So it's May and I guess this counts as my first real attempt at an illustration for myself. I decided to give it a go after feeling a bit lost with myself these past couple of months in terms of art. Which would explain the lack of entries on here. Drawing my favorite Princess was really fun. Kudos to you if you know her~
I guess I haven't had a nice little chatter here in a while, so I wanted to do that for this week. The uploading schedule is a bit wonky right now, but trust that I will be updating here at least once a week! Honestly I just love writing and sharing a bit of my life and my interests on here as well as reading others' blogs and finding new artists... I guess it's something I've been thinking about lately. I'll get to that later, though. How is everyone? I hope you are doing well! We've been having some pretty crazy weather on the East Coast lately but I love it because I would much rather it be cold than hot. It's been beautiful weather to go on long walks with Hershel!
This past month, as you saw, I went to Texas! I went with my family to check the area out and Josh stayed home and a had a weekend to himself! It really wasn't that long but I wanted to draw him a tiny card and gave him like a little care package before I left that included chocolates and a hand drawn card <3 I know it's sappy, but I think it's very important to do tiny things like that for your partner. If you can do something, no matter how small, that you know will make them happy, I think you should. To my surprise, Josh picked me up from the train station when I got home with the most beautiful bouquet of roses and this super sweet spread on the dining table when I got home <3 It was so, so lovely and it made me feel so loved!
Josh and I both draw, but admittedly I have stopped drawing as much as I used to. I am working on fixing that! I think Josh usually only draws when he gives me cards on holidays and special occasions, but I am so happy he's getting back into it! His style is much more detail oriented and has like an edgier feel to it while mine is like... fluffy and girly XD I've always loved that about our styles. It was actually the first time I used Washi Tape to decorate a card and I really loved the outcome! I'm definitely going to be doing it more often!
This past Monday was one of my best friend's birthday! She was luckily in the area and we got to see each other again after such a long time. We went to hot pot near me and ate so much I think we wanted to roll away from the restaurant. It was lovely seeing her again. She's one of those people that I can talk to for hours and hours and not even realize how much time has gone by. Mix that with great food and we were like uh we gotta go. Damn Mondays!
I've been on a bit of an art supply kick lately. It's always a great feeling when I'm actually using the art supplies I buy! Sometimes I feel like it's almost automatic that I need to go into an art store and buy art supplies but I keep them for a later time or save them for when I'm doing more serious work. It's been really great forcing myself to write every day and doodle more of the tiny things that happen in my days because it inspires me to want to keep drawing and complete a bigger illustration. Lord knows I don't need anymore washi tape YET HERE WE ARE. They're just so beautiful! On a day trip to Mitsuwa the other day with Josh I saw that they had Sailor Moon washi tape and I almost lost my mind. They were pricey but I didn't care! THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN ADULT. No regrets and no rationality for financial decisions ok. They also had the newest Cardcaptor Sakura artbook which I jumped on. I thought it would include at least one new illustration by CLAMP but it looks like it's just a compilation of their best or favorite works from the series which is nice, too. I got this cute little plate for the Kitchen for us to put our wedding rings on when we wash dishes! And they had a pen that I love drawing with and the store by me no longer had them so I swooped up all they had. I love buying art supplies, it makes me feel so good for some reason! It feels even better when I actually use everything I get.
I found out recently that one of my favorite lines, Marc by Marc Jacobs, will no longer be stocked in any stores. I don't know how they could discontinue the line, it's so lovely ;-; I managed to get these lovelies that have been my staple combination when I go out. It's the prettiest blush pink I've ever seen. I actually attached a Sailor Moon Locket to the side of it so it's like... perfect.
This one is actually more recent. The new Sailor Moon Drops game came out yesterday and I decided to give it a try. MISTAKE. I'm already addicted. The gameplay is similar to Candy Crush but not completely because you can choose characters and upgrade them and have them use their signature moves. The art and animation is so cute ;-; I only downloaded it on my iPad for my own safety because otherwise I would be playing it ALL day today. I'm looking forward to being deliciously addicted.
Geneva is an artist that I actually found quite recently! The way I find new artists lately is by searching my Instagram feed. I love exploring posts and finding works that are inspirational, and one day I found a piece by Geneva Benton and I was instantly hooked. After obsessing over her feed for a while, I saw that she had an artbook out! I don't make spontaneous purchases when it comes to artbooks usually because I like getting to know the artist's work better, but I became hooked so quickly I immediately placed an order at her store along with a print!
I have to say, the quality of both pieced is stunning. I got a tinier print than usual because I like to put them in my notebooks for inspiration when I write, now. The print is called Resting and I fell in love with it! I love when artists draw pieces like this, with a character lounging with a laptop and a book <3 It's on some glossy photo paper, my favorite kind of print. It came safely tucked in a plastic sleeve.
On to the artbook itself, the first thing that I have to mention is that it's pretty big. I want to say that first because I love bigger artbooks. When I buy an artbook, I want to see all the details in the pieces and proudly display it on my bookshelf. The bigger the book, the easier it is to see the details that the artist put into their pieces.
The book opens up with an introduction from the artist. I love when artists do this and find it a bit strange when they don't. Some just jump right into the art or have a tiny scribble at the end of the book. Personally, when I buy artbooks, I want to see the artists' work but I mostly want to know about their process and who they are. Without things like this it's basically like... a photo book? And that's nice I guess but I much prefer when the artist puts their spin on their work. As someone who's always wanted to do an artbook/doujinshi, I am always getting inspiration from other artists and the layouts of their books!
The pieces in the books itself are so beautiful. The paper quality is top notch and really adds to the ~lux~ feel of the book. The glossy look of the pages goes really nicely with her style. I can't encourage you enough to check out her gallery!
One of my favorite parts of the book is definitely how she puts tiny descriptions alongside some of the pieces. Not every piece has it, but with this series in the book she put a tiny description explaining it a bit and I love that! They were a real treat to have as part of the book.
I always, ALWAYS ask artists to sign every print and book they give me. Like I said, I don't usually make spontaneous artbook purchases so when I do it's always from an artist I admire and having the privilege of getting them to sign their work is so important to me. I've been asking artists to do this since I was able to start buying their work online!
Thank you, Geneva, for this lovely package! It was really so wonderful to receive <3 Please check out her gallery and her store, I think you'll fall in love with her work as I did!
I didn't have the affinity for manga when I was younger that I do, now. It was even stronger when I was in college, actually. I would always carry three or four volumes with me when I went to class and would read in between classes outside or in the Library while listening to music. When I was younger I knew that there was a manga section at Borders and one day found a Sailor Moon volume that I went through so quickly. My dad always encouraged me to be creative and gave me anything I wanted if it contributed to my creativity, I was very lucky. The one thing he just never quite understood was manga. He only ever got me three volumes when I was about 12 and that was the Stars arc from Sailor Moon. I justified getting it because Stars never aired in America and after begging him to get it for me he finally caved. But that's all I ever had until I entered college! When I was a Freshman I started avidly collecting volumes from series I knew. I got the Millennium Arc from Yu-Gi-Oh and my roommate convinced me to start reading Fruits Basket. Fast Forward to now, I collect every single series I fall in love with. Luckily Josh also collects manga like I do form his own favorite series so our bookcase is, well, packed. I thought I was done collecting series until quite recently. There aren't many series I fall in love with as soon as I start reading them, but recently it's become harder to say no to just one more volume.
The series on my reading list are Princess Jellyfish, Sailor Moon, My Love Story, Kiss Him Not Me, and Genshiken the Second Season. Princess Jellyfish is about a group of girl otaku that live in a building where they don't allow boys. The main girl, Tsukimi, is studying to become an illustrator and is an awkward social recluse. She meets a beautiful woman one day and finds out a secret about them~ Sailor Moon is a Magical Girl manga that centers around finding confidence in yourself and honestly makes me proud of being a girl, huhu <3 My Love Story is about a guy who looks like a mean guy but is actually the sweetest guy around and his friend who is super handsome. One day he rescues a cute girl who falls in love with him! He's not used to girls choosing him over his handsome friend. Their relationship is very cute and pure! Kiss Him Not Me is about a Fujoshi girl who loves shipping guys and is also an otaku. She's chubby and no one really pays attention to her until one day something happens to one of her favorite characters in a series and it causes her to fall into a depression that causes her to lose all the weight and get super cute! Suddenly the boys start paying attention and all want to be with her but all she wants is to be the girl she is used to being. Genshiken Season 2 is about a college club that now centers more around the girls and their feelings as otaku. It's filled with anime references and lovable characters just like the first season.
I've made it a goal for myself to read more manga. Though I only collected series I loved, I didn't finish reading everything in my bookcase, and this is the year I want to get through it all! That's including all my Yu-Gi-Oh volumes .////. BUT I wanted to start by reading these! Princess Jellyfish is FINALLY out so I'm going to start reading it! I watched the anime about two years ago and I absolutely LOVED it and have been waiting for the manga to come to America~ Despite starting Sailor Moon when I was 12 I still haven' finished it??? So I'm starting over! Sometimes I find it a bit too overwhelming with all the Shojo but it is a lovely treat to get in to! My Love Story came highly recommended by Josh. He really loves the story and thinks the relationships are so cute in it. Usually that kind of story is right up my alley, but I don't know... I'm having a hard time getting into it. It's a series I really want to love but for some reason I feel like there's a wall there. I have up to volume 4 so if I don't fall in love with it by then I'm probably going to return it. I usually preview series before committing to buying them but I've heard such great things from so many people and Josh loved it so I thought it was a no brainer...? I'm trying hard to love it, I swear! Kiss Him, Not Me is a series that also came highly recommended by Josh and it took me no time at all to become addicted to it. I love anything that has chubby characters in it and a harem of boys??? Yeah, I love it. I think I'm actually getting the latest volume I pre-ordered today! I love the art, the subtle romantic moments and, of course, the boys. Genshiken season 2 has been a series I've had for a while but never started reading because I knew I wanted to binge it when I got enough volumes but it's taking too long for them to come out with books. Genshiken was my everything for a few years in college. It was what got me to start going to my club in college after being a social recluse for a good two years. The club where I met my friends, found my confidence, and of course, met my husband. This series is what got me to run for President of that club and get it! It was a big part of my life and the second series seriously does not disappoint. I keep the volumes next to my bed so I force myself to reach for them instead of my iPad before I go to sleep. I've loved getting into series again! I'm just really worried about when we have to move out because moving in was a nightmare with all this manga and we didn't have as much as we have now... >.< But I couldn't (and wouldn't) have it any other way :D
Continuing with my tiny travel series, this is what I took with me on my carry-on for the plane. The plane ride offered wifi but I fell asleep immediately on the way there so I didn't use it, and for some reason as I get older I get motion sickness much more easily. Not to mention the crushing anxiety I get when boarding and being on a plane ^^; So I don't take very much with me besides my essentials. My iPod has a bunch of audiobooks, podcasts and music that I don't touch for a week leading up to my travels so I can fully enjoy it. I keep some pens and my planner as well as my sketch notebook with me at all times, my small makeup case that I showed you earlier, a case that holds my Nintendo 3DSXL and a few games, my Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet, some pills for the plane, my Zoella hand lotion which smells incredible, a few green tea mints, my sunglasses, my phone, my rosary that I take with me on every single trip I take, and my headphones that I keep in my Japanese tissue holder I got with my Hobonichi. This thing is amazing at keeping my headphones untangled and I can always find them in my bag! I took pretty much everything here with me in a smaller bag when we got to our actual destination besides my laptop and iPad Pro. My laptop is my pride and joy right now <3 I had been debating for a few months exactly which decal I wanted for my laptop and I finally decided to get one of my absolute favorite prints from one of my favorite artists, Rose Besch. It is protected by a transparent case and it's been holding up really well! My iPad Pro, though extremely useful, has been very heavy for me T-T We're an Apple family so we have six of the same charger so I decorated mine with some floral washi tape so I know which one to grab in a hurry.
Well I hope you enjoyed my travel posts! I haven't really travelled much since my Spain days and I honestly don't have much interest to. I don't take flying on a plane very well and I have some awful motion sickness that seems to be getting worse ;0; I love driving places so I like being nearby, and I love nesting so I don't mind staying home at all. Josh shares my desire to have peaceful days at home so I'm thankful for him <3