Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mass Effect has effected me, massively

What you see here is fanart for the action-adventure RPG video game, Mass Effect, which I have been playing pretty much every day for the past week. First fanart. First steps into accepting my new obsession.

It's been a while since I've been this worked up over a game, but I couldn't help it. In a way I feel like Mass Effect just allows me to indulge in my eternal fantasy of being an astronaut, exploring space, being friends with sentient aliens, stuff like that. Star Trek stuff. The game is also extremely well made, the animations are excellent and the voice-acting and cutscenes are nothing short of cinematic. Perhaps what intrigues me the most is how you can make choices to effect small parts of the game. It's not entirely a sandbox game like Fallout 3 or anything (which I've only played minimally), there is a definite plot and you do have to go through with it. But you, as Commander Shepard (male or female, your choice), get to make choices—do we kill the rogue doctor who's been harvesting organs and creating zombies, or send him to jail? He's begging for his life but your alien squadmate, Garrus, insists that it's him, he's had a case on him and those horrible things you fought in the other room were his own creations. I told Garrus to go to town. The doctor is dead.

You can upload your save file from Mass Effect into its sequel, Mass Effect 2, so the same character you played in the first continues his/her adventures in the second. That's just brilliant, it's such a simple concept but it's so fascinating to me. The continuity! Remember that side quest where you can tell Garrus to go ahead and kill the rogue doctor, or choose to arrest him instead? Apparently what you chose effects how Garrus develops as a character (I read spoilers...): if you told him to stand down, he'll be a little more law-abiding, knowing that you as Commander Shepard don't approve of solving problems with killing. Do the opposite and Garrus goes full rogue that believes violence is always the answer. Looks like I have a lot to look forward to—this really gives the name Mass Effect a whole other dimension.

See, it originally refers to the ancient technology developed by an ancient alien race called the Protheans that enabled them to travel across vast stretches of space into other nebulas, systems, planets. I won't get into details here because there are too many, but I love the fact that Mass Effect is hard science fiction—even though it's fiction, it pays attention to the science. Like how turians and quarians, other alien races, are life-forms based on dextro-amino acids or something, so they can't eat the same food as humans. Also, every system you travel to has several planets, but most have only that is inhabited or habitable. Some have none. Talk about keeping it real! When I noticed that detail, I fell in love with the game.Is that weird?

Yeah, it's pretty weird. I think the last time I was this obsessed with a game was when I was still playing Kingdom Hearts. Maybe the Zelda games too. But here I am, devoting at least 2 hours each day to advancing my game and levelling up my character.

And I drew fanart. That's a good indication as any in showing how much I love this game.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Facial Wash

Don't you hate it when your soap takes itself too literally?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Leaving" 2010 Behind

I always thought that the idea of leaving a year behind was funny, as though the entire year was a burden on your shoulders that you simply shrugged off when the ball dropped for the New Year. When I look back at older pictures and blog posts from just the past year, back in January, February and such, it feels like I leave the months behind as they go because these times feel so far away. A year ago today I wanted to draw and post a picture every single day for the entire year, and that slowly faded away. It seems so far away, like time passes very slowly for me. Anyway, I wanted to recap my year in the form of lists. So, here we are...

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


  • Snowboarding for the very first time, and loving it :')
  • Celebrating one year together with José <3
  • Actually drinking alcohol XD
  • Swing dancing at Atomic 
  • Salsa dancing at Alpine Village
  • Staying in touch with Stephanie, my graphic design professor
  • Learning butterfly knife tricks :d
  • Biking down the Strand from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica
  • José's graduation
  • My mom's graduation
  • Summer school!
  • Baking baking baking
    • Apple bread, apple pie, blueberry cobbler, yumm :d
  • Summer Fil-Am reunion
  • Amber & Luis' wedding!!
  • Paddle-boarding
  • Mika going to San Jose :') (in the 'congratulations' way, not the 'Hurray she's gone' way XD)
  • The Amazing Santa Monica Race!
  • Mika's 18th birthday party!
  • "Don't Ask Don't Tell" repealed
  • The return of the electric car!
  • Las Vegas Fil-Am reunion
  • Landing my first internship! Yes!!
  • Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, Inception, Black Swan, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Zombieland, Inglorious Basterds, Tangled, Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga'Hoole
  • Classes: Intermediate graphic design, History of graphic design, Metalsmithing, Bookmaking :)

  • Snowboard-related ouches D:
  • Getting drunk and sick for the first time
  • Getting stuck in a creative rut for the longest time :\
  • Lagging on my jkd training
  • The passing of Auntie Audrey :(
  • ...and my bookmaking professor's dad
  • ...and Brent's dad :(
  • BP oil spill
  • The Last Airbender >8[
  • Mika leaving for San Jose :') It was bittersweet!
  • Jaw problems 
  • Sinus problems

  • That creative rut I mentioned...
  • Having crushes on professors :x
  • The Human Centipede
    • I never saw it, but come on :(
  • Various emotional turmoils that I put myself through
I'm so sure that I forgot a bunch, but that's okay.
I think compared to other years, 2010 was not particularly spectacular or extravagant for me, although it certainly had its glory moments. As with every year, I learned a lot about myself and how to do things, and in 2010 what I learned is that nothing compares to action. I spent a lot of time switching mindsets from dreaming, thinking and making ideas to actually putting them to action, even if they're not entirely thought out. It's a habit I really want to keep up in 2011, and I certainly hope that I can. It'll be crucial to me when I graduate and switch gears from college to the dreaded real world!

So in a way, 2010 was a year of preparation for me. I grew out of old, childish habits and modes of thinking and really started to grow up about my work and my design. 2011 will be a year of great change for me, what with the graduation and all. I might not even be living in the same place, or with the same people, by the end of the year.

My official 2011 Resolution is to not post those "like this and I'll say something nice about you" type of statuses on Facebook XD Seriously, they are a waste of time and they often leave me wondering, "You don't even talk to me, and now you want me to say something nice about you?" I certainly try, but it's clear that it's just a trap for attention-fishers. The new year wouldn't be complete without some actual goals, so let's line out some right now.

January 2011 Goals
  • I'll make a monthly list of goals. One for the entire year isn't going to cut it if I actually want to achieve anything.
  • Create at least one new portfolio piece
  • Draw  at least one comic for José, and one for Chris
  • Book covers for Heidi and Lauren
  • Paint the "Millay" shoes 
  • Make some sketchbooks for Heidi's etsy shop
It's kind of a hefty list, but if I actually get off my ass and do each one I'll power through it by the end of the month :)

So here's to 2011! May I get more done than I did last year XD

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Black Swan

Today I watched Black Swan with a friend, and I was absolutely blown away. It left me in cold sweat, gasping at the end. I couldn't stop thinking about it, yet I couldn't bring myself to find the words to talk about it. Barring perhaps Toy Story 3, Black Swan is the best movie I've seen this year.

Now, if you've seen the movie already (or just don't care for spoilers), feel free to click below the cut to read my thoughts. If not, go see it the next chance you get. I highly recommend it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shoes, too?!

Today while my parents and I were sorting through old shoes to figure out what to keep and what to donate to the Salvation Army, we came across a Vans box, with a brand new pair of Vans in it!

I tried them on, and surprisingly, they fit very well and actually feel quite comfortable. I've never had a pair of Vans slip-ons before, so I decided to keep them. Because nobody has ever bought these, I thought they had come from the Philippines. My dad used to go to the Philippines a lot, and sometimes he'd come home with shoes—most of them very convincing knock-offs of popular brands, like Converse. He doesn't remember ever getting these, but I'm still convinced that they are grade-A Filipino shoes. Other evidence that it came from the Philippines? It has Minnie Mouse all over it, but the name "Millay" is written below her. Every single time. Sure looks like a fob shoe to me, and a damn good copy too XD

Can anybody guess what I'm about to say next?

I'm going to repaint these shoes!

Not that the Minnie Mouse pattern and, uh, "Millay" aren't cute, but c'mon—free canvas shoes? I can't not paint on them. That would be ludicrous. 

This project is much more likely to happen than the snowboard one, at least in terms of time. I can totally paint over this during winter break. But the big question is: what should I paint on it?

I've thought of a few themes:
  • Space (black, purple and blue with stars and nebulas and stuff)
  • Adventure Time (with Jake the doooog and Finn the human!)
  • Octopus (oh you know)
  • Elephants 
  • CMYK or some other really cliché designer thing
  • Avatar: the Last Airbender
  • Some kind of nice abstract pattern with colors I don't really have for shoes right now
Right now probably the last one, ha.
If ya'll have any awesome ideas or even more awesome tips on painting these shoes, hit me up with a comment!