Meta | Journal

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Le beau (yes, pronounced ‘la bo,’ and I said la beu for clarification) stumbled upon my blog last night. Well, I had given him a link to one article I thought he’d read–not the entire blog!

For context, this digital blog barely crosses over into my real life, if at all. I don’t mention it to my friends, family, or, until recently, boyfriend, and I certainly don’t share it on social media. It’s just weird. The cross between real life and digital blogspace is like that one episode from Fairly Odd Parents when Timmy Turner leaps into Jimmy Neutron’s world. Timmy goes from being a flat animated cartoon to a well-shadowed 3D character. It’s jarring. The worlds–they’re different, but not entirely.

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When la beau first told me he’d read my blog, I sweated profusely. “Why’re you rolling down the windows? It’s 30 degrees,” he said.

“This conversation is making me warm,” I said.

I’m okay with people, in general, reading these little creative outbursts or blurbs, but it feels strange when I know them. So if I know you in real life, do me a favor, please don’t tell me you read my blog and then proceed to quote some of your favorite posts. Because le beau did this. All day. I’d forgotten I’d even written some of these blurbs. 

“You’re 18 books away from completing your 100 Books Challenge.”

“Math is a house filled with nooks and crannies. I read that on your blog. Remember that post?”

“That poem, bad cliffhangers, I didn’t really understand that one.”

“I saw the one from August 2017, and I was like aw, the quote from Winnie the Pooh.”

“I liked the post where you felt happy with the people in your life.”

“I was looking for cameos. I’d just sort of pop in and out. Also, I was referred to as le beau! Ha-ha. Clever.”

He also mentioned some kind fellow bloggers. Some would extend hugs in murky times and others would simply be there. I think of Monika, TheWayFarer, Shahirah, Kendall, Connie, E.L, Robert V., Zheng Fan….so hello, if you’re reading this! And if not, I’ll figure out how to make proper mentions one day. I send my greetings to the blogaverse.

Le beau also asked a good question about how I’ll sometimes end a post with a different time than the time stamp. The lower date is when the post was written. I’ll often tweak and edit previous posts from times I’d write more (read: random creative bursts or sad bubbles). This ties in with my last journal post about being more prolific when I’m depressed, and writing less when I’m happy. So when I’m happy (the past 2 years), I’ll revisit older posts in notes/docs from sadder, but more prolific, days.

12 hours later from our warm conversation about my blog, I feel a little less weird. Everything feels a little more meta than usual, reflecting on this blog and readers and whatnot.

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Urban

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Overhead and through the speakers, Kanye’s insisting that “diamonds are forever.”

Hair hat-flattened and fingers pink, I wonder why I’m alone at night in the city in a part I’ve never been to.

I’ve just missed my bus and it’s cold so I wait in Urban Outfitters. When I step outside, the streets glitter and swell with din. “Fuck you,” some girl’s voice rings as she passes by me. She’s on the phone. Her lips are neon pink.

In going into the city, I’d anticipated a brief respite. But I always feel as though I’m running or floating when I’m here, my feet hovering three inches above the ground.

June 2018 | Daily Art

To see more works from June, you can scroll down in the box below

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


 

art painting wave watercolor

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

May 2018 | Daily Art

 To see more works from May, you can scroll down in the box below

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

Reflections

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Now you can say you’ve had Vietnamese butter barbecue.

Seafood sizzles on the family-style butter doused griddle. I turn the inions. Pockets of grease bubble onto my wrist. My best places the salmon on its side, browning slowly on the grill. I stab a squid onto the griddle. Ssssss.

We sit in silence. I contemplate the comfort of home, a home, of my best friend’s home, where I feel free to be myself. Her parents’ eyes still bug out each time they peer over and I’m there, in the backseat, unannounced for the 10th time, spacing out. They gasp.

Over the cash register we order our three cups of gelati, Italian ice with vanilla ice cream. The sun sets behind us as we stand by the parlor, eating quietly, plastic spoons scraping against blue paper cups. How do you reconcile a disliking of people with the desire to help them? By cognitively differentiating between patient and stranger. So are you still having a spat? Yes, but it’s not personal.

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This might be the last best friend sleepover in a while. The fact that I’m done is slowly sinking in–emphasis on slowly. It’s coming in bits and pieces, waves and wrinkles, unraveling, unraveling. Months ago, the ‘future’ seemed muggy and incoherent. I could barely see past the next five, ten, fifteen years. Now, the ‘future’ has solidified into something uncomfortably rigid, and if I really wanted to, really wanted to, maybe I could look past the next thirty or forty years. Life will life, but the least I can do is plan.

May 2018

Lost in my Mind

Scarlet scarfs frayed at the edges. Orange-yellow bulbs of life, warm against the blue black bruises of the cold outside. Home is a phone call away.

The coffeeshop is empty, save for the hawkish worker with the light eyes who started a few years ago. He wasn’t here when I was ten, when this place was new, and I only ever asked for mango smoothies.

And it’d come out artificial-creamy sweet, rich sun yellow against a dollop of white. I’d scoop out the whipped cream with the outer edge of my straw, slurp it into a pathetic heap at the corner I couldn’t reach.

______

Familiar strumming overhead. A lollying tune, an indie low-whine. Drawn out wail of a banjo and musician who sounds like he sports a beard and wears pea-green jackets with camo sleeves,

Lost in my mind, lost in my mind, I’ve been lo-o-o-o-st—

They play this song every time I come in. It’s on the coffeeshop playlist, and it always has ben, unchanging, carved in time, shaping my own musical preferences as I bury my head in words.

______

Insomnia. There’s a softened edge to memory, to memory’s memory of insomnia, to memory’s memory of the insomniac’s late-night thoughts. Other things mattered then, trivial things, mind-numbing replays of the inconsequential, and that was what kept me up.

______

The things that matter now stand in sharp relief against the mindset I’d held then.

Sun streams in through the window. On five hours of sleep, I crawl out of bed.

At this coffeeshop, littered with people working hard and hardly working, I order nothing from the bar. I bring a water in. I peruse through reddit and creepypasta and play psychic word games. When I pass the counter, the barista jokes about throwing out my water container, but I can’t tell if it’s a joke, so I laugh as though it is, and throw the water out.

Overheard, Lost in my Mind plays. And for a moment, I’m enmeshed in the warm cocoon of nostalgia, buried in tunnel vision.