Sunday, 24 July 2011

The story of summer...

The last 2 months of my life and that of Firefly have been nothing less than extraordinary. I received the charming news of having a pending grade for my mini thesis. Which meant I do it again. My topic was irrelevant. I was upset, stressed, an utterly utterly shattered. Because I had put a lot into it.

I had to travel. As I am a resident abroad. That was a concern. I escaped for two weeks, mentally I was focused on all that needed to be done. A topic needed to be decided, prep work had to be conducted. It was madness! I had two internships to deal with. One which is still lingering. And then... there's Firefly.

For those who know the story of Firefly, they know it's from the pages of my journal... the real Firefly. I haven't written in it since March of last year, around the same time I started the whimsical forecast. It means heart and soul, and this summer has increased my passion for it.

It roots from emotions, which are no longer just mine, but those I share with friends and now the world. It's core is based on our sentiments and our life's experiences. I get asked so often, how do you find time. Trust me. The half an hour I work on Firefly is my break. It relaxes me to craft something. It sets me at ease to work with inspiration to doodle or create something whimsical and bright.

This summer has tested these emotions to an extent where I've tried pulling myself together stronger. One after another, external factors such as, electricity, violent conditions in the city, and random glitches during printing and color control have added to a splurge of orders that have a) been delayed, b) been mixed up, c) been uncollected.

There are several that turn to the page and write beautiful wordings and excited emails. And I keep having to say I shall respond soon. It's not because I haven't the interest. But it's because one after another, I'm STILL trying to resolve orders. Things have been super duper tough this summer because of the factors above.

I used to be able to deliver urgent orders within a day. Now they can't make it in 3. Normal processing time would be 3 days. Now it's 10 to 15 days... Because one job itself takes forever, and if there are any errors like last week's lot.. it goes for reprocessing.

So for every person who is slightly apprehensive or trying figure out what Firefly is upto, please know that it's very much aglow :) It is still trying to resolve matters and surface with all issues rectified inshaALLAH.

Firefly runs on prayers. And Alhamdulillah, I have several of them. I had the craziest week this week. I hadn't been sleeping. I would be in uni til midnight printing. I had a jury on Thursday. Midst all the craziness and stress, I've developed a sort of leg pain. And man, having it ten minutes before jury did not help! I smelled like deep heat spray. I would sit and smell that iodex smell while waiting :/ not to mention, the heat the medication creates. Felt like something was on fire!

Anyhow. You all would be pleased to know that with your sweet messages filled with prayers and good luck, I did well :) Alhamdulillah! I realized my own potential. The entire project was unsupervised. It felt great receiving constructive criticism on design. And it made me realize that my creative energy is mashaALLAH very much alive and kicking. :) I am so so lucky to have my parents and relatives stand by me and support me so thoroughly. They've been so patient of my tantrums and chaotic-stress-induced moods. Alhamdulillah! And Mr Awesome, goodness. He had been the most stressed along with me. But MashaALLAH, Zaiq we've sailed through this too :) All set for mission graduation and mission 2012 ;)

So hang tight everybody, all orders are still processing and reprocessing TIL all glitches are fixed and you receive exactly what you with for. And a request, if you place an order, and by sheer luck, it gets ready in time, please don't disappear on it. That's one reason why I am not taking new orders til old ones are sorted and collected.

In the recent weeks I've had so many Firefly fans disappear on things they've ordered. All I need is an email out of courtesy mentioning please save my order, I shall collect it soon. I am discarding several of them this week. I also implemented the new payment policy because of this.

Once again, apologies to those who've had the bad luck of having their orders delayed or reprocessed more than once. And a big thank you,seriously, my sincere gratitude to every one who has been super super supportive and patient. At the end of the day, nothing makes me smile more than having to know, Firefly brought a smile to someone's face.

Firefly is going to keep glowing inshaALLAH, and will not be curbing into any of the negativity. :) Remember, the forecast is whimsical with a chance of rainbows!

Much love to everyone. Smile Sunshine!
Stay tuned. Lots of magic in store for the coming month inshaAllah!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Drawing 101-Part 1

Admission at the Valley comin up in August! And we all know what that means.. how do we prepare for it? If you're thinking there's a code book with precise information on how to ace the admission test, sorry to burst your bubble but there kinda isn't. It's all in your hands... well.. in your sketching & your intellect... and of course, help from Allah Kareem's Divine decree! So for those of you who are wondering where to run to for admission prep courses and crash drawing courses... here are some things you can do on your own to learn or improve drawing skills. They're really simple exercises that basically free up your hand and give you better control over line quality.

Sorry in advance, the photos are disaster-some, I think it's time we got one of those cool looking thingies with the goggle like eyes on the front... *DSLR* hehe. 

First up... invest in a sketchbook that will NOT run out on you. OR get a bunch of them that you won't mind sifting through to record your progress. 

You will need an HB pencil. You are not going to use a clutchy-mechanical pencil for your practice! And you will hide away all erasers in the house or eat them if you're afraid you'll find them in little nooks and drawers.

If you want to be cool, you can buy the Derwent or Faber-Castelle variety... but if you just want to learn how to draw lines, you can use a Mono brand or Staedler if you REALLY want to encourage the drawing enthusiast within :)

Have a small cup of popcorn to keep your hunger from distracting you. Nibble a few kernels when  you need a break :)

Hold your pencil, 3/4-1" away from the nip. Begin at one end of the sketch paper and draw a line all the way to the other end. 

Your line will warp and go down, up.. curve or just disappear. Don't panic. You'll do it again. And again. And again... and again... and again. For an entire FOUR minutes. EVERYDAY. :) So you'll get better. You'll see your hand get used to it. Used to stretchin all the way across. One little tip. Keep your eye on the end point. NOT the line you're drawing. You are SURE to make it straight that way!

Keep at it.. fill up the page.. or two.. or few. Four minutes of lines. One end to the other. Getting better?

Round Two.
We now spend four minutes... drawing ellipses. You are not trying to make it perfect... you're just rotating your wrist... in a swivel motion and creating these elliptical forms. You keep at it. Practice. Make larger ones so that your hand adjusts to the movement and your wrist get accustomed to strange angles without you jerking or having odd lines or limitations.

Round Three. You will practice line fluidity and control line strength. Practice drawing straight lines from one end to another, BUT increase the pressure as you move your hand across. You'll see the line darken. Loosen your pressure.. it'll go light again. Keep at it. Practice darks and lights within your lines. That's another four minutes.

Round Four. Pick your favorite canned, bottled, or boxed product. Spend time observing the container and begin drawing the basic shape. Let's say a square or a rectangle. If it's a jar... start drawing ellipses within an upright rectangle.. you'll see form come through. Four minutes on this.

You know that popcorn you've been keepin handy? Have a couple of munches... now pick up one popped fluff... and stare at it. Don't think of it as a piece of popcorn. Squint a little... Do you see a shape? Do you see a silhouette? Whatever it is, draw it out. Through scribbles, lines, pattern, illustration... express what you see. Spend four minutes doing this... keep the popped kernel in front of you. NOTE: you are not replicating the popcorn fluff. You are observing what you see, and applying your creative imagination and what pours out of it :) 

Hope this gave you a kick start... 20 minutes. Every day. Whether you're in the car... in the loo... in front of the tv... anywhere. Stay tuned for Part 2! 


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