I decided to do a set of mini interviews with people I’ve interacted with and have extraordinary backgrounds. Many I’ve met via Facebook and many I’ll meet when I attend SDCC for the first time this July. Next up is Denise Vasquez!
Name: Denise Vasquez
Online handle: @DeniseVasquez (Twitter and Instagram)
Sites: https://www.facebook.com/DeniseVasquezartist and http://denisevasquez.tumblr.com
Age: I’m 42 years young! Age is just a reminder of where I’ve been and where I am!
Favorite Cartoon: Clone Wars, South Park, Avengers, Bugs Bunny, Invader Zim, Super Friends, The Amazing Spider Man, Josie And The Pussy Cats…
Favorite Book: Morgan Spurlock’s Book “Comic-Con Episode IV A Fan’s Hope” It is such a great book & my custom Stan Lee “POW” vinyl munny toy is on page 89 with Stan Lee!
Favorite TV Show: Ancient Aliens
Favorite Super Hero: Besides my mom…Wonder Woman
Favorite Movie: It’s really hard for me to pick one: I LOVE ALL Star Wars, Serenity, Tombstone, Almost Famous, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Legend, Back The Future, Old School, Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles…
L: Let’s talk a minute about WO+MEN 4 A CAUSE as it’s a tremendous way to help out with different charities. What inspired you to start it and what cause are you currently promoting?
DV: WO+MEN 4 A CAUSE is a global community that I founded back in 1999. WO+MEN 4 A CAUSE promotes and features different causes that cover topics like peace, healthy living, bullying, abuse, cancer, the environment and lots more! We are a growing community of artists, mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, brothers, sons, and survivors! I constantly strive to make a difference through my experiences, words, music, art, photography, writing, video, film and the theatre. It’s a community anyone can join! Growing up, I always envisioned a place where anyone could go to empower each other by becoming informed and educated by sharing information, and utilizing our knowledge to help those in need. I searched for this place my entire life, and when I didn’t find it, I felt the need to create it! My life inspired me to start it! I have had many obstacles in my life, and I feel these obstacles that I have gotten through are a part of my purpose. Through my personal experiences, I’ve gained courage and also the strength I need to help others who now experience the same challenges. I feel we all have a purpose in this life! I truly believe that my gifts as an artist are a part of my purpose, and everything I have experienced has led me to become the woman I am today. Art and music, being a strong, independent, Latin woman, and having a strong foundation around me, saved my life, my entire life. I’ve dealt with some bullies and abuse in my life! I’ve had many life threatening illnesses over the last 11 years, and the fact that I’m still here tells me I have more to do! I left home when I was 17 years old, and I’ve been living a happy, peaceful life and traveling ever since! I lived in Scotland, London, New York City, The U.S. Virgin Islands and now Hollywood, California. When I lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands, amongst many things lacking in paradise, I noticed the lack of female performers on the music scene, and there were too many amazing female performers not being given the chance to showcase their talents. I also noticed a lack of support with certain schools, and lack of awareness for people in need. I came up with an idea that would help bring awareness, that would showcase great unknown talent, and a way to donate proceeds to help those in need, and bring the community together…WO+MEN 4 A CAUSE was born! I’m always sharing information and promoting causes in the group on facebook & encourage others to do the same. I just wrote an article for the Examiner.com (I am the LA Cultural Events Examiner) about the Art Auction for Princess Leah. WO+MEN 4 A CAUSE group is open so feel free to join.
L: You’ve designed various pieces of art and vinyl toys for the likes of Stan Lee and Conan O’Brien so is there anyone you would like to touch with your art?
DV: When it comes to creating custom vinyl toys of people, I love creating toys of people who inspire me in some way, are popular, or are in the news! I’ve got a long list of people that I plan on creating, but I’ll mention a couple here: Joss Whedon and Giorgio A. Tsoukalos from Ancient Aliens!
L: Since you seem constantly doing something amazingly cool, what kind of projects do you have in the works?
DV: There are a couple of AMAZING projects that I recently worked on, that I’m not at liberty to talk about yet…but announcements will be made SOON! Very excited! And there are some projects that I’ve been negotiating which I don’t want to reveal yet…In the meantime…I’ve been keeping busy acting (check out her IMDB page!), I just wrote a comedic short, working on my 4th album (all of which are available on iTunes), I’m illustrating “Mars Attack” sketch cards for “Topps”, and I’m working on concept sketches for “Daisy Rock Guitars”.
L: Everyone has a science fiction property that means the world to them, be it Star Wars, Back to the Future, or even E.T. What’s yours?
DV: Star Wars!
L: What exactly is “Sketch Card Mania”?
DV: “ Sketch Card Mania” is a book that I co-authored with my man, artist Randy Martinez, for Impact Books. Randy has illustrated well over 10,000 sketch cards for companies like Topps, Rittenhouse, Upper Deck, Breygent Marketing, and 5Finity Productions over the years and he is the reason I got into doing sketch cards. I’ve illustrated hundreds of sketch cards, maybe more than a thousand…I lost count LOL! About a year into doing sketch cards, I started receiving hundreds of emails daily asking me questions like “Who do you contact to do sketch cards?”, “Your personal sketch cards & Randy’s are so cool, how did you make them?” “How do you sell your art?” and I tried to answer ever email that came in, but I couldn’t keep up! I noticed that many of the emails basically had similar questions so I approached Randy with a question: “Has anyone ever written a book about sketch cards?” When he said no, I pitched an idea I had for a book about sketch cards…he loved the idea and added some of his own ideas. Randy then pitched the book to his publishers and they loved it! We wrote a book about something that had never written about. We hit some bumps in the road, like licensing issues with some of the art we wanted to use in the book but we found alternatives to the challenges, and decided to feature original art in the book instead! It took us two years to make it happen, but we did it! “Sketch Card Mania” is the first book of its kind! It gives you a brief description on the history of sketch cards, shows you how to design and construct your own personal sketch card, talks about printing, cutting and mounting your sketch card, explains options for storing, protecting and presenting your sketch cards, techniques on using different mediums and materials, demonstrations on how to draw characters, and the final chapter features my specialty, information on the art of self promotion! The last chapter covers everything from how to build your website, pro tips and interviews with art directors working in the industry, creating a presence and building your network on the internet using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and more! We also covered what you need to be a prepared artist, how to land a sketch card job and what to do once you land one, and shared websites and resources. Randy Martinez and I wanted to share the book with our fellow artists, showcasing a variety of styles, so besides our own artwork, we featured the following amazing artists work throughout the book: Terese Nielsen, Leah Mangue, Nicole Falk, Soni Alcorn-Hender, Ingrid Hardy, Matt Busch, Mark Mchaley, Alex Alderete, Len Bellinger, Jeff Chandler, Luis Diaz, and Jamie Snell. “Sketch Card Mania” is available at “Blick Art Materials”, Amazon, your local bookstore or if you’d like a signed copy with a sketch from Randy and I, you can order it here. We also have a Twitter and Facebook page.
L: I ask this question of everyone, so be honest: If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what position would you want? I know I’d crap my pants….
DV: I’d want to be the ambassador of peace, love, art & soul <3
Many thanks to the lovely Denise for participating! Be sure to check her out on tumblr and Twitter!