SDCC 2014

it's almost that time of year again! Our biggest show is right around the corner and we're psyched to see everyone! We've got lots of fun new stuff that we can't wait to share! 

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We often would get requests for our comic con print to be smaller so this year we decided to make a set of postcards! This set of 6 postcards will be $20 and will come Pre Stamped for your convenience so that you can drop them off into our postbox where we will send your well wishes to friends and family! 

Another new print will be our Hall H poster! We've joked about doing Hall H for a few years now and here it finally is! This will be a full size 12x18 print

Our City Poster set is also getting the postcard treatment, now you can get the other 6 cities (Seattle, Los Angeles, Paris, New York, London and San Francisco) As postcards! Also pre stamped 

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And one last treat for the nerds, An INVENTORY bag! Who doesn't love looking at their inventory when playing a game? Now you can proudly show off your full tote with our newest grocery bag!


Find us! With al of our new stuff at booth 1734! We're right behind the Peanuts booth! 





Zip Up Bags- Donuts and Dogs? Oh My!

Our Summer line is coming together really quick and we wanted to share some photos of some new and some restocked items! 

One of my favorite things that we make are these little zip up bags, they're great because you can just toss anything you need into them, band aids, lip gloss, a Nintendo DS, the possibilities are endless. 

We have a new design this year too, Dogs and Donuts! These are some good puppies who wear their donuts around their necks like good boys. They made me laugh as I painted them and I hope they make you smile too 


On Sketchbooks

I got into a conversation with someone on Twitter about Sketchbooks and how to work in them. 

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Personally I've got a long and fraught history with Sketchbooks and like many difficult relationships in my life, it took years to finally get to a place where the Sketchbook and I could be friends who fight fair and make each other better. 

When I was a kid in High school, I had a ton of sketchbooks. I had no fear and just filled my cheap spiral bound whatever purchased from Wal Mart full of drawings. I was proud of almost all of them (blessed that naive ninny) and never had a problem filling them to the brim. 

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As I got older and started engaging online with artists communities, I found myself pushing to create better work and this caused me to start realizing that a lot of my sketchbook drawings were (gasp) actually quite terrible. I started getting self conscious when I was around other artists or when I was sharing my work online. 

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I remember the first time we had a meet up of our artist community at San Diego Comic Con. It was amazing to meet all these great artists who I had gotten to know online in person! (I also met my future husband here, but we only said hello and didn't actually 'meet' until two years later) But I was so nervous about my sketchbook. These events were all about passing around your sketchbook to show other people and to have them do a drawing for you in yours, so it was very nerve wracking to see these professional full time artists looking at my high school sketchbook. That book was very thin because I just kept tearing pages out of it. This was bad because not only was the book thin, it was also obvious that I was a very self conscious artist. 

After this I actually abandoned sketchbooks entirely. I chose to draw only on copy paper so there was less pressure. I would walk around with the pages on a clip pad so that if one was bad I could just toss it and nobody would be the wiser. 

I would start sketchbooks, but would never get further than halfway through before I abandoned them. I would go through a lull of not drawing and then the drawings would just show a skill level so far away from where I was I had to just get rid of them from the shame. 

It also didn't help that I had a weird hoarding tendency with sketchbooks. I used to travel a lot with my family and would bring back blank books from all over the world. I had some from Nepal, Japan, Germany, and all of them were beautiful and perfect. 

I was too afraid to touch them. I knew that the drawings wouldn't all be good and I couldn't ruin this one book that I had. This led to me having a whole shelf in my house of blank un used sketchbooks. 

It wasn't until we did our first Kickstarter, with Curiosities, that I sort of got over that way of thinking. I started to realize that this project that we were working towards could be good, could be bad, but we had to finish it. If it wasn't perfect, that was okay, we were learning and we would do better next time. With our next project we could always show improvement and have people remember the good drawings/paintings rather than the less than stellar ones. 

This philosophy got us to finish a project that I couldn't have imagined that we would have done if I had still been that insecure high schooler tearing out pages from the sketchbook. It's incredibly important to move on and just keep moving forward even if those mistakes are embarrassing. 

After this, I started to think about my sketchbook in the same way. If I did a bad drawing, I just had to do a better one next. People don't tend to remember failures only successes, so even though my book isn't totally full of great drawings, people walk away only remember the decent ones. If I had torn out a bunch of pages in the book, I don't think that I would have been able to finish any of them.

The year to date, I've finished two sketchbooks. A huge acheivmenet for myself. I feel like I finally broke through a wall that had been haunting me since high school and now I'm able to move more quickly learn from my mistakes and get better fast. 

Even Hayo Miyazaki, the legendary film maker, feels the same way about his films Acorrding to his new book "Turning Point" Miyazaki says: 

Making films is all about—as soon as you’re finished—continually regretting what you’ve done. When we look at films we’ve made, all we can see are the flaws; we can’t even watch them in a normal way. I never feel like watching my own films again. So unless I start working on a new one, I’ll never be free from the curse of the last one. I’m serious. Unless I start working on the next film, the last one will be a drag on me for another two or three years.
— Hayo Miyazaki

And that's the way we should feel about our sketchbooks, we know that there are flaws but we have to keep moving, share it with the world and make the next one better. 

"Lovely" Packing!

This past week, we got all of the "Lovely" books into our new office! This post you'll see both our work in progress new studio and the hard work that goes into creating a successful kickstarter

Books! Waiting to get wrapped and packed...

Books! Waiting to get wrapped and packed...

Since "Lovely" was ECA's second Kickstarter, we thought we knew what we were in for, but boy were we wrong! The first time we had all the books inside of our living room and I was really excited to be free from that burden this time (I think I lost my cats in some of those boxes a few times) But I was still really really shocked at the sheer number of books. 

They came on 6 Palettes, and if you don't know, that means 6 giant 'boxes' that are 4ftx4ftx3ft. When they arrived, the delivery guy just left them outside of the office, so we had to break down and carry them all in by hand. This turn out to not be so terrible because 6 awesome ladies came out in the middle of the day to help me. We finished in 1 hour! Exhausted and sweaty, but it was much better than I anticipated! 

We've had two sessions of 3 hours each so far, and we were able to get fairly far with them, So far, 300 packages have gone out, with about 800 ready to be labeled and dragged to the post office. 

That's right Pizza Hut...we will "MAKE IT GREAT"

That's right Pizza Hut...we will "MAKE IT GREAT"

As we were packing, we had a great time chatting with each other! I felt like I made a batch of new friends. 

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Smiling Friendly Faces from our Thursday Group! 

Smiling Friendly Faces from our Thursday Group! 

The reality of doing a kickstarter is that sending and making the rewards is very daunting. The first time we did all the shipping and packing just the two of us, me and mike, but this time reaching out and asking for some help, we were able to meet a bunch of great people and actually have a blast! The number of books for this kickstarter are double what they were for our first one so I was nervous about the whole situation, but we  were really lucky to have this (and other!) awesome groups of helpers who were so generous with their time. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to make a Kickstarter!! 

Lessons on Networking from CAMP

Over the past weekend, I was lucky enough to be gifted a wonderful trip to CAMP by Mike. It was an experience that I will never forget. 

An illustration inspired by CAMP starring my camp Counselor Puno! #SURRRUUUUCCEE! 

An illustration inspired by CAMP starring my camp Counselor Puno! #SURRRUUUUCCEE! 

I never went to summer camp as a kid so coming to CAMP at a beautiful YMCA campsite was a wholly new experience. I never knew what it would be like to be dropped into a group of strangers and expected to talk and network. I have been to a few networking events in our field, but they were always in a space where I would know at least a few people and where I could rely on that person to keep me company in case. This was the first time where I would be plopped in with a bunch of other creative entrepreneurs and just have to make friends. I was nervous as hell. 

CAMP is a cross between a business conference, networking event, and a traditional summer camp. Every day we had fun activities like Campfire inspirational talks, classes that we got to choose, and Yoga twice a day! The variety of events ran the gamut, from Block Printing and Stenciling to How to create an effective newsletter. It's run by the amazing Sonja Rasula who also runs the Unique USA craft shows.

In a lot of ways CAMP reminded me of Conventions and Networking Events that a lot of creative Entertainment artists go to all the time. 

A Small Selection of pics I took with my Mini Instax Camera at CAMP

A Small Selection of pics I took with my Mini Instax Camera at CAMP

At CAMP we weren't allowed to have our phones or any other method of internet communication, so it wasn't easy to pull up somebody's work on your iPhone. I found this to be a really great thing because I got to meet people without having to immediately pull out my phone and stick my nose in it.

My CAMP care package

My CAMP care package

When attending any conference, or convention or anyplace where you will be networking with your peers I had a few thoughts after CAMP that I thought I would share. 

Lessons I learned at CAMP

1) Get your pitch DOWN 

Whoever you are, if you have a business or if you're an artist, knowing who you are, and who you want to be, and being able to get your pitch down to only a few sentences will help a lot. For me, I hadn't fully formed my pitch before going and I found it evolving every day I was there. At the beginning it was all about what I thought the other person would find most interesting about me, but as the days went on, I found myself tailoring my message to being about who I wanted to be and presenting myself as the vision I had for myself. This was incredibly empowering and has helped me to focus my efforts after I have returned home. 

2) Don't put down what you do

Being at CAMP, I found that I was always qualifying my artwork. "Oh I'm an illustrator, but my work isn't cool." I found myself always trying to downplay my own work. I think I was so nervous to be surrounded by all of these highly successful and creative people that I didn't want them to think I was on their level. At the end of the trip, I was kicking myself and I realized that what I was doing was worth holding up with pride. Even if you meet people that you admire, you should always carry yourself head held up high. It changes your whole perspective if you lift your gaze just a bit. 

3) Unplugging can be invaluable. 

I noticed a lot of the people at CAMP were natural introverts. It was a difficult thing for everyone to be very open and excited about everything, but it was also great to pull ourselves out of our own work and take a look around. If we were all allowed our phones I don't think that we would have made friends as quickly or been as engaged with the activities. Were there awkward moments where I wish I could bury my nose in my phone? Sure, but being without it was incredibly empowering. I found afterwards that I didn't really need it and connecting with nature and other creative people was much better in the end. It forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to participate in a real way with every conversation I was a part of. 

Obviously I learned a ton of other things at CAMP, but I'm glad that I could share this with you guys! I hope that these tips will help you in the coming Convention season and will maybe get you to consider going to a program like CAMP or CTN Expo! (and maybe leave your phone at home) 

 

 

 

Thumbelina

We teach a class at Concept Design Academy in Pasadena and we always do a project based assignment for the whole class. This term we decided to do the fairy tale "Thumbelina" 

Here is a piece I did based on some reference that I gathered on my pinterest board. In our class, Mike did the demo and used my reference to create a mood piece for this project 

Here's a link to my pinterest board so that you guys can see what I was looking at!