... Dunno why.
Honestly, wanted to do something a little more Samurai Jack/Genndy Tartakovsky inspired, but failed miserably- HAHA!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Drawlloween 2015- Day 4: Vampire

Idea generated by Harley Scroggins. (Toes are an homage to her!)

Monday, August 31, 2015


The other sea turtles always did think that Joe smiled too much...  "You'll get wrinkles!", they said. But Joe didn't care. He thought everything was funny.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Big News: The Annies!

So here is the big secret! I had the unbelievable opportunity to volunteer for the 42nd (HHGTTG ref here) Annies Awards on Saturday! I got to work behind the scenes and see the script being worked on, help set-up for the event and then attend! Seeing everyone from the industry there and cheer them on as they won awards from their peers was AWESOME! I didn't get a lot of chances to take photos, but here are a few!


Good lord, when everyone was making their way in, the sound
was enormous! It just rattled the entire building! Everyone talking at once- reconnecting with old co-workers, bumping into friends, greeting the significant others, whatever it was- it was GLORIOUS!

My view of the stage from my seat. I loved being a gargoyle and looking down below at all the winners. The best dressed of the night HAD to be the two guys in tuxes with glow-in-the-dark light strips on them- like TRON! XD And Converse, of course.


Me walking the red carpet... sort of. haha! We were actually in the Green Room. And if anyone asks.... I have NO IDEA what happened to that missing trophy! Never saw it! <.< >.> *shifty eyes*

I think the biggest shock for me was that TWO of my classmates (not just "CalArts alum", but my ACTUAL CLASSMATES) were up for awards that night! My second year cubemate, Louise Smythe and everyone's favorite epic animation guy, Toniko Pantoja. I was so happy for them both to be acknowledged for their amazing work, and yes, sad that they did not win- but MAN! It was good to see them both again at the party.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rainy Day Post

I have a To-Do List for this weekend, and to update this poor blog is number one on the list, but one of the last to actually get done. Now that it is not quite time to start dinner and it's raining outside, I find myself in prime condition to do this thing!

I haven't been able to get to this bad boy for quite a while now, what with the holidays and the new job and all. I've moved (again)- hopefully this time, I can stay for a while!- but moving always throws me for a loop. I never feel "settled", but now things are starting to cool. On top of the new job, Christmas hit. For the first time in two and a half years, I got to see my mom & dad. I surprised my mom, who thought I was flying in on Christmas Day, by showing up on December 23rd. I got to spend nine beautiful days with my family, including my baby sister, and got to see a bunch of my friends. I came back to LA on New Year's Day- VERY early in the morning- guh!

Went back to work on the 5th- and missed it so much! I missed work, I missed my car, and I missed this beautiful city. (Yes, I love this stupid city.) Every time I leave and come back, I am reminded how this city calls to me. I feel at home here. It's that feeling that tells me that I am in the right place.

Work got busy this week. Deadlines and learning new skills. I think I have learned more in a month in the biz than I did in four years at CalArts. Man, all my teachers were right! I mean, geez- don't get me wrong, CalArts taught me SO much and I don't regret one moment, but working at Bento Box has given me a depth that I never experienced before. While I sat at work this week, finishing up some work, I realized that if you had told me a month ago that I would be doing what I was doing, I would have told you you were crazy!

One class that has come in SO MUCH use it's ridiculous was Nicole Panter's screenwriting class! OMG! I get to format scripts- and there is no way I would be able to handle it if it hadn't been for Nicole! Writers are awful- hahaha! Spelling, grammar, format- you name it. No consistency whatsoever! haha

I am truly enjoying the job and I think my coworkers are fantastic. I love asking them about what they did before. Everyone is just so nice and I feel like I belong. Very similar to how I felt my first week at CalArts: all these new people from all over the place, clumped together in a small place, who all share this beautiful thing in common. Even though I had never known my classmates before in my life, sitting around the Cafe tables (all pushed together to fit more of us together), I felt "at home" with them, as we all sat there talking about animation, and movies, and such. Work is just like that. These people have come from all over the biz, from different studios, different backgrounds, different formats, but in the end, we come together and get to make cartoons all day. We have the best damn job in the world!

Finally, I have some big news coming at the end of the month, so make sure to look for a big post on January 31st/Feb.1st! See ya soon!