This is the last assignment of 2D in Semester 2. We are required to produce a 8-pages A5 size self publication. Mu zine is a self written children book


At the start, I have already got the idea that I wanted to do something relate to my second assignment in Semester 1, which is the nursery rhythm. That assignment is the one that I like the best,  I feel that it has something that I can make use in my zine. The nursery rhythm that I adopted is

What are little girls made of, made of?

Sugar and spice, and everything nice,

That’s what little girls are made of.

The the finish product can be found from this link

Assignment 2: What are little girls made of?

Final 4

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What are girls made of13

what are little girls made of2

what are little girls made of11

The style that I adopted in the assignment is very vintage and fairy tale like. So this inspired me to transform these pictures into a children’s book. And while deciding on the content of the book, I was inspired by this video,” Monsters in the closet “, a provocative new video, portrays the alarming impact of domestic violence on families and children, as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

The highlighted part from the video that I can still recalled is when it says ” A child separates its dream from the nightmare and reality.”  We are giving beautiful things and dream to kids, telling them that Cinderella will be happily ever after with the prince. But often, in the eye of these unfortunate kids, the world isn’t so beautiful after all. Thus, I decided to use the theme of nursery rhythm, to produce a children book that talks about domestic abuse.



The story is about this little girl, whose mother always sings her the ” what are little girls made of” rhythm.
However, despite being told that girls are supposed to be nicely treated. In the reality, she was being domestically abused by her father. This contrast of dream and reality eventually breaks her down. And this is how the story goes.
The Day I stop crying for help
My Mom always sings me this nursery rhyme
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and everything nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.
But I don’t Understand
If girls are supposed to be nice
Why would Dad treat us like that?
I have no place to hide
I cry for help
But no one cares
Day by day, it multiplies…
Until all of these end at once.
After confirming that I wanted to do a children’s book style. I began to research on existing children’s book.

As this is a rather serious topic, I actually wants adopt a more dark and vintage. My work from Nursery rhythm will be applied one per page, each one of them will tell a respective part of the story. For example, like this,

After my first consultation, Joy suggested me that I can use Accordion Binding. As the first and last part of my story is interconnected. Doing it in accordion binding will create the story into a loop.

The Day I stop crying for help

Until all of these end at once.
Thus, after numerous tries, my zine is finally done.


Title: The Day I stop crying for help

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Gif of content

When it opens up, it will be like this

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And the loop of start of the start and the end.

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This book is made of hard cover as I want to illustrate the feeling vintage children book. I spent long time searching for suitable font until I came across this font: Calson Antique, which really brings out the vintage feels. Colors U used are black and white alternate, with red, blue yellow highlighting the important word of each page.



Time flies! And it’s already the end of or assignment 2. This assignment, “Point of View” is for us to depict a certain object or symbol in multiple aspects. With this, I intended to do based on the concept of high context society. And I want to choose an object that I am familiar with.

As I mention from the previous post, the object I decided to use is


What would a Chinese seen Chrysanthemum as? A flower used for “Bai Bai” (tomb sweeping)? or just a form of Tea? And how about people from other country?

For this assignment, there is not much change in my ideas and concept. If you are interested to find out more about the other 14 aspects, do check on my 2D: Point of View Concept/ Research

Through my research, I found that Chrysanthemum is actually a symbol of the Japanese Royal family. It can be seen from a lot of their different symbols.Screenshot 2016-03-23 12.08.19

So I decided to narrow the countries down into 2: China and Japan. 

The six Point of Views I choose are

  1. In POV of A Meiji Japanese is a Royal symbol

  2. In POV of A Modern Japanese is Citizenship

  3. In POV of A Chinese is A Offering to Ancestors

  4. In POV of A Drink is a Tea

  5. In POV of A Proposal is A Bad Option

  6. In POV of An Internet Phrase is Taboo


What I found from research, is a very “hot” way of portraying an object: Making the object as a character.

Making countries as characters

Making Food as Characters

In addition, I decided to do a combination of 2D images and 3D images. This

Character Design

I planned to portray the flowers into actual characters. The approach I took is hand draw. Like Below

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Actual Photo Taking

It is my first time taking the approach of photography for my assignment. And I need to say, it is really a PAINFUL process! I never expect that it will be so hard to adjust the lighting. And most pictures turn out not as what I expected to be.

Initially, I wanted to portray the image in the form of stage performance. Where there is a rather fake looking background at the back of the charcters. And it would best if the charcter can cast a shadow on the background. Something like this

But it ends up like this…

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The tone is always dull and dark. So in the end, I have to abandon the idea of stage performance and do something like this

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After numerous shots, I finally came down to the last 6…

Final Work



In POV of A Meiji Japanese is a Royal symbol



In POV of A Modern Japanese is Citizenship



In POV of A Chinese is A Offering to Ancestors



In POV of A Drink is a Tea



In POV of A Proposal is A Bad Option


FullSizeRender_3 In POV of An Internet Phrase is Taboo


This is the first assignment that I have decided on direction and objectives almost immediately.  However, the hard part is during processing, where I faced a lot of technical problems. Although this assignment is not as satisfying as I expected. But I still glad I am able to learn photography which I have never used before.

High Context Culture

It refers to a culture’s tendency to use high-context messages in routine communication.

In a higher-context culture, many things are left unsaid, letting the culture explain. Words and word choice become very important in higher-context communication, since a few words can communicate a complex message very effectively to an in-group (but less effectively outside that group),



I actually came across this term “High Context Culture” during my mastering communication class. This inspired me to decide the theme of this assignment.  High context society is commonly seen in Asia countries. This is because we have a lot of untold traditions, taboos. And it is often different or directly opposite in another countries. Furthermore, as time grows, objects are given other meanings, which further adds on the diversity of culture.

For now, the object I proposed to use is the flower chrysanthemum


The subjects I want to express will be the following

  •  Point of view of a common object
  •  From different countries
  •  From different cultures and traditions
  •  From different values
  •  From different age groups

18 Aspects

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Artist Reference

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No Game, No life.

I would be talking about:
1. Concept of each piece
2. Relationship between them
3. Repeating objects and the objectives
4. Process
5. Reflection

I always want to be in the world of the game, where there’s only one objective. The life will be so much simple. As you can see, all four frames are based on the theme of smart phone games. But can you guess which game does it come from?

And I am a GAMER…

cut the rope

The first attribute, is of course that I’m a GAMER. The first that I used, is the CUT THE ROPE. Cut-the-Rope I transform the rope, the balloon, and the trampoline into the shape of my name. And on the bottom, what is used to be the lab monster has changed into a cat. In fact, this is the first idea that I think of for this project. I wanted to “camouflage” my name into the environment of the game so that it feels as a unit piece. Moreover, this I am a GAMER also set off as an introduction for the following frames. It not only emphasize on the   fact that all frames are based on the theme of game. But also becomes a introduction of the story that I am going to tell about myself.

And I am a CAT LOVER…

cat game

I’m definitely a serious cat addict-er. Once I start following the direction of game. I start to recall which game carries the most unique style that  audience can easily spot. That’s why I decided to adapt the game Neko Atsume

As seen from the picture, I have replaced the cats that I have drawn, although the background remains almost the same. I try to insert my name by placing it on the ground as furniture. Neko Atsume has its very unique style of rough hand drawn that really differentiate it from others. I try to illustrate the cats into their sloppy and nothing to worry about. This is also the kind of life I dream for.





And the end of the project. I realized that this turns out to be my favorite one. This is because I actually put in the most time for brainstorming for this frame. How am I supposed to illustrate the idea Procrastination??

Then I recalled of the numerous nights I spent rushing for my assignment. It’s not that I have not enough time. I could easily finished it during the daytime. But just BECAUSE I PROCRASTINATE….I have to stay overnight, give up on sleep. As a result, the next day I will appeared at school, looking like a zombie…

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Thus, it occurred to me that I can adopt the game of Plant VS. Zombie.

At first, one problem is that I can’t fit all the XIAOTONG letters into the grid (it just can’t……..) .So that I decided to arrange the zombies just into my initial letters XT. I replaced the trolleys and the house into assignments and due date. That myself turns into the zombie, slowly tries to crawl towards the due date..




angry bird
The last is about the thing that is most important to me. Freedom. I can say that freedom is the only thing that I cannot live without. In fact, this is also frame that I spend the longest time drawing. And hope the concept of the game looks obvious to you. It’s the Angry Bird.

I arranged my name with all the bricks and stones from the game. And the cat, setting off from the spring, is flying through the sky. The reason why I like Angry Bird is because I like the way where the cat swings across the sky. It gives me a sense of release. When the cat reaches its end, it will hit on my name. The so-called XIAO TONG will collapsed. The so-called me will break from its bond and ties. I’m finally able to reached my inner peace…


Repeating objects

cat 1

Not wanting my work to be just 4 different frames, I try to let element from one to appear on the another. So that my attributes can be seen from all the four frames. For example, the attribute of the Gamer appears throughout. In addition, I also let the cat. to appear in three of the frames. It’s a regret that I cannot reinforce it into the Zombies Vs. Due Date as the result turns out not so nice.




Many of my processing work appeared in the previous post. So this time I will post the video of me going through the less interesting part: execution and drawing. Coming up with the idea is very fun, but often I will face the difficulties of illustrating that out. This is the very first time  I really start to explore the effects of different digital brushes

Medium: Digital Drawing

Software used: SAI/ Sketchup

PS. Sorry about the Chinese language appeared in the video, I only have the CHI version of SAI

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knot ballon Screenshot 2016-02-16 18.45.21


Week 3 is here. And the assignment will be due soon. After the previous consultation. I have more or less decided on the  theme that I want to approach. I found that the one that inspired from Cut the Rope seems very interesting for me

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So I thought that why don’t I apply the concept of game to all 4 attributes. And I need to find some way to connect all of them not only through the game elements. Also that the 4 attributes can link up as a story and tells the characteristic of me.

Thus… I come up with this mind map…

Screenshot 2016-02-06 01.16.43

You can see that at the start, I will begin with the “I AM A GAMER”. this basically set as an introduction. Then following by the 3 attributes, which all contain game elements. So that the 4 pictures are fit into the same style. For me, doing like this is more like writing a narrative. By connecting them up, I am like telling a story of mine.


More Research

But before that, I feel I get start more artist research6a73a032326453.567a91437dfa5

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I found this artist on Behance. you can see that his style is very cartoonist and there are many objects interacting with each other. This also means that the typography is no longer the central attention, but part of the drawing itself. I also happened to find this company Gumbo illustrations on Behance. They have this series of work pertaining to Africa.

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(Source:  Gumbo illustrations

You can see that this is actually a quite different approach from the previous one. There is only one object with each letter. The whole image looks clean and neat. I feel that both provide a lot of ideas for me.


Now, let’s decide what do I want to do for each of the attribute.

Hello I am a gamer


The first one is already set. I will be based on the idea of Cut the Rope. I will play with ropes until it forms my name.


Hello I am a cat lover

For the cat lover I will be based on the idea of cat cafe. I think all the furniture into the shape of my name letter

Hello I am a procrastinator

The third one I decided to choose from the game Plant Vs. Zombie. Because for me, as procrastinator, when it comes to assignment due date, I will be like a zombie. Procrastinate always make unable to finish my work on time. Thus, I have to stay overnight, and bear with red eyes, dark eye circles.

I have also try to sketch a few of my doc 160205 (1)_14

 As you can see, the plants and weeders will be replaced by alarm clock and assignments, To-do list and exams. Where me as the zombies will walking tiredly to them. And the zombies will form my initials XT on the grid.

Hello I am a freedomizer

The last attribute I will be based on the game Angry Birds. As I want to express the idea of freedom from how the birds are freely flying in the sky.

The project Typographic Portrait has come to the second week. After the artist research, I began this week by coming out of my 6 attributes.

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Thus I have to more or less decided what I wanted to do. It is divided into 2 categories: my characteristics and my hobbies

6 Attributes






Cat lover


For the next step, I began to try out a few sketch on these attributes. See if I have any ideas that I can expand on it.


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I am a heavy Karaoke addict-er. So I decided to input my name into objects that is related to music. Such that the letters are  naturally infuse into the environment. Like in this case, my name has become the shape of the teeth.

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This is one is inspired by a poster done by English Markell  & Pockett ( refer to below). It shows how the words streamed in projections on faces and in abstractions before spooling into the words of the programming title. So I wanted to try out this idea, that my name is spreading out/or in to music notes.

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I write my names repeatedly that it forms the shape of a microphone.


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For this one, I actually illustrates my names as molecules and particles. As the word “freedom” reminds me of the Brownian Motion. Where particles are able to move around freely.

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The word freedom also reminds me of release, evacuate. Therefore, one of my idea is to illustrate my ideas into an evacuation guide. For this, I also research on different of fonts and typography (refer to below)

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Source: 20th-Century Type, Lewis Blackwell




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When I am free, I also watch a lot of movie. So I choose movie as one of my attributes too. For example for the above one, I actually put in a pair of 3D glasses into my name, such that the two lens form the double O of my name.

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This is inspired from the game Cut the Rope. I choose this as by changing the design of the ropes, it is able to form the letters of my name. I feel that there is a lot of room to expand on.

Cat Lovernew doc 160205 (1)_1 new doc 160205 (1)_2

I love CATS!! So I wanted to make this as my attributes too! I begin by illustrating how the cat image i design is to interact with the 3D forms of my names.



Monument Valley











Monument Valley is a puzzle game developed and published by indie studio Ustwo. The player leads the princess Ida through mazes of optical illusions and impossible objects. The use of optical illusion can be seen from the picture above. It actually illustrate a 3D which can only exist in 2D form.

Therefor, I hope that I can apply this into my project. Below pictures are a few examples which this idea is implemented.











 Lex Wilson

Lex Wilson is well-known for his design of the 3D typography








More of his work can be acces from his website

He uses perspective to his full advantage

This is an important point for me to adopt. For the project, it is not necessary to design a 2D planar typography. we could play with the perspective by tilting the imaginary “camera”.


 Peter von Arx












Peter Von Arx is the author of this book,”Film Design”


He believed that

Designer Should be familiar with the factors of movement, time and speed as seen in film

This apply to all mediums use, also for words and typography.

As seen from examples of his work. The words are given a form of movement and flowing of time.

1960s Psychedelics Posters

BonnieMacLean moscoso1wes-wilson










Psychedelia and the Psychedelic movement  1960-1975


  1. Pertaining to or characterized by hallucinations, distortions of perception and awareness, and sometimes psychotic-like behavior.
  2. A drug that produces such effects.
  3. An art style influenced by the prevalence of hallucinatory drugs, especially LSD, with typical designs featuring abstract swirls of intense color with curvilinear calligraphy reminiscent of Art Nouveau.

The psychedelic movement began in the mid 1960’s and had an effect, not just on music, but also on many aspects of popular culture. This included style of dress, language and the way people spoke, art, literature and philosophy.

The name “psychedelic” refers to drugs that were popular with the youth culture of the time. Posters for rock concerts tried to visually express the feeling of tripping out.

The visual motifs of psychedelic art include Art Nouveau-inspired curvilinear shapes, illegible hand-drawn type, and intense optical color vibration inspired by the pop art movement.

(Source from

The 3 highlighted points indicate the special features of psychedelic posters. The way which texts are twisted and the uncomfortable colors use actually bringing a uncomfortable feeling to the audience.

Among the 6 attributes of ourselves in the project, not all of them are necessary positive. Thus the psychedelic posters can be a good example to learn to how to deliver negative feeling.


3D/ Handmade typography

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