Graffiti Text Effect In Photoshop Tutorial

heart photoshopped on wooden wall
heart photoshopped on wooden wall

I was working on my thank you cards for my wedding and decided to print our wedding pictures on them. I found a photo I liked which had a beautiful wooden wall background. I thought it would be cool to have a graffiti on the wall.


That’s where I found this awesome graffiti text effect in photoshop tutorial.  It’s really easy to follow and understand.  The end result on my cards were a bit too grungy looking, so I instead did a chalk effect, which worked great too. Above heart is the end result. What do you think?

If you have any other cool photoshop/illustrator hacks, please comment (: !


Best laptop bag for Cintiq Companion (or any oversized…

I’ve been using the Cintiq Companion since last Christmas, and it’s been great. My creative life is more fulfilling because I can take it with me anywhere I like, within my home (work in my patio) or when I travel (I’ve taken it to Japan & Eastern Quebec). You can read the full product feature on Gizmodo. One issue is that I’ve been in the search of a laptop bag that fits this oversized tablet with ease. The screen size is 13.30 inches. I’ve tried many laptop bags, and returned them because they weren’t functional. Either, the bag was too bulky, didn’t offer much protection, or it was too small for the tablet to get in / taken out with ease. There were many choices for a backpack, but not many messenger bag or crossbody bag that I was looking for, for appearance reason. I wear lots of skirts to work and I look funny when I wear a dress and a bagpack (supermodels can probably pull it off, I can’t).

Tree Frog Canvas Notebook Case

So far, this Tree Frog Canvas Notebook case has been the best. It is 15.6 inches and fits the 13.3 inch Cintiq Companion with ease. I bought it on sale for $13, so the price was right, too.  Unfortunately, the zipper broke and rather than getting that fixed, which would probably cost more than what I paid for this bag, I am again on a hunt for the perfect messenger bag/crossbody bag from my beloved Cintiq Companion so I can be a travelling cartoonist again.  The  bag must be at least 15 inches in size and cannot be those bulky black laptop bags.

Here is a possible candidate:

Do you own an oversized tablet/laptop? What kind of stylish ideas do you have to make your mobile life more comfortable (and fashionable)? Please share your thoughts below!


Update as of 2015 November…

I used a Herschel messenger bag for a year, and it worked great! Then I switched to the Marimekko Buddy Backpack, I’m in love with it :)
They both fit my cintiq companion very easily – it has a wide overning so it’s easy to put it in and get it out, and my companion fits snugly.

Here’s my post about it.


Financially Savvy Magazine – MoneySense (Canadian content)

Although money can’t guarantee happiness, I strongly believe without adequate money you can’t be happy.  Because to be happy, you need adequate shelter, clothing, and food (you may disagree, if you are a nirvana-seeking spiritual kind of guy/gal). And you need money to purchase these.

If you are just starting to get your finances in order and have no clue what to do, there are couple of good & fun reads for you.  I recommend the MoneySense magazine and related books, for you to start reading more about how to be good friends with money.

I never really enthusiastically like to read hard core books but preferred books with lots of visual contents (therefore I am a cartoonist). If you are like me, then I recommend starting from a magazine. MoneySense
magazine is a great way to start learning how to flex your financial muscles, and it’s quite a fun read too with lots of hip illustrations and real life examples.  It has a series “Are they on Track?”by Julie Cazzin, who shows real life example of couples with their financial quest.  For example, in this summer issue, Julie features a young couple who just bought a house and would like to know if they can pay off the mortgage by they turn 50. You can either subscribe to the magazine
, or why not save money first by checking out their on-line site? You can read couple of articles for free per month. It’s a Canadian magazine, so it’s best for Canadian residents, but it offers a lot of useful financial savvy tips for all nationalities. Bonus: If you are a Rogers client, you can subscribe it for cheaper.

Once you start getting into the personal finance world, you’ll start to want to save and invest that money. To build an investment portfolio, the magazine will provide you many examples, but if you’d like to read more specifically just about investments, I recommend you to read their Guides, such as

The MoneySense Guide to the Perfect Portfolio (2013 Edition). This will teach you in detail which funds to buy. Moneysense loves index funds. I also bought the MoneySense – Guide to Investing in Real Estate before purchasing my first home. It taught a lot of concepts that I didn’t know, and it made buying a house for the first time less stressful as I compared my steps with the steps outlined in the book.

Happy Reading!

I must’ve been Finnish in my past life!

I love Finland!!!
I love Finland!!!

Because there are so much things about / from Finland that I love!!!

Let me list them:

1. Sibelius
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Great Finnish composer. One of my favourite is Valse Triste (Sadness Waltz). I read somewhere that he sold the right of the music and later regretted it because it became so popular and he missed out on the royalties. Now that’s Valse Triste!

2. Three of my favourite cartoonists are Finnish
– Moomin: everybody loves Moomin


– Viivi and Wagner – it’s dark and funny

Viivi & Wagner Gocomics site
Viivi and Wagner Gocomics site

– Dark Side of the Horce by Samson – newcomer to Gocomics, the drawing and word-plays are amazing and funny!

Dark Side of the Horse by Samson

3. Arabia Finland

I fell in love with the ceramic company Arabia Finland when I saw my beloved Moomin mug at a local department store in Japan. Since then I collected more than 10 of them and also started to buy Paratiisi,

and Teema sub-brands (Teema is now part of the Iitala brand). There’s something about the Finnish design and product quality that makes the coffee x 100 taste better from any other cup.

4. Iitala Glasses

Functional and beautiful, these lead-free glasses make orange juice look like those served at 5 star hotels. Iitala also makes colorful Origo bowls which will make your bland cereal breakfast a bowl full of delight.

5. Marimekko

Everybody has seen this colorful Unikko pattern by Marimekko, a textile design company. Their products have vibrant and unique patterns that were loved by Jackie O, the fashionista. Marimekko in Finnish means approximately “Mary’s little dress”. ekko is prounounced “<insert gulp> kko” in Japanese. What a cute sound! And that leads me to another reason why I love Finland…

6. Language
It’s a cute language with lots of “ekko” and the o with 2 dots! It looks hard to learn, but I’m Japanese so maybe it’s easier for me since Finnish language is very similar to Japanese. I heard they go by Last Name, First Name too, just like the Japanese! It’s a mysterious language because the grammar is so different from the connecting countries like Sweden.

7. The landscape
It’s a beautiful country, full of lakes and forests. It has the third lowest population density. Which is my type of country because I hate busy places (I moved from Tokyo to Canada just for that reason).

Refining my webcomics creative process…Cartooning with Photoshop brushes

Cartoon with inking done in Illustrator
Cartoon Inking done by Photoshop
Cartoon Inking done by Photoshop

Recently I posted couple of cartoons in my “Almost Dailies” cartoon site.

Do you see the difference in my style? I think the second one is more “refined” and controlled.
That’s because, for the first cartoon, I used Adobe Illustrator to ink my comics.
For the second one, I used photoshop for the whole process. While googling “managa in photoshop” I found a japanese artis’ts Miholin website that showed how to configure your Adobe brush to give the “manga” ink texture. Basically I configured my photoshop brush so that it acts like a technical pen / dipping ink I used to use prior to moving everything digital with my super awesome Wacom Cintiq Companion

Here’s the configuration:

photoshop manga brush setting
photoshop manga brush setting

I think I will stick with just the photoshop going forward. Stay tuned for more!

——-Update Sep 2015——
I now mainly use Clip Studio Paint EX. It’s the best purchase I ever made. Cartooning is so easy and I have been producing 2 per week now. Productivity increased a lot. I still use Photoshop & Illustrator but for differenet purposes. Photoshop is mainly to manipulate photographs and Illustrator for Infographics. Illustrator is best for clean types, like my Infographic on Tootin’.