Week 8: Classmate Conversation


His website: drewsartblog.wordpress.com

This week I spoke with Andrew. We talked a little bit about the presentation that Glenn made and our thoughts on it. We both expressed how we did not feel in control of our education and thought that the presentation was an eye opener of sorts. This led us to wondering what else might be at the TED talks. We have both seen a couple videos here and there on YouTube about various TED talks and have really enjoyed some of them. Finally, we talked about the presentation about taking a semester abroad from last week. We both found that very interesting and we want to look into it and potentially do it ourselves some time during our college career.


Week 7 – Conversation with an Artist – Andrea Mejia


This week I spoke with Andrea Mejia. Her piece was featured in a gallery that had many pieces from various different artists in a collaborative style. She is an Illustration major. She originally was a business major; however, she was unable to pass math and thus decided to move to art. Consequently, she’s been creating art pieces for around 4 years. She started knowing nothing and not having much talent, but art has since consumed all of her free time and she has improved her skill through practice. During this time, she has been brainstorming ideas for a comic that she hopes to draft soon. She has been actively working on her comic for the better part of 2 years. The drawing seen above is a character in her comic.

This piece definitely has a “Comic book” feel to it. It’s hard to describe what exactly I mean, other than this is a piece that I would indeed expect to see in a comic book. The piece doesn’t have too much detail, which is in line with many drawings of characters in comic books. It’s very simply drawn and only has the essential elements: nose, vague mouth, eyes, hair, etc. The shirt has very little detail aside from it showing its a collared shirt and there is a shadow on the front portion of the shirt. The crystal-like structure either seems to be emerging from the background or exploding; it definitely portrays the notion that it is somehow rising.

When talking to her about what the piece meant, she said it was a character in her comic. She said it’s about what the characters find and what they experience, which leads me to believe that they find a crystal of some sort which causes them to then have a unique experience from said crystal. She pointed out how all of the characters in her comic are minors. Beyond that she didn’t reveal much, so she likely wanted to keep most of the details a secret so that people would be enticed to read her comic once it comes out, rather than already knowing the details.

I’m not entirely sure what she’s attempting to convey other than the character and crystal displayed are either central to the plot or the main character and/or often referenced. I did notice, however, that the character had both blue hair and a blue shift. I can’t help but wonder if this means that either he, or the story as a whole, is a sad story. She could just enjoy the color blue and think it fits well aesthetically, but I can’t help but wonder if there is another reason for it.

Week 7 – Conversation with a classmate

This week I met and spoke with Duy Vu. The way we came about the conversation was natural. As soon as we got down to the galleries, he and I spoke about one of the pieces in one of the galleries, “Hit Diggity Dog” by Ariana Dena. We both thought the piece was rather funny and wondered how she came to think of the piece. After sharing some laughs, we agreed to then have that be our conversation and then parted ways after getting each other’s phone number. Unfortunately, we did not take a picture together, so we do not have a photo to share. I was going to speak to another classmate but had trouble finding another one, and I didn’t want to leave Duy SOL, so I decided to keep with this conversation. Picture of the piece we were looking at below



Week 6 – Art Gallery Story


*Awesome Painting*

*Carmina Correa*

Paper canvas


CSULB School of Art, Gatov East Gallery


Millions of years ago, humans used to inhabit Earth much like they do today. They had begun discovering technology, much like we have today. New technology for skyscrapers was being discovered, allowing engineers to build taller and stronger buildings than before, new medical discoveries were consuming news headlines as scientists were unlocking the secrets to genetically modifying organisms. This all came at a cost, however.

With peace prevailing among the many countries and technology advancing at an increasing rate each year, humanity became relaxed and content. There were no foreseeable threats. There were no wars, no fighting, and technology was allowing humans to become more lazy and not having to do much of anything anymore. Crime was essentially nonexistent. This is what led to the first extinction of humanity.

Scientists had just began transitioning from smaller animals to medium sized animals with lab testing. They had successfully managed to double the size of a rat and were going to attempt the same to a dog, they decided to start with a Shibi. At first it was a massive success, it went just as planned; however, upon testing the genetically modified Shinzo with an unrelated modification not see how it would affect an already genetically modified Shibi, it went wrong. The Shibi continued to grow at an alarming rate, doubling in size every hour, and managed to learn the ability to shoot deadly lasers out of its eyes. The creature quickly broke out of the lab and began attacking the nearby city. With no means of protection, no police, military, etc., the creature moved from city to city destroying humanity bit by bit until no one remained.

Week 5: Automatic Drawing


So this experience didn’t exactly go as planned. We originally started on a table and tried to listen to some sappy music, but that didn’t work. We then spent like 20 minutes trying to wait for the unpasteurized to move but it never did. We quickly talked and decided it would be best to just move our hands and let them go in a direction they wanted to go. After a bit, we thought it would be fun to do two more loops while pressing hard: once with the crimson color and once with the light blue color. It was funny because my roommate came in half way through us sitting there and thought it was a relationship strengthening exercise, but when we told him it was an art project he said we should of just lied and said it was what he suggested. Overall, it was fun to just listen to music and relax for 20 or so minutes, and then just draw in a random fashion.

Week 5: Conversation with an Artist – Joshua Thomen


IG: voyezmessouvenirs

He is a third year student here at CSU Long Beach. He originally lived in Pasadena before coming here to Long Beach for school. He liked the SoCal feel, so he decided to stay here in order to go to school. He’s always liked art as it was an excellent way of expressing himself, which has always been very important to him from a young age. When applying it was between graphic design and art, but he sees art as for yourself where as graphic design is more for other people. He is a junior applying to the sculpting program.

The work is cute ceramic animals stuck inside blocks of cement. They are arranged in a way that leads you to the left hand side of the room, and restricts your mobility to he left corner, unless you step over them. From there, there is a light wind chime sound playing, and the lights are only on the cement stones, leaving the majority of the room behind it dark. The blocks were mostly smooth, except for some of them being rough, sort of like a sidewalk.

These pieces were mainly about balance with a meditative-like atmosphere. The dark area behind the pieces and the windchime music was meant to relax you and put you in a meditative-like state of mind. The ceramic pieces are seen as cute, or “feminine'” which is meant to balance out the rough/industrial cement, or “masculine.” He said this is a political piece as he started working on this around the time of the inauguration. He used the space and the structure of the cement pieces to form a sort of constriction on walking to see who would stay within that “wall” of sorts, and who would step over them and go behind.

He never went into the reasoning for wondering who would go behind his wall and who would stay within it’s boundaries, but given his statement that this is a political piece, I can’t help but wonder if it has any connection to Trump’s wall. Also, I wonder if it’s sort of a psychological thing, to see who is more suggestible with boundaries and staying in their “comfort zone,” and who is more bold and willing to explore. I also felt a strong sense of balance in the room. The strong cement was balanced by the soft lighting and the feminine ceramics. The music felt comfortable with the dim lighting.

Week 4: Art Care Package

Sent to: My girlfriend Shey

Q1: How is sending someone an ACP similar to sending someone a Snapchat?

It’s similar in that you’re creating something. A snapchat is much easier (at most you have to create a face that expresses what you want to express and find decent enough lighting). An art care package is much more involved and takes more thought as to what you want to add into the package. But at it’s core, it’s sending someone something that you have composed.

Q2: How is sending someone an ACP different from sending them a Snapchat?

It’s different in that it’s much more involved than a Snapchat. You have to think about the receiver’s likes and dislikes, what might be useful to include, and what might be fun for them to try out. In a snapchat you only have to compose one picture, whereas in an art care package you might include well over 10 individual items within the package.

Q3: What do you think of ephemera? Is it precious? Or trash? Does it gain in value over time? Does your grandma’s parking ticket from half a century ago mean something to you? What about her tickets from Woodstock? What might your grandkids think if you one day gave them the bead bracelet you wore at Coachella?

I feel it entirely depends on what exactly it is. If it’s a bead bracelet that my grandmother got as a concert, even if it’s a free one that is handed out to all in attendance, I feel that is a pretty cool piece of history to have. On the other hand, if it’s a simple parking ticket or a ticket to a concert, I’d find that pretty useless and just throw that away. Those are in excess and can be found literally everywhere, so I see no value in them.

Q4: Is there a difference between art that is seen by many people, like a painting in the Museum of Modern Art, and art that is seen by few, like the ACP you send to someone?

I feel there is somewhat of a difference. The underlying concept of it being art and it being created to express something is the same; however, one’s expressions reach a far wider audience than the other’s. Similarly, art seen by many people tends to be generally accepted as something that is in the taste of the general public, whereas art only seen by few may not follow that.

Q5: You can take a Snapchat and a friend on the other side of the globe can view it, all within seconds. To make an ACP and send it even to a nearby friend will take days. Does this time and effort difference mean something? How is fast better? How is slow better?

The effort difference definitely means something. If someone goes through the trouble to manually assemble something such as an art care package and then snailmail it to you, it shows that person cares about you, more so than a snapchat would. Similarly, Snapchat will arrive within seconds, which makes it much more convenient and much more preferred when sending something. Faster is better in that it arrives quicker and you get a quicker reaction and need less planning. Slower is better in that it shows more emotion and connection to the person you’re sending the gift to.

Q6: People sometimes say things like prepare a meal with love. Can you prepare a meal with love as fast as you can get food at a McDonald’s drive-thru? Does an ACP have the possibility of containing a sort of “love” different from a Snapchat?

I certainly think you can. You do not need to make a full 5 course meal gourmet style in order to make a meal with love. And I feel an Art Care Package incorporates more love than a snapchat would. Snapchat, in it’s essence, is meant for fast and quick communication. As such, it lacks the depth that a traditional tangible gift or face to face interaction would have.


Week 4: Conversation with an Artist -Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara

Robert’s IG: wookieewarrior

Elmer’s IG: 3LMSKI1

This gallery was shared between two people: Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara. Robert’s style was to use irregular canvases, such as pieces of old wood, torn pieces of what looked to be hay sacks, and even cardboard boxes. He painted realistic portraits of people whom were important to him. Elmer’s style was fragmentation on standard canvases. He interviews homeless people in the LA area and then takes a photo of them and attempts to capture them in a painting. They are both seniors here at CSU Long Beach and will graduate this spring with their BFA in drawing and painting.

Robert was inspired from important people in his life. The portraits were of his mother, grandmother, mentor, and finally a self portrait of himself. They are all relatively realistic looking photos, but do not include the precision that a photo would, which adds a qunique element to the pieces. It was really interesting because one of the photos of the man with the glasses and long hair on the wood canvas looks very similar to someone that I play Ultimate Frisbee with on the team here at CSULB. Elmer was inspired at a young age from growing up in LA. He always saw that people would pay no attention to homeless people, so he decided to take an interest in them. His pieces tried to incorporate the motion of life; he talked about how one man would always fidget and move while Elmer was interviewing him, so Elmer drew multiple limbs to try to express that to the reader.

I feel that Elmer’s pieces were try to get across a sort of social message to the audience, that these homeless people are people too who have a whole life of stories. Their lives are just as complex and rich as our own and that we should be helping them out instead of just ignoring them and treating them as inanimate objects. I know I myself have been guilty of that all my life, so looking at it from the flip side is definitely somewhat foreign to me. But looking at the pieces and hearing Elmer talk sort of rang that chord with me. I’m not sure if that was his intention with the pieces, or that he finds this sort of work really interesting, but that is how it came off.

In regards to simply the art and the aesthetic value, I felt a stronger connection with Robert’s portraits; however, looking deeper into the meaning and the context of the work, I felt a stronger connection with Elmer’s work. I feel that Elmer presenting his work on formal canvases would have aligned more with the style that Robert was trying to have, and Robert’s irregular canvases would have aligned more with the style that Elmer was trying to have. I found it sort of interesting that they kind of used the opposite style canvas that you’d imagine they would use; however, the other person was using the style of canvas that would “more appropriately” align with their work.

Week 3: Conversation with a Classmate


This week I spoke with Trevor. We mainly talked about the artists and our reactions to each exhibit. I actually met him through Courtney and we explored the 3 exhibits as a group. We both really enjoyed the uniqueness of the third exhibit, the one where the artist was not present. We wished he or she was there so we could talk with them about their pieces. The bird that was left in their exhibit for viewers to take was really neat (I grabbed two for my girlfriend and I to have). Trevor and I both enjoyed the rose piece; it was very creatively done, and extremely well done considering it was made with paint. We also helped each other with the beginning of our paragraphs about our artist talk. Picture below (another bad selfie for me)


Week 3: Conversation with an Artist – Kelvin Lopez

Facebook: facebook.com/lkart760

Instagram: Klart760

Kelvin Lopez is an aspiring artist at CSU Long Beach. Out of all the schools he applied to and was accepted, he chose Long Beach because of its location. It’s located conveniently half way between his home, Oceanside, and downtown Long Beach. He is currently in his final semester and will earn is BFA come the end of spring; however, his senior showing will not come until next spring. He is currently in the program of screen-printing, but that is not where he originally began. He transferred as a painter, but found the classrooms he was working in to have poor ventilation. He quickly found out that this would hurt his breathing and often gave him headaches. He decided to look around and found that the screen-printing buildings had much better ventilation, and some of the best equipment among colleges in the West Coast. His art exhibit features pieces about his life, and each piece was inside a crystal of some form.

Talking with Mr. Lopez, I gained an appreciation for the sheer amount of work that went into each piece. He described the various steps and the precision necessary to make each piece, which extends far beyond what the eyes can see. Once piece, titled “2012-2016,” was two pictures of his dog inside a dark grey-black crystal, presumably one from the year 2012 and one from 2016. The dark colors in the piece are in the crystals, and the background is comprised of light colors: pink, light blue, yellow, green. The lines, like a crystal, are very rigged and stiff. The background texture seems to be very soft and flows well, whereas the crystal is very stiff. The other pieces had a very similar makeup: the background wasn’t quite as strong and as stiff as the crystal and the artwork inside of it.

He believes his artwork is a way for the viewer to spy into his life. All the pieces in the exhibit are about his life at different points in time. There are pieces with pictures of him in the crystals, his cousins, and his dogs. He said the motivation for his work is his life. Using the title of his main piece “Scry Baby,” this could suggest that he is using his past and placing them in time capsules, or the crystals, in order to help see into the future of his life. He went into depth describing how he was a spiritual person who believed in well-being and being well. He said his job as an artist is to communicate to the viewer.

I feel the way he described and related to his artwork was very impressionable. He was eager to explain why he made certain pieces certain ways, what they meant to him, what they’re meant to convey, and how they relate to his theme of crystals. He didn’t say that he used the crystals and his past to see into his own future (as it came into my mind a couple days later) but it’s definitely a peculiar idea. Personally, I’ve never wanted to know anything about the future. I find beauty in not knowing what is going to happen when you wake up each day. I feel if you knew what was in store for your life, it wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. While many people may not like surprises, it’s ultimately what makes life exciting.