ただいま!

If you’d told me that two sports titles were going to be what got me back into anime/manga after more than ten years, I would have laughed at you. Loudly. To your face.

a.k.a in which I haven’t blogged in almost three months so let me share this heteronormativity-defying pit I’ve fallen into.

–o–

Yuri!!! on Ice hit me like a freight train. One minute, I was dismissing it as another anime full of ambiguously gay pretty boys that my friends wouldn’t stop talking about. Next thing I knew, I was willingly squished against hundreds of other fans in a packed events hall, spending a good few thousand pesos on merch at a YoI fan convention.

There are already so many good blogs and vlogs about this show, that I don’t feel like I have anything new to add. I will say that YoI was a breath of fresh air for me last year. Superb animation and choreography, no unnecessary drama, no exaggerated skills, wonderfully endearing characters with an equally wonderful portrayal of queer characters. If I had to nitpick, I’d say I wish we had more backstory, but it isn’t imperative.

A movie was recently green-lit, and I am equal parts excited and apprehensive. I’m of the unpopular opinion camp that is satisfied with just the first season. I like open endings, what can I say? I am also, however, trash of dumpster fire proportions and will still take everything they throw at me with gusto. We’ll just have to wait and see.

–o–

I read Ballroom e Youkoso at Khursten’s suggestion and Leng’s prodding because I needed to fill the void that YoI left in my heart.

Not gonna lie, it took me a while to get into the swing (ha-ha!) of things because coming from YoI, I found the sheer shounen-ness and seishun-ness of BeY, jarring. For a manga about dancesport, I just wasn’t expecting so much testosterone. By Volume 3, I realised I was completely emotionally invested and there was no hope for me now.

Sengoku can step on me for all I care and I’d still thank him.

The art is absolutely stunning and I am in love with how dynamic it is. What I really appreciate about this series though, are the relationships between characters. Because ballroom is a partner-reliant sport, the relationship dynamics in this series are intense and complex but not necessarily romantic — which I find so refreshing.  I’m all caught up with the latest translated volume and now have nothing to do until the anime premieres this July.

I am aware that I’m hyperfixating on these two titles, but I think it’s because I’ve taken an indefinite hiatus from Western Comics & related media and all that fangirl energy has to go somewhere hahaha! Oh well, アニメただいま!

Bon’s Macaque Skull

Bon’s gotten his board from the shaper, which means I can finally post the deck art/logo he commissioned me for it! They just needed a soft copy, but I still rendered it on paper, with various markers and pens because I’m pants at digital drawing.

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Bon was very specific with what he wanted – A macaque skull with a flower crown in a ring of traditional Filipino/Polynesian-inspired patterns, and symbols for the sun, wind, sea, and moon in black and grey. While I hate monkeys, I had a lot of fun drawing the skull, particularly the snout and teeth. So I guess monkeys aren’t all that bad, provided they’re dead and are devoid of fur, muscles, and innards hahaha! Can’t wait to see the board in person! 🙂

 

Moonchild still lives in my heart

I started on this Sailor Moon piece last year, but felt like I screwed it up when I started laying down my flats and abandoned it. It’s a common occurrence with me, tbh. I never really like my coloured pieces as much as I do the lineart.

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When I found myself a little antsy last night, I thought I’d try to save it. If anything, I could do with working on my colour palettes and such.

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“Usagi”, 6″x9″, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 2017

I might re-do this in the future. This was meant to be the first of a senshi series that I’m not sure I’m ever going to get around to. We’ll see if I can get my head out of ass and get to it. 😛

Gab, Currently: XIV

 

Well, this started out as a new year’s post, but I’ve once again left it in my drafts for too long and it’s pointless now. Suffice it to say, 2016 was a good year for me personally, but shit universally and 2017 doesn’t look like it’s going to be any better. I’ve mostly been retreating into figure skating and Japanese male idol pop group videos whenever I get too stressed and overwhelmed from current events.

Getting fit and shit:

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Best kind of mornings.

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At Anj’s suggestion, I started doing yoga on weekday mornings last year. I managed to get through a whole month consistently before getting derailed by long holidays in October. I’ve only started again, I’m about a week and half in but the difference it’s made in my surfing is amazing. My paddling’s still weak AF (still working on that), but my back muscles have gotten significantly stronger as I hardly felt the strain.

I often wonder why out of all the sports, I had to choose one so physically demanding when I was never in good shape, but I wouldn’t trade surfing for anything.

Art and shit:

Was commissioned by a friend to design a logo for his custom board. I’m itching to post the final design, but I’m waiting for the finished board so I can post photos of that too.

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#WIP

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Thought I’d do one of those meet-the-artist memes that’s been going around Instagram, but realised half-way though that I just couldn’t be arsed to draw the what’s-in-my-bag part of it.

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I feel like this started looking more like me than how it ended up in colour, but oh well. I wanted an excuse to use coloured pencils again; I haven’t worked with them in ages. It feels so unfinished though. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve gotten used to the cleaner look of markers, or if I’m just out of practice with pencils.

Cosplay and shit:

Our #TitasofCosplay squad is finally doing a group cosplay together this year! It’s something we’ve been planning since before last year’s APCC, but since we already had costumes for the con, we decided to move it to this year. It’ll be the first, I think, that we’re all cosplaying characters from one franchise since our Sucker Punch group in 2011. A Divisoria trip last weekend yielded most of the costume pieces so all that’s needed now are our wigs and and smaller costume details. I’m shocked at how quickly it’s all coming together and I can finally allow myself to be a little excited for it. Our target con is still half a year away, but if we finish everything early, who knows? 😎

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I was really looking forward to starting on customising Nikko’s pickguard, but it took a while because it is hard af to look for proper Dia de los Muertos references. They’re usually fashion spreads, pinups, or just straight-up gimmicky. I’d done a bit of research when I designed my old sugar skull logo a few years ago, but I didn’t want to be as flippant this time time around. I wanted to be respectful of the holiday and hopefully not veer into cultural appropriation.

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🌼💀🌼 #WIP

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While I usually find the colours paint markers come in limiting, it worked to my advantage this time around, for the bright, vibrant colours typically used in the celebrations. This piece also brought me face-to-face with an old nemesis: drawing flowers. Flowers are fucking hard to draw, y’all.

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Of course, I had to bring out our Saltillo blanket when it was time for photographs.

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I had so much fun working on this commission, it wasn’t til my joints started popping that I realised I’d finished colouring in one sitting!

Got anything you’d like me to marker up? I’m open for commissions! Drop me comment or an email and let’s talk about. 🙂

Fins for MacAbby

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Note: part of this used to be in one of my Gab Currentlies, 
but I wanted to give these projects their own post.

A quick Pinterest search for custom fins yielded far to many mandalas for my taste, so I thought I’d go more tropical island-themed for Mac and Abby’s fins. I had a lot of fun researching tropical fauna, Tikis and Polynesian textile patterns, though I ended up not using much of the textiles, sadly.

My original plan for Mac’s 2 + 1 setup was to have the Tiki look more like the traditional wood, but I had to scrap that idea. The brown wasn’t standing out enough from the dark blue . I realised too late that I could have gone with orange, instead of brown, but I like how it the white makes the statue look like it’s glowing.

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It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with Abby’s sidebites. I originally had something different in mind, but the side fins didn’t really give me enough space to execute it well. Will shelve that for a future project, maybe? 😛

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Will be clearcoating these tomorrow and then I can start on my last commission for the year!

GABCANFLY.COM – Year-end, New Domain

I originally wanted to do this for the New Year, but gimme a break, it’s December and I have been over my domain since January.

The plethora of other issues I have with it aside, it’s just such a mouthful. Really should have taken into consideration how long gabriellelopezart.com is when I decided on it. Since I had a year to decide if I wanted to keep it or not, I’d been playing around with other options. For a few months, I tried going by my first and middle names, but that didn’t stick. I had also considered just using my default WordPress URL. It’s not like the blog has a following, I’m steadily employed and not actively marketing myself,  do I still really need a custom URL?

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But at Pallon and Julie’s prodding, I decided to buy a new name and go with the only constant thing in the 7 years this blog has been active:

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So, welcome to gabcanfly.com – same old shit, brand new URL! If I’m still on your blogrolls, pretty please update the link. 🙂

Christmas Wishlist 2016

It’s December!
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The logistics of this year’s Christmas celebrations are already stressing me out so here’s my annual list of shit I want from Santa.

1. Sirius Black Funko Pop

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I’d planned to buy this the minute it became available locally, but never get around to for some reason or another. Ideally, I’d get his boyfriend too, but Funko hasn’t come out with a Lupin Pop yet. Boo. 😦

2. A Kigurumi

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LOOK AT THAT OCTOPUS KIGURUMI. LOOK AT IT.

The skeleton and the midnight cat are my runner ups, but that octopus omg. Living in the tropics, I can’t justify spending for a kigurumi. I still want one though.

3. Tickets to Wicked

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I missed Wicked in Manila the first time around. Planned to watch this second run, but adulting just seems to keep getting in the way.

4. An 8’0 boardbag

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I’m having a bitch of a time trying to look for a bag for my board. The ones I find are usually either for longboards or shortboards. I’ve been using a sock, but it’s such a pain in the arse to put on and take off.

5. The Mexican Wolf Dia de los Muertos Spirithood

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I’m really mad Spirithoods only came out with a Dia de los Muertos-themed hood now. I would have bought this instead of the skunk hood. That lining print’s so pretty. /cry

Gab, Currently XIII

Commission-ing:

The muses struck the other night, so I’ve got one commission down!

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Tea-ki time. #WIP

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I’ve been having a lot of fun working with markers and non-traditional surfaces. Give me more, universe!

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Unpopular opinion: I’m not a huge fan of Rowling’s constant adding and expansion of her universe. I love the Harry Potter series, don’t get me wrong, and I will most likely eat up everything Warner Brothers throws at me, but it just feels like she’s writing fanfiction of her own work and making it canon.

I watched, “Fantastic Beasts…” last weekend. I enjoyed it, but it left me a little underwhelmed. It had had pacing issues, and felt a little disjointed. I did, however, fall in love with Queenie.

I love her so much, you don’t understand. my precious ball of sunshine ❤

The movie might have been meh, but it has rekindled my hype for all things Potter. Timely then, that I should find this photo when I was cleaning my files the other day. It’s from our friends’ cosplay-themed wedding a couple of years ago. Note our matching Resting Bitch Faces. We look like Dumbledore’s just awarded Gryffindor the House Cup. Haha!

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I’ve been in a bad head space for a while now and I could use an excuse to run around in house robes, but I’m also not in the mood to people.

What a loser

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Guess which anal retentive has bought and wrapped half of her Christmas shopping?

In my defense, I needed to get these as soon as I could because I ordered them online and didn’t want shipping issues if I ordered too close to Christmas. I’d get all my gift shopping out of the way now if I could, but I do need to wait for my 13th month to come in. But you know, I’m poor. :))

Orbit 360 Kickstarter Video Shoot

A few months ago (idek when anymore. July-ish?) I did hair and makeup for a video for the Orbit 360 Kickstarter.

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TBH, I hesitated a lot when Tin and Iñigo asked me if I was available. I felt unqualified and out of my depth, but I’m glad they talked me into it. This gig marked two firsts for me: Doing dude makeup, and doing makeup for artificial lighting – which was a challenge, trust and believe. I’ve only ever done makeup for natural and minimal lighting, so dealing with the heat of about 15 artificial lights was definitely a learning experience.

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Photo by Tin Garcia.

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Photography by Anne Biemann and Video by Marco Biemann of Biemann Produktion Haus