Anonymous asked: Congratulations on winning the advertisement illustration! :D It looked super marvelous!

Thank you soo much!:)

BEST of 2013 for Wall Street Journal:

I drew the cover to WSJ’s end of year special ‘Best of 2013’, featuring WSJ’s pick of the best in art, film, theater, television and music in the year of 2013. I was very thrilled to do the honor of concluding 2013, it was also my first full page in newspaper.

Definitely a good way to end the year, in the case with hours of overlaboring dreched in ink drawing theatrical acts for a day and a night straight. Big thanks to AD Manny and the editors, for letting me do what I do best!

(Key to content: film: 12 Years a Slave/Gravity Art: Hopper Music: Anna Calvi/Laura Mvula TV: Behind the Candelabra/Lilyhammer Theatre: a Gentleman’s Guide, Good Person of Szechuan)

poczineproject:

Korea: The Queer Edition (June 2013)

[DESCRIPTION: original cover of Korea: The Queer Edition]

TITLE: Korea: The Queer Edition

AUTHOR: EstellaMiyuki Baker//Queer Scribe Productions

RELEASE: June 30, 2013 (6th zine in a series)

ORIGIN: Seoul, South Korea (author is presently based in Philadelphia, PA)

Dear friends on Tumblr…
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Thank you so much for your support all year. 2013 has a very special year for me and my career, and I hope it has for you as well. 
At the moment I’m still working on a slew of projects till the end of year, and that means there’ll be more fun postings beginning 2014!
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve, everyone!:)

Dear friends on Tumblr…

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thank you so much for your support all year. 2013 has a very special year for me and my career, and I hope it has for you as well. 

At the moment I’m still working on a slew of projects till the end of year, and that means there’ll be more fun postings beginning 2014!

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve, everyone!:)

surroundyourselfwithwonder:

Joss Whedon’s 10 Writing Tips

1. FINISH IT

Actually finishing it is what I’m gonna put in as step one. You may laugh at this, but it’s true. I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years. Finishing a screenplay is first of all truly difficult, and secondly really liberating. Even if it’s not perfect, even if you know you’re gonna have to go back into it, type to the end. You have to have a little closure.

2. STRUCTURE

Structure means knowing where you’re going ; making sure you don’t meander about. Some great films have been made by meandering people, like Terrence Malick and Robert Altman, but it’s not as well done today and I don’t recommend it. I’m a structure nut. I actually make charts. Where are the jokes ? The thrills ? The romance ? Who knows what, and when ? You need these things to happen at the right times, and that’s what you build your structure around : the way you want your audience to feel. Charts, graphs, coloured pens, anything that means you don’t go in blind is useful.

3. HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY

This really should be number one. Even if you’re writing a Die Hard rip-off, have something to say about Die Hard rip-offs. The number of movies that are not about what they purport to be about is staggering. It’s rare, especially in genres, to find a movie with an idea and not just, ‘This’ll lead to many fine set-pieces’. The Island evolves into a car-chase movie, and the moments of joy are when they have clone moments and you say, ‘What does it feel like to be those guys ?’

4. EVERYBODY HAS A REASON TO LIVE

Everybody has a perspective. Everybody in your scene, including the thug flanking your bad guy, has a reason. They have their own voice, their own identity, their own history. If anyone speaks in such a way that they’re just setting up the next person’s lines, then you don’t get dialogue : you get soundbites. Not everybody has to be funny ; not everybody has to be cute ; not everybody has to be delightful, and not everybody has to speak, but if you don’t know who everybody is and why they’re there, why they’re feeling what they’re feeling and why they’re doing what they’re doing, then you’re in trouble.

5. CUT WHAT YOU LOVE

Here’s one trick that I learned early on. If something isn’t working, if you have a story that you’ve built and it’s blocked and you can’t figure it out, take your favourite scene, or your very best idea or set-piece, and cut it. It’s brutal, but sometimes inevitable. That thing may find its way back in, but cutting it is usually an enormously freeing exercise.

6. LISTEN

When I’ve been hired as a script doctor, it’s usually because someone else can’t get it through to the next level. It’s true that writers are replaced when executives don’t know what else to do, and that’s terrible, but the fact of the matter is that for most of the screenplays I’ve worked on, I’ve been needed, whether or not I’ve been allowed to do anything good. Often someone’s just got locked, they’ve ossified, they’re so stuck in their heads that they can’t see the people around them. It’s very important to know when to stick to your guns, but it’s also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea.

7. TRACK THE AUDIENCE MOOD

You have one goal : to connect with your audience. Therefore, you must track what your audience is feeling at all times. One of the biggest problems I face when watching other people’s movies is I’ll say, ‘This part confuses me’, or whatever, and they’ll say, ‘What I’m intending to say is this’, and they’ll go on about their intentions. None of this has anything to do with my experience as an audience member. Think in terms of what audiences think. They go to the theatre, and they either notice that their butts are numb, or they don’t. If you’re doing your job right, they don’t. People think of studio test screenings as terrible, and that’s because a lot of studios are pretty stupid about it. They panic and re-shoot, or they go, ‘Gee, Brazil can’t have an unhappy ending,’ and that’s the horror story. But it can make a lot of sense.

8. WRITE LIKE A MOVIE

Write the movie as much as you can. If something is lush and extensive, you can describe it glowingly ; if something isn’t that important, just get past it tersely. Let the read feel like the movie ; it does a lot of the work for you, for the director, and for the executives who go, ‘What will this be like when we put it on its feet ?’

9. DON’T LISTEN

Having given the advice about listening, I have to give the opposite advice, because ultimately the best work comes when somebody’s fucked the system ; done the unexpected and let their own personal voice into the machine that is moviemaking. Choose your battles. You wouldn’t get Paul Thomas Anderson, or Wes Anderson, or any of these guys if all moviemaking was completely cookie-cutter. But the process drives you in that direction ; it’s a homogenising process, and you have to fight that a bit. There was a point while we were making Firefly when I asked the network not to pick it up : they’d started talking about a different show.

10. DON’T SELL OUT

The first penny I ever earned, I saved. Then I made sure that I never had to take a job just because I needed to. I still needed jobs of course, but I was able to take ones that I loved. When I say that includes Waterworld, people scratch their heads, but it’s a wonderful idea for a movie. Anything can be good. Even Last Action Hero could’ve been good. There’s an idea somewhere in almost any movie : if you can find something that you love, then you can do it. If you can’t, it doesn’t matter how skilful you are : that’s called whoring.”

Writing advice from Joss Whedon:

(via langiinspirations)

Happy turkey day! Here is a batch of FOOD-themed illustrations I put together as a special occasion thing. Stuff your eyes with treats! 

My Drake’s Duck poster got accepted into the Advertising category in Society of Illustrator’s annual this year!

The poster is part of a series of artworks featuring the Drake’s Duck having adventures in New York. Also the first advertising job I took as a new graudate back in June! :) 

Thank you, Illustrator 56 judges & congratulation to everyone who made amazing pieces this year!

intellichick:

Tonight I attended Katy Perry’s “We Can Survive” concert featuring Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding, Sara Bareilles, Tegan and Sara, Kacey Musgraves, and Bonnie McKee at a sold-out Hollywood Bowl.  Pictured is the concert poster I bought, illustrated by Yao Xiao. 
It was a great night of music where proceeds went toward the Young Survival Coalition, an organization focused on supporting and educating breast cancer in younger women.  
While this is an amazing and worthwhile endeavor, I also can’t help but think that tonight showed the level of incredible things that can happen when women are able to not only come together, but are in a place to lead and inspire.  
And I am inspired. 

found picture of the poster I did for Katy Perry’s concert! Glad the poster sales were all donated to Young Survival Coalition. Very proud to be part of this!

intellichick:

Tonight I attended Katy Perry’s “We Can Survive” concert featuring Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding, Sara Bareilles, Tegan and Sara, Kacey Musgraves, and Bonnie McKee at a sold-out Hollywood Bowl.  Pictured is the concert poster I bought, illustrated by Yao Xiao

It was a great night of music where proceeds went toward the Young Survival Coalition, an organization focused on supporting and educating breast cancer in younger women.  

While this is an amazing and worthwhile endeavor, I also can’t help but think that tonight showed the level of incredible things that can happen when women are able to not only come together, but are in a place to lead and inspire.  

And I am inspired. 

found picture of the poster I did for Katy Perry’s concert! Glad the poster sales were all donated to Young Survival Coalition. Very proud to be part of this!

ocicatsy asked: Hi! Picked up Ladies Havin' Fun this weekend at SPX. Cannot get over how awesome the saxophone picture is! <3

Thank you SO much!!

Finally! The way to find us at #SPX this weekend!
I’ll be tabling with screenprinting & fabricating mastermind Melissa Dowell, and cartoonist, professor & the man behind the Silent Barn zine library, Robin Enrico. This is my first time ever vending at SPX and I’m so grateful to have such kickass tablemates. Come down (or up) to Table H13—I’d be so happy to see you there!


(NOTE: I’ll personally give you a little present, or 20% discount if you show me this flyer at the table!)

-Yao

Gears of the Trade (Without Breaking Your Bank)—Long Weekend Edition: Tools to Help

Happy long weekend! This week, I’d like to keep this post easy and short, and filled with tools that can make life easier on many levels. This post also concludes the toold I use in the non-digital world —you can also catch up by reading about drafting & inking, choosing paper, and a step-by-step case study.

Drafting Tools: Templates, Compasses & French Curves

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My grandmother was a chemical engineer before she retired. Growing up I drew on the on the backs of industrial blueprints, and that was amongst my first memories of lines on paper. I love the organic aspect of the art-making process; but the mechanical side of drafting and drawing always fascinates me.

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Last year my grandmother gave me all of her drafting templates and compass sets that she used in the 60s (which I constantly stole to draw with when I was little) The different sized circles and shapes are made for drafting volts, containers and circuits.

 

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The making of time travel map for ImaginAerial’s variety show ‘The Bizzare and Curious Quest of Killian Kog,’ a map to be projected onto an 8 ft tall stage backdrop.

When I was younger there seem to be a myth between doing something ‘freehand’ and using ‘rulers’. Like, if someone could produce a straight line without the aid of tools, it is somehow better. I’m sure that now anyone who is a working professional would not say that’s true.

video: Inking straight lines=fun!

I draw a lot of buildings and man-made objects; unlike objects produced by nature, these are industrial products made from geometric templates.

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"Apocalyptic Dream’ Personal Piece, 2013.

I always use a ruler or compass to draw the geometric shapes; and then I ink the lines following the under drawing. This way the geometric lines blend well with the organic ones, and there is no awkwardness of unnaturally straight lines that attract unwanted attention.

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Ink details for Black Hi-lighter’s album gatefold design.

Using rulers is also an excellent way of figuring out perspective, proportions and relationships between shapes. Sometime when I’m figuring out a composition, I pick up the compass and start doing overlapping circles on a page, and sometimes a composition emerges on its own.

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Christmas opening spread for Robb Report China.

Lastly for this week, I’d like to share two time management tools I use in able to work more efficiently:

Analogue timer:

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 I learned to use the Pomodoro method from Allison Sommers:

To put it simply, I set the timer for 25-minute intervals and take a 5-minute break strictly every 25 minutes. I find it a really effective way to start working, because it breaks a big chunk of time into small intervals. Personally I only use it to start the day; the first hour is the hardest to concentrate. After I get into the work mode I like working for long hours.

TeuxDeux:

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A designy to-do list designed by Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka SwissMiss):

I first heard about TeuxDeux when I attended Tina Eisenberg’s Keynote speech at SXSW earlier this year. Her ’11 Rules to Live By’ is on my inspiration board to this day. This to-do app is refreshing on the eye, and lets me cross-out tasks once I’m done with them, which is a huge pleasure.

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Cat:

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Helps you focus. It’s true.

 

That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading on the long weekend, and hope you are taking the time to relax and recharge before fall starts. I would like to share a short TED talk that might go along with the theme of the weekend, from Huffington Post’s found Arianna Huffington: http://www.ted.com/talks/arianna_huffington_how_to_succeed_get_more_sleep.html

Thank you so much for tuning in! In the next few weeks I’d like to shift the focus to the digital half of the process. (YES, all that yummy Photoshop stuff!) While it is 30% of my overall process, it is 80% of the whole ‘look.’ I’d like to share a few tips on cleaning up drawings in Photoshop, coloring methods and cool things Photoshop can do.

Sneak peak: My very first Photoshop book, circa. 2004.

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For more useful resources and links, stay connected to my updates on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. You can also check out my portfolio on Behance and my website.

Talk to you next week! Have a great weekend!

cobratoes:

Yao Xiao

My new piece for Entertainment Weekly seem to arrive just in time for #VMAs last night…Fall Music Preview illustration featuring Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus & Katy Perry, in their new, ‘reinvented’ images.

Gears of the Trade (Without Breaking Your Bank)- Case Study: ‘Mothers of Reinvention’ for Entertainment Weekly

Happy Saturday again! If you are in New York, I hope you’re enjoying the gorgeous weather today. :) Thanks for supporting my weekly blog posts on tools, process and techniques. For the past two weeks: Part I: Under Drawing, Ink & Brush; Part II: Paper

This week I was originally going to do a post on drafting tools; there are some tips about french curves, light table, etc. that I’d like to share. But I thought it might be fun to take this opportunity to give a step-by-step demonstration on the piece I just finished for Entertainment Weekly, which came out yesterday.

I did the opening spread for EW’s Fall Music Preview, depicting three pop divas—Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, reinventing their iconic images.The theme was ‘Mothers of Reinvention.’

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It was a really exciting job because it was my first time illustrating a spread, and I was able to incorporate elements that I enjoy drawing into an editorial portrait piece. I love sleek, sharp portraits of women, as well as robotics—also the first time I tried coloring sequin! Big thanks to AD Jennie Chang, who walked me through the process and was very open to my ideas. I documented the process, and I think it might be helpful as a case study in my series of tools + process blog posts.

Some of the original sketches:

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We decided on A. I usually do 5-6 sketches, sometimes 8, including some slight variations.

Once decided on the sketch, I transferred it with a light table onto a sheet of Arches hot press watercolor paper, cut down to 16x16”.

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The ‘correction drawing’ begins (this was when all the references were looked at) with a mechanical pencil:

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Finished pencil drawing: all the details were decided. Ready for the next step.

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Inking: a detailed-orientated job, but because major decisions were made in pencil, it is a very enjoyable part of the process. With a good foundation drawing, I focus over the fluidity of lines instead of having to make arbituary decisions while inking.

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Finished ink: As you can see, the line work usually includes a lot of information; I usually use color as a unifying device to make the main figures pop.

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Coloring, revision, correction:

From this point on, everything is done digitally. Sometimes I draw the small corrections with a Wacom pen—it is very handy when there is a pressing deadline and I’m sending revisions every five minutes. Coloring can take me a long time—when I did this piece it took me about 4 hours.

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Aaand finished!

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 The whole process took place over a weekend from start to finish. Thanks again to Jennie, who was so patient about revisions, for the great ideas and the awesome design!

Next week I will continue on my tools and process posts—thank you for tuning in! Hope you enjoyed this little case study. If you have any questions about inking, references or Photoshop, let me know! Always happy to share what I learned with my head buried in a drawing table or a laptop.

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Behance, and Tumblr if you’re reading off my website.

And I send you off to a beautiful Saturday afternoon!

Gears of the Trade (Without Breaking Your Bank)-Part II: Finding the Right Paper

Thank you for tuning in on my weekly blog installments on illustration & techniques again! Last week I shared some of the tools I use to draft and ink. This week’s main focus is on paper, and the cool things you can do with them. If you are just catching this post, you can read last week’s installment of the pencils and brushes I use here.

Paper:

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Left: ‘Missing Alexandria' inked on Arches hot press 140lb; Right: ‘Narwhal BBQ Skewers Poster' inked on Canson XL Watercolor paper.

To me, paper is crucial. Knowing what I wanted for my drawing and match the paper with my purpose saved a lot of time, stress and money.

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Left: 'Peepshow Carnival' inked on Strathmore Smooth Bristol; Right: 'Time Travel Map' inked on Arches hot press 140lb.

I like my lines to be crisp, sleek and clean; I wanted the personal touch in line quality, but I also wanted to weed out the ‘noise’ that rough papers could add. I first started by using plate Bristol in order to achieve clean, controlled ink lines. Smooth Bristol did what I asked for; I made most of my portfolio pieces with it while hardly spending a buck. However it was thin and not fit for any heavy drawing/editing with a lot of erasing. Plain smooth Bristol was great when I:

1.     had a good idea of what I was drawing

2.     knew I was doing many pages of similar drawings

3.     wanted to eliminate textures

Bristol was not a good choice when I:

1.     planned on using a lot of ink wash/large areas of solid black

2.     edited my under drawings a lot

3.     wanted textures in my lines

In other words, expect to do most of the heavy-lifting in the drawing and inking; the paper offers no aid stylistically whatsoever. Usually no ‘happy surprises.’ But I liked the plainness that Bristol offered. Because this way I knew exactly how I drew and inked before I went on to heavier and more textured paper.

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Black & White Masked Ball' penciled and inked on Bristol.

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Details of lines in ‘Black and White Masked Ball.’

The other wonderful thing that Bristol does is that it makes great paper for sketches. Nowadays I use Bristol for my initial sketching stage—the 12x9 pad fits many thumbnails on one sheet. For sketches, I can draw heavier than I could with copier paper.

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Later I experimented with more textured paper, and found that Arches Hot Press 140lb works wonders. It has just enough teeth to hold the pencil drawing, and smooth enough to not disturb the ink lines. When finished digitally, the lines have just enough personal touch but still very clean. It is definitely highly flexible, and is capable of doing any heavy drawing, washes, mixed media that you wish to do. I use Arches hot press for my large, detailed pieces with a lot of intense drawing. Also very importantly, the 140lb is just thin enough for light boxing—another reason I buy it by the 20x30” sheet, not by the block.

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Past vs. Future' gatefold artwork for Black Hi-Lighter in progress on the light table.

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Finished ink drawing for ‘Past vs. Future.’

I found that cold press, on the other hand, is excellent for making washes, textured lines, but not for inking super small details that I sometimes have in my images. The ‘rocky hills’ on the surface meant to hold moisture could be an obstacle course even from the initial drafting stage.

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Experimental drawings done on ripped pieces of Arches cold press 140lb, drawings to be sent out to my Facebook page followers.

An affordable option for genrally small-scale drawing is this Canson XL Watercolor Pad: it is student grade paper, so it won’t hold much heavy editing or any ink wash (although it is advertised to be suitable for mixed media). But the surface is great for clean ink lines. To me it is just between Strathmore Bristol and Arches Hot Press—excellent for practicing and quick, light drawings. These are also what I used when I used to do live portraits. For the price of 1.5 sheets of Arches hot press, you can get 30 sheets of this. Just remember no creating ‘pools’ of water on this—the paper kind of melts and turns into a half-transparent grey, and the texture dies after that. (eek!)

The lines coming out of these are clean and uniformed; sometime I do my finished inking on these, when I knew it was a small and sleek drawing (The largest size that the Canson XL pad come in is 18x24”). The Narwhal piece is inked on this, and I knew it would be much more textured and look too ‘heavy’ if I inked on Arches hot press!

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Inking a map of Manhattan for the back for my promo ‘20 Objects in Ridgewood.’

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Finish for ‘Narwhal BBQ Skewers Poster.’

I was hoping to cover a little bit of drafting tools this week—but it seems that I used much space on talking about paper, and I’ll be writing about compasses & french curves next week! Drafting tools are my best friends second to my brush—using them in the right places have given me happy surprises.

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Some of the tools I use for drafting. More next week!

Thanks so much for reading all the way through, I hope this post on the different types of paper I use can be helpful in your own art-creating process! if you have some secrets or suggestions you’d like to share, feel free to message or email me!

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Behance and Tumblr (if you are reading this from my website).

See you next Saturday!:)