1. Play The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Brothers on a Nintendo console emulator.
2. Listen to Jessie J’s “Daydreamin’” (Alive album), Katy Perry’s “Birthday” (Prism album), and Angel’s “Us”.
3. Marathon In Living Color, Reading Rainbow, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
4. Pixelate all desktop pictures.
5. Wear tight bright pants, a big men’s watch that matches any outfit, and a backwards hat with a Run DMC Domo-chan.
6. Make a mix CD and give it to a crush.
7. Get a funky hairstyle…or one just like Mel Gibson’s hair in Lethal Weapon 1.
8. Copy the moves from MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” and Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” (Ninja Turtles‘ style).
9. Watch all four Lethal Weapon movies and A Goofy Movie.
10. Put The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s ringtone on my cell phone.
#1: T-shirt Design Submissions for my friend’s book release
I created two submissions based on two poems from my friend’s book, Vogue 3:16
This design is from the poem “Denture Love”.
I really love this poem because it’s filled with warmth. As a married woman, I look at this poem as a standard for growing old with my husband (if time allows). I used a red shirt instead of a muted tone because the glass uses a blue almost monotone palette. Also, the poem has a calm flow but lasting love is very much passionate, at least, in my opinion.
Here’s the process of creating the design.
First I penciled and inked a simple sketch.
After I scanned it into the computer, I traced and colored it in Illustrator and copied the vector to Photoshop.
This was my third time using Photoshop to color an image. I only recently learned how to do this technique. The good thing is I am a traditionally-trained artist, and I borrowed some ideas from painting and color theory. The original base color of the entire image is a very light powder blue because I wanted everything to look submerged and glass-like. I used layers for each different color. It took me a long time to get the look to where it is now. I need more time to analyze glass. Anyways, it took me several days to color this in.
This design is from the poem “Johnny Appleseed”.
This design took more time to do because I don’t like drawing technical things (machines, cars, straight lines). I wanted the pain in the man’s face to be the first thing everyone sees. Though the poem itself depicts a man who has given up on many things and has accepted his sad environment, I think that the man hasn’t truly given up. He is just trying to find somewhere that isn’t where he’s at, but he’s being forced back into the stereotypes and lifestyle that society won’t let him leave. I might be wrong about the interpretation of this poem. Even so, I’m just happy making a design close to my heart: being a black person trying to get away from the “machine”, the stereotypical identity that “higher ups” have coerced everyone to believe in.
Here’s the process.
I scanned it and traced it in Illustrator. I colored it using layers for each item (machines and skin). I didn’t want the things from the poem (mic, ball pencil, headphones) to disappear into the folds, so I used burnt orange over grey to make them stand out a little bit.
If you like poetry or the concepts of these designs, please buy my friend’s poetry collection, Vogue 3:16!
Japan should be called “Land of the Forgotten Commercials” starring Western actors looking for some easy money and international fans outside of their famous roles.
The former California governator, Arnold Scwarzenegger, made many Japanese commercials in his younger days for Nissin’s Cup of Noodles, Arinamin C Drink, and Direct TV. In the commercial above, he stars as a foreigner gambling with Japanese middle-aged men. In superhero fashion, he dashes away to pull out a Japanese energy drink while saying, “Good!”
Leonardo DiCaprio (Great Gatsby remake) in Japanese commercials mean that regular items like whiskey are going to be promoted as cool, premium items–even if those products will be sold for 800 yen ($9) at the local supermarket. Here’s Leo in a recent Cool Bourbon Jim Beam commercial.
Although Bruce Willis (Die Hard) tries hard to say his Japanese lines in these Daihatsu commercials with the disapproval of the director, he still looks very awkward and dubbed in every scene. I think taking the same measure as his Hollywood pals and saying very little (or nothing at all) would help.
The actor who takes the cake–er, the coffee–is acting veteran Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black series). He didn’t just star in commercials for different products. Even to now, he’s a face for the canned coffee brand, BOSS. Everywhere in Japan, his wrinkled face adorns BOSS vending machines and ads.
My husband showed me a tutorial on coloring images, and I decided to try it out since I’m trying to transition from traditional media to digital media.
Last year, I made 5 resolutions:
1. Lose weight. I managed to lose 15 pounds from July to November by exercising 3 to 4 times a week. Injuries got in the way. I injured my left knee twice in June and July and strained my neck in December. Even though I’m starting from zero again for 2014 (at 154 pounds, only 1 pound lighter than last year), I’ve figured out the exercise program that works for me.
2. Learn Japanese. I had planned to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), but I missed the deadline. Still, this year, I finished one full journal in Japanese, applied for a Japanese speech contest for foreigners, and re-started organized Japanese studies with an advanced course.
3. Save more money. I didn’t save more money this year. I spent more money (yikes!). I did, however, started seriously paying off my student loans and my husband saved the majority of money.
4. Travel more. Because of our savings, my husband and I decided not to travel.
5. Get to reading and writing! 2013 was a good year for me in regards to writing and reading. I won a science fiction writing contest and one of my stories was selected for a science fiction anthology. I also read 32 books out of my Goodreads’s goal of 30 books in a year. Along with my writing and reading progress, I took two very insightful Coursera classes: Comic Books and Graphic Novels (University of Boulder) and Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World (University of Michigan). They helped me improved my writing style and approach to fiction.
Now that I’m staring my 2013 resolutions in the face, I understand why most of these goals failed. They’re so broad! I need concrete, realistic goals, not general ones that can be transposed from me to another person.
So here’s another shot at my resolutions:
1. Lose 25 pounds in 2014 and keep it off. If I exercise 30 minutes 3 times a week every week for a year, that’ll make 144 workouts in a year. This is possible if I look at it as in half a pound a week is lost in 48 weeks (a year). Luckily, I’ve found some great workouts online for free (save money!) and I can put my birthday gift to use (Nike Plus Fitness on Kinect). And, since my husband and I have decided to only eat meat in one meal a day, we’ll be helping each other stave off the pounds.
Ultimate goal: Weigh 130 pounds.
2. Take the lowest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). I missed the deadline last year, but I have another chance in July. I have a tutor to help me with this resolution now, and I can concentrate on kanji (Chinese writing system) and grammar through old textbooks.
Ultimate goal: Pass N1 of the JLPT, finish 2 Japanese journals, and pass my Japanese advance course.
3. Pay off 100% of my last credit card, pay off 95% of my student loans, and save at least $1,000 a month. This is totally possible if I ignore the horrid yen-to-dollar exchange rate. From October, I already implemented my student loan pay off. This year, I have to take the reigns of my budgeting plans by creating monthly bill deadlines and alerts.
Ultimate goal: Have $0 on all credit cards, have $700 left on student loans, and have $10,000 in savings.
4. Read 50 books this year and win 2 writing contests. I’ll have to pace myself and read more e-books while I’m at school. I need to develop a writing schedule and stick with it for the year.
5. Create 8 manga podcasts on Anime 3000. I’m a manga podcaster for Anime 3000′s Manga Corner. I was able to release only 4 manga podcasts last year. I’d like to re-vamp the show a little and interview 8 different guest stars. If you’re an anime, manga, or Japanophile podcaster, you can contact me (mangacorner [ at ] anime3000 [ dot ] com) about being a guest star.