Surfin’ right on

My ‘artwork’ for the week 🙂

The idea behind the design is: whether we’re riding high or just doing our best to keep our heads up when circumstances bring us low, staying positive includes having to steer clear of negativity. That may sound obvious but sometimes it’s hard to do because the negativity may come from people we have to be around with such as colleagues. It may even come from people we love including family members and friends.

For example, when we receive criticism, listen well with an open mind and heart. If it’s constructive, embrace it. It may help us improve so consider acting upon it. However, if it’s not helpful and, worse, feels like it’s just meant to hurt our feelings, then brush it off and move on.

Try our best to spend more time with people who are kind, encouraging and want to see us succeed. Try our best to steer clear of people who don’t.


The above was originally ‘Ridin’ High‘ (see image below), but I changed it to ‘Surfin’ Right On‘ less than a day later. Reason being that soon after posting it on Instagram, I received a message on that platform from a U.S. shop called just that, ‘Ridin HIgh’, that the name is trademarked (for apparel).

The design with the original slogan ‘Ridin’ High’, before being changed to ‘Surfin’ Right On.’ I have removed this design with this slogan from my ‘shop’ at the online marketplace Redbubble.

I’m not familiar with trademarks. Never applied for one and never had reason to learn about them. I don’t know if trademarks, if registered in one country, apply to another or the rest of the world. Of course that’s irrelevant when it comes to Redbubble where I have stuff with the design on on sale, as it is an online marketplace so customers can be from anywhere including the U.S.

In any case, I don’t mind changing the previous slogan after the U.S. shop ‘Ridin High’ informed me (and they worded it politely too) that they have a trademark on it, for apparel. It’s not about whether it applies to me legally or not. As an aspiring artist/designer of some sort (haha) it’s important to me to consider the hard work other people have also put in to establish themselves and to respect that.

The bonus is that I’m actually happier with the overall design now. ‘Surfing’ makes more sense for the wave-like design, and fits the context of the idea better, which is of moving on and staying positive.


Tutorial credit: Abstract Lines learnt from: Logos by Nick at YouTube:

My first Krita

This was done with Krita, which is a free painting programme.

Based on a detail of a Burano Island photo I took some years ago. I have been wanting to dip my toes into digital painting and downloaded Krita last week.

I find it hard, and the amount of things to learn overwhelming, especially brushes. But it’s meant to be fun, part of my new illustrating hobby. So, keeping it simple: for now I will just focus on getting used to sketching with a tablet pen in the first place, which feels awkward in my hand for now. For the above work, I roughly traced the outlines over the photo, before filling it with colour. I hope to get used to the pen soon, well enough to sketch freehand.

If you interested to download Krita, click here for the link.

Nobody Loves No One

Fall into the splendour of love. Dive deep. Giving your all is the best way to experience it, for better or worse (maybe mostly worse but there are good days too 😛).

Click image to go to Redbubble gallery
Click image to go to Redbubble gallery

It is the last line of Chris Isaak’s haunting and iconic song Wicked Game. Still as arrestingly beautiful as the day I first heard it over two decades ago.
Text styling learnt from: Logos By Nick on YouTube:
I put in the sky for an idea of a freefall into love, but I like the text without the background too, so I had fun fitting both on Redbubble stuff.

Pink Ixora

I did this pink Ixora flowers based on a photograph I took some time ago.

Instead of doing the batik thing again with flowers, I thought I’d try the same style I did with the cat portraits. I love the result, it’s very country, happy and fresh.

Yellow Batik Hibiscus

I loved the experience of making the first batik-inspired illustration of hibiscus. That was of red blooms. I decided to make a second one, this time of yellow hibiscus, also based on a photo I took. I think I enjoyed it even more 🙂

Incidentally, the white dots all over the flowers in the illustration, inspired by the style of batik art, seem to reflect the water droplets on the flowers in the photo. That’s coincidental, but it does make me look at flowers and other elements in batik art in a new way.

Keeping calm and carrying on

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball. Sometimes life just hurts. Sometimes it takes a while and great patience to find the strength to rise above. But we can do it. Have faith in ourselves, take a deep breath, and start to focus on getting better.

That’s what I tell myself, when the going gets rough.

What else can one do? Life has to go on. Just grin and bear it, remind myself of the blessings in life I have to be grateful for, and just get on with it.

La Vita è Effimera

La Vita è Effimera, il che la rende preziosa‘. Translation: ‘Life is ephemeral, it’s what makes it precious‘. I decided to do an Italian version of the ‘Life is Ephemeral’ quote illustration from the previous post. I decided to not include “Let’s life it to the fullest” found in the English version, as ‘La Vita è Effimera, il che la rende preziosa‘ sits so pretty by itself.

By the way, please note I did not come up with these words myself. It’s one of those quotes that float around online, and may come in different word arrangements. If I know who is the person who came up with the saying (writer, philosopher, others), I will update the information.

Mentre stavo disegnando l’effetto, vedere come spuntano come nuvole vaporose, mi ha fatto pensare a quanto sia temporanea e breve questa vita. La forma del cuore ci rappresenta come noi e le cose che teniamo in questo mondo sono temporanee. Mentre noi siamo ancora qui, viviamo la vita al massimo.