and that concludes my drawing challenge

Fill-a-Page February day 28 - BONUS PAGE!

Pay attention, Keith! Alas, this is suuuper duper sketchy because it’s late and I have work tomorrow, but I still wanted to get it done. I actually love this idea so I might try my hand at drawing it (or something similar) properly.

AND THUS CONCLUDES THE FILL-A-PAGE FEBRUARY CHALLENGE. Oh man, what a month it’s been! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Emotion and Pacing in comics

One of the reasons that I love comics so much is that there are many valid ways to approach the medium. When I make comics, the parts I’m most concerned with are character and story. Everything I draw on the comic page is in service to character and story. Because of my focus on those two elements over, say, experimenting with my art and page structure, I will sometimes get criticism that my work is safe or boring. This is probably fair criticism! I don’t do a lot of experimenting with paneling or challenging storytelling or explicitly challenging artwork in my comics, because right now that’s not what I’m interested in. Maybe I will be more experimental someday, but not right now, with the kind of stories I want to tell. :)

When I make a comic, my goal is for my readers to be engaged with the story I’m telling, and the characters in that story. That’s also what I look for when I want to read a good comic. I want characters to love, I want a story to be engaged with.

For the most part, I struggle with drawing comics (most artists do, if we’re honest ;)), but there are some parts of comics I think I have a good handle on. I feel like I’m strongest when portraying emotion on the page, and I’m good at drawing those scenes out and making the reader feel what my characters are going through. Some of the techniques I use to convey emotion came from being obsessed with movies when I was a teenager, and some techniques are stolen from my holy trinity of influences: Jeff Smith (Bone), Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist) and Naoki Urasawa (Monster, Pluto, 20th Century Boys). 

Of the three artists I’ve mentioned, I consider Urasawa especially to be a master of emotion and pacing. When I first started reading his comics, it was like light struck my brain; finally I saw what I’d been trying to do for years right there on the comic page in front of me! I like the way he lays out his emotional scenes a lot. Here’s an example (read right to left): 

Urasawa uses repeating panels and decompression to draw out the emotions of a scene. In this single page there isn’t a lot of movement. It’s literally just two characters staring at each other, but the tension rises going from panel 1 to panel five. Gesicht (the man)’s expression doesn’t change between panels two and five, but we literally feel his anger rising off-panel, concluding in the close up in panel 5.

There’s an excellent You Tube channel called Every Frame a Painting (I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but if you haven’t, please go watch all the videos! There aren’t many, and they’re all really informative). My favourite video is this one, about editing:

This video hit on something that I strive for in my comics: emotion takes time. When I draw a scene that is emotional, when characters are struggling with something, or celebrating something, or being challenged, I want my readers to feel what the character is feeling, and one of the best ways to do that, for me, is to take my time. To give that emotion time to breathe on the page. 

I’m going to use some scenes in my graphic novel The Nameless City to illustrate how I use decompression and pacing to underscore the emotion in my comics. To avoid spoilers and because this is getting a little long, I’m going to put it under a cut. Please read on! :)  

Keep reading

Knowledge is nothing without practice

This surely wasn’t planned but turns out to be a lesson I have to learn over and over. I had already completed various tutorials and exercises about the head, but I’m still struggling with it. Without a reference, I am lost. So I’m challenging myself with the task „ten faces a day“ and combine drawing with and without references until I get better.

Sycra has a great lesson about what he calls „iterative drawing“. What he basically describes is that instead of copying something that you see, draw from memory and compare afterwards and then draw again from memory, to get better. It’s a process of repetition, comparison and memorising in a continuous loop.

Like I concluded almost a year ago: In my opinion, mastering drawing & painting is based on three components – knowledge, practice and loosening. Don’t just save tutorials ;) Go for it! Persistence!

Midnight Madness | Kim Jongdae

Genre - Fluff

Word Count - 1.8k

Summary - In which you and your colleague Jongdae fall into a little office hassle with bets, hiding spots and all sorts.



Slaving through piles and piles of paper work, I took another sip of my cardboard tasting coffee, trying to get through the last few files for the night. The clock struck 12 am, indicating that it was now time for Jongdae to come and pick me up from my area to drive us both home after our usual 10 hour shift. As I began to tidy up my desk area, I could hear his strong footsteps echo across the large room making his way towards my desk. I gave him a tired smile as a greeting, after seeing him lean over the small glass barrier separating each workers area from the others.

“Ready to go?” He warmly offered loosening his tie slightly as the requirement of looking presentable was no longer valid. I replied with a light nod as I got up and slid my coat on, throwing my previously used paper cup into the small bin.

“I don’t even know how having a coffee machine in this office hasn’t been banned yet, this stuff tastes horrible” I complained grabbing my bag and walking out, as he let out a chuckle at my not-so-subtle attempt at requesting a Starbucks trip.

“Okay okay we’ll pick a Frappuccino up on the way to your house” He more accepted than offered, throwing his arm around my shoulder as we walked out to the parking lot. You could describe our relationship to be quite simply-complicated; we weren’t dating but we didn’t want to label our thing as just friends, so we just chose hover somewhere near the middle and neither of us seemed to mind. Not that this would be considered to be one of the healthiest things anyway.

As he put his key into the ignition, my phone began to ring in my pocket and I raised my eyebrow at whoever would possibly be calling me at this hour. I buckled my seatbelt before swiping the screen to answer my call.

“Hello, Y/N speaking” I kindly greeted as Jongdae began to drive

“Y/N! Did you definitely make sure Jongdae gave that file to mister Myeong?! He just called me saying he didn’t have them on his desk and I’m freaking out!” Minseok’s voice screeched through the line as I momentarily held the phone away from my face, causing an amused look to take over Jongdae’s face.

“Okay… Minseok calm down, I left the file on Jongdae’s desk with specific instructions of what to do with it. I’m sure he passed it onto his office this afternoon” I reassured but as soon as the words left my mouth, he pulled over to the nearest stop to look at me with wide eyes

“What do you mean you put them on my desk?” He hissed at me, causing Minseok to groan at the realisation of the papers not getting to the right place.

“He’s joking! I’ll double check that the papers got to him and I’ll call you back okay?” I hung up and snapped my head in his direction

“What!? Jongdae I put the file on at your desk in the afternoon with a post-it note stuck on it saying ‘Please make sure this goes to the main office TODAY’ I underlined ‘Today’ three times!” I exclaimed

“Uh no you didn’t!” He replied

“Yes I did! I personally put them on your desk and when I found out that you were on break, I left a note on it!” I reran the events in my head, possibly trying to convince myself as well as him… It’s been a long day okay?!

“You know what, how about we go down to the office and check my desk” He challenged eliciting a chuckle from me at his struggle of accepting his mistake. Obviously they were on his desk! Right?

“Its 12:30am Jongdae” I breathed

“Do you hear that?” He seriously asked putting a hand behind his ear and leaning upwards “It’s the distinctive sound of someone definitely knowing they’re wrong!” He answered his own question; seriously midnight was not the time I felt like dealing with his dynamic persona

“You know what? Okay, let’s go back the office and find that file to be sat on your desk!“ I stated confidently and now it was his turn to roll his eyes

“Fine! What do I get when the files aren’t on my desk?” He smirked leaning forward to start the car again

“What? You’re not getting anything!  This is a clarification not a bet” I scoffed

“Whoop! There’s that sound again…” He began and I leaned back laughing at his immaturity

“Okay! What do you want?” I gave in, causing his signature Cheshire-cat grin to take over his features

“I’ll let you know when we clarify that the file isn’t on my desk” He took the U-turn back to the building

“See! It isn’t here, you didn’t put it here” He stated, rummaging through all of the paperwork he kept unorganised atop of his oh-so-maintained workstation.

“Well god knows what’s in here and what’s not! Jongdae this place is a mess!” I whisper-exclaimed, respecting the fact that there were still a few employees working the 1am shift.

“Hey that isn’t relevant! If the file was here with the so-called post-it note on it, I would’ve been able to spot it in this me- organised pile of work” He defended

“Okay how about you go check in a few work stations around here to make sure no one took it, and I’m gonna go to my office to see whether it’s there” I suggested as he smirked

“Already losing confidence?” He tilted his head

“Shut up!” I hissed making my way to my area.

 As soon as I arrived at my desk, my eyes widened. There it was… Sat right next to the empty spot of where my crappy coffee cup was placed. I mentally face-palmed before deciding to not accept my defeat; okay this isn’t immature. It’s called lowering the size of his ego; I was doing him a favour. I swiftly grabbed the file off of my desk to run towards his work station, only having a few minutes until he came back. I got into his booth and nervously bounced side to side, looking for a place to put the file. As I heard his footsteps approach the area, I hastily placed the file in his bottom draw before slamming it shut and regaining composure. He raised his eyebrow at me and proceeded to plop down onto his office chair as a sign of ‘Nope, didn’t find anything’ with a hint of ‘I told you so’.

 "Okay, I’m gonna go and call Minseok since there’s definitely been a mix up here… And you keep looking around this pig sty! You know in case you uh - find anything” I choked out before rushing to the front desk. I pulled out my phone to do something random on it, making it seem like I was doing something when in reality, I was just waiting for his sarcastic ass to accept his mistake. Well… My mistake. After a suspiciously long 15 minutes, I went back to his desk wondering why it was taking him so long to find it.

“Hey! Any luck?” I nervously asked leaning against the glass barrier as he simply shook his head

“I just don’t know where it is! So what did Minseok say?” He asked

“Who? Oh! - Minseok… He uh said that - uh we need to keep looking for it” I smoothly lied. A good 5 minutes seemed to pass as he continued to lift and drop files to and from his desk in attempts of finding something, but he never seemed to reach for the bottom draw

“You have to kiss me” He absentmindedly said stopping in his tracks

“Excuse me?” I raised my eyebrow

“You know the bet! You have to kiss me if I win!” He concluded

“What? No!” I declined, even though I knew there wasn’t going to be any smooching going on anyway

“It’s just a suggestion, I mean if you had confidence in your previous statement you wouldn’t have any problem accepting it, would you?” The idiotic smile adorned his face as he tilted his head in challenge

“Fine! What do you suggest we do to find this file?” I brushed off, and his facial expression seemed to suddenly brighten. Oh boy, that’s never a good sign.

“I mean we could always check whether it’s in your booth you know… Maybe you left it there thinking you gave it to me” He suggested hastily getting up and pulling me towards my area. Already knowing where the file actually was, I confidently followed on behind him; only for my jaw to drop instantly at the sight of the file sitting right back in its original position.

“Y-you did this! Obviously you put it there!” I accused suddenly feeling a bit annoyed at his pathetic attempts at trying to be right. Well I couldn’t say much myself but…

“What?! No! Why would I do that?” He exclaimed causing my eyes to instantaneously roll

“Well of course! The file just decided to slither out of your bottom draw and waltz its way to my desk so it could comfortably sit on there. How stupid do you think I am?!” I openly asked and he actually tried to reply “Don’t answer that!” I snapped. It took a few moments for both of us to understand what I’d blurted out and my eyes widened at the realisation, where as his grin made its way back onto his face.

“How did you know it was in my bottom draw?” He smirked, taking steps towards me. I instinctively took a few back, but that didn’t seem to help at all

“I-uh I didn’t say th-that” I spluttered, as the distance between us was now almost non-existent. I stood completely still as he gently wrapped his arms around my waist to pull me further till our chests were in contact. He slowly began to lean in as my heart rate quickened at an unprecedented pace, the strong musky scent of his cologne lingering in the thick air between us almost making me fall into his arms.  

“I win” He simply smiled before closing the gap between my lips and his, but to have a little fun with him, I swiftly turned my face so my lips would brush against his cheek before pulling away. He let out a little whine, with his arms still securely wrapped around my middle, causing me to giggle at his sudden desperation.

“You said you wanted a kiss, you never specified what kind…” I shrugged, smiling at the kicked puppy look which he now had on his face. Well at least we found the files right?

A/N: Just decided to write this little number to put my current Chen feels to some purpose. This was inspired by a ‘Friends’ episode so I’m not taking full credit for the idea, but if any of you can tell me which episode this is from, I will love you forever! <3 Scenario & One-shot requests are still CLOSED, so I wrote this on my own will *sowwy* Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed reading, and I’ll see you later Loves!

~Shazz xx



The translation of HKT48′s Matsuoka Natsumi on Asahi Shinbun Digital’s “AKB48 Yume no Entry Sheet” serialization with her essay entitled “Shiritaishi, Shittehoshi”

(TL: “I want to know you, I want you to know”)

I am a moody person, and the members also tell me that I am easy to understand. My spirit is low in the morning, and when the night comes, it gradually rises. There are also times when I am high spirited after moving around in the concert that I get warned, “so noisy”.

I used to be very shy. I could not converse with the person I met for the first time, and it took a long time until I opened up my heart.

Although I was shy, for some reason, I set my heart on becoming an entertainer since I was a kid. It was an intuition that settled on “entering” instead of a dream such as “wanting to enter” or “wanting to become”. I thought it was easy to reach. My plan was to enter the entertainment world after I graduated the high school, but when I was in the 3rd year of junior high school, there was the audition for HKT48 and my sister encouraged me in a jocular vein, so without telling my mother, I submitted my application and passed the audition.

After I passed the audition, there were lessons everyday, and just about the time I started, the manager told me, “Matsuoka is shy, isn’t she.” It seems that it was obvious. The members of HKT48 made friends with each other since the audition and I was the only one who didn’t.

I did not talk to anyone for about 1 week, and I always spent my time by myself. My surrounding was always bustling. “It seems fun" “I want to talk” “I can’t bring myself to”. There was always Nakanishi Chiyori (Now in AKB48) at the center of the bustling circle, so when I made up my mind to talk to her, “can we eat bento together,” I finally got to enter the circle.

There was a job of handshake event in HKT48. On my first day, I was nervous and my head went blank. I spoke “thank you” “please come again” in honorifics and I was not able to converse at all.

When there were fans who were nervous, both of us would shake hand in silence.

As the matter of fact, when I saw the members, everyone interacted with their fans in friendly manner, and swung their hands as they said, “come again, okay.” To swing the hands of the person you met for the first time, I couldn’t do that, I was surprised by it.

Murashige Anna-chan particularly interacted with them very cheerfully. Since the audition, she has always stood out more than others. We became tensed in the waiting room of the audition like during an exam, but Murashige-chan was the only one who wasn’t, and she spoke by herself, “anyone who thinks she will pass, please raise your hand,” abruptly. Even in the handshake event, she was cheerful like that, and I felt, “so amazing,”

I believe that, in those days, it must have been not enjoyable for the fans who came visiting my lane. I was not able to tell interesting story at all.

I was also poor in MC. At school, I felt at ease talking with my friends I got along with, but as an idol, I had to talk about things that were suited to the strangers. However, I did not know what I should do. On the summer of the following year after our debut, Sasshii (Sashihara Rino) was transferred to HKT48. She told us that our MC was “hopelessly uninteresting.” HKT48 at that time had many members who were poor at talking, so we dealt with it by deciding the contents of the conversation like a scenario prior to the show.

Sasshii taught us, “the current method is not interesting. Decide the contents of the conversation somehow or other, the rest would be better if you insert ad lib.”

Until then, we dealt with the MC as a filler between the songs, and we did not realize its importance. I imagine the fans were bored and felt sleepy.

With Sasshii’s guidance, we built self-awareness to do the MC firmly.

Sasshii gave as an advice, “it’s better if you collect the topic regularly,” and we put it into practice. The dressing room is bustling, material treasure in HKT48. Recently the small children being vigorous is turned into a joke material. The height of 6th grader Imamura Maria-chan is 130 cm. It is like when she puts on Komada Hiroka-chan’s short pants, she can put in both of her legs in one leg part.

The 2nd year junior high school students, (Yabuki) Nako and (Tanaka) Miku has grown a little bit maturer now, but it was tough when they just came in. They loved hide-and-seek and game of tag, so when they asked “let’s play,” at first I would keep them company, but I could not keep with the physical strength of younger members. Sasshii also went “it is hard so stop it.” Although there are also times when the age gap difference becomes a joke material, the small children sooth us. Little by little, we became better in MC.

It was a turning point for me to be settled as the regular personality of the radio show “HKT48 Radio Kikanight!” (KBC Radio) in the spring of 2012. It was the two of us with me and Nakanishi Chiyori-chan. After the first recording, the staffs called us and told us. “The listeners of the radio can only hear your voice. If you don’t speak, they can’t hear anything, so you must speak firmly.” Surely, as there was the announcer, Chiyori and I said nothing but “it is, isn’t it” “yes”. I felt grateful for those words.

Since then, even when it is not my turn to speak, I would give responses with my voice and aim to do the “I’m here” appeal. On the radio, the 4 members, Sakaguchi Riko, Tashima Meru, Tanaka Natsumi, and Yamamoto Mao, appears in turns as semi-regulars.

Sakaguchi Riko is older and reliable, so I feel relief when there is Riko-chan, and we exchange conversation in calm atmosphere.

When it is with Tanaka Natsumi, who is called the Boss of Hakata, she is on rampage, so I take the role of containing her. She loves the local dialects, and runs a dialect submission corner called “Please make my heart tightened with the local dialects.” The frequency of beep sound inserted is high even though it is an idol program. She is fearful but interesting.

Tashima Meru-chan is, at any rate, vigorous, so I get abused. Yamamoto Mao-chan is peculiar. She has a learning corner for the kids who are poor at learning, and always does a quiz. Recently we did an answer-a-question quiz challenge after she said the same word 10 times, but she could not say it 10 times, and it brought laughter when we could not conclude the quiz.

I am not the type who is proactive in talking, but dealing with the other party flexibly and drawing out personality might be my strong point. Once we become close, I want to get to know more about the other party, and I also want the listener to feel like getting to know. I’m doing my best to have a talk that makes the best of a person.

I have also got used to the handshake event nowadays, and I came to be able to interact properly. I am a tsundere so I assume prickly attitude. Each round, I receive the close fans who come visiting with a little bit unkind and cold attitude. “Who are you again?” “Have you forgot?”. When I call their names in the end, they are delighted.

The fans who know me during the debut are surprised, “you have become able to chat, haven’t you.”

This month, I was given the opportunity to publish my first photobook “Tsuishin”. I felt that I love a job where I am photographed. I want to be someone like Kojiharu (Kojima Haruna)-san who can put out mature facial expressions in gravure and/or fashion magazines.

■ From the reporter

Her first photobook “Tsuishin” (Shueisha) was published in September. On the blurb of the book jacket was “I don’t remember giving birth to this kind of child”. Words given by Sashihara Rino. The photobook had a great number of photos in daring swimsuits and photos with sexy facial expression floating. “I am embarrassed and I have yet to hear Sasshi’s impressions from herself.” Having her own photobook lining up at the bookstores, she said, “it feels miraculous.” The photo where she showed a big smile at the classroom is my favorite. “It is a photo taken when the staffs and I laughed as the makeup artist fell suddenly during the photoshoot. The photographer did not laugh and took it.”

She went to the location for the photoshoot in Yamaguchi for 3 days. “The photoshoot was enjoyable, but I felt lonesome without the members,” she said. Her love for HKT, to the point that it made her feel homesick, was conveyed. She likes the activities of daily theater shows and concerts. “I am confident at having the most fun in a live.” She said that she would like to challenge herself to modelling in gravure and/or fashion magazines, and other things such as being actress as well hereafter.

With her “tsundere” character, she may come in contact with the fans in cold manner. She was smiling and calm from the beginning to the end of the interview this time, but I would like to see that side of her as well.

Disclaimer: Please take this translation with a grain of salt. It’s close to 3AM as I’m typing this and I’m sleepy. Thank you for reading.

This is one of the many advices that just stuck with me. I heard Butch Hartman, creator of Fairly Odd Parents, Danny Phantom, and TUFF Puppy, say it a looooong time ago.

And you know what? He’s right.

And it’s not just for art. Not just for drawing. It counts for everything. It counts for your hobbies, school, work, and most importantly, life.

Things in life aren’t always as bright as we’d like. And that’s ok. Do you know why? Because that way we can appreciate the better moments in our lives even more.

Even in the darkest of times, you should NEVER give up. Don’t give up on your passion, career, etc.

Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do.

Sing what you enjoy and enjoy what you sing.

Draw what you enjoy and enjoy what you draw

Dance what you enjoy and enjoy what you dance.

Voice act what you enjoy and enjoy what you voice act.

And I could go on like this for quite a while.

You are loved. People look up to you and you should NEVER think other wise.

If you feel negative thoughts invading your mind, stop what you’re doing and do something else. Go for a walk, make some coffee or tea. Just get your mind elsewhere.

In the end, everything will be alright.

30 day drawing challenge Day #30: Something you’d like to share with your followers or friends