Thursday, December 10, 2015

"Honey, Bee Yourself" Keepsake Box

The following wood-burned design was conceived and created as a surprise for my childhood friend, Sophia, who is a fervent lover of honeybees.

To play into the honeybee theme, I figured a hexagonal box would be most suitable. It's representative of a honeycomb's perfect hexagons. If you're ever curious why honeybees chose to pursue this geometric shape/structure for their hives, look no further than here. Hint: it has to do with economizing compactness.

The unprimed wooden box required sanding initially. My designs were drawn on by pencil, and then wood burned using a generic soldering iron. The brand I use is Walnut Hallow. It's not the highest grand quality product, but it gets the job done with some diligence required.  (If I still had the wood-working + power tools that were readily available to me when I was 11 years old, it would've been fun to hand-make this box from scratch. Since this wasn't the case, I resorted to Woodlines Work Corp).

The top surface design of the box consists the words: "Sophia B. Monochrome - Honey, Bee Yourself" embedded within a honeybee. Burned into each side panel are hexagonal honeycomb compartments, which also double up as molecular structures for honey components. In this case, this happens to consist (but is not limited to) sucrose, glucose, fructose, gluconic acid, hydrogen peroxide and pyroglutamic acid. For a brief description of the chemistry of honey and why it never spoils, I've included a visual reference from Compound Interest below.

Moving inwards, the bottom interior of the box contains a similar, shortened version of the pun that was seared into the surface. This time, I replaced the word "bee" with a wood-burned illustration of a bee due to space limitations. The rims are lined with gold paint. Meanwhile, the top interior consists of four honeycombs with a small photo-transferred image of Sophia (or Soph, for short) and I using only wax paper. Given this transfer medium and the grainy surface of the wood, the experiment didn't prove that effective.

For those who care about the future of honeybees and wish to possibly mitigate the devastating effects of the honeybee colony collapse, here area few things you can do to support these little hard workers:

  1. Include nectar-producing plants in your garden so your local honeybees have a food source
  2. Eliminate or reduce the amount of pesticide usage
  3. Support companies that support ethical bee research and breeding programs
  4. Sign a petition from the "Defenders of Wildlife" that urges the EPA to restrict insecticides that harm honeybees
  5. Stay involved and up to date with the latest honeybee research and protection developments at SaveHoneyBees


Original wood-burned design on a hexagonal Paulownia hinged, wooden box. 
(diameter: 6.25", height and hexagonal side width: 3.125")
Coated with an eco-friendly bio-based varnish (2015)

For a look at my previous wood-burned box, please refer to the following link. It was specifically created for a2-day charity relief fundraising event called "Artists for Japan." 100% of the proceeds went directly to aiding the victims of the disastrous 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The benefit was organized and held at KOBO in Higo, one of the best Asian art venues and galleries in Seattle's International District. Special thanks to all of the amazing volunteers, art contributors and generous folks who participated. We ended up raising $94,000! WOOT!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tribute to Lilo and Stitch

Dedicated to my dear friend, Andrea and beloved cousins, Nam and Cindy - avid Disney fans who've generously provided wonderful experiences in CA and FL. Special thanks to my talented best friend, Julie for gifting me a tiny, travel-sized Winston & Newton watercolor set. It's proven especially useful on this NYC trip. Excited to ship these drawings out to their new homes! "Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind."

NOTE : the 'greenlinh' copyright label in this particular instance pertains to the photos below (with no intention to sell, distribute or mass produce the illustrations). Legal rights to the depicted characters fully belong to Disney.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Murder", She Cried!!!

A fun, experimental watercolor piece dedicated as a gesture of gratitude for Jules (a wonderful being and kindred spirit whom I'm freakin' fortunate to call my best friend). No amount of words will ever do justice to how much she means to me.  Plus, who doesn't love crows? They're insanely intelligent creatures that deserve more recognition. In droves, they're also known as a murder.

ink and watercolor on a cold press paper " 5.5 x 4.25" (2015)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Groovin' Homage to Summer, Rick, and Morty

Life has a way of whisking you into whirlwinds, whether you like it or not. The side effect, in this case...led to 2 years of neglecting art. Wouldn't mind a time machine or portal gun to remedy that past. Regardless, it feels absolutely fantastic to find some spare time while travelling to reunite with pencils, ink and paint. What better way to ease back into art than to illustrate and pay homage to animated characters that your friends cherish (all in the cozy refuge of your best friend's condo in Manhattan/NYC). This first piece below is dedicated to my good friend, Mike (whom I owe a huge thanks for introducing me to Rick and Morty).

NOTE : the 'greenlinh' copyright label in this particular instance pertains to the photos below (with no intentions to sell, distribute or mass produce the illustration). Legal rights to the depicted characters fully belong to Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon and/or Adult Swim.

ink and watercolor on a cold press paper 6.9" x 4.9" (2015)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back to the Future

Great Scott! Today marks two special events: namely my brother's birthday and the precise day Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel back to the future (come 4:29 pm PST). Don't believe me? Well, "last night, Darth Vader came down from Planet Vulcan and told me..." Also, I took the liberty of stealing their DeLorean in order to revisit Robin Hood (circa 1990 - Santa Ana, CA). Who knew Robin's secret identity was Frank all along? Incredibly lucky to have the BEST brother in the world! Happy 27th Revolution Around the Sun, bro!

The following ink sketch is dedicated to Frank, Verene, Kelsey, Nichole, Tom, Ann and all avid time travelers.

Ink on 5" x 8.25" moleskin sketchbook paper (2015)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Ever since I was a child, I always found trees mesmerizing and much that it became a default subject matter when sketching, drawing or painting. It's no surprise that when my room was in a dire need of an 'uplift', trees overtook the walls. T'was very liberating to free-handedly paint the following trees without any drafts or pencil work beforehand. Of course, Juno is featured as the main model once I moved and set up my bed in the room.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mail Me Art Exhibition and Book Launch

A few months ago, I was humbled to receive an invitation from Darren Di Lieto to participate in an incredible project called Mail Me Art 3: Short and Sweet. As an experiment, this is the only time he's exceptionally closed off open-call. Participants are selected on a portfolio review basis. The project garners a collection of mail art from talented artists across the globe. These efforts culminate to a grand book launch and exhibition tour in the UK. What's better? All proceeds made from purchasing any of the original mail art will be donated to Animal Aid, The Teenage Cancer Trust and Water Aid. Coincidentally, I will be in the U.K. but will be busy travelling elsewhere in the country.  Without further ado, you are cordially invited to attend these exhibitions at the following locations.  To whomever is interested, I hope you enjoy a fantastic time perusing these galleries.

July 30th, 2013 - August 3rd, 2013 (open to public)
The Framers Gallery • 36 Windmill Street • London W1T 2JT (United Kindgom)

August 10th, 2013 - August 12, 2013 (private: appointment/invitation only)
Not able to attend but are interested in viewing the pieces? No problem at all. You can check out the collection here or purchase a copy of the book.

My piece will be on sale for £175, in which 100% of the sales will directly go to Water Aid, a charity that "works with local partners to help communities access safe water and sanitation" in Africa.
Premiere at the Framer Gallery in London, U.K. Photo credit and copyright: Darren Di Lieto.
Two (of multiple) interior displays carrying the amazing artwork for MMA3 at Framer's Gallery. Photo credit and copyright: Darren Di Lieto. This is before the opening. More images of the display and event can be found here:
Soaking in the art at Framer's Gallery. Photo credit and copyright: Darren Di Lieto.
One of multiple walls displaying "Mail Me Art 3 - Short and Sweet" at the Factoryroad Gallery in London. Photo credit and copyright: Factoryroad Gallery. More photos can be found here:

One of multiple walls displaying "Mail Me Art 3 - Short and Sweet" at the Factoryroad Gallery in London. Photo credit and copyright: Factoryroad Gallery.

A snapshot of all the hard work Darren put into arranging the art pieces at the Croft Wingates Gallery in Harborough Market, U.K (before the opening).  Photo credit and copyright: Darren Di Lieto.
The other end of the gorgeous MM3 display at the Croft Wingates Gallery in Harborough Market, U.K (before the opening).  Photo credit and copyright: Darren Di Lieto.

A collection of all the incredible art pieces, consolidated into one book, with the talented, Layal Idriss WIP artwork in the background! Photo credit and copyright: Layal Idriss. You can check out more of her artwork here:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mail Me Art - Oriental Steampunk Style!

Just finished my envelope for Mail Me Art 3 (MMA3), a wonderful project that garners a collection of mail art from artists near and far. The MMA3 was established by Darren Di Lieto, the talented creator of an illustration community known as "The Little Chimp Society". As an adamant and avid snail mailer, this project resonated beyond words. I wish I had more than a weekend to work on this piece. The (water)coloring job wasn't exactly how I intended the end result to turn out. Nevertheless, the process behind creating the following illustration was tons of fun.  I'll never forget the amount of gratitude I felt upon receiving the invitation to participate.  Many thanks, Darren! I look forward to seeing all of the other incredible mail art submissions from fellow artists around the world.

watercolor on a cold press paper C5 envelope, 6.4" x 9" (2013)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Betsy & Betsisaur's Sketchventures

As a Christmas gift for Betsy (one of my cousins), I decided to surprise her with a personalized, hand-painted (upcycled) sketchbook. The cover features none other than one of her infamous Betsisaurs, a distinctively cute but quirky character that she created a few years back during high school. The highlight of the whole process was conceptualizing a cartoonized version of Betsy herself! I had tons of fun brainstorming amusing contexts to depict in the image. What you see below is the finished result. Here's to all the sketchventures that have yet to come into existence within its pages!

acrylics on sketchbook cover - layered with a protective glaze, 8" x 10" (2012)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Philanthro Art Show Benefiting Lifelong AIDS Alliance

Thanks to those who came to support the art auction premiere at the Vermillion Gallery in Seattle yesterday. The event was a charitable effort arranged by Philanthro Seattle to raise awareness and funding/proceeds for the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. I'm happy to say that it was a huge success and we were able to raise $1039.53! Philanthro is a 100% volunteer-based national non-profit organization whose mission is to engage young professionals with charitable causes. 

If you're interested in their work, please check out the following websites :  
Lifelong AIDS Alliance:
Philanthro & Lifelong AIDS Alliance Art Show:

My utmost gratitude, appreciation and gesture of thanks goes to Jessica Wei, Mary Wu, and all of the wonderful folks at Philanthro Seattle who arranged this incredibly good cause.  Had it not been for their invitation to create and donate artwork, I never would've known about the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. The whole art show is based on the following theme, where the artist had the liberty to decide on a word to fill in the blank.

Conquering the Past; Embracing the Present; ___________ the Future.

For my piece, I chose the word, "Improving" to complete the theme.

Oil paint on birch wooden panels - 9" x 9", 9" x 10", and 9" x 12" (2011)

Inspiration Behind the Art Work: The human spirit. I have always been a strong believer that the growth of a person is not measured by conventional, societal standards of success, physicality or reputation...but through the individual's sense of compassion, mindfulness and strong will.  I hope to embody this message in a series of wooden panels that display the potential of an individual's strength. The first panel depicts the individual struggling to climb a partially decaying tree, symbolizing his determination to overcome personal obstacles . To reflect that imperfections should not be viewed as a debilitating component that prevents us from rising, this particular individual has one peg leg.  Despite this complication, the individual is still able to find a way to his destination in life through sheer determination, endurance and strong will. Once the individual is able to conquer his past, he establishes a home on top of the tree as a symbol of acceptance.  His comfort and residency there reflects his desire to embrace the present. In turn, his compassion and understanding of life propels him to nurture the tree to full health for future generations. The growth and vitality of the three is representative of the impact a human being can have on this world in terms of improving the future

The Philanthro folks hard at work, preparing for the grand opening of the art auction.

Sponsors and Viewers take a gander at bidding for each donated piece of artwork.

There were several inspirational speakers, musicians and poets that performed throughout the night, bringing more awareness towards AIDS and the celebration of life, in general. Pictured above from left to right is Prince Stephens and Sean Michael.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Improving the Future...

Time's a tickin'. Last piece in a series of three. Now for some sleep before I become a zombie at work tomorrow while daydreaming of trees and tree spirits from near and distant lands.

oil paint on a wooden panel 9" x 12" (2011)