Oct 18, 2009


Bins Behaving Badly Series.

Some of the images for my 2nd photography project. Once I get to scanning the 1st photography projects for my visual diary, you'll get to see those too.

2 more weeks & 4 more projects

...and then I'm home free!

Thanks largely to money issues, I won't be going to Japan this year over summer holidays though I haven't ruled out going SOMEWHERE. Another reason was I thought I'd spend a bit of time getting creative and buffing up my portfolio and skills base.

To that end, ever since the weekend of October 9th (when I went to SemiPermanent) I've tried to draw something each day, and keep that drawing for refinement into a little book which should be filled up in a month's time (I guess.)

I've so far refined 2 drawings and collected 8 that roughly correspond to the output of these past 8 days.

To the left, the final refinement of October 9. To the right, October 15th.

The corner of my desk belonging to crafty things.

Two uni projects in progress.

I got to make a lot of very traditional books these last few weeks and it's been tons of fun. Now there's 2 weeks with 4 deadlines to meet (one of them tomorrow), so we'll see how it all works out. As long as I keep my D average I'm a happy girl. :)

Oct 12, 2009

Heroes in Casual Clothes

A bit of red-pen drawing got done. :)

I'm trying to find a really efficient way to drop out red underlines in photoshop... I know selecting colour range isn't the way. Finished that beast of an illustration project with some tacky "deep" linear burn filters for a little extra intensity.... might put the underlying portrait here, providing it doesn't look dreadful on closer examination.

It seems a lot more gets done on all those projects when there aren't silly classes to get in the way.

Oct 11, 2009


I read & loved Banana Fish over last weekend, look forward to hearing more from me on that. Been chasing the government, my potential exchange university, teachers and students while assignments have been chasing me.


View out of my grubby window. The neighbour's front yard is how I tell the time of day & seasons while staying in bed.

Some of my workspace. Stuff piles organically here. I swear off coffee and drink tea when I want to get down to hours of serious work (for the lesser caffeine hit.)

Book Leather, Mull & Endpaper arrives.

- - -

The last one was for a project in which I made... a book. It didn't turn out as neat as I imagined, more like saturated in PVA and sticking precariously out of the spine.

Illustration just ain't coming to me... *sigh*

Sep 17, 2009

Creativity =/= fun?

Creativity used to be a fun hobby.

But being creative full-time, under the restraint of briefs and everchanging teachers' opinions; being forced to create in a certain way, at certain angles, about certain things irrespective of your own strengths and interests, can get very draining very quickly.
Ambition and novelty can get you through the first semester, but they won't carry you for three years.
So you tend to be drained at the end of a day and not even remotely interested in pursuing all those things you thought you were put on this earth to pursue.
So you either find your own way and cling to it in every brief, or get by until the holidays. Something about it all though, makes me desperate to assert my own hobbies and passtimes on a schedule that can't really bear it, because expert validation in this world is a long, long way away.

AKA I'm beginning to once again get frustrated and bored out of my socks by coursework! When will it all end?
When can I stop having dreams about amazing rivers I've never known and crews I've never worked with, about white soft powdery snow up to the waist on a special black run off the piste that I practically grew up on these past few years?

Anyway. Either I'll get the better of this or it'll get the better of me. There's always deferral as an option...

Sep 9, 2009

She's a Flapper

In a vintage fashion magazine.

Sep 7, 2009

A big red sore nose

The symptoms of a cold changing every day is definitely a good sign. Certainly it's evolving... I like to think it's being thwarted daily in its attempts to conquer me and forced to new and exciting frontiers of battle in its futile struggle for existence.

That's what I LIKE to think.

The Secret Project.

Also I'm binding little bits of paper within metcards, in order to test out different methods of bookbinding and which of these will best serve me in an upcoming brief.

Little books.

- - -

Tomorrow: 2 x A2 cardboard papers for my little lantern, and scouting some materials for the cover of my (upcoming) book. Whichever method I use to attach the pages in this volume, I ideally want to make a cover out of a nice thick tactile cloth. Either I buy this, or cut up an old pair of jeans that lives on my shelf in unceasing hopes of one day being properly repaired (I botched it once with non-stretch patches...)

AHH if only we had a sewing machine that wasn't foot-operated!

Aug 23, 2009

Something Funny

The Beatles's "When I'm 64" to the image of a septuagenarian Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love in a nursing home. Drinking tea. :)

Planning my amazing route of activity across the span of the city after classes, culminating in the presentation of photography assignment 1 (of 2). Conversely, I will now only be able to play the DS while in transit.

Aug 20, 2009

Amateur Photographer

Spring is in the air... as the weather finally fines up (for the most part).

A quaint little mailbox.

The mysterious workings of the tree doctor...

Powerlines and Trees,

A lovingly framed Cherub, and

An abandoned block of land.

- - -

All from my Lettersearching homework this week. When I find the entire alphabet I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

Spending time drawing on the theme of "I don't draw much anymore..."
One day I might just share it with you!

Aug 10, 2009

The Asexual Being.

He lives, absolutely disinterested in and unneeding of sexual gratification. But that means he doesn't touch people, ever. It's an excellent thing to be, except for when it's not. I guess?

I liked his posture.

He is now the signature image up in the ^ sidebar up there, hovering.

- - -

It's peaceful, flicking through the CSS and tinkering to make the page look how I want it.

That's 5 years of assistant webbuilding experience for you. Why couldn't I have been a waitress?

Identity Theft

Makes sense, right?

Photo Processing

Question: why do they call it photo processing in 2 hours when in practice everywhere you go they tell you to come back in 2 days? I asked if that was as fast as they could do it, because I needed it in time for class... he gave me this look and "cut me a deal" to closing time the day before. Thank you, artsy monsieur. :/

The teacher sprung a get-quality-lab-prints day on us and there's no way I can take those photos and have them developed in time. Not to mention I can't really afford to buy film, use film and then have 2-3 rolls of it developed every week. I just ain't rolling in it. :/ :/

OH GOD I wish I didn't need money for everything.

....at least the vodka was duty-free.

Hand-rendering & Hand-kerning Letters

2 x 4 hour studios weren't nearly long enough.

First 4 hours: Draw up lines & hand-render the letters of your name, 10 x each letter, in two different fonts. Try to be as true to those fonts as possible. We had references but had to basically scale them up with no rulers. Try for 10 x each letter x each font. I have never regretted forgetting my mechanical pencil so much.

Last 4 hours: Choose the best of those letters & ink them. Then hand-kern (space) your letters to best possible effect.

I spent like 3 hours just inking the perfect letters.... then speed-kerned my alphabets.

Inked genius.

You can see my crazy white-out and lineup attempts here. HOOHAH.

Aug 8, 2009

Schoolie APH

Ahahaha. This was one of the ideas I cooked up while I was trying to come up with an ID pic for DA's APHetalia club's competition.
I had this scrap of paper lying around the desk for a while waiting for a scan.
The countries as like, "Boarding School Drama" kids of typical character tropes.

China was like the aloof martial arts dude, England was the punk rebel dude (coz he is, y'know), France was the bishounen, Russia was the Gentle Giant... America was the most fun, because drawing him I immediately thought of those awful know-it-all straight-laced kids that don't have the decency to be self-conscious about it.
He'd just be loud and righteous and... yeah, anyway.
Ita-chan was just a handsome Cloud Cuckoolander.

Himaruya's Italy has rekindled my passion for all things Italian! Namely, men! Except the fact that they're incredibly hairy (or so my sources tell me), they would be the ideal lovers. Unless of course they're Semi-Naturalised Australians, in which case the weird-ass cultural pride thing would totally drive me nuts.
I'm acultural. Culture-pride myths, especially ones so drastically different and unrelated to peoples actual origins... can't you just see the absurdity? D:

Is thinking about signing up to an NPO to improve scholarship chances a bad thing?

People in Glass Houses shouldn't Throw Stones.

Does it make sense from the image? :/ :/

1st Illustration assignment was thrown together in Photoshop. When you can whip up a coherent, purposeful project with a few hours the night before, that's when you know you're proficient at a program. *Digs around for InDesign*

Aug 7, 2009


You said it!

The Lady-proportioned Cuban Communist Guerrilla was once a sizing chart for ordering clothes on the internet.

Jul 20, 2009

On my way home

Things I need to prepare for poking around at home:

- Some form of knitting / crocheting gear. :)
- A multipocket folder to organise my sheaths of drawing paper
- urrrm, catchup on missed classes?

Hmmmmm alright. Just enough NZD to take care of everything and a bunch of cash in the bank yet to keep me going when I get back. Shoes from America? Maybe...
Also need to:
- Make some delicious cookies and
- Some TTGL pictures and
- my busted old harddrive to put together and mail to my agent over in the ole new country.

In perfecting my quiet-night-inness, have finished most of the books I brought over, which I thought were way too many - done with Henry Esmond and Voltaire's Candide, and now ploughing through Empires. All of which are set in similar periods for at least part of their durations, which means you get bits of them referencing each other.
History is like some really, really complicated branched-out series that's been evolving over years and years, so convoluted that if you miss 30 seconds the season is effectively ruined for you, and yet you have literally thousands of years to catch up on before you even start paying attention.

British Empirial Rallying Cry: If you can't beat them, make them join you!

Jul 14, 2009

Good day from real winter

Minus 6 degrees on a fine morning in July, strolling around and checking out the facilities, and thinking "this is what losing 2 hours feels like." New Zealand didn't give me a passport stamp. :<
What is it like across the tasman?

Like Oz but not. :/

I've almost finished that pesky book that kept me entertained through a good 7 hours of waiting for and riding on miscellaneous planes. Henry Esmond, indeed. For seconds, Voltaire, I'm looking at you!

Funnily enough the shuttle driver knew my address and took me to the doorstep, her own house being 3 doors down from where I would be staying. I'm quite sure I got the unit number right... the door was locked so I left my things behind and went walkabout.

Time for a coffee, and some more of Harry's melodramatic misadventures.

I've figured out that 3 days ~ $180 or so for a lift pass to one of the given mountains, with free bus from the centre 10 minutes from the house. That and I can get a multiday pass with friend discounts, maybe.

We'll just see how much money I have left after it's all over. This funny New Zealand paper money.... check me flicking through it with no sense whatsoever of the value of each pretty colour note. Kind of like our money but different colours and fonts.
Money's funny like that, before its intristic value sinks into you through the rote repetition of a hundred thousand little purchases in a hundred thousand little stores.

- - - -

I have a massive ego, but that doesn't necessarily mean I have a high opinion of myself. Indeed in my experience ego is there to compensate for self-esteem. You compensating for your own perceived lack

Jun 25, 2009

~ Cats & Cradles ~

= Regarding the Prehistoric History of Britain =

Where are the British countries, anyway?

When did England and France begin as nations?

A lot of pondering (and some fun with character designs) going on his afternoon.

I could spend hours just reading about history on Wikipedia. :) More on that when it's scan-ready.

- - -

Wartime Uniforms - Great Britain WWII

Since I dedicated a significant part of my holidays to APH-fangirling, I've become a good deal wiser (and more well-resourced in terms of wonderful art-sites) and expanded extensively upon my uniform fetish.

- - -

= Fortuitous Forged Talismans Aplenty =

Another thing that's passing the long hours at home away from work and school is playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2. I'm naughty and haven't finished the first one yet plot-wise, and this next one is bugging me in various ways that I'm sure will improve as I get further in the game.
  1. I need recruits and can't get any. I have a finicky habit when it comes to FFTA, and that is good name hunting. I want good names for the members of my party, the only thing I can't change.
  2. You can play the game any way you like but you always play it KNOWING what you SHOULD do is plan out carefully what abilities & jobs each party member will cover. A party with the maximum number of members should just about cover every job available, if each party member masters 2 jobs. Complicated? Sure, but us Otaku like the finicky details. Annoying? Hell yes, especially when I'm bogged down with the first 6.. and... can't... accept... bad names....
  3. Unlike the older game, I can't powerplay. I don't do it on purpose, but I find the plot tends to come second to training and mastering abilities when I play. So I tend to bog myself down with silly side-missions when I could punch through the plot and get those items that I need to make the tools that I need to get the jobs that I need... for the crew I don't yet have.
ARGH games. They're supposed to be for fun, aren't they??

- - -

The most awesome bit of miscellany today.

I washed the blanket that my cats love to sleep on (soft and light wooly Pokemon blanket, would you believe), the one that usually lives on my carefully crafted and perfected layering of sheets and blankets and quilts. It invariably gets gunked up by their frequent visits and is covered in cat fur and dust and bits.
I added wool softener and my bathrobe for kicks and it smells like the best of clean cuddly laundry.... and the smell is so strong (maybe I didn't dry it properly?) that it has rubbed off on my cats.
So dear Genya cuddling up to me while I was eating dinner in front of the TV with my little DS Lite (Spicks and Specks was crap the other night, btw ;/ ) smelt like wool softener.

So... so delicious a smell for soft wooly cuddly cats.

This made my day.

- - -

By the way, both Shiina and Genya are very muscly cats... their strength surprises me sometimes. True their father was definitely a feral tomcat and their mother from the lineage of a feed store cat (where country people buy food for horsies and things, you cityfolk!). My cats are quite large.
When Genya was cuddling up to me the other night and doing that claw-kneading thing kittens do to their mommies, I noticed how his arm (leg? paw?) was all sinews and one big chunk of hard muscle. Crap, kitty, you are strong...
No wonder he pushes me around when he shares the bed. Shiina, you are getting too big for my lap!!

- - -

Jun 16, 2009

Character Sketches Galore~!

A build-up of Character Development at HQ

I've had these lying around for quite a long time, so I thought I'd dump them with explanations.

The first drawings.

On the top right there's a list of all the characters in the "main party". Ken guy = Wizard with pink hair.

- - -

The hero is Blonde.... Because I guess they don't come in blonde anymore.

Action Shots.

Hero Mc. King is the heir to a small fiefdom distantly related to kings and queens of old. He goes on a crusade presented to him by his Aunt and Uncle, who take over the castle & succession while he is gone. He travels with his cousin Princess Mc. Queen, who goes on a "diplomatic mission to the far lands". His mission is to find the 7 oceans of the land and collect water from them, apparently.

He becomes a fighter, then a Paladin as the story progresses. And he gets an eyepatch. :3

- - -

The kindly wizard has pink hair, which he keeps under hat. It's because each competing order of Wizardry marks its students with an unchangeable, unmistakable colour of the "proud colours" = neons nonexistent in the natural world. To keep the freaky deekies away he keeps most of his long luxurious locks under his wide-brimmed Gandalf Hat.

His quintessential expression is a kind of apologetic philosophical smile.

But he's really a legend, especially as he clocks some travelling hours in. As part of his post-graduate studies at his Order he goes in an extended "placement" with the hero's Party, from which he learns immeasurably. His habit is to pull out his book and pen and write magical theory in it at inappropriate times.

When one of these volumes fill up, they fly away (by flapping their covers, of course) and return to the Order, and a clean blank one is sent out. :)

- - -

Cat boy & Dog Girl

You can hardly tell them apart.

Cat girl can become a cat, and the constant loss of clothes and inability to transport them means she wears very little. I guess it's culturally acceptable where she comes from... she is on a mission of revenge against a Swamp Witch that wronged her in the past. Her brother is a normal pooch for most of the series until they figure out how to turn him back.

- - -

The Story of King Fritz

This is just a random drawing though. Lol.

King Fritz is a distant heir to the throne in his country but prefers to sing, dance and joke about. He meets a mysterious man with an edgy sense of humor down on his luck, and adopts him as the "king's Jester". They travel and have fantastic adventures together, and quite often switch places.
On the border of Hero's nation Fritz's Fool declares that he is a prince in disguise while drunk at a local inn, leading people to assume the Hero is well on his Quest, while the real hero hasn't gotten nearly as far.
This leads everyone off the scent :) They help Hero & Princess throughout the story and bring news of home.

- - -

There are others, namely: The Lie Detector guy, the Bandit, the Sword guy and the Princess, whose character sheets I've not done yet.

The Princess is my favorite ;) because she's a know-it-all. She follows the Hero on his quest under the guise of diplomatic missions. She is also deprived of her right to the throne a few months after leaving her principality (neighbouring the Hero's). Though she knows little about the ways of the world she is surprisingly shrewd and good in disguise.

The Lie Detector is a Mysterious Traveller with a Mysterious Past who is A Few Years Older than the rest of the party. Not sure why he joins up yet, but his secret ability is that he can tell the truth and lies apart. He is good at all that campy travelly stuff and dislikes the dishonest members of the party on principle.

The Sword Guy is a Registered Swordsman whose Old Master Father taught both him and the Hero how to swordfight. He travels as the Princess's protection. Kind of dull and simple strong kinda dude.

The Bandit is either grotesque or young n' genki, I haven't decided. He has history with the Cat Girl, cuz She's Morally Ambiguous Like That. He joins them on the quest for treasure and coz he's tired of Being Stuck in This Town.

- - -

There ya go!

More when I make it.

Jun 13, 2009

~ Magic Mushrooms and Ships Sailing in the Snow ~

Or in other words...

I wish my projects were that impressive. I have the feeling they would have been MUCH better had I not left myself with 1 week (or about 2 days) in which to produce the both of them.

These are the final projects for Photoshop & Illustrator class.
For my final hand-in, I chose to print them at the library since I had a Library Print card but not an Arts Design Computer Lab print card, and wasn't interested in organising the latter just for one assignment. And therefore had to print graphics files through computers with no graphics programs....

Basically using Windows Printing Wizard.


At least I managed A3 and Colour, but only AFTER the prints did I realise there was a resolution setting. Having only enough left of my last $10 (each print is $3 for A3 Colour) to reprint once, I chose to up the resolution in the Digital Alchemy print on which I'd spent more time anyway....
Meaning the Mushrooms I handed in for the product design brief were amazingly orange, and showing subtle signs of bad-res printing when I deliberately kept the box images smaller than needed to comfortably fill an A3 page... just so I could keep resolution crisp. Just hoping here that the teachers will check out my digital files and see what a good girl I've been.

I hate that the subtlety of colours on your monitor is just never going to translate to ink, or anyone else's monitor for that matter.


After a good 7 years of working and playing in it, I am through and through a Photoshop girl.

More amazing weekend projects of wanton illustration coming up in the far-near future!

- -

Jun 7, 2009

~ Cupped Hand of Glory ~

« Tough Love in Italian Families »
My bud tells me a little about life in Italian families.
Everyone is so fired up and lively, it seems like it would be really exciting.... but it's also pretty intense.

Italian Grandmas have developed this amazing technique of punishing their kiddies and putting them into place. The cupped hand, swung at a curved angle to meet the back of the head and cause the victim to nod forward - the cupped hand of glory.

North & South Love

- - -

Doumo! Making dolls & clothes this afternoon... nothing like dressing up. :)

Jun 5, 2009

~ Sloops and Buccaneers ~

« Progressing for over a week now... »

Is this picture I put together at the completion of Treasure Island, the original book by Stevenson. I love some of the stuff you can find on our old bookshelves.
If you don't know this story, chances are you know this story. Everybody does, it invented just about every pirate trope you could think of from peg legs and parrots to treasure maps with "X" marking the spot.

I never realised, having experienced this story umpteen times through the way culture tends to recycle good stories that capture the imagination, that Doctor Livesey was such an awesome guy. Not only does he not even blink when that old pirate is having a drunken fit at the old Benbow, but many times after he proves to be cool and collected through 7 kinds of hell.
It's kind of exciting to read a book of "coming of age" that involves a kid fixed squarely on his moral path, going about his heroics with self-conscious bragging and positioning at a minimum. What a not-cringeworthy guy!

Anyways, I got carried away enough to fill a whole page and thus far I'm at the lining stage. The colouring just seems too daunting to start (lol). Note the missing leg and cross-eyes!

+ Ode to Treasure Island +

- - -

And on a finer aesthetic note, when the 1750s are discussed mention must be made of the lovely fashions of the time. Breeches with socks tucked underneath, jackets and knee-length coats and most importantly those fine silver wigs!

Surprisingly enough, they still have to wear those in court in most Commonwealth nations, including expatriate Hong Kong. Just so you know.

Lorem Ipsum is a revered legal text...

In that vein, here is Phoenix Wright & Miles Edgeworth talking in full legal Commonwealth Barrister attire. Hard to tell without their signature hairstyles, but You get the idea.

Judges get a full-length curly mop, too! Our bald judge would love that, I'm sure.

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