29 June 2009


An obsessive, passionate creature looming in the darkness. That's how I saw Scorpio when I first drew her. In her right hand, she holds a cup filled with some dark potion, a poisonous brew no doubt, and you can see that I've added an ominous vapor emanating from the golden cup. That is some lethal drink. This woman means business.

A couple of touches are inspired from her traditional animal, the Scorpion. One of these is a sharp hook, in lieu of pincers, that she uses to scrape at her enemies. Because you should know that Scorpios do remember everything and they will eventually get even whenever it matters. Another scorpion symbol, is a sharp set of blades that dangles from the braid in her auburn hair. It's a sort of weapon, a reminder that Scorpio can defend itself well.

Actually her pendant is also a hook...or is it a crescent Moon? I like to think it's a Moon considering the Moon's influence on mood and that Scorpio is very emotional. But the hook/moon ambiguity highlights the fact that you never really know what Scorpios are feeling, or whether they are feeling it at all, so good are they at hiding their inner emotional turmoil.

The galaxies were not in the picture when I drew this years ago. I added them because to me Scorpio is not all about dark forces and malefic will, that's an absurd stereotype. I think there's a spiritual force in Scorpio that transcends time and space and motivates the native to achieve and focus for years to arrive at their goal. Often this motivation is very intrinsic and does not depend on external rewards or material gain. I think for this reason, Scorpios can be truly spiritual in that they are moved by deep forces within.
So I have her floating like a sort of celestial body removed from all material attachments.

Strangely, no phallic symbol for this one. I've noticed that my other Zodiac girls are sporting swords, orbs, horns and other longish, tubular objects. I don't know why I omitted sexuality symbols in my Scorpio characterisation. After all, isn't Scorpio also about sexual energy? To compensate, I used a lot of black and purples because these colors have been associated with deviancy, the underworld and sexuality. Very appropriate don't you think?

23 June 2009



When I drew Capricorn, a very long time ago, I had in mind a powerful sorceress. Someone who will put up with no nonsense. Someone who has lived many years and developed wisdom from experience.

There is an intensity to Capricorn, not unlike that found in Scorpio. Here she is hard at work, determined and purposeful. I placed a book on the floor to indicate knowledge and resourcefulness which I think Capricorns usually have or at least, value. The book also represents tradition. The burning candle light indicates that the sorceress is working late at night, long after we have all thrown the towel and gone to sleep.

There is often a playfulness in those earthy natives. It is illustrated here with the sorceress abandoning herself to the joyful momentum of a new incantation while ribbon-like strands of light emanate in all directions from her magic orb, creating a sort of mischievous chaos around an otherwise orderly native.

Sadly I have to admit that her orb looks a little bit like a lollipop but it doesn't bother me too much! After all, the more Capricorns age, the more youthful they become. In many ways.

The New Nude

Have just finished all my exams for this semester and feel a burst of creativity surging forth. So it's time to abandon the lab sensors and the glia obsession and dive into some sensual projects...

A week ago, I scanned some old drawings which I estimate to have completed between 1990 and 1995. I wanted to color them in for years but never got around to it, mainly because I sux at coloring.

Since then I've been using Gimp to add splashes of color but I am not a DeviantArt-worthy artist and the effect is far from my ideal effect, let's see... that would be, somewhere between Anime and Boris Vallejo. Yeah, I wish!!

I could benefit from downloading some proper drawing artsy software but I don't know much about what is available and need to research it properly before I complicate my life for no reason. So Gimp is ok for now. I would benefit from a few online tuts on coloring techniques but I'm enjoying exploring with colors per se at the moment rather than dabbling into anything too technical.

And it's wonderful! Today I came back from my exam around lunch, sat on my black leather seat in front of the computer and played for hours. I played with abandon, fixating the screen with delight until I forgot to blink and had tears in my eyes. Oh the joy! If only office work were that fun. I never even looked at the clock and before I knew it, it was 5pm!

Among other things, I've colored my first Nude today. I like to imagine that she's sensually draped in Byzantine blue velvet and waiting for her master. Love her back and enjoyed coloring it.

Roman Slave

Oh yeah... I should mention that there is a running theme with my drawings...
I like to draw women. A lot of them.
Mostly naked or in fantasy costumes and dreamscapes.

For example, twelve of my drawings feature female characterisations of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. I drew them at least 13 years ago and even gave them names. So their costume, behavior and situation theoretically matches their zodiac description. Anyway, will post more about all this another time...

So many things to do in my July break before the next semester begins.
My plan for the break:

1. Write 25 pages per week - that should allow me to complete the first draft of my historical novel but considering I ramble incessantly and always imagine additional details/scenes, I may be at it in November as well...

2. Complete my zodiac girls - and post some artsy entries on this blog. (Don't hold your breath for anything spectacular.) But it's nice to do something creative, it relaxes me so much.

3. Watch more foreign films - Aaargh! I crave films in general. I've not been able to watch many films since May. The semester was unkind. But I conquered and I'M BACK!!

4. Complete the Tran Tien family genealogy - I like to complete my blog projects properly and this is well overdue.

5. Enjoy my Sydney holiday! I've booked a 2-bedroom apartment at the Meriton World Tower so that's also part of the excitement. What could I possibly do with 2 bedrooms you ask? MMmmm...yes, I know. Well, it was a special package and I couldn't resist.

6. Make notes for my second novel. My little brain is bursting with ideas so it's time to jot them down.

11 June 2009

Facebook Unfriending Feature - Amusing But True

Facebook developers need to cater for social realities and create a new feature: providing a reason for unfriending Friends.

At the moment, whenever you unfriend a friend, they simply disappear from your list of friends and can no longer access your Facebook profile. This occurs without Notification to the unfriendee.

Why should unfriending someone be a sneaky, undercover act? It seems so dishonest and encourages gutless behaviour.
Since when does Facebook allow any actions to be performed undercover or with scant notice to those parties involved?

Facebook users are bombarded every day with status updates and Notifications. Why should such a significant action as 'unfriending' someone remain so hidden, giving the unfriendee no clue as to what has happened? Worse, unfriendees often have to parse through their friend list whenever they eventually notice that their friend count has decreased, in order to locate the missing friend. If and when they finally determine the missing friend, they are left wondering why they were unfriended. This can often be a tormenting or dangerously speculative experience and in extreme cases, may even sour future relations or lead to paranoia.

So enough said. Unfriending needs to change on Facebook.
It should be an honest, reasonable action leaving the unfriender's dignity intact and educating the unfriendee to avoid misunderstandings.

So here's a suggestion for a Facebook enhancement. heh heh.

When a Facebook user clicks on "Remove From Friends", a prompt window should open listing several reasons to choose from together with an 'other' textbox for free text entry. Unfrienders should be able to check one of the available options or type in their own personal reason. Only the unfriendee will ever see this reason so privacy will be maintained.

Unfriended friends (or should that be, unfriended ex-friends!) should then get a Notification indicating:
1) that they are no longer your friend and
2) your reason for unfriending them.

An example notification would be:

Laura has unfriended you because your comments on her Wall are inappropriate.

or the more friendly,

Laura has unfriended you because she is spring cleaning and realised over time that you actually don't log into Facebook anyway. Where the hell are you?

or how about,

Laura has unfriended you because she has no idea who you are and you're probably just a Narcissist seeking to multiply your friend count past 1000.

or better still,

Laura has unfriended you because you're friends with someone she can't stand. Traitor!

even better yet,

Laura has unfriended you because in the first place, she only befriended you out of curiosity and has decided that you are indeed not worth her time.

for fun,

Laura has unfriended you to see if you would even notice.

for the nitpicky,

Laura has unfriended you because you forgot to wish her a happy birthday. This is your last chance! Now get your act together.

And lastly,

Laura has unfriended you because she fully understands that you only befriended her for self-interested networking reasons and/or to bask in her glory by having her appear in your list of connections and quite frankly, she doesn't have the patience to indulge people like you.

I think it's time for Facebook to stand up to the complex realities existing in the social world. So no more sneaky acts, Facebook users will soon have the opportunity to demonstrate fearless courage and stand by their motivation for unfriending behavior. Let's make it happen!

oh, and I couldn't resist these gem definitions of Unfriend from Urban Dictionary.