Monday, July 21, 2014

Let's Support Each Other As Artists

So I am writing this post not to hurt anyone's feelings or come off as negative, but lately I have really been bugged by the way some of my "friends" have spoken to me about my work. I am not sure if it's jealousy behind it, or just ignorance for having any manners, but I have heard things like this.

"What you do isn't real art, it's cartoons"
"I do support you, I just don't like cartoons"
"You aren't really an artist, you scribble cartoons"
"I didn't know you could draw, I thought you played around with cartoons"

And this could go on forever. Oddly enough these statements are not coming from "fine artists" (which is a whole nother kettle of fish) but from people who also work in ANIMATION! I am not kidding.
Another friend of mine went on and on about how stupid she thinks kids books are and who would pay for that?

So I am writing this today to ask each and every one of you to support each other instead of make stupid insensitive comments like these people have. To be honest and fair I don't love everything my friends do, but I would NEVER in a million years cut them down.

I believe as creatives we need to support each other and lift each other up. Maybe that is just how I was raised.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

15 Life Rules from Amy Poehler!

I stumbled across this article this morning and I thought it was awesome so I am sharing with all of you. Great advice. For the full article click the link, otherwise just enjoy Amy's words of wisdom!
1.  “Anybody who doesn’t make you feel good, kick them to the curb. And the earlier you start in your life, the better.”
2. “No one looks stupid when they’re having fun.”
3. “Continue to share your heart with people even if it’s been broken.”
4. “Rooting for other people’s failure does get in the way of your success.”
5. “You can’t do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, and spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own.”
6. “Taking risks and making choices is what makes life so exciting.”
7. “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it…doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that—that is what life is.”
8. “I get worried for young girls sometimes; I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent, and not so withered and shriveled.”
9. “Try to keep your mind open to possibilities and your mouth closed on matters that you don’t know about. Limit your always and your nevers.”
10. “The earlier you learn that you should focus on what you have and not obsess about what you don’t have, the happier you will be.”
11. “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
12. “Sometimes painful things teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know.”
13. “It’s just about honoring the fact that, yeah, I should be writing, producing, directing. I should be believing that the world is mine to have.”
14. “When you do talk about yourself or to yourself and you have that tape running in your head about yourself, try to picture you are talking to your own daughter or your younger sister, because you would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she is beautiful and you wouldn’t be lying, because she is. And so are you.”
15. “You deserve love and you’ll get it.”

Monday, June 30, 2014

Make Today Beautiful!

Just thought I would give this blog some art love!!! Happy Monday~ 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finally! Funding for Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Barrier Approved!!

This is great news. The thing is, there is no way to guarantee someone won't take their life, but making it harder is a step in the right direction. For those of you following me for many years know that I was one of those people just 5 years ago. The pain of losing my brother, my mother and my father was in a home at the time not always knowing who I was and I was not working full time. It seemed like no matter what I tried to do, nothing changed and it was hard and I was in pain 24/7. So I drove up to jump NOT because I wanted to die, because I wanted the pain to stop. I also do not have a mental illness, but after 9 years of this sorrow and devastation that kept coming, I couldn't take it anymore. I stood on the bridge for 45 minutes crying and only one person stopped to talk to me, she asked for a photo. That said I didn't feel like people didn't care about me. I knew that I was leaving behind friends and family who would be devastated, but I didn't care. I was having my most selfish day. The pain exceeded what would happen to anyone else. I am not being cold, just being honest. Unless you have lost your family and your career and have been where I was you can NOT understand, so please don't judge me.
I was lucky that I looked over the side and thought that I wanted to live no matter how much pain I was in. I actually went up twice, but the second time I felt the urge to live even more. Someone or something was guiding me to not do this. Most people in that state of mind are not so lucky.
Later in 2009 I wrote a book that I called Slanted Houses about a girl who drives up from L.A. to jump, I made it a romantic comedy. I haven't sold it yet. I tried, but it was hard and I wanted to move past what happened. But I was up there on the bridge in Nov, and I saw a girl right before she jumped. I asked her if she was okay and she lied. I walked away slowly because she had grabbed the cable when I spoke to her. Before I walked about I asked her point blank if she was going to jump, she said no. I called 911 and they got there too late. I didn't see her go over because I looked away. That became my reason for the book. I am now rewriting it as a YA novel under the new title Four Seconds.
The thing is the barrier is a great thing to happen. Why they didn't just extend the fence is beyond me,but this is very good news~ I did this painting in 2013 I called it Souls At Night because I image that the lost souls are still on the bridge.

If you know someone in trouble or you yourself are please get help

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sorry Been Busy!

Hey everyone!! So I haven't blogged in almost a month. Why? You ask. Well because I was finishing my EARLY CHAPTER BOOK, yes I illustrated it and wrote it. I had a couple requests to submit directly to editors, so I wanted to get the dummy finished. A dummy is a sample that artist/illustrators do to show the book to prospective agents, editors and art directors. While some may do a rough book dummy, I did mine in full color. I am happy to make revisions, but I am super happy with how it turned out! Here are some photos, and actually some of the text has already changed since I made the watermarked images below. :)

Wish  me luck!! I have worked really hard on this series and I am hoping to sell it to a major this year.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

5 Years Ago, I Chose Life

It was five years ago today that I was standing on top of the Golden Gate Bridge looking down the 220 feet to the cold Bay below about to jump. I don't have a mental illness and I wasn't taking drugs of any kind, I was simply in search of a way out-the pain of losing my mother, my brother, my father being in a home not always knowing who I was AND my animation career stalling was too much for me. I couldn't take one more second of that pain. I thought about this for about a year before I decided to do it. It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. That day, I was having was the worst day of my life. Was it selfish? You bet your ass it was, I just said I was having the worst day of my life. I had it all planned out, I had letters to my loved ones in zip lock bags. I had left my dog with my roommate in Los Angeles with instructions on what to do, "just in case something happened to me" and I was set. 
That was it, I was done. I couldn't take one more second of the pain that had consumed me for five years after losing my mother. I think when my brother was killed in Phoenix in a car jacking in 2000 and I was in Australia, that is when the trauma really started, but then mom got cancer in 2001 right after Sept 11th and things kept going from bad to worse. I was out of work for almost two years-and I felt like a loser. Finally in 2003 I started working again and early 2004 I was offered a great job in Denmark, things were looking up. Then mom got worse and fast. She died in March. I had one day to put everything I own into a storage unit when my sister called me and said "we took her off life support, get your ass out here" and I drove to Tucson crying, having no idea what I was going to see. I couldn't believe it was real. Mom, dying? No way, not my mom. 
So she died and one week later I moved across the ocean to Denmark to start a new job. I didn't know anyone, well I knew one other person from a job I had been on in Italy two years earlier, but she was it. I was so depressed that things felt like they were in slow motion all the time. I got through the year, then moved back home for another job, this time in Arizona. This is where mom had lived and it killed me. I hated being in that state. 
Finally in 2006 I moved back to L.A. Animation was up and down, I got work, I didn't have work, I was either broke or close to broke all the time. The stress was terrible and I still had the pain of losing mom just two years earlier fresh in my heart. One day in Sept my father had a massive heart attack and I got a call saying he was brain dead and come pull the plug. For one reason or another my sister, who had power of attorney, decided not to, so he lived in a home. He couldn't talk etc. 
In 2008, he sort of could talk, but sometimes didn't know who I was. So here I was, broke, with no money, nothing was working out, still sad about mom, dad didn't know who I was and was in a home. I couldn't go see him so that was it. I couldn't take it. 
I planned for 5 months on when and how I would do it. I decided the Golden Gate Bridge, because mom and I had planned on walking across it if she lived. She was afraid of heights so that was our plan. So my plan was to walk it, then jump. I stood over that rail for 45 minutes crying and NOT ONE PERSON asked if I was okay. This was May 31, 2009. A tourist asked if I could take her photo. I was crying, on the Golden Gate Bridge, and no one cared. I tried to use one of those blue phones, it was dead. So that was that. But here is what saved me that day. It's scary up there when the wind blows. It's way up there. I looked over and thought. "This is really going to hurt and I'll probably survive the fall, drown or get eaten by a shark, anything is better than this." and I walked off went to the Warming Hut, got a hot chocolate and drove back to Los Angeles. 
No one in my life knew how sad I was because I hid it well and now I can look back and think of May 31st as the day I lived and started my life over. Do I miss my mom? Sure! I miss my brother, my mom, and my dad who passed away in June of 2012. But I don't want to die, I never wanted to die and I knew people would miss me, I just wanted the pain to stop. 
Now I support the Bridge Rail Foundation on getting a barrier up, because most people won't walk away. Most people can't. I was lucky. I am lucky. I am not sure what stopped me really that day. For the first time in my life I was afraid of heights-maybe mom was there, who knows, but I am so grateful that I didn't take that final leap.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What Would I Do If I Were 22?

If I were 22 again, #IfIWere22 I would... well, let's see there are so many things that I would do, not sure that I have regrets per say as I do love my life, but I would do some things differently.
The first, I would take even MORE CHANCES. I wouldn't be so afraid of failure. I wouldn't care so much about what others thinks of me. I would spend more time with my parents.
These are all things that I did when I was 22. I took chances, sure, like moving to Los Angeles with $70 in my pocket to pursue acting, then that next summer moving across the country to New York to finish my degree in acting-and of course pursue acting more. The truth is I never took the big risks. I was never uncomfortable in my life. I was always living in a safe place and always had work-I was a waitress, a nanny, a bartender, a stand up comedian, and those all kept me SAFE. If I was 22 now, I wouldn't play it so safe like I did. I had many friends in acting who were living 4 people to a room and auditioning all the time. I never did that because I was afraid of that lifestyle, being a failure and what if I never made it? That was my big fear and not paying my debts on time. How silly. I should have auditioned every single day.
I wouldn't worry so much about money and debts. I know this will make me unpopular with the general population on here as far as giving advice, but you know, you don't get to take money with you. College is expensive in this country, so I wouldn't worry about it-go the best school that you can is the advice I would give. That said, if you don't have the funds and can't get the funds together---then don't go until you can. Get out and experience life.
I would stop worrying about being old. OMG I can't believe that when I was 22, I felt old. I'd like to smack my younger self as two decades have passed now and I feel young now, but didn't then. I also wouldn't focus on what society says I should be doing at whatever age. I was so worried about what I was supposed to be doing and having college debt, that I wasn't focusing on what I should have been.
I would live for MYSELF instead of trying to please everyone else. I have learned over the years that not everyone is going to like me and that is okay.
If I had extra money, I would save it. If I didn't, I wouldn't worry about it so much. I worried all the time about money in my 20s. What a waste of my energy.
I wouldn't worry so much about stuff that I can't control.
I would spend more time with my parents. They are both gone now and I miss them every day. I wish I could change that. I would visit them more and cherish them if I could.
Am I where I thought I would be? Hrm? No because at 22, I was determined to be a full time actress, but I am HAPPY and that is worth more than anything. I can always do acting again. There is nothing that says you can't work as an actress after a certain age no matter what the industry says.
The advice I would give is this. Always be TRUE to yourself and YOUR DREAMS. Don't do anything to please someone else, even your parents. This is especially true for anyone who wants to be a create person and have a create career. Working as an artist in any field is much harder than normal 9-5 jobs, that is a fact, but if it is who you are, then you must follow those dreams.
Advice to artists of any kind out therePractice, practice, practice and submit, submit, submit, audition, audition, audition. If you are in a creative field so whatever it is you do over and over and over and over. Don't let rejection get you down-it's just part of the industry-ignore it and move in. Follow your PASSION, work hard at it and never, ever treat anyone badly. Don't be competitive, and always be gracious. Give more than you receive. Don't ever give up!! Especially over money-money is not a measure of success-even if it feels like it is. It isn't. It's not real.