Monday, April 30, 2012

Creative Tuesdays and the Theme of "Love Bug"

Below is the piece "Cyrano De Bee-Gerac:  Before the Colony Collapse," that I am submitting for this week's C.T. theme of "Love Bug!"

I have to first chastise myself for dropping the ball!  I posted for the "Creative Tuesdays" challenge of "Mother," before it was even due, and forgot to put the link in the submission page )-:  Was very sick last Monday, and so out of it Tuesday, it slipped my mind.  In case anyone is curious about that one, here's the link: 

This week's theme is "Love Bug," and I just finished a piece that is all about bugs, and love, so yay?  Yay     :-D  I finished it while up in Portland, Oregon.  Visited there for the first time this weekend.  Beautiful and easy to get around city.  A lovely cafe called "Moonstruck: Chocolate Cafe" did the trick, and I sat in there to finish powering this piece out.

As there are hearts, love, potentially unrequited love, and many bees buzzing about, that is how it fits the theme of "Love Bug."  It's also a piece that will be being shown at the "The Vanshing Bees" show at the Zzyzx Science Art Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles, opening soon.

In real life, bees are integral to food production and to life on this planet as a whole-- a key part of human life, despite what non-environmentally conscious people may believe.  In the piece I created, the bees are busy making honey that flows through the town, through Roxane's Honeycomb hair, and also trying to help arrange a romance betwixt their human friends.  Unfortunately, because of cell phones, pollution, and other possible factors we don't know about, many colonies of bees are disappearing and passing away.  The reason why my piece is called "Cyrano de Bee-Gerac:  Before the Colony Collapse" (apart from the obvious Cyrano de Bergerac pun), is because you can see how busy and bustling their bee colony is... but it won't be for much longer, should it collapse the way so many have in real life.

In any event, enough words from me for an evening.  To submit to Creative Tuesdays, you can now submit whenever you like before the deadline (which will now be weekly), and you do not have to wait until Tuesday!  The link to do so is below:

Thanks for bee-ing (heh heh) so patient in reading this long blog (-:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Jump" for Illustration Friday

This week's I.F. is "Jump."  Here's a quick sketch I did, in honor of "Black Swan..." and apart from the fact that "jumps" are a huge part of ballet and dancing, if you've seen the movie, you can guess why anything "Black Swan" related would relate to this particular theme.

To submit to Illustration Friday please go to:

Should write more at some point, especially because of having just gone to and gotten back tonight from Portland Oregon (full of trees and great food and very cool cartoons and art and the wonderful Stumptown Comics Fest and coincidentally where I drew this), but for now, this is all <3

Looking forward (or am I?) to the shell-shock of blaring horns, cars, Metro Rail, Metro Buses, and general city insanity this week.  Leaving the greenery and calm of Portland was already really jarring once I landed, then waited outside LAX before going home.  Eek!

Monday, April 23, 2012

"Mother" for Creative Tuesdays

Below is my post for this week's C.T.!  I myself am an only child, which is a blessing in many ways, and very difficult in many others.  However, a large part of "Mother-hood" for many is having more than one child.  Since siblings sometimes quarrel or have rivalries (I may not have any of my own, but since almost all of my friends do I've spent all my life being fascinated and watching how people with brothers and sisters interacted with one another), that was something I wanted to depict in my "Impending Mother-hood" piece below.

"Impending Mother-hood" is a spot illustration that is all about waiting.  It depicts a girl and her mother (and their cat) sitting inside from the rain. Both the girl and her mother are pensive, although the girl seems more worried while the mother is happier (the cat is just inquisitive, as kitties tend to be). The mother is pregnant-- perhaps why she is happier. The girl, on the other hand, may be afraid of how things will change once she has a new sibling-- perhaps she won't have as much attention focused on her. She may worry that things will be harder for their family with the change, or she may be worried for her mother's health. Perhaps she is just feeling gloomy because it is so cold and wet outside. But overall, the drawing is meant to convey a sense of positive things to come. Life is full of uncertainty, but beautiful things can still come out of dark and scary places. While the girl thinks of all the things that could go wrong, perhaps she should look at things in a different way-- hopeful that a new person in their lives could make things better and brighter, even with all the difficulties that will come with it.

To submit to April 24th's Creative Tuesdays, please go to the most recent link on that date, and follow the steps to submit:

To see other Black and White Spot Illos of mine, please go here:

Happy Belated Mother's Day to U.K. Readers, and Happy Upcoming Mother's Day to those in the U.S. (-:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Illustration Friday: "Heights"

Happy Illustration Friday!  The theme is "heights," and thus, here is a card featuring a Mother and Daughter of different heights.

To submit to I.F., please go to:

To see other cards of mine, please go to:

Not sure how I'm liking the new Google Blog layout... or the Gmail layout... which could drive me to new "heights" of madness, trying to get used to each.  But I'll stick to the original "heights" meaning for the entry, and just leave it at that.  Not enough coffee for me to yet be coherent.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inspiration Avenue: "Inspired By Words"

Hello, I.A. Lovelies (-: I am a big fan of words and pictures together, so, I am submitting a page I did from the "Samurai" project story I've mentioned before on here ("The Warrior and the Nightingale), for the "Inspired By Words" challenge.

The "Samurai Graphic Novel" is an anthology that came out in early 2011. I wanted to submit a page from my story in it it for this challenge, for a couple of reasons:

1) Comics put words and pictures together, which is what this challenge is all about.

2) Two characters in my story are actually originally from Oscar Wilde's story, "The Nightingale and the Rose," and I thought it fitting to show work which also has references to characters created by someone so important in literature as Wilde. Plus, he was a huge inspiration for my story in the first place.

3) While I was working on the story, my editor instructed me to have two pages in my story read more like an illustrated text, to break it up from the comic book format of the other pages-- so, here is one of those pages.

"The Warrior and the Nightingale," is about a girl who goes to the Underworld to try and bring somebody back, for a person she loves. In order to even attempt this, she has to get past the guardians of the Underworld (a talking Nightingale and Rose Tree, which are the characters from Wilde's original story), and defeat the Rose Tree in a Samurai style battle.

The Rose Tree is unkind, and mocks her desperation in coming down in the first place. Trying to goad her into fighting him, preying on her several weaknesses (which happens on the page after this one). The Nightingale is kinder, and wants to dissuade the girl from risking her life in the name of love. This is because the Nightingale herself did exactly that, and it was for naught. The page below is the Nightingale explaining her story to the Girl-- and this part is a retold version of Wilde's actual story, "The Nightingale and the Rose." If you like, right click and open the picture in a new window to make sure the text is big enough for you to read.

I have a saying I've been saying for the last couple of years: "Sisters, this is not the way." I say it in jest, but I'm serious about it, too. The main character in this story is at a Code Red for "Sisters, this is not the way," for how little she cares about herself and how desperately she is focused on saving her relationship.

Without naming names (and no disrespect to anyone who likes any such franchises-- I've not much room to talk, since "Phantom of the Opera" is one of my favorite plays/books ever, and an example of a love story that is not necessarily one to emulate, although not for an embarrassing lack of trying in my youth), I have a huge problem with certain adolescent literature that's out there, aimed towards girls, and where it's hinted at that self-destruction to get a boy's attention is good and romantic, and that giving up absolutely everything in your life is also, generally, a good idea. In my opinion? Red flags, bad ideas all around. Compromise, working together with a partner? Yes. Going cliff-diving, to hear their voice? No. Which, I only mention, because the main character's choices and actions in TWATN are flawed. Similar to the choices of the original Nightingale, really.

I don't want to spoil too too much of the story or book ;-) But, as this is a post about art and words, I'll include some more of my own to describe the overall themes. It's an excerpt from my particular interview that the Editor conducted with all the creators:

"My story came from the idea, originally voiced by Oscar Wilde (and also by the girl in my story, "The Nightingale And The Warrior"), of: "What a silly thing love is. It is not half as useful as logic, for it does not prove anything."

People talk about how love has no logic, passion makes people mad, and all the rest of it. Usually, that's discussed in a positive context. Love can be beautiful, but I think it's interesting to explore the other side of it. A lot of times, people do crazy things for love, but it's to their ultimate detriment. Any time someone has to give up something for another person, make a grand gesture for someone else, or make a big change to prove said love, the person putting forth all that effort may not even not benefit from it. Giving up one's career, or converting religions, are oft-cited examples, but there are tons of them.

In any event, I don't think it's a good idea to give up a part of yourself for someone else. But it happens all the time. In Oscar Wilde's story, "The Nightingale And The Rose," the Nightingale is a perfect example of this. As in my story (and the reason she tries to dissuade others from making the same mistake), she gave up her life for love. And unfortunately, the person she gave up her life for didn't care. She was giving her life for the idea of love. I think it's equally powerful, and perhaps more painful, if a person does that not just on an idealistic basis, but for another individual. That's where the girl and the boy part of my story comes in.

As far as the art goes, I wanted to show the emotions of the characters, as well as get the overall feel of the story. I felt that the body language and facial expressions of the characters was important, not just with the human characters, but also with the Rose Tree and the Nightingale. I think the expressions of the human characters and the Nightingale vary between hope, grief, and anger, although the Rose Tree is allowed a few evil smiles. He does take a perverse pleasure in taunting the girl, even if he feels bad about it later. But overall, I wanted to create a sense of foreboding, which is why there are distance shots, silhouettes, and the like with roses, thorns, and birds, up until the protagonist's descent to the underworld. All that foreshadowing is also supposed to mirror the girl's own misgivings, since in her heart of hearts, she fears her mission is pretty much failed before it's begun. Yet, she can't acknowledge that possibility to herself."

Anyone who takes even a passing glance at my blog or Social Media stuff knows I am obsessed with "Black Swan." Funnily (and unhealthily? Sad.) enough, I created this story before I even saw that movie.

I suppose girls who take extreme actions, are too intense, are willing to destroy themselves for what they want (ballet and love, in B.S., and merely love, in T.W.A.T.N.), and have a thing for talking/anthropomorphic birds must have been in my brain subconsciously :-p

Here are some links related to this challenge:

The challenge itself:

A link to the whole Anthology I have mentioned:

And, I will end with some "Sisters, This is Not the Way" ranting, excerpted from the aforementioned blog interview:

" is important, but not at the sake of one's safety or dignity... grief is what it is. Nobody should take advantage of someone else because... pain, and nor should a supportive person think that all the love in the world can fix it... the choices of the main character in my story are not something to be emulated, and... love and respect of one's own self should, again, be above what others ask of you. My story is not to glorify self-sacrifice in the least, particularly for parties that don't deserve it. I do hope that men and women alike enjoy it. I know there is a lot of pressure for female creators to create strong female characters, which I feel that my protagonist is up unto a fairly obvious point in the story. However, I wrote the story from the point of view of a person-- people of all genders have been there, and anyone can react drastically to disappointment and heartbreak. And hey, it's a fantastical enough story, she might just be able to come back. Personally, I love a good resurrected Dark Phoenix kind of tale."

For anyone who actually got through this tl;dr craziness of a post, thank you very much for your reading and patience! <3

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Illustration Friday: "Puzzled"

Pin-Up Cray Cray. Older piece, that I thought fit the theme because of the facial expression of Missy on the right. She is "puzzled" as to why her friend is poking her in the behind. And, thus, making the requsite :-0 (doesn't that emoticon communicate so much?) expression.

The piece is called "Life's A Drag," for obvious reasons.

To submit to "Puzzled" for Illustration Friday, please go to:

To see this and other Color Works at my site, please go to:

Thanks for reading (-:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Foliage: Inspiration Avenue

Mother's Day isn't so far away (whee, unintentional rhymes), so here's my submission for Inspiration Avenue's "Foliage" Challenge!

The Mommy has put together her outfit with flowery and green foliage, the boy picked out a sweater that matches, and they are framed by flowers and leaves. It was fun doing a challenge and thinking of foliage that wasn't necessarily for Fall, which is the season that I usually associate that word with :-)

To see more cards like this, please go to:

To submit to this week's I.A. for "Foliage," please go to the Mister Linky in this post:

I usually write long posts, but I'll "leaf" you all be and end my sentence here ;-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Illustration Friday, "Vocal"

Here's a greeting card I did where the singing birds are being quite "Vocal."

That is all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Frida Fiesta" For "Inspiration Avenue"

I love Frida, so that she is the inspiration for this week's I.A. challenge of "Frida Fiesta" makes me thrilled!

The piece I am submitting is a gouache and ink painting I did, entitled, "Everything's Coming Up Frida."

I hope the painting speaks for itself, and most of all, I wanted to show my love for all things Frida Kahlo. "Fiesta" means party, and since there are many things going on at once in this piece, I think it feel like a party. Frida's party, where everybody wants an invite! Especially the girl in the red sweatshirt ;-)

Apart from Frida, herself, I think my two favorite characters are the two little girls-- the one who wants to go see Frida, and the other donning a Dia De Los Muertos mask.

To see more color works of mine, please check out my site at:

To submit to this week's "Frida" challenge at Inspiration Avenue, please go to:

¡ Viva la Frida!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Pastel Coloured Expression," for "Creative Tuesdays"

First off, "Hoppy" Easter! This salutation makes sense with my submission below (-:

The other day, I did the above included sketch of a girl with ballpoint pen (a medium which can actually produce incredible results, and one I am experimenting with and hoping to get into).

The black and white image by itself was fine, but I thought I could do more with it.

Hence, the silliness and computer effects/playing around that happened with this final product for the Creative Tuesdays challenge, "Pastel Coloured Expression."

I added a border of a pastel colored bunny sitting atop eggs that I had already drawn, found images of Easter eggs with which to adorn her hair, added some spray painty-effects of pastel green, pink, yellow, and blue for the background, and actually upped the saturation level of the black and white drawing all the way, which makes her face a pale rainbow-pastel-ish hue.

For anyone interested in submitting to C.T. or seeing the other submissions for this week's theme, please go to the most recent entry on Tuesday, April Tenth, at:

So, there you have it! Sending everyone happy weekend wishes <3