Friday, December 25, 2015

Advanced Visual Development, Steinbeck, and Me

Fall semester is finally over! These past few months have prepared me to bravely explore my artistic voice. Truly, my breakthroughs are all linked to John Steinbeck.

This semester, I was given the opportunity to study under author Susan Shillinglaw, the director of the National Steinbeck Center, and Thomas Esmeralda, visual development artist who previously worked at Dreamworks and Blizzard. Being taught by the regional authority on Steinbeck while simultaneously being instructed to illustrate Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men was fantastic. Through his works, Steinbeck communicates an appreciation for life's beauty and brutality. He "travels" the internal landscape of the human condition and executes the language of empathy. Although his stories often describe loss, loneliness, and broken dreams--he nonetheless writes from a place of compassion.

The way Steinbeck relates to people moves me so much. He once said, “If a story is not about the hearer, he will not listen. And here I make a rule—a great and interesting story is about everyone or it will not last.” I, too, want to create with a sense of moral responsibility.

With these thoughts in mind, I've spent most of winter break catching up on commissions, learning more about my professional work, and pursuing my winter thesis. Thank you John Steinbeck, my wonderful professors, and my ever-so-amazing health counselor!

  1. Reading John Steinbeck's East of Eden because clearly I am not sick of Steinbeck yet. I love this novel and I'm simultaneously intrigued by yet terrified of Cathy Ames. 
  2. Reading John Steinbeck's Harvest Gypsies. A great read for a more in-depth account on migrant workers. A must-read for Steinbeck enthusiasts.
  3. Shia and I went to Salinas for reference gathering and were charmed by Salinas cows.
  4. A familiar sight from the book...
  5. We also discovered a hidden trail while hiking in Salinas. I thought I was going to die because I wore inappropriate shoes for the occasion--but this gem was worth it.
  6. A warm moment from Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. A tribute to Dutch pastoral paintings. The color management was challenging, but rewarding overall!
  7. A more depressing story moment from Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. A tribute to Andrew Wyeth.
  8. A stylized story moment from Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. While there's much more to improve, I liked the stylization here.
To see more of my work, please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment