Artist Panel Lecture at CSUSM

This was one event that I really enjoyed and honestly, I didn’t have big expectations. I knew I didn’t want to go to graduate school and I felt like this lecture was going to be a waste of time. But, it actually was really informative and enjoyed every artist who presented.

David Hewitt: David provided an excellent example of what they are looking for when applying for graduate school. The portfolio he showed was inspiring and engaging. He asked us to think about what’s unique to us, speak a second language, and do quick studies with drawing. And of course, stay versatile with my artwork! Doing what we haven’t done before is extremely¬†important! ūüôā

Carol Silverstein: Carol provided fantastic artwork with her use of Mylar (translucent paper) with elaborate patterns and making connections, as she calls her work a “place of discovery”. ¬†Showing renderings of the biology of bones and muscle. I really liked the forks creating ribcages on the human body. She also spoke about how to find a job and speaking to like minded individuals.

Steven Dilly: Steven was an enthusiastic ceramics teacher and a man who seemed passionate for the veterans with PTSD. The art he showed was really inspiring.¬†Veterans cast their face and hands in bronze as a showcase to symbolize their strengths and or weaknesses. Steven brought awareness¬†to those veterans that didn’t have a voice. It was great to see.

Nancy DiBenedetto: Nancy is a military photographer and creates inspiring work by capturing moments in the military that we traditionally we don’t see in our daily lives. Along with her use¬†of fantastic¬†shots of underwater¬†photography. When she is not shooting for the military, she collaborates with her daughter to experiment with photos. Capturing intimate¬†moments in her home and using the auto capture feature to shoot unexpected moments. Always motivated when viewing her photography. She always inspires us to engage and inspire us to do great work and most importantly to take risks.




My two favorite and least favorite project

The night photography was my most enjoyable project because most of the time we would shoot during the day and we would have to deal with shadows and overexposed lighting. I liked the idea of playing with glow sticks and it was fun to play around with the shutter speed in our camera and try to get the correct timing.  The result was fascinating because I always wondered how they captured lighting like that, now I know how to do it. I had a great time!

Environmental Portraits were another favorite because you got to capture people in the working environments and it felt so natural and in the moment. Nothing was really planned.  Going to the library I felt it was going to be really dull capturing a librarian in his/her environment, but luckily I fell onto an art exhibition and met an exhibitor talking about what the art was about and she explained the intention of the piece and she was extremely gracious and started interacting with the materials. It came out really great because the color of the fabrics really pop out on camera and felt the compositions were well done.

My least favorite project was the panorama project. I really felt I was going to learn the most from the project and I did, just the hard way. It was a learning experience in which I’m glad I did but feel like I can keep practicing moving into the future. Interestingly¬†enough, I got the vertical panorama perfected but had a hard time with the vertical one. Just got to keep perfecting the craft and hope to get it right next time.

I sure did learn a lot this semester. I never picked up a DSLR before this class and now I have the foundation to become much better now that I understand the language. Now, I have the motivation to buy a DSLR camera and become a much better photographer.

Navy Guest Speakers and Photography

Navy and Combat Photography

Ben Lewis and Arthur Marquez are combat photographers and they shot while the navy is out and deployed on assignment. There are underwater shots off the coast of Point Loma by Arthur Marquez and Ben Lewis is shooting from a helicopter over Hawaii and San Diego. It was quite an experience looking through their photos and seeing night photography in the desert and seeing the passing of lights in the highway. Working with shutter speed is fascinating in night photography and is surreal when these lights are passing through the night sky.

I have a greater appreciation for seeing what these naval photographers do while on assignment. It gives me lots of anxiety hearing their stories and can’t imagine trying to shoot photography with manual settings. How does one go on assignment and focus on your job while trying to follow the navy go through combat assignments? Sounds extremely stressful, although exciting to the fullest extent. Would like to see more of their stories and experiences through many more documentaries.





This was an attempt on doing panoramas. It was going well until I hit the middle (on the top photograph) where it didn’t blend properly and created a harsh line down the middle. Still a work in progress…Though, the basketball court worked out well.

Letters to a Young Artist Reflection

I got inspiration from reading Support from Letters to a Young Artist by Anna Deavere Smith. She speaks how support doesn’t just come from money. The people surrounding you give you the most support in times of need. Befriending people from all walks of life rather than focusing on a particular¬†group of people such as artist. Having an open mind about reaching out to others in other fields of work is beneficial because you can broaden your range and open your mind to different perspectives and get rid of stereotypes.

Here I can identify with gaining support from other people that I meet. Sometimes I don’t always meet artist but meet people in business, technology, and accounting. And it’s always nice to hear their point of views and what matters to them. This is great to give your mind support and broaden¬†perspectives.

The two photos represent support with the Statue of Liberty holding and supporting the flame of liberty and the glass marbles supporting each other to rise to the top.

Photo Booth CSUSM Auto Show

Creating a photo booth and taking photos at Cal State San Marcos over spring break and what a great time I had. Wonderful people got involved in our project and most were happy to participate. A great idea emerged when we told them to hold out their car keys. Of course, right?! IT’S THE AUTOSHOW! Lots of people brought their custom cars with fabulous paint jobs, custom rims, engines. They were all beautiful. Along with a having a DJ, Jamba Juice, and pizza. It was so fun to interact with everyone!

Proposal Paper: Chris Picks Up a Camera

Growing up in the 1990’s I was fascinated with drawing and when I watched cartoons as a child I always wondered how these characters moved on screen. When I would draw on paper, I wondered how I make my drawings move like that. The 1990’s were flooded with cartoons and animation; I was always exposed to it at my house with Nickelodeon with Doug, Ren and Stimpy, Hey Arnold, Rugrats. And of course the Disney films, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Lion King. I grew up with these shows and movies and they inspired me to major in Animation when I was done with high school. In fact, I did not want to go to college or a major university. I wanted to go to an art school and get better at my drawings, learn how to animate and get a job at an animation studio; this was my focus coming out of high school. Though times got tough financially with art school and I could never finish my studies of animation. I eventually went to a community college as a fine arts major.

As time has gone by, technology has improved dramatically, especially in the past ten years. I was inspired by 2D animation, drawing with a pencil, and being able to replicate movement with that pencil, it was fascinating to me. Though in 1999 with the introduction of Toy Story, the animation industry quickly changed because everyone loved the 3D aspect of the film, it was revolutionary. The days of seeing an animation film in 2D seemed to fade away real quick, audiences wanted 3D animation all of the time. Now, do not get me wrong, I love 3D animation as well, but there is something special about animating with a pencil and seeing your characters come to life. Animation studios are no longer putting out 2D animation in film, not even for Saturday morning cartoons, actually, they are using digital software using a stylus to create an animation but the pencil has been lost in the digital age. The golden age of animation now just lives in the past, yet I am still fascinated by seeing these drawings come to life, even now that I am older.

The camera and animation are well connected and I have never thought of being a photographer myself. However, an interesting fact is that my grandfather was a black and white landscape photographer. I only met him once when I was nineteen years old when he did show me his work. And, at this time I was studying animation and was talking to him about my work and what I aspire to. Just never really got into photography, I did not understand it. I thought that anyone can take a photo these days, it felt too easy and pointless to become a photographer. Now that I am taking photography, I have quickly changed my mind about the subject and now my grandfather (who died in 2009) lives inside me.

My proposal will connect the two genres together by connecting illustration and photography. I want to connect myself with my grandfather in an illustration but when I was a child and creating an alternate history. Since I only met my grandfather once, I will illustrate my grandfather and I as a child and he is introducing the camera to me for the first time. I would love to see this story unfold as an animation but it would take a long time to animate. An illustration or storybook will do just fine. In essence, my grandfather will teach me how to see through the camera and teach the basic functions and how to capture the world around me.

The best and fastest way to go about this project is to create thumbnails of how I want the story to go. This is really important and should be the first step based on my past experiences. Getting a clear vision before I start doing the heavy lifting is always the best way to go, after that, it should be smooth sailing. I will probably use Photoshop to color my illustrations for this project, because of the speed and blending techniques offered with the software. This would be my first attempt at creating an illustration book with Photoshop and possibly, I could pitch it to an illustration publication company in the future.

More preparations include me looking at other illustrators out there to see how they created children’s illustration books. Some artists have already inspired me such as Eric Carle with The Very Hungary Caterpillar, where the caterpillar learns and grows to a beautiful butterfly. The book is simple but very effective in communicating its message. I would like to use the same style and having an image a page and a short description and quotes expressing what I am doing with my camera.

This book should be an easy process because of an experience working with Indesign where I created a five-page book where I included my typography. I should just be fine with this process because will help me put the book together, I can just focus on my drawings. And of course a short description of how I want the story to progress so I have a clear vision of how the story is going to go, so the process goes fast.

Combining the two art forms of illustration and photography is an ambitious one and one I want to take on. I have gained knowledge of photography now and have an appreciation of what photographers do, and I understand it is not just about hitting a button. I feel this process is going to one of the best experiences because I can relate to my grandfather, with whom I just met once at nineteen and combine my experience of drawing and blend it into a story. This is going to be a creative outlet and sort of therapeutic because I love to draw and create characters. It will be interesting to see if I represent my grandfather in an illustration and wonder what he would think of it if he saw it today if he were still alive.

I feel like my inspirations are there from my days of creating characters as a child and now experiencing art in college I can bring my passion for illustration into a book and see I can challenge myself in creating something that combines my knowledge of two subjects. This should be really fun. I hope I can make my grandfather proud.

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