Category Archives: bablings


saving some hearts

heartwalk logo

digital – adobe illustrator
I designed this logo for our American Heart Association Heartwalk team this year.

Since feeling the effects of kidney disease first hand, I’ve been on a mission to help promote positive, healthy living. I’ve quit smoking, cut out soda, decreased my Filipino fatty food intake, and have been exercising more often than before… although removing the spare tire around my waist has proven to be really, really hard.

bablings sketchbook

virginia tech mourns

virginia tech logo black
vector illustration – adobe illustrator

As a Virginia Tech alumnus (1997), I offer my condolences to those that are most affected by this tragedy; current students, family and friends of the injured and deceased. As the flurry of media swarms on this story (I have been contacted personally by local Bay Area California media) I truly hope there will be a resolve towards peace and understanding in this world. This violence needs to stop.

bablings sketchbook

this ole man loves trane

John Coltrane gouache painting

traditional – gouache on canvas – 8″ x 8″ – value study
There is nothing like a little John Coltrane to celebrate 34 years on this earth.

The recordings of the mid 50′s to early 60′s are my favorite. It’s funny how a simple ballad can transport me to another world, hypnotizing me to a state of utter bliss.

While most of my peers love the modern music coming from their satellite transmitters and cell phones, I feel like a relic who would rather dust off a classic LP and absorb the crackling of the needle into vinyl grooves.

My birthday playlist:

  1. In A Sentimental Mood / Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
  2. My Little Brown Book / Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
  3. The Feeling Of Jazz / Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
  4. Blues To Bechet / Coltrane Plays The Blues
  5. Nancy (With The Laughing Face) / The Gentle Side Of John Coltrane
  6. Mr. Syms / Coltrane Plays The Blues
  7. My Favorite Things / My Favorite Things
  8. Everytime We Say Goodbye / My Favorite Things
  9. Blue in Green / Kind of Blue
  10. My One And Only Love / The Gentle Side Of John Coltrane
  11. When I Fall In Love / Steamin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet
  12. Blue Train / Blue Train
  13. I’m Old Fashioned / Blue Train
  14. Soul Eyes / The Gentle Side Of John Coltrane
  15. Lush Life / The Gentle Side Of John Coltrane
  16. Dear Lord / The Gentle Side Of John Coltrane
  17. Take Five / Cool: Dave Brubeck
  18. Flamenco Sketches / Kind of Blue

I encourage you to come along with me and dive into these recordings. You will not regret it.


Gong xi fa cai! Prosper little piggies!

piggy line

My wife received a Happy New Year email from her aunt in Taiwan.
Her message contained the following pics:





(I do not have a photo credit or a name of the artist that created these wonderful pieces, but if I find one or more, I’ll post them).

bablings sketchbook

Words this time… with a twist

marionette - twisted
this is about right… feelin’ somewhat twisted (March 2006)

  • About writing and expressing thoughts
    After some feeble attempts to write personal thoughts on this blog, I have realized from the beginning that I am not a writer.

    There are so many authors of blogs who can artfully place words together containing wonderful structure, grammar and most of all, logical sense. This is not one of them. I stopped trying to pontificate my thoughts through the written form and focus more on expressing in a way I have always done since I was a kid: attempting to draw.

As with life, so many unexpected tragedies fall upon all of us. This is one of those times.

So my goal to post drawings at least once a week has stopped… until the latest speed bump is cautiously passed over.

Once the very faint light in the distance becomes clearer and in focus, I am hoping the artwork will once again flow.

I will be taking a quick flight to Virginia to check up on things… maybe this trek will relieve my anxiety.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


taiwan and philippines: photos

taiwan school kids

taiwan school kids

In 2001, I graduated art school and grabbed a job right away to pay the bills. I was a graphic artist for a small newspaper here in the Bay Area, California. It didn’t pay much, but I had some great co-workers and I lived only 2 blocks from the office.

In 2003, just as things looked murky for the organization (outsourcing was a big concern), I was asked by my editor-in-chief to attend a press junket sponsored by a Big Asian Airline. Big companies do this often to drum up ad space and editorial ink to target their niche audiences, hoping the investment will pay off with return ticket sales.

My daily responsibilities included designing print ads, editorial layouts, photo editing, web editing etc. Why ask the graphic artist to attend a press junket in Asia? No one in the editorial department wanted to waste their time listening to sales pitches and possibly compromising ethical standards of journalism… mixing “business gifts” and trips with “real stories.”

Cool thing about me going, I was there strictly to take pictures. And for a brief stint half way around the world, I could be away from the office, far from worrying about my soon to be outsourced job.

I had a blast. The Big Asian Airline treated us well. They flew us to Taiwan and the Philippines, business class, and had us stay in 5 star hotels. It was such a wonderful break from the stress and worry, I look back and figure it was probably part of a pre-severence gift they could afford to give me. I came back to the Bay Area refreshed and a tad bit more aligned.

I am no longer at the newspaper. I am still working as graphic artist in the Bay Area for a pretty darn stable County organization (with great people too!). When I think things are going tough at my job, I think back and remember that trip to Asia in 2003.

(Above image: Taiwanese school boys on a field trip to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall)

taiwan child - toystore taiwan dim sum
(above images: Both in Taiwan – girl in toyshop, dim sum in downtown Taipei.)

Taiwan Art Museum groundsphilippines corregidor lighthouse
(above images: Taiwan – Fine Arts Museum grounds; Philippines – Corregidor Island lighthouse.)

Click here to see more.


cars and carlin

george carlin fillmore cars pixar thumb
I finally saw Pixar’s latest animated film “Cars” this morning.I finally saw Pixar’s latest animated film “Cars” this morning.

Being a student of character animation, this may seem like a sacrilege. But today was the only day I could scoot myself to the showing on digital projection at the Daly City Century Theaters.

I loved the whole experience for all the same reasons every other Pixar fan has talked about in their reviews and blogs: The short One Man Band was awesome, the sweeping vistas were amazing, the animation was of course top notch…

but for me, it was even more sweet knowing my favorite comedian of all time was a voice actor; Fillmore the Hippy Dippy LoveBug was none other than Master George Carlin.

pixar cars fillmore george carlin
Images: Pixar, Disney and George Carlin.

I’ve been a fan of George since grade school. Yes, the “seven bad words” routine was a treasure among fifth graders, and they loved me for introducing it to them while the nuns punished me for bringing in a maxell recorded cassette tape of “Class Clown”.

When I was in high school, he performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. which is also known as the recorded version of “Jammin’ in New York”. I got to see him live, and I bought a t-shirt with that picture above on the front, and on the back it read: “Simon Says, Go F*** Yourself”. I thought that was hilarious.

Although his comedy has evolved over the years, the one thing that has stayed consistent and what I love and respect about his body of work most is his HONESTY.

George’s material may be shocking to many, but he is a wonderful storyteller, a master of timing, a recorder of the absurd and critic to the sublime.

He never takes himself seriously. His biggest complaint is that we all do, and that’s what makes living today so entertaining. And he never fails to draw me in on his particular rant on society… especially when it is about myself.

His latest work (early/mid 90′s to today routines) are more socially targeted and I have yet to see or hear the full version of the latest performance “Life Is Worth Losing”.

I was able to find this bit of that performance here: “Coast-To-Coast Emergency”. WARNING: Explicit Lyrics and some political truths contained in the link.

So as I treasure the Pixar legacy of fine storytelling through animation, I am so happy to know George Carlin was added to the Pixar quality voice talent pool.


Spare the Air Day

Caltrain poster install San Francisco
Today is the third Spare the Air Day in a row here in the Bay Area, California.

Today is the third Spare the Air Day in a row here in the Bay Area, California.

When the Ground-level ozone air pollution is forecast to exceed 100 AQI (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups), The Air District, MTC, buses, ferries, and BART offer FREE commutes all day.

Since this is the last day for free transit (the BAAQMD was given funding for just three), there are ways to continue the reduction of pollution:

- Refuel in the evening & don’t top off
- Telecommute — work from home instead of driving to work
- Take public transit

Find out more at .

And if you do take of advantage of this day, don’t forget to take Caltrain up and down the peninsula!

Caltrain poster install San Francisco

Installing the posters we designed in San Francisco Station. We installed another set in the San Jose, Diridon Station the same day.


33 and looking forward

bobby baby thumbbobby baby

Sometimes I find myself asking, “where did my youth go?”

Then I look around and realize what I have and what I am doing, all of which is forcing me to think and perceive the world through fresh eyes; Like the eyes of an innocent child.

The trick is to never allow yourself to forget what it’s like to be a kid.

Turning a year older is getting so over-rated… cause I don’t feel like I’m in my 30′s.

So here’s to the Aries of the world… may you be kid-like forever!

(from For those of us born on: April 12
Happy Birthday! The months ahead are likely to start very positively in terms of finance and romance, but while you’re busy making plans for the future, your more laid back friends will be a source of distraction. It’s a tricky one, but you will need to strike the right balance. You might experience a few communication problems at work or school in June, but this will only be temporary. Avoid getting stuck in a rut around September: keep an open mind and be receptive to new suggestions or ideas, particularly if they don’t involve too much shopping! Romance is likely to turn your world about later in the year, when you’ll have a period of time in which to enjoy the more fun side of life!

bablings sketchbook

sack test – in PAP

2d PAP screenshot thumb
* UPDATE: I took down the pencil test cause it really wasn’t much. I am going to try more pencil tests on either PAP or Mirage, and will post them soon in the movies section.

Here’s a quick test I threw together, just to test out the PAP functions.

2d PAP screenshot
click on screenshot to view quicktime file

So far, this pencil test application is sweet!

bablings sketchbook

sack thumbs

sac test 01 thumbsac test 01

Referring to Wayne Gilbert’s notes on weight shift with lead and follow, I wanted to start a test with a basic character… the sack.

Based on Wayne’s initial sketch poses on page 27, I added some inbetweens… trying to feel the weight shift and a slight twist n torque.

sac test 02

sac thumb 03

As I’m ruffin’ all these poses out in PAP, I’m remembeing how fun it was sitting in the 8th floor 2d animation lab… taking a “break” from Maya. I’ll be posting these PAP tests soon.

bablings sketchbook

xp crap and a handbag

Since my windows XP crapped out a month ago, I’ve been forced off the square black box and into the real world… of pencils, pens and paper!

prada handbag on train seat

During this time of non-cpu-tinker-maya-ing, I’ve found many a website of amazing illustrators and all things traditionally inspiring (see sidebar links).

As for animation, with ALL the industry news buzzing around the Disney/Pixar deal, things are hopefully looking UP for traditional animation.

(political sidenote…Speaking about NEWS, my take on the violence surrounding the cartoon in the middle east: don’t believe the hype.)

Yes… I’m trying my hand at some 2d digital pencil tests using Plastic Animation Paper. A new version 4.0 Beta just came out along with some new pricing for home users. With cross platform capability, this looks mighty tasty for my mac and resurrected pc.

With Richard Williams and Wayne Gilbert as points of inspiration, I’ll be penciling away on some traditional tests.

Torque-n-Twist study sketch from Wayne’s book

Even though I have been getting “rest” during my AM leave, I’m so looking forward to getting back into the thick of things come April.

What I’ve learned the last month:
1. a clean XP install is nothing to be scared about.
2. a fresh XP can run as smoothly as OSX.
3. traditional animation is making a comeback… at least on my long laundry list of things to do.


The Political Dr. Seuss

political dr. seussAnother wonderful documentary on PBS:

political dr. seuss

The Political Dr. Seuss (#601) Duration: 1:26:46 CC Stereo TVPG
Most Americans don’t know that Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) drew editorial cartoons for a left-wing New York newspaper during World War II. How many of his readers know that “Yertle the Turtle” was modeled on Hitler, or that “Horton Hears a Who!” is a parable about postwar Japan? This film explores a little-known side of Dr. Seuss and his works. By Ron Lamothe.

More links:

NY Metro review

Springfield Library and Museums Association

may offend some viewers

The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities


Inspiration at Sackler

I spent the holiday break in Washington D.C.

We ventured through the Sackler Gallery behind the Smithsonian Castle, and peacefully strolled from room to room.

Of all the galleries on the Mall, this is one my favorites.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2006!


Reserved for Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks seat poster thumbRosa Parks seat poster

Today, Dec 1, marks the 50 year anniversary of Rosa Parks’ act of civil disobedience.

If you happen to ride the bus in San Mateo County, CA today, keep your eye out for the reserved seat poster I did. Let me know if you come across it!

Here’s the official press release.