The Change Award, The Month, and The Hiatus

When I first began to get tagged for awards and such, I used to be super ecstatic. That’s when laziness took over. It’s been the ruling party for so long, but now, the opposition (me, basically) decided to make a move.

Today I’m going to be doing The Change Award, a really neat tag by my good friend Gracie, in celebration of her well-deserved 500 followers! *confetti*

So this time, I’m going to be taking a different angle. Since these questions are rather thought-provoking and I like making things unique, I decided to write my answers in verse. 😀

The Rules: 

  • Link back to me, as well as whoever nominated you (check)
  • Include this: I, Gracie Chick of A Light In The Darkness, created this award to highlight the importance of young people taking responsibility for the future of their world. The Change Award also gives them the opportunity to share with others what they believe in. (okay, I suppose that does it)
  • Answer the questions below (I’ll get to that)
  • Nominate as many people as you like. (that’ll be at the end)

Okay, guys, let’s plunge right in!

Make a list of the things you want to change about schools.

May learning not imprison us
But rather set us free
May grades not be stamped on us
Like they’re our identity.
May we be taught that what we’re learning
Is really for the good
And the reason to seek knowledge
Is not simply because ‘we should’.

Make a list of the things you want to change about local communities.

May kindness be a weapon
Over society’s constant hate
May people learn to respect opinions
And learn to coordinate
May hearts welcome each other
And love, not lies, be exchanged
And when we look back later
May we beam upon the change.

Make a list of the things you want to change about the world, your world.

I want to seize every joy
And fill it into cartons
And take it to my inner world
And finally care for its gardens
Then I want to pluck their flowers
Before they wither and fall down
And proudly place them atop my head
Like a flower crown.


Now that that’s done, here are my nominees (I have tried not to include the ones already nominated, so there)-

Madi
Arunima
Michele
Rutvi
Rae
Rebekah
Lissa
Clara

I’m sorry if I missed you! If you want to do this, there’s nothing stopping you. 😉


Highlights from January

I GOT SO MANY DESIGN ORDERS I ALMOST DROWNED IN THEM

My average bedtime is now 11 pm. I suppose that’s enough said. -_-
So far I’ve had 20+ clients, all in a matter of three months from starting Design Pique Studios, my free web design service! Okay, it’s getting hectic, but sometimes I have to admit that hectic is fun. Plus, it’s one of the main reasons I haven’t been around in a while.

Right now, the site’s on hiatus because it’s getting too much for me to do at once, plus I’ve got waaaay too many exams coming up next month. But some new updates to the site since I first created it is a video which you can see on the home screen, plus a Portfolio page for all my projects.

I STARTED ATTENDING ALICIA SOUZA’S DESIGN MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Okay, you have NO IDEA how excited I was about this. A couple months back I entered a mentorship program, and I was all over the place when I found out that I got selected and- maybe you should check out my post on Design Pique in which I talk all about it and drive you mad. That’ll be much easier.

I READ FIVE BOOKS (working on it), AND BOUGHT THREE PHYSICAL ONES

Haha, five books is nothing for some of you, I know. BUT with my crazy life and orders and assignments from my program alongside, that’s saying something.

Also, we bought three books. OH, COME ON. We never buy physical books. My dad always insists on ebooks because they don’t take up too much space. If you want to know what made him change his mind this one time, it’ll be quite a bit of a story.

We were on vacation to Bombay, and then somehow we figured that there was a certain “book street” in Colaba (read more about that here). I had no idea what that meant. Being a curious family, we decided to check it out.

If you’re a book lover, this is one of the reasons you have to visit India.

It was- you guessed it- a complete street lined with tons and tons of books. Secondhand books. For about half the usual price.

Naturally, I went cuckoo, and so did my dad.

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MY ART RATE WENT DOWN AND THEN… IT CAME UP

I hardly did any art in January. And, well, this probably doesn’t count as a January highlight, but today I took part in a painting competition in our locality. It was conducted by the husband of a late artist, which made me feel nice about taking part.

There was no theme, and I had no time to think something good up, and what I ended up with was… this. Excuse that it looks sort of dark.

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Another little detail is there were three age groups and one winner was to be chosen from each, and my painting won in my category. 😀

I’m not going to talk too much about what my prize was, because I don’t like talking about things like that. But I would like to mention that it included a paintbrush which that late artist used to use, and I will treasure it forever. ❤


The Hiatus

Yep, the worst part.

Orders are too much for my puny being to handle. Plus exams. And then there’s life. This site’s going to be taking a bit of a rest for a few months, but hey, a few months! I’ll be right back in late March. I may sneak in that occasional post, with updates or something like that, and I will be reading and commenting on your posts, but no consistency.

We all need a break once in a while, hm? 😉


Thanks to all of you for reading! See you here again in March, and I hope you have a lovely day!

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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.

Roadside Markets// Indian Bazaar Photoshoot

One of the most prominent things about India is its street markets. They are many things, fascinating, colourful, and bustling with life. But today we’re dealing with colourful.

There is much I did when I was on vacation last December, and apart from tripping, breaking a nail and getting a blister, which is all only natural for someone like me, I also did quite a bit of photography. I’m going to be showing you a few select takes of a local Bazaar in India.

Some people’s impressions of India range from the craziest things like snake charmers everywhere to elephants trampling the streets, but then you actually get there and say hey, where did all of that go? Well, while I don’t deny that it was there once upon a time, I must say that now it just ain’t the same. Fortunately, some things- like this- are not destined to die.

When you talk about Indian markets, they sell everything from fruit, to veggies, to food, to clothes, to daily necessities like soap and toothpaste, and even things made of copper and occasionally even gold. This post will highlight all that and is going to be over real quick. The ride may be shorter than you think, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. 😀

Buckle up! Continue reading Roadside Markets// Indian Bazaar Photoshoot

What the Sea Tells Me

On our recent vacation, which was the main reason for my absence throughout December, we visited the sea twice. Once it was for a ferry ride and once it was to visit the beach. And while we were there, I remember my mom randomly asking me a question- what do we learn from the sea?

ocean1

And this question isn’t just any old question. Think about it, what do we learn from the sea? Logically speaking, there can be many philosophical angles to this question. For instance, my mother said that the sea tells teaches her to break through her boundaries and to reach beyond the limit the world has set, the way the sea crashes against the shore, seeking to leave it behind.

ocean4

When I mused over it for a while, a poem I had previously written popped into my mind. I said that the sea showed me how there are both rises and falls in life, both ups and downs, but they are both parts of the ocean of our lives. The disruptions and joys that we experience from time to time, when seen from a broader perspective, are only parts of it, and they are what makes it whole.

ocean2

And so I followed my train of thought here, and I am eager to know where it will lead you. So here’s something you can do when you have nothing else on your hands- think about it, and tell me, what does the sea tell you?

 

Yes, I’m Somehow Getting Into a Bad Habit of Not Posting// A Little About My NaNo Novel

Guess who’s back? Here’s a hint- it’s meeee!

I don’t think you want to know what’s been up with me this December. I did only one other post and then went on another of my uninformed breaks and now it’s almost new year day. Well, I’ve been lazy and travelling and also reading quite a bit, so let’s just say I have all rights to be excused.

I had quite some time debating whether or not I should do this, but… let’s just say I’m going to grit my teeth and get over with it, okay?

TODAY, YOU WILL FIND OUT WHAT MY CURRENT WIP IS ABOUT.

And no, I’m not doing it this late because my novel is so epic that I want to be dramatic about it, it’s just that I was afraid everything would go wrong and my idea would be a total flop to the world.

I guess I’ll leave it for you to decide.

Without further ado, I present…

 

cover2.2.png
temporary cover that took ages to make

 

The easiest way to tell you what this is about would be in a form of a questionnaire or something, right? And since it’s obviously REALLY late and everyone feels November was ages ago, you may not actually have bothered to think of these questions yourself. SO, as a special surprise, I’m asking them to myself!! I know I’m a genius.

Here goes nothing…

q1

This is a story of, among other things, courage of a different kind. It highlights the need for mental bravery, readiness to make shocking choices for the sake of not the greater good but for yourself. It is about deciding what you want to live- and die- for, when you know that the world cannot be changed in the time you have.

It as about war, and division, and relations, about learning to handle the unexpected turns life takes. It is about the simple joys of living, and most importantly, about discovering the true meaning of peace.

Synopsis

“Some things in life change people. Like war, I suppose.”

Eighteen-year-old Kestrel Mark’s carefree life along the borders of the proud country of Lieto begins to fade as rumors of war with its neighbor, Iskra, start spreading through the village. When consequences lead her to the capital of Rivercrest, her life intervenes with that of Bailey Harper, a friend she never intended to make. Together they take an insufferable decision, one which can rouse hope between the nations… or turn Kestrel into someone she never wanted to become.

A story of humanity, choices and war- both internal and external.

q2

Well, the confusing part is that most of my characters are girls, and I have no idea how I should be feeling about that. I mean, I personally don’t like too much of a gender in a book.

The point is, this story is brimming with females. The main character, whose POV the book is in, is Kestrel Mark (Mark is an acronym which you will never be able to decode *sniggers*). And then there are the other MCs, Bailey and Jasmine (who’s named after a stuffed toy… but that’s another story).

There are backstories behind how the three of them met. Jas is like Kestrel’s childhood friend and Bailey is someone she meets while training for war. And then there are Ketrel’s siblings. There’s the sister, Avery,  and the brother, Warner. And Sierra Blake, the trainer. And the old bookstore owner Mr Vellichor. Yeah, I had inspiration for the name.

There’s the president, Azalea Wolf, and the other president who doesn’t matter. There’s a certain Dave Unknown-Last-Name, a Mr McCartney and his weirdo son Sven. And there is Sven’s son, Riley. And there’s this guy who Mark nicknames Blondie and his kids Abriel and Conner. And there are other little characters who I have never named.

They’ve all got bits of me in them, they are blends of my own personality, a patchwork of things that are me and not me at the same time. But that’s for another day.

Here’s an aesthetic, just because I’m feeling good today-

 

aesthetic.png
photo credit to the internet

 

q3

Image result for dont know gif

q4

This is the best part! I love being able to ignore all the cringy bits and focus on what I love about this story for a change. They aren’t even that many, but that’s okay, I guess.

snippet1
>introducing mccartney<
snippet2.png
>priceless reaction<
snippet3.png
>dreaming of somewhere<
snippet4
>bedhead<
snippet5
>dinner blues<

Before I end, I want to thank each and every single one of you awesome people for sticking with me through my absence- thank you SO MUCH, guys! I hope to see you again soon, assuming that I manage to pull off the next post I have planned.

P.S: Be sure to visit TWW’s InkCraft Cover poll! Voting ends on January 10th 2018.

So over to you now… what do you think? *fingers crossed*

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The Great Comeback: How I Survived NaNoWriMo 2017

So apparently someone hasn’t been here in a long while. And you noticed. Or maybe you didn’t notice and just sat there munching cookies (I want some) while my fingers tap-danced for hours together all November, but that’s a different story.

Well, dancing ain’t really my thing in the first place, and so you may ask how on earth I survived this month, but I have my answer ready for you. I HAD HELP.

Image result for help gif


Firstly, let me tell you why I needed help.

  1. My plot was cringy
  2. My plot was cringy and
  3. My plot was cringy.

It’ll be a bit until I reveal it, but the only thing I knew about it was that there is a someone (I didn’t even know that someone’s gender, but that’s not the point) who is desperate to help her family stay alive when she (and then I decided it’d be a girl) is called to war and there is no one left to feed them. And then she does some really weird things for them and ends up messing her own life up.

But nooo that just didn’t work. I had no idea what that idea meant. I needed something more heart-wrenching, something more writable, something I’d actually want to write. Very unlike Random Idea That’s Never Going To Work. So I told my mom about it. AND THEN WE CAME UP WITH THE MOST FABULOUS PLOT EVER AND I WAS AWAKE ALL NIGHT THINKING ABOUT IT.

But then I realised the plot had no ups and downs and we’d just come up with the skeleton of the story. That’s where my genius friend comes in, who we will call R for now.

R was the most amazing and supportive friend ever. When I first told her I was going to write a novel in November she said great, what’s it about? And then I knew it would kill me but I told her anyway. And all through she actually looked interested. That was more than I could’ve hoped for.

But THEN she said, “Hey, I think this should happen.” And then she said, “I think that should happen.” And then she gave me a bunch of ideas and my head was screaming. This was going to be the best novel I’d ever written. So, kids, that’s how help saved my life. The end.


Now that the backstory’s done we come to the frontstory- how did November go? Well, to be honest, I had expected much worse.

Before the start of the month I saw a lot of articles on how terribly treacherous it was going to be and I got a tad bit misguided, so I decided not to go for the full 50k. I set 35k as my personal goal and as the month passed… I realised it was easier than I’d thought. But I still wasn’t sure. So I kept going on my 35k goal, but when I finished the story, I was SO close to 50k it was killing me.

As a novelist I’m terribly inexperienced, and 48k may sound like child’s play to so many. I know people who can write 10k in a day. Leaving aside the fact that I could never have done that, my longest streak in a day was 3.5k which is good enough for me.

Let me guess- now you want to know what it’s about.

Image result for tell me gif

But nope. I’m evil that way. 😈 But someday I will. Until that someday… well, have fun waiting, I guess.


Apart from all this, things have been going on when I was away, which includes a lot of design orders and also some stalling thrown in, but all in all, this month was amazing. You know how sometimes the truest of friends are the most difficult to get? Well, the most productive of months need you to shed the most tears.

Until next time, amigos! I’ll leave you with a digitally made portrait of my awesome MC, Kestrel. I don’t know about you, but I bet my future self is going to think it’s horrifying. And yes, I did the grunge effect myself.

kestel mark

You might also want to check out the reopening/reclosing post I wrote for DPS here.

P.S: So how did you survive NaNo (assuming that you did)? Did you have help too? What’s your novel about? Do you want to know more about mine?

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Long Time No Art// Artist Interview with Buttercup@ Typically Untypical Teen

I’ve been busy. Don’t roll your eyes now.

Things have been going on, I’m so happy about all the support I’m getting for Design Pique, and that’s been keeping me very occupied, so I haven’t posted for some three weeks.

Image result for obvious gif

But I had to get back here and patch things up, and art is very helpful when it comes to patching up, so there.

I have not been completely unproductive around art, but I also decided to put in some other ones I did earlier this year. Enough said. And before I get started with that, I want to put in that I’m going to have zero posts this November. But maybe after I’ll post about how it went, so there’s something to look forward to.

I was also supposed to do a post for the Ode to Zella tour, but I don’t have enough time to do a different post for it, so I’ll just be leaving a link.


Today I’m having an art collab with Buttercup from Typically Untypical Teen. I’m sure you didn’t guess. 🙄

Recently I designed Buttercup’s blog as a DPS  project (find the Overview here– Behind the Screens coming soon) and after I was done with it I asked her about this. This will be a five-question interview, and I’m going to answer art-related questions she set for me- you can find her answers to my questions in this post, and you might as well give a follow.

Well, here we go!


Will art be a part of your future occupation?

Will? I don’t know. May? Absolutely.

Being a full-time artist is not something I’m thinking of, but yes, I want my profession to have something to do with art. As a designer, though currently non-professional,  I’m sure that someday I’m going to have to stop using graphics from the net and start turning my own art into some. And, well, whether or not I’m going to be a designer by profession, art is still going to be a major hobby.

Who’s your role model in the artist community?

To be frank, I don’t know all that many inspiring painters. Wow.

But there is this one person on Instagram who does the most amazing double exposure paintings and I want to paint like her someday and JUST LOOK AT THAT. *sighs*

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Wolf

 

12 Siluetas de personajes de películas convertidos en el lienzo de geniales dibujos.

source

Realism or Cartoon?

I don’t have a problem with either, I showed you my hand in cartooning in this post, but I feel realism works better for me. My personal style is more into fine art, mandalas and zentangle, which I’ve posted about a couple hundred times.

Faber Castell or Prismacolor?

Prismacolor is amazing. I’ve seen art being done with it and it works magic. But I don’t even remember using it. I used something like that in my cousin’s place and I’m not even sure it was Prismacolor but STILL IT’S THE BEST AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. *snorts*

What are your three best projects?

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Hahahhaaa this question was freaking me out the whole time 😂

Pinterest inspired:

freedom

From this post:

mandala

… Aaand my best take on realism:

book2
The black thing’s a pencil, in case you were wondering.  

Well, that’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed that, and wish all my fellow NaNoers a very happy November- oh, in case you need a recap why the world is stressing out about it so much, it’s because we’re all perfectionists too arrogant to admit our work is not a lump of fungus. Chop chop. End of story.

Check out this insanely relatable NaNo post from Ruby Sky and Gracie’s lovely post about her experience with Design Pique! All gifs are taken from the net, so credits go to their respective owners.

Yours,
Mukta

P.S: Have you ever used Prismacolor? What are your plans for November? Do you have any watercolour tips or any artists you know who are worth checking out? If you’re an artist, link some of your art, and I may share it in my next post in December!

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Project 1.1- Edify Now Overview

Pique Studios

Edify Now is my first ever official design, and I am really proud.

Here’s a fun fact- it was the real inspiration behind Design Pique. Yes, you heard that right, I began doing this design way before DPS was released.

edifynow-final-logoheader

It began this way- I incidentally knew the owner of this site, and I received an email on the 26th of September, saying he wanted a complete rebranding to his site. Being the perky designer that I am, I sent him my approval with my utmost glee (a tad bit too much glee, mind you). But more on the backstory in my next post. Here’s an overview of the site.

OVERVIEW

About Edify Now

“We love building and rebuilding Brand Experiences through our tailor-made digital solutions. Using the web, apps, and progressive tools, we create an unforgettable brand interaction experience which your customers use to establish their brand in…

View original post 598 more words

Dear Inhabitants of Planet Earth…

Let me start by saying that I am just another regular human being in this chaotic world. I have two arms and two feet, two ears and two eyes, just like you. I also have an intricate and functioning body system, the way you do, a gift from nature that I can never fitly compare with anything else. I have feelings, I have rage, I have breakdowns. Today I have a thought to share, because if a regular human being’s ranting is important in the very least, every other being is capable, possibly even more capable, to think the way I do.

This post is unlike anything I have written here before. I have never had a take on writing about serious social issues, but there’s a first time for everything, huh? Looking at the situation we are in right now, I believe that voicing my opinion is important because it is viewed from an angle very different from the one we all look through.

Dear inhabitants of planet Earth, after spending a good time thinking about this, I have a message for you.

You are scientists and artists and doctors and engineers, businesspeople and coders and linguists and teachers. Everything mankind could never have imagined when it came to being, you are today. You are developing, evolving, ever-changing. You are a species with growing ideas, a population with unconditional needs. But have you ever stopped to think…

Aren’t we parasites to the Earth? We suck away what she gives us without a care in the world, without regarding in the least the dangerous amounts we take away from her. How can we claim to be any better than the mosquitoes and leeches that live on our blood? Perhaps, in the case of these insects we hold so lowly, we will only find but one or two on us occasionally, and even then we don’t rest until they are killed. Imagine seven billion mosquitoes sucking at your blood, seven billion leeches crawling over your body. That is what Earth is enduring. That is what she has been holding on her back for centuries, a mass of parasites selfishly tugging away all life from her. And you say she is unclean, you say she is polluted! Is it not you who took everything from her? How can you rip off everything that makes her beautiful and call her ugly?

Maybe you are harassing her and you don’t even know it! I know I am, I know everyone is, in some way or the other! How? When factories rip away the resources she gives and spit out piles and piles of human pleasures, does Earth enjoy it very much? Yes, sometimes it is necessary, for things like toothpaste and soap and more of such, but is it necessary all the time?

People will say “Plant a tree” or “Switch off the taps when not in use” or “Don’t waste electricity”, but really, for every tree planted, hundreds are cut down. For every drop saved, innumerable are sent down the drain. Don’t get me wrong- What people say is true, but it is what we have been told for decades. Today’s carefree generation does not want any more advice, but a reason to care.

And have you thought about that? Why care?

If nature really is a living entity, if you title her your Mother, does she deserve to be treated this way? Is this life a game in which you take as much as you can from her and turn her away? Mass factory production, brutal flaying of life-giving trees and filling their space with tar and cement, this is all stripping of what she has to give us, and when we take more than she can bear she keeps on giving- Do you need more reasons to care?

So what can I do about it? You say. You can get a sapling and pot it, but of course, there isn’t the time. Or you can switch off the lights when not in use, but hey, you never even leave them on! There are millions and millions of things you can do, but most of them are boring and you don’t even know some.

No, I am not going to list out the endless list of things, I am going to tell you the one, simple, doable thing that if done by everyone will actually make an impact…

Do you really need those piles and piles of clothes? Next time you go shopping, think about it. Do I need this, really? And this one single question can do wonders to the world. Before asking your parents for a new mobile, think about it. Do I need it, really? All this production, all this tearing away from Earth nonsense, it is we who can put an end to it. It is we, the population with unconditional needs, who can change the world together if we reduce them. No, you don’t need that pair of jeans to stay alive. You don’t need a new pair of shoes to survive. If you find the life of this noble giver more precious than all of your leisurely possessions, then vow to make a difference!

Today, right now, close your eyes for two minutes and declutter your mind, separate things into what you need and what you don’t. One person can’t change the world, but we can, together.

Please do share and reblog this post and spread the word. Don’t be a parasite, the world needs you!

The Great Launch: A Perfect Celebration to Four Years of Blogging

I have been passionate about design since forever. No, not just passionate, I want to make a living out of it someday.

Design Pique is an unofficial, unprofessional and passion-driven site for blog and web design. It is a haven for bloggers who need designs and designers alike, and if you spare a few moments to look around you will find that Design Pique is oriented to creating quick, efficient and unique designs for online portals from all over.

There is a lot I want to my life- I want to be an author side-by-side, I want to be a photographer, I want to make a little business out of my love for art. I want to pursue poetry, chase wanderlust, there’s so much and so little time. But design is something that takes me in and doesn’t let me out. Ask anyone who knows me well enough and they’ll tell you. Continue reading The Great Launch: A Perfect Celebration to Four Years of Blogging