…and smize. Digital painting of my model friend whom I met at summer camp.
…and smize. Digital painting of my model friend whom I met at summer camp.
I’m a fountain of love in the shape of a girl / You’re a bird on the brim, hypnotized by the whirl
Completed graphite portrait of Bjork, first sketch in my new portraits notebook. Every time I think of Bjork, I hear her melodious tittering voice and Bachelorette in my head.
I’ve compiled all of my daily art entries from February, a month that fled by.
For the first few days of February, I spent it at my best friend’s place, where we cheered the Eagles at the Superbowl on.
Later, we went to a club, where there was free beer and loud music and familiar faces, where people aggressively pushed and shoved for free fries. And over the weekend, we went to her little cousin’s birthday party, where the girls–gangly and tall and awkward and weird and silly and uninhibited–crowded around, then lost, the hamster.
And during the Super Bowl, we prepared dinner from scratch: buffalo wild wings, garlic bread, mac & cheese (all from scratch, too). We stayed up until 2 in the morning talking about our lives, ourselves, our friendship, our relationships, The Bachelor.
In addition to all of that, I painted, read, ate, prepared food, talked on the phone, watched the Superbowl, and relaxed. All of this was done in PJs. It felt like a proper break, like the ones they issue in school every season, a designated time frame for rest.
Collecting your jar of hearts
2.1.18| Daily Art
Alone we traveled armed
With nothing but a shadow
We fled, far away
Hold your horses now (Sleep until the sun goes down)
Through the woods we ran
(Deep into the mountain sound)
– Of Monsters and Men
2.2.18| Daily Art
Halp, there are flowers sprouting from my scalp.
2.3.18| Daily Art
Only time and impish impatience. Scuttles around eyeing the hands of time—move faster. Sludge, drudge, space that warps—move faster. Built-in distractions, like tea, pasta, zombie—move faster. I egg on time, lament time, tickle time, ignore time—time, you tease, move faster.
2.4.18| Daily Art
Little Corgi pup, little Corgi ruff.
There’s just something about their big fluffy ears and low-hanging tummies and heart-shaped booties that make them so endearing, you know?
2.5.18| Daily Art
Wrote a news article about an organization discussing Greek organizations. The interesting part was that half the room was made up sorority girls who seemed like sorority girls, to be honest, and openly criticized fraternities but defended sororities. Not all that surprising–I just didn’t expect there to be such a Greek life representative turn-out. It made for a more balanced article, I think, or at least made it easier to give a balanced perspective.
2.7.18 & 2.8| Daily Art
Trope-like perfection, emanating an idea.
2.9.18 & 2.10| Daily Art
Sometimes the sight of lines and crowds of faces buried in their phones seems satirical, like some art piece critiquing the future’s “apparent lack of human connection,” etc. Eyes glued to screens, small rectangles in our hands, community of disconnect. Such Futuristic! Satirical! Commentary! Except it isn’t. It’s just reality, and it’s now, and it isn’t satire–it’s just me changing the song on Spotify and responding to my BFFFFFFL on Messenger and posting this onto Instagram.
2.11.18| Daily Art
The Love Issue: an illustration I did for a publication article on love unrequited.
2.12.18| Daily Art
Meme Kings, Political Duo
In the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to photograph both Obama & Biden–political duo, meme kings, best friends, and the 44th Vice President and President of the US. 🙂
(Missin’ you both)
2.15 & 2.16.18 | Daily Art
Half circle with the line in-between, ON. I pressed on. Greeting Mac chords. Blank screensaver with nothing but a spinning globe. Command-R. Nothing. For the seventh time.
Earlier, at 1 in the morning, I’d reset my computer, erased all the data, unwittingly unlocked myself out of the Wifi. Then I couldn’t access anything on my computer. Couldn’t reboot, erase, or properly reset it.
It wasn’t all for naught. A few days without my laptop was…beneficial, I think. So much of my time gets sucked into the laptop, convenient and always-at-hand, that I seldom realize how much of it could be used for other activities (like reading or drawing).
In the end, I took it to the Mac store, where the Mac guy, Ian, fixed it in ten minutes. (Luckily, I’d already backed everything up!)
2.17.18 | Daily Art
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve devoured books. Found the nearest library in my neighborhood, stocked up on books, lugged them home, then read myself to near-blindness.
It’s a little different in a university setting.
“Cool, what class is this for?” the student-librarian asked.
“Oh, I was just bored.” I said, sheepish, “just being nerdy.”
And working towards my elusive goal of reading 100 Books.
2.18.18 | Daily Art
The sun peeked out from over the clouds and the sky dolled herself up, brushed herself blue, and the wind felt sing-songy, hummed us a lil’ tune. For a day, it was warm!–it was spring! I watched a squirrel build its tree nest.
2.19.18 | Daily Art
God Save Our Young Blood. Crooning duo, autotune melodies: this new song by Lana and BØRNS has been stuck in my head.
2.20.18 | Daily Art
I love being able to roam around the city by foot, by train, by bus, by plane.
2.21.18 | Daily Art
The background reminds me of one large watery bruise.
got bruises on my knees for you, got grass stains on my knees for you, got holes in my new jeans for you, got pink and black and blue
2.22.18 | Daily Art
Prickly in pink!
2.23.18 | Daily Art
Meow. Saturday night shenanigans. It’s only our third weekend out (third? maybe fourth), the three of us, but maybe we could make a habit out of this. Dinner, then drinks, and smattering of randomness in between.
We’re talking silly random shit over cards. I’m sipping my Taro boba (this Taro, I told them, gives me life).
“You remind me of a cat,” my friend said, “just the way you act sometimes.”
My other friend chimed in in agreement.
I looked up, then did the human equivalent of purring in pleasure. I can’t tell you how flattering it is to be compared to cats.
2.24.18 | Daily Art
Did you know that fish can become depressed? We often relegate fish to the bottom of the mood-humanity scale, chucking them as the in-between of insects and sentient creatures. But fish do have moods. And you can tell based on where, in a tank, they’re swimming.
Picture a half-mark line in a tank. If the fishies are swimming above the line, swerving in and out, and seeming active, they’re likely happy. But if they’re always hovering near the bottom of a tank, they might just be depressed.
2.25.18 | Daily Art
Front page illustration (my first!) for a magazine.
2.26.18 & 2.27.18 | Daily Art
Spent last Nov/December holed up into digital art, the one thing I derived a sense of stability from. With protests going on outside my room–constantly, it seemed–and wishy-washy people fluttering around and tests looming ahead, art was an escape.
So I drew. A lot. Mostly on the computer using Wacom tablets–the library had them. They had the Cintiq, a massive screen you can draw on, and smaller Wacom bamboo tablets. I’d spend hours a day drawing on Photoshop, learning from artists on Youtube, hunting out inspiration on DeviantArt.
Blink. These are screenshots from an animation I worked on in February. I didn’t realize, until attempting animation, how much of it I took for granted–how tedious the process really was, how every 1/20 or 1/80 of a second had to be drawn by-hand. And only then could you piece together the slightest movement. (Though there are animation programs now, which speeds up the process)
Ruby. I used this piece to practice digital shading. Creating depth/values on Photoshop is a quicker process than it is with oils and acrylics. With paint, you have to mix and dilute until you have the right shade and consistency; on Photoshop, it offers the entire color spectrum with all its variations. I was initially was frustrated with this piece until I threw in highlights–on the nose, lips and cheek–which added a lot more depth to the piece, and subsequent realism.
When it comes to shading, I’ll usually start out with a base color, add in shadows, then tentative highlights. I’ll go on to darken the shadows, do a bit of blending, and then add a final layer of the brightest (sometimes completely white) highlights. These are the little white dabs on her upper lip and nose bridge.
This was my first digital sketch, done hurriedly over a one hour lunch break.
A few days later, I decided to expand on the eye, to practice faces and portraits (my favorite! as you can probably tell), so I sketched her, who I never named–my first digital portrait.
Time-lapse digital painting of a girl I’ve named Violet posing against a violet background. Like the song Violet by Daniel Caesar: you’re my violet in the sun.
Two years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning Junot Diaz stood in front of a packed auditorium and read to us a passage from his book, This is How You Lose Her. It’s the story where Yunior cheats on his girlfriend, Alma, who has a “long tender horse neck” and grew up in Hoboken, “part of the Latino community that got its heart burned out in the eighties”.
Diaz read slowly. Enunciated. And we were captivated.
Except I didn’t know who he was. Someone in the news room just said he was famous. I didn’t put two and two together to realize that this Junot Diaz was the Junot Diaz, author of Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. So the significance of seeing–being read to by–Junot Diaz in the flesh did not occur to me as I pointed my massive camera towards him. Click. He said something to me about him not doing anything particularly cool. So why was I pointing the camera all up in his face? (Hey, I’m just here with the newspaper) Looking back, though, he talked at me.
Diaz talked about collective student insecurity. And fragmented activism, and what to do about it. He talked about a whole slew of things that I jotted down in Notes even though I wasn’t even the one writing an article about him.
I googled him later and then it hit me–he’d written the Cheater’s Guide to Love, the one I read in the New Yorker summer of 2013. The first time I read the story I awoke drenched in sweat and read it again and again. Some of the metaphors I repeated over and over, tucked into my mind, then toyed with for years afterwards.
I write this as I finish reading This is How You Lose Her for the sixth (or seventh) time.