How to Survive Your First Global Pandemic: An Update from Alla & Soft Peach

What’s going on everyone? It’s almost August, and honestly it feels like March 301st. It’s a strange year, that’s for sure, but I’m trying to make the most out of my free time under unemployment. Some days feel more productive than others, but it’s all about taking it one day at a time, isn’t it?

New Art

I’ve been doing a lot of new art this month, and I thought I’d show it here for you! Two of them are redraws of some of my favorite pieces by Takeuchi-san, or Sailor Moon’s creator. They were mostly experimental pieces using watercolor, ink, and more, but I really liked how they turned out!

Planet Princess Power!
I added the petals last with a thick marker! I also hate drawing FEET! Do they look okay here?

I’ve really been enjoying traditional art recently; it’s easier for me to pull out my paints and brushes than my tablet surprisingly. I feel like that’s opposite for most artists nowadays, but I’m in the market for a better digital tablet so I can make even MORE art! I have lots of new work accumulating, and I am also in the market for a new scanner to get some high quality scans of my physical pieces. So if anyone has any leads, let me know!

Workout Goals

Since April I decided to try out changing my diet and working out more. I have been trying to workout at least 3 times a week doing cardio and Pilates workouts in my living room. I also got my bike fixed up so I’ve been riding around my neighborhood when the weather is not too hot. There is a nice park near my place, and it’s super nice to ride around early in the morning.

However it’s really hard to workout when I have nowhere to go. My brain has no set schedule, so lately I’ve been skipping my morning workouts. My diet has also suffered. But no more!!

I was really inspired my Cassey Ho’s 90 day journey and I was waiting for her to release a new fitness journal that, when she announced that there was a new one in stock, I bought it immediately!

Blogilates “90 Day Journal” It’s so nicely designed!

If you didn’t know, I have been following Cassey Ho’s YouTube channel for years now, and I have some of her workout clothes too! Her workouts are killer, and I always feel sore after a couple videos. With this new fitness journal, I can better track my progress and keep myself accountable by recording what I’m eating, drinking, and doing for exercise. I’m hoping to shed some weight and tone up my muscles, along with generally feel better about the food I put in my body. I’m excited to start!

Check out the popflex website if you want to support a small business!

Skincare Goals

My skincare routine has always been important to me. My skin when I was a teen was terrible; I had lots of teenage acne, most of them being really painful, cystic acne. Now that I’m in my 20’s my skin has improved, but I still get breakouts every now and then, mostly around my cycle.

I think this is the first time I’ve posted my face on this blog. Hello!

Lately I’ve been watching more YouTube videos about skincare, and I have switched out a lot of products for ones that would better benefit my skin. As a teen, my skin was super oily and sensitive, but now it’s starting to feel more dry/combination. I don’t wash my face everyday because it gets too dry and flaky. I definitely have sensitive, acne-prone skin, so I switched to lots of gentle, fragrance-free products. I’ll show you what I’m using!

Some changes I’ve made: I used to not have a facial sunscreen, but I realized that it’s one of the most important skincare products out there to use, especially in the summer. I switched to a more gentle cleanser to use in the shower, and I really like this one by Cetaphil; it’s a sticky consistency, and it’s really helpful for when I workout cause it removes all that sweat & dirt without stripping the oil. I use the Squalene cleanser at night to remove makeup, or when I’ve been out & about. It’s also a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin. I’ve completely gotten rid of the “toner” step in my routine; it ended up being too stripping for my face, and it would allow for excess oil production, which I don’t want. Since my skin is more dry, I thought it would be best to skip this step altogether.

From left to right: Sun Bum Facial Sunscreen; Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser; The Ordinary Squalene Cleanser for Makeup Removal; The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid; The Ordinary Plant-Based Squalene for Moisturizer; The Ordinary Rosehip Oil for more moisturizing.

I really like the Hyaluronic Acid by The Ordinary; it helps to seal in moisture from the air so that when I use my moisturizer, it lasts, and keeps my skin feeling good. My last step at night is to use the Rosehip Oil. Once a week I have been using this oil to massage my face for a long time to pull up oil plugs. If you don’t know what that means, it means to gently rub your face for a long period of time with oils to loosen up dirt and excess sebum. It’s really satisfying, and I find myself massaging for 20 minutes sometimes! But afterwards my skin feels so soft and squeaky clean.

I’m always looking for good skincare; it’s a habit since I was a teen to go through different brands to see which one works for me. I came across Athia Skin when they reached out to me to try their brand. So far I only bought their Retinol Night Cream and their Lash & Brow Serum and used them a few times. I really like the Retinol Cream; I’ve been wanting a retinol cream, and this is a pretty good one! So far I’ve noticed their products are formulated with fragrance, which is something I’ve been trying to avoid, but I’ll give their night cream kudos, I like it so far!

Athia Lash & Brow Growth Serum & Athia Retinol Night Cream Moisturizer

I got the Lash & Brow Serum because I have really thin eyebrows and wanted to see if this product could make a difference. So far… I’m not sure. First off, I wasn’t sure of the applicator; it’s a small, brush tip, which isn’t what I expected. I think a spoolie (mascara shaped wand) would’ve been a better choice to easily apply the product to the brows & lashes. Another thing is that the product was irritating! I applied this product at night and slept on it. When I woke up, my eyelids were itchy, and I had some small breakouts near my eye area.

The Lash & Brow Serum is a no go, but I really like the Retinol Cream, and I am eager to try more of their products. They’re a brand focused on active women, which is cool since I’ve upped my workouts!

If you want to try out Athia Skin, use my link to head to the website, and be sure to use the code SoftPeach for 15% off your purchase!!

New Stories

Along with new art, I’ve pulled out some older stories I made throughout college and been editing them to turn them into new stories. The first one that I’m really passionate about is under the working title, “Human Fish”. I already talked about this story in this post, but I made some steps to flesh out the story some more, and it’s currently in it’s heavy editing process where I take out parts I don’t like, and make sure the plot is working. Maybe someday I’ll make a post about how I structure my stories. Let me know if that’s something you want to see!

A sketch of our main character that I really like. You can tell I had fun drawing the hair.

Another story I have that I literally thought of this week is called “Soft Peach Club!”. The main idea is about a girl who is secretly a magical girl who wants to help other struggling girls realize their true potential by turning them into magical girls, otherwise giving them a pass into the “Soft Peach Club”. What this story has is still a mystery to me, but I think it’s a really cute idea that I want to pursue. I’ve always loved magical girls, and I have lots of designs for magical characters that have no story. So let’s see where this goes…?

Here’s a sneak peak of Soft Peach Club 🙂

That’s about it for this month. Tomorrow is August (what!!) and it’s probably a good idea to plan out what I want to do next month. Everything is still up in the air over here, so everyone please stay safe, wear a mask, and enjoy yourselves as much as you can! Talk to you soon!

<3 Allison

Twitter | Insta | Etsy | Twitch | Athia Skin

Top 7 Anime (& Manga) from my Childhood

What’s going on everyone? I’ve been thinking about stuff that I used to watch as a kid recently, and I remember the days when all I watched was anime. I was obsessed with it when I was younger, and I would also read manga from the small corner of my school’s library. My friends and I wanted to start an anime club in high school and everything! Anime was a big influence on my artwork, it still is actually. I draw a lot of fanart of my favorite anime characters all the time, and growing up I wanted to go to japan and be a mangaka.

So I’ve decided to compile some of my favorite anime/manga that I grew up with, and put them in a list going up to my most favorite anime. Feel free to click the name of the anime to listen to the opening on YouTube. Here we go!

7: Death Note

Death Note is one of those anime that you kinda have to know if you’re into anime/manga. It’s the story of a student who finds a notebook where whenever you write someone’s name in it, they will mysteriously die of a heart attack. I have funny memories of watching this along with the openings/ending songs. It was one of my first introductions to metal/heavy rock music besides the stuff my sister would listen to.

While I didn’t watch the entire anime growing up, I was already spoiled from it from growing up on the internet, and I enjoyed all the memes that came out of it too. I watched the anime, but I’ve never actually read the manga, so I’d like to read it someday. It’s actually a really interesting story that will keep you on your feet.

6: Munto

Munto, or also known as “Sora o Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuri Sekai” is an anime adaption of a two-episode OVA, is a really short nine episode anime about two worlds, where one world has people who can control Akuto, or human emotions. The story follows a girl, Yumemi, who can see the other world, but no one else can.

I really loved this anime because of the story; it has a lot of fantasy elements along with pretty scenery animated by Kyoto Animation, who also did a number of anime that I love that didn’t make the list (K-On and Free, anyone??) I haven’t watched it in a long time, but listening to the opening and looking at the visuals makes me want to watch it again. And I might, since it’s only 9 episodes! You should watch it too! I’ll warn you, I couldn’t find a good, high quality opening, so you’ll have to endure this one posted to YouTube from 2010, which is probably the exact same one I watched as a teen. Still very good though.

5: Kitchen Princess

“Kitchen Princess” is a manga that I read back in middle/high school that I really love. It’s your typical shoujo manga with love triangles, a pretty girl, and a captivating story. It follows a girl with a passion for baking. From what I remember, she goes to a prestigious baking school to follow the boy who she calls her “Flan Prince”, that is, the boy that saved her life from drowning when she was a child. At the school she meets lots of people, including two brothers, one of whom she thinks is her “Flan Prince”. It’s a really cute story that actually has a lot of twists and turns. I have good memories reading this with my friend in high school, bringing the manga volumes that I borrowed from the library with me to school. Good times! The manga is 10 volumes, and an easy read. There is no anime adaption sadly, but it still makes my list because of all the fond memories I have with it.

4: Fooly Cooly

Fooly Cooly, or FLCL is another one of those anime that you have to know if you’re into anime/manga. It’s a cult classic that I still don’t really understand as a story. With only 6 episodes, it follows the story of Naota, a middle school boy who meets an alien named Haruko Haruhara. His whole life is turned upside down as he becomes the passage for alien robots to enter the suburban city he lives in. It’s an interesting, funny, and serious anime all at the same time, with unforgettable characters and quotes. I have really good memories of being way too young watching this late at night on Adult Swim with my sister. I’m not sure if Adult Swim still plays anime late at night, but “FLCL” came on around 11pm or midnight, right after “Family Guy” and “Robot Chicken”. One thing to take away from this anime is a fantastic music from the band “The Pillows”. Every track I’ve listened to, whether from FLCL or otherwise, is great. I’m not very good at describing music, but it’s a nostalgic, relaxing type of punk rock that makes you feel like you’re a teenager waiting to grow up and live your life again.

If you want to watch this anime, I warn you, there is some suggestive content, so if you’re under 13, I would wait for a bit. So parents, be wary, but it’s still very good, so watch with caution.

3: Tsubasa Chronicle

“Tsubasa Chronicle” is very special to me because it came right after I finished another anime on this list, and this anime/manga is a spiritual successor to that story. It actually has a more “shounen” feel to it, which is different for me, being big into “shoujo” works. It follows a boy named Syaoran who has a very close friendship with Sakura, the princess of her world. The tables turn when Sakura looses her memories, in the form of feathers, and they get scattered across different worlds. It’s up to Syaoran and a team of people from other worlds to travel across these dimensions to get Sakura’s memories back. It’s a beautiful story by my favorite manga team CLAMP, that actually gets very tangled and confusing as it goes on. There are quite a few volumes of the manga, 26 I think, and I got to about volume 17 growing up, mostly since the library stopped carrying the volumes and I didn’t want to buy them (why, teenage Alla??).

There is an anime adaption of Tsubasa, but I’m not the biggest fan of it. The story is altered in the anime, and the beautiful artwork of the manga is not translated as well as I like. That’s probably an unpopular opinion, but that being said, the 1st opening is one of my favorite anime openings of all time. I had an art book of this manga (which I still have!) that has gorgeous pieces made by CLAMP that I would sit and stare at as a budding teenage artist. I would do re-drawings of the art with my own characters in colored pencil. I don’t know if I still have those drawings, but if I do, I’ll put them here. I was real proud of them!

I redrew this so many times. I wanted it to be just right! But I was proud of the blending I did with the fire designs. This drawing is 10 years old now. Wow. Wonder how I would do now if I tried again…

2: Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura is very special to me. It was the anime/manga that introduced me to the genre of Japanese anime and culture. I remember seeing a random volume of the manga in my middle school’s library and thinking the cover art was so beautiful. I ended up reading CCS out of order but I was able to read the whole thing in order at the library. I was a huge library goer, but only for the manga! I’m not sure if you’ve seen others on social media talking about the old days where, in order to watch anime, you had to go on YouTube and watch it in three parts in low quality. All before Crunchyroll or Netflix, that was it. And with Cardcaptor Sakura, that’s what I did. I watched all 70 episodes on that format and I’m proud of it.

CCS is about a girl in elementary school who discovers a book in her father’s library called the book of Clow. It hold the Clow cards, magic cards created by the great sorcerer Clow. When the cards escape, Sakura goes on a journey in her town to restore the Clow Cards and awaken her own magical powers, all with the help of Keroberos, the guardian of the cards. Sakura has many friends and family that love her, like her older brother, her father, and best friend Tomoyo. Yukito, her crush, also becomes very important to her further in the story. Sakura even has a rival, Syaoran Li, who also wants to collect the cards. It’s a very cute and heartwarming story that makes me feel good. The anime has a great, 90’s anime vibe to it that so many people love right now, since it WAS from the 90’s! The manga, which I now own, is beautifully drawn by CLAMP. CCS is currently on Netflix, and I have been watching it again in beautiful high quality, and I can love it all over again! Along with it’s successor “Tsubasa”, CCS also has a new direct sequel called “Clear Card” that is still coming out, and I have been buying the volumes as they come out. It’s great to see Sakura’s story continue! I haven’t watched the anime adaption of “Clear Card”, but the opening brought me back to middle school again.

I do have to warn you though. While CCS is a lovely manga, it does have some strange depictions of love that many cannot appreciate. CLAMP is all about “True Love” in most of their stories (see “Chobits”), and there are some questionable relationships in CCS, including a teacher-student relationship. So if that rubs you the wrong way, please be careful. I know when I was younger, I didn’t think much of it, but if you’re a parent watching with your child, I would proceed with caution, and you can feel free to skip some episodes of the anime that show these relationships. A lot of the anime is filler anyway, so you won’t miss anything!

1: Sailor Moon

Here it is! My number 1 anime! Probably comes as no shock if you know me personally. I assume this manga/anime is on many people’s top 10 lists as their favorite. But I would say “Sailor Moon” has got to be my favorite anime/manga of all time, very closely followed by “Cardcaptor Sakura”. It’s the 90’s anime that influenced so many others to follow in its footsteps, and it holds such a strong legacy for artists everywhere.

If you don’t know the story of “Sailor Moon”, it follows a girl named Usagi, who discovers her magical powers with the help of the cat Luna, and reawakens her past self as the moon princess. She goes on a journey to find the moon princess and the Mythical Silver Crystal, a gem that grants the power of life. She meets new friends that become her allies, and meets her true love, Tuxedo Mask.

My first introduction to Sailor Moon was when I was very young. I watched the Sailor Moon movies as a kid on VHS without knowing what anime was. Even as a child, I thought that the covers of the VHS tapes were so beautiful. It wasn’t until later that I watched Sailor Moon and read the manga that I started to really love the anime. I would watch the transformation sequences over and over again. While this may be another unpopular opinion, I very much prefer the manga over the anime; Naoko Takeuchi, the artist behind Sailor Moon, is my favorite artist. Her artwork speaks to me in a way that no other art has, and I’m not sure what it is about it that I love. I’ve done re-drawings of my favorite pieces recently that you can see on my instagram. I could go on and on about Sailor Moon, but I’ll say that Sailor Moon influenced my art greatly, and I have been enjoying watching the anime on Hulu. Usagi is a very relatable character, and I love to see her grow into her role as a sailor scout.

I currently have the “Eternal” editions of the manga, and have read them again under quarantine, and I am waiting for the next few volumes to come out to complete my collection. Whenever I need to feel inspired to work on an art piece, I just look at Sailor Moon, and when I don’t know what to draw, I draw Sailor Moon characters. It really is a part of my life!

That’s my list for you! I hope you enjoyed it, and can find some new things to watch. This list is a lot of older anime/manga that people have already seen or read, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve seen all of these somewhere. But they all have a special place in my heart. Anime is really awesome, and I’m glad that millions out there can watch, read and get inspired. My list of anime to watch is huge; there are lots of new ones coming out, and ones I need to catch up on, so maybe I’ll make a list of new anime that I love!

Thanks for reading! I have some more posts that I’ll be making very soon, so I will chat later. Stay safe everyone!

<3

Twitter | Insta | Etsy | Twitch

I’m Bored During Quarantine: Let’s Try out a Lifestyle Change

My workout calendar from Blogilates.com.

While I’ve been mostly staying at home, only going out to the grocery once a week, I’ve been feeling more and more lethargic as the days go on. The weeks after I lost my job I basically played video games, drew, ate junk food, and slept a lot. There wasn’t much to do, so I took time to relax, working on a few commissions here and there.

I could tell my body wasn’t really feeling very good. Some days I would use Doordash and eat way too much Wendy’s and get candy from GoPuff. I was sugared out, and I wasn’t moving around as much as I was like when I was working.

As April went by, I decided since I wasn’t really going anywhere, I should probably try and do something I haven’t done in a while. So I made a few changes to my diet, and started following a workout calendar! I was tired of feeling lethargic and overeating junk food, and I knew that I had gained weight. When I weighed in, it was a little… shocking! I was the heaviest I’ve ever been at 180 pounds. When I saw the number, it motivated me even more to try and get in shape and work towards a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to start my little fitness journey:

1: Following Blogilates workouts

Blogilates is a series of fitness videos on YouTube run by Cassey Ho, a Pilates instructor I’ve been following since 2013! She’s an amazing instructor who is very motivating and cheerful, even behind a screen! I am following her beginner’s workout calendar to ease back into her workouts and get stronger. She has lots of different workout plans on her website, blogilates.com, and after I finish this one, I will move on to her PIIT28 workout, which is more intense! There’s actually a discount on her site for the PIIT28 workout if you all want to get on it while it lasts. Be sure to check it out if you want.

Even though it’s the beginning calendar, it’s still pretty tough! I’m in a constant state of soreness as my muscles are waking up and getting used to working out again. But I know that I am getting stronger, and I’ll be able to push myself more and do more advanced moves in the future.

2. Changing my Diet, but also Listening to my Body

One thing that lots of people struggle with when losing weight is changing their diets. While I’m not “going on a diet”, I am changing my eating habits and watching what I eat instead. Because once I get to my goal weight and size the “diet” is not over. I want to be able to incorporate these new eating habits for the long run. So things I’ve cut out completely for now is soda, candy, excess breads, and excess sugars. I have added in more vegetables and protein to my diet. Some things I’ve been eating are bell peppers and hummus, salads, smoothies, and steamed vegetables. One thing I’ve changed that’s been a little more difficult, but fun, is listening to my body, and recognizing when I’m full. I would tend to overeat a lot, and be way too full and bloated the next day. But now when I eat, I make sure to portion out my food so I don’t eat too much, and stop eating when I feel full.

That being said, I also listen to my body when I have cravings. When I want Nutella and toast, I’ll have it. When I crave Raising Cane’s, I’ll have it. When I have dinner and I still feel hungry, I’ll eat more. I don’t restrict myself too much. If I do indulge a little more, I can just balance it out by working out a little more or eating better the next day. That’s why I don’t like “diets”. I like to give my body what it needs.

3. Monitoring my weight and setting loose goals

I bought a couple things for my fitness journey: first a scale so I could actually weigh myself. Every morning after I workout and shower, I’ve been weighing myself. Now some people might not like weighing themselves everyday, but I’m doing it mostly out of curiosity and making sure I’m on track. It’s only been a week and a half, but I’ve lost 5 pounds! I am also measuring myself periodically to track that as well. Some people like writing down their weight and measurements as well as what they’re eating, but I haven’t been doing that. I feel like if I start doing that, I’ll get too obsessive with it. I may start doing it if I plateau though. But I do have a goal weight and a dream weight in mind. I’m not too worried about making those goals, and more focused on how I’m feeling everyday.

Some other things I bought is some more workout clothes and a waist trainer. The waist trainer was something I wanted to try out because I’ve seen that it helps with posture and helps you retain more heat when working out, and so far I like it! I don’t wear it as long as people say to wear it, mostly because I feel like it could get too damaging, but I like wearing it while I workout and for a couple hours while I sit at my desk. In fact, I’m wearing it right now!

4. Water!!!

Drinking water is very important just in general. And I’m making sure that I am drinking the proper amount everyday. I heard that if your urine looks like lime juice, then you’re hydrated! Kinda icky, but it’s a good indicator! I always keep a bottle full of water on my desk, and right now I have a ritual every morning where I fill my bottle up, turn on my fans, and get my workout in for the day. It’s really great! Water is pretty much the only thing I’m drinking right now, but I hear green tea is also very good to have as well. I am waiting on a blender to come in the mail, so soon I will have post-workout smoothies!

These are things I’ve been doing to jump start a healthy lifestyle. After this lock down is over and life starts to look normal again, I’d like to join a gym and workout there as well. I would also like to fix up my bike and go bike riding, and buy some other things like tennis balls and jump ropes. This summer, ya girl is gonna be fit! I’ll be sure to update you on my progress.

My goal weight is 150 pounds, but my dream weight would be to get down to 135 pounds. I also want to refine that hourglass shape that I have; get that Tinkerbell body, you know what I mean?

What a cutie <3 I was Tinkerbell for Halloween last year!

Again, these are loose goals that I have; I’m mostly doing this fitness journey to feel better and to fit clothes better. Once I hit my goals, my plan is to keep up my healthy lifestyle forever! We only have this body, might as well treat her right, you know?

If you out there feel like doing something to pass the time during quarantine, I suggest doing some at-home workouts! Since doing this I feel way more energetic, I’ve been waking up earlier, and feeling more productive throughout the day. It’s kind of amazing!

Everyone stay safe out there! Take care and I’ll write more soon <3

-Allison

I Got Laid off Because of the Corona Virus; Now What?

What a turn this has been. Yesterday I received a call from my workplace saying that my job has ended due to the workplace closing. I lamented about the loss of my main source of income, I sat at my computer, wondering what to do. I was set to come into work the next day, ready to hear what craziness was going on outside of work, hoping nothing escalates further to the point of my job being on the line. Turns out things escalated very, very quickly, and after my phone call, I filed for unemployment.

I now sit in my home, keeping up with the news and social distancing as much as I can. I find myself with much more time on my hands, so I spent my first day of unemployment creating art, playing video games, and petting my cat. I’m still very bummed; I have no real source of income, only small amounts of support from my family. I just got my mid-month paycheck, and I have some savings that can hold me for a couple months, but that’s about it. It’s scary.

What do I do in this time of uncertainty in the country?

Right now, I will do what I believe I was born to do: I’m going to take the time I have, and create. Right now, everything is blurry; I’m not sure what project to focus on first, and finding a source of income is very important right now. But I know that this time at home was given to me (definitely not in the way I expected).

A piece I made today; it fits gracefully on my desktop!

Please follow along with me as I navigate this journey, and I hope you all out there are staying safe in a very troubling time. Make sure to support your fellow human being in ways you are able, and be kind to one another.

If you have the means to support, I would be very grateful! Please follow my Gumroad page, as I am working on some new pieces to put there as both downloadable copies, and physical prints. I also have my commissions open, per usual. And of course, I’ll be posting more drawings over on my Instagram.

Stay safe out there, and good luck to you!

<3

Allison

Twitter | Instagram | Twitch | Gumroad

My New PC Build

Here she is! What should I name her?

For 7 years I used a 13″ Macbook Pro as my computer of choice. We got it back in 2013 to get me through college and loaded it up with all the Adobe programs I needed to go to art school. With that laptop, I also played games, both alone and with my friends, and it has gotten me through my art side career after I graduated.

Starting last year, I noticed my laptop started showing its age. Programs slowed down, I couldn’t work in Photoshop without force quitting and resetting multiple times. I took it to the repair shop, and ended up having to replace the hard drive. After doing that, I decided that it may be time to upgrade to a new PC.

I’ve been wanting to build my own PC since 2015. I mostly wanted to build one for the experience, but also have a really powerful machine capable of multiple things including gaming, streaming, and Adobe products. At the time, Twitch streaming wasn’t as big as being a YouTuber, so at the time, I wanted to try my hand at making YouTube videos, which I made a couple (which now don’t exist anywhere on the internet). But I would have needed a more beefy PC to pursue that.

Now, in 2020, the time has come! I went ahead and took my hard earned cash and invested it into a really nice, powerful PC that I am currently typing this blog on! Read more for the specs…

I took a trip to my local Micro Center this past week ready to purchase the parts I needed. While I went a couple hundred over my budget, I ended up with a cart full of all the items I needed to get started. The sales assistants at the store were very helpful in deciding the parts for me, and made sure I got the right products and for good prices. When I got home, I couldn’t wait to get started. Luckily, I didn’t have work the next day, so I spent my night building this bad girl. It took me 5 hours hunched over my desk and watching multiple tutorials online. My boyfriend guarded my cat, and I got to work.

Here are my specs!

Right after I finished I took a victory photo. My cable management is not the best, but at least they’re somewhat out of the way!

Processor: AMD 8 core 16 thread by Ryzen (came with a fan with cool RBG colors!)

Hard Drives: 500GB m.2 SSD for storing Windows 10 software, and a 2TB mechanical SSD for storage

Graphics Card: GTX 1660 by MSI

Motherboard: Aorus B450 Pro Wifi Board

Case: Corsair Mid-Tower Spec-02 Case

Monitor: ACER 27″ 1920×1080 K2 Series

Keyboard & Mouse: A really cheap set 🙂

I went to bed at about 1am that night with all the pieces put together. The first time I turned it on and saw all the fans working was so magical!!

Later on, a friend helped me acquire Windows software so I could finally use it to its full potential. I spent a day off installing all the drivers and updates I needed to start working with my new PC.

My Plans with my new PC:

I would like to start up some projects that got put on hold because of my old computer malfunctioning, like creating new graphics for Soft Peach and Jazz in Illustrator and InDesign, as well as more projects for Soft Peach that require a little more CPU power.

I’d also like to start streaming on Twitch! I created a Twitch channel for the time being if you would like to follow. It will take me some time to start streaming, but I am working up to it! I will mostly be playing slower games like The Sims 2, Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, etc. It will also be a place where I do some art as well. So if you would like to see me go live soon, let me know, and I will do it!

There are other projects I’d like to pursue with this new PC; I’m looking into new opportunities and business ideas that I could now take advantage of, and I am striving to use this PC to make some things happen. I’m uncertain of what those things are, so I will make sure to keep you updated on what they are in the future! I’d like to get to a point to where I can set my own schedule and be my own boss, so let’s see what the future holds!

What you Can Do if you Want to Build a PC:

Research, research, research. If you know nothing about building a PC, YouTube is a good place to start. For building my PC, the YouTube channel Paul’s Hardware was very informative and useful. He is very knowledgeable about the subject, so I highly recommend that channel. He helped me make a list of what parts I needed, how to set them up, and get to the point I am at now.

Have a friend help you build it too. If you know a person who has built a PC before, they maybe able to help you along the way. My brother in-law and another friend both helped me when I was researching to know what kind of hardware I would need for the type of PC I would need for what I’d be doing with it.

Speaking of what I want to do with the PC, figure out what the purpose of your build has, and figure that into your budget. If you’re looking for a PC that’s capable of multiple programs running, video editing, streaming in 4K, you may want to look into higher-end parts, and may spend upwards of $1,500-$2,000. My PC is a pretty good machine, able to run at high speeds, easily run games and other software with no problems so far. I spent a little over $1,000 for my PC, but you can easily swap out different parts if you’re looking to spend a little less. You can also upgrade over time. It’s all very customizable! If you’re able to make your way to a Micro Center, or any tech store, the sales assistants will be very helpful in pointing you into the right direction.

Thanks for reading this post! I was really excited to start up my PC and write this for you all. I look forward to creating more projects with this computer, and I hope you will join me on the next post!

Talk to you soon,

<3 Allison

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Late Night Talk

It’s about time for me to head off to bed for work tomorrow morning, but I can’t help but think about all the ideas I have floating around in my brain. I’ve been settling into my new place pretty well, and been working at my current job for almost 6 months now, and things are starting to feel normal. Maybe a little too normal…

It’s been a bit of a struggle to formulate my ideas and goals lately. Maybe it’s because I have so many passion projects I want to take on, maybe it’s cause I have to switch my mind from event planning at my day job to trying to produce a piece of art, or maybe it’s because I started drinking coffee more regularly and it’s ruining my brain! After work, I get very easily distracted from browsing YouTube and The Sims 2 that I end up spending my evenings not accomplishing anything.

While it’s great that I have a pretty steady income and my own place to call home, I now need to dedicate the time and effort to get down to business and produce some work!

Lately, I’ve been putting myself out there and been applying for more cons and freelance work. Looking for new jobs is obviously not a new venture to me, but I’m realizing that I need to go back to surrounding myself with artists and be in an artistic career setting. I enjoy what I do currently, but I don’t see it long term. I went to art school and have been drawing all my life for a reason, so I’m gonna make it a goal to make a career in art for myself, whether it be my own business, in a studio with a company, or in my own studio surrounded by my friends!

Only a short and sweet post for tonight; I like these spontaneous posts, so I’ll call it a night for now.

G’night!

-Allison

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January 2020: A Month of Change

Where do I start?

This past month has been one for the books. I haven’t even been able to think about the things I accomplished because I’d quickly move onto the next thing. Let me walk you through what I’ve been up to recently:

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We got Planet Fitness hats! 

New Year’s Eve: At Times Square

Let’s start with the biggest thing I did, shall we? My New Year’s Eve was spent partying it up at Times Square in NYC. This was a big checkmark off my bucket list, and since a new decade was coming up, we had to take the chance to finally go. My boyfriend and I made the 8 hour drive to New York to watch the ball drop and get that sweet 2020 vision. While standing for 12 hours in the cold surrounded by millions of people wasn’t the best experience, getting a glimpse of the Big Apple was. We were only there for 3 days, so we only got a small chance to explore the city, but it was definitely worth it. We were able to stop by a couple shops we wanted to go to (I wanted to see the American Girl store, and we both wanted to go to the Nintendo store), and got to eat some delicious NYC pizza. If you ever get a chance to go to NYC for New Years, I suggest going at least once in your life if you’re up for it. But to be honest, watching New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on TV is still pretty good. However, I loved New York, and I’m already thinking about going back there again. Maybe if I ever go back for New Year’s, I’ll check the cost of a hotel near Times Square and watch the party from my window! 

 

First Convention of the Year: Ohayocon

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My booth! My boyfriend was very helpful that weekend.

Now, this con was very spontaneous and last minute. I was put on the waitlist for this convention earlier in 2019, and decided I shouldn’t attend since I was packing and moving. Something in me however told me that I’d regret not going, and trying to buy a table the first day somewhat appealed to me. So, at 6:30am, the first day of Ohayocon, I made my way to the convention center and 4 hours later, I had a table! It was an amazing weekend full of happy anime fans enjoying themselves. I didn’t prepare very properly, and I didn’t have much to show, but I made the most of it, and I still made a profit! It was a lot of fun watching people get excited about seeing my art, and I just love selling at conventions. I’m so glad that I followed my instincts and made the plunge. It only fueled my love of my artistic side hustle, and motivated me to enhance my skills and continue creating more pieces and make this a full time hustle in the future. I was also able to add more business cards to my collection, and met and followed lots of new artists! 

My Biggest Move So Far

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A glimpse of my living room with the nice curtains 😀

Literally a couple days after Ohayocon, I was set to move to a new apartment. Not just any place either. This happens to be my first place where I’m living on my own! That’s right, I’ve been really good at saving and working at my day job, and since my income has grown, I’ve decided it’s time to venture out on my own. I’m currently in great need of furniture, but we’ll get there! One thing I’m really excited about this new place is the freedom to work on my art in my own space. I thrive working on my art without too many distractions, and I felt a little constricted my my old place. I didn’t have a lot of room to grow and develop. But now, my desk fits nicely in my living room, and the space is mine! 

Give me some time to settle in, say, a month or so, and I would love to get more consistent with my art career. I have many plans, as usual, but this time I may be able to realize them, so please join me as I figure things out. I’d love to start making videos and incorporating them into blog posts, so please consider following and sharing. I have much more to show you!

Enjoy the rest of January!

<3 Allison

An Update: What’s Been Happening?

Did anyone forget that I blogged on the side? I guess I did, because I’ve been working so hard at my day job along with the rest of life’s obligations that I neglected my blog! 

There’s been a couple things going on in my life that I would like to catch you up on, and some things that I would like to do as the year comes to an end. We’re almost in 2020, and this next year feels like a big one! 

Here’s what I’ve been up to these past few months:

Studio Picnic: Planning, Planning, Planning

If you’ve read my post on Studio Picnic, you’ll know that I have this idea to open up a space for artists in my area chock full of helpful resources for young artists living in my city. Currently, I have a highly edited business plan written for the venture, and I have been getting brainstorming sessions in with anyone that will listen to my ideas. So far, the figuring it out part has been very fun and inspiring. I also created a Facebook Group for it as well. 

Along with some good old fashioned work, my friends and I have started a sketch meet-up with other artist peers. Every third Sunday we have been getting together at a public place, chatting and showing off our sketchbooks with each other. We’ve done it twice so far, and both times have been a big success! The photo below was from our first successful sketch meet up; we had fun drawing and eating pizza! 

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Big Girl Step: Moving to her Own Place

Something that I’ve wanted to do ever since I graduated college is finally happening: I’m moving out on my own and getting my own place! It’s been a long time coming; I’ve been been working hard, and I’m becoming more stable enough to venture out and rent out a little downtown 1 bedroom for myself. The move is at the end of January, and I couldn’t be any more excited. I’ll be sure to write all about the moving process. Maybe I’ll so some sort of house tour when I get all settled and decorate the place, so stay tuned for that!

Working Hard at my Day Job, But Keeping my Options Open

I’ve been at my current job for 3 months now, and so far it’s been pretty good; I’m learning a lot about the event planning industry, and absorbing everything like a little sponge. The people I work with are helpful in making sure I understand things, and I think I’m starting to fit into my role with the company. Like I said before, it’s my first “Big Girl Job”, and I was so nervous at first to do a good job. I still feel that way a little bit, but I’m starting to get comfortable there. 

I am, however, still keeping my eyes on the horizon for any types of other opportunities that might come my way. Not that I am trying to leave anytime soon. I just like to keep my options open, and while I’m in a position to pay down my debts and save money, I am going to continue to build my art, build my business ideas, and try to make something out of myself. Even if that means moving to a new career, or starting my own business. When I first started my job I thought to myself, “this may be the job that I leave to become a full-time artist”. Only the future knows. 

Looking Forward to Writing my New Year’s Resolutions

I love the New Year. It’s a good time to clean the slate and start over, in a metaphorical sense that is. And this year feels a little more special since it’ll be a new decade too! The 20’s are gonna be a very interesting time in my life. In 2025, I’ll be 30 years old (what?!), so we will see what happens this decade. In 2010 I was 15, a confused and quiet teenager. I like looking far in the future, trying to visualize what lies ahead of me. My boyfriend gets nervous when I talk about the future, but I really enjoy thinking about it. It gives me motivation to make some of those visualizations real.

This will probably be my last blog post of the year. I’ll be sure to write more often, as it helps me organize my thoughts. In 2020, I have a lot that I want to accomplish, so I’ll be sure to write about it as it happens! Stay tuned for more in the future <3

-Allison

Alla’s September Sightings

Why did it feel like September flew by? Is anyone else’s mind blown that we’re almost in October? Even though it doesn’t feel like Fall yet in Central Ohio, I’m definitely ready for Fall. I usually dread the start of Fall, it’s me least favorite season. While I know that’s a very unpopular opinion, I’m a summer child at heart, and love warm weather. But it’s been so hot recently that, for the first time, I’m looking forward to bringing out my winter jackets and hot apple cider. I already have a Halloween costume in mind for the holiday, now I have to find a Halloween party to go to. 🙂

It’s looking like October will be a busy month for me; I have some overtime scheduled in at work in the next few weeks, and I would like to post more on here, and work on my comic. Wish me luck! 

I would like to share with you my favorites from this month. It’s been a month of 

1. Artist Alley International Facebook Group

Lately I’ve been interested in applying to and attending more conventions in Ohio and the midwest. I always have a good time at the conventions I go to. I love meeting new people that look at my art, making connections and of course, collecting business cards. Recently I went to CXC this past Sunday, and I was able to connect with former peers from my college, and it was great to see people tabling and selling their work.

I’ve been showing at a couple cons since 2015, starting with my college’s art fair. There’s a big list on my computer of different cons that are currently accepting artist alley applications, ones to apply to next year, as well as lists of things I need for my booth space. My partner and I enjoy coming up with unique interactive booth ideas to draw people to my table, and I love to see what other people are doing.  

That’s where this Facebook group comes in. The Artist Alley International Group on Facebook is a great space for artists to come together and discuss tips, advice, and more about booth spaces, reviews on different conventions, things like that. I find myself scrolling down the page for hours, reading discussions, making mental notes on helpful advice. I recommend it for anyone that is interested in conventions in any way, whether they want to apply to shows, or attend them. 

2. Packing Lunch

This one is less of what I’ve been doing, and more of what I want to do. I work a full time job, and while I’m close to a lot of different fast food places, I’d rather not spend half my paycheck on bought lunch. I’ve been trying to cut down my food spending during the week, but what I really want to start doing is more meal prepping on my days off. Some days I do bring some snacks with me to work, enough for me to not be starving at my desk, but I would like to start making actual meals for myself. 

I’m gonna make a challenge for myself: I‘m gonna plan a day in the week to cook a big meal and split it up 4 ways, and once a week I can treat myself to take out. Sounds simple enough, right?

3. Pleasant Sims

I’m big on watching YouTube videos on the regular, if you don’t know already. I’m also a big fan of playing the Sims 2 on the regular. One of my favorite small Youtubers in recent time has been Pleasant Sims”. This small let’s play channel is run by Cindy, and she focuses on Sims 2 let’s plays, telling the stories of the well known sims in the game. I end up watching this channel for hours, listening to the stories and gameplay go on, and sometimes end up falling asleep to them. I really like the way Cindy plays; she uses modifications and that help the gameplay, and I actually downloaded some that she recommended. She also runs a blog on her website, pleasantsims.com, which has lots of tips and advice for other Sims 2 players. 

I’ve been playing Sims 2 since I was 10 years old, and I’m always finding new ways to play from her website. If you’re a fan of The Sims and Let’s Plays, take a look at her channel!

4. Downtown Columbus

My morning commute has cut down significantly since starting my new job. I take the bus to work, which used to be around a 30 minute bus ride to the shopping mall. But now it’s a 10-15 minute trip to downtown, which always has something new on my walk to work. I really enjoy joining the hustle and bustle of the morning commute, and sometimes before I go to work, I stop by Starbucks and grab breakfast. Everything is really close by, and I enjoy going out to grab lunch a couple blocks away. I’m also close to my college, and sometimes walk by there, stopping by the grocery store nearby and grabbing a slice of pizza. 

I feel like more of an adult walking downtown to work surrounded by people in suits and business casual clothing. It’s a nice upgrade from the mall, even though I frequently miss the routine I had working at the mall. Still, it’s worth it though. My coworkers are super helpful and great, and I always feel accomplished at my job. Like I said in an earlier blog post, I can see myself at my job for at least another few years or so.

That’s about it for September! I’ve been working a lot, and trying to continue side-hustling too. My partner has been very supportive lately, and my friends and I all get together still. Life is still going along well, and my quest to becoming a full-time artist is starting to look more realistic!

See you in the next blog post! <3

-Alla

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