Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mira as Promised

I know I failed to live up to my promise again. Nevertheless, due to lethargy and my mom's headache, our scheduled trip to my aunt's place where we would be staying for a week is postponed for tomorrow. Since I've decided to leave my laptop and just rent nearby PCstations, I wouldn't be able to upload new pics of my creations for Lunatica for the rest of the upcoming week. So here I am, blogging and posting the pics I have promised albeit several days later than intended. As they say, better late than never lol. 
Let's get started with these photographs of Mira, the reincarnated form of Ylen. As is my typical style, I used a variety of pens and inks with strategically placed streaks of liquid eraser. Working on a pure white paper with colored inks is something I haven't done before. Ylen was my first creation, and as expected, the colors came out more vibrant. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the newness of using white paper  made me quite apprehensive at first.  
Logically, since using white papers and canvases is the usual norm for artists, I shouldn't be troubled. Wrong. Actually, even if it is more challenging to use colored papers, for there is no telling how their color would react with the ink pigments, working on white paper bothered me. Colored papers, though tricky to use, are more exciting to manipulate. I can't elucidate how I figure out that the specific colors I choose would be the right one to bring out the desired effect I have in mind. I just know that it would work out. Fortunately for me, my artistic sixth sense has never failed me so far. 
Halfway through working on Ylen, I finally found peace with working on white paper. Until I finished her and made the improvements later on(which is featured below with the progress and finished study of Mira) after I have posted the first set of photographs of her initial appearance, I was already at ease with working on white paper. But when I started doing Mira, rendering her in an effort to achieve a human coloring unlike the mystical Ylen, the apprehension and doubt returned. 
The final outcome of Mira was not half bad. But pressed by the ever-insistent voice that has always prompted me to make her come out no less than perfect, I worked on her too much for too long. The result: she is too mysterious, freaky even, and the quality of her appearance does not exactly fit the bill. I am currently working on Zulayka, her beautiful sister with a serpentine-like lower torso, and like what I did with Mira, I took pictures of my progress. I am thinking of using a real sketch pad or textured paper next time.
These are just studies after all despite their very finished appearances. By next month, I would start making the larger final illustrations on bigger-sized white and colored papers. This means I starting from square one, the first character which is Ylen, again. I would work on these illustrations side by side with the Lunatica synopsis and its plot outline. working on these studies in my journal is just an exercise to fire me up and get my creative juices working for me full force. Even if I had spent more than four hours doing each of these studies--following your artistic intuition alone as you work really means plodding as the whole image comes together bit by bit, I don't find it a waste of my time and effort. I'm going to keep these illustrations as part of my art portfolio. 

Here are the photographs of the improved Ylen. I made her eyes more luminous.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just a Filler

I know I should have posted the developments of Mira including the final illustration, which took quite a while before it finally satisfied my standards and that indomitable creative sixth sense that tells whether my work is alright or not. I should be in bed in 30 minutes time, for I still have an appointment to keep with my doctor at around four this afternoon. Having absented myself for two consecutive days from work means presenting a medical certificate along with a completed sick leave form. And even if it was nothing more than the usual emotional conundrum inevitably resulting to a self-inflicted migraine attack, I still have to see a doctor and obtain a med cert to show my bosses later during the start of my shift. 
Honestly, I miss work and I miss writing. I have been plodding with the illustrations, working as my imagination and passion dictates, grasping abstract creative possibilities I knew existed, all the while thinking about how in the world  I'm going to work on becoming a duly recognized published author and illustrator. Let this haiku be the filler for today. Tomorrow I would post pictures of Mira from partially finished stages down to the final illustration while talking about the process involved in creating her. Also, I have a new blog post intended for articles on spirituality, creativity, life observations, and the likes. I have just finished posting an introduction and haven't gotten around to actually writing the posts yet. I had been planning to do this for some time now but lethargy and other typical life matters keep cropping up, demanding my immediate attention and/or submission. The posts I would create there are intended to help me and my readers achieve a kind of creative spiritual healing via reflections and exercises in broadening creative and emotional as well as intellectual perspectives. I would share the link to this post by tomorrow once I had posted the first topic. 
Again, I digressed(as usual). So let me not beat around the bush any longer, here is the haiku I have promised.


Looking at the sun
Shining brightly in your eyes
A promise of life

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Introducing Ylen

Here is Ylen rendered in colored inks(ballpens), felt pens, gel pens, and a bit of liquid eraser. I'm doing Mira now who is her Rivezi form. The shots, although clear, are badly positioned and the lighting did not give justice to the true beauty of Ylen. I'm planning to work on Mira now. But I'm getting sleepy. 
Setting Ylen and my story Lunatica aside, my boss talked to me this morning about my supposed promotion? I'm not really sure.From what we discussed, the management is thinking of tapping me to become my boss's assistant. A real privilege indeed, but it's the kind of job I have shied away from many years ago. I know I have what it takes to measure up to the position because after all, advertising and the coordinating that comes with it is what I used to do in my previous works many years back. But it burned me out. And that was when I realized that my real calling is to give concrete forms to my stories by writing and illustrating them. 
I no longer deny my ever-tumultuous emotions. As I got older, I became more sensitive. Thus, I took the bull by the horns by being upfront with what I want and what I am capable of. No pretentiousness, no balderdash. Even if I know that I would manage to step up to the plate and deliver the job well, I am worried about reaching burn out. Working with people, especially when you have to tap into their resources for a specific project, can be hell in itself. People are fickle. Not everyone is true to their word. Half of them are the detestable unprofessional nincompoops I don't want to deal with ever. 
This is not the first time he has told me of the head manager's intention to promote me by assigning me to another post. Actually, this is the third time within the two years I've spent working for our company. And the first two offers went pffftttt...I don't remember slackening, but the previous offers amounted to nothing--gone to oblivion, forgotten. So what are the chances that this one would push through? Let's just wait and see. 
After thanking my boss, I proceeded(although a bit hesitantly) to tell him that I would gladly oblige given two distinct conditions: I would still write and I would not be overtaxed by being burdened with too much work while everyone else is just farting around. I don't want to get burned out anymore. Also, I don't want to get sidetracked again. Writing and my passion for art remain my foremost focus. 
Enough digression, here is Ylen.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Introducing Ylen

I made good use of yesterday's absence from the office by sleeping, playing games, and working on Ylen. I presume that I would finish with her in two days time. Since I do not get to work on her straight(just like the others), I have already expected that it would take half a week before I finally complete her. 
Ylen is the main character in the story I have created which I entitled Lunatica. However, this title is still up for change. So for now, I consider it a mere working title. I have been contemplating on changing it to Elipsis, which is a Latin term for eclipse. 
Even as a child, I have always been fond of making stories. It was only now that I have realized that what I really want to do is get these stories out and illustrate them at the same time. I already have quite a number of good stories in mind. Uncannily, the whole plot for each just pops into my head during mundane occurrences in daily life. Personally, I vouch for my stories because my intuition strongly dictates that they are good. The creative force at work with me, prompting me to write poems and essays and paint, is the same one compelling these stories to just crop up from out of the blue. 
I had other good stories circling in my head before Lunatica hit me more than three years ago while working overtime as an illustrator. Honestly, I couldn't tell why the compulsion to actualize Lunatica this year is so strong to the point that it really nags me. I just hope I could muster enough determination and discipline to work on it until completion. It's not coming up with the ideas that poses a problem with me. Sustaining them until completion is the main trouble. In fact, the ideas just flow into my head like water. At times, the images come too fast that even before I could start working on one, another one or a couple more come rushing in. 
Lunatica is a fantasy drama. And Ylen here is the eldest daughter of the moon divinity Ylunei whose five daughters(Vexis, Yrina, Lirea, Aruni, and Ylen) form the stellar unuversalis constellations surrounding her. Each daughter represents a specific power although they share the common ability to permeate and control thoughts. Ylunei is the most powerful divinity alongside her twin Arove(who rules the day, with Ylunei ruling the night) in a world I call Rivezi. Her daughters form an essential part of her overall authority and divinity. Like her and Arove, they are immortal divinities whose role in the world of Rivezi figures greatly  in the lives and existence of the many different clans, as well as the balance of the entire ecosystem, thriving in this fantastically magical place. During times of a major distress(or an impending one) when the balance of their world is at stake, one of the daughters of Ylunei would be sent to their world by being born as one of the Rivezi inhabitants.  
In their archives of divinity, such births, indicated by a lunar eclipse, only happen once in three million or five million years when big changes, whether good or bad, have to take place. The birth of one of Ylunei's daughter could either be an indication of  a major catastrophe, costing the entire Rivezi itself, or an ultimate blessing, marking a drastic change in the future of Rivezi and the course of the lives of its inhabitants. And in this story, Ylen, the eldest daughter of the moon and the spearhead of the constellations, is born into the most vicious and most powerful  tribe in Rivezi, Ulna, as the second and youngest daughter of the second highest magistrate, Terionne.    
From the beginning, Terionne, whose role as second top authority and obeliskos(divine shaman) next to the terrible Ulna emperor Olvoz(his brother), was made aware of the impending birth of Ylen, who is to exist in the form of his youngest daughter. To save her and his wife(Menea) and eldest daughter( Zulayka), he keeps his wife's pregnancy a secret. Together with his right hand, Mondo, they hatch a plan to create a false accident leading to their entire family's supposed death, so they can escape surreptitiously into the crystal mountains and away from Ulna and his brother Olvoz. Perenially hungry for power and bad to the bone, Olvoz is known as the almighty evil emperor of Ulna and most powerful shaman in the entire Rivezi. Through the intervention of Ylunei, Terionne, whose powers are comparatively poor compared to his brother, received the oracle of  Ylen's birth  alone, without any interference from the permeating abilities of Olvoz. 
And so Terionee succeeds, and with his family, they fled into the mountains leaving everyone else in Ulna assuming that they have all perished. They lived there in peace until Menea gave birth to their youngest daughter(the Rivezines form of Ylen) whom she named Mira. However, with the help of the volcanic divinity Urco, Olvoz was finally able to penetrate through the protective bubble created and maintained by Terionne after nearly a year. He learns of the oracle and was enraged at what his brother did. Upon realizing that Ylen was already born, he was tempted by the lure of becoming more powerful, nearly as powerful as a divinity,  should he succeed in sacrificing Ylen to Urco and obtaining her divine powers in return. On his part, Urco would no longer come in second to the supreme twin divinities, Ylunei and Arove, and might even usurp them, thus becoming the most powerful divinity of them all. 
And the story stops here...For now that is. The main conflict in Lunatica is how Mira, youngest daughter of Terionne who was born blind but with uncanny powers to see through the soul of everything and anything, would come to realize and accept that she is Ylen, the highest of constellations, and fulfill her mission while battling the forces of evil in the form of Olvoz, Urco, and her sister, Zulayka. As to how Zulayka came to be on the opposite side, the story would unravel the tragic fate that lead to her being separated from her family and being transformed into the meanest and most powerful sorceress Rivezi has ever known.  
The plot stretches on, with many characters and scenes yet to be created and written. I am still enthralled with  making the illustrations for the characters. But I assure that by the end of this month the complete synopsis of the story would have been written down and copyrighted accordingly. I have no way of determining when I would get around to finishing this story, let alone start it. I always have to battle that perfectionist voice of self-doubt, questioning my ability to effectively put this tale into words. Nevertheless, with faith and determination, I am confident that I would overcome it and become the full-pledged writer and artist that I should be.
Here are photographs of the unfinished study of Ylen rendered again in various pen and ink materials and liquid eraser.