The Infamous PIGMINT ART Blog That Is Just So Pigminty FRESH!

my all-encompassing, super-exciting art/photo blog.

(c)2005-2008 Vanissa W. Chan, all rights reserved.

Friday, September 30, 2005

damn. i don't know if i can handle this cold. damn!

well, yesterday was an interesting day. due to creative incompatibility, i left my job permanently yesterday afternoon. and i came home to a parking ticket (and in NY they are fxxking expensive). and then i cleaned the apartment for a good 4-5 hours.

the bathroom looks brand spanking new, which is nice. but i'm all disoriented. i have a job interview at 2pm. it's in the city. i need to go to the gym and i need to figure out the train system so that i can get there, but i'm too cold. it's so cold here. and when i'm cold, i don't want to do anything.


i miss good weather already. there really hasn't been ONE day that i have been even okay with the weather here. it's either too hot, too humid, or too rainy, windy, and cold. and the skies are gloomy. no wonder the people here are so angry all the time.


i hope the day gets better. i should get off my butt and go work out.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

it is cold and rainy outside and i am reminded of the sacrifice i made to live in New York City. yes, right now i miss the West Coast very much. the West Coast and its clear blue skies, and its everyday, consistent, sunny weather.


and i have a 30 minute walk home after work. argh.

i drove around yesterday. got lost a little. found out that there are no right turns on red in New York. my friend Rik (producer of the rap video) and i went to Astoria, Queens and watched Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. it was good although i was kinda tired. we spent the rest of the day walking around the posh part of williamsburg, eating sicilian pizza slices at anna marie's, drinking expensive coffee and eating top-of-the-line tiramisu at an authentic italian cafe.

a nice day off.

and now i'm here. stuck, being a slave artist for the jews. it's not even really an artist position. more of a whipping boy position. i draw all these things they ask me to draw. i come up with like, 40 different designs. and the lady i work for, she rips them apart, criticizes me, BELITTLES me, and then sends me back to do the designs over again, only to come back later, and as she is renditioning, have her choose an idea or a design or pattern that i'd previously drawn. and then she takes credit for it.

tell me that's not BULLSHIT.

uugghhh. 40 more minutes til freedom. i keep telling myself, it's only a part-time position.

my eyes are tired from going through the jobs on craig's list. craig's list grips at your desperation like no other...i am seriously addicted.
is it possible to make it in NYC as a freelancer?

i've had one freelance job, i'm at my part-time right now, and another freelance job got canceled on me today. and i have a million "possible" jobs lined up.

and i still have my old work place paying me for the next two weeks without working.

am i going to need to get a service job like bartending or serving?

well, i have a ton of assignments.

more later.

H. E.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

my first day in new york

<--a vain shot with my camera phone

my stuff is everywhere in my new apartment. i can't find ANYTHING. i would probably have a neurological overload if someone asked me to locate a fresh pair of underwear because right now, everything is a puzzle. and i hate freaking puzzles.

my first few days of living in New York have been really bizarre, but in an incredibly positive way. the feeling of being a tourist still hasn't gone away yet. i can't believe brooklyn is my home and that i get to wake up to the trains passing by everyday. it's really, really strange. i think it will be like this until i finally get all my shit together and move into my room. with all the people involved in terms of moving in and out of the apartment, i have no idea when this is going to happen. mir and i have had maybe two seconds together since our work schedules are totally different and in totally different parts of town.

well, let me begin with my first day in NYC.

i wake up on monday morning feeling incredibly lazy. the day was meant for low-key activity and newbie kinds of things like finding out where the closest coffee shop is and how far i am from the hipster area of w'burg, and finding a buyer for my car. my roommate boris gets up and asks me, "so, what are you doing today?"

"oh, nothing. i have no plans" (i never do). "what are YOU doing today?"

next thing i know i'm a tag-along photographer for a low-budget rap video and i'm sharing butt-cheek space with a japanese film dude named rio on an apple box jammed in the middle of this white van that has all this film equipment in it. four of us, rio, me, roy (who was driving) and boris (passenger seat) are all intimately and strategically seated in the front of this van.

the day is filled with mcdonald's, networking, very bad, unorganized caravan-ing which eats up about 80% of the time.

we drive all the way to far rockaway, into the projects, to get a "real feel" for the video.

we're filming this really short shot, and as we're wrapping up, there's a dispute between the crew and a belligerent local. he wasn't happy about the artist "exploiting the projects," and asked us to leave.

next thing i know....

a gun goes off and four shots are heard. everyone's running, and somehow, my feet take me to hide behind the van. everyone's at a different stage of panic. some people are freaking out, screaming, crying, on the phone calling 911, others are taking off in their vehicles (without everyone else). in my head there's a struggle about reality -- what's happening? were those firecrackers or are we really being shot at? is someone going to get hurt? are they going to shoot again? i end up jumping into a car with a couple of friends and we take off. all of us are thinking, "this isn't worth what i'm getting paid!!!"

the cops end up arriving and rather than really doing anything about it, advised that "we should leave."

the rest of the day, while not going very smoothly, was a lot more enjoyable and a whole lot less dramatic. we ended up in somebody's mansion in long island (a family connected to the artist) and shooting inside and outside the house. i was crippled because i'd misplaced my digital camera back at the apartment so all i had with me was my manual camera. i shot about 50 pictures on set, and just laid back and observed and got to know people. working on film is great! i never knew it could be so fun. especially after the whole "near-death" experience, everyone felt like family after awhile.

boris and i didn't crash back at the apartment til like 5am. and i had to get up in three hours for my new product design job.

and THAT's a whole different story which i'll have to leave for another post. i've discovered a Gold's Gym in brooklyn, and i'm about to jump on the G train to get to it.

happy entrails and don't get SHOT,


my lovely, memorable (although, my memory is failing me on the details...) last night in the burg. ahh, what a lovely way to go.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

a genuine farewell

<-- to your left - my famous moment in the Inside Out, Roanoke Times, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005.

i'm sitting here at the Easy Chair coffee shop, devouring my egg & cheese sammich, hoping that some food in my stomach and some strong brew of a coffee will reduce the pains of a really bad hangover, and i'm overcome with nostalgia and gratitude.

the signing went incredibly well. i got in at 630pm or so and came into this huge display for me. it was so nice!!! Russell put to good use my illustrations and had my books all on display.

i was really touched by all the folks that came in, in particular my kids who i teach art to (some really talented kids..can't wait to see what they come up with as they get older), my middle school art teacher, the delightful Ms. Olin, family friends who i hadn't been in touch with but saw my article in the paper, my professor/mentor-for-life/dear friend, Dr. Joe Germana, my college friends who drove in from Northern Virginia and Maryland just to show their support, a childhood friend who i've known since i was 8, and all my friends, co-workers, old and new, who gave me their word that they would be there, and followed through. seriously, i know there are good people in the world, but to find such great people all in one area just makes me in awe. thank you everyone!!!

so now i must leave and embark on the dread that is New York City. and i have, again, returned to being a live, headless chicken. only i'm hungover and lazy. i'm on my way, slowly, to getting out of here. i'm not in a rush. miriam is already at the apartment, settling in, and i am just reluctant to leave blacksburg. i have to admit it, i'm going to miss this place. to think that i've lived here for 15 years of my life just seems crazy....and to still love it so much, and to think that there is still so much more of it to see.

after the signing last night, i celebrated my "goodbye" with friends at my favorite pub, the underground. i ended up bumping into these kids i'd known all my life - kids i used to babysit, play soccer with in my backyard with my dad and my sister, go to swimmeets see them all grown up and healthy and doing well -- it was amazing. it was so proper to bump into all of them too, being it was my last night on the town for awhile.

i took some crazy pictures, too...which i will be photoblogging shortly.

well. good times, good times. i have a lot of good memories to run through my head on the road to New York. i think they'll last me a good while.

thanks, Blacksburg. see you soon.

happy entrails,

Friday, September 23, 2005

adam, thank you

in all of this madness, i forgot to compliment and thank with complete gratitude, adam, my friend and interviewer for the roanoke times. the piece made me laugh, to be honest, as it reminded me of the great chemistry between the two of us, and of course, that raspy voice of his. comparing me to a, "feverish ant" was icing on the cake, and just how involved the interview got...

i feel like i'm all over the place in the interview, but i guess that's how i am =P. it was much, much worse in realtime, and i only pity adam for having to wade through all the bullshit in order to link together the piece with the pressure of making ME sound coherent. i don't know how possible that is, but from what friends have said about the article, they got it and liked it a lot.

i do have friends making fun of my crossed-eyes and red face in the pictures, but that's not really anyone's fault except for God's, and the ricockulous dispositions He put upon me. asshole.

anyway, thank you again, to my friend adam, who i sadly will have to part from, like blacksburg, much too soon.


well again, it is 4am, and i am UP, which is not good, of course, but i have so many obligations tomorrow, and i am not close to finishing.

i can't believe i'm going to be in new york this weekend.

work today was relaxing for a change. normally i'm trying to calm down my kids, who, after being released from school, tend to favor unruly behavior. usually i am sleep-deprived (or, in unmentionable worse states) and angry or cranky and in need of coffee. but today they were really calm and inquisitive of my future plans in the big city.

before i knew it, about three kids and i were engulfed in drawing silly cartoons on the dry erase board, adding/subtracting eyeballs, noses, and gas-suggestive illustrations. it was great, and then we got busted by my boss (we were just making too much noise). all too often, i get in trouble WITH the kids. hmm.

how did i end up making this a more personal blog again? i thought i wasn't going to do that this time. =P.

UGH. tomorrow. STRESSSSS.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

bad photography.

okay, this will not be the first time i say this, but my life is really weird (or maybe it's just me). i got home tonight and found a few packages in the mail that i'd been waiting for. so one of these packages included some black & whites i'd recently sent off to get developed for some clients of mine, and i'd thrown in an old B&W roll from years ago that never got developed.

so i open the package and all of a sudden i'm in the middle of my senior year at virginia tech with my bestfriend and our ex-boyfriends, hanging out in my dorm room. and i'm taken back to la jolla, mission beach, and santa barbara, a few places my bestfriend and i stopped on our first california roadtrip together after we'd graduated from tech.

the night gets exceedingly more absurd.

so if you read the last post, you will have noticed that i have my cracked-out neurotic moments. well, since the whole "wednesday, sept 21" thing on the Inside Out confused the crap out of me, i decided that i had to drive into town and find myself a copy of wednesday's paper to make sure i hadn't missed my own article in the paper.

so here i am, parked outside foodlion, going through my purse, trying to find my wallet for change to put into the newstand.

and i can't find my wallet. in fact, i realize at that moment that i'd left it at home. i'm slightly incensed at this point (because it's a quarter til four in the morning), and i continue to tear up the rest of my car for change, until i notice headlights behind me.

it's the newspaper guy. so, instinctually, i jump out of my car and go up to him and ask him, " that uh, today's paper?" the dude is super nice and let's me look through it. like the hugest dork in the world, i go through it and see my face, and say, "oh well, heh, there i am!"


so i buy a few off of him and now here i am, with my night completely shot. God, i'm an idiot. i used to publish all the time in the Collegiate Times and now i am full of energy from being published in the local paper. well, hey, it is in color.

but i'm sure i'm going to have to respond to a few inquiring-are-you-gay-or-straight stares at my signing which is rather annoying. (i'm not gay! but my friends are.) i also have to apologize to my friend because that really wasn't meant for..heh, um, public forum...i don't think she'll be mad, .. she might actually like that. guess we'll have to see.

so in those photos that arrived in the mail that had me down on a trip through memory lane -- yeah. terrible photos, which i took. black and white really doesn't capture the small-ranged versatility of the beach.

it's always interesting to look at old work. there's always some kind of alienation you go through....and that was really only a couple years ago.

happy entrails.

oh shit

well, they spelled my name wrong at the top (dammit, well, bound to happen), and now i'm confused..i thought the IO came out...thursday? i hope i didn't miss out on the paper version.

anyhow, the paper people chose, OF ALL THE FREAKING MILLIONS OF DRAWINGS I GAVE THEM, the lesbian tattoo i did for a friend. NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH BEING GAY, but i just wonder how many people are going to peg me a lesbian now.

i can just see it now, at the blacksburg high reunion which i will more than likely fail to go to (unless i'm FAMOUS! then i'll send a few representatives and show up in my private helicopter with some badass bodyguards, heh), people talking about the unusual number of gay women that popped out from our class, "oh yeah, did you guys know that Vanissa came out too? yeah it was a couple years ago...go figure, she was always into sports, didn't date in high school and was all artsy and stuff..."

ah, well, worse things have happened.

anyway, so now i'm wondering if i should go out in the dark of the night and find some of yesterday's copies of the Inside Out because on the top it says, "Wednesday, Sept. 21."

can anyone help me here?!!

and i was going to have a calm-collected-contemplative-early-morning-intellectual-bullshit-post too, CRAP!!!

okay, i've just come home to too many surprises. there is no chance in hell i am going to sleep tonight. i have too much work to do. AAAUUUGGGHHH

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

free parking kicks a**!

hello. i'm typing from Easy Chair Coffee. i'm giddy with strange nervousness right
now. i'm not sure what it is. excitement for New York, the booksigning, all this crap that is happening AT THE SAME DAMN TIME.....

or maybe i have butterflies in my stomach because i know i am going to the gym in about ten minutes and i'm going to run my booty off after not having been serious about any workout (a rarity for me) for about 3 or 4 months.

well, one thing is for sure, tomorrow is Thursday and i'm nervous because my mug is going to be in the paper tomorrow, and i'm scared that they're using the pictures i *didn't particularly like of myself*. i hope that's not the case. the one that i'm posting here is the one i hope they use (please please please). this is a little be in the paper. a little strange, but it is an interesting contrast to what i'll be feeling when i'm as valuable as the dogshit on the sidewalk by my apartment building.

i just keep thinking to myself, rooftop parties at my complex, network, network, space, walking around with a tie and not being mistaken for a little chinese boy.......or feeling like the only asian within my vicinity.

my agent told me yesterday how you just can't let the overwhelming intimidation of the city eat you up, because if you let it, you'll just lose and weeks will go by and nothing will be done.

for this reason alone, i am terrified.

on a positive note, the personal life that had plunged and caved in last week has taken a detour, which could also partly account for my particularly peppy attitude.


tomorrow is my last art class with my kids at my job. and i'm giving away free cartoons.

and get this - i remembered what i was going to blog about earlier. it was that my meter was out of order this morning down by bollo's cafe and i got to park downtown FOR FREE! yes, i know, that is retarded and the kind of retardedness that shouldn't even be blogged about. but i laugh at myself, so that's what matters.

happy entrails,

floaties on! everything's fine. please smack me aside the head.

so driving towards christiansburg last night to pick up fresh new copies of the revised version of Romance 101, it occurred to me how bad my memory is because i was thinking about this really great thing to blog about, and how i often come upon these totally blog-worthy moments and never blog them because i forget...for example, the thing i was thinking about was totally bloggable - i mean, complete geniusness, and now i have already forgotten.

are you confused? i am.

do you realize how cursed a short memory is?!!! it's tragic in a memento kind of way.

i have a really bad memory, apparently.

so if you're ever in a conversation with me, and i tell you something i have already told you, please don't be offended. it has nothing to do with you. although, if you smack me aside the head, maybe i'll remember. if everyone were to smack me aside the head every time i had a memory fart like that, think of the conditioning that it would put me through! then my genius ideas could be released into fruition through blogging, and my geniusness would finally be recognized and i would no longer offend or annoy any of my friends because i keep repeating these stories about my life!

oh yes, i remember now. no wait, i don't. was it my love for mega m&m's i wanted to express? or baked, i already talked about those. the fact that i need new running shoes, the gym membership i never use.....dammit, it's's's.....vaporized into thin air. DAMMIT!!!!!!

something has come back. i think i wanted to express drooling over the new drawing pens at mish mish - refillable, the nibs are replaceable...(is that how you spell replaceable?!!?), and they're made out of some really light metal and have this really cool touch to it. aaahhhh FANTASTIC ART PENS aaahhhhhh. was that it? that wasn't so brilliant! someone please smack me aside the head.

anyway. there is 1 bid on my car on ebay. 4 days left. there better be more bids.

kids, let this be a lesson for you. don't do crack.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

love ****ing sucks and i'm selling my car

well, i'm leaving the burg in a week and i'm getting a little weepy over it. i've ignored all my friends for the past week, working my arse off and tying up all the loose ends i have in this town.

needless to say, i'm going to miss blacksburg.

my personal life has taken this like, head-on collision, and i'm forced to push it all into the backseat of my car, and sell my car with all that baggage in it. would you like to have it? here it is:

bid away.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

the best stuff since nescafe.

yeah i'm going to start doing titles now. anyway, .. oMIGOODNESS i have amazing news!!! well, i discovered baked cheetos today, so yes, that is excellent news, but that's not just it...

i'm going to be in the Roanoke Times next week!!! AAUUGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh

ok, if this isn't straight up masturbation, then, i don't know what it is.

i'm sorry. i'm overly excited, and i can't contain it. roanoke times is serious stuff. it's not the CT or anything (no offense...). it's the ROANOKE TIMES!!! AAAUUUGGGHHH this is eye-gauging MADNESS!!!

okay, now that i've calmed, i must thank mr. adam monroe. because he is my *in* to this new world of vanissa-in-print, and i want to thank you thank you thank you.

the above picture is a love picture i drew for him this summer, while overcaffeinated at bollo's late at night.

so this post is to you, adam. thank you.

oh yes. since we're on the topic of publication...

i forgot to mention (oops) that i am featured in Christine Forte's underground art & culture 'zine, TEXT. you can find these cute and colorful 'zines at Bollo's or Mill Mountain.

and my thanks to Christine, too.

my head is going to be just big enough to survive it's transformation back to puny-ness when i move to brooklyn.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

so i have returned to the 'burg after a long weekend in the big apple and i am super-super pooped. the good news is, while i'm currently being ridiculously lazy on this awesome vintage lazy boy provided by the lovely easy chair coffee shop, i did accomplish quite a bit this weekend (despite all the self-destructive partying that may or may not have taken place).

so, as the picture says, "ep asi," a cropped version of, "step aside," from the NY subway station, because i'm moving to new york!

i interviewed yesterday in brooklyn for a part-time designer position, and GOT IT! so, i am one-step closer to being less financially unstable. yay.

as for updates on anything pigmint art related, well, hmm....there really isn't a whole lot, other than people requesting copies of my boxed collection of 100 cartoons. that, and i'm coming out with a resized version of Romance 101 (smaller, to reduce costs), which i think will have a new cover.

so that's kind of exciting.

be there or be square - 7pm, friday, sept. 23rd....romance 101 booksigning.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Things have been hectic, and that's an understatement by far. I am packing my bags tonight and moving over 50% of my belongings to Brooklyn tomorrow. I am trying to sell my car (please click here if you're interested), apply for jobs (in the areas of art, counseling, and restaurants), scrape up money for rent (my largest challenge and headache), organize the rest of my move, send out manuscripts & cover letters to literary agents and publishing houses, and complete a few commissioned pieces and projects...all by the end of this month.

I am basically no different from a live, angry, headless chicken.


This is great news. Easy Chair Bookstore is hosting a booksigning for Romance 101 at 7pm on Friday, September 23rd, at their store on N. Main Street. I am thrilled, excited, peeing in my pants, etc. If things work out right, it will be a perfect exit out of Blacksburg, and help me boost my confidence for the anonymous, insignificant, existential feel of New York City.

It will be the reason I don't curl up and die from discouragement when times get tough up there because no one will notice my work.

On that note, I hope all of you Blacksburgian locals can make it out that night, even if you already have my book or don't have the money to buy one (or simply do not want one), just to say goodbye. I would really like that. It would be really nice. I'll even sign body parts.