Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tumbling Tumbling

It's now been officially three weeks and a half since I've come home to New Jersey, but to be honest it feels like much longer, even though each individual day seems to pass super quickly. I've settled into a routine at home (after rolling around and doing nothing the first week.) In the mornings I crawl out of bed at exactly 8:10, slap on some clothes, and am out the door by 8:15 (sometimes 8:14!!) to walk with my mom and sister to the local elementary school. Seeing all the little kids with their oversized backpacks is so cute. Essentially a bunch of backpacks with little legs running around haha. To my surprise, my mom is quite socially outgoing now, enthusiastically greeting everyone we see and making small talk with the neighbors. It's kind of inspiring for awkward, anti-social Sonya (I even made some small talk :o). Anyway, during the day I usually do some job hunting, sketching, and have been doing quite a bit of cooking! It's exciting to be back in the kitchen at home where everything is so clean and beautiful, but I actually miss my shitty apartment kitchen at the same time (crazy I know) but college life seems so long ago somehow. Unfortunately I injured my hip somehow about a month or so ago, so I've been extremely inactive besides for taking walks. I can literally feel the little muscle I do have wasting away and being replaced by something much squishier. I really hope my hip hurries up and heals because I want to dance again *__* I keep telling myself I'll go to the doctor's... but it's slowly getting better so I also keep telling myself to wait it out. Oh well, we shall see. 

After the first week or so, I was really discouraged and sort of let myself dig myself into a hole. It's easy to feel insecure or talentless when everyone around you has their immediate future planned out, but idk I've always been a bit different and last minute, so I've decided to stop beating myself up and take my time simultaneously applying to places and building my portfolio. Funnily enough, because of that, my productivity has actually increased dramatically... I guess I'm doing things alright then :) I'm still nervous that I haven't found anything yet, but some places have started taking interest in my work and asking me questions, so that's always a good sign! 

Some of my cooking adventures: Fried shrimp with broccoli, Father's Day breakfast, Spicy grilled eggplant, and chicken katsu curry! 
I went to visit Eric in Philly for a weekend! We spent the first night walking around and bumped into this cool plane installation - it's an actual war plane that's been turned into a green house of sorts (the inside is filled with cool shelving and potted plants!) On Saturday we went to the historic district and browsed all the cool old shops that were filled with centuries-old art and literature. We also went to a really delicious ice cream parlor called the Franklin Fountain - the ice cream was great and they give you a pretty generous serving inside of a Chinese takeout box... fusion I guess. 
So on Saturday, I saw a flier in a shop window advertising the Science Behind Pixar exhibit at the Franklin Institute... YES OH MY GOD. I immediately decided that was what we had to do on Sunday. Originally this exhibit had been at the Museum of Science back up in Boston, but for some terribly odd reason, I never got the chance to go (aka lazy) and it packed up and moved. I was devastated. BUT NO LONGER. What a find *__*
We spent Sunday afternoon happily browsing through the exhibit :) Nothing was crazy or groundbreaking (it was designed for children I think...) but I had a lot of fun with all the interactive stations and listening to the different video interviews, and I think Eric learned a bunch of stuff! 
TERAKAWA. We ate there on the first night and it was so good that we made the trek to Chinatown on the third night for my last dinner in Philly! The ramen was delicious, but my favorite was actually the karaage curry and the pork cheek bao with the fried dough. *___* Good lord. The best part is that although it's super packed, the wait wasn't too bad!
So the next weekend, Eric came to New York to hang with some friends, so I joined them during the day on Saturday! We went to the MoMA so here is a nice transition collage of a cool 50's rock poster wall at the MoMa and a Monster's Inc. wall that was part of the Pixar exhibit. 
Some cool Japanese architecture models, a 3D painted surface that I really liked when I visited the MoMa 3 years ago and I found again, and literally a can of shit. #art 
Here's some of the more exciting food I ate so far: I finally tried a sushi burrito! Took a train to Philly with Courtney that weekend (she had errands to run) so we got to catch up! The catching up was great, the sushi burrito was pretty good but not amazing because it was stuffed with a bunch of dry tasting vegetables. Next was some delicious tsukemen I got at Toto Ramen the day I went to NYC. To be honest I'm not a huge fan of toto so I wasn't expecting much BUT GOD DAMN it was actually really good! It had sort of a rich smokey undertone and the noodles were perfect *__* next up is a panini I got at a random cafe near a place my mom dragged me to go shopping - the chicken was a bit dry, but not bad. Lastly is a beautiful platter of raw vegetables and beautiful rib eye - the delicious lunch special at the Little Lamb Mongolian Hotpot! 
Weee family time :) I got my dad cool clip on lenses for his iphone, so here's us testing out the wide lens at Father's Day Five Guys lunch lol. After that, we went to go see Finding Dory which was absolutely stunning. How does Pixar keep on getting better? I'll find out one day when I work for them >:D Anyway, there's my dad posing with a cardboard cutout of the Big Friendly Giant at the movie theater lol. My mom wanted to get my aunt some stuff so she dragged me out to this luxury outlet outdoor mall thing.... It literally looked like a farm of some sort, but instead of horses and hay, it had Coach and J Crew lmao. And finally my sister and I on her last day of school! Hehe so nostalgic going to my old elementary school everyday~ Even though I'm kind of bummed about the job search, I'm really glad I'm getting to spend a lot of time with my family! Once I get a job, who knows when I'll be able to do this again? :\
Originally, I was actually going to write a couple huge paragraphs about my art-related thoughts, but I think I'll save myself the typing for now. I'm sure it will come up more in-depth in future posts! But the short story is that I've been thinking a lot about questions relating to style, originality, time, and technique. For a while I've noticed that I don't really have a very distinctive style. Or rather, I tend to draw differently depending on the medium (traditional or digital? Brush pen or ball point pen?) and depending on the subject matter (drawing from life vs. drawing from imagination). I think it's only natural when a person drawings sporadically - and therefore style doesn't have the time or repetition to develop? Then there is the question of what it means to have a style. Is it preferable? It seems that most successful artists have a pretty particular style that they've settled into. I wonder if it will happen to me as well, and how much of it will be natural and how much of it will be forced. Interesting things to think about! I'll touch on the other things (and more!) as I think about them, but be prepared to hear a lot of art-related thoughts in the coming posts haha (feel free to skip over these paragraphs if they bore you LOL. Anyway, I've been drawing a lot recently to try and catch up to my "one page a day" thing (only done 61/179 so far...) so here are some of the pages!
Went to Kaylin's tumbling class and tried to do quick gesture drawings. IT WAS SO HARD - the little kids were bouncing and flipping and running all over the place, but it was pretty fun and kind of mentally demanding. I'll probably try it a lot more from now on! On the right is a fountain at UPenn I drew while waiting for Eric. The place was filled with birds and squirrels and I felt like I was literally Snow White or something. 
Experimenting with quick brush pen portraits and different colors on the left, and using lines more sparingly and trying out floral elements on the right.
Two sketches of my father! Left is done in ballpoint pen at a restaurant on Father's Day, and the right is done with brush pen and marker right before we took him to the airport (30 year college reunion in China! :o) I actually really love using brush pen these days because it is so damn fast and I am pretty impatient sometimes D:
Kaylin looking a little older (whoops) while reading a book on the couch. Digitally painted this one - tried to use thicker line art and experimented a bit with adding textures!
This one was actually done back in May but I wanted to post it just because of how much freaking time I spent on it. It was my first large digital painting so I was super slow, getting worked up over minuscule details that were too small to be seen anyway and not focusing enough on the composition as a whole. It came out a little flat, but I'm pretty happy with it overall! I recommend clicking on this one to enlarge it since the original is quite large and alot of the details are lost in this smaller version. It's referenced off of our apartment feat. me eating some ramen and reading an art book. Sigh that's the life *__* 

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