itsamellama: (Artistic)
Updated September 23, 2014.

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Oct. 24th, 2016 08:01 am
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
(crossposted from my personal Facebook)

I've been getting a lot better at not feeling bad about """"down""" times (lots of quotes, because I think the pressure of society makes one feel as if every minute must be spent doing something life-changing). The other day I got up a lot later than I would have liked, but instead of thinking I "should" have got up, I asked myself, "Do you need more time to rest? When will you be ready to get up?" And what do you know? I eventually got up, made myself breakfast, showered, even had the energy to go out from one city to another and have coffee and cake with my mother. And come home, and do the groceries with my partner. When back when I wrote this I would have probably stayed in bed feeling bad for myself and getting angry at myself for "wasting time"...

Yesterday--because she asked if what she heard was true--I came out and told my mother I did in fact go to therapy on my own after raising some funds online, and I told her that I did have depression and anxiety.

She asked me, "How are you now? Do you think you're okay now?"

I said I was a lot better now, that the therapy really changed my life--and I felt so sad that it's still inaccessible to a lot of people, a lot of warm-hearted people who really need it--and that I wanted to do something about battling the stigma against mental illness. That I wanted to help with mental health advocacy.

It turns out my mom is now actively helping with mental health advocacies too.

And I feel a lot better now that I could finally tell her without fear of being reprimanded for my mental and emotional needs. No, I don't think we've gotten to the nitty-gritty of things--but we've finally touched based on the surface level and I think that counts for something, one rainy day at a cozy little cafe, our embrace warmer than the coffee in our cups.
itsamellama: (Loved)
It's afternoon where I am, at least. I spent my morning taking a long walk and finally playing Pokemon Go (yay, super cheap data plans I can afford on my tiny budget!), so I finally just reached level 10 ; w;

Yesterday, I jogged/ran for 1 hr, and according to Strava, I hit 6km??? I am joining a marathon in early Sept, I hope I can be prepared by then.

Tonight, I'll be having dinner with my partner at a really nice Japanese restaurant we tried recently :D I'm really looking forward to it~

TL;DR: August has been a very difficult month so far! )

If you'd like to treat me to something for my birthday, dropping something in the tip jar would be awesome~

(You can also leave a tip via Gumroad~)

Things that would make my year: slowly building up my Patreon total, even a dollar a month really, really helps, especially now that I'm back to studying + part-time freelancing ; w ; ♥

Thank you so much!!!
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
My internet's still awful (one week and going! Awesome.) and my birthday month's still kind of... kicking me in the teeth. But, hey, at least I dyed my hair pink (FINALLY):

under the cut )
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
It's one of Those Weeks and Days (TM), and I could use all the affirmative messages I can right now. :(

Thanks so much in advance.
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)

I would like to do a quick poll, for those already supporting my work (thank you!), and those who have thought of doing so but have not yet. Cross-posted from my Patreon:

In the interests of making sure I can provide more of what tickles your fancy and brightens your day when you see your Patreon dash, I would like to ask a few questions, which I hope will help me better serve you:

1. When you pledged to this campaign, did you pledge for something specifically? For example, did you pledge because you enjoy my art posts and want to see more of them? Or did you pledge for my writing posts? Or was it the crafting posts that got your attention? Or are you pledging in general to support me for all of those things?

2. What would you like to see me post more of? (I know I have been terribly lacking in this aspect. In turn, I have been reworking my rewards and goals, and trying to come up with systems to make these easier to get to you!) Are there certain rewards you would like to see? Are there rewards you wanted to get but couldn't because of price points?

Thank you so much for your time :D I promise to take everything into account, so that this campaign will be better and brighter than ever <3

All the best,
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
Content notes: decluttering, mention of expired food (sob)

Under the cut... )
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
Me. :)) Eesh, I'm so bad at replying ASAP to things, so if you see a couple of short messages in your inbox, that might be me responding with micro-squees, hahaha.

In terms of what's been up:


• I finally invested in a WACOM Cintiq 13 HD! I am still doing my best not to freak out over "OMG HOW DARE SPEND LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY ON EQUIPMENT THAT WILL MAKE THINGS EASIER!!!" but so far using it has been a dream. It's also not too cramped as I feared it would be like my Yiynova DP10U! I might sell the latter, still thinking about whether to sell my old Intuos4 tablet, too. I could probably do international shipping too, but I'd have to look into shipping fees. :o

Couldn't have afforded it (or had the healthy brainz to convince myself to get it w/o irrational financial guilt) without everybody's support, either! So, again, thank you so so so so so SO much for helping me get to this point. ♥

• I've set a healthier freelancing balance to work on MWFs for 8 hours a day, so I can set aside TTH for thesis times. I hope this works out better than my 'original' schedule of MWF for school and TTH for freelance. :o I'm currently on my self-appointed lunch and funtimez break before doing my last four hours for freelance, and I think I've been really productive today so far. :D

On the plus side, I've been behaved and haven't claimed much new regular work, huzzah. As tempting as it really, really is for workaholics like me. I have... two regular clients, and I take on one extra short-term project if I feel like I'm up to it (usually art), and that's it. Let's see if I can keep this up. :o

• what is thesis. what is MA. Kidding aside, I hope to really REALLY pick up the pace on my research and annotated bibliography tomorrow. Merp. I really dropped the ball on this having worked more on freelancing and making sure I have enough to pay the bills each month. D: (Financial guilt, stop being on overdrive.)

• I've been playing Final Fantasy XIII on and off. We recently bought Beyond: Two Souls, too, and Aiken bought a PS3 port of Persona 4. I'm trying to be just as behaved with regards to buying too many games without finishing them, ahahaha.

• We finished Erased (Bokudake) a few weeks back, and my partner's getting me started on Sword Art Online, which he only started this week, too. It's.... interesting, I suppose, but I'm really frustrated by all the unnecessary fanservice, and too much stuff doesn't make logical sense, but, eh. Makes me want to rewatch .hack//SIGN and see if it's still as good as I remember it from my teen years, hahaha.

• I also watched a few episodes of the PPG reboot with my boyfriend and oh boy maybe it's a generation thing but I found it so, so bland. :( I've been meaning to write an analysis comparing the original to the reboot, and what I think are the pros and cons of both. I admit it may be nostalgia talking but I feel like the original had a lot more to bring to the table. Can't be certain unless I do a full rewatch of the whole seasons from both versions, hahaha.

• Help, I can't stop squishing my adorable pink seal plushie. I have given it several nicknames including "Strawberrybb" and "Tempura." It's so destressing just to look at it, I almost wish it were an actual living pet, ahahaha. I've missed letting little things that seem like luxuries, such as plushies, bring a little more fun and light into my life, hahaha.
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
Image under the cut! )


As you might be able to tell, I am trying to make it a habit to make more public posts to dreamwidth, as I quite miss being involved here in some way or another. *_* I've been kicked in the butt multiple times by freelance work so far, and I am exhausted, but I promised myself I'd pamper myself today and tomorrow before I go back into the full swing of it. Overall it's been all good and I think I didn't do too bad for my first foray back into the writing business on my own. :D


There was a flash fiction contest I tried to join but then at the last minute, I decided against it, because it was so... vague. Even if it was two corporations that were both legit, all the photo said was, "submit your story to [email] and get a chance to win [x] prizes and get published in [x]!" Not even a link to a post with mechanics, or what happens to your rights after you submit... and they didn't make one, despite tons of people asking in the comments (though they did respond, it seems). I err on the side of caution that if they don't take the effort to make a page compiling their rules and copyright stance, I'll just... not risk it?

On the bright side, I have about 150 words of a seedlet for a possible new short story... about two girls who have run away... I don't know if I can pull off what I want to do with it. Maybe I can even use this for my thesis...?

So many workshops and anthologies I want to join, but one at a time, self. You've just started getting this freelance working thing down again (albeit you kind of overdid it, ahaha, tho some of that was no fault of your own)... it takes time to master something. :)


I still need to fix my schedule for schoolwork... I definitely did not do well on that. But, progress!

How are you all? :)
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
under cut cuz omg big )

*squee* ♥

(Yes we celebrated our anniversary two weeks late, ahahaha.)
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
I had some things I wanted to get done over the weekend, but I got taken down for the count by various physical circumstances beyond my control. As a result, I not only am struggling with feeling bad because of not feeling all that well, but am also fighting off the brain bugs for not getting the work I wanted to get done, well, done.

It's hard, and I still feel 'bleh,' but I think I am doing a pretty good job of controlling the brain bugs, though? I feel like I've scooped them up in a jar and they're still there but I can just stare at them and know that they can't hurt me if I keep them at a distance.

And it kind of amazes me that I can actually keep them at bay on my own now.

I think, overall, I really am doing much better now than I was one, two, three years ago. It started with therapy (thank you again, everybody who helped me raise money for it---I owe you so much), then I was able to afford to move out (again, thank you, everybody, for your generosity in helping me raise enough).

Since I made the major decision to quit my latest day-job to pursue and finally finish my MA studies as well as pursue personal projects while dipping my toes into freelancing again, I've been feeling... more confident? I'm able to talk myself out of feeling bad for irrational reasons now.

I have stress, sure (who doesn't, when one has to find a way to pay the bills and finish studies?), but it doesn't feel like an impending sense of doom anymore. I don't feel stressed out every day to the point that I always have something to complain about or feel like I'm hopeless. I have days when I freeze and think "oh no I am an adult on my own what do", but I've been able to figure things out.

I've been doing this since last year, but especially since I started working from home, I've been learning how to cook new dishes (I recently tried pork lumpiang shanghai and fried rice. I'm quite excited to make more!), and am still mastering the art of batch-cooking food for the week (might need bigger pots and pans for that and more food containers, but our place is so tiny, hence tiny pots and pans) and making sure we buy only enough groceries for the week that won't go bad (I almost had this down last week! Almost.)

I find it nice that I've been allowing myself to make mistakes when I cook--something I still have trouble affording myself when art-ing or writing--but I did experiment entirely with that art piece in my last post (nothing was planned- I just started with a sketch of a face I had done last year as my base). It's great! I wonder if I can still do this for all my stuff.

Basically, erm, yes. I'm in a much better headspace now. I do still get pangs of depression and anxiety, but I'm so much better able to handle them now. I don't feel anywhere near as hopeless as I used to feel? Take these delays in my MA, for instance. Instead of crushing myself for not making it on time, I figured out it's not the end of the world, and I can still make up for it. Tell this to Mel 1-3 years ago and she would've crumbled completely.

I still wish I could multiply myself to get everything I wanted done - chores, work, personal stuff - but I think I am getting a better awareness of just how many hours there are in a day and just how much I can realistically get done without burning myself out. On the flip side, I need to master how to not end up fuffing about the whole day either.

I have a lot more I want to say, but I think I'll end here for now. I think I feel better being able to talk about this out in the open too. :) Thank you, thank you, thank you all for being so kind to me.
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)

I managed to finish a thing this month, hooray! I will be scanning and posting the full artwork later today on my Patreon later today. :3
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)

Photo from our hike last 2014.

:'D I am a happy Melly.
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
Currently on mobile, so sorry for lack of images right now!

But as I mentioned in a previous entry, I'd like to try opening one slot at a time for art commissions - I'm still trying to feel it out while I juggle work + thesis + part time work, but my current offers are:

icon: $10
art card/ACEO: $20
icon sheet (15 icons): $100

Let me know if you'd be interested, and I can add you to my public queue! :D

Thank you!
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
Hi! I'm still around :D

Some fun stuff:

Sneak peek of new artwork for February, done in ballpoint pen and watercolors, posted 3 days early for patrons.

My first monthly creative zine, currently patron-exclusive! Available at the $10 reward level. :D

Currently I am trying to work on visual art again (as managing a team of writers is my current Day Hobby - yup, I'm going to use that term now to not feel too bogged down by work, dagnabbit, and also I should be working on my Creative Writing Master's Thesis :D;;;), but also delving into other media such as game-making. (Also yes I will still write stuff for myself when I can, but gahh, fingers falling off from ALL THE WORDS!)

My partner and I tried to make an RPG demo for My First Game Jam, called "Pabili Po!", which you can find screenshots and concept art for here.

Here's a screenshot, with a slipper I pixel-arted, using a sketch base by my partner:

We'd like to continue it slowly but surely, and we'll do it for the fun of it, but it definitely is a bonus for us if we can treat ourselves to drinks, snacks, and dinner, and maybe new art supplies while we're at it. :)

I am really enjoying making these behind-the-scenes posts, step-by-step posts (a couple are currently in progress, even for art I forgot to post to Patreon on time - I feel bad charging Patreons for work I did a month ago, and only forgot to scan in D:), and zines, and while I'm doing my best with what free time I have, I can afford to do more of them with your support! Or, at the very least, I won't have to be taking on freelance work when I could be giving you guys more bonus material instead. :)

Won't you consider supporting me via Patreon? :) Even a $1 goes a long way. Clickie the button to support! ♥

Thank you so much for your time, as always, dear friends. :D

P.S. For friends who would like to support but can't do so on a monthly basis, I've been considering if I can do a one-off kind of payment model. For example, maybe I can put together a sneak-peek package of the secret!art or step-by-step/behind-the-scenes posts I did, and allow people to purchase access to them on an ala carte basis. I'm considering doing it on a pay-what-you-can model instead of a fixed price, as well.

I just would like to know if my patrons wouldn't mind it - so I'm thinking maybe giving that kind of access after they've been patron-exclusive for at least 3 months? What do you all think?

* I really gotta make myself new Patreon and tip jar buttons...
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
Long story short: I thought I almost got a really good deal on a 2nd hand Cintiq21UX, but... the seller lives so far away that it's a headache trying to figure out a way to have my mom drive me (since it's heavy) and to have my boyfriend accompany us (for safety reasons) at a reasonable meet-up point (since seller doesn't have a car) that isn't the seller's house (since safety reasons).

I'm giving myself a couple of days to think it over, but I'm not that desperate for one (even if I really want one...)

On the bright side (? of sorts), I checked Amazon, and whaaat the price difference is like $245 for the Cintiq13HD and $440 for the Cintiq22HD. I know shipping and handling and importing and taxes is a thing, but :(

I've been trying to search for videos of people using the Cintiq13HD with Manga Studio and it doesn't look as small in terms of screen real estate as I thought it would be? It's half the price of the 22HD too...

"But Meeeeel there are cheaper alternatives like Yiynova!" I know (I tried the DP10U but it was too small for my uses) but I really like WACOM's express keys and general feel of the tablet T_T
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)

1. More patrons for my Patreon, por favor?

Even just $1 per person every month goes a long way. ♥*

I also recently reworked (agaaaain) my rewards and milestones, including work process access, monthly compilation zines, art cards, mini-zines, original artwork, so please do check it out! I'm hoping this is finally the structure I'll stick with for a while, and one that works out. *crosses fingers*

It would be a really nice boost to be able to earn enough for even some treats for working on cool stuff I like, instead of being hyperfocused on creating stuff for commercial success. It's been burning me out a lot, so I hope this change will work out for everyone too.

2. If not regular monthly patronage, a dollar or two* to go towards my big-dream WACOM Cintiq 22HD fund, maybe?

My paypal is :)

I can still work with my Intuos, but since trying out a cheap Yiynova (which turned out to be too small for my needs), the hand-eye coordination disconnect has been massive for me, so this would really help me work faster on digital art. I'm checking for second-hand options too but haven't had much luck so far. I would get the 13HD but it seems too small for how I work too, though that's my second option.

My current progress: ~$1500 or so away. *weep* I'm thinking of making a big icon day-esque compilation when I'm done, one icon each of every person who pitched in for this, as my way of saying thank you, if I ever reach this.

*Preferably in Philippine Pesos or US dollars as Paypal has this weird thing about not letting me consolidate different currencies into one big bank withdrawal. T_T

3. If you have any old games you no longer want for Steam, PC, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, or 3DS, I'd love to take them off your hands!

4. Gosh dang anybody wanna be pen pals? I can't promise to be super-diligent, but I think I can send one letter or postcard every quarter, at least!

5. If you've made a zine or have any zines you want to share (or don't want anymore), may I have a copy? :) I really want to get into zine-making this year, so I'll try to send something back eventually!

That's it for now... I guess? I am honestly at a lost of what to put here that doesn't involve sending expensive items through our unreliable and corrupt government postal office. x_x
itsamellama: (Artistic)
I'm thinking of officially opening commission slots sometime in January as I'll be away or busy or most of December 2015, but I'm thinking of opening the following kinds:

* icon commissions, $10 each
* digital colored sketch portraits, $15
* traditional portrait art cards, $20
* icon sheets (15 icons), $100 each sheet

Would anybody be interested? :D I'll probably need to put up more recent samples of stuff I can do now... I need to get more tiny-size pens and brushes too...
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
I think I've decided on what kind of Cintiq I want to get. (For now.)

The challenge now is to figure out how to earn and save up enough for it...

I have a few questions for y'all who like to order art:

* What type of art do you usually go for? Small art? Icons? Art cards? Full-sized illustrations? Sketches? Inks? Colors?
* What's your usual working budget when shopping for art?
* Do you prefer traditional media (to have it sent off to you) or digital media?

I might try some art deals/discounts sometime soon (yup, even stuff for commercial work?)... I'm setting up a goal of "save up as much as possible from day job and commission work and other means within 1 year to finally get yourself that equipment." I have some hard numbers, but I still need to punch them a few more times to see if my ambitious goal is feasible. @_@

I'm also looking at some of my old equipment that I don't really use anymore, and other second-hand stuff I can sell off to help toward my goal...

Also will be poking at my Patreon tonight and tomorrow. I'm thinking, maybe I'll use it for art for now (and maybe crafts?). Might set up a separate one for all my writing/site endeavors.. maybe. Still not 100% sure on that, but would still make marketing it a little easier than going "I'm kind of an all-around person" (great for making friends? kind of hard for getting specific business, at least for me D: Maybe if I had been coming out with books...)

*rolls around softly on the ground*

itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
 Annnd they're finally done! ♥ :D 30 colored icons, 8 chibis, 5 art cards behind the cut, in no particular order. With the help of my dearest friends Nadine and Krinkle. Thank you so much, you two!!! ♥

I tried something different - this was my first traditionally-drawn Icon Day. It... was an interesting experiment, to say the least. I might do it again this way, but it's a lot harder being unable to erase mistakes, haha. Maybe inks, at least, color on computer? Hmm...

I've also e-mailed all artwork to their respective donors. :)
Here we go. )
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
I plugged in my Intuos 4 last night to clean up the last few icons, and instantly my brain was like: "Well I think I've waited and marshmallow-tested myself long enough... I'd reallyyyyyy love to work with a Cintiq right now."

Spent most of today searching through different options.
Kind of wanted the Cintiq Companion 2 or the Cintiq 22HD but holy moly that price tag for both.
Cintiq Companion because it can be used without tethering to a computer, Cintiq 22HD because it seems like just the right size between Cintiq13HD and Cintiq24HD.

The only one that I could conceivably afford (with enough hard work) would be the Cintiq13HD, but having worked with a Yiynova DP10U, I'm worried it would be too small for me.

But I'm going to use it at the condo, I'm not 100% we have the room for a 22HD (I don't think we can have space for a desk since we already have a dining table in our tiny 1-room), whereas I can definitely slip the Cintiq13HD into its case and set it aside in a bag on in our cabinet. And I guess I could bring the 13HD with me if I'm coming home to family!house, and if I want to try working at a coffee shop (more cumbersome than a Companion but doable).

Also, I guess I can plug a Cintiq13HD or 22HD to anything so I could just update my main laptop, but being stuck with the Companion's built-in PC specs would limit things for a bigger price tag.

I saw someone selling a second-hand Cintiq13HD that's about $230~ (PhP10k) off the price of a brand new one and I'm reeeeeally tempted by it...

Mainly the big thing my jerk brain is yelling is "lol can you justify the price tag for having an easier time doing digital art" since initially I was like "I better make money with commissions by using this" but lately have been trying to be more gentle with myself with "there's nothing wrong in investing in something this expensive even if it's a hobby for me if it's gonna make it more fun for me."

*squints* Iiiii can't decide on a siiiizeeeeee but I don't know if I could plunk down ~$1200 (around PhP50,000, local prices) for a 13HD much less ~$2500 (PhP110,000) just for a big 22HD tablet ;___; (can I do enough commissions to afford one?)

waaarghhh jerkbrains suck


I'm Mel, a Filipina artist and writer. I'm an MA Creative Writing student working on her own projects at the same time. Nice to meet you!