Sparkler Photoshoot 🌟 (and a Long Overdue Announcement)

Hellloooo peeps! I’m feeling good today, even though I twisted my arm really bad and I’m currently sitting with a polka-dot hot water pack on my shoulder.

For those of you who didn’t know, Diwali was a couple days back! Diwali is the Indian festival of lights, and also an excuse for fireworks and eating sweet things. 🤤

We didn’t do much of the fireworks part this year, but I did manage to get some really good closeups of some sparklers!

Continue reading Sparkler Photoshoot 🌟 (and a Long Overdue Announcement)

A Blurry World// Photography and Aimless Musings

My mom took me on a ride on her bike a few days back. I enjoy bike rides, even though my mom isn’t too good at adrenaline-pumping, wind-rushing-wildly-across-your-face driving.

Continue reading A Blurry World// Photography and Aimless Musings

Some Sort of Update (feat. Music, Photography, Art, Food et cetera)

Wow. I don’t even remember the last time I wrote a post. It’s been MONTHS. I’ve been in a looong blogging slump. Also, a life slump.
I don’t know about you, but for me, motivation is a strange thing. It just randomly chooses to pop up, and randomly fades out.

Hello there! It’s me, trying to climb out of my slump.

I have mixed feelings about not having been here for a such long time. If anything, taking a break has eased the responsibility of maintaining a blog while keeping my life on track, which has become quite a challenge, to be honest. But I miss this place and this community SO much.

I just want to put everything I’ve done in these past few months in words. It’s going to abrupt and bumpy, probably, but I’m trying my best. XD Here goes nothing, people…


Continue reading Some Sort of Update (feat. Music, Photography, Art, Food et cetera)

Candle Shops and Streetside Whatnots// Photoshoot

So here’s the thing- I despise shopping, books and paint being exceptions. Don’t judge, it’s true. However, I don’t despise photography, and when you’re out touring India (which is my country but is so huge that you can’t really tour it enough), it’s not uncommon to come across photo-worthy, bizarre and beautiful things.

These pictures are pretty old, to be honest, but I recently found them and thought they were worth a post. Most of them are from a candle shop we came across at one point in time, and some are random streetside pictures.

Hope you like them! 😀

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Thanks for sticking around. I’d love to know what you think!
If you’d like to see pictures with an Indian bazaar spotlight that I did a while back, click here.

Until next time! ❤

New Year Wishes, Highlights from the Time I Haven’t Been Around, and Something You Might Be Interested In

Long time no see!

Yeeeahh… I’m pretty sure a bunch of you thought that I’d probably never come back here and had eternally disbanded my blogging life, but here I am, so sorry to disappoint. 😉 So I guess I did miss you guys. Though I won’t admit it.

A lot of things have been getting in my way, and I suppose that isn’t an excuse or anything, but oh well.

On the far brighter side, it’s 2019!

…which is pretty great, huh.

Even though today feels just like yesterday and new year parties aren’t a thing for me, and it doesn’t feel like a new beginning and I don’t feel like a new me and it’s all completely and utterly the exact same life I have been living for the past something-teen years.

But I suppose everything starts somewhere, and I know this year won’t turn out half bad!

Happy new year, you guys! ❤

Also, please read this post to the very end! I might have something you would be interested in. 🙂


Highlights from the time I haven’t been around

One

I’ve been doing a lot of Photoshop for the past month. The other day I thought- why not combine my anime interests with graphic design and do something cool? And I ended up with this (which I am extremely proud of because it took over 5 whole hours)

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I admit the face looks a little dopey but… don’t look at that okay

I did the whole thing from scratch (from the drawing to the background textures) and it was exhilarating but super satisfying and that makes up for the exhilarating part.

Two

Let’s see… I also went for another hike a week or so back. It was about 9.5 kilometres and had gorgeous views and I took a whole bunch of pictures. BUT. Something went wrong and now the pictures won’t download. -_-

Anyway these are a few of the better ones I managed to get on my phone.

Note that these pictures are unedited and subject to copyright!

Three

I took the Goodreads reading challenge this year!

Okay, I admit that 50 books is a teeny goal compared to most others, but considering how busy I am with life, it’s not so bad. And the best part is that I read a whopping 58!

You can see my year in books on Goodreads here.


 

Lastly… something you might (hopefully) be interested in

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Where do I start.

My friends and I recently began writing a manga of our own. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, manga are unique, Japanese style comics that are usually read right to left.

For those who are familiar with the term, you could call what we are doing a doujinshi.

But manga sounds much easier so I’ll stick to that.

Anyway we’re putting a lot of effort into what we’re doing, and I’m doing this as part of a group of four. One of us handles the character drawing, one does backgrounds and tiny details, one fills in the black, outlines etc. and I’m basically the one who scans, Photoshops the page into its final form and yells at everyone all the time.

Back to the point- I’m looking for beta readers! Okay, we’ve barely done a chapter yet, and it’ll probably take forever to do the next, and this might not even end up the way we’re expecting, but your support would make me really happy!

If you fill in the form below, I’ll send you a copy of the first chapter by email. I want people who think they can be appropriate critiques for a graphic novel. I would also love it if you spread the word on your blog!

Please note before applying that all of you might not end up becoming beta readers. You might also not end up receiving the chapters as soon as you expect. This takes up a lot of time and the first itself would probably need a month or so before it’s emailed. The story might not even end up having a proper finish or going beyond a few chapters, because we’re all living our own busy lives.

 

I’d like to thank all you guys for sticking with me this whole time. A huge hug whichever kind soul nominated me in Megan’s Best of 2018 awards! The voting is here. 🙂

Adeiu as of now! I’m going to be seeing you again tomorrow for a post I’m very excited to make!

Love,
M

A Photogenic Hill// NaNo 2018

Hey there, you! Long time no see, eh?

Posts have been going (and are going to go) in a rocky pace for some time now, since I seem to get time to blog just about once a month these days. -_-

Skipping to the main part of the post which you actually came here to see, I went for a 13k hill trek today and it was a morning well spent, because I managed to get a bunch of good pictures.

Before I show them to you, I wanted to announce that I’m doing NaNo this month! I hope it goes okay considering I’m busy all the time. I’m going to re-write last year’s novel (The Wire Fence, learn more here) because it didn’t turn out exactly as I planned. That’s also an excuse for not thinking up something new, so it’s a win-win. 😉

NaNoWriMo 2018 Twitter Header

Anyway, on to the pictures!

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Hope you guys liked these! I’ll see you again next time, which will hopefully be soon. 🙂

The Thought Behind Born Free

Written as part of HARPs Round 5
Team: Butterfly, Points: 3+8+2=13

What I want to share with you today is unlike what I usually post. I’ve seen many ‘identity crisises’ going on around the blogosphere, and that has gotten me thinking- what is the identity of my blog?

The reason my blog is called Born Free was initially this- my name itself means free, and I was raised with constant reminders that I was free to decide my course in life and make my own choices.

But perhaps there’s more to the name than just that.

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At a time that feels like so long ago, I used to think that I was misinterpreted and that I was a part some race of people that was impossible to comprehend. And regardless of the fact that I didn’t understand myself in the first place – and probably still don’t – I chose to sulk about how others didn’t understand my mind.

Without having unearthed what was beneath my skin on my own, I convinced myself that this world was full of insolent, selfish jerks who would never try to look at me as I ‘truly was’. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration on the point, but that is what I thought, plain and clear.

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But I can say that time has removed the jagged edges to those thoughts.

My life was never hard. My family and friends and environment saw to that. Well, more accurate than saying it wasn’t hard is to say that it was easy.
Everything came easily to me, I had everything I needed to live a good, content life. And today I can see that the insolence and the selfishness was not in the world that I thought didn’t understand me, but in me.

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So many people in this world are suffering and I chose to wrap myself in a cloak of troubles I had never faced! My life was such a good one and still, I would write of unreasonable gloom when I should’ve been grateful for that perfectly good life!
I should’ve stopped sulking and stepped out into this beautiful world. I should’ve broken out of my cocoon and have realised that I was a butterfly, and plunged headfirst into the world, powered by optimism. I should’ve stopped feeling lost and tried to find myself.

And that is why I want to do more than vent out pointless feelings. I want to acknowledge and spread and create beauty. I want to show my long-gone former self that I did not come to life to be someone who simply sat and complained at nonexistent problems. I want to be more than that.
I was born with hopes and dreams and a chance to make something good from my days. And you were too.

That is why we are born free, me and you.

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Recent Digital Artwork// SIL Challenge #4

In my time as a designer I have been constantly using external sources for my designs, and naturally when I began making my own I was rather enthusiastic.

Do you remember when I showed you this?

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Here’s what it looked like before I digitalized it.

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When I took my hand-drawn work and converted it into digital art I was rather happy with how it turned out. It took me a lot of time to do and I was so fixated on doing it that it was almost… meditative?

So I started doing more. And today I’m going to be sharing three pieces of my digital art which I particularly like.

All of these images are copyright-protected. Please don’t use them without credit!

1: DEATHLY HALLOWS

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About this design: I used a similar technique to design Kerys’s blog and I decided to try it on something else. So I brought out some new PS brushes and ended up with this!

2: MANDALA DREAMCATCHER

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About this design: I took the same colours I used for that header up there and used them on some art I’d done almost a year ago. 😀 This was such an elaborate job! You can find the original along with some others in this post.

Original art:

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3: FLORAL FRAME

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About this design: I spent all afternoon working on this. 😛 I was not satisfied with the calligraphy in the original sketch and so I decided to change it and ended up adding colour as well!

Original art:

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Welp, I really hope you liked these! I hope to put such art on sale when I begin selling apparel at Pique Studios. Before I wrap this post up I’m going to slip in my picture for Challenge #4 in Hannah’s photography challenge, Springing Into Life.

Team Vines

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This time’s category was Tiny-

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… and the little challenge was Pets. I don’t have a pet so I’m just going to put in a random animal picture I took some time back.

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This photograph was taken during a visit to a slum in Cambodia. Whenever I look at it my heart ends up feeling heavy, and I think it portrays very efficiently how happiness can exist in the most remote of places. 🙂

I really hope you enjoyed today’s post. Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and before you go, make sure to check out Megan’s 4 year blogiversary giveaway and Clara’s 400 follower giveaway!

Design Pique is Changing// SIL Challenge #3

When I launched Design Pique Studios I began with incredibly low expectations. No kidding.

I expected people to be protective of their mail ids, for one thing. I thought they wouldn’t want to trust someone whose work they hadn’t even seen. I thought that the exposure was very less anyway, so the orders would come at a sluggish pace.

Then I began to get some. Small amounts, as I’d expected, but they came, and I put my entire soul into them. Then the orders began to flood in. And I lost my sanity. But I took them in and developed them, and I worked my way towards now.

Design Pique has been a very important part of my life for the past six months. In those six months I have met customers unique in personality and taste, and even in the way they cooperate. 😉 I have gained what I wanted most of all through it- experience. A lot of experience, that’s for sure.

And now that I’ve come this far with it, I’ve decided where I want to go.


How is Design Pique changing?

I’ve come to realise that this platform can do more than remaining an outlet for my passion for design. In a month or two’s time, Design Pique Studios will become Pique Studios.

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Pique Studios will continue to have the free blog designs and book covers it offers, along with animated videos, art prints, apparel, products and more to come. The work ethic will be entirely rethought, the process made easier and quicker and much more versatile.

Well, what can I say? It feels amazing to watch my design studio grow and I can’t wait to see it move beyond being just that. A huge shoutout to all of you who’ve been so supportive- I’m more grateful than you’ll ever know. 😀


I hope you guys are looking forward to the changes that are to come!
Now that we’re through, let me quickly put in the pictures I took for challenge #3 in Hannah’s photography challenge, Springing Into Life.

Team Vines

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Irys
Ariana

The spot on Vines is still open, so you can go here and tell Hannah if you’d like to join in.

This time’s category was Light Pink.

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This photo has an interesting story- We were travelling this one time and I came across the best sunset I had ever seen. Where I live the sunsets are, sadly, bland and lifeless, so I was naturally taken by this one and had to get some pictures. 🙂

The category for the little challenge was Sparkly.

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The picture is an explanation enough, don’t you think? 😉

Thanks for sticking around, and the best to everyone taking part in SIL! Hope to see you again next time.

A Mirror to My Self

An aesthetic to reflect my personality, inspired by Gracie’s post (which was inspired by Lonelymeme’s post). Haha, good ideas travel far. 😉

aesthetic that defines me

i love:
stars, the ocean and the play of words,

seeking songs that are whispered, too vague to be heard,
 the fog in the mountains, sunlight through the trees,
a walk by the seashore, an afternoon breeze,

the dance of the wind and beautiful blue,
and things people don’t notice but i do, i do.