Wk 11 – Classmate Conversation – Amanda Martinez


This weeks classmate conversation was with Amanda Martinez. Amanda is a native to California from the city of Glendora. She is completing her 5th year at CSULB with a major in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology. What I thought was really cool was that she plans on pursuing a career in doing research for wetland ecology and plastic pollution. So I thought that was a really cool thing to want to do as a career while also thinking, “why didn’t I think of that?” She stated that she doesn’t really have any time for hobbies right now since she’s so busy with schooling. However, she does like to rollerblade (badass) and rides her bike often to make up for the lack of exercise she’s been doing as of lately. When asked what she thought on Demi Lovato’s reaction to her mermaid photo she believe that Demi mildly overreacted. Amanda says the photo was art; it wasn’t mean to be portrayed as something real. I have to disagree a little with Amanda on that because I’d personally rather have a photo published of myself in my true form and shape (even though, yes, I was trying to pose as a mythical creature like the mermaid). As we as a society continue to progress our way of thinking about our bodies and self-love, I believe it is then very important to be portrayed and viewed physically by what you were naturally born with. Amanda goes on to say that however she understands why Demi acted the way she did because she has long been portraying herself as a supporter of positive body image in today’s society. Go Demi! Amanda’s blog: https://amanateeblog.wordpress.com.

Check it out!


Wk 10 – Artist Conversation -Kristi Tristao Jensen

Artist: Kristi Tristao Jensen

Exhibition: Lineage

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby Gallery

Media: Metal

Website: In Progress

IG: @whipperton

Kristi Tristao Jensen is an artist raised in the L.A. area of Venice Beach. Her interest in art was sparked when she was often interested in molding things with clay and draw. Prior to attending CSULB, she had worked with a lot of Fiber arts. She was in the sculptural department but she felt as if it was too conceptual for her–she wanted to make and mold things. A friend had recommended her to try out metals, and she immediately picked up skills to work with these metals sparking her new interest. She says she easily acquired these skills to working with metals because it was something that allowed her to shape and mold things hands-on which she enjoyed the most. Lineage also contains several unique pieces of jewelry Kristi had sculpted. She explains that she has not put into full thought of creating her own jewelry line due to the fact that she creates these pieces to be quite abstract so depending on individual preference could be a hit or miss.

Each individual piece within Lineage was made from a combination of metals. Kristi speaks of how she learned to fold these metals to manipulate them into a certain form.  She uses fold forming to bend the metal into different shapes and at different angles. She also shows her interest in molding which can be seen in her piece “Urchins.” A lot of detail can be seen in the metal up close–the rough surfaces, curves, where the metal was bent, etc.

To Kristi, Lineage was meant to showcase the skills close friends and family have taught her the things she knows now and will intend to learn later on in her life. Kristi explains her interest in knowing how things are made and how they can unfold and be put put back together. She enjoys the process of dissecting something and recreating it on her own based on her own observations. She goes on to say that the act of creating the things she wants for herself are a reflection of her interests in technique, experimentation, and failure in order to succeed in creating new versions of particular things that catch her eye. She goes on to explain how her husband is an inspiration to her as well. She explains his go-getter personality really taught her to explore her creativity and desire to learn more. She says he has encouraged her to always seek out solutions to things she does not know. Things like these have maintained her desire to be always continuously learning something new from the people and things she encounters every day.

I really enjoyed Lineage. It was a very simple exhibit overall, but what fascinated me was observing the lines and shapes of the metal Kristi seems to have worked with. I greatly admire her willingness to always be learning something new about ourselves and about the world around us and the things we often come into contact with every day. It was interesting to see how the metal was bent to form abstract shapes and molds. I admire Kristi’s intent of always wanting to know how something was made from things like food to clothing to every day items we use but never stop to think about how all these things came about. I, too, would often observe things I showed interest in and wondered what it took to get into my hands, where was it made, was it made by machine or hands from people just like ourselves, etc. Overall, I really enjoyed the exhibit and hope to see more of Kristi’s work in the future.



Wk 9 – Art Activity -Art Care Package

For this is weeks art activity Art Care Package, I brought together a few things to send out to my best friend Bianca who lives out in Oregon. I included a handmade card which I made with white construction paper, strawberry flavored hemp wrappers (because she lives and Oregon and smokes recreational medical marijuana, ha ha), and some colorful tube cleaners. I wrote her a little note inside since I will not be telling her to expect this package only because I want it to be a surprise. I am also including the hemp wrappers themselves (ones I did not end up using), a mini sewing kit, a journal, and gold eyeliner. The sewing kit was an idea I thought she would like since she recently told me she wanted to learn how to sew and eventually buy her own sewing machine. I thought I’d help her get that idea started. I added golden eyeliner because she loves makeup, as do I; and in personal opinion, we both believe the ability to do make up is an art in itself and not recognized enough as exactly that. Also, she  tells me every time to “stay golden”–just making sure she can too. The journal would be the part of me that I am including being that I recently took up writing down my thoughts and feelings lately. Bianca suffers from mild depression and anxiety, and I always encourage her to get her feelings down on paper because it has really, really helped me out during my emotional ups and downs. So I hope she takes it as an opportunity to express herself honestly and conveniently.

I think sending someone an ACP is similar to snapchat in the sense that it can be personalized and not always has to be seen by everyone but instead by specific people or a specific person as well. It is coming directly from me which I think makes it special and unique. Each snapchat is “in the moment” and unique every time one is taken. A letter inside the ACP could represent the feature of Snapchat that lets you caption your pictures and video clips. An ACP is something unique as far as the idea of customizing it for someone specific–no one is the same exactly so each ACP should be unique and different in its own way.

Sending and ACP is also much different than Snapchat wherein we are not using technology or the internet to send each package like we would a snap. We do not have a time limit as to how long we can keep an ACP like we do with a snapchat. We can use and enjoy our ACP’s off of our smartphones. ACP contains things tangible to the touch making it easier to appreciate and observe.

I think ephemera is something precious. Being as it is something not meant to last but instead something that is given a time limit as to how often it can be used or enjoyed for a short period of time. I think it allows appreciation and curiosity for all ephemera things in this world. The knowledge of where it came from and what are its origins beg the questions of how it is still in existence, where it came from, who it came from, what exactly was it used for, why was is so important, etc. It leaves much to the imagination.

I do not believe there is much difference between art displayed for public view versus an ACP sent off to a friend or stranger. Either way art is being exposed and appreciated. It is being interpreted. It is (hopefully) creating something meaningful to its receiver/audience.

The time and effort it takes to put together and send out an ACP definitely increases the value and heartfelt meaning. It instantly becomes so much more personalized–it creates a connection between the sender and the receiver. Fast, however, is much more ideal nowadays when everything is available via a tap on our phone screens. The concept of speed makes things a lot more convenient if we desire the need to share something in front of us right away to others we believe want to see exactly what we are seeing as well right at that moment. The concept of slowness when referring to the steps of having to send out an ACP and waiting several days for this package are not desirable but it creates excitement and anticipation which I believe, in turn, calls for appreciation.

I do not necessarily believe that something must take time in order to mean it was made with love. Speed does not necessarily lessen or increase value. I believe what is put into this “thing” matters the most. For example, if my best friend asked me to make her a baked potato, I’d load that thing up. It could take me only 10 minutes to make but I was committed to loading it up–green onions, cheese, sour cream, bacon, etc. I put in a lot more than can be expected as opposed to handing her a plate of a poorly cut whole potato and some sour cream on top. Not much was put into that potato so I’d count that as something not made with love. It is all about what you put in not how much time it took you to get it done.

Week 9 – Artist Conversation – Vanessa Olivarez

Artist: Vanessa Olivarez

Exhibition: Don’t Be Careful, Be Gentle

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Media: Acrylic, Film

Website: Tokioni.com

IG: @tokioni

Vanessa is a 23-year-old Long Beach native finishing up her senior year at CSULB School of Art to obtain her BFA in Sculpture. Aside from working in acrylic, she enjoys painting, drawing, sewing,and DIY projects. She tries to learn a little bit of everything. Because she came from what she calls an “artsy” family, the idea of art and creating it intrigued her for as long as she can remember. She says her family admired a lot of handmade art, clothing, and all things woven so she grew interest in the arts quite quickly growing up. She often adds pieces of herself in a lot of her creations which she says helps her also poetically express herself. She loves playing around with words.

There were two main films played on opposite sitting walls through a projector. In between the films on both walls was a plastic (acrylic) seesaw she had made from a DIY video she found. However, it was meant for a wooden seesaw, but she decided to make it out of acrylic instead. She also had to make the dimensions much smaller. She says she then had to download a specific software that involved extensive coding in order to make the seesaw switch up and down electrically. She uses a vintage see-through mini television in the corner which displays random images portraying her interpretation of her own loneliness. The enire exhibit was also lit up in a sort of nostalgic, vibrant pink lighting.

What Vanessa meant to portray in Don’t Be Careful, Be Gentle is the idea of being blocked in between two things completely opposite of each other yet desiring to not be either one or the other but instead both things (up or down–like a seesaw). Vanessa states that the left side film represents metaphors for loneliness while the right side film is posed to represent contentment with being alone–things she finds herself constantly shifting from one to the other. The idea of loneliness based off both her fear and admiration was the main component of the entire exhibition. Her use of the color pink was used to embody her idea of femme to counter the ideas of living in a patriarchal society. Exposing her vulnerability through her fears of loneliness yet desiring to be content with being alone portray her desires to both be both hot and cold, seen and unseen–two things at once and not being content with having to choose just one side of two extremes.

I really enjoyed Don’t Be Careful, Be Gentle because off first impression, it gave me a very melancholic vibe–both sad but beautiful. The dim lighting in all pink was an affect that I think plays into emotions. Pink is a “pretty” color, but when mixed with darks concepts like abandonment and loneliness, seems quite “blue.” I related to her concept of loneliness as someone in her mid 20s seems to conflict with all the time when we are pressured by society to constantly seek out a partner to be happy, to be content. Her wanting to be at the end of both extremes and not just one is something I also admired. Her use of words and images within the exhibition to represent this concept was pretty emotional and something I appreciated.

Wk 8-Art Activity-Sketching at the Japanese Garden

So for this weeks art activity which was art sketching out in the Japanese garden (which was really relaxing), I did a couple sketches capturing the tree that stands by the entrance into the entire garden located by the pond. I sat directly across the lake facing the tree so I instantly focused on it and began drawing. I’m not very good at detailing so I focused on main shapes of the tree, the branches, leaves, etc. I focused on a little on some of the scenery behind and to the side of the tree itself although I did not have a chance to really get anything else down. I also tried to incorporate the right shadowing–simpler detailing. It was fun to draw I was pretty surprised at how well I did since I’ve never prided myself on being even the slightest artistically inclined when it came to drawing. The second sketching below are just a few things I was observing on the pond. I was staring right at a little grassy island which was held up by some rocks while a few trees grew above them. I’m not very good at drawing scenery as a whole so I just decided I’d focus on a little tree and some long leave grass that grew out of the pond itself. Again, I tried to use some shadowing to make it more dimensional. It was a lot harder than the sketching I did of the tree, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless.

Wk 8-Classmate Conversation-Amy Song


This is Amy Song. You can find her at https://amysongblog.wordpress.com. She is in her second year at CSULB pursuing her degree in Biology (which I think is really badass). She hopes to be a Veterinarian in the future. She enjoys cooking and eating (same), playing basketball, and drawing.

She says she has all the boring apps on her first page so she just gave me the ones on her second page, ha ha. She keeps all her social media apps on her second page. She uses Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and Tumblr the most. Although, I keep my social media apps on my first page, I am frequently using apps like Facebook and Snapchat. She includes her music apps like Spotify, Soundcloud, and Shazam. Since I’m always listening to music, I actually keep my music apps like Spotify and Soundcloud on the main bar where my messages and Safari app are kept so I’m not sliding through pages looking for them. They are used most frequently. She has a few shopping and entertainment apps like Amazon, yelp, and Starbucks. She also includes her Pokemon Go and Tinder app on that page as well. I have other random apps that I don’t keep grouped up according to categories because I’m not used to organization–apps for shopping, concert tracker, Uber, and a personal reminder app all included.

A medium of art she would recommend someone else to experience would be film because she has had some practice and experience in creating videos and making short films before where she learned in a film and photography class she has taken. She believes people often overlook the amount of hard work that goes into the production of a film. It is easy for her to recognize this which makes it easy for her to appreciate and recommend to another person.

Amy found it difficult to state whether or not she’d be supportive of her child’s choice of pursuing an art career only because she has never imagined herself having kids. However, she states that she believes that a parent should be supportive of their child’s choices for their career and never put them down for it.

Wk 7-Artist Conversation-Brianna Meli

Artist: Brianna Meli

Exhibition: Over_Realmed

Media: Fiber, Video installation

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Webry Gallery

Website: Briannameli.com

IG: @melt_brianna

Brianna Meli is a 26 year-old undergrad student attending CSULB’s BFA of Fibers art program. She initially attended CSULB around 2010-2012 pursuing illustration. She left for academic leave in order to start a business with a friend. She soon realized it was not something she wanted to do so she returned to CSULB and instead of pursuing illustration, she began sewing. She started off by practicing on industrial machines full-time to sew bags for a company. After she completes her BFA of Fibers this Fall, she hopes to pursue her Masters of Library Science because she works in a library and would like to learn more about incorporating art within a library setting.

Brianna’s Over_Realmed showcases a mix of handcrafted fibers meshed together using electrical wires, chords, etc. She uses these materials to sew a banner which reads “LOL” and “IDK” which are popular texting and social media acronyms.  The colors of the fiber used for the banner seem to be pastel-like colors which looked really cool. She also displays two video recordings projected on both left and right sides of the room with visuals and sounds of common tunes heard when sending and receiving messages via cellphone.

Brianna Meli spoke of how her struggle yet willingness to stay off her phone and disconnected from social media inspired her creation Over_Realmed. It is something she is always working on. She feels like if she wants to stray away from her phone, she is abandoning the many things that are tied to it like keeping up with current events, her friends’ social lives, etc. Her appreciates now that her friends know her wanting to stay off her phone because they are accustomed to now texting her directly if they feel she should know something that may be coming up that might interest her. She somehow still feels she is missing opportunities. She still, however, feels that being on our phones has become so normalized that she still feels the need to keep her work online because she believes people have forgotten other ways to actually experience art in general and not just her own. She supports the internet, but she feels like the avenues that people once kept in mind when they wanted to experience art are slowly becoming undesirable. She believes that technology should teach us lessons of realizing that as much as we keep ourselves in touch with tons of people online that we are always ultimately alone because of the normalities of technology nowadays.

I really enjoyed Brianna Meli’s Over_Realmed because I related so much to her struggle of wanting to disconnect from the online world; but because it has become so normalized and transformed into such a big part of society and getting “in the know,” that it has become extremely difficult while trying to at the same time stay connected to those around us. I often catch myself on my phone for way longer than I would like to be and for reasons none other than just scrolling the timeline. So I related a lot to her idea of wanting to be connected yet disconnected at the same time. Her weaving and sewing was awesome. I think it was a creative idea as well as the short clips she presented had such a deeper meaning of what it looks like to be on your phone from the time we wake up in the morning throughout the day until we are back in bed for the night. Overall, it was a great exhibit. I enjoyed it and look forward to new work from her, if any.