Carry Me Safe to Shore

I love the song “Lighthouse,” by Rend Collective. It’s beat, lyrics and incredible message. Lighthouses may be one of my favorite elements of architecture, for their unique architecture and purpose. I often talk about how much I love to draw. And if I don’t say it enough, I love to draw!! I love art in any way shape or form. It’s so compelling, moving our hearts and spirits through stories exhibited in each piece of art. But I have to gives thanks to The Maker, for giving me my love for and ability to draw and create art. Through His hands all things are beautiful, and I want to ring Him praise withheld abilities He gave me. This image has been impressed in my imagination for a while, because I’ve been wanting to start painting and drawing lighthouses. I decided to try something very difficult with this one. I wanted to work on my knowledge of perspectives, nature, movement and forms but have no reference other than my imagination. I didn’t use an existing lighthouse or visual of the sea, just let my hand draw. Here’s my first lighthouse! 


Adventure is Out There

I asked myself 2 questions before I began this sketch:

1. Can I sketch a detailed and quality illustration without taking hours of meticulous sketching and obsession to fine details? I want to capture the pure essence of an image for the purpose of quality illustration, not representation of detail. 

2. Can I sketch an illustration that breaks me out of the mold of sketching “known” scenes and layouts?

The answer, this sketch…and hopefully I was successful! I am an admirer of the tag line from Up, “Adventure is Out There.” To me, that phrase directs me to Disney, where adventures are found and dreams can come true. That is what led me to Cinderella’s Castle. Carl’s house floated over Paradise Falls because that was his dream of adventure. My dream of adventure is to one day work for Disney as an artist, so I sketched the iconic house with balloons floating over Cinderlla’s Castle!


“Ghost Church” Temple of Santiago, Mexico

This is an incredible story of a 400-year old church that has emerged from the waters in southern Mexico due to a drought. Despite the incredible architecture and massive size, the church never fulfilled it’s original intent to stand as a populated center for gathering in Chiapas. But the church has stood the test of time, and the test of the flowing waters for hundreds of years. This story is captivating to me, the church may not have received much popularity when it was built in the 1500s, but now it has made it’s way to the top of the news reports as the “Ghost Church” that “emerges eerily from the water.” What an absolutely incredible story about architecture and the history it holds and the story it continues to write throughout time.

I chose to sketch the “Ghost Church” because the story fascinated me so much I wanted to learn more about the building. For me, hand drawing is the best means of observation and the best way to appreciate the story and the architecture.

Ghost Church Sketch

A Castle Built for a Princess

I chose the sketch three Disney Castles; Prince Eric’s Castle from The Little Mermaid, the Sultan’s Palace from Aladdin, and Prince Ferdinand’s Castle in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Sketching not only tells a story but reveals one…

The beauty in each of these castles is far greater than their architecture alone. Each castle speaks to the princess it represents, via character ornamentation and grandeur. Beautiful! So the style is indicative of the princess and also the time in which the movie was filmed. And that is why I love viewing these three sketches together as a whole. From an animation standpoint, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated feature produced by Disney. It is evident how the evolution in animation has enhanced the level of detail found in these castles. Aladdin and The Little Mermaid were released in the 90s, and it is apparent that, along with the movies as a whole, the Castles have become more detailed in their design. 

I love sketching these three castles, to represent their respective princesses and the time of animation. 


Meet Me In St. Louis

Symmetry. Not what it seems. 

Today I’m in St. Louis and wanted to visit Washington University. I’ve seen pictures of the campus on the internet, but wanted to catch a glimpse for myself…the architecture is absolutely beautiful. I had to sit down and whip out a piece of paper to sketch. Again, all I had with me was a hotel pen and scrap paper.

I had 20 minutes before I had to leave, so I sat on bench and gazed upon Brookings Hall. A reason I love sketching and stand behind it’s analytics value, is because the hand can catch what the eye overlooks. I spent the first few minutes looking upon Brookings Hall and snapping some photos for my personal keepsakes, and I still overlooked some details that I did not notice until I started sketching. And my sketch shows this eye-error and sketch-discovery. Makes me question, how much of a site do we intake/observe by just looking and taking pictures?

At a glance, the entire building looks symmetrical. So as I sketched, I assumed the building was symmetrical, but there is one window out of place. I assumed what my eye did not see and sketched the tower windows to be symmetrical, but the left tower’s middle row of windows is asymmetrical to the right tower. So as you can see in my sketch, the left tower has two windows in the middle row; showing the error window and the window that is to be true. I’m happy I came across this mistake and glad the discovery is illustrated in my sketch, because it further taught me the relationship between the hand and the eye. Sketching can be so valuable to studying a building and the beauty. To me, the break in symmetry adds a beautiful element, that I am pleased to have discovered.

Disneyland in a Day

Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, is filled with magic, fireworks, parades, story-filled rides and much more. With a hotel room pen and scrap paper, I embarked on an adventure of my own in Disneyland, sketching various Disneyland Park icons. Main Street U.S.A, Fantasyland, Toontown, Frontierland, Adventureland, Critter County and Tomorrowland all have their own sketches. The sketches lasted no more than 10 minutes: the purpose was to create quick observations that I believe capture the essence of the attraction but also the land in which it resides. Some sketches are of buildings, structures, signs and even a lamp post. There isn’t a single piece of Disneyland that wasn’t considered and the collection of sketches illustrate how Disneyland is a world of its own. Walt said “I don’t want to public to see the work they live in while there in the Park. I want to feel they’re in another world.” He has done just that.

Disneyland is a magical place where dreams come true. Walt Disney was persistent and determined to make his dreams come to life; a dream that was meant to inspire others to follow their own dreams and to never lose their imagination. I am inspired by Walt’s imagination and believe in making it come to life. We must never stop dreaming. As a part of Disney’s Diamond Celebration, the fireworks show gave tribute to Walt Disney and commemorated both the old and new Disney favorites. Walt Disney said, “Disneyland will never be complete. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” We must never stop dreaming.

Sketches were completed September 7, 2015

Adventureland Sketch Critter Country Sketch Disneyland Railroad Sketch Fantasyland Sketch Frontierland Sketch Main Street USA Sketch Small World Sketch Tomorrowland Sketch Toontown Sketch

Constructing Beauty

It was all started by a mouse..and a sketch. “Constructing Beauty” is a remembrance of the beginnings in which Disney art and animation was born. The process in which sleeping beauty’s castle came to life began with pencil, paper and the imaginative hand. Walt Disney sketched his ideas on paper, napkins, through building model trains, etc; Walt Disney used his hand as the tool to animate his imagination. “Constructing Beauty” illustrates what it means to construct space with the hand, to illustrate an entire thought-process on paper and bring the imagination to life. The sketch is the first step in what it means to construct space. A blank page is transformed; a small process sketch originates in the corner to brainstorm the big picture, size proportions and prep the hand for the great artistic endeavor. The page begins to be filled with construction lines, then the facade goes up, details are pieced together and the ornamentation is applied. The sketch is a graphic model of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle under construction from start to finish; blueprint, framework, finished product. The next phase would be to raise the sketch off the page into a three-dimensional tangible object; a “Constructed Beauty.” It will be constructed in an extraordinary and unordinary way, entirely by hand and entirely carved out of paper. It will appear as if the Castle emerged out of the story book. I am an intern architect, the Design Competition is a blending of my talents, passions and aspirations.

**This piece was entered into the Disney D23 Design Challenge 2015 and was selected as a Finalist. The Second Phase (Final Artwork) of the Design Challenge was later submitted for a chance to win the Grand Prize. Final Artwork was displayed at the D23 EXPO in Anaheim California August 14th-16th, 2015. 


Disney D23 EXPO Design Challenge
Disney D23 EXPO Design Challenge