Work has been busy lately, but I doodle when I can. When I should be studying Japanese. I cannot pretend that my priorities are misplaced when I’m set to live my life here. But when it’s getting cold and you talk all day, language seems unappealing.
This Owl Prince is one of many drawings I have done that looks much, much better in person. That’s a major weakness of mine. When I look at it from the artist’s perspective (not head on) it looks alright. I scan it and all of the lack of symmetry and dimension is glaring.
That said, I still like him. I still think he is cute.
Recently, I decided to start listing some original drawings on Etsy. I guess it feels weird to keep them all stacked up in storage, and sometimes when I look at them I think I could do better, but still like it. I don’t know. I like this one, but maybe someone else will like it more.
I hope? And if not, well, it’ll inspire me to do better.
I got a new residence card today, and at first I felt guilty taking the day off just to go to immigration, but to be honest it was refreshing.
I also got a couple new sketchbooks, and the weather lately is so lovely, too, even if just a little bit warm…
We found a snail in Gunma, nibbling on hydrangeas. I don’t know why I like snails, or at least why I like drawing them. Maybe because they have unique bodies, and then the shell, which is like a bonus canvas if you’re feeling up to it.This one has four seasons, although summer is tiny and a student said, “Those look like tropical leaves…” when I explained that Autumn had the biggest role in the spiral. Also, the little center piece features a small fountain/well shape and wisteria. 藤 (fuji, wisteria) 井 (i, well). In a lot of traditional gardens, the fountain or well has the appropriate shape. Anyway, I thought it was interesting.
I guess I can always try more snails in the future.
In other daily news, today we went to Shinrinkoen and it was lovely. The sky never quite turned blue but it felt and smelled like Autumn. I skipped breakfast to ease the guilt of eating ice cream, because I usually get a mocha cone when we go there. This time, they had vanilla soft-serve, topped with kabocha whipped cream, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. I’ll probably never get it again, but it was great while it lasted (and I had it all to myself).
The weather lately has been creeping towards my ideal.. cool, breezy, with earthy smells even in Tokyo. Simultaneously comforting and triggering homesickness.
We recently had a busy weekend. I submitted my application to extend my visa (although I am not getting my hopes up for anything longer than a year, that way the disappointment wont hit me too hard [I may be fooling myself]). We also headed up to Gunma, which most people have told me is super boring. I love Gunma and nobody can convince me that it isn’t one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in Japan ever.
Anyway, I also have been drawing. I recently drew a snail that I really enjoy, but I think it will look better scanned, so I’m waiting on that one. For now, there’s a lion-head rabbit with little wings.
The image above is from my sketchbook, and I started it because I wanted t practice a couple things. The first was creating a logo, from scratch, for a brand or product that doesn’t actually exist. I wanted to make something that looks at least a little dynamic, and not too flashy. I decided that a monotonous texture of layered fur might help, as well as the arrow. Since I have no background in design and am generally just experimenting, it was fun.
The circle around the elk’s head is not at all symmetrical. Ideally it would be but with the “natural wood” attempt I don’t suppose it would have looked quite right either way.
A coworker sat beside me to ask, “Why? Why that name?”. I don’t know, but my husband recommended I shrink the logo a bit and add antlers if I decide to give it another go.
I guess I am just having fun trying something at least slightly new.
We also went to Hanno today and went for a little hike. It was very nice. We used the camp stove to make coffee and noodles by the beautiful river, and walked among the blooming hurricane lilies. There was also this tiny lotus pond.