That’s a Wrap: Thesis (Part 1)

It’s been less than a month since graduation and I feel that it has finally sunk in that, after spending the majority of my life in school, I am finally finished (for now, at least.) Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this, I’d like to share a story or two about my last two semesters in university: thesis and graduation. I’ll be splitting these into two separate blog posts, so brace yourself for a lengthy read!

THESIS
I know I’ve been hinting this post several times in the past when I was still working on my thesis, and I’m happy to finally share my thought process on the entire thing: the concept of the story, the actual writing, and, eventually, the illustration process.

It was in my second year of university when I decided two things: one, that I would like to write and illustrate a children’s book for my thesis. And, two, I want to do my thesis alone (I guess I was too traumatized by group work and I know that I’m too much of a perfectionist, so I worried for partnerships when it comes big projects, like a thesis.) Seeing that I had around two years before I would reach the thesis term, I prepared hastily for this in order to have the skills for it. I went to talks and took writing classes to improve my storytelling, I practiced my brush lettering, studied more watercolor techniques, and read + reread a lot of children’s books. I wrote a lot of stories and articles to practice. (I also stocked up on art supplies!) Eventually, the thesis term arrived, and I was ready to face the long road ahead.

My thesis was divided into two terms: the research + topic defense term and the thesis implementation term. The first term focused more on the story development and research, which went by rather quickly. The second term is when I got to apply what I’ve learned…and have fun with it!

The writing process of my book was frustrating, to say the least. I took me three months (and ten drafts) until my mentor and I were satisfied with the text. I wrote the book in poetry to make it fun (and somewhat more difficult for me, haha.) After I fully grasped what I wanted to write, I jumped right into illustration and did a few pages of character and color studies:

I also roughly painted the cover design of my book:

Continue reading “That’s a Wrap: Thesis (Part 1)”

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Hobonichi 2019 Haul!

While I prepare for the Hobonichi wrap-ups I’ve missed (click here to see the latest one), I’d like to share my Hobonichi haul for next year! It took me a while to decide on what cover I’ll use for the next year, but after weeks of indecision, I’m happy with what I chose. When I got the package, I ran to my room to open it up right away (then I placed everything back to take a photo of everything, haha!)

The box is so cute! Happy 20th anniversary, Hobonichi!

When you open the box, this is what welcomes you. I feel encouraged already!

What to open first?!

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Instant Memories in Osaka

A little background: on my trip to Osaka earlier this year, I bought two instant/disposable cameras. I gave one to my little sister, Hannah (who is 7-years-old) and kept one for myself. I challenged her to take photos of what she found interesting or moments she wanted to keep. I followed this prompt and excitedly took photos carefully. I watched Hannah take photo after photo of everything. It wasn’t long until she ran out of shots. Not wanting to buy a new one, I gave her my camera to use up the remaining shots available.

After the trip, I was curious about the outcome of our photos and finally, finally after several months, I got the photos developed and scanned. I picked the best ones from the trip and wanted to share some of them here. [Note: none of these photos were color corrected.]

I took this photo just outside the Fushimi Inari Taisha—I love how the colors just pop out here!

Hannah took this photo—
I love how warm the photo feels and I like how the color pops out on the hair of the lady on the right!)

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MIBF 2018 Book Haul!

Two things: first, this is officially my 100th blog post! Horray! I’m so proud to reach this milestone for my blog. Thank you for sticking around and reading my stories. Second, here is my haul for this year’s Manila International Book Fair. I make it a point to go every year and buy all the books I’ve been eyeing/wanting for the year all in one go.

This year, I am more selective with the books I buy— first, it should be a more sustainable purchase. (“Will I want to read it again?” “Will the contents of this book be a good addition to me as a person?”) Second, it must be something that I wanted for quite some time, meaning no to impulse buying! With these two points in mind, here is my haul!

First on the list is The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. This children’s book has been on my Book Depository wishlist for the longest time. I fell in love with the cover and the cute illustration right away! When I saw this in the book fair, I read it quickly (the story is silly and touching, exactly what I love about children’s books!) and added it to my cart.

The second and third thing would be Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

For RPP, I’ve been waiting patiently for the small-sized paperback to come out. I’ve read this book (ebook) twice, and am in love with the whole series (I even met Kevin Kwan during his book signing last year!) I’m so happy to finally have the complete set at home!

As for The Alchemist, I’ve been curious about this book for the longest time, but never really got to (or really wanted to) pick it up until last month. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and it has been recommended to me a few times—can’t wait to get into reading it!

The fourth and fifth books are Things are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz and Spark Joy: an Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

I’ve been wanting to read Adam’s book for quite some time, as I’m a fan of his work. I’m so happy to finally own his book (and I’ve browsed it briefly—I love it.)

As for Spark Joy, I’ve been Marie Kondo’d from her other book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I can say that my space is cleaner and I feel happier after tidying up things that made my life more difficult in the past. Since her first book created such an impact on me, I wanted to read her second book even more to really get into the topic of tidying and living a better life.

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August Hobonichi Wrap-Up! (ほぼ日)

Hello everyone! We’re half-way through September already, and I thought it would be a great time to post my August Hobonichi wrap-up. Last month was one of the most important months of my academic life since I submitted my thesis and defended it a few weeks later—I’ll talk more about my thesis in a future blog post (there’s just so much that happened!) For now, please enjoy my wrap-up:

Submitted my thesis and watched the new Mission Impossible movie to celebrate—a great way to start the month!

R: My aunt had an operation and I stayed overnight in her hospital room to watch/assist her.

R: *Ako (or A-ko): the elder sister of your father; my aunt

L: Went back to Taft to do a few errands (and claim my graduation photos! 🙈)

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July Hobonichi Wrap-Up! (ほぼ日)

With August more than half-way through, I thought it would be a good time to post my Hobonichi wrap-up from last month! July has been a memorable and busy month for me—aside from balancing my thesis and internships, I also had personal achievements and attended different events! (If you’d like to see the start of this series, click here to view the January wrap-up.)

I’ve been working on my high school yearbook as the editor-in-chief for four years already (there were a lot of complications) and it’s finally ready for distribution! July 2 was a memorable day for me, for sure.

We finally decided the names of our puppies: Pepper and Oreo!

Two back-to-back events: an ABC book launch and a spoken word poetry show by Phil Kaye and Sarah Kay!

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June Hobonichi Wrap-Up! (ほぼ日)

Hello everyone! I’m excited to share my Hobonichi spreads for the month of June! I know it’s a little late, but I’m catching up with my posts so expect July’s wrap up very soon! (Speaking of, if you want to see where it all started, click here to look at January’s wrap-up!) Without further adieu, here’s June’s Hobonichi Wrap-Up!

My trip to Osaka! I actually have a separate travel journal for my trips—will share them soon!

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Singapore 2018!

Hello, everyone! It’s been quite a while. I have a few pending blog posts I’d like to share here—and I will soon! I just finished my thesis (yes!) and am currently waiting for my defense at the end of the month, which means I have more time to write, yey!

A few weeks ago, I headed to Singapore (my first time!) for a brief 3-day trip. It was mostly a business trip (plus a little leisure) and I was in the middle of making my thesis (more on this in a separate post) so I was feeling anxious before the trip, thinking about the workload I can’t do while I’m there. Later on, I realized that a 3-day break was just what I needed. Before the trip, I was painting non-stop (my thesis is a children’s book which I wrote and illustrated.) Sometimes, the most difficult thing about working is knowing when to take a break.

Day 1

The night before, it suddenly hit me that I was going to Singapore. I suddenly got waay too excited—I’ve been dreaming about visiting that country for so long, and now, I’m actually going! Our flight was early in the morning (when isn’t it?) so we left home rather early and several hours later, we boarded our plane (Singapore Airlines—another first!)

Breakfast!

The entire flight was pleasant, the airplane food was good, and the in-flight entertainment? Wonderful!

I finally got to watch the Isle of Dogs! I’m so happy (also, it’s now up there with The Grand Budapest Hotel as my top Wes Anderson film favorites!)

Fast forward to a couple more hours later, we’ve finally landed in Singapore! Right away, I’m impressed by Changi Airport—I could see why it’s one of the best in the world. As soon as we got out of the airport, we booked a Grab and headed for our rented apartment. While waiting for check-in, we had lunch at the hawker center across the street.

I finally got to try a long-time curiosity of mine: carrot cake!

After lunch, we checked-in our apartment and headed for Office Expo Asia, where we spent the rest of the afternoon. The expo was interesting—there were a lot of products that surely intrigued me.

View from our apartment!

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Osaka Haul 2018!

As promised, here is my Japan/Osaka haul (please read my previous blog post about the trip to offer some insight on my purchases!) Whenever I travel, a handful of people ask me what to buy/what I bought/what to expect in Japan—to have an idea of what type of person I am (or what things I usually buy), here is my haul:

Music:

I dropped by Tower Records and knew immediately what I’m looking for—to my delight, I was able to find them! I grabbed a copy of Panic! at the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor (I’ve been looking for a physical copy for a looong time; I love this album so much) and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton (I am a total theatre nerd and I am proud Hamitrash—I think I’ve memorized at least more than half the songs so far? Hehehe.) Great finds + great buys!

Stationery/Art Supplies:

Next up, I bought these sticker organizers. I really had this one my ‘to-buy’ list and luckily didn’t have too much of a hard time finding them.

The lavender one is for sticker flakes—

…while the red one is for vertical sticker sheets!

I also bought a pack of 8 Posca paint markers (because I’ve been wanting to try them out for the longest time) and a roll of masking tape (I’m not sure if this is specialized for watercolor paper, but I’m excited to test it out!)

Next would be the washi tapes (oh, boy!)

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Osaka 2018!

A few days ago, my family and I got back from Osaka, Japan. We stayed there from June 7 to 11, 2018—too short of a stay, if you’d ask me! Hehe. For this trip, I booked EVA Air (a 4AM-12nn flight, with a layover at Taipei for two hours) and excitedly counted the days ’till the big trip; I was especially excited for this trip because it would be my little sister’s first time in Japan!

Day 1

Airplane food.

Sunrise up in the sky!

Fast forward to noon, we finally arrived in Osaka! I quickly claimed our Nankai Line Airport Express tickets and our Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan E-tickets as well from the HIS counter at the airport. (I booked both of these, amongst others, through Klook.com!)

We rode to Namba in comfortable peace and enjoyed the sights. Forty-five minutes later, we got to our destination.

The train looks so cool + futuristic, hehe.

Would recommend riding the rapi:t train (you can purchase roundtrip tickets!) If you book it online or buy the tickets there, you can get reserved seating. We made our way to our hotel, Ibis Styles Osaka, dropped our things off, and headed for Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan!

If you squint, you could see my dad, my mom, and my sister photobombing my photo. Huhu.

The aquarium was just gorgeous. I would totally go back just to spend a lazy afternoon staring at the majestic creatures behind the glass. Just look at these photos (although, the photos don’t do enough justice for the actual thing!):

Why, hello there!

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