The Hexacoto

Listening to the sound of one hand clapping

Category: Art

Illusory Flowers

hana&chouI don’t know how to paint. I just hack away with pencil and brush and call it ‘fauvism’. I never took art classes, learnt how to correctly apply shades and lighting to colours. In the end, I just lighten where I think light should be and darken where I think darkness should be.

I made this painting (acrylic on canvas) a while ago, with an aim to create beauty from my mind. I think of the two most beautiful things in my head: butterflies and flowers.

There is beauty in budding, blooming, and withering. The idea of growth, blossom and death fascinates me, and perhaps in part inspired by the lyrics of one of my favourite songs.

狂い咲き命を燃やす 揺れながら
The life that blooms off-season burns as it trembles

お前は夢見る
You are dreaming

この世界は美しいと この胸に
This is world is beautiful  in my heart

きっと咲いてる
It is surely blooming

True, the lyrics don’t make much sense, but the beauty of the image in which they conjure is something I’ve enjoyed for a long time, and it has helped me see beauty in many things, because things are surely blooming. It’s been a source of optimism for me, to see beauty amidst blight. Even if things are ugly on the outside, you can always count on the world to be beautiful in your heart.

Advertisement

Timmy the Grape

grapewine

 

Timmy the Grape was always under a lot of stress, so much so that one day he turned into wine and cracked under all that pressure.

This is the last of my illustrated short stories for now. I can’t believe this took me 12.5 hours to make from start to finish. Then again, I had planned to draw this for nearly over a year now, and now that I’ve all the time in the world (ahem) there’s no reason for me not to do it.

Detective Spud

detective spud

The dame seemed to be in distress but was otherwise calm and collected. “Alright then,” said Detective Spud, “It seems that you’re in need of a private eye. I’ve plenty to go around.”

This is the second part of a series of illustrated short stories.

The Cabbage Stripper

mmm take it off... oh shit!

Once upon a time, there was a cabbage who wanted to be a stripper. And so it did. It started stripping and stripping and eventually died. The end.

This is the first part of a series of illustrated short stories.

When drop bear meets skunk ape

dropbearskunkapeLast night, I was chatting with someone who was doing a road trip through the Southern United States. He was in New Orleans, I think. As a joke, I said to him, “Watch out for the drop bears.” Which makes no sense because drop bears are from Australia anyway.

It turns out someone else also said to him, “Watch out for skunk apes.” That makes it two people who warned my friend of cryptids on his travels.

I was thinking, why can’t there be drop bears in New Orleans? If my friend could be a tourist there, surely drop bears can too.

Also, what are skunk apes? Looking them up, it is a bipedal ape-like creature that is incredibly smelly. A woman who supposedly sighted one believed it to be an escaped orang utan.

But unlike the skunk ape, drop bears are not cryptids, in that they are completely fictitious, created to tease tourists coming into Australia. According to Wikipedia, “various methods suggested to deter drop bear attacks include placing forks in the hair, having Vegemite or toothpaste spread behind the ears or in the armpits, urinating on yourself, and only speaking English in an Australian accent.”

I kind of really like the drop bear I created. I liked it so much I made it into a logo.

dropbear

 

Lessons from a coffee mug on a rainy evening

miloThis evening, as I was sending out more job applications, I decided to make myself a cup of hot cocoa (technically, I made Milo, which is chocolate malt). After a while, I looked at my mug, and I realised that I could see the reflection of the ceiling lights off of the rim of the mug. I decided to look closer and then I noticed the edge of foam that looked like it was climbing out the side of the mug. Other things I noticed were that where spoon touched the liquid, the area around it was slightly darkened, and that the shadow of the top of the mug formed a neat crescent that bisected the cocoa.

I’ve never stared so hard at a mug of cocoa before, and I reckoned if I could see all these individual layers of detail, I must be able to illustrate them out.

I spent a long time trying to replicate each feature accurately: its colour, its location, its details. But after a while, staring so hard at these features, I started to forget that they were actually part of a mug of cocoa. In my excitement at being able to see fine detail, I forgot what the whole thing was.

Have I been similar in my job search? Although I’m trained in journalism and my speciality is international news, focusing only on getting positions that will land you where you were trained to do might have you forget that what you really want to do is write. Maybe applying for business writing isn’t a bad thing. Maybe writing about technology isn’t an end-all (But heavens forbid you write for the New York Post). What you need to be doing is to be moving, because you (I mean me, this is me speaking in second-person again) are currently being stagnant, and that needs to change.

Like what you teach people in unicycling, “Always keep moving. If you stop, you fall.” I should learn to take my own advice more often.

Persisting in fine-graining my search yielded the above snazzy illustration of my mug, but the hot cocoa turned cold, and became slightly less satisfying on this rainy, rainy evening.

You don’t have to run away

runaway

I’ve been keeping myself occupied, none of these occupying things are going to lead me to an occupation. But it takes my mind off of less savoury things, like why haven’t the companies I’ve applied to replied.

Tomorrow’s the weekly Circus in the Park which I hold in Washington Square Park. It started out as a thing I did on my own, where I’d just practice poi and unicycling by the fountain. Eventually, people got interested in what I was doing and started to join me. That was how I got to know the spinning community here in the city, really. Even though we haven’t talked in a while (Dale, Gwen, Rappo, etc), I will always remember them opening my eyes to the magnitude and vibrancy of the spinning community.

Funnily enough, back home, I was always surrounded by lots of jugglers and nary a unicyclist, except among the Singapore Unicyclists. When I did my outdoor practice, those who would join me were jugglers. Here I find the opposite: many poi-and-staff spinners, and I did not get to know many jugglers until junior year in college.

A contributing factor to why poi is so much more pronounced here is simply because there are rave scenes. Poi and glow-sticking are essentially the same thing, and they are constantly a mainstay at rave scenes here in the city. Not to mention that there is a hearty drug market that goes alongside these raves. You can scarcely find a light-show back home save for tourist landmarks, and it’s a death penalty for drugs (I heard the ‘mandatory’ part has been repealed but that’s another story).

Anyway, I created the above cut-and-paste notice to bring to Circus tomorrow, and it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while but have never found the time. Guess what, I now have all the time in the world. Go me.

I must say, the tedium of drawing, cutting and pasting the drawings by hand has a certain charm to it. It gives me a sense that I’m doing work. Granted, it’s elementary, but it keeps my hands and mind busy.

Here is another set of pictures I’ve drawn for the circus club last winter.

pbcircus

PBDIABPBUNIPBJUG