Thursday, July 30, 2015

Adventure is Waiting

During all four years of high school, I was part of my school's Rocket Club. We were fortunate enough that half of our club was girls! In the rocketry and STEM world, this is crazy-talk. In a world where NASA wondered if 100 tampons would be enough for Sally Ride's week-long voyage in space, and 18-20% of engineering students in the US are female, having 50% of our club (which grew to 50 members) was huge.

But I didn't fully appreciate this equilibrium of genders until we went to competitions and events where other high school and college rocket teams met us. They were ecstatic to meet our team members and talk with us. We were less thrilled about being hit on or thought inferior. But it all comes with the territory and we learned to stand up for ourselves and prove what we knew. It also bonded the team together: the girls would rescue each other from guys who couldn't take a hint, and the guys would tell the other boys to back off or respect us.

This one time at an outreach event, two guys came sniggering up to me and asked me if I could tell them "everything you know" about this "big guy", referring to the 6-foot-tall rocket propped up next to me. "Don't worry, take your time and consult your notes if you have to." Snigger. Well, it turns out I was the Project Manager of the team that built this rocket, and they did say "everything". As soon as I straightened up, looked them in the eye, and started rattling off the structure, stats, and science of the rocket, they looked at each other wide-eyed, and realized their mistake. Ha.

But that aside, I love science, and I love the wonder and romance of space. It is symbolic of what we as humans can reach beyond, find, and accomplish. And it reminds me of the childhood innocence from October Sky and Up (side note: those first 10 minutes of Up are my relationship goals. But then again, whose aren't?).

So when I ran across this quote on Pinterest or Instagram (too many inspirational platforms to keep track of!), I knew I had to do something with it.

June 2015

(the signature, like all my others, are added to prevent art theft. I'm working on making it prettier. Eventually.)

Also as a sidenote, if you find yourself in the Seattle area with someone who likes airplanes or rockets, or flight of any kind like that (yourself, possibly? Obviously.), you should check out the Museum of Flight. I have been volunteering with them since 2011, and it is a fantastic place to explore.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Take 2 on my Pug Watercolor

Recently, one of my best friends from the Salle I fence at adopted a puppy with his girlfriend. He's a golden retriever named Dash and he's the cutest puppy ever (and becoming quite well-trained!). Dash has the energy of a three-year-old, and the plush fur of my childhood stuffed bear.

Inspired by Dash and all the cute pictures of my friends' kids showing up on my Instagram (They're much older than me; I'm much too young to support kids in my life now!), I redid the "Pugs before drugs" image with a different phrase. I love the take on "Cute as a bug" and have seriously started adoring this little dog.

Also, I got to use my new pen I gushed about here!

July 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Portrait: Fawzie

Fawzie is a velociraptor. I feel like this is the beginning of a book, haha.

Fawzie is my friend's child. Like, actually. She and her boyfriend have a photo album devoted to him and his friends, and her mother calls Fawzie her grandchild. He's just under a foot tall, has soft brown fur with tufts of yellow hair, and most importantly, the eye furrowed in disdain. And he is well loved. 

Recently, amidst the difficulties I've been having in my personal life, Fawzie was there for me to hold and pet and cuddle. And I am greatly appreciative of him. (Aren't soft, cuddly items so incredibly comforting when you're feeling like everything is falling apart??)

I think this is the very first full watercolor painting I've ever done before. I've been watching YouTube videos on watercolor techniques and how to prevent the paper from curling, and was very excited to try to put all this new information to good use. I've still got a long way to go, but the process was very cathartic and I loved how I could manipulate the colors and textures.

July 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

New pen, new quote, and a curve in my life

This is a long post, but please bear with me.

This past week has been a real curveball for me. In possibly one of the worst ways possible. But my friends have rallied around me, and believe me, they are Life. I love them each to death, and every little thing they do (even something as simple as "How are you doing today?") means the world to me.

I have two things I want to talk about in today's post. The first is about my new pen. My usual go-to pen for drawing is this one. I buy packs of 12 at my office supply store, and while a bit pricey (and occasionally smear-able if I'm not careful with my erasing), they make a nice clean line. But I finally decided to branch out and find a thicker pen with a felt-like tip. I used to do a bit of calligraphy when I was younger, and I hoped a broader-tipped pen would help me revisit that phase of my life. So far, I love it. It's so nice to have a thick line I can use to practice and improve my typography. The tip is thick and pretty even, and the ink is a very nice black. So I'm quite ecstatic about the new opportunities from this.

The other thing I wanted to talk about is a bit heavier. I want to talk about how to help a friend who is going through a difficult time with a relationship. This is something I myself was bad at until I had a relationship end (four years after my Bestie's first relationship ended--I'm so sorry I didn't know how to comfort you, Sweetie!), and I want to give a tip to the people out there who are confronted with a friend going through a difficult situation but don't have the experience to know what to do to help them. In the wake of my situation (I call it The PS right now), my friends fell into two groups: those who had had at least one relationship, and those who had never had a relationship. I don't want to sound like I'm ungrateful or unappreciative of my friends who didn't know what to do with me, because I'm not. It means the world that they tried when they were out of their depth and comfort zone. I love them for that. But there's one question I wish they had asked me: "Do you want to talk about it?" It opens the door for me to make my choice if I want to cry over it or change the subject and distract myself. And this makes a difference. It doesn't mean I want advice they may not know how to give, or pressure to make me feel better. It just leaves the door open for me to talk. I think it's the best thing a friend can ask me.

So I think I got a little bit off-topic, but my latest art comes from the hailstorm of a week I've had. It's a quote from Christopher Robin, and I think it embodies the feelings I have right now or hope to believe in the future.

If you made it through these blocks of words, thanks for reading about the update in my life. I hope you are having a better week than me.

July 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pugs Not Drugs (finally finished!)

Here's the final end result of the Pugs Not Drugs WIP! It's a mixture of graphite, ink, and watercolors. The watermark (on the lower left) was added on the computer just for blogging purposes.

I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Here are parts One and Two of the WIP before this stage.

June 2015

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Prettiest Princess Tiara

Remember that crown I drew earlier? And how I said there was a story behind it? Well, I ended up using a different drawing but kept the idea:

You may think this is for a small child who loves princesses and tiaras, but you'd be wrong. I made this for one of my best friends. He's turning 21.

I met him through the uni's Fencing Club at the very beginning of Freshman year of Uni. For the entire first quarter plus break (this is somewhere around 13 weeks), I'm embarrassed to admit that all I knew about him (keeping in mind we have a small club and he was one of the only two people in my year) was his name. It wasn't until the first day back for Winter quarter that I realized a) we had a class together b) he lived near me c) he um, existed. As a person, and all. Ahem. But then I made up for that by asking him to join my brother and me for dinner. That makes up for it, right?

A birthday tradition we have at the fencing Salle is that the birthday person gets to wear the pretty tiara and has to fence everybody. From experience, this is both fun and terrifying at the same time when you're the youngest and just beginning, haha. But this year, my friend is currently in California this summer during his birthday, so he doesn't get to wear the pretty tiara and be a pretty princess for his birthday. So to make up for this atrocity, I made this for his birthday card. I hope it gives him a laugh.

July 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

For every girl's girlfriends

One thing I've learned in my relationship endeavors is that my girlfriends will always be there for me. So this is for them.

Inspired by the first time I heard "Bros before Hoes" from Transformers and thought it was hilarious (I was in 8th grade), cute Korean dramas (tiny bit obsessed with Boys Over Flowers), and hipsters (because it's Seattle...).

June 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

It was Father's Day. I'm Late.

Here's something about me: I'm always late...when I'm traveling with my family. And all our friends know it. They know that "It starts at 4:00" will mean that we'll show up at 4:45...or so. But it only happens when I'm traveling with my family. When I'm by myself, I will almost always show up on time. I hate the feeling of being late. In all of high school and Uni when I finally got to choose when I left the house, I've never been late to class.

But I'm now figuring out, when it comes to blog posts and holidays, I'm late. Oops. Maybe I could just date and time stamp this post to an earlier date and pretend that it was always up on the blog?

Anyways, here's my Father's Day art post, just a mere 12 days late. I made these into cards and we sent them off to my grandparents. We even did it in time for Father's Day, yay!

I hope y'all had an enjoyable Father's Day however you and your family chooses to enjoy it (we had cod over a salad with delicious apricot dressing--homemade! And visited the Chittenden Locks in Ballard for our tradition of listening to the Elliott Bay Pipe Band).

June 2015