I've been doing these annual birthday posts for a long time already in my theOtaku site. I'd like to believe that each post represents how much I've progressed through the years. And as you can see in the title for this year, there's a significant development going on.
In the past 12 months, I've become more known as Detective Mask rather than my old username The Mask. It's how I call myself in DeviantArt, in Pixiv, and in pretty much every other online platform I have access to. For some sites, I still keep my old username, only because it's hard to change it at this point. So yeah, The Mask has essentially evolved into the less copyright-infringing Detective Mask.
Ans you'd probably know by now, I have just reached my silver year in this world. Nothing much happened for my birthday celebration this year, apart from the usual family dinner and the greetings that I got from my friends and relatives. I did get to buy my own unique cake this year, so that was really cool.
For gifts, I haven't really thought about actually buying one this year. I guess my mindset has slightly changed since outlining some of the goals in my life for the next few years. Normally, I'd think about buying myself some clothes, books, or other fun stuff. This time, it never really crossed my mind.
Maybe it's because at the moment, I've become quite busy with three key things: (1) improving my drawing skills, (2) learning Japanese, and (3) learning how to drive. If I can get some concrete proof that I have reached a satisfactory level in each of these goals, it would be a great "birthday gift" for me (even if I won't exactly receive it in my birthday).
The Manga Pro-Wrestling series may have been a factor as well. Sure, the art isn't perfect, and the concept might be unusual. But man, working on this piece has been the most creatively fulfilling time in my life. It really makes me wish that this was something I'd actually make money in. If not now, then I wish it could help me make more money in the future. Still, the joy I feel every time I finish a drawing I never thought I could actually succeed in making is a wonderful gift for me already.
Things have changed since embracing myself as Detective Mask. And now that I'm 25, I wonder what else is going to happen.
That should be all for today. Have a nice day and happy birthday to me. :-D
For the past few years, I'd normally make my last post of the year on New Year's Eve so that I could reflect on the year that has unfolded. Unfortunately for me, I kinda forgot to do that before 2015 began in our country. But hey, there are countries that are still in the year 2014 at the moment, so I guess this could still count as a 2014 post.
Anyway, the year 2014 was a good year for me. I told myself at the beginning of the year that this year will be "my year", and it didn't disappoint. I left my college teaching job of 2 years, which I always thought was the right step forward so that I could actually grow properly career-wise. It took me months to get a new job, but thankfully I got it before the year ended. My full-time job as an ESL teacher is fun so far, despite having lesser pay, and I really think I could grow properly with this experience. I still have a part-time college teaching job on Saturdays, which I honestly dislike, and I hope to end this job in the next few months. I kinda realized that I don't want to teach psychology in college, at least until I graduate with my graduate studies.
Speaking of graduate studies, everything seems to be doing well in my life in that aspect. I do feel that the lack of a college teaching job would actually be more beneficial for my graduate studies, since that would mean that my mind is more focused on the lessons in the courses I'm taking.
As for my dream, I'm glad that 2014 allowed me to build a new dream for myself. I said before that I felt lost and aimless back in 2013, mainly due to what I attribute as a "quarter-life crisis". But now, I found a new dream, and that dream involves Japan. I'm already starting to build up on this dream, and if the cards fall properly I'll be getting much progress in reaching this dream by the end of 2015.
Artistically, 2014 will remain as the year that I created Manga Pro-Wrestling. I've said it before and I'll say it again: this series has been the best thing that happened to me as an artist. After wandering aimlessly in my doodles, thinking of what to draw, I finally found a niche that suits me best. It also helps that the Eren vs. Jean feud is one of the most engaging feuds that I've ever seen, leading me to make 3 matches based on this feud. (NOTE: The 3rd match will be released a few hours from now.) Drawing manga characters as real-life professional wrestlers was also fun, and it always thrills me whenever I remember that NJPW ace Hiroshi Tanahashi once retweeted my own artwork. So yeah, 2014 was a great year for me and my drawing skills.
When the year 2014 ended in our place, I kinda wished the year didn't end. The year allowed me to get up of the hole that I felt stuck in for the past few years. But life goes on, and I do hope that the year 2015 will be a good year for me. The year 2014 was indeed "my year", and I hope 2015 will also be "my year" as well.
That should be all for now. Have a nice year everyone!
Hello everyone. I just wanted to give a little update on my life in time for Christmas.
In my personal life, I'm enjoying my work so far as an English teacher to Korean youth. The job can be tiring and frustrating at times, but I'm pretty contented with it. I think it's the best for me to actually work on my teaching skills. Besides, I'm actually getting paid already after being jobless for many months, and I got a bonus for being the best teacher of the month. It's pretty cool.
As for my art, I'm continuously working on my next batch of pro-wrestling drawings for Manga Pro-Wrestling: Eren vs. Jean 3. Like I said before, I intend to release this by next month, preferably during the NJPW Wrestle Kingdom season. This happens to be the New Year holiday season as well, so that would mean that I'm planning to release this by next week. Thankfully, I have just enough holidays to finish everything.
Because I got very busy with real-life work in the past few weeks, I couldn't do my original plan of releasing weekly previews of the series for this month. Plus, my home had no Internet connection last week, so that complicated things for me. However, I do hope to release the previews in the next few days, so please watch out for it.
That should be it for now. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Take care!
After months and months of waiting, I'm starting to have some progress in my job search. I now have two appointments set for tomorrow for a full-time teaching job. I hope to get hired soon, though part of my dilemma now is which company I would end up working for.
Apart from that, I also have a part-time Saturday teaching job in a small college near my place. The job itself is study-heavy since it involves major courses in psychology, although the bright side is that I only have nine students to think about. I hope to do well here, and then devote greater attention to my full-time job months after.
On other stuff, I've already finished my initial draft sketches for the entirety of Manga Pro Wrestling: Eren vs. Jean 3. I'm now starting the traditional inking method on the sketches, and I hope to be able to begin coloring it by the beginning of next month. I may already release a teaser for the project next week, if everything goes well.
The target is to finish everything by January of next year, in time for the biggest pro-wrestling PPV of Japan. And that's why I'm giving this much more of my effort compared to my past drawings. To be honest, I'm pretty excited about it, especially after seeing how the draft looks at the moment. It ain't flawless, but I feel that I'm having greater development in my drawing skills already than I ever did at the beginning of the year.
I'm also considering doing a few commissions here and there in the future, once the dust settles with my teaching job. However, I'm still trying to look into the legalities of it before pursuing this. I'd like to earn some spare money, but I don't wanna jump right away with this.
That should be it for now. Have a nice day!
Naruto has finally ended. It's not a series I followed faithfully through the years, but it's a series that has definitely marked my growing years, as well as that of many other kids and teenagers from the 2000s.
Seeing Naruto end feels strange. Like I said, I didn't really follow it. But I got the general plot of the story, and I'm familiar with its main characters and some of the supporting cast. So even if I barely followed the series, I still got teary-eyed and felt emotional as I saw its ending and how the kids and teenagers that we've come to know through the years have now become adults. It really is strange.
As I mentioned in my Naruto fan art tribute earlier this week, seeing Naruto end really reminds me of "Final Burning", which is the sold-out and emotionally-fueled retirement show of Japanese pro-wrestling legend Kenta Kobashi last May 2013. It may be weird for some, but that's just how I see it. Orange streamers flying around the ring, fans and co-workers emotionally paying their respects, and Kobashi bringing that fighting spirit as always and giving out his very best to the crowd before taking his final bow. Replace Kobashi with Naruto and it feels exactly the same. I wish I could draw this out to express how I feel about this, but at this point I can't really say if I can give this idea justice. (If someone is willing to draw this, please feel free to do so, or contact me so that I can try to see if we can work out a commission.)
In a sense, Naruto's end feels like the end of an era. For many adults, the end of Naruto has essentially marked the symbolic final curtain of their pre-adult life. For me, someone who wasn't an avid fan, it feels pretty close. (And I shudder to think how I'll feel once the manga that ultimately defined my life, Detective Conan, finally ends, when Naruto's end made me feel this way already.)
Congratulations to Masashi Kishimoto for 15 years of Naruto. As someone who was not Naruto's biggest fan, I still thank you, Mr. Kishimoto, for giving us a series that had become part of our childhood and teenage lives.