a certain force in an uncertain world

What does it mean to be a refugee?

About 60 million people around the globe have been forced to leave their homes to escape war, violence and persecution. Those who have crossed a border and sought shelter outside of  their  own  countries–and  they  are  commonly  referred to as ‘refugees’, but what exactly does that term mean? The world has known refugees for millennia, but the modern definition was drafted in the UN’s 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees in response to the mass persecutions and displacements of the Second World War. It defines a refugee as someone who is outside their country of nationality, and is unable to return to their home country because of well-founded fears of being persecuted. That persecution may be due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion and is often related to war and violence.

So what happens once someone flees their country? Most refugee journeys are long and perilous, with limited access to shelter, water or food. Since the departure can be sudden and unexpected, belongings might be left behind. And people who are evading conflict do not often have the required documents, like visas, to board airplanes and legally enter other countries. Financial and political factors can also prevent them from traveling by standard routes. This means they can usually only travel by land or sea and may need to entrust their lives to smugglers to help them cross borders. 

Each refugee’s story is different, and many must undergo dangerous journeys with uncertain outcomes. Today, roughly half of the world’s refugees are children, some of them unaccompanied by an adult; a situation that makes them especially vulnerable to child-labor or sexual exploitation.

Chances are if you go back in your own family history, you will discover that at a certain point your ancestors were forced from their homes, either escaping a war or fleeing discrimination and persecution. It would be good of us to remember their stories, when we are hearing those of the people currently displaced, searching for–or on their ways to– a new home.

Today is World Refugee Day and the UNHCR is launching its #WithRefugees petition to send a message to governments that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees. The #WithRefugees asks governments to ensure every refugee child gets an education, that every refugee family has somewhere safe to live, and that every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community. We hope for a world where violence will not force people from their homes, but until then, let the world know you stand #WithRefugees.

From the TED-Ed Lesson What does it mean to be a refugee? - Benedetta Berti and Evelien Borgman

Animation by TED-Ed and @j-vuylsteker

anonymous asked:

I was reading your little art tutorial and the little part about using references caught my eye. I've been struggling a lot lately trying different art styles here and there but I've never been content because they're never "my" art styles y'know? I love being inspired by other artists but I always feel like I'm cheating by incorporating a style that isn't mine. I don't know where to begin when looking for my "style." :/

This is my personal opinion on the topic, and others might not agree with it, but I stand by it pretty strongly ^^ And that is the fact that nothing is 100% original. Unless you’re planning on developing a whole new art style the world has never seen before, there’s no reason to feel like you’re ‘cheating’ because you’re taking inspiration from something that already exists. 

On the topic of defining what exactly might be ‘your style,’ I would advise to not really worry about that, especially for people in the learning stages. Just focus on gaining skills in different areas, playing around with different styles not because you’re trying to ‘find yours’ but rather just as an exercise and for fun experimenting! Even if you’re aiming for, say, a anime style, you’ll still benefit from practicing realism. In the process of trying out different styles you might find some things that are similar across them: perhaps you like drawing eyes a particular way, or choosing certain colors, etc…that’s your style! 

Style isn’t really something that should be forced (although it can be, especially in the professional/schooling world but let’s say it shouldn’t be forced for someone who just wants to enjoy it as a hobby) and honestly, you probably are’t aware of it but you already have a personal style. I wasn’t aware of it myself until people pointed it out to me. Turns out, I have a pretty distinct style to people (i’m assuming, since I keep getting these kinds of asks haha), but I honestly was so uncertain of it myself before anyone told me. But that’s not to say you need others people to validate yourself, have faith in yourself and just do what you enjoy!

Note, however, that there is a difference between “i’m going to copy XX piece of art because I like the style” vs. “I’m seeing all these different artists do XX and that’s why I like their art, so maybe I should try it too!” That’s the mindset I like to have. For any sort of creative process, the more research and resources you incorporate, the stronger your end product will be!

You can see how I referenced photographs for the side profile, then took inspiration from the strong top lighting and colors of the painted portraits. The hair came from a more semi-realistic approach. I used the shape of the traditional painting for the arrangement of the flowers, but photos for the flowers themselves, and painted them in the illustration style of the teapot. This combination of the dozen reference images created something new based on my tastes, and that’s all style is, just personal preference! 

TL;DR just don’t worry, just draw what YOU like to draw and chances are, if you’ve been at it for a while, you already have a style you aren’t aware of. If not, just keep going, it develops naturally, and oftentimes, right under your nose ^^ 

anonymous asked:

Could you maybe do 035 or 041 for coldflash, please?

035:“Your stray red item turned my whites pink.”
041:“You found me crying on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night surrounded by a shattered jelly jar.”


Len has spent some serious time tracking the asshole who somehow always left a red sock or a red pair of underwear in the washer. The first time it happened, he was willing to believe it was a coincidence. The second time, he just thought he was unlucky like that… the third time, he started wondering just how many people could both own and forget their fucking red laundry all the damn time.

It was the fourth time that was the last drop in the sea of Len’s (red-tinted) anger. So, wearing his newly pink underwear and socks, together with his greyish-pink sweats and a purplish shirt that used to be blue, he vindictively put a tracker in the goddamn red sock (the same one as the first time, which led Len to believe it was the SAME guy all the time). He left the bugged sock it on the washer, obsessively checking the GPS signal to figure out what kind of an asshole could have that many red clothes - and he doesn’t even care that the signal finally moves on a Saturday night. 

He’s just chilling with Mick and a few other friends, but his mission to rid the world of the asshole who couldn’t check the stupid washer is holy and righteous and important for the world, no matter how many times Mark tells him that he’s acting crazy. MARK isn’t the one whose wardrobe’s now almost fully red-stained.

Len stalks back to their dorms, following the signal until he comes up to a door - interestingly, it’s the communal kitchen on the first floor instead of someone’s room. He strides in, mouth already opening to release the flood of pure rage that’s been bubbling in his chest ever since he first found his load of laundry stained pink… but then he hears the first sob, and he stops in his tracks.

There’s a guy in the kitchen - the floor is covered in red, and Len’s heart misses a beat before he realizes that it’s not blood, just… jelly…? What the fuck - is this guy’s life mission to stain the whole world red or what?! 

He’s sitting on the floor, back against the fridge and his feet sprawled through the mess. Len sidesteps the shards from the jar and frowns, still not completely sure if all that red is just food or some blood has splattered around as well. With so much glass, the guy could’ve easily cut himself.

He looks like a puppy - and a freshman. Big brown eyes, filled with tears, an adorable face dotted with moles, a mop of messy brown hair. The offending bugged red sock is peeking out of the pocket of his university sweats, and Len wants to kill him for that, but… there’s something about his expression that makes Len crouch next to him and stare instead of yelling about his pink underwear.

“Hey. You okay?”

The kid sobs and sniffs, but gives a shaky nod, so Len… yeah. No. He would like to take that as a sign that the guy’s really alright, he would definitely like to snarl at him to be careful with his toxic red laundry… but he can’t. There’s something he just can’t stand about the sight of someone crying alone on the kitchen floor on a Saturday night… maybe it strikes a little too close to home, but Len’s not gonna leave this moron here.

“Get up,” he mumbles, and the guy obeys, though his movements remind Len of a rag doll. He grabs the roll of paper towels from the counter and cleans up the worst mess, while the kid just stands there and obviously tries not to sob - but fails.

“What’s your name?” Len tries as he drops the soggy towels in the trash and hands a fresh one to the kid so he can wipe his face. 

“Barry,” the answer comes right before the guy blows his nose. Fuck - why did he have to be so pitiful?! Len really wanted to scream at the person responsible for his pink… everything. But even he’s not so much of an asshole that he would yell at a very obviously distressed person.

“I’m Len,” he replies, to establish some sort of basic trust, and then shrugs: “Care to tell me what’s this about?”

“I’m sorry,” Barry mumbles. “I didn’t mean to drop it, it just happened.”

His eyes fill with tears again, and Len sighs, rubbing at his face. He ends up smearing some jelly over his forehead, which is just fucking great.

“You’re not crying just because of the jelly, are you, kid.”

Barry bites his lip - it would be quite an enticing sight if his nose wasn’t running a little. 

“No.”

“Okay,” Len more asks than says, raising an eyebrow. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Barry gives him a long look and then shakes his head. 

“Not… really.”

Awkward silence fills the tiny kitchen and Len’s ready to leave. There’s beer at Mick’s place, and people he actually gives a damn about, not a random freshman who ruined his clothes… but heck, when Barry looks at him with those huge, watery eyes, Len is rooted to the spot instantly.

“Do you want to… um… watch, like, a movie? I was about to make myself a sandwich, so… I could make one for you…? And we could watch together. Or play something?”

His voice is all uncertain and wobbly, and Len’s not sure if that blush staining his cheeks is embarrassment or just the residue of crying, but shiiit… he’s lost. Barry’s kind of adorable, and Len remembers how it feels, not wanting to be alone more than anything in the world, accepting company in whichever form in order not to be forced to deal with certain memories or feelings or skeletons jumping out of one’s closet.

He can’t leave this kid alone, not tonight.

“Sure,” he shrugs and waves at the door. “Just don’t drop anything on the floor again, please.”

He watches the kid get a new jar of jelly - Barry hands it to him with a sheepish smile and Len opens it for him.

“Um… Len? Can I ask you something?”

“Yes?”

“Why are you wearing so much pink?”

Len mentally counts to ten and hands the opened jar back to the kid.

“I like it. Now shut up and focus, I’m not cleaning up after you twice in one night.”

Trouble is, he has a feeling he totally would.

Disney Unveils Latest Plans for World Domination

Following a series of failed attempts to take over the world and wipe out humanity, Disney has officially announced its newest plans for world domination.  

“This time, we will be UNSTOPPABLE!” cackled Disney CEO Hannah Montana at a press conference earlier this week, in which she unveiled plans for over a dozen movies to be pumped out of the company over the next ten years.  These films will be designed to control the minds of millions children around the world and force billions of dollars from the pockets of innocent civilians, eventually bringing the human race to its knees.

While it is almost certain Disney will succeed in its evil plans this time around, some remain skeptical.  Experts point to the the failure of Disney’s last evil scheme of using action movies to take over the world, which was foiled by John Carter.  It is uncertain, though, how effective live-action remakes and sequels will be in Disney’s newest attempt in world domination.(x).

It’s very odd when people say “if everyone is equal then why is such and such a race or nation more advanced than another” because that kind of thinking makes the fatal mistake of perceiving time and history as a set of blocks rather than a fluid stream, picking an arbitrary point in history and saying yes this is the moment when we shall rank the nations and decide who is superior is not representative of the past or the future, it’s no secret that every nation goes through a cycle of peaks and troughs, at some point in time almost every nation on earth was the dominating force for a certain period until another took over and so on, it’s actually a very clever way for the earth to ensure some semblance of balance between destructive forces, anyway my point is we happen to be living in a period of time when certain nations are at their peak certain nations are at their trough and many others are somewhere in between, however go back a thousand years and the dynamic will change and go forward a thousand years and the dynamic would have changed. Our problem is that our minds are rigid stubborn things trying to understand a fluid uncertain world.