Thursday, 29 December 2016

Cupcake Level: Nintendo-Senpai Noticed Us!

Don't you just love the Pokémon Sun and Moon games and anime? I certainly do! :D I have been a huge fan of the Pokémon series since 1999 - that's when the first games came out in Europe - but to me, it is also a very big relief to see that finally some interesting changes were made to the franchise! Don't get me wrong, the concept of Pokémon never gets old, but the new games have such a captivating storyline, are way less predictable (No more gyms, but surprisingly funny and challenging fights against Totem Pokémon and Island Kahunas instead), and offer some much-needed improvements over long-established, outdated gameplay elements, such as those pesky Hidden Machines that used to take up all of your Pokémons' move slots. Blegh, evil Hidden Machines.

Along with the Sun and Moon games and anime, a bunch of new Pokémon were introduced, and some of the old Pokémon were given a "regional variant" or Alolan form. So, of course, I had to invite my good old cupcake team over to my house in order to consume a lifelong supply of snacks and cookies, enjoy hot chocolate with marshmallows, and design and create another colourful series of Pokémon-themed cupcakes! Eva, Lisa, and I made Pokémon Sun and Moon cupcakes, including some of the new Alolan forms, while Sam decided to do his own thing. ;) His loss, because - believe it or not - Nintendo Belgium somehow discovered our cupcakes on Facebook, and shared them on their Instagram account! :D Well, most of them. Not Sam's cupcakes, of course. That's what you get for being stubborn, Sam! In any case, this is probably the highlight of our cupcake career. *Takes a bow*

I'm looking forward to our next cupcake adventures. :D And if all goes wrong in life, my friends and I will open a cupcake store, I swear.

Bye, guys!


All cupcakes. Made by Leen (first row), Eva (second row), Lisa (third row), and Sam (last row)!

Rowlet cupcake (Pokémon)
December 2016

Litten cupcake (Pokémon)
December 2016

Alolan Raichu cupcake (Pokémon)
December 2016

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Oh Christmas Tree, Your Ornaments Are History

Merry Christmas, guys! May this Christmas bring you all the love and friendship in the world! :) Don't forget to stuff your faces with delicious food!

2016 has almost come to an end. So much talent has been taken from us this year (Alan Rickman! David Bowie! Carrie Fisher! Please come back, and we will give you Donald Trump in return!), racism is omnipresent within our society, and the terrorist attacks have been hitting very close to home, but I still think that 2016 was one of my favourite years so far. Living together with my boyfriend makes me incredibly happy. I made a bunch of new friends, and my old friendship bonds are stronger than ever before, with many of my best friends making life-changing decisions, and allowing me to support them from the sidelines. I finished a lot of challenging projects, and I am starting to feel more satisfied with my own art style and work. And then there's my PhD thesis, which is... a work in progress! Well, I really can't complain. :)

Before I forget, here's this year's Christmas illustration! From me, to you, and to anyone who can relate to this. Because cats and Christmas trees will always be a very dangerous combo.

Happy holidays!


Happy Holidays 2016, December 2016
Paint Tool Sai

Monday, 12 December 2016

White Mage in Progress

Hi, foxies! I am very excited about one of my latest projects, so please allow me to tell you all about it. :) I am currently working on my very first Worbla cosplay weapon, a Thyrus relic weapon from the online game Final Fantasy XIV. I have to admit that I have been dreaming of crafting my own cosplay props for quite a while now, but to be honest, I really had no idea where to start. You know, these weapons look so real, and I don't exactly have an armour smithy in my backyard. Well, turns out you don't even need that!

Last July, I decided to sign up for a Worbla workshop in Antwerp. Our host was no one less than Mistvein (Robbe), a surprisingly young cosplayer who has already won tons of national cosplay awards. The workshop took place at a traditional glassworks atelier, where Mistvein's assistant Cookiepie (Tim) creates the most beautiful glass art pieces. Believe me, these two guys are amazingly talented, so please give their fan pages a well-deserved like! :D I learned so many things at the workshop and I am very grateful to Robbe and Tim.

Worbla is a brand of non-toxic thermoplastics. It can be shaped by hand and it is self-adhesive when heated - basically, all you need is a regular heating gun. It can be painted with just about any paint. The most difficult part of crafting cosplay armour and weapons is carefully cutting the EVA foam before applying the Worbla, but once you get used to it, it's not that hard at all.

In fact, you just need a lot of patience. I made this Worbla weapon at home in about 20 hours time (four sessions to cut the foam and heat the Worbla, and one more session to apply the white primer). I am currently painting the weapon with acrylic paint, and I can't be happier with the result. I really look forward to finishing the Thyrus and wearing my White Mage cosplay at the FFXIV Fan Fest in February!

See you next time!


Thyrus (FFXIV White Mage Weapon) Work in Progress, November 2016
Foam and Worbla

Monday, 5 December 2016

Why Scientific Posters Are Dangerous For Me: A Brief Essay

Hi, guys! I completely forgot that I really wanted to share something slightly more scientific with you. Put on your nerd glasses and see what happens when you ask me to give a scientific poster presentation at a conference workshop (*SEM at ACL) in Berlin. You might already know that I really enjoy designing scientific posters for Academia (Read all about it here and here!), but it looks like things are getting a tiny bit out of hand now. My latest poster looks like a fricking coffee table. It has an apple, a cup of coffee, a notebook, a magnifying glass, and some Post-It notes. Oh, and the results of my research are on there somewhere, as well.

To be honest, I can't stop laughing when I think back of the moment when I put up this A0-sized poster during one of the conference's coffee breaks at the Humboldt University. I grabbed a cup of tea and watched my poster from afar, only to see conference delegates flocking to the poster. Some people even started making pictures! And while I actually wasn't supposed to give my poster presentation until the next coffee break, I simply had to approach the secret admirers and ask them if they wanted to talk about my research. I stood there for almost three hours and it was my best poster presentation experience so far. The feedback was amazing! You see, I really take my job and research very seriously, but I guess it doesn't hurt to bring some colour to our world. :)

See you around~!


*SEM Poster, August 2016
Adobe Photoshop CS

Sunday, 4 December 2016

I'm Silently Correcting You're, Errrm, Your Grammar

Wow, did anybody say "update"? ... Okay, I guess nobody said that. But I still have some catching up to do, so here you go! :) I'm afraid I cannot show you my latest children's book illustrations just yet - however, there's still some stuff I need to upload here.

If you're a frequent visitor of my blog, you might know that I have been working closely together with my favourite coffee bar in town (No, I'm not only saying that because we're teaming up!): Le Mustache in Leuven! If you're not a frequent visitor of my blog, you should really get your lazy butt to Le Mustache, order a Hippolatte, and then we'll talk again.

Anyway! At the beginning of KU Leuven's academic year, it is always important for shops and bars in Leuven to attract brand-new customers (Read: young, innocent students). Last year, Le Mustache and I joined forces to create two cartoon ads: one for Groep T, and one for the faculty of Psychology. The illustrations were very well received, so I got to make a new one this year. :D In fact, this time, the cartoon was addressed at students from the Arts faculty - and that's my faculty! I couldn't help but make fun of the erroneous spelling and grammatical gender of La Moustache: we are language students, after all. And in case you were wondering, Le Mustache's spelling is obviously a silly joke! :)

I hope you like it!


KU Leuven Arts Faculty Advertisement, September 2016
Paint Tool Sai