Four years ago, I began my journey back into drawing. It was a long process muddled with frustration, impatience, loss of confidence and laziness. I finally reached that point where, no matter what the outcome, drawing has become a part of my every day. I have accepted my limitations but have not lost faith in my ability to do better.
A fond childhood memory, Sunday afternoons at the beach drinking warm Coca Cola from colorful plastic cups and listening to the crashing waves while staring at the dark sea on our way home after sunset.
This took a while to draw. I wanted to work on proportions and shading. It’s a slow process. I don’t normally like to take my time while drawing but I see now what a difference it makes. Really seeing. Focusing on shapes, angles and not what my brain tells me what a certain object looks like. And negative space!
Very appropriate considering all the snow that has fallen so far within the past three days. I can appreciate its beauty from behind my window, not my car but from my home. The biting, cold air is a refreshing change from the stale, warm air indoors. A quick pop outdoors, take a few deep breaths and pop right back in.
I have always been jealous of people who keep diaries and journals. The problem is I am my worst critic when it comes to writing. I write then erase write then erase. It’s on a permanent loop. I don’t remember how I came across creative journaling but this sparked my interest. Creative journaling allows me to draw and sketch, cut and paste images from magazines, practice lettering as well as write. I like this type of journal because I don’t have to write exclusively.
This is my first attempt. I really like this page. The colors are vivid, the words and phrases just perfect. I did a total of four and a half journal pages. It didn’t work for me because I wanted to do more than just cut and paste images and texts. I haven’t even considered drawing at this point. I felt stuck and as a result, the journal died.
Fast forward a few years later. I started drawing again as an adult after watching a YouTube video posted by an amazing illustrator named Danny Gregory. His subject matter was his breakfast. The one thing that stuck with me was how his illustration was an imperfect rendering of his meal. I always thought that outside of cartoons, all other drawings should be realistic to be beautiful. I was so wrong. Clearly, I needed to do more research on various drawing styles. My next attempt at creative journaling was a combination of simple drawings and some writing. I actually filled an entire sketch book. In the beginning, I was very strict with the format. Later on, I loosened up a bit. Whenever I lacked motivation to write, I just drew to fill a page and that’s ok. I started another journal but it contained mainly sketches.
Towards the end of December 2016, I decided to give creative journaling another go. Various Pinterest posts and Youtube videos rekindled my interest in creative journaling. I started using a planner but my ink options were extremely limited because the paper is not thick enough. I decided to use a small, medium weight sketchbook so I can use a variety of pens and markers. In order to make it more interesting, I also added to my supply list washi tape, colorful paper, and images and texts from magazines. I made a decision not to write about very personal and serious topics. I want to look back at my journals fondly. My current journal contains quotes, favorite passages from a book or article I’m currently reading, reactions to shows or videos, what I bought or ate that day and things of that nature. Also, while on Youtube, I came across this vlog about how to learn Korean called Talk To Me In Korean. One of the teachers suggested writing entries in your journal in Korean. It can be one word, a phrase, a not so well constructed sentence etc. I loved that idea so I incorporated it into my journal. I started this journal on January 19, 2017 but I dated my first page January 1. The first page has a list of my 2017 goals and the rest of the pages leading up to January 19 will be filled with drawings and also some creative journaling inspirations found online. So far I’ve been doing it religiously for a week now and I really hope it becomes a lifelong habit.
My Wintry Weather Friend
Thanks for keeping my feet warm in this record breaking weather. Without your Sherpa lining my toes might have turned blue and tingly and numb and possibly have fallen off. Without your grippy soles I would have hurt my behind on the frozen slip and slide. You’re looking worn in so many places but it only makes me love you more. You’re softer and cozier. You have more character, in my opinion. Aged beautifully as they say. Here’s to you!! Hip hip hooray!!
I love the beach. I remember my uncle taking us to the beach every Sunday afternoon. We would all pile into his big red car, 3 adults and 5 little kids. One adult and one child sitting next to the driver, five in the backseat. No seatbelts!
The vastness of the aquamarine sea and the golden sand is breathtaking and calming at the same time. Looking at the horizon we often wondered as kids if that is indeed the edge of the earth we are seeing. The heat made our skins warm and our cheeks rosy. We learned later on that we got sunburned because we knew nothing about sunblock. Oh well, that’s what aloe vera and cornstarch is for right? The hot sand underneath our feet and the cool water that soothed it afterwards felt divine. We enjoyed the heavy wet sand that playfully buried us but hated the clingy grains that annoyingly followed us home. A trip to the beach always called for snacks. My aunt would pack various treats like puto, a steamed rice cake that is slightly sweet and had a mild anise flavor; fruits like green mangoes to be dipped in shrimp paste and a variety of biscuits. Yummy!! But we always, always had several bottles of warm Coca Cola in colorful Tupperware cups. To this day the syrupy taste of Coke always reminds me of trips to the beach. It was all quite heavenly!
My Handy Dandy Little Rice Cooker
Growing up in the Philippines meant eating rice 3 maybe 4 times a day. We ate snow white, aromatic, delicious rice and not nutty , chewy brown rice. We had it in the morning with eggs, salted fish and sometimes canned sausages, corned beef and fried luncheon meat (Spam). For lunch and dinner we would have it with either seafood or meat and always with veggies. Sometimes in between meals we had chocolate rice drizzled with sweet condensed milk or sprinkled with tiny bits of salty fish. Or rice cooked in broth flavored with chicken, garlic and ginger on a rainy day. It was heavenly. Comfort food at it’s best. We still have white rice occasionally. Brown rice slowly took it’s place which was not well received by some more than others. I guess our health is more important than satisfying our taste buds. And, of course, we can always have pasta. Then came quinoa. God bless quinoa! It’s no white rice but it’s much more appetizing. It has a very mild taste , fluffy and it kind of reminds one of tiny tapioca. And it’s good for you! I still cook white rice at least once week because it makes my husband’s day. It also brings back many wonderful childhood memories .
“Most of our childhood is stored not in photos, but in certain biscuits, lights of day, smells, textures of carpet.” Alaid de Bottom via sorakeem
In my case, it’s rice!
What I Did Today
1. Drew a poor shivering snowman.
2. Got movin’. A little Zumba, a little yoga. Because, you know, gotta stay loose and limber.:)
3. Chores. There are always chores to do.
4. Watched an episode of Bones. There’s a reason why this show is on it’s 9th season.
5. Had Chicken Barley soup for dinner.
1 cup = 3 points. Yummy!
6. Drank 3 big mugs of coffee.
This is not George Washington.
This French dude is Georges Danton, a speaker who was pro French Revolution.
He was such an amazing and convincing speaker that the authorities eventually denied him his right to speak. Why do you need to know this? You don’t really but Mr. Gregory said to draw everything. An opened World History textbook was on the table in front of me so there you go.