we are thinking of rebranding in the near future!


I am in possession of a new sketch book. After 5 years I finally finished the last one. I'd almost forgotten the joys of the crease shadow when scanning. So amateur but so authentic! Yeah, Jill helped pretty my Ariel up.

Hmm, what else is new... oh we're still oogling Vector Magic after many months and thinking of purchasing a license. It looks like a pretty fun program for digitizing traditional stuff. Though I'd likely use it more for lineart, here's an example of what it does to watercolour. Looks just like it from a distance but now it's gained great powers of scaling! Well it would if it wasn't just a screenshot. You can try it out for free at vectormagic.com

I guess the only other things I have to say for now are: District 9 was a great movie, custom framing is expensive, and I wish I knew when Diablo 3 was being released! Oh, and after much deliberation we might change from Lotus Ink to Tea 4 Two (with applicable website/blog/card/etc. changes) because we (think) we have a better idea of what we want to be now and this rebranding will be more a mutual effort than my tagging along with Jill's Lotus Ink. It's better done sooner than later.

back to business


My position with UTM has come to an end, all the work is finished up, and while it was a great three and a half months I am beginning to realize how much I put everything else off to the side during that time.

One thing in particular that scared me was when I checked my lotus-ink mail, which I generally trust to redirect to a personal mail I check daily. That is one frightening inbox and I am currently doing my best to sort through the incredible amount of spam that is not filtered and find the important things that may or may not have actually made it to my personal inbox!

Also, yesterday marked the first time all summer I sat down and sketched for fun, and it really made me reflect on how exactly the years have drained that spontaneity and why. That's still a thought process in progress and I will need to discuss with peers and friends.

So, my thoughts at this point are that I am happy to have a couple of weeks now to reassess priorities and pick up on some neglected areas. Among other valuable lessons, this summer has driven home the fact that I am a poor multitasker and place all my energy in one place at a time. Perhaps not a bad thing, but good to know.

And with that, I'm diving back into my inbox and other such tasks and ending this on a radishing note.

images of my utm summer


Summer BBQ at Lislehurst for the labs I've been working in that I was lucky enough to be invited to! The party is in the back, but there are a couple people from the lab chilling out front. The property is the residence of UTM's principal and it's pretty much the coolest place I've ever been.

Samples of work. The first was a gift for my supervisors, the rest are illustrations of Rhodnius Prolixus reproductive and digestive systems for the Orchard lab's work.

Myself at work in the lab!

summer shirt shuffle


iRO is hosting a summer t-shirt design contest with Cameesa and my first design has been approved.

"voting" is a bit different on this site, compared to Threadless. you have to give support by "crowdfunding" which is basically prepaying for a design you like to get it printed. you can check out the specifics on supporting here.

check it out and give support here!

post beeday post


Yes indeed my birthday passed just recently and have a looksee at this fine fellow Jill had Vicki make for me! The dastardly antagonist of Ninjatown himself - Mr. Demon! Very fine, yes. A new desk companion.

The last month has zoomed by while I have immersed myself in biology and the wonderful and curious people who study it. So far so good with the University of Toronto position. I have my little desk and I flutter from lab to lab collecting photographs and watching dissections so I can illustrate things like this! Although I am abandoning this one in hopes of something better and more accurate. It's a digestive system by the way, of a blood sucking insect. Which one will remain a mystery!

site update!


same layout but lots of new work up.
check it out!~

hardest. theme. ever.


I found out I don't qualify to enter this into the contest it was for but that's fine because I did it as a personal challenge anyways. I don't think it's possible to illustrate good vs. evil, as it's not even possible to define, but I took a shot at coming up with something different than the usual interpretations of half-black/half-white portraits and devil vs. angel girls. I don't usually take a second shot at paintings like this if the first attempt fails but this time I did and the 2nd time around turned out much more to my liking so it was worth it.

I'm looking forward to starting at UTM on Monday and getting back into drawing regularly and learning a lot at their biology lab. I was sick this week and thought I might not end up missing the first few days but it's clearing up and looks like I'll be ready to roll!

little ladies


my contribution to the Harvey James' catgirls as human girls activity. i did two cause i couldn't decide which design i liked better. these were pretty quick and fun to doodle up ^^

back to the goblins


Once upon a time, I decided that I would flip to a random page in my cooking ingredients book and Jill and I would draw something from that page as a goblin. The time was two days ago - that something... was a prawn. Prawn Goblins.

Then, once upon this other time, Jill said we should participate in Harvey James' little lady drawing project... which was just another excuse for me to draw goblins. Although... he did state that they should be drawn as 'human' girls... hohum~ Sometimes it can't be helped.

And then upon this OTHER time I painted a nice watercolour but didn't post it because I thought I might have to post it somewhere else first but then I promised to post it later. We shall call this the tale of the promised one, and revisit it another day >.o

Now I am going back to being sick, good day!

professional radishism


As I was informed again recently, some parties are of the opinion that linking a blog on a professional portfolio site (such as we have here) may in some way degrade the professionalism of the site. I'll admit that of the many fields of the service industry, even among the self-employed/freelance, artists and writers seem to be far more likely to do this than anyone else, but I have to wonder why we do/don't expose the behind-the-scenes sides of ourselves and what the pros and cons are. My initial (and lingering) sentiment has been equal parts confusion and mild offense, because I, for one, greatly enjoy looking behind the curtain and learning more about the people that do STUFF that interests me, but I suppose this opinion is not always shared at higher levels in the professional world. I certainly wouldn't want anyone to think that there was a real person behind these illustrations, much less that they might have their own interests and processes or, heaven forbid, say bad words once in awhile! Maybe it is a bit self-centered to assume people give a crap about what we do from day to day, but I suspect there is more to this curious form of journal-keeping/news-sharing than simply ego or a desire to undermine my credibility by exposing my imperfections. Anyone visiting an artist's or author's or anyone else's site usually has an option of clicking that Blog link, and I have to assume that we're all adults here and take responsibility for our actions. I just don't feel like a blog is something we should be ashamed of and hide from industry view by excluding it from a portfolio site, ESPECIALLY since it's the only thing that we update even remotely frequently at this time. But, then again, I have a notorious record for writing colloquial resumes that are flat out rejected in favour of the prim and polished lines of self-celebration and achievements that give no insight into character but are so very popular these days. How like an artist it is of me to rant against the almost 'politically correct' sanitization of the professional world but hey, meet me, talk to me, and maybe you'll see that professionalism isn't a mask I put on with a suit and tie or a carefully crafted facade I present to clients - it's a set of ethics and a commitment to quality. Gosh that leads me to another rant, about flipping the bird to employers who have just hired you because something better comes along, and this expendable society we live in where everyone else is just a stepping stone to your own success, but that's one for another day. So, I'll leave the last word to the radish general... oh, I see... he's speechless. Radishes, what are you going to do with them?

no teef


Help, I've forgotten how to watercolour again!

i blogged a little... in my pants


I haven't updated because I haven't drawn. I haven't even wanted to draw. With the courses I have this semester I'd way waaay rather read up on politics and literature than do any of the actual art work, but one of those magic moments came along recently. This magic moment cost $63, but it made me want to draw again... and I did. I think the only reason I'm in sci/tech is to learn how to draw awesome bugs and birds and rodents and trees to surround my true love - goblins. Except we don't even get to draw any of that shit anymore. Anyways, the magic came out of a Jean-Baptiste Monge faerie art book, and it was like BAM from the first image. It was like discovering Brian Froud all over again. I had a little artgasm, shelled out the $63 I definately can't afford, and went home to savour it. By the next day I had drawn. Today, I drew again. It's madness, I remember how to draw for fun! So here, I smooshed everything together:

Who knows, tomorrow I may even draw again. One thing's for sure, I'll be drawing this summer, at the UTM biolab. I'm super happy to say my co-op placement involves drawing bugs and bug parts and offers a whole biology department worth of study material. I suspect I will not wish to leave in the fall when class comes round again, but the shiny, ever elusive degree lays just beyond the bend.

birds + bees


the birds and the bees show was great fun! got to see tons of school chums i haven't seen for months and lots of great work. i hope lots of pieces get sold to help fund the grad show more but at least they have enough money for the book to get printed now.

here's the digi colour rough and the traditional final of my piece.

(i kinda like the colours in the rough better XD)

this was my first time doing a photocopy transfer onto wood. i got coached through it with the help of Vicki and Ilichna. i wasn't aware just how much i had to scrub the paper off for this process. it didn't peel off at all. after i burnished it and waited for it to cure it didn't really want to move. it was a good learning experience, and now i know not to do it on board! it really helped me keep my lineart though, which is why i wanted to try it. some lines had to get reinked after painting over the transfer but not alot. all in all i'd still say it was a success. i'd definately like to try this more in the future!

photos from the show and purchase information can be found at
the birds and the bees blog.

hyein pain


my friend Hyein had this striking photo of herself on her flickr that i just had to draw.

darkstalkers tribute


so Udon Entertainment held another Capcom art tribute contest, this time for Darkstalkers. last time i missed the deadline, hearing about the contest too late, this time i got an entry in on time but didn't make the cut. over 2000 entries from around the world! craziness. bet the book will be awesome though.

i picked qbee thinking she wouldn't be drawn as much as other characters *coughmorrigancoughfelicia* and tried to do something unique by doing a sci/tech illustration of her. she is a bee girl after all. i guess techies can influence interps too!

now with threads!


i've been meaning to get into doing shirt designs for awhile. i have pages of roughs for shirt designs that i want to do. this one just got approved to be in the running on threadless. now for the 7 day voting period!

My Threadless.com Submission
ps, vote for me!



here's an art trade of a friend's Ragnarok Online character. i'm playing around with "more marketable" illustration styles. i've always loved smart flats and so i kinda used this as a style test. inspired by Marguerite Sauvage.

deep deep deep drown


I recently got pretty engaged/enraged with a project for an architectural class, and this was the result.

The project was an architectural collage, and my take on it became a comment on the project rather that the project itself, as I saw it as aesthetic ambiguity in relation to form and function and the resulting identity which is quite open to interpretation. As usual, I found myself digging quite deep in this material, which I think is good in an academic situation but would probably not make me such a great illustrator in a practical business sense. Sometimes I wonder if I do this to compliment or to compensate...

organizing organ eyes


small update. logotype for my sister's band that i've been designing.

they're rather picky clients but we came up with something in the end that we were all happy with. something classy yet funky that says indie psychadelic folk. music genres are so confusing these days.

edible info graphics


i didn't get to visit Zach's parents this christmas and therefore was unable to give them their present. i recently got them a fresher one from work to send via UPS and decided it needed a map, like what they have in pot of gold etc so you know what you're eating, cause i won't be there to tell them what flavours are what. i actually wanted to do this for all the chocolates i bought but i ran out of time.

i think the end result was pretty cute. just something quick and useful. it kinda made me think of something Jho would do.



ESL certificate, check. Readmission, check. New art, check. I'd call that progress. Good luck to y'all (and ME) in 2009!

Old sketches. New comp. New colour. Gobbos on cheese.

Free time at Grandmas. Too much masking fluid. Overworked. Hidden profile.

Cool frame. 4"x4" eyeball series for cool frame.

Fingers crossed for UTM entomology co-op position. End.

presents + paintings


long time no post! i once again attempted to create art as presents for my loved ones this christmas. i don't think i was quite ambitious as Vicki but i completed what i had planned to make. 3 traditional acrylic pieces all on a fun super thick cardboard.

first is for my sister. she asked me at first if she could commission a piece from me for her band. the lines were already done by her, she just wanted me to colour it. i told her we'd figure something out and she could pay me later. i then gave it to her as a christmas present, oh how tricky of me.

after this, i have discovered that ballpoint pen is much more forgiving on acrylic than any other pen. i take this to mean they are friends and will continue to use them together in my traditional escapades.

these other 2 pieces are for my mum and her fiancee. portraits of their dogs, Nugget and Shuba. i don't really have a lot of experience drawing, let alone painting, dogs, so i was pretty happy with how these ones turned out.