June 2018 | Daily Art

June 4th

I spy with my little eye…a disorganized art project.

This week, I’ve been working with oil pastels, the adult artist’s fancier version of crayons. I stumbled upon them while cleaning out my supplies. Pastels feel childish to draw with at first–it’s all very waxy and chalky and messy. But a bit of blending and mixing will bring out a bit of realism!

6.4.18 | Daily Art


June 5th

Gesture and movement–I used to practice figure drawing by drawing random passerby’s in coffeeshops or sketching people’s faces in class.

It is about capturing their essence!

6.5.18 | Daily Art


June 6th

Shapes, shapes. This was a fun little exercise in colors.

6.6.18 | Daily Art


 

 

Fruity.

6.7.18 | Daily Art


June 8th

6.8.18 | Daily Art


June 9th

Violet

6.9.18 & 6.10.18 | Daily Art


 

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Unable to decide between the fuzzy border and circle border, I took it to IG story, where I set up a poll. The fuzzy border gives it a messy, organic look; the circle border, as my boyfriend suggested, makes it look like the view from a telescope.

Of the 80 voters on IG, 70% voted for the fuzzy border and 30% voted for the circle border. Which of the two do you prefer?

6.11.18 | Daily Art


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Scrambling for titles–the figure reminded me of a model, and the twins as if they’ve been cut out of construction paper. Unrelated thoughts:

  • Summer sounds like hissing cicadas outside my window.
  • God, I miss Austin and Gordough’s. Could we vacation there ASAP? Eat and eat and eat? Kayak furiously? Again with the so-nostalgic-it-hurts feels. Every year, one year later, I’ll look back fondly on what happened about 365 days ago. It’s a curse of sentimentality.
  • I know I started a blog to write, but sometimes my head cramps and I won’t want to write anything because it’ll seem too insignificant.
  • Reminder to self: don’t fuss over the larger picture. It’s better to set large goals, break them down, and take life day-by-day.

6.12.18 | Daily Art


 

 

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A bouquet of plastic flowers

6.13.18 | Daily Art


 

strawberry illustration design

Strawberry fields forever

6.14.18 | Daily Art


 

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It comes and goes in waves.

6.15.18 | Daily Art


June 16

Floral Vectors

6.16.18 | Daily Art


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6.17.18 | Daily Art


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Sunny side up

6.18.18 | Daily Art


Inspired by The Incredibles 2, I drew the main character in the short film, Bao, as well as my favorite character ever, Edna Mode! I threw in a little cartoon named Eggy for unrelated kicks and giggles.

June 19

Bao bao in Chinese is a term of endearment; it’s like the word “honey” or “sweetie.” A bao zhi is a type of meat dumpling. In the film, the mother’s bao bao (her son) is embodied in a bao zhi named Bao!

6.19.18 | Daily Art


June 21

“No capes!”

God, I love Edna.

6.20.18 & 6.21.18 | Daily Art


June 20

This, world, is Eggy.

6.22.18 & 6.23.18 | Daily Art


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Micron bloom. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed drawing flowers until I started this project, and drew them almost every other week.

They’re just…naturally beautiful subjects, although I’d never paid them much attention when I was younger.

6.24.18| Daily Art


ramen illustration

 

Today, I felt like making spicy Shoyu ramen. I’ve never appreciated ramen much; the word “ramen’s” conflated with cheap-low-quality-noodles, and I never understood the appeal. Recently, though, I went to a Japanese sushi restaurant where I ordered some ramen. Life-changing. Mind-altering! The broth was rich (it’d probably been boiled for hours with meat and bones) and spicy; the egg was runny and soft-boiled. I thought I’d try my hand at a slightly simpler version, since I don’t have pork bones within reach, and I’m too impatient to boil broth for a whole day.

So I used chicken broth and dashi broth with sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, etc–a whole slew of ingredients I threw into a pot and brought to a simmer. I soft-boiled an egg that decided to crack on its way down, so I crossed my fingers, barely moved the pot, and lo and behold, it came out solid. Misshapen, but solid. I threw in some seaweed, and there I had it: slightly altered ramen, but not the cheap Instant stuff you find for 25 cents.

6.25.18 | Daily Art


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Creeping, crawling tendrils.

6.26.18 | Daily Art


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We drive past sprawling landscapes dotted with cows and horses. Over the years, I’ve grown more and more appreciative of crosses between the suburbs and countryside.

6.27.18 | Daily Art


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Mountainside. Recently I stumbled upon an artist’s IG page where she staggered her pieces based on color scheme and B&W. I’m trying to do the same. I’ve yet to see how it goes, but hopefully it doesn’t require too much work. And I can practice simpler pieces, too–although, admittedly, my whole project’s been mostly simple illustrations.

6.28.18 | Daily Art


lotus flower animation

“There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

6.29.18 | Daily Art


galaxy painting animation

In the cosmic blink of an eye–

6.30.18 | Daily Art

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B&W Film

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Film is so beautiful and nostalgic.

I picked up a small love for film about four year ago. I’d been sitting in Econ lecture, scrolling through artists and photographers when I stumbled upon a photographer.

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A year after gathering a small appreciation (obsession) for film, I took a black and white film class.We took pictures in black and white and processed them in the darkroom, shot with borrowed Canon cameras.

I photographed strangers, artwork, puppies, toys, store fronts….so on and so forth. It was then that I realized: there is so much whimsicalness in the world. So much strangeness and beauty! The panda head human: a stranger. The toy train: more strangers. I began to shift my perception, seeing my surroundings in blacks and whites, hues and gradients, shadows and bright spots.

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In the dark room, we removed the film from the tube in a room devoid of light. With washes and chemicals and timers, we processed the small rolls of copper-colored film until they were ready to hang and dry.

Then we brought the dried film into the darkroom, where we each had our own space to magnify the film images, invert them, and light-print onto a piece of light-sensitive paper. Afterwards, we doused the paper film in another long process of chemicals and washes before the sheet was finally ready to dry.

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Processing film by hand was tedious, but fun.

I found an old film camera (a Canon snappy LX) about a year ago while cleaning out the house, and ordered some Superia film in. I’ve been slowly, slowly photographing with it. I have….six rolls of film to shoot.

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When I look at other’s images taken on Canon Snappy’s online, they look like the photographs my parents used to take decades ago, when film was all they had.

100 Books Reading Challenge

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Started a reading challenge project mid-spring. The goal: read 100 books by summer in a year. I’m inching along, albeit at a slower pace than I’d like. Figured posting the list on my blog would hold me accountable–also, I get to share cool books!

So here’s a list of books I’ve reading; I plan to update every 10 books or so. If you have any book recommendations, I’d love to hear them! 🙂

  1. One! Hundred! Demons!, Lynda Barry
  2. James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie
  4. Here, Richard McGuire
  5. Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks
  6. Burned, Ellen Hopkins
  7. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling
  8. Walking Dead 1, Robert Kirkman
  9. Walking Dead 2, Robert Kirkman
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelous
  11. Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur
  12. Partner Track, Helen Wan
  13. Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen
  14. Kafka, R. Crumb
  15. Project Jennifer, Jill Rosenblatt
  16. Dignity, Donna Hicks
  17. Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Roz Chast
  18. Ginny Moon, Benjamin Ludwig
  19. Autobiography of Barefoot Gen, Nakazawa Keji
  20. Meow Meow, Jose Fonollosa
  21. Beautiful Darkness, Fabien Vehlmann
  22. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  23. The Skin Above My Knees, Marcia Butler
  24. Essential Poems (To Fall in Love With), Daisy Goodwin
  25. Sailing Alone Around the Room, Billy Collins
  26. Future Tense, Paintings by Alex Gross
  27. Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling
  28. Thirst, Poems by Mary Oliver
  29. Global Street Art, Lee Boffkin
  30. Men Without Women, Haruki Murakami
  31. Vintage Cisneros, Sandra Cisneros 
  32. Have You Seen Marie, Sandra Cisneros
  33. Woman Hollering Creek, Sandra Cisneros
  34. The Quiet Eye: A Way of Looking at Pictures, Sylvia Judson
  35. Blue Nights, Joan Didion 
  36. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  37. This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz
  38. The Embassy of Cambodia, Zadie Smith
  39. Love Mad Poems, Rumi
  40. The Wolves In The Walls, Neil Gaiman
  41. Forms of Distance, Bei Dao
  42. 73 Poems, E.E. Cummings
  43. The Love Bunglers, Jaime Hernandez
  44. Little Book of Little Stories
  45. Shoplifer, Michael Cho
  46. Rick & Morty Comics
  47. Fresh Complaint, Jeffrey Eugenides
  48. Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg
  49. White Teeth, Zadie Smith
  50. South and West, Joan Didion
  51. Dear Dumb Diary
  52. Stories Julian Tells, Ann Cameron
  53. Stitches, David Small
  54. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
  55. Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka
  56. Pretty: Stories, Greg Kearney
  57. Night Watch, Malin Lindroth
  58. Constance and the Great Escape, Pieere Le Gall 
  59. Rapunzel, Paul Zelinsky
  60. Jane and the Fox & Me, Isabelle Aresenault 
  61. I’ve Loved You Since Forever, Hoda Kobb
  62. Corduroy, Don Freeman
  63. Buck, MK Asante
  64. Chemistry, Weike Wang
  65. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
  66. Soviet Daughter, Julia Alekseyeva
  67. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  68. LIFE 70 Years of Extraordinary Photography
  69. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Timothy Snyder
  70. SHOCK

(Updated June 17th, 2018)

May 2018 | Daily Art

 

may 1st

The road not taken, Robert Frost.

5.1.18| Daily Art


may 2nd

 

Violet wash.

5.2.18| Daily Art


may 5th

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

5.3.18| Daily Art


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Doodling designs for you, coolpeppermint: blog, creative outlet, little corner of the Internet.

5.4.18| Daily Art


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Playing with colors, art therapy.

5.5.18 & 5.6.18| Daily Art


Something In The Water

Marble art can be a messy ordeal. Stains, stains, stains. On the windowpane, glass, wood tables. The difficulty of controlling where and how the ink flows. The result, however, is usually worth it–beautiful, organic swirls! 🙂

Here’s a set of marble art pieces I made last week for my Daily Art posts.

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5.7.18 | Daily Art

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5.8.18 & 5.9.18| Daily Art

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5.10.18| Daily Art

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5.11.18| Daily Art

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5.12.18| Daily Art

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5.13.18| Daily Art


Hiatus


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Lately I’ve been missing China, with all its scenery and street views and smoggy skies. I went to Shanghai two years ago and visited a massive temple garden. It’d been raining that day, and a headache had thundered on the whole day, but the sights were beautiful.

Also…I’m back to the daily daily art entries and an eventual mass grouping of pieces (as I did with my January, FebruaryMarch and April entries) The past week, I slipped a bit–mostly due to graduation and whatnot. In the hopes of staying afloat for my project, I’ve decided to revert back to daily posts.

5.21.18 & 5.22.18| Daily Art


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Dandelions! So whimsical. I never understood why dandelions were categorized as weeds; I’d always found them as beautiful as, if not more so than, flowers.

5.23.18 | Daily Art


 

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Through space they’ll carry your letters, your musings strapped to their backs and their wings.

Musings: I shredded a stack of photos from 2010, one of the happiest years of my life–I hadn’t known it then. I flipped the images over so I wouldn’t see the images I was shredding. I already had duplicates, I reasoned, and these were just repeat photos of the ones I was keeping. Better to not see them, though, because while I try very hard not to be sentimental, I still am.

Looking ahead gives my heart a little start.

Things I’ve been deeply nostalgic about lately:

– The time we went to Six Flags. We rode every roller coaster thrice. I’d never gone on the rickety wooden ride because it’d always seemed dangerous and then it was but after one ride we got on again–thrice. And we did this for all the other roller coasters as well.

Then there were the calming loop-de-loops, where the city watched us topple over backwards, and the dark mountain ride hurled us from one side to another. “Jesus, take me down!” said the bearded ginger man on camera as we reached the peak of the ride. Hands in the air–reflected glint of a beard–and down we went.

– Our road trip. The exhilaration of sneaking into a riverfront restaurant crammed with the color of sunset. The way the city sloped down ahead of us as we climbed up up up the mountain, legs sore.Canoeing through the river. Dips through winding roads and sloping hills, through village towns and murmuring cemeteries.

– Exploring the city on a whim. Slow walks into pie shops and cafe-bars and grilled cheese restaurants. Walks by the MH bridge littered with flowers and families. Please skate on the flower beds, read a sign.

5.24.18 | Daily Art


In high school geography I painted a Manchester blackened by fumes. In the midst of the industrial revolution, evolution had wielded itself supreme, culling out all the pale butterflies. Only the peppered moths, which blended in with the soot, survived.

5.25.18 | Daily Art


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Galaxies: as perplexing as they are mesmerizing. In physics, I loved astronomy most–a study of the skies, of constellations, of singing! imploding warping! screaming hovering! spinning planets.

5.26.18 | Daily Art


 

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Fluttering by

5.27.18 | Daily Art


painting galaxy fashion dress

A dress made of constellations!

5.29.18| Daily Art


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Roses.

5.30.18| Daily Art


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5.31.18 & 6.1.18| Daily Art

Heart

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SO you take it upon yourself to judge the content of someone’s heart without ever having the chance to rip open a chest to peer inside. Instead you look at the way their arms flail or their facial expression, the way they extend a hand or recoil in fear. On a bench or through a friend of a friend, you decide on which adjectives you’ll use to describe this heart.

You decide that:

the heart is open, the heart is cold, the heart is kind, the heart is distant, the heart is hardened, the heart is shut-off, the heart is readable, the heart is murky, the heart is big. The heart is stony. The heart is a million things except for what it simply is: a heart.

It never occurs to you that: maybe we’re all just wasting our time trying to superimpose these value judgments on an organ. But that doesn’t stop us.

A Crime of Beauty

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Crumbling concrete walls. Dilapidated trains. Bleak subway entrances. Clouds of vaguely formed color snake their way across the surface. Street art. It’s become an integrated chunk of most cities. In every city I’ve visited–Chicago! NYC! Austin! Philly! LA!–I’ve been on the look-out. From creeping ghost-monsters to blasé kitties giving viewers the bird to colorful blocks of illegible tags, the pieces have covered a whole range of wild, beautiful subjects.

It wasn’t until this past summer that I got a wee taste of making street art. My boyfriend and I went to Graffiti Park, mere white spray can in tow, and sprayed a massive (mediocre) face on the wall. It was lopsided; I tried again. It was still lopsided, puffy and dripping. I realized that, as effortless street art appears, it’s harder than it looks.

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Over the summer, I checked out a book on the history of graffiti, which massively broadened my understanding of the art. In the US, its roots stemmed from the 20’s, and sprouted up in New York and Philly. By the 60’s and 70’s, it has its resurgence. Artists would claim fame through uniquely tagged names. They’d graffiti up subways, freeway sides, walls and trains with nicknames and distinctive styles.

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Every single [train] car was tagged by massive, puffy graffiti, not yet appreciated as the important art movement and political statement it would become. It was a crime of beauty.

– The Skin Above My Knee, Marcia Butler

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Since then, it’s evolved from being a mark of underground illegal edginess to a form of twenty first century semi-exalted art.

Nowadays, street art occupies a funny place in society; few things parallel it. It’s respected, it’s looked down upon. It’s art; it’s trash. It’s revered; it looked down upon. It’s subversive. It’s not. It flouts authority; it’s sanctioned by authority. It ignores its surroundings; it flirts with its surroundings. It composes its surroundings.

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It thumbs its nose at–speaks to–argues with–its surroundings. Unlike traditional art, street art isn’t confined to cold empty eerie rooms, shrunken beneath towering white space. Instead, it yawns over piers and stone blocks and garage wall, to the delight of phone cameras and tourists and passerby’s.

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April 2018 | Daily Art

Here are daily art pieces from April 2018.

I’m looking ahead; it’s the final stretch. I’m anticipating sunnier days ahead, dreaming of the beach, shutting my eyes, peering over the balcony of somewhere tropical. It won’t be nearly that sunny or beachy, but the thought’s getting me through the weeks.

april 1st

Missed deadlines. You know the way water suddenly stimulates creativity and forgotten reminders? This was one. I missed the design deadline. And it’s been on my mind.

4.1.18 | Daily Art


april 2ndd

Crooning mellow tunes, soul’s skyrocket to fame banking on the nostalgic dust-coated memories of an idyllic high school days. We’re just like that one song, young, dumb and broke, except we’re not broke, just young and dumb. 

Khalid’s been playing on repeat, from early AM origami folding to concentrated midday digital doodles to nighttime vibes.Numbers saved lest one day you chalk up the pride to come back and say hi. Tell me where your love lies, love lies.

4.2.18 | Daily Art


april 5th

If I had a spirit cartoon, it’d probably be Diane Nguyen from Bojack Horseman.

Diane’s this smart and nerdyish character who’s into writing (she’s penning Bojack’s bibliography) and third wave feminism and books. Not one for social gatherings. Freaks out when her husband throws parties and does wild gestures. Hates surprises. Is a “misunderstood intellectual.” On the stubborn side. Quiet. 

Granted, I’m not Diane Nguyen–it’s just that, of all my favorite cartoon characters, I identify with her most. I love Stewie, but I can’t identify with Stewie; Louise Belcher is great, but more adorably conniving than I could imagine; Rick Sanchez is a wild, slightly sociopathic genius, but he’s a kind of his own. Ah! Diane it is. 

4.5.18 | Daily Art


april 6th

You learn to curse on the playground. You’re doing cartwheels to synchronize to songs by the Cheetah Girls. Everyone’s got their legs and back straight, pinwheels dancing on rubber nuggets.

Meanwhile, you’re spitting shit so it rolls off your tongue, easy, and when your substitute teacher compares you to the dark-haired girl in Peanuts, you say, talk to the hand. And when your second grade best friend stares at you wide-eyed, incredulous, you laugh.

If every petal was one bad word, another angsty thought. That’s a lot of angsty thoughts.

4.6.18 | Daily Art


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Lo and behold, a watercolor watermelon.

4.7.18 | Daily Art


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There are no mountains where I live. Nor are there cherry blossoms. But this image, of flowers in bloom, nature’s puff, of tiny yellow homes by the mountainside, struck nuggets of peace in my heart.

The city, in contrast, is so loud. Angry hum of bus engines, people scuttling around, loud. Cars on concrete continually. Whirs and roars and squeals and squeaks. Chorus of ambulance sirens every. half. hour. Sounds I tune out over time. But in the morning, when I tried a solid minute of meditation, all I could hear was the din I’d learned to shut out.

Madness. I’m channeling nature instead, albeit in 2D illustrations.

4.8.18 | Daily Art


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Sometimes I’ll feel little spurts of gratitude–this time, it was for the closest people in my life. Ah! What are you grateful for?

4.9.18 | Daily Art


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A nebula of nebulous thoughts, decisions, plans–or lack thereof. Of paths less traveled, of roads well-worn.

One day, it’ll seem so obvious–an epiphany, albeit late, will hold the answer to every qualm. The next day, one naysaying opinion in the middle of design will cast long shadows of doubt.

Nebula, nebulous. In looking ahead, I can opt either to diverge, or to trudge upwards. But towards what?

4.10.18 | Daily Art


A visual attestment to the importance of brows. This is a late-night sketch of a random girl, whose face I merged graphite with digital medium. Toyed around with the brows for kicks and giggles. Same image, parallel face;
she looks (subtly) different!

4.11.18  & 4.12.18 | Daily Art


april 13

I asked my boyfriend from caption ideas. “Beauty covers beauty,” he suggested. Like: Beauty over beauty. Beauty superimposed upon beauty. Beauty of nature. Beauty of reflections.

4.13 & 4.14


april 16

Toying with pastel-colored paints. There’s something so dreamy and slow and beautiful about clouds.

4.15.18 & 4.16.18 | Daily Art


april 17 and 18th

West-coast cliches, like California dreaming, palm trees swaying in the wind. I’ve been fantasizing about the beach, of sprawling under the sun, marmy, sleepy, toasty.

4.17.18 & 4.18.18 | Daily Art


april 15

Sunset, and sunrise.

4.19.18 | Daily Art


april 19

A mojito, please, and here’s our ID. I had my first mojito at the Venezuelan place downtown, the one with the meat pockets so good I stashed a palmfull in my purse. The lime and mint mojito paired with it perfectly.

4.20.18 | Daily Art


april 21

It’s remarkable when somebody understands. 99.9999% of people don’t understand, can’t understand, probably won’t ever understand. And it isn’t through any fault of their own: to understand is a true feat, really, and to expect it from others is a tall damn order. Even when it comes to close friends, or family, you can’t expect another person to know entirely where you’re coming from.

So you can imagine my borderline astonishment when, after confiding in my best friend a personal experience, she empathized with it in a heartbeat. She relayed her own experiences, mirror images of my own, back to me. I’d had my words fall on so many deaf ears in the past, to the point that I felt like a real odd one out. To have had them fall on an understanding one, years later, was absurd and comforting. To others, it’d marked deviance, something unjustifiable. To her, it was utterly normal. I only wished we’d been friends earlier.

4.21.18 | Daily Art


WHALE

A deep-sea dive into the beauty of watercolors, of mixing and blending. The technique I used here is called wet-on-wet watercolors, where you paint an invisible watery layer, then dot it with pigment. It creates a beautiful watery effect, as with the adorable diving whale above.

4.22.18 | Daily Art


 

april 23 and 24

Swoops, dips, presses: calligraphy’s a precarious dance between ink and brush control. Recently, I’ve been toying with watercolor calligraphy, handlettering with paint instead of ink. The past week of Daily Art pieces was spent experimenting with styles, sizes and fonts.

4.23.18| Daily Art

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With a stiffer, thinner brush and concentrated watercolors, I’ve been able to produce cleaner and brighter texts:

4.24 & 4.25| Daily Art

It’s had a recent resurgence in popularity over the past year, littering blogs and IG. Inspired by style, curious about the form, I got a calligraphy pen last summer, black tip marker from the local crafts store with the inspirational quote notebooks and books on minute physics.

So I took a stab–metaphorically and literally–at handlettering. The letters turned out a bit  uneven. And it was hard to get clean edges, at least on white paper. Part of it had to do with my wobbly hand, but the marker itself also wasn’t terribly ink-y, so it’d lose ink halfway. (I’d also use the marker to sketch cartoon-esque portraits)

4.26 & 4.27 | Daily Art

april 29

I tried using watercolor brushes for both the handlettering and designs, but the text ended up looking bubbly instead of sharp, childish instead of sophisticated. This, in part, had to do with the actual brushes I was using–the brush hair wasn’t stiff enough, so it didn’t hold the paint well enough to create the crisp edges I was going for.

4.28 & 4.29 | Daily Art