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Got an account at conceptart.org and tried out last week's Character of the Week (CHoW) challenge - design a dryad! I made an androgynous ent baby.

Dryad wip (now with clothes)


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And not just two months since the last post; but two months since I've taken a 'break' from employment to try and focus on building up an animation portfolio. To be completely honest, while I've done some fun projects in that time (game-themed wedding comics, band illustrations, various translation gigs, illustrated 'cut scenes' for a zombie game, to name a few), not much progress has been done on the animation front. Like, uh, at all. I've read tutorials on the principles of animation, downloaded a few programs and tried my hand at it to, er, varying results, studied frame-by-frames and watched interviews with animators... but I don't feel that much closer to actually animating anything.

A couple days ago I found a free program called 'Plastic Animation Paper' and am actually trying out a walk cycle, which feels good, but, man. For two months, all I've managed to produce is half a walk cycle.

WELP. I've got a month and a half until I go home for Christmas - with my boyfriend, who MIRACULOUSLY got a tourist visa! more on that in another post - so I've got that much time left to procrastinate on this I guess! I always do work better under pressure, I suppose.

All right enough diary-writin', here's a few drawings I've done in the past two months!

Basket pomeranian

Brook and the seagull

Click here to read another under the cut!Collapse )

....If my parents find this (hi guys?) I'd just like to add that I'm FINANCIALLY SECURE, have plenty of savings from my translation job left, the two English students I teach cover my monthly rent, and all the money I make from illustrations and other commissions is sent straight to my US bank for when I move back home. Also I've been teaching myself how to cook, eat all my vegetables, and the air quality's been pretty good here lately.

Don't worry about meee~ I know what I'm doooing~
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Here have some doodles!


chinese vday

These were all sketched and drawn digitally in the SAI paint tool program, which I've been experimenting with these past few days. Two thumbs up! Still struggling to get clean, non-shaky lines, but at least it's much more forgiving than the ol' brush and ink.

potter trio

Haven't seen either part of the 7th Potter movies yet, my boyfriend hasn't seen all of them so we've been marathoning through all the movies leading up to it. Just watched Chamber of Secrets two nights ago.
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me n kiso valley
More photos at my Flickr set!

Got back from the lovely Japan a couple weeks ago! It was a celebratory quitting-my-job, my-friend-is-living-there, heck-I've-never-been, trip all rolled into one, and tickets were quite cheap to boot!

Tokyo was very clean and very quaint in some places, as well as ultra-sleek and modern in others, and everyone I met was friendly and very willing to help, or at the very least, extremely polite. I was actually expecting it to be more crowded than it was, although when it did get crowded, the crowds mixed with the unbearable heat and humidity were a bit much for me. I was grateful to have a place to stay at a friend's house in Akasaka, which was rather nice and quiet. My friend also took me to a fancy sushi place, and a luxuuurious full-out onsen day spa!

meiji shrine entrance
(Meiji shrine entrance)

I went to visit another friend who teaches with the JET Program in Kiso Valley, in Nagoya, which was just amazingly refreshing after the past couple years in Beijing. Finally, I got to see mountains and valleys again!

dancing for the shrine
(Nojiri festival in Nojiri village, Okuwa, Nagoya)

While there, I also got to live at my friend's tatami-matted/paper-walled house, watch my friend participate in the Nojiri festival, drink sake out of a little box with the town mayor, go swimming for hours by myself in a gorgeous little river valley, and get beaned in the face by a flying mochi ball (part of the festival) (well, not the getting beaned in the face part).

If (hopefully when!) I go back, I'd love to visit Osaka and Kyoto, and definitely see more of the mountains and countryside. Until next time, it's kind of nice to be back in Beijing, where it's not quite as humid, everything costs less, and I can jaywalk as I please :P

I kept a small journal every day and was hoping to draw a few comics about my experiences there, but now I'm trying to focus mainly on practicing digital illustration and learning animation. I downloaded the free trial of Digicel Flipbook and have been tinkering with it - it's a fun program! If anyone's got any digital art/animation-related tutorials you'd like to suggest, I'd love to add it to my bookmarks!
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Here's a comic about my cat! Original, I know.

Zhangfei 1

(I got a haircut! It's both disarming and refreshing to not have bangs or a ponytail to deal with in the summer heat.)

Click for part 2, and some Mononoke/True Blood doodles!Collapse )

So my visa is expiring and since I'm leaving my job soon, I've got to leave the country to apply for a tourist visa. I discovered that tix to Japan are very cheap, and my friend who lives a couple hours out of Tokyo is able to host me, so I'M TOTALLY GOIN' TO TOKYO IN JULY. It is going to be SO different from China and I am SO EXCITED. What should I do there?? I don't need to go see anything really touristy or do any shopping, I'd be more interested in walking through some very 'Tokyo' neighborhoods.
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I sat down to draw a comic about my neighbor, and some hobbit children appeared instead.

hobbit kids

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*dusts cobwebs off of Livejournal*

Hey there! I've been busy on my tumblr lately, and been neglecting this space, but I'll do my best to update both from now on!

The $5 Pokemon Portraits for Japan project has, to date, earned and donated over $60USD! I am so pleased, thanks so much to everyone who's commissioned me so far!

Here's a sampling of what's been drawn, but check out the flickr photoset here for more!

dante & charmander
Dante & Charmander

More pokeymans under the cut!Collapse )
Tags: ,
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I've got an official ad up on fiverr.com, but you're welcome to commission me directly, as well!*

Basically I'll draw a hand-inked, black + white (lost my tablet pen unfortunately) portrait of you and a Pokemon of your choice, for $5, which I can collect via my paypal at emilyblock at gmail dot com.

I don't mean to trivialize Japan as "the country that BROUGHT US POKEMON" or anything; I just like drawing Pokemon, and thought it'd be an idea that lots of people could dig.

My thoughts go out to our friends and neighbors in Japan. It's bizarre that living even as close as Beijing, I still feel a world away from it.

Cross-posted to my tumblr and my facebook as well. Tell your friends!

(*Please note that for every commission I receive, I'll be covering the fiverr/paypal fees myself to send a full $5 to the Red Cross.)
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I've got another illustration up at Sessions from the Box, this time for the band Atlantic/Pacific!

Me 'n my Pokeypal, Raichu:

raichoose you

Also, I happened to be listening to the Fantastic Mr. Fox soundtrack when I stumbled upon this comedic gem:

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frodo"s burden

When you have to translate a few thousand item and equipment names, you spend a lot of time on thesaurus.com.

And then I tried out posemaniacs.com for the first time, after oh a year or so of no lifedrawing, and the results were not prettyCollapse ).

Also, I hopped on the tumblr bandwagon a little while ago - there's not much on there yet, but:

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