The concept I went with for Assignment 1 – Lines, was Preconceptions

Though some form I wanted to either challenge the viewer’s and/or my own preconceptions.

I set them into two groups, with one side with more experimental methods, and the other with a more conventional line based approach.

Final Lines

Final Lines




  • Anxiety
    • I wanted to show the disruptive nature of anxiety in the lives of people who have anxiety disorders. I also wanted to show the constant battle between the two sides with a bit of ambiguity as to which side was considered the positive/negative space.
  • Ambiguous
    • I was hit by sudden inspiration to replicate (to some degree) the look of a Rorschach/Ink Blot test. Tried to keep a balance between the black lines and white lines and not make one obviously dominant over the other
  • Distracted
    • I have a tendency to jump between ideas and tasks easily and I wanted to convey this by stitching together snippets of the various ideas I had through this assignment
  • Psychotic
    • Wanted a very jagged aggressive look and wrote the word PSYCHO in a very angular manner, I also had a light spatter of paint on it. I also used the light splatter of paint in other lines as a recurring motif of frustration.
  • Systematic
    • My first thoughts were that systematic had to be rigid and very line-based, contrary to that, I’ve managed to get an organic yet systematic look from a surprising source, a cotton bud dipped in Chinese ink.
  • Aggressive
    • To get an aggressive look, I frayed the end of a chopstick and dipped it in ink, pretty much stabbed the paper a bunch of times after that. Slashed about (wanted to cut the paper up too, but didn’t) then I finished it off with a bit of the splatter motif.
  • Exhausted
    • There’s a very faint line that drops down at the start and lingers about the lower edge of the page with the occasional attempt to get back up again. With exhaustion comes dulled senses and feeling slightly broken. I tried to convey that with a hazy look as well as some fragments of crushed charcoal. There is also a little of the splatter motif, from the frustration of wanting to have energy again.
  • Embarrassed
    • When embarrassed, I’d want to hide away somewhere and so these are faint circles with a slightly darker central point to show the source of the embarrassment radiating out. They’re also spaced out wanting to isolate themselves and fade away.
  • Indecisive
    • Going with a little of the technique of automatism, I sort of let my hand “walk” and wander about unable to simply walk to the other end. I also twisted the medium to change it’s width and look to further incorporate the indecisive mood.


  • Sloven
    • I decided to show sloven though the perspective of a messy person’s house, from the top-down view. The ends of the lines fading into unkept, crusty darkness and only a tiny bit of clear space right in the middle, for new trash to accumulate and get shoved aside.
  • Bizarre
    • Ran though a couple of concepts for bizarre, but nothing seemed to feel “bizarre” enough. Had a sudden idea of the eyes of the snake in The Jungle Book. His eyes would take on a repeating pattern of circles expanding in order to hypnotize anyone or anything. I thought that it seemed pretty bizarre, tried out a pattern for it, and quite liked it.
  • Turbulent
    • I was inspired by stylized “flat” explosions and representations of wind from a couple of games (Dustforce, Gigantic, Battleborn). Quite quickly found a nice mix of gusts of wind + leaves fluttering about.
  • Spontaneous
    • I tried to stylize fireworks, but I felt like the downward strokes felt a bit “off”. So I tried to keep them very upward with a light and bouncy feel to them. Didn’t want to crowd it up either, and so kept them quite spaced out. The squiggly links also helped convey a lively feel.
  • Fragile
    • I’m quite constantly aware of my mortality and how delicate life can be. This made me decide to convey fragile with the last moments of a beating heart.
  • Lyrical
    • I really like the shifting tones of the lead singer of Purity Ring. My approach for this line, was to listen to the song “Lofticries” and draw the line along as the song progressed. I also used various little quips to depict the layers and dynamics of the song.
  • Sensual
    • To be honest, sensual was rather difficult for me to do, as I didn’t want to show anything overtly body-like nor did I want to go to a slightly more sexual visual. First things that came to my mind were, lips, and other contours of the body and for the final piece I did a mash of the parts in an ambiguous manner, and it was up to the viewer to decide of the aspects.
  • Nonsensical
    • Went with squiggly lines on this one, except I gave myself a nonsensical rule (contrary to nonsense being thought of as without rules). Each line much loop at least once, but never intersect with another line.
  • Awkward
    • This was a quite a tough one. It felt like such a difficult aspect to convey, nothing seemed to fit the mood, which was rather ironic to some degree. I figured awkward has some element of being disruptive. I took that idea and used it to intersect a flowing pattern, thus cutting it at an ‘awkward’ point and disrupting the flow.

I also placed these lines in a particular order, I felt that there’s either a rhythm to the visual order or a story to tell. For example, from Aggressive to Embarrassed, I depicted my emotions when I get angry and it usually is in that order. As for the rhythms, it’s more of a subjective thing. I felt like each line had a certain ‘weight’ to them, and I wanted to have the viewer feel these shifts that range from slightly abrupt, to a smooth comedown. Sort of like how a well planned meal or song, have notes and moments that lift, and then sets you down to a nice finish.

The following images are some of the W.I.P pictures I took along the way




Making a visual journal was a very new experience for me. I wasn’t sure to approach it from a “academic” point of view or more towards the concept of what I thought a visual journal would be (though, they could totally be one and the same, personal and presented academically). I tried to do both, but having a tendency to think more in vibes/feelings, phrasing some of my thoughts out comes in the form of sparse/sporadic words. Looking at my classmates rather systematic and seemingly analytical journals made me wonder and worry that I was on the wrong side of the fence. However, in seeing my self-critique, my lecturer, Joy, suggested “letting go” (more on this later).

223-franz-kline-011Prior to the assignment, we were asked to research on some artists. I chose Franz Kline as his artwork was the sort of Abstract art I grew up disliking cause I didn’t understand why it was so highly prized. For me, understanding the mindset and thoughts of the artist, helps me understand their artwork, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

Delving into his work, has really opened my eyes. I used to think that majority of abstract art (*koff koff* Jackson Pollock) was just a lot of faffing about but in learning about Franz Kline’s approach to his art, I’ve gained a whole new perspective of abstract art. He put a great deal of conceptualization into a piece before he put brush to canvas. I also learnt that the white sections were painted as well, helping shift the white spaces in to having as much importance as the black portions.

Similarly, I’ve felt the need for conceptualization before starting on my own abstract representations in this assignment. As to “letting go”, being overly picky of what I’ve drafted had the tendency to limit what comes out. In trying different methods, for example, the mind-map, suggested by Joy, helped me further conceptualize ideas by letting my mind roam about linked phrases or concepts.

“Letting go” was a way to stop being so heavy on the self-critique. It also helped me get into more free-form exploration in ways that I hadn’t tried before. I enjoyed the way ideas sprang from this approach. I did struggle at first though, with the technique feeling ‘out of my control’ at times, I sometimes felt like I hadn’t put enough effort into the final product and sometimes felt disconnected from the artwork. Thankfully, I think I managed to find a balance that felt natural to me and it carried on quite well from that point.

I felt that preface was necessary before looking into my visual journal as I’d hope it’ll help the viewer understand a bit of my mindset whilst doing this (like what I needed to understand abstract art), especially since my words are rather few and far between in there.