31 May 2022

2022 May Roundup

It's been over a year since my last blog post ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I was extremely busy with school all that time (I received my BFA in Illustration with a minor in Japanese Studies last December ๐ŸŽ‰) and this year it took me a while to decide what purpose to put my blog to, now that I am working full-time on my creative storytelling career. At last, I realized I could use this space to round up all my doings from each month, with a few bonuses for fun ๐Ÿ˜‰ Please enjoy the first of my monthly roundup posts! 

Social Media Highlights

I've been active on Twitter and Facebook, sharing illustration and writing updates nearly every day. Twitter is also the place to follow me for more personal updates on topics like gaming and reading. Here are a couple posts from May.

I'm hilariously behind on uploading my art to deviantART (even though I have a subscription ๐Ÿ˜ฑ) so this piece, although my most recent upload, is actually two years old! It was a Mother's Day gift ๐Ÿ’

Click here to view and comment on deviantART.

Here also are some WIP photos of the painting being made.

I'm currently playing catch-up with my YouTube uploads, as well. I'm only four videos behind as of today ๐Ÿ˜‚ Here's my most recent upload, a Chibi Friday livestream recording from July 2021, which I finally resumed working on last week!

Speaking of livestreaming, I'm finally back to streaming regularly on Twitch! You can catch the replays of recent streams at this link and you can check out my most up-to-date schedule here. As of today, my general schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesdays 15:00 - 17:00 MDT (GMT-6) Lucky Dip
    (making a single piece of art using four randomly selected art supplies)
  • Fridays 15:00 - 17:00 MDT (GMT-6) Chibi Friday
    (drawing one of my adorable, signature chibi caricatures)

I love chatting with folks while having fun making art, so, if you don't already, I hope you'll join me on Twitch soon ๐Ÿ˜„ 

Patreon Updates

Now that I'm done with school, I've been able to focus more fully on Patreon. We've had six rewards go out so far this year, and a seventh is in the works now! The following images feature all 2022's rewards thus far. Click here to sign up and start receiving yours ๐Ÿ’Œ You can also check out the public posts there, no subscription required, which include lots of information about my creative process and insights about my creative life that aren't shared elsewhere.

Monthly Recommendations

I'd like to have some fun in each of these roundup posts by offering you my recommendations for the month ๐Ÿ˜„ These are all things that have inspired, fueled, and otherwise impacted me during the month of May 2022. May they do the same for you!

๐Ÿ“• Book of the Month: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins ๐Ÿ“•

I came across this book in a Little Free Library and, recognizing the author from a documentary I saw and loved years back, took it home immediately. I have been an atheist since childhood (I am sincerely grateful to my parents for raising me in an environment that didn't force any doctrine on me ❤️) but I've always been afraid to share that fact, because, frankly, atheists are treated poorly by many people, especially here in America. This book gave me the courage to be myself and the reasoning to back up my beliefs! Here's my review from Goodreads:

The God DelusionThe God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There's so much I could say about The God Delusion that it feels overwhelming trying to think of how to fit it in without my review becoming a book in itself. I'll let my star rating (and my reading status updates) do most of the talking. I LOVED this book. I'm so grateful someone put it in the Little Free Library where I found it! If you're already an atheist, this book can still be an eye-opener, as it was for me. If you're a secret atheist, it could give you the courage you need to stand tall and face the far horizon (paraphrased from one of the most powerful passages in the book). If you're unsure about your beliefs, I also recommend this book to you, as it could give you knowledge and direction that will help you make an intelligent decision. As for religious believers, while I personally don't expect those possessed of blind faith to be persuaded by this book (or any other argument born of reason), why not give it a try anyway? You might be surprised at what you learn, or how you feel after you're done!

View all my reviews

๐ŸŽง Music of the Month: Mika's Fantasy Favorites on Spotify ๐ŸŽง

I created this playlist recently because I wanted a collection of all my favorite fantasy soundtracks to listen to while I work on my writing and illustration projects, which are currently both soundly in the realm of fantasy! This music is especially good for writing, because the instrumental nature of most soundtracks ensures there are no lyrics to confuse with the words being taken from one's mind and written on the page. That said, I have included a couple favorites with lyrics, but they're so few and far between that they serve as a nice break rather than a distraction ๐ŸŽต๐Ÿ˜Œ๐ŸŽถ

๐Ÿ“บ Show of the Month: Moon Knight on Disney+ ๐Ÿ“บ

I didn't have any idea what to expect from this show going in, but I've since been completely taken by Disney+'s Moon Knight! I've watched it six times now, twice in English, twice in the Japanese dub, once in English with closed captioning, and once in the Japanese dub with Japanese subtitles ๐Ÿ˜ I could write a whole blog post, even a book, on all the reasons why I love the show so much, what's so interesting about it, why I keep watching it again and again, but I want to keep my fandom under control ๐Ÿ˜… so I'll just say that I relate VERY much to the main character and his struggles with childhood abuse and overcoming the repercussions as an adult; I LOVE the exciting Indiana Jones-inspired plot (some of my favorite movies as a kid; Last Crusade is the best one ๐Ÿ’–); and the way the show isn't perfectly clear about everything, nor does it tie up every loose end, has absolutely sparked my imagination. I spend hours thinking about this show and analyzing it. It's extremely fun to deep dive and come up with personal theories about it. If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it, not just because it's a great show, but because you don't have to watch any of the other MCU material to enjoy it. It's completely independent in that way! Now, I only hope there will be another series in the works soon ๐Ÿ™ 

๐ŸŽฎ Game of the Month: Touken Ranbu Warriors for Nintendo Switch ๐ŸŽฎ

I only just started this game last weekend but it's already everything I hoped for and more! The original Touken Ranbu game has been available on mobile platforms for a while now, and I've loved the concept for years, but I just don't like playing games on my phone (I do play Pokรฉmon GO and Pikmin Bloom but both games are constantly frustrating me, lol). Having a console-based Touken Ranbu game, and in the Warriors family (which I have loved since Dynasty Warriors way back on the Playstation 2 ❤️), has allowed the concept of 'famous historical swords brought to life as beautiful men who defend the true flow of history' to enter the realm of game genres that I enjoy playing! I've been very impressed by how they managed to combine many of the main gameplay elements of the original mobile game with the general hack & slash concept that is the foundation of any Warriors game. It's the perfect way to relax on the weekend ๐Ÿ˜Ž

๐Ÿ‘Ÿ Workout of the Month: Yoga Master on Nintendo Switch ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ

I wasn't sure what I was going to write here until, just today, there was an update to one of my favorite fitness games, Yoga Master! They have released version 2.0 for Nintendo Switch, which cleans up some minor quality issues (like typos) and almost completely overhauls the visuals! The game was already nice-looking before but now it's GORGEOUS ๐Ÿคฉ I play Yoga Master every weekday morning before starting work, usually doing the custom program I created. It's an essential part of my routine that helps me wake up, mind and body, and stretch out any soreness (especially my chronic low back pain). This game also has some DLC that adds a meditation feature! I use this at lunchtime three days a week for mental and emotional health ๐Ÿง˜‍♀️ Ironically, although this is technically a game, I don't use the gamified features. I just use it like a personal yoga and meditation coach!

๐Ÿ’ธ Charity of the Month: Idaho Humane Society ๐Ÿ’ธ

Finally, I'd like to wrap up this and every roundup blog with my featured charity of the month. Idaho Humane Society is an organization so important to me that I have a monthly recurring donation set up. We adopted our lovely Kiki-cat from them, through a local PetCo adoption center, as well as my three pet rats who have since passed away. Idaho Humane Society helps make my community a better place not just for the humans, but for the animals who live here, too! If you have the ability to lend your support as well, visit this link to make a donation! There are other ways to help, such as volunteering and buying wishlist items, too ๐Ÿ˜ธ The animals and those who love them will thank you!

Me, Bathilda, Minerva, and Nymphadora ๐Ÿค July 2011

That's it for this month's roundup post, the first of its kind. I hope you enjoyed it! I'll be back next month with another roundup of writing, illustration, and everything else ๐Ÿ˜„✨