Project 3: Ego


Project Ego Processes and Final 12 Squares

For this project, I decided to reference work from Max Ernst. I was attracted to his collage works, which consisted of  random things pieced together to make an interesting composition.



I was attracted his work because I feel like I could also make use of random items to symbolise something in this project.

My attempt after discovering Max Ernst:


I decided to collage myself and a walrus to resemble the idea of something fat and huge. I really liked the outcome! Therefore, I planned to incorporate random items in at least 4 out of the 12 squares for this project.

My first draft: I decided to tackle on two main themes; my insecurities and the preconceived notion that comes with wearing the hijab. Therefore, the first column shows me against other people or how I view myself. The second column shows me in society or how  view society. The third column shows my outcome.


However, I felt that I should simplify it a little more.

My second draft: I made sure that the Max Ernst references were more prominent and adjusted the composition such hat it’s not too messy.


I definitely like the second draft better!

Next, I decided on the colour scheme.24

I figured that I wanted to do split complementary colour schemes.

Two rows would be blue and purple against yellow.

The other two would be red and orange against green.

Why I chose split complementary colour scheme? I feel that it could create a sense of contrast. With this contrast, it could bring out my main subject matter even more, rendering a more successful and coherent composition.


For my first two rows, I actually faced some difficulty. I initially watercoloured my composition and then overlaid them with pen techniques for the details.

However, the ink from the technical pens could does not seem to come out on watercoloured paper. Therefore, the ink came out irregularly; sometimes huge and smudgy and other times very faint.


It was only a couple of times that the ink could be rendered successfully.

Therefore, I decided to change my method. 


I did the pen rendering first.


Followed by watercolouring the subject matter.

Switching the steps proved to work! I could now do my pen techniques with more ease and then have them watercoloured without getting smudged. You live and you learn 😀

I did this method for my other two rows.

Rough overview of the 12 completed squares!:


Scanned completed work:


Scanned completed work:


Initially, I wanted to scan them in and then photoshop some images in to make it better. However, the hand drawing process took a much longer time than I expected. Nonetheless, I am still very happy with the outcome!

Ist Row


Me (Insecurity) : I used a walrus as a reflection of myself to represent the idea of being fat and huge, as inspired by Max Ernst. I really love to eat! Therefore, I placed the knife and fork around me to represent that. However, this body image issue has always been my main insecurity and I decided to use that for this project.


Setting: Society’s Thin Obsession. With the huge emphasis on skinniness, this aggravated my insecurity even more.


Outcome: All of these mixed together, makes me so insecure to go out sometimes that I yearn to be as invisible as cells. I used cells instead of other typical items to represent the idea of small as inspired by Max Ernst; to have this sense of weirdness.

2nd Row


Me (Hijab) : The number of people wearing hijab in a community would usually be the minority. Therefore, this is me against the other non-hijab population and you sometimes tend to stand out because you’re either the only one or the minority.


Setting: People tend to have this preconceived notion that when you wear the hijab, you automatically have to act a certain way and most of the time, people expect you to always be prim and proper. When in reality, we are just similar to everyone else.


Outcome: With that connotation, it actually pushes me to intergrate with society and show that we are no different than the rest of us. It taught me to integrate with society yet, still being true to myself.

3rd Row:


Me ( Insecurity) : Sometimes I feel like I lack the maturity and sensibility that most people my age has. I tend to be simple minded and I  wanted to portray this by the Unicorn-Cupcake-Mermaid creature in between my face to show who I really am inside.


Setting: Society is always judging whatever you do or how you act. I used eyes instead of faces to represent people because I was inspired by how Max Ernest is not always direct with this use of subject matter.


Outcome: Most of the times, I try to cover up this side of me, as represented by the brain engulfed by the huge waves.

4th Row


Me (Hijab) : When you wear the hijab, you have to cover up more than what most people would do.


Setting: Society would naturally judge us to oppressed when we have to cover up because that’s what our religion wanted us to do.


Outcome: When in reality, mu hijab is not a sign of oppression. In a world where women’s value is often reduced to her appereance, what could be more powerful than rejecting that notion and telling people to judge us way beyond our appearance, but through our heart and values. The hijab actually liberates me. This was also inspired by one of Max Ernest’s collaged portraits.




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