A Sweet Embrace

I remember a friend of mine who love to have a hug. I am very fond of that concept because  I’m not a very affectionate person. One day I asked her, “Why do you like hugging people?” she replied me, “Sometimes a hug is all you really need, to take your troubles away” she further explained how a small little gesture can bring such warmth to a person especially after having a long day.

It dawned on me why she was one of my closest friends—-because when I’m feeling helpless and scared and never had the courage to say a word she would give me a hug and sit with me till I felt better.

Words give us comfort but a sweet embrace gives us support.

Here is an illustration I did with that thought.


This design is currently being featured in Mister Dress Up at Montreal Canada,  it is available as t-shirts at   http://www.misterdressup.com/products/nellamae-antopina

Nellamae-Antopina-w Nellamae-Antopina-m

See How the Oscars Are Honoring Harry Potter


Plenty of Oscar winners and nominees starred in the Harry Potter franchise, and it was nominated for 12 Academy Awards over the span of its eight-film series. But it won none, leading some to call it the “most-snubbed-top-grossing franchise of all time.”

But The Academy, or at least whoever runs Oscars.org, has launched a new section of its Collection Highlights dedicated to The Boy Who Lived. Fans will find 27 pieces of Potter content, including casting and directing rumors, photos from the set and more. There’s newspaper clippings (but they don’t move like the Wizarding World’s Daily Prophet) highlighting some of the biggest media storms surrounding the films. For example, Steven Spielberg was long-rumored to spearhead the first film in the series and many speculated that an American actor could have been cast as Harry. And superfans might be surprised to learn that in June 2000, Tim Roth…

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 Mermaid Illustration

There is just something about color that brings life to a picture. Last Monday, as I lay sick in bed, I thought about the piece I was gonna paint when I felt better. I’m very fond of Fairy Tales but I’ve never attempted to illustrate one, so i naturally gravitated towards them. So I thought: why not do one of my favorites – the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen?

After some thought, I decided to add something Asian – hence adding the Koi fish. The meaning of the Japanese Koi fish is wealth and prosperity which, in the story, the Little Mermaid had. I added vibrant colors because mermaids are said to be captivating creatures, and to me, perfectly represented by the color red. But what inspired me most was this quote:

“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.”
Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid


Inspired by the song SUGAR

After listening to the song Sugar of Maroon 5 I decided to draw a photo of Adam Levine. I know this is an old photo of Adam Levine but I just simply adore this shot of him and  Anne Sergeyevna Vyalitsyna in Vogue.

Here is an illustration of that photo in Acrylic ink.




In this day and age we have so much to choose from. Many of our needs can be accommodated even at the late hours of the night. The need to satisfy our wants is not as unattainable as before. If you want a burger at 1 in the morning, you could have one delivered to you. If you want to get snacks, there are convenience stores available 24-hours a day. But despite all the change and all the convenience we still yearn for more.

We yearn for more time, we yearn for more approval, and we yearn for more wants that never seem to end. Whatever happened to having a simple dinner with the family? The biggest struggle these days in the household is “who has time to cook?”, or “where are we eating?” Back then it didn’t matter if we hung out in one restaurant or a cafe almost every day – what mattered most was that we enjoyed each other’s company. Most people can’t even eat in the same restaurant twice in a week now! When I was in college my friends and I had one dilemma every day: it was “where do we eat lunch?” There were about 20-50 food joints and yet we spent more time deciding where to eat than talking during lunch. Every day was the same, we dined together but we didn’t really talk, we were all busy with our phones or tablets. Till one day my friend said, “Guys, can we talk?” That was when I realized how much we are all in our own worlds, that we don’t even need each other’s company.

If you look at it, we spend more time chatting, texting, and watching a series than talking to the people in front of us. Sometimes we don’t even chat or text – what matters the most is the likes and the followers we get. We have become obsessed with the need for attention. When there are probably more people who don’t care and just like your photo or your status just so you would do the same. I believe the term is “like for like” or “l4l” in short form. We seem to have that need to achieve “1k followers” – and then when you see someone else with more, all we think about is topping that. Our need for more time is actually the need to gain more followers or likes. We would like more time in a day because to us there is not enough time in a day – when actually there is. If we take the time to stop for an hour or two away from our phones and other gadgets you would be surprised on the amount of work you can finish.

Experts suggest that you should post regularly to gain more followers. I think most people misunderstand this statement. They said post regularly – not every waking minute of the day. You may post a different photo of yourself or of anything every 1-5minutes but that doesn’t guarantee you an express ticket to 1k followers. People might actually just un-follow you if you do so. Photos were used to preserve a momentum now it is a means to show our new toys, accessories, bags, clothes and to showcase our “beautiful” life to everyone. I used to hang out with someone who bases the places we would go to on how nice the presentation of the food was. I remember spending $50 for brunch and I wasn’t even full. But my friend enjoyed taking photos of the food that it didn’t really matter that the food was terrible. He complained about the food but told me, “hey, at least they look nice!” The rest of us didn’t say anything because the rest of us preferred to eat at a less “hipster joint” and enjoy good food. Yes, the presentation of the food will not be perfect, but who cares if it tastes awesome! Somehow our appreciation for simple things diminishes as we fall too much into our social media accounts.

I’m not saying we should hate social media. I’m saying we should remember the small little things and appreciate now. There are actual people who appreciate the real you. You and I don’t have to gloat to the world how much we have to gain satisfaction. We don’t need to let people know how lucky we are or how luxurious we are. We should always take note that what matters the most are the people around us because, most likely, the people around us are the people who knows us and loves us for we really are – not because we are popular on the internet.

Summer is Here!

It has been a long time since I last blogged. I’ve been busy with my final year project and collaborations from various artists and companies.

One of the things I have been doing is selling my art works at bazaars and in online shops and some apps. Most of my sales are from this app called Carousell which is only available in Singapore. I have been getting some sales on etsy and I will be focusing more on promoting my etsy shop soon, so if you guys have any tips on how to do let me know!


Aside from prints and postcards I also did some commissions. One of my favorite was illustrating the late Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. He was an inspiration to many and was a great leader. I did a piece for a friend’s friend to commemorate a leader that would be forever in the hearts of those he has influenced.