Project 3 Process & Final

As per the previous post, these were the first few illustrations I did for my project which I showed to Lisa during consult! While she liked the animals and human figures, she suggested that I change the perspective of the pagoda and arch to make it more 2D since I am going for a flatter illustration style. Hence I redrew those!

Here is the first version of my poster which I did which I showed to Lisa for consult! It contains all my illustrated elements and as you can see I changed the perspective of the pagoda and arch and made it flatter. For the poster, Lisa recommended some small changes. She suggested that I change the colour of the pangolin to a darker brown to make it contrast more against the green background, and to have grass at the base of all the trees. She also suggested that I change the colour of the cat to match Bobby, one of the NTU cats which recently passed away, as a way to immortalise him (ok the cat I drew was previously orange but I reverse engineered to get this old version of the poster so I don’t have it now HAHA sorry)

I also did a bottle wrap which I also showed during the consult. Lisa had the same comments about the grass at the base of the tree and the colour of the pangolin, and she also suggested that I move the snake elsewhere as it was a little sparse at that area of the composition. She also asked me to include the man on the bicycle because she liked that illustration HAHA

I had also ordered this had to be made as one of my collaterals and I showed it to Lisa!

So following the consult, here were my final artworks!

Final Product Shots

Project 3 Research & Ideation

For this project we were tasked to illustrate collaterals for an event of our choice. I had the idea to do the branding for NTU’s Yunnan Garden because I was doing a video for the Chinese Heritage Centre for another module, for the opening event of the Yunnan Garden. So I thought it would be good if I could do the branding for the same event!

Concept PDF:

To decide on what I wanted to specifically illustrate, I decided to take a look into the history of Nanyang University and the Yunnan Garden. I took a visit to the Chinese Heritage Centre to get some ideas, and I found a picture book which gave a lot of insight into what Nanyang University was like in the past! Here are some interesting pages from the book:

I decided to include some of the historical elements I found in the book into the illustrations, such as the durian & rambutan trees, and the pagoda and arch. I also decided to include some of the wildlife found around NTU in the illustration. Knowing this, I went ahead with illustrating the individual elements!

Assignment 2: Process & Final

As per my previous post, since I already had reference photos which I took, I decided to base off those to start my illustration.

I started by vectoring out the HDB block, referencing the photo I took of the HDB. However when I completed it I felt that it was quite flat and there wasn’t much room to draw in more elements, so at this point I felt a bit stuck as to how I should continue.

This is quite random but one day I was doing the New York Times crossword puzzle and I saw this illustration on the website. It actually inspired me in the way that it made me realise that I don’t have to draw everything properly to scale, I can actually play around with the scale of the elements and it can create a more interesting composition. With that in mind I decided to re-do my entire illustration!

I started off my illustrating the characters that I wanted to have in my illustration. I wanted the people to be recognisable characters to Singaporeans, people that we see every day at our local coffee shop or hawkers centres, these people are our parents and grandparents and neighbours. So I had the annoyed aunty, the kopitiam uncle, the mischievous little boy, the durian seller, and the angry drink stall aunty!

This is the composition and colour palette that I initially came up with. I added a lot of Singaporean elements, (the red coffee shop chair, durians, bamboo poles, the black mynah etc.) and I incorporated my idea of “people lacking empathy towards designers and paying us in exposure” by using the following elements:

  • The typical “O$P$” sign, the $ symbol is changed to a heart to represent Instagram likes
  • The durian is priced in Facebook likes (thumbs up)
  • At the coffee shop, if you look at the sign board the food and beverage is priced as retweets instead of as money

I lowkey didn’t like it and I wasn’t vibing with the colour (OSS changed the colour and made it even worse but still) so I decided to change!

And here is the final composition which I came up with! I took Lisa’s advice to really focus on using less colours and focus just on primary colours and I think it made my illustration look much better. I decided the keep the humans as white because I feel that it makes them stand out more against the primary colour due to the contrast.

Assignment 2: Research & References

I was quite excited for this project because illustrating a magazine cover is something I’ve never tried before and I’ve always wanted to give it a go! Some of my all time favourite illustrations have been for the covers of magazines so I had quite a lot of ideas for this project.

Knowing that Varoom is a magazine targeted at designers and illustrators, I decided that would be my target audience. I chose the topicĀ empathy and I wanted my illustration to show thatĀ people nowadays do not have empathy towards designers and illustrators, causing them to pay us in “exposure” rather than in money.

User Profile

I had the idea to draw a scene where there are things like stores, but instead of money being used, all the currency is in terms of “exposure” like Instagram and Facebook likes.

I went looking for references and decided I wanted to go for this style of illustration which shows a sort of town centre/city scene with a lot of activity and commerce. When I consulted Lisa about this, she suggested that as a Singaporean, I should try to illustrate scenes that are unique to Singapore because it is what I am familiar with. I agreed and started looking for more references to suit this.


I went to take a look at photos by Nguan, who is a very popular local photographer who is known for capturing day to day Singaporean life. My purpose for referencing his photos was that I too wanted to capture this kind of Singaporean essence in my illustration, giving the viewer a slice of life in a normal day in Singapore. As such, for my thumbnails, I asked Lisa if it would be a good idea if instead of doing drawings, I went out to a nearby HDB area to take some photographs of local life, and she agreed! So I was also able to use these as reference pictures for drawing later on.

Self Portrait Process & Final

Concept & Ideation

For this project, we were tasked to develop our idea based on some keywords about ourselves. Out of my list, the words I chose to develop on were:

Kardashian (because I am a huge fan of Keeping Up with the Kardashians)
Frogs (I have 6 pet frogs and they are my favourite animal along with other reptiles)
Taugay (bean sprouts, because I hate them and my friends keep tormenting me about it and trying to throw them into my food)

I wanted to include these things in my composition and I wanted the composition to tell a story and convey a mood to the viewer. I wanted my illustration to feel intriguing and yet also strange and unsettling, hence I knew that it was going to look a little disturbing but also spark interest. I feel this style represents me as a person, as I might seem like a normal or outgoing person on the surface but I am actually quite strange LOL. So im a lady in the streets but a freak in the sheets ((((: just kidding but basically that is what I wanted to convey, a slight sense of wrongness in the composition.

References & Inspirations

For this project I wanted to illustrate in the style of Japanese woodblock prints:

In particular I was inspired by the works of Toshio Saeki. While not all of his works are woodblock prints, his kind of unsettling illustration is the kind of emotion I am going for in my own portrait, and I like how he manages to use the illustration not to directly tell a story to the viewer but just to suggest what has happened in the image.


This is the incomplete drawing which I submitted for critique on Week 3. I wanted to try out this colour scheme because I thought it would give the composition this horror-like fantasy feel but the green bushes at the foreground were a little too dull! I placed the bushes there to give the viewer the feeling that they were peeking in on a scene that they were not supposed to witness. I also drew one of my friends and put his head behind the taugays at the side to show him kind of peeking out of them in a playful manner. I scaled down the size of the head on purpose and made it look like it was sticking out of the soil to give it a more cheeky, impish look.

Finally, after the critique on week 3, this is the final piece which I decided to go with. I was not feeling the previous colour scheme so I changed to this palette instead with muted primary colours, which I feel is more fitting of the Japanese woodblock print style and also more symbolic of my personality. I also redrew the taugays and used more of them to crowd out that area of the composition to give it a more unruly and forest-like look. I added another friend of mine into the taugay forest because I have 2 best friends and I need to add both of them into the drawing to be fair HAHA. I also made the bushes bigger so they are covering my foot in the illustration slightly to give more off the voyeuristic effect, as well as making the eyes of the frogs bigger so the gaze is more apparent.

While the face part of this self portrait may seem quite small in scale compared to the rest of the portrait, which I was initially worried about, after consulting with Lisa I decided it was ok because since all the other subjects in the illustration are looking at the face, the viewer’s eye will be led there hence it is still the main focus of the composition.

Overall I am quite happy with my final product of this project! If I could change one thing about it I would have tried more colour combinations as I tend to rely a lot on primary colours as an illustrator, however since this is a self portrait assignment I guess the primary colours is also an important part of my self expression. Looking forward to presenting this to the class in the next lesson!