Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Hair Day Dismay

Ok! Hi!

Today isn't going to be an art post, but more of a personal. comical story. Everyone has bad hair days, right? But some days are worse than others. I had an awful one, and the best way to cope with it was to write it out and draw some pictures. Hope you find it entertaining!


"The Hair Day Dismay"

After ogling over the many photo tutorials for numerous majestic braids, I decided to grow out my hair, so that I too could bask in the goddess-like glory of complex coifs. This attempt lasted roughly 7 months. When my pixie hair grew out enough to be twisted into a little French braid I saw that my fantasy wasn’t going to become a reality. My braid was sadly slim. What my whole head could produce amounted to 1/4-1/3 of the braid thickness to that of my inspiration photos. Oh, the joys of fine hair.
So, I decided to get it cut short again and bleach my roots while I was at it. When I made the decision I became very excited about it. There was only one problem – it turned out that my hair stylist was on leave and wouldn’t be back till possibly the end of autumn. I couldn’t wait that long. 
My mom suggested I go see her hair stylist, but I was reluctant because I’ve been to two of her stylists before and didn’t end up liking them for various reasons. Sorry mom!

I reached out on a couple of my social media sites for recommendations. Silence. Then, there was one response (thank you April!), but for the time being the suggested salon was a bit far for my liking. In turn, I decided to go for a stroll my local shopping centre and investigate my options. Most of the salons didn’t look busy and some had the service section deep behind the storefront, so it was hard to see who was cutting hair well. Rats!

Lastly, I checked out Zennkai*. It looked tidy. I knew they had many locations, suggesting they were doing well financially and that their customers were coming back. I also remembered seeing staff members with lovely hair when I bought shampoos there before. It seemed reasonable to try getting my hair done there.

On July 27th, I walked in to book an appointment. I approached the receptionist and told her the kind of haircut and colour I was interested in. I wanted a platinum pixie cut, a style I’ve had and loved for many years. In turn, she confidently recommended a hair professional, let’s call her ‘A’, and assured me that she was excellent at cutting short styles. An appointment was scheduled for 3:30pm the next day.

I arrived with several pictures of the style I wanted and also explained my request with words. ‘A’ nodded, and began working at bleaching my roots. During the appointment, she hardly said anything, except to ask a couple of questions about my hair and to answer my queries of how the colour was turning out. As the chemicals were being rinsed off, I channeled happy thoughts.

When she began cutting my hair, I noticed that the colour looked strange – there were sections that looked orange, sections that looked yellow, and sections that looked grey. She said that some colour unevenness was to be expected, that it couldn’t be helped, and that it would be evened out once the cut was done. (Interestingly enough, this has never happened with my regular stylist.)

Then, as she was cutting my hair, it seemed like she was having a hard time, perhaps as if she wasn’t very practiced at cutting hair short. This scene was not matching up to the receptionist’s recommendation at all.

Finally, after what felt like a long time, (as it turned out it was after 6pm by then) she said she was done. She asked me what I thought, and studying my reflection I was so confused that I could hardly say anything except for “It sure is very different”. A walked off to ring up my fee, left her card, and disappeared.
Looking in the mirror, I touched my head and it felt damp, looked roughly chopped, unevenly coloured, and unhealthy. What I was seeing was very far from the pictures I had brought in. I hadn’t even seen the back yet, and couldn’t spot any hand mirrors which I could use to get a good look. 

By the time I walked up to the counter, I was torn between a desire to escape the now closed salon and to make a scene explaining how absurdly awful the hair was. A receptionist with shiny, purple hair greeted me and said that my new style suited me. Is that so? Maybe you ought to try it.

And then a remarkable thing happened. I slipped into a state where I was so angry and increasingly upset that I couldn’t deal with the potential incompetence of anything that might be said to me had I decided to complain. It was extremely out of character for me. Ever since I was little, I had no issues with confronting someone who treated me unfairly. I had no idea what happened. I just swiped and exited the salon as quickly as I could. By the time I got home I hated myself for not demanding compensation. That was by far worse than having terrible hair. I failed myself by not being myself. Never again. But the shopping centre was closed, I had lots of work to do, and I now had a bigger dilemma on my hands. The hair had to be fixed.
The following day, I combed through and examined it with hopes that I overreacted, or that it was just styled strangely. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to be the case. In the light of day it looked worse than ever. I couldn’t bear the thought of going out in public with the crooked, blotchy disaster that was my head. I didn’t even own a hat.

After strategizing and researching for solutions online with my mom (thanks mom!), it was settled that my hair was healthy enough to hold up to another bleaching session that was needed to even out my colour. She graciously went out to get the bleaching product* we decided on and a nice hat.
Everything went smoothly. After this home bleaching, the hair was one and didn’t feel dry or damaged. Thank you hair gods! However, it still needed toning. That process went fairly well also, though the hair ended up with a baby blue hue to it. That was my own fault though, for leaving the toning solution on too long. At least it wasn’t the peachy/yellow/grey it was the day it was “done professionally”.

The cut wasn’t something that could be fixed at home, however. Time to call reinforcements –a.k.a. my mom’s stylist. She turned out to be a very nice, skilled lady, who on Friday that same week made it as if nothing horrible ever happened. My hair and I were happy. The end.
Felt good to get that off my chest!

Notes:

*Zennkai location – Coquitlam Shopping Centre
*Garnier Nutrisse Intense Bleach Cream D01

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August Sneak Peeks

Over land, by the sea
He walks silently
Through the ancient forests green
He navigates unseen
Hi!

Today, after scanning some new paintings and removing absolutely all the dust specks from them, I've decided to share a few sneak peeks. They're of a magical, ghostly lynx character. I've decided to go with green colour palettes for these illustrations because I've missed painting with green so much. I've spent most of the year working with blues, whites and purples depicting winter. And now that the warm weather might soon be over - I thought I better get some summery imagery into my projects. Anyway, have a look:



As you might be able to tell - I've used the same pose of the lynx walking. I was playing around with scale and different environments. I painted the lynx in the green and white forest setting first, and then I had an urge to paint him again but TINIER! So, I ended up making a miniature painting that is 2.5 x 4.5 inches. I get a certain kick out of drawing as small as I can. This isn't the smallest I can do, but for I'll save that miniature mindset for another time.

Here is a work-in-progress photo of it for scale. (I have small hands, for the record.)


Media: coloured waterproof inks + watercolour paints + gouache + microns

That's all for now! Thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Freebie Friday - Paper Textures 2

Happy Friday!

This week I'm continuing with the paper theme. Well, sort of. Today, I've thrown in some funkier textures that aren't really paper, but that have come into my possession rolled up, cut up, or packaged like various papers would be.

In this set there are: watercolour paper, canvas sheet, cream matte board, red velvet paper, bubble wrap, and paper towel samples.



(* Colours are more vibrant once you save the files. Blogger is making the preview images more grey again...)


Feel free to use these resources for personal or professional projects but please:

Do not claim the original resource images as your own,
Do not redistribute commercially. Basically, don't save and sell the resources as your own, but by all means do share the link to this page with others. :)
Do not use these textures as a base to create your own stock art/resources.

And, as always, please feel free to share anything you've made with these resources with me. I'd love to have a look! =)

Previous Freebie Friday posts:

Paper Textures 1
Stained Coffee Textures
Layered Lace Textile Textures
Colourful + Abstract Textile Textures
Branches, Berries and Blossoms
Blue Pattern Textile Textures
Black and White Textiles (part 3)
Black and White Textiles (part 2)
Black and White Textiles (part 1)
Coffee Stained Paper
Fanciful Florals
Fanciful Florals 2
Fanciful Florals 3 
Vintage Inspired
Green
Red
Denim

Have a great weekend! :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Freebie Friday - Paper Textures

Hello!

I've got a mix of wrinkled and more sophisticated looking papers available for you this week. Hope you enjoy!


(* Colours are more vibrant once you save the files. Blogger is making the preview images more grey again...)


Feel free to use these resources for personal or professional projects but please:

Do not claim the original resource images as your own,
Do not redistribute commercially. Basically, don't save and sell the resources as your own, but by all means do share the link to this page with others. :)
Do not use these textures as a base to create your own stock art/resources.

And, as always, please feel free to share anything you've made with these resources with me. I'd love to have a look! =)

Previous Freebie Friday posts:

Stained Coffee Textures
Layered Lace Textile Textures
Colourful + Abstract Textile Textures
Branches, Berries and Blossoms
Blue Pattern Textile Textures
Black and White Textiles (part 3)
Black and White Textiles (part 2)
Black and White Textiles (part 1)
Coffee Stained Paper
Fanciful Florals
Fanciful Florals 2
Fanciful Florals 3 
Vintage Inspired
Green
Red
Denim

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vegan Dessert Bread with Bananas and Berries

Hello,

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe here. I've been trying to keep the blog mostly about my illustration work, but since I got quite a positive response when I posted images of this dessert on my Facebook and Twitter profiles, I decided to upload the recipe. It's based on a banana bread recipe, but quite heavily modified. I'm not even sure what to to call this creation, but it was tasty, soft, and moist.



Moist Vegan Dessert Bread with Bananas and Berries

Ingredients:

Wet:
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 whole bananas)*
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine (plus a little extra for greasing)
1/3 cup of almond milk*
1/3 cup of fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon ground almonds (optional)*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:
2-3 large strawberries
1 fresh fig

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Grease a 9 inch diameter round pan with a little bit of margarine and sprinkle it with a little bit of sugar. Feel free to use a 9x5 inch pan instead, or any other kind that holds a similar amount of volume.

2. In a large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar together until smooth. Mash the bananas and add them to the mix, along with the almond milk and the vanilla extract. Lastly, gently stir in the blueberries.

3. In a different bowl mix together the dry ingredients. I recommend using a whisk for combining these together because it seems that with this method, baked goods turn out more soft and fluffy.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl and gently blend them together, until just combined. I prefer to use a fork for this, so as not to over-mix the batter. Pour the mixture into your pan and prepare to decorate!

5. Thinly slice up the strawberries and figs, and arrange them on top of the batter in whichever way you like. You can of course use other fruits or berries (like plums, apricots, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, etc.) to fancy up your baked creation.

6. Bake at 350F (180 C) for 45-50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean) on the middle rack of the oven. If the bread is baked through but top looks too pale to you – place the pan on to the top rack and turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool for 10-15 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and enjoy!


Notes:

*If you don’t like bananas, you can also substitute puree from a different fresh fruit.

*Any other milk you prefer will also work for this recipe

*The tablespoon of ground almonds is optional because it doesn’t significantly change the flavour of the bread, but I swear that adding a little ground almonds to my recipes gives my muffins, breads, and cakes a more pleasant texture.
 





Happy Baking!