Witness the Small Life – The Mini Apple

This week’s page is dedicated to be a glimpse into my life while being home in the greatest city in the world: Minneapolis! I’ve been catching up on all my favorite things to do that I haven’t been able to in Ann Arbor (sit at the lake, drive a car, relax, etc.) and it’s been a splendid week indeed.

As the first person of my friends home for the summer, I’ve spent much time basking in the freedom of being alone. My relationship with being alone has changed so much this past year and it’s been very evident in how I’ve been spending my past week. In my senior year of high school, my greatest fear was being alone at any given time. I worried that because I’d be moving by the end of that summer and losing proximity to my friends and family that I would then end up being alone forever. However, throughout my time during this first year of college I’ve had to confront that fear head on every day in an unfamiliar place surrounded by strangers. It was extremely hard at first and I’m still adjusting to these new changes in my life, but after a while I felt more and more at peace with myself. I started to learn how to take care of myself outside the pressures of my surrounding social circles. I no longer had to worry about driving my sisters to school or rearranging my work schedule so I could make it to the next hangout with friends. During my day all I had to do was decide on where I was going to study today or if I wanted to go explore a random event posted on a flyer. This past week I’ve been able to apply this college-sparked freewill in my adventures of the city streets and it’s been allowing me to appreciate my home in new lights. From vibrant inspiration for my next art pieces to a new loving familiarity for the communities I grew up in, I feel like I’m entering a new journey of understanding what home is in a place where I feel safe and loved. Although I am surely going to fill this summer to the brim with bonfires with friends and excursions with my sisters, I’m planning on making sure that I get my alone time with myself and my city in order to appreciate both in new and beautiful ways.

To take into our summer:

Ins: Reconnecting with old friends, supporting your local art scene (always), horror podcasts, going to events even if you’re going alone, drawing on your hands, Costco, re-appreciating your old art, quality time with loved ones.

Outs: Not wearing sunscreen, only believing in the worst outcomes, flat soda, letting dust pile up, immaturity, bugs on the windshield, drivers in Minneapolis, not speaking your truth, the ending of Grey’s Anatomy season 5.

Have a beautiful, fantastic summer everyone! Thank you so much for a great semester and for reading (and hopefully enjoying) these entries. Trust that I’ll be back in the fall for our regularly scheduled shenanigans of loving life and each other. Be safe, have fun, and remember to witness the small life!

~Sappy Daze~ Day 11

Taiwan is the Sweltering Heat 

where stray cats purr and street 
food hisses. Stinky tofu stinks 
of unassumed deliciousness,
daring the foreigner to try it. 

Umbrellas are used 
on sunny days but can’t 
protect you from getting wet, 
so changing clothes three 
times a day is a must. 

The clothes first stained 
with sweat are then hung 
up to dry on the rusty chains 
crisscrossing the balcony, 
a constant victim of the 
perpetrator that is the weather. 

- Sappy

Chapter 11

Hello, and welcome back to Captured Moments! In this post, I include pictures from my last day in Ann Arbor until next semester!

I captured this image, and immediately loved how it turned out. Connecting to music, I reflect back on my time when I went inside the Michigan Theater and watched a performance from the Pops Orchestra. Music will always be an integral part of my life, whether I listen, play, or share.

I always think of sunsets when I play music, as they are very beautiful. Just looking at a sunset will help me feel relaxed and calm, just like when I play music. The pink hues from the sunset and the streetlights starting to light up, is such a wonderful view. When I captured this image, it serves as a reflection image to my freshman year of college.

My flight back home was the next day, and I captured this image to capture the clouds. It was a very beautiful view back home!

I hope you enjoyed reading my posts, and have a great Summer!

I redid a square

Xhaska’s new vs old square. As you can see, the old square has very harsh, prominent shading and highlights, and a different eye shape. That eye shape got hard to draw over and over, so I changed it to something simpler. I also simplified and softened the lighting, reserving the high-contrast highlight parts to the eye area. I prefer the way the old square did the hair and ribbon though, the new hair and ribbon look to simplistic and cartoony.

Industrious Illustrating #63 – Looking to Summer

Hello everyone! I ended up not updating for two weeks because of final projects and exams eating up all my energy and time when I wasn’t making new art. But I’m back with one more post before the end of the school year!

Speaking of which, one of my class projects this past semester was illustrating new educational materials for the UMich Natural History Museum. I ended up designing a new step-by-step infographic for using their slides and microscopes. Here’s a sample of what one of my microscope illustrations looked like:

The other artwork I’ve been making recently has mostly been fanwork and commission work since that’s what people pay me to make (and I also enjoy making). I do want to work on more original design work, especially after getting my portfolio reviewed by a mentor and realizing that my design work has a long way to go if I ever want to get work in the double or triple-A video game industries, but I’ll likely have to do that later in the summer after I’m done with my internship. In the meantime, I’ll be selling at several fan conventions this summer — Anime Park this weekend, then Motor City Comic Con (the Spring show) and Colossalcon’s Otaku Craft Fair later this month, and the Otaku Detroit Summer Bash as well as Tekko in mid July!

I’m still not totally certain, but I’m leaning toward not continuing this blog next year. I’ve taken on a lot of responsibilities (especially in the last year) that I have to juggle on top of an increasingly demanding upperclassman schedule. While maintaining this column has been nice for tracking my progress as an artist over the years, sharing it with the wider world, and getting a small amount of compensation for my time, I’ve finally gotten enough traction with getting into conventions and cultivating a dedicated customer base that I’d rather focus more on my art and chronicle my development in less time-consuming ways. But I’ll at least for sure continue to be Digipaint’s event planning admin next year, and I’ll also continue to work on myself as an artist and small business owner. It’s surreal that I’m only a year away from graduating college now, but there’s no way that I could’ve stayed in undergrad forever.

Anyway, I’ll go back to resting and recuperating from all the hard work I’ve done so far this year, and I’ll either see you guys again in the fall or if we ever chat at an in-person event! (Or, a third option, if you figure out what my art social media accounts are and follow my art journey there…) Have a great summer!