My Amano style Zoro. I’m not sure how the colors look on the screen. This is probably my third watercolor painting in my life, and I have no idea how to use watercolor. I think I treated it too much like acrylic. it’s not as “amano” as I’d like, but it’s kind of hard to instantly be a professional painter like he is. I get too scared to put dark shadows on things and freak out when it’s too dark. but a shadow is dark. that’s what it is. I don’t know. I will have to continue to draw and paint and by time I finish this series maybe I will have a better grasp of watercolor.
HERE’S TO HOPIN’.
ps I decided that this painting takes place between the alabasta arc and before they reach skypedia, because that is when zoro is really tan and the clouds were dark and stormy. nobody I know will understand this, I am pushing my nerd glasses up my nerd nose on my nerd face as I make this note to myself. pretty proud of my clever references.
YEAH ONE PIECE!!!
All Devin and I have been watching is One Piece. I am obsessed. it is an epic Pirate anime. no doubt I will go into detail about it’s greatness one day on this blog, but for now the subject is the drawing of. I came up with this great plan in my mind to draw all the One Piece crew in Amano Yoshitaka style. He did the art for the Final Fantasy games (for my non-nerd friends). when I was 11 and played those games, I did not appreciate or understand his style. now I love it. I haven’t drawn in a long time and wanted to get back into it, so Devin and I went to this giant art store in Shinjuku today and I spent ¥5,564 (~$60!) on supplies. but considering what I got, I’m excited!
I decided I didn’t want to ink with black anymore. anything but black. so I got some really nice maroon, brown and light gray pens for inking! I got a gummy eraser that doesn’t leave dust, a sharpener, 3 color pencils (for Amano style touches with the pens) big water color paper and a nice brush set! I brought a watercolor kit with me from home.
On the left is the Amano picture from a Final Fantasy game I referenced, mixed with one of my favorite One Piece characters, Zoro (I luff him).
It turned out pretty much exactly how I wanted it to, which is rare since it’s been a million years since I have drawn anything. I am looking forward to painting it, I think it will turn out well! if I don’t screw it up that is! whew!
A few days ago Devin and I “celebrated Valentine’s day” (It sort of exists here), and by using quotations I mean, I used that as a reason to get him to take me to a LOVE HOTEL!! (the greatest invention to come out of Japan since sticker picture machines, in my opinion). You may or may not have already heard me ramble on and on about the greatness that is Love Hotels. To my dismay, they are becoming less “tacky” and more swanky. I hear that Osaka has more of the bizarre themed ones than Tokyo. I will do the best research I can on this theory.
The one above is from a hotel in Ikebukuro called “Hotel Aland”. I made another mini video, but it is a lot different tone than the snowy nakano one. some things in the video might need explaining, like the machine in the beginning is how you pay for the room. there are no people in the hotel except for cleaning staff. you pick your room from a touch screen in the lobby, go to the room and once you close the door you are locked in until you pay via this machine. Also in the mini fridge is a vending machine… filled with an assortment of drinks, sex toys, extra condoms, etc. if you press the button the machine by the door keeps track of it and you pay at the end. the amenities of an average love hotel surpass any fancy hotel I can think of! and hey, love hotels can be pretty fancy themselves!
Music is “Brick Road’s Theme” from Earthbound Soundtrack. man, making all these mini videos just makes me want to play Earthbound.
and also we took some purikura pics, because duh. After purikura, love hotels, and doujin buying of the fujoshi kind (that one was just me), we headed home and ate convenience store bento dinner and watched ‘One Piece’ on my laptop. we are up to episode 100 now, but there are 480 (and still going strong). BUT IT’S SO GOOD/HUGE HERE IN JAPAN (FOR A REASON–IT’S SO GOOD!)!!
Best Valentine’s day evs. or just regular day in Japan. you decide.
ps in the pics: kuma is devin’s nickname in Japanese, meaning “bear” and Aka is short for Akachan which means “baby”, which is sort of nickname.
I made this little video yesterday while Devin and I walked to get some house supplies. Apparently it was a holiday yesterday, so the normally busy and crowded streets were even more empty than usual even during the snow. We sort of got caught in a mini blizzard at one point and had to buy umbrellas because we got soaked. It was lightly snowing again today, but hopefully will warm up soon.
The music in the video is Dr. Andonuts theme from Earthbound. ^_________^ I don’t want to make any promises, but I’ve been thinking of making a bunch of mini videos to some Earthbound soundtrack music. It’s just so good….!
I made this drawing a few weeks ago for Yukari, a wonderful woman I met once by chance who did an incredible thing for me from across the US. although my watercolor is a bit lame (getting back into drawing, a bit rusty), it was the absolute LEAST thing I could send to her as a sign of my appreciation.
long story, long: I spend what nickles and dimes I have to get to LA to see every SM Entertainment star step foot in America to do a show for the first time together. This includes SUPER JUNIOR. at this point in my life–a year after I discovered who they even were–I would just stay up till 4 AM watching English subtitled clips of them, learning their names, their songs, anything I could figure out about them. Never in my right mind would I ever believe to see them in the flesh in my entire life.
So let’s skip to my dreams coming true, and seeing them in the flesh, on US soil, performing songs LIVE I had only experienced on shitty internet clips. I also got to share this experience with the only other person in the world who I know likes K-pop. it was a glorious reunion with a friend from the east coast who I had visited earlier this summer and we last minute were able to scrape enough money to meet together in LA to see SMTOWN LIVE 2010! this was the only stop in America they were making on their “world” tour.
we meet at the airport. we wander around aimlessly trying to get out of the airport. we find an airport van. we cram into one almost already full. we excitedly whisper back and forth about how unbelievable it is that we were about to see Korean Pop Stars as real human beings, alive, in the US. It is slowly revealed that more and more people in the van were there for the same reason! One of which was Yukari! A Japanese woman who flew in from New Hampshire on her own to witness this amazing event! Everyone in the van was from around the US, it was really effing cool… brought together over the love of KPOP!
We go our separate ways to our separate hotels before the concert that night. there were some fan meet ups we wandered in and out of in the afternoon, and we bumped into Yukari again! we exchanged facebook info to keep in touch over the love of Kpop.
Long story already long now into short: We keep in touch. I find Super Junior announces a huge mega show (known only as SUPER SHOW #3) happening in Japan in February. 2 days added. 3rd day added because it is madness. you have to pool your name to even get a chance to buy tickets. all this info is on a Japanese website, run by Japanese suju fanclub members….in Japanese. I ask Yukari if there is any chance I can figure this out and get a ticket since I will be in Japan at this time. After weeks of back and forth, it is revealed that YUKARI WON A CHANCE TO BUY ME A TICKET. I send her a check to pay her back and this photo of her favorite SUJU member, Donghae that I drew after thanking her a million jillion times on facebook. Her mother in Japan has been holding onto the ticket for me until I get there. it was the nicest, most elaborate, most intensely awesome thing anyone has done for me that I can even think of right now.
I met a stranger in a van in a city with a kpop concert by chance. months later, from across the country and corresponding with another country around the world, the forces that be…. I–a platinum blonde American girl–get to see the hugest Korean boy band in the best country ever: Japan.
Thank you, Yukari.
Dreams do come true.
Jen and I filmed this last week at my work Scarecrow Video, at 2 in the morning. If by some Christmas miracle I win this contest, I will have monies for Japan and some awesome shoes. I was late entering it, so I don’t think I have a chance at getting enough points, but I would have regretted it even more for at least not even trying to enter! While we were shooting it, every cool dance move I’ve ever known had fell out of my head. I don’t mind at this point, I am just glad I got it done.
That old comedy poster I did of Derek Sheen being crazy with birds in his beard has turned into his official icon. I cleaned it up and made it presentable. it is now a CD cover, wall poster, calendar magnet, postcard and t-shirt. I couldn’t be more proud. I’m glad he liked it, to say the least! hooray!