Posted in Thoughts, Writing 201

Reflection: Keep Moving Forward

What is the definition of success? What makes you a successful one? What things can make you succeed? I think everyone has different answers for those questions. And everyone has a different measurement of success. For me, success is not all about money and wealth, although they are parts of it. In my opinion, success is having a fine life by getting what you want and at the same time fulfilling what you need. Everyone has a different way to succeed. Some follow their interests, some succeed by doing thing they don’t really like but then they get used to it.

Image Credit: www.blationmedia.com
Image Credit: http://www.blationmedia.com

I am a big dreamer. I have a lot of dreams and passionate about many things. I love drawing, reading and writing fiction, designing a dress, photography, graphic design, making animations and games, and all multimedia related. Being a novelist, graphic designer, animator, game developer, having photography studio, and clothing line are my dreams. But, laziness is my friend, and I often do procrastination that becomes odds for my self-improvement. Personally, I am a good planner yet bad executor.

And things were going worse when I lost my father. To me, my parents are the reason for me to catch my dreams. Their smiles are the spirit for me. I would never think about losing both or either of them. My father is a strong character. He is strict, but he is also a democratic and open minded person. We love to discuss with him and ask him for opinions about anything. He knew the personality of his wife and children very well. He was such a great leader for us. Not only in our family, but he was also known as a lovable person by people who knew him. He was always keen to help people, he always told us to always do good deeds for the people around. He was that great, and we were so down when he passed away.

Image Credit: www.wink.nixone.com
Image Credit: http://www.wink.nixone.com

I was so depressed. It was such a mental breakdown for me. I became an introvert since then, had no interest to interact with people, forgot how to smile and laugh, and had no desire to think about my dreams anymore. It took so long for me to recover from my sadness. Until one day, my mom said, “Your father won’t be happy seeing you like this. We all love him. We all want him to always be with us. But Allah loves him more. Now, what you should do is chasing your dream as you promised your dad. Your future is bright ahead. Live your life, catch your dreams, be devoted to Allah, and send your prayers to your dad, that’s what all he wants from you now.” And then I realized how selfish I was. As much as I felt sad, my mom must be the saddest one. She lost her husband, her soul-mate, her everything. But my mom is a very strong woman, she doesn’t want to look sad, so her children won’t get worried.

Slowly, I tried to wake up, getting back to my life. I often feel like crying at times, but I get stronger every time I see my mother’s smile. I’m grateful I have my family and friends who always encourage me. I am the youngest in my family, so my sisters and brother are so patient and keep motivating me. But I’m not soon being a very motivated person. I know I am still so fragile. I don’t want to force myself too hard. I know I’m still doing my bad habit, like being lazy and procrastinating things I should do.

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” – Paul Valery

I really want to be a novelist. Everything can inspire me to make a story. Once I have an idea, I can make all the storyline in my head, the scenes, the dialogues, even the ending. But all is stuck in my head. I’m so lazy to write it. I’m so moody, I just write when I’m in a good mood. That’s why I never did finish my novel. I have like ten drafts of my fictional writings on my laptop. But each just consists of the prologue or the first chapters of it. When I got a new idea, I’d write excitedly. But then I would leave it for days, months, and forget about it. I missed my chances to participate in some writing competitions. I already knew what I would write for those competitions, but I didn’t write it. I always said “I’ll start writing it tomorrow” and I said that every day. When the deadline of those competitions came, I got upset. A voice in my head got upset too, “You don’t even bother finishing your novels, why do you dare to dream they will get published?!” and I’d be like “Okay mate, that’s all my fault. Just blame me.”

Image Credit: www.fineartamerica.com
Image Credit: http://www.fineartamerica.com

I fancy myself being a graphic designer, animator, or game developer since I love making graphic design, animations, and some simple games. But I don’t think my works are brilliant and would stand out among those graphic designers, animators, and game developers’ who exist these days. I’m not confident to compete. I realize, I should have improved my skills, but I’m not determined to do so. I also planned to make photography studio and clothing line with my own brand and design. But what’s the use of planning if you don’t do the concrete things to make it real?

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

That’s my honest confession. I am that bad. I feel so tired of my own thoughts sometimes. I don’t regret the mistakes I made, but I do regret the chances I missed. But I see no point in blaming myself now. I know I have to move forward from now on. Because, no matter how many people encourage me, I will stay the same if it’s not my own self who cares to change. And I realize I have to simplify my dreams. I mean I shouldn’t be too ambitious to reach many dreams in a short time. I am allowed to dream big, but I have to work hard and do real efforts to make my dreams happen. Anyway, 2014 has taught me lots of things, especially about appreciating time and being discipline. I have to wake up from failures, defeat my fears, strengthen my willingness, and build my confidence to catch my dreams. Hey 2015, I’m ready for your challenges!

In Response to Writing 201 Week Four Assignment: Self Reflection

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Posted in Thoughts, Writing 201

Opinion Piece: People, Internet, Self Expression and Attention Seeking

In Response to Writing 201 Week Three Assignment: Opinion Piece

Talking about attention, it can never be separated from human life. When we were born, our cries would be the center of attention, happily welcomed especially by our parents. When we were babies, we learnt to speak, our funny babble would get fully attention from our parents and it entertained everyone who saw it. And when we learnt to walk, our parents would applaud when they saw us taking the first step. Their attentions encouraged us to take the next step. So basically, attention is something that can motivate. As we grow, we will get attentions not only from our parents or family, but from a broader scope as we start interacting with many people. And we will get more variety of attentions.

Image Credit: www.wikihow.com
Image Credit: http://www.wikihow.com

Attention is also closely related to the way people express themselves. Everyone has different way to express themselves. There are people who can easily express themselves by speaking, others prefer to express themselves through music, writing, or even drawing. There are people who express themselves in simple ways, some are quite extreme. The way people express themselves that sometimes leads to the term attention seeker. So, is seeking attention always bad?

Now let’s talk about the relation between attentions, the way people express themselves and the internet, particularly social media. On twitter, people will be glad if their tweets get many retweets, favorites, or replies. A good tweet will attract many followers. On facebook, people will be happy if their posts get many likes and comments. Likewise in Instagram, people will be happy if their photos or videos get a lot of likes and comments. People are eager to upload good photos on Instagram, whether it’s the picture of them or things related to fashion, artworks, photography etc. Retweets, favorites, likes, and comments on social media are the examples of attention. Although we initially just wanted to express ourselves, but if we get those kinds of attentions, we will be happy and feel appreciated. Just like in blogging. We will create a blog with the name, title, and good design to make it look attractive. We will make our posts as good as possible. We will be excited if we find people who have the same interests with us.

Image Credit: www.huffingonpost.com
Image Credit: http://www.huffingonpost.com

In my opinion, the use of internet as the way to express can give positive things like the followings:

• Helping people to express themselves
Not everyone is easy to express themselves. Someone who is shy and not really good at speaking, sometimes feels more comfortable to convey their thoughts, experiences, or anything about them in writings. So, some media like twitter and blog are good places for them. We might already hear some stories, such as there is someone who is very active talking on twitter, is actually a nerd in real life. Or people who are very good at writing blog posts are sometimes very awkward in their real social lives. That doesn’t mean they are fake. They just feel more comfortable to speak through writings.

• Creativity and Self Improvement
The attention that we get is such as an appreciation of our expressions and works that drives us into a creative person and furthermore to improve. On twitter, people will try to make great words fit in 140 characters. The fashion people will be excited uploading their fashion stuff and styles, and will look for new styles to update their fashion looks. The photographers will increasingly produce nice photographs and he will further develop their abilities in order to get the better photographs. Articles that we make on a blog, we will read them over again before publishing it. We would edit, repair some parts, and checking the grammatical errors in order to publish good writings.

• Sharing Information and Knowledge
We can also share information, knowledge, and inspiration. A blogger’s article can be useful to people who need information related to this article. The fashion bloggers and fashion people on Instagram will inspire others with their fashion style, and it will probably be so helpful for people who have problems in fashion. The professional photographers could inspire people who love photography to learn more about photography. Social media and blog could be great places for sharing with people who have the same interest. They will give feedback and inputs to each others. And some make communities in real life that originated from their communities on the internet.

• Finding Talents
Many people who have certain talents, or who have great artworks but do not know where to share them. Internet is the right place for them. Many famous writers who have best seller books came from blogging. And many fashion consultants who were initially just bloggers who often wrote about their fashion styles or uploaded their fashion looks on Instagram. And there are a lot of stories of famous people who succeed because of their activities on the internet. From zero to hero.

So, there is nothing wrong with self-expression and the desire to get attention as long as we do it in positive ways. However, for some people, self-expression and attention seeking can be annoying if it is excessive and inappropriate. They think that wanting attention is okay, but probably the behaviour of people in doing it is sometimes way too much. For examples, some might feel bothered by those parody accounts on twitter or those who like copying someone’s tweets. Some might not really like to see someone who loves posting loads of selfies within a short time, and some might not like seeing people who keep showing off their branded stuffs.  I personally don’t mind people who love posting selfies, branded stuffs or things which are mentioned above. I think that’s their rights, and I don’t think those as excessive behaviour. Things I don’t like to see on social media are posts or pictures that full of hatred, racism, insult, or abuse. This is just my opinion, though.

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Excessive attention seeking behaviour is sometimes annoying for some people. But it’s not us to judge, because judgmental character can lead us to the bullying behaviour. We have all heard or read about people who committed suicide after got bullied because of their activities in social media. In my opinion, if you feel so annoyed by excessive behaviour of some people, the best way to do is ignoring them. For example, you can unfollow those accounts or block if you think they are getting so annoying, like spamming you or give you hatred comments etc.  But once again, it depends on personal. Some people are easily annoyed but some don’t even feel bothered by the excessive attention-seeking behaviour at all. Some decide not to be on social networking because they’re not interested, some are addicted to it. Well, my thought is, if you are on social media, don’t take it too seriously. Millions people are there, everyone has different personality, you can’t control them. So, take it easy. But, I think while we’re on social media, we also need to control ourselves in order not to be excessive. I mean it’s to protect us from some bad things. For instance, you might ever hear about some people who stole pictures of babies and abuse them. So, being wise on social media is needed.

Well, maybe this is all I can write. There is no intention to offend certain people here in my writing. The conclusion of my writing is, in my opinion, that the self-expression and seeking attention are not bad things if we do them in positive ways, and not excessive. This is just my opinion, and I do not impose my opinion to you. I’d be glad to hear your opinions too.Thanks for reading 🙂

Posted in Drawings, Writing 201

Instructional: How To Draw Manga

In response to Writing 201 Week Two Assignment: Instructional.

I was a bit confused to choose between How To Draw Manga and How To Make Animation Using Macromedia Flash for this assignment at first. But then, I chose the drawing. I love drawing. I’m so interested in drawing manga since I like reading Japanese comics. I’m not an expert, though. I just do it as my hobby. So, here we go.

About Manga
Manga are Japanese comics or graphic novels. Manga are usually serialized and have many genres. Manga are not only for children, but for adults as well. And you may ever hear about anime too. Anime are Japanese animated cartoon videos, on television or are released to home video. Manga and anime are closely related but are ultimately two different things. Manga are often used as the basis for an anime, but not every anime is from a manga and not all manga are made into an anime. Detective Conan and Death Note are two of my favorite Japanese comics and both are made into anime too.

Drawing
If you buy a Manga Tutorials book, you’ll see many patterns to draw manga in it. Those patterns are made to help people to draw step by step. For example if you want to draw fingers, you need to make some lines and small circles, then erase this part and that part. For me personally, that’s confusing. So I can’t give you a tutorial by those kinds of patterns here because I never draw manga based on patterns. I just draw it my way. Everyone has the different style of drawing, so do I. I find mine a bit different than the manga drawings that I usually see. But it’s my own style. So I’ll share what I usually do to draw manga.

Firstly, of course you need to prepare the drawing equipment, namely; drawing book, pencil, eraser, and pencil sharpener in case you need to sharpen your pencil. As for the pencil, it’s up to you to use a wood pencil or the mechanical one, just choose which one is you’re more comfortable with. I prefer the wood pencil. I use the 2B pencil here. I draw a front view manga here. I used to draw the hair first. You can start drawing from the top, don’t hesitate to move your pencil and don’t get worried about making mistakes. You can use your eraser if you make mistakes. Just start with some thin and smooth lines, and then make them thicker and rougher. After drawing the hair, now draw the shape of head and ears. Create the oval shape to draw a head. You can make the lines from left to right or vice versa, which one you think is easier.

MangaHead

Now, we’re going to draw the eyes, nose, and lips. There are many expressions you can draw, such as happy, sad, confused, shocked etc. Here I draw a smiling face. You can draw the nose and lips with some simple lines. There are a lot of eyes styles too. This style I make is the one that I often draw. Here are the steps.

MangaEyes

We’re done drawing head. Now we’re going to draw the rest of the body. But here, I just draw from head to hip. After finishing the head, let’s draw the neck, shoulder and then decide what kind of clothes you want to draw for your manga character. Drawing the arms and hands are the next steps. For some people, drawing hands could be the most difficult part. I also found it difficult sometimes. You can imagine how your hand when you do this, that, or hold something. Or, to make it easier you can use a mirror, just like what I did sometimes. For example, you want to draw a manga character that holds a magazine, you can look at the mirror with a magazine in your hand. Memorize it and draw it soon on your drawing book. Hope it helps!

MangaBody

The last is the finishing step. You just need to check your drawing. Which part you need to repair or add some lines and make it bold in some parts, just do it so. You can learn some techniques of drawing everywhere, book or the internet. You also can see people’s drawings for inspirations but don’t try too hard to copy them. Just start drawing with your own style. The most important here, you need to use your imagination and creativity.

MangaFinal1

Coloring
Coloring is not a must. In most of the Japanese comics, you’ll see the drawings are just black and white, except the covers. I sometimes color my drawings, sometimes not. If I saw my drawing was better left uncolored, I wouldn’t color it. But for this assignment, I want to make a colored manga. I use colored pencils here. You can also use crayons etc, or you can use any software. I sometimes use Photoshop to color my drawings. There is no certain rule in coloring. But you can learn some techniques. You can make it darker in some parts and brighter in other parts, to make some highlights and make your drawing look real. Or you can mix two colors to have a new color. Just improve your creativity. Here is the final result, hope you like it.

MangaFinal2

What I share here is the simple form of manga. I think I need to practice more to have a better technique for drawing manga. I am now learning to draw a more realistic style of manga that the characters look like real human. There are a lot of artists whose drawings are so amazing. I adore them, they inspire me to learn more and improve my skill. Now, I look forward to seeing your drawings, guys. “I want to draw, but I think I have no talent”. Talent is needed, of course. But let’s put talent aside, you can draw by learning and practicing more and more. Because, being good at something is not all about talent, but also willingness to learn. So, create yours!

Posted in Writing 201

Interview: A Happy Married Life

In response to Writing 201 Week One Assignment: Interviews.

I interviewed my sister, Hijrah Syahfa. I am so close to her. She is a good motivator. I often ask her for advices. Even my friends like talking to her too. She is a housewife but also managing an educational course, and her husband, Indra Gunawan, is a pastry chef. They have one son, my cute nephew, Aidil Rizki Gunanda. And they are now waiting for their second baby. She will talk about her marriage, so here it is.

• If I’m not mistaken, this coming March is your 4th wedding anniversary, right?
Yes, it is. On 25th.

• So you and your husband have been married for almost 4 years. How do you feel?
I thank Allah for everything. His blessing and guidance always lead us to always learn how to live a married life. For me and my husband, love is not only about feelings and words but also actions. Love is a verb, isn’t it? Haha.

• People say the early years of marriage are the hardest. Do you think so?
Uhm, I have to agree. In the first years of marriage, you’ll learn more about your partner, know their weaknesses that you have to deal with, and try to understand and respect them. You would argue about every little thing. But if you can handle those all, everything will be easier.

• Dad (before he passed away) and Mom always said the keys to marriage are love, honesty, and willingness to back up each other. Do you agree? I mean, do you think those things are still relevant today? Does love still have a big role in marriage?
Yes, absolutely agree. Those things are the foundation of marriage. Just like a house; love is the floor, honest is the roof, understanding is the door and window, and supporting each other is such a strong wall of a well-constructed house. Talking about Dad and Mom, I still remember their words when I and Indra (her husband) were preparing our wedding. They told us “In marriage, you’ll learn to balance heart and logic. And love will give you more strength to solve the problems you find, together.”

My sister with her husband and son.
My sister with her husband and son.

• Have you ever had such a big problem in your marriage? How did you solve it?
Yes, we have. We had to manage our egos and defeat the arrogance. It becomes a great lesson for us now and makes us more mature in solving problems in our marriage. There’s no better way to handle the problems in marriage, but a willingness to overcome them together by understanding and respecting each other. Well, the different thoughts and opinions sometimes make marriage more colorful.

• Do you have business plans you want to achieve in nearly future? What are they?
Well, at the moment we just focus on saving money for our future. But yeah, we have some plans. We want to have our own bakery shop and expand the education course that I am managing now. The most important is we have to give our time for our kids and to always focus on their needs especially when they’re entering the school years.

• Well, I’ve heard that you both inspire many couples, your family always looks like a very happy family. What do you think?
Do we? Haha. Well, again, we have to be grateful to Allah for His blessings in our marriage. We realize that we can have a happy marriage because we love each other. Love will do the big things in every part of your life. My husband is so romantic and he is a patient one. He’ll always find the way to solve problems with his calmness. I learn much from him. So yeah, we’ll always do our best for our family.

• Do you have some advice on how to be a good housewife? You know I’m such a rebel and not wifey material, haha. I don’t know if I change when I get married someday 😀
Hahaha, I believe you will. Well, I’m still learning too. You’ll find your own way to becoming a good housewife when you get married someday. One thing you have to remember that family is the first priority. You and your husband have to respect each other. So, just find someone who will accept and love you for who you are and wants to teach and lead you without intimidating you, so you both can learn together.

• The last question. What should a couple do to have ‘A better love story than Twilight’? Okay, I actually mean, what’s the recipe for a happy marriage and how to make it last?
Lol. Actually, there’s no special recipe. As I said earlier; love, honesty, understanding, and supporting each other are the keys, Insha Allah you’ll have a delicious marriage. You can’t guarantee your marriage will last. But just pray and do your best for everything in your marriage, so you can make it. God will always see the process.

• Well, thank you, Sista! And congratulation, counting days for your second baby. Love from her gorgeous aunt 🙂
Okay. Yay, can’t wait to welcome our second baby in our little happy family. We are now preparing everything, for our second child and also we have to care about our son’s mentality to being a brother. Hope everything is okay.