Stone Art

After spending the last week or so melting in the heat and splashing in the sea, I’m finally getting back to creating another post. The humidity here lately has been really bad (between 75-95%), creating that sticky lingering dead heat that makes doing anything take 10x the effort (also makes you sweat buckets which is kind of gross). So, to escape the horrid stuffiness of indoors that is not unlike being stuck in a tropical rainforest, I’ve been going to the beach a lot lately. While at the beach I decided to take a few rocks home with me and give them a lick of paint, so for old times’ sake I’m going to turn this little activity into a step by step for rock painting. So, without further delay, I give to you:

 A Step by Step Guide to Rock Painting:

thumbnail_20190712_111422.jpgStep 1: Find some rocks/stones- Beach rocks tend to work well for painting because they absorb the paint well and it won’t rub off easily. Make sure you to give your rocks a good wash before painting them, because the salt water/dirt might cause the paint to go grainy (also hygiene and all that).

Step 2: Give your rocks a lick of white paint- This is a bit of an optional step and only really needs to be done on the side you’re going to paint. If you have pale rocks you could probably skip this step. I got my rocks from a beach that is known for its dark coloured rocks. So, I painted my rocks white because the colours would have been very dull and faint, if I haven’t. (Let the paint dry before moving on to step 4 or I’ll most likely create a horrible mess).thumbnail_20190712_115859.jpg

Step 3: Stare at your rocks and try to work out what you’re going to paint on them- A little tip here is to try to look at the rock’s shape or outline and think about what it looks like. If that fails think of the weirdest thing you can think of and paint it on the rock. If you’re still having trouble maybe try decorating your rocks.

Step 4: Paint your rocks- Rocks actually make a nice surface to paint on, so enjoy! For this I used acrylic paint because it has very vivid colour and is the easiest type of paint to work with (in my opinion).

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Don’t forget to make a mess as you paint!

Step 5: Step back and admire your work- Don’t forget to give yourself a good pat on the back and compliment a job well don’t.

Step 6: Create a little gallery for your rocks- A gallery just wouldn’t be complete without some labels.thumbnail_20190712_214201thumbnail_20190712_213941.jpg

thumbnail_20190713_100037thumbnail_20190713_100117Hope you enjoyed this post! I know part of the fun of painting rocks is to hide your painted stones somewhere in a public space for people to find, but I don’t think I’ll do that (might just decorate the windowsill with them). Anyway, I hope this post has inspired you to paint a few rocks yourself and…

As always, Thanks for reading!

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A Sort of Belated B-Day Post

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I went to the beach for a b-day picnic and the sea was gone, so we spent the day splashing in tide pools.

This month is almost over so it might be a little late for this, but I’ve done a b-day post 2 years running and to don’t want to break habit. June is my birth month and usually I make a special little post to celebrate it, but this year time sort of slipped away. I was drawing a new chapter for the comic strip I Collab on over on Mangatoon (click here for a link to it) and wanted to get it finished and posted as soon as possible, which took up a lot of the free time I use for art and blogging. (If you’re following the comic strip-Finding My Own Way, a new chapter should be up on Mangatoon very soon).

Last year I made a “Silly Things That Life Just Wouldn’t Be the Same Without” list and wanted to keep that sort of personal post thing going. So, after searching the far corners of my brain for a post idea, I’ve decided make a “getting to know you” type post (after realising I never actually made a proper one for this blog) and share 10 facts about myself, so you all can know a little more about me. So, before I ramble on any further, I bring to you:

10 Facts About The Things I’ve Seen Blogger:

1: My name is Kelly. Thought I’d start with an easy one (10 in a big number and it might be hard to reach). Some of you might already know this but Kelly is my actual name and Nel is a nickname I use sometimes.

2: I’m a huge night owl. Night seems to be the time where I come alive the most. During the morning and day, I’m usually not very talkative and kind of slow moving like a sloth, but at night I spring to life, have a load of energy and can get very chatty.

3: Anime preference. When it comes to anime, I’m very much a grazer and like to take my time with a series. Genre wise, I like Shounen, adventure, psychological and horror anime more (any sort of anime that gets you to really think or is mind-boggling). With the exception of a few anime (like Hal, Little Witch Academia and The Garden of Words) I’m not very fussed in romance or cutesy pink fluffy anime (shoujo) (strangely though I do like otome games and romance manga).

afp-519400037-4_34: Celeb crushes. Most people have a wee soft spot for someone famous, which is pretty harmless. I have 2, they are Leonardo DiCaprio (I swear that man is increasing in handsomeness with age) and Min Yoongi (a.k.a Suga), he’s so unbelievably cute.
(It was too hard to choose just one pic of Suga!)

5: A huge secret of mine is that I hate the taste of potatoes. Out of context this seems like a weird secret to keep, but I live in Ireland and for some reason most people here have a strange emotional attachment to potatoes (I’ve witnessed grown adults cry over potatoes, which really doesn’t help the whole Irish stereotype thing). Admitting you don’t like potatoes to other Irish people is a huge no no and would lead to me having to go into hiding. Okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration that probably wouldn’t happen. If I didn’t eat the disgusting flavourless claggy mush that is potatoes, my family and friends would just assume I was seriously ill, had developed an eating disorder or food phobia or was on my death bed and would become really concerned and want to take me to see a doctor urgently. I don’t want to make them worry unnecessarily, so I just choke some potatoes down every day and act like I’m enjoying it. Also potatoes are a staple here and I can’t eat beard or pasta (I have a wheat and barley allergy), so without potatoes my diet would just consist of vegetables, eggs and the odd bit of meat or fish (oh and chocolate and coffee, can’t forget those) and that’s probably not enough to stop me dying from malnourishment. Anyway, enough potato talk and on to the next fact.

6: I might have a bit of a coffee addiction. When I don’t have coffee for over 12 hours, I get really bad migraines, start to feel sick and become incredibly moody. To be honest I suffered from migraines before I became a coffee drinker, so at this point I’m not sure if the migraines are because of coffee withdraw or if the coffee keeps the migraines at bay. Either way without coffee, I don’t feel too good.

7: I’m naturally very quiet. I go hours without talking sometimes or making any sort of sound. This can come off like I’m extremely shy or snobbish sometimes, which is only half true (sometimes I feel too uncomfortable or stressed out to talk in certain people’s presences, so don’t unless absolutely necessary), but most of the time it’s just because I’m content and don’t really have anything be say. It’s not that I’m unsocial, I can start up a conversation even with a stranger. It’s just that I prefer to listen and don’t mind silence, so go quiet a lot.

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8: I love drawing Pokémon. I love doodling in general but Pokémon, I find myself doodling them a hell of a lot. They’re just so cute and some of them look really cool. When I’m thinking really hard, more often than not, I’ll end up doodling a Pikachu, Oddish or snorlax in the margin of the page.

9: I’m learning Korean because reading subtitles makes me sleepy and learning Japanese was too hard. This is a bit of a compromise and bit to do with my fascination with writing systems. Anyway, reading subtitles makes me feel very sleepy, but I really like watching anime, J and K-dramas and films which creates a dilemma between watching the shows I like and falling asleep. So, to solve this I decided to try to learn Japanese to eliminate the need to read subtitles. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult and got really confused and lost with the reading systems, so tried learning Korean instead (which still isn’t easy but its more manageable). I can only understand about 10-20% of what is said in a K-drama or horror, but on the bright side I really enjoy learning Korean and writing really random things in hangul.

10:  I always laugh at dad jokes. There’s just nothing like a good old dad joke to lift the spirit and I am the type of person who will laugh at them, even if they’re not funny. The cheesier the joke the better. It’s more the irony and cringeyness of the joke that I laugh at, than the joke itself.

Hope you enjoyed this post, if you’d like to share a fact about yourself, feel free to do so in the comments below. I’d love to hear it.

As always Thanks for reading!

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One last photo of Yoongi before you go. Love his gummy smile.

Top 10 Studio Ghibli Movies (Updated)

thumbnail_IMG_20190604_113740_084Lately I’ve been in a very Ghibli mood, a mood that consists of wanting to be awed by wonder, enchantment and cuteness and a hunger that can only be satisfied by watching Studio Ghibli films.  Back in the early days of this blog I made a post listing my top 10 favourite Ghibli films (click here to see that post). After re-watching most of my old favourites and a few Ghibli films I’d never seen before, my opinion on these movies have changed quite a lot. Don’t worry I still love Ghibli films very much and they still hold a big place in my heart (I wouldn’t be in a Ghibli mood otherwise). It’s just that over time and after a huge Ghibli binge-watch (best binge-watch ever), my preference has shifted and my top ten favourites is now very different from the first post I made.

So, for that reason its about time I updated this list and brought to you an updated version of

My Top 10 Favourite Studio Ghibli Films:

Honourable Mention- Pom Poko (↓4)
A lot of people seem not to like this film, personally I found the raccoons antics in this movie really funny. It can be a little crude at times, but looking pass that it’s quite a good film with a positive eco-friendly message to look after the environment and not destroy natural habitats. (Which is a bit of a running theme in Ghibli films)

thumbnail_640EA4E8-C292-49B0-8718-B16564FB153710: My Neighbour Totoro (NE= New Entry)
This is kind of a funny sort of a film. It’s very nice to watch but it doesn’t really have much of a storyline, it’s more like a series of happenings. I’ll try explaining the plot to show you what I mean, two little girls move to the countryside with their father. The house they move into turns out to be haunted by very cute harmless spirits. You learn the girls’ mother is in hospital with TB and can’t come home which upsets the girls. Their father has to work a lot, so the girls are pretty much left to run wild in the garden and surrounding area. Which leads to them meeting a giant cute bunny-bear like spirit called Totoro. The children hang out and play with Totoro, then the youngest one goes missing. Everyone panics and thinks she’s either gone by herself to visit her mother or drowned in a pond. Then the oldest girl gets on a cat bus and finds her younger sister and the movie then ends with them both eating corn in a tree.
As you can see it’s a bit of a strange film with a very loose plot, which has led to a lot of theories being made about what actually is happening in this film. From suggesting its references toward a real-life disappearance of a school girl, to people theorising that the girls actually die at the end of the film and that’s why they’re sitting in a tree (because apparently spirit rest in trees at night). However, it’s incredibly cute and sweet, which is what makes the film so enjoyable (you could quite possibly get tooth ache from watching it).

9: The Tale of Princess Kaguya (NE)
The animation style of this film so very different from other Ghibli films, it looks more like a hand painted moving talking watercolour, than the typical Ghibli art style. It’s subtle colour scheme and intriguing storyline makes it very relaxing and beautiful to watch. It does have a lot of religious and mythological references, which some mightn’t like. But if you’re interested in mythology and don’t mind the odd religious reference, its quite a nice watch. Like most Ghibli films it also has a positive message, which is to not chase after others idea of happiness or force your idea of happiness upon others (including your children and other family members). Basically, the film’s message is about achieving true happiness.

8: The Secret World of Arrietty (↑1)
This film has moved up one place in this list mainly because of its breathtakingly beautiful scenes and animation. In the last list, I think I underappreciated how amazing and stunning the animation was (probably because now I know the level of work that goes into creating scenes like those in the film). Story wise I prefer this version of the borrowers over the 1997 borrowers films. It’s very heart-warming and lovely to watch and puts a nice wee spin on the concept of borrowers.

7: Castle in The Sky (↑3)
Castle in The Sky has moved up quite a bit in this list. In the last list I forgot about the sense of wonder this film creates and about the sky pirates. Ghibli sky pirates are a rather likable odd bunch. At first, they seem like bad news but as the film goes on, they become goofier and seem more like a big bunch of softies. Especially, Dola who is a great character and is like a kooky, really cool grandmother that takes no guff and is tough as nails but is still kind at heart. The sky pirates all add a little bit of comedy and relatability to what is already a sweet and mysterious film with beautiful animation.

6: Kiki’s Delivery Service (↑2)
I re-watched Kiki’s Delivery Service with my nephew and he was outrage at behaviour in this film, which made me realise how bananas this film actually is. My nephew was completely horrified that parents would let a 13-year-old go off by themselves and in complete shock at Kiki breaking the stranger danger rule over and over again and getting in a car with a stranger. You would have sworn he was watching a horror movie instead of a Ghibli film. His overreaction and ranting towards this film made watching it so much funnier. But in saying that he does have a point, this film is sort of messed up and the more you think about Kiki does put herself in quite a few situations that would be incredibly dangerous in the real world (even for an adult). Anyway, seeing Kiki’s Very Dangerous Delivery Service from a new point of view, made me appreciate how surreal the Ghibli universe actually is (there is so many Ghibli films where children wander of by themselves and do really dangerous things and everyone acts spookily happy about it), which is why it was given a higher place on this list. (Funniest thing is my nephew says he liked this film, but like Ponyo better. He really loves Ponyo)

thumbnail_90DDF0C2-ADBB-47CC-B77D-4C830420E57E5: Ponyo (↓1)
Ponyo is a very cute and magical Ghibli film that really has the awe factor. With its beautiful use of colour and breath-taking animation, it’s really enjoyable and hypnotic just to look at. Story wise, its incredibly sweet and just plain adorable. It’s the kind of film that would warm even the coldest of hearts. No matter how many times I see this movie I never get sick of it. The only reason it fell a spot on this list, was to make room for a film I’ve only seen for the first time recently.

4: When Marnie was There (NE)
The best way to describe this film is a mysterious ghost story that shows the beauty of friendship. There is just so much twist and turns in this film and it’s just so mysterious. It will constantly keep you guessing and glued to the screen. At one point I didn’t have a baldy (a clue) what was happening and found myself completely enthralled in the film, very eagerly wanting to know what the fudge was happening. The ending of this film is very bitter sweet, it’s lovely and warms the cockles of the heart but is also really sad and might even make you shed a tear. It has a little more of a mature feel to it than other Ghibli films, but all around it’s an amazing film and one definitely worth watching. I regret not watching it sooner.

3: Spirited Away (↓1)
Spirited Away is a film that most anime and Ghibli fans will have seen at least once in their life. It holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts and it’s not hard to see why. It’s so magical and cute and very different from anything you’ve probably ever seen. For me its where my love of anime and Ghibli began. As a child I was so innocent and naïve that I didn’t even know anime was a thing. Weird thing is I had watched quite a lot of anime before this film (Pokémon, Digimon, Beyblade, Yu-Gi-Oh! and even Princess Mononoke), but never caught on that they were anime. To me they were just cartoons the same as all the others I loved to watch. It wasn’t until my Dad put a film on the TV (which was Spirited Away) and the announcer called it an Anime film from Japan, that I know there was such thing as anime. I was so taken by Spirited Away, that I wanted to know more about what anime was and from there my love of anime blossomed. Which is why it’s in the top 3.

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I love Turnip-head so much, that I redrew him.

2: Howl’s Moving Castle (↑1)
Glob I love the sassy old lady power in this movie. Howl’s Moving Castle is one of those Ghibli films that really deliver on that magical mysterious feel. Its story contains so much mystery that on the first watch, it’ll constantly have you guessing about so many things like Howl, the castle, the fire demon Calcifer, turnip head and what on earth is going on in this film. This mixed with its magical creatures and enchanted objects and devices, gives a real feel of awe and wonder. On top of this, it tells a heart-warming love story that teaches there is more to being loved than a pretty face. Its animation is absolutely beautiful and has so many cool little details which is why it’s my favourite film animation wise. All round Howl’s Moving Castle is a wonderful Ghibli film.

1: Princess Mononoke
Although everything else in this list has changed, my no. 1 favourite Ghibli film has stayed the same. It was the first Ghibli film I had ever seen (even though I didn’t know it was at the time), so it’s kind of special to me. But I think that’s the same with everyone’s first Ghibli film. Your first Ghibli film is usually the one that makes you fall in love with Ghibli and opens the door to the wonderful world of Ghibli. So, it’s not hard to see why most people’s first Ghibli film is their favourite.
First time I watched Princess Mononoke, I was completely dumbfounded, in a state of pure astonishment and amazement. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I instantly fell in love with its beautiful animation style and was really taking by it. I remember the first time watching this film, trying to slowly edge closer and closer to the TV, to really take in its beautiful scenery. Then having sofa cushions flung at me by my siblings and having the snot beat out of me with one for blocking their view. Though I didn’t fully understand the films plot or symbolism as a child, I still loved it and enjoyed every minute of it. As an adult, I continue to love this film and have re-watched it so many times. It’s just so amazing and unique, it really is a great Ghibli film.

Hope you enjoyed this Ghibli top 10 update. The first time I posted a Ghibli top 10, I made a top 10 Non-Ghibli anime film list, to link in with that post. I haven’t decided yet whether to update that list too, but if people are interested in seeing that update, I’ll update it too.

As always Thanks for reading and if you have a favourite Ghibli film, don’t be afraid to tell me about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it.

Ko-fi
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The Dark Lotus Company (Part 3)

img_0403It’s been quite a while since I posted part 1 and 2 of this little chibi style animated comic. Its probably about time I finished the episode and let you all know how it ends and if the detectives find Mr Flops. Part 2 left things on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so it’d be a bit mean not to finish it. You’ll be happy to know I’ve gotten the hang of the stop-motion a bit more, so was able to get the characters and objects to move a lot better than in the last videos.

In case you’ve missed part 1 and 2 and would like to watch them, I’ll post them both under part 3. Hope you enjoy!

Part 3:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Hope you enjoyed the episode. If people like these little chibi videos posts, I’ll try to make more episodes. Just keep in mind that they take a really long time to make, so there might be quite a gap between videos. There’ll a lot of fun to make though and sort of relaxing, so I’ll probably end up making another episode even if I don’t turn it into a video and post it.

As always Thanks for reading!

I started up a Ko-fi, unfortunately this old butt can’t work out how to put the Ko-fi button in a post. So, if you’d like to show your support for my artwork and blog by buying me a coffee. Which will provide the caffeine fuelled madness creativeness needed to produce such work, feel free to check out my Ko-fi page using this link: Ko-fi.com/thethingsiveseen

Bird Box

I’m a little late of the mark with this post, but Bird Box is a film I’ve wanted to talk about for a while. But before we get further into this post, there’ll probably (most likely) be SPOILERS in this post, so if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want it spoiled, you might want to stop reading.

Back to the movie, all in all the film itself was okay. It isn’t the greatest film I’ve ever seen but it’s watchable and has an interesting concept. However, when rating apocalypse type films I like to consider how difficult it would be to survive them. Sadly, for Bird Box it would be very easy for a particular large group of people to survive and I don’t mean the mentally ill people in the movie or the fully blind. But before I explain, let’s have a quick summary of Bird Box’s concept for those who are unfamiliar with the movie.

thumbnail_20917FB7-E651-4538-BE7D-E9D29AFF3F15Essentially in the film there is a monster on the loose that causes people to kill themselves if they look at it. This leads to people wearing blindfolds to avoid catching sight of the monster. However, the monster has a different effect on the mentally unwell and they see it as the most beautiful thing they’ve ever set eyes on. Which in turn, causes them to have an overwhelming desire to run around pulling off blindfolds and trying to force people to look at the monster (causing the victim to die from doing so). It’s a pretty interesting concept, but when you give it a bit more thought it sort of falls in on itself. Considering you have to see the monster for it to have an effect, there is another rather large group of people (other than the completely blind), that could easily survive Bird Box, which quite a few of you and myself belong too.

So, what is this incredible superpower that protects from the monster? Well, its probably wouldn’t be considered a superpower in a normal situation, but in the Bird Box world it pretty much is. Anyway, this superpower is poor eyesight. By this I don’t mean complete blindness, I mean eyesight just poor enough that you can’t navigate this world without wearing your glasses. Let me explain more.

Something I’ve never really mentioned on this blog is that without glasses I have dirt poor eyesight (everything’s a blurry mess of fuzzy shapes and colours and without glasses I can’t even identify family members. I also tend not to draw myself wearing glasses. Not because of vanity, it’s because I’ve had to wear glasses all the time since 8years old and forget I’m wearing them). From doing quite the remarkable Mr. Magoo impression while not wearing glasses, I’ve discovered a monster sized loophole in Bird Box’s plot that would mean a rather large percent of mankind could survive the Bird Box apocalypse.

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It probably seems obvious at this point, how a poor sighted person could survive Bird Box, but just for fun I’ll go into detail. Basically, all they’d have to do to survive is remove their glasses (yeah, it’s really as simple as that). If you can’t even make out objects 2 feet in front of your face, it’d be impossible to see a monster standing on the other side of the street or sitting up in a tree. Let’s just face it, with dirt poor eyesight the monster could probably walk up and headbutt you and you still wouldn’t be able to see it. So, you’d be very much immune to the monster’s powers (you still wouldn’t be immune to walking into a lamp post or tripping over a cat, though).

But wait what about those crazed monster worshiper people, you ask? What if they attack you, forcibly put back on your glasses and force you to look at the monster?  Well, here’s the hard part. After you remove your glasses, you’re going to have to break them into tiny pieces, including the lenses, then have a cry over how expensive those glasses were.

thumbnail_20917FB7-E651-4538-BE7D-E9D29AFF3F15After that you’d be pretty safe from the monster worshipers too, because even if the monster worshipers forcibly took you to the pharmacy to get a pair of those over the counter glasses, those glasses won’t make a button of difference. They’re more like a reading glasses than seeing glasses, so you’ll still be able to see bug all. It’s also highly unlikely that there’d be an optician amongst the monster worshipers to provide you with proper glasses, so you’d still be immune to the monster.

thumbnail_FF1830A8-FC1F-4DF0-B002-B4E5321DA78AI know the monster worshipers are still quite dangerous, they’re heavily armed in the film and could attack you for not loving the monster. So, for an added safety precaution you might want to put your acting skills to the test and pretend to be one of them, if you bump into monster worshipers in the Bird Box apocalypse (to be honest, they all seem pretty high on monster so it probably wouldn’t be that difficult to fool them. Just compliment the monster or comment on how beautiful it is and they wouldn’t notice your not one of them).

thumbnail_FF1830A8-FC1F-4DF0-B002-B4E5321DA78AOverall, I wasn’t very taken by Bird Box and think it was slightly over hyped. Right enough, a monster that causes death by just looking at it, is scary and could be seen as fantastic symbolism. But with a sieve-like plot, it loses its impact. The more you think about this film the more plot holes you find. For example, it didn’t matter if the babies seen the monster because they don’t have the ability or understanding to hurt themselves. Also, being in a situation where a deadly monster seems to be always present just waiting for its chance to strike you dead, would in itself be enough to drive a person to madness, therefore the monster would lose its deadly effect. Considering all this I would only recommend watching Bird Box if you’re curious/interested about its concept. Just don’t expect too much from it.

Rating: 2.5/5

Hope you enjoyed this post, it might seem a bit of a strange way to review this film, but I thought it’d be nice to shake things up and add a bit of fun to the post.

As always thanks for reading!

I’m Back

thumbnail_85e9e794-0e59-4276-ad93-d33c3b7a4d60A while ago, I had to go on an unexpected unannounced hiatus. Nothing big or shocking happened, it was just that a lot of things creeped up on me at once and things got extremely busy, so I didn’t have much time to blog. Thankfully things have calmed down a little now and I’m back. It feels so good to be blogging again, it felt like I lost a limb while on hiatus. Not creating blog posts or not having time to read others’ blogs, was so incredibly dull. It really is great to be blogging again.

So, what did I get up to while in hiding?

Well, I’ve got a little bit of news to share with you all. The Collab comic strip project I was doing with Anjani, is being posted over on MangaToon. So, I’ve been spending a lot of my art/drawing time working on it (which is so much fun). I really love making comics, even though my drawing skills still need a lot of improvement. Drawing really exaggerated faces is a hell of a lot of fun and can be very amusing at times. (If you have the MangaToon app and/or would like to check the comic out, it’s called Finding my own way.)

As well as the comic, I’ve been practicing more traditional art (and doodling a lot). I’ll include a few of the better things I’ve created to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to. Lately the doodling habit has reached a new level, I pretty much doodle on any piece of paper I get my hands on, which lead this creation.

thumbnail_img_20190502_170206_076.jpgIt started off as just a little doodle on the page, but I went doodle mad and got a little carried away. Before realising it, the page was completely covered in doodles. But in saying that, I like this big doodle.

I’ve also been messing experimenting with paint and trying out different techniques, so have created quite a few experimental and abstract pieces. I’ll show you a few examples of these pieces because there’s too many to put in one post.

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I gave him K-pop hair (those drops are red paint, in case you were getting scared)

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Abstract is actually kind of hard

Lastly soft pastels, I’ve finally worked out how to use them without nearly dying from breathing in the dust. So, I’ve been working hard to try to master soft pastels and after quite a few fails, eventually created something worth sharing.

thumbnail_20190425_181720So that us all caught up art wise, hope you enjoyed this little art update. I have a movie related post planned so hopefully that will be up soon too.

Glad to be back and as always thanks for reading!

Switched

IMG_0554If you could switch bodies with anyone you on earth, would you do it? Would you still want to, if you knew you couldn’t switch back? What if you also had to risk death to make the switch, would you still give it a try?

Apologies for all the strange questions, but they are the main obstacles faced in the Netflix series Switched. As you have probably already guessed, this series is based on the good old tried and tested concept of having two characters swap bodies, then attempt to live as the other person. Usually leading to many lessons in empathy and gratitude. However, unlike your typical body swap movies or series such as Freaky Friday or It’s a Boy Girl Thing, Switched has a huge dark side to it. By this I mean it features a lot of triggering or darker subjects, like bullying, exclusion, neglect, body/beauty shaming and suicide, not forgetting that characters have to risk death to make the switch (in the literal sense).

So, why after reading the description on Netflix and knowing how dark this series was, did a sensitive little soul like myself (that cries at Disney movies), decide it was a good idea to watch this show? Well, it’s a bit of a strange story but in a nutshell, my friend was convinced I looked like the main character in the series, so I started watching it to see if this was true (or whether my friend needs glasses). Then got sucked in by its plot and had to know how it all ended. But before we go any further, let’s have a quick summary of this show. (In case you’re wondering, despite my friend still insisting I do, I don’t look like the main character. I only ever so slightly look like her. We both got pinchable cheeks).

Switched is a 6 episode long J-Drama about two high school girls that are complete opposites in personality, mindset and circumstance. During the red moon the unpopular and tormented Umine, carries out a twisted scheme to swap bodies with the most popular and prettiest girl in school, Ayumi. This plan involved jumping from the school roof and making Ayumi watch as she falls to her doom (told you it was dark). Due to the magical powers of the red moon this allows Umine to switch bodies with Ayumi. The story then focuses on Ayumi trapped in Umine’s body, as she struggles to live in Umine’s body or get anyone to believe her about the swap. In Umine’s body Ayumi faces a much harsher world, filled with beauty shaming, exclusion, bullying and a mother who would make Miss Trunchbull from Matilda look like mother of the year. Thankfully, Ayumi’s best friend Kaga quickly realises that Ayumi was swapped and is in Umine’s body. Kaga and Ayumi then work together to find a way to get Ayumi her body back.

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Thinking about my switch possibilities.

The strongest point of Switch is its unusual but interesting take on the body switching concepts. It puts a bit of spin on the regular idea of body switching, though this is a rather dark spin. Which is why this series might not be enjoyable for the easily triggered or those of a sensitive nature. If you can get over the darkness of characters risking death to steal another’s body and jumping from tall buildings, it can be an interesting concept to see in play. The added fact that when 2 people swap bodies they can’t swap back, really gets you thinking and adds suspense to the plot. Leaving you wondering how on earth Ayumi is going to get her body back. The additional pressure of Ayumi and Kaga not knowing who they can trust or who has ill intents for them, truly put you on the edge of your seat.

Another likeable aspect about this series is the relationship between Kaga and Ayumi. Kaga interactions with Ayumi in Umine’s body is incredible sweet and heart-warming. Kaga as a whole is a very likeable character, always looking out for Ayumi and joking around to keep her spirits up. Definitely a contender for the best boy list, which makes you really want to see him end up with Ayumi, even after the whole plot plays out. You may even find yourself at times shouting at the screen in frustration, when Kaga bottles it or when gets brushed off.

Switched does have its weak points which are noticeable from the very beginning of the series. Like 90’s TV, some of the Teenage roles are played by actors in their mid-twenties, which is made even cringier when you consider that the actors playing Koshiro Mizumoto and Kaga are both older than myself (and I’m not that young). The series can also be a little over the top and silly at times. There are just parts where things are extremely over dramatic. I know it’s a J-Drama and there’s meant to be some drama, but jeez does it take the biscuit sometimes. The body switching also gets a little ridiculous, when a man switches bodies with his pet budgie and magically gains the ability to tell when people have switched (which was never explained how or why).

Seeing Umine and Ayumi in Umine’s body get bullied and excluded can be a very bitter pill to swallow. It makes your heart break for them. No matter where they went people were very loudly making snide remarks about their appearance and calling them ugly. At times, you’re left wondering what the fudge is wrong with people in the world created in this J-Drama and why they’re choosing to be so unnecessarily cruel. With a foul natured mother on top of this, you can begin to see why Umine was pushed so far and why she did what she did. However, considering that Ayumi did nothing to Umine and actually offered her help on a few occasions, Umine’s actions still seem pretty twisted. Meaning your left with mixed emotions about the whole situation. On one hand you can empathise with the pain Umine’s character is feeling and wish people would treat her better. But on the other hand, you can’t really agree with her actions or look upon them in a good light. Even after understanding that her actions are a result of how she was treated (her actions aren’t very fair and she seems to have singled Ayumi out just because of how she looks, which makes Umine just as bad as her bullies). Though painful to watch at points, it’s this mix of emotions that keeps you watching the series.

Overall, Switch is a pretty good little watch. It can be dark and sad at points, but despite this it’s still heart-warming and has its happy moments. If I were to classify its plot, I’d say it was a tale of friendship, rather than a tale of vengeance or misery. For the most part the show focuses on the friendship between the characters, however it does feature topics that some may find difficult to deal with.  Being an interesting and exciting 6 episode long series, I would recommend giving this show a watch if you’re into J-Dramas and can handle the series dark side. If you’re easily triggered or of a sensitive nature I would pass on this show, as it may be too emotive to watch.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Dark Lotus Company (Part 2)

img_0403In part 1 (click here for part 1), I didn’t really get the opportunity to explain how the Gacha Life app works or how I used it to make this little comic, so I’ll explain it all now. The Gacha Life app is essentially an app where you dress up/design Chibis. You start off with a set of already made chibi, but luckily the app allows you to completely deconstructed these chibi and build your own. It allows you to change everything from the chibi’s height, gender, facial features, hair and of course clothing. It’s basically a very detailed chibi designing app and if you really wanted, you can even use the app to design chibi that look like your favourite anime characters (which I have done so many times).

To make this little comic all I did was wipe everything from the pre-set chibi until they were nothing but skin coloured jelly beans, then reconstructed these jelly beans to my own liking (wow, I just realised it’s like alchemy in FMA). Gacha Life also has a feature where you walk around a town and talk to other chibi, so the first jelly bean I reconstructed was a character to represent me in the game part of the app.

img_e0418The first character I designed was Nelly. In the comic Nelly is a detective for the Dark Lotus Company and Tobi is her rookie partner. Like all Dark Lotus detectives, Nelly is very magically powerful and is a reaper werewolf hybrid. Making her skilled in both hand to hand combat and magic.

img_e0420The second character I created was Tobi (because I wanted to make a little cute chibi). Tobi is a rookie detective in the comic and is a young demon gifted in defensive magic. He was recruited by the Dark Lotus Company and assigned as Nelly’s partner, after he graduated from the top magical school at an extremely young age, showing great magical skill and knowledge.

After creating a few other characters, I used the apps studio feature (which allows you to pose characters and add speech bubbles and props) to make the comic. How you make a comic using studio is kind of like stop-motion, as in you pose your characters, change their facial expressions, add text then screenshot this all. After that you take all your screenshots and make a video with them. I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of time and patience to make a comic using Gacha Life, but it’s also a lot of fun.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know to make your own comic with Gacha Life, so without further delay here’s part 2:

Hope you enjoyed part 2. If you’re wondering why I didn’t just draw this comic since I’ve already drawn other comics. It’s because I’m currently drawing for a Collab comic and that takes up a lot of my time set aside for drawing and one can only draw so much in one day without injuring themselves. This comic was also a bit of a spur of the moment thing I created to amuse myself while dying of the flu.

As Always, Thanks for Reading!

The Dark Lotus Company (Part 1)

After a little bit of a disappearance from WordPress, I’m pleased to announce I’m back. Unfortunately, the flu returned for round two and this time it done quite the number on me. Leaving me unable to read any of your awesome posts or create any posts of my own. But not to worry, at least something good came out of being flu ridden. That being a little comic I made using the Gacha Life app.

To amuse myself while feeling like death, I started creating wee characters in Gacha Life (an app where you design little chibi characters, then play about with them), one thing lead to another and before I knew it, I had a whole bunch of little characters. So, what does one do after creating a load of chibi in Gacha Life? They start messing about and posing them in the studio feature of Gacha Life, of course. Which is exactly what I did, except I got carried away and made a little comic with my characters. Anyway, I’ll leave the video of the comic below and give a little description of the comic after it.

The Dark Lotus Company is set in a fairy tale like world where both magical and non-magical creatures reside. The Dark Lotus Company is a mysterious company that investigates strange occurrences. The detectives of this company are among the most magically gifted, however due to this and secretiveness of their line of work, most treat these detectives with great suspicion and distrust.
The Dark Lotus Company is about two detectives (Nelly and Tobi) that work for The Dark Lotus Company. Unfortunately, after messing up big time in their last investigation, the company are only giving our two detectives the cases no one else in the company wants. Despite this, our two detectives work their hardest to solve their cases, while trying not to create anymore mayhem or chaos in the places they visit.

Hope you enjoyed the first part of this little comic, I’ve made a few more parts to this investigation which I’m hoping to put together in another video and post soon. This was just something I made to amuse myself while ill, but if people seem to like this little series, I’ll continue making it.

Hope you are all doing well and as always, Thanks for reading.

Drawing BTS Chibi

thumbnail_20181220_114722After looking at a hell of a lot of BTS fan art, I decided to give the whole fan art thing a go and add my own wee twist to it. I love drawing chibi characters, so I drew all the members of BTS as chibi and tried my best to capture their likeness. Hope you enjoy!

thumbnail_20190108_191733This post would be a little on the short side if it ended here, so I’d like take this opportunity to add a personal touch to this post by telling you all how I got into K-pop. Considering how much anime openings I have in my playlists, it’s kind of surprising that I didn’t stumble upon K-pop on my own. Strangely, it was actually my niece that got me into K-pop. She asked me one day if I had ever listened to BTS and I said no. Which caused her little face to light up with delight and she very excitedly started showing me music and choreography videos of BTS on YouTube.

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Love pink hair.

My honest first impression of BTS was “dang, they sure can dance and that colourful hair is so amazing. Not a 100% sure if I like the music but this is really entertaining.” About 3 songs later and after hearing the song, Blood, Sweat and Tears, BTS started to really grew on me and I was loving this little BTS jam session. Any uncertainty left me and I was 100% sure that I like this band.

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Chibi J-Hope kind of looks a little possessed. Apologies for that.  

After that, I was really curious about K-pop and went on a huge K-pop binge watch/listen. It was awesome and left my wondering, why it took me so long to realise how much fun K-pop is (honestly, I wish I listened to it sooner). From there I got sucked into the fandom and now even have a favourite member (bias) in certain groups (in BTS it was originally Suga, but then Jimin won me over, so now I have 2 bias). My appreciation for K-pop may be a little cringey at times, but its something I really enjoy.

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Just a couple of buds holding hands.

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, I might make another post like this about anime. Anime is something I’ve loved since childhood, so that post would be considerably longer.

As always, Thanks for reading!