Saturday, December 28, 2013

Belated hiatus notice

I've been having computer problems for four months and they're still not resolved yet. I'll probably have to buy a new one soon. But until then, as before, there probably won't be any updates.

I HAVE been drawing and stuff, though. They just won't be up here until I get my new computer and reinstall everything on it. :S Pfft, expense.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Macarons inspire me

My Saturdays have been swallowed by work. Work will continue to swallow my Saturdays until the end of the month at least, and that's only the official events. The reality is that I take home my work every day so that I can finish it in time.

It's a good thing that I have fun at work, or I would hate it. By necessity, it's eating my life and being. That's what being a teacher is like.

So, for the time being, here is something that I did FOR work -- a collage of pictures from the Internet that I had put together into a 'vision board' for a sharing. So, just by looking at this stuff, you can have a pretty good idea of what I'm like and what I value.

vision board July 2013

I especially dislike it when people are careless with words. Words shape thought, and thought shapes reality. People who continue to use 'macaroon' with reference to almond flour biscuits even after being corrected deserve to be called 'moroons', since they won't get it anyway.

I haven't given up on being able to have a personal or an artistic life outside work, but we'll see. This July is hitting me something fierce.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ridiculous hairstyles

I was browsing through my old art when I found this. In 2008 I made friends with two other comic artists and we set up a short-lived forum, where we'd draw to each other's prompts. The theme for this picture was 'ridiculous hairstyles'.

ridiculous hairstyles

I rather miss the old place, but one of the three of us has disappeared off the face of the earth, and my take-home work makes it difficult for me to produce new art on a regular basis. But here, I offer a hair-clamp.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I haven't completely kicked the habit of doodling. In order to remind myself not to forget about the photogenic fantasy people, I did a brief pensketch on my notes that actually looks nice enough to post.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kimono loot

OK, as everyone knows, I went to Japan and bought way too much stuff. Most of it was kimono, and most of the weight came from the autumn/winter stuff that I wasn't supposed to buy (because I live in SINGAPORE for heaven's sake, but I haven't given up on taking these things back to Japan to wear because I'm sure one day I'll visit it in December). Here they are.

yukata and hanhaba obi from Gion
yukata and hanhaba obi from Gion, Kyoto

I wanted a yukata that I could wear well into middle age, since I won't have all that many opportunities to wear this kind of stuff. This particular set looked like it fit the bill.

little obis
The first three are hanhaba obi, and the mint wug one is for yukata.

I thought I'd stock up on hanhaba obi because they're super versatile and not so much bound by tradition that you can't make your own creative knots and be called out on it. The yukata obi at the bottom was actually quite expensive and a complete accident; I was walking about in Asakusa and when I saw it lying there in a shop I HAD to have it.

The retro obi right at the top was secondhand and turned out to be the cheapest at 860 yen.

autumn kimono
Obtained at the temple flea market at Toji. The Nagoya obi was even more expensive than the wug yukata obi, but I liked it so much I went back for it in the end.

I like owls and stripes. I think you can sort of tell.

winter kimono
Bought at a hole-in-the-wall secondhand kimono shop and at an open booth in Toji flea market.

This particular kimono was the main culprit for making my luggage go over the weight limit.
Together they must weigh over 3 kg.
I actually don't think I'll take away the lining of the winter kimono -- it's just nice as it is, and it feels fantastic when I pull it on. I'll keep it for when I go back to Japan in winter, and then wear a turtleneck underneath (with thick heat-tech tights and fancy boots)!

summer kimono
Summer kimono and obi. It's hard to gauge sizes when you're outdoors and there's no changing room.

This is my favourite obi of the lot. It's made of a thick, stiff shantung with the flowers painted on. I'm only allowed to wear it with unlined kimono for late spring till early autumn, which is absolutely no problem for me.

vintage yukata and nagoya obi
Vintage yukata and Nagoya obi.

On top of being obligingly breathable, summer kimono is supposed to make onlookers feel refreshed just by looking at the wearer. That's why water motifs and cool colours are so appropriate. I like water motifs, myself. Just look at the details of this wonderful obi.

close-up and details

Altogether, they cost rather a lot of money. ;_; I don't begrudge the cost because most of these garments were painstakingly handmade by craftsmen and artists who also have to eat. If only the black gauze kimono hadn't been too small -- it had been my favourite, too.

Singaporean though I might be, I'll find a way to wear them somehow. Maybe one day I'll organise a Taisho tea party!

En garde!

My former partner in crime has asked me for permission to use an old sketch for her new platform, and I said yes. The text has been updated by her and can be found here at


I spent most of my free time this week making an epic lolita sales post, but there'll be more coming soon! Just wait.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Imai Kira imitations

For those not in the know, Imai Kira is a popular illustrator of girls in frilly dresses, and I really like her art. Her website is at and examples of her work can be found anywhere on the Internet.

I do show my appreciation through patronage. When I was in MaruiOne two weeks ago I bought Imai Kira trappings and nothing else. Having crowed over them on the trip home I thought it might be a good idea to channel her style into my lolita drawings.


I like books, frills, cats, AND jewels. While mulling over the kind of seat I should ensconce this little girl in, I let my irrational brain out through my fingers and was tremendously pleased with the result. The piece is named for the jewelled eggs commissioned yearly by the Russian royal family until the Bolsheviks chopped their heads off.

faberge sketch sm


The outfit worn by the queenly figure on the left of the second picture is inspired by a girl I saw walking to the JR ticket barrier in Shinjuku station, who wore Juliette et Justine's Coppélia OP in grey beneath a brocade Excentrique corset with enormous bronzy flowers in her hair. I only had a moment's eyeful of her gorgeousness but it was enough. .__.

moon allies scan sm

I rarely do such detailed pencils because figuring everything out takes so much time. Each of these sketches took an average of four hours to complete because I was multitasking throughout. I might do more tweaking with the second one because I'm not pleased with the feet of the girl on the left -- they should be pointing up. I'll be preparing to ink the first one maybe tomorrow.

I have to say, this kind of stuff is really addictive. I might stay with it for a while. Don't accuse me of being boring now that I have a new toy. I haven't gotten around to experimenting with textures for the photogenic fantasy family yet.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Surprise emergency holiday notice

I'm going incommunicado for two weeks for some hectic enjoyment. 8D But I'll have LOTS of drawings and stuff to share when I get back to make up for it. In the meantime, have an 'I'm bored' sketch.

musuhi no toki

There's bound to be a LOT of misspelling even though everything is already in hiragana because I was working on (my very low-RAM) memory while trying to pay attention to something useless. The only reason why I could remember so much at all is because I LOVE this song!

The lyrics are here:

Personal translation:

Gods of the sky, gods of the country, eight hundred thousand gods, hear this:
All sins are no more.
Dispel the mists of the high mountains and the low hills, and hear this:
All sins are no more.

Bear your earnestness with pride, and you will not stray from righteousness.

Beloved, beloved children,
To live well,
Vow as friends in this sacred grove
For peace and serenity,
And let this moment be eternally engraved
Upon the sacred grove.

A sea of rice fields; bountiful rain;
The prayers of daughters; the industry of men;
The moon smiles; the sun is warm;
Come together and be joyful.

Beloved, beloved children,
To live well,
Vow as friends in this sacred grove
For peace and serenity,

And let this moment be eternally engraved
Upon the sacred grove.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Progress report: photogenic fantasy family

I did say I was having trouble with the colours. I spent many abortive attempts and far more time on it than I should have. And then I realised that all I needed to do was to make the outfits themed.

family colour 03

Because obviously they only get together for special ceremonies and need something to tell people that they're actually a family despite not looking that much like each other.

I'm going to add gorgeous patterns and textures in there soon to differentiate each outfit and make them unique. Big bro gets the leather stamping and metallic embroidery and big sis gets shot taffeta and very heavy encrusted beadwork if I can make it. Little sis gets rich brocades and finely worked cambric. I'm not sure how to make all the fabrics look as they should, but that's what this blog is for really. I'm not supposed to pretend that I'm good at this. :/

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Filler kebaya lady

I'm in the middle of painting the photogenic fantasy people. I'm not very good with colours, so I'm still agonising over what combinations they should wear. I nearly put up the progress picture, but it's too lame; have some old artwork instead.

kebaya lady

2008 was... five years ago. I'm somewhat better than I was back then but not by that much. No time to practice...

I say that though I spent the afternoon lounging in my room leafing through a book about historical feasting traditions, making gifts for children, and reading random shit on It's been such a long time since I had an afternoon to myself that I've forgotten how to spend it. :/