The Eraser

Letting go is a form of catharsis I have a hard time with. It’s contradictory: it’s freeing, and then hollow at the same time. The sorrow of losing sometimes is heavier on some days, but I put trust and faith into my steps and walk towards tomorrow.

It teaches me to cherish something or someone while they are still there. To know that nothing lasts forever, or at least most things, and that the beauty of the human heart is ever so fleeting. It is like listening to a song filled with emotions: its riveting, broken chords woven into a comprehensible and beautiful melody. The little moments that build the full composition that is art. To be appreciated whether by note or holistically. The piece doesn’t last long, and a part of me may wonder if it is worth searching for the name of the song, and its soul. Instead, some are left to be only enjoyed in that moment, and while I desperately want to know, the greater part of me lays still, alone on my bed, with my back turned against it. As thoughts pervade my mind and heart, my better judgement roots me there, and all I can do is appreciate it. Able and unable to move.

So I let go, of all convictions that would otherwise motivate me to seek it out, and I simply enjoy the time I have left. The final broken chord represents the dissipating emotions, and there I lay in a forgetful shroud that blankets me and consumes these memories. I don’t remember many of these songs, and while they don’t resound so clearly and beautifully anymore, the pain of forgetting is always softened by time, ironically. The Eraser of Memories itself.

Inspired by Moon Arpeggio.

Best Beach Sera

Another one of those nights. Sketched something the other day that I finally felt like adding a splash of color and detailing on. Every time I try to do some o’ these quick ones they always drag out to be an 8 hour project. Le Sigh.

Anyhoo! I’ve been enjoying skins so much, I’ve kind of been stuck doing character renditions. This one is homage to my guild, since I’ve been a beach for who knows how long. Celestial Fairy was a nod to Reaper Wings milestone when I was at like point 73 or 74, Best Beach Sera is close enough to guild level 200.

Without further ado, I present one of my, yet again, 8AM morning long drawings.

Best Beach Sera Skin

Subject on White

Best Beach Sera Skin_greenScreen

Subject on Aqua

Nothin’ special, just a fun splash drawing. My style is developing more and more into this clean-cut outline with a soft, pastelly color palette. I love experimenting but I also fall back hard to this whenever I draw anything ethereal n’ celestial (mostly with the colors / mood). I had thought about turning this one into a full blown composition with a beach background, but I opted not to since the skin collection will just be frontal views, nothing too exciting just fashionable and cute.

I really had a lot of fun coloring the hair! It was my first time I decided to go with a more vivid base, and I ended up really liking mixing this light orange, golden yellow, and a hint of rose to really make the strawberry blonde pop. Totally complements what I was trying to work on for the skin to be a lighter tone with the same rose blush. Comparatively, to the Celestial Fairy Skin (here I’ll throw it down below again for reference), I think I also spent a bit more time fleshing out the toes to be more accurately drawn than CF’s neat and symmetric style. Really proud of that!

Celestial Fairy Skin

Celestial Fairy Skin Reference

I actually just fixed her (her side) right side arm holding the ice cream bar last minute because I knew something was wrong once I took a look at her left arm and realized one was longer than the other. Since it was such a late fix I couldn’t really change it too much without really going in surgically and redoing a lot of stuff. I did like how the hair turned out underneath where the previous arm used to be. Hahaha, I’m an art doctor!

If I could change anything, I’d probably wish I gave her a little more roundness to the hips. I think this is sort of the “Asian” ideal body type but I’m more used to a little more proportion there.

I’m very happy about the fashion statements here. I had a genius moment when I realized I could use the lantern archon as a beach ball replacement. And the winged top bikini, while probably not very practical for real swim-wear, totally goes along some of Sera’s motifs (red crystal is a reference to the Glowing Circlet, wings represent Favored Soul symbol).

I do sort of wish I could have colored the archon ball a bit better, but I experimented with it and gave it a new look. Made it seem more spherical than transparent and hollow. Maybe it fits with the look, maybe it looks too much like a beach ball and loses it’s archon flavor? Hopefully a good blend between the two.

Also really enjoyed the new circlet flavor. Celestial Fairy uses the same minimalist design of the circlet, so I borrowed that but wanted to change it’s position up a little. So I thought of sunglasses and wondered if I could incorporate that in there somehow, but I figured that would be too hard (this was also thought about after I finished the hair…). Instead, I tilted the circlet, and added yellow sparkles to represent the glowing part. Hair also shines alongside the circlet, and it still has the iconic central white glow to it.

Best Beach Sera feels cleaner than Celestial Fairy, but it’s also much simpler. Not sure which I prefer better. But this probably took just as much time as Celestial Fairy, funny enough. I think I need to up my game a little, but I also need to be 100% prepared and motivated to be doing more detailed pieces. I kind of drew this as a halfway sketch, and then pushed myself to color it. Speaking of sketches, the next one is likely this Mafia Skin I had in mind, but not a full body pose this time. Not sure if I want to make them all full bodied, would be better for consistency though.

Mafia Skin

Mafia Boss Sketch

I’ve been getting quite lazy and just sketching in the program itself rather than sketching by hand. I think this is worse because I don’t have as good of an artistic dexterity (surprise surprise) when I’m drawing on the tablet versus drawing with a pen on paper. I actually normally sketch my drawings first, then work on it digitally. In fact, fairy was drawn on paper, and beach was drawn digitally. There’s a huuuuge difference in detail, haha.

I do like this sort of messy sketchy look. I really want to do a full on splash n’ sketch drawing where I just don’t care about the colors filling in neatly, or the lines being janky. Something more liberating as an artist to do a very quick and messy piece. For example, earlier iterations of my works will be more like this:

Best Beach Sera Skin_1

First Iteration of Best Beach Skin

Not as pretty, but it’s so fast and fun. Clean up the lines just a little bit more to fill in the lines properly, and make the outlines more sketchier, kind of just adds to the whole aesthetic. I’ll probably do one if I’m super lazy and will allow myself to finalize a piece like this, or if it’s appropriate to the piece’s theme (trash can skin? lol). I do these block ins so to speak for color so that I can visually see how I want things to realize into the piece.

All in all, very fun exercise, I’d really like to do more impressive stuff. I keep getting inspired by all these artists on some of these songs I’m listening to, with the cover / wallpapers used. Sometimes, I wished I art as hard as I DDO, but often the two are mutually exclusive. 😛

2019 – A Reunion with God

So, I kinda did a last minute fast (a fast minute?) for Passion Week – I honestly forgot.

But in the two-ish days I had been fasting, I think it was a much needed escapade from technology, and also a tormenting one.

It was full of aching and hurting from being sick, but there was also an anxious ache from in game stuff. It appears that they will be resolved at about the same time.

But this is about God, or it should be at least. I genuinely, and honestly, devoted some time to God, and to learning more about Him. I opened up The Bible Project, in hopes that wisdom may inspire me. I may have learned some answers about how to move forward from this anxiety, which is good.

(On a side note, I absolutely love TBP’s explainer videos – the animations, art, and motion graphics are stunning and that is just the epitome of everything I want to do!)

When I was a child, I earnestly asked for wisdom. That was my first request that was ever fulfilled and that was when I knew God. When I grew older, I stopped. I’m still stagnant, if not retreating backwards in time – I’m not maturing spiritually.

So every time I get sick, I have this habit: I pray to God. I suppose that sounds natural to most, but it’s one of the worst habits. Imagine a friend who only talks to you when they need something from you. I do have friends like these even now, and while I can tolerate them, I think when they are the most obvious about it is when I feel the most hurt and annoyed. I am that, to God.

What’s funny is that the following day my pulsating headache disappeared. My cold was finally starting to take a turn for recovery. This happens every time I do get sick. I turn to God, and it’s like voila! You’re healed. Sometimes I’m cautiously wary, and brush it off because I knew I could get over the sickness. But in my moment of weakness, I still prayed to God. What does that say about me?

I dreamt vividly last night, a rather odd dream. I dreamt of my dad first, and then of Ilse. A disturbing dream in the first, and then rather mundane for the second. I didn’t know what to think of it. These are the two people I would never be able to converse and interact just as simply as that. But it is as simple as that. It can be. But I don’t believe it to be.

When I awoke, my eyes didn’t feel like they were going to pop from the headache. It was gone, relieved, and I let out a scratchy gasp. I continued to sleep and sleep. In such a chaotic world, I never seem to have time for God. Not even in my dreams.

So I sometimes wonder if He is the one who puts them there. The ones that recur every so often, or every other year. The ones that I know what will happen, and still fear. I love this connection with writing down my dreams, but sometimes they hold a scary power. Not of premonition, but of interlinking realms. Have I been reading and watching too much weird fiction? Perhaps.

But I love it too. My connection to God can be seen as vividly as fiction fans to their magical realism novels. Neither realms bow to the order and law of human logic and reason, or understanding for that matter. Almost like its random. I don’t mean, Pokémon Emerald pseudo-random seed generator “random”, but random in its purest essence. In other words, God’s will and design. Something we cannot understand or ever comprehend.

Yup, this is definitely late night writing again. But I wanted to write something about the past two days. I think there is going to be a big change. I don’t quite know what this unrest is, but I regret purchasing Sharn almost. I regret that my friends have went and got me the Season Pass. I always have been telling myself and wondering, will it ever end?

I watched an odd array of movies. Joseph: King of Dreams was a film I watched as a kid, I enjoyed rewatching that. I forgot DreamWorks produced that and Prince of Egypt. Somehow I thought watching Christian films would be a good idea afterwards, but halfway into God is For Real, and I curled back in distaste at some of the lines. Even for a Christian as myself. Blegh.

Themes of forgiveness, and the choice by free will have been circling my mind all day. What does God want me to do? Resounds like the cheesy WWJD bracelets, but I think about Him seriously. I want to be humble, kind, loving, and come from that place of love. It’s not easy.

I’m sick in the heart, mind, body, and soul. I clearly need Him, but I don’t know how to let go. So help me God, in my next transition.

Artistic Influences & Inspirations of the Day

On a separate side note, I came across a couple cool new Christian songs. Yes, they are not exactly worship hymns, but Passion Week is when I discover underground songs like these particularly under the electronic genre. Love it!

Who Says? – Joshua Micah

More than Air – Local Sound

And finally, one that I’ve been listening to lately. The Veldt, by deadmau5 ft. Chris James. I only recently stumbled across this one, and came to learn of its inspirational reference and Chris James’ instant hit. Reminded me of Chris Tomlin’s rise, through a cover of David Crowder’s song. This one calms me, and is probably my favorite of deadmau5, given that his most popular one Strobe wasn’t one that I really connected with, if I had to be blunt.

The films that I’ve watched today gave birth to so many artistic inspirations. The Bible Project’s Ecclesiastes’ caricature, Joseph: King of Dreams’ artistic renditions, and even the cinematography of Pan’s Labyrinth. I learned, loved, and resonated lots today!