I guess that blogging here on TAL is going to be a monthly thing. I know it sounds bad from a blogger’s perspective, but most bloggers around the world are working adults (and parents even) anyway, so in short, we’re not always obliged to write a single entry per day. We’ll write one entry when inspiration and drive comes. After all, that’s just how life is. If we can stop time for a bit just to write blog entries, it would be convenient. However, let’s all be real, right?
Lent Season is here!
If you’re not Catholic or a Christian who doesn’t practice Lent, you can skip this part.
I’ve been doing a lot of things, trying out a lot of things, especially that Lent Season is here again. I mean to say that Lent isn’t just the only period where you get to try out new things while you abstain from your chosen habits you want to abstain from, but in a way, you need to somehow start trying other things to prevent yourself from getting tempted to get back to the habits you refrain from.
This year, I decided to refrain from the following:
- Mobile Video Games
- Reading fiction/light novels
April 19, also known as Good Friday, will be the last day that I go through fasting and abstinence from the following above.
But, in the meantime, I started doing a few things to get me going while I continue to go through my own self-reflection.
Bullet Sketch Journal
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For the month of March, I started my own bullet journal… that turned out to be a quick sketch art journal. I'm currently following the "How to Draw Almost…" books and rather than using the sketches to design my bullet journal pages, it ended up just a journal of sketches w/ brief real-life stories behind them. I draw/sketch one page during midnight. The question is, will I keep up with the habit? I don't know what's going on with me, I've been mentally exhausted, especially with my coding studies and my 日本語 refresher/self-study, so I need some serious therapy. I started with adult coloring books again, but now I just have the urge to draw with a pen in my hand. I have pleeenty of art arsenal: Sakura Microns, Sakura Pigment Pens, Tombow Dual Brush Pens, Copic Ciao Markers, Zebra Mildliner highlighters, and others I can't think of atm… #arttheraphy #zenart #sketching
I attempted to start a bullet journal… for like the umpteenth time.
I purchased an eBook called The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll to give me some head starts. My previous attempts were all attempts from scratch, and yet I ended up getting lost with the process altogether or I just fell out of the habit. I didn’t find repeating what I’ve done for the day and plans for the next day worth writing it on a piece of paper. After I read the first few chapters, I decided to do some experiments on scratch paper to make some samples.
Instead, it ended up being a sketch journal. I’ve read books about sketching before, but it’s rather difficult for me to just bring a sketchbook, a pencil, and some colors (whether be colored pencils, markers, etc.) around, sit at some corner and sketch things right off the bat by watching others. Maybe it’s easier if I take random photos and draw from there, but I don’t want to make myself look like some stalker.
And then, I had a rare find at Michaels during my random art supplies window shopping.
How to Draw Almost Every Day by Kamo. It’s the English version, the original book was in Japanese.
I love this book, not only that the pages are so colorful, but it gives simple step-by-step instructions for beginners. Instead, this book teaches us how to draw simple subjects that almost looks like the kawaii-style art fit for cute stationery, accessories, and probably children’s books. To be honest, I pretty much lost my drawing abilities from several years ago, but this has become a good warmup to getting into drawing again.
The book is organized by date 1 and it has ideas on what to draw/sketch on that day. I started off following along with the book, but there was a break in between that I ended up making my own sketches not suggested in the book. Creative juices started to flow through the mind, and at the same time, thoughts about what I’ve been up to so far started to flow along with the sketch subjects. I ended up sketching about the main subject of what I’ve been doing that day.
Although I don’t sketch and color on my journal every day, it still is a lot of fun while at the same time relaxing and therapeutic. I felt like my mind is a lot clearer now, especially when it came to my current self-learning coding. 2 Plus, I was getting a lot more desperate with my current job situation. It’s not that I’m jobless now, but I seriously want to move forward to my previous field full-time, permanent, and at the same time having fun. 3
I loved what HTDAED 4 was presenting and the content is just plain, sweet, and straightforward, that I decided to purchase the first book of the How to Draw Almost… series.
How to Draw Almost Everything by Chika Miyata
Like the previous book, this book was also originally printed in Japanese. I recalled seeing these books in my local Kinokuniya Bookstore in San Jose before, but they were all in Japanese. My Kanji reading and my grammar isn’t high fluency level yet, so I skipped on these. I was super happy that the books were republished in English format too. I just started drawing, sketching, making some simple art as a mental exercise because I seriously need it.
Back to Adult Coloring Books
Never underestimate the power of adult coloring books. They really are therapeutic and good for destressing your mind. I actually started back to adult coloring books first before I decided to open my
bullet sketch journal. I want to improve my coloring skills, especially for blending, especially that I’ve got a huge variety of art arsenal to make my coloring book not minimally boring. How about a splash here and there with the clear glitter brush? Or a little blending here and there?
The more I colored each page, the more I realized how much I love using the brush pen and brush markers. There’s something about them that gives the strokes some simple beauty and sweet flow if I got my wording correctly. I even have control over it too with the thickness of the strokes too. I still like colored pencils, but I have to do more remedies on them (especially watercolor colored pencils) to bring out the brightness of the colors. Even a stroke of clear glitter brush is going to make it.
Conquering my mathematical fears?
So, I’m part of the majority of women who feared and despised mathematics. It was the worst subject that I had on my past school days since elementary. It was because of my barely passing grades in math that got me through graduation to the next level that once I felt more independent as an adult with learning, I avoided math altogether 5 and stuck with being an artist and a writer.
I searched around for any possible courses that I can take that would help me a bit with this problem. Then, I discovered there are a lot of math courses required to take if I were in college/university right now pursuing a degree in computer science. However, one particular math course stood out for me that can help me support my web dev/software engineering self-study: Discrete Mathematics.
At the moment, I’m still on the first section of the course, which begins with Propositional Logic. When I took Geometry in high school, I really liked solving proofs. But when it involved formulas I needed to memorizes, that was when everything went downhill for me. So far, I’m beginning to have fun with building truth tables with statements and logical equivalents. 6
This is the Discrete Mathematics course that I’m currently taking. The videos may seem boring, but you get to see the instructor break everything down to make things a lot easier to understand. The course also provides problem sets too that you can solve on your own. Luckily, we only get at least 5 problems to solve, unlike in traditional textbooks where you have to solve like 20 problems for one chapter lesson.
Maybe after or just sometime during my Discrete Math course, I’m thinking of starting Calculus or Linear Algebra… or both. We’ll see.
So, I’ve been busy. In between the ones mentioned above, work, and taking care of my little baby nephew…
Happy Spring 2019, y’all~!
On the sidenote . . .
- which surprisingly includes February 29, in case of the year you’re on is a Leap Year by the time you’re reading this book.
- … because my mind was completely cluttered with so much distracting non-coding (real life) things that I couldn’t focus more on the assignments and projects.
- Web dev
- How to Draw Almost Every Day
- except for that one intro to statistics course that I needed to take for my major
- Dang, should’ve installed LaTex support so I can provide examples. Ah well.
- It’s every Wednesdays on Crunchyroll anyways…