Long time no see

Hi friends,

It’s been absolutely ages since I’ve posted here. A bunch of stuff has happened, including moving to Manchester from Wales… Moving took a lot of organising and packing and time, so my portfolio work and other bits had to be put on the back burner, but I’ve settled in now and I feel more able to get things done.

For a while I have also been working in retail and other part time jobs while applying to jobs (a story for another time). I was hoping that moving to Manchester would give me a better chance at finding a job. I managed to get a job doing research work full time, starting two weeks ago, finally working regular hours again (I previously had to work retail shifts – also known as having to work every weekend and work til 10pm or later). So I’m really happy to regain my evenings and weekends and hope that this will give a better routine for doing art.

Now that I’ve moved, and I’ve started working regular hours again, I’m back to figuring out a new art routine and working out what I want to do. I still want to focus on games-specific artwork. I still want to work on my game project, Wander. I also have a reasonably big 3D commission to work on which I’m excited about.

During and after moving, in between getting a new job and so on, I managed to finish my low poly 3D model of a character for Wander; I’m thinking of just doing it all in 3D; I like the idea of bringing my on-paper characters to life a bit more.

I probably won’t be applying to games jobs for a little while as I have to learn all about my new job, but I will work on pushing my skills and improving my portfolio for my ‘ultimate’ goal. I need to clarify what my goal is a bit more, because it could turn out that I just want to work on my own game projects, but we’ll work that out.

I am thinking about changing my blog around a bit more, and making myself more likely to write on it. I’m thinking of switching to a more devlog like style of posting (not sure that my posts before were that far off from that, to be honest can’t remember), and focusing on my game dev-related pursuits with a smattering of other arts.

Now working in a research role, and learning about how companies operate, I’ve become all nerdy and tried to work out how my ‘operations’ work out; so I made myself a handy diagram to think about it all.

So I guess everything comes under my main handle, under which I’ve been posting for quite a while. I haven’t even got a shop really right now, except for a little redbubble, but maybe that’ll be a thing eventually. I actually have some traditional work which I started making to sell which I just need to tape up to a board and paint.

Mini update on my previous projects: seer project was completed, but then I realised I wasn’t happy with the design, so I’m adding some work onto that project and rehashing it, currently doing a turnaround. You can see a load of recent stuff on my tumblr as I have managed to keep it updated!

Anyway, those are some things for me to think about. This blog will change. Hope you are all well and thanks for sticking about!

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Settle

Dear friends,

I’ve been in Morioka for about a month now and since I managed to get hooked up to wifi at my apartment finally, I thought it would be a good time to write an update post. I can’t say this is going to be a very picture heavy post at all so I won’t be offended if you don’t stay to read this. But to those who want words and are happy trawling through my long ramblings, thank you for sticking with me! If you are looking for more pictures, less talking, I have posted some sketches I’ve done since arriving in Japan on my regular art tumblr. Also, if you turn your eyes to the left of the site there is my instagram feed. I haven’t posted many personal/Japan photos, just art.

So, this is three or so weeks on from my last post. I have been at work for four weeks and am mostly working independently now, which can be frightening, but I’m getting to grips with it a lot more now. I have a few difficult classes, and teach from age 2 to 90. My work is fairly varied and as I said before, the hours can be a bit weird as it’s a private language school.

I’ve been walking around the city a lot and finding my bearings over the last few weeks. I know where most of the useful places are now. For example, there’s a super shopping centre about an hour and a half’s walk from my house (or a 20 minute journey if I walk to the station and catch a bus). Inside there are lots of nice shops I’ve never heard of, plus Muji, Uniqlo, Baskin’ Robins ice cream and a Mexican themed shop with loads of lovely clothes and accessories. My friend and I also found some good cafes nearby plus a wonderful Italian restaurant.

mexican and/or central american inspired shop front. clothing store within a shopping mall

Mexican/Central American themed shop – sorry if I got the specifics wrong, I don’t know enough about the culture. But I would like to learn more and learn to speak Spanish ><

I still need to find out how to go to the doctors’ surgery if ill and how to get my teeth cleaned by the dentist as I didn’t have time to have a checkup etc. before flying off. I need to find the international centre too, because I’m in serious need of Japanese lessons. My Japanese is very patchy which is a pain, so I have borrowed a text book (Genki 2) from a colleague, but also want to get some lessons to speed up my learning.

I had a few problems with things not quite working in my apartment but I am slowly smoothing those out now. Hmm. I’m not sure what else to update on regarding everyday life…

Oh, lastly, there are several fabric shops around here which makes me feel very happy. The biggest one has a small section dedicated to needle felting, and I have wanted to give it a go for a very long time since my amazing friend inspired me. I managed to budget enough to be able to afford a small starter set this weekend, so I’ve been playing around. This is my first attempt. I found it pretty difficult and I get frustrated easily with craft – probably because I’m so messy but I really admire and want to make cute, clean work – however it was fun and I enjoyed watching the TV series Broad Church while making it. My next needle felt item will be a donut!

needle felt soft sculpture tiny loaf of bread. beige and cream

My attempted needle felted bread loaf.

Anyway, today is my day off (I get Sunday and Monday off) and I am finishing off this blog post and then have some letters to write. After that I just want to slack about now that I have internet, cook my dinner, etc. I started a drawing in my sketchbook which I’d like to finish. I’ll probably take a photo of it very soon for tumblr and instagram. It’s been difficult finding time/motivation to draw much, but I have managed to do a bit every day or two. I don’t have many materials here but I plan to get hold of some more pens and colours after I get paid.

I’m not sure what to say next, so until the next post, goodbye! Thanks so much for reading. If you have any questions about expat stuff or whatever please let me know in the comments.

E

projects update

Hi all,

I started to write a blog post on my phone while at work, but I lost all the text! So I’m rewriting this again. I can’t really remember all that I wrote however. Just an update. Usually while I’m at work at the takeaway, it’s quiet. So I end up reading books, studying Japanese and drawing in my sketchbook. It’s a good place to get things done, although not a job I would like to stay in forever. I’ve been applying for other jobs in art and less exciting places (supermarkets), but without too much success. I still need more experience to get a job in the arts… Maybe one day I will be able to just be an artist full time! I’d love for this game designing project that I’m working on to take off…

Anyway, as for my recent projects… I’ve been working more on the poetry book project. After stagnating for several weeks I decided I would get something more substantial done. I got some bigger, nicer paper and started working with an ink dip pen. I’ve done quite a lot of drawings now so I’m looking forward to sharing the images once I can. I’ll check with my poet friend!

My other big project is continuing with the game design work – along with 2 programmers and a sound guy (not sure what the actual term for a sound person would be). I spent several weeks drawing character sketches to try and work out what kind of monsters to include, and we had regular skype sessions as a group. Now we’re at the prototyping stage – I think – and this week I’m trying to make a full character with some animations so that we can test with it. Here’s a little sketch of a monster pet.

petI’m learning how to use adobe Illustrator at the same time as trying to create these characters… which makes me feel doubly out of my depth. I always feel out of my depth while working on these game design projects, but I guess that means that I am constantly learning new things. Regardless, I hope that I can feel a little bit more comfortable doing this stuff at some point.

Aside from those two main projects I am still studying driving theory and Japanese, and yesterday I sold a commissioned drawing – a reproduction of an old piece of art. Turns out the customer would also like to buy the original, so he’ll be buying that too tomorrow. This is all pretty good for me since I have been struggling for money this week.

I’m not sure which of these I prefer. I spent a lot of time on the original one, and spent less time drawing the second, because otherwise I would have had to charge a lot more. I’m glad that he loved both of them, though! I will have to draw another one however to give to my mother.

I’m going to stop writing now, because I am watching Ghost in the Shell anime, first season, and I have work again from 5-11pm. Hope that everyone had a good new year and ate lots of good food.

Elysia

post-Christmas

Hi everyone,

hope you all had a good Christmas. Hope everyone got to eat nice food and catch up with friends and relatives. On Christmas day we went to my aunt’s house for lunch and socialising, then on Boxing day my mum cooked a big feast of East Asian food for some family and her one of her friends too. Now I’m visiting J so I thought while it is quiet and there’s not much going on I could write a quick post just to say hi.

ink drawing

Today we are not sure what to do. J would like to relax for the day, I’m happy to do this but I think I need to give myself some tasks or things to do… I need to feel at least a bit productive, or I’ll feel restless. So that is why I decided to do a little blog update. It’s hard to think what to write or do really, I didn’t think to bring a proper sketchbook or my Japanese text book. I do however have several books to read and a mini sketchbook, so looks like my day might be spent trying to: study at least a tiny bit of Japanese, draw from reference perhaps, maybe finish the book I’m reading, etc.

As for my current art projects, I am still working on game design and also the collaborative book project I started with my friend. As I have had some deadlines for the game, I was a bit more lazy with the book project. Once I get back home on the 30th December, I hope to put a lot more effort into all my projects. I want to start again on the book project. What I am doing is illustrating, or rather, creating some art based on my friend’s poetry (although I’m not 100% certain what the response will result in). At first I was quite anxious on how to interpret them. But my friend has since written a little bit on the background of each poem, which I think will help me make something more relevant. I hope that she doesn’t mind that it has taken me a while to get going… and I hope that she will be happy with the resulting artwork.

With the game design group stuff, it’s progressing slowly but well, I will have a huge challenge creating the artwork as there’s so much to do and several new things to learn. We’ve decided to make a game for android devices, a pet game! I will give more information and pictures soon once I have actually made some more presentable art. I feel quite shy about the work that I’m producing for this game design thing, because I feel like the ideas that I am scribbling out at the moment are nowhere near the sophistication of actual game concept artists. Although I should be kinder to myself because I didn’t spend very long at all on the sketches and the main reason I created them was for the purpose of communicating my ideas quickly to my friends – they weren’t really made for an audience larger than maybe three people.

Oh well, that’s a quick update! I hope everyone is having a good holiday season… and hope all artistic, creative and other endeavours are going well. Thank you for reading!

sketch

I do some sketching when possible while at work. I got a new pentel brush pen which I’m learning to use.

 

Dear all,

It’s been a week and a bit since my last post; since then I have been getting back into my old job at the Chinese takeaway, covering a few days for the shop where I used to work, catching up with local friends, etc. so I haven’t had as much time as I would have hoped with my own projects. I have started one of my recent commissions, but I’ve reached a stage where my next sitting probably needs to be during a full day off.

Included in this post are a few little bits of drawing that I’ve managed to do in my free time. I have a bit less confidence in my work right now but hopefully when I have done a bit more sketching. I have some commissions, collaborations and ideas for a few individual projects to pursue.

A drawing of where I work.

A drawing of where I work.

I hope I can get to work on all of these things, but I must also work on my CV and apply to some more jobs. Working in the Chinese takeaway is nice but I’m anxious to make sure that I will have enough money to visit my friends and also take part in things like comic book conventions and so on. I also need to learn to drive. So much to do!

This is my 'help I've just finished university and don't know what to do' digital painting. I need to get back into digital art when I have time.

This is my ‘help I’ve just finished university and don’t know what to do’ digital painting. The face was really fun to draw, I’m happy with that part of the piece. I need to get back into digital art when I have time. 

My friend and I will probably be going to the Leeds Thought Bubble comic convention at the end of November, so I have to get some work ready for that, as well as money for transport and food. Luckily I have some zines and stickers left over from the exhibition which I can sell. I’d like to put my personal comics together and print them out to sell cheaply in a zine/booklet like format too. For my previous exhibition and university work I did create digitally printed books for the comics, but the production cost was too high so no one actually bought any! Perhaps if I create my own hand made ones I can charge a lot less and actually sell or trade some!

Blaaah, after writing this I feel like I have a lot to do right now. I’m trying to take everything slowly and progress at my own pace again… I hope that I can get everything done…

Elysia

life update

sketch

This is a sketch I did that I’d like to draw out bigger … and maybe add a full moon behind her 🙂

 

What am I doing at the moment? Well, I’ve finished (sort of) the forty ‘pages’ of my project, so the next thing that needs to be done is to scan all of them properly to make it into a digitally printed book for sale! We also have to prepare for our exhibition, opening 18th May , so that’ll involve finding some pins to stick my work up with, writing a catalogue description, etc. Over the past couple of days I’ve had work, however, so haven’t really done much artwork except for starting a commission. There’s a lot to be done, but a lot of it can’t be sorted until after Easter holidays, so I feel quite restless!

There are quite a lot of exhibitions to be entered however (they’re all listed on my Schedule page if you also want to enter!) … so perhaps I should do that. I might take a couple of days break, relaxing and drawing when I want, but without pressure. Over the next few weeks I will be taking a few trips to visit family, etc. and also I am going to Paris with my friend for 3 days! 

When I get back into arting properly – probably after these trips – I hope that I can start another ongoing project like my journal (but less serious/restricted maybe) and I also have a big drawing which I would like to complete. I have a big list of things I want to try, including animation, printmaking, digital painting, traditional painting, etc. so I kind of wish I could do my undergraduate degree all over again. I’m sure I’ll be able to experiment a little more soon…

well hello there

Hi,

This is my new space for my art/personal blog, which was previously at www.elysiaart.blogspot.com (there’s hundreds of old posts on there and it’ll be archived eventually). To people who have followed me here, thanks; and to new people… this blog will look more interesting soon, I swear! We are also working on portfolio-type websites at university, so that’ll be completed at some point, too!

ImageIn the mean time, here’s a book page I just scanned today. It’s a page from my art journal which I have been working on for a while. The pages of all three projects are on my deviantART account, here.

Today (Friday) I have loads to get done, since the weekend will involve working in the supermarket. I’m not really looking forward to tomorrow. So after I write this blog post I’m going to try talk to my tutor for a little bit in order to sort through my work. Then I’ve got quite a bit of stuff to do at home… like making an artists’ CV (for some exciting exhibition opportunity in China!), website, hoovering (less fun), etc.

So I best be off now but I’ll try post again soon. Thanks again to anyone who is actually reading this. I hope to edit the layout of this blog soon too, and post links to my other things such as my instagram account, etc.