Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vegan Celebrities

HI EVERYONE! I just wanted to share a little something to inspire on veganism.

Natalie Portman became vegan in 2009 after she read a book called "Eating Animals"

Carl Lewis became vegan in 1991 to prepare for his race.

Ellen DeGeneres became vegan in 2008 after reading several books because she loves animals.

Woody Harrelson became vegan in 1989 when a girl told him it would take away his acne in 3 days, and it did!

Russell Brand became vegan in 2011 after he saw the movie "Forks Over Knives"

Usher became vegan in 2012 after his dad died of a heart attack in 2008.

Thom Yorke became vegan when he got inspired by the song "Meat is Murder" by The Smiths

Mike Tyson became vegan in 2010 due to wanting a healthy life when being so close to dying.

Tia Mowry became vegan in 2013 to take control of her health and be able to have a baby (she had been diagnosed with infertility in her 20's).

Sunday, April 7, 2013

10 Tips on How to Build a Great Website

When I first started my brand Veltimera, I knew I wanted a website, but had no idea how to do it. Like everyone else, I thought I had to know coding and all that outer space material that only those who study it understand. But, the curious cat that I am, I googled "create your own website." Simple as that. That is how I came across, which I highly recommend. There's other sites to creating websites, but this is the one I love the most because of everything they provide for you. They even build a website for you if you'd like, which of course you have to pay for; but hey! if you have the money, go for it!

So here are the tips I recommend for building your own website, without the coding:
1. If starting with Wix, look through the variety of templates they have available based on your category of service. Preview your favorite ones and print out each page of those templates, or if you're conscious about the Earth as am I, take snapshots and open them in an Adobe program to write notes there. Write what you would want to say on the different sections of the pages, add notes on images you would like to use, cross off what you don't want, even mix and match your favorite pages from the different templates. That way, when you go and edit the actual template online, you won't be lost and you'll have it done quick and to its maximum potential.

2. This brings me to my next point: Have clear goals on what you want your viewers to see/feel/imagine/understand, and who you want to be attracted by your site. By knowing the answers to these questions, you'll know what not to do or use on your site.

3. If not using Wix, you can probably still do the same steps of printing out the templates you like or writing notes through an Adobe program.

4. Create your own backgrounds, images, and logos. I made the mistake of using a background from what's provided at Wix my first time, and later found another site with the same one. So Embarrassing!! That may also show your lack of passion and attention to detail, because you couldn't even come up with your own style.

5. Look through other websites in your field, from lower price markets to higher cost brand products, and competitors too. What do all their sites have in common? What do you notice many of them are missing? What is essential and what isn't? Pay very close attention and keep note, so that you know what to add, edit, or remove from your site.

6. Also look through sites of other industries. Most people don't think of this, because they subconsciously just want to follow what everyone else is doing, but sometimes you find great ideas you can incorporate to your site.

7. Be creative and have fun! Just don't go too overboard, because too much stuff can become overwhelming, and your potential customers can get agitated and leave in a quick second.

8. Make your most important pages stand out and make sure your visitors can navigate through your site with ease.

9. Ask friends and people such as teachers or established business people what they think of your site, and what advise they can give you. Do Not accept "I like it" or "it looks great." That is not constructive or helpful at all. Make sure to ask them specifically about the advise or what they liked or didn't like, not just "what do you think?."

10. If you have the money, you can also pay a graphic design student to edit your site or create some images and maybe even a logo. Or subscribe to a service that gives you advise on a month to month basis. There are tons of great tools you can find online to help you with your site and more. Just Google it!

I love Google!!!

Hope you enjoyed my tips and found them useful. If you have any questions, let me know!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shoot in the City Night Sky

Here are the images from my second shoot with model Ariel Yu, photographer Michael Obando, makeup artist Leah Darcy Pike, and our friend Allison Samonte that worked with me on hairstyling. This was such a fun shoot too, hurrying to get great shots before the sun went down and using what we had available for lighting. It truly is a great team I got to work with.
In this shoot, we finally got to use my Raglan Double-breasted Hoodie Jacket. I made that design about 2 years ago, so it was amazing to get the chance of shooting it with insane makeup and a stunning model.

Our first shoot together can be seen here:

To contact these amazing artists, inbox them through their Facebooks:

Enjoy!! :)


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day Shoot

Hope everyone reading this had a great and memorable Valentine's Day!!
Two weeks ago, I had a shoot for designs of mine from about two years ago. I posted some of these photos on my Facebook, and I'm posting the full shoot here. There were two designs, and this post is only for the Golden Satin and Lace Dress. Next shoot posting soon!

Credits to the amazing collaboratives:
Photographer: Michael Obando
Makeup: Leah Darcy Pike
Hair: Allison Samonte, Leah and I

Each one did their absolute best to create a wonderful shoot. When I gave my ideas to Leah and Allison, they executed them beyond what I imagined! We also all worked together on developing the beautiful romantic hairstyle. It was fun seeing what we could come up with, and astonished that we even did that when none of us knew much about hair, haha!

Before having the shoot, I spoke with Michael on the feel of elegant bubbliness and joy. We actually had intended to shoot in just one area at the top of a building, but when we went downstairs, there was so much he had in mind to capture. Even when I asked him about one place to shoot in, he took it to the next level and gave me beauty and color. And Ariel is a fantastic model with great reflection of the photographers mind. As he directed her, she executed without any questions or doubts. From one mind to the next to the next, we all connected very well, and voila!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Animated Video Tutorial: The Storyboard

If anyone's curious on how I made this video, here I'm going to show how I did it. Of course, there might be way easier, faster ways other artists do it, but I just wanted to show the process I took. When looking online, I also didn't really find detailed tutorials on how to create an animated video. With this post, I'm going to show the first part of making a video. :)

Note: I used Photoshop and Illustrator CS5, but this tutorial also works on CS3 and CS4. Haven't tested it on CS6 yet. I also did all this on a PC, so things might be different on a Mac.

The first step is to have a story or idea in mind of what you would like to show or say. Yes, you can create short funny clips, but I think having a story always makes things more interesting. You don't want people wondering why you even made the video haha.

Next, create a storyboard, which is your template outlining scenes in your video from beginning to end. You can sketch it out in a notebook, then do the actual thing on Illustrator, or brainstorm and everything just in Illustrator.

This is what my storyboard looks like

As you can see, I crossed out what I didn't need, wrote notes from scene to scene, and numbered each one. Each scene is determined with how massive of a change it will be. For example, something zooming in to view is one scene, but once the image disappears and another comes into view, that's another scene.

Note: an expanding image will actually be multiple images on Photoshop, but an image gliding across the page or up and down just counts as itself. This is because the bigger image takes up more pixels, so to Photoshop, it's a different image (Wish there were automatic transitions).

What's so great about Illustrator is that everything is done in vector form, which means every line is going to always look smooth even if you zoom in. This is because the program uses mathematical calculations to clean up the line automatically; whereas in Photoshop, images consist of pixels. Pixels are like the little dots you see in old newspapers or art that create the image, but in Photoshop, when you zoom in, they are squares. Each one has a different color, and even a black line isn't really a line. When you zoom in, it will have black squares then grey then white.


What's also great is that you can have multiple boards in one file. Think of it as a bunch of sheets of paper on a huge table. You can draw on the table and draw on the sheets, but only what you have on the sheets can be viewed by others (let's say, if you make a booklet and print out multiples). What you have inside the boards on Illustrator is what others see if you save it as a PDF or JPEG.

To set up your workspace, estimate how many scenes or pages you're going to need. 
-Click File>New. 
-Title your video
-type in the number of pages and size of your sheets (which is actually the size of your video)
-select the orientation-horizontal or vertical
-the size of spacing between boards (the image below says 0.5, but you want tons of space to work in, so it's better at about the same size of width of your boards size) For example: My boards were 4in x 6in, and the Spacing was 6 inches
-and choose how you want your boards to appear on the screen. This is the tricky part, I always manage to get confused about how many columns to have.
As you can see, there are four options on your boards layout. You can have them going across with multiple rows, up and down with multiple columns, straight across or straight up and down. For videos and large files with tons of boards, I like to have them going across with multiple rows, just like animators do with their storyboards. My workspace consisted of 30 artboards with 6 columns and 5 rows.

It's also better to have more pages, because then you can just delete them if you have too many. If when you're creating your storyboard though, you realize you need more pages, you can add them too. You do that by clicking on Document Setup at the middle top of the screen, then Edit Artboards, and dragging a copy of the last board by holding Alt+Shift while holding the left button on the mouse (Alt is to copy, Shift is to drag straight across). You can drag and paste as many boards as you'd like, but always drag from the last one. Otherwise, the order gets moved around when you save. To delete, you just click on the artboard you want to remove and hit backspace.

Once you have all the options the way you want them, click OK. Now you can start brainstorming one scene at a time or backwards or here to there. For example, as I worked, I started with the first couple scenes I had in mind, then did the last couple scenes, then some in the middle, and finally filled in the details.

STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT PART OF THIS TUTORIAL! :) Hope you enjoyed this one, and if you have any questions or comments, let me know.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vegan Recipe for Champurrado

Every Christmas, my family makes our traditional Mexican drink Champurrado (one of my favorite things about the holidays!!). When you don't have something so often, that is what makes it even more special; and since this drink only comes around twice a year, I go crazy for it! So, I decided to learn how to make it myself.

Champurrado is kinda the Mexican version of hot chocolate, but not really haha. It's different because it has a thicker consistency and doesn't actually taste like the typical chocolate flavor you're probably used to.

I called my mom to ask her how to make this drink, but also asked about the version with cookies. The traditional Champurrado is made with just flour, but this recipe includes animal crackers.

These are the ingredients:
  • Water (changes with pot size)
  • 2 Bars of chocolate (I used Ibarra)
  • 3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (which I added while making the recipe, so it's not in the photo)
  • 3 Cups Milk (the traditional Champurrado uses condensed milk cans, but I used 8th Continent Soymilk in Vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon (I'm supposed to use the actual cinnamon sticks, but I hate when the woody stick gets in my cup so I prefer the powder cinnamon hehe)
  • 2 Cups Flour (Maseca, All-Purpose, or Minsa-which is the one I used)
  • 1 Bag of Animal Crackers (yes, they're vegan, as long as they don't contain milk in the ingredients)

And this is how to make it! ^_^ :

1. Fill pot halfway with water and turn heat on to medium. This pot is 11" in diameter and 6" deep (tip: try to get a pot taller than this one because when the Champurrado is boiling, it rises).

2. Add sugar, chocolate bars, chocolate powder, milk, and cinnamon into boiling water and stir.

3. On a bowl, mix the flour with water from the pot. The mix should turn liquidy, so add water little by little till it drips from a spoon somewhat easily. It shouldn't be too watered down because you want the Champurrado to be thick. The reason why you mix the flour in a bowl with water first is because if you add it straight to the heating pot of water, it's going to just lump up and not dissolve at all.

4. Add the flour mixture to pot of water and stir some more.

5. Now for the cookies, place them in a blender with a cup of water from the pot, and blend till it's like the flour mixture.

6. Pour the cookie mixture into the pot with the rest of the ingredients and turn up heat to high.

7. Brace yourself! Now, you're going to have to stir for about 35 minutes to an hour. Do not stop stirring, because if you do, it will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

Note: If when stirring and scooping up some Champurrado with a spoon to see how it drips, it's not getting thick after 30 minutes, repeat steps 3 and 4 with a half cup of flour each time.

8. After turning off the heat, stir a bit more, and then let it sit till it cools. You can also scoop a cup and put it in the fridge to cool faster.

Voila! Champurrado ready! Enjoy your drink warm or cold, it'll taste good in both. Even experiment if you want, using other types of cookies or other flavors like coffee. I'd love to hear any new ideas or questions, so let me know. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vegan Cheesecake and Tea, YUM!!

One of my new VERY beautiful, smart, and great new friends has been inviting me to a multitude of incredible restaurants and cafes in LA. She has a knack for tea and delicious food. Individuals like her are the reason I love meeting new people, because there is so much for me to see and try. There is also nothing like the friendships that change your life and bring you to cherish those moments spent together.

This is a photo of us in art class, that's her with the kitty glasses, Roselani. :)

Before I met her, I had always loved tea but didn't know what to buy or where. She also opened my eyes to all those places in LA with yummy food and drinks! Now, I've actually bought tea and make it regularly in big pots.

The first tea I bought is from the brand Simple Truth Organic in flavors Earl Grey and Green Jasmine. Both of them can be mixed with milk and sugar, so I mix in soy milk (8th Continent Soy Milk in Vanilla is my favorite). Warm, chilled, or ice blended, it always tastes divine. I'm not sure I make the tea the proper way, hehe shame on me! but the way I make is by boiling water, pouring the tea from it's little packet into the water, and leaving it heating till the water gets to a nice rich color. One thing I remembered Roselani telling me is that the longer you leave the tea boiling, the stronger the flavor, so I always leave it for longer than 10 minutes.

When I made the tea a couple days ago, I also made a vegan cheesecake following the recipe by Elise from Hungry Hungry Hippie. Here's the link, if you'd like to make it too:

It came out soooo yummy I want to make more! Absolutely recommend it for everyone, even non-vegans. Of course, mine doesn't look as great as Elise's haha, but you can't judge a book by its cover. :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Taking a break from clutter-Try it!

Have you ever paused from everything you do on a daily basis, and realized all the clutter surrounding you? Or have you just now realized that you never paused and noticed your surroundings? We are constantly on our phones, iPads or laptops, texting/calling/instagram-ing/facebook-ing, and everyone around us is doing the same thing. When we watch movies, when we go out to eat, when we're at an amusement park/museum/concert, everywhere we go..morning till night. Because of this technology, we don't get to actually experience the events..we're just there, telling others about it through our social media sites. I try not to let the media take over my life, but I too, get distracted by it here and there. How much do YOU let media and technology distract you??

That is why I love vacations!! Not because I drop everything and take a break from the whole world, but because I am spending time with family and friends, not going on Facebook every 10 minutes. This entire winter break, I have actually felt pestered by the thought of logging into any sort of social networking site. I only got on Blogger because I felt inspired by what I was doing right now. Read a bit this morning, now going to craft for the rest of the day. It feels very rewarding to be creative, listening to music, and relaxing!

For everyone that doesn't take a break, I'd suggest trying it DURING break times such as vacations. If you don't get the priviledge of taking a break, find a way, there is always a way. You mold your life, every thought becomes an action, and all your surroundings are that way because you either made them that way or are letting them stay that way. Like a quote from the movie "Vanilla Sky" said-"EVERY PASSING MINUTE IS ANOTHER CHANCE TO TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND."

And if you don't know what to do during your break, start with reading a book you've kept putting off, or baking cookies with your family, or walking along an art exhibits event and meeting new people. There is SO much to do!! So don't ever say there is nothing to do or life is boring either! If anything, you're the boring one for not finding fun in the littlest things. Just saaaaying hehe.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shoot with Naomi: Native Dreamer

Darling Naomi contacted me about a shoot again, and I just cannot say no to her with all her amazing ideas! The story behind this shoot started with the Victoria's Secret fashion show two weeks ago. Apparently, a lot of people made a fuss about how one of the models was wearing a Native American headdress. Naomi's view on that topic, and which I gladly stand with her, is that people shouldn't see things in such negative serious ways all the time. If anything, they should be glad Victoria's Secret displayed a cultural headdress because they are celebrating it. The point behind artists' work is to spread awareness on something beautiful. Celebrate culture, a message, stories, traditions! Naomi's shoot today for example, was to celebrate Native American culture and beauty.

These are photos of the designs I made, and a couple behind the scene shots. :)

Photographer: Naomi Christie
you can find her through these links!

Models: Hanna and Mikaela
MUA: Synda Salazar
Hairstylist: Inna Gilman

P.S. These designs were made from curtains, a hand-me-down skirt, strips of old faux leather, and fabric given to me so it wouldn't be thrown away. Working with these materials and figuring out how to make the designs was an absolute fun challenge. It was like piecing together a puzzle, day by day, with patience/creativity/positive thoughts/and concentration. The dress has braided straps and a half shawl (with only one sleeve), and the skirt ensemble was paired with a colorblock cropped vest.