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Personal Reflections

I made a schedule of 2016-2017 Project Goals (for my eyes only) and I reached my first goal today, yay!

It was to nail down the lower third/onscreen designs for my ongoing web show, Token Talk presented by Racebending. You got the sneak peek in a previous post but after more than a month of doing test runs and working in my colleagues’ notes, I finally figured out the design format.

For the 'NEWS' segment.

For the ‘NEWS’ segment.

'NEWS' segment with guest host/photographer Jerome Villarin on Aug. 16, 2016.

‘NEWS’ segment with guest host/photographer Jerome Villarin on Aug. 16, 2016.

Image above: our show starts off with a “This Week In News” segment that does a roundup of news in diversity, racebending, social justice, etc. Sometimes the host Dariane Nabor does the news solo and sometimes she might have a guest host like our co-producer Catherine Manabat, so the main titles reflect that. I also wanted to credit Peter Ngaou as he’s been responsible for gathering the most interesting news bytes for our roundup.

I created a photo sidebar that would have a short caption and accompanying image. It’s specifically on stage left so Dariane can sit stage right (where she has full view of both the prompter and live feed) and a guest host can sit center.

'GUEST INTERVIEW' segment with writer Michael Mejia on August 16, 2016.

‘GUEST INTERVIEW’ segment with writer Michael Mejia on August 16, 2016.

Image above: For the “Guest Interview” portion, there’s another photo sidebar (that’s smaller than the sidebar during the “News” segment for a reason) with specific images and captions our guest(s) would like us to promote. This includes projects, current/past gigs, and the items they’re selling in the Token Talk store. Using the Tricaster provided by XSN, we can make the image fullscreen too.

In the main title boxes, I add in their names, occupation, special announcements, fun facts, and any social media accounts they might have.

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I added the stars in her sunglasses because both Terrilynn and I agree that she will be very famous soon enough. You might not know her now, but you will.

I added the stars in her sunglasses because both Terrilynn and I agree that she will be very famous soon enough. You might not know her now, but you will.

I met up with Terrilynn Cantlon, an alumna from my college, in early May. I’ve always seen this amazing tour-de-force on campus — everyone knew who Terrilynn was — but I never worked up the courage to talk to her, despite knowing how open and friendly she is. During my last week in town before I made my big move to Los Angeles, I posted a status update on Facebook about how I was down to meet up before I leave, that no one would be bothering me, that I needed to take a break from packing anyway. Terrilynn was the first person to contact me to grab coffee together.

I mentioned it to her beforehand that I’ve been taking pictures of people, mostly friends, as my drawing references and asked if she would be interested in being a subject. I wasn’t going to make money off of these sketches, it was primarily for practice as I hadn’t been drawing since I graduated a year ago. Terrilynn immediately and excitedly agreed.

FYI: she gave me permission to use her full name and allowed me to mention in this post that she is a transgender woman. I also double-checked the following information she gave me with her before publishing my excerpt of her personal story. I think everyone in the world would be honored to get to know Terrilynn as she is just about the most interesting person I’ve ever had the pleasure of grabbing coffee with. A month later and I am still thinking about our conversation.

terrilynn2

terrilynn3

As I snapped pictures of her for the next 3 hours, Terrilynn told me stories about her life: how she worked as a software and hardware engineer for 20+ years in the Bay Area and was a bonafide expert in her field who was ahead of her time. How she lost her job when she transitioned due to transphobic prejudice. How she became homeless and had to use bathrooms and sleep next to ovens on the roofs of pizza parlors, to survive and stay warm. How she starved and was only able to stave off hunger by consuming free coffee and cookies at group meetings and eating $1.00 hamburgers. How she saved up enough money to go to Thailand to have her genital confirmation surgery while living in a van. How common an experience it was for her to get fired, find a second minimum wage job a few days later, and lose it just as quickly all in the same week because of transphobia. How she has been continually harassed for being visibly trans, having once been arrested for “Walking While Trans” and was incarcerated for 10 days without a lawyer or a phone call.

How she used her charismatic voice to work as a radio personality for a time, once causing employees at a Burger King to cry in recognition when they heard her speak. How she would give away her money to random people around her. How she eventually went back to school and became the valedictory co-graduation speaker at City College of San Francisco, later transferring to Mills College where she obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees — as indicated by the beautiful graduation rings she proudly wore on her fingers. How she helped build up the Center for Academic Excellence on campus that provides academic assistance for writing students. How she, as an MA student was selected to present her paper at a Medieval convention in front of Ph.D doctorates and had charmed them so thoroughly, despite transphobic and sexist comments, that she has been approached and scouted by Ivy League schools to join their Ph.D programs. How she is now 54 years old, a rarity for a trans woman who, as she told me, statistically many do not live past their early-to-mid twenties, especially trans women of color who are hit hardest from systemic racism and violence in addition to transphobia.

Terrilynn has very expressive hands.

Terrilynn has very expressive hands.

The colored version.

The colored version.

At many points of our conversation (honestly, I didn’t even talk very much, I was just listening, blown away by everything she was telling me), Terrilynn stressed to me that because of all her experiences, she only wanted to live her life the way she wanted to. Even if there are risks. Even if she fails. She could skin her knees and hurt herself while trying to live her dreams and fly, but hey, she’s flying.

This is "Coffee Cup Terrilynn," as coined by the subject. She was most excited about this picture as I was (it was my favorite photo of her) because this is how everyone knows her: with an ever-present cup of coffee.

This is “Coffee Cup Terrilynn,” as coined by the subject. She was most excited about this picture as I was (it was my favorite photo of her) because this is how everyone knows her: with an ever-present cup of coffee.

Thank you again, Terrilynn!

How I Did It: Like I did with Arun’s drawing, I sketched everything out with a mechanical pencil based off the photos I took of her and scanned them. I then uploaded the images onto Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 where I fixed up and rearranged any details. Using the same app, I colored the drawings and plugged in text. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t upload the photographs onto Photoshop and draw out the lines that way — it’s just not as fun for me! I like working off of pictures. Fun fact: I used my laptop trackpad to color, not a tablet. Yeah…I know… >__>

I do own a digitizing tablet (from Bamboo, a gift courtesy of my boyfriend) and yes, I could’ve just used that or even a mouse instead of putting so much tedious effort into coloring with a trackpad. I actually haven’t taken the time yet to learn how to use one with a stylus (not a great excuse, I know) but I will do just that starting this month (sorry for the years-long wait, Mike).


This Probably Only Interests Me: I took photos of my month-long progress drawing Terrilynn. You can check them out under the cut.

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(Drawn today)

(Drawn today)

I was catching up on news about the upcoming Naruto film when I came up with the doodle idea. After seeing the various character sketches with their different poses, facial expressions, and collection of clothing pieces, I wanted to do something super similar (and perhaps sadder, iono).

I got to drawing and finally unpacked my scanner. I put in the text and lines (Shift-key and the Brush Tool at the lowest setting) using Adobe Photoshop Elements.

[outfit #2]

Visited my dear friend Sharde at her place. As she cooked us a really yummy lunch and served me raspberry beer and snacks — very much an awesome hostess — I petted her cats Tao and Taboo, watched Drunk Kitchen, and walked around her apartment, admiring her decor.

While watching SNOWPIERCER and part of FROZEN, we painted in her living room using her supplies. She had a few small canvases and a huge collection of brushes and acrylic paints (with colors even I don’t have yet).

While she went the abstract route, I painted her smothering her ‘sons’ Tao and Taboo — an overdue gift. She loved it.

2paintings

In this post, I want to briefly mention that I was rejected today for a juried exhibition I desperately wanted to be a part of. It sucks. It really, really sucks. Especially when I submitted what I still believe is my best, most ambitious work.

I told some people it was my first time submitting art but it’s not the first time I’ve been rejected by a gallery. Right now, after some comforting words and hugs from Mike, a cup of coffee, late-night hash browns and R&B therapy, I feel okay. Still sad, but okay.

I have so much to look forward to; I’m only just starting out. I will continue doing research to look for more exhibitions and creating even more art.

Above all else, I’m beyond grateful for my mom who helped me drop off the artwork when I was out of town, for Mike who always seem to know what to say to make me feel better, and other very nice people, like Sharde who messaged me to keep trying and my former professor who emailed me some PDFs to uplift me.

Onward!

Red Velvet lip stain from LimeCrime.

Red Velvet lip stain from LimeCrime.

(Special thanks to Francesca and Abbey for taking many of the photos for this post)

On Friday, I hung out with a few friends at a Halloween-themed event. Two of them went as Kiki and her pet cat Jiji from the Miyazaki film KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE, and another went as the Mills College student newspaper wearing a sandwich board with the newest The Campanil print issue on it.

I went as a hipster using clothes from my closet (a pair of studded jean shorts, black tights) and making my own hipster accessories out of paper, such as a fake camera, mustache-on-a-stick, and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can. Photos in a bit.

I also made my own skull cutout muscle tee out of an old T-shirt. I used this really helpful DIY video as a reference on cutting off the sleeves:

I noticed that most photos of muscle tees/skull cutout shirts used monochromatic black, gray, or white shirts. I had a pale yellow T-shirt on hand and thought it would be pretty cool to do a pastel coloring instead. It really made my light blue bra stand out.

Spooooky.

Spooooky.

I drew the image with a Sharpie pen. Then I used a canvas board to stretch out the shirt so I could cut out the shape better.

I drew the image with a Sharpie pen. Then I used a canvas board to stretch out the shirt so I could cut out the shape better.

Here are some photos of my costume from that night:

Human and cat.

Human and cat.

I love this jacket. I wear it everywhere now. It just so happened to fit with the hipster theme.

I love this jacket. I wear it everywhere now. It just so happened to fit with the hipster theme.

Many thanks to Ari who provided the strings for me to tape onto the camera to use as straps.

Many thanks to Ari who provided the strings for me to tape onto the camera to use as straps.

Posing~

Posing~

Thanks to Francesca for lending me her brown color pencil to use a stick for the mustache.

Thanks to Francesca for lending me her brown color pencil to use a stick for the mustache.

Cheese!

Cheese!

A fun thing to do as a hipster is to tell people “I’m not a hipster” with a disgusted expression on your face.

Happy Halloween!

EDIT. Something That Only Interests Me: here’s a photo of the other accessories I wore with the costume. I got the pearl studded headband and dark green laced heels from my Asia trip during the summer; I happened to already have the two bracelets (a skull one to match the skull shirt!) from previous adventures in online shopping.

I later changed out of the shoes into a pair of comfier boots.

shoes-jewelry

Related posts:

1. #Crafty: I Made a Fake Vintage Camera Out of Paper
2. #Crafty: More Hipster Paper Accessories (Mustache, Pabst Blue Ribbon Can)
3. #Crafty: My Halloween Costume as a Hipster

Please don’t use my images without permission.