Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login

[internally screaming] I still haven’t completely processed how big of a deal this is yet, as I’m mostly just glad that TCM is getting recognised, but!! It’s BIG.

1) I’m the first Malaysian ever to be nominated.
2) This comic??! A genre story with a mostly-POC cast, 2 Muslim protagonists in a healthy loving relationship, in a non-Western setting, made by a Southeast Asian/Malaysian WOC?? Getting seen like this?!?

I made this comic primarily to fill up the void in comics for positive (or at least, mundane) representation of the people I’ve lived with all my life. It’s great to see that it’s appreciated! But I hope TCM isn’t the first, or shouldn’t be anyone’s last or only when it comes to Muslim/diverse historical fantasy. There are so many others, ownvoices or not, who have made media in this genre (here’s some I collected in a Twitter thread).

Anyway this nomination is for everyone. For Muslims, for Turks, for Southeast Asian and Malaysian creatives, and for anyone from outside the West who wants to write stories that exist outside of the Western tradition of storytelling. And thanks to everyone who has read and supported TCM since 2016! < 33

AND IF YOU'VE DONE COMICS, please vote for The Carpet Merchant on the Eisner Voting website. Voting for it will only increase its chances of winning the ACTUAL AWARD. --->
  • Listening to: the sound of work
  • Reading: about fairy tales
  • Watching: lines appear
  • Playing: with fate
  • Eating: all the good food
  • Drinking: for the next 4 years
HEY YALL!! I've turned The Carpet Merchant into an ebook bundle: PDFs each of the two chapters, and a guidebook with all the research and historical background behind the story. It's pay-what-you-want, and you can get it here:…

I've just finished university and I'm just waiting for my graduation. In the meantime, been busy with Christmas freelance, and finding the time to work on TCM while doing all the things I've been wanting to do (learning code, a new language, reading books, etc).
  • Listening to: the sound of work
  • Reading: about fairy tales
  • Watching: lines appear
  • Playing: with fate
  • Eating: all the good food
  • Drinking: for the next 4 years
I'm thinking about doing some tutorials (it'll be course-structured in a PDF, and with some blog versions); what would you like me to do?

1. Character design
2. Unique/ambitious comic layouts
3. How to make/start a webcomic
4. Colours
5. Etc

You can suggest more than one!! Or anything that isn't mentioned.

ABOUT The Carpet Merchant:
I'm still working on Volume II! I have been busy with school lately

The Kickstarter/Indiegogo is ready - the book, the cover, the rewards, the suppliers, the costs etc - but the release date is pushed back to late 2017/early 2018. There are actually two reasons for this: the big one being that I'm in my last year of uni and thought it would be best if I focus on the campaign after graduation. The second is....I can't say. But I am exploring my options, that's for sure. I apologise for the delay in getting the physical book to you!! But at least this year you will get to read Vol II!
  • Listening to: the sound of work
  • Reading: about fairy tales
  • Watching: lines appear
  • Playing: with fate
  • Eating: all the good food
  • Drinking: for the next 4 years
I can't create polls because I don't have Core, so I'm making a journal. I wanna ask your opinion about the cover of the book and the enamel pin that I'm creating for the Kickstarter publication of the comic.

I've four sketches! They will be lineart on top of a solid background (the goal is to get it as foil stamping on top of a clothbound cover). Which do you like?
The best cover gets to be on the book and as a letterpress print.

These are going to be limited edition rewards. Pick one which you like the best!

Subscribe to the newsletter ->> to get some email updates and a direct announcement of the Kickstarter launch when it happens.
  • Listening to: the sound of work
  • Reading: about fairy tales
  • Watching: lines appear
  • Playing: with fate
  • Eating: all the good food
  • Drinking: for the next 4 years
Hey guys (and robots)! If you're not already aware, I recently finished Vol I of my webcomic (which you can read here), and I'm in the midst of planning a Kickstarter for a printed book! I'm just writing this journal to let you know I've set up a project landing page AND a newsletter for you to follow the development of the book directly.

Project landing page:…

I'm currently doing the cover art, the artwork for the enamel pin, editing the pages for silly mistakes, and waiting on the quotes for the book specs + fulfillment service. I'll send my very first newsletter once I get some art done!

Please subscribe! It'll make it easier for me to contact you < 3
Thanks!! Have a lovely day
  • Listening to: the sound of work
  • Reading: about fairy tales
  • Watching: lines appear
  • Playing: with fate
  • Eating: all the good food
  • Drinking: for the next 4 years
YO!!! I just finished updating the first chapter of the comic thing I was doing! If you haven't read it yet, it's 126 pages of beautiful, delicious content - chocked full of patterns (which I liked doing but BOY was it hard work), feels and lots of detail (both visually and narrative-ly). You can read it here on DA, or ideally, please go to the main website:…

The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya is about an ordinary (if socially nervous) guy from 17th century Ottoman Istanbul who wanted nothing more than to remain ordinary and honest, be a supportive husband for his ambitious wife, and continue living his days till he dies a good person. All these he did very well. Especially the last part, which he didn't expect to come so soon - one clear night on his way to the Balkans, when he was helping a lost soul. A big mistake...
Forced into an unfortunate and extraordinary circumstance, he must reconcile his identity with his curse, and adapt himself to the strange new world that has opened up. To add salt to the wound, when an old enemy finds him a century later, he must also learn to come to terms with the vampire who turned him.

I have never been so excited and passionate about making a comic in so long (ok well The World in Deeper Inspection as a whole is my passion project, so it's not unusual). It's been amazing to see how Zeynel has developed within these few months, despite being my OC son for 6 years now, and I am eager to tell his story. Once my exams are done I will get right on to Chapter 2!!
  • Listening to: The Sound of Computer Fan
  • Reading: about silly things
  • Watching: some Satoshi Kon movie
  • Playing: with my life
  • Eating: life
  • Drinking: happiness
Now, approximately 3 years of silence from the DA blogosphere should send the alarm bells ringing, but fortunately when I took my leave DA was already experiencing a mass exodus to Tumblr. Now I came back under my own accord, having enjoyed some years of pilgrimage in that terrible blue site. It is not without its good and bad times, and my following there is rather nice. Still I long for the days when things were more quiet, but simultaneously involved. All I want to do now is to post art for the enjoyment of fans without having to be scrutinised under an all-seeing eye, constantly watching for any misstep, yet only sees what it likes to see. What is this feeling? Is this age? Is this experience? Is this a backwards progression? Do celebrities feel this way?

TL;DR I am back on DA cos I want a quieter place to post art. I don't miss the grayish green layout however.

If you aren't aware I am much more involved and prominent on places like Twitter, Tumblr and my official webcomic site. Mostly the first two. It's easier to update and words take lil to no energy.

Things sure have changed plenty. I used to have many friends here but they have moved on now with their real lives.
  • Listening to: The Sound of Computer Fan
  • Reading: about silly things
  • Watching: some Satoshi Kon movie
  • Playing: with my life
  • Eating: life
  • Drinking: happiness

Just dropping by to say I have a Society6 shop, where my more graphical-looking kinds of art are on sale in a variety of things such as bags, phone covers, mugs, pillows and more!

I also have an important announcement:
Two months ago I worked on an artbook for The World in Deeper Inspection - my first ever self-published thing!
It's 16 pages of full illustrations (something like the last three pictures, as you can see in my main gallery). They are FULL-COLOURED, and A5 sized, with glossy pages like in magazines and stuff. And they cost about $15 not including a small shipping fee (because I live in Malaysia).

So, since I've very LIMITED copies, of only 15, you can get them online OVER HERE.

It comes with a free postcard, as well as an autograph with a sketch request or random doodles if unspecified.

  • Listening to: The Sound of Computer Fan
  • Reading: about silly things
  • Watching: some Satoshi Kon movie
  • Playing: with my life
  • Eating: life
  • Drinking: happiness

I've Come Here to Inspect Deeply

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 7, 2013, 10:33 PM
I've returned from my very unexciting, very uninteresting journey to the realm of A Normal Life. It was, normal at best. Normal sleeping hours, normal meal times, normal activities, only peppered by the most extraordinary of plans and future things.

Do you remember the Big Important Exam that tortured me for the whole of last year? I survived that. I had to stand among fellow tortured inmates as my Maths teacher stood at the podium announcing the names of those who got Straight As. All four of them are not me. And then she went on to mention those who got All As and 1 B, and of course, as it always must be for about 80% of my life (recently people I've met are now pronouncing my name correctly from the first go WHICH IS AWESOME), she pronounced my name wrongly.

I THINK THAT IS GOOD. Well, at least, good enough to get me into good colleges, which is very very very VERY few if you live in this city in this country. So little options. I'm heading straight to A-Levels, a pre-university program that's international but originated in the UK, and I'm taking a tough subject combination - Literature, Maths, Biology and Chemistry - which is self-imposed torture but THE THINGS YOU DO TO BECOME ACADEMICALLY AWESOME AND TORTURED.

Also happy happy days, if you paid attention lately I have started The World in Deeper Inspection. Finally! I am actually doing something with this 3 Year Old Project. A good way to round up the end of my secondary education. I'm very happy of what I've done for it so far and I hope you check it out and share it with the world because I also need the exposure and the views hehehehehehehehe.

DA is dead for me now. :p

Original Journal Coding By *blob-kitty. Edited by Reimena Ashel Yee.
  • Listening to: The Sound of Computer Fan
  • Reading: about silly things
  • Watching: some Satoshi Kon movie
  • Playing: with my life
  • Eating: life
  • Drinking: happiness
It's been a long time coming, but unobviously I finished my Big Important Life-Killing Exams two months ago (has it been two months? All that build-up for nothing), and am now waiting tentatively for Results Day, which would be another story to be posted on DA when it comes.

See, people, there is one bad thing about having a hiatus and that it's weaning yourself off the thing you are hiatus-ing. Checking DA is starting to fall out of habit; mainly because right now, personally, my art life is flourishing in Tumblr, and in the most unexpected of places, Facebook (SORRY, but getting to be friends with tons of local industry professionals (some renowned) and having an equal relationship with them?? That's too good!). My friends, who I spent 6 years of DA-ting together, have fallen out of this place as well, so much less reason if there's no stimulating conversation to be held.

But anyway, I make it a point to upload stuff whenever I can, so today is one of those days. I hovered my cursor over the 'Submit Art' button expecting at least the same old, still functional image uploader, but then not expecting the really surprising, unfitting, troublesome uploader that greeted me.

OK, I was like: this page looks uglier now. Only because the rest of DA doesn't look like it, and there's too many buttons that clutters up the page. I have no problem with that. I don't frequent DA much anymore. So I upload my recent deviation - Heritage. Ok, no sweat. Casually adding my description and ticking the required boxes with the relevant options. Which is when I found out how un-functional and troublesome it is afterwards. Uploading the art isn't instant and straightforward anymore, mainly - I click to 'Submit' and it keeps telling me there's a fatal error. I have to save it to st.ash first, and then go back to the Submit Art page, upload the deviation from st.Ash and press 'Submit' again. Which is stupid and not user-friendly as well as bothersome and glitchy.

So far, life is fine! The only thing that's horrid is that I'm not going out of the house much, thereby affecting me with its consequences such as slight muscle lethargy and typical laziness. I'm not starting college until July by the very least, though if things work out, I might go earlier. Driving is going to add to my repertoire of skills next month. I'm working on projects, and I'm working on learning, so yep, all fine.
  • Listening to: the rain
  • Reading: about the local political system
  • Watching: words coming out of my hands!!!
  • Playing: with my life
  • Eating: life
  • Drinking: happiness
Gosh gracious, how long has it been since I wrote a journal? Such blasphemy! Though I do have a good excuse for it, and the good excuse is happening in, erm, 9 days.


I just graduated from high school. Actually, the proper phrase would be 'released from prison on probation'. Because that's what it is: technically, I have graduated. They even organised a grand (in their words) graduation ceremony which turned out to not be nor look so grand (because I think their definition of grand is just more flowers and fabric strewn across the room), to emphasise the fact that everyone in my form is finally glad to be out after 5 years of administrative torture.

As usual, my class had to do this dumb performance for the ceremony (it's 'tradition' for the first/honours class to entertain the public in the same manner of slaves in the Colosseum). And as usual, they only gave us 5 days to practice. 5 days, including the weekend when we were not in school and definitely not bothering to memorise the script given that Friday. Luckily it didn't even up being another trainwreck.

I got hounded for my fashion sense. The Not-So-Grand Graduation Ceremony is only great because for our 5 years of torture, we managed to earn a day of being able to dress in anything that is not the uniform. Well, anything that is within their strict code of dress, that is. I only wore a cute, jersey dress with bird prints (I am a sucker for animal prints) that is only 3 cm above my knee, black stockings, black wedges (because the day before, they asked us to wear covered shoes, and all my shoes are peep-toed because apparently my feet look better that way, so I cheated by pairing the stockings and wedges together to make it look covered! OPTICAL ILLUSION GOOOO!), and my best friends' jewellery gifts.

It didn't seem a problem, but an hour after I dragged myself to school, the teacher-harpies gathered around me like I'm Calvin Klein sailors modelling underwear on a ship, cawing that they told us no tight clothing (they meant the stockings, but eh?). Well, their problem was that I was wearing stockings. No, no! They tell me, colleges will let me wear anything I want - even hotpants! - but that doesn't mean my professors will let me graduate if I dressed like I did, although wearing hotpants and wearing stockings underneath a dress are two different things! They didn't want me to graduate! Luckily there were 'worst' people who kept their legs bare in their 'slightly-above-kneelength' dresses and skirts, so they had no choice but to accept stockings as a solution.

There was no point for all that hoo-hah anyway because we were covered up in our graduation robes most of the time. :thumbsup:

Anyway the whole point of this journal is to tell you I will be back soon. Can you believe it? My hiatus is almost over! Though in an almost anti-climatic manner because I'm not sure if the people I used to talk to frequently are here on DA anymore. Everyone is so busy nowadays. I used to find friends and enjoyed long wordy conversations here, but it seems that DA is not as active as it used to be. I'm also more active on Tumblr.

9 more days till the exams
A month till I end it.
Wish me luck, robots!
  • Reading: Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • Watching: my life flash before my eyes
  • Playing: with my life
  • Eating: good grades
  • Drinking: intelligence
So guys, gals and Robots:
I'M GOING ON HIATUS. Blasphemous, you scream. How can this happen? I've never known myself to be on a hiatus of anything; when I do something, I really do it. Otherwise they will just disappear like...Webcomic Project #1, Webcomic Project #2, Webcomic Project #3, Shortstory #1, Shortstory #2 and et cetera.

[a moment of silence for my forgotten projects]
[as well as an extra moment of shame for myself]

It's not really hiatus, per se, but I don't have any other words to describe it. Okay, maybe a cessation of activity on Deviantart. And the online world in general. I've already mentioned in my last journal and some of my artist comments that I've been very busy lately. Even in those moments when I am not busy (like right now), I'm taking my time to recover. Time for recovery has been something that I'm desperately seeking; I'm that fish in the dry desert. You have no idea how glad I am that we have this week-long break! School was beginning to overwhelm me (less on the work, but more on the absurdities of the Administration and the people who are part of the Admin, and of course, pressure). Homework, obligations and studying take away every morsel of energy I have, and time I need to do something I really love. If I don't allow time for myself, I will go insane (literally). So all the time I have is to keep quiet, draw, read and let my mind rest.

Every few years, the government likes to give us national exams. And they increase in importance over time. I've passed my UPSR and PMR for my primary and lower secondary education respectively.

This year, I've to take SPM. Which is my final test before I am FREE of this education system after a decade of oppression. It's not only because it's my FINAL test, but it affects my Pre-U education, and perhaps my tertiary education if I do really well. If I get As, I've a higher chance for a scholarship, which would be really useful because I need the money to afford studying overseas.

My motive: get out of this country.

These are plans now, but they are plans I want to make happen! So I need to do as well as I can, and focus my energies, and so I'm putting Deviantart at the bottommost of my priorities.

When I come back, I'll tell you, and I'll make sure to say hi and catch up with you! I've met so many friends here on Deviantart (like Syph, my bro, Mems, Ben, Josie, Alex, Buzz, Kite, Novi, Trish, JL, Xsaye, etc etc), and whoops, it turns out that 'Friends' are one of my top priorities.

Drawing and writing/creating things in general are what I do to recover. So, if I happen to post something during my hiatus and not reply to your comments immediately (I will reply, but not very prompt!), I want to APOLOGISE FIRSTHAND. I've this habit of posting everything I've taken time to work on (THERE'S JUSTIFICATION AND GRATIFICATION IN THE ACT).


About TWiDI: yes, I'll still be working on it! It's already a part of my lifestyle now, so I can't just get rid of it. You can bet I'll be drawing Grimsley and the gang in my exam papers anyway. I've moved on from story and character development (two years of work, MY GOD), and am working on visual development already. Lots of drawing, especially of the characters. I've so many of them I haven't drawn yet, and it's a SHAME. So that's what I will be focusing on for the rest of the year!

If you're interested, you can pop by the official TWiDI Tumblog! I post things there that I don't upload on DA, as well as extra information pertaining to the characters and story. Mostly it's just pictures that relate to the look and feel of TWiDI, as well as interesting helpful artsy links.

About life after SPM: My reward is A VERY, VERY LONG BREAK. I already have a line-up of things that I'll be doing during this break, and I shall talk about them when the time comes. Oh man, I'm so excited for this phase of my life. EXAMS, WHY CAN'T YOU JUST GIVE ME MY STRAIGHT As AND LEAVE ME TO ACTUALLY BEGIN MY LIFE ALREADY.

Wish me luck!
And I wish you luck as well. I can't wait to talk to you guys again later. < 3
We can hang around in other places as well. COME ON GUYS, LET'S SHARE LINKS.

Personal Tumblr =
Twitter =
Art Blog =

  • Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
  • Watching: my life flash before my eyes
  • Playing: with my fake costume gun from my cosplay friend.
  • Eating: pride
  • Drinking: shame

Cause of Death: Extreme Business

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 19, 2012, 7:10 AM
Good God, where has the time flown? I've been juggling 10-tonne elephants since the day Educational Hell started, so to speak. And I really want to put these elephants down, but I'm afraid I'll flatten under the weight, so I must keep juggling. What has happened while I was gone and not replying to messages instantly and efficaciously (well, not that I've been getting too many comments as of late; it could be due to the aforementioned perjury of me not commenting enough)?

Educational Hell is back and it's the one flinging me all of these hypothetical elephants at my direction. The moment I stepped foot into the school, expecting a horde of adoring fans to lunge at me and adorn me with their love and appreciation, I'm trampled on beneath the stampeding of a billion wildebeests (which could be synonymous, but I've no fans except for the portable one in my room). Not only am I back for the time being in the first class, but I've been shouldered with too many obligations---

I've been elected Ketua Keceriaan. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Literally, it means 'Brightness Leader' (laugh!), but no, really, I'm K.K for my class with another friend. It also means that I'm responsible for getting the class to be decorated in a way that is not HORRIBLE or GROTESQUE or DISASTROUS. My teacher has been making a big deal about the tablecloth for our tables. Our problem has been with the juniors (those young, 14 year old whippersnappers); I don't know what teenage angst they are going through, but they are prone to ripping things off in a matter of hours. Last year our tables were desecrated because of uncontrollable angry hormones and extreme PMS, that we simply just gave up. This year we fixed our problem with stronger wrapping and three extremely-big, extremely-useless stapler guns. But even with all of our hard work and stapler consumption, they have the kindness to write us a note under a table telling us how much we suck. Oh, thank you for your appreciation, junior. We love you too, and your habit of throwing rubbish in the cavity of our tables where we keep our books.

English Week is coming and hooray, hooray,, I am an MC for the Opening Ceremony. I don't find this a bad thing, since I've been wanting to be an MC for a school event for a long time now (it's a strange sort of goal; those who know me know of my stage fright and shyness). Not only am I the MC, but the assistant organiser for the same friend who is my other K.K. I'm back again under the glare of That Woman. that teacher who likes me so much. Last year's English Week was a flop and a total trainwreck that launched other trainwrecks like domino pieces. So we are trying to avoid another one. It's so much work though; my time has been occupied by this, not to mention homework, not to mention also that after English Week ends, my first assessments immediately begins. And I've not studied yet! OH GOOOOOOD

Deviantart's Free Premium Membership Day! Ever since I found out about it, I've been going manic with the privileges. You see my profile; it is littered with things I've been wanting to have since forever. Look at this journal. I would have tried to figure out how to make one by myself from scratch, but due to the limited time, I shall just keep it like this.

I'm starting to droop off. I'm sorry and I apologise profusely! I WILL WRITE SOMETHING MORE INTERESTING SOON. I HOPE. I HOOOOOOOOOPE.

Original Journal Coding By *blob-kitty. Edited by Reimena Ashel Yee.
  • Listening to: MY COMPUTER WHIRRING
  • Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
  • Watching: awesome things happen
  • Playing: with my urge to go draw now!
  • Drinking: Moisture from the air
Oh hey, salutations Robots and non-Robots! Please excuse my sometimes-erratic absence from the gaieties of online socialisation; it's caused by a terrible potluck of laziness, procrastination and not so much time! I've been out of practice being able to reply to things efficiently (you guys talk a lot and with depth, and that's one of the things I absolutely love about you all!), but I do try even if it takes me eons to do it.

Anyway, here's my annual review of the old year! Never fails to deliver! Though I am sure I have forgotten to do it last year (do you have a pickaxe? Thank you. /pulverises self)

2011 has been a pretty swanky year! I think I could go as far to say that it's been the best year of my entire life, and that it will probably get so much better. So many strange things have happened that I can't really imagine them to be mere coincidences due to the condensation of these incidents.

Awesome Strange Things That Happened That Can't Be Mere Coincidence
1. Suddenly, ART FRIENDS:
If you asked me what 2011 was all about in its core essence, I'll say it's the year where I made so many awesome friends to add to my already awesome pentagon of friends. It has always been my dream to find artsy friends LOCALLY who I can hang out with, draw, share the same goals and relate to (since it's really hard to find anyone my age who is serious about these art things), and I have

The self-proclaimed leader of my art group, Obscurus! She's an amazingly awesome and kind person, who draws uniquely beautiful art, and we're homies in our mission regarding the local art industry. She's the first friend I had who's actually doing arts in Malaysia, so knowing her has opened up a lot of doors for me. Really can't wait to see her again, when she's less busy.

She also draws this webcomic called Anfange which has been quite successful and I totally recommend you to read it!

Ben is part of Obscurus, and I really admire him for his zany, lifely lines and his various influences. I haven't talked to him since the first time I met him, since he's back in the Phillipines, but I would love to hang out with him again someday next year when Obscurus launches (hopefully).

She's the most recent friend I've made, but I love her already! She's a very close friend of Max, and a lot like him in the sense that she's spectacular. It's not very easy trying to get me feeling comfortable with an insurmountable  amount of people, but she's done it quite well and I would like to get to know her better. THAT TRIP TO SINGAPORE WASN'T ENOUGH. ;_;

I met him through his comic-blog, IndieDoodle (which I think he needs to update more; I am sorry, Max), and couldn't resist getting to know this person who's making this super blog with quality writing FOR ONCE. I just inherently felt that he's a pretty cool person who should be my friend (which goes for everyone in this section, actually!). And he really is!
Met him for the first time in this year's Comic Fiesta and the second time in Singapore. HSAJKSHA thank you for that fun trip to Kinkokuniya, and being the terribly horrible influence to get me to buy a damn load of comic books under your recommendation. ;__;

It was kinda weird when I found them on Deviantart separately and then realised that they are mutual friends and part of an art group. Like woah! They are some of the few local artists that I don't feel have this stereotypical vibe of mainstream Malaysian art, and that they are very skilled and can actually draw and know what they are talking about. Thanks for having me lepak at your booth for a while, and tolerating my presence.

She's also one of those few local artists. Too bad I didn't get to see her during CF (the Hot Cat Person I drew is still with me, Kou! >/ YOUR FAULT LAAAH FOR MAKING ME NOT FIND YOU). Hopefully in the next CF, and hopefully with MORE LUCK FINDING HER TOO IN A NOT-OBSCURE, OTHER-SIDE-OF-THE-WORLD PLACE.

Ahahaha, she's the same age as me, but she draws way better. I would really love to see where my competitor/peer will go in her artistic journey, and her improvement and all. Let's go die in SPM together. ;_;

2. Obscurus
Earlier this year, we created the art group, Obscurus! It's a local art group consisting of Amanda, Amy, Ben and me, and is created after mutual agreement on the staleness of the local contemporary art scene, with the lack of encouragement of ideas, styles and stories that don't conform to the same-same, tried-and-tested stories that don't seem to be working nowadays. So basically we are aiming to do something new. Not sure if we will be able to hit it off, but WE MUST PERSEVERE. >/

You can follow us on Tumblr!

3. Finally meeting up!
My BOF (Best Online Friend) of 5 years. I've known Looli since I was 11, and we've been quite close ever since. We've been planning this meet-up for two years now, but it never happened until just a couple of days ago! We got through a lot of teenage issues and grew up and took the same exams together (I'm a year younger than her). Now she's going to college. This has been a good opportunity to meet up, and I really would like to see her again. Such a true friend. dfjsfjshfjsdhf

4. :iconeffuchu:
The highlight of the last half of 2011! Uwhuhed it's like finding that special friend; you know, the one you have always imagined to have? She's just completely everything I've been dreaming of since I was 12. We started interacting after a series of strange, too-many-times coincidences (which I took as signs that apparently, Someone Out There wants us to talk), mostly about our comics. But then we realised we can practically talk about anything to each other, which is just so damn cool because omg, someone who is an artist (not just an artist, but a BOSS ONE) who I can relate to, blabber about trivial small things, go crazy over similar interests (which is aplenty), discuss about big topics, and pinch cheeks. :thumbsup:
It's also great that we've projects that we're currently working on and sharing, because that means we aren't alone in this webcomic gig. It's been fun to see her artistic improvement this year, and she's getting more adept along the way. Eee, so excited to see what next year will be like.
Thank you so much for being one of the greatest friends, bro. ILY. :heart:

New Music I Discovered: This year I've also found a lot of pretty new and unheard of but amazing musicians. My taste this year has been veering towards jazz and instrumental (especially the experimental kind where they mix traditional and digital instruments together), even though, yes, you guess it; I listen to Josh Groban excessively.

1. Esperanza Spalding
2. Vienna Teng
3. Kimbra
4. L'Onironaute
5. Olafur Anaulds

Stuff I Did Which I May Continue Into the New Year:
1. This year I gained a sudden interest in collecting comic books. Shamefully I've been reading them more than novels (shush, you've been reading novels for almost your whole lifetime).
2. Also got better marks in my school subjects. Yep, this is a must.

TWiDI: This is probably the year when you guys finally heard some things about my silly little Project. It got out of one year's obscurity and secrecy into its current 'Preliminary Stage'. It's not an official thing yet, as I keep repeating.
I've been working on this for almost two years. The duration is amazing. Normally I would fall off (as proven by my other webcomic projects which I will never want you to hear about), but two years dedication is definitely saying something. I want TWiDI to go through its third year safely and smoothly, because hopefully, there will be something at the end of the year. ;D
Figured out some very important plot points, which made the story even more complex and troll-worthy (because I always need an excuse to hurt my characters and let them go through it for the sake of drama). And finally found a good premise for the stories in Chapter 8 and 9, which means I've got all 13 Chapters figured out!! FINALLY. GOD. IT WAS TAUNTING ME. And worked on an important aspect of a character's history, completing the basic plot for the backstory.

Am so excited on continuing work on this project next year. I've been getting a lot more confident in it, and really want to do my best so I can get it off the ground in the most awesome way possible. Quality is priority! That's how I love TWiDI.

Finally, Resolutions:
1. I was thinking of letting 2012 be the year where I focus more on comic-making, just as how 2011 has been a wonderful year for illustration. I'm thinking of combining what I gained this year with what I may learn next year. Comics are extremely hard, especially in terms of discipline and the usage of other skill sets. Will be trying to find my way into it in the next few months, and finally gain the ability to finish comics properly.
  • Work on a small comic each month

  • Finish Ministry of Dangerous Anomaly for my art group's comic book anthology. (Before June)

  • Finish Ramses and Organ Grinder's Monkey, two of my current short-comic projects.

  • Attempt to make biographical comic doodles in my sketchbook. I have always been wanting to do a sketchjournal!

2. Study, study, study. I find it hard to say this, but I will be swamped by school as this is my graduating year and I've SUPER EXTREMELY-IMPORTANT DEATHLY LIFE-CHANGING EXAMS. I'm not sure how I am able to handle the first resolution and this one, but I guess time management should be part of it as well?
  • Study a subject a week. The whole syllabus.

  • Relegate two hours of my day to read

  • Work on homework before using the computer. Which is what I did earlier this year and then gave up. Unless I really like the teacher giving the homework

  • Need to practice more on exercises. So maybe I will have that after I study for two hours

  • Just try to derp around enough to get flying colours

3. Make more friends, just like I did this year! I'm trying to get myself to be brave enough to communicate with well-known artists (I've said some words to kidchan and Emily Caroll and Sonny Liew whoo whoo whoo). I would really love to be friends with them, and know them for the person that they are besides the artist I really admire.

4. Be damn awesome. Self-explanatory.

I wish you guys a Happy New Year! I'm sorry if I have done anything stupid or nothing at all. Please forgive me ;o;
  • Listening to: L'Onironaute - Au Palais; Josh Groban
  • Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
  • Watching: awesome things happen
  • Playing: with my urge to go draw now!
  • Drinking: Moisture from the air
Oh hey, fellows! Comic Fiesta's happening tomorrow (CF is a local comic con that I, for the past three years, always had the most magnificent misfortune of missing due to other plans), and I can only be there for one day. So if anyone is going, I totally want to meet up with you and doodle-sketch in your sketchbook! DOESN'T HURT TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS.

I warn you that I am extremely shy. :thumbsup:

Also there's this boss artist in the area tomorrow. I REALLY WANT TO SEE HIM BUT AT THE SAME TIME I AM DEATHLY NERVOUS WHAT SHOULD I DOOOO

Tomorrow I will update with a BETTER JOURNAL HOPEFULLY.
  • Listening to: Jazz
  • Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
  • Watching: my life in a convoluted mess
  • Playing: with the idea of ACTUALLY doing something
  • Eating: Junk food
  • Drinking: Moisture from the air
Could I talk to you guys a bit on something that has been stopping me to begin, do and continue another thing lately? It's my fear of my own webcomic.

Nowadays I have been avoiding it because I don't feel up-to-par with the standards I have set for myself and the potential of this project. I don't feel it when I am not working on it, but I feel it when I am working on the pages. When given more excogitation, it may be pretty logical, afterall:

1. There are a lot of things under wraps, but I think I can tell you that there are 13 Chapters and an infinite amount of Chaplettes in between. That is a pretty big thing.
2. If things go to plan, TWiDI will take up about more-than-a-decade of my lifetime.
3. My age and inexperience. I'm not as well-versed or informed as say, some of the old dudes currently in the comic industry. I have not had years of apprenticeship, I am simply shortcutting them.

Once I begin, I'm going to have to define my somewhat-art career, and my life, forever by the mistakes and the successes and the downfalls and the peaks of this comic. Everyone will look at me and associate me with this strange thing about Jersey Devil detectives, illuminating bookworms and awkward Norse Giants. I will either be the person who 'makes the goddamn awesome webcomic' or 'that amateurish annoying comic'. And it's very easy to go from one end to the other.

h, Ashel, that's a bit silly, some people might say. A lot of webcomics look bad. And they are okay!

Whoops, TWiDI is not going to be one of them.

It could also be defined as the fear to perform. The conscious part of my brain is willing to act upon these ambitions and go with it fearlessly, but the more primitive area of my brain is dragging and clawing with its primal evolutionary fear of pursuing its purpose and finding its own character, where life is insecure and where change is inevitable, and unfortunately, it's pretty successful at the moment at keeping me inside that dank cave of its.

My age could have something to do with it. I am turning 17, and that might affect the way I perceive this situation. I've not yet had taken too many risks in life, so this comic feels like a very monstrous thing in relation. And with my age comes my inexperience, as this is a new situation for me. I have never handled having to overcome these fears before. Most of my somewhat-art career consists of on-the-whim, touch-and-go illustrations, so I never felt the pinch.

I have so much faith and aspirations for TWiDI, I really have a lot of ideas and things I want to try out on it, and most of all, I really do want to share and enjoy the experience with the rest of you who may be interested.

But if I am unable to get past this personal wall, how am I going to move on at all?
  • Listening to: Olafur Arnalds and a bunch of similar people
  • Reading: Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie
  • Watching: my life in a convoluted mess
  • Playing: with the idea of ACTUALLY doing something
  • Eating: Junk food
  • Drinking: Moisture from the air
Ashelismslogo by reimena

HOLY CRUDFISH, HOLY EBENEZER SCROOGE AND HOLY SARDINES. I've discovered treasure from the underground catacombs of Mesopotamia, pried from the dusty, fragile hands of a forgotten king, and am now using it to the greatest form of ecstasy -- DA's Stash Writer!

It really feels like I'm writing in a proper blog, and now I can bamboozle all of you with relevant images and videos and GIFs (thank you Tumblr, but dunno whether this is possible) besides the usual Great Wall of Text. :thumbsup:

I'm actually just here to experiment with Writer. But I really don't want to waste your time so here is a question that I thought of some time ago to think about:

If you maintained your personality but were born with a different physical appearance:

Would that change the way you act?

Sometimes I imagine what would happen if I looked like this girl from  my old school. She’s an unusually pretty person, but has some glamourous issues of her own. If I looked like her, will it make me naturally act like her? Because of her physical appearance which attracts a lot of social interaction and the kind of people she hangs out with.

I have this idea that physical appearance correlates with someone’s personality and though the bulk of it is from this game of genetics, part of it is shaped by the experiences you go through.

So, let’s say if you were to look not like yourself;

Will you act like yourself?

When was the last time I made a proper journal?

Here's the scoop of some Not Very Important (but I find it necessary to talk about) things that have occurred during the modern era:

My Finals are finally final! Jubilation! Jamboree! GOOD GOD, I WAS THINKING THAT IT WOULD NEVER END. It's like, every time I start to believe that my finals were about to be over, my school - on cue - will stand up, slap me in the face and put on some shades; "Trolol whoops Ashel sorry, we have decided to extend the examinations by an extra two days. Problem? Deal with it." And they go laughing all the way to the misery bank.

I'm just glad that I don't have to think about it anymore. I've suffered enough of my school administration's talent at making last minute plans to deepen my cynicism towards its reliability at providing me the best of what it should provide: holidays, less homework and possibly hotter male teachers.

Which means my school break begins in the next three weeks! And it lasts a month and a half! I am actually very excited about this, since I've plans to read and to learn some new things and make my life exciting on my own since I lack any real social life to engage in the rather scintillating concept of partying. OTL  Was thinking about using some of the days of my holiday to prepare for entering matriculation in the next year and a half. So if anybody has any experience on handling the transition between graduation and college, it would be very helpful!

And what about art during the holidays? Well, erm, truth to be told: I'm suffering from art block. Not sure whether this should actually be called a block, but I'm having a hard time finishing and continuing pictures nowadays. My ideas are still flowing, but subconsciously (perhaps), I don't feel that my skills are able to justify my concepts. Which puts me off from finishing the picture the moment I start having issues of getting anything to look like what's in my head. It's a bit silly, or maybe I'm going through a sort of transition, because I think my art has improved lately what with my obsessive gesture drawing (naked people = good motivation :thumbsup:). I can only hope I will feel more secure about the direction where my art is going at the moment, because...

It's almost time for me to dabble in my yearly tradition of giving art to my friends for Christmas! I've shortened the Secret Christmas List to about 8 people - not because I fell out of favour with anyone, but because of the requirement. I usually just make gifts for people who made an impact on me for that particular year, because it's easier to manage. That doesn't mean that some of the people in This Year's List will be in Next Year's List; it depends on the situation, because sometimes some just disappear without a clue for that whole year.
In any case, I am working on concepts now. I always find it fun, to draw for other people as an excuse to push myself on experimenting in bigger concepts and composition.

I've to rush to create a yearly artistic milestone because this year I believe I haven't actually been doing much? It's not like when I was 13 when my style improved drastically sometime in the middle of the year.  Nothing could ever compare to that year, but I'm always trying to get myself to improve. I see people who are younger or slightly older than me already dabbling with stronger skills and ideas, so the competitive spirit is very high. I am turning old; I will be 17 in the next four months.

Bonus verbiage! I got tagged by one of my favourite artists (who I hope is a friend dhsajdhkdh) - :iconrhydon: - and the questions she proposed are quite interesting, so I will just answer them here:

1. Digital Art or Traditional Media, and why?
I have already answered this question before somewhere among the Journal pile, but cannot muster the motivation to look for it. My answer is still the same, that is: both. Because each media has its advantages and disadvantages, and it's silly to pick one over the other because of the possibilities and ideas that you shut off if you do so. Dabbling in both can increase your versatility and enable you to have better control over how your artwork should be conveyed. Combining both, however, marries their advantages (and also disadvantages!), and putting your art in a bit of a different level, because of the visual interest it creates.
Which is what I am trying to do now.

2. Day or Night, and why?
I function quite normally in both. Mornings feel fresh and wonderful and natural, and late nights make me go high and busy. If you are talking about art, then I can also draw okay during both. I try not to let external factors (other than competition and awesome people) affect my output and inspiration.

3. Eat to Live or Live to Eat, and why?
Eat to live, because living to eat seems like a rather unambitious idea of how to live life. There are other big things, come on! Food is only one of them.

4. SmartPhone or DumbPhone, and why?
I don't even know what is a DumbPhone, haha. But it really doesn't matter, as long as I can text and make calls and use WiFi just in case I am eaten by monster in a jungle and seeking help.

5. What's your usual inspiration?
The ideas and concepts and techniques of fellow artists. Indirectly, they make me feel unworthy and then I start to think about why am I still at my current level and that I should go smash tables until I reach their level.

6. Pick a place to live in for the rest of your life
In a loft in a quaint, quiet, small town with a bookshop and a shoreline, preferably in Europe.
Or anywhere that is not Malaysia.

7. Tell us about your favorite artist, what makes you like his / her work so much?
Shaun Tan. Chris Riddell. James Jean. Dave Mckean. Emily Carroll. How do I choose between them?!

8. Name 5 things you can't live without.
Basic necessities
Felicia Choo
My somewhat-career in art
My very few, close friends.
Josh Groban's chocolately, deep voice.

9. Name 5 of your preferred toppings for Pizza. (Skip if you hate pizza lol)
Cheese, chicken, pineapple, mushroom and tomatoes.

10. Tell us about an incident which helped you to grow up, or something that taught you about living life ahead of you. It could be a quote or such if you're too lazy to talk about it.
It was something that happened when I was 12 and 13? I had an identity crisis - I wasn't very confident nor secure about who I should be; for others, for my friends or for myself? I mingled a bit at trying to be someone "cool" for others, as I was looking for acceptance at the time, since I didn't have any stable friendships when I was a child due to my friends growing out of me. I got sick of being "mainstream" after a year and a half, since mainstream music was starting to sound annoying and grating, and everyone was following putting on and discarding things aimlessly and I wasn't sure who my friends were. That was not the life for me, so I said 'Dammit. I GIVE UP ON SOCIETY'S EXPECTATIONS.' and never listened to the radio ever since and never participated in average teenage activities.

Now I am more confident. Whatever change that happens in me, I do it at my own willingness and for my own good. It feels nice to be comfortable to be who you are.
  • Listening to: the rain
  • Watching: and hoping that this pic doesn't fail again
  • Playing: with the idea of doing something else
  • Eating: oxygen
  • Drinking: Moisture
SO; I actually had this question for quite a while, but never got the opportunity to ask until in recent times. Do you think there's a correlation between an artist's music taste and their style?

Sometimes when I see someone's work, other than the art looking physically like the artist, there's a connection between what they listen to and how their art feels like. It's like, in certain artists, you get indie vibes or mainstream pop vibes or whatever. Like art style has equivalents in genres of music.

For example, I often think of my art currently as jazz? That might have something to do with my listening to it whenever I draw. And for some friends, J-Pop or indie rock comes out.

Pretty much the shortest journal I've ever written in the History of Time and Space, but I was just wondering; is there a relationship between music taste and art style?

What do you think about yours?
What do you think about other artists?
  • Listening to: the silence of the morning
  • Watching: my finals become final
  • Playing: with the idea of painting
  • Eating: grades
  • Drinking: grades
I'm sad to announce that Spread 4 is my last update in quite a while.
No, it isn't a hiatus. I have started this thing and I cannot abandon it until it's done, because of the time, work and devotion I've given to it (so it's a part of me now), even if it will take a decade, or a lifetime. Because of you guys as well, who are kind enough to follow me and draw art and acknowledge (I feel extremely honoured; thank you). In fact, the reason why Spread 4 is my last update is because of the only thing I know will prevent me from working on this comic - FORMAL EDUCATION.

Instead of a month, my Final Exams will be forwarded two weeks earlier. Believing that no sudden last minute changes due to Unreasonable Reasons will occur, I didn't try to revise much yet, and now that it has happened, you can say I'm not prepared. Everyone is not prepared actually. I don't even understand the reason for the earlier date, because they can always rectify the problem in an alternate, more logical solution that won't inconvenience the students and parties involved. We haven't even finished the syllabus yet. Our teachers don't seem to want to take the blame for it, even though they have agreed to disrupt our GPA indirectly.

My exams will last three weeks. And I have to study in the next two weeks. So I'll be gone in five weeks; almost a month. It's unfortunate, but I must always put my education in front of me if the situation requires it. I've no choice but to get into the Top 20 so that I may continue being in the equivalent of an Honours class, and receive extra lessons for my national exam next year that will affect the type of colleges I attend and the careers I pursue.

I love my comic, I love you all, I really do. My passion for it, as a creator and a natural artist, is to want to work on it forever, giving you the best product possible. Unfortunately education is always foremost, especially since I am not going to pursue a career in Art, and must work for a life that may be able to finance my artistic projects in the future.

I will be gone for a month. Sorry guys.

To make up for it, I am going to improve my skills (exams will never stop me from drawing), and think about how I am going to present this Chaplette/the rest of TWiDI. So when the next Update comes, it will be worth it.

Thanks for reading, guys.
  • Listening to: Josh Groban to ease my soul
  • Reading: All the textbooks, blowing my brains out
  • Watching: my life flash before my eyes
  • Playing: with the idea of actually studying
  • Eating: grades
  • Drinking: grades