Tuesday, December 14, 2010

oh god mustn't panic

This one I left un-levelled (Photoshoppers, you know what I mean!) to show the ink wash.

The last one is for my mom, who was there, and Lucy Knisley, who drew the inspiring (and sometimes depressing) French Milk, now one of my go-to travelogues.

I need to get this book in the mail by New Year, and I am less than half done. Another job I'm doing turned out to be much more challenging than I'd expected, too. It makes me depressed, but I might have better things to do with my time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

sketchbook project

Here are some things I've been doing for The Sketchbook Project. The theme is Dirigibles and Submersibles.

Monday, November 8, 2010

influence map

Taken from the Influence Map template by fox-orian on deviantart.

Thoughts I take away from this meme: I like redheads. I like archy-texture. (ow) And I wonder if I'll ever really leave the manga influence behind, or if I even want to.

CLAMP really pulls your eye in, doesn't it?

I tried to assemble these with some cohesion and more or less in chronological order. It came out in two columns, beginning with Nausicaa on the top left and ending with my very recent fashion obsession on the bottom right. It's my life in pictures. I didn't expect it to mean so much.

Also, I'm afraid you'll all think less of the Vincent picture now you've seen Anja's work. :(

Sunday, November 7, 2010

an addict's withdrawal

Oh God, I want more booooooooooooks!!!

Very recently read Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan. Dear Lord, I want this book. In hardcover. In fact, can someone make a whole book of all of Keith Thompson's art for this series? I would buy that too. And I want to read Philip Reeve's Larklight and Starcross again. I haven't even read Mothstorm.

NaNoWriMo is making me want to read instead of write. I am about 3K words behind, although I made a good start. Anyone out there doing it this year?

In slightly related news and to make this post less boring, SIR Terry Pratchett's newly-granted coat of arms from the Royal College of Arms. (You have to scroll down a bit on that page.)
The motto is "noli timere messorem" - "Don't Fear the Reaper". I love the UK, don't you?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

today I am thinking about Vincent

starry starry night...

Pentel watercolours, Quink ink, Safeway cleaner with bleach.

I am fascinated by the effect bleach spray has on Parker Quink ink. It's a chemical reaction taking place as you watch! And it's pretty, too.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

wherever you go, is who you are

Lomo Frogeye, Pandanon Island

"There is a richness that soaks in when you stand somewhere beautiful, in a place you have never been before. I have known it and it made me the person I am today."

So I'm writing again. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, September 17, 2010

lady in the forest

Well, it started out as fashion illustration, and then it became something else.


In other news, I have joined this. eek what have I done

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Ok so I single-handedly won a sudden death round at Trivia Night tonight, getting ALLLLLLLLLLLLL the questions right!!!!! ANNNNND they had a Kids' Lit round so NATURALLY I aced it!!!!!!

And we BEAT OUT the top two super-genius teams who win practically every Trivia Night and we can finally GET OUR PICTURE ON THE WALL OF FAME!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

.............the thought does occur that if any of you Geek Fight peeps had been here you would have gotten even more questions right. That sudden death round was on urbandictionary terms, for Hawking's sake. I cannot believe I was the ONLY one who answered 'Hipsters' on one question and 'Dork' on another. I mean, what do people do all day?*


*yes, I know the answer is 'something more interesting, usually.' let me have my moment plz.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

notebook drawings

Dug through my things and found pictures from the Italy trip with my cousins some years back. They make very nice drawing references.

I also have a very cute, and very cheap, small notebook, the Chinese-stationery character kind. It has interesting textures, sweet sayings and funny little illustrations. I thought they would go quite well with my new hyperrealistic pen style.

They do!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

birthday wish list!!!

It'll be my birthday again soon, and you know what that means: totally unrealistic wish lists!!! Hee hee.

Some of my dreams are already coming true--I've already got some swag from friends like manga and a shoulder bag for work. And I got to visit Manila and party with some very old friends!

But it's not a wish list if you didn't have some completely unlikely items in there, like a Lamborghini or one of those ginormous Phaidon books hand-bound by Italian monks. A wish list is basically throwing your desires out into the universe...just in case it's feeling generous.

So I've mixed up the unlikely with the plausible for fun, and maybe you guys can make up some of your own wish lists to join in!
Or, you know, an e-card from Artpassions.net would be ok, because I love that place and people hardly send e-cards anymore.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So I fell down the stairs at work today.

I was short on sleep, and in a hurry, and a little annoyed because of the combination of the two plus some crowding on the stairs, and then my heel slipped.

My heel slipped on the top step, and then my whole body sort of folded up.

And I was so out of it, I just watched helplessly as I slid, on my knees, with a bumpy but steady turn of speed to the bottom of the stairs.

It kind of hurt, but it didn't seem so bad. I was just irritated with myself and in the mood for some mindless self-indulgence, so I went to the mall and bought myself some pens and a blue mechanical pencil.
Of course, when I got back, my foot started hurting enough to notice, and it got pretty swollen, which didn't improve my mood. I finally had it checked out by the company doc (benefits! yay!) who put a cold compress on it and had me prop it up on a pillow while I had a short nap.
Then she taped it up, gave me some meds, and told me to keep a cold compress on it and get it X-rayed if it was still swollen after 24 hours.

I hurt myself rarely enough that it looks kind of cool. If I were younger I could pretend I were Robin and had hurt myself kicking a skel in the teeth, or facing off with Lady Shiva or something. As it is I just draw sketchy comics and sit at my computer with my foot up and an icepack tied round my ankle...blogging about it.

The End!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

because you can't reblog facebook things on blogger.

So while I was pretending not to stalk a bunch of my friends on The Social Media That Dares Not Speak Its Name For Fear Of More Bloody F4rmVi113 Sp4m, I happened on this:

On Work by Kent Nurburn (non-FB link--FB link is here)

Which reminded me I hadn't posted any Alchemy for a while.

For those of you just joining us...Kabuki - The Alchemy is the seventh book in a series, but with a very different tone from its predecessors. It stands alone as an exploration of turning points in one's life, of vocation and what vocation means to different people at different times in their lives.

Click the pictures to enlarge and read the complete text.

Stranger on Plane (DM): Don't choose a career based solely on job security. You can work for what you think is the most secure corporation in the world. But even that giant company can buy you off or stab you in the back.
Don't sacrifice your dreams for the illusion of security. There is no security. This will free you up to do what you really need to do. Use this as an opportunity to realise your dreams.

Kabuki: What if you are not sure what those are?

DM: Start by recalling what you liked to do as a child...Around the age of 9 to 11.
At that age your personality is sophisticated enough to know what you are internally motivated to do, but it is right before the age where you begin to submerge your natural identity...Think back to what you enjoyed before they squeezed your dreams into a box of practicality.

Before you were labelled or groomed for your family's or society's explanations of you.

Kabuki (thinking): I peel all that away to peek underneath at what is inside. What I was. Before the mask. Before the scars.

DM: Write down what you enjoyed doing at that early time in your life. Chances are you have the innate ability to do that, because you are designed to do it. Hardwired for it.

You make the list and then the list becomes real. But not just the reality changes. You change as well. You grow as you create. Because you are essentially creating yourself.
You can take a part of you that died or was damaged...and bring life to it.
Take your problems, your baggage. And turn your garbage into gold.

Kabuki: Alchemy.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

new scanner

So it's been a month--and I was finally able to buy a scanner!

This is big, you guys. It doesn't seem big, but it means something that I was able to do some legwork, pick my weapon (CanoScan LIDE 100)...and pay for every part of it with money I earned and saved myself. I'm not a very...independent person, so this is pretty much a first for me. It's also the very first scanner I own all to myself and don't share with family or classmates, which feels just as significant.

I've had jobs before, but always with supplemental income. Now I'm paying bills and buying important things with money I earned myself, and...it's about time, you know? Kind of pathetic, but I will improve with age...I hope!

Anyway, I think I'd like to do some sketchblogging to celebrate.

Finished Scott Pilgrim the other day and decided to re-read the whole series, ended up drawing curvy hipster girls...and one skinny one, below.

Her t-shirt reads 'LL YR VWLS R BLNG T S', an inside joke from Making Light, one of my favourite blogs.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Canada!


I first celebrated Canada Day in London, although I had no idea that the 'beavertails' I loved to snack on while I was living in Manila were traditional Canadian munchies. This year they have Trafalgar Cup Hockey playoffs! I wish I were there!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

altered book pages

a.k.a. more things I have been doing lately.

Mermaids Mean Love

Vanitas. The dark squares are real mirrors so you can see bits of yourself when you look in the book. The quote at the bottom right says '...Man, know Thyself.'

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

grrr facebook

Facebook has become a necessary evil instead of a fun way to spend an Internet hour or two. Notice my suddenly empty Interests page? Apparently if you don't allow Facebook to link all those interests to Pages, you can't have any of them at all. What's wrong with Pages, you ask?

Facebook SHARES your information with whoever links to those same Pages.

In fact, Facebook shares your information with whoever it bloody well likes, unless you go to Account --> Privacy Settings and carefully change everything one by one from 'Everyone' seeing it to 'Only Me' or 'Only Friends'. If you don't see the 'Only Me' option (another clever Facebook trick) click Customise.

If you link to Pages, or use an application like Mafia Wars or Farmville, you can kiss your privacy goodbye. Other users of the app, not to mention advertisers trolling the app for people to spam, can pick up your info any time they like. Your real name is usually enough, but heaven forbid they get their hands on your phone number, email address, or even your birthday. :/

Now you know. And you know what Joe says about knowing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

low blood pressure beasts and tattooed sea monsters

It is now lunch break, so I can brave the Beast that is La Salle WiFi and do the art post I wanted to do last night but didn't have the energy for.

My blood pressure for the past few days has been at 90/60. Found myself stumbling with humiliating clumsiness through a maculele session yesterday, and I felt groggy for several hours during the day. I know how to alleviate high blood pressure, but what about low? 

On the other hand, this is the first month in two years I am totally cramp-free. Not a twinge! *dances...slowly...and...sleepily*

In other news, I have had mermaids on the brain. I had a spare bit of canvas board, so I decided to reacquaint myself with the painting habit.

'Face Less'. Oil paint on unprimed canvas...not a great idea. I also got a little lost doing the shadows on the face, as I had no live model or reference.

'This One Looks Kind Of Like My Friend Lyra'. No seriously, I can't stop thinking of that as the title. This is when I switched to acrylic. I like the hair, but was very clumsy with the rest of it, especially the blue shadow.

'Fish Face'. Acrylic. Pretty much gave up on realism for this one, which I think actually helped. I could relax and have fun with her skin and mask.

'Jellyfish'. Acrylic. Fun with light and dark! I don't say 'chiaroscuro', though it's one of my favourite words, because...this isn't it.

You'll notice that none of these have anything that identifies the subjects as mermaids. They're only mermaids because I say they are. I think this is one of the things I most like about art.

And some work in marker, which I like even more, just because I feel much more comfortable and confident in this medium and so I can go to some pretty fun places in terms of technique.

'Yakuza Mermaids'. Faber Castell brush pen markers on Moleskine paper.

Monday, March 1, 2010

quietly go through the door

From The Alchemy, issue 7.

Old Lady: Then I saw that there are doors. And through the doors are rooms of knowledge. Like different rooms in a house.

Each room has a different story happening in it. Like it is a different life. Like you are in a book of doors. 

If you haven't learned everything you were supposed to, you have to go through another door so you can learn more. Or so someone can learn from you.

I passed by many doors and looked through them. It was like I could see into other people's lives. Like each life is a little story happening in this book at the same time. 

I passed by these doors until I came to a door I could not see into. It was closed. I had a great urge to go into this door. But when I tried I could not pass.

And then a voice said that I do not have enough knowledge to pass through that door. I was told that my work in my current room wasn't finished.

And then I woke up in the hospital. I had pulled through the surgery. 

I've had two surgeries since and that has happened every time. I get to the door and I can't pass through. And then I wake up in pain. In this meat suit. In this silly human costume. 

When I wake up, I always think that next time it happens, I hope I have learned enough to pass through the door.

Kabuki: I wonder...

Old Lady: I'm tired.

Kabuki: I wonder if that is what...

Old Lady: I'm taking a nap now.

Kabuki: If that is what my mother went through.

And she was gone. She had passed. She had moved on right before my eyes.

Monday, February 22, 2010


For some reason I've been feeling like Silvertoes all this week. Don't ask me why.

Parokya ni Edgar - Silvertoes...
Transcription and translation by my friend Lyra
Wag ka nang magalala
Hinding, hindi ako inlab sayo
Bakit ba pakiramdam mo pa yata
Lahat kami ay naaakit mo
Don't worry

We're really not in love with you

Why do you feel that

You're charming us all?

Miss, miss, pakitigil lang please
Ang iyong pagpapantasya
Hindi ka na nakakatuwa
Ipapagulpi na kita sa gwardyang may batuta
Miss, miss please stop

Your delusions

You're not funny anymore

I'm gonna have you beaten up by a guard with a bat

AAaaaa...yay yay yah.....

Hindi ko talaga ma-gets kung bakit ka ganyan
Ang feeling mo ay sabik sa iyo ang lahat nang kalalakihan
Sorry, pagpasensyahan mo na
Mali talaga ang iyong inaakala
Lahat kami ay nandidiri sa iyo
Ikaskas mo na sana ang mukha mo sa semento
I don't really get why you're like that
You feel like all the men are panting for you

Sorry, I beg your pardon

What you assume is wrong

We're all disgusted with you

I wish you'd grind your face against the cement

Di kami na-tuturn on sa kutis mong kulay champurado
Di kami naaakit sa labi mong garabucho...
O please naman, pakitanggap mo na lang ang katotohanan
Na ganyan ka 'pinanganak
Wag ka nang magpapanggap na ikaw ay isang dalagang ubod ng ganda
Kahit na alam naman natin na ang karakas mo ay ubod ng sama
We're not turned on by your chocolate rice pudding skin
We're not attracted to your dung shovel lips
Please face the truth

That you're just born that way

Don't pretend that you're a staggeringly beautiful maiden

We all know that your appeal is nasty

Siguro nga naman ay may mga mas pangit pa sa yo
Pero at least hindi sila nagpapakyut katulad mo
Nakaka-bad-trip ka, nakakairita tuwing kita'y nakikita
Di ko alam ba't ang laki ng ulo mo
Magingat-ingat ka, baka ikaw ay sagasaan ko
I'm sure there are those uglier than you
But at least they don't pretend to be cute like you do

You are so annoying. You put me in a foul mood when I see you

I don't know why you're head is so swelled up

You better be careful, I might just run you over

Huh. When I look at it in English, it's even more horrible.