Tag Archives: plants

02 Varoom — Final


Theme and Idea

My illustration for the theme of fantasy revolves simply around the story of my mother who has been trying very hard, and failing, to propagate Peace Lilies at home as they always burn into crisps under our extra hot Singapore sun.

The fantasy will consist of nothing deep, just:



(View post)



(View post)




I illustrated each plant individually and played around with tens of thousands of arrangements to see which ones worked best. I faced an issue with figuring out where the plants could sprout from, because starting them from above the text would look odd, but starting them from the bottom of the page would interfere with text legibility. So I tried adding pots, and then a flat ground. I eventually realised I could use patches of grass to cover up the stems.



I re-illustrated each and every element because all my sketches had been resized to the point of… myopia. Downside of not using vectors. (I did at some point convert all my lines to vectors but it didn’t feel right!)


I added fauna to the flora, although only subtle-ly to balance out the composition. I tried adding a hanging chimpanzee from the “a”, and also a giant dragonfly, because my mom loves those long-arms-chimpanzee toys and dragonflies, but they were fighting for attention with the lilies hence I decided with small creatures (though that is actually one giant butterfly if you compare it to the character). Amidst all my trial and errors and hundreds of layers I also have no idea where the monkey and dragonfly have gone, hence they are not pictured. 🙁


I played around with different colour palettes. I personally prefer the dark green-orange palette, but the blue-pink one tied in with the theme of fantasy the most.



I tried different characters/positions and chose the one I felt fit best. I also tried making the character hold a ‘leaf umbrella’ (pictured in the latest gif above) like in Totoro, but that didn’t work as well as holding flowers.



Added details — “shadows” and highlights, grass patches, bling blings.



I transferred the illustration from Procreate to Photoshop and adjusted the hues again. I added noise and texture, changed the colour of the masthead to match the highlights and layered it with the leaves. I initially thought of fiddling the leaves through the letters, but felt that it would also fight for too much attention with the rest of the illustration that is already very detailed.  Adjusting the hues and textures were for aesthetic, to give the illustration more warmth, and the slight ruggedness for a ‘vintage’ feel like its been well used/made by hand, much like how gardening (more like turning house plants into a forest) requires a lot of handy work and love.





Google Drive Folder HERE


02 Varoom — Two Detailed Sketches

Concept & Thumbnails

Me Mom’s Fantasy: In a world where Peace Lilies would grow in this hot sun.

Here’s an expectation vs. reality of my mom’s journey in propagating them:
(This is a new batch so they’re not all burnt to a crisp yet)

Image result for peace lily aesthetic


Refreshin’ your memory on the three selected thumbnails to work on:


Detailed Sketch #1

The first sketch is a combination of the first and third thumbnail, with the concept of the ‘dead’ flowers rising up towards the sun, but in the composition of the third tarot card thumbnail.

However, instead of Peace Lilies, I worked with a flower called the Lily of the Valley instead because I found it only fitting to flip this flower that actually grows downwards, upright.

Image result for lily of the valley



Detailed Sketch #2

The second sketch is based on the second thumbnail, of a figure in a giant Peace Lily forest. It’s currently Alice because I needed a reference figure… but I’ll change her appearance if I do end up working on this sketch.

I added another plant called the Euphorbia milii/ Christ plant, which is another species that my mom has actually been able to grow very well. It’s just to add a little variety to the composition.

I haven’t figured out how the composition will be placed, whether it’ll be boxed in the centre, whether there’ll be an imaginary box boxing it in (plants just cut off before hitting the text), or whether it’ll be incorporated into the entire cover.


Image result for christ plantImage result for euphorbia milii

02 — Varoom: User Persona, Mood Boards & Thumbnails



the faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.

the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.

For the reason that I just feel like drawing plants for this project, I was torn between doing fantasy and activism because while I wanted to do a fantasy, plants are very easily associated with topics of sustainability. I then thought, why not create an activist’s fantasy? Or… not so much an activist but just an avid plant potter.



With my indecisiveness, I created two user personas. Thankfully I made a decision in the end, going with the second one (Jazzy).

*I’m sorry about the orphan


Again, being indecisive, I created a few mood boards to see which styles would be more fitting for my ideas. After going through my thumbnail sketches, I am most likely going with a tarot card style with a hint of Alice in Wonderland surrealism.

However, I still plan to take inspirations in different parts of the first three mood boards, like colour scheme from the first, art style from the second, and composition from the third. Please don’t @ me if I change my mind.


The general concept that runs across most if not all my thumbnails is simply the story of my mother who has been trying very hard and failing to propagate some Peace Lily plants, because they keep burning in this Singapore weather. Her fantasy would hence be a world where Peace Lilies would grow in this hot sun.

These were the three selected thumbnails to work on. The first one had the strongest concept, while the other two were more visually appealing.

If you look at the potted Peace Lily upright, it would show that the flowers are dying, but as a whole image with the pot upside down, the dead flowers are actually rising up towards the sun.

A small figure in a giant Peace Lily forest.

A sun. And thriving Peace Lilies.