Tuesday, August 25, 2009


A psychedelic artwork in markers and pen. I was watching a chinese historical drama while inking this and Akira Kurosawa's 'Dreams' while colouring it. I enjoyed 'Dreams' alot, it consists of 8 short stories based on the director's dreams and is reminscent of Natsume Soseki's 'Yume Jyuu ya' (Ten Nights of Dreams) which also had a movie made in 10 short stories by various directors; Kurosawa's was less absurd though. It's slow-paced and mostly talks about man and his interaction with nature with no apparent ending but I found it rather artistic.

Back to the ACEO: The double floral border was fun to draw, maybe I'll use it again on another artwork. ACEO refers to 'art cards, editions and originals' and are limited to 2.5 x 3.5" size.

It's available in my Etsy shop here:

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Huzzah!! An ACEO-ATC-ArtCard site just featured an article on my artworks =D

Visit Artcardist.com to read more: http://artcardist.com/gallery-2/vera-ma

Why art cards? Well this is an easier reference to 2.5 x 3.5" artist-created cards that can function both as ACEOs or ATCs. Usually ATCs are strictly for trading without intention to sell and ACEOs are strictly created for selling. Ditto if you are planning to join a specialised collector's club or forum. For people who don't want to choose a side (like me), the term 'art cards' is more convenient and speaks for itself, although I am currently only creating ACEOs. Everywhere else outside my Etsy shop/Ebay/blog I always call ACEOs 'Art Cards' anyway because no one understands what the acronym means!

For the uninitiated, ATC means 'Art(ist) Trading Cards' and ACEO means 'Art Cards, Editions and Originals'.

Many thanks to Corey Brown for taking the time to create the feature!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


After a hiatus of a few months, my latest artwork.
Entitled 'Topping Hats', it shows a battle between sprinkles or cream. Decisions decisions!

I plan to make at least 10 more ACEOs (2.5 x 3.5" art cards) to replenish my Etsy shop! This is made with markers, gold & white pen and a new Pilot brown marker pen - I've been searching high and low for years for this particular colour used in my early artworks; all the bookshops carry them in black and blue but not brown but lo and behold my local stationery shop carried one last piece! I was ecstatic... love how it smudges softly when used. Going to buy a whole box if I ever see any shop carrying extra stock!

Available at my Etsy shop here:

Monday, August 17, 2009


So I managed to drag myself to the Singapore Games, Toys & Comics Convention 2009 held at Suntec City. I was hoping to see/ meet some local artists and artworks but the convention contained mostly commercial toys and games. The artists' booths were small right at the last row so they're easy to miss compared to big companies like Nintendo & Star Wars but it was nice to see them nonetheless.

It was quite a lovely experience being surrounded by designer toys though I had to refrain from being too *otaku* (this means somewhere along the lines 'fanboy- fangirl obsessed geek') and getting excited that my hands weren't steady enough for proper shots! It was also interesting to note some senior folks enjoying themselves; an old man was delighted at the giant Gundam mecha sculpture below and I helped him with a photo. Also a few energetic senior folks playing the wii were having fun. Very child-like =) Hopefully next year's convention will invite a wider range of toy makers & manga. More indie, handmade, more artists and more art books definitely needed.

Also it was very crowded... it doesn't look like it in the photos but I kept getting knocked about when taking photos. People kept cutting in front of my shots because it was just lots of human and semi-human (aliens and startroopers) traffic.

I believe this is from Gundam (at first I thought it was Macross)

Bandai brought in a massive lot of gachapon machines. I only managed to spin one Tofu Oyako toy because I was rushed into leaving, am seriously regretting it now.

My beloved Tetsuwan Atomu / Astroboy figurines.

Gloomy bear

Beautiful gothic Blythe doll. She has a black doggie even.

Row of Blythe dolls. The display was impressive, the pink Blythe is gorgeous!

Gachapon toys. I got the Poison Tofu magnet.

Domo-kun reminds me of an angry cookie/ abominable snowman. I think he's really cute.

Graffiti wall. See there's Tofu again.

Gary Baseman was here too.

One group out of the several cosplayers present. They add much colour to the convention.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm late this year!

Singapore's National Day is 9th Aug and I meant to blog on that day itself but somehow didn't. I also wanted to catch the fireworks but didn't either; it was gorgeous even on tv.

Talking about fireworks take note that there is a meteor shower tonight (Tues) and tomorrow night (Wed) depending on your location. The Perseid meteor shower occurs yearly when Earth runs into a trail of dust and pebbles deposited by the comet Swift-Tuttle in its 130-year orbit around the sun. I'm peeking out of my window and as usual there is NOTHING! Most likely due to the bad vantage point and light pollution.

The photo above is taken about several weeks back at night. You can see my merlion daytime photo here:

Since its National Day, I'm obliged to share (or bore you) with 10 things about Singapore =)

1. The weather is typically hot and humid. The worst of all is humidity - 80% is our normal days. With consecutive rainy days humidity can be 100% and nothing gets evaporated. Everything grows mouldy here.

2. Chewing gum is banned, as you might already know. Nicotine gum is permitted but you need a prescription for it. And no, you won't go to jail for chewing gum. You cannot import or sell it that's all. It's not as if you'd get hauled for having gum in your mouth/ pocket. In retrospect I'm glad they banned it; there's always irresponsible actions of not disposing the gum properly, sticking on lift buttons and train doors even. Plain disgusting. It's a bit funny when I think about my last legal pack of gum which fell out of a hole in my pocket in the end.

3. We still have judicial caning, for men only. We do have pretty strict laws. Drug trafficking = death. Though you won't get caned/ jailed for littering or jaywalking lol. Caning was adopted during the British colonial days. There's also another form of caning... called discipline caning for naughty kids from their parents! I'd say it is an effective form of discipline. It crosses the line to become abuse if the child suffers injuries out of the parent's irrational anger. Regarding strict laws, some people say it's against human rights and all that, but if you break the law, you have to face the music. You already know how it is here. If you don't want to suffer, don't commit crimes. Or go elsewhere... or if you're really smart, don't get caught!

4. Singapore does not have any natural disasters or natural resources. No earthquakes, no hurricanes, no four seasons, no mountains, no freshwater. We buy water from Malaysia and rely on rainfall collected in reservoirs. There are some disputes over the price of water from Malaysia so there's this NEWater plant in process. It is basically recycling sewage water into potable water. My friend tasted it before and remarked that it tasted strange because it was too clean - pure H2O. Go figure lol.

5. What we have are lots of lightning storms, workaholics, geeks, shopping malls, food outlets and blog shops (visit mine - Lemon Kitscharms on the right sidebar).

6. Singapore is in its 44th year of independence this year. The strangest thing is Singapore didn't want to be independent because of a lack of everything needed for survival. Let's just say independence was a nightmare came true. The island was supposed to merge with the Federation of Malaya but was kicked out shortly due to ideological conflicts between the State government (Singapore) and the Central Government (Malaya) in 1965. It was all in anguish that then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew cried on national tv as he broke the news of separation and independence. As I said, Singapore had no natural resources, high unemployment and major housing problems then but who would have thought that it was probably the best thing to happen?

7. During the Japanese Occupation, Singapore was renamed 'Shonanto' which means 'Light of the South'.

8. The four official languages are: English, Malay, Chinese Mandarin and Tamil. The national language is Malay for historical reasons. The administrative language is English for neutrality. As of 2009, 75% of the population are Chinese, 14% Malays, 9% Indians and the rest are under the collective term 'Others'. Our unofficial national language is 'Singlish'. The government abhor it, foreigners don't understand it and Singaporeans are divided over whether they like it or hate it. It's a hybrid of all the languages we use and with some new words from our imaginations.

9. The earliest settlement on this island dates back to 2 century AD. It was known as 'Temasek' (sea town) then and had a bustling trading port. Then in the 14th century, an Indonesian prince named Sang Nila Utama founded the island and named it 'Singapura' which means 'Lion City' because he saw a strange beast with a red body, a black head and white breast. His chief minister told him it was a lion. Some people think it was a tiger since lions don't exist here... but who knows? (cryptozoologists hear!) Portugese, Dutch, British, Japanese came and went in history.

10. 80% of the population are short-sighted, this includes children. I blame it on too much studying (national obsession), reading, tv, computer, homework and genetics.

That's it. Majulah Singapura. God bless Singapore.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Kaleidoscope phone strap. I've always wanted a kaleidoscope ever since I encountered one in my school science lab. So when I saw the miniature version in a gachapon machine I thought why not. It may be an old gadget for today's technological standards but amusing nonetheless. My favourite themes are psychedelia so kaleidoscopes are just my cup of tea.

The packaging below shows the 'Hanabi' (fireworks) pattern:

Here are some snapshots, it was hard to centralise my camera through the tiny peephole. Since it was a cheaply made kaleidoscope the mirrors are a little 'dusty':

A kaleidoscope mechanism is pretty simple: colourful beads in a tube of mirrors set at angles to reflect a arbitrary symmetric pattern whenever the tube is turned and the materials inside slide around. There is also a kind of kaleidoscope without beads and it reflects images instead.

Here are some unique artisan-made kaleidoscopes and kaleidoscope-inspired finds from Etsy: