Exciting news!

I have a really exciting announcement to make – The charity I volunteer at has invited me to volunteer with them in their offices in Tanzania for about 6 months! I’m really excited to start, and they’ve been giving me a lot of help and advice in terms of vaccinations I need, how to get internet, cost of flights, where I’ll be living, etc.

I’ll be a marketing and communications assistant, creating promotional materials (posters, leaflets, pamphlets, etc.) but I’ll also be attending events with other international volunteers to get photographs and video testimonials. I think this will be a great opportunity for me to get the feel of working for a real company and also to have some experience abroad. Apparently some employers really value experience in another country so although it’s a voluntary position, I think it will really help me in the future. Since I’m not going to begin until summer 2015, I haven’t got a timetable yet but I am expected to work 9-5 every weekday, and party hard on the weekends!

If I end up really enjoying working there, I could stay for a whole year but I don’t want to miss Christmas with my family…. There’s still a lot of things I need to discuss as well, plus if I am done after 6 months then there’s the question of what I’ll be doing for the 6 months after that (If I am not staying for the whole year). I am taking a gap year from university to find work experience/placements for the whole year between June 2015-September 2016  so I can’t do nothing for half of it. I guess I’ll have to jump between placements!

When I get there, I’ve been guaranteed that:

  1. There is no chance of me getting Ebola
  2. I will never be alone on any expenditure. I will be living with staff members and other international interns in a house about 10 minutes from the offices. Everyone walks in the mornings together, and my line-manager Andy will help me the whole time.
  3. Lunches and accommodation will be provided throughout the whole time and there is a nighttime guard at the house and a maid who will clean your clothes.
  4. I can get internet everywhere if I get a Dongle, even half way up Kilimanjaro apparently!
  5. Everything is cheap. I can easily live comfortably with under £100 a month.

In other news, my parents are going back to Hong Kong in March and I’ve decided to tag along with them. It’s a shame because my university is going to New York for an Easter trip but I can’t say no to seeing my family. My grandparents are about 80-90 years old now, I’m actually surprised they’re still walking around right now! Well, not literally because my grandma has joint problems so can’t stay out to long. I also really want to see my cousin since I miss him so much! We’re as close as real siblings so it’ll be very exciting seeing him again, we play lots of games together~ I’m still going to be working on university stuff whilst I’m there so I’m gonna bring my macbook along.

Anyways, I haven’t even started university yet but it seems like this will be a very interesting year! I’m going to work really hard to get the best grades as I can so unfortunately that means I need to give up my time drawing. However, I may upload the occasional drawing or illustration I make for my charity or for university!

Newcastle Trip

Yesterday I went to Newcastle, all on my own! My main purpose for coming to Newcastle was to see an exhibition called Body Worlds at the Life Science Centre. I studied Gunther von Hagen’s work at college and my mum said she really wanted to see an exhibition of his work but it’s been a very long time since there was an exhibition in the UK, other than the animal one. So I decided to go and visit Newcastle solely for the exhibition, because I don’t know when I’ll have another opportunity to do so in my lifetime.

IMG_1565I currently live and study in Leeds so Newcastle was quite a way for me. On a train, it was about an hour and a half away from Leeds, but it wasn’t as far away as my home in Shropshire! One of the things I noticed as I was approaching the city was this bridge; I thought it looked minimalistic and really stood out, though it wasn’t captured as well on this photograph. This river is called the river Tyne, which is why the settlement I was headed to is called Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

IMG_1566

Luckily for me, the science centre was just a 2 minute walk from the train station. I’m a huge fan of Gunther von Hagen’s work; he uses plastination to preserve real bodies of people and animals. Last year I saw the Inside and Out exhibition about animals at the Natural History Museum in London; it was great! This time it was real life humans in the exhibition. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take photographs of any of the bodies but all I can say is that it was amazing and extremely educational. There were many plastinated body parts, showing the differences between healthy organs and those with cancer and other common diseases/illnesses. If any of you are near Newcastle, it is really something you cannot miss! Unless perhaps if you are squeamish….

IMG_1567

The rest of the centre was okay, it was a little too simple for me though. I did study advance level Physics though, and I am a huge astronomy nerd! This centre was designed mainly for children, after all. Anyway, there was a small theatre called the Planetarium which showed a movie on the ceiling of a dome, similar to the huge dome cinema at the Hong Kong Space Museum. I watched a short movie called “What’s up, Einstein?” which discussed Newton and Einstein’s theories about space and time. They talked a lot about the Big Bang, expanding universe and things certain astronomers/physicists noticed when others didn’t, which was all interesting. A lot of concepts were explained very simplistically, obviously for children or those who didn’t study physics. I was a little disappointed that the teenagers behind me fell asleep during the showing though; you can never be too bored learning about science!

IMG_1571

After buying postcards and pens (the usual stuff) I decided to go shopping and a little sightseeing, seeing as Newcastle was rated as one of the top 10 places for student satisfaction. One thing I was very happy to see was that there were a lot of places to buy comic/sci-fi merch. There was even a geek cafe where people can socialise and play Magic with friends whilst eating! Unfortunately I went alone so I felt really out of place, and didn’t really want to make new friends in a city I won’t ever visit again. I’m always going to new places unfortunately; maybe if there was another exhibit I really wanted to see here again. I looked for somewhere to eat and decided to support a small local cafe. I ordered a hot chocolate and egg mayo sandwich/deli thing. It costed an eye-watering £5.70 for both! However, it was delicious and the decor inside the cafe was very welcoming. Unfortunately, as a student I think I’ll have to opt for McDonalds next time to save my wallet from becoming anorexic!

Newcastle was, although I don’t want to admit it, much more beautiful than Leeds. Most of the buildings were very old, possibly listed traditional buildings. I didn’t get to see many of the famous landmarks such as the St Mary’s Cathedral and Millenium bridge because I only had a couple of hours and by the time I finished shopping , I just sat at the train station for 2 hours because I could not walk anymore. I was absolutely knackered! A lot of my friends joked about bringing home a northern accent whilst I was there but I didn’t really speak to many locals there anyway haha.

Overall I had a very interesting day of shopping and exploring. Body Worlds was the main reason I spent the £30 train ticket to the north, and it was truly a fascinating exhibit. I really recommend this exhibition to anyone interested in science/anatomy. Body Worlds exhibits all around the world so it is worth checking the website every now and then to see if there’s a new exhibit near you. In the meantime I’m going to eagerly await a new exhibition which will coming to the UK, hopefully in the near future.

JS36758010

Photo from here

Detective Stop

 

Stop and Fetch linesI haven’t posted in a while so this is something I completed just today!

This is Detective James Stop, a renowned 15 year old officer working at Scotland Yard, and his cat Fetch. They investigate people who do nasty things to their OCs and he has the power to take them away from them too. Stop keeps some of the OCs  at his home until he can rehouse them. Unfortunately those who are not fit enough to be adopted/fostered are put down, but this is the last resort only and Stop tries his hardest to find new owners for every single one, on top of the detective work,

In all honestly, I was just really tired after working so much for volunteering and so upset about losing a file that I just randomly made this character out of my frustrations. Basically the other day I was drawing a reference sheet for one of my favourite characters but I accidentally saved over it so I lost it pretty much forever. I was so upset, and at about 3-4am I decided to make an OC that acted like a police who investigates people who don’t take good care of their OCs or design really bad ones, just as a joke for losing my all-important saved file. Right after, I made another sketch the design and I worked on it some more today (this picture) after finishing volunteering work. Quite frankly, I felt like I should be arrested for not taking care of my save files! So that explains the character. As for the design, there was nothing serious to it. Just randomly came up with something from the top of my head and I think it worked out nicely.

Nightingale -sketch-

Nightingale sketch

I feel like I should post some more WIPs for now. In relation to my previous post, this is a sketch of Charles and a white bengal tiger called Nightingale, who will play a big part in the story. Nightingale is usually very aggressive towards humans but she has developed a connection to Charles so he is one of the only people who can get close to her.

I have a very quickly coloured version on DeviantART but I preferred the original sketch. Tomorrow I will outline and hopefully colour this properly but since Infitia is a black and white comic, I’m not really sure which direction to go…

In a maze called Life

Recently I have been working rather hard to learn new things and to get into the right mindset when I get back into university so I apologise for not posting as much. The charity has also been a little more demanding than usual since the rebranding and I’ve been flicking through lots of graphic design books, indexing everything of interest so I can use some of the ideas later. All the mistakes I’ve made in the past year, I’m trying very hard to correct them, and I am still working on things for my portfolio at the same time.

In the meantime, I’ve made a plan for the test chapter of Infitia. The story is based around a travelling circus but I can’t go into more detail than that because the story still needs heavy improvement. This is a sketch I’ve made that will hopefully be the cover page for the chapter though, made with a ballpoint pen. It’s a little rough because I didn’t sketch it out in pencil first and inspired by a poster I saw in a book about typography (I will reference later).

photo 6

I’ve never made a motion book before so this will be challenging. For those of you who don’t know, I started a project called Infitia about 2 years ago but due to college/university and general laziness, it’s far from complete. I will be planning the panels and making assets in the next few weeks and will put it together (hopefully!) when I go back to university.

Thank You!

boy small

This is my mascot and his pet star; I will be putting right this at the end of my website as a little thank you when it’s complete. I’m still not as proficient in Illustrator as I’d like to be but I think I’m getting better at vector art. This took about 5 hours because I was still trying to work out textures and experimenting a little. I might tweak it a little later.

I wanted to create mascots which represented myself and my interests. I love astronomy and the Victorian era so naturally I would try combining the two whilst making something cute as well. I’ve created a few different clothing designs for the boy so maybe I’ll have different ones scattered around my website and the star has a little heart on the left side (its left) of its body but it’s covered by the boy’s scarf. I think I might call the boy Fermi as I have a strong interest in the so-called Fermi Paradox but I’m still undecided. Maybe I’ll go with a more traditional Victorian name such as Edward or Louis….

As my little babies, you guys will be seeing more of these 2 in the future around my blog! I’m currently creating a new header and background which will replace my current one as I am not as into black and white painting as I used to be; I think there’s a high chance these 2 will be in them.

A few things

I will most likely delete this post later but I just want to let you guys know what is going on right now!

Firstly, my charity is going through a huge rebranding so I will apparently be given a brand book at the end of the week to read through and then tasks to do early next week. Because it’s the summer, I have plenty of time so I doubt this will affect my personal work and drawings in any way. but I’m rather excited to see how the charity will grow from today or what kind of work I’ll be given!

Next is my website. Because I still have little knowledge of web design and coding, it’s progressing very slowly. However, I’ve decided that my first priority is actually making artwork for my portfolio so I will do the actual website design and coding last. I’ve created a new logo and mascot and everything so hopefully I’ll be able to post those soon! Of course, this means that there will be a lot of changes to my blog. The personal anime art will still come but I’ll be mostly posting my inspirations and professional illustrations to go with the blog as well. My header and background will also need to be changed; due to things which have been happening since I made this blog, I no longer paint as many black and white pieces as I did before. This doesn’t mean that I won’t continue painting black and white or that I’m abandoning anime art, I am just making room for more work more suitable for a professional portfolio.

Finally, a little bit about my personal life. I actually don’t have a clue about what I want to do when I am older because I want to do everything. Ever since I was young, the world interested me. Sure, I love drawing but now I am doubting whether the creative journey is the right path for me to take. The list of things I wanted to be as a child is endless: I wanted to become an astronaut and work for NASA, I’ve wanted to be a palaeontologist, an astrophysicist, an animator, an artist, an engineer, and now I want to become a web designer and developer alongside my graphic design and illustration passions. The world is so confusing and I still don’t know which path I should take… but for now, I’m just going to continue with my website interests and hopefully I can make a career out of it. I’m still only a beginner after all, I can barely code my own website but with time, I’m hoping.

Anyway, I will try and work even harder with the time I have left over the summer. I admit I have been a little lazy these past few weeks and now that I realise it’s almost August and I’ll be off to uni again soon, I need to make use of what time I have left. Hopefully in my next blog entry, I will be posting some personal branding and artwork, plus a design proposal and plan for my website.