Hey everyone, sorry it’s taken me a while to post this, but I finally recovered from the adrenaline drain from the last two comic cons. I’ve gotten back in rhythm, so it’s business as usual.

So where do I begin with ECCC and Fan Expo? First of all, I loved it.  I loved the energy of both events. I loved the people I met. I loved seeing the crazy cosplayers. I loved the all the activity happening around the table. Overall, I enjoyed every minute of my first con experience, and I’m hooked! Now let’s get into the details. (more…)

The day started out like any other.  I woke up at the usual time.  My clothes were pretty casual.  I went to the studio to do some work.  But unlike any day, this one was going to have a special ending.  With some well-wishes from my coworkers and a ring in my pocket, I made my way down to Olwen’s office to pick her up.  On they way, I called Desmond to confirm the plans for tonight.  Last year I was the cameraman when Des’ proposed to his schoolteacher girlfriend at her elementary school (think Meet the Parents).  I wanted Desmond to be a part of this proposal, so I also asked him to videotape my proposal.  He was in Yakima for an interview and was finishing at 4pm, so we needed to make sure that he was going to be beat to the house before us since Thanksgiving traffic can be unpredictable.  We created some “signals” to use for the trip to time ourselves in the form of two phone calls from Des.  The first call would be to chit chat about his interview; that call would let me know that he was leaving Yakima.  The second call would be to talk about hanging out in Portland with his wife during the long weekend; that call would let me know he was a half-hour away from Portland.  It was kind of cool plan to be covert with the fake calls, but like all well-thought-out plans, we never used them.  Turns out Thanksgiving traffic never showed up on his route, so he beat us home by a good hour and a half.

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I had over a month left until the proposal.  The most difficult task now was to keep it all a secret from Olwen.  My main concern was with her parents since they’re the ones that I probably would have the least control over.  It turned out that leaks were coming out elsewhere.

After I picked up Olwen from the airport, we headed over to NewGen, my church fellowship.  I had to give Olwen back her car, so I had her drop me off at the fellowship.  We were hanging out on a couch when Christine spotted Olwen and walked up to us.  She welcomed Olwen back and asked about her trip to Rwanda.  And that’s when she said, “Wow, you guys have been doing a lot traveling.  Nolen just got back from Toronto.”

She did not just say that.

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To Mom and Dad for dinner and the Itzhak Perlman tickets (It’s really something to see the guy at that age barely get across the stage, sit down, and still play the violin better than I ever could).

To my family for their simple, but deeply meaningful gifts. To Olwen for the fancy shmancy pillow and the Domo.

To everyone else, for all their birthday wishes that flooded my inbox and voicemail.  Thanks! 🙂

Today I arrived in San Francisco for a much-needed vacation.  The weather was starting to get to me: cold, rainy, dark, and sometimes snowy.  It was time for a change.  Glad to be in another place where the weather is cold, rainy, dark, and… heyyyy, waitaminute!  Where’s the sun?!  Seriously, when I left this morning, it was acutally sunny!  In fact, it was sunny for the whole flight until I got within 100 mi of SF.  It’s like I lassoed a cloud and tied it to the tail fins.  At least it’s not snowing [knock, knock, knock]…

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a real vacation.  Actually, the main reason for coming down was to clear my head.  There are a few things on my mind that have been bugging me these past couple months, and I needed to get away from it all.  I plan to do some reading and praying about this in the next couple days and hopefully get a clearer picture on where I need to go with my life.  Some serious stuff I know, but I also plan to get some R&R and some good food in as well.  I’ll post some pictures and sketches from the trip when I get back.  See ya soon!

A couple months ago I was helping with lettering a graphic novel for a manga series called TimeFlyz.  Lettering is where I have to take the dialog from the script and arrange them in the word bubbles.  It was my first time doing this and I learned a few things here and there about how a graphic novel is made.  Anyways, the book was published and look what’s on the second page…

Here’s official site and the book link on Amazon.

So there you have it, my first professional credit.  Big thanks goes to Scott for the opportunity!

I would’ve had this up earlier, but I accidentally left my camera at a friend’s place over the weekend.  Last week, Dave filled me in on a special event in promotion of next week’s 2D or Not 2D Animation Festival held at the Digipen Institute of Technology.  It was a talk given by legendary animation whiz, Richard Williams.  The guy wrote the book on animation, literally!  Pardon my geeking-out, for those who aren’t familiar with him, he is one of the best animators in the biz.  Some of his best known can be seen in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (director of animation), intros for The Pink Panther, and The Thief and the Cobbler, etc.

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Internet was down last night for some reason.¬† Here’s the drawing from last night…

I didn’t realize it until now, but tonight’s my 100th post. I know it’s been over a year since I switched over to my current domain. As the moment it’s past 2AM, and I’m in a gaming studio finishing some sketches while watching Ratatouille. Since it’s the 100th post, it’s time to write something profound

Less than a year ago, I didn’t have any idea as to how I was going to break into this industry, and it’s been almost six months since I decided to go part-time at my engineering job to pursue an art career. I reflect on my circumstances, I realize how privileged and blessed I am to be in a position where I have the opportunity to try a new career in an area I really enjoy. Granted, I’m still not at that level professionally yet, there’s still a long ways to go. But, I do find it amazing how, despite not drawing consistently for six years in college or having any contacts with anyone in the gaming/art/animation industry, an internship with a studio falls into my lap. And I can’t help but think there is something divine about this situation.

Despite having an opportunity to work for an entertainment company, I know circumstances can change in a heartbeat. I could break my hand, lose my sight, or have something worse happen to me. In light of any unfortunate events, would I still be able to go on in life? Even if the art gig doesn’t work out, I know that it was a God-send. Last year, I doubted how I was going to be able to stand doing engineering for another year and feared that the my skills were waning away. I envisioned this big plan of saving up money, selling my place, quitting my job, and going on a hiatus to learn animation on my own. Instead, an internship arrives totally unexpected; I was even asking for it. Looking back, the hiatus plan was stupid and foolish, and I’m glad I wasn’t allowed to follow through with it.

Sorry if this is sounding serious, I know people usually come here to see the adventures of Puddles and Terrence or any other random thing that I try to draw. Things have been busy for the last 9 months, and this is one of those rare times where I’m able to stop and think.¬† I finished tonight’s sketch below before I began writing this, sorry if you were expecting a 100th post extravaganza. I just didn’t realize it until now. Anyways, it’s starting to get late and I’m nearing the point where I start to ramble on about nonsense. In the meantime, I’ll continue to update this blog as often as I can. It’ll be a journal on my progress in establishing myself in this industry. Hopefully you all will enjoy the ride as much as me. Cheers…

I didn’t have time to post something last night because my bus was late by two hours. Boarding was delayed by an hour, and more time was wasted when the bus had to backtrack to drop off someone in Longview. Earlier in the day, I parked a car on the westside and bused over to work, Fortunately (or unfortunately for lack of material), I didn’t have another singing passenger like I did on my last train trip. I did get a chance to chat with a couple guys while standing in line.

I talked with this one teenager when I asked about his guitar. We started chatting a little about music and each other’s travel plans. He was heading to Tacoma before eventually reaching So Cal. I then told him that I was heading to Portland for my little sister’s graduation party. “Wait,” he said, “how old are you?”

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