You Can Always Rewrite, But Only If It Exists!

“Don’t stop working just because it isn’t perfect. Get to the end of the story before you judge it. You can always rewrite, but only if it exists!”

- Lauren Graham on writing and finishing a story, Ask Me Anything on Reddit

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Lauren Graham – actress, novelist, and producer – is quite possibly one of my most favourite people in the celebrity world! She seems super funny, friendly and she played Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls – a character whose outlook and personality I would totally aspire to be like (except for the extreme coffee addiction maybe :mrgreen: ).

Fictional character idols aside (somehow my role models almost always seem to be fictional characters…), Lauren Graham would make a pretty good real-person role model. I recently came across an Ask Me Anything which she took part it.

I don’t usually read Ask Me Anything features nor do I know much about them, but this was Lauren Graham! So I thought I’d have a little read through.

That’s when I found this little shooting star of a quote. I feel it’s quite a motivational statement for writers (or indeed any creative) running low on inspiration and starting to feel the bite of self-doubt. It’s easy to judge (and sometimes judge badly) a piece of work when it hasn’t been finished yet. It’s also easy to obsess over the finer details and forgetting to finish bigger picture. It’s easily done.

So let’s not forget; it’s okay to pay attention to detail but remember to paint over the entire canvas too! You can always do some touch-ups/edits/complete makeover afterwards :)

Lauren words it best: You can always rewrite, but only if it exists!

Thank you, Lauren, for an uplifting nugget of inspiration this week!

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Katy Perry’s Dark Horse in 20 Different Styles!

I have a really fun video for you all today!

Whilst scouting around on the internet, I came across this video by a channel called Ten Second Songs. He sings Dark Horse by Katy Perry… but in the styles of 20 different music artists!

What makes it more interesting is the way it highlights how very distinct and recognisable each individual style/artist really is… and, personally, my favourite artists are the ones with distinguishable, unique sounds.

I can’t say I’ve heard of all twenty styles, but this guy certainly does a great job in showing how distinguishable each one is. This is truly a talented man.

My favourite styles are Nirvana, Queen, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Red Hot Chili Peppers… but truly, they’re all pretty awesome :)

I hope you’ll give it a watch! :)

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Before, After and After

I haven’t done an art-related post in while. So here’s a new one!

One thing that really intrigues me is the before and after of a piece of artwork. In fact, not just art, I love following the making process for a lot of things such as films, animations, even food packaging! I’m the type of person who enjoys watching behind-the-scenes footage – it always seems so interesting!

Today, I’m posting a before/after/after comparison of a page I worked on a couple of weeks ago.

SketchThis is the initial pencil sketch. Rather scruffy, isn’t it? :mrgreen: This stage helps me get an idea for how the page should look (sometimes I go through a few sketches before I decide which one looks best!) I drew this in my big sketchbook which has fairly huge pages. This is good because I can use the edges to write additional notes to help me with the inking/colouring processes later. It’s also quite useful for scribbling/testing my pens before I ink out the next stage on nicer paper (we don’t want leaky pen splodges!!).

(Fun fact: You may have noticed the ‘Aaw’ in the left upper corner of the page, slightly cut off from the photo. This has nothing to do with anything. I was speaking with someone whilst drawing this and though I don’t remember the exact conversation, I concluded it by saying “Aaawww!!” in a ‘oh darn, I lost!’ kind of way. The other person told me I sounded like Gohan from Dragon Ball Z (for any DBZ fans, the scene where he’s climbing up the cliff but then slips back down to the ground – “aaawww!”). I laughed and said “Aaawww!!” again and, at the same time, wrote it in the corner. Again, this has no relevance to anything :mrgreen: )

Page 14 - beforeSo this is what the page looks like re-drawn on A4 paper and inked with black pen. This particular page, I also experimented with grey pens too (hence the grey screws and scarecrow’s grey straw). You’ll notice the poster image is different and much bigger here than in the initial sketch. That was simply me deciding it should be a more prominent part of the page – that means make it bigger and take up more room!

The actual scanning process doesn’t take long, but I’m debating with myself whether it’s best to scan black-and-white (which omits all pencil lines) or to scan in colour (which seems to show slightly crisper quality lines). For this page, I chose the ‘colour’ option but as you can see, it’s picked up a lot of stray lines and the blacks don’t look quite as black anymore.

I also didn’t write any dialogue/text at this stage because I knew I would add it later on the computer.

Page 14The final image! This is after doing some digital editing – namely, adding panel frames, erasing pencil marks, straightening up lines, adding colour, adding dialogue…

This is all very experimental at the moment and is very much a learning process. In other words, I don’t always know what I’m doing! Which means my method to this stage is rather haphazard. It’s a lot of “try this, try that, see what works, learn from tutorials” etc. For this reason, this stage usually takes the longest.

And yes, I made yet another change – I chose a slightly different set of words for the poster!

In conclusion!

It’s an interesting thing seeing how different the first sketch is to the final product, isn’t it? :)

I am not, by any means, an expert. The pros might not have deviated from their original sketch quite so much! Or maybe they do. I don’t really know since I’m not a pro :P

Above all, the process of getting from start to finish was definitely a fun one. I always think the best part of behind-the-scenes footage is how much fun it usually looks. There’ll be amusing bloopers or people goofing around in their free time. It goes to show that the fun doesn’t come just from the finish line; it comes from the journey! (Yes, a little cliché, but I’m sure everyone loves a little cliché now and then :mrgreen: )

Hope you liked an inside glimpse of my drawing process!

P.S. I really love references so I drew the poster image in reference to Wicked the musical :)

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The Heart Is Not So Easily Changed

“The heart is not so easily changed, but the head can be persuaded.” – Pabbie, Disney’s Frozen

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A few weeks ago, I went with a few friends to see Disney’s Frozen and (being a Disneyfied-minded-borderline-obsessive kind of girl) LOVED IT!

I think it was a nice loose adaptation to the original The Snow Queen story but also a good twist of Disney’s usual recipe for true love plotlines.

And on top of that, I noticed midway that the voice of poor misunderstood Elsa was none other than Idina Menzel, first actress to play Elphaba in the musical Wicked. (Does that mean I’m listening to her voice way too often?)

I mean Elsa and Elphaba, they really do have a lot in common. Well done Disney for selecting such an appropriate actress!

I’ve heard people say: if you liked Tangled, then you’ll love Frozen. Buuut, I haven’t seen Tangled (yet!) so I have no idea. :mrgreen:

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Hey Ferb, I Know What We’re Gonna Do Today!

I know a lot of people don’t understand my love for cartoons. And I don’t just mean anime, which has an audience of children to teens to adults, depending on what you’re watching. I mean cartoons generally aimed for children. After all, I’m a big girl now. Shouldn’t I have outgrown all that? Shouldn’t I be watching something more serious?

Well yes actually, I do watch shows that are considered more appropriate for my age. I watch teen drama/comedy Glee, family science-fiction Doctor Who, mother-daughter comedy Gilmore Girls… all of which I have never missed an episode.

But I still love cartoons. And do you know why? Because they’re fun and because they’re childish. But also, many of the shows I watch have something in common. They all have messages. Sometimes emotional, potentially character-scarring, but always good inspiring messages. If you add in a good dose of all that, you’ll have me completely hooked and probably never lose me.

And that’s what a lot of cartoons do. They may be aimed at kids but they have messages that can strike a chord with anyone.

And that is why I love cartoons. And if anyone knows me… if I love something that much, I will love it forever. I am serious. I will read into it and want to learn more about it. I’ve watched Fruits Basket and K-drama Full House three times, each time in a different language (English, Japanese/Korean with subtitles, Cantonese) because I loved the story so much, I wanted to know how well the (poetic phrasing of) words translated into each language. And I still re-watch episodes even now.

Yes, I have been called crazy for re-watching a series so many times… :mrgreen:

So what’s with the post title?

Well, one of my favourite cartoons right is now is Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. Created by Dan Povenmire whose mother told him to never waste a day of summer and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh who also undertook a lot of summer projects as a child. What I love most about this is how it encourages us to live each day to the fullest.

And this song pretty much summarises all of that in 1 minute 18 seconds.

Some people will listen to this and think it’s “just a song from a kids show.” I listen, feel inspired and think “hey, this actually makes a lot of sense!”

Also, you have to remember that the creators are also grown-ups too which means they do add things in there to cater for everyone, not just children. Namely pop culture references! :) The references in this clip alone made me smile so imagine what a full episode can do!

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新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year 2014

Another lunar year has gone by as we welcome a brand new one. I wish you all lots of good luck and happiness!

Today, I share with you this cute little video by Off The Great Wall. These guys are one of my favourite channels this year and pretty appropriate for this post! This video tells the story of the Chinese Zodiac.

I love the way they tell it because it’s just super duper adorable!

There are actually a few variations of the Chinese Zodiac story – the two main ones being The Great Race (as in the video) and The Banquet (which was my first story… thanks Fruits Basket! :D ).

The Banquet story told of God asking all the animals to join him to eat a big feast together. Like in The Great Race, the Rat played a trick on the Cat, telling him the banquet was the day after. The Cat then slept, dreaming of the meal… but of course, he had missed it and thus was missed out from the Zodiac.

With both stories, the Cat was cruelly tricked, so people say this is why cats chase rats.

Because of this story, I’ve since had it in my head that the Cat was the ‘secret’ 13th zodiac animal. You know how in video games, they have hidden levels or characters, called the ‘hidden’ or ‘bonus’ ones? The non-canon parts that aren’t strictly part of the main game/story but are still… sort of… part of it as a whole? :mrgreen:

Chinese New Year actually started on Friday (31st January 2014). Due to the world working in mysterious ways, I was given a more-intense-than-usual day at work so there wasn’t much opportunity for me to really celebrate on the actual day. However, traditionally New Year celebrations continue for 15 days :) The weekend brought a nice New Year meal and delicious nin gao.

They say it’s considered good luck to eat nin gao at New Year – so if I get any, I’ll be sure to pass some on to all of you! :)

Happy Chinese New Year, dear readers!

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Best Joke Ever

I have a bit of a (bad?) habit where I sometimes go on YouTube on my phone when I wake up in the morning. In my defence, I do it to look for an inspiring/funny/feel-good video to start my day off. And when I can’t find a good (and also short enough) video, I’ll bring out my back-up inspiration generator – my MP3 player of songs!

Start the day off in a bright mood, continue your day in an even brighter one :)

Today, I had a good giggle at this video.

Please watch it. It’s a good joke. I mean it. A really good one. Really. I think. …Isn’t it? Well… I found it funny anyway :mrgreen: Thank you Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guys!

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