Thursday
Jul052012

Back from Los Angeles!!

 

Hello my lovelies! I have returned from a fantastic trip to LA, partly for Anime Expo, the largest anime convention stateside, and partly to see MY HOT SEXY FRIENDS.

AND ALSO TO EAT ALL THE THINGS IN LA.

Anyway, this was my first time with an artist alley table at AX, and so I was a little bit nervous! I haven't had a "newcomer" experience in a long time, and one of this scale--AX draws over 100,000 geeky nerdfaces people a year, and there are over twice as many artists at any convention that I normally attend, so it was JUST A LITTLE BIT DAUNTING.

Photo courtesy of Iris Chen

THERE WERE JUST A FEW PEOPLE THERE. D:

Luckily, as mentioned previously, I had my dear friends with me who were also artists as well. Here is us working really hard at our tables:

Working hard? Or hardly working? You decide.

Paula was my trusty tablemate and tarot card reader extraordinnaire, so, not only did I know my table was in good hands while I was peeing / walking around / buying shit I shouldn't, I also was vaguely aware of my future, as told through the cards.

I had prints for sale as per usual, and took a couple of commissions that all ended up being very inspiring or hilarious (famous one among my friends was Lady Gaga in Samus' Zero Suit destroying Katy Perry in that crazy outfit from the ET video), and I ended up taking a couple home (including that last gem) to give them THE PROPER TREATMENT. I've updated my galleries with SOME THINGS I DID.

If you haven't been following me for very long, I've been venturing out into the world of skate decks, and I brought THIS GUY along with me to AX:

Please excuse this photo of me testing the rig at my table in my horrifically unkept room.

Because, like I mentioned, this was my first BRAND NEW ARTIST ALLEY experience in a long, long time, as well as my first con on the west coast, I had to pack and plan VERY VERY CAREFULLY. I have texts to prove it that I was planning ahead of time and not the night before as usual. GREAT SUCCESS. I even had these fancy business cards made:

 

 

only to find out the day before that THE SKATEBOARD DOES NOT FIT INTO MY SUITCASE. And it wasn't off by like, an inch or something--it was off by SEVERAL INCHES.

ARGH.

After digging around for a millenium in my closet, i found a duffell bag that could KIND of work and I shoved all my clothes around it to protect it, and it was DEFINITELY not up to carry-on standards, but somehow I got that thing on the plane and safetly to LA.  Unfortunately, that picture of it is the only one I have of it because I'm a moron and always forget to take photos when probably necessary.

Speaking of this problem, I ended up not taking that many photos at the con--I think I was caught up IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT (read: forgot). The only two pictures I took of costumes were, of course, Legend of Korra related:

So, both these lovely couples were HILARIOUS and assumed what is arguably the best poses for my pictures. My dear friend and forever table neighbor Annie brought her husband to the convention, who had a legit-for-reals camera that took legit-for-reals-and-better-than-an-iphone photos that perhaps I will be able to share later on.

What I DID remember to take pictures of much to Annie and my delight was ALL THE FOOD WE ATE.

AND WE ATE ALL OF IT:  

I also ate about 400 other things, but this is the delicious abridged version.

So, because I ended up selling fairly well, and also because I have a desperate need for material things when I am in LA for some reason, including the skate deck (which sold in the last fifteen minutes of the con THANK YOU TO JUSTIN WHO SO KINDLY BOUGHT MY SKATE DECK SO I DIDN'T HAVE TO HAVE AN AWKWARD CARRY ON ITEM <3 <3 <3), I was instructed that it was an appropriate time to...as Aziz Ansari on Parks & Rec says...

To TREAT YOSELF.

Last year, I had a mini love affair with Apple 8, my favorite booth at AX. SOMETIMES I JUST NEED ALL THE THINGS. This year, however, I needed to curb my spending because of a certain elderly pit bull pee machine and so I only picked up a couple of items from the booth this year, including this REALLY CUTE RING.

 

 

AND ALSO THIS ADORABLE METAL GUITAR LOCKET. Sarah from Apple 8 told me to NOT PUT DRUGS IN THERE, ONLY VITAMINS. <3 <3 <3

I thought my spending would be curbed, but then I was accosted by a necklace at a boutique in Little Tokyo:

 

And before I could calm down, cupid's arrow STABBED ME IN THE EFFING GUT WITH THIS BEAUTY:

UMMMMMM WHITE WOVEN LEATHER ROSE GOLD DETAILING AND SPIKED PANELING, ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME, GET ON MY SHOULDER RIGHT NOW, BAG.

Look, I'm not even a huge handbag person. I have like, 2, and one has holes on the bottom of it and the other is mustard yellow on one side and a puke green on the other side that rubs against all my wannabe goth black clothes. But, I had a SOMEWHAT VISCERAL REACTION TO THIS BAG.

JUST IN CASE YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND:

Lord.

Have.

Mercy.

I sort of love this bag.

Anyway, while I was out in LA, I got to see one of my vury vury best friends Iris, who I GREATLY MISS ever since she moved out west a year ago to work for Sony as well as basically managing the h.naoto San Francisco store. Iris was working the h.naoto booth at AX, but took some time to hang out after hours on Saturday and Sunday before she had to drive back to the SF area. ;________; I NEVER HAVE ENOUGH TIME WITH YOU, BB!!

But, we did however, have time for a PARKING LOT PHOTOSHOOT:

Photo courtesy of Iris Chen

Photo courtesy of Iris Chen

When we took these, I realized that we have all known each other for the better part of almost a decade and have nearly zero pictures to show for it. REMEDYING THIS RIGHT NOW. It's these lovelies and you lovlies that brought me to where I am right now, who believed in me from the very beginning. So, you can see why these few hours once or twice of year with my con-friends are so important to me, and probably why I'll keep doing cons in general--I get to see these faithful friends. Guys, I was a WRITER or something in college. I never took an art class until I was, like, almost 24 years old.  It really was artist alleys at conventions that gave me the confidence to even TRY to make art my career, and now I'm doing it, and I've got the nerd in me and you to thank for it.

/end rambling mushy mush

Well, I think I've sufficiently rambled on long enough about my new bag, so another update will be forthcoming--thanks for reading!!  And thank you to all the new people who found their way over to this blog / site from AX! Definitely keep in touch with me!!  I'm on EVERY SOCAL NETWORKING SITE EVER IN EXISTENCE. You can always drop me a line through any one of those sites, or at my email katie@seekatiedraw.com. 

Kisses and squishes!

 

Thursday
Jun282012

LOOK OUT, L.A. HEER I COMEEE

QUICKLY QUICKLY, HELLO HELLO.

THIS WEEKEND I will be in Los Angeles for Anime Expo! I am in the artist alley this year and can be found at table G6, JUST LIKE IN THE AGONIZINGLY CATCHY AND OBNOXIOUS SONG.

 

So, get slizzered (or whatever) like a G6 over in the artist alley with me--I'll have prints for sale as well as taking commissions until they fill up. I have never sold at Expo before, so I am A LITTLE TERRIFIED VERY EXCITED, and I can't wait to see y'all there!

 

Wednesday
Jun062012

Holy crap, it's June!

Back from the blog hiatus of '12, EVERYONE. WHAT. THE HELL. IS UP!?  The site has undergone some big updates, and the gallery is finally full of things that were actually completed in the past year! SLACKER. Thanks to everyone who has been contacting me wondering where the hell I've been--it was nice to know that I'm not alone out here!

It's been an eventful half a year, but here are the cliff notes of the last six months.  (ALSO INSTAGRAM'D):

First and foremost, Joon has Cushings disease, which isn't curable, but can be managed with medication and regular checkups at the vet.  She's been hanging in there, and we've had some frustrations, but overall we've been working together to make sure her golden years are comfortable and happy and that she can live a full healthy expensive life.

By day, I'm at babyGap, but by night I've had some amazing opportunities and projects, including the above skateboard I gifted to one of my best friends! I haven't had a ton of time for freelance but when I do, it's always been for projects I love, and I can't wait to share with you some things I've taken on after hours.

Oh yes, I ran my first race, the Long Island 10K!! WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?! For anyone who has said that they could never run a race, I would like to mention that I shuffled ran my chubby ass 6.2 miles (with one walk break because, man, drinking water and running sometimes equals almost choking!!) and if I can do it, ANYONEEEEE can do it!  I can't wait to tell you more about the race--it was seriously one of the most difficult and rewarding days of my life.

I'm only doing a few cons this year, but I've already tabled at two--Anime Boston and Animazement in Raleigh, NC! Both were loads of fun and I ended up meeting some amazing people and doing some badass commissions as per usual!  The above picture was from Boston over Easter weekend, so of course my meals consisted of approximately four billion chocolate candy-covered eggs.

OH YISS AN' I ALSO CUT MAH HURR. (VURRY IMPORTNT NEWZ).

Over the past weekend and over the next couple weeks I'm revamping a lot of things on the blog and already have a few new things lined up. I definitely needed the blogging hiatus, but am so happy to be back blogging again and getting back in touch with everyone, or as they say in the south, ALL Y'ALL.

YA HERD?!

Thursday
Jan122012

Ups and Downs, and Joony Joon

Hello, and happy 2012 everyone! 2011 was a crazy year--I moved to NYC, started a new job (twice!), and basically threw my life into a rollercoaster of emotions in between it all. It's been a hell of a ride so far, and I've got my hands flailing in the air waiting for more adventure around the corner!

So as to not dwell on the negative, here are some things I was really proud of that I did in 2011!

 

- I moved to NYC with the best roommate ever--my dog, Joon!

My vow of over five years finally was finally true--I moved back to NYC, and it was an amazing homecoming!! It's been the best to be surrounded by all my old friends.  It's almost unreal to me that I'm back again, even now! Our apartment home in Brooklyn is getting cozier every minute!

 

- My kitchen skills leveled up!

Finally, I can make something now besides grilled cheese and fried eggs! And all without a standard size oven.  :3   Over the year, I've also amassed a healthy collection of spices, baking goods, and kitchen appliances (thanks for the food processor, mom!!!) that have really helped me have more confidence in the kitchen.  Pinterest has also been a really great way for me to find recipies (friend me on Pinterest, if you have one!! :D)  I even cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal for the first time, and it was delicious!

 

- My shelves are full of books I've read this year!

If I had to be honest, I would say that before this year, I hadn't read a novel in almost three or four years! D: All my downtime was usually spent drawing or playing videogames. However! Now with all the time that I spend on the train for my commute, I've read through almost fifty books in 2011! It's a hobby that I haven't attended to in awhile, and it's been really nice to start reading again. My brother was kind enough to gift me a Nook tablet (!!!) for Christmas this year, and now I have even more access to all the books I'd ever want to read (this is not a ad for Nook, ah heh heh heh!).  I have a goodreads account, if anyone wants to see what I've read and am reading at any point in time! Friend me there if you're a goodreads member!

 

- Oh, BabyGap!

In August I began working for BabyGap as a graphics artist, and it's been the best, most challenging, and most rewarding work I've ever had. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be getting paid to draw adorable things! I love learning about the ins and outs and ups (and downs!) of the apparel industry, and I have met some wonderful people along the way.  Every day isn't easy peasy, but I know that I learn something new almost every day, and it's been and interesting journey into the "corporate" working world, as an artist. The above photo is the view from my building at lunchtime! :3

 

- I started running, and preparing for a 10K!

This was the big one, and it's changed my life in pretty much every way possible. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, this wasn't really to lose weight or be skinny or anything like that, but it was a way for me to deal with depression and learning how to focus my energy into something really positive, as cheesy as that sounds. I feel better and stronger and more confident with every mile I run!  So many people probably thought I couldn't do it--and to be truthful, I was a little hesitant as first--but I'm happy to prove them wrong! Everyday I wake up feeling a little stronger and happier.

Which is good because, as of now, a little over two weeks into the new year, 2012 has been quite a doozy.

There were some...ahem...interesting comments made about my recent appearance change over the holidays ("You actually have a face shape now!!" and "You look SO much better than you did before!" were the winners, i think).  I was ready for these remarks, but wasn't so thrilled to hear them, either.

Also, my boss at work had a good friend who passed away over the break very suddenly, and he was my age, and it's at these moments I realize how much things just don't make sense. 

The kicker is that the health of my little love Joon is starting to be compromised. She had some bloodwork done last week that shows very high signs of coritzol in her blood. Combined with her recent behavior of drinking water like a desert storm is approaching and peeing all over my apartment like it's suddenly the outdoors, my vet and I are fairly convinced that she has Cushings Disease, which is common, especially in older dogs.  We've arranged to get her tested for it, and if she does have it, she will be on medication to control the insane amounts of cortizol her adrenal glands are producing.  She may also have to have a biopsy to see if the adrenal glands are going haywire because of a pituitary tumor.

Also, her heart murmur has gotten more severe, and there is a lot of stress on her heart for some reason, of which she will also have to have an echocardiogram to see what exactly is causing her heart to beat so irregularly. It's possible for some reason that her heart is working much harder than it should, which could lead easily to heart faliure.

I know this is a lot of "ifs" and "coulds" and "maybes" but I've been fortunate enough that Joon has been relatively healthy in the five years we've been family, and so all this has really thrown me into upset mode. I have a three day weekend, and I've spent the entire time next to her, taking her out to go to the bathroom every 3-4 hours, regulating her water supply, monitoring her eating (the doctor says she's also a little underweight, and is carrying all her weight in her belly--another sign of Cushings), and giving her as much love and attention as possible.

Joon is about eleven years old, and I know in my brain that she is an elderly lady, but a small part of me just had this idea that we were going to be together forever, until the end of time! It is such a nice thought, no!? Every person who has had a pet, especially a dog, especially a dog as loyal and honest and kind and thoughtful and brave as Joon should know what I'm talking about. To see the results from her bloodwork and urinanalysis and listening to her heart murmur with my own ears was basically the first time I was faced with the reality that Joon isn't going to live forever. I've been trying to get through this blogpost for about an hour now with little luck because I'm in tears just writing about this, but I figured I would be honest with what's going on with me and why it may be hard for while to blog with things like this on my mind.

But, I'll know more in the coming weeks once all these tests on Joon are completed, and we'll have a clearer picture where to go further as far as medications and things are concerned. I'm doing some fun freelance side projects that I'm excited to share! Thanks for all your patience and for sticking with me--just looking back on the past year has lifted my spirits a little. It seems like so long ago, but things have changed so much, for the better, and maybe 2012 is off to a rocky start, but there's no where to go but up.

 

 

Saturday
Nov262011

Friendsgiving 2011!

First I'd like to just give a big "thank you" for the tremendous response to my last post--the outpouring of support on this blog, on my facebook page, on tumblr, and wherever the hell else I am on the internet has been really overwhelming and downright touching. I have heard from people who I haven't even spoken to in years and years who have stopped to give me encouragement. It really, truly means a lot to me, and I'm glad that I could inspire some conversation about something that means a lot to me and is a big part of my life. So, THANK YOU to you guys!!

As part of my routine to get healthy and ready for my 10K in May, I've cut out a lot of eating out and drinking at bars and have been cooking at home nearly every day, which is also something that I have been wanting to improve. Two birds, one stone? I think so!! :D So, when I found out that I would have to be here for Thanksgiving this year and away from my family, I decided to cook a Thanksgiving meal for myself as well as my friends who would also be away from their families for the holiday. Friendsgiving!

Because it was my first Thanksgiving where I made something besides mimosas, I went a little crazy with the photos. But, here is a little look at my friendsgiving!!

I started cooking the night before. I was making six or seven dishes and I wanted to at least make sure I would be able to get the food out on the table and hot at relatively the same time. I pre-chopped most of my vegetables, I made the white cheddar mashed potatoes early, and I prepped the mini-meatloaves. My kitchen is not the biggest, but it's just the right size for someone like me. My oven doesn't work (the pilot light just...doesn't light D: ) and my stove has only two working burners. So, basically, my meal has to be made with the toaster oven, the two burners, and the microwave.

Here are the little mini-meatloaves that my good friend Cymon (old neighbor from Atlanta!!) advised I should cook in the crock pot. BEST IDEA EVER.

COOKING INJURY. I still am not even really sure how this happened, but I was draining out the water I used to boil the potatoes and I think the end of the spatula was warm from the stove, and it flipped up for some reason and hit me in the arm. It looks like just a dent in my arm, sort of like when you sleep with the blankets all bunched up and they press into your skin...only now it's a big boo-boo. Well, thank god this was the only accident of the experience. >.<

A lot of the recipes I used were meant for tables of 10-12 people, something that I accounted for when making them for my tiny Thanksgiving--just too late. Here I am making waaaaaaayyyyy too much sausage and cornbread stuffing. >.<

 

The star of my Friendsgiving meal--my little Black & Decker toaster oven!! Not only does it cook these delicious bacon cheesy puffs (a family appetizer tradition!), it also keeps the food I've already made warm when I place it on top of the oven. TWO BIRDS. ONE DELICIOUS STONE.

 

THE SPREAD. OMG. I CAN'T BELIEVE I MADE ALL OF THIS AND DIDN'T EXPLODE THE KITCHEN.  So, here are all the individual dishes I made and the blogs/sites where I pulled the recipes!!

So, ah heh heh heh, I sorta burnt the shit out of the top of this Blue Cheese Green Bean Casserole...but we still ate it anyway! I totaly recommend Closet Cooking--all his recipes are simple and taste amazing, with nice straight-forward instruction and food photography. 

Honey-Glazed Carrots from one of my idols Martha Stewart! Oh, Martha, how I love you and the fact that you went to jail and you're still being totally badass with your french bulldogs and telling me I have to wrap my Christmas presents using chiffon bows and lace doilies. <3 Anyway, these carrots were SUUUUPER easy to make, and gobbled up immediately.

Also from Martha--Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing. Holy moly. Like I mentioned before, I have a whole other batch of this to make. I CANNOT WAIT.

As it was my mission to basically put cheese and bacon into everything I made this year, here comes Martha's Creamed Spinach with Bacon to save the day!! Ah, I love Thanksgiving--taking perfectly healthy vegetables and making them as unhealthy as possible. 'TIS THE SEASON!!

 

Closet Cooking again gave me the recipe for these White Cheddar and Garlic Mashed Potatoes! Super cheesy and creamy, and I could make them the day before and they still tasted amazing!

My good friend May pointed me the way to this recipe for Low-Fat Mini-Meatloaves. Because Joon was a shelter dog, they are unsure about her birthday but they think it was somewhere in the realm of November 2000.  So, I celebrate Joon's birthday on Thanksgiving, because I am so thankful to have her in my life! <3 Joon loves meatloaf, and instead of a turkey this year (because...that would be a stretch in my toaster oven!) I made these little guys, and cooked them in the crockpot. THEY WERE INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS.  Joon agrees.

Prior to Thanksgiving, I won a contest from Kaitpops--and won a dozen delicious cake pops for my Thanksgiving centerpiece!!  AREN'T THEY THE CUTEST.  The insides were oreo truffle, and they were TO DIE.

...my Thanksgiving guests thought so too. XD

Anyway, that's it for now! Did you all have a great Thanksgiving!? I hope so!