Posts Tagged painting

Wednesday Guest Blogger: Freelance Illustrator & Figure Athlete, Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez

Creative entrepreneur, freelance illustrator, creative director, lifestyle and business coach, personal trainer and amateur figure athlete, Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez

Phew, that was a long title! But I’ve got to cover it all with this busy and talented lady. Alejandra pretty much does it all –  so of course I had to feature her as this week’s guest blogger! Ale is another ol’ Sheridan pal, and I have always admired her whimsical illustration work. I noticed recently that she had taken a new creative path, however… all these photos of her stunning bod, which is a masterpiece of it’s own, kept popping up in my Facebook feed! And I was like, WHO THE HECK – OMG IT’S ALE!!! I couldn’t help be inspired by her incredible new feat – and her ability to mange both illustration and a fitness career, is really just remarkable. You know how I love awesomely motivated and dedicated ladies! I’m excited to share her beautiful work – both on canvas and her physical self. Enjoy 🙂

nerdbiskit: So, what’s the story? Who are you, and what do you do? How did it all start? Short bio!

Ale: Long story short: my real name is Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez (which not a lot of people can pronounce properly), I am originally from Mexico City and I lift heavy weights and art brushes.

It all started when I was born into a family with an overdeveloped artistic talent on my mother’s side, and an array of outstanding physical abilities on my fathers side. Arising from this unnatural combination of traits I’ve had to develop a split personality in order to nurture both sides of my brain.

In 2003 I came to Canada to study art as a business practice and graduated from the Bachelor of Applied Arts Illustration from Sheridan College. Since then, my life has been defined by continuous change where the only constants have been art and fitness. I started exploring the corporate world of art and design where I had a couple of very bad work experiences. These resulted in a very dark period in my life where I became overweight and depressed. I will always be thankful to the person that decided to see my true beauty and propose me to do my first fitness show, because thanks to her I am where I am right now.

I am currently exploring the corporate world of fitness working as a full time personal trainer and running my illustration freelance business part-time. Interestingly the more success I have as a personal trainer, the better I do at my art business as well.

Even though I am originally from Mexico I do not like tequila, I do not like Salsa dancing and no, and trust me, I do not miss the heat.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Ale: I do what I do, because I do not imagine any other way of living my life. I refuse to do things that I don’t like or that I do not feel passionate about and I refuse to die with regrets.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: What’s unique about you and what you do? What sets you apart from the pack?

Ale: What is unique about me is the fact that I have to live two separate lives (although not a lot of people know about this), like I said before in one life I literally kick people’s butts all day long as a personal trainer and act as an amateur figure fitness model, all this with a big sociable smile on my face and on the other life I am a true antisocial hermit where I sit for long lonely hours in my art studio weaving dreams and materials to bring into this world things that only exist in my mind.

When I say “I have to live to separate lives” I mean it. I have tried to give up one or the other and I always end up in heart break. It’s like being in love with two people and not able to decide for one or the other.

At some points in my life one takes precedence over the other, but both have to be a part of my life in one way or the other.

nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Ale: I am inspired by the mysticism and humour of mexican art. I approach art through the innocent and naive eyes of a child who marvels from fantastic details that adults typically overlook.

My current favourite artists are Nicoletta Ceccoli, Joe Vaux, Dave McKean and Alyssa DeVille.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: What are some of your favourite things? (To do, to eat, to think about, etc.)

Ale: My favourite things to do are causing myself serious pain by lifting heavy weights and preparing for 6 months for Figure Shows where I am only 6 minutes on stage. I love food above everything else, and by this I truly mean everything else, including sex, but I also give it up when I am preparing for fitness shows. Among my favourites are peperoni pizza, all you can eat sushi, and towers of husband-made pancakes topped with bacon.

I love to make To-Do lists, half of which never get done, love the idea of books more than reading them and love Apocalyptic movies and tv series.

And of course my most favourite thing/person in the whole world is my HUSBAND, just thought it was about time he knew this, hahaha

nerdbiskit: How do you know Lisa Bell of nerdbiskit? Do you think her mustache obsession is a little ridiculous?

Ale: Went to school with her, she caught my attention when I noticed she was a little strange. She had a doll-like beauty to her and her sense of style definitely set her apart from the crowd. I also noticed that her strangeness later developed into obsessive mustache behavior, which I have been secretly following through her social media. I also thought it was fair for her to know this by now, hehe

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up!

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Guest Blogger: Freelance Illlustrator & Motion Designer, Miss Hyein Lee

Freelance Illustrator & Motion Designer, Hyein Lee

Head shot by Andy Zeng, 2012

Hyein Lee. What can I say? She is one of those people that are so interesting, cool, and unique that you are nervous to even approach them. She is extremely fashionable, has an amazing personality – and also has incredible talent. She is one of those people that everyone just adores, and after she leaves a room, people turn to each other and say, THAT GIRL IS SO FREAKIN’ COOL. I have always been in awe of her and her work. It’s cute how she answers the “what’s unique about you?” question below so modestly, since she’s pretty much the most unique person I have ever met! (Well, I’ve met some “unique” in a weird or bad way type people, but she’s a unique in an AWESOME way kind of person.) Anyway, her responses to my interview questions are short and sweet and perfect and leave you wanting more – sort of exactly like her! She’s not really that short I guess. Maybe I’m just really tall…. Hopefully she will invite me to tea again soon so I can have the chance to sit near her, maybe I will soak up some of her awesomeness! Enjoy! xoxox

nerdbiskit: So, what’s the story? Who are you, and what do you do? How did it all start? Short bio!

Hyein: My name is Hyein. I grew up in Korea, now live in Toronto. I’m a freelance illustrator and motion designer. I am also an educator. I used to be an engineer many years ago. Back then, I thought if I get hit by a truck tomorrow, I’d regret not pursuing art, so I went back to school for illustration and just finished my master’s. I’m very poor compared to my engineering friends, but I’m happy. A lot of my dreams have been coming true these days, things like speaking at Pictoplasma festival in Berlin (watch it here). I’m fortunate for all the opportunities I get, and I feel like I don’t deserve them.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

HyeinI have to. I feel miserable without working. I think I’m a bit of a workaholic.


nerdbiskit: What’s unique about you and what you do? What sets you apart from the pack?

Hyein: I am still working on being unique. It is very hard because an idea is universal and I get influenced by other art that’s out there. I have to work even harder to be set apart from the pack.


nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

HyeinTravelling is a huge inspiration for me. I grow as an artist everytime I go abroad. I’ve just been to Berlin last month for an exhibition, and came back freshly inspired.

Reading also is very important. I often get ideas from books and short stories I read.

It sounds sad, but deadlines are also an inspiration. Whenever I have no idea what to do, if there is a deadline looming over my head, something comes out.

Lastly, my artist friends inspire me a lot too.

nerdbiskit: What are some of your favourite things? (To do, to eat, to think about, etc.)

HyeinLet’s list it.
Food – Ethiopian food is one of my favourites. M & B Yummy and Nazareth are really great. I also love Green’s Vegetarian in China town.
Drinks – London Fog and Red Velvet tea soy latte. I like hanging out at Cafe Pamenar.
Desserts – Delight chocolatier makes this awesome dairy free chocolate coconut icecream. Heavenly.
Reading – Science fiction! I love books like Engine Summer, Spin, Road, Oryx and Crake and Ender’s Game.
Shopping – A Korean website, www.buyanne.co.kr has beautiful clothes. I look at their daily updates. They don’t ship overseas nor accept foreign credit cards, so I can’t buy anything. It’s good because I don’t spend money.
Sitting – I like sitting around at Trinity Bellwoods Park and Christie Pits.
Moving – Ping pong and swimming at salt water pool.

nerdbiskit: How do you know Lisa Bell of nerdbiskit? Do you think her mustache obsession is a little ridiculous?

HyeinI met Lisa at college. She had such original style and I always wanted to be friends with her. I was too shy to talk to her. She’s was such a cool punky girl back then. Now she’s a hot pin-up looking lady and I want to be like her. 😀

Mustache obsession is a little ridiculous indeed! But Lisa can trim my mustachio any day.

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up! Definitely make sure you check out some of Hyein’s videos, they are AMAZING. Beyond amazing…. just watch them, you’ll see. Trust me.

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