Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Don't judge a gorilla by his looks

My grandma always finds it funny that despite my size, I have one of the most sensitive tummies.

The gf has taken to calling me her delicate flower because of the delicate state of my stomach. So I've become known as the delicate gorilla-flower. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Custom orders for Christmas ornaments

I felt a sense of Deja Vu. This time last year, I remember thinking to myself that I should put up listings for custom orders for Christmas ornaments. And now it's a little too late for that since it takes me at least 4 days to fulfil one order and it seems to take longer than the instructions said it would to dry. It must be the humidity in Singapore, it's monsoon season now too.

The good news though, is that the one custom order that I did manage to do turned out pretty nicely despite it being my first time using dough. I had no idea how it would turn out but I had a vague idea of how I wanted it to look and tried to manipulate the dough as best as I could.

Looks a little bug-eyed but exotic short hairs (or as I like to call them affectionately, pancake-faced cats) tend to look that way anyhow. Still need to refine my technique and the finish but I like the overall look of it.

If you'd like a custom order for a Christmas ornament of your cat or almost any animal, feel free to send me a convo with a picture. Of course, this means it will have to wait till next year... by which time, I hope, barring early onset dementia, I will remember to have custom listings up for people to order from.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Dream Big Little One

Today, I finally got the stamp that I ordered and had so much fun trying it out stamping it everywhere on a piece of paper. I got so much joy out of it.

When I was young, I thought cashiers had so much fun pressing the register buttons. I also thought the guy at the supermarket that used that hand-held machine where you press a lever and you stick a price tag onto an item had the most fun job ever. I guess I still find the act of stamping/sticking labels fun.

The waitress that came around with our food chuckled a little to herself when she saw me stamping away so happily. I must have looked all of 4. Quite a sight if you imagine an overgrown gorilla stamping away with glee.

Can't wait to use it for the first time tonight when I prepare an order to send out!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Calendar 2014?

Last year, I kicked myself for not making a calendar in time for 2013.

This year, I kicked myself for not thinking of it sooner and for not remembering.

Thinking about a theme to draw for 2014. Recently all I seem to get inspiration from are cats.

The girlfriend used to tease me about turning into the Crazy Cat Lady's boyfriend. I think I've surpassed that and escalated into the Crazy Cat Man.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Stock-up for Christmas!

Every time I check to see when was the last time I added anything new to the store, I get a surprise to see that so much time had already passed.

Just added 2 new Christmas cards. One cat-themed one and one hedgehog one, also a silly bumblebee love postcard. I was joking with the gf about how people must think I'm the male version of the crazy cat lady what with all my recent cat additions and following all these cats on Instagram. Funny to think that growing up, I only ever owned dogs and now I'm quite partial to the feline fuzzballs.

Christmas will be here before you know it so start stocking up on cards you want to send friends/bf/gf/wife/husband!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Seeing the light of day

I remember I was sitting around one day, feeling bored. Then I decided to write an adult version of the ABC, with each alphabet representing a vulgarity in some shape or form. I quite liked the end result, the gf on the other hand, thought it would be too vulgar for sale.

But I decided to give it a test run and to print out 3 or so small posters of it and to see the response. I think it would be fun to put it up in a toilet. Though I do agree it is very unsuitable for small children.

Now I have to work on the typography and throwing in a few silly illustrations along the way.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Pleased as Punch

This aptly describes how I've  been feeling the whole of the past week. I don't know why or how but sales have picked up very suddenly, and it's a pleasant surprise when I check my stats every morning. 

Strangely, in my last post, I initially groaned about the lack of sales but decided to be more upbeat and positive because who wants to hear another grouch ranting but it feels like the interweb gods that be heard my groans of unhappiness and answered them with Etsy sales. I know, I write nonsense but I'm happy! 

Really looking forward to picking up my new Christmas card print this weekend. I really liked how it turned out and enjoyed illustrating and composing the card. I want to come up with more before Christmas sales start but I don't want to rush into a design and draw it half-assed.

MAAD is coming up and I've been on the fence about participating. It will be interesting to see the responses to my cards. Then again, I have yet to apply so I don't know if I can get a spot in the first place. Will be fun to participate in my first flea though. Something to chew on. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2

Caught the movie with the gf over the last weekend and had a really good time trying to catch all the possible foodimals and trying to make out what they were supposed to be. If I had a remote control that could stop it at every scene, I'd be that irritating guy stopping the movie every 5 seconds just to scan the screen to see if I missed any foodimal and then I'll rewind to make sure I managed to catch them all. I'll test everyone's patience for sure.

I was productive over the weekend and am pleased that I managed to finish one card. Took me the entire day to get the calligraphy just right but I'm glad it's done. Still thinking of adding more to it before sending it off to the printer's this Saturday. As usual, I look forward to the response.

Hoping to work on a couple of other Christmas themed cards but nothing is really inspiring me right now. I guess I'll need to be hit by a burst of creativity and then I'll have the inspiration to come up with new cards. It's funny how we get inspired by the most unlikely things.

Can't wait for the weekend!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Monday Sunshine

Technically it's already Tuesday but I wanted to post this as a Monday's blues kind of theme so I'll just pretend it's still Monday.

Seems like everyone is really grouchy nowadays. We all need a holiday.

Monday, 2 September 2013

It's all in the details

There is something about the cute stuff that Japanese create that makes them so endearing. Japanese tend to be a little dark at times and it shows even with their cute characters. Recently my favourite series is the sumikkogurashi gang. It literally translates into 'living in corners'. So all the characters like huddling in a corner. One is an end piece of a tonkatsu, so he's 99% fat and 1% meat and the other characters don't like him too much because he's kind of greasy.

It's these little quirks that make them cuter than than a boring ol' plain cute character. I try to have a little twist in my cards as well by adding some details or having poems that are a little morbid at times but hopefully entertaining nevertheless.

There are so many talented people on Etsy, I still get really inspired when I look around at other people's shops. Often times it makes me wish I was equally as talented in other mediums so I can do what they do. There are certain styles I like but I know it is out of my ability to emulate.

Checked out an artists' market of sorts the past weekend. Was very crowded and felt like I couldn't properly soak up the atmosphere and enjoy myself. I think craft fairs need to feel very relaxed and spacious. Having people shoving against you and trying to shuffle you along is not my idea of a leisurely time. Almost wish I had an army of porcupines to keep everyone out of my way.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

4 new designs for August!

Am very pleased to have gotten 4 new designs out this month. I still have quite a few designs that I'm keen on and hope to get some of them out in September. I tried a different style with the kitty themed ones, so they look a little different from my usual postcards. The 'Donut Resist' postcard is also a first for me, I didn't use any pens or markers to design it but it was all done on the computer. I had a lot of fun learning new tricks on gimp and refining it. I worked on it for quite a long time, a really long time actually. It was interesting to see how different designs look without outlines. I felt like maybe it would make my designs look more polished/professional but I realize I still like drawing and scanning them. Still like the good ol' pen and paper. Though that makes me a tree killer. I try to recycle as much as possible.

Popped over to Dulcetfig to stock up and when my display corner started getting crowded with too many cards, it was a reminder of how far I've come. I still remember opening the Etsy shop with all of 6 or 8 designs. I think it was 6 and thinking it was really bare but slowly building it up. Though it's a lot more than where I started, the store still looks like it needs more cards. Wish I could add new cards every month but it's hard to juggle the time and my creative wind seems to come in spurts.

Received a really nice email from a happy customer recently. I don't think anyone can ever get tired of hearing good feedback from a happy customer, it's very satisfying and makes keeping the store open worthwhile.

Here's a snapshot of the new cards, with a reluctant cat model. Hoping to take good pics tomorrow after my camera is charged up and good to go. Can't wait to list them up on Etsy.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

C'est La Vie

Unfortunately this post is nothing remotely romantically dramatic sounding as the French title suggests. I just found out that my regular printer has decided not to have office hours on Saturday. They've also shortened their working hours. Both of which bode badly for me because now I will have no chance of going down to have stuff printed, short of taking leave just to have stuff printed, which is not an option at this point. Super bummed because I have new stuff ready to be printed and I need to reprint some old cards that ran out of stock.

Took me a long time to scout around for a printer that suited my needs. Now I'll have to scout around for others which I am not looking forward to. I remember walking into some printers and I asked whether they printed A6 postcards, the guy just looked at me blankly and said "....Ayyy-6 ? ... ?" That was more than enough to tell me I didn't want to have any business printing with them.

So my routine's been shaken. grrr. Will have to drag self to walk around and suss out pricing and find a place that is within budget and produces good prints.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Cat Crazy Convention

Went down to check out purrzaar with the gf yesterday. Seeing pictures of cats from different countries with the familiar 'can't be bothered with you' look or goony look never fails to make me laugh. The type of cat I like best is described by the gf as the 'no eyes no nose' type. Basically it's like a very dirty looking calico cat where their markings make it hard to distinguish the eyes and nose on its face. I also like brindle coloured dogs so go figure. My mother said I always had a penchant for ugly-cute things. Possibly an extension of myself, hurhur.

There weren't very many vendors but there was a lot of cute stuff on display. There are so many talented people out there that whenever I make a sale, I'm glad that someone liked my product. It must feel strange sitting there, waiting for people to walk up to you. As a participant checking out vendors, I don't know whether to engage with the stall owners or to just look until I actually see something I want to buy then talk to them. Trials and tribulations of a socially inept gorilla. I suppose my unapproachable demeanour doesn't help things.

We got free samples of fancy feast for the furballs and they had a nice dinner and very rich breakfast this morning too. Those cats eat like they've been starving their whole lives, the meowing pre-feeding time is so dramatic.

Was nice to wake up to light rain this morning. Rainy mornings are the best way to start the weekend. Been spending time lounging around at home doing some reading and working on my cards. I'm trying a new style and hoping it turns out good. It also mean spending more time trying to figure out how to use GIMP in ways I'm not used to. GIMP is pretty damn awesome for a freeware, I'm still very impressed with its functionality to this day.

Looking forward to printing out my new postcards. The pastry themed ones sell pretty decently in the local store that stocks my cards but it hardly moves on Etsy. I'm pretty sure it's the tagging because who ever searches for 'cute bread cards' or 'cute pastry cards'. Can't think of any other better keywords to tag it with though.

Back to work on the cards.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Practise make Perfect

And no practise makes your creative juices dry up.

Between my new job and trying to settle into a new routine, I find that there's hardly any time to really sit down to do any serious doodling. I'm not the sort that can just sit at a cafe or whip out a moleskin on the bus and start doodling away. I need to consciously have time set aside, with the desk laid out with my pens and markers and paper before I can start doodling. Don't ask me why doodling requires such preparation, I don't think it should either but that's how I work.

Last night I managed to set some time aside to draw out some ideas that have been swimming around in my head the past week. I have to make a note of my mental note to remember to scribble these ideas down somewhere before I forget them. My short-term memory is shot.

I finished my last project where I made decorations for the home, perfect as house warming gifts. But I held off because I found that it was lacking. It didn't feel good enough to be put in my shop. I quite like how it turned out but I feel more can be done to improve it. Hopefully I can figure something out so I can list it in the shop, quite excited about seeing how it will be received.

Looking forward to the long National Day weekend, so I can spend a good amount of time just doodling and surfing the net for inspiration.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Murphy's Law

As luck would have it, I was able to print out my cards pretty quickly on Monday. But whenever I try to take pictures of my cards, the skies would be grey or it would be raining. I've had to postpone taking pics of my cards for days now and it's getting aggravating. Looks like I'll have to DIY my own small photo box studio so I don't have to dependent on the weather for good lighting.

Time to dig up that post with the link to the DIY photo box studio...

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Exposure means growth

And I don't mean of the bad melanoma variety.

Had a very interesting day. Did something that I typically would never want to engage in and met with and talked to people from all sorts of places today. Being an introvert, it was hard to get myself psyched up to meet people I didn't know and to try to strike up a meaningful or at least pleasant, without trying too hard, conversation with them. I think I was pretty successful, by my account. Was tired by the end of it all but it was a good experience.

Which brings me to this post. Having met new people and discussing ideas and attitudes, I came home not feeling particularly inspired to draw but I had an itch to.

Been stuck at getting what I really want onto paper from my head. Took me a couple of tries but the creative juices started to flow and I got a couple of designs hashed out and ready to be touched up before printing. I find that my creativity comes in spurts, the only analogy I can think of though very unpleasant is diarrhea. It's a surprise when it hits and it comes in a huge amount when it does. I think I just made everyone reading this throw up a little in their mouth. So much for trying to be pleasant to read.

Excited to say that I have a couple of new cards in the works and I can't wait to see them finalized. I'm especially excited about one in particular because it was the animal on one of my favourite O'Reilly books. I'm a bit unimpressed with my current colour combination so I'm going to try and mess around with it and see where it takes me. Thank god for scanners and printers.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

My own little corner

Decided to pop by Dulcetfig with the girlfriend since we had to go down to renew our stock of cards there. Seems like customers really liked the cards the last month and it was nice to see my cards in store for the first time. I was pleased to see that it had it's own little space, nicely placed in a basket.

It felt a little strange looking at my own cards in the store, I don't know how else to describe it except it was like an out of body experience. I'm so used to being surrounded by my cards at home but to see them outside in a different space is very different. Now I sound like I've gone mad. I'm just happy :)

Been having abit of a dry spell with coming up with illustrations I like. Been drawing but nothing seems to really stick and satisfy. I realize that drawing also takes practise, if you've been out of practise for awhile, it takes awhile to get back in.

June is creeping up on us and soon half of 2013 will be over. I've always liked the end of the year because it means winter time, winter time means snow, I love snow and snowboarding. Hopefully I'll be able to hit the slopes at the end of the year since I missed my chance earlier this year.

Hope everyone is enjoying the start of summer!

Monday, 4 March 2013


I find it funny that when I had the time to check my shop stats incessantly, my sales felt like they pretty much plateaued. But now that I am so busy that I don't have the time to really check my shop stats incessantly (which actually might be a good thing), sales have taken off.

I suppose it could also be the convergence of many circumstances that happened at the same time: Valentine's day was coming up so it's a big sales period and I got featured on the Etsy Valentine's day card section. 2 things which external to my own efforts but were key in helping me get better sales.

Haven't had the time to blog much and I really miss having the time to sit down to just doodle and come up with new card ideas. Right now I have my plate full but once my course is over, I am going to go to an art supplies store to just soak up all the goodness of being surrounded by arts and crafts supplies. Just being in a craft store makes me happy. Also miss browsing around Etsy and seeing other people's creations and being inspired by them.

In Singapore,  I always got the sense that original arts and crafts were not valued as much as items that were cheap and decent looking. I don't know if it's got to do with the culture but I hate seeing pirated imitation goods of original works on display. They end up looking half as nice as the original, with poor quality but the worst part is there are consumers for the product which explains why it continues to exist. On the other hand, there are imitation goods that are pretty damn good looking but I don't like that it basically takes away the hard work that the original artist put into it. I don't think cheap is always better. In most cases they are but not when you are taking away the effort that someone put into designing and making that product. It's funny how this is not the case in Japan, they very much value works by original artists. I suppose it's the difference in culture, Japanese also tend to be wary of things that are too cheap while Singaporeans love a good deal.

The gf has been great about managing the store for me. I like that we get to discuss the details of managing the store together, it makes me feel like that emphasizes that we are a team even more. We already are in a relationship but we are also working as a team to manage the store. We are a team in a team, on a team!  That didn't make sense... but you get my drift.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cards in Dulcetfig!

This is my first shop consignment and I am really excited about it. I approached the shop Dulcetfig (if you are Singapore, drop by Haji Lane to check em out) and the owner, Lovie, was kind enough to let me do a consignment with them.

All designs of my cards, except the grumpy cats and the xmas themed ones, will be stocked at Dulcetfig for the next 3 months. Please check it out if you are in the area :)

Click here for the link to my cards on Dulcetfig's FB page.

Friday, 1 February 2013


Holy shit! I just checked my views for January and I had just over a 1000 views! That is awesome man.

I didn't think I'd reach over a 1000 views for at least a few months but hey I'll take it any day! I figure this also has to do with the Valentine's day rush so my expectations for February itself will be tempered and I won't expect as many views.

Still though, that put a smile on my face.

Also a shout out to the gf for being so wonderful and helping me out with the store. Thank you babe!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

It's not magic

Enjoyed a surge in views the past week because my card was featured on the Funny Valentine's Card section on Etsy but it's since trickled off. I also changed the photo for one of my cards and that seemed to trigger more views. I keep reading about how important it is to have good pictures. I know it is but somehow it didn't really sink in, after this experience though, it's made me think about taking better pictures more seriously.

I know a lot of times my background of choice is too heavy, too dark and somber looking but it's really tough to get just the right amount of natural lighting. I'm going to build my own little light studio and see how it goes. I found this link yesterday that was by far the easiest to understand to date, check it out.

On the marketing/SEO front, I know I could be doing a lot more but I've got my hands tied right now. Since I'm going to be abroad for awhile, I thought I'd switch from printing my cards professionally to drawing them by hand. Which basically means one copy of each design but at least I can afford the time it would take to draw onto the card stock directly. I never realized how much time it would take just to edit a file to make it print ready. I used to slack a little on my final checks of the files but I've come to realize that it makes a big difference, I learned that lesson quickly too.  A small smudge on the pic will be glaringly obvious once printed out.

Think I sort of understand what type of cards I need to design to make them more sellable. I'm not going to compromise my style and be a sell-out but tweaking it a little might help in making my products appeal to a wider audience. We will see if my assessment is right, that'll be awhile though because I'm going to go on hiatus for the next 3 months or so before I get time again to really sit down to make new cards again.

Enjoying this last weekend before mayhem starts, eyes are closing on their own, time for bed.

Friday, 18 January 2013


I don't know if this actually counts for a feature or what the exact definition of feature is but in my mind it felt like one so I will call it as such. The gf pointed out to me that my card was on the 3rd row on the Funny Valentine's Day cards page. I went to take a look and it's so cool to see my card there. Here's the link to that page, click here! I try my best to come up with original cards and it feels like the effort I put in has paid off.

I wish I had more time to put into marketing my shop but I'm going through other stuff in my life now that has to take precedence for the next 3 months or so. I'm going to try and come up with a new card every 2-3 weeks but even that might be a bit of a squeeze.

Planning to list 3 new items soon, just got to have their photos taken nicely. Tried 2 rounds of photo taking but they all turned out pretty dismal. I know it's also because I'm taking it with my phone but I can't justify spending money to buy a nice camera just to take pics of the cards because I'm not much of a photographer in daily life.

Anyway, Friday Woot of the week is getting featured! Also being surrounded by snow during winter is an awesome plus as well.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

1st batch of new cards for 2013

Had a whole bunch of ideas for cards but couldn't find the right execution for a lot of them so instead of rushing to print stuff that I'm not that crazy about, I decided to sit on it and let those ideas stew for awhile more.

I did go ahead with 4 designs that I quite like and funnily enough, my favourite turned out to be a card I wasn't too sure about. While most cards have printed out to what I had intended them to look like, some cards don't and it frustrates me a little. I realize that what I see on the computer screen won't always print out onto my cards but I wonder if there is a way I can minimize this difference. One card had tints of red show up where on my screen it looked white. I don't know if it's my screen or if it's the conversion from jpg to adobe illustrator/photoshop file format that causes the red tinge to be more obvious.

Brought the gf along to help me with picking the cardstock since she has a much better eye at these things and she made a great choice for one of the designs. That turned out to be my favourite print of the bunch. It makes such a big difference what cardstock you choose for your design. I wish we had more choices to choose from but we were short on time so we couldn't fuss around too long.

Hoping for sunny weather tomorrow so I can snap nice photos of the cards. Can't wait to list them up.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Fonts O' Rama

Variety is the spice of life, but when you have to trawl through what feels like 7612365123854 font types, you start wishing you only had to choose from 50. I know I'll say that now but when it really turns out to be 50, I'll gripe about the lack of variety. I shall just appreciate the fact that I have a whole bunch of free fonts I can choose from. 

This website seems to have amassed a good variety. Not only is the layout really easy to use, they let you type in sample words to check out how the font will look. Check it out.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy 2013!

It's always the same feeling every New Year's day. I still think it's the last year and I continue to think that it's still 2012 for the next month or so and when I hear 2013, I think next year.

If 2012 was good to you, I hope 2013 is better.
If 2012 wasn't that great, balls to it because it's gone now and 2013 can only get better.

Been wanting to print new cards but I keep revising them to no end because I'm not happy with it. Seem to have an illustrator's block, if there is such a word.

My goal for each new month on Etsy was to aim for more views than the last month, so far so good. I tweaked my tags here and there and tried ways to make sure my website the top hit when searched for. Seems to have been effective. I think the biggest reason why I'm getting more views is probably just being on Etsy for longer/exposure.

I'm pretty excited about 2013, hoping to see my sales grow!