Celebrating 5 Years Los Angeles Dance Festival Hits Stride

Marshall Ayers Dance, Performing Arts

The dance scene in Los Angeles is ever changing, but the Los Angeles Dance Festival isn’t going anywhere. Presented by Brockus Project Dance and Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz (TRK) the fifth edition of LADF is here to connect the community to high quality affordable dance concerts. Committed to fostering and promoting the vibrant art of dance that is being created in their hometown they are celebrating their 5th year of raising the visibility of contemporary dance in LA. With both performances and open classes in a festival setting where audiences can enjoy a sampling of the work being created by Los Angeles based choreographers. Companies who perform all over the world are gathered into seven nights of showcases this May at two Venues.
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Two Animators Talk About Careers, Art and Life

Marshall Ayers Animation, Artist Profiles, Career Advice, Visual Arts

Leading parallel lives, animators Will Cuna and Drew Adams met in high school through the Ryman Arts program, but hadn’t caught up with each other for almost 10 years. Both were trained at CalArts and have both gone on to successful careers – one at DreamWorks the other at Disney. Will is originally from the Philippines, but grew up in and around LA. Drew is a native of Southern California and still lives in the area commuting to Glendale to work at DreamWorks. Both have families now and both have weathered the constantly evolving animation industry, but they still retain their love and passion for the art form. The friends met-up with me recently on a warm day over lunch at Pit Fire Pizza in North Hollywood, to catch-up with each other and talk shop. (Full disclosure I have known both these guys since they were in high school as Founding Ex. Director of Ryman Arts.)

2D versus 3D

Will: You had a traditional 2D (two dimensional) background and you were always really passionate about pursuing a classic 2D animation career and now things have turned around to 3D and you’re doing CG (computer generated) animation so you’ve had to change-up your skills and approach. So how do you feel about that?
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Top 4 Skills for Aspiring Artists to Enhance Your Versatility

Hannah Whittenly Career Advice, Getting Started, Visual Arts

The starving artist. It’s as cliché, and so is the “crazy artist” (think Van Gogh and that missing ear). None of these myths need to be the truth about working artists. The fact is that artists can and do make a living with their artistic skills. This is because many of them don’t just think in terms of pencils and paints, but also use digital tools too and have a knack for marketing their creations.

Here are four skills that artists can acquire to help themselves become more versatile and profitable.

1. Multimedia Skills

Many marketing and promotions companies use multimedia skills like video production, animation, and web design to create their promos. And some of the most common commercial jobs that artists get are in multimedia in some capacity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for these jobs will grow by 6% by 2024. Many of these jobs will be in the mobile app and video game production areas.
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Find Your Audience With The Artists’ Platform

Caribay Franke Opportunities, Performing Arts, Visual Arts

Looking for a platform to showcase your creative work? The Artists’ Platform (TAP) has arrived.

Fresh off of its debut showcase, TAP is ready to pick up the momentum with a jam-packed season of dance, music, literature, and visual art. The best part is… you can join in on the action.  As the name suggests, this LA-based company provides a platform for developing creators of all types including both visual and performing arts. So if you’re an artist in need of an audience or a space to showcase your work, TAP is here to help.

The dynamic founding duo behind TAP are Juli Kim and Rose Chan Loui, who both have personal histories with the arts. Juli is a piano instructor and a Korean classical dancer while Rose studied various arts in her youth before starting a career in non-profits. However, it wasn’t until they were raising the next generation of artists that they noticed a huge need for creative opportunities that had previously been overlooked.
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Wildlife Photographer India Bulkeley Is Living the Wild Life

Samantha Jacobs Art, Artist Profiles, Photography, Social Media, Visual Arts

India Bulkeley followed her passion.

Now she is a wildlife photographer living in Kenya, seeking nature’s most candid moments and working the best job in the world. Behind the scenes, she is building her social media following along with her artistic confidence.

India is in Kenya. No, your geography knowledge isn’t wrong. Wildlife photographer and Naibor Camp Manager India Bulkeley is living in Africa to follow her passion, hone her trade, bring awareness to animal endangerment and experience the world of wildlife up close and personal. Packing up and moving across the world after graduating from the University of Southern California, India is indulging her wanderlust and her commitment to become a wildlife photographer in a beautiful place provides unforgettable lessons and moments. While generously sharing her experience living abroad as a wildlife photographer with me, India also offered some advice for aspiring photographers.
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Bridging Art And Mental Health – Painted Brain

Marshall Ayers Student Resources, Visual Arts

Dave Leon, the founder and director of Painted Brain answers some questions for Artzray about the intersection of art, mental health and community. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is driven in his work with Painted Brain by a vision of a world in which mental illness is truly accepted as one more aspect of the beautiful tapestry of difference that binds us together as humans. Painted Brain is focused on bridging the arts and mental health communities.

What is Painted Brain?

Painted Brain is a multifaceted attempt at solving a vexing societal problem, mental illness.  I started this project as a single art group to try to address the most pressing problem facing the young adults I met in the early years of my social work career – isolation.  I could encourage the people I was meeting, individually, to find social outlets, but where?  Mental illness sometimes effects the way a person interacts with others, increasing social isolation. This compounds the kinds of personal doubts and fears that often accompany mental health symptoms. The first art group that later became Painted Brain pulled people together around the commonality of mental illness and creativity, and it has done so ever since.
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Top 10 Best Animated TV Shows From Chuck Sheetz

Christine Griswold Animation, Artist Profiles, Career Advice, Student Resources, Visual Arts

Chuck Sheetz knows a thing or two about careers in animation as an Emmy Award-winning Director of The Simpsons and Professor at UCLA Theater Film and Television. These are his picks for  the top 10 TV shows he thinks young animators should watch and study. Want more animation career advice from Chuck Sheetz? Check out What do UCLA and The Simpsons Have in Common? Chuck Sheetz.

The Simpsons (1989 to present)

The most important prime time animated show ever, rivaled only by The Flintstones in historical significance. There are those who claim that over the years the show went mainstream and lost its edge. I say that the Simpsons became the mainstream because it successfully moved the center of popular culture to an edgier place. No other show has stayed on the air for so long and managed to maintain the level of quality that the Simpsons has (take that, Meet the Press!)

the-simpsons

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Fashion Forward – Photographer Jon Wong

Marshall Ayers Art, Artist Profiles, Visual Arts

Breaking into the LA fashion photography industry takes hard work and focus but Jon Wong is on the move and taking his career to the next level. His compelling portraits and distinct style make him a stand out in a competitive market.

Where are you from?
Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley.

What type of work do you do?
I’m a portrait and fashion photographer. I love capturing real emotion during a portrait session. As I am coming more into myself as an artist, I’m learning to capture real emotion so that’s what I’m aiming to do. As for the fashion side of it, I want to tell a story with the clothes and have it be a part of the story versus just an accessory.

Jon Wong
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8 Things I Learned From Singing In Choir

Christine Griswold Career Advice, Music, Performing Arts

Classic interview question: What class or academic experience do you think best prepared you for your career/life?  Now I’ve had a varied career that’s ranged from post production on feature films, to heading up production at a boutique animation house, to teaching and writing. Yet the answer to the aforementioned question for all of these things is singing in a choir.

1. Responsibility

Joining a choir is like joining any other “team”—everybody counts on you to be prepared and on time, and you need to work the rest of your life around these responsibilities. I’ve sung in choirs since I was in elementary school, and learning this time management skill from such a young age has helped me immeasurably in myriad aspects of my life. Whether it was doing make-up work from missing class while singing in a traveling performance choir in high school, or postponing or foregoing social engagements in order to rehearse or perform, I’ve had lots of practice in learning how to honor a commitment. And this ability has served me well in all aspects of my life.
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