Friday, December 6, 2019

Helping Out A Fellow Artist: Robert as posted by kwenTAO

Here's something a little different. So I was scrolling through my Facebook Timeline as usual when I came upon this article shared by a friend. 

So basically, it's about Robert, a 20 year-old kid who is down on his luck. He used to be a call center agent but he got bullied out of work and his life has really slid downhill since. 

Nowadays, art is the only thing that brings him happiness. Now you might think that this is pretty normal -- but consider this excerpt from KwentongTao's interview with him:

"We have no electricity at home, so every night, I spend time in front of our neighbor’s house to have some light when I draw and when I read books. Until some Police officers confront me that it is not allowed to stay outside because of the new Oplan-Sita. So I decided to spend my time here in front of 7/11 store. Atleast no one will notice even you spend so many hours. And then, since I don’t have money, I decided to ask for alms. And some people buy my arts for 5 pesos and sometimes, they give me 20 pesos for one piece of art.
I don’t have money to get my requirements to apply for a new job. If I just have money to get requirements, maybe I already applied for a new job. But for now, maybe I don’t want to apply again with call center companies. I think I will be bullied again there. I just want to apply to a job as a cashier or store merchandiser."
Fortunately, Ernesse, the friend who shared this post had the idea of gathering used art materials from artist friends in Iloilo and pooling our resources together to send them to Robert. Of course, I jumped upon this opportunity to help out a fellow artist.

Now to be completely honest with you, I can definitely relate with the part of being an artist and how art brings joy to my life, but as for the bullying part -- let's just say that if I were in Robert's shoes, I'd probably be fired from my job for indiscriminate and very brutal use of force.
Still, it was a chance to help out someone in need and so we all agreed to meet up at SM City Iloilo just a few hours ago this 6th of December 2019. 

Initially, I went to the wrong area, but eventually Ernesse found me and introduced me to the group. Here are some pics of the event. I got to meet up with Ernesse and Antonio's friends and fellow artists Reese, Denzee, Mia, and Marvin... also, pardon me if I forgot someone, guys. I know Clarisse wasn't there. 
We decided to try Philpost at SM first, but they wouldn't accept some of the paints I was giving away, so we hauled all our stuff onto the car and drove on over to AP Cargo where we were able to successfully send it off. By the way, Reese sent a really huge trolley bag over. I'm sure Robert will make good use of it.

With that said, here are the things I sent: 

  • -Faber Castell 24 Classic Colored Pencils
  • -Colokit Watercolor Set
  • -Colour Sparx Colored Pencil Set
  • -Prang Watercolor Set with Mission Gold Titanium White in one pan
  • -Set of different pencils and an eraser
  • -Nagi fanart in watercolors with a little message for Robert

Also, a shoutout to Jimmie from MyArtLife. I'm sure you'll be glad to know that the art materials that I won from your channel raffle are in good hands. If any of you still remember, I actually reviewed one of those materials in one of my older videos. 

To Ernesse and company, thank you for the opportunity. To Robert, I hope you get back on your feet soon, bro. Have a Merry Christmas, from all of us.

Original Post from Kwentong Tao:
MyArtLife by Jimmie
Video review by me of the Colokit Watercolors

Monday, December 2, 2019

ナギちゃん お誕生日おめでとうございます! 12/3 Happy Birthday 2019, Nagi!

I may not have a whole lot of time for blogging anymore nowadays, but I will never forget the girl I fell in love. Here's some fanart for her birthday along with a video of me painting her. Born on December 3, 1991 in the manga's timeline, Nagi would be 28 years old now in our time. I bet she's older than most of you.

Also, I will never forget to inform the entire world that on April 12, 2017, Hayate x Nagi officially became a couple along with the canon ending of Hayate The Combat Butler.

I wish I could have done more, but I'm so pressed for time nowadays with my new job. 

I've also managed to obtain the last official Nagi figure: the third repaint of her cat version from Orca Toys. Got it used from Solaris Japan, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have arrived yet. I'll be sure to take pictures when it arrives sometime this month -- I assume.

Digital version
For the digital version of her, I just stuck with 2D hard colors. i know many people prefer the more painterly feel of other artists, but honestly, although I am capable of it, it just doesn't sit well with me.
Watercolors on paper
This is the original version of the artwork -- the one that you see me painting in the video. Also, the pose is not quite original. I copied it from a Miku digital fanart that was doing the exact same pose. Of course, I did use my own figure for the reference.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Hayate Reflections: Watercolor Painting Nagi

For some reason, I forgot to post this video on my blog. Here I am painting Nagi again as usual. Her pose and expression are based on the Miku noodle stopper figure.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Video Only - Orca Toys Nagi Sanzen'in White Cat Version

Just a short video to break the curse of me not uploading any new videos recently. I got a new revolving solar display stand for my favorite Nagi figure recently and thought I'd show her off. Apparently, only 3000 copies of this figure were ever made -- quite appropriate since Sanzen 三千 means 3000.  

Monday, September 2, 2019

Weathering With You 天気の子 Spoiler-Free Review and Some Hina Fanart

For the record, I personally don't care about spoilers, but I'm not one to impose my personal ideals upon others -- and if you disagree with me, then that's the difference between you and me. Food for thought.

Just got back from the cinemas and… “sensually enchanting” would be the most appropriate adjectives that come to mind when it comes to Makoto Shinkai’s latest piece, “天気の子,”  (which was translated to “Weathering With You” for some reason. The accurate translation is “child of the weather” or “weather’s child” or even “girl of the weather”). With that aside, the production values definitely live up to the hype. The movie is basically an audio-visual feast for the senses with an entrancing soundtrack, breathtaking animation, and the cool, calming, yet extremely detailed scenery (and product placements) that anyone familiar with Makoto Shinkai’s previous works might have come to expect. Therefore, over-all, I’d say that the movie was simply a delight to watch and actually quite timely since we’re in the rainy season right now in the Philippines.

The Supernatural And The Mundane

A common motif in Makoto Shinkai’s movies is the marriage of the supernatural and the mundane and this latest movie is no exception. Set in Tokyo, “Weathering With You” presents life in the big city with a tongue-in-cheek approach. We get to see glimpses of the actual living conditions of the everyman (sorry lgbt bbq+, not everyone is interested in your inclusive exclusivity) in Tokyo and particularly, we get to see how life must be like for two teenage runaways, the main characters Hodaka and Hina, and the common problems they face, such as difficulty in finding employment because of being underage. In fact, the movie shows several adult-themes including a brothel, a love hotel (basically a hotel that specializes in romantic couples) and some degree of violence against a minor as well as gunshots.

With that said, these elements all mingle quite naturally with its supernatural elements based on Japanese folklore, which is quite evident in Hina’s apparent power to control the weather.

Strong Supporting Cast

Drawing a comparison to Shinkai’s previous work, while Your Name was all about the two main characters with an only mildly memorable supporting cast, the same cannot be said for Weathering With You. Hina’s ladies man of a little brother Nagi, the ornery yet ultimately kind-hearted Suga, and the charming Natsumi are all very likable characters in their own right who each play a vital role in moving the movie’s plot forward.

A Less Than Stellar But Ultimately Satisfying Plot

Speaking of the plot in general – this is perhaps the movie’s weakest point. While it is by no means a train-wreck of a story, it can get dragging at certain points because of the linear nature of the storytelling. Furthermore, while it can get cathartic at times, it doesn’t really achieve the heights of Shinkai’s older masterpieces such as “5 Centimeters Per Second.”

Yet, while it might not be technically an aesthetically beautiful story, the strongest plot point of this film lies in the final choice made by Hodaka.  I love the fact that he chooses the selfish route and affirms that he’s fine with this in exchange for “changing the world forever.”  This is literally the kind of stuff that got me hooked on anime in the first place. Sometimes it’s not just about saving the world, being the altruistic one and thinking of the common good, nor restoring the status quo – sometimes it’s just about what really makes you happy – and I’m personally quite delighted that Hodaka chose to follow his heart rather than his mind in the movie’s climax.

Fanservice and Nods

Fans who rode the hype train to this movie from Your Name will definitely not be disappointed as far as fanservice goes because you will see some very familiar faces that give subtle nods to the co-existence of the Makoto Shinkaiverse across different films.

Personally, I was amused at the two Pretty Cure cosplayers who enlisted Hina’s service.

Also, it amuses me that main female character is Hina and her little brother is Nagi :)

Some Minor Complaints

I do have some minor complaints about this movie, of course. While the soundtrack is a joy to listen to, I do feel that the use of an insert-song while portraying a timelapse is a bit overused and jarring. It was used only two times in the movie, but that was twice too much for me – especially since I’ve seen it used before in almost the very same fashion in Your Name. It’s not enough to put me off on this movie, but it was a bit distracting.

Furthermore, while the lore behind the supernatural elements in Your Name was fully-fleshed out within the movie, the same cannot be said for Weathering With You. There were definitely attempt at subtle exposition here and there and the lore itself was quite interesting, but I feel that there just wasn’t enough of it crammed into this 2 hour movie for me to feel any sense of connection to the supernatural lore.

Also, as usual, the translation is a bit iffy in spots. Why do they always insist on listing the full name of the character whenever someone says “onee-chan” or uses some similar honorific? I know that calling someone “big sister” doesn’t sound that natural in English, but it’s also pretty off-putting when the subtitles say one thing and the character is obviously saying another. For the record, I don't agree with any of these conventions established by fansubbers as well as professional translators.

Over-all impressions

The lore aside, Hina is cute and that’s a plus for me – always. Over-all, Weathering With You is an aesthetically pleasing feel-good movie with a story that will have you leaving the cinema with a smile on your face.  If you were expecting another “Your Name,” you might feel a bit disappointed, but watch the movie for what it is, and I guarantee you’ll find it quite enjoyable.

Nagi approves of this movie

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Painting Hatsune Miku for 8/31/2019 With Anilinky Watercolors

Miku's birthday is a good time to try out the Anilinky Watercolors I bought from Deovir. Over-all, the watercolors have a very rich and deep color and they're very highly pigmented. They actually remind me of Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors. There's 24 colors over-all and two types of white.

Anyway, I'll leave you with the video right here.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Zig Kuretake 12 Color Watercolor Palette Set -- Impressions (video)

Over-all, I really like this watercolor set. The colors are nice, highly pigmented and vibrant -- although lacking in intensity and they really do work great for anime style illustrations.

I'd imagine they'd work great for florals and caligraphic stuff as well -- although I personally don't do those. I wouldn't recommend these for landscapes unless you're deliberately going for a washed out look.

The colors also mix very well.