Say Hello to Pique Studios! 😆

Pique was a dream that I had months ago- maybe a distant one back then, but a dream nevertheless. I wanted to take Design Pique a little further, make it unique and versatile, and today, it’s all here.

I’m probably screaming right now.

So what’s new?

What’s new, you say?

THIS. IS. NEW. (click on those words and you’ll see what I mean)

Pique continues to offer everything it has, but with a new policy: pay-as-you-like. I started with free designing to build up on my experience, and in a year I’ve had plenty of experience (more than I’d ever hoped, to be honest), and now I’ve decided to start with optimal charges. You will only be charged at the end of the process, and you can choose what amount would be fitting for your experience- starting $0 onwards!

Also, the shiny new site is WordPress.org based and has a truckload of cool new features which I’m so excited about! Plugins and a built-in site, for starters, and a lot more which I am yet to explore.

There are also animated videos I can make for you that I’ve never formally introduced before at $5 per minute, and you can learn more about them here.

The feature I’m most excited for is the products. I’ve compiled a small range of apparel and notebooks that you can order from here. They come with a handwritten note, and if I know you as a blogger, I might slip in a little something along with your order like a bag of authentic Indian chai, bookmarks or something along those lines. 😉 As of now, since I can’t find anything better, it’ll take about 3 weeks for your order to reach you, but I hope to find a workaround soon enough.

I’m all pumped up to see where Pique Studios goes! 😀 Also, in case you were wondering why I chose today to launch the site, 3rd October 2018 marks 1 year of Pique! 🎉

Please note that this site is not fully developed yet and you may find imperfections in random places. If you ever find anything that needs fixing, I would appreciate it ever so much if you could send my a message through my Contact page or drop a mail (piqueconnect@gmail.com). If any of you are WordPress.org users, I’d love to hear some tips!

Also, for those of you whose orders went on hold because of this, thank you so much for putting up with me! You can expect a mail soon.

Make sure to check out all the new features, guys!

Thank you for all your continued support! I hope to hear more from you in the comments! ❤

Love,
M

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Where I’ve Been (And Where I’m Headed)

Minasan, Konnichiwa!

Well, wasn’t that cringy.

Surprise, surprise. I haven’t been here in about two months. Talk about an unannounced hiatus. Actually, it’s not that much of a surprise because I’m an unpredictable person. Or rather, predictable when it comes to procrastination.
-_-  Continue reading Where I’ve Been (And Where I’m Headed)

Help Select Pique Studios’ New Logo!

If you haven’t seen this post I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts!

Pique Studios

This post is going to be quick!

What’s happened is that I’m having trouble selecting new colours and a new logo for Pique. So here’s what I’m going to do-

I’m going to put in some ideas which I have. You can imagine them at the top of this page where the logo sits, and tell me which you like best! You can put in any ideas you might possibly have, for the colours, or fonts, or just about anything else!

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Which of these looks the most professional yet welcoming to you? Tell me in the comments!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Hugs,
Mukta

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Some Light-Hearted Poetry

a   h u m a n   b e i n g

find a tune of your own
unlike what everybody’s sung
find new heights to your horizons
and let new stories leave your tongue

seek lands you’ve never been to
let your spirit run wild and free
for to be a human ‘being’
you must do more than simply ‘be’.

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p i r a t e

wooden block for his left foot
black strap across his eye
his heart belonged to the ocean
and his gaze pierced the sky

he was a fearless vagabond
his world existed beyond the shore
he could fight like a tiger
and had ferocity in his roar

but the only things he plundered
were his weaknesses and his fears
and the treasure he was hunting
was his purpose of being here.

ocean1

f l o w e r s

sow memories in your mind
and give them all your care,
then reap them like flowers
and wear them in your hair.

enjoy them to the fullest
in all their scents and tints
and press them in your pages
when they begin to wilt.

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Constructive criticism much appreciated. 🙂

For HARPs Round 7
Points: 3+6+2= 11

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

hallows

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

dreamcatcher

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

Jewel
Irys
Ariana

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

Jewel
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.

Natutical Captures// SIL Photography Challenge #2

This post won’t be quite as long as I’d like. But I’ve found out that short posts are better than longer ones and keep readers’ attention spans.

Quite psychology-oriented, aren’t I?

Anyway, today I’m going to be putting up some nautical pictures here. That’s right- the ocean, ships and seashells are in for you today. This pictures aren’t all recent and were probably even taken at completely different times, but fit into the theme nevertheless.

I’m also going to be showing you my entries for challenge two of Hannah’s photography contest, Springing Into Life.
See you on the other side! 😉


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a sort of low angle
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i like this lighting, hehe
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a… sandy pile of shells?
sunset
sunset by the sea
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ripples
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a bunch of rocks

 

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my cousin holding a shell

 

ships
ships
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seashells in a seaside cambodian restaurant

There we are!
Which of these did you like best?


Onto the second part of this post. In SIL, I’m on Team Vines along with a bunch of other people-

Team Vines

Jewel
Irys
Ariana

Also, there’s a spot open, so if you’d like to enter you can go here and tell Hannah about it!

This time’s category was Contrast. I couldn’t get a very unique picture so I settled on this one from a previous photoshoot. I think the green looks pretty good against the red, though I’ve never really liked that combination. 🙂

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And here’s my picture for the bonus challenge, in which I can enter any photo that is green and yellow and has a flower.’

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This is an orchid, an Onchidesa Goldiana to be exact. You can see hints of green in the background, so I suppose that counts!


Well, that’s it for today! Before I conclude I have some questions for you- do you think it’s time my blog design changed? 😄 And is there anyone out there who’s watched Grave of the Fireflies?

Hope to see you again next time, folks!

 

Our Ironic World

You know, just the other day, I was thinking about how wrong everything is. Society is messed up, the world is an avenue of hate, the people are egoistic and vain and crude, and everything is so endlessly and unconditionally wrong.

But as it turns out, our world is an ironic place. Evil comes with good, lies come with truth, and wrong comes with right. That’s just the way things are.

Since the beginning of our kind we have done so much. We have organised ourselves, set up our own worlds, we have recognised beauty and created it. We’ve come here and done things.

Even the simplest things you see around you are society’s doing. The world is as much our creation as it is nature’s. You reading this, and me writing it; there is always someone to thank for the most casual things.

So I feel that sometimes, even though it is most definitely messed up, society needs to be reminded less of what it’s done wrong, and more of what it’s done right.

I Return With a Bang (Sort Of)// A Life Post With Too Many Pictures

I was supposed to be all excited to write a post some ten days ago, but apparently, I wasn’t. 

Well, hello there! Long time no see!

A lot has been going on in my life in the time I wasn’t around. Most of the things that’ve happened are pretty unimportant little things, but it’s the little things that matter, after all. 😉

Unlike what you may have thought, I actually did stuff during my break over the past couple months, which includes some swimming, running, photography, a lot of travelling and an even bigger lot of reading manga. Manga now rules my world.

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Sourced from Google

I discovered new watercolour techniques, I saw new cultures and realised that sometimes you don’t always fit in. Time has passed and I’ve learned new things and I’ve grown a few months older.

I read very few books, unfortunately, but I am sure I have found a new obsession with a series. Anybody else out there who’s read Foundation?

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Sourced from Google

I’ve also been doing some interesting work as a designer. This is a little something I made for a blog I’m designing currently, though it isn’t quite final. I actually drew this by hand and Photoshopped it for the colours.

frame
This is copyrighted material! No stealing, please!

Apart from that, I also went mad. That is, I made an aesthetic on a Pinterest board about… Me.

See it here!

My cousin and I spent some quality hours together bombarding this board with pictures late into the night. To say the truth I have not been sleeping enough for a couple days. I just hope I don’t fall asleep writing this.

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I discovered music from a group called Sleeping At Last that I really love. All thanks to Ruby for introducing me! I finally have some good stuff to listen to while working out and painting and stuff.

Speaking of painting I have been doing a lot of it, my favourite being this messy one of some hydrangeas (Pin-inspired). I don’t really know why, but I cannot stop looking at it.

hydrangeas.jpg
This is copyrighted material! No stealing, please!

This weekend I woke at 4 (am I not great) and ran my second ever 10k. It felt amazing and surprisingly easy and now my thighs are hurting and I cannot swim with these legs.

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So, how have things been for you? I’ve not been very consistent, so make sure to tell me what’s new!

I shall leave you with a song that my cousin has recently been a little too obsessed with.

Thanks for sticking around. 🙂

~Mukta