The Collector: Today 1

Wouldn’t it just be perfect if you can leave everything behind and just be another person? Start a fresh? Leave everything behind? And maybe just disappear into space.

Those thoughts have been consuming me for some time now. Yes, most people would say its part of life. Or you’d get past that or it’s just a phase and you’d get back to your feet. I do agree with them and that is why you see me here, standing and carrying this humongous bags around me.

However it dawned on me today I am not most people. I am the collector.

You see I’ve been traveling for so long as I can remember. I don’t know why or rather I do not remember why. I look at myself and I see this large haystack of a hat too large for me. A scarf that has wrapped around my neck and its size is from half of my face to my knees. A Huge brown cloak that surrounds my whole thin body. With all this clothes on me, I can hardly see myself. I slowly made my way to my hands and there it was two large luggage hanging between my fingers. As I shifted the weight of the luggage for me to get its balance, I felt an even heavier weight hugging against my back and there it was another enormous baggage enveloping my back like it was clinging to its life.

Why do I have these things?

Why do I keep doing this?

Who am I?

As long as I remembered, I thought it was natural for people to have baggages. I see them all the time, in trains, airplanes, going to work, going home they have something to hold on to. However as years go by, I learned they didn’t have my kind of baggage. Mine was specifically different.   I mean you do see people, carrying bags all day. However in the past few years, I learned I am not carrying any ordinary bag like the rest of the world. It somewhat special. As I tend to get whatever I need and place it into one of these things I tend to forget what they are and I just remember I must keep on moving. There are times I have instances or memories putting something on it but everything turns blurry and white that I don’t remember anything at all. Next thing I knew I am sitting on a train and a ticket on my hand.

But today is different.

I looked at the glass across me. And I see I am growing tired each and everyday. Despite not seeing my whole face I can feel my eyes cringing from the pain. My hands are shaking from all the weight. My arms and back strained, hands shaking as the luggage hung on them. I can feel all the tension around my back from all the bag hugging and tightening its hold on to it.  I cannot possibly bare it. Another step and I might collapse from the unbalanced weight that is lunging towards me.  The weight is slowly killing me.

And so today, on a congested and busy train station somewhere on earth, I decided to bend my knees, slowly ease down my arms until I feel the luggages have landed on the ground; released my my hands from their clasp, got a hand on the bag at my back and slowly ease it down beside the two luggages. I checked if the ticket was still on my coat pocket and checked if the coast was clear.

I’d be lying to you if I said I hated the traveling part. I love new places, I love meeting new people and learning different cultures. And so I’ll continue with my travels. I slowly walked away from them.

For the first time in years, I felt relieved and relaxed.

.~.

Hello guys! 🙂 Sorry, for not being able to post anything for some time now. I’ve been quite busy with things and for the spitwriting? Well, as much as I wanted to post for that category I can’t cause the people in the group stopped giving topics. 😦 Quite sad really. 

Anyway, this is a short story-ish kind of thing. I got inspired recently! If you’d see carefully I’ve indicated a number in zeee title…so if you’d like to know what happens next just be up to date with things and wait for the next story. I’m trying to kinda make short stories but have that connection just like the book REVENGE by Yoko Ogawa.(BTW, loved that book! 🙂 Maybe if I got zeee time, I’ll make a book thought on it!)  So stay tuned! 🙂

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The Magic Box

Did you feel that?

… It happened again.

I don’t quite know how to describe it. They say it has a name. I don’t know what it is.

I felt it as I looked on the monitor. I have been staring at it for a long time in my dark pitch black of a room. It is filled with lots of things. Things, I personally created. Some great, some not-so great, some I adore, some I feel disgusted with, some I wonder how it came to be.

My gaze is still affix on the box. In some ways, it is a magical box.  It emits a huge beam of light and beautiful images. Some people would argue it is the devil sucking you in and ever so slowly killing you inside without your knowledge. The others, say that it is like paradise. Everything in once desires can truly be granted. A world were everything is in a click of a button.

Yes, truly those people were both right. For an artist like me, it is a dream come true. The box has become a helper to my needs. Instead of paper, pencil, easels and paint, I can all do it in this magical creature. Anything that I need, it answers my prayers like for example inspirations. Lot, and lots of them are found every minute, every hour and every day.

It has been my constant little friend, this enchanting little box. I’ve found friends in the same community as mine, artists like me who can understand perfectly well my doubts, fears and joys. We get together, with the use of my little friend, the box. We show within ourselves our worries, triumphs and most of all our works.

However, every creature has it’s flaws. This creature, has one too. You see, even though I have attain my so called friends, this creature of a magical box doesn’t let me see them. Yes, I’ve seen them, but in the form of an image. You can say I have never interacted with them physically. And so here I am, back in the pain numbing sensation.

I’ve been staring at the box, the light beam has been consuming my eyes for a long time yet I don’t feel the pain on them. I feel it on my chest. It is burning like a fire ready cook meat. My eyes cringe but not because of the light beam but because the burning sensation has been consuming my heart for so long.

What is this? I want it to go away!

Then for a small amount of time, my senses are back. Slowly, I can see clearly what my eyes were staring at. It wasn’t the box itself. I was looking beyond it and the light beam. It was an image. And boy, was I drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

I wondered. ‘Why do I feel this burning sensation? This monstrous feeling inside me when I see this magnificent image? This beautifully painted picturesque of a painting. WHY?’

Ugh! There it is again. Now it is becoming unbearable. It has eventually reach a point in my chest so devastatingly painful my brain shouts of pure agony. I want it out of my way.

And there it was… below the beautiful painting. It was quite small, you see. Didn’t notice at first glance.

Or did I? And I just didn’t want to remember. Did not want the horrible truth.

It was a name. A lovely name actually. And indeed said that to her.

I typed. “You’ve got a lovely name, Alana. Do you know it means beautiful?”

“No, but thank you.” She replied back in an instant.

I formed a smile.

But what has that got to do with this aching and unbearable sensation. It just got worse when I saw her name. I do not understand and so I suddenly closed the image. Hoping the feeling will go away.

I slowly breathed, to calm myself down. Then I looked up.

It was a painting. Not just any painting, a current painting I am working on. My eyes cringed at the sight of it. It was horrible. Just utterly displeasing to the eyes, my eyes. I suddenly felt the pain jolting right back in my chest.

It was more painful than before. My eyes suddenly watered and tears came down in an instant.

I want this feeling…this unbearable feeling to go away.

‘Juuhh…” I muttered something. It was a faint sound but I knew I was saying something.

“Juuuh…loou” My mouth kept stuttering. The pain in my chest was overpowering my voice.

At that moment, it went completely dark. My poor lit room didn’t help. Sometimes, the poor little box cease it’s beam of a light and rests for a bit especially when I am not using it.

I turned my head to the box and there in some ways I saw myself…staring back at me. I didn’t know why I could see my self so clear in this darkness. I guess, my eyes adjusted so fast that I can see transparently.

I was panting hard, my hand clutched on my chest. I can clearly see how much I was clutching it so tightly. My vision slowly came above. My mouth slightly opened trying to get air as much as I can. I can perfectly hear my hard breathing. Then I saw my eyes and I saw my whole self.

‘Jealousy’ My mouth uttered. It was faint, just like a whisper. But in this dense dark place I call my room, I can perfectly hear it.

And soon the tears turned to long streams of water…pouring in just like a waterfall. But it wasn’t any kind of waterfall, it wasn’t beautiful, it was destructive and aggressive.

The hand that was clutching my shirt suddenly shifted on my face. I placed it right in front of my tightly sealed eyes. I kept it there, hoping to hide my shame, my being, my self. I was so embarrassed, guilty and sorry for myself.

Alana’s work was magnificent and lovely. I was proud of her, I was really happy but why? Why, this hideous feeling? Why do I feel Jealously creeping and actually infesting my very being? Why? Why?

I loathed myself. But equally felt sorry for myself. I hated myself because not only I felt this hideous feeling but I was angry I couldn’t produce and create something as beautiful as Alana’s work. It was just horrible! An ugliness I will never learn to love and accept.

More than anything, I want to get pass this. I want this feelings to go away because it’s wrong. It was terribly wrong! I shouldn’t have those feelings. To be a great artist one must not feel this. One must be strong to survive!

I shouldn’t be jealous, I shouldn’t compare myself to my dear friend, Alana. She is a sweet and talented woman. I am different from her. Yet, here I am feeling these annoying and pestering feelings. I know in the end what is right but why do I have to go through this agony! WHY?!?! The tears came running down my tired eyes and my breathing became rapid.

“Bear it.” A voice inside my head replied. “Bear it my dear child.”

My breathing became slow.

“Because the only way you’d understand what you know, is through going through it.”

Slowly, the aching stopped, my eyes couldn’t drop one more tear, my nose was ready to blow the sniffles away, my hands wiped away my tears and left a huge crease on my shirt.

The voice inside my head was right, I know very well I shouldn’t compare my self to dear Alana. I know I am not her. I know my skills aren’t yet up to par but with perseverance I can, I know, I know, I know. However, I have to feel these, to understand what I must do, why I must know these things. I must endure and pass these challenge to be a better artist…to be a stronger artist! That is what makes a great artist.

It is easy to say, we must rise up after we fall. But I think it is important to learn and understand why we must fall and not only to look forward to the ending. There is a saying ‘It is not the destination we must remember but the journey’. Okay maybe not the exact words but you do get the idea.

And so, I finally lit up the tiny box and looked once more in Alana’s work. I smiled and was glad the horrible feeling was gone. I immediately put the image aside and went back to my painting.

Yes, it was utterly displeasing to the eye but I can make it better. I can create something amazing. I shall persevere and work hard to attain a great skill and create an amazing work.

So, you see… we will never know if the little box is a devil or a door to paradise. It actually depends on the person. For me, it is neither but I can assure you it is a companion you must have.

That was a tad bit long, sorry about that. Just was in the moment there. 😛 Hehe BTW, it’s a story just to clarify with a part of me included. I have no friend called Alana, but I did experience this…millions of times as an artist. Well, budding artist…I am not quite the artist I hope to be yet. So much to learn, so much to understand, so much to be put into practice.

But I am learning everyday. It is amazing how much an artist can gain. Not only new skills but things that aren’t easy to obtain and are not tangible. Well aside from creativity like patient and perseverance. 

I do not know if other artists out there have experienced this. Maybe you guys haven’t and found this extremely odd. Though, if ever someone has experience this and stumbled upon my blog, here is a comforting note, ‘you are not alone’. 🙂 You’ll make it through! Just keep working hard! 🙂 I know there is that doubt and questions inside your head like “Ya, I keep working hard but when will it end? When will I know I should stop digging and finally find the sweet treasure I’ve been working hard for?” Well, just keep being busy drawing, painting, practicing and you would be surprise you have dug the treasure out. 🙂 

It’s weird saying this because I am not one of those artist who found success yet, like having my own gallery, working in the company I dream about, sold so many painting or work, have a fan base who loves my work and follows me and more. I am just like you, trying to get in in the industry of my dreams. But I confidently say these comforting words because I too am experiencing this. We are artists, who feel the same way. We should help and comfort each other. 🙂 

So, do not forget this! 😀 We can do this! 🙂 And for those people who just stumbled upon, thank you for reading and even reaching to this part 🙂 I know it may be a bit of a drag…too long to read but I appreciate you reading until this bit. You might not be an artist, but I hope I’ve sparked something within you. 🙂 Maybe in some ways you are struggling, don’t give up. Hang in there! 

Comic Thoughts: Sarah and the Seed

Web Comic: Sarah and the Seed

Written and art by: Ryan Andrews

This web comic is the reason why I would love to be in the sequential art industry and one day hopefully create something as heartwarming and beautiful art and story as this guy did!

Did I mention I am a huge fan of Ryan Andrews? Yuuuuup! Sure I am!

Not only does he create comics, he does amazing illustrations! 🙂 Just ever so lovely.

Ohhhhkaaay! I am getting out of topic in here (Sorry! Bit Excited. :P) . So, Let’s get back to it, shall we?

So, Sarah and the Seed is about an old couple who wanted to have a big happy family but unfortunately couldn’t. Then miraculously, the wife suddenly is pregnant and gives birth to a seed!

It might seem weird telling you this and reading the synopsis but booooy it is a heartwarming, whimsical, quirky, cute story.

One of the things I love about it is how Andrews used the web format to his advantage on telling his lovely story. 🙂 He knows how to change a mood, from the first panel which is happy to the next which becomes really sad. And he did that by utilizing the use of scrolling down. In some ways it became an extra help in transitioning from one scene to the next, or one mood from the next. It also helped with the suspense, surprise and thrill.

Even though it’s dialogues were limited, it had that personal touch and subtlety that worked on his advantage.  I felt that it had that “a man with a few words” kind of vibe. In someways, it became more poetic and beautiful. I don’t know if it’s me or it really did work, however I am such a sucker for personal or first person kind of stories. It has that intimacy you will get to experience with a character. It’s like the character is letting you enter his world with no prohibition and that is quite a privilege because you get to understand, experience and feel what this character is. You are able to see through his/her eye. And that for me has, a more lasting impression…not only in comics but books as well. 🙂

Another thing that I fell in love with is, it’s ART STYLE! Ohmy! I just love Andrews’s work! I don’t know why I have a thing with textured art style. It can be anything really, illustration, animation art style, backgrounds used in it, concept art…anything really that deals with textured art style has my full attention! 🙂

Now that’ve mentioned it, he used really beautiful compositions and layout it pretty well for the readers to smoothly understand the story. He knew where to block his designs for you as a reader go to its focal point then smoothly ease through to the next panel.

His use of variety of sizes for the panel are actually a part of that…easily making the visual storytelling through. And even the spaces…if your keen about it you’d see it, and man was that also a part of a breathing space and a way for the reader to take it all in…and make you feel calmer.

His use of dark pitch black screen had also some use. It’s evident on a page wherein his character is feeling anxious and has fallen to slumber. And ever so slowly, he was starting to have a nightmare. With the use of the ‘scrolling down’, pitch black background and the intelligent use of different sizes of panels (from a huge panels…it became small panels)…you’d feel claustrophobic and then BAM! A HUUUUUGE panel of this hideous creature. Wouldn’t you wake up horrified? Well, his character did and I bet you as a reader will too! And just like that Andrews, did it so brilliantly! 🙂

Not to mention, it’s art style watercolor kind of effect after every panel helped as well in the transition. All the things he’d done for this comic just came quite together.

So, my verdict? OF COURSE I LOVE IT! 🙂 And I highly recommend you guys reading it and who knows be enchanted by it! 🙂 It’s story not only has a uniqueness and surprising twist on it but makes you think as well.

The great thing about this web comic, is it’s available on his website. Just click here to get started! 🙂

If you’re interested on his illustrations and other things just click here to start checking this amazing talent! 😀