[Writing] With the Australian Writers Centre

Last month I completed a short course with the Australian Writers Centre called Creative Writing Stage 1. It was a really good course and helped jump start and improve my writing. I've always been writing stories and world building since I was a kid, but never took is seriously until now. Starting up a blog and posting my art on social media made me feel a little more confident in what I'm doing. It made me think I should write something officially and , who knows, maybe publish one day. I usually don't care for my horrendous spelling and grammar when blogging, but I'm going to start putting a little more effort into polishing my writing on this blog and not being so casual.
Since I've completed the course, I thought I'd share the weekly assignments I had submitted. I've also started the second part of the course called Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques. When I finish this one, I'll also share what I wrote.

The glow of sunrise drew nearer upon the temple. Inside, Sinlai stood vigil, cast in the temperamental shadows of dying candles and refracted light. On the cold marbled floor of the temple hall, staff held tightly in hand, she stood still; still as the round pool before her. With her gaze affixed on the pools surface she stared at the delicate red and white tiles beneath the water, unaffected by glittering sharp colours and otherworldly shapes. The water rippled with a gentle rhythm, made from the air in the temple or from some unknown force, she did not know, but it had flowed this way since dusk. With dry eyes, she glanced towards the stone skylight into the golden hue of approaching dawn, where the moon whispered away and the stars blinked into nothingness. She relaxed her shoulders and returned her gaze to the pool; surely nothing would dare climb out of the water and into the burning sun.
— Assignment 1
Part One
Vegan vampire seeks healthy, athletic human for heroic deeds like monster hunting, horseback riding and archery. Must be tolerant of brooding, hissing at the sun and occasional lapses in veganism. Must also be willing to meet in the dead of night with no others present. Werewolves need not apply.

Part Two
“Stupid human devices. How do I even?” Maeve fumbled with her coat pocket and yanked out the phone, aggressively poking all the buttons. “Ugh—Salutations!” Maeve held the phone strangely to her face.
“How are you, my dear human friend?” She said through gritted teeth. “What do you mean that’s not an appropriate way to address people?” Maeve rolled her eyes and gripped the phone tightly, trying not to crush the plastic. “To what do I owe this momentous pleasure, dear friend?”
“The ad? Hm, I know nothing of this,” Maeve murmured. “Ohh, that ad. Haha. Well. It is definitely not what you think.” Her fingers twitched.
“What do you mean it seems suspicious? That you think I’m trying to eat someone? I’ll have you know, my dear, that I am reformed. I eat vegetables now.” She squinted and tried to remember what she told the young human at the internet café to write. It should have been written perfectly, considering she had threatened to eat him and his entire family.
“Oh, dear, you have it all wrong! Humans taste terrible. I spit on humans—no, not you. I’m sorry. I meant those other humans. No, what I mean to say is the bittersweet flavour of human is terrible. Putrid even.” She chuckled and dug a clawed finger into the plastic. “Ahaha. Vegetables. I eat vegetables now.”
— Assignment 2, Part One and Two
Sinlai leaned heavily against the balcony of her room. High above the temple grounds, she watched the morning fog roll over the valley. She saw the flooded rice paddies, a bright green, half cast in the shadow of a great mountain and glittering with the light of the sun, where red-legged storks foraged in the tall grass and squawked madly. When Sinlai breathed, she caught the sting of cold air and sweet blooming roses and the jasmine incense wafting from her room. The familiarity soothed her, but soon the air would become heavy and warm and force her to retreat inside. Looking over her shoulder, she gazed at the front entryway of the temple. It was a grand archway, bone white, adorned with red jewels that glinted along the pillars like rivulets of blood. The path from the archway boasted white tiles with gold inlays that resembled fine thread. The attached roof sloped and the ceilings yawned and at the top featured a great dome. She remembered first seeing the archway when she was a girl, bouncing with awe and excitement, and even now it moved her. Contented, she closed her eyes and listened deeply. She listened to the soft running water of a nearby river and the chirruping of frogs and the melodies of songs birds. Beyond the gentle rustling of trees, she heard the chatter of waking of students and their distant clamour to be early for the morning congregation. She opened her eyes and watched the storks take flight.
— Assignment 3

I've decided to skip Assignment 4 as it was a plot analysis of To Kill A Mockingbird. XD

“Stupid human devices. How do I even?” Maeve fumbled with her coat pocket and yanked out the phone, aggressively poking all the buttons. “Ugh—Salutations!” Maeve held the phone strangely to her face.
“The Organisation has been trying to contact you, Maeve.” A familiar monotonous voice said. It was the Operator. Goddammit. Maeve thought. She did not this now.
“How are you, my dear human friend?” Maeve said through gritted teeth.
The Operator sighed, “that’s not an appropriate way to address people.”
“What do you mean that’s not an appropriate way to address people?” Maeve said.
“We covered this in Workshop One-”
Maeve rolled her eyes and gripped the phone tightly, trying not to crush the plastic. “To what do I owe this momentous pleasure, dear friend?” Maeve heard the Operator crack her knuckles.
“You posted an ad online.”
“An ad? Hm, I know nothing of this,” Maeve murmured.
“Vegan vampire seeks healthy, athletic human for heroic deeds-”
“Ohh, that ad. Haha. Well. It is definitely not what you think.” Her fingers twitched. I’m done for.
“Now, Maeve,” The Operator warned. “Don’t lie to us. It seems suspicious, don’t you think? Looks like you’re trying to catch someone to eat…”
“What do you mean it seems suspicious? That you think I’m trying to eat someone? I’ll have you know, my dear, that I am reformed. I eat vegetables now.” She squinted and tried to remember what she told the young human at the internet café to write. It should have composed perfectly, considering she had threatened to eat him and his entire family.
“We know you’ve bought animal blood in the past two weeks and now you’re seeking something stronger …something like human blood.”
“Oh, dear, you have it all wrong!” Maeve struggled.“Humans taste terrible. I spit on humans-”
“Maeve!”
“—no, not you. I’m sorry. I meant those other humans.”
“It’s over, Maeve.”
“No, what I mean to say is the bittersweet flavour of human is terrible. Putrid even.” She chuckled and dug a clawed finger into the plastic. It’s over. “Ahaha. Vegetables. I eat vegetables now...”
“An agent is being dispatched and will be at your apartment soon.” The Operator said strangely, “be there.”
“Wait!-”
“Goodbye, Maeve.”
— Assignment 5

Digital Art [The Witches Room]

This drawing had been sitting on my hard drive for so so many moons. I neglected it cause Photoshop was driving me up the wall with lag, but I decided this past few weeks to just fix that... and uh, to reduce canvas size. It's such an obvious fix, but for some reason I'm obsessed with having large files. Ahem.

This was a lot of fun to do though because I've never done something so complicated before with so many layers and details. I started by making a really rough skeleton in Google Sketchup and then popping that dodgy thing into manga studio and working on top of that. It worked out pretty good! Here's the process:

And some close up shots:

The Final Image! I put a couple of interesting things in there: a snake, a werewolf's hand, a jar of eyeballs and a tiny octopus.

Humpback Whale Mural [Commission]

An awesome friend was able to refer me to someone looking to have a mural done for her son’s bedroom. I was so excited to be given this opportunity! My client wanted a humpback whale mural inspired by the whale mural from San Francisco. It needed to be one of a kind and unique, while also staying true to my client’s vision of the beautiful flying whale, with colourful fish and an overall dreamy atmosphere.

It was a new and exciting experience because I’d never done a mural before and I knew I wouldn’t be painting it. Instead I wanted to create it digitally and then have it printed, this way it would be more affordable and easily to edit and change. We started off with getting the right measurements for the wall, and then we worked up a concept. She wanted a mother and baby whale and the silhouette of Melbourne in the background and lots of colourful fishes.

Can you say overkill haha? But I wanted everything to be perfect and precise!

Can you say overkill haha? But I wanted everything to be perfect and precise!

From there, I got to work searching and questioning and finding quotes for affordable printers who could print and install murals. I was able to find a fantastic affordable printer who could print and install the mural.

After that, the design process started and I hopped into photoshop and made a huge file. Because I’m all about the huge files, not so much the lag tho. But working on such a large scale in photoshop wasn’t too hard because I came up with a pretty good system of having every little element on a different file. And even then it wasn’t the size of the wall, but big enough to make sure when it finally went up on the wall it looked crisp and detailed.

I did lots of research into fishes and used references to make sure everything looked realistic and believable, and I documented some of the process on my instagram. It turned out so amazingly! Bright blue and the colours are saturated and everything looks so crisp and I’m very proud of the whole thing. It was a couple months of work, but we did it!

If you would like to contact me for a mural commission, or any custom design/art work, please let me know! I'd be glad to make your vision come to life. You can contact me on any of my social media platforms.

If you would like to purchase a print, apparel, journal or anything really with this design, then head over to my Redbubble! XD

Digital Art [Technology and Hot Chocolate]

So!! I've been out of touch for a little bit and have a bunch of art kinda sitting unfinished on my computer, so I decided to start finishing stuff. This is one of them! I had this whole plan to draw tiny hacker fairies all over the place but got, uh, a little lazy and left them out. Anywho, its a more modern drawing considering I spend 99.9% of my time drawing fantasy stuff haha. XD The mouse pad was inspired by Sea Lemon's pixel art mouse pads tutorial! I love her videos, they're so inspirational!! Go check 'em out. ;D

From messy lines, to clean lines, to colours!

From messy lines, to clean lines, to colours!