My, how time quickly flies, just like that! But that’s particularly my fault because I haven’t been blogging as much as I have here or even on The NINPOJineous because I have been “taking a break” from the coding stuff1 and spending more time doing the “traditional creatives” stuff. In short, art. To be more specific, zen art. 😀
Call it zen doodling, Zentangle art, or just random doodling that looks good but doesn’t really mean anything, the purpose of zen art is to relax your mind and destress your stresses away. It’s another method of putting yourself at bliss, keeping your focus on your art and nothing else. Even if all you end up with the squiggles and repeated patterns, you can actually create something awesome without even thinking about it. And in the end, you couldn’t help yourself, but to make more of these.
Many adults (and kids too) are so into these adult coloring books that have been selling like hotcakes, but the creative in me tells me that I’m out to create the shapes and, as an option, add the coloring, the glitter, the works. It’s a form of art therapy, that’s what I wanted to say before. There are other methods that people could do to calm themselves in a much fun, healthier way that doesn’t even have to involve other people (like in those anonymous support groups, etc.) or money (those pricey resort spas, etc.). A lot of people also keep a journal to write their thoughts (I used to do that too but I suck at following up, so I abandoned it 😁), and that’s a form of personal therapy too.
With zen art, you don’t need any fancy tools to use. Just standard pencils, pens, crayons, coloring pencils, even some household items to trace interesting shapes are good enough. If you’re going to do zentangle art, all you need is a pencil and a black pen.2 My sisters and I are (fine) artists, so we do end up having “professional artist grade” tools and we buy new ones for cheap.3 We take our art seriously, and we use our own (old and recycled) sketchbooks for practice and good quality paper for the real deal…
… in which I introduce you to the second favorite thing for July!
Super-Shiny Sparkly Pens
A photo posted by Adrianne P. (@adriculous) on
Metallic, pastel, anything that’s got some bling has got me trapped into their sparkly goodness! I own three sets of sparkly pens of different kinds: The Write Dudes Super Gel Pens,4 STA Metallic Pens,5 Atyou Spica Glitter Pens,6 and the latest addition to my bling tool collection: Kuretake Zig Wink of Stella Brushes I’ve made some several shots of it on my Instagram and as you can see, I have grown addicted to using a lot of super-shiny sparkly pens to all of my artwork. The Atyou Spica really captured my heart, especially with Pen #00, also known as the Clear pen. There really isn’t any color on the clear pen’s ink (which is why it’s called clear pen), however, its purpose is to make any dull-looking artwork go bling-bling and make others that already got some bling have a lot more bling.
Before the Wink of Stella came to my life, I was squealing for the Atyou Spica’s glittery superpowers. And then, when the Wink of Stella came to me, I fell in love with the brush more than the pen. Take a look at this!
… in which I am about to introduce to you to my next favorite thing… you can call me a narcissist if you have to, once you read this…
My real handwriting by the way, personally developed by me back in middle school. I blame my short-lived Montessori education back in the Philippines for *forcing* us to learn that Montessori Calligraphy style and I forced myself to change my handwriting in fifth grade (U.S.) because my American teachers couldn’t read my handwriting when I submitted English homework. And then, I have become obsessed with my own handwriting, which also led me to taking calligraphy and lettering classes in middle school and high school. #handwriting #calligraphy #lettering
A photo posted by Adrianne P. (@adriculous) on
I know that it’s a little narcissistic, but let me explain for a bit.
Believe it or not, calligraphy (and in some cases, just lettering in general) is a dying art. If you’ve seen images of old documents handwritten several centuries ago, you’ll see what I mean. With the rapid upgrades of today’s technology, we are now seeing these pieces of artistic calligraphy being represented as mere fonts for your graphics programs and for all your digital designs. In a way, it’s much convenient, plus the creators worked really hard to use their handwriting skills to be translated to the screen.
But, as a web designer and developer, one of my goals also was to create one personal website that has all of my artwork as a basis and to become its very original theme that truly has my name all over it, but I still don’t know how to do certain things yet digitally. For instance, turning my handwriting and lettering into digital fonts. I want to have my personal blog (this one!) have a body font of purely my handwriting,7 just so it could have a real personal journal feeling to it. For the time being, that would only be a dream.
When I was living my early childhood days, I learned that in the Philippines, anyone can tell which school a person currently attended or graduated just by recognizing the person’s handwriting. I don’t know if it’s some prestige or a signature or whatever, but I do remember how everyone (back then) were so obsessed with their own handwriting that some of them gave them their own little personal touches8 to have a bit more flair on the standard school penmanship. In fact, when you attend school, in language arts classes, teachers don’t just teach you how to write their school penmanship, but they also give you endless drills of writing all 26 letters of the alphabet on paper. I eventually mastered the Montessori Calligraphy (my former elementary school’s (it’s a Montessori School obviously) official penmanship) and even flaunted it to everyone.
However, things changed with my handwriting style when I arrived on my first day of school in the U.S. I was going through those grammar drills for my homework. When I submitted my very first English homework to my homeroom teacher using my Montessori Calligraphy handwriting, the teacher told me that I need to write more legibly because he couldn’t read it. In fact, my classmates also admitted that my handwriting was hard to read also. I watched the way my teacher wrote and what my classmates wrote and noticed that they were following the standard cursive writing that was hanging right above the blackboard. When I got home, I found the textbook that had the standard cursive and I even started practicing on how to write it. Sometime in 6th or 7th grade, I just got so frustrated with trying to look like everyone else’s handwriting that I thought to myself, screw it, I’m gonna make my own style. What you see on the instagram pic above is now my current handwriting since middle school.
I’m slowly getting back into calligraphy and lettering again as an art form. I want to get used to brush calligraphy so I can practice and figure out how to turn them into fonts and probably sell them for some extra moolah. I’m getting there, hopefully.
Whew, I think this entry is the first time that I’ve mentioned three favorite things in one month. I’m really inspired to do more art, but my Ruby on Rails classes starts tomorrow (Monday), so gosh darnit. I can’t wait to read all your favorite things this month!
On the sidenote...
- but I am preparing for my upcoming Ruby on Rails Blueprint class in case you haven’t read it yet on my other blog. [↩]
- archival ink pens are ideal if you want your work to never fade through time ever again. [↩]
- through discount coupons we receive from the emails, specialty art supply online stores, and with the help of my employee discount from Amazon too. [↩]
- metallic and neon— the neon colored ones are pretty glittery though [↩]
- not glittery, but the metallic shine is there! [↩]
- by Too Markers, the same folks who created the Copic Marker system and all Copic writing instruments. These glitter pens were even advertised as Copic Atyou Spica Glitter Pens to lure all the Copic fans, I guess. It lured me, but it’s a high-quality, really good glitter pen. Too Markers is also the Japanese distributor of those pricey Derwent Pencils [↩]
- or the formal name for that is penmanship. [↩]
- and this is during elementary school… [↩]