Typographic portraits

Brief: To use typography as an image to express 6 unique characteristics of myself.

A whole bunch of crazy ideas whittled down to six:

I am a –
#1. Sandwich Chomper
#2. Pattern
#3. Paper Cutter
#4. Bonsai Plant
#5. Closet crazy dancer
#6. Chinese

#1. Sandwich chomper

Because I love sandwiches! If I could only chose one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would be sandwiches.

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Process: I decided to make the sandwiches and photograph them before doing some editing on Photoshop. My digital imaging skills are really poor to say the least so I wasn’t sure how this would turn out.

I created a frame of common ingredients hoping that it would create a complimentary border for the image.

I tried biting the pieces of bread to form the alphabets but it wasn’t distinct enough so I used a knife to carve instead.






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It didn’t look as nice as I expected it to be, the vegetables were as big as the sandwiches… turns out I ought to have photographed the background at a much higher angle. Oh well, change of plans then!



I replaced the background with a neutral wooden background and used a patterned paper to frame it for a picnic-y feel. Increased the saturation for a vibrant finish, and the shadow for a 3D effect.

#2. Pattern

We are all patterns forming patterns. I chose embroidery to express this as there are so many possibilities to create.

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Initially I wanted to do a different pattern for every row, however taking into consideration the principles of design, it made more sense to limit the patterns to increase the clarity of the text.

I distressed the edges to give it a rougher/raw finish.



#3. Paper cutter

I love to craft, and paper is my choice medium. I was inspired by a mowed lawn, and thought that it could represent my idea quite clearly in an amusing way.

Inspiration:Lawn-stripey-1mg1 green-grass-tissue-mats-bx-72332 download

*I wanted to add a little tractor to complete the piece but it was difficult to make one on such a tiny scale :(*



It was very time consuming to fringe the tissue and stick it layer by layer to create a lush, thick grass patch; leaving the negative spaces to form the text.



#4. Bonsai plant

I chose a bonsai because they need lots of tending and pruning to ensure that they grow in a certain way. It may be restrictive, but the end product is beautiful. Kind of like this verse in the bible

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2

I hope at the end of it, my life would be one that is well pruned and beautiful.





I made the pots out of jumping clay, which is lightweight and moulded it around various objects.
The grass was made out of scrubbing sponge and the bonsai plant, bent wire and fake moss.



The ledge is made out of a strip of balsa wood.

#5. Crazy closet dancer

I’m a really awkward dancer, with three left feet. But sometimes I go a bit crazy when I’m at home with my sister.


I wanted to employ this old cinematography technique ombro cinema which causes still images to move. I liked the fact that the movement was jittery and jumpy, just like how I dance.

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#6. Chinese

I wanted to include this as even though I have a sub-par comprehension of my mother tongue, I am proud of my Chinese heritage. I used the most iconic blue and white porcelain rice bowl and rice grains as symbols.



Dyed the rice with food colouring and vinegar. Also, I found out that glutinous rice is extra white haha I never knew.



I framed it with rice paper attached to wooden dowels to create an impression of a Chinese scroll. I feel that the finish could have been better as the white glue caused the paper to warp, creating unsightly bumps.



Reinterpreting rhymes

Project Brief:
Giving nursery rhymes a new facelift

For this project I decided to stick to one rhyme: Hey diddle diddle

Here’s how the rhyme goes

Hey diddle diddle, the cat & the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon
The little dog laughed to see such a sport
& the dish ran away with the spoo

There are many ways to interpret this seemingly nonsensical rhyme, and countless analysis have been made to which what each item represents. However I’ve to take the rhyme at face value with its wonderful childish order and shake it up in terms of the arrangement rather than the meaning.


#1. Hey diddle diddle, the cat & the fiddle


For this image, I took my inspiration from the traditional portuguese tiles.


I love the symmetry and how replicating it would create new patterns. Using the different motifs creates textures to the otherwise flat image. The arrangement of objects creates new rhythms and lines which creates visual interest.

#2. The cow jumped over the moon

COW & MOON 2-min

My inspiration came from the rose windows frequently used in gothic cathedrals.


The concentric nature of the image draws the eyes towards the image, having the motifs decrease in size from the outer rim to the middle also reinforces the effect.

In hindsight, I would have made the area outside the circle black, to create a greater contrast between the image and the background.

#3. The little dog laughed to see such a sport


For this image, I wanted to have a “pop art” feel, with the main motif as the foreground and a pattern for the background


Shirley commented that a mid-ground would make the picture more complete, therefore I used the bones to emulate laughter/sound lines.

#4. And the dish ran away with the spoon


I had no particular source of inspiration for this image, but the idea was to use shapes to create a landscape. The shapes used are actually facial features of a smiley face, introducing some expression to the otherwise faceless characters (dish + spoon). Perhaps the entire image read as a whole would look like the dish & spoon ran away rather gleefully rather than in fear.



The other images that didn’t make the cut

cat fiddle 2-min
I didn’t fancy this as there was too much negative space. What I did try to do with this image was to use motifs that signified the characters rather than the picture of the actual characters (cat / fiddle)

The contrast between the jumping figure and the heavily detailed images made the entire picture inharmonious and kind of distracting, as if they were two separated images merged together.

LITTLE DOG LAUGHED3-minSimilarly, I wanted the bones to be used as expressive lines, but this might have been too ambitious; the entire image looks too cluttered.

PLATE AND SPOON3-minI really liked this image, but I decided to chose the image with the background as the hemp texture gave it a picnic-y feel. This image has less warmth in my opinion as the backdrop is white and stark.