Sketch Blog #1 – Taking Requests!

Merry Leap Year, everybody!

I don’t know why, but I love the number 4, and things being split into quarters. So I love how every four years we account for the fact the earth completes an orbit around the sun in 365.25 days by creating an extra little pocket of time. Well, not CREATING time, but taking four quarters and joining them together into a secret little time nugget.

I like to imagine a future when humans have spread out among the stars and started forming intergalactic relations, possibly with aliens, possibly our descendants who migrated to other planets. Well anyway, I like to imagine them taking a tour trip to Earth, and having the ‘leap year’ explained to them as part of ‘Earth culture’. Or ‘Earth geography’, whatever. Then they’d explain old rituals and customs and how time was measured thousands of years ago, and  celebrating Equinox and the Solstice and the like (splitting the year into four equal parts, thank you Pagans).

I also like the number 21. It’s my age, and it’s also the date when Winter/Summer Solstice and Spring/Autumn Equinox are celebrated. It’s also half of the number 42, which we all know is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

The number 4 is unlucky in Chinese and Japanese culture, though. It’s read like ‘shi’, which sounds similar to the pronunciation of ‘death’.

ANYWAY. I didn’t come here to talk about Pagans and the number 4.


I’ve started drawing again. Just as a hobby, and to experiment with new techniques, and to kind of keep the creative juices flowing. So I’m going to start posting a monthly sketch blog on here (maybe even bimonthly, if I draw a lot), of all the little doodles, sketches and drawings I compile over time.

Don’t expect anything of amazingly high quality, because as I say, these are just sketches. Mainly done on MS Paint (boy, that takes me back). Basically I don’t have very good drawing software (I use Adobe Flash and it can be a pain in the arse) and MS Paint simply feels the closest to doodling in pencil/biro like I would on my school notebooks. Maybe I’ll post some of those doodles too, hehe.

Because my imagination feels so dead these days I’ve decided to take requests too, or even just idea suggestions.

If you want me to sketch you something, leave a comment on this blog, tweet me (@naiveinnippon), or a message me on Facebook (Naïve In Nippon).

And without further ado, here are this month’s sketches (posted in no particular order):


Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, A Series of Unfortunate Events, sans faces for added mystery >:3

boy on a ship

A little boy looking over the edge of a ship/tall building as his parents fight in the background.

chloe the illustrator

Request for CS: ‘Draw me’. So I did. 🙂 Another possible request was to draw the MHS gang updated but I’m getting a haircut in a few days so at that point it wouldn’t look very updated anymore, ahaha.


A little tribute to CL in her ‘Baddest Female’ (나쁜 기집애) music video. She is a queen and I worship her. 

czarina and rena

Rena and Czarina. Two original characters from this idea I had for a manga a few years ago, and might still one day draw. 

darth vader vs harry potter

Request for RM: ‘What about something Star Wars? Or Harry Potter, lol’. So I combined the two. I hope you like it, haha. xD

Freestyle paint sketch of a girl in the shower

A woman in the shower. I, um, don’t really know why I drew this. I think it was to practice drawing the female form in a flattering manner and also to practice drawing wet hair. Yeah, that sounds about right. Did I succeed? Probably not.

Freestyle paint sketch of a girl

A girl crouching. A little CL-inspired with the spiky eyeliner and urban attire.

Freestyle paint sketch of a guy and girl kissing

A kiss. It’s really hard to draw people kissing but this one turned out okay I think.

Freestyle paint sketch of a guy

Some dude. I’m pretty bad at drawing guys. I need more practice.

Freestyle paint sketch of a superhero

A lil non-starter of a cute little superhero type. Looks a bit like Hit Girl, doesn’t she?

girl in cap

Another little abandoned doodle of a girl in a cap.

Mono revamped - sketch

The beginning sketch of an original character I created when I was 15, called ‘Mono’, drawn in Flash. Since then I layered it up and it became my cover photo on Facebook.

Mono revamped

The above sketch, layered up and completed. Still looks kinda shit, though I can’t entirely blame Flash, I think it’s mainly because I’m lazy.

paint sketch - black and white girl

This came outta nowhere. She’s a cutie. Any ideas for names? So far all I can think of is ‘Anna’, because she reminds me a bit of the Japanese singer Anna Tsuchiya. 

paint sketch - girl with frowny face

Moody lil cutie.

paint sketch - queen qwerty

‘Queen Qwerty’, a character I came up with on the spot. This was an attempt to come away from manga style and create something more simple. Looks a bit like a cross between The Powerpuff Girls and South Park.

princess froggy

A cute little princess character I came up with, originally based on a genderbent drawing of a friend. 

The next three drawings were requests, and they are somewhat, ahem, NSFW (aka a teensy bit porny), but I really like how they turned out, so I decided to post them to this blog after all. Look at them if you will, or not, up to you. The requests were of something Marvel/superhero girly/a cute butt. So in tribute to the new DP movie I draw Lady Deadpool, also Smash Girl from the YT animation ‘Power Trip’, and R.Mika and Cammy from Street Fighter.

drivebysmash girl and captain crashstreet fighter butts

waltz of the flowers

Last but not least, I had Tchaikovsky’s ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ in my head and so came up with this while listening to it. Lovely piece of classical music.


So there you have it! These are all works from the past month of sketching. The simplest, most incomplete doodles maybe took 5 minutes or less, and the one that took the longest was the final NSFW pic of the SF girls, but that still only took 1.5 hours. The not-a-sketch but complete-work-of-art which was the Mono Facebook cover took forever, between 5-10 hours, I think. Though I definitely procrastinated which probably added to the total time.

That’s all, folks! If you have a request, or a suggestion on something to draw, leave a comment on this blog, my Twitter, or my Facebook page. See ya!



Day 195: Job satisfaction 日曜日・2015年3月29日

I ended up doing 12 bookings today (meaning 6 hours of work), over an 11-hour period, 11am-10pm. I barely noticed. I was genuinely enjoying myself.

To pump myself up I listened to some nostalgic songs, namely Busted, and was headbanging along to the anthems of my childhood. Disturbing now to listen back to their songs and realize I was singing along to songs with lyrical genius such as “I messed my pants/When we flew over France” as an eight-year-old. I don’t even care. Air-guitaring to “Crashed The Wedding” and “Thunderbirds Are Go” is life.

A Japanese song that Rachel sings in karaoke a lot,「いいんですか?」 (“Iin desu ka?”, is it okay?”), is also good for pumping me up. I also like 「リンダリンダ」 (“Linda Linda”). Oh, and the Sex Pistols. Stuff with heavy electric guitar is best for pumping me up for 11 hours of work.

I had a whole range of customers. Some of them had double lessons for if they wanted to study articles or from a textbook, others wanted to just chat for a while about certain topics, and so on. My favourite client was an 8-year-old boy who loved Harry Potter, and we talked about nothing else for the whole lesson. On the spot I decided to quiz him, thinking of one question for each book, and he has a surprising eye for detail. Also his English was probably the best out of all the Japanese people I spoke to today, except perhaps for my last client who is 49-years-old and speaks Queen’s English, but this little boy spoke it so naturally and seemed incredibly mature and intelligent for his age. His mother then booked two more lessons for him with me this week, saying that he really enjoyed the Harry Potter quiz and that he wanted it to be the topic for his next lesson. The other lesson is to focus more on Roald Dahl and any other English books he’s read. If only someone had shown me French films and given me French books or something when I was that age. Or German books. Anything in another language. He’s apparently only been learning English for a year and a half and he speaks like a native child.

Another interesting client was a customer who reads The Economist and picked out an article speculating on whether the Chester constituency in the North West of England would vote Tory or Labour in the upcoming general elections. So, quite relevant to me. How thoughtful. This one was more intellectually challenging, and for that I am grateful. Lots of political and financial vocabulary.

I’m working for peanuts right now at ¥600 an hour (legally within the Japanese minimum wage bandwidth), but I don’t really mind. I’ve had over 10 bookings, I had 12 just today, so I can ask to upgrade from half-price campaign teacher to fully-paid ¥1200-an-hour teacher whenever I want, but like I mentioned before campaign tutors have more of the spotlight being cheaper and easier to find, so once I upgrade I’m going to stand out a lot less. There’s only a handful of half-price teachers to compete against, in contrast to 94 full-price teachers. So I’ll wait until I get a few regulars and a few more likes and reviews on my profile. Thinking of staying like this until I’ve settled into my new routine for the spring semester and I’m getting an average of 25-30 bookings a week. That may take up until my first pay day, in three weeks’ time, or I might make it a month.

I am SO tired now. Time for bed. Only two bookings for tomorrow so far. I should be going out in the evening and I can’t do the afternoon because my Japanese language lecturer is in town and wants to meet up with me and Jay for coffee and a chat about our progress.

Night night!

Day 33: Universal Studios Japan! :D土曜日・2014年10月18日

I only just got back to my dorm, at 00:20 the next day, so I’ve missed my deadline, but I’ll fill you in on my day.

It was awesome, by the way.

I woke up early, around six, to make a bento lunch  (which went kind of wrong but it was only my first try). Consisted of onigiri, salmon, sweetcorn and kabocha. My flatmate (H-san) passed by as I was trying to arrange it in the box, and said nothing. I could tell she disapproved. I’m not sure she likes me very much. She never smiles at me, never talks to me, in fact I’ve never seen her smile now I think about it.

I had to put contacts in as I was adamant not to let my glasses fall off on any rides. They would remain attached to my eyeballs for the next 16 hours. Not that healthy.

On the way to the monorail I passed a newly-renovated building which they’d turned into a Post Office – convenient or what?! It opens next week apparently.

I met Rika at the station (she was a little late, due to feeling ill when she woke up this morning), and we changed trains three times in order to get to USJ. But when we got there, there wasn’t even a wisp of a cloud in the flawless, crystal-blue sky. The palm trees swayed majestically in the slight breeze. The USJ arch stood proudly before us. I could feel it; I was in Hollywood. That’s how it felt. (Shh, I know Universal Studios is in Florida, but whatever.)

I was wary because of how bloody crowded it was. Japan has about the same land mass of England, but twice the population. A lot of people live in really condensed areas. You don’t really notice this until you’re on a train in rush hour, or alternatively in a massive theme park that covers 108 acres yet still has a human squeezed into every square inch. Thinking about strategically coming back in bad weather, like my family did when we went to Disneyland Paris when I was twelve.

It was so bright I ended up buying a pair of sunglasses before entering the park. They were large, roundish, not completely black. I felt a little like a movie star wearing them, so it was a good buy.

Upon entering the park I paid for a year pass, which turned out to be worth it after one day. It’s about ¥19800 for a year pass, and ¥6700 for a day ticket, and we entered three times that day. (As we exited the park twice to get food.)

First of all, we went to go book a time for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We’d arrived early-ish, but we couldn’t reserve a space until 20:10. The park closes at 22:00 as well. But this meant we’d be able to see Hogwarts at night, when it’s truly spectacular.

Until then, we went in the first long queue, for Space Fantasy The Ride, because I confessed to Rika I’d never been on Space Mountain in Disneyland, and she said Space Fantasy was similar. (I wasn’t sure about this but I went with it.)

We were in the queue for two hours. Ugh. Luckily we listened to music on her iPhone and I showed her all these dance tracks to keep us genki and the time flew by. Animals by Martin Garrix is now her jam.

When we got on the ride, it was quite magical, albeit a little childish. But it did a very good simulation of being in space – at least until one part broke down in the middle, which was weird, but we got back on track eventually.

The ride was very short. I wasn’t sure it had been worth the massive massive line, in which we waited the same amount of time I did to get into Manchester MCM Expo 2013. Not sure that was really worth it either. Well I met the voice of Vaas Montenegro and saw Warwick Davies wandering around, so I guess it kinda was.

For a while we didn’t do anything; we watched some entertainer guys do some singing and dancing. They were all American, and clearly didn’t speak much Japanese. When they did speak it, I unintentionally snorted because their American accented Japanese sounded so cute. Well to be honest I doubt my Japanese accent is any better than their’s. But they were good entertainers. They sang Mirrors (Justin Timberlake), City Can’t Hold Us (Macklemore), Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke), Best Song Ever (One Direction) as so on in one big medley. Japanese girls love One Direction more than me. I was singing along to the “oh oh oh” bits enthusiastically until it got to the chorus and I realised it was One Direction. I probably should have had the same reaction to Robin Thicke, but the song is annoyingly catchy and Pharrell Williams swags up every music collab he appears in, so… *shrugs shoulders*.

We went to go get McDonald’s for lunch. My first time eating in a Japanese McDonald’s since coming to Osaka. I didn’t go for anything special, just a Big Mac meal with a Coke Zero. It tasted the same as a British Big Mac, but apparently it’s different to the American Big Macs.

I learnt Rika is supposedly allergic to beef and pork, which sucks. We discussed how difficult it is to be vegan in Japan, and that Rika’s actually never met a vegan before.

There’s a controversy with people thinking vegetarianism and veganism might be healthier for you, but if Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world and the lowest health risks, and if no-one there’s a vegan, I feel that says a lot. Though I’m aware vegetarianism/veganism are often more for moral reasons. Selfishly, I’ve often thought of becoming vegetarian because I feel like the meat is making me unhealthy. I don’t have a good enough balance of meat, vegetables, carbs, etc. But I couldn’t because I love fried chicken too much.

I had chicken tacos for dinner later on, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

After lunch, we wandered around the shops to kill a bit of time as all the other rides had huge waiting lines. I ended up doing awful voices for Hedwig, Fawkes, Scabbers and Buckbeak when we found the Harry Potter toys, and also the Pink Panther when I found that. I say awful, but Rika was in tears laughing, so I guess I succeeded there.

We had dinner at TGI Friday’s. I ordered chicken tacos (as mentioned above), also a Mojito because I figured why not, I’ve not yet had any alcohol in Japan. It was really strong, by the way. Stronger than the ones I usually have, anyway. Rika had “fish and chips”, though it was more like five tempura rolls and french fries. The tartar sauce was accurate, though.

After some more waiting, we toddled along to see the Harry Potter bit. On the way, there was a staged biohazard accident, with S.W.A.T. investigating, fake explosions, and zombies running around wild. It was pretty fun to watch, especially when the zombies ran after people and growled at them, causing them to scream. They even imitating falling on a prey and ripping out their intestines. Impressive. (Turns out that it wasn’t pretend. There actually was a zombie apocalypse and they had to close the park. I saved the day by whipping out my katana and slicing all the zombies’ heads off. I was awarded a medal for bravery and the key to the city. People cheered my name, and I had a national holiday named after me, “Bethan the Benevolent, the Brave, the Beautiful.” Just another average day.)

Anyway, we finally got to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (passing the rocks where Hermione punched Malfoy in The Prisoner of Azkaban) and it was truly magical. We walked through the Forbidden Forest, posing with the blue Ford Anglia, admired the Hogwarts Express, stared in awe at the snow-covered Hogsmeade, and then finally gaped at the majesty of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

There was a ride called “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.” Waiting time was apparently 140 minutes, and we only had 120 before we had to go get the last train, but Rika and I took the plunge and got in the line. We only waited an hour in the end, and it zipped by because we were constantly on the move. Upon entering Hogwarts we spotted secret corridors with Dumbledore’s office, the Room of Requirement, the Mirror of Erised, that creepy blue statue, Lupin’s office, the moving pictures, newspaper clippings… it was all so magical and authentic. I felt a renewed love of Harry Potter that I hadn’t felt since the movie series came to an end in 2012. I want to watch all the films again. I would read the books but I don’t have any of them with me, and books here are bloody expensive.

The ride was… magical, I really haven’t any other words. 4D experience for one, a rollercoaster, yet… not. We followed Harry on broomstick around the Hogwarts grounds, avoiding the Hungarian Horntail, passing the Basilisk skeleton, the Quidditch grounds, fucking Dementors (that shit was scary) and finally using the fireplace to arrive safely back where we belonged. It was a fantastic rideI feel like I could ride it a hundred times and not get bored. There’s a screen in front of you for part of it, for bits when you’re following Harry and Ron on broomstick, but it curved all the way around you so you couldn’t see the edges of the screen (I wasn’t looking for them either) so your entire vision was taken up by this simulation, so you really believed you were flying around Hogwarts. It was utterly amazing; a dream come true. Next best thing, seeing as I didn’t receive my much-expected Hogwarts acceptance letter in the post when I was 11.

The gift shop was full of amazing things, including an exhibit of the Marauder’s Map, with little footprints walking up and down all over it. I saw a t-shirt with a phoenix on that I really wanted, but it was so expensive – ¥3400, for a t-shirt. Ehhh… maybe if I save some money. But it’s only a t-shirt. Maybe a scarf… speaking of…

I figured out finally which Hogwarts house I should probably be in. I never really gave it much thought, thinking I’d probably end up a Hufflepuff as they’re ripped on for being the ‘leftovers’, but because I’m ambitious and a tad calculating, also I love snakes, then it’s probably Slytherin.

After that was a lot of photo-time, including pictures of me and Rika in front of Hogwarts, and so on. I didn’t have time for a Butterbeer in The Three Broomsticks, but there’s always next time.

We rushed back to the station and it was packed. So full we couldn’t move. Thank God we managed to get the last train. We changed trains 4 times on the way back in order to not miss the last train to campus. (I dropped all my change at some point when I bought a drink from a vending machine. This is an omen. A kind lady helped me pick it all up though. Dropping your money is always embarrassing. Particularly if it’s all in ¥1 coins.

And, I arrived home, and started typing this up immediately. I tried to be as quick as I could and it still took me 55 minutes to write. I’m aware I probably skipped over a load of details but I had immense fun overall, can’t wait to go again, and I’m thoroughly tired now my contacts are out.

A very good night to you.  *bows*