Omani Talents: Zakiya Al Waili (Kazuna Yoshida)

I’ve been getting a lot requests to post interviews after I posted about Omani Talents that I really support so I decided to interview one of my favorite artists Zakiya Al Waili.

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-First let’s start with introductions, tell us about yourself.

I am Zakiya Al Waili, 24 years old and recently married. I am a self taught artist, I graduated from Oman nursing institute, yes! I am a nurse, currently working in a government hospital.

-How did you start with your art?
When I was in kinder garden basically, but I got deeply in it when I reached 7th grade which is around 13 or 14 years old I guess.

-How supportive your family and friends were?
At the beginning  I really didn’t get that support from my friends or family. My family used to stop me from drawing by saying its “haram” (Forbidden by religion) and I am not supposed to draw what I see on TV like cartoons. My colleagues on the other hand, used my art for their art assignments at school or just picking me as a partner for any art project. With time, my family got tired from trying to stop me so they gave up, I went wild for a period of time just to show them what I can do and how far I can reach, alhamdulillah (thanks to god).

-What’s your greatest achievement when it comes to your art?
I don’t see that I have achieved something yet, even though I gave workshops and participated in exhibitions, I still want to do something grand.

-How do you develop your art-style?
I used to have these moods to draw and get inspired from what I see, what I go through but even so, my way to develop my style is trying new things everyday. I experiment new colors and try new types of art styles, and basically go out of your comfort zone and step by step, you will realize you have your own.

-What inspires you to draw?
Other artists, I feel impressed by seeing how artists grow and improve their art and I really love that.

-Do you prefer using a software or a traditional pen and paper?
It depends, I usually go for traditional style just for fun, playing like a kid to relieve pressure. I do that in a software as well, but it’s more serious.

– Does your art life effect your personal or career life?
Well, I hope it does affect my career in a better way since my career specialty and my hobby are extremely different. Whenever I’m on duty, not many care about my artworks, and if they know, they will be like: “amazing! can you draw me?“. It doesn’t have much of my personal life as a part of a family I’m still social as ever, though my new life as a wife made my responsibilities as secondary comparing to what I love.

-Clearly your art is more anime influenced so what’s your favorite anime?
I love Ghibli animations like: Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. I have lots of favorite anime series such as Himouto Umaru chan, Sword Art Online, Blend S and a lot more.

-Are you with using art like yours to get money or against it?
To be honest I used to do that, I used to work as an artist to get money in college days, but I stopped all kinds of trading later on. I still do it but very rarely, and with less amount for commission, I don’t aim for money. I want everyone to use my art in a proper way, and my advice to all artists who do art business, please be careful not to ruin your imagination like I did, enjoy exploding it all on your paper or tablet but don’t let anyone force you to do what they want just for the sake of needing money.

-Which artist you look up to?
There are several of artists I look up to, I don’t consider myself to be that good so I follow millions of them. I love to get inspired by their art and to try their style once or twice as practice. I look up to whoever of an artist they are, whether it’s a famous artist, international animator, Omani artist or even kids in school.

-Your motto in life?
No pain, no gain.

-What are your future plans?
Short term future goals is to participate in a convention in Oman by end of this year, and probably GCC (Gulf Continent Countries) too, yeah why not.

-Where can people find your art?
Anywhere with the name @kazunayoshida, mostly Instagram :3

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I hope you enjoyed this interview as it’s a first for me, I would love to know your feedback. Don’t forget to check out Zakiya’s Instagram and give her support, she’s an amazing person and fun to be around.

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This or That Tag

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Alright one more tag for this month because I might forget doing them later on the more I delay them. I got tagged by the gorgeous Karalee, be sure to check her blog and her answers … SPECIALLY the Pepsi and Coke one 😀

The Rules

  1. Thank and tag the person that has tagged you
  2. Attach the tag photo
  3. Answers the This or That questions
  4. Tag 10-20 friends

The Questions

  • Dog or Cat?
    Both, more to cats though.
  • Netflix or YouTube?
    Definitely YouTube, it’s easier to find what I want on YouTube.
  • Phone Call or Text?
    Texting … It’s easier to express myself behind screens.
  • Toast or Eggs?
    Eggs, and I’m only saying it because I’m pregnant and currently can’t stand bread in all shapes and forms.
  • Cardio or Weights?
    Cardio for sure.
  • Facebook or Twitter?
    Twitter, I closed my facebook years ago.
  • Ice Cream Cone or Snow Cone?
    Ice Cream Cone, I like eating chocolate in the end of the cone.
  • Mobile Games or Console Games?
    Console, I don’t consider mobile games actual games. They are more of a passing time sort of games, not that immersive and awards you for coming back to the app.
  • While walking: Music or Podcasts?
    Well, considering my country is super hot obviously I won’t walk that long. I’m going to answer this when I’m driving, I enjoy podcasts while going to work since it takes me 45 minutes to reach but if I’m going out for anything else than work I’ll listen to music.
  • iOS or Android?
    Android, I can’t stand the restrictions of iOS and I like more customization in my devices.
  • Cake or Pie?
    Cake.
  • Swimming or Sunbathing?
    Swimming, I’m pretty sure I’m tanned enough since I’m Arab.
  • New Clothes or New Phone?
    Phone, I’m very interested in electronic devices.
  • Rich Friend or Loyal Friend?
    Loyal, I never used money as a measurement in any relationship I ever had.
  • Football or Basketball?
    I hate sports to be honest so neither.
  • Nice Car or Nice Home Interior?
    Interior, I feel it’s important to feel satisfied and relaxed in your own home since you spend most of the time there.
  • What’s worse: Laundry or Dishes?
    Dishes, imagine touching something soggy all the sudden … eww.
  • Jogging or Hiking?
    Hiking, you can take your time appreciating your surrounding than moving faster.
  • Bath or Shower?
    Since I’m pregnant, right now I’ll say bath. I need my relax time for my aching joints.
  • Sneakers or sandals?
    Sandals.. Wearing sneakers with abaya is weird.
  • Glasses or Contacts?
    I’m fine with both honestly.
  • Hamburger or Taco?
    Hamburger because tacos has a lot of veggies and I don’t like veggies.
  • Couch or Recliner?
    Recliner, it’s more comfortable even when you game.
  • Online Shopping or Shopping in a Store?
    Both, I’m sorry I just can’t choose in this since I love shopping.
  • Receive: Email or Letter? 
    Email since it’s faster and you can reply instantly. I honestly never received a letter … Unless we are talking about my Bank Account log which I dread checking.
  • Tablet or Computer?
    Computer obviously.
  • Most important in a partner: Intelligent or Funny?
    In my opinion humor shows the person intelligence anyway so I’ll go with funny.
  • Car or Truck?
    Car, I’m too tiny to drive a truck.
  • Blue or Red?
    Blue, I feel it’s more calm compared to red.
  • Money or Free Time?
    Money of course.
  • Amusement Park or Day at the Beach?
    Beach, because I don’t like going to crowdy places.
  • At a movie: Candy or Popcorn?
    Neither, I always go for nachos.
  • Pen or Pencil?
    Pencil, I like the feel and sound of the pencil writing.
  • Toilet paper: Over or Under?
    Over … I think.
  • Cups in the cupboard: Right Side Up or Up Side Down?
    Up side down.
  • Pancake or Waffle?
    pancakes … Now I’m hungry.
  • Coke or Pepsi?
    Coke … I have no idea why.
  • Coffee Cup or Thermos?
    Coffee cup.
  • Blinds or Curtain?
    Curtains.
  • Train or Plane?
    Never really tried going on a train so plane.
  • Phone or Tablet?
    Phone, I don’t find tablets useful for me.
  • Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee?
    Both honestly, I can’t choose.
  • Meat or Vegetables?
    Meat, I don’t like veggies.
  • International Vacation or a New TV?
    Vacation of course, who wouldn’t want that.
  • Save or Spend?
    I try to save more these days.
  • Honesty or Other’s Feelings?
    Honesty, you can’t make the truth smoother with other feelings.
  • Coffee or Tea?
    Tea, always been a tea person.
  • TV or Book?
    I rather read a book, I don’t watch TV that much.
  • Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater?
    Movie at home, I need to be more comfortable while sitting and also you won’t be annoyed when someone passes by in front of you going back and forth to the bathroom or random people talking over the movie.
  • Ocean or Mountains?
    Mountains.
  • Horror Movie or Comedy Movie?
    Comedy of course.
  • City or Countryside?
    Countryside, it’s less hectic with better scenery.
  • Winter or Summer?
    Winter, it’s summer all year in my country except a small period of colder climate by December.
  • Mac or PC?
    PC, Mac isn’t good for gaming.
  • Console Gaming or PC Gaming?
    Both, I love gaming in all devices.
  • Soup or Sandwich?
    Sandwich … I need a subway sandwich now.
  • Card Game or Board Game?
    Card game, like UNO I love it.
  • Camping or Binge Watching Shows at Home?
    Binge watching, I can’t handle nature for too long.
  • Working Alone or Working in a Team?
    Alone, I hate depending on someone on stuff I can do.
  • Dine In or Delivery?
    Both, I can’t choose because it really depends on my mood.
  • Sweater or Hoodie?
    Hoodie, oversized ones.
  • Motorcycle or Bicycle?
    Bicycle, Motorcycle is more intimidating to me.
  • Book or eBook?
    Book, I love reading from paper.
  • When sleeping: Fan or No Fan?
    AC, I live in a hot country fans aren’t enough.
  • TV Shows or Movies?
    TV shows.

I nominate anyone reading this, it’s really a fun tag to post.

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Testing Facial Cleansing Brush

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Originally I wanted to try LVL lash treatment since it’s been on my mind after I tried lash extensions a year ago. It’s much pricier but I thought if the process is worth it, I might just continue with it instead of the extensions. But it turned out I can’t do it because I’m pregnant and apparently it’s not good for breastfeeding ladies as well, probably because of the serum used to keep the lashes lifted and curled. I might consider doing it by next year if that’s the case, so I just changed my appointment to manicure since my nails need a little love and I don’t mind a free hand massage. When I was at the salon waiting for my turn, the hairdresser was talking to me and showing me this facial cleansing brush. I got interested because I’ve seen it in few ads and like the Pore Cleaner Vacuum, I wanted to test it out for myself.

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The packaging is really nice to be honest, and it looks fancy. The device is made of silicon and it has two sides, a cleanser and a massager.

How Does it Work ?

It’s waterproof so it’s easy to clean after usage, you can use it after dampen your face and applying whichever cleansing product you like. There are two buttons to control the vibrating settings to whichever you’re comfortable using.

Does it Actually Work ?

I used it with my usual cleansing gel and the whole vibrating process was actually pretty relaxing. My skin seemed much smoother and the pores weren’t that visible as I’m used to see. I would honestly say this product worked well with me from the first use.

The Verdict

If you don’t want to pay over $100 for a facial cleanser, I highly recommend trying this product and adding it to your skincare routine because it really helps in reducing pore visibility and the whole cleansing process. Along with skincare, it’s also a relaxing massage device.

Have you ever used a facial cleansing device before ? Do you recommend it ?

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The Sunshine Blogger Tag

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I’d like to thank Lise for tagging me in this post, it’s been awhile since I did those tags and they are always fun way to refresh the blog.

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you in the post and the link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 8-11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award” logo on your post and/or in your blog.

Questions from Lise:

  1. Do you have a saying that you don’t necessarily intend to use but still do?
    Comfort is the enemy of progress. I’ve been using this saying more often because I want to believe in it, it helps me whenever I want to get out of my comfort zone.
  2. What would be your ideal living situation?
    Currently the idea of being a stay-in-home mom doesn’t sound so bad.
  3. If you could have any non traditional pet, what would it be?
    A Sugar glider … I’ve always seen them being sold on few online outlets like OLX and animal shops. I’ve done my research on how to take care of them and all, my problem is my in laws. I live with them and they already absolutely hate cats, I don’t know how they’ll react if I brought one.
  4. What would be your dream job? Do you already have it?
    I’m not sure what to say at this point because I’ve always wanted to work around PCs. I like checking computer parts and building them which is somewhat my job but at the same time I hate the work environment I’m currently in and certain people I have to deal with there. Blogging is my venting outlet and who knows maybe I’ll turn it to my full-time job and quit my current job.
  5. What does blogging mean to you?
    Like I said in the previous question, blogging is my venting outlet. There are days where you don’t feel like posting anything, and some days you find yourself scheduling 5 posts ahead. It’s something for yourself to manage, there’s no one to nag over you with deadlines or anything. Along with blogging, you get to know other bloggers with same interests as yours and that helps with gaining friendships which I’m not exactly great at in reality.
  6. Do you have any weird holiday traditions?
    Not really, introduce me to some if you got.
  7. Is there a fictional character you would have loved to meet in real life? Which one?
    I had plenty of characters in my head and I went blank when I read this question. I would say Kate Harker from This Savage Song, a book I got in one of OwlCrate boxes. I loved that book so much, I ordered the sequel book Our Dark Duet. Kate is a very interesting character, her personality defined as that strong rough bad girl. she’s like a raw unpolished diamond, she built that strong face to show her father that she’s good enough to be like him .. ruthless. I want to meet her because she’s a very fascinating person and I want to have one-on-one conversation about life.
  8. What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
    When it comes to skincare, I would say the best purchase is a facial cleansing brush which I’m going to post about on Thursday so stay tuned for that. The worst would be the pore cleaner vacuum, it’s useless and I recently tossed it away.
  9. Whats the worst screw up you’ve ever had in the kitchen?
    I barely enter the kitchen to be honest, I know it sounds a little snobby of me but I’ve never been a cooker type of person. I do make those fast easy snacks for myself and my son but not actual cooking … Unless you consider boiling noodles cooking.
  10. Do you have any “useless” talents? What are they?
    I can make my tongue reach my nose, I don’t know what that says about me.
  11. Has anyone ever tricked you into believing something and then you discovered it wasn’t true? What was it?
    Yeah I remember my mom telling me to not spray perfume on my hair because it’ll make my hair turn white. I think it started as a joke from my mom side but I actually believed it throughout my childhood till I found out it was untrue. The whole thing is hilarious now when I’m older, I’ll probably say the same to my kids just to mess with them.

Questions for You

  1. If you could change your name, what would you choose?
  2. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?
  3. Who do you look up to?
  4. Favorite movie?
  5. Do you have any games in your phone?
  6. What inspires you to be creative?
  7. What is that one feature you always look in a partner?
  8. What do you love about your blog?
  9. Where and when do you write your posts?
  10. What things are you most grateful for in your life?
  11. How different is your life to one year ago?

I took few questions from different blogs I found and they seemed interesting. I would nominate almost same bloggers are Lise already did but I’ll add Yuna and also You yes you the one reading this post, I would love to read your post so please let me know in the comments below so I can check it out.

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Omani Talents I Support

I feel bad for not giving people from my country enough credit, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know them through social media during these couple of years and I thought of showcasing them to my readers as I feel that they need to be appreciated more.

Nof Al Zadjali

I’ve been a fan of her work for awhile and recently I had the courage to contact her, as you may know I’m quite a shy person. She drew a chibi art-style of myself during a commission period and I’ve been in love with it.

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Her art-style has more of a variety not only chibi and she’s also an author of a manga named Living Dreams.

Here’s some of my favorites from her.

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Mohammed Al-Attar

I’ve known him through mutual people I knew through twitter and I’ve been following his work for awhile now. Along with being a talented artist, he’s also a gamer and part of a gaming group called Press Start.

Here’s some of my favorites from him.

“The glass is half full, but her soul is empty” 🌞🌛

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The silence of growing things 🌿

A post shared by Mohammed Alattar (@mimoon_art) on

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I’ll probably make this a series to showcase more of those hidden gems of talent that deserve more recognition, I might also post interviews since it’s something I’ve been thinking to do for awhile. Let me know your thoughts and comments if you are interested, thank you for reading this post.

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Tips on Road Tripping with a Toddler

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Whether it’s driving a few hours away to visit friends and family, or traveling to a new place to go sightseeing, road trips are supposed to be a fun way to travel, but with a toddler they can be downright awful. Toddlers have a very short attention span, so even a few minutes, much less a few hours, of sitting still can be near impossible for them. Usually that means they start kicking and crying, doing anything to get your attention. When you’re driving, a toddler’s antics are not only annoying, but dangerous. I’ve been going to UAE from time to time by car and it’s about 5 hours, sometimes more and that depends on the traffic or how many stops we have to take. Of course my first time going was really tiring because as a first time mom I was already clueless and I didn’t know what to do, my son was around 4 months by that time. With time I’ve gained experience and it’s been a lot smoother lately, also because my son is old enough to behave now. I’ve already posted about flying with a toddler, if you’re interested you can check it here.

So, here are a few tips on how to travel with a toddler that will make a road trip much smoother.

First off, always make sure you have taken proper safety measures before hitting the road. Toddlers accidentally hurt themselves all the time, but if you’re prepared then this will only be a minor setback instead of a major one. Check that your car seat is installed properly and that your toddler is buckled in. Bring a first-aid kit, plenty of water, and a flashlight just in case you have car trouble. In my country there are no strict rules about child safety and that just irritates me because I’ve seen so many parents put their children on their lap while they drive. Only recently those rules has been forced and it’s going to take time for people to understand child safety is very important, of course you would want your child unharmed and safe so please always use a car seat.

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My next tip is to drive at night. There are usually less cars on the road which can make your trip easier, but most importantly, your toddler will sleep through the trip instead of being wide-awake and making a fuss. If you can get your toddler to sleep for most of the drive, you’ll have a very easy time. In my case, me and my husband always choose times around afternoon because it’s easier for us to have lunch on the road and then my son would have his afternoon nap, so it works well both way as long as you know your child’s sleeping times. If you have to drive during the daytime like I do, be prepared for pit stops. Plan to stop at least every thirty minutes on your journey for bathroom breaks and to let your little one stretch his or her legs. I would suggest mapping out stopping points before you leave, so you’ll know you are stopping at safe and sanitary places.

Another tip is to relax on the normal rules you have. Keeping your toddler happy is very important during a long road trip, so if that means he or she gets to have a few more sugary snacks or gets to play on the iPad a little longer than usual, it’s okay. Like I mentioned earlier, toddlers have a very short attention span so it’s really not their fault that they can’t sit still for extended periods of time. It can also help to have one parent in the backseat, playing with your toddler to keep him busy. You and your partner can take turns driving and playing with your young one throughout the trip.

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If you are looking for road trip inspiration, check out this guide on the longest roads in the world by CarRentals.com.

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Games to Revisit: Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return

Before I start this post, I’m very excited to say I’ve done my first guest posting on A Safe Space for Curious Minds Blog. If you’re interested in serial killers, murderers, haunted places stories be sure to follow the blog along with the two creators who made it Lise and Karalee.

Now onto the main topic of this post …

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The game centers on the exploits of a pink-haired feral child named Tomba as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend Tabby from a race of anthropomorphic and antagonistic pigs.

I’ve been obsessed with this game during my schooldays, I remember getting it from my cousins. The game is a platformer with a three-dimensional perspective in which movement is performed on predetermined linear paths. Whenever Tomba reaches a point where additional paths intersect with his current one, a set of flashing arrows appear above his head. At that point, Tomba can move in any direction that the arrows point. Some areas in the game enable the player to explore them in a top-down view, allowing Tomba to move around freely.

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I recently played it using ePSXe which is a PSOne emulator, using more refined and smooth settings. I feel this game deserves a remake as it goes hand in hand with Spyro and Crash Bandicoot. When I played it couple of days ago, I finished it in 7 hours which was shocking to me because I remember I spent days even weeks trying to finish most of the side quests along with the story-based quests.

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I confess that I played it at work since I wanted to waste time till I could go home and it was a time well spent, I really love this game. I highly recommend trying this game if you’re into platformer type of games and miss the nostalgia when those games were on the raise back then.

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