Starting anew in 2017: finding momentum

Hi guys, it’s been a while since I’ve updated and I finally got the energy and drive to update today. So massive massive update ahead, but also lots of photos to feast on.

My current status is that I’m officially unemployed for the past 3 months (wow how time flies). I should saw that I’ve been busy looking for a job, but that’s a lie because the time just consists of a lot of waiting. What this means for my art and creativity though is that my life currently consists of no structure, like I’m bobbing along in the great big sea. Since starting blogging, I found that my most productive creative days happen when I’m busy with other tasks, so I am now consciously aware that having momentum allows me to flourish best. Spending 3 months without any sense of structure and time though… not a good environment to be doing art.

Perhaps it’s the idea of a new year, or perhaps it represents the start of a new life as I leave my undergraduate life behind, this year, I’m finding it easier to start something new (fingers crossed I don’t jinx it). Not just something new, but starting anew, as I try for a past me that have disappeared into the wind in the past few years.

I’m taking up planning again, like those student handbooks that you are forced to buy when you are in school. I have to confess that I used to love them though, and each year my handbook get filled up with reminders and homework and crossing outs. It’s nothing fancy of course, but it didn’t matter because it’s functional. I’ve tried to use planners again during my university days, spending the time and effort to search for planners that would suit my needs AND look pretty. It’s not that much of a lost cause, but often times I find myself not using them, and when I try to pick them up again, I found that I actually didn’t like to use them. This time though, I’m heavily inspired by videos of bullet journals I seen (particularly this and this) so I decided to go simple. I had a B5 binder notebook that I used for German note taking so I decided to use that. And with some new inserts, my planner is thus born. What I loved about this (and probably why it worked so well for me), is that I can just throw papers away if I did something wrong or if I didn’t like it, which frees me from a lot of the stress and pressure I put on myself.

There are tabs that came with the notebook that I used to keep section separate, but the main tab that consist of everything to do with planning is a mishmash of things that goes by chronological order (of when I started the page, not so much what’s on it). I found that it doesn’t bother me so much, and it’s actually kind of nice to be flipping the pages back and forth, rather than just staying on one spread for the week and never needing to move away. It’s adds to the illusion of doing something too, because most days I don’t need to spend too much time writing in the planner. A few photos of how my journal looks:

These quotes used to hang on my wall, but I’ve stopped paying attention to them and one could only feature one at a time so I stuck them into my planner instead
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Daily log page where I write down the things I need to do/plans for the day. I don’t use it as often as I should, but when I do it works fabulously to keep me on my (self-designated) tasks
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This gratitude page started out from a monthly challenge prompt and I’ve kept it to see where it would take me. I’m reading a book called “The Happiness Project” which mentioned that gratitude can make one feel happier
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My Habit Tracker page, which is the page I used the most often and turn to the most

I’ve also started a page on tracking my habits and I’m enjoying it so far. I have unfortunately gained (more than) a few bad habits and lost a few good ones, so I’m trying to get back on track by making them visible, and having a chart to mark off each day allows me to track my progress, and reminds me each day of what I have to do the next day/week/month/whatever. Some habits are easier to get back into than others though, like remembering to put apply face cream in the mornings and nights, and others doesn’t seem to get done at all (the habit that read “Post on My Craft Diary once a week” has been there since January). Yet others seem to have mixed success that I can’t seem to achieve consistently, like sleeping early or bathing early. Nonetheless, keeping track of my habits works for me so it’s something I’m sticking with.

A lot of my drive in picking up new habits come from the first piece of artwork I did this year. It’s a reflective piece, in which I think about the things I want to achieve in my life, and the things I want to keep out. It’s almost like my resolutions for the year? Though I’m not sure if it can really be considered resolutions because they are just big and broad aims I have while I’ve distilled them into workable actions that are manifested in my habit tracker. The piece if now hanging on my wall though, and it makes me happy to just look at the piece on the wall, if only because of the colour. Here’s how the piece looks on the wall:

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And here’s how it looks at the background stage plus some details on the layers. As usual, you can click to view an enlarged image.

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collage, paint and drawings

paint, stenciling, drawing, paint splatters

collage, paint, stencilling with gold paint

I may not be doing a lot of art, but it has not been completely bare these past few months. I did go on a few shopping sprees, so I have quite a few additions to my supplies. They’re mostly utilitarian though (like 3 different type of glues or blade refills), though there are some new yummy supplies that I’ve bought to keep that creative spark (mostly the inexpensive stuff like new pens or ink colours). I finally finally bought the set of paper bead roller that I’ve been eyeing ever since this video came out and it makes paper bead making so much easier. I promptly broke in the new tool by making beads out of scrap pieces of paper that has been lying around for years – that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone 😉 Here’s a look at the bead making process:

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Drying the beads after glazing

I’m also trying to reacquaint myself with the Jennibellie’s Journal Workshop community, and have been chatting with the creative peeps there occasionally. I may be very much out of it but it nice to have a place where I can just drop by, some place familiar where I feel comfortable, and Journal Workshop is just the place for those moments. I participated in the last art swap too, and I think it’s been almost two years since I last did an art swap. We made some paper flowers for the swap and I really liked how these turned out, with the embellishments and all. Hopefully my swap partner would like them!

My main project now is my Japan travel journal, which I started in December and then stopped because I got busy during the holidays (Christmas & Chinese New Year). I started picking it up again a couple of days back, and then somehow fiddled with a camera and video setup. In a stroke of brilliance, I found a set up that works, and doesn’t take too much time to set up, though the setup is rather amusing.

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I use a short table as a temporary work for this project, because I bring out a lot of materials that wouldn’t fit on my usual workspace. You can’t see in this photo, but surrounding this table is an arc of supplies and things I would need for the travel journal, with just an empty space in the middle where I can sit down. Because my craft room is also my bedroom, I used my bed to help in the camera setup, and added cardboard boxes and even my pillow to prop up the selfie stick to a appropriate height. Nothing fancy, so hopefully this means that I might take more videos in the future! I also posted a video of a short flipthrough of the parts I worked on these few days on my instagram which you can view below:

A post shared by Wenyi (@nocloudypooh) on

As you can see, I usually go off on a tangent while I do things, even when I have definite plans. But it’s not a bad thing, because it usually end up being productive, like a new burst of energy to do things. While editing this post, the tangent brought me to create a stamp with the My Craft Diary logo, and it’s pretty easy to add to the images, so that’s a success. *Does happy dance* Have been wanting to do this for a while, but I was finding it a drag to learn how to do it. I did it on Photoshop before, but gimp is a little different and I’m not particularly familiar with the programme, so Google was the best way to go. I think that’s all the updates I have for this post, and hopefully, this marks the start of the habit to post on the blog once a week. Thanks for stopping by.

Restlessness, consumption and where’s the production?

Recently feeling in a little bit of a rut again, not least because deadlines for school don’t leave me with much time for craft. That would be a legit excuse/reason, except that never actually stopped me from creating something before. If I am to be really honest to myself, then I need to admit that I actually don’t know what I want to create and thus have not been creating. On other days, I might have just sat down, pull paints out and slap down some colours, but I’m restless so I don’t feel like doing it (or maybe my subconscious is reminding me of the troublesomeness of washing up after the paints).

Maybe saying that I haven’t been crafting is too much of a stretch, because it was only last week that posted about the digital art I created. I guess what I’m really lamenting here is how I haven’t been working on my art journal much. Art journal for me is a very therapeutic exercise, as they often come from deep inside me, rather than the random drawing/art that I have created as with my digital art. I often use my art journal to pour out my thoughts and feelings, and just write streams of unconsciousness. Sometimes, the process helps me start anew, as I leave everything behind in the journal pages. But even if that doesn’t happen, I still feel lighter before I start, and I can attempt to move on after verbalising it and having done something about it.

I will share a page that I did a couple of weeks ago, after a round of restlessness. It was something simple, and I purposely took some time with it so I can enjoy the process longer. I know most people prefer fast and quick art journal process (or at least that’s a common rhetoric I’ve seen), but I personally prefer spending a little bit more time on my art because it makes me feel more satisfied and doesn’t leave me hanging, as have happened a few times

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Pre-painted background, gesso, alcohol markers and some journaling

I tend to get a perpetual need to consume something creative when I’m in a restless rut – blogs, but most YouTube videos. It’s often a sign of restlessness when I’m watching recommended videos from YouTube when I run our of videos to watch on my subscription list. It’s not exactly healthy, because I’m constantly consuming but not actually producing anything in return. Sometimes I find some good ideas or it sparks inspiration of what I can do, but I don’t do it because I’m restless. It’s kind of a waste of time spent watching those videos, that could otherwise be more inspiring when I’m in a better state. I’m still figuring out how to go around that.

I started off this post as a pondering, but as I write, I realised I’m more rambling than anything. Sigh. Well I still need to get this out there, and maybe I can move on from my rut. Hope you aren’t in a rut too, but if you are, you have a kindred spirit in me and here’s to hoping we will get out of it soon.

Back to beginnings: uncomplicated journal pages

I have been playing a little more these past few days, and managed to get a page done everyday for the past three days in my Midori traveller’s notebook, an accomplishment in recent months! Well, I say I managed to get the pages done, but it’s more like the pages got done on their own, because they took little planning on my part. Take a look at them first:

journal page

These are all very quick pages that are slapped together. I mentioned that I didn’t plan for them, because I didn’t plan through the art process and did not envision how the final page would look like. They are all “in the moment” pages, representing my thought process or what I was doing at the moment I create these pages. It’s organic, and uncomplicated, and it reminds me of the early beginnings when I started out art journaling, and my pages are just a slap-down mish-mash of things. Of course I would say that my pages now are more “sophisticated”, in the sense that I relate to the content more and it holds more meaning to me (in the past, my pages are just random things created for the sake of creating).

More about each of the pages:

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You’ve seen this page in the previous ponderings post. I had the quote in mind, and that photo was lying around, an extra I accidentally printed. More than just a random photo, the photo really epitomises that quote, because it was taken during my Japan trip, and I actually didn’t like one of the dishes in the photo. It was one of the few pictures I had of that meal and by lack of choice I had to choose it to put inside my travel journal. You noticed that the lettering didn’t come out exactly centred in the last line, and I added the little heart to balance it out. I use hearts a lot to embellish or fill up empty spaces because they work really well most of the time!

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I was playing with a new Crafter’s Workshop stencils along with some Distress inks yesterday. The plan was to try around blending the various colours and using all of the colours at least once, while trying out all the images in the stencil. At the end of it I filled up a whole A4 sheet of cardstock and was very happy, until I realised that there was one colour I didn’t touch at all. So I though I would do that in the traveller’s notebook since the A4 paper is all filled up already. Unfortunately, kraft coloured paper isn’t too kind to light colours (it was peacock feathers), and the feather imprint was barely visible on the page. So I did the old school approach of tracing the stencil image with a pen, which ending up popping the image much better. I choose orange because it’s a contrasting colour to blue. The rest of the page was just random doodlings and me writing my thoughts about the supplies I’m using. Green was chosen for no other reason than I haven’t use the markers I chose in a long time.

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Today I was playing with tags. I have a whole bunch of painted ones sitting in a small drawer, mostly painted from leftover paints and what not. Among them were tags that I do not like for one reason or another, either the colour or the boldness, so they have been sitting around for the longest time as I don’t feel inclined to use them. So I decided that I will try to make them nicer and grabbed some stamps and gesso. Mostly I toned down the colours with gesso, and then did some subtle stampings. It kind of worked, since it improved from the original state, but I’m still not too thrilled with the results. In a random moment while thinking of Julie’s art journal pages, I grabbed a pigment marker and doodled on the purple tag you see at the top. I’m not the best doodler, so I kind of ran out of ideas to doodle. In a serendipitous moment when I turned the doodled tag around, I realised that it actually looked really cool, and reminded me of a namecard. So I went ahead and did two more in truly a namecard style, and I really liked how it turns out! Which is pretty amazing, because I picked the tags I liked the least to doodle on, and just a simple segment of doodles transformed them into something cool looking. I believe I have now found the solution to utilising the many tags that I have stashed in my drawer!

Another thing I would like to mention common in all three pages is my handwriting. I will confess that I don’t think my handwriting is ugly, though some days are worse than others. BUT when it comes to writing with markers, I find that I generally don’t really like how they look, because that’s when I try to do some fancy joined-lettering in an attempt to make it look nice and just ending up botching up the whole thing. In these three pages, I consciously tried not to do that, though it was simply because it’s easier to write them as I would normally (I don’t have to think much), rather than me wanting to not ruin the page. If you are like me, my advice is to just go with your own handwriting! Unless of course you have mastered some sort of fancy lettering, than please ignore me.

Hope you enjoyed this look at my recent pages. It’s nice to have something to share again. 🙂

Ponderings: On taking photos

It’s been a while since I posted. Mostly it’s a combination of not having anything to post/not feeling inclined to post either because they aren’t that nice to be posted, or they are too personal to be posted. Still trying to work my way around the personal part, but that’s another story for another day.

Today’s post will be on my thoughts on taking photos. This came about mostly because I just returned from a holiday to Japan a few weeks ago, and made me realise certain things about me taking photos. But first of all, a quasi-quote that I stumbled upon yesterday. Well maybe not yesterday, but I wrote it down in my book-of-things-I-read/heard-that-needs-to-be-written-down, and I came across it again yesterday:

“Take photos of what you love, and you’ll love the photos of what you take”

There were two ways in which this quote struck me.

Of course there is the literal meaning of the quote – that you will love the photos you take, if they are photos of things you love. In a rare moment of non-procrastination, I got started on my travel journal one week after I came back from Japan, which meant that I had to sort through my photos and look for the ones that I want to add to my travel journal. For the first time in a very long time, I could barely find any photos to include in my journal. Which is a shock, because I am usually indecisive in choosing photos, because I like so many of them (yet can’t include them all at the same time), rather than the opposite. It’s not that I didn’t like Japan, but during my travels, I was finding it difficult to really enjoy it and often I had to force myself to enjoy the things around me, rather than letting my heart wander to other places I rather be.

As I look at my photos, it occurred to me that this translated to the photos I’ve taken. I was taking photos to remember the places I’ve been to for mere documenting, not so much because I had strong emotions to the places I’ve been. It came through in the slipshod-ness in which the photos were taken too – photos taken in a rush, just snap and go, rather than focusing on getting the right composition, or checking the photos afterwards to see that you actually got a good shot. Of course it would be a exaggeration to say that I hated the all the photos I’ve taken (though there were some that came pretty darn close, made worse by the photo quality). It was just that I felt more of “oh let’s take a picture of this place just to remind myself I’ve been here” rather than “wow this place is so wonderful I have to take a picture to preserve the memory”. It was really a lesson learnt, on taking the right photos, on spending time, and to immerse in the surroundings. (Though I have to say I’m only 2 days into my travel journal, and perhaps the remaining 7 days or so might prove to be different. I hope.)

The second thing this struck has to do with my daily photo taking habits. I might have mentioned in an earlier post before (I can’t remember), but I struggle with taking daily photos. I like the idea of Project Life, the whole documenting everyday moments, but I find it hard to justify whipping out the camera daily for that purpose. In a way I find it sad that I don’t find my life interesting to be taking photos like that, compared to the people I follow who always have something to document every week, be it just a good meal or a gathering with friends. Sometimes, I even find it hard to find something to scrapbook about, because most memorable moments aren’t crystallised in photos. It’s been an ongoing problem for me so far, when I get the urges to create, but have no idea or nothing to create. Uhm what’s my point in bringing this up? I don’t think there’s a point actually, just that I wanted to bring up what I felt with regards to this. Sigh.

I’m still as passive as ever, and output is pretty much slow or non-existent. Haven’t been absorbing much too, if my backlog of YouTube videos is anything to go by. Have been doing random stuff lately too, and the photo above is just one of them, slapped together within 5 minutes or so before I need to leave for my dental appointment. Despite the short amount of time put into it, I really liked how it turned out though, likely because I really identify with the subject matter. Maybe I’ll talk more about it in a future post. I’m not sure. But it feels good to have the keyboard under my hands and hearing the clacking of keys as I type away.

Until next time.

Ponderings: Having multiple outlets of creativity

After an unintended 2 months long hiatus, I finally feel the drive to be back. There’s not much to say about the hiatus, except that I haven’t done a lot of art during this time, and I hardly wrote anything as well.

Which brings me to the topic at hand: of having multiple outlets of creativity. As you might (or might not) know, I engage in several creative activities: art, writing, music. A friend asked me about the progress in my writing the other day, and I had to embarrassingly admit that I had not made any progress since the last time he read them. It ended up with me lamenting about how I have no idea why I can’t find the energy and drive to write when everything is already vaguely in my head. But then he made an acute observation and link that I never realised: the reason that I didn’t have the creative energy to write is because I’ve been spending all my creative energy for the past 2 months on music.

And he’s quite right. I spent a lot of time thinking about music, on the bus, on the train, walking to the bus stop, any time that I don’t have to focus particularly on anything. It’s like I have this finite creative budget and I spent it all on music, leaving nothing for art or writing. Now that I am aware of my creative budget, I start to consciously spend more time thinking about art and writing, and actively trying to use up a fair portion of that budget. And it’s working, because I have since churned out more writing (if you would include this blog post as well), and I have been catching up on my backlog of YouTube subscriptions.

I still won’t say that I’m back in the full swing of “things”, whatever that might mean. I use to write and do art every single week, but that was during the period when I had little to no focus on music. Right now, I have music practices every week (though that will stop soon when concert is over next Saturday), while I write and art sparingly. I have yet to find a balance on all three of them at the moment, but I think I’m making some headway.

Is spending all my creative budget on one outlet of creativity a bad thing? I would think no. Even though I couldn’t produce anything substantial for my art and writing, I didn’t feel the sense of frustration that comes with a dry spell. It was merely a “I don’t really feel like doing this today even though I know I haven’t done it for a well.. Oh well I’m ok with not doing anything until the next time I feel like doing something.” In fact, it felt great to be buzzing with all these different outlets of creativity, because they somehow feed each other without you having to do anything. I’ll take this anytime over a creativity dry spell.

One interesting thing I noticed about my art is that most of them are done for art sake, rather then for something deeper on an emotional level. Journaling is always an important part of my art journals and scrapbooking, but it’s something I have not really done for these past 2 months. Going directly into art is something I have not experienced in a long time, so I’m embracing it as it comes, and just really enjoy the process of playing around without any specific aim or endpoint in mind.

Here’s two recent art that I did:

One was a painting I did following a step by step guide which I got for free during my last Spotlight shopping trip. I couldn’t follow it completely because I don’t have the brands/colours they suggested, but I tried to mix the colours as best as I could. Another lesson in colour mixing! It’s not a good quality photo because I didn’t have intentions to share it online then so I just haphazardly snapped it and sent it over What’sApp to a friend.

Watercolours on watercolour paper

Second is an unpolished quick sketch I did on my phone yesterday, just because I felt like it. Took me about 15 minutes to do it, barely any time taken out of my day but it turned out great anyway (at least to me). Haven done any digital sketching for a while and I was very pleased that I even did something at all.

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I hope you enjoyed this little update and chat on creativity budget. Now that I learnt something about my creative process, it becomes easier to work with it rather than work against it. In case you are wondering, I’m going to post my monthly Instagram updates pretty soon, though as I’ve said, there wasn’t much arty stuff going around these past few months.

Ponderings: Thoughts

The year is ending once again! How time flies. And I have barely achieved anything within this month. I must apologise for my absence, real life distractions aside (relatives visiting), I really didn’t feel very motivated or inspired to do anything craft related. Well, I did do something, but it isn’t a lot considering that I have so much free time this holiday.

It’s hard to explain why I don’t feel motivated. It’s not as if I don’t have any idea of what to do. At the very least I actually have plans for several blog post that I have not started on. I have a lot of new supplies, bought and gifted by friends but I haven’t actually broke into all of them yet. So I’m in some sort of limbo where I absolutely don’t feel like doing anything at all.. which luckily I manage to get myself out of today.

I don’t usually try to fight my lack of inspiration/motivation, because they usually end up being terribly frustrating, particularly if they have anything to do with creativity. Not everyone might agree with me, but I rather do nothing than to do something so halfheartedly that I absolutely dislike it.

Once again, I turn to art journaling at its very basic to help me organise my thoughts and feelings. Here is a page I did just before I started writing this post:

Dreams and envy

All I did was to stick down a journaling card where I could journal onto a pre-made background, stamp the title and my page is complete. This is something simple that I always fall back on, because for me, journaling is the easiest and most convenient way of letting everything out. You find that I have a preference for tone-on-tone jounaling, such that the words don’t stand out too much. For me the process of journaling is more important than the actual words I write so I like to keep them barely visible, but still readable if I ever want to read them again. It is my most fail-safe method that I can turn to without too much effort.

Well that’s all for the ponderings today. The New Year is coming and while it is arbitrary, I still find it a good way to start on a new slate. Also, here’s a quote that resonated with me a lot when I was listening to a podcast: “Failure is not the same as something ending. It feels like you are the one at fault but sometimes, things come to an end because they should come to an end. We may not be ready for it, but it’s not the same as failure.” (not word for word, but it’s along those lines). These are very powerful words, and gave me a lot of food for thought, especially the part about things ending because they should and have to. Hope it gave you something to chew on as well.

Currently…

A collection of small things I want to share. 

Writing down notes from magazine articles.
I borrowed 3 magazines from the library: Artful Blogging, frieze, and Geographical. I have started reading the first two and while reading I have also been making notes, be it tips, quotes or reflections. I feel that writing down notes help me digest the information more, and crystallises what I read into my brain, which also makes reading all the more meaningful.

Immersing in my creative self.
Doing bits of art every now and then, starting and stopping. Basically just going about doing whatever comes into my mind at the moment, and putting aside plans. I have taken out my Creative Handbook once again (free download by Amy Tangerine) and the small scale of the handbook is perfect for my start and stop way of working right now. Finally have the time too to take the online classes that I have previously purchased but haven’t had the time to look at them. I am hoping to add more to the blog this holidays too while I have the time to do so.

Writing my fanfiction.
Have started to write stories for my fanfiction account again, after a short hiatus before the exams. I like it when the words/stories flows and when I get excited about my stories/characters. It’s like the feeling of loving your art but more than that because it’s like living through the story/characters when you write them.

One recent work of art.Boy with a hat

This was inspired by a simple magazine image I saw. I was intrigued by how simple the hands looked in that image (the portion where the boy holds the hat) and decided to give it a try because it looked so simple. I always had an aversion to drawing hands, because I never seem to do it right, or know how to do it. (See this previous work where I avoided drawing real hands.) So I was pleasantly pleased to find that I could actually draw hands if I really focus on it, and by using my hands as a model. This is also the first time I drew a boy; I have always been drawing girls in my journal but I felt that a boy works better with the hat lifting. If there is something that you have been avoiding, maybe now is a good time to try! You never know if it might work out if you put your heart into it.

Quotes I’ve read.

“The world is full of people who are as confused and inspired by our strange and wonderful planet as you and I, and have responded to it in endless creative ways.”

Read this in frieze, one of the magazine I borrowed. It’s been great to find the online community of crafters and to be inspired by the many creative things others do. I feel fortunate that I have taken the leap of faith, and to follow my heart in seeking art once again.

Hope you like this short sharing. A little hard to keep on task this couple of days because we have relatives visiting and staying for a week. But at least it’s always lively around the house when there are more people around (:

November’s Instagram 2015

Here’s another sharing of my monthly craft related instagram posts! I didn’t do any sharing on for the months of September and October because there wasn’t any to share, or I ended up sharing the photos on the blog. You can find the previous instagram sharing here.

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A small stamp carved out of a flag eraser. Was feeling restless so just did something randomly without any planning and ended up with a wonky grid design. I printed the stamp onto my art journal as an all over pattern to see how it looks, as inspired by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.

I seemed to have lost the original photo for the above post from my phone, so putting in an embedded photo from Instagram. This was a whimsical art piece, inspired by one of Jennibellie’s old videos, whose image was floating in my mind for the longest time. I stamped the “hair” using a round found object, then sketched in the face with colour pencils and randomly filled the hair circles with colour. The funny thing about this happened the next day when I looked at it, and I realised that the colours I picked for the hair was almost exactly the colours of the Tsum Tsum game title screen, and that the face strongly reminds me of buddha. Odd combination, but this sudden realisation made the work more significant for me.

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This is an art journal page insert made from a TCW + Balzer designs stencil called “Funky Tags”. I stenciled the shapes onto some painted patterned paper, cut them out and then arrange them in this pattern. This was a result of me getting excited that TCW followed me on Instagram, and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer herself commented on my previous flag eraser stamp post. I am also proud to say that this photo is also featured on Julie’s monthly newsletter from her blog Balzer designs. Such a pleasant surprise!

That’s all for last month’s instagram photos! That’s quite a lot considering the 2 weeks of deadlines and preparations of exams in school. I guess that’s also why I share more because each completed work is something I really like when I specially take the time out to work on them or when they are much needed break from everything else. Thanks for stopping by!

Ponderings: Tired of studying… 

Getting really tired of studying for exams now, though the good news is that everything will be over by Tuesday. I keep gravitating towards other stuff besides my notes and books, a sure sign of procrastination, but at least my restless soul is a little appeased from the breaks.
Here’s a summary of what I do during breaks:

Ponderings: Tired of studying...  (watercolour sketch)
A little bit of art and online shopping because it’s Black Friday week. Not the only piece of art I did during these past 3 weeks or so but this is the most recent one from today, after I placed my shopping orders. The image just popped up in my head and I knew I had to put it down to paper somehow. This is just a watercolour sketch on a pre-painted background in my art journal. It’s not watercolour paper so the paint appears a little splotchy but I like the textures it produces.

I am typing this post on my new iPad, which my cousin sold me at a discount. Not the fastest way to type but I wanted to give it a try. Had been wanting to get one for school because I have decided to go digital instead of printing piles of readings and papers. I must say though that it had been rather useful and convenient these past 3 weeks while I study for my exams.

Hope you have managed to find time to do art while you are busy. I find that just doing something small everyday keeps me sane, even if it’s just dipping a paintbrush in watercolours and randomly applying brush strokes for 5 seconds. Hope you got a good haul during this Black Friday as well! We all know the happiness of buying discounted goods and getting new art supplies.

I should be back next week with some posts. Hopefully the art momentum will continue in full swing since it was not broken in the first place. Thanks for stopping by!

Inspired by Jane Davenport

Art Journal page inspired by Jane Davenport
Art Journal page inspired by Jane Davenport

As crafters, we are always inspired by something or someone. For me, most of my creative inspiration comes from YouTube, in which I curate my subscription to follow people who constantly inspire me. I think that is very important, because when you are in need of a creative fix, you won’t be stuck watching videos that don’t engage with the creative part of your mind. Even though I believe that it’s good to have more and varied sources of inspiration (following people with different artistic style and yet still calls out to you for example), I also believe it is equally important to simplify: Don’t just mindlessly absorb everything, but pick only those you really enjoy.

Sometimes though I don’t get enough creative fix from my subscription, because I’m devouring content faster than new content uploads. Hence I would browse the home page, where YouTube selects recommended video based on your video watching history. Watching some of this recommended videos once in a while can a rather refreshing change and might also expose you to new channels that you might want to subscribe.

Today’s post in all about being inspired by Jane Davenport. I do enjoy her style quite a bit, which is beautiful but she is not someone I follow because she’s a art supply junkie, and her method of using many different specific art supplies don’t really resonate with me because I don’t have half the things she uses. But nevertheless, watching her videos once in a while is still enjoyable and rewarding.

This is the video that I was inspired by, in which Jane Davenport uses inktense and gesso to create soft pastel looking yet bright colours. My entire page is done using the particular technique, using mostly my inktense blocks and watercolour pencils. I find that the Inktense blocks gives brighter and more intense colours when mixed with gesso, while watercolour pencils are much lighter and more pastel-y. It could be the amount of pigment that is applied to the page though, because my watercolour pencils are the normal craft grade ones from Staedtler. But other wise, the outcome is rather similar. (Compare the clouds which were done with Inktense, and the blue lines on the dress which were done with watercolour pencils.)

I used the same technique with my Neocolor II crayons as well just to see how the colours will look and how they compare with these two watersoluble medias. The results are pretty similar as well. Moral of the story is this: try new techniques you learn with a variety of similar mediums! (In this case, it would be watersoluble media.)