Driving Again

Note: All the activities written here were done before NCOV-19 + lockdown.

(Hey guys, it’s been a while again. Whoops. Initially, when the lockdown was implemented, I thought I would have a lot of free time to actually update here, but I was wrong—haha! I’ll write more about that in the coming blog posts, but now, I want to share with you a little story + personal achievement that I did before the lockdown!)

After five long years, I finally enrolled myself into driving school again. This time, I decided to learn how to drive an automatic car (I learned manual the first time.) It’s funny to me to see my progress here because my first blog post on this blog was about driving school, haha!

Initially, I was nervous to drive again. I had so many thoughts circling my head: What if I cause a lot of traffic? What if I damage the car or accidentally bump someone? What if I forgot everything I’ve learned five years ago and make a total fool out of myself now?

All these thoughts kept swarming my head as I attended my first actual driving session—I was scared it would be as difficult as the first time I drove. I admit the first few sessions were a little rough. I was so used to all the foot positions (due to muscle memory/habit) of a manual car so much, that re-learning everything was nerve-wracking.

DrivingAgain1Outside the LTO (Land Transportation Office) to get a driver’s license application!

I had good days and bad days. The good days were when there was barely any traffic and the weather was great. The bad days were times when cars were all around me, and I felt claustrophobic, thinking that I would get squished on the road. At times, it was really overwhelming and I felt like giving up.

It was when I finally stopped thinking too hard about driving and stopped doubting myself, I realized that driving can be relaxing. I realized that driving is all about being in the present. You can’t think about on-road decisions that happened already once you get through it, and you can’t keep getting apprehensive about every move you make—it’s about how you react to what’s going on and trying to make the best out of every situation there.

After completing my lessons, I studied up for the licensing exam and went to the LTO a month after to take the test. After around 6 hours of waiting, I walked out with a driver’s license. Sure, I had several (and literal) bumps along the way, but I am proud to say that I did it! Yey!

(Sorry I don’t have a lot of pictures—but I guess, that’s self-explanatory, haha! Couldn’t really be taking a lot of photos while I drive, lol.)

‘Till the next blog post,
Sophie

 

PaperCon 2019 Haul!

Two weeks ago, I worked at PaperCon under Abbey’s booth with two volunteers: Trina (who so happens to be a friend from college) and Nice (a new friend, yey!) It was ultimately a rewarding experience—we had so much fun manning a booth and talking to the customers! Before it got too busy, I was able to take a couple of photos of the event:

It still amazes me that people lined up around 2-3 hours before the event itself to get a hold of the VIP ticket (which was limited to 200 only!) Salute to you guys for bracing the hot weather and standing up for so long, haha.

Just look at that line!

Setting up (a.k.a. the calm before the storm.)

At 10:00AM on the dot, the doors officially opened, and a swarm of people entered. We were selling stationery and books left and right, and we didn’t realize how much time has passed until one of us called for a lunch break!

Team ABC! (L-R: Abbey, me, Trina, and Nice + special mention to Auntie Z for helping us out!)

We took turns taking breaks and going around when it wasn’t too busy. Actually, before PaperCon, I already had an idea of what I wanted to buy (from stalking the online shops of each seller, haha!)—and I’m proud to say that I stayed within my budget. Now, on to my haul!

Cute PaperCon ticket!

Continue reading “PaperCon 2019 Haul!”

MIBF 2019 Book Haul

Hello, it’s been a while!

Lately, I’ve been busy with work (a welcome thing compared to earlier this year when I was uninspired to work or do anything really)—but the next few months are full of adventure and events, which I’m excited to share with you! For now, I’ll share with you my MIBF (Manila International Book Fair) haul this year. I’ve posted my haul every year since 2015, and it’s nice to see how my tastes have evolved. I’ve been more and more conscious of book-buying every year. I ask myself questions like “Will I read this more than once?” “Will I want this to be on my shelf for several years?” “Will this book add to my being or not?” Armed with these questions, I went to the book fair with a list of book-investments I’d want to purchase.

First, I got the 75th-anniversary edition of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. I first read this book in my first or second year in high school (nearly 7 years ago?!) and fell in love with the stories. I got myself a copy at a local second-hand bookstore and reread it once every so often when I get the urge to jump into the world of gods and Greek tragedy.

Look how beautiful the cover is!

Gorgeous illustration inside!

I can’t wait to re-read the stories one of these days!

My older, worn-out copy of the book!

Continue reading “MIBF 2019 Book Haul”

Instant Memories of 2019

I finally had my latest instant camera film developed and scanned. As compared to my previous roll, this one lasted me almost three months before I finally finished up all the film inside. I was able to bring it with me to Japan during my “hooray-we-finally-graduated” trip last March and my trip to Seoul last April. Shockingly, I didn’t even use it up during the two trips (mind you, this camera had just around 30 shots, too!) I was surprised with how sparingly I was using the instant camera. Maybe I’ll use it more generously next time.

Anyway, here are some of the best/cleanest shots from the roll!
(Note: None of these images were edited/color corrected aside from resizing it + adding my logo!)

Some shots from my Japan trip:

Alecca took this photo in our Osaka hostel—we were in the lobby/common room for hostel guests.

Alecca took this photo of me in USJ, behind the Flying Snoopy ride (which was closed for the day.)

Took this quick photo of Alecca (L) and Nicole (R) while we were waiting in line at USJ!

Continue reading “Instant Memories of 2019”

That’s a Wrap: Graduation (Part 2)

Here’s part two of my “That’s a Wrap” blog post; to read part one, which is about my thesis, click here! (Also, by the time you’ll read this, I’ve been “unemployed” for a little over a month, haha! Quotation marks on “unemployed” because I technically work for the family businesses + freelance for now…so…sorta unemployed?) If you’ve read part one and are here for part two, thank you for sticking around!

GRADUATION – October 13, 2018
Just like that, I’m done with school. I admit it’s been difficult for me to grasp that I don’t have to write papers, study for exams, or do projects anymore. I’ve always enjoyed learning and college brought out the nerd in me; I loved taking notes, buying stationery, organizing my thoughts into an essay, graded recitation, the readings. When I first entered university, I remember one of my professors telling me, “Life in college is like a fantasy or even a utopia.” Only now, when I don’t have classes to attend or schoolwork to do, did I understand what he meant.

In college, I felt like—for the first time in my life—I am my authentic self. I studied hard, made mistakes, pursued my interests, and made lifetime memories and friendships. I was so used to living in this bubble in high school; what we’re required to study and do regardless of our interests. I was such a frustrated artist in high school—I wanted to pursue writing and arts, but I didn’t get the opportunity to really get into either until I got to college. I was surprised by the amount of freedom I got and, for the first time in my life, I met people with the same goals and ambitions in my course. I felt like I belonged.

Finally finished all my required units!

I was able to achieve so much in the short four years I’ve had in De La Salle University. I was able to write stories and see it as a short film, study abroad, take part in internships, write a book, and so much more. I am incredibly grateful for my experiences.

Thank you for the four incredible years, DLSU!

Continue reading “That’s a Wrap: Graduation (Part 2)”

That’s a Wrap: Thesis (Part 1)

It’s been less than a month since graduation and I feel that it has finally sunk in that, after spending the majority of my life in school, I am finally finished (for now, at least.) Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this, I’d like to share a story or two about my last two semesters in university focusing mainly on my thesis and graduation. I’ll be splitting these into two separate blog posts, so brace yourself for a lengthy read!

THESIS
I know I’ve been hinting this post several times in the past when I was still working on my thesis, and I’m happy to finally share my thought process on the entire thing: the concept of the story, the writing, and, finally, the illustration process.

It was in my second year of university when I decided two things: one, that I would like to write and illustrate a children’s book for my thesis. And, two, I want to do my thesis alone (I guess I was too traumatized by group work and I know that I’m too much of a perfectionist, so I worried for partnerships when it comes big projects, like a thesis.) Seeing that I had around two years before I would reach the thesis term, I prepared hastily for this in order to have the skills for it. I went to talks and took writing classes to improve my storytelling, I practiced my brush lettering, studied more watercolor techniques, and read + reread a lot of children’s books. I wrote a lot of stories and articles to practice. (I also stocked up on art supplies!) Eventually, the thesis term arrived, and I was ready to face the long road ahead.

My thesis was divided into two terms: the research term and the thesis implementation term. The first term focused more on the story development and research, which went by rather quickly. (I enjoyed writing and researching—I’ve learned so much!) The second term is when I got to apply what I’ve learned…and have fun with it!

The story conceptualization for the book took a while until my mentor and I found a story that worked. Basically, my end goal is to write a book that I know my little sister would love reading. The story is simply about a little girl named Hannah (yes, I named my character after my sister) and her dad. So Hannah is sick in bed with a cold and wants nothing but Alphabet Soup to help her feel better. Her dad does his best to make it—despite not really knowing how to. He misinterprets Alphabet Soup as a soup with 26 ingredients from A-Z and adds in strange and fun things to make a funny soup. The story inspiration was directly derived from the fun and silly relationship dynamic between my sister and my father.

The writing process of my book was frustrating, to say the least. I took me three months (and ten drafts) until my mentor and I were satisfied with the text. I wrote the book in poetry to make it fun (and somewhat more difficult for me, haha.) It was also around this time I gave my book its title: Silly Soup Day.

After I fully grasped what I wanted to write, I jumped right into illustration and did a few pages of character and color studies:

I also roughly painted the cover design of my book:

Continue reading “That’s a Wrap: Thesis (Part 1)”

Hobonichi 2019 Haul!

While I prepare for the Hobonichi wrap-ups I’ve missed (click here to see the latest one), I’d like to share my Hobonichi haul for next year! It took me a while to decide on what cover I’ll use for the next year, but after weeks of indecision, I’m happy with what I chose. When I got the package, I ran to my room to open it up right away (then I placed everything back to take a photo of everything, haha!)

The box is so cute! Happy 20th anniversary, Hobonichi!

When you open the box, this is what welcomes you. I feel encouraged already!

What to open first?!

Continue reading “Hobonichi 2019 Haul!”

Instant Memories in Osaka

A little background: on my trip to Osaka earlier this year, I bought two instant/disposable cameras. I gave one to my little sister, Hannah (who is 7-years-old) and kept one for myself. I challenged her to take photos of what she found interesting or moments she wanted to keep. I followed this prompt and excitedly took photos carefully. I watched Hannah take photo after photo of everything. It wasn’t long until she ran out of shots. Not wanting to buy a new one, I gave her my camera to use up the remaining shots available.

After the trip, I was curious about the outcome of our photos and finally, finally after several months, I got the photos developed and scanned. I picked the best ones from the trip and wanted to share some of them here. [Note: none of these photos were color corrected.]

I took this photo just outside the Fushimi Inari Taisha—I love how the colors just pop out here!

Hannah took this photo—
I love how warm the photo feels and I like how the color pops out on the hair of the lady on the right!)

Continue reading “Instant Memories in Osaka”

Quick Update: Journaling Workshop!

Just a quick milestone + life update!

Last month, I’ve been invited by Sakura PH to teach a journaling workshop under Scribe PH’s event, Dear Diary!

My students + the event organizer!

It was such a milestone for me because I’ve never imagined that I’d get to teach my passions this way in the past. I’ve been unconsciously journaling all my life, and have only recently placed more effort into it through my Hobonichi (you could see my January spreads here!) It gives me such joy teaching people my passions and seeing them express themselves in different ways through journaling and writing.

Can’t wait to meet my next milestone. In the meantime, I’ll work hard to reach it.

[Also, (shameless plug hehe) I teach basic brush lettering and journaling by groups or even one-on-one! If you’re interested, kindly shoot me an email at sophiaysabelledyu@gmail.com. Thank you!]

 

January Hobonichi Wrap-Up (ほぼ日)!

Hello, everyone! 💖
It feels great to write here again after so long! As usual, I’m busy with my academics and my thesis (so excited for this!)

Aside from those, I’ve also been busy filling up my Hobonichi every day! What is a Hobonichi? Well, it depends on the person using it, but for me – it’s my ‘life scrapbook’/ art journal. 🙂 I record the day’s highlights on it and practice my calligraphy, lettering, and illustration in it, too. As the title suggests, here are my January spreads!

First spread of the year! I wrote a letter for 2017 as a good-bye and my resolutions for the new year.

On the left, I wrote down some encouragement for the month. The right page officially starts the first Hobonichi day!

             Continue reading “January Hobonichi Wrap-Up (ほぼ日)!”