What I’ve been up to…
Welp, another fresh month! Is it only me or there’s something magical about September?
I think I’m going to do a 365 project starting today because I’m feeling magical. The problem is I don’t know which 365 project to pursue?
I have until tonight to decide~…
1. 365 sketch journals?
Hear, hear, I don’t draw enough as I’m supposed to. About this project, It’s gonna be simple sketches like my 30 days of snakes, but can be about anything. I might also attempt “tegami” style if I can find a suitable brush pen!
2. 365 Watch & Bracelet combos?
I have 8+ watches and about 100 bracelets in rotation. My good friend once noticed that in 1 year of working together with me, she noticed that I never wear the same bracelet & wrist watch combo more than once. Let’s prove her right.
Ah, a wrist fashion project? Can I pull this off? I don’t have the budget to buy a lot more watches (and I shouldn’t) so I gotta get creative… What a tall order…
3. 365 Self taken photos with DBLCAM
I love DBLCAM. you can take photos from both sides of your phone cam (front and back) simultaneously and save as collage. But.. forget it. I’m not even that good looking 😀
(Originally written on Monday 26 March, 2012)
Monday. I have a week off, It’s my first day off work, and I finally have time to do some flash. I’ve drawn this flash sheet over the weekend and I can’t wait to color it in with my watercolor pencils. One day if I’m good enough I’ll use real watercolor, but not now. Baby steps.
Quite pleased with the overall result. I had to put white gouache over some highlights because I accidentally painted over them. Boo. Mistakes in watercolor are hard to fix. I hope later on my human canvasses won’t kill me if I screw up and color something wrong.
By the way, this flash painting is dedicated to my friend Jen. Get well soon!
(Originally written on Tuesday 27 March, 2012)
I texted Eddy in the morning and he said we’re set to start on Tuesday, April 3. It’s only a week from now! Why Tuesday? The shop is closed on Mondays.
I spend the afternoon drawing this Taylor Swift flash painting. Here’s an insight to my sorry-ass process. First, I traced a rough outline. This is how I trace. Somebody buy me a lightbox!
The sketch in progress. The rose is nice but it ended up too huge…
That rose, I traced it off and plan to do it as a separate painting.
Alas, just before I’m about to continue with the original drawing, Dayan called and asked me out for a movie night. Alright. That’s enough drawings for today!
(Originally written on Wednesday 28 March, 2012)
Not much progress on drawings, but I went to Binus area to a friend’s friend house and almost bought this Chinese machine secondhand. He’s selling it real cheap, wanted to upgrade to a better machine. Almost. I ultimately decided not to buy it because as cheap as it is, it would be better if I buy my first machine first-hand. Also here’s all the advice I got from my tattooer friends when I told them I’m shopping around for a machine:
“Nothing good will come out of buying Chinese machines”, “Don’t make the same mistake I’ve done, get a good first machine!”
“I used to have a Chinese machine. I only use it to take it apart and to learn about setting up, then after I got my first proper machine, I threw it away. ” – to that I instinctively replied “Nooo, give it to me instead!”, haha.
The thought of buying a cheap machine just to practice setting up and taking it apart is interesting, but ultimately I decided it’s worth the wait to buy a better machine, and learn using the machines in the shop instead.
(Originally written on Thursday 29 March, 2012)
No progress on drawings either for today, too busy with visiting Nana’s newborn baby (yay, congrats!), getting my taxes done (finally!), and going to H2000 for the first time. Such an obscure but very interesting place where you can get just about anything tattoo and piercing related.
I didn’t go home with a new machine – I got some 14mm stainless steel tunnels instead. Happy ears.
Friday, 30 March, to Sunday, 1 April 2012:
I didn’t do any drawings because I’m busy with a lot of freelance work. Ha. My bad. I did collect some awesome inspirations from European folk art, though. Until today I’ve never even heard of Kurbits (Swedish folk painting style) or Suzani (textiles from Uzbekistan). Now I can’t stop imagining how awesome those styles will look in tattoo art.
Monday, 2 April 2012.
I went to work for my farewell day. Actually it’s farewell day for 5 of us, as there’s a lot of my co-workers who happened to be resigning from the office at the same time. It’s a great farewell day filled with lots of laughter and no parting tears – just the way I like it!
While waiting at the office, I drew this trio of dotwork animals. It’s obvious I was inspired by paisley art, henna, and folk art styles. I can’t help it!
They’re unfinished, but I love how they look already. I can’t wait to learn dotwork tattooing, but as always, first things first!
So excited for tomorrow, when I officially become an apprentice. Anything could happen now, all I can do is try my best and learn all I can.
So after browsing a lot of tattoo art portfolios, I noticed that most artists and apprentices do their artwork on paper and color them manually, as compared to scanning them and coloring them in Photoshop. Most of the time, the latter is always the easy way out for me . For years I’ve been doing this digital coloring thing. I’m so accustomed to color my work in Photoshop that I almost forgot how fun it is to paint and color your artwork manually. How fun it is to make mistakes. There’s the factor of uncertainty in the process of coloring the artwork that draws me in, the factor of expecting the unexpected. The resulting artwork might not be perfect, it might not be 100% to what you have in mind, but I think it has more soul compared to digitally-colored artwork.
Here’s some comparison. First picture is a design I did recently for a tattoo design contest. It took me 3 hours to sketch, scan in and color in Photoshop. The result is OK but predictable. I kinda liked it for being so neat, smooth and perfect, but where’s the fun?
This be the second drawing. It’s like a sketchbook rough for a flash sheet I wanna do in the future. I did the initial linework on my usual sketchbook, then colored it in with some cheap-ass watercolors and some cheap ass colored pencils. It took me an hour. It’s so imperfect but it looks cool because it’s got more soul. Do you agree with me here?
I need to get proper watercolor paper, btw. And good quality watercolor cakes. This kiddy-grade stuff, they’re ain’t cutting it for the kind of practice I need to do before I start my apprenticeship proper. Yes. If all goes well, I will start apprenticing within a month’s time, but we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.
There’s someone out there like me.
There’s someone who spend their days and nights wondering how can they be “amazing” instead of just “good”.
(The answer is practice, practice, practice, but who’s got time these days?)
There’s someone who wish they have more time to practice, to explore, to make mistakes. Someone who wish they’re younger, more brave, less burdened with life’s pressures and commitments to just jump into whatever once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they wanted to, leave it all and not look back. Because we’ve all got one shot in life to make it, or not to make it.
There’s someone who have no trouble soaking all of the wonderful inspirations from everywhere around them – soaking it like a sponge, analyzing, learning, memorizing, but have trouble wringing all of these inspirations out into actually creating something. They’re constipating and it feels awful because they have so many great ideas inside of them – just waiting to be released.
There’s someone who can’t stop comparing their work to other artists’ work, and feel inferior and unmotivated for awhile afterwards. That’s when the panic sets in and they’re reminded of how much they need to work their butts off to get to the standard they want.
There’s someone like me who thinks that 9-5 work is a waste of time when you can spend your precious time doing other things you love and still earn money to survive. It really sounds like utopia, now, but with hard work, sheer luck and just being a good person, I think it’s possible.
The whole world is moving fast and I’m struggling to keep myself in pace…
Week 1 – Random Tattoo Flash Challenge
Theme: #45 Celtic knot + #12 Luck/Clover
First one done out of many. I don’t think I fared too badly on this one. Celtic knotwork are fun to draw, and it’s quite a challenge to figure out the in and out weavings and the symmetry and such – that’s when I scanned the sketches and tidied it up in Illustrator. Meh.
Symbolism wise, it’s my own take at the lucky four leaf clover. (that ends up looking a bit like the Apple command symbol/Saint John’s arms but it looks cool so I don’t care!) Instead of making it a heart shape, I made the edges of the clover in the shape of a pinwheel, because in some cultures a pinwheel represents luck, literally a change/turn of fate.