Restaurant La Cienega

In the last week of July, I finally hung out with Herby, who I haven't seen for more than a year. Herby (It's actually just Herb but I like to call him Herby) is a friend who I got to meet when I was doing real estate. I was panicking during the closing of my first deal and he was kind enough to offer me help and answer whatever questions I had. He wasn't even my mentor or partner but someone in my company. Herby doesn't have that intimidating posture which I find in some business people; instead Herby is very funny and witty and can make instant friends with everybody! Also Herby is a foodie so it can never go wrong when you go eat out with him.

This time he brought us to this Mexican restaurant in Corona, Queens --- Restaurant La Cienega. Herby ordered a tlayudas and some baby tacos for us and I got myself a horchata. 

 Tlayudas, could I say this is Mexican-style pizza?

Tlayudas, could I say this is Mexican-style pizza?

The tylaudas was so delicious. It's mashed red bean spread on crispy-baked tortilla topped with three kinds of meats and fresh lettuce, avocados and tomatoes. It's huge, refreshing and doesn't give me food coma after.

 Herby in Restaurant La Cienega

Herby in Restaurant La Cienega

Herby is from an Italian family and he grew up in this neighborhood, so after the meal he brought me to this amazing Italian Ice which he grew up eating.

 The Lemon Ice King of Corona

The Lemon Ice King of Corona

The Lemon Ice King of Corona has opened for over 60 years and is well-known by the locals. I got a tangerine flavor and Herby got peanut butter. It's very tasty.

I feel so blessed living in Queens where you can enjoy all kinds of food brought by immigrants from all over the world. Asian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, European and so on. You don't need to travel far to get access to all these wonderful and authentic cuisines.

Do you have a favorite ice shop or Mexican restaurant in NYC? Let me know!

Additional info: https://www.cienegalastlayudasdeoaxaca.com

                          http://thelemonicekingofcorona.com

 

Bagelicious!

Earlier this month, my friend T who lives in Ohio now, spontaneously decided to drive to me on a Saturday. T loves fast cars and driving, so he doesn't mind going on a 8-hour trip on his Mustang. 

 T and his Mustang

T and his Mustang

I'm really glad he came over because we haven't talked for half a year. NY life has kept me busy and I haven't got much time to connect with many of my awesome friends.
T is few years younger than me but I always find him smarter. He is a handy constructor with a creative mind. T is also a pretty cool gamer; you could find his channel on YouTube as TREXIBIT.  

So when T came over, he suggested us to go to his old bagel place in East Meadow, Long Island while he still lived in NY. It's called Bagelicious! (The name doesn't come with exclamation mark, lol)

 Outside of Bagelicious

Outside of Bagelicious

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. What's better to start a day with bagel and coffee?

T's favorite is salty bagel with lox cream cheese (literally too salty for me.) He loves it so much that he bought 2 or 3 of the same thing! 

Rye_Bagel_w_Walnut_Raisin_Cream_Cheeze.jpg

Me on the other hand, was craving for something sweet and healthy, so I got a rye bagel with walnut raisin cream cheese. T was judging the appearance of the rye on my bagel so he didn't want to take a bite.

 Inside of Bagelicious

Inside of Bagelicious

I love family-owned business and their bagels are pretty good. I saw there's rainbow bagel on their website. I'll have it in my next visit! 

More info about Babelicious: https://www.bagelicious.com

Do you have a favorite bagel place in NY? Let me know!

The Buffet

On July 4th, I suggested to go to a Chinese buffet in College Point with my brother and two of his friends. Why I like about this buffet is its competitive price and the quality of the food, also, their tasty crabs!

 They chop the crabs in half so it's easier to eat.

They chop the crabs in half so it's easier to eat.

I'm not a huge eater but whenever I come here, I'd binge on eating crabs.

 Inside The Buffet

Inside The Buffet

The restaurant was packed on the holiday. Lots of families came here. The crabs were gone soon.

 The building complex where The Buffet is located

The building complex where The Buffet is located

The building complex includes a hotel, a hot pot restaurant and other shops. It's easier to drive here than taking the public transportation. The lunch here during week days is only $20!

You can find the info of this restaurant at: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-buffet-flushing

Lala's Wedding Portrait

A friend of mine from high school is getting married this month, I couldn't attend her wedding in Taiwan because of my schedule, so I decided to offer her a wedding portrait. The artwork will be at her wedding on behalf of me. Below are the steps from start to finish.

 This is the photo of Lala and her soon-to-be husband =)

This is the photo of Lala and her soon-to-be husband =)

 This is the finished line work based on their photo. Lala wants a longer hair look so I adjusted to her need. It's done with Sakura's fine brush pen. I really love their micron pens and brush pens.

This is the finished line work based on their photo. Lala wants a longer hair look so I adjusted to her need. It's done with Sakura's fine brush pen. I really love their micron pens and brush pens.

 And this is the color sketch. I scanned and transferred the drawing into Procreate then colored it. I love the combination of traditional and digital medium.

And this is the color sketch. I scanned and transferred the drawing into Procreate then colored it. I love the combination of traditional and digital medium.

Above are the added background versions, they chose the one on the right.

Lala Wedding Portrait Final_Web.jpg

And finally, the finished painting/drawing! It's done majorly in ink and acrylic ink, touch of  watercolor and Sharpie's markers on 11"x14" clay board. I love the smooth surface and shiny finish. This is my third time to draw on clay board. I plan to do a lot more in the future.

Vincent van Gogh Loves Dollar Shave Club

This semester we have a fun assignment for our Photoshop class, which is to pick an artwork from an old master and re-dress the person in the painting. I chose one of Vincent van Gogh's self-portrait because I'm always in love with his works and his passion about art (Who isn't I mean?) 

So first of all, this is the original painting:

##_Jamie_Chiang_original.jpg

And then this is my interpretation:

Old Master Dress-Up_web.jpg

So I imagined van Gogh shaving his beard using the razor from Dollar Shave Club. This idea came quickly, I guess it's because I've been watching their commercial on TV and thought it's funny, plus their packaging seems nice. I'm also secretly hoping this work could bring me some advertising jobs!

Below are some screenshots of my work in progress. 

 Always blocking out the big colors first, the details come later.

Always blocking out the big colors first, the details come later.

 I was thinking about icing on the cake when I was painting the foam, lol

I was thinking about icing on the cake when I was painting the foam, lol

Lastly I made a GIF, I hope you enjoy this blog! I like to share my work in progress and see others too!

Vangogh.gif

Recent School Works

After we entered the junior and senior year of college, there's not much of life drawing classes anymore, we focused on illustrating from references. So yesterday was a rare chance we got to draw from models again.

Each sketch is done around 15 mins using white charcoal pencil.

Lastly I want to show you the sketches I did for my oil painting class. I went to a Chinese buffet last weekend to shoot my own pictures. The crabs are delicious.

 From 1 to 4, which one is your favorite? =)

From 1 to 4, which one is your favorite? =)

Above are the reference photos. Hope you enjoy today's blog!

Jen's Wedding Portrait

Over the Winter break, I got to know Jen through our mutual friend Ann. Jen is an interior designer who also lives in Forest Hills (actually just 7 minutes from me!). She commissioned me to do a wedding portrait of her and her husband Peter as a Valentine's Day gift. I was very pleased to work with Jen for her caring personality, appreciation for art and understanding of the commissioned art business.

 The 1st color sketch. Jen wants to have a romantic and fairy-tale like vibe, so I used roses in the background and keep the colors subdued to achieve the tranquil feeling and to avoid the over-excitement. 

The 1st color sketch. Jen wants to have a romantic and fairy-tale like vibe, so I used roses in the background and keep the colors subdued to achieve the tranquil feeling and to avoid the over-excitement. 

 The 2nd and final color sketch. I added the blue and violet colors and changed the pink to orange to have a little contrast.

The 2nd and final color sketch. I added the blue and violet colors and changed the pink to orange to have a little contrast.

IMG_0250.JPG
 Above 2 are the alternative sketches. I tend to do sketches digitally for faster and more convenient changes, but the final is ink washed.

Above 2 are the alternative sketches. I tend to do sketches digitally for faster and more convenient changes, but the final is ink washed.

I enjoy meeting and working with people like-minded and sometimes even become friends with. In a fast-paced world like now, such connections are precious to me.

Sketching at Toast Chat Cafe, Taipei

It's the third day since I came back to Taipei. I'm still fighting the afternoon drowsiness everyday. The key is not to stop moving and doing things, otherwise you'd fall back to sleep. 

Today I'm sketching at this cafe right across my house. It's a cat-friendly cafe. They keep couple of cats in store. The cats would stroll down the aisle freely and jump on your table suddenly while you're sipping your coffee, but everybody loves it.