Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Ox

My little design for Chinese New Year that’s just around the corner. Wishing all Chinese all around the world a wonderful New Year full of love, peace, good health and prosperity.
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By the way, that’s not a self-portrait ๐Ÿ˜„, though yes the Year of the Ox ๐Ÿ‚ is my year when it comes to the Chinese zodiac.
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For the full gallery on Redbubble, click here.

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Tutor credit for the border: I learned it from Nick of Logos by Nick on YouTube:

Art Deco Calla Lily Pattern

I drew a pattern, started out inspired by Art Deco and the Calla Lily flower, but when I finished it also feels a tad Mid-century to me.

Clockwise from Top Left: Marigold, Scarlet, Indigo, Ocean

I think maybe that’s due to the sparse lines, the white background and the colour choices. Even though this ‘fish scale’ type of pattern is usually considered Art Deco, the art movement is usually associated with richness and luxury. So maybe a dark jewel tone instead of white for the background, gold or silver lines for contrast, and gradients for depth would make it more Art Deco. But I like how this turned out. I’m looking forward to trying out more such patterns.

To see the entire Redbubble gallery for each of the four colour choices, click the names I’ve selected for them below.

Marigold, Scarlet, Ocean (Green), Indigo

It’s raining citrine

Like bright cheery lemons glistening under the Mediterranean sun. I love how fascinatingly different the overall look is, between black and yellow stripes.

I’m looking at the dresses above and I really think that, while they are sweet and casual by themselves, the yellow will go really well with some gold-coloured jewelry. Like a chunky necklace or drop earrings, big bling like that. A large gold cuff.

Strappy footwear, probably. But if I’m her stylist, definitely black leather boots, like Doc Martens. Something kick-ass like that. And while we’re in that direction, a black leather motorcycle jacket, then ๐Ÿ™‚

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For the full Redbubble gallery with the black stripes, click here.

As for the yellow stripes, click here.

As usual, here are some photos below in the meantime.

The socks are so darn cute with this pattern, as usual.

Anchors to set in the sea of love and peace

I had always wanted to try an anchor design. I’ve always liked the designs of the ‘classic’ tattoos, and the anchor is one of the design elements I think of when I think of traditional tattoos, along with swallows, dragons, pin-up girls, hearts with ‘Mom’ emblazoned across them, etc.

My heart-themed design is inspired by a song I love, Sea of Love.

The song was first released in 1959. I was introduced to it by the 1989 movie of the same title, starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. I remember watching it in the cinema as a teenager, at the time of its release that year.

I decided to do pink and light blue, because they turned out kinda cutesy and I thought they would be cool for teenagers and kids too.

To see the Redbubble gallery of the Pink Anchor, click here.

And for the Blue Anchor, click here.

It’s raining amber

It’s raining amber this time ๐Ÿงก making this pattern the most refreshing so far . There is such a burst of energy to this underused colour ๐ŸŠ. I think orange is actually such a lovely, pretty colour. Instant warmth.

Perhaps yellow is too blindingly sunny for some, and red too hot and a tad too unsettlingly eye-catching. Orange is like a grandmother’s hug, quietly snuggly and comforting. A smoky shade still gives brightness and warmth, yet it’s still sedate, great for the coat or bag of an introvert looking to step out the wallpaper for a while. It brings attention without looking like it’s asking for it.

To see gallery of items with orange stripes, click here.

For selection with black stripes, click here.

It’s raining rubies

I have always thought it would be fun to draw jewels. Pops of ‘sparkling’ colours in the deeply intense shades that I find fascinating in jewels. I tried one recently, pear shaped, and set it against black stripes for a simple pattern.

They remind me instantly of strawberries and gumdrops. I like how they look and can’t wait to try with more colours: green for emeralds, blue for sapphires, and so on.

To see the entire gallery of items available on Redubble, click here.

Surfin’ right on

My ‘artwork’ for the week ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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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.

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Tutorial credit: Abstract Lines learnt from: Logos by Nick at YouTube: https://youtu.be/vZF1ye0c4P4

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 ๐Ÿ˜›).

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.
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Text styling learnt from: Logos By Nick on YouTube: https://youtu.be/nyFY6__x4hU
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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.

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.