“Design is a journey of discovery. In design, color plays a significant role. It does not only play with the aesthetics but it also reinforces the design in harmony.”

Being the only project where we are allowed to play with color, this places great emphasis in manipulating the harmonies of color to produce our desired outcome. I wanted to choose a color palette that reflects both my style of illustration and I. Thus, I chose a pastel color scheme, playing with both complementary and analogous colors. I chose to illustrate through vectors and flat illustration which plays with shapes and the choices of colors.

B R A I N S T O R M of me + setting = ???

  1. me (a deer) + a food market/festival = food coma w food on my antlers lying down w a big belly ?
  2. me (a peach) + stacks of assignments/ squashed under = escape – dream (pressing esc button or parachute with papers flying around?)
  3. sleeping/tired me (a pig) + coffee = hyper pig bouncing off the walls
  4. me (a donut) + trapped in a room filled w negative F = donut worry be happy (fills up w jam) turns the F to an A
    me (a donut) + failure ( fail to hit target) = do whatever it takes to achieve target
  5. me (a curious fennec fox) + map/GPS = exploring a bizarre world/ new world

Before I ventured on to the final illustrations, I created a moodboard/inspiration board to refer back on how I would want the whole format and illustrations to be like. Taking reference and inspiration from pinterest, to fully visualise the desired outcome.

Top Row: A pictorialization of a bizarre world/ new world
Second Row: me (a deer) + a food market/festival
Third Row
me (a peach) + stacks of assignments/ squashed under
Fourth Row: me 
(a sleeping pig) + coffee = hyper pig bouncing off the walls/ dancing
Fifth Row: me (a donut) + failure


I chose a cool pastel color scheme to play with as it is my favorite color scheme. It reflects off a soft, dainty, sweet and delicate feeling which mirrors the vibe I give off (according to my friends). It is also aesthetically pleasing and fulfils the outcome I want to display.


. I decided to go off with these four ideas for my final illustrations.

  1. me (a curious fennec fox) + a map/GPS = exploration of a bizarre world/ new world
  2. me (a peach) + stacks of assignments = escape (pressing esc button with shades on)
  3. me (a donut) + failure to hit target = will do whatever it takes to achieve target (places the arrow on the bullseye)
  4. me (a deer) + a food market/festival (food stalls) = food coma // food on my antlers (gets everything) 

In each boxes, each rows, I try to vary the composition of each frame such that there is a sense of dynamism yet consistency in framing in each story. As well as, an unified color scheme as a whole instead of focusing on individual rows.


I started the equation with me as a fennec fox as I’ve always found them adorable and since they were pretty apt for the chosen setting, with their curious nature, I decided to go for it. In addition, I’ve heard that if I was an animal, I would resemble a fox. In the first frame, I’m portrayed as a cheerful fennec fox, with smiling eyes. Following, when given a map or GPS (a chance to venture off), I would head into a new world. This row reflects one of my personality, in which of my curious nature, I love wandering and exploring new places.

For the choice of color palette, I did not go for any color schemes but to harmonise as a whole. Starting with the fennec fox with a touch of neutral tones of nude beige and white + hints of complementary colors of “red and green”, in this case, turquoise and pink. In the second frame, I went with the color blue to represent the sky and sea, a sense of vastness and boundless, conveying the feel of endless exploration. It also carries on colors from the first frame, in order to harmonise as a whole. In the last frame, I made it more colorful with different pops of colors yet unifying, to achieve a sense of excitement and wonders in a ‘new world’, inspired by an album cover referenced in my moodboard. An attempt of subtle complementary and triadic colors.
Simple and centrally composed to bring focus on the main illustration in the first two frames – me and the setting. It ends with a more crowded composition encircling the depiction of me, in a sort of welcoming manner to achieve the sensation of wonder and positivity.

ROW 2 

Depicting a peach to represent me, when meets an overload of work equals to “vacation needed please – press to escape.”

For this row, I went with a complementary color scheme of yellow and purple as the background. As usual, I kept the first frame clean and central, following with an overwhelming squeezed composition depicting various sizes of stacks of assignments, to give off the sense of suffocation and overload in a box. Ending with a fresh cut illustration in the last frame which keeps it simple and direct. In this row, I carried over hints of the colors used from the previous row to give more of a unified look.


A donut. I went for more of a blue + neutral tones in this row, again, trying to incorporate colors from before. In the first frame, I chose a color that could make the donut ‘pop out’ against the background, as well as, pleasing to the eye. The second frame, I decided to tone it down by using a neutral color scheme and analogous colors with a touch of warm red. The last frame, I went for the complementary colors of red and green, with the donut in a neutral tone to balance the color composition of choice.
Compositionally, I positioned the illustrations in central and consistent for my first frames in each row. Whereas the dynamism of composition comes from the last frame. In the second frame, initially, I made the arrows more of an orderly touch with identical sizes (as shown below). However, I re-arranged it to a composition of big to small, in order to create a sense of depth and also incorporating a leading line. This row was more focused on a simple, clean-cut composition, thus directing the viewers focus to the main illustration and story line.



A deer. Deers are usually known to have an elegant and petite vibe where they are imaged to eat when accessible or less. I played with this image and contrasted it with a deer who is both playful and loves to eat, reflecting myself in the deer. The first frame is the portrayal of a typical quiet and still deer, but when situated in a food festival, out comes the playful, greedy-eyed me as I start getting all the food! The first frame of the deer remains a pinkish-neutral tone as its docile and elegant nature before meeting the joy of life (food festivals)^^ Food festivals are known to be lively and festive, hence this piece also incorporates a colourful bright touch of complementary colors (orange-blue, yellow-purple, red-green), as shown in the second frame. The last frame portrays a playful yet innocent-like deer with food stacked on it’s antlers while eating a donut. This plays an irony on the fact that deers are usually not seen as big nor greedy eaters, which reflects me…. Compositionally, I wanted to keep things consistent and simple by positioning the stalls as a row rather than a clutter of stalls. The last frame, I played with the depth and framing of the deer. I placed it as a near-shot where only the head could be seen with its antlers, making it more ‘interactive’ with the audience. With the colors cautiously chosen during the process, this row characterises a sort of ease, cheerfulness and docility.


To conclude, through this project I got to explore the world of colors (which I love using). I enjoyed composing my illustrations and picking out different color schemes to fit in as a whole. This mirrors the strategic planning and exploring of color schemes that would compose the 12 frames as a whole, like Instagram. I reflected myself and mood through the colors and illustration depicted in the 12 frames. This project makes you self-reflect in the knowledge of whether you are assertive or turbulent in knowing who you are, what you think you are and finding how others perceive you. Thus, using these perceptions into colored illustrations. I do not have any BIG takeaways but it did let me get back into digital drawing/illustrating through photoshop. AND most importantly, the joy in creating and completing this project.

Thank you so much Shirley for everything! I really enjoyed this class, in the bonus of your guidance and teaching that made me LOVE it even more ♥‿♥

“Be a pop of color in a world of black and white.”



Quote #1:
“Im the King of the world!” – Titanic, 1997


First, I decided to break the quote up into key words to focus the on the visuals.

I, King, World

After chosen these words, I went on to make a mind-map of potential visuals I could use to represent those key words.

I: hand gestures, eye, an individual

King: crown, throne, wealth, power, chess piece, skyscraper, lion, top of the hierarchy, centre of attention

World: map of the world, globe, earth, plane

Then I decided to pick a few images to work with:

with these, I started to piece together what I had, adding elements throughout the journey and making two different versions of my interpretation.


Design #1:

 I felt that the composition was too centralised and consistent in dominance, making it dull and lacked an element of interest. Thus, I decided to abandon this and progress on my second design idea.

Design #2:

The image on the left was my initial progress of the design but I felt it lacked the emphasis of “King” and felt rather flat. Thus, I rearranged my composition and added in a stamp print of a lion to give the print a more powerful feel and a sense of liveliness through the roar of the lion. I centralised the chess piece to place emphasis on the object, with the help of the hand leading our eyes into the centre. This shifted the visual focus to the centre of the design, foreshadowing the definition of being “King” (centre of attention). Hence, this was my final design.

This is also the design I chose to have printed on my tote bag.

Before printing on my tote bag, I test printed at least 5 times on newsprint. The results came out similar, despite the amount of ink I placed for printing. (Test print on newsprint):











Quote #2:
“Hakuna Matata” – The Lion King, 1994


There was no key words to break apart, so I came about the meaning of “Hakuna Matata; it means no worries, for the rest of your days!” I took the concept of no worries into words and incorporate into visual images. Unlimited time, freedom, unchain, flying, no heavy weight, carefree.

These following images that I thought could work:


I came out with, yet another, two version of my interpretation on the quote.














For both design, I added a clouded background to give the design more of a texture. This gives both designs a soft yet ambiguous feel of freedom. In this design, I tried to compile a visual direction. I felt that the first one, on the right, was quite cliche withe the term of freedom and a typical mind of thought. Therefore, I decided to go with the second one, on the left, where it is slightly more indirect. I placed emphasis on the fist breaking free from the tied rope through the dominance and visual weight it carries. Next, I used the image of a sand timer to show the unlimited time the hand has by inducing a swirling effect and variation in size/angle. Even though, this does not mirror the movie, it brings out the same context as the quote of no worries. 

Quote #3:
“Just keep swimming.” – Finding Nemo, 2003


This quote was rather challenging to work with as it only consists of three words. I decided to focus on the key word of swimming and the context of “just keep”.
I did not waant to be literal with an icon of swimming so this are some few words I linked it up with…

swimming: fish, ocean, water, googles, diver’s mask, diving helmet, ripples

Images I played with:



Initial Design:

First, I composed a design with the world wearing a goggle mask but it seems a little off to me. I was not satisfied with the overall look, it felt like something was still missing. Hence, I decided to abandon this idea and carried on playing with different images and structure.

After scrapping my initial composite, I played with an image of a diving mask. I enlarged the diving mask to give it dominance and placed it in a off-centre composition, giving it an asymmetrical feel. Next, I used an icon of a fish and replicated it in various sizes in as a visual direction, giving the design more of an interest. The fishes help lead your eyes towards the diving helmet. It still seemed plain for me, thus I placed a rippled background of water giving the design more of a texture, emphasising the calm tone the quote gives off. Moreover, it gives the context of “just keep” through the ‘on going’ ripple effect; which led me to my final piece!


Quote #4:
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” – Gone with the Wind, 1939


Key words: frankly, dear, don’t give a damn

frankly: hand gestures, law, judge, scale of truth

dear: sweetheart, love, hearts, sweets, dessert, deer

The quote gives off a nonchalant and callous feel. Thus I incorporated these images to different compositions.



I played with the composition of my visuals and these were my first few design:

I felt that the design was too messy and many things were going on at once, that there is no point of visual focus. Hence, I decided to take some elements away to keep things simple. This led me to my final piece!


For this final design, I added textures of torn paper to induce the feel of carefree and “I don’t give a damn”, applying what I have learnt from “Project 1: My line is Emo” (this can also be seen on my other composition pieces). The fireworks emphasises these texture to give the nonchalant feel and “whatever-ness”. I came about using the deer from the word “dear” and applied it into my piece. Through the usage of the door, the deer going in-and-out disproportionately and unrealistically gives the quote further context and prominence. I replaced the deer’s head with a hand to create interest and wonder in the audience’s mind, attracting them to look at this composition longer. Furthermore, the hand and the deer gives the audience’s eye a visual direction that leads out of the design. This gives the quote further emphasis and meaning. I felt like this quote helped me explore more out of the box and indirect way of interpreting the quote.


To conclude, I felt that this project was refreshing and eye-opening. It challenged me to think more out of the box and indirectly, widening my vision of design. It was quite difficult to find the exact images and angle I wanted to incorporate in my design, which pushed me to visualise another composition. As I worked on my design, ideas would pop in my head and I would try to experiment what I have envisioned, even though it may not work out. Project 2 had made me take even more notice of the principles of design, and not to stick with the typical cliche imageries. To incorporate what I have learnt from project 1 and applying it on this project. I have enjoyed making these compositions and has expanded my design and composition skills.





Mark Making Journey

Mark Making Journal on Sketchbook (Bookwork)
pg1.pdf pg2 pg3 pg4 pg5

Different marks are visualisations of different forms of meaning.

  • Thin Lines suggest frailty or it can also convey a sense of small elegance
  • Thick Lines suggest boldness and strength
  • Horizontal Lines suggest calm and steadiness
  • Vertical Lines suggest stability, especially when thicker and bold actions
  • Curved Lines expresses fluid movement and is rather dynamic in direction; differs when the curve is small or large
  • Zigzag Lines create sudden excitement or quick movement; it can also suggest nervousness

Experimentation in class using different materials with black ink/paint.

During the start of my experimentation, I have not chosen 6 specific emotions yet and was exploring with the different marks different material makes.
I started with using a rubber band with ink to create a line splattered effect. I quite like the outcome of this (image shown below) as it produces different print each time I ‘pull & release’/sling the rubber band around the sheet.


Moving on from using the rubber band and creating textures on the paper, I used a small piece of crumpled paper to experiment what mark it would make.

I also experimented with placing a long chain on ink and subtly dragging and smacking it on to the newsprint paper. It created a sort of repetitive yet asymmetrical pattern. It somewhat resembles a pacing movement… maybe it could fall into the emotion of anxiety?…


Taking a piece of a broken disc, I made small tore marks on black inked paper to represent the emotion of irritation. The emotion of irritation would drive me to tear and break things out of releasing my frustration within, resulting the mark made below.

Comparing tore on ink and without:
I feel like the tore without ink has a clean cut vibe and does not show much of the emotion ‘irritation’ whereas the tore with ink shows the emotion much more, emphasised by the dry brush strokes.

Over here, I used bubble wraps with black paint to stamp on paper to mirror pacing steps from the emotion, anxiety.  Splattered watered down paint using a brush to explore the different mark it produces.

Paint on masking tape:

Using a palette-knife with ink to create an explosion-like to make a firework structure for the emotion, zest.  


Definition: great enthusiasm and energy
My Interpretation: a burst of great energy; an imitation of fireworks. I used a palette knife black paint on acrylic paper to create the lines, creating a circular lined shape. I tried experimenting with ink or splatting paint on paper but it did not mark off the way I pictured zest.

Definition: an unexpected event +/-
My Interpretation: To me, I like to see surprise as a positive noun. I had interpreted this surprise into something bubbly and positive. Therefore, I experimented with different materials to create round bubbled circles in the light of positivity, adding on a range of different sizes and style of a circle to represent the different surprises. 

Definition: A gentle feeling of warmth and softness.
My Interpretation: the feeling of wholeness; brings about a soft fuzzy feeling. Instead of using round and smooth curves or lines, I wanted to show the fuzzy feeling you get from affection as well as an interaction piece where the viewers can touch. Affection is something shared between two or more people, so I created a ‘3D’ form where it is more interactive, which is by using cotton as it is a soft and puffy. By covering the whole sheet with cotton, it suggest the wholeness from an affection.

Definition: sorrow; unhappy
My Interpretation: faded out; grey. When I think sadness, I think of a mellow grey field. This lead me to water down the ink or paint and I wanted to bring in the dripping/flow effect of the stability yet toned down feel as the emotion creeps on you. It is not a sudden emotion but a mellow calm emotion that slowly weighs you down. I experimented this on a plexiglass acrylic but it did not capture the grey tone as much as the acrylic paper, which is why I had chosen to use at the end. 

Definition: the state of feeling annoyed and slight anger
Through irritation, it is that slight burning annoyance in your heart that would lead you to drive a pen crazily on a paper that rips it. This is the picture of the emotion, irritation in my head. I tried creating scratch/ripping marks on wood and acrylic paper but it did not show the effect I had in mind until I tried it on newsprint paper. The crumpled effect it gives with unclean tears. I added the marks of black watercolour paint using a dried marks to show the rough ‘scratch’ effect to emphasise the negativity of this emotion.

Definition: easily agitated; anxiety
My Interpretation: fidgety actions; pacing back and forth. When were nervous we tend to bite our nails, fiddle with our fingers or an object, or even walk back and forth out of panic. I wanted to show these actions on a print when this emotion comes and we suddenly start to panic. First, I experimented with metal chains, repetitive slice marks and zig zag cross lines to show the jitters, tangled up conscience and the continuous pacing of our steps. At the end, I came about using a bubble wrap with black paint (with some diluted black water colour paint to show the faint conscious grip we have and a moment of anxiety). It mirrors the pacing of our foot steps back and forth, all around crossing the same marks all over the sheet till its no longer a simple white sheet but a lost of thoughts that is all over the place.



Overall, I had enjoyed this project although it was quite difficult for me to express emotion without colour. I always pictured emotion with colours better than printed words or marks, so, through this project I learnt how to express different emotions through a variety of experiments with different mediums, medias and tools to create the mark of an emotion b&w. Especially with positive emotions, I learnt to think more out of the box on how to show the emotions, through various experimentations as it is quite hard to produce the coloured images/ideas in your mind and printing it out as a black and white form.