Where’s The Key Alice? Work in Progress!

Today, I want to talk about my latest photomanipulation.  This post, of course, comes later than the creation I uploaded on DeviantART, simply because I haven’t had the time to write it up.  Life, as always, has been busy.  But lately, it’s been so much busier because asides from researching, I’ve been writing.  Oh yes.  I’ve been writing, and it’s taking such an immense amount of my concentration, I can’t even think beyond my day life (researching), and for the moment, night life (writing project: Golden Phoenix).  But sometime over the last month, I’d managed to find the time to do this:

Where's the Key Alice by N-arteest

My second greatest feat since I returned back to doing what a hobby artist does in her spare time: create, is Where’s the Key Alice?  

Creating something big, wonderful, and beautiful, takes a painstaking amount of time out of one’s day.  While I won’t say that what I make is beautiful, but I do feel extremely proud of my accomplishments.  Until, of course the next one, which makes the previous one seem like it needs a lot of work! Haha.

Every time I come back to creating something new, I find myself improved over time.  This is probably very normal, and is, like with most things, writing, reading, singing, dancing, probably influenced by the changes that have occurred in our lives, that gives us a new perspective on the world.  For me, I just got a little bit older, and hopefully, a little bit wiser.  Every day, though, I still fear the thought of losing yesterday (like the poem I wrote: Voices of Yesterday), of having my world become clear and focussed, rather than that beautiful rosy tint. I don’t, obviously, want to go back to being a child.  I like growing up.  But I don’t want to lose the endless daydreams of childhood, or the boundless abundance of hope that filled them.

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Time is such a precious commodity. I know I spend a lot of time thinking, I’m wasting time sitting here!  Eating is a waste of time!  Why am I wasting my time right now?  Every moment counts.

But some days.  We just need to sit back.  Relax.  It might be hard.  But there is a whole world in front of you.  And just maybe something will inspire you.  If you push yourself to the limit, you will go mad!  Or become so overstressed by the problems that are attacking you from left to right.  I would say get organised!  But maybe what you need is a little disorganisation?  Something to break up the chock-a-block routine you have going, and to completely disrupt your system until it’s in complete smithereens, and all you can do is think…I’ve had.  I’m going to take that damn break.  And maybe, like Forest Gump, you might want to run back and forth across the country, think things through, until sudden you stop, and realise.  That’s it.  I don’t need to think anymore.

Working on Where’s the Key Alice? became my spontaneous inspirational-drop-everything-else break.  Sure I had my research up in the day and I was researching and thinking and reading.  But I also had a jpg of my project up so I could stare at it and analyse what could be eliminated and what could be added.  At some points, I put it away and turned to my research, and found myself thinking…oh…now I didn’t think about that before.  And at night, I spent most of my time piecing and unpiecing, editing, and blending my gigantic mess, all the while, my writing project is open in the background, to glance at every so often, but with no pressure for me to really think about it.  Since there was no need.  Writing comes when it comes.  You don’t force it.  Otherwise you might want to get a pair of scissors and stab the screen for its corniness, or lameness.

So I focussed, with no real solid idea in mind, except that I was inspired while randomly looking for garden pics.  I came across this picture with a fairy girl hunched over a book, and beside her was a great sleeping dragon of some sort.  Overall the composition was very simple.  But I liked this idea of a secret garden.  A second scene to the first Which Way Alice which I really didn’t plan to make a sequel of.

Which Way Alice by N-arteest

Unfortunately, the hair on the two ‘Alices’ look different, because I was trying a different technique.  The feel between them is different too.  However, if I were to ever make it into a series (depending on whether I’m inspired or not), there’d definitely be an explanation! But now that they’re both done and next to each other, I feel like the second one, is the first scene, and the first is the second!

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And now, for the works in progress!  I think I should counted how many layers I used, but in the end, I lost track.  I do know there is at least 100!

So.  Part 1: The Background.  The background in my works is usually just piecing stock photos together, blending it into a much bigger scenery, one that’ll match my imagination.  Unlike with Which Way Alice? I didn’t change my design after I began it.  Right from the beginning, I was pretty set on my idea.  The question was, how do I do it?  when it comes to photomanipulation, the best thing is to have good stock.   It doesn’t have to have the best lighting, or even the best angle, so long as it fits your idea and you can manipulate it realistically.  Lighting you can edit later.

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Above, is the first part, and which I called ‘background’ when I was layering my image.  Since I use many pictures to create a bigger picture, many little elements blended to be one, there are alot of layers.  Coupled with the fact that I use clipped layers for each one to adjust the Colour Balance, it can get a little messy.  So I divide my picture into sections. For Where’s the Key Alice, I went from left to right, and grouped the sections according to an approximate third of the pic.  At the moment, there’s only the colour change applied.  2

The next part of the background, was the middle ground and I wanted waterfalls. I’ve always wanted to manipulate a photo to have an amazing waterfall!  But as you can see, I’m getting there!  Colour Balance again.  You want to have a nice even colour scheme overall.  Mine was aiming for a vivia entrancing, luxurious green for the flora, and a mysterious magical blue-green for the waterfall.

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And of course, a stone mini castle there at the edge of the waterfall.  I wanted to add as many pathways as possible too, since to me, mostly, I love pathways.  I love lots of meandering paths, and misleading doors, that bring up the questions of which way?  4

The Foreground.  Above, we have the last part of the picture.  Originally, I’d enlarged the floating island so that it was at the very forefront of the picture, however, since I wanted to show it floating, I had to shrink it.  Which may have been for the better, but I feel, here, I might have erred, since you can’t see the writing on the lamp post as clearly.  And most of that is important.  Important to the floating island, is the doorway seemingly to another world. This, I definitely, absolutely wanted to add, because the calm of the scenery inside the archway was to contrast against the beauty outside.

5Lighting!  And adding in all the details.  Like the lights, the glow of the lamps.  The faeries.  I brightened up the image using the burn and dodge tool, adding in shadows in some places, and then dodging others to be brighter.

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Stone angels were inserted for their significance.  Just like the other image (Which way Alice) there are exactly 3.  Death is also present.

And now, below, for the Close Ups! The first is of the left side of the picture, by the crystal fountain.  I did blend in sun rays, because I wanted the light shining through, blindingly and brilliantly.  Here as you can see, in the light of the crystal fountain, the shadow of death is waiting along the path.  Just another obstacle along the way.  I still think I probably overdid it with the crystal fountain, and also think I tried something too early too soon.  But hey, when you’re constantly honing your skills, it’s all about the trial and error!  The faeries are all different sizes though,I deliberately did like that because well, they’re magical beings, no need to be rational there!

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Sorry, my WIP kind of went astray and I didn’t talk about the techniques I used as much, but I’ve never really been very good at describing them.  After all, I’ve only just learnt half of the techniques I used for Where’s the Key Alice and Which Way Alice recently myself!  Plus, my method is really very simple, and learnt from tutorials online.  But if you want to know more, let me know!  I will try and whip one up!  Since I know, sometimes tutorials aren’t all that useful, because they’re bam, bam, bam, and unless you’re trialling and errorring, you don’t really know what they’re talking about.

Main Tools of Use:

  • Photoshop (I use C2 since that was the one version of photoshop I first fell in love with!  But I do want to upgrade to the latest since the newer update has a tool I really want to use!)
  • DeviantART stocks and resources (absolutely fabulous)
  • My brain (yes, I did use this, and though it’s obvious, I figure I’d add it in ;P)

I had a lot of fun making this.  And it’s now my laptop wallpaper.  It’s a completed thing, but my skills, like always, are a work in progress.  Everything in life is a work in progress. Nothing is ever truly finished!  When you put your mind to it, you can create something amazing that you didn’t think you could, and when you get older, you can look back and think, wow, I can’t believe I did that then, look what I can do now?  For me, that’s how I hope I’ll see the things I did this year, last year, back when I was 15, in 20 or 30 years time.

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**NOTE: All stocks used for “Where’s The Key Alice” are listed on DeviantART (Another link for you: HERE.  And wow.  I’m amazed.  It’s taken me a few hours to write this all up, and WordPress has autosaved it for me 84 times!  I don’t know why, but I find it quite impressive!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

So this is a little early, but I want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone who follows my blog, who has come past my blog and liked a post, who are friends of mine, and to everyone!

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With the new year almost upon me again, I’ve been looking back over my blog.  This year, I’ve noticed I haven’t been around much, and for that, I’m sorry!  If you follow my blog, then you know I love being around!  This blog is my baby. Just like my laptop, anything I write, and the book club I host with Sam!

 

And Now Some Quotes!  

For the New Year, I will be keeping these quotes in mind, for this year has turned out so much harder than I expected, for a variety of reasons.

From Alfred Tennyson….. 

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”

From Oprah Winfrey…

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

From Edith Lovejoy Pierce…

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

And One From Me:

Never Give Up.  

Every year is hard.  The new year is the one time of the year when you can give yourself that resolution to either chug along, or change something.  I can’t say it’ll be successful, I’m not a motivator.  I’m just a girl going about life.  And this past year, hasn’t been the best.  But there’s no point thinking that next year will be worse.  I’m going to think positive, and believe, really believe, deep down inside of me, where my optimism meter is at its lowest already, and I’m going to drag it out.  I’m going to believe with all I have left, that next year will be better.  Because tomorrow will be the first day of the new year, the doorway to change.  If change is what we want.  Me:  I need a bit more courage, a bit more confidence, and plenty of determination.

Growing up.  Getting older.  No matter how old you are.  Gets harder every year.  But I always want to remember the Voices of Yesterday.

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Resolutions

This year, I wrote a post about my New Years Resolutions.  Not surprisingly, I didn’t manage to completely stick with my resolutions!  Let’s dissect my resolutions from last year:

[1] I will read at least 3 debut novels this year (having failed to do so in the previous years, I’m adamant about it this year).  This will probably be one of my personal reading challenges for The Quarterly Book Club.

I did it!  Omg, I’m surprised with myself!  I’ve read a total of 108 books this year, but I didn’t know how many debut novels I read.  But, checking over my challenge shelf in QBC over on Goodreads, I have indeed read 3 2015 debut novels.  I read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, and Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff.  All of them were very interesting, entertaining, and great debut novels!

[2] I’m going to read at least 3 classics (I think I only read one last year).  This one too.

This one, I absolutely and utterly failed.  I honestly am ashamed of myself for not spending at least five days reading a great classic!  I can’t believe it!  I didn’t read one single classic this year! Granted, I did start Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.  But that itself is not finished.  Which brings me to–

[3] I’m going to read Lord of the Rings (I read the first line of the Two Towers earlier after seeing the Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and realised, I might actually really want to read it – for those who read the Grinch Book Tag it’s a book that’s been on my shelf for years).  And this one as well!

-______- I failed.  Epically.  However, I am still reading it, and about halfway through!

[4] I plan to post stories this year.  I have a story I’ve been working on, and to face my fear of sharing lengthier works, I’m going to definitely post it this time.

I did this!  A bit, but waned towards the second half of the year.  However, this I still intend to continue, since The Curse Mark still has a few more chapters before it reaches the part where I stopped writing (putting it on hiatus).

[5] Even if postgrad takes my time, I do not plan to go on such a long hiatus in 2015 like I did in 2014, I missed this blog too much.

I started my postgrad about six months ago now, and for the past year, according to my stats–and thankfully I have my annual report to look at!  This year I posted 130 times.  Whereas in 2014, I posted only 102 times.  So better!  And also, I was only more consistently this year compared to last year.  In 2014, I disappeared for 3 months.  But this year, I didn’t disappear for more than three weeks or so!

I think, for 2015 New Years resolutions, I did a good job.  What are my resolutions for Next Year?  Truthfully I haven’t decided yet, but I will within the next week! What are some of your New Years Resolutions? 

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And that’s it!  I leave you with:

And I still like Lea Michele’s rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

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Oh!  And of course, again, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Goodbye 2015!  I hope you all have a great one, and that your new year’s eve shall be full of fun, celebration and champagne!

Signing off for the rest of today and year,

Your Always Here, Waterblogging wordy blogger,

   Nina   

Which Way Alice?

As promised!  Here is the final result of my procrastination, as mentioned here weeks back–> Procrastination, Thesis Diaries Part 4? I had to wait a while to upload it for two reasons: 1) I’ve been busy.  Busy, it seems to be the common denominator for every fraction of each day that comes.  So while I schedule well, some things just take time!  And making sure I credit every person whose stock resources made it possible, required ALOT of time.  I’ve always found linking to be such a pain, but well, they all deserve credit!  2) I had to wait because I had three other works to upload first.  And it seems I’m a bit of a sucker for doing things in a particular order.  My water photomanipulation series needed uploading before I could upload Which Way Alice?  since after all, I did create them first: Sweet Surrender, Euphoria, and Emancipation.

Here it is:  Which Way Alice?  The completed version!

And also, to go with it, a micro poem I wrote on Twitter:

She stared at the pathways

Running away from her

Stretching terrifyingly into the unknown…

Which Way Alice?

The above is a photomanipulation, which, were I much better at painting with a brush and a canvas, I would have love to do by hand (but alas, I am not good at all with a brush, lack the patience and skill to do it by hand, and do not think a finelined version would be worthy, thus, I went to my trusty laptop, opened up photoshop and decided to go from there).  Although I called this ‘Which Way Alice’ this one isn’t really an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scene.  But rather, it’s based on the idea of Alice in Wonderland, and grew to be something else entirely (as one has probably gathered if you’ve read my Procrastination post).

When I started out with this, I began with two thoughts:
1) An Alice image, a girl in wonderland.
2) An image about a girl who has a number of choices in front of her, all looking decidedly positive and good..  But which one is the right one?

I had a thought of making this available as a print on DA, but as I’ve never before wanted something printed, I don’t know.  But maybe, if I get enough views, I will seek out the necessary permissions and make this available as a print.  As for now!  This has been made as a 1366×768 sized wallpaper (and of which is currently set as my laptop wallpaper, as I’ve mentioned previously, I love being able to make my own wallpapers and really loving them too).  Hmm I’d actually love to have this as a jigsaw puzzle lol.  Maybe one day, for my kids if I ever have any! Haha.

Of course, I could still improve on this!  But this is the first time I’ve done something so detailed in terms of photomanipulation.  I never thought I could, but well!

Credits: Please go through to my DA page for the credits: Which Way Alice?

Procrastination. Thesis Diaries part 4?

Oh dear…this topic…I bring it up, sadly, because over the last few days, despite the scholarly book in front of me, and the articles up in various tabs on my computer, I haven’t felt like I’ve read much.  Instead, I horrify myself by spending hours and hours on something else….namely, a little project in photoshop.  I don’t know what possessed me to do so, but the other day, sometime either Thursday or Friday last week, I became obsessed with the idea of REALLY trying to create an indepth, detailed wallpaper.  Though, this time, not for my own computer.  I just used the 1366 x 768 dimensions as a foundation.  I really don’t know what possessed me.  It was spontaneous, nutty, and obsessive.  And at the same time, it wasn’t like I wasn’t studying.  I was.  But that’s the problem you see, since although I did do reading, and I did scan through texts, I didn’t do half as much as I probably could if I spent the whole day focussed.

But well.  From Bachelors to Honours to now, PhD, procrastination has become a bigger and bigger problem for me.  And I know why.  It’s because unlike my mum, I don’t believe in having to study all day.  I believe in taking breaks.  Spend an hour reading to a certain page of my book, then take an hour break.  Or depending on the mood.  If stressed, restrict my break time to lunch time, and spend the morning accomplishing a number of goals.  More than anything, I hate feeling like I’ve done nothing!  And so, for many years now, I’ve learnt that it’s important to have these mini goals.  Today, I haven’t really done much.  But yesterday, I made it a goal to finish off the last 30 odd pages of a book I was reading that had been suggested by my associate supervisor (down under, we have two supervisors, one is Main, and the other is the associate), and read one article, as well as go through a few pages of a text I’m looking at.  I did that, and I also got a little further on something else.

Remember I said something came over me?  Well this is what I was working on for many hours–thankfully I don’t study after dinner.  I only study during the day when my head is screwed on tightest, unlike at night, where friends are prone to receiving, odd, nonsensical text messages from me–clearly, I can’t think half as well.  The good thing about not being able to study in the evenings is that I can take on private tutoring and other night shifts for the moment.  And on days with nothing like that of the sort, and since at current, my social life is nil since all my friends are busy with their own careers (there’s just something about this time of the year that has everyone in a frenzy), it’s a perfect time for working on other things.   Such as digital art in Photoshop.  I’ve always been interested in it, but never really had the courage or time to explore various techniques in the past.  In the past, it was always much easier to just get out the sketchbook and draw with pencil and fineliner.  These days I don’t have as much time (and apparently I stress less if I have the laptop in front of me….maybe it’s because everything is digitally stored in soft copy everywhere), and yet have more time to explore and experiment with photoshop.

And so when the desire hit, I just went with it.  My nights over the last few days have been dedicated to this project, which!  I will we be uploading onto my DeviantART Profile here: N-arteest with a full description and list of credits for the stock used.  But for now, because I’m writing this here in a very brief procrastination post about procrastination, lord knows why I’m doing such a thing, I’ll post a few of the Work In Progress images ;).  My dear readers, this is my little gift to you, and well, I’m just really glad it’s mostly finished now.  I can’t believe it took around 12 – 14hrs approx to complete (mostly because I only worked on it at night, and I changed my mind several times, particularly about how it would look.)

The Original Concept

Work in progress 1

This is the original concept I had.  I didn’t really know what I was doing, since I had all these beautiful stock images, some of which I blended together (Like on the right) yet, left me with no wiggle space as to what to do next.  I was so frustrated by this, I didn’t know what to do, so I spent the next day…while reading, and trying to draw lines with all the dots of information I had for my PhD research, thinking about what I wanted to conceptualise in my wallpaper digital thingy!

Work in progress 2

I changed my concept to this.  With a giant stone plinth covered in moss.  And I started thinking of a ‘Which Way Alice’.  Something that was also sparking in my head the day before, with all the paths I had laid out for the female.  So what if I made a concept based on someone given a variety of choices?  And then I started thinking about myself, and about the future, and about the choices we can all potentially make that might seem good, but aren’t.  I mean, even in the original concept I was already considering the idea of making all the various paths seem innocent, yet really, in the depths, it’d show some silent warnings.  The hidden dangers.

Work in progress 3

I’ve added the Archways here, and there, you can see the original concepts there too ^^.   With ‘Alice’ looking on, perhaps wondering which way is the right way to go.

Work in progress 4

And the Last Screenshot here, the last sneak peak before the whole thing goes up on my DA, I’ve gone in for a close up.  The lamp post.  I didn’t know how I would do this part, but when I saw the stock, I knew I wanted a lamp post.  I originally had a vague image in my head of signs surrounding Alice, each one saying something seductive about the various entrances.  But in the end, this is what was conceived.  A sign.  And signs, with a few little touches.  There’s what seems like blood, red paint of some such covering over the part of the signs that says ‘warning’, ‘danger’, and ‘the Future’.  On the other side, there’s the sign labelling the Way Back.  But of course, there’s a chicken standing on it.

In a way, this was kind of related to my PhD, not that I’m doing something based on Alice in Wonderland or anything.  Nor is my research an art project.  But there are similar themes between this and that that seem familiar to me, and in a way, for me to feel less guilty about spending so many hours procrastinating–which I still did because during the day, during breaks, I sometimes scrolled through a whole bunch of stock images when I should have been reading.

And well, yes, I should add here, to sign off for today, that it’s bad to procrastinate!  But we all know that’s a lie.  WE can’t help procrastinating.  Rather, it’s how you manage it, how you tone down the stress and guilt, and do enough research, as well as take enough breaks that’s important.  Burning out early on, with Passion turning into a Passionate Hate, isn’t how you want to spend the three-four years of your PhD.

Passion. Thesis Diaries part 3?

This time will DEFINITELY be short!

I have really only one thing to say.  Being around 3 months into my PhD, I have learnt (though I already knew, seeing as I can’t help but think about things in the long term) that when it comes to your Doctor of Philosophy, and to all the years you’ll spend doing it, the most important thing is this:  Passion.  You have to love what you want to do, have to want to study it immensely, have to have the desire to make a change about something (even if it’s really small, that’s fine! Just don’t think about a Nobel Prize just yet–you’re not ready, or that might be too big a goal if you’re just starting out), and most of all, you absolutely cannot think ‘This sucks. This is boring.  It’s so bloody dry.  I hate this.’

There are a lot of pressures of life, I’m beginning to notice that will make one think about the ‘job opportunities’ that lay at the other end of the continuum–things like financial situation, peer and parental pressure, reality.  Those sorts of things.  But while, I can’t really say so myself, not really, since I haven’t yet passed all my lifetime milestones, I do want to say this.  I want to be able to say next year, or the year after, or the year after that, that I love what I’m doing.  I want to be able to light up, have sparkles in my eyes, and good hair, when I say ‘I have no regrets’ with the choice I made–one that, in the beginning, may not have been very  practical at all.  Yet it’s the fact that there was Passion that makes me light up like that.

Even though it’s hard, and sometimes inconceivable, I want to be able to make choices in the future that aren’t half-heartedly, that are full of careful thought and reckless yet passionate choices.  It’ll be hard.  But before I even began my PhD, I never wanted to not do it.  Even if I faltered half a dozen times and had to endure a long and agonising wait for my application to be processed.

In the end though–particularly today as I sat with my Supervisors in our almost monthly meetings, I could feel it in the air.  I just couldn’t shut up about what I felt and thought even though my brain kept telling my mouth ‘you’re boring people!’  It just kept flowing out of me, what I loved and what I found so far.  And I knew in that moment, I didn’t want to be studying any other topic.  This topic is mine.  I thought it up.  I picked the area.  And though it might seem like an English Literature research, I will definitely make it Linguistics.  This topic is mine.  And I will make it significant in the future, even though I am soooooooo daunted right now, I’m a bit scared I might wet my pants, and I have never done that ever.

So.  (And crap, because bloody hell, this was longer than I had planned!)  Passion.  Find a topic you’re really passionate about when it comes to postgraduate studies, don’t just pick from a list–unless you’re someone who grows into the topic and becomes passionate later on–it’ll just kill you over the two (masters/depends on the masters course) or three (or four or more depending on the PhD course).  Pick something you’ll love–it’ll define you later.  And you don’t want to hate it, right?

It’s Out!!! — Lazy Day Writing, the Literary Journal

AHHHHHHH IT’S OUT!  A new Literary Journal that accepts writers of all ages, background and experience and gives them a chance to share their work with other readers and writers.  And guess who submitted one of their short stories to this Journal? Me!!!  I’m published!  Guys I’m published!  This feels amazing!  And I was so excited!  So of course, I want to share this all with you :). (Even if it’s one short story in a new journal, it still counts, plus I love the feeling I get from this journal–you know how you can get a ‘feeling’ about a good journal and a bad one?  Well I had a good one here!)

Now, the story I published, called A Story in Time: New Years Wishes is actually not a new story for you, my lovely followers.  You may have remembered me publishing here for the New Year of 2014:

A Story in Time, New Year’s Wishes.  Part One.

A Story in Time, New Year’s Wishes.  Part Two.

A Story in Time, New Year’s Wishes.  Part Three.

A Story in Time, New Year’s Wishes.  Part Four.

A Story in Time, New Year’s Wishes.  Part Five.

However, the story I submitted to Lazy Day Writing has been edited a little and expanding 😉 .  So feel free to take a look!  It’s free to download (though only PDF for now) and it’s full of some of the most interesting stories :).  I’m hoping the journal continues running, because it’s a great idea!  Furthermore, the Editor has done a great job with the whole journal.

Redecorating!

It seems like a week for redecorating, changing things around and trying something new.  It has also been a very odd week for me too.  Earlier this week for example, I was having lunch with a friend, and silly me, I’m not sure how it happened, but I almost walked out without paying!  Thankfully my friend (most gorgeous and adorable best friend of mine!) was there to pull me in the right direction, that is: the cashiers.  The desk where I hastily pulled out my share of lunch and laughed off my dd spate of forgetfulness.

As for redecorating.  I’ve been in a mood to redesign my Words That Flow Like Water Logo.  And not just that, I made it my business to also make time to make a new header!  In the beginning, when I first started this blog, I was admittedly quite shy about putting my own works up.  I didn’t really want to put my own sketches where it seemed like I was boasting, and being overly proud of artwork which while not brilliant, are things I just so happen to like sketching.  So I kept it pretty minimal.  But lately, over the last year or so, I’ve been feeling a little bit more confident.  I just love how you can see the personal development in skill whenever I look through my old sketches or read over old work–it’s a wonderful feeling to feel like I’ve accomplished something!

For example, my original Blog logo:

I remember drawing that in 2011, as I was attempting to hone my skills.  I was getting there slowly with different body positions and things I hadn’t really explored previously.  Now, the new and improved drawing, updated as a my Blog’s logo:

Avatar copy 2

Creative tools: – hand sketch and ink – Photoshop – Starwalt Brushes from DeviantARTRedheadstock rose brushes from DeviantART

I was surprised at how much my sketch style changed when I sketched out the new logo.  Not only that, I was pleased to find how much easier it was to draw such a body position for my main figure!  Not only that, I’ve clearly become much more skilled at drawing hands–this was one of my worst skills before, one I didn’t think I’d ever improve on.

Guess it goes to show how much one can achieve given time and hard work honing existing skills!  I always believe in bettering oneself, and that there is always room for improvement.  This goes for writing as much as it does for art.  Same with attitudes to life :).  If it’s looking down, then surely, it’ll look up at one stage!

Lastly, as for redecorating, I finally got round to making a Header for WTFLW.  I didn’t know how it would look, and I always wanted to stay away from using brushes from DeviantART, thus the result is quite different to my logo.  I’m not sure if I’m too happy with it, but I like for now.

What do you think?

Undoubtedly it has a similar feel to the masthead I made for The Quarterly Book Club but this is primarily because WTFLW is mainly water and blue orientated.  The writing (written in my own hand!) in the background are actually taken from here: The Dream Weaver in which I used Edgar Allen Poe’s poem Dreams as part of the background (not brilliantly thought out, but that’s where the writing comes from!)  I shall perhaps redo the banner, make it simpler or perhaps even scrap it and start again because of course! although I like it, my need to make it perfect has struck!

My dear followers, fellow bloggers, friends and random visitors!  I hope you are all well, and that life is going well for you.  If not, I hope it gets better, just like I hope mine is going where I want it to :).

I will be posting a poem next!  (Well I hope.  I’ve been getting bursts of inspiration, but nothing has been fully formed yet!