An Upcoming Change

Ah, I know this blog has been neglected, and I’ve been feeling bad for keeping it on the backburner. But I’ve discovered that it’s tough work keeping up with posts when I’m trying to juggle a full-time job with serving in two church ministries, honing my artistic/musical skills and being present in my rather active social life. Anyway, artists go through harvest/fallow cycles and now I happen to be readying the ground, not so much harvesting the fruits of my labour (that’s what I like to tell myself, but it’s also true!)

The good news: I’m going to continue keeping this space up. I’m not sure who reads this, but props to my friends who do; I’m glad you enjoy reading my random and sporadic posts. The even better news: I’m going to start taking my artistic portfolio seriously, and will be converting this site into a gallery of my creative progress.

Continue reading “An Upcoming Change”

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Doodle of the Day: My Art Journey + The Wonderful Cross

Today I have something doodly to share. One doodle was drawn yesterday and one today; both were drawn with Tayasui Sketches on my iPhone 4. Here’s the first one. It’s the story of my art journey:

My Art Journey

(that weird half-formed A/star is my way of signing off my pieces since A is for Antelune, y’know)

When I was young I used to draw lots. I also painted. Then I stopped doing that for a while, but I still liked doodling on my notes. In lectures I would doodle and doodle on the margins of my foolscap paper. While most of my friends would pass notes to stave off boredom, I would doodle. I never took it further than that though.

Later on, I started taking photographs and editing them using photo apps. I had this deadly fear of Photoshop and I’m not even sure why! I think it’s because everything looked so complicated and I never had the patience to sit down and go through tutorials. Instead, I took to Tayasui Sketches (sketch app) and PicMonkey instead. I use PicMonkey to make some graphics for my blogs and it’s a great and simple image editor with design tools thrown in.

A year later, I decided to try my hand at GIMP because I was trying to create stuff for Society6. It didn’t turn out so bad, and I was pretty pleased that I had gotten over my fear of image editors that looked like PS. As I recently joined my church’s social media team (design + copywriting), I decided that I needed to learn PS and get better at it. I took the plunge and the psychological barrier was broken. Years after my initial fear, I finally realised that… it wasn’t that bad after all. I’m exploring my options in PS now and am really pleased that I’m learning many new things without fear of failure. I’m also extremely glad and grateful that my prayer at the start of 2014 was answered – I prayed that God would nurture my skills and interest in visual art, and it has happened so gradually that I never noticed!

This brings me to the next doodle…

The Wonderful Cross

Some of my friends were having a rough day today, and I immediately felt like cheering them up with a doodle. The first thing I thought of was the wonderful Cross, signifying the risen Christ, and this Cross has all manner of confetti, hearts, and stars bursting from it as a massive blast of Love! It’s wonderful how much inspiration His love has given me, and I pray that everyone may experience it in abundance like I have. It’s all about how open your heart is to receiving His love, that’s all.

To end this doodle post off, I’ll just say that I have some really exciting design plans for four posters and they came to me randomly just now. Also had this really cool dream about blood moons yesterday and am going to transcribe the dream into a story. I’m looking forward to making these projects a reality!

The Whys and Hows of Happiness

Strasbourg, France Tunnel

Somewhere in a tunnel in the small town of Strasbourg, France, someone had taken it into his head to ask a question to all who passed through.

Are you happy?

It’s a question that seems deceptively easy to answer and yet for many, the answer is anything but simple. I’ve tried to answer it for months. I wrote this draft last year, in October, and I’m revisiting it now because I feel compelled to complete this post and resolve my thoughts on the matter.

Happiness tends to be a confusing thing mainly because of two reasons:

  1. Human beings may confuse happiness with euphoria (e.g. the high you get when you win a prize, competition or when you ride the rollercoaster)
  2. Human beings are not good at predicting what would make them happy in the long run

Not everyone will fall prey to no. 1, but it seems that no one is exempt from no. 2. People who predict how happy or unhappy they will feel about a debilitating life incident often end up feeling happier than they had predicted once the incident had occurred. People who win the lottery are happy for approximately two weeks before their level of happiness goes back down to a happiness “baseline” that depends on genetic, environmental and personality factors. When I was younger, I remember thinking that my achievements and failures would make a huge difference on my overall happiness. Yet when such major events occurred, I was affected for only a few days to a week. So much for that.

So far we’ve been talking about levels of happiness and the state of being happy – but what exactly is happiness? That’s the complicated part. Some people think it’s an object to be strived for, like a prize at the end of a well-fought race. Other people think it’s an undefinable, fleeting moment that comes unasked and leaves a void in its place. Do happy people experience happiness because they are happy? Or are they happy because they experience happiness? Not so easy to answer.

Continue reading “The Whys and Hows of Happiness”