Sunday, December 28, 2008

December update

So I apologize for the lengthy absence...been super busy with stuff, finishing up finals, etc.

So I'm starting work hard-core on Little Yeti, as I need to get it up (ideally) by February 1st. Sooner is probably better, but I want to make sure I'm not totally going nutso on the site without any substance to back it up. I mean, there will definitely be a learning curve, but hey, I don't want to wait to launch until I have EVERYTHING completed, right?

Anyway, as a little preview of the aesthetic to come, I've taken the steps of fully do business as Little Yeti, and have registered . Also, due to a misprint (my fault) in our holiday cards, is also up, albiet being a crude, crude, barebones site.

Eve and I are hard at work creating new products for Monkey + Seal, as well as getting Little Yeti up and going.

Special props to Lindz for hooking me up with some great marketing ideas and some business contacts. Yosh!

Anyway, I'll upload some pictures of my final projects soon once I get them uploaded and color corrected. I'm glad I've made contacts with some people who do art/product photography as that will be a crucial part of the business. Yosh!

Now Eve and I are going out for an adventure! Yay!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Possible little yeti card/logo

Feedback please? Comments or email work fine.

PS - I finally registered Little Yeti as a business name, as well as the domain There is still a long way to go, but huzzah!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paper Source - done...kinda

So today was my last day working at Paper Source on Fillmore. It's been a long, awesome ride in which I've made tons of friends, some great connections, and figured out about my passion for customer service and wedding invitations.

I'm not 100% done, as I might still come back to run some of the workshops for Fillmore (especially the wedding invitation one!) but I'll no longer be a regular employee. It's a bit sad, as it's been a major constant for the past two years of my life. Granted, I've recently only been there one day a week, but the customer interaction and such awesome frickin' coworkers-turned friends kept me coming back even though I've been doing 30+ hours a week at Minted.

I will be stopping by on occasion to hang out at the Source, buy my microns there, and keep updated on all the work gossip. I'm glad I'm still friends with Sourcers, both present and past, and that makes me happy, so I'm not too torn up about leaving.

Anyway, my last weekday at Minted will be this Friday (I'll be on Saturdays through December, and might stay on as a contractor for kicks) so it's really starting to hit me that I have to get my shit together for Little Yeti. And finish my finals for school. And deal with the distraction of Wrath of the Litch King. But now my livelihood (and Eve's, in a way) depends on Little Yeti. A special thanks goes out to my partner of my life who is ever encouraging and supporting of my huge leap of faith. Aishteruyo, bu-chan, and honto ni arigatou.

Well, time to get back to work and the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

Gotta do it with a "DON!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lazy blog

Apparently, due to the typealyzer (credits to Mitchbo), this blog belongs to a Myers-Brigg type:

ISTP - The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

Sounds pretty close huh?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Biggest Adventure EVER

So I'm about to undertake one of the largest adventures of my life. Ever.

I'm not traversing through the jungle, or climbing Everest. Instead, I'm quitting my jobs and starting up a business.

So I have no money saved up. I'll get a little from my art school loans, but that's pretty much almost enough to pay my bills each month. I have $300 in start-up funds, and that's going to have to go the distance.

My website isn't up yet (I haven't even settled on a domain name), I have maybe 27% of the products done, and I've decided that come December, I will be solely employed by myself (although I will be at Minted one day a week for three weeks to help train my replacement).

However, I have faith in myself and my product...well, mainly in a way, that product is me and my expertise. Nothing is super finalized yet, but I've given both and Paper Source my notice, and am on my way out the door.

Shitty economy? Check. No savings? Check. Deciding to risk my livelihood on my wit, skills, and fearlessness? Check. Complete confidence in myself? Check. No one ever accused me of having a small ego.

Many thanks to everyone at both jobs - I'm still going to stay in touch, and an especially large thanks to everyone who is currently on my advisory committee, and a huge ass giant fucking thank you to Eve for supporting my "reckless abandon" and even encouraging me to do so, which is especially gutsy as we share rent payments and a bank account.

And so you heard it here first: The first month my website is up, I'll do 10 orders easily. Here we go!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Logo design sketches

Which ones do you like? Which ones do you dislike? Any feedback either way helps, even if it's "they all look like crap." Which ones catch your eye first? Which ones would you remember?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Post-November 4th

I am amazed and filled with conflicting emotions. In a country that can get over their institutionalized racism and elect a half-black man to the greatest position in the country, anti-queer legislature was passed all around.

And California, I am so disappointed in you. While you did the right thing by livestock and animals raised for food, you went and stole the rights from a group of people. I've gotten over my anger and frustration and now just feel sad for those that voted yes on 8. You must be so scared of something - your own insecurity, sexuality, the idea of something different - that you would go as far as to outlaw something that made you uncomfortable.

Additionally, Prop K failed in SF, once again proving that sex workers are seen as less than human and undeserving of protection. Prop V passed, once again allowing military recruiters into our public school systems. Prop H failed, a resounding defeat for the environment.

Sigh. But, there is much to be grateful for. Prop 4 went down, safeguarding teen mother's right to choose. Prop 1A passed, which will help unify the state and create tons of jobs as well as get some cars off the road. Prop 7 and 10 failed - poorly written energy bills that deserved to fail. And of course, the Democratic victories in both the Senate and the House. And we can't forget Obama's victory - a turning point in history. As Eve and I watched his victory speech, I couldn't help but feel inspired and hopeful for our country.

But this joyful exhuberance of Obama mania is tempered by the fact that I don't agree with all of his policies. He does compromise, and whether or not it helps him get more things done, I still mourn the sacrifices that he makes. But his leadership is something remarkable - he is a man that can inspire hope in a broken country, that can make people question the status quo and to push people to give more of themselves to help others who aren't as fortunate. Even if this is not the revolution I've dreamt of - with the government toppling and a community raising up - this is definitely a revolution.

But with that, we cannot become complacent. Racism still exists. Sexism still exists. Homophobia, lookism, ableism, hatred, and violence all still exist and are alive and well in America. Yes, this is a victory to be celebrated, but for all those that want to protect everyone regardless of their place in society, our work is not yet over. And so we can look forward to continuing on the work that we do, the struggles that we face- but this time we can do knowing that we have a leader who is willing to listen and wants the same thing that we want: change.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Rick Kitagawa Voter Guide

So I'm not going to go into all the bazillion different propositions and crap, but I'll outline my stance on the most important ones. And if you're asking, I do read the legal text of most of the propositions, so yeah.

SF locals:
V - NO

1A - YES
2 - YES
4 - NO
5 - YES
7 -NO
8 - NO

So for those San Franciscans reading this - the local propositions:
Prop B - Yes. Raise money for more affordable housing? Hells yes.
Prop H - YES! Despite all the stuff I get from other Asian American groups, I say vote yes. I'm a bit wary about the lack of voter approval of bond issuance, but the proposition doesn't necessarily call for bond issuance. The proposition basically calls for an independent evaluation of the best way to make sure SF is running on renewable energy, as much as fast as possible at THE LOWEST COST. It protects the jobs of PG&E workers if it's cheaper to buy out PG&E, and I don't think the current board of supervisors would be stupid enough to quadruple everyone's energy bills.
Prop K - YES! Protect the sex workers! It still allows for full prosecution of pimps, human traffickers, etc. but allows the sex workers to testify and such without fear of legal repercussions. In a really bad analogy, don't hate the players, hate the game (and those that create it).
Prop T - YES - Don't want druggies sleeping outside your apartment? Help them clean up by providing some substance abuse treatment to help them get their lives on track.
Prop V - NO - Screw the JROTC. Granted, it has it's benefits as a leadership program, but it's a military recruiting program. There are many other better leadership programs in SF that will easily fill the gap.

State props:
1A - God YES! - Come on, a light rail from SF to LA? Why the hell wouldn't you want this? More jobs! Less pollution! Come on!
2 - YES!! - If you don't like those PETA ads cuz they gross you out, then vote for this so they can finally stop showing those things.
4 - NOOOOOO! - This basically will drive pregnant teens to do very dangerous things to try and abort their babies. I'd like to stop hearing stories of girls who have their boyfriends punch them in the stomach to try and abort the baby cuz they can't tell their parents about their pregnancy.
5 - YES! - Let's get nonviolent drug offenders rehabilitated rather than clogging up our prisons and using our tax dollars to put them in a place that won't rehabilitate them as good as a treatment program would.
6 - NO - I'm all for helping out our law enforcement people (unless they're corrupt, shady, abusive scum), but thre's a lot of other crap in here that will just send more people to jail instead of figuring out a way of preventing them from being criminals in the first place. More treatment and prevention, less jails.
7 - No. Total fakester environmental bill. Sounds good, doesn't quite work though.
8 - Vote NO ON HATE. Seriously, if you are my friend and you vote yes on this, I will seriously punch you. And then I won't be your friend anymore because your homophobia overcame your sense of justice.

And if you must know, I'm voting for OBAMA. I like the policy work of Cythia McKinney and Rosa Clemente (the Green candidates), but I've never been as inspired and as hopeful as I have been watching Obama speak. He is the great leader of our gotta go with Obama all the way.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Awesome Palin post

This is awesome. Like I've said before, I don't like the word "bitch," but the spirit of the post is what I agree on. Just replace it with "ignorant ass-nugget" if you'd like.

Thanks to Megs for the head's up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

With $7 million dollars

I'm going to first buy a Pocari Sweat, a taiyaki and chai soy latte for Eve, and all the frickin' crazy art books in Kinokuniya bookstore. Then, I'm going to go buy a house in SF with awesome Japanese architecture.

I'm going to pay off our stupid student loans, buy a storefront and start up my business, staff it with friends, and make a scholarship fund for art students.

Come on Universe and show me the money!

On another awesome side note, the rings Eve and I ordered should be coming in within the next two days. Yatta!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We are so Fu*ked


And it's already started: Voters being purged from rolls illegally.

The conspiracy theorist in me immediately kicked in - McCain's already got this one in the bag. Sigh.

I am glad to hear that team Obama apparently already has a whole taskforce of people and lawyers ready to contest what is already looking like a rigged election. But then again, what's new in this country?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Art dump

Eater of the Dead's Secret Lair for Midnight Carriage
Haunting Shark Fisherman for Midnight Carriage
Underground Kraken Insect for Midnight Carriage
City lines Menu design for's menu contest.

Tiki Menu design for's menu contest.

So I figured I'd do some art on this art blog. Some stuff I've been working on digitally. In a few weeks I should also have some prints made, and some interesting watercolor exercises. Maybe some figure paintings as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More on Palin

Why should I try and articulate something (as per last post) when so many awesome women have said it much better: - on Palin being a woman and her views on single mothers - on Palin's shitty-ass contribution to rapists - crazy idiots on Palin's pseudo-feminism and real feminists reply to it.

This is just a start of awesome reads. If you want a jumping off point for modern feminism, take a few days and read through, and you'll see where I'm coming from.

Minted submissions, frustration at people

"Warmest Wishes" and "FromSFWithLove," my latest designs for the community design competition. The topic was geographically-inspired designs. I, as per usual, went with less of a traditional design and went more with illustration-based entries. I hope to break the 2.0 average score mark soon. One day...

But if you want to vote, please go here in a few days and vote (but if you vote you have to vote for a lot of them, and vote according to what you like - don't just give everyone else a 0).

Truth be told, I don't really ever expect to win this contest anyway. My sense of what I like and what the community likes are two different things entirely. Such is life, but it would be nice to have a design I can sell :P But I guess when I finalize and get my current side-project going, it won't matter anyway.

Anyhoo, on a more serious note, I know every feminist and their mother are posting something about the potential grim reaper that is Senator Palin. Most people automatically assume that feminists are happy about this, as "she's woman, we want equal rights for women, things should be all good, right?"

Wrong. The simple truth is that although Palin asserts that she is a feminist, she is not. A true feminist doesn't play the sexism card at every possible chance. A true feminist plays the sexism card when it's valid. Now I also don't condone attacking her and saying she's a failure as a mother, how will she take care of her kids, etc., etc. I do condone asking "Why are you against teen pregnancy for inner city children but okay when your own daughter gets pregnant?"

Basically, by automaticaly asserting that any criticism on Palin is sexist, the Republican party is making a play for your votes. Then, once Palin is VP, then they can basically roll back reproductive rights (which are already constantly being reduced), and other feminist measures of equality by saying "She approves it, it has to be feminist" when it most decidedly is not feminist.

Just as I don't support Asian Americans who don't see the issue with the fetishization of Asian women or war veterans who support the current war in Iraq, I don't support women who think that everything is all fine and dandy because they have "made it" and want to support the traditional patriarchal nuclear family and it's oppressive values.

Don't buy into false rhetoric. Just because people belong to a certain minority group does not mean that they are representative of that minority group's feelings as a whole. They way any dominant hegemony stays in power is allowing few select individuals of the minority into power. This way, by saying "look, they made it, why can't you?" it passes the blame of failing to embrace a highly prejudiced system onto you. By holding Michelle Malkin, Condolezza Rice, and Sarah Palin up as model women, they can then say "We don't discriminate against Asians Americans. We don't discriminate against Black Americans. We don't discriminate against women, period!" and most people will buy it. DON'T BUY IT!

I don't know if I ended up babbling incoherently, but I am just so frustrated by how people are actually listening to this nonsense. Please, check your priviledge, check your racism, and really evaluate who the hell is going to be a decent choice to lead this screwed-up nation of ours. If you like our crappy economy, our war, our unemployment rate, our xenophobia, please, vote McCain/Palin. If you want someone who at least understands the working-class people, vote Obama/Biden. They aren't perfect, but they're damn well amazing compared to the alternative.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Humble origins?

I stumbled upon Stockton, CA (my hometown) on wikipedia, and found some interesting stats:

-Central Connecticut State University surveys from 2005 and 2006 ranked the city as the most illiterate of all U.S. cities with a population of more than 250,000.

-In 2005, Forbes magazine listed it as having 6,570 crimes per 100,000 residents[8] — the highest listed;[9] and 0.8% of engineers within total employment[10] — the lowest listed.[9]

As I posted before, I know it's one of the miserable cities in the nation. Sigh. Despite the fact that my hometown sucks the living creativity out of me and I only spend about 7 days out of the year there even though I'm only about 90 miles away, I still spent 18 years of my life there and I have to credit it with helping to shape me into who I am today.

If anything, it certainly makes me appreciate what I have. I've been able to get an amazing education at Cal, find 2 rewarding jobs in the arts, live in San Francisco, and go for another go at higher education in order to follow my dreams. I'm nowhere near where I want to eventually be, but even getting this far would have been super difficult without the support of friends and family back in Stockton.

Additionally, I don't think I'd be who I am if it wasn't for the high crime rate, the poverty, the conservative thinking, the racial tension, and all the other things in Stockton i complain about. When you grow up in that environment and manage to escape it (although is San Francisco all that different?) it makes you appreciate what you have a little bit more.

Hmmm, not sure what else there is to say. Stockton exists as a very complex place in my heart and mind. Hmm, back to work for now I guess.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So first off, I apologize to all those who see this post and say "WTF?" I have told some of you already, and if I haven't I apologize. I may have not told people because to us, the engagement wasn't a big deal. There was no bended knee, no asking permission from parents, no magical ring surprise. Now, this isn't to say that it isn't a big deal to me and Eve. It is, but in a way, it also isn't. We just sort of decided that we were going to get married in a few years. So even for a wedding invitation-nut like myself, the Save the Dates won't be coming for a while. Anyway, the main reason for writing this post is due to the topic of rings (or as of now, the lack thereof.)

There is no diamond ring because a)Eve doesn't like sparkly stuff (not even glitter), b)of all the spilled blood associated with diamond mines, and c)all the competition and crap socialized into the comparing of engagement rings.

However, I just read this post on feministing community on one woman's reconciliation with her engagement ring. I think it's beautifully written, poetic, and generally awesome. It didn't change my mind about a diamond ring (like I said, Eve doesn't like the sparkles), but it was a nice thing to read on a Wednesday afternoon.

PS - We are looking at rings, but we're not fans of gold and big fancy jewelry in general. We're also looking at necklaces, tattoos, and VERY nontraditional wedding rings (steampunk anyone?)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wolf in wolf's clothing

This was a recent try at doing something really graphic (as in 'not rendered' as opposed to 'explicit'). I originally did a quick sketch in photoshop with the intention of fully rendering it out, but I liked a lot of the linework and decided to keep it pretty simple.

The title is "Wolf in Wolf's Clothing." Get it?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My portfolio

So I finally made a carbonmade portfolio. I put up some new stuff that I don't think I posted here, but if you want something more organized that deals directly with my art (and less of the politics, rants, etc.) here you go.

Also there, I just added three new pieces to the illustration section which I've been working on for a few weeks now (some of the original sketches, etc. were done..I finally revisited them!). Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Birthday spunk

First off, thanks to everyone that called, IM'd, left facebook messages, emailed, or made it out to the Buckshot for my birthday. Special thanks to those that traveled from Stockton and the East Bay, and I had a great time!

Anyhoo, I'm in a pretty feisty mood right now. I'm totally all fired up and want to punch a corporate jerk right now. Well, more like "I'm in the mood to volunteer to clean up a beach, or help organize a protest," but yeah, the idea of punching is much more visceral, immediate, and funny (although it's not funny if someone actually gets punched).

But that is beyond the point. So two incidents that make me both happy and sad.

1. At my birthday get-together at the bar, some creepy white guy (important due to sociological power dynamics) comes up and gets all up in one of my female friend's face and tries to kiss her. She says "eww, get off me" and he lingers. I shout "Hey, she has a boyfriend, back off." He says something like "I'm married, it's not a big deal." (Yes, like being married is an excuse to be a jerk...if this is true I feel sorry for his wife). I then respond with "Why don't you stop sexually assaulting people you fucking dickhead," then I turn around back to my shuffleboard. He later walks by and whispers to me "It's fine if you want to talk big in front of your girlfriend, but if you want to brawl, let's take this outside." I respond with "Whatever. I don't fight idiots."

So this story make me happy, as I totally called this guy on his shit, but it fucking pisses me off as I still felt so helpless as he tried to harass my friend. I wanted to give in and go fight that guy outside (although he was probably a lot stronger than me and I've never been in a fight) as sometimes I wonder if people like that just need to get basic human decency smashed into their face with a pool cue. But I realize that if I play their game, they win, and if I keep it all verbal, I win. The jerk eventually left (although I was worried he'd just stick around and harass my friends) and I then proceeded to get really drunk and enjoy myself. But for the first hour or so after that happened, I felt the urge to just bash a stool over that guy's face.

2. I got called in for jury duty today. When it came for me to introduce myself to the court, I told them I worked for UCPD before, my friend got his hand shattered by a rubber bullet, and when the judge asked me if my experiences would allow me to be an impartial juror, I replied "No offense to anyone in this room, but I don't believe the criminal justice system works."
I was quickly excused and they went on their lunch break.

Now, it may seem like I just said this to get out of jury duty, but honestly, with all the police brutality, the overflowing of prisons filled with non-violent crimes, the fact that the war profiteerers aren't criminals but people who grow pot are, I don't have a lot of faith that the criminal justice system is working. Believe me, I am a firm believer of a trial by one's peers. But I also believe in justice, not necessarily the law. Why is cocaine less of an offense than crack? Why does our government use weapons that cause birth defects? Our laws are fucked up. As a compromise to my crazy utopian ideals, I'm down with the idea of police, but police that stand up for what is right, not for what is easier or what the law says.
Laws are rules written by rich white men, not rules agreed upon by all. Even the constitution is suspect to me, as they sure as hell didn't have the opinions of any women or people of color. I'm down with constitutional guarantees, as I agree with the spirit of it, but a rewrite with the input of the minorities would be much better.

3. I realized that I was part of the 2% that voted for Ralph Nader when Gore lost the presidential election by 2%. Now, most democrats (well, I should say most people in general) say that we're to blame. I used to be a bit ashamed of that, I used to think that maybe if I just compromised a little and voted for Gore, things would be a lot better.

But then I had an epiphany. I realized that it wasn't the fault of 2% of voters that caused Bush to become president. It's the fault of the 51% that voted for a completely incompetent and dangerous moron. You blame the Greens and Nader for the lost? I blame the Democrats for not being more progressive. However, even more so I blame the Republicans for..well, being the conservative anti-humanitarians they are. In my mind, 2% of us got it right.

I think it's a sad state of affairs when idealists are blamed for trying to make things better. We didn't compromise. We voted for who we believed would be the best candidate for making the world a better place.

Friday, July 18, 2008



Just got home from the 3:30AM showing...sleep....awesomeness....

Monday, July 14, 2008


Come check out the SF Zine Fest! It's frickin' free people! This weekend!

There's tons of workshops, off-site events, and other hella cool stuff. I'm even co-instructing a bookbinding workshop! Eve and I have a table under Monkey + Seal, and we'll be selling zines, comics, buttons, and hopefully more! Check out the site for more details!

In other news, I submitted this design for the newest design competition. Which, if you are artistically inclined, should enter! The next topic hasn't been released yet, but keep checking back at for the next one!

And in much less-cool news, my cousin Amy was recently diagnosed with cancer. Fuggin' sucks, but she seems in high spirits and her uber-cool husband Floyd has a blog keeping it updated with Amy's conditions. Feel free to send any well-wishes her way.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


So I figured some or most of you reading this may have never seen some modeling work I did with Howard Cao, a SF photographer. He selected me from the Blackwell files (for whom I do freelance modeling sometimes) and I worked with him over a few weekends to do this crazy promotional shoot. I had never had so much fun on a photo shoot.

Anyway, so I just got an email from the Blackwell files regarding a new opportunity, and I went to their site, and the promo shots are all up on the portfolio site. Frickin' ridiculous.

So if you want to go see me in really funky costumes and such, check out the site. You may have to refresh it a few times, as there are a bunch of photos up there, including the one where I'm an evangelical preacher "healing" an old lady.

Frickin' silly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

So on Angry Asian Man, there's this post on CNN's coverage of the Butler's Cafe, a cafe in Japan where Western (read:white) men dressed in butler costumes serve the princesses (read: Japanese women customers).

So AAM says this about it:

I just shake my head at this. But the more I thought about it, I realized the concept could be interpreted in a couple of different ways. There's the idea that Japanese women fantasize about having a western prince sweep them off their feet (which literally happens in the segment). Yuck.

Then again, I realized there is a bit of a role reversal happening here—instead of the subservient Asian woman, we're seeing the white man in the servant role. And that's hella fantasy. Perhaps it's actually a little bit of both. Either way, it's a really stupid idea, a stupid story... and nobody comes off looking very good.
which I think sums it up fairly well, except that I feel there's a whole lot more going on with this.

On top of what AAM brings up, there's also the issue of the heteronormality that I got from watching the clip. Not that this is anything new for mainstream media, but I wonder how it would fare if a man went in to be a princess. Would they come to his beck and call as well? Probably not, although who knows?

Additionally, all the butlers look white in the clip, but they are only referred to as "Westerners." If I, an American of Japanese Ancestry, went to apply for the butler position, would I get turned down because I look Japanese? Believe me, I'd only speak English, and I could be as gentlemanly as the next gallant knight (more on this later), but I have the sneaky suspicion that I wouldn't get the job no matter how "Westernized" I might be.

Also, I think this whole fantasy of the (white) knight coming in and sweeping the princess off her feet is pretty telling of the effects of the patriarchal Japanese society. I think the Japanese women interviewed and shown in the cafe (which doesn't look super full...I suppose the extravagance is pretty classist in itself) express their frustration with a society that doesn't value them. I've seen a lot of Japanese guys (well, lots of males in general) treat their friends/partners like crap, so it doesn't surprise me that a lady wants to get a little pampered. Hell, I'm sure she'd like to just be listened to and respected like a human being should be.

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw my few cents in on this one. I dunno, when I read the post and watched the video, I couldn't help but notice how there's so much wrong with this beyond the general "Japanese women just looooooove American (read:white) men" stereotype. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


So I'm compiling a bunch of bad date stories for a new zine project. There's no word limit, but if you feel the need to have guidelines, I'd say 500 words max is pretty good. Send your pictures/illustrations/poetry/stories/whatever on over to

Do it now! Please pass it on and if anything, tell your friends' bad date stories if need be.

The future of feminism on the web

If you have 82 minute or so (I listened to this on my day off while I cleaned my apartment), I would check out this roundtable discussion of prominent feminist writers by the UK Guardian. It really shows how awesome these women are and how fucked up, sexist, and homophobic our society STILL is.

I've also realized that this blog has become less and less about art specifically, but like I said at the beginning, I don't separate my politics from culture from art. So there.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Whitney, Onion

So Eve and I returned from climbing Mt. Whitney. We went up the backside via the Mountaineer's Trail, but unfortunately, due to altitude sickness (on which I partially blame the guides), I puked my brains out at Lower Boyscout Lake (where we made basecamp) and ascended no further. All in all, besides the puking, it was a great experience, as the other climbers were super cool people and the view was amazing. And if anyone still wants to help get kids outdoors and donate anything between $5 and $1000, please do so here.

In other news, we'll be at the SF Zine fest (I think I already said that someplace) as Monkey +Seal (we =R +E). Hopefully we'll have buttons, zines, comics, and some other cool stuff. I also might be doing a bookbinding workshop, so you should definitely check it out. July 19+20th!

I have another entry in the holiday card contest. Here's my submission (also seen below) and please vote! You have until June 20th or abouts there (you'll definitely have until then) so please help me out!

Lastly, a bit of fun from the Onion. Probably NSFW, if only cuz you have to hear the newscasters.

McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists

Sunday, June 1, 2008


So those that are artistically inclined should think about reading this (direct from the CEO of my company):

Minted is a new online store offering fresh, modern custom stationery and invitations. We believe that great design lives and thrives in the hands of independent brands and designers that consumers may not hear about or have access to through traditional retailers. For our launch, we've handpicked a selection of the best independent stationery brands, known for their artistry, exquisite printing, and superb papers.

We also want to enable talented designers everywhere to gain prominence and be compensated for great designs without having to manage a full-time stationery business or take on the challenge of printing and shipping to customers. We want to offer modern, unique customizable cards to the public. To this end, we plan to host continuous, themed design challenges named “Freshly Minted” where designers can submit designs into competition and the Minted community will select winners. Winning designs will be printed by us and sold on

Why participate?

· Prize winners will be awarded cash prizes and will be featured prominently throughout our site, and will earn a percentage of every sale of their design sold at Minted.

· From among those who enter, Minted will choose outstanding designers to commission further work from.

· Through our PR efforts, we build recognition for our designers in the press.

· The designer’s name and the month they became a member of the Minted community will always be printed on the back of their winning card design. Because the average card order will be around 75-100 cards that are sent out to the purchaser’s friends and family, this means that thousands of people will hear about you and your awesome talent if we end up selling your designs at Minted.

Our Current Design Challenge

Our current challenge is seeking really unique, modern, chic holiday photo cards and the deadline is Saturday, June 7th at 11:59 Pacific Time. Submit as many designs as you like! One request – please don’t change your style just because this is a holiday card challenge and you think that the community might want something more ‘traditional’ for the holidays. Think about what you and your friends would personally like to send out as a holiday card. This time there are two $1,000 prizes, one chosen by David Turner of Turner Duckworth and the other chosen by the Minted community.

Prizes: $1000 for 1st place winners; $250 for 2nd place winner; $100 each for 3rd, 4th, and 5th place winners. All top 5 designs will be featured and sold on, with the winning designers receiving 4% of net sales of the products sold, in addition to the cash prizes. Winners' names will be printed on the back of each of the cards they design and we sell. Finally, we are thrilled to announce that David Turner, the principal of Turner Duckworth, the renowned international brand design agency, will be choosing a design to receive a 2nd, separate $1000 award.

Please see for details and to enter. Good luck!

Thursday, May 15, 2008



Gay marriage was legalized by a California Supreme Court ruling of 4-3 today! I'm so happy when I heard I cried! It makes me feel a little bit safer in the world; that there is some sense of justice and equality left.

Although the bittersweet victory is that conservative jerkfaces are trying to get a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would overturn this ruling. We should hear by the end of June whether or not enough signatures have been collected, but if so, we'll just have to mobilize and get the voters to vote on the side of equality, love, and justice.



So I recently stumbled onto an awesome blog/news page called It's a great source of information on what's going on in the world and notes current injustices against women. Sigh. It is super depressing though, as it just reinforces how much I hate our society and the injustices it institutionally perpetuates.

I take it for granted that I'm usually so busy all I have time for is making art, eating, sleeping, and work (and some WoW to relieve the stress), and I sometimes put off reading the news because it just pisses me off so much. But I miss the politically-drenched environment of CZ and Cal in general. My classmates are generally so apathetic I want to strangle them.

Anyway, on a better note, I finished with classes this semester, am starting my new job Monday, and am working on cleaning the apartment. finally. Now, time for life.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Art upload

So these are two pieces I did for my last Illustration 1 assignment. Basically, I could do any illustration I want as long as it has type in it.

Edit: So I figured out why google messes with colors: if your files are CMYK, google completely goes bananas on your colors and you get some crazy-ass stuff. If you convert to RGB, then you're totally fine. You might ask "Why would I try and post something in CMYK in the first place, that's just for printing?" My answer to that would be: "Because I'm lazy and didn't want to have a CMYK version for my printouts and a RGB version for this crappy blog, but I guess I'll have to do that anyway."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I hate Sexism

So I read an article by the Wall Street Journal about why there aren't as many successful (defined as "super rich billionaires") women entrepreneurs out there. The comments section was super disturbing as all sorts of sexist shitheads weighed in.

My response was here:

Why aren’t there more rich women entrepreneurs? It could be because women aren’t risk takers. But if that’s the case, it’s because of hundreds of years of craptastic patriarchal socialization that got them that way.

People talk about affirmative action being detrimental..well if society maybe wasn’t as obviously racist and sexist maybe these underprivileged groups would be able to perform as much as traditionally privileged groups do. If you don’t have to question your place in society on a daily basis, then a lot more effort can go into starting up a business. And please, the world, and the business world in particular, is still sexist and racist. This is not an excuse, this is the truth.

Take some sociology classes. Or some gender studies. Or some ethnic studies. You might learn something.

But instead, you’ve been socialized to think that you’re superior. You’ve totally swallowed the lie that anyone can raise themselves up from their own bootstraps, that it’s a fare race since the laws claim that they’re equal to everyone. Well they aren’t, and the race isn’t fair.

When you’re dealing with institutionalized sexism and racism, the fear of rape, sexual assault, being pulled over because you’re not white, having to prove to others that you’re equal because you’re not a white male, or any of the other daily crap that most minorities have to face (like all these comments making fun of Meg Whitman’s looks, white countries being superior, etc), you wouldn’t have the time to even think about starting up your own business.

In our society, men are socialized to succeed. We are told that we’re supposed to make more money and bring home the bacon. Women are still paid $1 to a man’s $1.20, so there IS still a glass ceiling . When one is socialized to not succeed, I’d think it’s a lot harder to succeed.

Show me the super successful entrepreneur man that is socialized to shut up, to stay at home and cook, to raise some kids, to throw away his dreams, to believe his only value is his looks, and has to endure the constant threat of rape and sexual assault, being underpaid, and doesn’t belong because of his gender, and I’ll buy into your belief that there aren’t more women entrepreneurs because they’re inherently unequal to men.

And thanks for hiding behind anonymous tags, cowards. If you’re going to be racist, sexist, offensive, and all around cowardly, greedy pigs, then why don’t you get out from behind the blanket that’s the internet and post something under your real name.

And by the way, feminism isn’t about bashing men. It’s about the idea that men are overprivileged and if they really had the guts, maybe they’d own up to it.

“Truth” may think that they’re speaking the truth, but I think that’s a little bit blinded by male privilege. Break out of the box and TAKE A RISK and maybe read some Bell Hooks, or something by Inga Muscio and you might learn a thing or two about how the world really works.

I should probably be more specific and articulate, but such greedy fucks make me want to bash these people with common sense sticks and pull their privileged heads out of their asses. Good for you, you're rich at other people's expense! Hooray for being a selfish, uncaring shit-eater! Hooray for being sexist and racist! Jesus fucking christ.

In other news, I stumbled across this blog which is pretty god damn cool and in line with my thinking.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

New job

So while I'll still be at Paper Source (although no longer the Invitations Coordinator), I got offered a Design Associate position at

Thus, in two weeks I'll be starting at the little start up (although we're hoping it grows to a huge start-up) doing typesetting, helping customers with their wedding invites, and doing some general design work. Yosh!

Yup, just saying. Now I gotta motivate myself to finish my still life painting....sigh.

Oh, also, Eve and I got a table at the SF Zine Fest! We'll be tabling under the moniker "Monkey + Seal," on July 19-20, so check out the zine fest and stop on by!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Guess who this is?

I think I got the spirit of this guy. And yes, the background is a pretty dead giveaway, if your aren't a nimrod, but whatever. Done for Illustration 1 in photoshop and I didn't have the time to get super creative. Not 100% happy, but eh, maybe I'll work more on it when I come around (to it).

On a more serious note, the values on his face could be worked on a bit more, but alas.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Save the Date

Sooo, 2 things:
1. Save the Dates
As some of you may know, I work in the wedding invite industry, and thus I was informed of a contest on to design Save the Date photo cards. I thus entered in order to try and win $1000 and have my Save the Date designs sold on their site.

Sooo, here are my two designs. I could talk about the design process, but the basis of this post is to go to and create an accout and vote for my designs. Please feel free to vote for the other designs as well, but since you're my friend, vote 5's for mine!

I do realize that mine are a lot simpler than a lot of the others, but I tried to design mine with flexibility in mind. A lot of them are cool, but would they really look good with any photo in them, or just the ones that were provided? Eh, whatevs. I don't really expect to win, but any help is helpful! Thanks much!

So thanks to Diana, I heard about this one woman fighting against the corporate crapface known as Louis Vuitton. She's trying to make a socio-political art campaign to get America to stop following idiots like Paris Hilton and start following huge global crises like the genocide in Darfur. And thus, using a LV-styled bag, she's getting sued. Super.

Thus, with the minted contest going on, and thinking on how sick it is how much money people pay for wedding invitations is, it got me thinking. Well, why don't I start my own wedding invite company that gives a portion of the profits to charity? PS - if some bastard reads this and takes my idea, I'll be sorta pissed, but if you do you had better be giving a shitload of money to charity. Anyway, all sorts of ideas are brewing in my head. Gotta go do some hw and do some research.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I'm currently starting off week 13 (out of 15) so the end draws near for this semester. I've been at the Academy for 1.5 years now (err, minus 2 weeks I guess), and I am beat.

Weekly nights of 1-3 hours of sleep, still getting my ass handed to me by classmates, and just the wear and tear of trying to hold down 3 studio classes and work and start up an Etsy site are really taking their toll on me.

I pay ~$7200 a semester for tuition alone, and I'm pretty sure it's worth it. I checked out CCA's website, and their tuition is $14000 a semester. Whoa. Definitely makes it seem worth it now. Well, I then checked out SF State's program (which has painting/printmaking, but no illustration degree) and their tutition is $1700 a semester. Wtf? Now I'm starting to doubt it.

I think part of the exhaustion comes from the constant commercialness of our school and the mixed messages it sends. We're constantly bombarded with messages on the financial feasibility of our ideas and the business side is used to excuse/promote the same old tired stereotypes and bullshit that our shitty society feeds upon. We're also told to experiment, but of course, those that stick with what they know and what they do best are rewarded. Sigh.

It's hard to find role models in this school.

I'm looking for an artist that cares more about saying something meaningful in their art rather than making money. I'm looking for an artist that subverts the mainstream and tells large corporations to go fuck themselves. Egads. Anyone out there?

I'm currently really hooked on James Jean and Tomer Hanuka. Both pretty high up in the illustration world, JJ is pretty much dominating the scene right now, winning all sorts of awards for his editorials, comic book covers, ads, etc., etc. And as much as I admire his draftsmanship and his awesome illustration powers, the dude does ads for Nike. How much more uncool can you get? Well, maybe if he did ads for Nike and was also shitty at his job. But yeah. At least Tomer does some pretty radical stuff in his illustrations that critique everything from the war in iraq to socialite life to mutant zombie surgeons...well, everyone's gotta have their weird illustration kicks here and there.

But alas. I guess people like Bansky and Shepard Fairy are still holding it out, making a living our of art while giving the Man the finger. I just wish my school was more into that sort of thing.

Any state or CCA students who might happen to read this: is this bullshit the same at your school?

Anyhoo, I would love to collaborate with some environmental/feminist/vegetarian/vegan/super liberal artists, so if you're down to say something positive (or at least critique all the negative) about life, hit me up. Please!

Anyway, E and I started a team blog for our bi-weekly "kami-jar" (E's name) challenges, over at We've been pretty bad at even keeping up to the biweekly schedule with our crazy amounts of hw, but at least the first topic is up. It's more of a breeding ground for future finished illustrations, as I doubt anything finished will go up there, but if you like it rough, midnight carriage is for you.

So I'm going to try and get some sleep before my 8am class tomorrow. Night.

PS- New art should be coming fairly soon. Otherwise check for art you can buy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Okay all you rockstars, here's a call out to do some awesome work and help me in raising money for a good cause:

So I’m climbing a mountain (Mt. Whitney) as a fundraiser for Bay Area Wilderness Training, a SF-based nonprofit that trains adult youth-workers and provides all the equipment they need to take disadvantaged youth out into the wilderness. I never realized how fortunate I was to grow up taking yearly trips to Tahoe, going fishing and camping, and generally getting outdoors as much as I did.

But many kids have never been outside the city. And by helping me out and contributing a tax-deductible donation, we can help these underprivileged youth experience something they might never get to see otherwise. 90% of every dollar we raise goes directly to the kids, and I’m asking for your help. Here's what your support will create for a young person who needs it:

• $25 buys three fuel canisters to cook warm meals in the backcountry.
• $50 gases up our van and takes 10 kids to a local state park.
• $150 trains a youth worker in Wilderness First Aid to ensure safe backcountry trips for kids. (The trainings are among the most important keys to the program.)
• $500 adds four new, cozy sleeping bags to our library. (Providing a free gear “library” is the other important key to the program.)
• $1,000 gets 17 kids outdoors on unique nature experiences—from day hikes to backpacking trips.

Feel free to think of this as an early birthday/xmas gift!

Anyway, I could write about this stuff forever, but if you have a decent internet connection with sound and 10 minutes, please check out this video about the program here:
(and for those like me, I’d have a box of tissue around to wipe thine eyes).

So I’m asking for you to at least check out this video. If it doesn’t move you to donate, nothing I can say will. 10 minutes of your time! For kids!

My goal is to raise $3500 in the next 3 weeks (holy crap that’s soon!) so any and all help would be totally awesome. From $5-$500 (or more) any amount is needed and very, very, very much appreciated.

And btw, you can always check with your company to see if they do matching donations! Twice the bang for your buck!

Sooo, the link to donate is here:

If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot them my way, and of course, if you want to get involved or learn more about BAWT, you can check them out on the web at and

With great thanks and gratitude,

More information:

There have been many studies done about the effects of such experiences on kids. According to the State Environmental Education Round Table, programs with a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach to learning produce young people who:
1) Experience increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning and have greater pride and ownership in their accomplishments.
2) Experience a marked reduction in discipline and classroom management problems.
Also, students who are encouraged to learn outdoors develop an attachment to place and begin to exhibit environmental-stewardship behavior.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Oskar Kitagawa R.I.P.

Yesterday afternoon we had to put down our beloved family dog, Oskar. He was a good dog that protected his family, loved to chase things, and will be sorely missed. He was about 14 years old and I'm just glad he's not suffering any more. I'll never forget you Odog.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Just wanted to wish you a happy 6 (3) year anniversary and a happy birthday!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


It is a happy, happy day, as I just found out my printer can print on Bristol. Oh how the universe smiled upon me this day.

In other news, here is one of my projects for Illustration 1. It is rendered in pen and ink. I still have to go over it (and another piece) with another coat or two of darker values, but it's always easier to go darker than it is to go lighter.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Illustration HW

I should be working on my Illustration homework (as I work all weekend and I also have to find time to do touch-up work on my still life painting) but the internet has dragged me down yet again. I feel like I can't be productive until 9pm. Ug. Gotta figure out a way to get better working habits.

Anyway, above is the value study done digitally for my last illustration project. Huzzah.

Additionally, my good buddy Patrick from Greyspace has made the first purchase ever from my Etsy sho (thanks again dude) and a nice woman from Canada has made the first purchase by someone I don't know personally. Thanks!

On a side note: now that I sold a button set to someone in Canada, now can I claim I'm an internationally recognized designer/artist?

Anyway, time to start work I guess.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Check out my Etsy Shop!

After slowly working on this between homework, life in general, and work, I have finally opened up my own little button shop at Etsy.

You can check it out here at

I've got my buttons up and running. Hopefully I'll eventually have some illustrations, chapbooks, comics, clothing, and more up, but that's all for now :)

And if you spread the word, I'd be most grateful :)

Oh yeah, and I finally got some art to put up.

This is my first oil painting EVER. Well, the first one I actually tried on. My first ever oil painting was with Eve, and I did a little 3x5 canvas board in about 10 minutes. This one took about 6 hours.This one is my second oil painting, but the first one wher I actually had to mix colors myself and not rely on shit that comes out of the tubes.

Eh, the drawing is kinda off in em, and the colors/values could be better, but for 6 hours each, I don't think they're half bad. And excuse the bad photo quality. I'm still working on that.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

stockton is lame-sauce

So I was totally going to publish my first oil painting* ever, but I can't find the cable to hook my camera to my computer, and it's too large for my scanner. Poop. But it's in B&W and it's decent (kinda). Anyway, for never taking an actual painting class before, I'm pretty proud of it.

My classes are cool. I can already tell homework is going to get pretty frickin' bananas later on, but for now, I can at least breathe. The worst class is my online one, cuz I feel like I never remember to log in and do all the reading until waaay late. Sigh.

Illustration 1 is pretty cool so far, but we shall see how things go, as the assignments are only going to get crazier.

Also, I totally voted for neither Obama nor Clinton, as I hate the electoral college and believe in voting for who I would actually want to win. That said, I do kinda hope Obama takes it, as I figure the guy (although not that great on policy) can whip up an emotional fervor, which most Americans care about. People too often vote by who seems the coolest or who seems most likely to beat the Republican, rather than by who has the better policies.

I'm still waiting for a queer woman of color to become president. A guy can dream, right?

Anyway, I was checking out Diana's blog, and found this in an older post:

"Forbes’ Misery Measure determines the most miserable cities in the US. They are

  1. Detroit, Michigan
  2. Stockton, California
  3. Flint, Michigan
  4. New York, New York
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  6. Chicago, Illinois
  7. Los Angeles, California
  8. Modesto, California
  9. Charlotte, North Carolina
  10. Providence, Rhode Island"
Now you ask why I'm always a bit sad to tell people I'm from Stockton? And that is why I now live in San Francisco.

Friday, January 25, 2008

No new art, just projects

So I haven't really been working on anything decent to put up here recently, but I have been sticking to my "draw every day" routine, so I'm at least still working.

However, I'm currently working on a variety of projects while enjoying the last fleeting days before school starts up again:
-The Yet-as-unnamed-collective: a bunch of friends and I meet biweekly in order to kick around ideas, show mock-ups, and eventually we hope to start up a business!
-The Zine project: Eve and I are holding each other to two-week deadlines for the major steps of making a zine, in the hope that we'll both have zines to distribute in 10 weeks.
-52 cards: I'm working on redesigning all 52 cards of a standard deck of playing cards (it's still up in the air if I'll end up doing the jokers as well). I'm aiming for completion in January of 2009, so I'll average one card per week. Sadly, I'm slacking and only have really even started with one card so far. But hopefully I'll get into the groove of things, as this is my experimental project. I really want to use different styles and techniques to showcase all the different subject matters and styles of art that I enjoy creating.
-Etsy: I also want to get up on Etsy and finally go about making an account. I figure it's the next best thing until I get off my ass and finally finish the webstore/website that I've been talking about making for the last year.

I think the major holdups on the website boil down to 2 things: a)not knowing which style I want to focus on (cute vs. scary vs. realistic vs. cartoony vs. political) and b)not having enough material to put a site up. Sigh.

Anyway, keep on rocking, and hopefully I'll be back with some art soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Return from Seattle

So we're back from Seattle. Over the course of the trip, E and I both got colds, which are lame, but we gained craploads of information. I managed to bug Jason Chan about classes at Academy to take, the art directors from Wizards of the Coast on how to go about priming my portfolio to get a chance to paint Magic:tG cards, and learned buckets full of information on the industry, concept art, and techniques on digital painting.

Overall, it was too much to process while I was there, and I'm just beginning to process it now. Also, my fingers are cold so my typing is getting really slow.

Anyway, I'm working on a 6 month artistic plan of goals to accomplish. I'll post that and some new sketches I'm working on later this week.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Seattle, here we come

So after an exhausting but fun New Year's, the Seattle Concept Art.Org/Massive Black workshop is upon us. One day for sightseeing, 4 days for the nonstop pure synthesizing of energy into art. Hells yes.

Also, I made a News Year's Resolution to draw every single day, no matter what. So far, we have kept ourselves to this. Just 362 more days to go :D