VISUAL COMMUNICATION I – proj1 – moodboard & process

D R A W I N G  T O  L I G H T

The graphics aim to evoke comfort in the midst of adversity, through the use of colours, calm 
and encourage optimism, to wear a rose-coloured glasses, anticipating the future.



The papercrane and the north star are the main subjects in this piece of graphic. It can be duo-viewed — a papercrane given to someone who receives it acceptingly and a papercrane is lifted out of its adversity, depicted by the harsh waves, as it keeps its eyes fixated on the north star.


Papercrane is a symbol of hope in the Japanese culture. In hospitals, a 1000 papercrane is a common sight as it symbolize a grant of a wish – a pink of health.

The North Star is a bright star that is a “landmark to determine location” as it always stays in the north. It is also commonly associated to making wishes and making dreams come to reality.



Two doves are seen flying towards the rising sun in a far distant in the midst of the mountains.


Doves are a symbol of hope, care and love when come in pairs. The pilgrimage of the two doves symbolizes a journey towards a better tomorrow (the rising sun).


Inspired by the quote by Victor Hugo in Les Miserables, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”


A dove that has a silhouette of a thumbs up, confined in a space, drawn towards the light source. The next course of action is that the dove might gain total freedom and breakthrough a confined space, just like being bedridden in the hospital, the lack of freedom.


The thumbs up is a universal sign of “good”, is an encouraging gesture that one can give another. & aforementioned, the dove is a symbol of hope and care.


“Light at the end of the tunnel”

Word play on the word “light”


Light in the dark

Theme: nature

Fireflies and the moon (nature light of the dark)

Inspiration from the internet

Certainties in Life

The rising sun

Waves that hit the shore of our beaches

Birds soaring the air – doves????

Inspiration from the internet

Hands that speak

hands signs – universal

Inspiration from the internet

I n i t i a l sketches


Too illustrative, can use more shapes to illustrate the elements. Could reduce the number of lines used. Make more use of the negative spaces.


Cut-outs and Paper Treatment

As I wanted to bring out the element of “light”, I explored the ways that I could. Using lines as sunrays, as seen in the illustrations. Or through paper cut-out of simple rectangles, very much like the one seen below that I had found  on Pinterest.

taken from:

Hence, I incorporated the cut-out element to bring out the illusion of light. I thought this was a better treatment than merely using lines since the graphics will be hanged up.

K e y  Takeaways

One thing I struggled with throughout the project is showing in my graphics figure-ground relationship. However, I overcame that by being more conscious of what I am working towards – logo creation.

Initially, my graphics were towards the illustrative end, using more lines than shapes. I was advised to reduce the number of details, replacing important details with shapes that might be suggestive of the element that I am going for. Using the gestalt theory, line of closure, principle of grouping, similarity and proximity. Through this project, I am more aware of my treatment towards shapes, bringing them together to form a graphic itself, using minimal elements.

Lastly was my craftsmanship. The cut-out on every image required meticulous skills (which I initially did not possess) because of its close proximity to one another and the texture of paper that I had to deal with. Also, my designs were in an oval frame, but I changed it to a rectangular frame due to the difficulty in achieving a smooth cut-out for an oval frame.

Concluding this project, Therapeutic Graphics allowed me to explore more about shapes, and increased my awareness in using lesser elements to convey a message. It also forces me to move away from an illustrative point of view to one that is more aware of figure-ground relationship. Despite all the difficulties, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and researching on various way designers create their logos for a brand.



Meaning of the Origami Crane

The History and Symbolism of the North Star

Dove Symbolism 


Locale Part II: Process + Zin(e)spiration


About Assignment 2

In Locale assignment 2, we are to visit a neighbourhood and create our very own zine!!!!

A “zine” is a self-published, non-commercial, independent publication, a DIY magazine-like thing.

Because you do it yourself it can be pretty much anything you want it to be, favorite bands, personal stories, subcultures, or collections (that’s the joy of zines!).(*screams* really excited) To embark on an exploration around a local neighbourhood! Find out what makes the neighbourhood unique and what are some of the interesting features in the area. The aim is also to develop one’s investigative research skills and present information in a visually engaging manner. To introduce inspiration and serendipity into creative development. To explore experimental formats and understand alternative layouts and grid formats. To learn more about binding methods and ways of putting together a self-made digital publication.

Concept Behind My Pieces

After exploring and discovering Chinese Garden (as seen in Locale Part I), the concept behind my zine is highlighting the contrast of Chinese Garden in a much subtle way through short proses, and photographs that might highlight each type of contrast in each spread.

1st Spread: Highlighting the contrast of the living and non-living “animals”.

2nd Spread: Highlighting the past and present objects, architecture that we can observe.

3rd Spread: Highlighting the complementary colour scheme of red and green.

Site Visit & Photographs

from my iPhone 7 and camera

Mood Board

images from pinterest

I looked through Pinterest many times and collated a few images or covers and layouts that I really like and the colour scheme that I am going for (green, blue, red).

Inspirations and Research on Layout and Presentation

taken from:

Texture & White Spaces

I particularly like the memphis texture that the artist has included to the white spaces, yet giving it enough breathing spaces for the reader.


I like the adventurous approach to the texts. The warp effect gave it a sense of flow and rhythm to the otherwise static page.


Enjoy the colour consistency throughout the page. Analogous colour of pinkish tone and purple makes this page really soothing to read.

taken from:

Sense of Hierarchy

There is a sense of hierarchy in this page. The biggest is the picture of the shore, then the headline “surfetur” then the smallest is the rectangular box “LORDAG 28/11”.


Complementary colours used (blue and orange).


Used the squiggly to create a sense of texture.

taken from:

Theme Continuation

I like how there is a conversation between the hands at the top and bottom of the page.


The collage of small elements gave the page a little three-dimensional effect.


The lightning bolt and the star gave the page a quirky texture, something of strong statement and gave interest to the page aside from texts and images.


There is balance in both sides of the page. Although it is heavily highlighted by the black borders, the right side is balanced out by the busy elements going on on the left. The orange texts and the eye on the picture on the right creates another minor visual balance, everything else is muted in colour (black, white, light beige)

taken from:

taken from:

Really like the entire vibe of the zine, minimal, few texts and the pictures speak the message.

taken from:

Like the photos edited, very uniform throughout this zine. Something I want for my zine too!

Fonts Used

Yorktown is used for headers


and Minion Pro used for the proses.

Minion Pro upper and lower case

Designing Process

My designing process came a long way. Started from the bottom and now we’re here! hahhaha

But my final design really looked a lot different from the start!

Initial Phases

that evolved slowly…

then this happened after a talk with Brendan over how troubled I am about my zine at 3 am in the morning at NTU Starbucks… this happened after a few hours…

the rest is history!
BUT here’s my work from bleed to bleed

Adding Videos

Also, I decided to add moving images to enhance the visuals from the zine to the audience. I thought that to fully be able to grasp the environment of the place, merely pictures will not suffice. Besides, my first visit there was filled with boomerangs, as seen in my research presentation, so I thought for my subsequent visit, I take videos too! Special shoutout to Jun Meng , a film student who went to site visit with me and got some footages with me! Enjoyed it thoroughly! Here are our fruits from the labour which I had included in the zine using QR codes!


Initially I was super excited for this project!! To design a zine is my first, plus I really enjoy writing, so I thought I can really combine both together into my first ever publication. Then as the process continues, it got harder and harder especially when my layout was not fixed, and had to go back and forth with merely sketches which was when I feel like I am lagging behind everyone.

That was when I realize talking to your friends about it is really important especially when you have a mind block and you don’t know where or how to carry on!!!! special shoutout to Teri, Sihui, Niki, Brendan, JJ, Gloria, JunMeng. (hope i did not miss anyone)

And people around are really there to help you, when you have the ideas, ask for opinions, don’t shy away. Just get the critiques, you will learn and be better from there!

Also, during this project, I tried many new things in terms of layout, stared at InDesign for hours and hours and I can still be on similar layouts, but Pinterest is your good friend! (but don’t plagarize!) get inspired, use the elements you like and make them your own! Look out for the vibes you’re going for and work from there. It is similar to finding your style first then choosing the clothes! (cuz then you will have selected designs to choose from! easier)

overall it was quite an experience! to start from a blank inDesign

to something you can call your own!!

It was hell of a ride! BUt it was one of the greatest ride!!

Thank you for viewing!

View my final product here and Part I here!

Locale Part I: Research Presentation (Infographic Style)


Freeze Frame + My Explorations

  • I procrastinated going to the location for a long time.
  • When I finally decided to go there, it was during the weekends, in the end although it is very near to NTU, 2/3 times I went there from home in the central area:-(
  • Throughout the entire journey there, what’s going through my mind was “okay, I’m on my way there, I’m really on my way there!!!” The ride was painful.

  • At the entrance of Chinese Garden, I was greeted by the chinese guardian lions or the stone lions at the entrance of chinese garden.
  • A funny sight I got to witness was that birds seem to like to land on top of the stone lions, each taking turns.
  • And to me, when a bird lands on the stone lion, they look like they are of one entity of stone and flesh.

  • Thereafter, I was greeted by the pagoda!!!!

  • It is 7 storeys high, and I went to research after I got home and found out that it is inspired by the Ling Nan Temple in Nanjing, China.
  • Also, in the past, the pagoda was used to store human bones by the Buddhist.

  • I was marvelled by the interior architecture of the place
  • the chinese patterns, the spiral staircase and the grid windows

  • While I was in there I also spotted someone taking a nap there
  • And thereafter, I saw a handful of people taking naps at the little corners of the chinese garden

  • Walking around, I realize that the main colour scheme of the Chinese Garden is red and green.
  • Interestingly, there are complementary colours.
  • The red mainly from the ancient architectures and the green from the dense vegetation there.

  • I then walked into the Bonsai Garden and saw HDB emerging through the vegetation from afar, as if they were peeking at me.
  • I realized that at the Chinese Garden, I can observe past and present architecture (past: the pagodas, present: mrt tracks & HBD flats)

  • Walking in the Bonsai Garden, I saw many pots of bonsais and as I inch in closer to have a look, I realized that they look like trees on mountains
  • Seems like tiny humans can live on it, making a small ecosystem there.

  • Strolling through Chinese Garden on a hot day, I also witness the shadows casted on different surfaces : on the walls, on the pavements.

  • I always seem to walk in the shade, and the shadows of the trees look like guiding paves that leads my way.

  • I walked out of the Bonsai Garden and saw a cat and decided to observe it for awhile

  • I took a few boomerangs and pictures of it because I was inspired by the Cat zine that Shirley showed us in class.
  • It started to walk around the area and I followed it thinking “are we on a scavenger hunt?”
  • It just seem to laze around, outside the Bonsai Garden, could it actually be the living fortune cat?!?!

  • Nope! then it brought me to the bikes that were left outside the entrance of the Bonsai Garden … hmm

  • And talking about bikes, I realize I saw many bikes around, in solo, in pairs, as a group, left in the middle of the pavement in Chinese Garden
  • I thought they look better with someone’s arse on them (hahaha)
  • They destroy the scenery of the place
  • So… bikes? yikes!

  • Afterall, what stood out to me about Chinese Garden is the contrast of the place
  • Contrast: non-living thing and living thing (the stone lion and the bird, the living fortune cat), past and present (the HBD flats and the ancient architectures) and the colour scheme (red and green)

Thank you for viewing! :~)

Daphne – An Image Making Through Type [Research & Process]

About Assignment 1

For assignment 1 for Graphic Form, we are to create typographic images related to our imaginary occupations. The use of typeface, style, size and the use of upper and lower case should be carefully thought through.

Concept Behind My Pieces

The pieces I created are expressions that hints at who I am. Each piece has a truth about me.


She is not fond of meat, but she likes chicken wings

And hence I am a Professional Chicken Wing Tester


“Inside” print by Wesley Bird

When I came across Wesley Bird’s “Inside” print, I thought it was really adorable how he incorporated the bones, flesh and skin into his type! I especially love how he illustrated the bones.

“Rotten Food” illustrated by Alex Solis

As for the texture of the chicken wing itself, I was unsure which kind of texture I should go for. The grilled, bbq, or crispy. Then I came across Alex Solis’ “Rotten Food” series for reference for the texture and the shadow of the surface of the meat and the bones.

She likes donuts, since young.

I had initially wanted to be a donut tester too, but the idea was put away because there were many type that are of donuts. Below is just one out of the many examples.

Time Out Magazine: Don’t Worry Be Fatty by Tom Hislop

Houston Donut Glossary | taken from Pinterest

Although I put away the idea of a donut tester, I decided to incorporate it in my Professional Chicken Wing Tester type. As a Professional Tester and critic, they will usually be asked to taste new products. Hence, I decided to incorporate donut toppings onto the Chicken Wings, very similar to honey glazed chicken wings.

taken from: 4 Fingers Website |

I also went to 4 Finger’s Website to reference the types of chicken wings that they have.


I started out by sketching out the idea of it on my sketch book.

Self-drawn on sketch book

I scanned it onto Illustrator and added colours digitally.

The first few phases of the piece were my initials made up of similar Chicken Wing type with the same colours and textures. Also, it was without the use of shadow which made it look very flat.

I then researched a little about lighting conditions and added the highlights and shadows we learnt from Illustrator class.

Professional Chicken Wing Tester Final


Professional Chicken Wing Tester has the type placed in a way that it guides the eye from bottom to up, from the “d” to the “h”, creating a more interesting vision guide than if I had placed them merely straight on the platter.


For the colours, I used conventional donut topping colours, like the shade of chocolate, and the rainbow sprinkles and fruitloops. As for the colour of the “body” of the chicken wings itself, the colours used are analogous (red(“h”), orange(“a”, “p”) and dark purple(“d”)). The colours of the platter is merely shades of grey used.


Using the idea of the chicken wing and the toppings on donuts, I borrowed the bones and the texture of the chicken wings and the iconic element of the donut toppings which are the sprinkles and the sugar icing that goes on top of it.

Type shape, size choice

I choose the lower case because all alphabets has a tail I can work with to insert the bone, giving the type more consistency. The alphabets have an organic shape because the shape of a chicken wing is not always the same.


She likes fragrances. Candles, perfumes…

Hence, I am a Candle Maker.



I stumbled upon this melting effect on type on Pinterest which I thought was what I want to go for for my Candle Maker type.

Type by Andreas Pedersen | taken from:


To add an additional touch to my take on the occupation, I added flames and droplets of wax on my type to make it more suggestive of the occupation.

Hand-drawn on sketchbook

Besides, the initial design had hard outlines which after consultation, I decided to line the type with a darker shade than a harsh black outline.

This is a snapshot of one of the initial stages

Also, to add an additional touch to it, I used a hot glue gun to give the final product a “melting” illusion and texture to the graphic. Below is a video of it!

The digital final piece is attached below:

Digital Final Piece for Candle Maker

Candle Maker Final (with hot glue texture and illusion)


The type “dap” is used instead of “daph” due to the number of candles the traditional candle maker can hold. The alphabets are places straight, side by side due to the placing and the nature of the candle holder. The play on the wax dripping gives the piece a slight touch to the otherwise boring line-up side by side alphabets.


The colours used are square (purple, green, orange and blue). The background goes dimmer away from the alphabets to give it an illusion that the type is placed in a dark room and the candles are lighting the place up.


I borrowed the element of wax dripping as a candle is lit to the texture of the alphabets. The flame from the candle makes up the flame seen at the top of the type.

Type shape, size choice

The alphabets has a non-rigid shape, mimicking the actual candle, which shape and size will change as it is lit.


Her favourite Disney princess is Arial.

Hence, I am a pool mermaid.



I thought being a mermaid will be too ordinary so I decided to spice things up and put things better into context, a mermaid in a pool.

Graphic of a mermaid tail | taken from:

Mermaid tail | taken from:



Shell | taken from:

Font usage and colour usage | taken from:×8-print?ref=v1_other_2

taken from:

background research and emphasis on the shadow and highlights used | taken from:×8-print?ref=v1_other_2


Initial stages

This was the initial stage of this piece. With the use of opacity on Illustrator to bring out the water in the swimming pool.

After much considerations to want to improve on this piece, I decided to use a transparent coloured sheet as the water to give it more visual appeal. Though I acknowledge that the colour of the coloured sheet might be a little too dark, but these sheets only come in certain shades of colour, which left me to not much choices. Because of that I decided to not conceal the transparent sheet, but make the piece removable from the plastic sheet to see the details. IMG_0811

Digital Final piece

Pool Mermaid Final

Due to lighting and the fault in printing, the colours might differ.


The alphabets are placed in the lower two-third of the paper and the grid lines of the swimming pool leads our eyes to the corner in the middle where the alphabets “d” and “t” are.


A pastel colour palette was used for this piece.

Pastel Colour Palette

I chose this colour palette because I thought that the colours fit will with the theme underwater and mermaid. The colour choice is triadic of red, blue and green.


The alphabets are fluid, mimicking the nature of water. The mermaid tail is also used to hint at the occupation of a mermaid. Also, the lipstick and sunglasses hints that the figure has a human nature, yet at the left hand side of the piece, the clam suntanning mat hints at a not so human nature of the mermaid.

Type shape, size choice

The alphabets are fluid with organic sides.


She is currently into memphis designs.

Hence, I am a Memphis city mayor.


taken from:

The artist reference is Peter Judson and I am in love with his Memphis graphic designs. I looked at many of his art works on his website.

taken from:

taken from:


taken from:

taken from:


I wanted my alphabets to be blockish although the Memphis font type uses block or bubble fonts because the previous 3 pieces are rather fluid in nature.

Initial stages

The buildings looked a little empty and not as apparent that it is a Memphis City. Hence, I decided to add more random patterns to the alphabets.

Memphis City Mayor Final


The “D” and “T” are placed in the two-third of the piece, making use of the rule of third. The perspective guides the eye of the viewers, with the add of the concrete floor and the grids, as well as the line-up by the trees and mountains at the back. This piece has a clear background and foreground.


Similar to Pool Mermaid, the pastel colour palette was used for this piece and the use of millennial pink (research). Analogous colours of yellow, green and blue are used to a large extent.

Pastel Colour Palette


I went to research on the characteristics of memphis designs to give myself a better picture of what the style of this piece will be. (research) Also, a city has residential buildings, cafes, stores, streets, hence I gave the alphabets characteristics of a residential building for “D”, with the carpark gantry and the parking sign in an ordinary carpark of a HDB in Singapore. Also, older shop houses in Singapore has the iconic spiral stairs outside of the building, with I had incorporated in “T” as well as a traffic light.

Type shape, size choices

The buildings are placed roughly the same size as the trees and the mountains, the play of scale used in this piece for the alphabets.


I have explored various possibilities for my occupations and went back and forth, changing them to make them more imaginary than they are. Also, I thought creating jobs that are related to me will spice things up a little, rather than randomly choosing them. This way, I can better interpret them. I had many difficulties making sure my pieces spoke to the audience about the occupation at first glance. For all pieces, it went through consultations with my friends around me. Also, it was tough to incorporate elements of the occupation onto the alphabets itself, especially the one for Memphis City Mayor and Pool Mermaid. For the both aforementioned, I leeched onto the background to emphasize on the occupation, which I thought worked.

I enjoyed the process of illustrating them, and considering the colours I wanted to work with. Of which the last two consist of colours from the pastel palette which I am fond of. I thought through the way I wanted to place the alphabets in such a way that it matches the background and still gave an interesting visual. Overall, it was a fulfilling process and one of the projects that I really love. Thank you for viewing!

Do view my final products here!

; FORREST GUMP – Process

As we dive into Project 2: Forrest Gump, there were some brainstorming and process that I have captured! Here it is!

Brainstorming for quote:

Les Miserables – Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

sun and moon on both opposite ends (using Japanese / Russian Construction)

Finding Dory -When Life gets you down you know what you’ve gotta do? Just Keep Swimming

space context instead of the sea?

Toy Story – To infinity and beyond!

Enchanted – Life’s enchanted cup sparkles near the brim

Alice In Wonderland – Imagination is the only war against reality

Hacksaw Ridge – With the world so set on tearing apart, It does seem like such a bad thing for me to put a little bit of it back together.

DRAFTS FOR “When life gets you down you know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming”-finding nemo


drafts for “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” — Les Misérables

drafts for “to infinity and beyond” – toy story

drafts for “Imagination is the only war against reality” – ALICE IN WONDERLAND




View my final products here!

; FORREST GUMP: Introduction & exploring the different art movements and artist.

Approaching Project 2: Forrest Gump, we will have to select 4 movies quotes to create a visual narrative that expresses watch of the quote only using symbols, pictograms, dingbats, icons and engravings. With the help of Photoshop, the final project should be in black and white half-toned. At the end of it, we will even get a silkscreen print on our tote bag!

Before all that fun happens, there needs to be some work done…

Here are some of my research done!

Art Movement: Dadaism

Dadaism was an artistic and literary art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century that flourished in Paris but first began in Zurich, Switzerland. It was influenced by other art movements like Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism and Expressionism. Developed in reaction to World War I, it is to reject logic, reason and aestheticism of modern capitalist society.

Dadaism is the first conceptual art movement where the focus of the artworks is not on its aesthetics, but how it was created to challenge, to generate difficult questions about the society, and the purpose of the work and what it implies and bring across to the mass. The main intent of the members of Dadaism is to boldly reject all norms of the bourgeois culture.

Some famous artists to note are Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, André Breton, etc.

Some famous works include:

titled: Fountain, Marcel Duchamp | taken from:

titled: L.H.O.O.Q., Marcel Duchamp | taken from:

Art Movement: Surrealism 

Born mostly out of Dadaism, Surrealism is an art and cultural movement that began in the early 1920s started by Andre Breton (who was a major member of the Dada community), and is best known for its visual artworks and writings. Many surrealist artists painted illogically with photographic precision. Surrealist are imaginative and drive away from rationalism and literary realism in hopes of revealing the contradictions in the everyday world and spur on revolution.

Some famous artists to note are Pablo Picasso, Rene Margitta,

Some famous works include;

titled: The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali | taken from:

Contrast between Surrealism and Dadism

Their emergence – Dadaism emerged during the period of World War I , while Surrealism emerged during a period of peace and prosperity.

Where they flourished – Dada artists where scattered across Europe while Surrealist artist were self-contained in Paris.

View on life – To Dada artists, life has no meaning, no reason, no purpose, and no logic. For Surrealist artists, life has meaning; one has to find its logic by unlocking visual and verbal codes secreted in the chambers of the unconscious mind where one finds Freud’s “uncanny.” Hence, Dada artists were more pessimistic while Surrealist artists tend to be more onward looking.

Dada photomontage may have used the technique of putting one randomly found image next to another, but the intent was to undermine meaning. Surrealism seeks new meaning, another meaning, an unexpected meaning, a sur-real meaning, but always, Surrealism wants live to mean something.

Style of expression – Both Dadaism and Surrealism sought to create works “automatically” without the conscious control of oneself.

Art Movement – Russian Constructivism

Russian Constructivism is the last and most influential modern art movement originated from Russian in the 20th century. It is inspired by Cubism, Suprematism and Futurism, which sought to abolish the traditional artistic concern with composition, and replace it with ‘construction. In its essence, this art movement sought to move working place from the studios to the factories. Russian Constructivism also work with the characteristics of many materials such as glass, wood, in construction to experiment and deploy different materials to demonstrate a certain idea. (usually that of the experiences in modern life).

Some famous artists to note are Alexander Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, Lyubov Popova, etc.

Some famous works include;

titled: Books, Alexander Rodchenko | taken from:

Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, El Lissitzky | taken from:

Artist Research

André Breton

Andre Breton was a major member in the Dada society and a founder of Surrealism. He was into unconventional ways of creating art and had united a group of disparate artists to join him.

He wrote the Surrealist Manifesto to declare that Surrealism is all about “pure psychic automatism” that later deeply affected future art movements like Abstract Expressionism.

One of Breton’s greatest belief is that art is an anti-war protest, of which he postulated in World War I, which regain potency during and after World War II. While he was doing so, the other expressionist artists were creating art in response to the rage regarding the war itself.



The Art Story – Dadaism 

The Art Story – Surrealism

Art History Unstuffed – Contrast Between Dadaism and Surrealism 

The Art Story – Russian Constructivism

The Art Story – Andre Breton

; MY LINE IS EMO: The Phrases That Tells It All (brainstorming and process)

After the first lesson of introduction to make-making, we were required to bring along with us some textured items from home to try out mono-printing in the studio.

Before approaching Week 2, I brainstormed and experimented with a few mark-making techniques and the different results that I will get from it to evoke some sort of emotions.

A page of my Visual Journal on my thought process upon approaching Project 1: My Line Is Emo


-jittery feeling/ shiver


happiness / joy

-all smiles (too literal)

-the high points in life

-high energy

-free, liberal

-yellow (cannot, because only black & white)


-sudden, unexpected

-good/ bad surprise? good. (e.g.: parties?)






-being crossed

-accumulated events


-love spreads

-family, friends

-we love cause we are first loved

-some sort of adoration (?)

Here are some of my formal experiments (informal ones include spontaneous try outs which might have unsatisfactory results that are not worthy of documentation):


Dabbing crashed tissue on paper with as little ink as possible

End result


I thought that the result was rather ideal, I had tested out with it before and I realise that the result with more ink was not as desirable as it does not bring out the texture of the crashed tissue as much compared to with little ink.

The end result gave a very smokey feeling, somewhat mysterious which might evoke insecurity as it feels like some parts are hidden yet you see a figure through the ink, but you cannot quite figure out what it is. It then also evoke confusion.

2. Ink Dripping Method


Sadness, the tears we collect in a jar.

I thought sadness was the most apparent for me as I approach this method of mark-making. As seen on my Visual Journal, the first thing that comes to my mind on sadness is act of crying. I thought the result I got evoked the motion of tears flowing down really well.

3. Pencil Rolling Method

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


Fear, the jittery feeling you get

The pencil rolling technique on paper gave an unexpected result for me. After experimenting with it, I really appreciated the effect it gave. It felt like the jittery feeling you get when you’re afraid, hence evoking fear. Moreover, I felt that the pencil rolling technique gave an uneven touch as I roll my fingers across the paper that gave a very unique sensation to my fingers. As I roll my fingers faster, each pause gave a mini jerk to my fingers, resembling the heart-pounding effect when one is afraid or in fear. Even though I did not use this method for my final product in the end, I still really liked the effect it brought out.

4. The Ink blowing method


Love that spreads from one end to another

The ink blowing method involved me placing large amount of paint saturated with water on different parts of the paper and then using a straw to blow on the ink spots, causing them to flow in an outward motion. I thought this method of mark-making very correctly depicts how love is showed in the society. As one demonstrate love to another, it spreads like wildfire from one to another, very much similar to hate.

5. The Plastic Ink Pressing method


Horror, the bloodstains on the wall

This mark-making method is one that I have already experimented with, except often with many colours. This time round trying it with only black ink gave me a very eerie feeling, very much like horror.

I gave the method further thoughts and felt that the plastic sheet did very much resemble a glass wall, and the ink resembles blood stains. One method I want to experiment with is putting ink on my five fingers and then getting paint on the plastic sheet and then transferring them onto the paper itself. This will very much resemble the real act of a murderer, hands filled with blood and then smearing the glass wall.

6. The Semi-dry Paintbrush method

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Surprise, the party poppers that make your heart race


Surprise is an emotion I found very hard to create. I would interpret it as a “good” kind of surprise.

After experimenting with the creation of prints similar to that of party popper, I decided to add a little twist to it! ADDING TINY SWIRLS to mimic strong from party popper!

Some experiments done in class 

Some of the items that I brought included:



-Self-made doilies

-Air-tight bags





self-taken, inspired by Julie Mehretu

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; MY LINE IS EMO: Mark-making – Introduction & exploring the artists

Hello! Welcome to my first ever OSS post regarding mark-making. In Project 1: My Line is Emo, we have to make use of mark-making techniques to create 6 abstract, black and white strips to convey 6 different emotions (i.e. anger, love, joy, fear, sadness and surprise). This post will include some artworks by relevant artists that I have done my research on.

What is mark-making…(?)

it is used to depict the creation of various lines, patterns and textures. It can apply to any of the aforementioned points on any type of medium.


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Cai Guo-Qiang’s artworks are mostly inspired by his Maoist and Socialist beliefs as it often is the main concept of his popular pieces. His gunpowder works reflects the Mao’s ideology of “destroy nothing, create nothing”.

methodology: a sketch of whatever that is to be depicted is drawn and subsequently carved into a stencil which will then be put on a mattress of gunpowder in varying grades and types that awaits the mini explosion

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I found a rather interesting video on how his gunpowder drawing is made.


Cai Guo Qiang’s unconventional method of mark-making is indeed out-of-the-blue, enthralling and inspirational as complex figures like the Chinese corner tower and dense vegetation as seen.

Using gunpowder to create such intricate works is indeed impressive, however, I do not think that it can be used in this project. Instead, attempting to tweak his idea, a stencil can still be created, perhaps of organic objects, followed by the splattering of large amount of paint over the surface to create marks on the canvas.

Cai Guo-Qiang’s Life Beneath the Shadows

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His gunpowder pieces are not only eye-catching, in this piece-Life Beneath The Shadow, the result of the gunpowder on the canvas gave a rough texture and gave very delicate details. The spirit of breakthrough and the eagerness to fight for survival can be seen through the texture and the details of the stains from the gunpowder.


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Mark Bradford’s works can be often associated with collages on paint and his use of grid-like structures in his works. Although his works also comprises of installations and videos, this post will be mainly focusing on his printed or 2D works.

Mark Bradford’s Kryptonite 

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Mark Bradford’s Kryptonite is a mixed-media made out of collage and paint on paper that brings to thought a master plan of an urbanised city with the usage of rectilinear structures that could almost be seen like grids when placed next to each other. His usage of lines further aggravated the illusion of grids.


The usage of colour allowed the attention of the audience to be shifted to the spots of red and black in the middle of the painting itself. It is as if Bradford was recreating a satellite image of a city with the use of structured lines that are mostly parallel to each other.

The use of colour here might not be relevant to Project 1: My Line is Emo since it is to be made black and white, however, the use of parallel lines and grid-like structures can be a way to express rigidness and structure. Possible emotions that might be relevant to that could be anger.


Sol LeWitt was an American artist notably known for his Minimalistic and Conceptualised style. His clever usage of simple lines are very much highlighted in his style of work.

Sol LeWitt’s Scribbles

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Sol LeWitt’s Scribbles although in 2D, seemed 3D due to the subtle difference in the white and black portion. The gradient created a “popping” illusion to the white portion of the wall drawing eliciting a sense of depth to the otherwise uniform and flat surface of a wall. To look further into the wall drawing, Scribbles, as its title suggest is made up of scribbles in graphite

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The dash of white portion in his monochromatic wall drawings instantly captures the attention of its audience. As if a lightsaber illuminating a dark room, the dash of white created a sense of hope and forward-lookingness, relevant to the emotion of joy.


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Andy Warhol was an American artist known for his pop art and his visual art movement and was dubbed the “Pope of Pop”. His works are often associated with the celebrity culture and his artistic expression.

Andy Warhol’s Shadows

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Warhol’s Shadows is made up of 102 silkscreened canvases that stretches across the entire interior of Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. The bright hues of colours used reflected Warhol’s style of pop in his works, added onto the canvas by sponge mops.


Warhol’s technique of using sponge mops to create these abstract figures is unconventional yet a unique mark-making tool to create the strokes that fades out subtly at the sides and areas with lesser pressure. His subject matter can be seen as a figure of a human body from the shoulders up, complementing his famous works that are often of celebrity figures. The use of sponge mops can be a notable point for Project 1: My Line is Emo.

Andy Warhol’s Oxidation Paintings

Warhol’s Oxidation paintings can be seen as one of his controversial works of artistic experimentation as many either loved or hated them.

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Otherwise known as piss painting, Warhol’s oxidation paintings are abstract pieces achieved using his body fluid, after time causing the harsh marks on the canvas.

methodology: To create Warhol’s famous oxidation paintings, he first lay out huge amounts of canvas coated with copper paint and invited many of his close friends to urinate on them. The compounds in the body fluid will then react with the copper paint, creating some aesthetically pleasing colours as the uric acid causes metal components to be stripped. Slight alteration of the colours can be made, interestingly, is by alter the diet of the urinator, by including more vitamin B in his diet to give it blue and greener hues.

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thoughts: Warhol’s oxidation or piss paintings, is an alluring way of mark-making, slightly eccentric yet not weird per se, since the result of such abstract paintings turned out pretty aesthetically pleasing. How he experimented with piss inspired me to reach out to objects that might seem a little unusual to common people in creating my very own mark-making tools.

Andy Warhol’s Rorschach

Warhol’s Rorschach works were first created for clinical purposes whereby an inkblot is created. Thereafter, it is interpreted and deciphered by patients for medical purposes known as the Rorschach test.

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methodology: A patch of ink is first placed on one side of the paper and then folded down to be present on the other side of the page, creating a print of symmetrical pattern.


I am unsure if Warhol was given specific instructions on how the inkblots should look like or it is totally randomised. Despite that, i thought this is a way of mark-making is rather intriguing, looking at the end result. However, how I might tweak Warhol’s methodology is  by eliminating the symmetry on both sides of the paper, allowing more overlays at certain places.


Julie Mehretu is an Ethiopian-American artist, notable for her abstract, layered paintings, where she often use urban landscapes as her inspiration.

Julie Mehretu’s Stadia II

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As quoted by Julie Mehretu, “As you come close to it […] the big picture completely shatters and there are these numerous small narratives happening.” talking about her layered abstract works that is often referenced from the urban landscape around her. 

methodology: Mehretu often uses layers of acrylic paints on the canvas as she stacks layers of mark-making by pencil, pen, ink and thick layers of acrylic paint.


Indeed, like what Mehretu said about her works, as audiences go closer to her work, our focus changes into the smaller details that might not have caught our eye at the start. However, because of that very fact, I find her work a little messy and hard to capture my attention in the beginning. Despite that, as I look longer, the entire picture starts to fall into place and I can start to comprehend what her work represent, for instance, her Stadia II piece. The foreground does look untidy, in spite of that, as we shift our attention to the background, Stadia II makes more sense as the interior of a stadia becomes more clear to the audience.


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Cy Twombly was an American artist and one of the most prominent Abstracti Expressionist who later moved to Italy in the later part of his life. Twombly served in the U.S army as a cryptologist and that greatly influenced and affected a  large part of his artistic style. He then became intrigued by tribal art and the history of Graeco-Roman (relating to ancient Greeks and Romans) past in his home in Rome. He was described as an emotionally eloquent and intelligent artist

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Cy Twombly’s Leda and the Swan 

Leda and the Swan is amongst Twombly’s most well-known and accomplished works. It reflects his love for historical stories, literature and the classical realm which grew after he moved to Rome in 1957. Leda and the Swan is a Romanic myth whereby Jupiter is transformed into a swan that tries to entice Leda who then ;after gave birth to Helen of Troy. Leda and the Swan uses lines to correctly illustrate the union of Leda and Jupiter as seen by the swirls and scribbles in peach that is oval in shape on the canvas.



On 21 August, Monday, our class had a discussion on the things we had learnt from our artist research.


Something I found interesting from the discussion is that Cai Guo-Qiang’s process of gunpowder artworks can be considered performance art when a huge number of audience were present to see his process of his artwork creation.

Cai Guo-Qiang’s process of creating his artworks video.