Art Traveller – Location: Cockatoo Island

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I stayed in Sydney for the majority of May living with a couple of friends, and used the time to catch up on finishing some personal paintings as well as explore around. One of the places I went to that was the most inspiring was Cockatoo Island. It is a small heritage site in Sydney Harbour that has a lot of buildings that were built in different time periods which make it even more interesting.

Really want to do some paintings referencing a lot of what I saw there. I recommend if you’re in Sydney and want some artistic environment inspiration to visit it. It’s only 20 minutes from Circular Quay – and make sure to take your camera with you for textures ūüėÄ Here are some that I took.

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Art Traveller – Location: Sydney

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  1. Watermelon Cake in Newtown.
  2. Chinatown and N2 Icecream.
  3. Catching the Ferries in Sydney Harbour.
  4. Living the apartment lifestyle with friends right in the heart of the city.
  5. COFFEE.
  6. Cockatoo Island ‚Äď literally feels like an island that Miyazaki invaded.
  7. Ippudo ‚Äď one of the best Japanese restaurants I‚Äôve tried in Australia.
  8. Rainy nights and painting with the company of cats. Then said cats steal your blanket.
  9. Vivid Light Festival ‚Äď creativity and inspiration.
  10. North Head Cliffs in Manly.

I enjoyed Sydney, however feel the busy and overcrowded atmosphere wasn’t suited for me and staying in the CBD¬†felt claustrophobic personally because I missed seeing nature, the blue skies and being out in the open – which is better for my wellbeing. A nice¬†place to visit family and friends, but in terms of living I don’t see myself settling down there in the future. I managed to get a lot of work done here though which was nice!

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Art Traveller – Location: Melbourne

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  1. Public transport is SO GOOD.
  2. Graffiti is everywhere. On all the buildings, the alleyways, signs and shops. And it’s embraced and celebrated as part of the culture. That’s got to be the best thing any city has ever done. It’s makes everything very artistic.
  3. Every single coffee I had was amazing. And I‚Äôm not exaggerating, there weren’t¬†any average ones ‚Äď EVERY SINGLE CUP made me go, ‚ÄėSo goooooood!‚Äô
  4. I stayed in the area of Hawthorn, which feels really safe and was nice to explore.
  5. I spent most of my money on food. And only bought a coat. And did 2 weeks worth of yoga. But food. FOOD IS AMAZING. AND AFFORDABLE.
  6. Do the Yarra Trail. Seriously. It’s so beautiful. I felt like I was in Middle Earth. It was an awesome experience and so much inspiration being in nature. My feet hurt a ton after.
  7. Also yes, the weather is SO UNPREDICTABLE. AND COLD. HUARGH.
  8. Japanese food is great, Spud Bar is a thing, Fro-yo is everywhere and ‚Äėdirty-chai latte‚Äô is one of the best drinks.
  9. Melbourne was hipster before hipster was even a thing.
  10. Everyone dresses fashionably and interestingly. It’s like each person has a character.

Melbourne has definitely lived up to its reputation. I also think what made it really awesome was hanging out with some cool people while I stayed there. It made the visit so much fun. One of my favourite cities to date. (BONUS: try find the kookaburra in the tree!)

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Where have you been, Jess?

Hey. Good question.

Over a month ago, I made¬†the step and decided to sell and give away all my possessions at home, keeping only the essentials and packed my life into a suitcase.¬†It started when I was given an offer from CDW Studios to teach a short 2-day workshop at their school in Adelaide in April, and because that occurred, it was almost a light bulb moment, where I thought ‚Äď instead of returning home to Perth after the workshop, this could be the first step into venturing out there into the world.

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So I made plans, researched a lot and asked advice from good friends who already had experience or were already doing this. This whole living-from-a-suitcase-while-freelancing-art. I’ve been asked a lot why I decided to make the move to do this, and the main reason is because well…I want to explore the world.

There is literally so much out there, and I don‚Äôt think people truly can fathom it unless they experience it in person. Photos of places on the internet¬†don’t tell the full story. I wanted to go beyond that. By being there in person, breathing the environment, feeling the scale and the size of it and realising how small you are in this world. Meeting and becoming friends with people, and seeing how they live in an environment that‚Äôs completely different to your own, and getting around by navigating and exploring. Doing it all yourself. Solo.

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Yes, it’s scary. Yes, most people wouldn’t do it. That just gave me more incentive to do it. Because for me, it felt so right. What was the alternative: moving out and staying somewhere in Perth? Why that, when I could travel instead? Dude, come on. I had to do this.

I got a taste of it when I travelled to the United States over a year ago, this time though instead of it being 3 months, I wanted this to be a long term thing. When I found out that it was possible, and that there are others already doing this, it gave me the confidence to put what I dreamed of into action.

I should mention first though that¬†I’m¬†a bit unusual. Most people already have commitments to their home, like family, jobs and employment, partners and relationships. For others, those come first to them and that‚Äôs totally understandable. Everyone is in different situations.

For me, I have no attachments to Perth, except for my family and some close friends (who I can always go back and visit, ‚Äėcause they‚Äôre cool). And I do my work on the internet. Location isn’t a thing for me, as long as I have a wifi connection, I can make enough to feed myself and move around.¬†Therefore¬†I‚Äôd be an idiot to say no to doing something like this.

So I did it.

I travelled to Adelaide, then Melbourne and am currently in Sydney. It’s been a bit of a ride, with ups and downs and getting used to this lifestyle, but hey. Right now: it’s going amazing.

Really looking forward to sharing with you guys what I get up to while I’m on the road. And hope that it inspires others. Stay tuned!

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The journey so far…

Achievement Unlocked: Charity Stream was a Success!

In which the 24hr Charity Stream for Pencils of Promise opened up my heart and threw all my expectations out the window.


On Valentine’s Day, for 24 hours, I streamed online from 12pm to 12pm the next day, painting the whole way to help raise awareness and do something for a good cause. It was one of the most mentally and physically challenging things I’ve ever done, but completely and utterly worth it.

As a community of people coming together, we raised $1050.00 altogether, which which ends up equating¬†to¬†giving¬†42 children a year’s worth of education (or 1 child for 42 years…but that doesn’t make sense). 42 children!! That’s A LOT! And who knows! One of those kids may end up being a badass artist because they got the opportunity.

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I want to thank every single one of you that donated. You are the ones that made this possible, I don’t claim any credit for it – I only put the fundraiser together and threw it out there (and did the strange thing of streaming for 24hrs and nearly killing myself in the process). It’s all of you, you guys did this and I’m so thankful and so proud! It shows that I can rely on you guys, even though at first it was really scary putting this out there, but because you all have that heart and same mindset it was a success. As a community we can bring goodness to this world through the little bits we can.

A special thanks to all the awesome donators:

Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 5.37.54 PMYou know who you guys are (have kept names simplified for privacy reasons). You are the ones that made this possible. Thankyou so much! (James T is also the winner of the free print so yay!)

I can’t wait to do another charity event with you guys, so here’s to the future!

If you’d like to watch the recording of the livestream, you can view them on my Youtube channel by clicking the thumbnail below (it’ll take you to the playlist of all 3 videos, they’re like +7hrs long).

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As for the paintings I did in the stream: here are the ones I did in the last 5 hours where I was at breaking point. I would reveal the 3 Zelda paintings I did during the stream, but I’m reworking them to get them to the same quality standard as the rest I’ve finished, and they’ll be released consecutively week by week online in the future. For now, I hope this quenches¬†your art thirst!

Have a good one, and stay awesome.

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Charity Stream for Valentine’s Day!

In which I found out charity stuff can be difficult and tough, but in the end whatever happens is okay in the end, because it’s for a good cause.¬†


So it’s happening! This Saturday I’m doing a 24 hour Art Livestream to help raise funds for charity. All the proceeds go to Pencils of Promise, an organisation dedicated to building schools for children around the world that haven’t got access to education.

Art is everything to me. It’s my life, my career, my passion, the thing that keeps me up at night. I live and breathe it everyday. My first drawing was a stick figure family portrait that I drew in my Dad’s office when he was working overtime. I was five years old. That was the earliest I remember picking up a pencil and drawing.

Some kids don’t even know the fun and creative magic of drawing because they don’t have access to a good education in their country. And thinking of all those kids that could have turned and transformed into amazing artists and given their creative spark to the world really makes me want to do something.¬†I want to help even if it’s just one kid get a good education and be able to have the opportunity to know what the magic of drawing and painting is.

Please support me if you can by donating to the fundraiser page! (Over here)(or this link) Even if it’s a dollar, it’s the thought that counts more. All for a good cause yay!¬†Even if it’s $1 every cent makes a difference. Just $25 allows Pencils of Promise to give a child access to education for one year. So together with your support, we’ll have the opportunity to make someone’s life better!¬†

The Stream will start 12pm on Valentine’s Day, and will go ’til 12pm the next day! (24 hours!) The stream will begin on Youtube here:¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IveKMPCBpUM

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As well as this¬†I‚Äôm doing a giveaway¬†where a randomly picked donator will receive a Free Signed Print of Forest Temple¬†(the first painting in the Zelda series I‚Äôm doing)! It’ll be postage paid too. To enter to be able to win it, all you have to do is donate any amount to the charity page and that’s it (oh and also with your name, so I can comment and tell you that you’ve won!)

I hope you can donate, even if it’s a little it goes a long way and shows that we can make a difference (even if it’s by giving up one cup of coffee for the day). Otherwise thanks guys! And looking forward to seeing you at the stream! ūüėÄ

 

 

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 (Click here for Charity Page to Donate)

What Happened with Zelda Forest Temple.

In which I try to comprehend how amazing things in life can come about. And to keep giving the best effort possible. 


So.

Last week was insane.

And completely unexpected. But I’m glad things have calmed down now.

For those of you that may have missed out, the recent Zelda Forest Temple¬†painting I did for my personal redesign project of Zelda ended up getting a lot of exposure on the Internet. It got front page of Reddit and Imgur, with over 600k views in one day, and¬†also got featured on Kotaku the day after. I have to say, it was a really overwhelming experience as it was something I didn’t expect to happen after the first painting (which is why I’m making it a series of 10 paintings, but the first one seemed to explode before I could comprehend it). The reason why I started this series of paintings is to help improve my environment concept art skills, and also to share my admiration¬†of the Zelda games to the fans¬†who love it so¬†much.

I also want to mention a big thanks to Dave Rapoza, Dan Warren and James Zapata for encouraging me to do something like this, otherwise I would have continued to do work that I didn’t enjoy instead of taking the big step and opening new doors that this has created for me.

If you’re new to my website, and this is your first time coming here after you saw my artwork, I wanna say hi and a big thanks!¬†I’m truly grateful¬†to the people that supported and shared the artwork, because without you guys, it wouldn’t have spread and be seen around the Internet for everyone to enjoy. So thankyou! I hope you stick around.

As a result of this exposure, I ended up being approached by quite a few people, which makes everything even more spectacular. One of them being the awesome guys at ZeldaInformer, which is a really large website for the fan community of The Legend of Zelda. They¬†are known for their professionalism and integrity and when they approached me for an interview, I had to say yes. If you want to read the interview I did with them, you can read it here.¬†They’re awesome people, and I can’t wait to collaborate more with them.

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Since this is only the beginning of the painting series I’m doing, I’m a little nervous to sharing the next ones as I know there is now an audience waiting for it and expectations of people may be conflicting because people will be making comparisons and judgements to the first one. However, I’m going to do my best and give¬†them my best shot, and hope people like them! I started this series because I enjoy the process of painting what I imagine the world would look like, and I’m going to keep that same positive energy going. I’m looking forward to sharing the next ones with you guys!

(Also, if the rumour is true, I hope Netflix approaches me. Pretty pleeeease Netflix!)

In other news, an awesome¬†upcoming event that I’m creating¬†this week too is ¬†a 24 hour Livestream for Charity on Valentine’s Day. I’ll be painting the Zelda artworks for 24 hours straight on Youtube (which breaks in between of course – the video recordings will be divided into 3 parts). I will also¬†be trying to bring¬†on some people into the stream as guests. The charity I’m hoping to donate all proceeds of the stream will be one to support¬†children (I’ve contacted one I’m interested and am waiting to get the go ahead with them). I will post an official announcement when I’ve got the get-go going, and hope you tune in to the stream! Painting for a good cause to express our love to people around the world.

And a gift for you guys. Because you’re awesome and have subscribed to my website, as a gift, I’m going to show only you¬†a teaser of the next painting that I’ll be posting on Wednesday. Keep it a secret ūüėČ I can only show a crop without spoiling it, but I really hope you guys like it.

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Take a guess at what location it is in Hyrule.

And with that, I hope you are having a fantastic week. Stay awesome and keep being fabulous.

Streaming and Zelda Redesign.

In which nerding about Zelda becomes a thing and streaming is now a weekly occurrence or whatever. 


Hey! So an update is needed. It’s been a while – I’ve been caught up doing my personal¬†redesign¬†project as well as juggling client work in between. It’s worth it though. Now I’m back on the ball with doing posts here on my website.

New things that have be happening lately is that I’ve been doing livestreams on my Youtube channel, if you are interested in how I paint. It’s also a time when I answer a lot of questions, and just be my weird self generally. It took a while to get used to (the first stream’s painting at the end was terrible! Argh!) But by the second stream, I could relax and finally paint the way I normally do when I’m by myself, it’s still slightly challenging but so much fun, I love it.
Stream is always on Friday night usually around 8pm¬†(GMT + 8:00) and I paint for a couple of hours, really just when I feel like doing it –¬†I usually post a notice on both Tumblr and Facebook saying when I’m online, but you can also subscribe to the channel to stay in the know too. I also¬†stream¬†in the middle of the week, as I want to practice getting used to stream-painting. If you miss the stream, s’all good. All the recordings are saved on the channel for people to rewatch. Here are the first three streams if you’re interested in watching them.

Note: I’m really dorky. This is what I’m really like behind the screen, so enjoy me get frustrated while I paint.

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Also another thing I can finally tell you about is this project I’m doing since I’m sharing it online starting this week. It’s a redesign of all the Legend of Zelda game environments, and my interpretation of what all the key locations in the game could¬†look like. It’s purpose is to help push my environment art skills¬†more and also to express my love for Zelda too since I grew up as a kid playing my first¬†game on my Gameboy Colour and have loved them since, especially the recent ones Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.

Here’s the first one in the series, Forest Temple. The temple is full of overgrowth and vegetation, and is the commonly the first dungeon that pops up in the Zelda franchises. Let me know if you’re interested in the process steps of this painting, as I have them saved out and am more than happy to show them. (You can click the image for the high-res version so you can see all the details.) Look forward to more! I’ll share the next one probably next week, really excited to share them with you guys.

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And lastly,¬†I have a special this week for free shipping¬†on art prints. Free shipping whoo! Everyone love that, really, especially Australians so this is a big deal.¬†But yeah! You can click here and it takes you to my print store where free shipping is enabled.¬†Free shipping lasts until the end of this week, so if you like something on your wall and want to take advantage of this,¬†it’s all yours!

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Lots of things coming up that I can’t wait to share with you guys, keep your eyes peeled. See you round and have an awesome one.

Let’s do this, 2015!

In which looking over the past year at how far things have gone, and looking forward to the new year and future goals. 


Real talk. This year was very different for me. It was the first time I stepped into a lot of new things, where it relied a lot on myself, which is sometimes the scariest. To be honest, it¬†felt like a lonely year – getting used to the sole freelance life, having only a few close people in real life while have good friends online too. I like my alone time but I’m also an open and social person, but for some reason it felt like this year things were meant to be quieter.

A lot of life stuff where I was needed at home happened this year and¬†I was the only one¬†around to give support, which is okay¬†but was sometimes a struggle having to shoulder¬†everything by myself. It felt like it was life testing me to say ‘you are needed at this moment here, this is why: just trust in this. As tough as it is, you’re going to get through this.’

Now that it’s all complete and settled, it feels like a deed completed and that this is the moment for me to be free, look out to the world, spread my wings more and explore. And thinking¬†back over this year, it was a real push to my art, seeing how it has grown and improved while I was drawing my heart out in my dark cave onto my computer screen like a hermit ’til late hours of the night – it makes me feel more confident and excited to look forward to the new year.

Some honest things that I experienced this year: 

  • Found out people liked my stuff¬†on the internet, all it took was giving it a shot.
  • Continually¬†inspired by amazingly talented artists around the globe.
  • Illustrated first children’s picture¬†book.
  • Did cool client work for some awesome great clients.
  • Learnt how to stand up for myself and know my value as a freelance artist.
  • Tried to¬†put myself into the shoes of the client, as much as humanly possible, and understand their fears and frustrations, and how I could help them to the best of my ability and make what they wanted a reality.
  • Opened myself up to only choosing the freelance jobs that I like, and saying no to ones that I didn’t.
  • Talked about personal and art stuff in front of 80 students at a college hoping to help them.
  • Got educated about¬†business and how to incorporate it into what I’m doing.
  • Made own website properly from scratch, aiming to be different from other portfolio sites.
  • Learnt that talking and sharing about the things you love is a magical thing and has a domino effect.
  • Once finally finding¬†good clients, did my best taking care of them like precious gems and giving them everything I got.
  • Doing the best¬†I¬†possibly could in the situations I got caught in.
  • Became an expert at cleaning bathrooms and disinfecting everything that had mould on it.
  • Survived rolling off a cliff in a car in Bali, and congratulating the driver on not killing us.

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  • Created a imaginative universe and story and began building the foundation of it bit by bit to make it a thing to share with the world.
  • Overcame fear of character design and persisted into improving it instead of avoiding it.
  • It’s funny¬†to be stupid sometimes, and not care what others think.
  • It’s okay to cry when everything¬†feels really down.
  • Sometimes things happen for a reason, no matter how much they hurt at the time.
  • Rolling around on the floor helps.
  • Chasing and yelling at my dog with stolen¬†socks was a highlight.
  • Doing anything that’s not art-related is healthy too.
  • Art¬†block¬†doesn’t exist – just¬†have to paint your way through it and solve the problem. “You hit a wall, you push through it.”
  • There’s no such thing as ‘being in the zone’ – you choose to be in the zone whenever you want.
  • Celebrating every little achievement! (even if it’s in secret)
  • Taking breaks and rests with¬†importance; doing art is going to be for life so it’s better to take care starting now.
  • Discovered not to be too hard on yourself and compare yourself to others, and to take it one step at a time.
  • A funny comment¬†on one painting: “I want this in my face-hole. SO. BAD.”
  • Giving because you want to and without expecting anything in return is the greatest gift.
  • ‘Thankyou’ is the most precious thing to say¬†ever.
  • ‘Ideas’ are the secret weapon and what makes something¬†stand out and remembered, regardless¬†what skill level it’s¬†at.
  • Being open to everything, but knowing standards and taste, and trusting intuition.
  • Trusting inner self and gut feeling,¬†and knowing it’s all part of the bigger picture.
  • There’s so much more to create, and to share¬†to the world that it’s infinite.

How about you? What was your year like? Let me know what you’re looking forward to¬†the most in the comments below.

This is only just one footprint out of the trail that continues.¬†It’s time to focus on the new manifestations to create for this new year and look forward to growing and experiencing new things! Let’s do this 2015!


 

In case¬†you missed out, the webcomic I did for the holidays ‘A Small Gift’ you can read and get¬†here.¬†

Happy Holidays and New Year!

In which it’s a festive time or something where we spend time with the people in our lives who we love!¬†


I created a small webcomic¬†as a gift¬†to thank you guys that have been supporting me on my art ¬†and life journey. You can read it below, all you need to do is scroll. If you want the free digital book PDF version to keep, you can put your email in the box below and you’ll be able to receive it. All my email subscribers will get a copy of it anyway because it’s a gift to say you guys are awesome! PRESENTS TIME!!

I’m planning to spend Christmas with family; I gonna¬†make homemade chocolates and help cook vegetarian dim sum from scratch. It’s time to take a break from drawing and get fat. Awww yeah!

Have a great one. And hope you like the webcomic!

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Cyan Eyed – Environment Concept Art

In which I did concept art for this awesome animation for¬†this awesome project that is being created. It’s awesome.¬†


I had the pleasure of working with Ryan Grobins on project Cyan Eyed, an animation in development that is set in an exciting fictitious Victorian steampunk world. It’s about a robot who infiltrates a skyship to rescue precious cargo but is confronted by the ship’s pirate captain, which inevitably ends in a climactic battle.

Below are the concepts and artwork that I did for the project. It was amazing and really awesome developing the environment concepts of the skyship together with Ryan, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the animation in the future. Check out his website and other networks to stay up to date. It’s gonna be too cool.

Visit the Cyan Eyed Official Website
Like the Facebook page to stay in tune for updates on the project. 
Ryan Grobin’s Website

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I’m super excited to see the animation in the future. And had such a blast doing these! Hoping to do more work like this in the future (’cause this is totally my jam, man!)


Visit the Cyan Eyed Official Website

Like the Facebook page to stay in tune for updates on the project. 
Ryan Grobin’s Website