Playing with watercolor pens.

I couldn’t sleep last night, so after watching Jurassic World and fangirling over Chris Pratt’s badassery, I decided to revisit my watercolor pens. It’s been a while since I played with them and I got a wee bit inspired by a random desktop wallpaper of Pixar’s Up, so I thought, why not translate that inspiration on paper? :)

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You prolly heard me say this before, but I want to reiterate it: I suck at colors. I rarely work with colors because they’re my weakness. I dived into color pens, watercolors, and now, watercolor pens. I’m terrible at all of them. But part of every person’s journey through art is sucking at something. That doesn’t mean we should let it stop us, yeah? #inspiration

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First thing I did was draw a draft of the house with pencil, then put my watercolor pens to work. The darker shades were meant to be “shadows” when I blend them with water later. As you would see on the next photo, it didn’t come out the way I wanted…

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The shadow effect I was aiming for was barely noticeable. :( Either I had to really rub the color in or I was doing the brush strokes wrong, hence it didn’t blend properly.

I added the finishing touches to the house and the aesthetics improved a tiny bit. Aw man, I had to compensate for this. The solution: add a handlettered quote.

So here’s the finished piece! I think I did a good job with the balloons though LOL. :D

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Hey, if you have any tips for me on how to use watercolor pens, I would really appreciate if you can share it! Thanks in advance, whoever you are! ^_^

Iphoneography photo dump.

Iphoneography became a legit term back in 2008 with the quick rise of iOS photo filter apps, i.e. Hipstamatic. With the iPhone’s camera getting more and more powerful every year, iPhoneography has come a long way since.

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I am not an “iPhoneographer” in the sense that I don’t use my phone’s camera the same way I’d use a DSLR. But when I do get in the mood to capture something in an artsy partsy sort of way, I know I can rely on my phone to do so. After all, the medium is only as good as the one who uses it. :)

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It was back in 2009 when I first became fascinated with photography. I bought a DSLR and, truth be told, no amount of fancy technology slapped at the back of the most high-end mobile phone can replace the feel of looking through a camera’s viewfinder.

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But if there’s one thing I learned about photography, no matter what medium we use, it’s this: like any other kind of art, it is SUBJECTIVE. A technically accurate photo does not always translate to a great photo if it does not evoke any kind of response from its audience.

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Because mobile phones are literally just “point and shoot,” people focus more on the overall feel / mood / story in a photo, which is usually measured by only one thing: is it Instagrammable? If not, probably best not to post it LOL. ;)

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I follow several Instagram accounts that take great photos, but not all of them is a photography account. Some are fashion posts, lifestyle, flatlays, etc. Their photos stand out because they shoot with a theme. And I’m on the process of learning that so I could curate my feed as well. :)

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I no longer have a DSLR, not in the past 5 years. I have no plans on getting one anytime soon, so I have to make do with my phone for now. Well, turned out it actually isn’t so bad. :)

Processed with Snapseed.

All photos were taken using iPhone 5C and post-processed in iOS app Snapseed and/or Instagram.

Life Lately in Grids.

ONE. Pokémon Go had taken over my life after its release here in the Philippines. I got really stoked when I got Pikachu as my starter Pokémon, only to regret it later because my Pikachu was terribly weak af. Well, I admit I, only wanted one for bragging rights haha. Anyway, I joined Team Instinct (*dab pose!*) after Level 6 because Valor and Mystic were too mainstream LOL.

Several weeks later, I got tired of the game. Sad, really, because it has so much potential. Unfortunately, aside from catching Pokémon and occasionally battling in gyms, there’s nothing else to do. And if you, like me, live in a place where there are no Pokéstops and the nearest gym is several miles away, you’ll have less reason to play.

TWO.  I just learned how to play Uno and Monopoly Millionaire Deal card game! :D I actually survived my teen years not knowing how these two are played haha. I realized how much I’ve missed. Now I’m planning to buy my own deck and challenge the Girlfriend to see which one of us would be a millionaire first.

Now if only being a millionaire in real life is that easy…

THREE. Finally crossed two films from my to-watch list: Equals and The Intern. I love, love, love the latter and have mixed feelings about the former.

Equals is… well, Equals is an okay movie. It’s not superb, but it isn’t super duper bad, either, thanks to Nicholas Hoult haha. I like dystopian films because the premise always seem so fascinating. In Equals, humanity’s pursuit of perfection led to a society invalidating all feelings and human emotion. It’s an interesting “what if” to explore, but one of the movie’s flaws, in my opinion, is the remarkably slow pace. It took an awful lot of time and painstakingly established the setting. I’m like, yes, we get it, move on already.

The Intern, on the other hand, was so much fun to watch. It’s a light film about a 70-year-old grandpa who was hired as an intern at a start-up fashion company full of millenials. And what happens next? He becomes a major rockstar. :D

FOUR. I finally joined the world of Mac users and purchased my first ever Macbook. It’s going to take some time getting used to because I’ve always been a Windows person. They say that once you go Mac, you never go back. Time to put that quote to the test now, yeah? ;)

Also, I was listening to CCMs (Contemporary Christian Music) a couple of days ago and realized that despite keeping my distance away from organized religion, I still enjoy CCMs every now and then. I still know the lyrics for every single one, and I still sing along, if only to feel the fire one more time.

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We’re almost in the middle of September now! Days really breeze fast on Ber months, it might as well be Christmas tomorrow. How are y’all doing so far? :)

September lettering goal.

There are many things I’d like to say about how my lettering journey is these days, but I’ll start with this:

I haven’t been feeling the “lettering high” lately.

There, I said it. That’s the reason why I’m not posting on Instagram and Facebook as much as I used to. I don’t get giddy with new pens, I don’t get inspired by all the amazing works on my IG feed. It’s like the artist part of me switched off and I couldn’t care less even when my followers dwindle by 1 or 2 every other day.

But the world won’t stop for me. While I’m lazing around wondering where my passion went, the rest of the creative community are creating, and I’m being left behind. :(

This procrastination has to stop. I’ve known it all along, of course, but I haven’t actively done anything to change it. So today, I decided to put my goal in writing and publish it for the world wide web to see. It’s one way I thought of making myself accountable for whatever goal I’ll set.

Since I’m coming from a sort of hiatus/artist block, I want to take it slow and focus only on a single goal instead of several bulleted ones. And for the month of September, it’s going to be all about producing content — regular content in my online accounts (Instagram, Facebook and WordPress) at least once a week. Two or three is great, but one per week is the minimum. Ergo, by the end of September, I should have four posts published.

So yeah, maybe that’s not much, but it’s a start. And when you’re setting a goal, starting is the hardest part; therefore, starting is everything.

Wish me luck, guys! I really appreciate everyone’s words of encouragement and support. :)

안녕하세요! Annyeonghaseyo! Travel Diary: Seoul.

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Annyeonghaseyo! Kamsahamnida! Saranghae! These were the only Korean words I know when I went to Seoul last March 2016. I used and abused the first two, but didn’t get into any appropriate situation to use the third one haha.

As the entire world knows, South Korea is the land of K-dramas, and never in my past 27 years did I think that I’d be able to set foot on it one day. Luckily, I was granted a Korean Visa and got the plane ticket on promo fare. Bags packed, bubble jackets on, and off we flew to Incheon. :)

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A train ride from Incheon International Airport brought us at last to the country’s capital, Seoul. After a quick hot pot dinner, we rested for the night to preserve our energy for next days’ activities.

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I enjoyed the guided tour inside Gyeongbokgung Palace because of all the bits of information shared by our tour guide. For one, did you know that back in the days, a King and his Queen never sleep together in the same room? If they wanted to, er, make royal babies, the King had to go to the Queen’s quarters. Bit of an inconvenience really. But Korean monarchy was more about politics than #truelove, so maybe they didn’t mind? Haha I wouldn’t know.

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A bit of an uphill walk from Gyeongbokgung is the traditional Korean folk village of Bukchon Hanok. Despite being a tourist spot because of the houses’ traditional design, this is a residential area, hence signs that say “Silence Please” are all over the place.

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Of course, a visit in Seoul is not complete without shopping at Myeongdong, where every friggin’ Korean skin care products are located. The Girlfriend is big on skin care and wanted to check out every single store — the staff gives freebies like face masks and sample products just by going in — I gave up on walking soon enough. Ergo, I spent the rest of the afternoon at Starbucks while the Girlfriend shops away. Win-win!

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Altogether, I had a lot of fun at Seoul even if my feet frequently ached from too much walking. The Girlfriend and I already booked another trip to South Korea this December. This time though, our goal is to relive Descendants of the Sun, i.e., eat chocopie and spend a couple of hours at Dalkomm Coffee. Also, if we can get a stuffed teddy bear soldier, that would be really cool! :D

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