Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sometimes it feels like I am getting a little too ahead of myself, getting too distracted by all the projects I would like to take on/complete. Seems like there's not enough time and energy. I'm sure this is not a problem particular to just myself. :)

Getting really close to finishing Chloe's commission~ Will reflect on it once it's actually done. XD

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Post-JLPT Update

I had to dye my hair!! D:> But that is a discussion for later.

The JLPT is finally over, which is a pretty big relief. I was getting really sick of constantly trying to catch up on those study books. :\ I made some stupid mistakes and obviously didn't know some things, but I hope I somehow pass anyway! It's taking a bit of effort to get back into the drawing groove, especially since my emotional energy is being depleted by spending a considerable amount of time scouring job listings online (with no real success). >__>;;

Got this from the family as a birthday present:

Not the cat, the printer!! :D I really hope this will help the quality of my prints to be more consistent. Oh, the potential convenience of printing at home... Just a USB cable and some nice paper away from realization. :3

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Less than a month after embarking on this blogging adventure, I abandoned it. :P
Sometimes words feel very vulnerable to me. Vulnerable to misinterpretation, vulnerable to distortion. They are left out in the cold, unable to fight for themselves. But only sometimes. I don't know how much of what I wrote before is still true, but that's okay. I feel like I have experienced a slight (or maybe not so slight) shift of mindset recently, and I'll be able to express it as I work on more art.

The JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is coming up in just a few days. Studying has been driving me a little crazy and I don't really feel like I'm ready (how could I?), but I'm looking forward to being done with the test and having more time to work on my own projects as well as projects I have taken on from other people.

In the meantime, here is something I started a while ago. I'm trying to work in a looser style, going for the finished-yet-unfinished look-- something in which you can see the "grain." Not focusing so much on perfect lines, at least for this piece.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jui; future "postcards" in jeopardy XD

I finally found my super-crappy sketchbook (the one in which all the "postcards" are born >__>;;), so here's something that's complete bs because it's straight from a reference photo. XD Jui from Vidoll:

I don't know if I'll really keep drawing things like this. Originally, I started the sketchbook to practice getting the shapes/lines/contours down while drawing from references and to experiment with different modes of coloring, but I don't want to keep drawing from professional photography. Even if I deviate from the original photo significantly in the final result, it's still very questionable, from the perspectives of both legitimacy and worth. >__>;;

In other news, the last two weeks of the quarter are here and they're going to be pretty chaotic, so I have to keep suppressing my urge to draw until spring break. ;___;;

Monday, February 15, 2010

(For something not-so-serious) I sketched this dumb thing over winter break and started inking it the other day XD:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Inspiration, Jrock art

Sometimes people at conventions will ask me what inspires me. Of course, to cover my/Alex’s Jrock fanart, I say that I am inspired by certain musicians and their music; in the case of our GDS collaborations, we take visuals from music videos and arrange them into a composition (which by itself is not a very creative endeavor, actually). But after mentioning my Jrock art, I pause and think about the rest of my art. I think about the art style I’ve been moving towards lately. What inspires that?

I like the question, because it lets me know that someone is interested in how a piece of art is conceived. But I also dislike the question, because it seems to me that it is not always a matter of inspiration. Lately, I have gotten several ideas for projects/drawings I would like to start. They’ve come to me in a stream, whereas usually, I start doodling something in my sketchbook and it turns into a picture eventually. But that doesn’t translate in my head into: I must be inspired lately. Inspiration, to me, denotes a sweeping feeling, a connection to something greater, maybe something divine, or something that feels really close to it. I cannot remember the last time I experienced such a feeling in connection with my art, let alone with my life in general.

Would it be accurate to say, paradoxically, that my inspiration comes from having no inspiration? From having to struggle to find some sort of purpose for my art? I don’t know that either. Lately, I feel like I have encountered a series of disillusioning obstacles, and frankly, I do not even really know the importance of what I do. I keep doing it because it seems there is not much, if anything, I would rather do.

Naturally, I am drawn to a darker aesthetic. The same aesthetic I first discovered in Kagerou, then found in Dir en grey, and continue now to find in a multitude of other sources, not music alone. I’m not talking simply about image here, sound and meaning figure in as well to create something larger, something that continues to speak to me even now. I’ve been trying to have my art internalize that aesthetic, so instead of drawing pretty, flowing pictures like I was aiming to in the past, I’ve been focusing on setting up an atmosphere and mastering the medium while creating something that resonates more strongly with what I feel inside, with the kind of person I vaguely perceive myself to be, and with the kind of disintegrated outlook on life and the world in general that I naively believe myself to carry.

Most of the time, I used to like it when people came up to my table at conventions and got excited at seeing Jrock fanart. I like meeting new people who are into the same music, because it always seemed to me like there is something there that we share to begin with that leads us to the same thing. And it seemed like that “something” had a strong uniting influence. Lately, I’ve realized that isn’t necessarily true, but that is a subject to be discussed another time. :P

Really, what I’ve wanted to do lately is take the aesthetics and general characteristics of Jrock/visual kei that first lured me in and try to incorporate them into my own art without having it be simple fanart, without depicting anyone in particular. I think that I’m slowly getting there; nonetheless, it seems that I have not yet developed this aspect of my art well enough. And whenever I draw Jrock fanart, I want it to be more encompassing and meaningful than a simple portrait; I know it won’t always work out that way, but I want to be much truer to the atmosphere and meaning of the music, which is what matters to begin with.

To me, the aesthetic I am speaking of is often connected to the depiction of the contrasting elements of the world/society, to social critique (whether active or passive), to the fragmentation and isolation of the individual, to the final ambiguity of meaning, and other themes I have been trying to explore lately and will be addressing more from now on. Those themes reverberate deeply within me. It is not simply visual. Inspiration is dead to me right now. What is alive is a sense of confusion, a lack of purpose, a vague yet poignant dissatisfaction with something I cannot even clearly define, a feeling of pressure constantly closing in on me and threatening to extinguish the last of my breath. That is what drives me now.

(Oh, so dramatic. >__>;;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Daisuke's solo career...

...is apparently underway: 大佑と黒の隠者達

Statement of purpose? ☆

I’ve had a slight aversion to keeping any sort of online blog ever since I stopped using LiveJournal. I’m sure that part of it was caused by all the online drama of now distant high school years, part of it by the fact that I was running out of time to catch up on everyone else’s lives, on the countless communities I had joined, but I think there was an even larger part of me that was repulsed by the prospect of divulging my personal thoughts and having them stay open and available (at least to those on my friends list, lalala ) on the Internet as I myself kept changing, constantly rendering those thoughts antiquated and just embarrassing to have around. It would be one thing to be the only one able to track my progress as a human being, but to have that available to other people eventually made me feel ashamed and self-conscious. Also, more and more, I found myself not knowing what to “broadcast” to my circle of both IRL and online friends; the things I really needed to vent out were growing more and more personal, more and more inappropriate for such a medium as an online journal. A time came when I would rather record my thoughts for my own sake in a paper journal, and I have filled up several in these past several years.

At this moment, I would like to start over with online blogging; but rather than typing out my super-private thoughts XD, I would like to, once in a while, post some works-in-progress as well as some thoughts about my art. If I have any other thoughts I'd like to share, I'll post those too. :D When I submit my art to DeviantArt, I rarely ever type up what the piece means to me or some of the important details about the process, etc. I just hit “submit” and hope that, if there really is some message within it, people will try and read into it. I realize now that this kind of approach simply won’t do. I will never dictate to others how they should “read” my art, but I can’t rely on the visual elements alone to carry any intended significance there is, especially when I am still an amateur in that respect. However, I would like to post some of my thoughts here, as I see appropriate; I would like for this to be a discussion space, both for myself and for others (eventually). As I type my thoughts out, I hope to get a better sense of what my art means to me as well as how others see it. I hope to improve the communication inherent in the process.
Some of my "art" was created with no deeper purpose in mind than to be visually pleasing or to be practice material. Some of it, however, is more than that (at least to me, it is). With this in mind, let’s see how this goes~