Thursday, February 28, 2013

Doodle 212 - The Cuteness! It Buuuurns!

You might have noticed I have quite the weak spot when it comes to cute animals... I am not exaggerating when I say that I have been known to spontaneously break into tears/giggles when faced by something that goes over my cute allowance for the day.

One such thing is this video a friend shared today:

Watch it, it is long, but you will thank me... watch it again whenever you feel sad, overwhelmed or stressed.

I just had to draw some of the cuteness:

And then I drew this:

I imagined her winged hat allows her to fly :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Doodle 211 - Let's Go Adventuring!

Whenever I have to fight myself in order to draw I end up doing some fanart... it is fun and relaxing, plus much easier to draw a character that already exists than come up with a concept of your own.

It is also a great exercise!

"Let's Go Adventuring!" - vermilion/prussian blue pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 15 mins.
It is Flame Princess! I aged her some and gave her a new costume and slightly different hair-do.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Doodle 210 - Queen

I was very busy today running around and working on projects. I am exhausted, but managed to come up with a quick doodle to end the day:

Queen - Mitsubishi vermilion/prussian blue pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 10 mins.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Doodle 209 - Rain, rain, everywhere rain

I spent the day in different stages of wet/cold. I underestimated the rain... it is days like today when I wish I had galoshes.

I was busy with work all evening so I only doodled a couple of quick things:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Doodle 208 - My Spring Senses...

... they are tingling!

We had spring-like weather today, warm, breezy followed by showers and storms. The trees outside were taking their queues and starting sprouting flowers.

Hopefully they won't be proved wrong and get their blooms frozen later.

I was inspired to draw these:
Spring is on it's way. - Mitsubishi two tone pencil. Aprox 15 mins.
Spring Familiar - Mitsubishi two tone pencil. Aprox 15 mins.

Lady - Mitsubishi two tone pencil. Aprox 5 mins.

Flowering - Mitsubishi two tone pencil. Aprox 15 mins.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Doodle 207 - Progress

Looking back at my drawings from August of last year I can tell my lines have begun more confident, my hand doesn't hurt as much after 20 minutes of drawing, it still gets cramped on time to time, but not as bad as it used to... I still can't extend my right arm all the way straight without a sharp pain to my thumb and palm, but I don't think that'll ever go away without surgery, and I am weary of going under the knife if I can deal with it otherwise.

I am very happy that I have come this far with my recovery, I think i am starting to reconnect my brain with my drawing hand correctly, I can picture things easier and relay them a better bit by bit.

Today I just continued playing with my new pencils, the rich red and blue plus the soft lead makes it easy for me to put images down and work with shapes and variations.

My boss' boss' boss called me a clever girl the other day... that made me smile because I pictured something like this.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Doodle 206 - New Pencils!!!

Oh I had a long day at work today, so imagine my glee when I got home and my pencils had arrived.

Yes, I get all happy when my stationery orders get here, I am a geek/dork and proud lol.

Anyway, I was so excited I had to try them out and I went on a doodling rampage... I am now tired and all so I'll put in the descriptions later, but to get an idea, starting from the top you can see the evolution of my doodles as I got used to the color/lead softness of the new pencil.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Doodle 205 - On bullying

I struggled with whether or not write about this topic at all, this has been on my draft folder for well over 2 months and finally today I decided to post it because the video posted at the very end has been shared on my facebook feed at least 10 times since last week I think. Don't get me wrong, it is important, but I couldn't quite figure out a way to speak about it without rambling too much (I ramble... a LOT), but in the end I decided I should say something, because it might help someone else.

I was bullied, from elementary school until leaving high school, on a daily basis, year in and year out, it was so constant and ever-present I developed anxiety problems, my stomach became ultra sensitive to stress and my grades and attention suffered big time.

Growing up back in Mexico I was a social, chatty and well behaved child. I looked and sounded like every other kid in the playground, I had no adjustment issues, I was fine.

Then, my dad got offered a post working at Spain, it was just supposed to be a year-contract, so we packed our suitcases, shuttered our home and left for a year-long adventure away.

Things weren't easy, my brother was still under observation from cancer treatments, we didn't have family nor friends, but we wrapped around each other, were brave and figured it would be something new that we would look back onto later in life fondly, something that would expand my brother's and I horizons.

I started elementary with unbridled enthusiasm, I couldn't wait to make friends, to play with someone, but things didn't work out that way. My first day foretold the struggles I would be up to for years to come. My skin was several shades darker than everybody else's, I had a weird accent and was taller than most of the girls in the class. To make matters more complicated, I looked like a gipsy, and gipsies don't have very good rep in Spaniard society.

The school kids wouldn't speak to me, they would just stare and move away. I was both hurt and confused, I had never been treated that way before in my life. I was lucky though, a bespecled tall blonde girl was brave enough to smile at me, and ask me about my name, where I was from and we became friends. To this day she is still my very best friend in the world, I consider her my sister, and I am incredibly lucky she is in my life.

I was teased because of my looks, my speech, for being foreign. I got smacked about, pushed, and I had to fight back, so I got my fighting know-how and started to change into a more quiet, reserved person.

I no longer trusted people at all, I always looked for body language, inflections, words that would tell me when someone was untrustworthy, manipulative, violent even.

I cried myself to sleep and felt utterly depressed, but I had a small band of ragtag friends, outcasts just like me, just three of us, we protected each other, valued each other and hung around together. Yes I was bullied every day, but I still felt lucky to have them, even when at times they were so afraid themselves that they couldn't step in and save me.

Years went by, my dad's contract kept getting extended and before we knew it we were close to our 10 year anniversary living at Spain.

I got accepted into one of the most demanding high schools of my area and I had to say goodbye to my friends, we all started classes in completely different schools, I felt so alone and hopeless.

I had learned to be always ready for battle, ready for a lashing, ready for mockery, rumors, or worse, so when the kids at my new school extended their hand in friendship I recoiled like a feral cat and distanced myself from them.

The only times anybody outside my small band of friends had suggested I become part of a group I had come to regret it dearly, I wasn't going to fall for that again.

Unfortunately I might have become so warped that I completely misunderstood the good intentions of those high school kids. What can I say, hindsight it is easy to see, but back then I was just scared and wary.

I soon found myself all alone, I developed an odd reputation for being a lone wolf, a geek who enjoyed books, anime and living inside her head much better than actual human interaction.

I got into trouble with my peers a lot. I would stand up for people when I felt they were being bullied, I stood up for teachers when kids would try and weasel out of exams or assignments by lying about deadlines, etc.

I had developed a very strong sense of justice over the years and also a disregard for popularity and a bit of a devil-may-care attitude when it came to physical confrontation. What can I say, I could really throw down when I needed to.

And so I was all alone, never part of any groups, with the odd classmate that would talk to me here and there, but they never stuck around for long, threats of harm, of being labeled an outcast if they continued talking to me scared them away.

I retreated into the web when it started catching on. My friends lived an ocean away, I read so many books that I barely slept. I dreaded going to school, not in a "OMG school is sooo boring", more in a: "OK, who is going to try and ridicule, hit, or start something with me today?" type of way.

No boys would ever talk to me, and if they did, they went to other schools. I became convinced I never wanted to be on a real relationship anyway, that anybody I trusted would probably just use me, abuse me and make me regret I was alive.

Life was grim, not terrible, I had a home to go to, food on the table and went on cool trips every 4 years or so, plus I still had my friends from elementary and we would get together whenever possible and for the hours we were together, we were happy.

The daily bullying grind got very tiring though, and at several points I thought I might be better off dead.

Yes, I let my teenage angst get the best of me and thought about ending things, I was a very clumsy person though, so even if I did try I failed miserably.

I would steel myself every night for the next morning, I would force myself to wake up, get out of bed, get dressed all while going over every single thing I had done and said at school the day before, over every single interaction or hint of a slip that could mean I would have a group of bullies at the ready with taunts, insults or blows.

I kept quiet, I chose my words carefully, I learned to play scenarios inside my head before doing anything in a desperate attempt to escape as much harm as possible.

And worst, I learned to keep it all to myself.

I stopped confiding in my closest friends, I never told my family when someone was bullying me, when a teacher would pick on me for no real reason, when bad things happened... I just swallowed the bitter pill, looked up to the sky and wished for some sort of miracle, something to take me away to some other place where I wouldn't be so afraid of being myself, and the little chipper girl I once was disappeared altogether.

And then, I graduated high school, I met new friends, went on more adventures, started college after my heart was broken by failing to enter art school (I actually started classes in my second choice, History and Geography).

I was suddenly allowed to be myself. My first day in college people I had never met and who were as wide eye as me talked to me, and I couldn't sense a hint of malice, and it felt both wonderful and weird.

And then, there was Andrei. Someone who somehow seemed so utterly fascinated by me, and I couldn't quite grasp it. I had always been told I was ugly, annoying, stupid, and suddenly this one person was telling me the opposite.

It took me a while to accept it, to believe him even, I had built my persona, my walls, perfected my locks, installed nets and invented ways to ensure I was safe, alone, but safe.

Things were so very different, scary but lovely all the same.

I am not saying I haven't met bullies since high school, unfortunately a whole lot of bullies never outgrow that phase and get stuck there, and they have to get jobs too and you might get saddled with a bully at work, but I learned to be confident, to project an outgoing persona when needed (I am still a loner, but I can be all charm if I need to), to engage others, and most importantly, to give people a chance.

I still can spot a bully a mile away. I still can tell when someone is up to no good. I can read the mood well enough to know when to back out or keep on going with a topic, and most importantly, I can tell when someone needs help and how to step in and defuse situations.

I am still socially awkward, I still get anxious and nervous, I still hate talking to strangers, and I still feel panic when I find myself alone with people I have never met before and I have to fight with myself to stay put, be social, and not run off and find a quiet place to hide and never come out again.

Bullying isn't right, it can torture people, change them and make them into shadows of their former selves. I managed to survive it and become a much stronger, wiser person, but not everybody is that lucky. Not all at.

If you are a young girl or boy like I was, if you feel like tomorrow can only bring you more pain and sorrow, if you feel all alone, remember, you are not alone, I know it doesn't feel like it, I know sometimes all you can think of is how little people care about you, how nobody would care if you just let go, or even if they cared the world would go on spinning and they would be better off, but you are never alone, and I care, and people that know you, that love you care tens of thousands of times more. I have been there, and I can relate, I understand, and I can tell you this:

You are better than what they think. You are better than you think you are. You have strength and courage within you that can take you anywhere you want. Life sucks right now, I am not saying it doesn't, and it might not stop sucking for another while, but keep moving forward, keep looking ahead, keep fighting on, because the road will eventually get really good, you will get to see and do things you never imagined you would.

Don't let them drag you down, you have all of your tomorrows ahead of you, some of those tomorrows will hurt, but then some will make you so happy to be alive that you will wonder how you could ever think of not being there at all.

Life is funny, life is good, life is sad, life is terrible, but the fact that we laugh, cry, smile or sigh is what makes it worth it.

You are what makes life worth living.

Confident Beauty - blue, red and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 15 mins.

Island Girl - blue, red and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 15 mins.

Maybe? - blue and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 10 mins.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Doodle 204 - Profiles

Today I played around with profiles:

Profiles - blue and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook.. Aprox 15 mins.

profile - blue and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 5 mins.
I am trying to train myself to make my drawings diverse, I was rather tired after work, but I gave it a try.

I am kind of excited because I ordered new drawing tools along with refills for my existing pencils, etc, they should get here soon, what can I say, I have a pen/pencil problem, whenever I see a new drawing tool I would like to try I am sort of like so:

"Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme!" (without the Japanese narration).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Doodle 203 - Frustration

It took me soooo long to draw something today, I was just out of it, but I soldiered through and managed one sorta decent doodle:

Calaveritas - blue, red and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 15 mins
Then I decided to doodle a very quick storyboard so you could see what I go through when I get artist's block:

Panel 1: Me... starting to realize I can't come up with anything.
Panel 2: *sigh*
Panel 3: *ugh!*
Panel 4: "Agh! damn you Candy Crush!" *clicking mouse*
Panel 5: I notice Andrei lurking about...
Panel 6: I get annoyed because I ban him from being in the room while I draw... because I am impossible sometimes.

Yup... in the good news department, I told Andrei I am taking him to MegaCon for his birthday, why? Because his favorite ever Star Trek captain will be on attendance MWAHAHAHA!!! Anyway, I bought our tickets so, yay!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Doodle 202 - More Random Characters

I am finally starting to get out of the cold jungle... and Andrei seems to be getting into it... I might add, it is very cold here in Florida... for us Florida people anyway, I am sure all of you guys in Alaska, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Finland, etc will think it is a riot that we woke up and were complaining about cold at -3 degrees -- that is 26 Fahrenheit -- though, since you are probably way below that and have been since the fall.

But anyway, Floridians start complaining whenever we drop below 30 degrees, so you can imagine we were all bundled up as if we were heading for Siberia even though it was very sunny outside.

I spent most of my evening watching cartoons and trying to get warm, but I braved the freezing 30 degrees at our apartment to sit down at my desk, I know, I suffer, oh so much! ;-p

Bodyguard - blue and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 20 mins.
 One of the cultural events that fascinate me from Japan is Yabusame, it is a beautiful archery event:

I drew inspiration from their costumes for my doodle. I completely lack the skill and grace to practice such an activity, but it is great to watch.

Mexican Beauty - blue and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook.
Finally I drew a quick sketch inspired by the fact that I am feeling homesick.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Doodle 201 - The Dragon Keeper

Well, another weekend gone, ah Sundays make me feel sort of sad at the end of the day, I always wish the weekend would last much longer.

Today I doodled just a couple of things:

The Dragon Keeper - blue mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 15 mins.
This is what I imagined as a dragon keeper. They make sure dragons are properly housed and treated when they have human masters. This one is specially serious... and is keeping an eye on you.

Dressing the Bride - blue, red and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook.
This fair maiden used to be a huntress, one day the lord of the forest met her and fell in love with her strength, beauty and love for the wilderness. After a while of meeting and getting to know each other he proposed to her, telling her that by his side she would be not only inmortal, but would become the protector of the forest she loved so much.

She gladly accepted and the hummingbirds that lived in the forest promptly arrived to dress her up and prepare her for her wedding.

As a side note: I have received several requests to put up artwork at the shop, I'll do it as soon as possible, if you have any pieces that you would like prints of, please, don't hesitate to drop me a line and I'll make sure to get them up on the store.

I truly appreciate all your support and encouragement.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Doodle 200 - Stories

Well, here it is, my 200th entry and I am pretty sure I am well over 200 doodles.

I really felt like drawing today, so I came up with three sketches, all of them seem to have stories behind them, and I'll try my best to explain what I was thinking of while I worked:

Mourning - blue and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 15 mins.
A young woman that has just returned from the funeral of a loved one reflects upon the fact that her life will never be the same and reminisces about the departed while taking a moment away from the rest of the company. She probably will allow herself a bit of time to cry, dry her tears and then return to her party.

Deliver A Mesaage Please - blue and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 20 mins.
This is a very beautiful and powerful sorceress who lives in a castle atop an incredibly high mountain. She is benevolent and constantly keeps watch of the people that live in her domain using a magic carpet and emissaries such as birds to deliver messages, remedies, comfort, courage or sage advice.

The Magic of Storytelling - blue and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 30 mins.
A traveling storyteller that is trained in the use of a magic basin, an instrument she uses to educate people with her stories.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Doodle 199 - A Bunch Of Stuff

Well, I ended up being sick a good chunk of the week, I shake my fist at you evil cold and flu season!

Today I felt better and got to join my team mates at work, I do miss work terribly when I am sick, and I guess it is in part because I love my job and my team, so I am pretty lucky.

Anyway, that's the main reason why I have been slow approving comments and stuff, but I am back on the saddle and felt like drawing more today.

First a couple of sketches to warm up:

Island girl with mongoose - blue and red mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 15 mins,

Graceful Breeze - blue mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 10 mins.
Then I decided to look onto my pinterest board for reference and found this photo:

A welder at a boat-and-sub-building yard adjusts her goggles before resuming work, October, 1943. By 1945, women comprised well over a third of the civilian labor force (in 1940, it was closer to a quarter) and millions of those jobs were filled in factories: building bombers, manufacturing munitions, welding, drilling and riveting for the war effort. (Source: Life)
I thought the girl was both beautiful and interesting, so I used her as a basis for a drawing:

Rig Work - blue, red and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 20 mins.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Doodle 198 - My porpoise

Happy Valentine's Day guys. I doodled a little something for Andrei today. Because, well, he is my porpoise.
Lol ok I'll dial down the corny now ;-)

Be My Porpoise - blue, red and black mechanical pencil on plain sketchbook. Aprox 15 mins.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Doodle 197 - A loving weasel and more

Today it was one of those days when doodling was more of a chore than a pleasure, but maybe because I was sick and wanted to sleep instead hehehe.
Still, I managed to get some stuff done: