Portrait: Cisco, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Posted on 14 May 2013 | No responses

Normally when I post a portrait I’ve shot, I’ll include an anecdote about how I met this person, or notes about their talents and projects. But Cisco… Cisco is a mysterious guy. I will respect his request to keep his work and secret identity under wraps, for now.

He can out-quote me on Barney Stinson sayings, which is impressive. That’s about all I am free to say. But since a picture’s worth a thousand words, I’m throwing in a couple of outtake photos from our Griffith Observatory shoot instead.

Cisco - Observatory

Cisco - Observatory


Thanks, Cisco, for a good photo shoot day at the Observatory. And for suiting up and chillin’ with me at the L.A. Ink Stains book release. That party was, as Barney Stinson once said, “legen…wait-for-it……………dary“. #virtualhighfives

‘You & I’ ukulele cover for Valentine’s Day <3

Posted on 14 February 2013 | No responses

With a name like Love, Valentine’s Day is like a national holiday for me. But because I don’t have enough airline miles (yet) to give everyone on the planet a hug, I have a tradition of posting a song on the interwebz every V-Day. It’s kinda like a virtual hug, right?

In 2011, we launched the Ex-Boyfriends’ Uh-Oh! music video on Feb 14th. Then last year, I did a cover of Mazzy Star’s Into Dust with Natalya Oliver from Project Primal. (p.s. Ex-Boyfriends and Project Primal are two of my fave bands!)

2013 has been magical already but busy-busy, so I didn’t have much time to prep for Valentine’s Day this year. But thankfully, I have AWESOME friends who were willing to spontaneously sing and dance on-camera without knowing the song, and having all of about 11 minutes to rehearse! (I’m hoping that our sheer enthusiasm makes up for our lack of practice…) Without further ado, here’s our silly ukulele cover of Ingrid Michaelson’s You & I. Please to enjoy!

I absolutely love when people are game for totally random, last-minute shenanigans. =D So much gratitude and hearts to my friends, Ian, Jamie and Laura for making this impromptu video with me. You guys are the bees knees!

In keeping with the themes of the Feast of Saint Valentine, here’s two pieces I photographed for the Hearts & Guns art show in San Francisco a few years ago. I guess I had the perspective then that love IS a battlefield and emotions can be a dangerous thing that can leave one feeling rather vulnerable. Maybe we shouldn’t be shooting our emo weapons all willy nilly in order to spare a few broken hearts. But I also know that the human heart is one tough beast, so I say throw caution to the wind and carry on, everybody. Love anyway. It’s all good.

Love Hurts
Love Hurts, Mounted Photograph, 2008

Cupid 2.0
Cupid 2.0, Mounted Photograph, 2008

Anyhoo, if you’ve been kind enough to read this far, you should probably know that you are just ONE degree away from KEVIN BACON. (I worked with him on a film once.) YER WELCOME. ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Portrait: Ashley Dzerigian

Posted on 22 January 2013 | No responses

The first time I set eyes on Ashley Dzerigian, she was playing the bass on stage at the 18th St Art Center, dressed up like one of the iconic girls from Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love music video. I loved that music video, so I was totally mesmerized by her performance. However, I didn’t actually meet Ashley until a month or two afterwards, when our mutual friend Sugarpusher Wendy invited a bunch of friends out for Ethiopian food. It was one of those, “Umm.. are you… the Robert Palmer girl?” moments. She confirmed that she was, and we’ve been good pals ever since.

I photographed the following two portraits of Ashley for last year’s Eat Your Art Out exhibition, the theme of which was Carnival. I was inspired by these actual Siamese Twins I once met in the Philippines, who played frisbee together. True story.



Though the above images served my purposes for the carnival theme of the art show, my actual favorite photograph from that portrait session with Ashley is this candid outtake:


I found the amazing dress at an Out Of The Closet thrift store. It was just perfect for this shoot — it just screams old-timey awesome. And Ashley wore the dress so very well, I wound up giving it to her as a gift. I also gave her a crazy 3-legged hoof lamp that was in my studio. But I digress…

To find out more about Ashley, here’s her Wikipedia page, her Twitter and Fender® Guitar Artists Profile. She also the bass player for Adam Lambert, so catch them on tour this year. Looks like they’re headed to South Korea and Japan this Feb.

Anyway, I’m currently working on this year’s Eat Your Art Out piece. The theme for 2013 is Creature Feature… so come see the madness on Feb 23rd at Titmouse Animation Studios! It’s gonna be a crazy, fantastic party full of rad art and rad people. Plus it benefits the Angel City Derby Girls, some of the coolest ladies in Los Angeles! If you’re in the neighborhood that day, do drop in and say ‘hi!’ The whole gang will be there! (p.s. Here’s my piece titled “Where Is Thumbkin?” for Eat Your Art Out 2011, the theme of which was Nursery Rhymes. It’s a little disturbing… but hilarious!)

Much thanks and love to Ashley D for taking time out of her busy touring schedule to come in for this random and kind of odd portrait session. I always appreciate it when people are cool with me asking weird questions like, “So… how do you feel about being a Lobster Girl?” Happy birthday, lady!!! Looking forward to our Mad Max road trip when you get back to Hell-A. <3

Trailer: Best Friends Forever

Posted on 8 January 2013 | No responses

Hey guys!

Just wanted to post a quick announcement that IndieWire has a 24 hour exclusive link to the Best Friends Forever film trailer! Here it is!!!

Written by and starring Brea Grant (“Heroes,” “Dexter”) and Vera Miao (“CSI: Miami,” “Brothers & Sisters”), Best Friends Forever premieres at the Slamdance Film Festival this January 19th! Check out the IndieWire article for more deets. And you can check out some of my behind-the-scenes stills from one of the BFF shoot days right on flickr. Plus there’s tons of BFF goodness on the official website,

Rock on, Brea & Vera!!! The trailer looks rad, and I can’t wait to see the movie!

For the record, there’s two things that I just love: ‘road trips’ and ‘the apocalypse’! Oh, and awesome female filmmakers. I guess that’s three things. Anyway, apocalypse = BRANG it!!

Hangin' w/ rad #filmmakers @breagrant and @veramiao. We are totes ready for the apocalypse.

Brea, me and Vera on a promo shoot. We are totes ready for the apocalypse.

Portrait: BlackEm on a Motorcycle, Saltpeter Art Book

Posted on 3 December 2012 | No responses

I wasn’t planning to release this photograph today, but it’s my friend BlackEm‘s birthday! So I figure it’s the perfect time to surprise her.

Em and I met at a Drink & Draw one night at Meltdown Comics this year, and just hit it off as fast friends from the get-go. With our shared nerdy love of comic books, Carl Sagan, astrophysics and Tom Hardy as a young Captain Picard, how could we not? That evening, despite having fancy smart iPhones, we wrote our phone numbers upside down on each other’s hands with smelly marker pens — I’m not sure if it’s because we’re old school like that, or because we were just a little bit intoxicated (it was a DRINK & Draw after all). Probably both.

When I approached her with this photo shoot idea, I said something like, “Hey! Can I take a picture of you wearing something yellow and skimpy, and holding an umbrella? Umm… I’m a legit photographer. It’s for a book…” And she was all, “Yes! How about …on a motorcycle?” SHYEAH!! Haha, I love when portrait subjects are totally IN IT to WIN IT.

Black_Em by Love Ablan for the book Saltpeter by KnifeXlife

Make... it... rain!

This photograph was published in the very limited edition art book Saltpeter by KnifeXlife. Featuring art and photographs inspired by the iconic Morton Salt Girl, these handmade books were available only in Japan at the TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR. Good luck getting your hands on this rare codex! Some of the contributing artists include Plex, Lucky Nakazawa, Tessar Lo, Akirophoto and other very cool peeps. (Check out Akiro‘s awesome Saltpeter photograph of my former intern Amelia, on!)

You can see this photo in the actual book on KnifeXlife’s Tumblr:

A page from Saltpeter by Knifexlife

Pages from the art book Saltpeter by KnifeXlife, photo by Plex

HUGE thank you and love to KnifeXlife for inviting me to participate in this awesome book, I’m incredibly honored and humbled. Domo Arigatou gozaimasu!!! And lots of gratitude and love of course to Megan for kicking ass and being such a good sport about making my vision come to life. Love and thanks also to Dezastr0 and John James for helping out with equipment, location, props and the body paint job. Gee, that must have been such a difficult chore for you fellas… ;) Great shoot, you guys!

Before I forget to mention, Em’s not just a badass motorcyclist who can weather any storm with or without an umbrella. She’s also a rad illustrator currently shacked up in a secret coastal Batcave, finishing her teen graphic novel entitled Will-O-the-Wisp. It hits the comic stands in 2013 and it’s gonna be sweeeet. Keep an eye out for the graphic novel, and for her upcoming appearances at comic conventions. (She’s a hoot on discussion panels.) Here’s her website for the 411.

Black_Em at Drink & Draw

Em at Drink & Draw, Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles

A very happy birthday to you, Em!!! Wishing you dark unicorns, motorcycle rides up the PCH, ominous rain clouds, Radiohead remixes, an abundance of #nerdforeplay, lots of mystery and intrigue, and a murder of crows for now… and for evermore. Phantom Zone Dolphin Squad 4 LIFE! <3

Sculpture: OBOMINAL

Posted on 26 October 2012 | No responses

I haven’t made a plush sculpture in forrrevvvzzz. I think the last one was for BLK/MRKT Gallery or Gallery 1988 maaaybe 3 or 4 years ago. Life’s been a bit life-y since. I’ve been so preoccupied with serious grown-up stuff, that I almost forgot all about making silly things just for fun.

That is, until very recently, when I was inspired by a little girl I’ve never met named Abbey who tells amusing tales of the majestic creature known as “OBOMINAL” (*no relation to Barack). Abbey’s stories involve a lot of circuitous chasing, loud RAWRRRRRRRR!-ing and delightful squealing, according to her aunt who is single-handedly keeping the oral tradition of the yeti legend alive in greater North America. After hearing these vivid retellings of Obominal’s adventures, I decided to use my “MAGIC POWARZ” and the charm-of-making to bring him forth to life in fearsome plush form.


'RAWWRRRRRRRRRrrrrr!!' ~OBOMINAL (Rough translation: 'Fear me, rahhh!')

I dusted off my old abandoned sewing box and that weird tomato cushion, and built Obominal out of a fresh pair of socks, a swatch of blanket, some wee buttons and a handful of jumbo cotton balls and fuzzy pompoms. It took a couple of days to get all his stitches done juuuust right, which is to say not-right-at-all. Then he incubated on my desk under a bare amber bulb for a few more days before finally waking up. He was pretty grumpy at first, but then he is an abominable snowman and being curmudgeonly is kinda their thing, ya know? (Under the right circumstances, he can be a downright jolly fellow — just try tickling his feets.)


The preliminary sketch of OBOMINAL by yours truly

Nomadic by nature, he didn’t stay at my place for very long. Just long enough to tell me a few secrets of the Universe (like adding cayenne pepper to mac & cheese for a little kick), and to pose for my Instagram feed. Then he was off and running! Or ambling with determination, more accurately. Now he’s touring the grand territories of the Pacific Northwest, enjoying the scenic views and organic coffees, and chasing toddlers merrily, RAWRRRRRRRR!-ing to his heart’s content. I hear he’s having a wonderful time. I guess Bugs Bunny was right all along… “Monsters lead such iiiiiiinnnnteresting lives!


The last sighting of Obominal, spotted in Oregon... on an Abbey-Ride

Much thanks to Miss Abbey and her kind aunt for sharing the great legend of Obominal with me, and inspiring me to sew again. I had a lot of fun making him, and I am glad he is off exploring with his new family. May he bring you guys countless smiles and many stacks of timber before the first winter frost.


To see my other plush sculptures, please visit and click on Art & Installations.

You can also see my plush work in the following art books:

Pictoplasma 2: Contemporary Character Design (Die Gestalten Verlag)
i am 8-bit: Art Inspired by Classic Games of the 80s (Chronicle Books)
RMX: Neighborhood (Victionary Press)

And if you love character design as much as I do, check out the Pictoplasma Conference in NYC next week (Nov 2-3) at Parsons The New School for Design. BuffMonster is one of the speakers!

Portrait: Wendy Chin, Sugarpusher

Posted on 23 October 2012 | 1 response

Today’s portrait is of my dear friend, art director and illustrator, Wendy Chin. Some of you may know her as WendyPants or Sugarpusher, though I prefer to call her ‘Mocha Cub’. (She calls me ‘Spicy Chai’ — I don’t remember why we have nicknames that sound like Starbucks menu items…)

Wendy was also in a band, Music For Girls. This is one of her rad songs which makes me happy every time it pops up randomly on shuffle. It could melt a heart of stone. Please have a listen!

Bird Girl, sung by Wendy Pants


Wendy and I first met a long time ago, in a comic book store far, far away… in a galaxy known as Midtown Manhattan. She was the cool, arty cashier with blue hair. I was the film-school weirdo wearing flannel and glasses, buying questionable Manga from the restricted section. While ringing up my embarrassingly absurd comic book selections, she looked up and deadpanned, “We should be friends.” It was like a still moment right out of Daniel Clowes’ Ghost World, hahaha. Needless to say, we’ve been good friends ever since.

We’ve shared countless adventures together through the years, and were roomies in an awesome artists loft by Little Tokyo for a short spell. (I love that there’s a random ‘pimp cane’ leaning against the steel column in that post-party picture.) We even “summered on the Cape” once — you have to say that in a snooty, nasally, hoity-toity accent. Though we met in the Big Apple, these photos were taken at my old studio in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles.


Wendy is back in our mutual hometown of NYC these days, painting the town ‘Rubber Duck Yellow’, I imagine. But she’s actually coming to visit Hollyweird this weekend, yaaaay! Brunch will be had… Mimosas will flow… Lolcats and walrus buckets will be referenced… Quotes from classic Eddie Murphy movies will be exchanged… Cute drawlin’s will be draw-ed… A lovely time will be had by all. I can’t wait.

See ya in a few days, Mocha Cub! I miss yer face.

Promo: Everybody Loves TANK GIRL!

Posted on 24 July 2012 | No responses

OI, chums! Jim Mahfood‘s Everybody Loves TANK GIRL comes out tmrw!!

Check this super RAD promo video of the new comic by Steven A Soria of The Indie Workforce!

Reference photos of Chloe & Penny by moi! (^_^)b

EVERYBODY LOVES TANK GIRL #1 Behind The Scenes Video from the Indie Workforce on Vimeo.

Tank Girl by the always awesome Jim Mahfood!

Gallery: SUNSET STORIES Wrap Party

Posted on 14 July 2012 | No responses

In celebration of tonight’s screening at REDCAT Theater (Disney Hall, Downtown Los Angeles), I uploaded my photos from the SUNSET STORIES movie wrap party. Even the cast & crew haven’t seen these pics yet! Here’s a couple of selects. You can check out the full set at:

[ See more photos on SUNSET STORIES Wrap Party Flickr SET...>> ]

I’m super excited to see everyone later this evening. It’s a great crew and a great movie, and I’m really glad I got a chance to work on this movie with so many RAD, talented people. I love Monique and Sung in this film, and all the other actors and surprise guests. There’s just a wonderful fairy tale aspect to this gritty film that is very endearing to me, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again a second time tonight. (PJ Raval‘s cinematography is so bee-yoo-ti-full!)

Anyway, I hope some of you can make it out to REDCAT (screening starts at 9:30PM)! Holler at me if you do.

p.s. ODD FACT: I have an acting credit in this film. Come and witness me and Sunset Stories gaffer, Michelle Lawler, play very convincing “Tourists” on Hollywood Boulevard. HILARIOUS! “All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Crikey, I’m kidding about the close-up… this is probably my last on-screen credit ever. I’m fairly certain that I belong behind a camera, not in front of one. …Yup! Oh, and my friend, IGN pin-up model Sara Brinsfield also makes a random cameo during the Hollywood Blvd montage. She is way more normal in front of a camera than I am. …She’s a natural. :)

Sunset Stories - Wrap Party

Sunset Stories - Wrap Party

Sunset Stories - Wrap Party

Sunset Stories - Wrap Party

Sunset Stories - Wrap Party

Sunset Stories - Wrap Party

[ See more photos on SUNSET STORIES Wrap Party Flickr SET...>> ]

Sat, July 14, 9:30PM [ BUY TIX ]

Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater
631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(Directed by Silas Howard, Ernesto Foronda USA, 2012, 87 mins)

May is transporting bone marrow across L.A. when a chance meeting with her hunky ex (Sung Kang, FAST & FURIOUS) causes her to lose her cargo. Together, they embark on a wacky all-night quest to locate it, encountering a ensemble of queer Angelenos played by Justin Vivian Bond, Nao Bustamante, Michelle Krusiec, and Zosia Mamet (“Girls”). Shot in Silver Lake and Hollywood, SUNSET STORIES is a quirky and stylish love letter to L.A.

Featuring performances by Justin Vivian Bond, Nao Bustamante and Jacolby Satterwhite

Gallery: COMIC CON 2012

Posted on 13 July 2012 | No responses

Here’s a couple of photo selects from Comic Con. And you can see all my pix here: [ COMIC-CON 2012 Flickr Set ]. Take a peek, especially if you’re a Battlestar Galactica Fan. (Frakkin’ toasters!)

Comic-Con is crazy and amazing. It’s like surfing a tidal wave of fantastical awesomeness. As a nerdy gaming fan, I loved seeing sooo many people in cardboard Minecraft heads. (As my friend Laura says, “CREEPERS GONNA CREEP!”)

And my favorite free swag, so far, is a sheer, punk rock t-shirt for Honey Badger that says, “So Nasty“. I’m super excited to wear it! But the Honey Badger… well, frankly, the Honey Badger don’t care. :/

Anyway, San Diaaaaago Comic Con. It’s really fun. Always a great time. So much to see and do. Every year I go, I’m inspired to run home and draw comics. But then I get distracted by all the shiny things and the interesting people in elaborate costumes. (How does Leeloo order at the cafeteria? “Chicken. Good.“)

SDCC 2012 isn’t even over yet, but I’m already excited for next year. Get your tickets early, my friends, because I hope to hang out with all ya frakkin’ skinjobs at Comic Con 2013. SO SAY WE ALL! \(^_^)/

Comic-Con 2012
David selects a healthy place for us to eat.

Comic-Con 2012
Cosplayer and spokesmodel, Jessica Nigri, just being adorable.

Comic-Con 2012
American comic book creator, Alison Bechdel, signing books. (I got the new one!)

Comic-Con 2012
Cylon/Stormtroopers with an anarchist bunny. This makes sense. …Right?

Comic-Con 2012
It’s a bird… It’s a plane… Oh, it’s just Supes.

Comic-Con 2012

Comic-Con 2012
Snorlax, I choose you!

Comic-Con 2012

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