ARTY PARTY 2009

part of the ARTY PARTY projection

part of the ARTY PARTY projection

I can’t believe that 4 days have already passed since my Arty Party last Saturday!  It came and went in a blink!  I couldn’t have been happier!  Great turnout (~100 guests), great vibe (Gstaad bar and lounge), great music, and great friends!

I have announced The Big News countless times that this was supposed to be the year that I was going to make It happen — to follow my true passion and do something about my art.  So I set a date (October 3rd, 2009) and went to work on assembling my art to share.

I spent one month prior to the party reviewing and studying my 50+ journals and sketchbooks.  I have to say that it was a fun and self-indulgent exercise.  I essentially forced myself to read my illustrated diaries from the past 24 years!  I approached my Arty Party with low expectations.  I didn’t pressure myself to create any earth-shattering masterpieces.  The event was an excuse to throw a party and force myself to create something.  Anything.

Some observations or recurring patterns in my journals:  (1) I have been complaining about how lame I am for not pursuing my art, yet I created 24 years’ worth of art (in the privacy of my sketchbooks), (2) I have been repeating like a broken record how much I want to work on some sort of film production, (3) I like to make lists and diagrams, (4) I seem to enjoy drawing mountains, buildings, plants, animals, portraits, random everyday objects, as well as images from my dreams… I know.  I know.  That’s everything!  It’s true.  I seem to enjoy drawing.

I pulled approximately 100 images and either cleaned them up in Photoshop and/or created an entirely new illustration based on a particular image or moment.  For the party, I pared down the set of images to 50 or so and animated them in Flash.  Time ran out pretty quickly so my husband, Brian, came to the rescue and animated my “mountain” sequence and stitched it together with the rest of my animation in AfterEffects to create the DVD.  The finished product was a 15-minute looping animation.

It was quite a learning experience to work in the DVD color space.  Because the venue only had a DVD player connected to their projector, I had to tweak almost all the colors of my original animation — toning down the whites and the blacks.  A pain but good to know.

I also made some limited edition prints of 10 of the illustrations in the animation.  (I’ve reordered new mats to make the rest of the collection available for sale at the Barkada(ko) website hopefully by the end of next week.)

some of the matted prints

some of the matted prints

Special thanks to my sister, Arlene, and my cousin, Stacy for matting and bagging the prints!  Wow!  I couldn’t have pulled out this event without them.  So glad that they flew in from California to help!

I also have to thank my sister-in-law, Lisa Nishii, who took my idea of providing gifts bags for the kids to another level!  She generously supplied the extra treats and went out of her way to get special snacks for the 12 kids who attended the party.  I think the kids had a great time!  I WILL take credit for these amazing LED glow cups that I purchased from ExtremeGlow.com.  Those were a big hit with the kids!  With a press of a button, you can change the color of the cup or even cycle between all the colors!

photo by Mike Wilkins

photo by Mike Wilkins

My sister also created custom stickers, tattoos, and coloring books using my illustrations!  As you might have guessed, assembling the kiddie bags was almost just as much work as creating the art for the party!  I have so many close friends and family with young kids that I wanted to make sure that they were properly entertained during the 3 hours of the party.

EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS:

  • Brian Nishii: my loving husband & A/V expert
  • Stacy Pascual: my cousin (aka Event Coordinator Extraordinaire)
  • Arlene Ibañez: my devoted little sister & lifetime slave
  • Lisa Nishii: my sister-in-law & Kid Party expert
  • Kim Brothers: Ray, Chuck, Sonny (DJ crew)
  • Gstaad: Anthony, Matt, Soraya, & Dan (43 W. 26th Street, NYC)
  • Gourmet Garage: catering
  • Rik Panganiban, Cori Kaylor, Anne Tamayo, Edowa Shimizu, Cliff Pershes, Mike Kearney, Remy Casasola: my investors!  Thank you for purchasing a print!

I finally did it.  No class project or client deadline to follow.  I finally made time for myself.  I finally made time for my art.  It feels good.

This is just the beginning.  Stay tuned for ARTY PARTY 2010. In the meantime, you can check out the animation that we projected below. You’ll have to play your own soundtrack or ask Arlene and the Kim Bros to come over and DJ for you!

Birthday Painting

paintingLast night, my NYC homegirls and my loving husband, Brian, surprised me BIG TIME .  For my birthday, they treated me to dinner and drinks at Pastis!!! (chosen for the French cuisine, the French fries, and the fact that it was the location for one of Brian’s “Sex and the City” episodes!)  Plus, Cyn was in town from Haiti!  IE: I was surrounded by my VIPeeps on my birthday!  The biggest surprise of all was the beautiful painting collaboration that they created for me.  Of course, it made me bawl my eyeballs out.  I was so touched.  I love my girls!  Here’s the museum-ready description that they put together to accompany it:

***

Cynthia Casasola, Liz Casasola, Cori Kaylor, Anne Tamayo
“A Girl Named Ardith” (June 2009)
Acrylic on canvas
16×20 in.

Four friends of Ardith created this piece to celebrate her birthday.  They each drew something that symbolizes Ardith.  The circles represent eternity and the infinite gratitude and connection those feel for her.  The circles also represent halos for her angel-like qualities.  The heart represents Ardith’s big, open heart, her generosity of spirit, and the abundance of love she has to share.  The gem represents a rare find, as is her friendship to many.  The flowers represent Ardith’s beauty inside and out.  She sees and brings out the beauty in everyone and that makes her beautiful.  The two flowers represent Ardith and her sister, Arlene.  Arlene is an important part of Ardith’s life so the two flowers represent how close they are to each other.  The sun represents her sunny and radiant personality, as well as hailing from California.  It also represents a part of the Philippine flag, because she is a proud Filipino.  The ocean waves represent Ardith’s love of the islands and her dream of living there one day with her family and friends.

The tree that joins all the elements together represent Ardith’s roots — she represents stability, strength, and wiseness to her friends and family.  The tree also represents Ardith’s alma mater — Stanford.  It is also reminiscent of the Japanese culture, which she has embraced in her life.  The multitude of colors in the background represent Ardith’s many layers as a person as well as her depth.

***

Awwwww!  Thanks for a birthday that I’ll never forget!

Me, Cyn, Cori, Anne, Liz

Me, Cyn, Cori, Anne, Liz

Pru also hung out with us to make the birthday celebration complete!

Pru also hung out with us to make the birthday celebration complete!

Last but not least, here I am with my boo, Brian.  I must've done something really good to have him in my life!

Last but not least, here I am with my boo, Brian. I must've done something really good to have him in my life!

BARKADA(KO) ONLINE STORE LAUNCH!

Barkada(ko) Store Grand Opening!!!

Barkada(ko) Store Grand Opening!!!

This is my first attempt @ posting a blog from my phone! Stayed up late last night testing the new store with Ging (pronounced “Jing”, aka my sister, Arlene) so we haven’t had a chance to blog… Now here I am on the bus back into the city after working all day on MallyBeauty.com…

HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THE GRAND OPENING OF OUR FIRST ONLINE STORE!

It has been 5 years since we started Barkada(ko) & 4 since our last appearance selling our shirts at Filipino festivals across the country. We took a little break and now we’re back! Our goal is to liquidate our inventory of first edition shirts so we can pave the way for the next projects. We’re really excited about using bigcartel.com as our web store thanks to a blog post we stumbled upon in MyModernMet.com! Since we’re a very small sis-n-sis operation, this will help out tremendously in fulfilling orders & managing our inventory! YAY!

Thanks again to family, friends, & newfound fans for your love and support over the years!!! We couldn’t have done this without you! But thanks most of all to my lil sis! She painstakingly counted, recounted, triplechecked & polybagged each remaining shirt — getting everything ready for the launch!!! All in all, she spearheaded this whole effort. She’s my inspiration! Can’t wait to live in the same city! It’s been almost 20 years!!!

Celebrating Filipino Pride Worldwide!!!
xoxox

Artist Residency – Day 07

Silhouette Idea for "Experiment" Video

Silhouette Idea for "Experiment" Video

What have I been doing these past few days?  Well…. hmmm… let’s just say that Mom would NOT approve.  In addition to helping out with props and costumes, I was assigned to create storyboards for videos to be used in the play.  The videos were shot yesterday; in silhouette and are of freaky hospital scenes.  I’ll include some illustration examples here and maybe include shots of the final videos later.  I’m only including the Rated PG-13/Rated R ones.  🙂

I had intended to do a blog post each day that I’ve been here at the residency but there has been no time.  We start each day with 10am yoga (for those of you who don’t know me, 10am is EARLY) and then rehearsals all day long until 9pm.  The past few days have been especially long and hectic for me.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, I rented a car to drive 1 hr. 20 minutes each way to Monroe, NY for my MallyBeauty.com work.  So that means that I would get up extra early to do drawings for the play and then come back and continue drawing.  Despite the grueling days, it’s still so much fun.  Somehow we find time to cook for each other and chill out and watch movies.

Storyboard Idea for "Girl and Assistant Director" Video

Artist Residency – Day 01

Theater Interior

Theater Interior

I’m up in the Catskills on a 10-day artist residency with The South Wing (TSW) theater production company.  I’m working on props and costumes for “The Secret Rendezvous” – an adaptation of a Japanese novel.  Very freaky, funny, sad, and generally bizarre.  At the end of the residency, there will be a presentation to potential producers.

My job is pretty difficult because the piece is still so rough.  The scenes still need to be blocked.  The cast hasn’t been able to run through the entire play because the set is still being built.  Needless to say, the props and costumes are going to be the last to be addressed.  So, we’re mainly recycling old TSW costumes and using the cast’s own clothes.  Besides, the play will most likely change further even after the residency.  It would be a waste to sew or buy costumes at this point.

So what the heck am I doing up here?! 🙂  Well, I spent several hours yesterday organizing all the props and costumes that we dragged from the city in the 15 passenger van.  I also sit in on every rehearsal.  I’ve also been drawing and photographing the whole experience…  Oh and naps!  I’m lovin’ nap time in the sun!

Brian, on the other hand, is literally sweatin’ his butt of in rehearsals and playing with all the computer equipment to help out the team of Japanese theater people who came to work on video projections, choreography, and music.

There are 17 of us staying up here in a 3-story guest house right next-door to the theater that’s an old converted church.  Everyone is so talented.  I’ve worked with them before on a different TSW piece a couple years ago so I know most of the people on this trip.  It’s fun.  Like a working vacation.

AWESOME!

woodenblockpaintingNow, I am by no means taking credit for the art pictured above, but i must say that i’ve ALWAYS wanted to create one large painting creating by many smaller paintings; like a mural if you will.  I thought it would be easier to tackle such a large project by doing it little by little.  Having said this, I just happened across a great piece of art at the Korean Cultural Center where i take korean language classes (yes, yes…tagalog will be next!!)  The artist took little blocks of wood and created mini-pieces of art with each one!  It really looked spectacular!!  And if you look at each block, they weren’t all flashy or intricate… but together…WOW.  Some blocks had dry cleaner tickets, some had stickers, two of them were mirror images of each other, one had a little envelope sticking out of it.  The artist used paper, stickers, paint, everykind of medium imaginable!  Totally inspiring me to get off my butt and start my “big painting made up of small paintings” project.  Keep an eye out for updates on this!

“I Heart Photography” – Exhibit A

djjohn2I’ve been known to start many things…i started painting, i started playing the drums, i started reading a book a month….
My problem is that i tend to lack the motivation to follow through….i have a four year old, UNFINISHED painting hanging on my wall (my boyfriend decided that it best we don’t wait until i finished it because “never” is a long time from now); i have a drum set collecting dust upstairs (the upside is that i’ve started to revitalize my artistic juices by drawing happy faces on the layer of dust that has ever so evenly collected on the snare drum), and books…what’s that? oh yeah, they are those things i use as placemats when i’m eating in front of the tv….GOOD GRIEF.
Long story short (too late for that now, whoopsy!), i’m hoping that my newfound interest in photography does not suffer the same fate as my other hobbies.  So i’ve decided to pick some of my favorite pictures that i’ve taken in the hopes that i will keep my own interest! (isn’t that wonderful that i have to play games even with myself!).
I took this picture @ Josephs in Hollywood.  Siiiiiick beats were provided by Victor Yim, Sonny Lim, and John Lee (pictured above).