Possy and plant

Painting of Possy, hanging around with some plants.

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Emptied diamine meadow ink out of my ranga sugarcane eyedropper pen, so tried to use it up for painting, while listening to Brené Brown's Power of Vulnerability audio book (TED talk version here).

Photo collage of several work-in-progress paintings, showing progression of painting of a possum sitting amongst leaves, rocks, and flowers.

A photo of a painting of a possum sitting amongst leaves, rocks, and flowers.

In hindsight I may have been influenced by Wai's bear washi tape that I see very often.

I did 2 other paintings at the same time, which I'll post next time!

Today's music post: Been listening to Duckwrth's SUPERGOOD album!

Goby and shrimp

Painting of a gobi and a shrimp

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On Sunday June 13, 2021 I went to a watercolour workshop led by Rurupoi! She went through a bit of theory before doing a demo for us. I learned new terms for things I was doing haphazardly (I have never formally studied watercolour). This is what drew and painted (in less than, 1.5h?). It was interesting to try to have some shape to the shrimp yet still maintain its camouflaging pattern!

Photo collage of 3 images, showing progressive progress of the goby and shrimp painting---from sketch, then from background to midground to foreground colours/shading.

Photo of a postcard sized painting of a goby and shrimp on a pebbled ground, surrounded by various aquatic flora and fauna.

If I could turn back time I would've made the foreground more vertically asymetrical, and properly account for the fins that a goby actually has (ha!).

The goby is likely a Steinitz' prawn goby, while the shrimp would be from the Alpheus genus (snapping shrimp).

The image is based off a photo I took when I visited Wilhelma (zoological and botanical garden) in Stuttgart. They had a display of many aquarium ecosystems. I already knew about their symbiotic relationship, but I spent extra long time staring at the goby and shrimp and took many photos and videos of them.

From Practical Fishkeeping:

Several pistol or 'snapping' shrimps of the genus Alpheus associate with gobies, primarily in the Indo-Pacific in areas of sand and rubble in relatively shallow water of the coral reef.

The shrimp has notoriously poor eyesight, but is good at constructing and maintaining a burrow. In fact, it may be obsessed with it, constantly shifting rubble and debris from which it is made to keep the entrance clear.

The goby, meanwhile, has particularly good vision, but is less adept at creating burrows which, of course, offer valuable protection on the reef. In an evolutionary masterstroke, both shrimp and goby have evolved an alliance which utilises the strengths of each — or makes each one’s weaknesses less of a hindrance, depending how you look at it.

I have a goby and shrimp-inspired short story for HWA, written purely so that I can draw...more goby and shrimp...but not sure if that will be drawn any time soon, hahahaha.

Today's music post: Isn't this a Lovely Day (cover) by Shirley Crabbe.

June media round up

What I read in June 2021

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The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King

Informative in a defacto, kind of spicy/sharp way. I appreciated the upfront context about language/terminology/labels differ a lot based on who you're talking to.

Princess Jellyfish (vol.1) by Akiko Higashimura

Feels super shoujo right now but I'm sure we're going to get to something deeper later on. The gals are so weird but I appreciate them. I hope that they get to keep it weird as the series goes on (as in, they don't just become princess-fied).

Blue Period vol. 2 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

I'm getting 2nd-hand art school education through this book! The part where he tells his mom about art school (and his observations about the mom) made me cryyyyyyyyyyyy! I really like the introspection (and sometimes intensity?) that all of these characters have, very relatable. Nice to see a character have their own a-ha moments and developing emotional maturity.

Realized that both Princess Jellyfish and Blue Period have "boy/male" characters dressing up in "girl/female' clothing.

Today's music post: 1200 Years Ago featuring Erkan Oğur by Berke Can Ozcan.

May media round up

What I read/played in May 2021

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Yakuza: Like a Dragon by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (2021 PC release)

Since it's the first RPG style game of the Yakuza franchise, I did find that it takes longer to get through the plot compared to say, playing easy-mode in the action battle system. I found that I had to "level" up a lot more before feeling confident to take on some of these boss battles. It requires more planning/strategy overall, since bosses/enemies/party members each have their unique weaknesses. Otherwise same flavour of plot! I enjoyed it! I get really offended whenever the gross pervy enemies do perv moves on the lady characters in my party :(, so I try to destroy them first...

Collage of sketches of various characters from the Yakuza 7 series.

Kasuga is really stupid but in a different way from Kiryu. Definitely more feelsy, and stronger EYELASH game. Himbo energy is extremely strong!! Zhao is a sensitive boy but so powerful chop chop chop. I love how Eri uses office stationery as weapons. I can't believe Han Joon-gi doesn't have a karaoke song; for a while I'd call him "fast boy" because he gets so many turns. Adachi is such a dad type (his weird in-street/public flexing), but his Machine Gun Kiss is REALLY good. I laughed SO HARD at Kasuga's rapping backup for Like A Butterfly. I really like when Yapi says "Ya-pi"! I appreciated Saeko's resilience and vulnerability. I hope Nanba gets his hair under control...

My heart still belongs to Majima Goro, bunchan, and the chickens. Sketch of Majima Goro from Yakuza 0, holding a Bunchan java sparrow plush

Decolonize Palestine and Visualizing Palestine

I found these resources helpful in building my understanding of a lot of the underlying context for what's happening in Palestine.

Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida (vol. 2-23 end)

The world building/logic is so different from IRL that you just want to keep reading on to understand how it all works. I think I understand 75% of what happened, but was lost when they start talking about time differences. I'm never quite sure what is/isn't reality, though I think that's also how the characters felt too. I 10000% ship Shin/Noi and Caiman/Nikaido, and now I want to eat gyoza!!

The Arab of the Future (vol. 1) by Riad Sattouf

I'm not sure how this came onto my radar; might have been a random recommendation through my library's overdrive/libby (what I use to read most of my stuff these days). Because of this, I wasn't sure what to expect! I was able to learn a bit more about a specific sliver of arab culture (or at least, see some side of it). There were points where I felt that the dual storytelling (narrative in panels vs. dialogue in panels) took me longer to mentally parse than I expected (as in, I noticed I was having trouble understanding). I would attribute this to the fact that I am not well versed in the political and religious context where the story takes place though! I'm pretty sad about the dog...

Today's music post: Moulan Shakur by Khalab & M'berra Ensemble from the album, M'berra.