Friday, 10 December 2010

> Language > Place: (un)fettered territory, domestica, december 2010

Behind that door is my bedroom. A space which I have occupied for over 20 years. Its walls demarcate the boundaries of my sole sovereign territory in this world: a place where I may do as I please, can always return, and am sure to be safe.

All that lies behind that door is utterly me: books, photos, cds, clothes, shoes, and an assorted tools and materials to create with. There is a bed, a bookshelf, a desk, a chair and a wardrobe.

But I am now 28. Behind that door is a space filled with frustration and restlessness. Amongst the lingering shadows of who I've been, stifled dreams are strewn across the walls and they pool on the floor. I am often absent; returning only to change, occassionally sleep and otherwise leave, at almost every given chance.

Behind that door could be anything, but at the same time, the possibilities have already been decided.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


When decades become like days
and years become like hours
What will we remember of the sights we've seen?

Will we reminisce on those great gone empires
and those lost exotic lands we had visited
but forget what we had built? Here,
in our own home?

Those night lights that we made burn
and the bells we made chime
with nothing but our own breath?

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Monday, 18 October 2010


nuts and bolts
this love of ours
is like that song on the radio
everyone likes how it sounds
but they don’t hear us tuning up every day
this life of ours
is like the house next door
you can’t see the holes in the walls
someone’s painted over them all
just once in a while baby, i don’t want to see the strings
just once in a while baby, i don’t want to see the screws

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

in the mood for murder

In May last year, Arthur wrote a little short story about my George and Beatnik as follows:

"Dear Diary,

I want to kill my friend George.
I haven't yet fully comprehended why this feeling is gushing out of me. All I know is that I will never be satisfied until I end him.
Is it his bovine features? His stupid blue scarf? The fact he has had only 2 baths his entire life?
Maybe is the incessant stream of sentences coming out of his mouth, talking about his 'supposed' girlfriend. Ha! As if a disgusting blob like him could ever get one.
Even when he's silent I want to slide a knife between his ribs. Watching his jaw move up and down as if he is chewing some imaginary cud is enough to make any sane man fill with blood lust.

I'm shaking with rage and nervous with anticipation. The moment will come soon and then George my friend. My only friend. You will die.

- Beatnik"

In  late December 2009, I was inspired enough to draw a little sketch of how this story could be brought to life, based on the bad teddy threadless t-shirt:

Nine months later, after a week of frentic activity, a crash course in drawing with MS Publisher, how to use Adobe Illustrator, and a lot of drawing with one finger on a touch pad I managed to convert my sketch into this:

Now to make it a t-shirt. :)

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Let it die (Break Up CD #2, Mix CD #6)

After 7 months of listening to about 30 songs over and over again, I managed to put together my 6th Mix CD, which is also happens to be my 2nd break-up CD.

Below is the tracklisting. If you'd like a copy of the CD, just let me know in a line or something.

1. Cyann & Ben - I can't pretend anymore
2. Rufus Wainwright - This Love Affair
3. Damien Rice - Volcano
4. Mia Doi Todd - Muscle, Bone & Blood
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Runaway
6. Rebekah Del Rio - Llorando (Crying)
7. Bon Iver - The Wolves (Act I And II)
8. Tran Thu Ha - Tinh Xa
9. Sarah Blasko - Down On Love
10. Dntel - Anywhere, Anyone
11. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - To Be By Your Side
12. Chikara Tsuzuki - Yumeji's Theme (Harmonica Version)
13. The Fray - Ungodly Hour
14. Bic Runga - Say After Me
15. Nina Simone - I'll Look Around
16. Feist - Let It Die
17. Coldplay - Lost? (Acoustic)
18. Xavier Cugat - Perfidia
19. Bjork - All is full of love
20. Smashing Pumpkins - Perfect

life drawing week 23/2010

This is a bit old - I'd meant to post the pictures up ages ago, but didn't quite get around to it. Chloe was back at No Vacancy and a lovely curvacious model was at Princess Hill on Sunday.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Scribble dump pt 2

Found some more scribbles

Not sure why I'm into lightbulbs at the moment

Imagine Penelope Crrrruz with a big head

girl in a lightbulb

Found the other designs I had for girl in a lightbulb.

A little bit freaky

Maybe too sexy?

Scribble dump

So the Shirt52 project is struggling along a bit. Haven't been scribbling enough lately.

Above: tinkering with the previous design I did of a hi-fi mermaid.

Above: ideas for a girl in a lightbulb painting I eventually want to do

Above: umm. ???

Monday, 3 May 2010

life drawing - week 18/2010

Being there before 6.30pm, I safely scored a spot at No Vacancy last week where we had the lovely model Chloe. On the night, I was dismayed with my efforts, but now they look fine. I'm still enjoying charcoal, but indian ink seems to work better when I start with charcoal.

On Sunday at Princess Hill, three girls burst into the studio late. We plonk ourselves on the floor and gaze up at our model who glares down at us. It's my first large female model. I think I like lithographic paper and dry pastel.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

re: Whimsy

After n.t.


i need to try new styles and to be more stylistic. attempt # 1

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Continuing Adventures in Life Drawing - No Vacancy/Princess Hill

My adventures in life drawing continue.

Sunday was spent at Princess Hill where I was thrown by the male model. 1.5 hours and only one sketch worked. But of all the sketches done that day (and some were really fantastic sketches full of movement), only mine struck the model as actually resembling him. His comment certainly made my day.

Tonight I managed to get into No Vacancy again (after having suffered its name last week for having arrived at 6.40pm). Ink wasn't the medium tonight, but charcoal, as I worked to capture tonight's model, Renuka.
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Florence + (Hot Tub Time) Machine

Remixing is a real joy, building up tracks from scratch, savouring the purity of the acapella, unadultered, until you crap all over it with your faux-Kanye instrumentals.

One thing though, that really drives one to ear-gouging, head-against-brick-wall psychosis is a talented female vocalist with a voice richer than mudcake made from the purest Swiss chocolate drowned in honey served with Zooey Deschanel on top...(see Beyonce)...

...which is an awfully tortured metaphor to say that having Florence Welch in your ear for the better part of a week is equal parts great and maddening, because you want to create an instrumental to match her, and she'll be the first to let you know if you're letting the side down, the powerful bi-atch...enjoy!

Monday, 19 April 2010

The start of a beautiful friendship...

These early mixes I did at the height of the so-called mashup craze really take me back. I was using CoolEdit Pro at the time and I remember losing hours of my life neurotically getting the tempos of the tracks to match. My fondest memory is when a friend of mine mimed mashing me to a pulp when he heard how I'd mashed his (then) idol Damien Rice. Ha.

Download it:

(still learning Photoshop though)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Jay-Z x Michael Buble

Been sitting on this remix for a little while now. I originally did the instrumental by cutting together a few Michael Buble tracks in a 007 vein as a gift for a friend who wanted 'Dr Evil theme music' (!!!). Ended up laying the Jay verses down because she didn't like the plain instrumental.

Got a few other acapellas in the pipeline that hopefully will make it out the vomit tract, but til then, enjoy (the now not so) young Hov -

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

15/60 challenge

After the Dr Sketchy's afternoon I realized how much I enjoy sketching figures. As a poor man's substitute for having a model in my living room in the middle of the afternoon I decided to quick sketch off a photo reference and see how it went. I then got n.t. to send me a photo of her choice and I tried the same thing again. Two sketches from photo reference, both done in about 15 minutes. Hence the 15/60 challenge.

(Setting myself a few too many challenges this year: 15/60, Shirt52, and I haven't even started on a New Year's resolution to write ten songs by June, and have filmed a music video for one of those...)

No Vacancy - March 2010

Tonight's creative endeavours took place at No Vacancy, where the first time I tried to get into their drop in life drawing class, they lived up to their name. Tonight I finally got in and experimented with charcoal and indian ink. Definitely more indian ink for me after this.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Quatrains of Rumi

Nicolette has been posting up poetry and so far, each piece has been perfect for me in someway. Her latest selection comes from Rumi, a 13th Century Persian poet.

Below are her selected quatrains and my attempt at translating them into Vietnamese.

A night full of talking that hurts,
my worst held-back secrets: Everything
has to do with loving and not loving.
This night will pass.
Then we have work to do.

Một đêm đầy tâm sự đau đớn,
Những bí mật xấu nhất ta đã dằn lại: Mọi chuyện
Đèo là chuyện yêu va không yêu.
Đêm nay sẽ qua.
Rồi ta có việc để làm.

After being with me one whole night,
you ask how I live when you're not here.

Badly, frantically, like a fish trying to breathe
dry sand. You weep and say,
But you choose that.

Sau một đêm suốt bên anh,
Em hỏi anh sống thế nào khi vắn em.

Bối rối cuống cuồng như cá gắn thở
cát khô. Em khóc và nói,
Nhưng anh chọn vậy.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Shirt52 project - week 3 with V Dentata @ Dr Sketchy's

Didn't think I'd be pumping out T-shirts so soon, but a unique opportunity arose at Dr Sketchy's life drawing on Sunday (see the life drawing post) and they were asking audience members to draw T-shirts inspired by the V Dentatas (the models for the afternoon). Guess who volunteered?

V Dentata @ Dr Sketchy's life drawing class

Dr Sketchy's is a great concept for a life-drawing class - they usually hire performers from burlesque or other subculture backgrounds as their models, creating interesting textures and challenging subject material. Dave and I both attended Sunday's session and you can see our results below (Dave's on the left, n.t on the right).

Dave: My style is very influenced by early 90s comic book art (thanks Jim Lee!)
n.t: I'm not sure what my style is but we're going again!

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Sunday, 21 March 2010

life (model) drawing

This year, I'm trying to be a bit more creative. Two things are certainly on the cards - life drawing and painting. I've been to three life/model drawing sessions now. The first session was a hen's event and featured a very young model, the second session featured a trapeze artist, and the third was true life drawing with a classically curvy and dreamy model. It's been a steep learning curve and I was exhausted by the end of today's session. Drawing is hard work.

Below is a snapshot of my progress.