Sunday, February 4, 2018

Procreate Drawings

In the New Year, I have been rewarded with the apple pencil, which of course means that I went straight to the app store and proceeded to download Procreate for the ipad pro.

So, I thought I would share a little review while Procreate is gaining popularity and maybe it will help you with some decision making as well.


This is one of the first doodles I made in Procreate as a way to get used to drawing on the tablet and using all the tools.

I was eating a macaroon (bottom left) that was reminding me of a little succulent. I'm sure he is supposed to be a monster or something, but I just went with the cactus idea.

All I did was put the cookie on a bright white surface and take a picture with the tablet's camera app.

From there, I brought the picture into the Procreate app and was able to play with the levels in order to make sure that the white in the background was a pure white (ffffff are the letters to get pure white in Photoshop).

Then, I just started drawing! In very much the same manner as I would have if my sketchbook had been on my lap instead of my tablet.


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πŸ‘«  User Friendliness:

If you are well acquainted with Photoshop, then I would say that there really is not too steep of a learning curve when it comes to getting the hang of Procreate.

If you are not good friends with Photoshop, don't despair! I still feel that Procreate is user friendly enough that if you truly want to create some art in Procreate, you will succeed! It may take a bit more practice and exploring to get comfortable, but when you have a blank page in front of you and tons of different brush styles to play with, I think the exploration is a big part of the fun.

πŸ‘ Pros:

1. The brushes! The brushes, oh my sweet goodness the brushes!! 

I have never enjoyed drawing from scratch with the brushes in Photoshop. Even with a Cintiq, I have always felt that shape of the brush head was always a hindrance for me. 

I know you can have the pen pressure option 'on' in Photoshop and adjust the size, opacity, etc. but no matter what, my drawings always came out looking like they are cold and just drawn on the computer. Which is fine, don't get me wrong, but for my style, I love for my drawings to still have that hand-touched, warm feeling to them.

In Procreate, with the apple pencil, I finally feel like I have that warm technique within a digital platform; which means, I save time since I do not have to scan a drawing into Photoshop.

The pencil makes drawing on a tablet with all the brushes feel very intuitive. I don't see a huge difference between my drawings that were scanned and colored in Photoshop versus the drawing I made entirely in Procreate.

This Pikachu was drawn with my regular graphite pencil and colored with watercolor. I scanned the drawing into Photoshop to complete the background and the snow effect.

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I made this little Shy Guy drawing in Procreate entirely. I started with a sketch using the 6B pencil and then I did the color using the watercolor brush. The background was made with a brush called 'Bokeh Lights.'

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Now as far as I'm concerned, the similarities between the two are pretty darn close. The big difference here (which is another Pros) is the convenience factor.

2. There are two parts to just how convenient Procreate is:

A. ctlr + Z

Ok, ok, there is no actual ctrl + Z, but there is a back button, which is lovely for experimenting and those pesky mistakes.

Even though my pencil and watercolors are quite forgiving when I mess something up, nothing can replace the convenience of just tapping a button and having the boo boo go away off into cyber space.

B. Travel Buddy

I have already been on a few trips this year to visit family and in the past, I have always agonized over which sketchbook to bring, which pencil case and will I attempt to bring some paints? Will the paints explode in my bag? And what if I need Photoshop?!

This time, the only thing I brought was my tablet and trusty Procreate. I had more room to over-pack other things. (Cause let's face it, I need that extra pair of sandals in Oregon during winter!πŸ˜… )

I also drew more while I was on my trip too. I did not have all of the variables I usually drag out when I draw, granted they are not many items, but still, it was nice just have my two items to pull out and start sketching.

An added bonus is having easy access to the digital conveniences I am used to using in Photoshop as well. And hey, since we're still on the convenience factor, I was able to draw in the dark!

I took a road trip with my brother and kept on sketching in the car when the sun went down. I was also able to continue sketching while I hung out with my mom on the couch and she watched her romcoms. (Ok, I watched them too...a little, ok, a lot.)

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3. Layers

Ok, let's talk about one of the greatest pros, which is the layers. Layers is a feature that I have always adored in Photoshop, I could not create many of my illustrations without being able to have my colors on separate layers.

Wanna try something out on top of your nice drawing? No problem, just grab yourself a new layer and go to town! What have you got to loose, they're free!

This is just a small part though. You also have the option of choosing a property for your layer like you would in Photoshop. So you can have a multiply layer, a normal layer, etc.

But wait, it keeps going! So let's say you would like to send your drawing back to
Photoshop for whatever reason. Well typically in the past, this would be a problem because the app would export the image as a .jpg type file, which as we know, means no more layers.

Well, *drum roll please* you now have the option of exporting your drawing as several different file types, including a .psd file! This means, you get to keep your layers once you open it up in Photoshop.

For these Yoshi, the drawing was done on one layer and the watercolor effect was done on a separate layer. I put the drawing layer on 'multiply' so it would be transparent and show the watercolor underneath the drawing.

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Of course, you can have tons of fun just drawing on one layer. You can make your original layer any color you want, so it can even feel like you are drawing on toned paper.

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πŸ‘Ž Cons:

1. No type tool

For me, especially in the children's book industry, the type tool is a must. 

While there are fabulous calligraphy brushes that can make your own handwriting look as amazing as a font, it just doesn't do it for me. 

I would probably just do all of my roughs for a picture book dummy in Procreate if I had a text tool. Luckily, I can export a Photoshop file and add the fonts into the sketches on my desktop.

Also, all of my funning with punning cannot be brought to completion in Procreate!

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2. Resolution/Size Tool

So far, the size tool has been the most frustrating for me. You have the option of having a 'magnetic' or 'freehand' size tool and both have been frustrating for different reasons.

It seems as if if the correlation between this tool and the pencil needs to be stronger because half of the time I just want to move something a little bit and the size tool blows everything out of proportion or distorts the image in the opposite direction of where I want it to go.

Luckily you can go back, but one thing that you cannot control is how the resolution of the drawing is affected after you are done finally getting the size tool to do what you want it to do.

No matter what dpi I have chosen for my file, whenever I resize a part of my sketch, it always ends up looking blurry, like it has terrible resolution all of a sudden!

The best advice I can give to get around this, is to do all of your resizing in the sketch phase of things. If you wait until you finish your beautiful illustration to resize one part, it will end up looking a bit fuzzy.

I suppose this happens in Photoshop to some degree as well, but it appears more noticeable in Procreate.

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Another cookie experiment


There are so many more little pros and cons here and there, but I wanted to cover the big ones, at least the big ones for me anyway! 

All in all, I would recommend the pencil and procreate to illustrators, especially if you do work digitally (either partially or fully). The convenience factor of having an app that actually functions pretty closely to Photoshop is a big enough reason to sell me on it alone.

It's so nice have a digital platform to sketch on that feels like my sketchbook. No having to haul around a laptop and attach a Wacom tablet/Cintiq to it. I can sketch in bed, on the bus, at the beach...you get it!

Of course, nothing can replace my sketchbook entirely, and I'm sure many artists feel the same, but I can continue working on things for clients anywhere, which is a luxury.









Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Raisin a Toast to 2018!

Happy New Year all! 


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So I completely disappeared! * Pats a sad blog on the back and mutters, "I'm sorry blog, I'm back now. I won't disappoint you again." **

Phew! It's a new year and thank goodness for that! I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, 2017 was a tough year. However, I'm optimistic about the here and now. Plus I hope to share some fun things to bring a smile to your face along with some more crochet patterns (yay!), inspirational tips and tricks (double yay!) and some behind the scenes info on creative process and managing your small business.

Of course, if you would like a daily dose of Ria Art World, check out the links to the right→

I post just about everyday to most of my social media platforms, so you can come by and say hi! πŸ‘‹

To ease on in here, I would like to do a little recap of some of the highlights from 2017! The end of the year right before the holidays always becomes super hectic with Etsy orders and holiday shows. I love it, but I also need a serious vacay by the time Christmas rolls around!πŸ˜…

Here were my best nine post from 2017! All crochet babies! πŸ™ˆ




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It's certainly interesting to see which pictures were the most popular among my instagram followers!

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I must say that for me, my highlight posts have been my punny posts. Mondays are always hard, so I wanted to make a point to post something that would inspire a little chuckle or at the very least, a smile!

I started doing Monday Punday, of course, not all of them are true puns, but they are cute little jokes to say the least. I hear little jokes all the time and have heard certain puns for so long, that I wanted to start providing my own interpretations of them- in Ria Art World form!


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It has been so much fun and has even inspired some of my own little puns!

Let's get caught up:

Halloween is so much fun, I love fall and all the decorations, so I'm certainly partial to the little jokes I came up with for October 2017.


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Alexandria Gold Illustration Alexandria Gold Children's Books Illustrations Ria Art World Crochet Critters Amigurumi Handmade Kawaii

Punny November 2017:


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Of course, I cannot resist a good Turkey joke in time for Thanksgiving.


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And of course, cyber Monday! 


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A Punnier December 2017:

Chilly days and late nights of holiday orders were makin' me feel just like this!↓
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It wouldn't be a festive holiday without these cuties though! πŸŽ„

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Alexandria Gold Illustration Alexandria Gold Children's Books Illustrations Ria Art World Crochet Critters Amigurumi Handmade Kawaii

It does not end here! In 2018, I will hope to continue to bring the smiles! πŸ˜€

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Alexandria Gold Illustration Alexandria Gold Children's Books Illustrations Ria Art World Crochet Critters Amigurumi Handmade Kawaii



Monday, August 28, 2017

Preparing for SFCC!

San Francisco Comic Con is just around the corner-this weekend in fact! Yikes! πŸ˜…

Click on my 'upcoming events' tab above to get more details on when, where and what time. 😊

I usually share a table at comic conventions, but this time I will have my own table, which means more prep work on my end. I always try to make sure that I have enough of a stock pile to fill up my table and make it look like a nice and inviting little store front.

Of course, I'll have the usual suspects there, so I hope to see anyone who is in San Francisco and is looking for a fun event to go to over the weekend.

If you can't make it, don't worry, there is always my Etsy shop!πŸ’“

For now, here is a little sneak peek at the adorable crochet critters that will be up for adoption this weekend.

Alexandria Gold Ria Art World Illustration Crochet Amigurumi Etsy Handmade Children's Book Illustration San Francisco Comic Con

Critter Keychains

Alexandria Gold Ria Art World Illustration Crochet Amigurumi Etsy Handmade Children's Book Illustration San Francisco Comic Con

Create Your Own Critter Magnet Set

Alexandria Gold Ria Art World Illustration Crochet Amigurumi Etsy Handmade Children's Book Illustration San Francisco Comic Con
There are critters made of felt too!


Alexandria Gold Ria Art World Illustration Crochet Amigurumi Etsy Handmade Children's Book Illustration San Francisco Comic Con

Of course there will be fan art. It is a Comic Con after all!

Alexandria Gold Ria Art World Illustration Crochet Amigurumi Etsy Handmade Children's Book Illustration San Francisco Comic Con

This is just too cute not to share 😊  Couldn't you image your very own critter muttering words of encouragement to you as you work at your desk?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Catching Up: Feeling Uninspired? Try this Challenge!

It has certainly been a while since I have taken to my blog pages! For that, I'm sorry! I miss posting patterns, sharing all of the creative projects and jobs I take on, as well as trying to inspire all of you to be creative!

With this being said, I was still working during all of this time away and I hope to get back into the swing of things here and share weekly. 

If you are interested in seeing what I'm up to on the daily, feel free to find me on a variety of social media sites-you can browse over on the right side of this page ➜

I must admit, I am the most active on Instagram as far as getting bak to everyone's comments, but no matter what you prefer, I'd love to see you there 😊

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So I pretty much dropped off the face of the blogger planet around June, mostly because of my little kitty, Burmew. She was diagnosed with cancer and after our 17 years together, and I decided to do everything I could in the time I have left with her to make her comfortable.

She is on a treatment right now that keeps her happy, but she still requires a lot of care everyday. We are just taking things one day at a time for now.😼

In the midst of this, I initially found it hard to get inspired again. Not only for the sake of getting work done for the few clients I had this summer, but in general too!

So I found this really fun month long challenge on Instagram by Adventures and Tea Parties, which is a creative blog and accessory brand.

Here is a link to the blog, if you're interested:

http://adventuresandteaparties.blogspot.com/

Did you come back? Hooray!


Anyway! The challenge was called 'Colour My Everyday' (The blog is based out of Somerset, UK...so hence the 'colour' spellingπŸ˜… ). For each day of June, there was a prompt meant to inspire the appreciation of color in our everyday.

This challenge was so much fun and had me looking at everyday objects and their colorful appearances in completely new ways!

Oh, and of course, my little critters enjoyed making their signature cameos in most of the images I captured. However, this was also a really lovely challenge for inspiring some doodles too.


For You πŸ’“ : 

The great thing about this challenge is that I think you could decide to start it at any time when you are feeling uninspired. As creative beings, we all go through spells when it feels like nothing we create is good enough or we just have trouble finding the motivation to sit down and create!

If you find yourself in this position, don't despair. Take a day to relax and then pick a few prompts from this list and see what you can come up with. You may tackle a prompt with your chosen medium or another way of working that you have always wanted to try. 

Either way, I say go for it! Sometimes things like this are just the ticket to getting you out of your comfort zone and get the creative juices flowing once again!


So here we go!

Day 1: Favourite Colour

with Day 2: From the wardrobe

    and Day 3: On my desk

       oh shucks! And Day 4: Look Up

Did I mention I got started a few days late? 😁  It's ok, the image right down here has all four!

1. I love Autumn colors contrasted with cooler tones πŸ’™ 🍁

2. My nails are a must with my wardrobe! They are always painted, pink in this pic πŸ’•πŸ’… but I like all the colors!

3. This little guy is named Foxel and he is always on one of my work tables. I'm currently trying to draft up a children's book about Foxel and his friend, Bunny-Rose. So he mutters little words of encouragement as I work. 🐾

4. This is the view of my 'backyard' here in the city. So Foxel has on his cape and is a superhero flying around up in the sky.


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Day 5: Plastic

I'm not so sure why, but my mom filled my Christmas stocking with all of these little plastic pink flamingos! So now these little guys are everywhere, hiding in random places around my house. 

They did inspire this little doodle thoughπŸ˜€


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Day 3: Handmade

This one was an easy one for me since I love to crochet my little handmade critters! Here was have the mini broccoli just hanging out with some of his pals. 

My fiancΓ© didn't really approve my use of the ingredients for our dinner that night, but oh well! All in the name of creativity! ✊

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Day 7: From the kitchen

I'm definitely a big fan of pyrex, I think many of us antiquers are! Though these tea cups are not actually pyrex (they're porcelain), they are still my favorite because the colors still remind me of pyrex.

My little crochet plushies also love them 😏

This picture reminds me of the Alice in Wonderland tea cup ride at Disneyland.

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Day 8:  Jewelry

Even though I am usually tucked away in my studio by myself all day, I still like to wear my jewels and dresses. There is just something about me more productive when I am feeling 'put together.'

I really love these two rose bracelets I have in my collection and their shape inspired a doodle with my Prisma pencils that I had been wanting to use again after a long time.

Tip: Like I said above, sometimes using a medium you don't always use can help you get out of a creative funk.

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Day 9: Building

This house is an actual building in my neighborhood! I drive by it all the time and it is one of my most favorite buildings here in SF. 

My pig decided to dress up as Mondrian, and have his picture taken in front of this amazing home inspired by Mondrian's paintings.

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Day 10: Group

With this little motley crew of critters, I knew where my group was without a second thought!

Ria Art World Alexandria Gold Crochet Illustration Children's Books Illustration Kidlit Art Handmade Etsy Amigurumi

Day 11: Tool

   Oops! πŸ˜…  Day 12 too: Look down 

For me, the need to be creative almost everyday in some way or another is what makes me feel validated. So really, just about any creative tool can help me accomplish this. 

In this case, I was feeling really tired that day, but wanted to try and pull myself out of my sloth-i-ness. So I grabbed some sidewalk chalk and went out in the sun to just play around. It did wonders, plus I got to take some really fun shadow pictures!

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Day 13: Tin

It's no secret that I adore miniature things and the critters do too.

I have this little tin 'Bread & Cake' box and the critters always get excited about the delicious items inside πŸ˜‹

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Day 14: Glass

I found Mr. Orange at the bottom of one of my cups, which was perfect for this prompt.

The glass is a Turkish style teacup that I actually bought when I was visiting Turkey. I loved the apple tea they served us in cups just like this one everywhere we went.

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Day 15: Fabric

   Day 16: Boomerang

Shucks! Time got away from me again with this one, so I combined the two prompts and I think it worked out pretty well.

Whenever a customer orders a plushie from me on Etsy, their animal comes in a handmade cloth drawstring bag. 

Here is a link to see the boomerang of my sloth plushie in his bag:



Day: 17: Man made

Whenever I think of this term, I always think of cities. So it is only fitting that Mr. Orange is looking out over the area of SF that has been my home for the last 12 years. A lovely 'man made' (woman-made too? πŸ™‹ ) city🏩 

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Day 18: Paper

I wasn't feeling too inspired this day, but the critters pulled out all of these long colorful strips of paper and we decided to make a bunch of little origami stars for this prompt.

Tip: Here is a link to a pinterest page for making this type of origami stars. They are pretty fun and addicting once you get the hang of it!


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Day 19: Place

My favorite place in the whole world is Sunriver, Oregon (ok maybe not my only favorite, but in the top five!)

It's so quiet and scenic there, it's the perfect place to get inspired! I ended up cancelling my plans this summer to stay home with kitty, so looking back on this photo made me happy.

This image is from a while back now, but it is special to me because I went there to work on the first children's book I illustrated professionally.

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Day 20: From the cupboard

I don't really have a cupboard in my studio, but I have tons of drawers and bins stuffed with art and craft supplies. *Sshhh** I may be a hoarder in the making 😁

Summers in SF are notoriously cold and dreary. So when I found these pencils in one of my drawers (when rummaging around for something else, hehe) I felt that they were perfect for brightening up the day.

Mr. Orange and Mrs. Pineapple agree 🍊🍍 

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Day 21: Natural

When it was time for this prompt, of course I wanted to take pictures of flowers! However, Mr. Orange had to steal the show!

I guess I'd take a Mr. Orange flower any day 😍

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Day 22: Pottery

Again, I could not resist pulling out some of my miniatures for this one. I have the prettiest hand painted mini pottery that can be seen here.

My favorite is the jug for water because of the colorful melted look of the glazes.

This picture is also very appropriate as I am playing nurse to my sweet little girl 🐱

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Day 23: Pattern

I did a little throw-back for this one. These foxes are from a little while ago now, but I enjoyed rediscovering it since it made me think about potential patterns I could design with some of the other characters I have drawn since then.

Tip: If you are feeling stuck, sometimes going through past projects can perk up your muses. You can even try re-doing a past project after you have 'put it on the shelf' and see how you approach it now that it has been a while.

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Day 24: Food

Come on...I couldn't resist! Of course I couldn't share real food! Had to be crochet food. Yes, definitely.

These strawberries are sentimental to me since they are among the first things I ever successfully crocheted almost seven years ago! πŸ™Š

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Day 25: Flower

Again, how could I resist! Did you really think I would try and take a picture of a real flower? πŸ˜†

I just had to make a bunch of colorful mini flowers so my critters could take a stroll through a garden. 

I must say, the repetitive action behind the making of all of these flowers was actually quite relaxing, especially when you pair it with a night of Netflix (and possibly a piece of cake...well, most definitely a piece of cake🍰 )

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Day 26: Door

Now there are many interesting and colorful doors here in SF, but when you walk by one of the doors in your home and see this little guy poking his head out, you gotta stop and take a picture!

Party owl was definitely up to something behind those doors and I'm pretty sure it had to do with my birthday.

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Day 27: My view

I have to admit, since I live in the typical SF style home where we are all smashed up side by side, I don't have the best, most scenic view from the windows on both sides of my building.

On one side I have a busy street and on the other side I look into my neighbor's windows across our narrow alleyway πŸ™ˆ

However, my window sills are never less than charming! The critters love to do all kinds of things up there and here they are just enjoying a cup of afternoon tea.

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Day 28: Bag

I bought this handmade bag because the fox on it reminded me of Foxel. So Foxel has his bag and inside there seemed to have been some little fruit and veggie stowaways from his travels!

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Day 29: Contrast

I loved this one! 

Ok, I'll admit, at first, I hated this one. It seemed so broad and I had no idea what I would do. I was browsing online one day and randomly came across some of Andy Warhol's art, and low and behold, his work inspired this!

Each crocheted birdie is paired with their complimentary color to create this super mod critter masterpiece!

Tip: You could try looking at 'the masters' of your chosen craft for inspiration if you are feeling stuck!

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Day 30: Object

The last day of the Colour My Everyday challenge!! I thought, what could be a better 'object' than toys? 

In the end, I may have had a little too much fun with this scene and the whole challenge in general 😏

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