Meet Angela Cenina, the Creator of Gulliver, California Coast University’s Mascot!

Picture of Meet Angela Cenina, the Creator of Gulliver, California Coast University’s Mascot!
By CCU Staff

Angela sat down with us for a quick chat about her current role at CCU, her love for art, and the process used in creating California Coast University’s newest addition, its mascot, Gulliver!

Angela has a distinguished background. She received her BFA in Illustration and a Biomedical Art Certificate from CSU Long Beach. She then went on to receive her MA in Humanities from CSU Dominguez Hills after completing her graduate certificate in Science Illustration from UC Santa Cruz. In the process, Angela would complete an internship at Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific putting her art skills to use, drawing many fish illustrations for educational purposes. She also completed an internship with Sequoia National Park, creating a postcard, poster, and coloring book to be sold in their gift shop. She is now CCU’s Registrar and a faculty member teaching courses in Humanities and Art History at CCU.

What are some of your main functions as CCU’s Registrar?

As the Registrar, I process students for graduation, process transcript requests, provide education verification, log incoming submissions from students, and other daily office tasks.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with the friendly staff members at CCU and helping students to complete their degrees.

In terms of education, you have a very extensive background in art. At what point in life did you realize that you had an artistic gift and how did that tie into the selection of your educational programs?

I started drawing at an early age, and for my high school senior project I worked with a professional artist in Yosemite to complete my first acrylic painting. I originally moved to Long Beach to study Marine Biology and decided after my first year of college to pursue art. Later, I was excited to find a program that would combine both areas of art and science at UC Santa Cruz.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

I like seeing how the piece of art comes together at the end, as a finished product.

And how exactly did you come up with the idea for Gulliver?

I researched seagull photos, as well as plush toys and seagull cartoons to come up with a character that is realistic as well as playful.

Well, it is obvious that you did a great job embodying that, as the Gulliver toy is now in its final stages of production. Approximately how long did it take to create the final draft?

Sketching out the idea takes the longest. Maybe 3-4 hours to get the concept and final line drawing ready and once that was finished it took about 1-2 hours to do the final drawing with color.

Wow! That is quite the process! Are there any particular artists that you draw inspiration from while creating?

Ray Troll and Ernst Haeckel. Ray Troll does lots of quirky fish imagery and Haeckel was an artist and zoologist in the 1800’s and he created many detailed illustrations of sea creatures as well.

Interesting. Your background actually sounds very similar to Haeckel’s! You have mentioned that you enjoy photography as well. Did art play a role with your interest in still photos?

I took a photography class as part of my bachelor’s degree program and I enjoyed that as well. With my family living close to both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, there were many scenic places to photograph while visiting them.

Aside from art, what else do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, my husband and I enjoy outdoor activities like taking our son on local hikes as well as visiting the beach and the mountains.

More of Angela’s art and designs can be found at her personal website,

This article was written for you by a member of the California Coast University staff. Do you have a question, comment or an idea for an article? Email: [email protected]

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