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A white top hat with a white ribbon and red rose design.

decade thoughts // spirited magic

This blog would inevitably hit some sort of milestone, and here it is – 10 years. It’s given that many things have happened in that time…I’m still thinking there are so many art skills I really haven’t improved on. I’m probably the worst example of exploration, and it’s all documented on the web! For a decade.

It’s currently the fourth month of mostly staying at home. It’s not that different than the last time I was unemployed. I joke that I have a new job every year, and each time I think it’s going great…well, it just doesn’t work out. Comparatively to the first time I had a long job-hunt, I think I’m more mentally prepared. I’m also concerned that my friends or people recommend me and then I might disappoint people, even though I know that is not something I can control, or should worry about.

School:

I graduated. I still do online learning, mostly with the help of a library card.

I studied and passed the JLPT N5 last year. I started it on a whim —  a lot of things I do sometimes stems from an embarrassing moment in time, and in this case, it was failing to be selected for the JET programme. I decided to take evening classes, and here we are. I’ll do my best…I open this post from izuizu occasionally.

Working:

I often dream about the day I will have my own place with a steady income, and I don’t think that will come. I try not to be too down about it, but it creeps up sometimes. Is this is the emotion of liking something, but being bad at it?! Right now I’m still a developer(?), and I’m learning a lot about accessibility still. Can’t believe it’s only been 3 years since I took the plunge (here’s a picture of the back of my head at a11yTOconf). It feels strange to have something that I believe in strongly for myself in this industry, and that I would act on it so strongly. I actively ask employers about things I care about and I genuinely hope that someday my work will have the trappings of true craftsmanship. But maybe that’s a bit too high to aim.

I don’t know if this industry is even for me at times, but I’m trying.  Tatiana Mac: “System of Systems” — Clarity 2019

Gaming:

I joined the club known as CTRL-A, got my very own first handheld in the form of a 3DS. Thank you to Punmaster for lending me the first PSP, to Cee for the secondhand PC that got me into PC gaming, and Helius (and many others!) for the PC building help. Thank you to all the kind and patient hunters over the years.

Overwatch is probably the game that has made me a lot louder and more willing to play multiplayer with strangers. I’m still bad at bluffing games and joining into games where I know I might let down the team, so I still enjoy solo games at my own pace. I started a club that used to meet in-person to play a video game that is very dear to my heart — Monster Hunter. We’re mostly hunting online these days, and I have kept some of the friends I made in Seattle last year while playing, and it brings me great joy even as I cart spectacularly to Alatreon’s Escaton Judgment. Thank you Banjoes for encouraging me to be louder in voice comms. :)

Graphic design:

It turns out graphic design didn’t agree with me. I was self-taught, but I never did have the solid flare eye that would make me agency-worthy. I did eventually work as a graphic designer, but I’m much closer to the web side of things now, anyway. It’s still fun to me as a hobby, and I am grateful that TheOASG lets me experiment. I don’t know why I spent so much energy crying over all the failed interviews to try to get into an agency because I believed that was only way to be a “real” designer. I’m pretty happy doing web design these days. I keep staring at all the posts made by comic letterers, so maybe that’s something I’ll try. Technical artistry for video games looks like a fun blend, so maybe I’ll try that.

Art & drawing:

I fell off lettering in January. I kept saying that work was draining me, and it did. I have been looking at new tutorials, but we’ll see. Thank you to Miscarainious, LuckeeTrefle, and 10thcard for all the art chats.

It would be remiss to mention Imprint for being instrumental in my earlier years. I initially joined to gain access to the drawing tablet, but it definitely has grown to be something more.

Conventions:

I tabled at my first convention in January of this year. I am satisfied with experience. I suspect conventions in a physical format will not be returning any time soon, due to the current pandemic situation. I actually stopped attending them for the most part unless it was for work, and I enjoyed my experience at the International Fan Festival in 2019, and attending PAX West. I was looking forward to attending more, but…well, I think that just won’t be happening any time soon.

Diversifying my friend group with online groups really helped me in the last few years. I have different companions for different hobbies, and it’s not so bad. I feel a lot better with getting to know people in this way. I think one thing that came out of it is that I no longer have to play with or talk to people if I don’t want to. Knowing boundaries, and at times, purposefully creating distance, will save you a lot of energy in the long run. I think in some ways, knowing I can rely on myself is good enough. Thank you for all the friends and chats over the years, and hope we can meet in future.

Post highlights:

Maybe I’ll update with posts that I’m proud of eventually. I did finally throw up that portfolio page that shows my epic amounts of procrastination and complete lack of focus over the years.

Here’s to collecting too many hobbies, to not fitting the mold, talking louder, believing in magic, trying new skills, failure, and doing your best. It’s been fun, and I hope that you will continue (or start!) something that you enjoy.

— Kaitou-al, August 2020

A light blue laptop cover with an assortment of anime and tech stickers.
A set of "Wiggle Me This" postcards with a Monster Hunter sticker.

ebb and flow// muse’s dash

A very belated post about the first (and probably only) convention I had tabled at in January 2020. It feels like a long time ago – hope you’re well and taking care of yourselves.

Thank you to Luckee and 10thcard for answering my questions about tabling, and stariaria, for sending me friends to talk to; it was fun. I think I ate more than what I made that day in the form of snacks. Anime Shogatsu had a nice atmosphere.

Artist display table at the convention Anime Shogatsu. A variety of art, stickers, and postcards are scattered across a galaxy tablecloth.
Artist display table at the convention Anime Shogatsu. A variety of art, stickers, and postcards are scattered across a galaxy tablecloth.
Artist display table at the convention Anime Shogatsu. A variety of art, stickers, and postcards are scattered across a galaxy tablecloth.
Artist display table at the convention Anime Shogatsu. A variety of art, stickers, and postcards are scattered across a galaxy tablecloth.
A Domino's pizza order on a phone app is in transit. There a pentagram made of pens and a lanyard around it.


10thcard and I attempting to summon a pizza delivery to the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in the midst of 20 cm of Canadian snowfall.

A Map indicating the artists are located at table 51.
A set of Monster Hunter stickers on a cardboard backing.

I tried to take some product photos of the postcards I made for Anime Shogatsu…I fell off posting to Instagram after editing all these photos, and realizing the “buon giorno” postcards had a massive error in it. I ended up giving away the postcards or mailing them to friends. I’m honestly really embarrassed that I had this lettering work up for so long and only noticed the mistake after I stayed up to design the bleeds, printed it, cut it, taken photos, edited the photos, and then think of checking the spelling.

A variety of Monster Hunter stickers.

Seeing some of my lettering work reappearing after a long time…this one is hanging in the Aksys Games office, apparently.

The Otome Armada signboard hanging in the Aksys office, with a variety of signatures from members.
The Otome Armada signboard hangs on the wall of the Aksys office.
A close up of a screenshot with Japanese subtitles.

These fan-made videos will describe where I went in the fandom in the last few months. ^^” Alexa, I’m sad, play Wangxian.mp3.
同道殊途Our Different Paths -Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation/The Founder of Diabolism
【The Untamed】Character Intro MV “Undifferent Path” – Mo Dao Zu Shi
Protector – City Wolf
Grandmaster of Troublemaking (The Untamed) -Troublemaker – Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida
[陈情令 The Untamed FMV] Wei Wuxian – Seven Nation Army
The Scientist – Coldplay
Not Yet Lovers (FMV)
魔道祖师OP《醉梦前尘》Piano by Yuki光影
WangXian – audio drama ver.

Gotan Project – Santa Maria
Perfume – “Dajyobanai” Live at Coachella 2019
Porter Robinson – Secret Sky Set (2020)
MADEON DJ SET (Secret Sky Festival)
Jai Wolf – Secret Sky Audiovisual Mix
Move Mountains (Vo.Alisa)
We Won’t Be Falling – 陳雪燃 Xueran Chen
AfterSchoolDi(e)stra(u)ction – Yakushimaru Etsuko
Rainbow Connection – Sleeping At Last
Saturn – Sleeping At Last
Heart Made of Stone – The Tech Thieves
Boom Boom (Audio) – Shaggy ft. Shhhean :)
Swalla – Jason Derulo ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign :P
MIX 15A – Stay Home May 3 A-side: Anikura Unison vol.1.5 by Vanille Altzy
MIX 15B – Stay Home May 3 B-Side: AnimeltUP! by Vanille Altzy

DVa and Tracer take a selfie together with Overwatch anniversary cake.

the turning wheel// rain woman

I made a time lapse for the Overwatch Anniversary piece as well. Not bad for just iMovie…could be better.

Drew this for Maplerose because there wasn’t a White Day event in the game Fire Emblem Heroes.
Fire Emblem's Ryoma extends White Day chocolates.

The “Face Your Art” meme entry. Same face? Hopefully not.
A collage of faces for the "Face Your Art" meme.

Talon's Sombra stickers her tongue out.

Sombra and DVa smark at each other as they play video games.
I watched the movies as well, might have to rewatch that bit.
Evangelion's Shinji clutches his head.

Evangelion's Asuka clutches her head.

Evangelion's Rei clutches her head.

2B walking away with a sword and 9S holding a lunar tear.

calling for tea// ashen memories

2B walking away with the lettering "emotions are prohibited" placed on top.2B walking away with a sword and 9S holding a lunar tear.
Bro Calendar 2019 was released last year. Thanks again to @kaitou_ace/ensuing for organizing.

Overwatch League 2019 started this year! Which team are you cheering for? I’m pretty behind on posting…anything, really. Art, lettering. Here’s the backlog for now.

Girl with green hair in buns, blue blouse, skirt, and yellow socks sits with her knees to her chest on a background of white leaves. Boy with white hair brushes his hair aside and has 4 eyes on one side of his face. Girl clutching her chest with an angry expression Girl on a dark background with a red rose on her lapel. Kirby flying in the sky with 2019 glasses and a party hat Monster Hunter sticker collection 9S and Pod cheer 2B on in Soul Calibur. "Mission Accepted: Glory ot Mankind. 2B for Soul Calibur" Moira in a tailcoat holding two presents "Merry Christmas 12.2018" DVa and her mech with the new years greeting "2019 launch" Brigitte holding a baguette Brigitte holding a baguette with the lettering "Oh, they have a baguette" Sombra in Toronto Defiant gear "See you 2019 TO x OWL" Persona 5 parody self portrait based on the all-out attack eye animation.

Top 9 Instagram posts collage

sunflower // raise your eyes to the second sun

Top 9 posts for Instagram for this year.

Lettering summary, I made a screenshot of it again instead of posting them.
2018 lettering summary

Here’s a few of the drafts for Neomo‘s Otaku Theater on TheOASG before we settled on the final.
Neomo's Otaku Theater

 

I redid the graphic style for the “5 Things to Know About” series for TheOASG because it was really hard to do the old template and have it still look good. The gradient was super meh and the important information wasn’t really in the middle, so I rejigged it a bit. The half-tone hides the bad resolution of the images in the background, haha.

5 Things To Know About Aki Irie’s Ran and the Gray World by Justin
5 Things To Know About Yugo Ishikawa’s Wonderland
5 Things To Know About Taishi Tsutsui’s We Never Learn

 

(more…)

bright road// evolution’s eve

Graphic for TheOASG’s The Manga Letterer’s Tools of The Trade article by Justin (@kami_nomi).

Illustration for the article "The Manga Letterer's Tools of the Trade." The capitalized text is surrounded by manga letterer tools, such as paper, tablets, laptop, and manga.
Final ilustration for the article "The Manga Letterer's Tools of the Trade." Finalized illustration of the manga letterer tools, such as paper, tablets, laptop, and manga. The lines are drawn in Illustrator, and the overall feel is light and airy.

Also posted to Instagram.

Theme song for this month is…toasty.
Battle / Teostra [Monster Hunter World soundtrack]
If You Want to ESCAPE with Me (Beat Saber ver.)

Happy one year to Nier: Automata!
「MMD」Nier:Automata 9S & 2B — DEMONS

PERFECT Combo in Beat Saber! (Hard Mode) w/ LIV Tech

navigator’s song// white tiger

Graphic for “TheOASG’s Best Manga Reads of 2017” with Helen, Krystallina, and Justin.

Drafts.

Tweet

Please Save My Money graphics for Krystallina’s column.

New TheOASG social media banners. Maybe I should illustrate something better next time…

dragon’s rise// velvet wish

A little bit too texture happy lately…

Graphic for Please Save My Money: Can We Get Out Our Shueisha Wishlists Now?” by Krystallina/daiyamanga (Twitter)

Graphic for Please Save My Money: The New Shipping Wars by Krystallina (Twitter)

Finalized graphic for TheOASG Podcast Episode 27: We Convene at Mugimaki to Discuss Media Consumption! featuring Justin and Helen (Twitter)

The rejected versions.

Finished my first play-through of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, which coincidentally celebrates 10 years today.

青空のラプソディ – fhána
Kisses Back – Matthew Koma
有心論 – RADWIMPS (Covered by コバソロ & Lefty Hand Cream)
Emil’s Sacrifice – Nier Soundtrack (Live)

the smallest of gardens// blaze and cyclone


Graphic for Please Save My Money: International TableTop Day the Otaku Way by Krystallina (Twitter)

“Awake! Judgment Gun Morphing!” SVG animation completed on Codepen. I was inpired by Space Patrol Luluco on Crunchyroll.


Drafts:

Created some plaid and polka dots inspired by Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid opening, which you can watch on Crunchyroll.

You can find my latest code and lettering projects on two other social media platforms – Codepen and Instagram.
Codepen – @AlcinaW
Instagram – @kaitou_al

[AMV] In The Name of Love [Yuri!!! on ICE]
Tori Kelly – Expensive (Two Friends Remix)
Daddy Yankey ft. Pit Bull & Lil Jon – Gasolina (Remix)