March 22, 2012

Full-time freelancing is... tricky!

Hello everyone! :D 

Been ages since I last wrote anything on here u__u Hope life's treating you all right and everything is easy breezy in the home/work/hobby department! ^^

As for me, since I've been back from Shanghai and South Korea last month, I haven't quite found that right job to settle into yet -- maybe I should start looking for eligible bachelors (and eventually get married)? X)

Anyhow, for the time being I've decided to offer my copywriting services through word•smith, which has been taking on projects since mid-March this year. Should anyone you know need any copywriting work done, or if they just want to consult on things related to writing, kindly refer them to :D

Tomorrow is a Nyepi holiday, so I hope everyone gets to have a super fun long weekend!
*signing off from this blog now to do some more tweaking on the other*
See you soon~~!


September 06, 2010

End of days :D

Finally~~ the 30-day drawing challenge is finished! \^o^/

I'd thought to be more experimental for the last 10 days of the challenge, hopefully that much is obvious from the more solid inking as well as introduction of some colours ^^;;

All drawings for this challenge were done manually, hope you enjoy them as much as I had fun making them! :D

Day 21: Something you want

"Wanna help clean my sword, wench?"
Ohohoho! ^///^ *Viking fetish mode on*

Day 22: Something you miss

*sniffles* It's been a while indeed... T__T"

Day 23: Something you need

It's not an easy task juggling the many things happening in your life at once.
But maybe I'm just terrible at time management.
...Or spoiled.
Or lazy :P

Day 24: A couple

Ladies and gentlemen, meet brother and sister Julian and Jillian Soh! :DDD

Jill is nine years older than Julian (the mysterious 'Agent Soh' from
The Fifth Columnist) and the two were born of different mothers. This scene is taken from Soh's past when he was just a troubled adolescent living in Chicago :)

(I hope to turn this into a doujinshi somehow, but with the current lack of cohesive plotline and premise... it probably won't happen anytime soon ;____;)

Day 25: Scenery

This is a watercolour painting of Glen Etive in Scotland, though it's supposed to represent a glen my ex-boyfriend and I passed en route to Inverness from Edinburgh in 2004.

Despite the lack of vegetation and its rather unpredictable weather, Scotland commands a breathtaking landscape combining layers of brownish, terracota, greenish and bluish hues.

I regretted not taking any pictures during the car trip -- all I have are pictures of 'Nessie' taken aboard a ferry cruise across Loch Ness (and we didn't see Nessie for real anyway, he was just a half-floating sticker glued onto the ferry's windows to take picture -- and fool people -- with! XD).

Day 26: Something you don't like

Many apologies to Team Azzurri and their fans, but that greasy hair is just legendary! (to me at least) XD
Italy's no. 6 as pictured above is based on Francesco Totti -- though Totti's real hair isn't probably that greasy :P

Day 27: Someone you love

A quick pencil sketch of my mother, based on a recent photograph.
When I showed this to her, she went: "Can't you take out the wrinkles a bit?" XD

Day 28: Anything you'd like

Sen: "What, there's a hole on the wall?"
Sword: (smirks) "Shall we make our escape?"

Awww, don't they look so cute together? X3

Unlikely couple Sword Fish and Sen Owari met inside Under 'Grand' Hotel (UGH), a fictional underground prison and the title of one of Mika Sadahiro's most renowned yaoi works. (Yes it's YAOI, people! You've been warned! XD)

I was recommended the title by a friend and upon reading it, wasn't exactly sure how to feel... it started off very dark and grim -- as a prison yaoi would -- but ultimately revealed a very touching lesson: that hope springs eternal! :)
UGH is fast becoming my second favourite yaoi series (just after Ai no Kusabi), thanks to its relatively original premise, beautiful art, and brilliant plot twists. Once again, this is YAOI, people, so deal with it! X3

Coloured with Copic markers on paper. I love how Sword's braids turned out :)

Day 29: A place you want to go

I've developed a fondness for outer space since kindergarten, and at one point in my childhood I really aspired to become an astronaut. Hopefully space tourism will start to take off in the next few decades or so, cos I truly wanted to go out there before I die ;_;

Day 30: A congrats banner for finishing the challenge

Had no idea left for this one :P

Phfew, so that's about it!! How are you progressing in the challenge? Would you like to recommend other drawing challenges we can embark on next? Feel free to do so ;)

To sign this post off, lemme wish my Muslim friends a very Happy Lebaran this year! \^o^/
See youuu


August 26, 2010

Ten days later

Phfew! Another 10 days done in response to the 30-day drawing challenge that I embarked on earlier.

What's interesting about the challenge is that not only do you get to exercise drawing (or in my case, sketching randomly with pen on paper at work!) regularly, the process also gets you to know yourself as a person better ^^

That being said, here goes!

Day 11: Turning point in your life

Reference pic used for Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament ^^

Day 12: Most recent accomplishment

I can only hope they won't be the last, either! T__T

Day 13: Comic

Based on a true story. Those fail whales are so annoying, especially when you wanted to tweet something important, or even change your avatar! XDD
(I'd never put a real photo on Twitter tho o.O)

Day 14: Fave fairytale

This one was drawn following Snow's famous pose by Disney ^^
Still not too sure why I like Snow White the most. It's mostly to do with her appearance I suppose, which is exactly what Disney fairy tales are all about: beautiful airhead princesses being rescued by shallow princes -__-"
Is there even a moral lesson there? Never mind XD

Day 15: Family picture

Weee :D
Clockwise from top left: Me, my younger bro Alvin, mum and dad :)
(this drawing hardly does me dad any justice -- he mostly wears batik and Hawaiian floral shirts these days LOL)

Day 16: Inspiration

Being fangirls, of course we are constanstly inspired by all the beauty that surrounds us ^o^/
Do tell me, is it just me or do you also think the randomly drawn bishounen above give off a certain River Phoenix vibe? XDDD

Day 17: Fave plant

I've had this plant a number of times ever since I started working, but never managed to keep one alive for more than a few months each time.
Apparently they make the ideal breeding ground for Asian tiger mosquitoes too, noooo ;__;

Day 18: Just a doodle

Facebook's Poupee Boutique application, which complements the original Poupee Girl dressup game. This, by the way, is my poupee Jumjum :)

Day 19: Something new

I need a new mp3 cassette!!! T___T
For some reason these (cheap) cassettes keep on breaking down after some time, so I can no longer play my mp3 files through the car stereo -__-"

Day 20: Something orange

Since an orange would have just been too predictable, here's a carrot for you ^^;;
Supposedly my dad 'invented' our family's signature stir-fry minced meat with carrot, green peppers and onion in oyster sauce dish... until I found out the dish is called Oriental Beef and is actually pretty common -_-"

See you at the next and last installment! :D :D

Meanwhile, check out the 30-day drawing attempts made by Raven, Archie and Rou! ^^
If you're doing one too, feel free to share them here! :D :D

August 18, 2010

25 Essential Expressions meme!

(...say, can we make it 20 instead? -__-")

I've had this thing for a while but haven't got round to finishing it, so I figured I should just give up now and cut my losses XD

Here's my response to the 25 Essential Expressions challenge by Nancy Lorenz:

A little note on some of the expressions:

Pleased: I had a hard time distinguishing between 'happy' and 'pleased' so I settled for 'cheerful' instead, complete with the flapping fringe (which in Indonesian is normally called 'polem' or poni lempar XD)

Angry: Had I realised this list would contain a number of similarly 'angry' expressions, I would have softened this one a little... it feels rather heavy-handed for a simple angry face -.-"

Shocked/surprised: Those fists are just too cute! X3

Irritated: A valid excuse to draw the middle finger! Yay! :D

WTF?!: I didn't know how to draw this face without being redundant so... =.=" (ditto for 'fear', 'bereft', 'fierce' and 'sarcastic')

Triumph: A friend actually came up with a fun alternative for this one! XDDD

Bereft: What is bereft, exactly? *still confused* +.+

Flirty: I find this one brilliant, but you can't seriously be flirting with THAT face :P

Serious: Come to think of it, this one's probably more 'contemplative' than 'serious'

Silly: Silly enough for ya? XD

Hollow/blank: Not sure why but I sort of associated 'blank' with 'taking up the whole drawing space'...

Incredulous: Had to check the dictionary for this one, followed by some time in front of the mirror mimicking disbelief ^^;;

Rage: More CUTE than full of rage! XD

Final impression:
This is a great exercise for practising your prowess in mimics and expression. It's certainly not easy as it looks and I've yet to take up the challenge on utilizing a more realistic drawing style here! :D


August 16, 2010

Back to the drawing board ^o^

So, it's finally time to face my inner demons and start drawing again! XD Taking cue from my beloved girl friends, I'm currently following a 30-day drawing meme that's been circulating over the net lately.

(Unfortunately I haven't got the time nor the patience to do one drawing per day, so... I'm just doing these with no strings attached ^^;;)

Day 1: Yourself

No comment! XD

Day 2: Fave

Hippos, particularly the ballet-dancing kind, have always been portrayed as cute, cuddly creatures in most cartoons and animations. Not sure if they're really like that in reality, though -_-"

Day 3: Fave food

Forget diamonds, chocolate bars are a girl's best friend! :D

Day 4: Fave place

One of the few remaining book sanctuaries in the heart of Jakarta... too bad the BL selection here can never measure up to that offered at Kinokuniya Sydney T_T (LOL)

Day 5: Best friends

Just a random doodle of Italy and Germany from Hetalia! :D

Day 6: Fave book

Galaxies Like Grains of Sand is an epic SF chronicle spanning over millennia and aeons that finally lead up to the last days of mankind and our known universe. My favourite bit of the book is the last chapter, where Aldiss intriguingly uses second-person narrative to get readers literally immersed into the story.

Day 7: Fave movie

Unfortunately, my rendition of Motoko Kusanagi's iconic pose falls a little short when drawn from memory ^^;;

Day 8: Fave animated character

Much to my delight, Yugo IS a bonafide animated character --
I almost forgot this master negotiator had his own anime series!! XD

Day 9: Fave TV show

I can't believe my mum still thinks The Simpsons is a kids' show! XD

Day 10: Fave candy

After all the terrible things that had happened to my teeth, I know I should be cutting back on sweets and the like.
This is definitely easier said than done (_ _)

More to come soon! :3


May 20, 2010

The Fifth Columnist finale is out out OUT! \(^.^)/

...Well, it's been out since last week, but... :3

The Fifth Columnist 2
Elex Media
May 2010
114 x 172 mm, 216 pages

ISBN: 978-979-27-7329-3

The synopsis on the back read:

"A series of unfortunate events finally led Bishop to confront her partner, Helix.
But their much-anticipated duel would have to wait as a team of Soviet agents showed up to spray their apartment with bullets..."

(Thank you Niki-chan for 'helping out' with the translation! ^^)

Fifth 2
is the final volume in the Fifth series, which sees Helix's true identity revealed and Bishop's persistence/courage put to the real test. While the ending still left a few things unanswered
(albeit NOT intentionally! T.T), it marks the closure of the Helix and Bishop story 'arc' first concocted back in 2004.

It goes without saying that the past few months have been such a joyride for yours truly, especially with the horde of new life-long friends made both in real life and online. I never seem to say this enough but thank you, thank you, THANK YOU again for all your support and for being such great fun! XD

And... though these are not parting gifts but... enjoy them all the same :3

Image 1: A really old manga page, ca. 2006

All done with manual tones! O.O

Image 2: An old sketch of the first scene in Fifth 1, ca. 2007

Image 3: Study of Helix in short hair, ca. 2006

His character design has changed somewhat since the beginning of the project ^^;

Image 4: One of the pages pitched to Elex editor in May 2007

This came from the scene when Bishop took Helix to safety after he was shot,
but limited space prompted me to omit this scene from volume 2 -_-" Digital tones were used.

Image 5: Light drawing of Bishop, Helix and Snatch :D


Image 6, 7 and 8: Just for fun! :3

See you around! :D :D

NB: Some 18 of us had a Fifth 2 mini-launching/friend's belated birthday party event last week in Jakarta, and Cyan-san has kindly uploaded the video online! Check it out HERE! ^^



April 06, 2010

REVIEW: Yugo the Negotiator - The Endless War

Yugo the Negotiator 21 (of 22)

Shinji Makari and Shu Akana

Kodansha 2003, Elex Media (Level Comics) 2010

"Yugo Beppu is a master negotiator and mediator. Fluency in five languages, Socratic wit, and a deep understanding of human nature combined with top-level international connections make him a formidable operator." -- Manga Updates

"Yugo doesn’t kill people, nor does he threaten them with brute violence. He uses his extensive knowledge and calm judgment, and believes in the person’s true self." -- Wikipedia

Yugo, Yugo, Yugo...

Which self-respecting, intelligent and refined woman--
would not want to throw herself at you?

*rite, enough fangirling now -_-*

Admittedly, I am a hardcore fangirl of this series -- and not just because Yugo's recent incarnations have become more and more bishie in looks ^^; (blame Shu Akana!) For me, Yugo simply represents the best that seinen manga has to offer.

Throughout his manga serialisation (which ran for a decade in Kodansha's Afternoon Magazine beginning in 1994), the negotiator has saved the lives of many friends and foes, won the hearts of many a great man (from Pakistani Dacoits to Hong Kong triad leaders), all the while outwitting cunning juntas and politicians in a set of story arcs much grounded in reality.

The series also proved to be quite popular in Japan, as seen from the release of its animated TV version (2004) and publication of bunko volumes straight after the tankous concluded in volume 22. Several Yugo 'side stories' (or "Yugo II") have since appeared in Kodansha's Evening, in which Yugo acquired a new haircut(!) and encountered negotiations relatively closer to home. Eight books of this new serialization have been published to date.

Now, as a loyal Yugo follower, I sometimes wondered why creators of the series chose to end Yugo I in volume 22. I also wondered why they decided to start a new installment -- and deliberately gave Yugo a somewhat 'different' feel and persona -- when Yugo was doing just fine as he was.

Reading Yugo the Negotiator 21 over the long Easter holiday last week had now made me realise: The second last arc of Yugo I -- taking place in Paris and subtitled 'The Endless War' -- may have just marked the end of Yugo's beginning.

Synopsis so far: (compiling volumes 20 and 21)
Yugo becomes involved in the Palestininian conflict in Paris when he joins a terrorist cell headed by Urji, member of the Palestine Liberation Movement who had lost his family in the conflict.

Hounded by a team of sharp-thinking Mossad agents and the cell's extremely suicidal inclinations, what is Yugo's true intention and how can he get Urji and his Palestinian friends out of trouble?

Arc characters:

* Palestinian cell members Urji, Zagala and Abdul
(in discussion with Yugo following a close call with Mossad agents)

* Mustafa, an orphaned Palestinian boy living with Urji and his friends in Paris

* Aisha, Mustafa's aunt and an apparent member of Urji's terrorist cell

* Ben, Solomon and Gigi: three Mossad agents stationed in Paris
(Though their roles aren't clearly specified in the book, Gigi is the team's de facto leader with Solomon acting as
fellow field operative. Ben is the team's analyst and driver)

* A very emotional, out-of-character Yugo >,<"

Personal reactions a.k.a the fun part: (spoiler alert!)

There is a good reason why this final arc has been subtitled The Endless War. With relatively more hard-boiled action, explosions and gasp-eliciting twists (that only became more apparent in volume 21), it was equally interesting to see Yugo feel defenceless dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, dubbed as one of the most enduring and explosive in the world.

Another plus point would be the arc's well-developed cast of supporting characters, particularly the three Mossad agents Gigi, Solomon and Ben. While Gigi becomes more sympathetic as the story progresses, Solomon establishes himself like an all-round nice guy and Ben... well, he only looks more intelligent and charming... like another analyst I know! XDD

The creators also did well by steering clear of religious debates by attributing the Palestinians' extreme methods largely as a desperate plight over losing their home and everyone/everything they've loved. What's really touching is the overall notion the arc seems to suggest: that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can never be solved by one man alone -- even if that one man is the master negotiator.

Last but not least, this story brings out Yugo's humane side more than ever before. Though misjudging/miscalculation of situations happens to the best of us at times, Yugo's gravest mistake is
to apparently underestimate the power of indoctrination (both religious and military) over those who feel like they have nothing else to lose in life.

Personally, I'm guessing the whole episode would have left Yugo slightly 'traumatised' by the end that he'd decide to take a 'break' before returning as a slightly more mature Yugo in the new installment!! -- let's wait for that in volume 22, shall we!

For now, however, pardon me as I get back to drooling over Yugo and his rampant emotions ^^; After all, it's not everyday that you get to see Yugo so worked up like this:

KYAA KYAAAA XDDD (poor Gigi always chasing after Yugo)

Thank you for reading my very long review! (^^;)
-- Images scanned from Yugo the Negotiator 20 & 21, Level Comics 2010