What Inspired Me...?

Back in elementary school, I was always excited whenever the Scholastic books came out. They would have book fairs within our library and I would be jumping for joy and looking through the catalog. One book that truly caught my attention was Amelia's Notebook.

(via MarissaMoss.com)

(via MarissaMoss.com)

It was a book that resembled a Composition notebook and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The illustrations were what intrigued me. Then when I got to reading the book, I was easily engrossed in each page I flipped through. 

(via FrogMom.com)

(via FrogMom.com)

Ever since I was a kid, I've always been fascinated with journaling and just documenting my life in a variety of ways. I think that was the first time I saw an example of creative journaling. I probably thought to myself, "Who would've thought journaling and doodling could look so good?" I think that day I brought the book home with me, I immediately wanted a composition notebook and start making my "Charlene's Notebook" and fill it up with my words and doodles. I did ask my parents to take me shopping for school supplies and I gotta say, once I started journaling, it didn't turn out the way I had hoped. lol. And with that, I got discouraged to go on with it, but I took that book along with me everywhere I went! 

The reason why I decided to blog about this is because I mentioned it to my niece earlier this week. I told her it was my favorite book of all time and then I thought about it and thought I'd give it a go once more. It's pretty similar to my Moment Diary, but with that series I plan how I want my pages to look before I film. I want to get back into journaling my day, whether it be a normal day or if I go traveling. I just want to fill a sketchbook with my words, sketches, photos and found objects. No planning in advance, just letting my mind and hand flow the way they naturally do, sans camera overhead. I think it'll be very therapeutic :)

Anyway, I'm thinking of buying the Amelia's Notebook for my niece and see if she'll appreciate it the way I did. 

Stephanie's Visit

Last month, my good friend/soul sista Stephanie came down to visit. If you remember from one of my older Moment Diary videos, I visited her back in February and since then we've decided to try and visit each other when we can.

If you're not familiar with Stephanie and her work, she's a fashion illustrator based in LA. We met each other on Instagram some time in May 2014, so over 2 years ago. I instantly felt this connection with her and it made sense because I found out she's also a Pisces. Woot! Anway, we've done a couple collaborations in the past and we finally got to meet in person earlier this year. 


When she came down to visit, I took her to Snooze for brunch, Communal Coffee, Sunset Cliffs, Liberty Public Market and The Fireside. I had a general idea of where to take her but I knew I just wanted to go with the flow of the day. My favorite part was definitely our time at Communal Coffee. We spent most of our time there since we finally got to do our first IRL collab together. It was kinda impromptu, but I had thought of the idea vaguely a couple days beforehand and once I told her the idea she was totally down! Here's the final video of our fun collaboration:

It was definitely my favorite collab we did together thusfar, and I'm sure Steph would agree. It was such a fun challenge and I love how we were both giving each other feedback during the whole process. And the amazing thing to me is that meshing both our styles together just WORKED SO WELL. When you view our work separately, our styles are very simple yet I feel that I'm a bit more detailed. I was excited for her to draw the characters because she has a much more flowy, whimsical style when it comes to drawing poses. I still struggle a bit with drawing people, so I felt relieved that all I had to worry about was the actual scene, lol. I do hope we get to do more of these collabs together, and hopefully we can make it a thing :)

Anyway, I'm excited for more adventures with this girl! She's such a genuine soul and I believe it shows in her illustrations. Be sure to follow her @stephaniesurtida




San Diego Magazine - August 2016 Issue

You guys, I'm in a magazine! Say what?!

Pre-teen Char would be SO proud! When I was younger, I was an avid magazine reader, most especially Nylon magazine, and every time I would see cool illustrations from featured artists, I dreamt of the day I would have my art in a magazine. I didn't care what magazine, I just wanted to have my art recognized on print. Whenever I would see cool illustrations in a magazine, I would cut them up and pin them on my walls for inspiration. I never thought in a million years that I would be featured in a magazine, and I'm so proud to say my first one is on my hometown's very own magazine! In a way I think it's silly for me to get overly excited about this, but this has been something I've dreamt about as a young girl. And honestly, I imagined the feature to be smaller, but when I saw that it's half a page...my hands were literally shaking! I sat there on that single chair in the corner of Barnes and Noble and sat there for a good few minutes, almost about to burst into tears, but I contained myself! lol. 

July has personally been a rough month for me, and I'm just so happy that this little feature showed up for me just in time and brought me so much joy and hope. It only makes me want to work harder at what I love to do. With that said, I'd like to end this post with a quote from my creative hero:

"What I've learned is to keep doing what you love to do and believe that it's worth something. If you believe in something so much and keep putting time into it, eventually everybody else will catch up."
-Wendy Macnaughton

I'm just so thankful to San Diego Magazine for giving me this cool opportunity and I hope there will be more cool features in the future! If you're in the San Diego area, be sure to grab a copy of their August Issue. Your girl is on page 66, by the way ;)


Create Art For Yourself

Excerpt from "Art Inc." By Lisa Congdon

Excerpt from "Art Inc." By Lisa Congdon

This is SO important. I'm lucky to have had amazing art professors that taught me about different mediums and techniques back in college and I used the things I learned (and loved) from them as my foundation. Then years and years of teaching myself and spending lots of alone time with my own creativity, I've reached a point in my art journey where I feel that I've finally found my true identity. Sure, this style that I currently have may change every so often in the future, but I will continue to stick with what I love to identify myself with, and that is simplicity. I feel it's most authentic to who I am as a person.

When people tell me that I'm doing something wrong, I brush it off because I believe there's really no right or wrong way to creating art. I refuse to limit myself to certain rules and techniques because I find that restricts me from being my true self. I allow my hand and intuition to lead the way, because that's just how I work. I care less about perfection in my work, and I think that's the beauty of it. To create till my hearts content and to embrace the flaws in my work. 

Sure, you can gain inspiration from your favorite artists, but just take certain aspects of their work or aesthetic and use it as a foundation to shape your own personal style. The process can be quite tedious and frustrating at times, but when you love it so much your true style will emerge and people will notice.