Omani Talents: Nof Al Zadjali (Tami)

This month, I’m showcasing an Omani talent that I mentioned briefly before who honestly needs her own post. In my last interview, we got to know Zakiya who’s an amazing artist and a great person as well. Anyway today I’m interviewing Nof who has more achievements in her life than my Steam account and I feel proud as an Omani of how far she reached.

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

Nof Alzadjali, Omani digital artist & graphic designer.

– How did you start?

I started drawing traditionally since 3rd grade but most of my artworks were random & I liked to redraw popular anime characters but never created my own. A few years later I started to create random Manga stories & original fictional characters, I was very inspired by Japanese Anime that I watched on European Channels and of course I never understood any word they say, but later I started to speak & understand the German Language because of Anime. At high school my art started to improve and I began to read more Manga & learn from the art masters online. I’ve only started digital art in 2013 which helped me improve & learn even more.

– How supportive your family and friends were?

At the start my parents were supporting my art as a hobby only. After high school I’ve decided to go to an animation or Art college. They were not very supportive at the beginning, saying that I won’t benefit much for my future but I insisted. Luckily there was only one college in all of Oman which had Graphic Design & animation courses, The Scientific College of Design. So I went for it and few years later I got into art galleries and won several prizes, so my parents started to realize how much I loved art and they supported me all the way.

– What’s your greatest achievement when it comes to your art?

Honestly, of all my participations, I have two achievements that I consider as my greatest:

  1. Finally created & self-published my own Manga (Living Dreams) in 2017. And currently working on Volume 2.
  2. Being chosen as my country’s representative in Japan to have my own Solo Art Gallery in the occasion of the opening of (Nara-Oman Friendship Association) And given the title of (Goodwill Ambassador) by the association.

– Tell us about the manga you created?

The story of (Living Dreams) was first written by me in 2008. The whole story was different, the characters were different, a lot of things changed until it was finally published. The main idea never changed throughout the process, it was about a boy who can merge into other people’s dreams and rescue lost dreamers from dark nightmares.

But before ever thinking about creating this story as a Manga, I wrote it as a novel and presented it to the cultural club in Muscat as they usually support Omani writers. Yet they have refused my story because it was fictional and not related to Oman’s culture or history. Sadly this made me give up on the story and I just left it for years.

After getting employed on my first job as an artist & designer, my friends knew about the story and supported me to create it as a Manga. It was exciting yet I knew that back then (in 2013) my art wasn’t that good and I needed to practice more.

So only in 2016 I’ve started to re-write & create the Manga with a whole different concept and better ideas. Until finally I’ve self-published it at Comicon Dubai 2017.

– Is it sold anywhere?

Sadly no, I still haven’t found a publisher, but I plan to release it again (vol.1 and 2) in one book after getting a publisher or I might just sell it online.

So happy about the readers reviews 😢 سعادتي لا توصف لما اقرأ آراء القراء لقصتي شكرا لكم ❤ __ #Repost @laila.alsibani with @repostapp ・・・ #livingdreams _____/// 📖 \\\____ مانجا/ قصّة مصوّرة لكاتبة ورسّامة عُمانية ، تدور الأحداث عن الأحلام الغامِضة التِي تراود فراس-بطل القصّة-ومحاولاتِه فِي تفسير ما يَرى إلَى أن يُصادِف مَن قَد يجِد مخرجَا له وتفسيرَا لتِلك الكوابيْس -هادي-ليس ذلك فحَسب وإنّما يجرّه إلى مَن حبَستها الأحْلام عن عيْش واقِعها…، مِن العميْق إلى الأعمَق تحملنا الأحداث. أعجبني خيَال الكاتِبة/الرسّامة وطريقة انتقالها مِن مشهد إلَى آخر والرسم معبّر ومتقن إلى أبعد حد ماشاءالله ،كأول عمل اعتبره انجاز كبيْـــــر تحيّة @nof.zadjali ، كلّي شغف لمتابَعة الجزء الثانِي مِن القصّة ______/// 📖 \\\______ لمَسات شدّتنِي_✨😃_ _ ارتداء بعض الشخوص للدشداشة العُمانية _ استخدام الكلمات (الكرك ، البيان، سلام…الخ) التي تثبت الهويّة العربيّة هدية مع النسخة ( صائدة الأحلام)_😁_ #تصويري_كانون

A post shared by Living Dreams – أحلام حية (@l.d.manga) on

– How do you develop your art-style?

I watch a lot of videos, I read manga and follow many great artists from around the world. These days it is easy to learn and develop your skills in any field, the world is connected and everything is within reach.

– What inspires you to draw?

Seeing other artist’s work inspires me. And it is very exciting that everyday we earn a new skill, or we find a new drawing tool, software..etc. Art is also my way of expressing myself, sometimes I don’t find the right words and I just draw what I feel.

– Do you prefer using a software or a traditional pen and paper?

After getting into Digital Art, I rarely use pens and papers (unless I’m just randomly scribbling ). I prefer digital art for many reasons.

– Does your art life effect your personal or career life?

Yes, in fact I still work as an Artists & designer in an Omani company. And I plan to continue participating in art galleries and events whenever I can, to meet other artists & learn from them.

– What’s your favorite anime?

It’s a long list, on top of it Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

– Do you play videogames?

I used to, but not so much these days sadly I miss playing though. I like RPGs and adventure games.

– Are you with using art like yours to get money or you’re against it?

I prefer not to allow anyone to use my art in any way unless we agree on it initially. For example, sometimes I open Art Commissions so that people can get their own personal artwork according to their taste. And for a fair payment they get the open file of that artwork and can use it freely as they please. But as most artists we struggle to make people understand that they can’t simply copy any artwork and print it or use it or sell it. This happens A LOT and we get tired chasing them around and stopping them. I know some artists who should be millionaires by now for all the artworks that got stolen and sold without their permission.

– which artist you look up to?

My favorite Manga Artist is Yukiru Sugisaki (author of D.N.Angel Manga) I really love her art style and I have learned a lot from her. There is a long list of other inspiring artists I follow online.

– What’s your motto in life?

The world is your canvas.

– What are your future plans?

Currently working on Vol.2 of my Manga. As well as another big project that would benefit all artists/designers in Oman Insha Allah.

– Where can people find your art?

Instagram: @nof.zadjali
Twitter: @nof_zadjali

I also have a behnace profile yet it isn’t updated : Behance.net/nof_zadjali

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I feel I should also mention that she participated in a show along with her husband called “Qumrah TV by Ahmed alshugairi” and it was aired on MBC 1, and here’s their submission.

I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did, be sure to check her links if you want to support her. I would probably buy her manga because I personally love supporting artists from my country and if I can give them a platform like this post to talk about themselves, I’ll gladly promote them.

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Let’s Talk About World of Final Fantasy

I’ve been a fan of Final Fantasy as long as I can remember, I think it was the game that got me into RPG in the first place. I’m not going to say that I played all Final Fantasy games but I did play plenty of them that I am familiar with the characters and their stories. I’ve been excited when I heard about World of Final Fantasy, I wouldn’t say no to cute chibi characters. I bought the game when it came out for PS4 but I stopped playing it for a long time and then recently I decided to buy it on Steam. I recently beat it and I’m .. just not satisfied and so being the blogger that I am, I have to post about it.

 This post will contain spoilers

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World of Final Fantasy is a role-playing video game in which players take control of twin siblings Lann and Reynn as they navigate the world of Grymoire. In Grymoire, all the characters and monsters encountered by the player are rendered in a chibi-style. The exceptions are Lann and Reynn, who can shift at will between chibi form and their true forms. During their travels, Lann and Reynn befriend various monsters called Mirages that they can utilize both in battle and within the navigable environment: examples of this usage include riding larger Mirages as mounts or using them to navigate environmental puzzles.

I’ll sum up the game by saying my honest brutal opinion. The game is basically Pokemon with cube shaped Pokeballs, where the Pokemon are creatures from Final Fantasy games and the main characters are Kingdom Hearts rejected twins. I’m sorry if that’s a bit rude to say but that’s what this game looked to me when I played it.

The Characters

Let’s talk about the characters, and I’ll start with Lann.

Do you see a pattern here ?

This is why I said the characters seem like they are rejected from Kingdom Hearts. I was hoping for something different since it doesn’t even mention Kingdom Hearts in any way. I personally enjoyed Lann’s humor and his personality, there were a lot of times that I laughed at some scenes.

Reynn on the other hand has the same face as Hauyn who’s another character in the game, and of course they both reminded me of Kairi and Namine.

Different hair styles and colors but same face, I couldn’t get over that part. Reynn is the smart one so she thinks more logically compared to her twin brother Lann which brings the balance in their personalities.

Gameplay

The game’s battle system makes use of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system employed by multiple Final Fantasy games. In battle, players control a party of Mirages which can be stacked upon each other to grant various boons in battle while decreasing the number of turns that can be taken. The types of Mirages used affect the party’s available skills and abilities in battle. Mirages are befriended in battle after they have been sufficiently weakened, and once in the party can be freely named. In addition to standard Mirages are special Mirages that can be temporarily summoned into battle using Action Points (AP): the Mirage remains in battle, replacing the main party, until the summoner’s AP is depleted.

In my opinion the stacking part was new to me, implementing the classic Final Fantasy battle system was fine but I found myself holding the fast forward button because of the wait time. As the game progressed, I got used to the usual mirages I always choose and I was just powering up those mirages till the end of the game. Maybe that’s me, I was comfortable staying with the chibi form and same mirages throughout the gameplay.

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The Story

I have mixed feelings about the story of this game. It’s engaging at first but later on, I found myself not interested anymore and I was fast forwarding some parts to get over it. I wasn’t satisfied with the endings, obviously I got the bad ending first then the game continues for the true ending so either way you’ll find yourself going for the second ending as  the story continues from the bad ending.

Overall, I won’t say it’s a bad game. It’s alright in my opinion but not as strong as Final Fantasy games if that makes sense to you, I enjoyed some parts and of course dreaded other parts. Have you ever played this game before ? What are your thoughts about it ?

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The Time I Cancelled THAT Shipping Company

I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile now as I’ve been in a roller coaster of unfortunate events with this specific company which I’m not going to name. If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know instantly which company I’m referring to.

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Let’s start from the beginning, I’ve been using this company for about 2 years now. I pay extra for their “services” when they ship my items that I bought online and I go to their office to receive those items when they arrive to my country. Sometimes their shipping payment is more than the actual item I bought, basically I’ve been paying way too much to this company for way too long.

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Anyway I’ve been getting fed up lately since my packages has been coming a week late, sometimes even more and they don’t really provide a logical explanation to the customer at least informing us what’s going on. Fast forward to last month, I’ve got a notified that my package arrived to their office on 17th of May. On their website nothing was up on my account as if that package never arrived so I assumed the shipping address was mislabeled or something so I sent an email to THIS shipping company to check this issue. I described the package shape, what’s written on it, what’s inside it so they would know that’s mine.

NO ONE REPLIED FOR A WHOLE WEEK…

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I was like Ok, let’s try calling … No.One.Replied.

In fact the phones were off for days, I kept calling in morning and then evenings. No one answered…

I could’ve went to their office but it’s quite far from my location and their Ramadhan timing isn’t convenient for me and my current condition. I decided to contact their official Twitter handle and tell them about my package issue plus the poor customer service. They replied and said they’ll handle it don’t worry and give us 2 -3 days to add that package to your account so I could finally receive it. Guess what …

NOTHING HAPPENED…

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When finally someone replied to me when I called, I mentioned that my packages arrived last week and I need them to be delivered to my house since I’m pregnant it’s hard for me to come to the office. The guy wrote down my address and said they’ll be delivered today or tomorrow, then I mentioned about my package that hasn’t been added to my account for about two weeks now and I didn’t get any reply on email or call about it. The guy replied …. That’s another service which I’m not specialized in … wow wow wow

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And then the next day, I finally got a reply for my emails that I spammed them everyday. While replying back and forth to the employee, I’ve honestly sent the tracking number almost three times to this person while he keeps asking me to send him the tracking number again. I don’t know if he’s just slow or I’m just super aggressive because I’m pregnant but that agitated me even more, and of course he stopped replying to me.

Meanwhile my packages that I mentioned earlier that was supposed to be delivered to my house got a status update that they are on the way. Six hours later, I see a status update “Customer not available, delivery rescheduled

ARE YOU SERIOUS?

I didn’t get any call and I was waiting the whole time for this delivery.

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As usual I call for the next two days and I get no reply.

No update regarding my lost package and no one delivered my packages.

On the third day, I finally get a reply and I was livid and I wanted to lash on the employee who replied to me but I can’t put a blame on her when it’s a whole team who’s supposed to be working on this. So I told her everything and she was very sympathetic with me, in fact she was angry of how I got treated and how poor customer service has been. She pulled out the names of the people who updated my packages status that day when it was supposed to be delivered, she instantly took my packages to be delivered that day and she told the team to reply to my emails. Two hours later, my packages arrived to my house finally.

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A day later, the lost package finally got added to my account. I’m very thankful for this lady who helped me, I really hope this company fixes this broken customer service team at least because these three weeks was very stressful for me to handle. Obviously I’m canceling this shipping company and I would never want to use them ever again, I rather pay extra for shipping with a different company than using them again.

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Games to Revisit: ObsCure 2

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ObsCure II, known also as Obscure: The Aftermath, is a survival horror game and the sequel to ObsCure.

The story is set two years after the “Leafmore Incident” (the events of Obscure); Shannon and Kenny are now enrolled in the nearby Fallcreek University, while Stan is reforming his life as a Delivery Truck Driver. Stan and Kenny have to take medication to prevent the effects of the plant from infecting their bodies, while Shannon has been able to adapt to the changes.

As the story begins, a new drug created from a strange flower is quickly spreading its influence over the University’s populace. Soon enough, a small group of students, along with the Leafmore High survivors have to face a horde of mutants and try to stay alive.

I’ve played this game before trying the first part so I connected the older parts as I progressed in the game. I would describe this game as a Resident Evil game but also trying to be more like a teen slasher movie because of the having a stereotypical characters, like in the first part which taken place in a highschool. Now the characters are older, while adding new characters who still has the stereotypical element but this time for more of a university environment.

I personally enjoyed the story but I think it made some parts made the story trying too hard to give that gore-y aspect when it wasn’t that necessary, apart from that I would recommend this game along with the first part if you felt interested to know the past events.

Let me confess this, I got introduced to Sum 41 from the first part of this game where they featured Still Waiting.

The game as released back in PS2 but got released on Steam later on so you could buy both of them as a collection if you’re interested.

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Four Seasons of Pregnancy Fashion

One of the reasons I love being pregnant is having the excuse of refreshing my wardrobe. I love shopping for clothes, it gives me a rush of trying different styles and having something new basically. I don’t necessary always choose maternity clothes, plus size and larger sized clothes are good enough for me. The best part about them, I could reuse them after I give birth but in a different way, like adding a belt and showing off how your waist slimmed down after pregnancy.

When it comes to pregnancy clothes, I always choose dresses. I feel they are more comfortable to wear for everyday more than pants, like I said before I can use them later on after pregnancy but as for maternity pants I feel they are only useful for few months then that’s it. I think dresses are more adaptable for body changes compared to pants, I’ll say it’s a preference in the end.

On the journey of 9 months, you go through seasons worth of clothes so I decided to list dresses appropriate for each season during your pregnancy. All the dresses listed in this post are offered in many sizes from S to 4XL so whether your pregnant or not, you can easily find your size.

This post is sponsored by Talever

Spring

When you think of Spring, you always have a floral designed dresses in mind.

I personally go for these dresses online because it’s very comfortable, the lace ribbon can be tied on the chest area leaving space for your belly to grow. If you’re going for more of a modest style, you could wear a pair of leggings and it’ll still look pretty nice.


Summer

For Summer, I always go for bohemian maxi dresses or beach dresses maxi styled dresses.

I think polyester is a great material, mostly because it’s stretchable. Like this dress, it’s gonna help you cool down in the summer heat and won’t make your bump feel uncomfortable since the material would be stretchable.


Fall

I think fall got a stigma of having more of a dark colored clothes, it somehow feels more fitting with the weather getting colder.

This dress is one the examples I mentioned earlier, you could use it after pregnancy when you add just a small accessory like a belt and it’ll look something different. I would wear this with a thick pantyhose, and I think it would be good to wear even in winter.


Winter

The transition from fall to winter fashion isn’t much, if the climate get more colder you could always wear something on your dress. I would personally go for a cotton cardigan, I feel they fit pretty much any style.

Now I would go for this gorgeous dress because it’s long enough to keep my legs warm and I can adjust the tight waist part to go above my pregnant belly. It can be used as a formal dress as well while staying comfortable.


I hope you enjoyed this selection of dresses I would recommend getting whether you’re pregnant or not, the site Talever offers those dresses in all sizes so I’m sure you’ll find your size in something you like. Let me know what do you think in the comments below.

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Baby Stuff I Won’t Be Getting

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On my first pregnancy, I was clueless and I was reading from books what items I would need when the baby arrive. I had plenty of stuff I never really used or even opened, I gave them as gifts for new moms maybe they’ll have use of them. I think the main difference between first and second pregnancy, is that you already know what’s going to happen each week as you read from those cute phone apps that tells you size of the baby and what organs has developed that week. Since you already got a toddler now, you don’t have that much time as before to read those things again but at least now you know your mistakes from the first pregnancy. Here’s a list of items, I won’t be buying this time.

  • Pacifiers
    I never really used them and I didn’t find the need of using them, my son was a quiet child and it was easy to calm him down.
  • Infant Car Seat
    Do you know the amount of time you need to make a child get used to a car seat? I remember how much my son was crying when I tried to get him in the car seat because I wanted to try going out with him on my own. I realized that day that it’s nearly impossible to do that, I rather sit in the back holding him while letting someone drive me which I’m also planning to do with my second child. Also babies grow fast so having an infant car seat would be a waste of money when the baby outgrows the seat itself then you’ll have to buy the bigger one which I’m currently using with my son since he was one year old.
  • Electronic Breast Pump
    I bought an electronic breast pump because I thought it’ll make the job easier but I was wrong, manual ones were the most useful for me. They are more portable and you can pump at your own pace instead of waiting for automated pumping with the electrical one.
  • Blanket Swaddle
    The difference between blanket swaddles and muslin swaddles is that blanket ones have flaps that makes it easier for you to know how to wrap your baby and you just stick it from point A to point B easily. For me I didn’t find them useful as my son found it easier to free his arms since it’s not secured that much and by night he would move his hands from the blanket and wakes up fast startled. That’s why I prefer muslin swaddles, I can wrap my child the way I’m more used to.
  • Changing Table
    I know they look so cute having them in the nursery but they take up pretty large space while having a crib, a closet and maybe a rocking chair. Eventually you’ll find yourself changing the diapers on the floor, it’s actually more safe so you can be sure your baby won’t roll in some way and fall.

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Product of The Month

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Of course I’m going to choose the Facial Cleansing Brush, It’s been my favorite ever since I bought it. After using it for couple of weeks and making it part of my skincare routine, I can honestly say I’ve felt and seen my face look more flawless now. I mean I could be wrong since I’m pregnant and experiencing pregnancy glow which makes my skin and hair look amazing. I’ll still say I love this product and I would highly recommend trying it out, it’s very relaxing.

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