Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

IAMP/PC: Territories, Pacific, Prairies, Central and Maritimes (2016) — Aug 31, 2016

IAMP/PC: Territories, Pacific, Prairies, Central and Maritimes (2016)

Yip, it’s these kids once again. I just can’t help but keep drawing them. 😉

This time though, they’re not drawn all together like last time – rather, they’re split out onto three separate drawings, organized by the region of Canada they’re from. Their poses are all modelled after IAMP/PC creator Sherry Lai‘s height chart reference for them.

Sherry Lai’s IAMP/PC province height chart reference

Part 1: Pacific & Territories

Kate Sahneuti, Victoria Cheung, Cymbeline Thanadelthur & Nanook Puqiqnak

This region encompasses the northern territories and British Columbia on the Pacific western coast. BC is Canada’s only Pacific province, since the territories are locked in onto the Arctic Ocean by Alaska. BC houses Vancouver, Canada’s third-largest city (after Toronto in Ontario and Montreal in Quebec). These provinces/territories are known for their vast wild landscapes which include mountains, tundras, oceans and even volcanoes.

From left to right:
  • Kate Sahneuti (Yukon Territory)
  • Victoria Cheung (British Columbia)
  • Cymbeline Thanadelthur (Northwest Territories)
  • Nanook Puqiqnak (Nunavut)
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory and BC by Amikyten

Part 2: Prairies & Central

Ralph Campbell, Owen Douglas Carswell, Ilan Riel, Oliver Stanley & Jean Tremblay

Located in the western-central and central regions of Canada, two of these provinces – Alberta and Saskatchewan – have no coastlines at all due to being landlocked, though they do have lakes. Ontario and Quebec are home to Toronto and Montreal, Canada’s two biggest cities. Ontario also houses Ottawa, the Canadian capital, and Quebec is rich in French culture and language. The Prairie Provinces are often nicknamed the ‘Wheatbasket of Canada’ due to their vast wheat fields, especially Saskatchewan’s.

From left to right:

  • Ralph Campbell (Alberta)
  • Owen Douglas Carswell (Saskatchewan)
  • Ilan Riel (Manitoba)
  • Oliver Stanley (Ontario)
  • Jean Tremblay (Quebec)
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba by Amikyten
Ontario & Quebec by Amikyten

Part 3: Maritimes

Marie McCain, Joel Alexander MacKenzie, Benjamin O’Reilly, Labrador & Anne Montgomery

The Maritime/Atlantic Provinces are so named because they straddle the Atlantic Ocean (on the eastern coast) and are heavily influenced by the distinctive culture of the sea. These provinces are famous for their seafood (especially lobsters), fishing, lighthouses, shipbuilding history, and – in the case of Prince Edward Island – potatoes and the childhood classic Anne of Green Gables. Nova Scotia’s name is Latin, meaning ‘New Scotland’, and it is home to one of Canada’s largest populations of Scottish heritage. However, much like Quebec, the Maritimes do have a smattering of French culture, which in the Maritimes manifests itself in the Acadian communities – New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual province, using both English and French.

From left to right:
  • Marie McCain (New Brunswick)
  • Joel Alexander MacKenzie (Nova Scotia)
  • Benjamin O’Reilly (Newfoundland)
  • Labrador
  • Anne Montgomery (Prince Edward Island)
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & PEI by Amikyten

You may have noticed a change in Saskatchewan’s surname. In the IAMP, his surname was Williams, which was the same as Canada’s (whose real name is Matthew Williams). This caused some confusion to the fans and even the producers themselves, as according to them, the provinces and territories are technically not Canada’s children (as I often think they are). In the PC reboot of the series, Saskatchewan’s surname has been changed to Douglas Carswell, thus his full real name is Owen Douglas Carswell rather than Owen Williams.

Saskatchewan’s reference for PC can be found here, showing his new full name:

He will now be named as Owen Douglas Carswell instead of Owen Williams in future IAMP/PC fan-artworks.

Saskatchewan reference artwork by Amikyten
Owen Douglas Carswell
The Royal Family and the Floating Ones’ Eggs (2008) — Aug 29, 2016

The Royal Family and the Floating Ones’ Eggs (2008)


It’s time to introduce those who are the very creme-de-la-creme of Britain Boys society – the royal family! Not the REAL royal family, which would be the Windsors, but rather the Britain Boys royal family.

Penzance is considered the King of Britain, ruling above the city and its environs from a castle in the skies above (not a reference to that Studio Ghibli anime film). Having a peaceful temperament, he hates to see people fighting or getting involved in pointless wars or fights. However, he won’t hesitate to get angry if something annoys him, and he will promptly zap the offender with his magic sceptre (luckily for them, they don’t disintegrate or vanish to another twisted dimension). When not on his royal duties, Penzance likes to relax in the castle Jacuzzi and have a good laugh with his buddies.

Ashford is Penzance’s wife and the Queen of Britain (obviously not to be confused with the current Queen of England). She’s always looking after her husband, and will step in his place when he’s not on royal duty. Ashford is the mother of the three royal children and heirs to the throne, who are named Marazion, Balham and Littleborough. Marazion is 3 years old, while Balham is 2 and Littleborough 1. Their cuteness can charm even the most staunch republican into possibly changing their stance on the monarchy.

You may have noticed the rather unusual-looking eggs at the bottom of the drawing. Each of them has a special magic marking and coloured shell. Who exactly are they? They’ll be hatching in the next exhibition…

Jollimore (SSBTS) Gets a Surname Change! — Aug 28, 2016

Jollimore (SSBTS) Gets a Surname Change!


Jollimore, the fun-loving jolly teacher from Secondary School by the Sea, has had a surname change!

His surname is now Ferrison (as opposed to Forrison, his previous surname), making his full name Jollimore Ferrison.

While it isn’t a massive change – the only difference being the altering of the first vowel in the name – this will have quite a big impact on any materials I make for Secondary School by the Sea from now on.

Jollimore’s character profile on the Canadian Boys Wiki now reflects this minor change in spelling:

All artworks where Jollimore is the sole featuring character or appears alongside Dartmouth (whose full name, Dartmouth McKinnon-Graham, will still remain the same) will from this point onwards be titled with ‘Jollimore Ferrison’ rather than ‘Jollimore Forrison’ as before.


Holiday in Colombia: Week 5 — Aug 27, 2016

Holiday in Colombia: Week 5

The morning after I ended up in the small village of Rozo in the Valle Del Cauca region, the hot sun baked the surroundings with tropical heat, the sky a bright light blue. That made it a perfect day to go out and cool down in some cold river water, and that’s exactly what we did. We drove through vast landscapes of green mountains and blue skies towards the nearby town of Ginebra (which is also the Spanish name for the city of Geneva in Switzerland), then onto some dusty rocky roads which are too common in Colombia to another nearby village called Costa Rica (not the country!)

Ginebra town centre

At Costa Rica, there were two swimming pools beside the river (which makes me wonder what’s the point of having a pool if the river’s nearby). I alternated between dipping in the river and pools at regular times, the pools’ water much warmer than the river’s, so I could cool down in the river after warming up in the pools. I even got to meet the resident pet, and jumped off a diving board. It was scary!

By the river
Kids’ swimming pool
A little pet…

I also found a rather exotic-looking species of butterfly at the riverside – the 88 butterfly, so-called because the markings on its lower wings looks rather like a number 88. The upper wings are soot-brown or black with navy-blue stripes. These butterflies are only found in South America, although they can occasionally end up in the far south of Texas.

88 butterfly on the wall
88 butterfly close-up

Even though I had been in the water, I ended up getting suntanned because the sun was burning hot – my feet even got hot from trying to walk on the baking ground – as I write now, I’m still peeling! I was in pain for the next day going back on the bus to Pereira due to the burn, which made me feel a little dizzy and want to lie down on a cool bed. On the plus side, I now think I’m addicted to ham-and-cheese tortillas… 😉

The scratchy, prickly tingle from my sunburn having settled down, I got to fulfil my wish of seeing my father at our old house again just before I left Colombia. I once again relived nostalgic memories of my past life, reading through all my old books and looking through all my old drawings – some of which I’d somehow left behind the last time I visited four years ago. I finally got my Dad’s scanner to work, and scanned in all the drawings I’d made over the past month or so – it was quite a bit of work and took up quite some time since it scanned very slowly, unlike my own scanner back home in England. I made another new drawing while I waited for the others to be scanned in, though I must keep it secret for now as it’s for a certain project I’m contributing to… 😉

Front of the old finca

I even got to visit the nearby finca of one of my Dad’s friends, who is from New York but of heritage from the Dominican Republic. While I’d seen it before during my last visit to Colombia, it was now a lot bigger and more spaced-out. They grow their own bananas, pick and roast their own coffee from the nearby fields and have ducks down in the artificial pond. They even have a swimming pool and feeders for hummingbirds, which made buzzing sounds as they zipped around. I tried to catch a photo, but they were too fast for me!

Outdoor swimming pool
Fresh coffee beans
Bananas on the tree
Duck in the shed

As much fun as I was having revisiting my old Colombian home, I couldn’t forget the fact that I would be leaving for England in a matter of days. The next couple of days after returning from my Dad’s home were spent at my Nana Stella’s apartment back in Pereira, where I was stationed while my family started packing the suitcases for the home flight.

When the day finally came, I couldn’t stop the tears coming. I knew I would see Colombia again someday, but it just felt sad having to leave my family in Colombia behind, as most of them still live there. It was especially hard having to say goodbye to my Dad – it looks like he might live in Colombia forever, as he’s been there for ten years now and doesn’t look like he’ll be coming back to England anytime soon – and Nana Stella and Nico. I at least still have my cat. 🙂

I got to take this shot of Pereira at night just before I left for Bogota:

Pereira city night lights

Once in Bogota after a short hop on the plane, we began our return to London on a much longer flight. As it was a night flight, I went to sleep to pass much of the time, though technically it would be afternoon in London when we landed. The crew were still working by Colombia’s time, however, so I had breakfast when it should have been lunch time my time.

When we finally landed back in London, I felt somewhat sad but happy to be home at last. We had a little pick-up at a local café before hauling all our suitcases onto the Underground back to Seven Sisters, where I’ve now returned and am writing this from.

More memories have been made during my holiday in Colombia, and many more will be made when I next go there – which will possibly be in the next couple of years. My next travel wish will be to finally see Canada in the summertime after seeing it in winter (and of course live there).

Thank you, Colombia, for once again having me. I’ll be back sometime soon! 😉

Some highlights of my holiday in Colombia
Holiday in Colombia: Week 4 — Aug 21, 2016

Holiday in Colombia: Week 4

Having made our weekend home in Medellin, we set out the morning after to explore the city and the surrounding towns around the Antioquia region. Our first stop outside of Medellin was the small village of El Retiro (‘retirement’ in Spanish!), where we had a few drinks to start the day off – I had a cool chocolate milkshake – and saw a few pigeons. Next was the slightly larger town of La Ceja, where we had our lunch – I had some fried trout and chips – and briefly watched a parade featuring Colombian folk dancing, trucks and flower displays. Last but not least was the village of El Carmen Del Viboral, or just Carmen Viboral, where we chilled out at a bar drinking apple soda and bought some ceramics to give as gifts to family and friends. On the way back to Medellin, we passed through the big town of Rionegro, and once back in Medellin proper, we had a late-night dinner at the El Tesoro mall, enjoying wonderful night views of the city lights.

Highlights of my day-trip around the Antioquia region
Medellin city night lights

The next day, we set off on a little walk into Medellin city centre, stopping at a small plaza filled with bronze sculptures by the artist Fernando Botero (himself from Medellin), easily recognizable by their grotesquely fat bodies (known as ‘Boterismo’, or ‘Boteroism’, in the art world). The Botero Plaza, as the plaza is called, is home to many of Botero’s bronze sculptures, although his art can be found in many places around the world, including New York and Paris. Later on in the afternoon, we went on another coach back to Pereira, where I arrived very sleepy due to coming in the dark of the night.

Some of Fernando Botero’s bronze sculptures in Medellin

The day after arriving back in Pereira, we went out to Armenia, the capital of the neighbouring Quindio region, to see the inner workings of a coffee factory – the coffee which comes to the factory is, of course, locally grown and picked. At the factory, the coffee beans are picked out of the berries and are packed into heavy sacks – one sack alone weighs 70 kilograms! They are then roasted to the distinctive dark brown colour, with a delicious aroma filling the atmosphere, after which they are packed for retail or further grinding (for instant coffee). The factory even had a few coffee bushes growing outside – and chickens!

Coffee beans on the bush
Black chicken with chicks

We went for lunch in nearby Montenegro (which I’d visited the week before to see the Parque Del Café), having some vegetable soup with beef, rice, chunky chips and homemade lemonade, then we went back through Armenia. On the way back to Pereira, we stopped at a roadside restaurant and garden centre to buy some bread and see some colourful flowers and objects from old times gone by.

An array of colourful flowers
Retro nostalgia

The day afterwards and the day after that, I only stayed in Pereira at my Nana Stella’s apartment, typing up a little more of Life is a Beach on my computer, but I did get some new coloured pencils. These ones should last many months or even years – I still have some of my older ones even ten years later!

My new coloured pencils

After staying inside for nearly two days, we returned to Pereira’s Terminal to jump on a much smaller bus than we had to Medellin, on which we were whisked through the Valle Del Cauca region with green hills, palm trees and hot heat. Initially thinking I was going to Cali (the capital of the region and the third-largest city in Colombia after Bogota and Medellin respectively), I was instead woken up when the bus stopped in Rozo, a small village just outside the town of Palmira. We went shopping at a nearby supermarket for food and drink for our weekend stay, then made our home at a tiny finca on a village road, where I met the resident pets – two Labrador dogs named Cacao (brown) and Dakota (beige), a grey-and-white tabby cat named Gatalina (a pun on ‘gata’ – ‘female cat’ in Spanish – and the name Catalina), and a half-blind bulldog named MacGyver. There were also some chickens next door, clucking and pecking away at the ground.

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