The hardest part of doing anything is usually just starting. With sketching and drawing, my main road block is "what should I draw??" So I decided to kickstart a habit of just picking up my sketchbook and pen daily and just drawing anything. Just starting with one line or squiggle, just getting one single mark on the page. And I found that once that single ink dot appeared, lines would come out and some shapes would form and that would trigger my imagination on where to go from there. I also restricted myself to using pens straight away rather than pencil to force myself to commit to each line that I was making and therefore just getting me through to getting some kind of drawing going. As my main goal for this exercise was to trigger ideas, I didn't want to let myself get distracted by the fact that I wasn't drawing something perfectly or the shapes weren't quite right. The point was just draw and let something flow out.
Anyway, here's a couple of sketches from the past few days of doodling aimlessly:
And one non-aimless one, this one I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted to draw for Star Wars Day:
Here's a few of my recent creations and various things I've been working on:
Pandas are always a part of my schedule and 3 years on, I still love creating Pandas. :) You can get my Panda (and other animals of Hooby Groovy Land) here.
One of my favourite custom designs to work on: Totoro! This one was for an 11in MacBook Air. If you'd like me to create a Totoro (or any other custom designs) for you, shoot me an email at email@example.com!
I love Game of Thrones and am so happy that the new season has started finally! Now if only I didn't have to wait 1 week between each episode! Anyway, I doodled away at this sketch over a few days during Rongkus' 4am feeding time. This was done with my 0.05mm and 0.1mm Kuretake Zip pens.
Speaking of Rongkus, I made him a house/carrier. This is still very much just in the prototyping/R&D phase so I won't share it just yet but here's a sneak peek of both house and Rongkus. :)
And speaking of R&D, here's an example of why R&D is really important. I made this little mouse for Rongkus to play with. Originally, it was hanging by its woolly tail from a stick. Rongkus loved it but as soon as he caught it, he would start gnawing on the tail. It only lasted about 3 days before the tail snapped teaching me an important lesson of how anything cat-related needs to be chew-resistant! All is not lost though, Rongkus still loves his green mouse, he bats it all across the floor. I shudder to imagine what it would be like if we ever get visited by a real mouse.
I'm also in the middle of few other customs and more R&D and experiments so will share that in the near future!
In the meantime, Happy Easter and have a great long weekend everyone!
Last week I shared a piece of artwork that I created for my friend's zine. Today, I wanted to share a bit about the process that I went through creating it.
When I received the brief, which was "cartoon girl walking obliviously through a landscape with towering figures looming menacingly" I had a few ideas pop up in my head right away. I thought it would be cool if the background was either a cityscape or tree lined, with the buildings/trees drawn as silhouettes but looking like you could mistake them to be scary figures. I also had a few different composition ideas of how to arrange the scene. But in the end, due to time constraints and because I figured that the final print would be quite small, I decided simple and to the point was best.
The first step was taking out my sketchbook and pencil and coming up with a very quick and rough sketch:
Then it was time to decide what the baddies would look like. I wanted each to have a very distinct look, size and feel, basically cover all manner of stereotype baddies:
At this point in time, I actually had no clear idea on how I wanted to finish the piece, it was a choice between doing a digital painting or a vector illustration. I decided to fire up Photoshop first and get started on making a digital draft. Again I started with a very quick and dirty draft blending the composition from my first sketch above and the character designs in my second lot of sketches:
After this, I decided that I would create this piece as a vector illustration. The main reason for my decision was purely down to knowing that I work a lot faster in vector and I definitely needed to be able to work fast on this (and the second piece). So I popped this Photoshop draft into Illustrator and started fleshing out each of the characters.
I did this for each of the characters, changing up the sizes and proportions on the fly as needed. Here's the line up just for fun:
After that, it was just a matter of adding a background, shadows, my Fighting Butter Bee watermark and voila, the image was done:
Hope you enjoyed this blog post about my workflow! :)
A friend recently asked me for a few pieces of artworks for a zine that she was creating. We used to train Wing Chun Kung Fu together until she moved to Canberra, and now she trains Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there (I also train Jiu Jitsu here in Melbourne). Her zine was about martial arts and this was the piece that she wanted to use:
I created this piece for one of my blog posts in the Fighting Butter Bee blog and also have it available as a T-shirt design on my Red Bubble store. My friend also asked if I have 2 artworks that depicted a girl walking about oblivious to the presence of towering baddies around her and a girl performing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu submission on a massive guy. I looked through my drawings but couldn't find any that would suit so I offered to create the pieces for her instead. Here's what I came up with:
Both were created using Illustrator. There were heaps of fun to make and I was really excited to receive a copy of my friend's zine in the mail a couple of days ago with my drawings in them. :)
To be honest, I didn't even know what a zine was before this! They look like heaps of fun to make. Sure makes me feel like making one too. :)
A couple of weeks ago, we rescued 2 kittens from under my mother-in-law's house. At first we thought that maybe their mum was still feeding them as their meows sounded quite strong. However, 5 days after discovering them, their meows were getting gradually weaker and when I checked in on them, it looked as if they had not moved at all since the night before. I got really worried and decided it was time to get them out. My brother-in-law and his fiancee came over to help with getting the kittens out. It was quite difficult as our only access was a tiny little air vent but luckily, they were lying close enough to the air vent that we could just reach them.
We took them to the vet as soon as they were out. The vet told us that both kittens were male and about 2-3 weeks old. We also learnt that they would need to be bottle fed every couple of hours with kitten formula. So we set about learning all we could about hand rearing kittens and set up a schedule to share the fostering.
The first week was really scary! The smaller little black kitten was really weak and really stubborn about eating. A few days after rescuing them, he was just not responding to anything we did, he was really sluggish and his head would just flop around and when we set him on the ground, he just collapsed onto his side. We made a vet appointment right away, she gave him a dose of antibiotics and fluids under the skin as he was pretty dehydrated. She also kept stressing about how all newborn litters usually have 1 or 2 kittens that are very weak or sick and usually don't make it especially once their mom abandons them. I think she was trying to prepare us in case little kitty didn't pull through. :( That night, I spent hours on the couch with him on my chest and a blanket over him to keep him warm and comfy.
Between the meds and fluids and warm cuddles, he did get stronger by the next day and slowly, bit by bit, he started being a little more energetic and tried to walk around a little. Through this whole episode, his brother, a slightly bigger grey kitten, would cuddle him up when it was sleep time and also would fuss and look after him. Aww kitty sibling love. :) By the second week, the vet no longer mentioned anything about kittens not surviving so I think they're both going really well! :)
I very quickly became a complete slave to the kittens, well I guess I feel like a kitten mama. We chose names for them by committee. My brother-in-law and his fiancee had given them each a name, and my husband and I also chose a name for each so we combined it all up and thus little grey became Rongkus Sumcrust and little black became Sergio Rasputin. Everyone has remarked on how big their names are for such little kitties!
We've been looking after the kittens for about 3 weeks now and it's amazing how much they've grown and developed such funny little personalities. We get them for 3-4 days every week and I drop in to see them almost every other day when they're not with my husband and I. But there's still so much changes that occur from day to day. From their eating habits to their interactions with each other, it's all changing very rapidly. But they are still so very cute and sweet and loving. And it just melts me to a puddle to see them cuddling up when they go to sleep.
Anyway, here's some photos of Sergio and Rongkus, these were taken a couple of days after the scary day where we worried that Sergio might not pull through:
Aren't they just so extremely adorable? :) I love my sleep time but I haven't even gotten the slightest bit grumpy over having to wake up every couple of hours to feed them through the night.
I'm so happy that they're now healthy, strong and energetic. Can't wait to see what kind of funny stuff they get up to!
Hooby Groovy is back from holiday! I've had a brilliant holiday in Malaysia with my family and childhood friends. This time around, we spent most of the trip in my hometown of Petaling Jaya, Selangor with a small 5 day trip to Penang to visit my sister and her new baby. It wasn't a highly exciting holiday, we didn't really do or discover anything new. But I was really happy to be with my family and friends and to revisit old haunts from my childhood. So without further ado, here's a few bits and pieces from my trip.
Our first taste of Chinese New Year was right here in Australia at the Melbourne Airport. I think the troupe was under some kind of directive that they couldn't be too loud though as the drum and cymbal players looked like they were trying their best to play as softly as they could, which made everything sound quite subdued and slow. Which meant instead of a Lion Dance, the lion was just sort of doing a casual stroll.
Chinese New Year: lion dances, red packets, firecrackers....and COOKIES! I love Chinese New Year cookies, that one in the jar in the middle of the front row was my absolute favourite this year. It was such an amazing peanut-y, melt in your mouth joy. Naughty joy but joy nonetheless!
Best fruit in the universe? Mangosteens! These weren't really in season but my dad managed to find some in the night market and bought some for me knowing these are my absolute favourites. So good! I may be deeply biased but tropical fruits are the bomb!
On the very last day before leaving Melbourne, I suddenly had this urge to make a small colouring book for my nieces. I drew about 4 pictures and added extra blank pages and bound it up as a 'colouring/sketch book'. One of my little nieces reciprocated by making this for me! :D Ee Ee is what my nieces and nephews call me. The word "Yi" (or however it's phonetically spelt) means aunt in Hokkien and is usually preceded by the order of said aunt. For example, my oldest sister is called Tua Yi meaning oldest aunty, my second sister is Ji Yi meaning second aunty. As the youngest in my family, I got Yi-Yi but my nieces and nephews seem to spell it with Ee Ee, I think it probably has something to do with my real name lol. Anyway, this little booklet contains several Dora the Explorer stickers followed by a blank page and my directions were that I would have to use the Dora stickers as reference and well 'copy and colour' them. :)
One of the fun things we did with my friends was Escape Dungeon. The concept is that you get to choose a scenario, we chose one called Trapped. And then we get locked into this 'dungeon' and we have to find clues and work through puzzles in order to escape. We had heaps of laughs and we did manage to escape YAY! The scenario was meant to have a 4/5 rating for horror, which it had none whatsoever, so that was a little disappointing. I think they could have tweaked a few things to make it scarier. Nonetheless it was a fun day out with my friends. I've known this lot since we were 11 years old and now 20 years later, they're still very much my best friends!
My new niece!! She was just born about 1 week before we arrived in Malaysia, so was not even 1 month old when we met her. She is super adorable! Fluffy cheeks and cute little gurgly sounds, ah I am one proud Ee Ee alright! She's pictured here with the bunny that we bought for her. I'm hoping that she will adopt her new bunny as her BFF so that there's always a part of us with her since we don't get to see her all that often.
While staying in Penang, one day we drove out and just as we were about to hit the nearest main road, we were greeted by a herd of cows casually strolling around. I have no idea where they came from! There are no farms or villages close by, this area is a pretty standard suburb district. They must be quite the city yuppie cows, as you can see in the background, they were visiting Starbucks. Apparently, they're quite common visitors to the grassy patch outside of Starbucks!
One Sunday afternoon was spent indoors painting pictures with one of my nieces. It was huge fun but I did learn that kids are really impatient! They kept telling me to hurry up. "Faster Ee Ee! Go faster!" And then at one point, I must have tested her patience too much because she decided that she would help me paint my picture. So I very quickly learnt not to get attached to any artworks that are being created with kids. :)
While in Penang, I made time to visit the Penang Buddhist Association to pay my respects to my grandparents. I haven't had the chance to go in the past few years so it felt good to be able to say "Hi" once again. :)
Back in PJ and on the very last full day we had in Malaysia, we visited the Farm in the City with my oldest sister and her family. It was basically a petting zoo and they had some pretty cool animals. Like these giant tortoises that we fed. When we were planning our visit, I thought that my niece and nephew would absolutely love the place. My nephew did but his sister did the funniest freak-outs! She was terrified of all the animals that were running free (which were most of them...) One of her very dramatic observation was that "This is like a zoo with no cages! I was NOT expecting this!" and her funniest freak-outs was when she saw a chicken running around. She screamed "Chicken!" and clung to my sister's legs. It may be mean to laugh at her fears but...funniest thing ever!
Two very wise-looking prairie dogs peering into the future, also at the Farm in the City. :)
Sorry for the lack of photos, I didn't really take many photos this trip. Actually funny story, I brought my Fujifilm X100 camera with me, thinking I might take some nice photos. But didn't end up using it at all until the very last day, when I brought it along to the Farm in the City. I saw all these awesome animals and fired up my camera only to realise I'd completely forgotten to bring an SD card along with my camera! Doh!
Well, it's good to be back in Melbourne, though I am still a little struck by post-holiday blues. But I'm right back in the thick of things so can't wait to share what I've been working on with all of you! :)