Monday, December 15, 2008

Twilight = Trash

Has the world gone absolutely insane? Everyone's crazy about Twilight. A close friend of mine even wrote about how it "doesn't have cliches" and she was so sure that I would adore Edward Cullen. No offense to her, but Twilight (book and movie) is trash. Utter trash. My sister was curious about the whole Twilight craze, so she borrowed her friend's book. When she was done, she told me, "Ciaee!! OMG THE BOOK IS SOOOO BAD IT'S GOOD."

I'm not even gonna try and write a review on the story because it'll probably come out sounding quite hateful, and it's not exactly the author's fault that people are crazy over her work. But here are two funny reviews I found. I cracked up so many times.

I want to beat Edward Cullen with a stick.

This is why I stay away from romance books.

If Twilight was written 100 years ago, I can understand. Because back then, a story like this might've been breaking new grounds. But today, hasn't a teenage-drama-vampire-love-story like this one been a million times over? And her writing style is really nothing impressive.

I'm definitely getting the DVD of the movie. I can't wait to watch it together with my sis when she comes back from the US. It's going to be soooo. much. fun. 8D

I've been wanting to get that out of my system for a while.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Book Titles and Love Handles.

I've got some peekchures from LiVon's birthday outing! (I just realized that I've never posted a single photograph on this blog.) Thanks to my cam-whore gal-pals, we took a couple of nice ones that day. :D

LiVon: I shall kiss teh ball.
Ciaee: Any ball I see, I grab.
Weng Yee: Aaaahhhn...

We landed on Borders somehow. I suggested that each one of us go around hunting for books (titles) that reflect our personalities. And so we did.

Weng Yee looks utterly ridiculous, as usual.

Ciaee: I are taller den j00.
Livon: And my b00bs are bigger.

The book title is pretty self-explanatory. Weng Yee, on the other hand... has been in the Tourism and Hospitality business for a little too long.

It was a fun, fun day. We bought a skimpy dress for LiVon and they gave me a can of sweet condensed milk (susu krimer pekat) as my belated birthday gift. Yar. I love my crazy girlfriends. And here's a recent artwork:-

Love Handles.

(I've got to get rid of my love handles.)

Love Handles (definition from Wikipedia):
Love handles, in colloquial or slang speech, are a layer of fat that is deposited around a person's midsection. They are called "love handles" because they can serve as places to hold on while copulating. Love handles are also colloquially called a spare tire.

So many people want to be thinner and thinner and thinner these days; it's insane.

As always, a gif to show you my painting process.

Anyone going to Comic Fiesta? I'm going! :D

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Teaching and Learning.

Life has been very kind to me lately. Every time I feel like I'm in a rut, something comes along to motivate me. Or perhaps life's always been kind to me; it's just that I'm beginning to notice it more. I haven't got much to update really. Nothing's really changed, at least on the surface. Still studying at Schoolism and as mentioned in my last update, I'm teaching!

Teaching has really given me a whole new perspective on the learning process. A part of me now respects teachers a lot more, and another part of me now greatly disrespects teachers who do not take what they do seriously. In a way, you could say that I also feel a little sorry for them because it's totally their loss. Now I feel like I have this great responsibility for the learning experience of others bestowed upon me. I'm doing revisions of what I already know in order to be sure that I have all my facts right, and I want to be able to give unbiased constructive criticism as well as be encouraging, so that I don't mess up a person's first experience at something. I also feel like wanting to be a good role model for others and this is already making me work at being a better person.

One of my students asked me if I'm planning to teach as a job and charge people for it in the future. Probably not. Our small group is already taking up quite a huge chunk of my time and I don't want to start doing a half-assed job if it gets too much for me to handle. Also, doing it for money (even if just partially) might change things between me and the students. Right now, I actually feel like I'm almost gaining more out of this than my students, so it's been pretty amazing. A little stressful, but amazing.

Other than the whole teaching business, I've been thinking of the arrangement of elements and the design for my room in the new house! Mum's been doing some reading on Feng Shui and we're all banging our heads together trying to figure out something that works. ^^;

Recent Schoolism assignments:

Assignment 6: Painting hair using custom brushes. (A painting of a bald woman was provided by our instructor, Bobby.)

Painting process. (might take a while to load)

This is really my second go at this assignment. I closed the first one without saving it and didn't even realize what I've done until the next day. Gaahhhh. However, I decided to think of it as a chance to make the second one look better than the first and thankfully, I think it does! So... yay for accidents? :D

Assignment 7: Vector and layer styles. Hehe, doesn't he look ridiculous? XD

That's it for now!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Slow Dancing in the Burning Room

The few things that happened in the past few days:-

My White Queen painting became a Daily Deviation.

Uh, wow. That was totally unexpected because honestly, I don't think it's that good. Anyhow, getting a DD is still a pleasant surprise and it's kinda nice to have 24 hours of attention from strangers. Sort of, anyway. Another part of me wants to just delete that deviation. I was staring at the artwork just now and thinking, "The head's too big. The white queen isn't white. The colors are boring. And now it has 8000 views. NOOOOooooo."

My sister shared a video with me.

This one moved me to tears. Beautiful dance, incredible connection between the dancers, wonderful music and just heartbreaking lyrics. I thought I wasn't going to cry when I watched it the 2nd time, but I did. Same thing happened the 3rd time. And 4th. Have I mentioned before that I love crying? It's the best kind of emotional release.

Perhaps the reason why this dance/song affects me so deeply is because I've been in a painful on-off relationship before. It's one of those relationships where you feel like you're always hurting each other, you know deep down that it's never going to work out and you don't quite know why you don't want to call it quits. Love? You'll have to pay attention to the lyrics to understand.
It's not a silly little moment
It's not the storm before the calm
This is the deep and dying breath of
This love we've been working on

Can't seem to hold you like I want to
So I can feel you in my arms
Nobody's gonna come and save you
We pulled too many false alarms

We're going down
And you can see it too
We're going down
And you know that we're doomed
My dear, we're slow dancing in a burning room

I was the one you always dreamed of
You were the one I tried to draw
How dare you say it's nothing to me
Baby, you're the only light I ever saw

I'll make the most of all the sadness
You'll be a bitch because you can
You try to hit me just to hurt me
So you leave me feeling dirty
Because you can't understand

We're going down
And you can see it too
We're going down
And you know that we're doomed
My dear, we're slow dancing in a burning room

Go cry about it, why don't you?
My dear, we're slow dancing in a burning room

Don't you think we oughta know by now?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Song: Slow Dancing in the Burning Room by John Mayer
Choreography: Wade Robson
Dancers: Ben Susak and Pam Chu

I didn't win the Draw-a-Robot contest.
I saw the winning entry and I love it. Was kinda bummed when I saw the 2nd and 3rd though. Those were pretty good too but were completed wayyy before the competition even existed. So technically, they didn't actually do anything for the competition. Oh well. At least Sonny sent me a note telling me that one of the judges, Charlene Chua, really liked mine. That meant something to me. I'm also happy that I had something to push me to paint something I've never tried painting before.

Completed Schoolism Assignment 5 + Extra painting.

Assignment 5: Painting using the smudge tool.


I'm very very pleased with how this one turned out. A friend commented, "What a beautiful woman." Another person on deviantART said, "Hrmm...just looks like a guy to me." Well, yay!

I wanted to put up a gif animation to show my painting process but the file size turned out too huge. I tested it out and it took forever for all those frames to load. Sorry about that, guys!

I'm teaching.

I'm teaching a small group of beginners (friends) to paint digitally. This is a free, private class and I'm very excited to see what they'll come up with. I was never interested in teaching until recently. It all started when I tried helping a classmate from Schoolism with his assignments. I provided critique and sometimes paintovers whenever he was stuck. I then discovered that I really like helping people learn how to paint. That feeling you get when you see someone you've helped improve is amazing. So, thank you Slow and Silly Very Old Frogapillay Jon-Troy Nickel! *sucks in air* That's one long name.

Click me why don't you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My drive to learn.

I was never a hardworking student when I was in art school. Out of 10 assignments, I probably did 7 - just enough to pass that course. Well actually, I failed twice and had to retake the subjects. I only put my heart into my work if I found that particular assignment interesting. Most of the time, it didn't matter so much if the art looks good or not; I was satisfied as long as my work was in the range of "above average" within the limits of my class.

I had a classmate who was excessively hardworking and always did more than required for his assignments. I never understood it. I had a lot of respect for him though (I still do), because he was always very focused and his passion for learning was obvious. At the time, I thought... "Well, that's him. I simply don't have that kind of self-control and I don't see the point."

My instructors never really liked me, naturally. From what I know, art teachers have high regard for students who took learning seriously regardless of their skill level. They find students that are already able to draw better than most of their peers but lack the desire to aim for more frustrating. I've had a couple of instructors at art school that sat me down and told me, "Ciaee, you have potential. All we need is your hard work." At that moment it might have made me feel a little bad for letting them down, but I never realized that I was being stupid for not making full use of my opportunity at art school to learn. I never asked myself the important question, "What am I doing here in art school?" I love art. Why was I in art school? To learn, to improve, to really get some solid art foundation. If I had laid this out so clearly back then, I would have taken my classes a lot more seriously.

For simplicity, let's think of "talent" as an ability to pick up a certain something/skill and excel at it faster than most people. Everyone is "talented" at different levels, at different things. Some people might think of "talent" as a gift from God. That may be true, but to me "talent" is probably something that came from being unconsciously trained at something in a certain environment a person was brought up in. I'm not ultra-talented or anything like that but I seem to be able learn new drawing/painting techniques a little faster than most of my peers.

"Talent" is as much a blessing as it is a curse. There are two types of "talented" people. Few realize their potential and know that they can achieve great things. Highly ambitious, they sought after their goals without any regard for the limits and boundaries society creates. Others, notice that they perform better than others without trying very hard at all and get used to that. Why work hard when it's all so easy? Pretty soon, they will start falling behind their peers deluded by feelings of superiority and not working hard. Because "talent" can only take one so far in the immensely competitive world of today, hard work, ambition, vision, and passion matter so much more. That extra hour, that extra research, that extra initiative to learn from critiques, ...etc. Those add up to a lot more than mere "talent."

On my graduation day (from art school), I felt like I didn't achieve anything at all. That piece of paper meant absolutely nothing to me. Well, I did learn a couple of things along the way, but I didn't get that, "I did it! I worked hard and I've come this far" feeling. When I started to take freelance jobs, there was this constant battle going on in my head. I could do these jobs, but they were pretty unsatisfying. I didn't like what I was doing, really. Since I didn't like them, I tried to think of these jobs as "assignments I'm learning from". Learning in a very unsystematic way too. I had no focus on what to improve on, didn't know which part of my skills I really needed work on, and so on. I was just following the art director's instructions. And most of the time, these aren't really critiques. These are just the art director's preferences or his vision for the artwork. And the pay was... pretty bad. I have a very supportive and encouraging agent/project manager though. (Stephen, if you ever read this... thanks for being awesome! *mega-glomp*)

After a while, I put my freelance stuff aside and started to take online classes. Ever since I've been really really driven to improve. Scarily, crazily, obsessively driven. Maybe it's because I'm looking at the entire industry as my "classmates" now. When I looked back at my art schooling days, I feel a little silly. I had too many excuses for not working hard. The art school that I went to did not have a good learning environment, some teachers there were below par in terms of artistic skills and (especially) teaching skills, and we had a lot of assignments that were impractical, in a sense that they would've been useful maybe 8 years ago, but not for the industry today. Obsolete syllabus. But also, there were a handful of teachers who were really dedicated, and I could see a few (very rare though) students improving quite dramatically. If I had taken learning seriously back then, how good or bad the school is wouldn't have mattered so much because I would've made it a point to somehow learn from every assignment I did.

Now I give my all for each and every one of my online class assignments, and on top of that hand in an extra piece using the techniques learned from the lessons if I have time to spare. I'm working hard to improve to a level that's good enough to have my artwork included in EXPOSÉ 7. This my current goal.

It took me a bit of courage to reveal all that. Daddy and Mummy, if you're reading this... your daughter is working hard now! Um, I'll get back some of the money's worth you dumped into my art education. ><

To wrap up this entry, here's my latest artwork. It's also an entry for the Liquid City Giveaway Draw-A-Robot Contest. [List of entries]


Fish-cyborg painting progress.
(A grossly simplified portrayal of my grueling 20+ hours on the fish)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Schoolism Week 4

This is going to be a real quick update as I've got lots of work to do.

I'm now in the 4th week of Bobby Chiu's 9-week course at Schoolism. That means we're almost halfway into the class already and I don't want it to end so quickly! I'm having a lot of fun. About a week ago, I sent a personal e-mail to Bobby telling him that I wished that there was some place where the members of our class could interact, give each other feedback on the assignments and stuff. Imagine how happy I was when he told me he'll create a blog for us and he did! Bobby's just awesome. You can visit our class blog here if you want: Schoolism: Digital Painting Class Blog

I've been talking to some of my classmates on MSN and things have been really exciting. Before the blog came into existence, we almost had no way to get to know one another. Met Troy, a real hyper-energetic 3D modeler from Australia (if you're reading this, hey there Old Frogapillar!), Herman, an awesome (and also real serious O.o) concept artist from Hong Kong, Ariel, a children's book illustrator from Taiwan, Althea, a 2D animator from Australia, and Mariann from Norway. The others aren't actively participating in the blog yet but I'm hoping that'd change. Man, I don't want this class to end. ><

Assignment 3: Painting Bobby's sketch digitally, using traditional textures. Troy calls this little monster Frogapillar. I call Troy Old Frogapillar.

Assignment 4: Using textures from photographs on a digital painting. Would love to include a Before/After image but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to put up class materials. Anyhow, Bobby's creature designs are made of pure win.

I'm working on a robot design right now; will update in a few days!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Skin tones

Skin tone study..... sort of. Used the technique learned during Week 2 in Digital Painting class at Schoolism. Wasn't aiming for anything realistic, but hopefully I got the skin tones and facial features resembling real life enough for someone to be able to tell their ethnicity. Still haven't thought of a title. Actually, let's just stick to Armless Midgets. It sounds kinda weird and that's perfect. Oh and I showed this to Roden, and he said that only the girl on the left looks cute and that the other two look old. DDDD: Niuuu...

click for full-view

Favorite parts of the painting: the Caucasian girl's hair, the East Asian girl's eyes, and the African girl's skin tone and lips. :D

Here's a gif I made in case anyone wants to see how the painting was made.

[Update on critique for Lesson 1: None! asdafdasfasdf.]

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New home

Messed around with the my Blogger settings and decided that I like how it looks enough to import all my Livejournal entries over. No more ugly ads, and I get to display my website's shoutbox.

I'll probably be updating both accounts from now on. It's just copying and pasting anyway.

Me Demands Critique!

Bobby Chiu is killing me!! It's been 9 days since I submitted my first assignment and no critique yet! D: I'm dying here in anticipation, Bobby! And nervousness. And curiosity. GAHHHHHH. *grabs imaginary Bobby by the neck*

These days I'm feeling a lot more motivated to draw. I'm focusing on enjoying the process rather than just the end result. I guess if I keep trying to keep up with the world and all those crazy masters out there, I'm going wear myself out real quick. So... yeah, taking an advice Bobby gave one of his past students. Enjoying the process of learning. Being excited about every new thing learned. And as Android Jones (another crazy artist) once said, "If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong!"

Which means I've been doing it wrong for............... a while now.

It's 6:43 in the morning and I'm wideee awake. Tried going to bed at 3:00AM but failed. Now, this is especially unusual for a person like Ciaee. Ciaee is usually able to fall asleep in a matter of seconds. She can also sleep through an entire day. And this can happen anywhere - at the restaurant, in the car, on the stairs... etc. Yar. So something must be wrong with Ciaee.

Anyway, since I was unable to fall asleep, I drew something.

Not sure what to name these... armless midgets yet. Will be coloring this to try out different skin tones.

Colorized this from Bobby Chiu's black and white painting for Schoolism's Digital Painting class Week 2. Think I did a pretty good job for this one. *Pats self on the back* :D Can't wait to hear what Bobby will have to say. Grrr. *wails, kicks and screams in impatience*

It's 7:09AM now. Still wide awake.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


It's been soooo long since I've updated. There are a few reasons *excuses* for this.

One, I'm beginning to dislike LJ. Forcing Ads on Basic Accounts is quite unacceptable. Or more like totally unacceptable. I moved from Multiply to LJ not long ago because I couldn't stand the Ads on Multiply. I use Adblock Plus on Firefox, so I don't actually see these Ads but I really mind the fact that people who visit my blog see ugly Ads all over the place. Definitely moving to Blogspot real soon. In fact, if I can easily transfer my LJ layout over to Blogspot, I would've done it already.

Two, my main reason actually, I've been feeling a little... less-confident about my skills and I'm not sure if I want to put up my less-than-awesome stuff for anyone to see. I'll have to overcome this if I want to improve.

I enrolled for Digital Painting classes at and am now in the 2nd week of the course! Bobby Chiu's an great instructor and his video tutorials are very helpful. His patience and passion for teaching just shines through. I haven't received my first video critique just yet, but looking at his previous video critiques (for the students from the last semester) has already taught me a lot. Can't wait to see what he'll say about my assignment submission!

I was a little disappointed to see that there wasn't a place for the students to interact though. Classmates don't even get to comment on each others' submissions. D: A discussion forum would be really nice. I used to take online art classes at the Academy of Art University and mainly, the classes work like online forums. The "online classroom environment" made everything a lot more engaging because we got to discuss topics and ideas, provide critique and suggestions for our classmates, talk about other unrelated stuff, etc.

My Lesson 1 assignment at Schoolism. The drawing is done by Bobby Chiu and our assignment was to visualize the shape and form of the figure through darkness, and turn his pencil drawing into a painting.

Did this one as an extra exercise using the techniques learned in Lesson 1. She's a 狐狸精(húli jīng) or "Fox Spirit". I'm very happy with how her face turned out. It's fox-like. :D

I've been acting weird these days. I wake up at nine, have breakfast, tidy and clean my room, wash my own bathroom, exercise daily, do drawing exercises daily, and get enough sleep. I KNOW. Like, OHMAIGAWD.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pointless Tag Entry :D

I told myself that I wasn't going to update my blog until I had a pretty drawing/painting to show. Problem is, that "pretty" drawing/painting is taking forever to materialize because I don't know which direction I want to go with it. So...[sudden change of topic] I got tagged!

♥ People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

♥ Tag 10 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by. Continue this game by sending it to other people.

If you've done this before... Do it again!

Tagged by - fishingforboots
Tagging - ykamizuki, electricfruit", kangkins, WoonBing, Hanzie, Mandabun, Livon, Johnny, AnnEe, ChungLern and anyone who needs a distraction from work.

And we begin!

o1◢ How has LJ changed your life?
(Or if you don't use LJ, how has blogging changed your life?)
LJ has made me hopelessly addicted to Bleach fanfics. Argh.

o2◢ What's your favorite quote/ saying?
"Every blessing ignored becomes a curse." - Paulo Coelho

o3◢ What are you going to have for dinner tonight?
Mommmmyyyy... what are we having for dinner tonight? :D (I can't cook to save my life.)

o4◢ What is the ONE place you want to go before you die if you had the money and the time? And let's keep it to somewhere on the Earth for now, shall we?
Uh, honestly I have no idea. O_O The location is usually not as important as the company, for me. Anywhere with a whole bunch of my crazy friends will do.

o5◢ Which type are you based on the Enneagram of Personality theory? []
Type 5: Experts, Thinkers, Investigators

Fives are motivated by the desire to understand the facts about the world around them. Believing they are only worth what they contribute, Fives have learned to withdraw, to watch with keen eyes and speak only when they can shake the world with their observations. Sometimes they do just that. However, some Fives are known to withdraw from the world, becoming reclusive hermits and fending off social contact with abrasive cynicism. Fives fear incompetency or uselessness and want to be capable and knowledgeable above all else.

Ego fixation: stinginess
Holy idea: omniscience
Passion/Vice: avarice
Virtue: detachment
Stress point: Seven
Security point: Eight

I got the definition for Type 5 from Wikipedia. []
Wow. I dunno about stinginess but everything else sounds spookily true.

o6◢ What do you do in your free time?
Read, spend hours browsing artwork on deviantART, draw/paint, sleep, write.

o7◢ Do you trust easily?
Mmmm... it really depends. I listen to my intuition when it comes to trusting people. Usually? I don't trust people very easily.

o8◢ What personal belonging do you have with you everywhere you go?
My mobile-phone and my "Duckling.Ciaeears" stainless steel ring. :3

o9◢ Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
Yes, the painting I'm working on. Arghhhh. I seriously have NO IDEA when it's going to be finished. Or whether it's ever gonna be.

1o◢ What is your favorite Anime/ Manga and list at least one fanfic from it you recommend.
My favorite mangas are Bus Hashiru by Sumomo Yumeka (or Mizu Sahara) and Hybrid Child by Shungiku Nakamura.

Um, I've only read fanfics from Bleach (by Tite Kubo) although it's hardly one of my favourites. I'm actually beginning to hate the manga series but I'm thoroughly addicted to its fanfics. Anyway, the best one I've ever read is "Save The Living" by . I've read it more than 5 times. Iamnotobsessedimnotobsessediamnotobsessed. I usually look for yaoi fanfics and ironically, the best one turned out to be one that isn't yaoi. This one's a look into Ryuuken's character and his relationship with his son. Just... beautifully written. Heartbreakingly beautifully written. Go read it.

11◢ Is being tagged fun?
Is it fun? I dunno. But it's a damn good distraction from work! That makes it... kinda fun?

12◢ What one thing would you do differently if you could?
Actually, right now... I can't think of anything I'd like to change. I seldom dwell on my past. I should probably think of something interesting to write here since my answers are beginning to sound boring! D: (Unfortunately, it's like 2 in the morning and my brain is not functionally properly...OTL)

13◢ Do you prefer rain or snow?
Rain! I love the rain. The smell of rain, its texture, the way it sounds... I can't really describe why I love it. I feel strangely calm and everything feels kinda tranquil when the rain falls. Sometimes I'd sneak out of the house when my parents are not looking and go walk barefooted on the grass when it rains. They'll probably freak out if they saw. Haha... actually, I think my dad reads my LJ. He'll probably try and notice the next time it rains. Oh no. ^^;

14◢ What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
I don't know her personally but she writes some awesome GrimmIchi and IchiIshi fics! She seems to be nice too - I could marry her for writing Cat's Gospel for me. Fishingforboots, marry me? :3

15◢ Would you rather be single & rich or married but poor?
Single and rich... duh. Seriously, would anyone choose the latter? O_O Being single rocks.

16◢ How many children do you want to have, if any?
I dislike children. Puppies/Kitties/Anyotherfurries > Children. Yar. Um, if I ever change my mind in the future, it'll be an even number. Probably two. I come from a family with three girls; that's an odd number. When there are conflicts, two of us gang up against the other. That's not very nice.

17◢ What's better- to give or to receive?
At this point of time in my life, I want to give. It feels like I've been receiving all my life. That doesn't feel fair or right.

18◢ If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?

19◢ Would you have 100% safe sex with a stranger for $10,000,000?
For $10,000,000 I will be your sex slave for a week. Or maybe even for a month. I expect to be paid in full beforehand though.

2o◢ Is there some sexual position or act that you have secretly wanted to do, but haven't?
A threesome would be interesting. (2 girls, 1 guy) With me being at the center of attention, of course. >:3

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's a new month!

It's the beginning of a new month! We're officially in the second half of the year now. Time for me to make up for my lack of direction and productivity since my graduation from art school; rawr! Allow me to list a few of the goals that I want to achieve (hopefully) by the end of this year... just for the heck of it. Heh, this is what blogs are for I guess. Random declarations.

Let's see, let's see.

The immediate tasks at hand:-
. Creating a totally pwnsome logo for BentoBox Studios. (Whee!!)
. Coming up with an awesome illustration idea for décor purposes at Daddy's workplace. (Eeek!)
. Finishing the book I'm reading- "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy.
. Improving my drawing skills.
. Adopting more consistent styles for my commercial and personal work.
. Doing a collaboration
(painting) with my sister.

The "long-term" / ever-on-going tasks:-
. Improving my Chinese.
. Shaping my characters and putting together a plot(s) for my dream (graphic novel) project.
. Improving my English.
. Improving my drawing skills. (Moar.)
. Working my way to becoming the kind of artist I want to be. (And just what kind of artist is that?)

Writing them out like that makes me feel that I should probably be more ambitious, but if I can achieve these things by the end of 2008, I think I'll be awfully proud of myself. And that's enough.

I'm still have "Storm" by Lifehouse on my playlist (and sometimes looping solo) after three weeks. This song puts me in a special mood. I was talking to a friend earlier, and I told him that it'll be nice if I could find someone who can make me feel this way. Loop, loop, loop; again, again and again - feelings unchanging. Hopefully not just for three weeks though. Ha.

How long have I been in this storm?
So overwhelmed by the ocean's shapeless form
Water's getting harder to tread
With these waves crashing over my head

If I could just see you
Everything will be alright
If I'd see you
This darkness will turn to light

And I, will walk on water
And you, will catch me if I fall
And I, will get lost into your eyes
I know everything will be alright
I know everything is alright

I know you didn't bring me out here to drown
So why am I ten feet under and upside down?
Barely surviving has become a purpose
'Cause I'm so used to living underneath the surface

Storm by Lifehouse
(songwriting credit: Jason Wade)

I'm really tempted to put a download link to the song here, but I know I shouldn't.

I finally have a new layout! It isn't spectacular or anything - I'm a total n00b at CSS and it took me forever to get everything working and looking the way I want - but I'm happy with the way it looks now! And using my own art for my layout feels kinda guuuud. :D

Friday, June 27, 2008

White Queen completed.

It's 3.00PM and I haven't had lunch yet. My stomach is making all kinds of noises in protest. ><

Finally completed my White Queen. Can't say I'm fully satisfied with the outcome though. I liked it better before values and colors were added. Meh. At least I managed to get the mood right.

click for larger view

Programs used: Painter IX(lines), Photoshop CS2(colors)
Graphics tablet: Wacom Graphire4
No references used.
Link to deviation: [link]
The Making of White Queen: [link]

Comment on it, stomp on it, give it some praise... something.

Grr... today's my day off. How come I always feel so inspired and motivated once I decide to take some rest? ._.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Something hurts. [WARNING: Pure EMO Entry]

Something hurts.

I'm beginning to realize that it's possible for me to feel lonely. I used to tell people, with a bit of pride, "I'm the sort that never gets lonely." Loneliness... is most painful when you feel it even when people are around you. People that matter.

I'm crying again. Why am I announcing this? Anyway, I love crying. For the few minutes when tears are streaming down my face I feel unafraid to be me. I, probably, not-so-secretly (now that I'm going to publish this entry) want someone to know that I'm hurting inside. At the same time, I'm a little glad that almost none of my friends know of the existence of this blog.

Okay, I'm feeling a little better now. I'm breathing. I'm alright. I can hardly remember the details or the cause of my sudden depression that came just moments ago. I don't really want to.

I have to draw more. I need to be able to put my feelings and thoughts into a piece of something. A sketch. A drawing. A painting. I need this, for my sanity. I've always had problems expressing myself; I still do. Even as I write this for the faceless world to read, I'm unable to fully channel my feelings into words. I can't be sure if this is because of my limited vocabulary or my own reluctance to open up.

I used to write on Multiply. I wrote what I thought, what I felt, and I often only feel the need to write when I'm really down or desperate for an outlet... so if you were subscribed to my updates then, I might have appeared to be quite a depressing or depressed person. I remember the day when I provided the link to my latest entry to one of my college mates who was doing Advertising and Graphics as his major. He read my entry about relationships and said something along the lines of, "Emoblogs... are just not cool."

Wha- that stung. I felt so... judged. Here's a link to our chatlog: [link]

I cropped off our screennames in order to protect his privacy. He didn't mean anything bad, that guy. But yeah, I had no idea that people saw it that way.

I need to stop wallowing in self-pity.
I need to draw more.

Last Friends.

Started watching "Last Friends" yesterday [Manda's recommendation] and I'm not sure if I can make myself sit through the entire series. It's so... full of pain. I'm only at Episode 3 and the j-drama already made me cry twice. Not because it's touching or anything, it's just so full of suffering and inner turmoil. The cast is crazy... they're really really good. Their character internalization and portrayal is one of the best I've seen so far, in Japanese dramas. Even when the series of events going on in the story feels only marginally believable, the characters and their suffering feel real.

I can't say if I like the series yet, but based on the issues it touches (domestic violence, gender identity issues, trauma... etc.), it's probably worth watching.

I'm going to download Episode 4 anyway, because I can relate to the stuff Ruka, one of the characters, is going through. Maybe also because I know I won't be at peace until all the characters get their shit resolved. ><

You can watch Last Friends online:-
Episode 1 - [link]
Episode 2 - [link]
Episode 3 - [link]
Episode 4 - 11 - [link]

Meh. Yet another unproductive day.

Today's doodle:-

You may click me if you're interested in seeing the detail-less full view.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday - Sinking and Floating

An artist that I really look up to once said that "suffering" is a kind of blessing. (Well, he said it in Chinese and there isn't an accurate English equivalent to the words 幸福, but "blessing" should be close enough.) He said that it's a sign that we're improving.

I've been trying to paint that White Queen drawing I made for a few days now. I'm stuck. This feels like suffering to me, without improving. I think I'm trying too hard. I think I'm not trying hard enough. Gahhhhhhhhhhh, anyway. I just finished a different painting.

Tuesday Wistfulness(click me for full view goodness)


I really meant to do a quick painting without knowing exactly what I wanted. Spent more time than I intended on this one... almost my entire Tuesday, with lots of stops in between as usual. My own lack of focus amazes me. Hmm. I'm not sure if I'm fully satisfied with the outcome, but I like the overall feeling of this one.

Painted in Painter IX
Post-processing and texture spammage in Photoshop CS2
Textures - A mixture of Mayang's and some of my own.
Link to deviation: [link]

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wacom-asia Contest Entry: Submitted just in time! :D

Our Song

My entry for Wacom-Asia's Anime/Manga Contest.

Drawing my high school uniform brings back lots of forgotten feelings and memories. I hope I managed to capture the simple feeling of being in love for the first time, without a care in the world.

Painter IX, Photoshop CS2, Graphire4.
Musical Score: Berceuse - Felix Blumenfeld.

Thank you for looking. :3

Saturday, May 17, 2008

First Journal Entry.

I've been an LJ member for quite a while now, but haven't actually gotten around to writing anything here. Basically this account/journal is going to act as my sketchblog (sorta), so I'll be posting my WIPs, sketches and finished illustrations... and maybe an occasional rant or two here every now and then. My website and my deviantART page is where I will upload only my finished works, but if you're interested in looking at my previous works you can find some over there as well.

Noone's listening, but hi everyone! ^^;

I'm working on an illustration for a fantasy magazine, and I was asked to draw a white elf queen. Here's a rough sketch of her.

I showed this to the magazine editor yesterday and he said, "Hmm. All I have to say is that it's.... It's..... PERFECT." Heh, am happy now.