I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season, and The Bear wishes you bonne chance for the new year!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Lately I feel as though when I begin a project I get interrupted or derailed from it shortly after. Sometimes it's my fault, sometimes life just gets in the way. Anyhow, I had begun a cat sketchbook a couple of months ago. I had a comic in mind that I wanted to begin, but it never took off, partly due to the frustration I felt at my inability to keep continuity in my characters/style. I'm assuming (because it makes me feel a little better about myself) that that is an issue many graphic artists struggle with. So here are a couple of rough research sketches that I felt were worth sharing. I haven't given up on my idea, but I've decided to put it on the back burner for the time being.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I think I'll try to document things that I buy through illustrations from here on in. Today was a special splurgy day, which meant the perfect time to begin documentation! But seriously, I haven't spent this much money on myself in ages, and don't intend to for ages to come. I am super happy with my purchases, though. Especially the mini pleated skirt and the wedge booties. I've been pining and searching for them for a long time! Also, that tungsten balancing filter is going to come in super handy.
I'm not very good at drawing objects, I discovered, so this is a good way to practice!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I have new ideas marinating in my head for a series of large scale paintings, and I haven't been this excited to create artwork in a long time. Unfortunately I am A. Rusty and B. Very busy this month. I have already requested to have my work hours reduced to 30 a week so that I can have a chance to focus on art too. My first week with reduced hours isn't until the end of October, but it will probably be occupied with Halloween prep. By the beginning of November my goal is to be prepared to seriously begin.
I don't wish to get too much into the ideas behind what I plan to paint, especially since I only just started to get them out of my head today, and plan to do a ton more research. These little watercolours are just a starting point, and are in need of much more evolution and development.
I didn't mean to take such a long break from blogging. I will try to keep this blog more in mind if I have anything relevant to post here this month. I have also been distracted, I suppose, by my Flickr, which I've been updating every day. Heh.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Working full time at Starbucks is physically draining, and I have become complacent with practicing anything that can be considered creative. On my days off I am usually in a rush to clean, buy groceries, and complete other necessary errands. Therefore, in an attempt to get creative I have decided to do 365 days of posting photographs I take with either of my 50mm lenses (digital and/or analog). I am going to be lenient on myself and allow that the photos I'm posting not necessarily be from that day, but should be no more than a couple days old. I am also going to force myself to upload one (or more) each day, but definitely at least one. This means that there will hopefully be more than 365 photographs by the end. These photographs will always be uploaded to my FLICKR and sometimes here too. Please feel welcomed to follow along and wish me luck!
ps. I just realized this is personally, a very touching way to get a chance to document more of my home, cityscapes, and friends here in Montreal before moving next summer. It will also span the process of moving and beginning to settle into Toronto, should we indeed end up living there.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Yesterday evening Jessie and I got together to make onigiri and a bit of sushi, and it turned out to be a super successful endeavor! We made approximately 2.5 cups of calrose rice, which ended up yielding around 22 onigiri and 2 rolls of sushi, enough for our dinner plus multiple future meals.
We used Jessie's rice cooker, and made sure to thoroughly rinse the rice beforehand. I've read on other websites to allow the rice to drain for 30 minutes after rinsing, but we didn't do that and it turned out perfect anyhow. We stuffed them with the tasty combination of smoked salmon and avocado, using a 3$ mold Jessie had recently purchased. The mold worked extremely well, and we made sure to have a bowl of salted water close at hand to help eliminate the rice from sticking to our fingers and spoons. Oh, we also added rice vinegar to our onigiri which supposedly technically changes their title to sushi, but we didn't care because rice vinegar is damn tasty.
The sushi were a bit of an after thought, as we had run out of salmon and avocado, but still had a lot of rice. We stuffed them with cucumber and carrot. They're a little plain, but not bad at all.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
On Sunday evening Phil and I found ourselves at our friend Jacob and his awesome girlfriend, Anna's new apartment. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable evening full of great conversation, pasta, wine and rainbows. Seriously, there were a bunch of rainbows continually popping up, and it was incredibly pretty. I'm not usually a huge fan of 'double dates' but Anna and Jacob are so welcoming and independent of one another that it was one of the best nights I've had in a long time.
Yesterday I worked an 8.5 hour shift at Starbucks. It was great because I got paid time and a half due to Labour Day, and since all the businesses were closed there was a very chill and manageable trickle of customers throughout the day. Though after work I started feeling like I was coming down with a cold. I stayed in bed resting/sleeping from around 6pm to 6am this morning, and I felt so much better for it. As ever, Ada was super cuddly, and we spooned for a great deal of that time. I even tucked her in with me. <3
Today the fall semester at Concordia began. It was weird seeing Philippe go to school and I not. Even though I haven't attended Concordia for over a year now, part of me still feels like I should. I cannot wait for Phil to graduate and for us to move to Toronto. To have school finished for both of us, and be on our career paths. Toronto as a city doesn't really hold too much interest for me, but it'll still be fun to explore and familiarize myself with a new place, and to be able to work in the field of makeup without the french language barrier.
Tomorrow I have a day off. I am so excited to have a chance to get my creative on!
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Today marks the completion of mine and Philippe's 7th year together. We had a lovely day filled with many fun activities and moments. One, being that we took turns painting on the other. I've painted on nude bodies before, and have been painted on nude as well, but this was different; simultaneously sensual and soothing.
From the get-go our relationship has been so incredibly special and unique. We share so much love, affection, and trust; have inspired and learned from one another; matured and created a home and new family together. It's mind-boggling to look back and see how much we've affected each other, and helped to make the other a better person.
Many people have asked if we will get married. I honestly don't think that marriage -- or in our non-religious situation -- a civil union could possibly make what we share any more significant. We are incredibly affectionate, but we like to keep it to a minimum when we are in the presence of family or friends. I think that a large aspect of a marriage is to be showy, or the nicer term "to celebrate" what we have with others. The mere fact that we are confident enough in our bond to not feel like we have to continually display it and seek validation from others confirms to me that our feelings run true and are deeply rooted. Even if our relationship doesn't last until the end of our days, I will always share something inimitable with this boy.
As Phil and I enter our 8th year together I wish for our hearts to grow impossibly larger, and for us to share in even more experiences and adventures together.
Hun, you are simply explosive. And yes, I know, I am a dear. ;)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I started a lookbook.nu a few days ago. I have been a long time lurker and admirer of the site. When I found out that my friend Jessie had an account, I asked for an invite. Funny enough, the day I asked for an invite was the day lookbook became less exclusive and invites became nullified!
Anyhow, I may be posting some of the looks I post on lookbook in here from time to time. I don't know how often I'll update it as I work full time at Starbucks and don't really have many opportunities to dress up at the moment. I realize that having a lookbook is superficial, but I have always loved personal style. To me, it's just another creative output.
Oh, and because I'm new my entries do not show up on lookbook's 'NEW' page, so I need some hype love! It's difficult to get known on that site!
Monday, August 16, 2010
From most recent to eldest, some photos from my special summer days and nights.
Yup, definitely wasn't sober that afternoon. Hehe.
A night of cupcake baking and Jessie making suggestive moves on her cupcake. There have been many more special days and nights, I just keep forgetting to document them, heh.
Soon I will be updating with some photos from my trip to the Dominican Republic and NYC. There are so many photographs that I need to think out what I'd like to share here and how best to approach it.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
I had this stubborn concept for a makeup shoot where I wanted to get a monochromatic colour scheme (with red as the only colour) but without actually making it monochromatic in Photoshop. I say 'stubborn' because I quickly discovered that this involves a lot of effort; a ton of white makeup, and because white flattens everything, a lot of re-defining my contours with black powder. I also went so far as to dye my hair a natural black for this specific concept. Oh, and careful white balancing was also a must. Though it's still not completely monochromatic (you can see some brown in my hair) I'm fairly happy with the results. Though I must admit that being the makeup artist, photographer, model and photo editor is completely exhausting, especially for the labor intensiveness that was required for this makeup application.
For larger versions of these, please feel free to visit my FLICKR account!
Monday, August 02, 2010
Near the end of June, my friend Jessie was between apartments, and kind of enough to let me take advantage of the fact that her room was almost completely barren. She was also kind enough to model for me as a cute little Asian junkie. The shoot didn't turn out as great as I would have liked, and I think that's partly because I was super hungry while doing the makeup and photo shoot. Lame, I know, but I get seriously distracted when hunger calls. Still, some images turned out quite interesting, such as these two. The photos aren't meant to mean anything, I really just wanted to practice special FX, which I have been been neglecting.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I am finally back from my whirlwind of a trip! After allowing myself a couple of days to bask in being back home, unpacking, and fully recovering from a lingering cold that seized me during my time in NYC, I have decided it's time to begin the daunting task of going through all my photos and videos and editing them. I've arbitrarily decided to do this in reverse order. I won't be posting anything substantial from my trip for a few days, though, as I have literally hundreds of images to go through.
On my last night in Manhattan my cousin Gaby and I made these two exquisite 'creatures', as we don't like to think of them as being corpses, heh. I was shocked by how well our drawing styles matched up, and how they both look like they could have been drawn by the same person. I suppose it also helped that we used the same small pen, too. I really enjoy how they turned out, and we talked about the potential of doing larger exquisite creatures in the future, possibly on canvas. I hope that one day that'll be possible!
Also, I just wanted to put out a big thank you to all the generous advice and opinions on my previous entry about what to wear. In the end I didn't end up wearing any of those exact combinations, but instead took snippets of the advice here and there. I had to dress for travelling on planes three separate times, too, and I found myself gradually growing more and more casual, especially since the last plane was so tiny there wasn't even a first class.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I'm having a slight superficial dilemma with choosing an outfit to wear for my travels to the Dominican Republic. In the past I would aim for comfort all the way, but ever since I've been travelling on buddy passes I have been told over and again that I need to dress nicely. There are multiple reasons for this: when one travels with a buddy pass they are representing the airline, and the second (more important) factor is that if one travelling on this pass is neatly attired they are more likely to be bumped to first class, if there are seats available.
So I could definitely use some opinions! In photos a. and b. I am wearing a really light sheer-ish white blouse which I bought specifically for this trip. It's very baggy and comfy, though I am afraid that the sheer factor may make it inappropriate. In b. I am wearing my nude bra with it, so it's a little less scandalous.
Haha, my hip is thrusting out in the same direction in all these. In photos c. and d. you may notice I am wearing the shirt I recently made. It's definitely elegant enough to wear for my pass, but I'm afraid of how well it'll hold up with a heavy back pack strapped around the shoulders. Also, I so direly wish to wear those pale skinny jeans. They are comfort incarnate and make my butt look nice. But I'm not sure, are they too informal? And I may die in them when I reach my destination, though I KNOW that in the airports and up in the air I'll be cold in a skirt. And finally, e. shows something very different. Shorts are definitely more comfortable than skirts to travel in, but the cold factor will still be present. I could also wear the shorts with the white blouse.
This is the silliest and most superficial entry ever, but any suggestions or preferences would be appreciated. I still have so much left to do before even getting to the airport that I don't want to have to worry about this too much. I'm leaving my home at around 3am Wednesday morning (so it'll feel more like late Tuesday night). That leaves about 23 hours for any input you may have!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Last night we celebrated my good friend Marisa's 22nd birthday. The party was monster themed, and they (Marisa and Alex) even created an epic cardboard city that took up most of their living room with the purpose of getting destroyed by us monsters. The decorations were super cute to boot, and I had a great time (I suspect most everyone did!). The following are some images from the party and all the costumes.
The birthday girl as Pikachu, and Alex as a fancy robot. Not sure if he based it off of a specific one.
Philippe as Mecha Dracula 2000. That was not the original plan, but as he was making his costume, his father pointed out that with the back flap up, he looked like Dracula, and thus it became so.
Heather as a Gorilla Girl and Evan as a dragon.
Rachel, Jessie as drops of blood (hehe), and Carolina as a dragon, or being eaten by one.
I'm pretty sure my obscure monster reference was lost on most people in attendance, but my makeup and antlers were inspired by a magical elk in Princess Mononoke. I was so surprised and impressed that the makeup didn't melt off my face from the heat.
Views of the city. Zaphod and Usagi were so cute in there.
And lastly, singing Happy Birthday. :)
Friday, July 09, 2010
It rained! Not just a little rain, but a torrential downpour with thrilling thunder and lightening to boot. Despite the threat of water coming in, we kept all our windows wide open, because the breeze has been magnificent and has effectively cooled down our home.
With the drop in temperature my energy returned. I was able to vacuum the apartment (which was in dire need of it) as well as get creative. I have been more active in sewing lately, though mainly it has just been taking in skirts and hemming. The bottom feed on my machine was creating a lot of problems, but it seems to be rectifying itself the more I use it. Two weeks ago I made my first dress, a simple one inspired by the AA Le Sac Dress. Today I made my first shirt out of a lovely floral fabric I've had for months now. Like the dress, I didn't use a pattern, and instead based it on an Urban Outfitters shirt I already own. I learned tons from making it, and though it isn't perfect I am pretty satisfied with the outcome. The fabric is light and feels nice too, making it extra perfect for summer.
I'm hoping my productivity hasn't stop with sewing, though! I still plan to get my hands dirty with some paint before this day is done. Wish me luck, I think I'll need it.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
It is hot. Not only is it 43 Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) today, but it has been a constant heat since the weekend; even the nights have brought little relief. It wouldn't matter too much if Phil and I had air conditioning, but I doubt our old school apartment would be able to keep one running due to how much electricity they suck up.
I am in a state of lethargy. Every day this week I have wanted to make art, to clean up my apartment, but I cannot bring myself to do much at all. No matter how wretched I feel, though, I feel worse for my cats. Both are almost comatose, and I worry about how much longer they'll be able to tolerate it. Tybr spends most of his days in the bathroom on the cool ceramic tiles, sometimes up against the tub or wrapped around the base of the toilet. Poor guy, his coat is the thickest.
It's supposed to rain tomorrow, but it was also supposed to rain yesterday and today. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for it, and will even do a little rain dance for extra measure.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Last night I hung out with my good friends Carolina and Jessie, as well as my lovely partner, Phil. We went to one of my favorite microbreweries in Montreal -- Brutopia -- for a burger and a beer. Afterward, we went back to Jessie's new downtown apartment which is a perfectly sized studio with great big windows and two sets of closet mirrors. It also appeared to be recently renovated, which in Montreal is a rarity indeed!
All the reflections and lights bouncing around from both inside and out caught my eye, and so I began documenting. I've always had a thing for windows with a dark backdrop on the other side (i.e. windows in homes or in buses at night, or in the subway) which allow for a myriad of lighting and mirror effects to reflect off of them. It wasn't until I was waiting for the night bus at around 3:30am that it dawned on me that I should start a series based around this theme. Only time will tell how far I'll take it, but I am going to try to keep my eye open for more dynamic looking reflections from now on.
In other news, it is way too hot in Montreal. Yesterday at 8pm it was still 40 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit)! I cannot wait for it to thundershower to break this heatwave. It wouldn't be so awful if Phil and I had a/c, but because we don't we are both constantly sticky with sweat and I have been worrying about the cats a lot. They have been intensely lethargic, and Tiberius even defecated on our bed last night. This leads me to rationalize that he is feeling ill from heat, as this has never occurred before. Tomorrow there is hope that it'll break; I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit close to home today. The epicenter was less than 50 kilometers away from Ottawa, where my family and friends felt it strongly. The earthquake was even felt in Toronto and beyond, but I did not feel it here in Montreal, which I will admit I am a little disappointed about.
Quebec has always been considered one of the world's 'safe zones' as it is a good height above sea level, and no where close to the edge of the North American tectonic plate it resides on. To have an earthquake hit here, and at such a strong magnitude is unnerving, to say the least. Luckily it wasn't so strong as to cause intense structural damage and casualties.
2010 has been an atrocious year for natural disasters, and I can't help but think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. It is no longer a question of if another disaster occurs, but when it'll strike. And in times of anxiety I tend to bake; when I first found out about the 2012 theory years ago, I remember baking a huge batch of cupcakes. Today, I iced my sugar cookies.
In unrelated news, Phil and I began learning ASL today. It's a lot of fun memorizing and practicing, and I hope I can stick to it. It may come in handy in the future (if not for anything other than secretly signalling to Phil, hehe).
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Two Japanese silver-eye fledglings. Oil on wood, 10"x10".
It's my mom's birthday today, this is my gift to her.
My contract in Ottawa went by surprisingly fast. Though it was an office job, the people who work there are all really great which helped a lot. Yesterday I had a job interview for a position as a flight attendant. It went alright, but I will not hear back from them until the end of July. I find that kind of a ridiculous amount of time to wait around for an answer. In the meantime I plan to create artwork and art prints. Philippe purchased a snazzy CMYK printer, and I am hopeful I'll be able to start printing at home which will save on money and time. All I need to do is invest in some good quality paper for prints.
While I'm waiting for an answer from the airline I will also have my trip to the Dominican Republic as a distraction. I'll be there for around 10 days in the middle of July, and I cannot wait to see all my family again. I'm planning on giving my uncles, aunt, and grandfather an original piece of my artwork as a gift. I have never really been in a position to give them anything before, so this plan excites me. I also want to give my dad a few of the old maps I was able to nab from the geography library at McGill University last year when they were getting rid of them.
I'm hoping the rest of this month goes by as quickly as the last two weeks did.
Monday, June 07, 2010
Yesterday my friend Carolina came over for the day. We made banana cake and two apple pies. I had far too many black bananas, so this made great use of them. I like banana cake, but I think I prefer banana bread as it isn't so sweet. The apple pies turned out phenomenally, and I was amazed by how easy they were to make. I definitely need to make more pies in the future (especially since I have a bunch of frozen pumpkin innards stored away).
June has been a slow month to start, but I'm hoping it'll pick up. For the most part, it has been spent at home in a bit of a lazy stupor, which truly goes against my nature. It's unnerving to not have a busy schedule, whether my time is being taken up by school or by work. I have been applying to a lot of jobs, and I'm hoping that I will get hired soon. At the moment I'm actually waiting on a call for a contractual job which would take me to Ottawa for a couple of weeks. It is not what I would call a job in any of my usual fields, but it would pay me enough to cover my rent, utilities, and food for July. Since I'm visiting family in the Dominican Republic next month, this contract is as ideal as my situation can get. I don't really wish to get hired full time right now seeing how I would probably have to quit in a few weeks time to travel. I have my fingers crossed, please cross yours for me too!
p.s. I got the job!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
For a very long time I'm not sure who I have been trying to be, but I have been trying very hard, in that moment, to be that person. Everyone has their character, their morals, their ambitions, dreams, and demons. I have these too, but they somehow feel more vaporous than those of others. I realize everyone has multiple dimensions, but mine often come off as too extreme even though they are all running in an artistic direction. Laura the artist; Laura the photographer; Laura the makeup artist. I feel as though I am often passively criticized for being the latter, more specifically the way it makes me look (which is more pleasant than my painting clothes did). Then there is my personality which I have found changes to an enormous degree based on who I am with, as well as which of the above fields I am practicing. Maybe this is a natural chameleon like occurrence, but a lot of the time I feel self-censored. As for this blog, I have been putting too much energy into coming off as ever-cheerful when I should just be natural.
I drew these tonight without expectations. I wasn't looking for cute, pretty, or structure. I wasn't after marketability either. Maybe they aren't very beautiful or coherent but they came from sincerity; it was refreshing. For the top drawing I used a reference image of a friend, who in the photograph, was in tears. For the past few weeks I've been entertaining the thought of doing a series of (photographic) portraits of people crying. Maybe some of them with makeup, visceral and streaking. My problem is I don't know anyone who can cry on cue like that. It could be a cathartic session for both of us, maybe, if it happened. We'll see.