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

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

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!

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.

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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.

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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

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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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

 

BIBPC the Fifth, Category Seven (Time is Bugging Me)

Seven. That means the end is near.
Mm… that came out wrong.

So apparently this is the seventh category of BIBPC and there are… *counts* zero categories left. Wow. Time is annoying. Fast and annoying. Like bugs.

Uh… that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Pineapple now has 607 points and hasn’t lost the lead. Yaaaaay. *confetti*

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This time’s category was Tiny. Continue reading BIBPC the Fifth, Category Seven (Time is Bugging Me)

BIBPC the Fifth, Category One

Hello. It’s been long.

So maybe I’ve taken a lot of breaks and have grown tired of apologizing for that, so maybe I’ve missed more than I’ve wanted to, but does it really matter now that it’s done?

But I think what’s worth apologizing for is the constant change of design. Weird of me how I could find the time to keep re-designing this place but not to post. This one’s staying, though. Unless I lose my head again.

Today I have my first entry for Megan‘s photography contest, BIBPC. I took part last time too, and it was fun and very well organized. I’m in team Pineapple this time, and that’s nice because it was my first preference. We’ve got some really good photographers too, and I can hardly wait to see how we turn out to perform!

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The first category was Fruit. This is the picture I decided to stick with. Continue reading BIBPC the Fifth, Category One