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07 September 2011 @ 08:56 pm
beautiful world  
Oh, Beautiful World Tour! You may not actually be a world tour but I'm still feeling the love halfway around the world. ♥♥ So, I thought I'd share the little part of love I contributed to the "Beautiful World": art! Art I made in real life, whaaat! :D I'd actually planned to make a post about this months ago but then I got all self-conscious. phrenk's birthday has given the final push to get this posted! Happy Birthday, Val. :)

So in case it passed you by, there was a notice put up on Johnny's Net: Arashi entreating their fans to send them art, whatever makes up their "beautiful world", for the upcoming tour! When asked "Will you help participate in the concert?", I thought immediately " YES, I really want to do this".

I wound up painting four little acrylic paintings! We only got word about the project on June 21st and these postcards would need to reach Japan by July 7th so it was a race against time from the start. Gathering supplies and sketching took up most of my first two days. Just putting pencil to paper was something that felt unfamiliar so sketching took a while itself. I hadn't really tried to draw anything in a couple years. While I've always liked traditional art, it's never something I've spent enough time doing to feel comfortable in or skilled at. XD When I was able to form an approximation of a few ideas on paper, I found a new drive. I wanted to give my all on these, to do them to the best of my ability in the time I had available!

Friday was quickly thrown out as an impossible dream to mail by when I had two sketches and one partially done painting by Thursday. So the goal became to finish one painting each day of the weekend and mail on Monday. I basically sunk all my hours into this, if I wasn't painting, I was drawing or inking or scanning. I finished #1 on Friday night, after a battle to paint text with a tiny brush and not mess up the only shot I had. Saturday was a whirlwind that had me completing an entirely new fourth sketch out of feelings, beginning the painting of that and getting #2 to 95% completion before sleep took me. That just left Sunday, with three projects left. And all the additional work of making them into postcards. I completed #2 within an hour of waking up and set busily to work on #3. I made two important decisions at some point during that day 1) I would obviously be pulling an allnighter and 2) for that I needed the comforting presence of one Dr. Quinn. :DD The familiar plots and a lack of needing to look at the screen had once before made Dr. Quinn the ideal way to keep my brain moving during an art marathon. I knew I could count on her. XD

I completed #3 only after hours of work, where my breaks had become only trimming or gluing or varnishing the other works. I got into into my mind that maybe I wanted to keep one. It made me a sad, to think of all these winding up in a trash pile somewhere after I worked so hard on them. #4 was left entirely unpainted until it was already Monday. However after coming so far, I knew I had to finish it. I was luckily always intending to give up any pretense of shading on that one and just laid on flat color. Finally at nearly noon, all four paintings were done. ...Unfortunately I got such a sense of completion from that, despite the fact that I still have varnishing to do and mailing labels to make, and I fell asleep within a half an hour. XD

So Tuesday became the deadline to mail. I woke up early to finish varnishing and then I only had to address them and get them ready to really send. Up until that very day, my mom had remained skeptical that I would mail all of them since she'd seen how attached I was to my new project. But when I was addressing them, I finally gained a sense of peace. I wanted to send them all out, even knowing it was most likely they'd be destroyed. I wanted to try my very hardest. I wanted to do my best. I'd been thinking all weekend I should take a note from Zen concept of transience but it wasn't until then I accepted I that creating something that would only live for a short moment of time is still worthwhile.

I had created them because of the inspiration Arashi gave me and on Tuesday I put them all into the mail to Japan. I didn't know if they would make it on time. In fact I knew in all likelihood, I would never even know if they did.

I owe Arashi thanks for something again. Thank you, for reminding me how good it feels to really put your all into something. Thank you, for inspiring me to draw and to paint and to express myself. Even though my art wasn't very technically proficient, it was so immensely satisfying just to paint and create something from nothing. It was mine and I loved it. Thank you, for those six days. I learned I could finish four little paintings in a week so why not try to paint something once a month from now on. :)

Thanks again, Arashi! You really do encourage me. ♥

#1: My very first idea when thinking about "things like your favorite scenery, thing, smile, hand, family, something that makes you feel life and warmth" were to draw raspberries. They're my very favorite fruit and I only get to eat them for a couple weeks in the summer. So since both concert season and raspberry season were starting around the same time, I thought it felt right. Plus I wanted to paint something colorful and kind of graphic. Vainly, I decided to make this first picture a self-portrait since I thought "I may love my family dearly but if I'm sending something that might get used in an Arashi concert, I kind of want it to be my own face." XD I decided I wanted some text on it too, remembering how chelshock mentioned getting compliments on her handwriting when she put little messages on her etegami. I wound up sketching this on drawing paper but then painted directly over it with the acrylics and outlining it with pen last. This caused some CARNAGE when I went to apply varnish too soon after gluing it to the backing cardstock and the whole thing began to bubble up with air pockets. Thankfully I was able to tamp down the panic and smooth it out with a credit card. :)

#2: This was my alternate idea for #1 but when I went to try sketching it, I decided to do both since I was able to draw a hand better than I thought I could. I liked that this was even more simple and graphic than the first idea. I originally took reference photos of my own hands but since I don't like the look of my hands anyway, I went with a picture I found online as reference. The raspberries were drawn from a picture of raspberries from my yard though! Looking back on it, I wish I'd both taken the time to ink them more carefully (they kind of got mangled) and that I'd practice how to color them more before starting on the real thing. Somehow I'm absurdly pleased that even though these aren't my hands, I included the freckle on the my right thumb. I did it last and it almost felt like signing it. XD

First of all, I have to preemptively apologize to Val. Val, I love you and it just didn't feel right to enter an Arashi contest without you. We've shared so many Arashi milestones and I wished that this could be one of them. So first, I must apologize for trying to include your appearance without you knowing. But if it's any consolation, you also get my second apology, which is... it really doesn't look like you at all. ♥ In all the pictures I had of us, the one I thought worked best had your head tilted at an angle and your hair at its longer length. So: if you don't want to be seen in Arashi art contest, please content yourself with not being very recognizable. If you don't mind being included, please keep in mind that it's meant to be you. ♥♥♥

#3: For me, this was by far the most emotional work I did. I wanted to keep this one so badly (if only to send it to Val!) but because I felt that way, it was also the one I most wanted to send. This contest is about what means the most to you and it would give me the most pleasure if this was the piece that miraculously got picked. ♥ Originally I wan't thinking of including any Arashi references at all, since I thought they'd rather get personal works of art than Arashi fanart. However since I had to way simplify our clothing, I just couldn't resist making it topical. And since I went that far, I thought I might as well go for the hair accessories and the background being the other tour color. XD This was definitely the work that strayed the farthest from the sketch and if I had it to do over again, I definitely would have concentrated and inked some things way differently. The sketch looks way more like me and just has more charm. I was waaaaay tired then though so I'm trying to go easy on myself. Though Val, I really cannot draw your lovely grin with all of your many teeth at any time. XD My years of smiling closed mouth had not prepared me for that.

I think my favorite detail is Val's rainbow hairclip. Although I didn't mean for this to be an Arashi-related sketch, it feels really right that it became one. Arashi is something we really bonded over and I'm truly the most grateful to Arashi for cementing such a valuable friendship for me. Love you, Val!!♥♥

#4: My last minute entry! LOL, basically I had been thinking "You know, I'm not playing into my gimmick and including anything uniquely American... what can I include...." I eventually decided a) I couldn't think of that many uniquely American things and 2) I didn't love any of them and it felt dishonest to paint something if I didn't actually feel it. You know what I do love though? The feeling of unity with people around the world that I get from having hobby born of other countries. :) Even just the supply chain, with our raws, our fancams coming from the fans in the country, makes me feel connected to something bigger. I'm still a little worried about being disrespectful, considering the Japanese flag is technically backwards (it was symmetrical! it was the obvious choice!) and I'm afraid I made the features too marked to try and indicate nationality on a chibi. But again, being really tired helped me to just live with my original sketch and not change anything. XD The ichibans were decided by which colors would contrast the best once the background colors fell in place due to the flags and then by who I thought I could represent in chibi-uchiwa format. ♥ This was the only one I didn't feel tempted at all to keep, since it feels like something that would only be created for this contest. XD

If you were interested enough to read all my blabber, I salute you. ♥ Right now I'm a) assuming my art didn't get used and b) admitting that deep down I hope it was and letting myself have the pleasure of imagining it being seen by Arashi. I had a pleasant shriek when I read "The video they showed had Arashi putting up the postcards..." :D Even if my art never sees the light of day, I'm happy I have a place to share it here! ♥ (Though I admit, I think I'm going die squinting at these grainy pixels of the postcards they post out in the front of the venue. They're are not detailed enough for me to be able to make out the art! DISASTER.)
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Current Mood: artisticartistic
Current Music: Watashitachi ni Naritakute - Miwako Fujitani
Apple: Ohno: yesfelixkeep on September 8th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
ZOMG! I love them all!!!!! glad you made it by the deadline to post ^_^

postcards are small so you need mega eyes to see those pixels for yours :)

salute please please for i read all your blabber tehe :P

Top: 嵐: he shall be my squishytopazera on September 8th, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you so much!! It was fun making them! They made me remember how much fun art is, no matter the result! :D


♥♥!! So sweet!
Apple: Ohno: Lovefelixkeep on September 9th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)

next time when you send to them again, remember to write that down :D
ardently blue: ARASHI: you bright up my lifeaoihikari on September 8th, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)

and pfffh! that totally looks like VAL. in the preview at the top I was like '..... VAL~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~??!??!?!?!'

and then fell in love with you!

also you make me want raspberries since god knows I have enough rainbow shit to late me forever! XD

MY GOD WELL DONE BB! heart1 heart1heart1heart1heart1

PS: I would like to believe that if they couldn't use all of the arts submitted, they would have looked at each and every one of them and bask in the love and support and all that cheesy shit! :3

Edited at 2011-09-08 01:57 am (UTC)
Top: 嵐: Ohno works his magictopazera on September 8th, 2011 05:38 am (UTC)

oh my gosh, thanks for saying that! Ahaha, even knowing that Val wouldn't hate me if I drew her wrong, it was a little stressful trying to draw someone else's face. You just made me happy. ♥

Thanks for your loving, it is well appreciated! Your warm embrace will hold me through all this waiting to see if anything became of the art. ♥♥ Though if not, it's okay, I really just like to think a staff-san announced "Wow, we got entries from so many countries! "Beautiful World" lived up to its title!" That's a nice thought. :)
animefreak42animefreak42 on September 8th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
Awww, these are so sweet. Go friendship and Arashi! <3 It's wonderful that Arashi inspired you to do this, and the pieces are so lovely! I think the raspberries turned out beautifully in #2, I like how simple that one is and it's my favorite for being selected, but the others are wonderful too. I'm gonna hope with you that Arashi got to see these!
Toptopazera on September 8th, 2011 05:44 am (UTC)
Awwww, thanks, bb! :DD They are pretty inspiring guys, I have to say. ♥ And the raspberries one was the one I thought might get picked too! Just something everyday and simple that's easy to see and understand. I appreciate your hoping along! :D At least I'm already satisfied that I succeeded in sending my feelings though. The love has been sent~ ♥
peaches in the creases of a plastic bag: je: I LOVE YOU SO MUCH I CAN'T BREATHEphrenk on September 12th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
TOP, MY LOVE FOR THIS POST KNOWS NO BOUNDS, I AM JUST SUPER FAIL AT COMMENTING ALWAYS. JUST... FYI. You are the rainbow sparkles of my heart!! This post made me all teary-eyed and happy and filled with love, fdjla;fdkslafj. ♥!!!
Aegis: FUCK YEAHaegistheia on September 16th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
Super late! But the amazingness of this art (and all the effor and heart you put into it) exceeds that lateness's superbness by even more!

It's really nice to read that you were able to derive so much enjoyment out of this. Thank you for sharing. ♥