the Scaris: City of Frights sketchbook of
HELLO, my name is Jinafire Long
6th Moon, 15th Day
The summer heat must be boiling my brain, because I have serious creative block. I can feel good ideas hovering just out of reach, but no matter how far I stretch out my talons, I can't grasp them. A sculpture that I've been slaving over for weeks looked fine yesterday, then today suddenly it began looking wrong to me, and everything I did to fix it made it look worse. My temper finally overheated; I took a deep breath and melted it into slag right there on the studio floor. Master came running in to see what all the commotion was. I didn't even know he was there! It was completely mortalfying. I thought he'd scold me for losing my temper—again—but he only raised an eyebrow at me. I began apologizing and cleaning up, but he said to leave it. "All errors are opportunities," were his exact words. I wish he'd tell me what he wanted, rather than dropping enigmatic statements and leaving me to puzzle them out.
6th Moon, 23rd Day
After many days of molten statues, Master shooed me out of the door this morning with instructions to "open my eyes to new possibilities," whatever that means. I took my qilin along for company. I meant to go straight to the fabric market to start on my next project, but I decided to at least try to take Master's advice and made a detour to Imperial Gardens. My qilin was antsy, and I let him down to give him a chance to stretch his hooves. While he played, I took out my iCoffin and took pictures of the pagodas all over the park. It was a frightfully gorgeous day, and after a while, I did begin to relax. The serenity all around me set my mind ablaze with inspiration. We continued to the fabric market and its shouting vendors and beautifully embroidered silks. I'm an old claw at haggling, and I soon scored a fearsome discount on some hand-woven textiles that I knew would be ideal for my new concepts. But instead of going straight back to the studio like I normally would, I strolled a nearby snack street, taking photos of the fiery pots of tofu, delicately-folded dumpling and candied fruit-on-a-stick. It's late today, but when I go back to the studio tomorrow, I think I will finally have something to work on that I can be proud of.
7th Moon, 2nd Day
Today I showed my new collection to Master: A structured dress inspired by the shapes of the gardens' pagodas, a dress of contrasting colors and textures inspired by the chaotic-yet-harmonious fabric market, and a bright and delicate dress inspired by the snack street. My proudest creation was a dress inspired by my earlier "failures." I could look at them with fresh eyes now, and although they were melted, they were still colorful and interesting. My dress reflected their unique lines in the cut of the fabric. When Master saw it, his eyes got wide, and he put a hand on my shoulder and beamed. "Everything has its beauty, little dragon," he told me. "But not everyone can see it. I think now you do." For once, I think I can understand what he means.
8th Moon, 15th Day
Master is back to his usual enigmatic self—when staring into his tea this morning, he mentioned something about seeing a big opportunity in my future. Wonderful. Another puzzle to solve ... although now at least my creative fires have been re-lit.