A Natural Disaster

Today, I wrote out a poem…yes, I was a very angsty person since I started high school way back when. Obviously I am in my late 20s now and haven’t tapped into that side of me in a very long time. Certainly my view has changed and shifted towards a more outer perspective rather than looking inwards as my 15 year old self did.

My poem reflects how I felt for a while now which is being powerless. I designed a 5.5 in by 5.5 in postcard to print out and stick’em into as many coffee shops as I can. Hopefully I can spread the word because its not only a humanitarian issue its been an environmental issue.

Below is the back of my postcard: llamaBLOG

*watermarked, so if you are having difficulty in reading it pick one up at a your local Starbucks 😉 (exclusive to NJ/NY based peeps though) ***still got to print them out XD


Before I woke up so inspired to do this I was googling where I can donate and could not find anything but this:


Which is being organized by Laura Luque, an acting Medical Director for Meraki Peru NGO.

As you have already guessed this is my parents country, my country. I was not born there but I have family ties there and my ancestral roots come from here!

Let’s help one another. I’m not only talking about Peru but all the other countries out there that have been heavily affected by natural disaster, warfare or political catastrophes.

Do your research and donate or if you can’t donate for whatever your reasons are you can certainly bring awareness by exercising whatever you’re skills and do some good with it!

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment below!

Till next blog!



Don’t Read Me

I usually don’t state my opinion on political manners because I let my actions, for those that are dear and close to me know this, to speak for themselves. Given the social stressful political events that have occurred thus far; I realized there are a lot of berating going on between two opposing sides. Whether right or wrong there is no black and white answer.


It is rather very grey and often muddled because what everyone seems to be doing is belittling and pointing the finger at the ‘antagonist’ of this story. Which gets no concrete answer or even a retaliation from said antagonist. What is being received is a massive assurance that this is why there should be change, a radical change.

handshake-2009195_1920What people need to stop doing is insulting/pointing the finger at a past that cannot be changed and instead rally against what could be solved now. That is banding together and not separating “them” from “us.” We should be striving to push each and every one  of us forward. Rather than being indifferent to those that oppose our views (whatever it may be on: religion, abortion, LGBT rights etc.) is to leave an open dialogue. Eradicate your judgement that labels them in the category of “do not speak to them because they don’t see how I look at the world” group in your mind. Look at it instead, as a potential mind you can one day hope to make them see the world differently which is far more rewarding then exiling them completely. Help unfold their blindfolds, don’t tie it tighter by labels and insults.

Much love and peace!

Take your broken heart and make it into art -Carrie Fisher

Vote for Lemons

lemonsSleepless nights and countless unanswered emails are a part of my daily design life. But nothing is more gratifying than cashing in that bi-weekly check. I smile at first and then realize that half of my earnings will go to bills.

Sucks, but life reminds me of the bitter and tanginess of when it hands me lemons.

Here is what I observed:

1. It’s paper MONEY

As a designer, a good investment is in learning new techniques for Photoshop that make retouching photos (products & models) much simpler.

*Which equals a happy, headache free Sandy. No one wants the beast released!

I invest money in what will bring me income, i.e: paying my domain and updating my portfolio and resume periodically.

Taking care of my health (specially my precious hands, eyes, back and neck) by exercising and using eyedrops to lubricate my dry eyes. Screen time on my computer kills the watery-ness of my eyeballs.

That’s a EURO….

2. Thanks but no thanks

I hate overworking myself on redesigning an email or instagram post creative that’s due… tomorrow.

*I breathe and I get around to it slowly. I don’t rush, I take my time to make the final prefect so when I send over a screenshot for approval, I won’t need to change it x-amount of times.

Use to believe I was an octopus and do it all but there are always last minute location, date and name changes. So I realized that I stressed myself for no reason.

*Believe me when I say, it’s worth it! 

3. No money, No work

If I want to reap the rewards from the fruit of my labor I strictly ignore doing design for free. That includes trials.

I made plenty of mistakes along the way but I remind myself, my time and anyone else’s time for that matter, is far too valuable to be wasted on petty favors.

That being said, I ignore discussing projects without a plan. Meaning if a potential client does not know what direction to go with a creative endeavor how can I base a price on that?

Believe me, don’t get sucked in! It is a trap. You’ll be giving them FREE ideas that they will run off to with another designer.

And you can sing BYE BYE food money.


4. Music frees the Soul

It seems like a lie but I have been so self observed in other matters of my life, I have neglected winding down to some good tunes.

Sounds crazy, but listening to good music lends itself to inspirational kick ass design ideas.

Recently I’ve been listening to the Four Seasons and have been unbelievably moved to make some art inspired by the 60s.

*More on that later as I will post to my website: sandyasto.com

*So feed that inner angst high school side of yours. I was a very angry pent up teenager with hurt, dissatisfied and disappointed feelings back in those days and it aspired for creative flow.

Being angry especially pushed me to do my best work.


I trust my talents to get me far. I don’t let the negative numbers of unemployment get me depressed. If anything this situation lends itself for new ground breaking development that gets me so pumped and feeling on edge to be exact.

I love helping others and if you do too how can anyone lose?

The end game is the same as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I believe said via his twitter long ago, or was it a meme? Anyway we all end up in the same place, a coffin.

As morbid as it is, I shrug at it. It’s the truest thing anyone will ever tell you.

Digest it slowly and let it sit down on your belly….it’ll pass right through your digestive system.


5 Things


This man above, is not only down to earth but humble and incredibly honest about having stage fright.  Crazy, no? I found it to be so cool that he admitted this but yet before my very eyes was conquering it at that exact moment.

I’ll be honest with you guys, I suffered stage fright myself. But who wouldn’t when having to read in front of a class, you know?

What was shocking to me, is his career revolves around entertaining and impressing people. That’s a whole new level of conquering your fear. Basically trumping fear!

He touched upon education, career, backup plans, success and closed with the meaning of life of all things.

Fair warning, loosely quoting. Since I couldn’t really record with my horrible iPhone:

Education– “There are ‘hidden’ opportunities but they are out there, you just gotta look for it”

Career– ” Both of my parents are teachers and I wanted to be an actor.”

Backup plans– “Your backup plan, whatever it may be, can help your front plan or vise verse”

(Fun Fact: He’s was anthropology!)

Success– ” I don’t single any one project as an achievement even in being able to star in Batman vs Superman because I just keep working. So I don’t dwell on it.”

Meaning of life– ” I don’t judge and make assumptions about people. Look at you and care about you.”

I know you guys might ask this,

Did he answer where he got he’s inspiration to be able to play the most infamous Lex Luther for the upcoming Batman Vs Superman movie? Well, yes he did!

His answer, loosely quoting here by the way, but it went something like this:

“I couldn’t find any real information about the guy but just very generic characteristics, so I had to dig deep. When I did, I found myself thinking about working under someone that in no way is fair, almost unjust that they be in charge because of the power he possesses. It’s that feeling I found when working with a boss. Why should I be below him?”

Well said Mr. Eisenberg that’s my feeling when designing for the ‘man’ or ‘woman’ for that matter. XD

Sad but true.

It is stellar advice though for all designers, talented and passionate.

Keep working and do something with your back up! Mine is writing and here I am typing. 🙂

What’s yours? Leave a comment down below with your answer!

Much love.


Lemme tell you guys about the heart break I’ve been through. My heart is literally shattered by how good the promo for Victor Frankenstein’s preview left me. It stars two of my most favorite influential people, James McAvoy aka Wheels ( X-men fans should get this reference) and Dan Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself. This movie is up my alley of cool, mysterious thrillers that I absolutely love.

I’m just shocked that they worked together as master and servant. XD

If you guys haven’t checked it out yet, go look at it, comment and share the heck out of this trailer! Warning you guys, you will die at how good it is.


Anywho, now this is where design kicks in. As you guys already know and I’ve talked about them, the people over at Talenthouse have creative invites and dun dun dun! You’ve guessed it.

They posted not to long ago, for 20th century Fox is calling all artistic peeps to create your own creation. Ha! see what I did there XD

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 5.54.16 PM

Watching the trailer is the only way you’ll get inspired and won’t have a chose but to participate! 17 days guys!

Some art to get your mind rolling!

colors,illustration,art,artwork,cartoon,collage-cd07caa3c420d8ca2c351194c4ca83a6_h      tumblr_mwimgwqSe91rufl9ro1_1280

Much Love.

Like A Sponge

Don’t step on toes and don’t cross the line. Never truer words were spoken. It down write sucks feeling that day in and day out you have to take orders from someone by age default.

Before people start rallying up for agism, let me finish.  Is it weird that when I see an about 40 year old man taking orders from a 24 year old I kinda feel bad? I always wondered how does he feel?

Does he feel content with his job? Does he mind taking directions and orders from his boss (24 year old)? Did he see himself doing this for a living, waiting on tables and cleaning up after people are their done eating?

What I see is a hard working man that has nothing to complain about because he is employed. I saw it in his manner and demeanor. Maybe for him taking orders is just a constant reminder of how fortunate he is to have pension to save for future endeavors. Who knows maybe he’s saving for that trip to Greece!?

I don’t know, for me it’s all about the title that gives you the illusion of power.

Manager. Commander. Supervisor. Assistent Manager.

That word “assistant” is such a B.S word. Like when do you become the teacher or manager without that preceding word? Till he/she dies?!

And what exactly are you doing as an assistant, besides making the real person’s job life easier? This is what I mean. If your blood is boiling right now, good!

You’ll notice when climbing up the job ladder you’re workload becomes less and less.

Does age in this metaphorical ladder apply as well?

Now instead of looking at age why don’t we just treat each other equally? Also, why not get rid of these demeaning titles that separate us from the other people that are exactly the same as everybody else?

Ugh there’s really no filter I mean its just stressful.

But it’s not like I don’t like giving orders, I do! I do like feeling in charge of my design, my vision. Personally I hate taking orders that are given in a condescending manner, except to my sister XD.

I want to be in charge of my own creativity, I know you guys do too. We gotta work together and collaborate not act like we are above anyone else.

Have a problem? Talk it out.

At the end of the day your working with your co-workers as a team of creative heads.

Bottom line designs will clash in the work environment. Unavoidable. Do yourself a favor to this career path of being a designer and just keep racking up new things to your skill set. I bounce off ideas all the time with my co-worker and learn new quick and easy shortcuts that are the most part I didn’t pick up at school.

It’s a dance, is what I’m trying to say. You gotta take turns in taking charge.

What I do and like that nice waiter I mentioned, is absorb it like a sponge and harvest that negative energy into a positive fresh new out look on yourself as a designer.

Do yourself a favor and add new things to your skill set.

Comment down below if you agree or disagree. XD

Much Love.

Watch Your Step

Ever wonder how time flies when you’re having fun? NO, no one ever thinks that when there are deadlines to be met. The exact opposite happens and before you know it where are the mock ups?!

I’m not going to lie to you guys but clients go for super affordable designers and in this day and age where everything is fast paced and incredibly overwhelming with graphics thrown at you from every crevice of the universe you got no other option but to adapt and fast!

No fear fellow friends! I got some tips to die for ( going for that spooky Halloween thingy, don’t know if you guys caught that …

SO rule number one: write them instructions down. Colors be flying your way and I mean the numbers to these specific color scheme the company you are working for may have. Definitely remember these! This cuts your working time in half. What I strongly suggest is to write it down on a post-it note and slap it on that laptop!

Next, DETAILS!  Remember always ask specific questions to make your design structure super sound and secure. Leave no room for error. Give more then one option or a variation of what you already have. Sometimes less is, always almost all the time, more!

Laptop on the go? Head over to your local cafe (was going to type Starbucks but I’m not sponsored by them…Get off that couch and try to be inspired to do some great things like inspiring others…. or more importantly go for that art piece you always wanted to make but never got around to doing it.

Explore! You never know what you’ll find along the way. Maybe you’ll come up with an interesting name for that business of yours that you always dreamt of having.

Lastly, having Actions and knowing shortcuts for Adobe software is not only essential but a must. This greatly decreases wasting time on the little things so you can sweat about the big things first!

Actions for Photoshop can be found via Google but there are a lot of talented designers, besides myself, of course, that give out FREE actions via their own blogs, yea I’m pretty cheap you guys XD.

The link above has 50 free actions and plenty of cool ones to chose from.

Brought to you by the people over at Creative Blog!


That is my treat you guys! AS for the trick well …just wait and see! 🙂

Don’t forget to share this post with your other fellow designer friends. Any questions? NO problem just leave me a comment down below and I’ll be sure to answer and help in any way I can.

Much Love.


Have you ever heard of the phrase one day you’ll get the taste of your own medicine?

No? Well let me tell you it tastes like an extra sour skittle! And I love skittles.

I wanted to be plain honest and tell you guys I am not perfect. I make poor judgments especially when not sleeping for a

straight 24 hours, I do things without really meaning to.

Doesn’t make sense, huh?

Don’t worry, explaining now:

As you read my last post I gave four tips on how not to be taking advantage of. So what do you think I did wrong?

I. took. a. third. trial.

I can already hear the screams of ‘hypocrite’ blasted my way. But never fear I will tell you what happened and how it left the

bitterest of tastes in my mouth.

Business people and companies have a way with words. They make it seem like they want to help you out and they have

your best interests at heart. What do they do? They use words of persuasion and reverse psychology (which sad to say, it

got under my skin argo the 3rd trail happened). The client I dealt with is a business orientated persona. If you are like me,

where people attack your artwork in the most nicest of ways (which is the cruelest form of torture ) and you get this spark

ignited in you where you want to prove them wrong? They got you. Once I did it, I regretted it. Here is the serious discussion

for you guys. We, designers, expose ourselves and we sell our image so that we can peak companies’ interest. Do not do

what I do and say what’s on your mind, even though you know you’re right. Because your reputation is on the line. You don’t

want to ruin that. Above all don’t let their words influence you. And remember for me this is a stepping stone. I have to show

that I have a backbone. Guys, be serious and always remember it’s a business. And always, always decline politely. No harm


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Comment below 🙂

No One Said It Was

Hey guys! Today I was a bit let down that my designs, at the request of a client, was not up to par with their aesthetic and overall “look” of their company.

Now the reason I air quote “look” is because listen, design and keeping up with the trends is not an easy thing to do.

I have been wrecking my brain for inspiration on my designs. At one point I was thinking maybe the designs I’m spitting out are not good enough. Companies looking for graphic designers think it’s so easy to be on top of trends and ultimately believe and expect designers to mass produce these wonderful displays in under a minute.

These things take brainstorming and to a certain extent: motivation and inspiration to do it too! I’m not always in a creative super sonic artistic mood ALL the time.

It’s not easy and definitely not easy if the client has one view of how the design should come out and you have another.

Which follows these tips of mine for you guys!

1. make sure to check their about me page to get a better understanding of what their design/aspirations consists of. Definitely check out what other companies they sponsor via their Facebook or any other social media outlet to get some inspirational juices flowing!

2. look at their website layout and past graphic design works in order to familiarize yourself with the type of graphics they are looking for and expecting of you.

3. Make sure they pay you upfront after the trial !!! This one is very important. If for whatever reason they ask for a second trial to make sure say NUP! Exactly that ‘nup’.

Side note: If I have to undergo a second trial then you’re (the client) definitely are not thinking of hiring me but possibly gonna steal my creative aesthetic for your own personal use.

4. Do not waste time contemplating over what could have happened if you get no response just let it be. It most likely is a sign that it wasn’t meant to be. That last sentence rhymed XD.