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:

Art

• 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. ♥

Work
• 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

School
• 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.)

Games
• 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.

Anime
• 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.

Misc
• 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! )

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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)
• I've just registered for the Spanish Language Evaluation Exam, aaah! I was lucky enough to bump into my friend and classmate Bianca, and she kindly offered to handle the payment on my behalf since she has classes every Tuesday and I would have to take a 3 hour 2-way commute AGAIN just to pay, so, YAY!

Also, now I am terrified because I hope my Spanish is good enough, and also I have no idea what the questions will be like. Back then they said it was easy, but my friend took the exam from last semester and said the questions were like...

"What are the characteristics of the dystopian lit genre?"
"Why do they not have free will in the novel?"
And her personal fave, "Do you agree with this literary critic when he says that dystopian lit is our collective social nightmare?"

*gulps because I can get by on Spanish, but admit after a year+ of trying to balance with work (plus my undergraduate background being fine arts), my literature's a bit rusty!*

• I need to go to the bank this week to settle some weird stuff going on with my account, waughhhh.

• I finished coloring the last 4 icons for Icon Day 06! I have one more digital painting incentive I'm waiting for deets on (gonna follow up on it again today) but I think I can at least share the icons after I've scanned them in and touched them up on the computer... hopefully within the week as well.

• The (very cheap, at least) 3.5mm jack to RCA cable I bought to hopefully route audio from my mid-2009 Macbook Pro to our Skyworth smart TV isn't working :( Waughhhh.

• "Wauuuugh" has been my default noise of distress lately.

• I wonder what would have happened if I had focused on finishing off my MA by taking on five million classes and finishing within 2-3 years by not taking on a full-time job rather than the "oh no now I'm on my 4th year and just about to try to start thesis", but... being able to earn my own income and not have to depend on parentals is really satisfying. :(

• Why isn't there enough time in a day I want to register for a bunch of online courses!!!

• Maybe I should start blogging in general on melgcabral.com (and transfer the Sunshine Girl blog there?) so I can start building up content for it besides it being a portfolio site?

• I'm still eternally grateful to everyone for helping me get where I am now. I've been trying to pay it forward by pledging baby amounts to my friend's Patreons and pitching in to tiny fundraisers. I wish I could give more but I'm sure I can be at that level if I keep working hard. :)

• I missed dumping random miscellany streams-of-thought here. Hi how have you all been?

• Back to work now. Might infodump again later. Oh, gosh, so much I want to talk about!
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
I'm not actually sure where to start o_o I've been so quiet on here.

• I'm now regularized at work!!! If I keep it up (or work even better?) I could be up for possible promotion, so - gotta keep working hard!!!

• Aiken and I did an intense cleaning of the condo yesterday. Bathroom's spic and span! I gotta put all my stuff back though but we're going to go buy some decent containers/drawers to keep things organized.

• My mother gifted me a huge 50" smart TV as a super belated birthday present, what!!! ;___; Aiken and I have been watching Steven Universe, movies, and the occasional old saved YouTube Let's Plays on it and we're loving it. I need to get an audio cable for my Macbook Pro, since it's old and isn't HDMI-compatible, but, what! Aaah! I can't wait to hook it up and play PSX-quality games on an emulator, hahaha.

• I am trying not to stress out over the increasing amount of junk at family!house because I don't live there (err, here - I'm staying here for the weekend) anymore and it's not my problem anymore because dangit I tried.

• I've been studying Spanish on-and-off using Michel Tomas audiobooks and Duolingo. I finished all the items in the Duolingo course and the Michel Tomas basic and advanced CDs, wahhh!! Tomorrow I'll drop by my university to enroll for the Language Evaluation Exam that's required for me to move on to thesis and oh gosh I am so nervous what if I fail I've already been in residency status for almost a year I wanna graduate with my MA already I have until 2017 to graduate without getting penalty courses AAAAH!!

• Attempting to finish off Icon Day 06 today waugh!!!

• Depression and anxiety is still awful but I've been having a lot less horrible times with it since I moved out. thank goodness.

• I need to stock up on first aid medicines.

• Also need to stock up on home DIY cleaning solutions.

• I really love buying stuff for the condo. We finally got that cloth thing with pockets for mail for the fridge.

• I wish we had space for a laundry machine.

• Now I'm just listing random things in bullets.

• I'm going to bleach-shampoo my hair this week because I want my pink hair already gosh darn it.

• I really like the new beep tap cards and they work across all the train stations now and that fills me with glee and I love that I can reload them at a machine w/o having to talk to a cashier. TECHNOLOGY. (Mostly I love how it won't expire until four years later. Yessss.)

• Live in Makati, BE STUCK THERE BASICALLY FOREVER GOOD LUCK MEETING WITH QUEZON CITY FRIENDS, HAH.

• I should get back to work now.
itsamellama: (Studying)
Hi everybody! Official heads-up that I'll be lying low from taking on new freelance work starting August 2014 because graduate school's starting up again this week. :)

I'll be working on finishing off my current backlog and commitments in the meantime. I'll definitely let y'all know when I'm available again, maybe in a few months' time.

It's an important (and loaded!!) semester for me, plus my first time balancing a regular job with my studies. Thank you so much as always for your understanding and support, everybody! ♥

This Far

Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:27 am
itsamellama: (Loved)
*eyes possible 9 units of grad school coursework + day job + remaining freelance work*

Will I survive? I'm a bit intimidated by moving on from full-time student (with occassional raket, and also, bogged down with extreme depression) to part-time student, part-time editorial assistant, more-consistent-freelance-art-and-writing-rakets, but I think I've made enough leaps in self-care emotionally and mentally that I finally have the capacity to take on my life goals.

And again, I can't thank you all enough for your support in helping me get to this point. <3 Seeking professional help (and being able to afford it, with your generosity!) did wonders for me and it's been less than a year. I just find myself sitting in front of the work I can now do thinking about how lucky I am and how much I want to spread this help to other people too. I'm working really, really hard on the financial front but at the very least I hope I could provide people the emotional support they need too.

Note: For non-local friends, 'raket' is Filipino slang for freelance work. Not sure where it came from, I should look that up!
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
It occurs to me that I don't update folks on what I've been up to here as much as I do on my my official site (which I do try to update a couple of times a month with project previews, do check it out and bookmark it? ♥) and other social media accounts. So!

In no particular order (most of which can be found on my site):
Icon Day 03 is going on, of course! We just broke $38.35 in tips. We're $11.65 away from unlocking inked icons for all at $50!
• I wrote a lot this semester! Probably the most I've ever read and written ever. Feels good. Now to keep it up outside of academics.
• I just passed my final requirement for the semester. I'm thinking about asking someone to proofread it so I could, maybe, publish it online? It's a paper about Ragnarok Online's Port Malaya and its representation of Philippine culture (and why I'm unsatisfied by it.)
• Am gearing up to finish products for our Project Dollicessories booth at ManikaManila Tiangge 2013.
• Krinkle and I have scouted for paper and printing services, and will be testing postcards that we plan to sell.
• I've been making jewelry! I'm still a newbie at it, but it feels good. Will put them up for sale before the end of the month, hopefully. Might sell some at the ManikaManila event too, to go along with our BJD-sized bracelets.
• I made a safe space and personal blog called Kuwarto! I've been posting to it quite a bit lately on thinky-thoughts I've had about particular things.
• I'm more or less halfway through my 12-weeks therapy sessions! So far, we've tackled my productivity issues. Now we're going into my... ... life story. *dun dun dunnnn* I'm still raising funds for it, too, because I'm not sure yet if my therapist will say I still need to keep going, and there's a possibility the rates will increase too...

Other than that, I'm actually pretty free until next semester starts up again. So, now would be the perfect time if any of you are interested in an art commission! Please check out my Commission Information and consider availing of my services? ; u ; I'm also thinking about doing some quick promo commissions too while I try to experiment with art stuff.

I'd really appreciate it, even signal boosts help me out a lot! ♥ Besides therapy, I recently developed a dental cavity (which is really, really painful) and the dental appointment's gonna make quite a dent in our finances. @_@ So yes, every little bit counts. ; u ;

EDIT: D'oh! Commission information link was broken. Fixed!
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
• I am done with school for now! My last day (an exam and submission of my final manuscript) involved my waking up v. sick and commuting v. sick, so after dropping off the calling card I designed for my mother at the printshop, I had a nice lunch and got a haircut. Sparkly!

• I'm now an art teacher for the summer, and I'm really enjoying my job so far. :') I even like during the clerical and admin work. I love their advocacy and I would love to see this workshop thrive. (Also, the kids are adorable and talented and I want to scoop them all up and cuddle them lots.)

• At the very latest, I will launch my next Icon Day on April 15th. :) Please watch out for it!

• I've kind of fallen off the habit of my daily exercise and doodle routine this week or two (how often do I not feel well? the answer is often), but I'm determined to catch up and not give up.

• My boyfriend and I's third year anniversary is coming up on the 18th. I cannot wait to celebrate it~ ♥
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
• Have two more exams, a group report, and a term paper to go for my Critical Theory class. Have to complete my manuscript for my Writing for YA class by April. Go team!

• Will try to finish my remaining commission backlog by April so that I can dive full force into doing more art for sale. :) Hang tight, folks!

10a Alabama has put out a call for interested artists. I've sent in my application and am hoping I get in. At the same time, I'm a bundle of nerves because should I get in, I need to have enough stock made in time for the fair. Here's hoping...!

• I have a potential part time job with sorta-built-in community work as an art teacher for kids and/or adults. Also hoping I get it and that it goes well. :)
itsamellama: Mel making a puffy face (Default)
Art!

• I've scanned and uploaded my backlog for Doodle a Day! :D I actually missed a day due to passing out from exhaustion, but I'm not stopping now ('cause I'm having a good time!)

• I apologize for the very slow progress on Icon Day. I tried to work on it while listening to "Learn Spanish" audio lectures (because I need to take a language test eventually for my MA requirements), and, well... I ended up inking criminally slowly because I was distracted! Audio doesn't seem to detract from me if it doesn't ask me to repeat a word though :P

I think it was okay for when I was just practicing sketching hands from reference (will have to do that again to double check) so maybe I'm just not using it during the right task. Ideally I'd just sit still and listen all day, since I do work well as a single-task person, but if I could doodle while on the phone like my friends can, that'd make me pretty darn happy to multitask. :o

Updates in the realm of school, health, and HEART! (GO PLANET!) )

Hello!

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!