In this zine, I had a few concepts which I wanted to work on:

  1. The good and the bad of Political figures.
  2. Larger than life.
  3. Preserved buildings in Singapore.
  4. ‘Infographic’ on Wakeboarding.

Some initial sketches:


A positive light on Trump..?

giant hermit crab 1

Larger than life hermit crab.


preserved building 2

Preserved peranakan buildings in Joo Chiat.

wakeboard shark 1

Wakeboarding like you’re Poseidon.


I ultimately decided to go with Wakeboarding, as I had a passion for the sport and I feel that not enough people know or have tried the sport. While I initially planned to create the zine in an infographic style, it morphed into an introductory booklet which served as an informative starter kit.

With that in mind, I chose my target audience to be the young crowds who walk around aimlessly in CCA booths in schools and universities, looking for a CCA that might interest them.

While it was no longer a 100% infographic zine any more, I still picked out relevant material in crafting one. Based on my research, infographics had to:

  • be eye-catching.
  • be easy for readers to engage in.
  • include more visuals and less text.This was important as the target audience I had in mind would have a limited attention span, and would probably move on if something didn’t catch their attention within the next 10 seconds or so.



Given this knowledge, I attempted to steer my zine in those guiding concepts. In my earlier projects, I lacked a strong art direction, which caused my artworks to carry little cohesion. This time, I made sure to follow a particular artistic style, which was to be done via digitally drawing on photographs.

I studied some of David Carson’s typographic works to get a general idea of the types of font I would want to use. It was an added bonus that many of his works fused two of his passions: design and surfing. This made it easy to emulate some of his works onto mine. Other artists I studied include Joe Pytka (Director of Space Jam), Richard Williams (Director of Who framed Roger Rabbit) and Guila Pex.

After much contemplation, I also decided on a Landscape format as opposed to a more convential portrait-oriented zine, reason being the photographs I took while wakeboarding were more fitting of landscape formats.

Some initial cover pages:

cover page wakeboard

This cover had a plain coloured sky. I received feedback that a picture of a photographed sky could be used instead to maintain a strong thematic style.

cover page wakeboard newsky

Too many clouds in this one, so i took another photograph with fewer clouds and ultimately changed to a landscape orientation.


Cover page

Cover. A much clearer sky. Saturation was increased to make the zine more bold and eye-catching.

zback cover

Back. Played with the concept of front and back (The back page shows the back of the cover picture.).


Page 1

Starting off with a familiar sight:  This hopefully provides a fun familiarity to the reader. Note the added definitions 2 & 3.

page 2

The major colour theme of this project is blue, given the subject of the water sport. Created my own font here to keep up the fun, quirky mood of this zine. (Thank God I didn’t use Comic Sans)



Using acetate paper brought me a lot of fun working on this zine. What I had in mind was drawing cartoons on the acetate, such that it could interact with a photograph when placed over it. I then had the idea of placing the transparent sheet between two different figures, so that there was a concept of duality where the acetate could interact with both the left and the right pages.

This idea was worked upon as I wanted something to capture the attention of the reader more, so that he or she would be entertained enough to read more, instead of losing interest in plain text halfway. The use of acetate this way was easy to play with and added to the fun element of the zine.



Left Page.


Right page. Low quality photograph because OSS has a max file upload size-.-

In these pages I chose to deviate from the blue colour theme as I wanted to evoke the mood of adrenaline, excitement and power. Besides, a stark colour change on a new page would add variation to the monotonous colours. In the context of the next page, I therefore chose green to be the main colour, so each section would come together to produce the RGB effect.



Used nessie to portray the idea of a myth.

(NOTE: In between the above and below pages is an additional transparency, where the sentence “Create your own scene here!” is written at a corner. While readers may not necessarily be inclined to do so, they are nonetheless prompted to get creative and be more observant of the scene that can be viewed when one is wakeboarding, to give a better idea of how wakeboarding feels like.)


Refer to bottom of post for better quality photographs.




Back to a blue theme.


Refer to bottom of post for better quality pictures.



Page 12


Choice of paper:

Fabric paper for the covers provided a nice texture, and complimented the whole surf n’ sweat vibe. The rest (apart from the acetate) were printed on semi-gloss 190gsm paper (not too thick for the acetate alignment).

I had initially wanted to print the whole zine using the transparent acetate such that the zine is completely waterproof and I could present it in a clear rectangular container while tied to a string, just like a wakeboarder. However, the acetate pages would stick together when wet, and the zine would be very difficult to bind due to the resistivity of acetate.


Nonetheless, I am satisfied with the way my zine turned out:)


wakehero w cape copymyth2 wakeshark2


This project was a highly experimental phase for me. I wanted to try my hand at various styles to see which would be best suited to my tastes. While this resulted in a very uncoordinated overall effect of the entire composition, I felt that I learnt a lot through this experience, and would like to thank everyone for their valued constructive feedback, both compliments and criticisms.

In this project, my chosen perspective was that of The Internet, and by implication, all things with online requirements. I had to be careful not to confuse what was simply technological/digital/computerised with the actual connectivity that the internet provides. (E.g; Microsoft word has, in this case, nothing to do with the internet.)


Here are some initial sketches for conceptualisation:

IMG_2001 IMG_2008IMG_1996IMG_1997



Drawing out the final works…

While each piece possessed very contrasting art directions, I attempted to create some similarities among them to portray the fact that they are all part of one project.


These are some thematic adherences I considered in the completion of these compositions:


First off, I personified the internet as a woman always donning an @ hair bun, as seen in the character design stage sketches. For convenience, I will call her Internet Girl in this post.


Said internet chick is always surrounded by a rainbow background or wearing rainbow-coloured outfits. I chose this multicolour feature as I felt it was the most relatable to the internet, which had anything and everything in it, and possessed such a myriad of content, accessibility and utilisation.


Somewhat similar to how a school teacher would encircle things with a red pen, I engaged the use of a large single circle/sphere in each piece, to subtly centralise the focus on the personified internet figure. This was enhanced by keeping the background to minimum detail, if any at all.

Furthermore, circles represent connectivity, which is a huge, if not the main role of the internet.


While initially I had wanted to portray 2 sides of the internet (good and evil) via the colours red and blue, the digital drawings in each piece became much less defined, as these colours are very strong hues. I therefore decided to literally tone it down by using only whites and earth colours for the backgrounds.


  1. The Internet to a BLIND DATE is REVELATIONS.


Concept: To depict a cupid attempt gone wrong via a dating app called ‘Tinder’, in a church-like gothic style fragmented glass painting.

This idea came about when a friend of mine (no, this isn’t a personal story which I try to mask using ‘a friend of mine’, i promise) was really into a girl whom he met online, but who he eventually met in person turned out a lot er, larger than life, if you get my drift. I’m not sure if there were any regrets, but it definitely was not a match he had been expecting.

Anyway, I wanted to capture the shock of experiencing such a revelation, so I chose to present this in the form of a man impersonating a woman to exaggerate things a little bit.

The angel (cupid) has a halo which I cut out from the Internet Explorer logo, as well as a flame burning above her head, an exact replica of the Tinder app.

Reflections: I felt my illustrations could do with a little improvement, as well as the sensitivity to lighting directions. Overall, the most important takeaway for me in this piece was that it was a little too cluttered, with so many things going on in a single A5 piece. This piece taught me to be more aware of the dimensions I was working with.



wikipedia the forbidden fruit FINAL

Concept: To convey the shared opinion that undergrads have when working on research essays, executed in a satirical manner.

This is my most preferred composition of this project. From this, I decided that should I have chosen to stick to one style of execution for this project, it would be this one.

Stencil art is usually used by graffiti artists with strong opinions, and their works on various walls usually convey satirical messages of varying degrees. One of my references for this piece is the famed artist Banksy.

I chose to depict the wikipedia logo as a ‘forbidden fruit’ that students all want to use but are not allowed to, delicious as it may look, aggravated further by Internet Girl offering a piece to you.

This piece was executed in the same way as one of last semester’s project (see Project on Nursery Rhymes), by manipulating adjustment levels in Photoshop. I also changed the brush mode to ‘Dissolve’ to give the spray paint effect, and used the smudge tool a little for the dripping paint streaks. Finally, I placed a wall layer above the art and changed the blend mode to ‘Multiply’ to make the graffiti look more realistic.

Reflections: I learned how to create stencil-like art digitally from attempting this piece. I found that I was rather interested in this style of artwork as well.



INSTANT GRATIFICATIONConcept: Creating a simple, straightforward image that coincides with the idea of porn without depicting outright pornographic material.

When I first thought about how to go about working on this piece, I thought of the famous incognito mode that many male teens were all too familiar with, especially if they did not own their own computers/laptops.

I chose to manipulate Google Chrome’s ‘incognito mode’ logo as it was a rather accurate and unpretentious representation of the potential uses of incognito mode. By this I mean a suspicious looking character get-up, with a classic private investigator/swindler appearance.

Illustration-wise, I decided to depict Internet Girl as a retro pin-up girl, as they tend to be associated with the idea of beauty and sultriness.

As pointed out to me during the presentation, I unknowingly connected the image to the Japanese flag, which provided a convenient relation to the huge Japanese porn industry. The main reason i chose red for the background circle was because red represents passion, desire, heat, longing, lust, sexuality, sensitivity, romance and action. Red also provides a good contrast to the black and white incognito logo.

Reflections: Pin-up girls take a very long time to draw and render (at least for myself). Point to remember when completing tasks with a limited timeframe.  Also, it is worth being more sensitive to what connotations your final art can hold, as in the case of the Japanese flag reference, accidents might not always be to your advantage in conveying your intentions.


Concept: Following the style and orientation of ‘someecards’, which are witty and lighthearted.


An example of satirical but not-so-serious someecards.

I wanted to manifest the template of the popular online e cards, ‘someecards’, as they were mostly clean and amusing. They are rather similar to the style and effect of stencil ‘graffiti’ art. While also offering alot of opinion, these cards tend to be less serious and weighted, and sometimes more amusing in a lighthearted manner. They also address easier and less political issues.

WebMD is (arguably) one of the most comprehensive and visited health/medical sites on the internet, so i made Internet Girl be a spokesperson for the well-known organisation. Google Chrome is (also arguably) one of the most popular web browsers around, and it helped that its simple, circular logo fit well into a stethoscope.

Reflections: With so much text going on in this piece, it was worth noting that the typographic technique of kerning and tracking should have been executed more here, to allow reading of the text to be more breathable and inviting to the eye.


5. The Internet to TREES is A CHANCE FOR SURVIVAL.

Concept: To portray Internet Girl as a joyful, natural and innocent looking person where the branches that pass beyond her bear fruit.

I attempted to use analogous colours for the background to display a sense of calm and serenity, so i gave the water a greenish tinge to compliment the yellow sun-washed sky. I also made the colour saturation of the background seem to emanate from Internet Girl to make her look slightly divine. By giving her simple clothing and a hawaiian-themed skirt, I had the intention of giving her a more environmentally friendly appearance.

The ‘fruits’ that the tree grows beyond Internet Girl are all paper-saving software, which provide direct alternatives to paper and can all be disseminated online to prevent mass-printing.

Reflections: To make the composition look more natural, and aesthetically cohesive, the software logos could be hand-drawn instead of using the real deal.


Concept: Using 50/60s advertising templates to advocate the good in the new ERP system.

A public outcry among Singaporean netizens emerged when the government introduced the new Global Navigation Satellite System to operate the already frowned-upon ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) gantries. However, from a governmental standpoint, it was a more accurate form of pricing and thus was perceived by them as something positive.

The 50’60s advert posters didn’t always carry accurate statements, and were always so one-sided that they became pretty questionable. Faces were never unhappy and products were always perfect.




Emma Watson would not have had survived in that era.

I blended in an old paper texture to emulate the 50s advert printouts, while also trying to maintain the style of said advertisements. I also tried to form the quotes in an extremely sarcastic manner.

Reflections: Replicating the 50s style of advertising art proved much more difficult than I had imagined. This is one such case where the idea formulated much better than the execution. The old paper also made the composition messier. Probably one thing i thought I did right was the choice of adding in red and yellow as the main colours of this piece, as it helped to give a more vintage look.




HYPOCHONDRIAC HYPOCHONDRIACosschance for trees 2 chance for trees trees 2nd Trees a chance for survivalinternet datingERPwikipedia the forbidden fruit oss1 copy wikipedia the forbidden fruit 2 wikipedia the forbidden fruit

TASK: To create 3 different name cards, interpreted through

  1. Typography
  2. Abstract Solution
  3. Conceptual



For this name card, I wanted to express the idea that just like everyone else, there are many sides to myself. Some people see a certain side of me that others would hardly come across; I would behave differently in front of my friends as I would with my acquaintances, or my parents. This results in different individuals having a different impression of me, even though I am really an amalgamation of every ‘prominent’ side.


Initial sketches:

FullSizeRender 7FullSizeRender 4FullSizeRender



Final Piece:

FullSizeRender 3



In the end, I decided on typing out a series of my name, such that it could be read horizontally and vertically. The names are in varying opacities, with the exception of one being fully black. This is to signify the one side that an individual would find the most prominent about me. The reddish background is to create a monochromatic colour scheme with the given name card template, to make things easier to the eye.




I immediately thought of signatures being a great way to showcase one’s name in an abstract manner. Signatures, more often than not, spell out a name in a very unique manner that sometimes becomes illegible.Yet, signatures are a bit like a fingerprint. They define us on paper. They are akin to a code of honour. We use them in legal documents, in cheques and contracts, in courts and in marriages. To an artist (such like myself and many others in ADM and beyond), a signature is usually marked into an artwork to lay claim to the finished piece.

FullSizeRender 2

For myself, I tend to sign my name at the bottom right of whatever finished piece I have. I believe that a person’s art defines him, and so does his upbringing. Thus, I chose to have my parents try to sign my signature on the same card, to bring forth the message that my parents, while not directly having created my signature, have created me who in turn created my very own unique mark. This placement of father and mother above child seems to carry some form of poetry in it as well.




The reason I decided to become an animator is because I wanted to create stories, very much like Pixar animations, but what got me hooked on these cartoons in the first place were the classics: Mickey Mouse, Popeye, and Dexter’s Laboratory, to name a few. Of course as I grew older I met entertainment in the form of South Park and The Simpsons. Many people grow up and stop loving cartoons, but I found myself loving every single bit of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and new-age animated films like Despicable Me and Up.

In this conceptual piece, I wanted to show how cartoons from every age come to define me. I loved Tom and Jerry even before I was 1 (according to my mother), and I continue to love these impossible and fantastic beings.

Initial Sketches:

FullSizeRender 5

FullSizeRender 6


Final Piece:IMG_1487




This project is an aim to understand the consciousness of our own identity (hence the title “EGO”) through simple mathematical equations, which were:

__________ + __________ = ME

__________ – __________ = A BETTER ME

__________ x __________ = AN IDEAL ME

__________ +/- __________ = ME IN 5 YEARS

In this project, my main focus was on colour; to create aesthetic value via colour harmonies, and more importantly, using the right colours to convey the intended characteristic or mood.

__________ + __________ = ME




In this photographic image, my objective was to show a more serious side of myself. Many of us experience inexplicable bouts of melancholy and disheartenment, and I feel that these moments, as much as I dislike them, are what gives me the time and mood to think deeper and to reflect on myself. I often end up pondering on the raison d’etre of my very being, and this is not a side that I usually show others because it is hardly called for.

For this photograph, I chose to keep it black and white. Many pictures with serious notes tend to be monochromatic in nature, and with good reason. Humans see the world in colour, and a rendition of the world in monochrome makes us pause and look closely. Removing colour from a picture helps viewers to focus on the emotional state of the photograph, as black and white portraiture lets the audience see faces and read eyes without distraction. The colour black also encourages us to look at the negative side of life, which is the essence of this picture that I am attempting to convey.


RESIZE slothlike

While some people see this as being very ‘zen’, my parents perceive it as me being sluggish and unproductive. Either way, I portrayed a sloth to define my slow and unhurried nature.

I did not want to use any bold or striking colours in this digital painting, nor did I want too fancy a background. From my past research, analogous colours should be used to create a serene and comfortable design. Simplicity and Peacefulness were my targets for this composition, which led me to use colours which are in said harmony.


sad sloth

This was an attempt of a humorous combination of the previous 2 pictures. The pose of this sloth is almost identical to the pose of myself in the first picture.

In this case, the monochromatic colour is used firstly to bear heavy semblance to the first picture, and secondly to create a stark contrast between ‘comical’ and ‘sombre’, especially when viewing the equation as a whole piece.

__________ – __________ = A BETTER ME




During the idle time I had before the semester began, I experimented with landscape digital painting and I decided to have a go at it for this project. I wanted to represent hope in this painting, very much like my ambition to one day be able to create compelling stories through animated films for both young and old. For this composition, I drew a lone figure ready to scale a mountain to convey ambition.

I used primarily warm colours here to evoke energy, optimism and confidence. I was worried that the lack of colour contrast would cause this image to appear dull, so I played with a wide range of tonal value to avoid too much subtlety.


absent minded

This digital painting is left deliberately dark all over, very much like a failing effort to remember something. Casting a black vignette around the image is an attempt to show that the hiking bag has been forgotten on the seats.

Despite the overall dull piece, I decided to choose colours for the bag to have it still stand out despite having similar tonal values to the rest of the image. I therefore used an RGB triadic harmony for the bag.

An Earlier attempt which did not work out too well:

left bag copy
Looks kind of like a cheap flash game


RESIZE a better me

This is one of my favourite pieces which turned out well for me. The subject in question (who remembered his equipment bag this time) is now perched at the top of the mountain, a signifier of success. This is complimented by warm sun-rays greeting him, seemingly congratulating his achievement.

Again, varying tonal range is used conscientiously to create a more impactful digital painting. Here I used both warm and cool colours to create an aesthetically pleasing contrast.

__________ x __________ = AN IDEAL ME




What better way to convey a talkative character than with multiple open mouths? In this piece, I drew inspiration from pop art, which usually use bright, contrasting colours to create a pop-out effect. For this piece, I drew a single mouth with a Wacom tablet and duplicated it 4 times (hooray photoshop) before filling each quarter with solid colours.

While the whole composition is in tetradic harmony, within each quarter, split complementary colours were used. This is to evoke a whimsical and lighthearted disposition; i.e; loud and ‘outspoken’ colours with hardly any depth. All the colours are fighting for attention since they are all a variation of direct harmony. The result is colourful and cheerful, yet messy at the same time.

(Note: For some reason the colour appears a little off when uploaded on this site. E.g; the top left quarter background colour is supposed to have a much more discernible purple tint to it. Here it looks almost bluish.)


RESIZE speaking with depth

Rather than creating a literal image, I drew abstract lines to express the idea of depth. This reminded me of our First 2D project (a line is a dot that went for a walk) for obvious reasons.

Using Gold lines against a black background gave the lines a 3D effect. I also added subtle blue-purple shadow lines (direct harmony of gold, which is yellow-orange) beneath the gold lines to further accentuate the depth of the gold lines.


RESIZE speaking with depth copy

This piece was rather fun to experiment with. Drawing ideas from greeting cards I came across, I attempted to make a ‘3D’ paper card mouth of my own.

I interpreted the multiplication of the previous 2 images as speaking with depth, so I set the “Depth” image as a background and attached the 3D mouth on it. The mouth carries literal depth of its own as a result of being folded at calculated edges.

To me, speaking with depth means that sometimes it is better to imply than to state the obvious. The result is an implied mouth that carries the right colours for a mouth, but does not entirely look like one either. For example, teeth are not drawn on the white strips, but the placement of the strips alone would imply that they represent teeth.

Earlier experimentations and process shots:

  IMG_0982 IMG_0980


__________ +/- __________ = ME IN 5 YEARS



RESIZE work hard

I painted a cartoon image of myself attempting to create a life-sized replica of a stone henge, on a hot day, with a wooden mallet. This is my portrayal of working hard (not smart). The colours are highly saturated with the intention to show that it is a hot and sunny day.

In this composition, I made use of split complementary colour harmony; Blue and green, with a hint of red to stand out. A red shirt is used also to express the uncomfortable heat that this cartoon self is feeling under the sun.


Image (1)

Scanning a pen-drawn image to edit digitally.


work smart

In this drawing I tried to visualise the conditions that Thomas Edison tirelessly worked under in finding the right material for a light bulb filament. Instead of inventing the light bulb (which has already been invented as depicted), this cartoon self is working on inventing a robot drone.Image (2) (1)                      Another pen drawn scan.

Tonal value is played with here to create depth via emitted light and cast shadows. Blueprints are masking taped to a yellow wall to create direct harmony, and the central subject is wearing red to be at the centre of attention.


RESIZE success

The cartoon self here is only shown in a silhouette, gazing out at the drones carving out an endless line of easter heads complete with full bodies. This is to illustrate success from combining the two ideas of working hard and working smart. In 5 years I will most probably have graduated from ADM and I hope that by then I will have found a career doing what I like to do, which is helping to create impactful stories, and hopefully go on to create stories of my own eventually.

Image (3) (1)

                      More scanning.

In this piece, I select colours to subliminally convey emotional values and characteristics. A large portion of this composition are painted with cool colours; Blue represents idealism and order, authority and contemplation. Green evokes growth and rejuvenation. A black silhouette is used here to embody deep strength and sophistication, as well as power and control. The drones are kept white while emitting transient blue light trails to accentuate futurism.

Some initial sketches:


Rendered calculator buttons to attach to the mounting board:

math symbols

Presenting “EGO” 🙂


There are many theories about dreams, with some experts claiming that dreams sometimes foretell or mean something that the brain subconsciously knows, or is trying to figure out. For example, dreaming about being chased comes not from the fear of actually being chased, but rather something in life we are running from. In other words, dreams are messages from the subconscious mind. I then considered something that could be affecting me, and I went with the fact that I was staying in a new environment (NTU hostel living) with an old friend and consequentially I realized there were sides of him I didn’t know prior to living with him.

The images show said friend beckoning me to follow him. Upon entering a different dimension (just like Alice following the rabbit into a hole), we spot a wild tiger whose body becomes a humanoid form. My friend runs off without waiting for me, and I get caught and imprisoned. I manage to escape and suddenly I’m chasing after my friend, only to realize that he is the tiger and he means no harm. He then guides me back into our room.

This is representational of how there are aspects of my friend I learn about, and of which I am shocked to find out, but in the end may not be something negative after all. The locations of the images are deliberately incoherent, very much like how dreams never always completely make sense and leaves the dreamer pondering. This is synced with a bizarre song choice to aid a viewer in feeling the mystery and anxiety intended.

I shot the images with a canon G10, and edited the photographs on Adobe Photoshop. Using online stock images, I edited and fitted them into the photographs.



What is photographic sequence?

Photographic sequence is the use of two or more photographs seen one after another to illustrate something, and can usually carry the intention of the photographer to a larger degree. Legendary photographer Elliott Erwitt realised that “sometimes a story is better told by more pictures rather than one”. In his photographic sequence works, photos are taken just moments apart with a sequence telling a story that is surprising, moving or simply funny.

This might be confused with Sequence photography, which is a technique of shooting a series of images in where the subject is captured in successive motion. Sequence photography is a way of conveying motion in a static image. A merged photo sequence can radically show a different perspective much more than what can be captured in a single image.

Visual Rhythm:

Rhythm, a critical component of music, dance, and poetry, is also a quality of great significance in the visual arts. Rhythm may affect the quality of the viewing experience for your audience and help to draw and keep the eye within the frame. Pattern can be thought of a subset of rhythm in that patterns always have rhythm, but rhythms don’t always have pattern. A general rhythm throughout the frame can also be used to establish an overall atmosphere or mood — the regularity of the rhythm may envelop the viewer in feelings of peace or serenity. The key is that while the rhythm can lull and guide the viewer on a journey through the frame, you usually want to offer something in the way of a visual destination, a focal point, or something that otherwise grounds the rest of the scene. Deliberately interrupting a predictable, soothing rhythm is a compelling way to introduce your subject to the audience.


Composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. The position of the viewer can strongly influence the aesthetics of an image, even if the subject is entirely imaginary and viewed “within the mind’s eye”. Not only does it influence the elements within the picture, but it also influences the viewer’s interpretation of the subject.

For example, if a boy is photographed from above, perhaps from the eye level of an adult, he is diminished in stature. A photograph taken at the child’s level would treat him as an equal, and one taken from below could result in an impression of dominance. Therefore, the photographer is choosing the viewer’s positioning.

Taken from:



1. Dreams Often Feature Intense Emotions

2. Dreams Are Frequently Disorganized and Illogical

3. Strange Dream Content Is Accepted Without Question

4. People Often Experience Bizarre Sensations

5. Dreams Are Difficult to Remember

Taken from:


Down-the-Rabbit-Hole    Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.44.08 pmrooster human
Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.41.20 pmScreen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.42.02 pmScreen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.45.57 pm
 Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.42.33 pm

Cages in dreams are metaphors for feeling trapped. 1. If you are in a cage, that’s just how you feel in your waking life—locked into a relationship, a job, or a situation. 2. If you see someone else in a cage, you have inadvertently put someone in a difficult situation, or you are aware of a difficult situation that you might be able to do something about. 3. An animal in a cage represents something you’ve tamed—an instinct, an impulse, a bad habit. 4.An empty cage represents your recent freedom.

Cats symbolize independence and a mysterious, hidden side. In dreams, cats represent secrets and autonomy.

Before starting with the camera, I drew out very rough storyboards to have a good idea of what I want to shoot, like so:



This was a slightly challenging project for me, as it was the first time I was using Photoshop to edit my photographs. I was also new to using a camera professionally. That being said, I felt that it was extremely good exercise to know where I stand and the many new technicalities of photoshopping and photography which I learnt because of this project, of which I am confident will be beneficial to me in upcoming projects and in the future.

Colour is British, Color is American, but their meaning is universal.

Colour is important because it adds meaning to a design.

Colour carries emotional resonance with it- in that, when we see a colour, we have an emotional response towards that colour. Blue can be sad, calm, and confident while yellow is happy, light, and cautionary. We naturally associate colours with emotions because it is hard to put words to what we are feeling.

Colours connect to our feelings in a unique and memorable way, which make them a powerful marketing tool. Colour is helpful in communicating your message because it draws attention, sets the tone of the message, and guides the eye where it needs to go. It presents a sense of direction and recognition that people can identify and relate to.

Colour is a form of non verbal communication. It is not a static energy and its meaning can change from one day to the next with any individual – it all depends on what energy they are expressing at that point in time.

inside out colour chart



Positive keywords include: action, energy and speed, attention-getting, assertive and confident, energizing, stimulating, exciting, powerful, passionate, stimulating and driven, courageous and strong, spontaneous and determined.

Negative keywords include: aggressive and domineering, over-bearing, tiring, angry and quick-tempered, ruthless, fearful and intolerant, rebellious and obstinate, resentful, violent and brutal.

Effects of Red:

Stimulating: to the physical senses- the sexual and physical appetite. It stimulates the deeper passions within us, such as sex, love, courage, hatred or revenge. If you have a flagging sex life and would like to introduce more passion into it, introduce some red into the bedroom – the more red, the more passion, but don’t overdo it or it will have the opposite effect.

Exciting and Motivating: it excites our emotions and inspires us to take action.

Attention-getting: it demands you to take notice, alerting you to danger. This is why we have red traffic lights and stop signs – it is the universal colour for danger.

Assertive and Aggressive: drivers of red cars should take note! A small survey I did a few years ago showed that drivers of red cars, including females, said they felt quite aggressive behind the wheel of their red car.



Positive keywords include: growth and vitality, renewal and restoration, self-reliance, reliability and dependability, being tactful, emotionally balanced and calm, nature lover and family oriented, practical and down to earth, sympathetic, compassionate and nurturing, generous, kind and loyal with a high moral sense, adaptable, encourages ‘social joining’ of clubs and other groups, a need to belong.

Negative keywords include: being possessive and materialistic, indifferent and over-cautious, envious, selfish, greedy and miserly, devious with money, inconsiderate, inexperienced, a hypochondriac and a do-gooder.

Effects of Green:

Rejuvenating: The colour green revitalizes us when we are physically, mentally or emotionally exhausted.

Nurturing: Because of its link with the heart, green urges us to nurture others. Green is also nurturing to us – another reason why it is the most predominant colour on earth.

Dependable, agreeable and diplomatic: The colour green helps us to see situations clearly from all sides.

Possessiveness: Green is a colour that encourages us to want to own things and people, to collect and possess. Green encourages materialism.

Envy: Green with envy’ is a common phrase and a negative reaction to the colour green.



Positive keywords include: loyalty, trust and integrity, tactful, reliability and responsibility, conservatism and perseverance, caring and concern, idealistic and orderly, authority, devotion and contemplation, peaceful and calm.

Negative keywords include: being rigid, deceitful and spiteful, depressed and sad, too passive, self-righteous, superstitious and emotionally unstable, too conservative and old-fashioned, predictable and weak, unforgiving, aloof and frigid. It can also indicate manipulation, unfaithfulness and being untrustworthy.

Effects of Blue

Conservative: The colour blue is a safe colour – the most universally liked colour of all.

Predictable: Blue is not impulsive or spontaneous and it doesn’t like to be rushed – blue needs to analyse and think things through, and to work to a plan.

Orderly: Blue needs to have direction & order- untidiness and unpredictability overwhelms it.

Rigid: Blue likes familiarity. It doesn’t like change and will stubbornly do things its own way, even if there is a better way.





Positive keywords include: optimism, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, fun, good-humored, confidence, originality, creativity, challenging, academic and analytical, wisdom and logic.

Negative keywords include: being critical and judgmental, being overly analytical, being impatient and impulsive, being egotistical, pessimistic, an inferiority complex, spiteful, cowardly, deceitful, non-emotional and lacking compassion.

Effects of Yellow:

Creative: The color of new ideas, yellow helps us find new ways of doing things.

Quick decisions: Yellow helps with clear thinking and quick decision-making but it can also be impulsive.

Anxiety producing: Yellow is fast moving so too much time in its presence can agitate and lead to nervousness and emotional instability.

Critical: Yellow makes people more mentally analytical and self critical of both themselves and others.

Non-emotional: Yellow relates to the head not the heart.



Positive keywords include: universal harmony and love, emotional balance, helps our spirit soar, spiritual yet practical, encourages common sense, loving, compassionate, supportive and kind, imaginative, innovative, creative and artistic, non-conformist, negotiator.

Negative keywords include: impulsive, domineering, impatient, intolerant, avoids challenges, too relaxing, feeling disconnected to others, can be bossy and demanding.

Effects of Magenta:

Emotional Balance: spiritual yet practical, it helps to create emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

Compassion: gentle and caring in its approach, it generates acceptance, tolerance, support and patience.

Inspiration: inspires cheerfulness and optimism, creativity and innovation, dream activity, positive change and negotiating skills.




Positive keywords include communication, clarity of thought, balance and harmony, idealism, calmness, creativity, compassion, healing and self-sufficiency.

Negative keywords include boastfulness, secrecy, unreliability and reticence, fence-sitting, aloofness, deception and off-handedness.

Effects of Cyan:

Clarity of Thought: It enhances the ability to focus and concentrate, assisting with clear thinking and decision-making, and the development of good organizational skills.

Calming: It is calming yet invigorating, restoring depleted energies.

Non-emotional: A negative effect of turquoise is that it can cause people to be too aloof and to hide their emotional reactions.





Positive keywords include: sociable, optimistic, enthusiastic, cheerful, self-confident, independent, flamboyant, extroverted and uninhibited, adventurous, the risk-taker, creative flair, warm-hearted, agreeable and informal.

Negative keywords include: superficial and insincere, dependent, over-bearing, self-indulgent, the exhibitionist, pessimistic, inexpensive, unsociable, and overly proud.

Effects of Orange

Enthusiasm: Orange is optimistic and extroverted – the color of the uninhibited.

Rejuvenation: Orange helps to restore balance to our physical energies.

Stimulation: Orange is not as passionate or as excitable as red, but it is stimulating, particularly to the appetite – the worst color to have in the kitchen if you want to lose weight.

Courage: Orange helps us to take account of our lives, to face the consequences, to take action and make appropriate changes, and then to move onward and upward.

Vitality: Orange has a more balanced energy than red, not as passionate and aggressive, but full of vitality.



Positive keywords include: unusual and individual, creative and inventive, psychic and intuitive, humanitarian, selfless and unlimited, mystery, fantasy and the future.

Negative keywords include:immaturity, being impractical, cynical and aloof, pompous and arrogant, fraudulent and corrupt, delusions of grandeur and the social climber.

Effects of Purple/Violet:

Empathy: Compassion, kindness and a love of humanity are positive qualities of Violet.

Controlled emotion: Violet is passionate, like red, but inclined to display it in private only.

Respectable & distinguished: The darker shades of violet particularly are linked to the origins of purple where it was only available to royalty and the wealthy.

Impractical: Violet can be impractical, with its head in the clouds rather than having its feet on the ground. It tends to see life as it imagines it, rather than how it is.

Immature: Violet can be immature, encouraging fantasy and an idealism that is often difficult to achieve in real life.

Dignity: Violet exudes a quiet modest form of dignity which is often appealing to others.

Cynical: This is a negative side of violet.



Positive keywords include integrity and sincerity, structure and regulations, highly responsible, idealism, obedience, highly intuitive, practical visionary, faithful, devotion to the truth and selflessness.

Negative keywords include being fanatical, judgmental, impractical, intolerant and inconsiderate, depressed, fearful, self-righteous, a conformist, addictive, bigoted and avoiding conflict.

Effects of The Color Indigo:

Introspection: promotes deep concentration during times of introspection and meditation – can lead to feelings of being spaced out.

Idealistic: an ability to plan for the future.

Addiction: can support an addictive personality into maintaining their addictions – don’t use it if you are trying to overcome an addiction – it is associated with the religious fanatic – the colour of the workaholic who thinks they are indispensable – can also be related to those who are addicted to getting qualifications.

The Dramatist: relates to the acting profession – can cause people to ‘make a mountain out of a molehill’.

Conformity: a love of ritual – conformity to the things that have worked in the past, not just for the sake of conforming.




Positive keywords include: unconditional and romantic love, compassion and understanding, nurturing, romance, warmth, hope, calming, sweetness, naiveté, feminine and intuitive energy.

Negative keywords include: being physically weak, over-emotional and over-cautious, having emotional neediness or unrealistic expectations, being naive, immature and girlish, lack of will power and lack of self worth.

Effects of the Color Pink:

Calming: Pink calms our emotional energies.

Non-threatening: Pink lacks any aggression or anger, although the deeper pinks can be more assertive and confident.

Affectionate: Pink offers warmth and tenderness to friends and family.

Caring: Sensitivity and tender loving care relate to pink’s feminine and intuitive energies.

Immature: Pink is the color of the sweet young girl, before life’s experiences take over.



Positive keywords include: down-to-earth, wholesome, practical, approachable, friendly, stable, structured, supportive, comforting, reliable, protective, strength, quietly confident, sensual, sensitive, warm, reassured, honest, sincere, quality.

Negative keywords include: dull, boring, frugal, materialistic, lack of humour, lack of sophistication, predictable, cheap and stingy.

Effects of Brown:

Comforting: Sensual and warm, friendly and approachable, brown engulfs one in a feeling of calm and safety

Protective: creates a safe haven of support for family and friends

Materialistic: it encourages material security and the accumulation of possessions




Positive keywords include: reliable, conservative, dignified, neutral, impartial, professional, mature, intelligent, classic, solid, stable, calming, subdued, reserved, elegant, formal and dependable.

Negative keywords include:indecisive, non-emotional, indifferent, boring, sad, depressed, lifeless, lonely, isolated

Effects of Grey:

Indecision: Grey prefers to sit in the middle, not making a decision either way, sitting on the fence.

Detached: being non-emotional, grey can appear indifferent, uncaring, cold and aloof.

Depression: grey can stifle and depress energy but it is also the stable base from which the new and positive can come.

Unemotional: grey can appear neutral, disinterested, objective or impartial.



Positive keywords include: illumination, reflection, feminine power, balancing, calming, soothing, dignity, glamour, self control, responsibility, organization, insight, wisdom, modern, sleek, hi-tech and scientific.

Negative keywords include:dull, melancholy, lonely, lifeless and colorless, rigid, negative, neutral, indecisive, insincere, deceptive.

Effects of Silver:

Calming and soothing: its gentle and comforting qualities relate to the sensitivity of the moon’s cycle of ebb and flow.

Lifeless: the colourless energy of silver can lead to negative feelings of coldness, indecision and being non-committal.

Dignified and responsible: silver is respectable and courteous, mature and determined, wise and organised.



Positive keywords include: Success, abundance, wealth, understanding, self-worth, wisdom, compassion, love, passion, charisma, winning, optimistic, positive, and masculine.

Negative keywords: Fear of success, fear of wealth, self-centred, demanding, mean spirited, lack of trust, falseness.

Effects of Gold:

Enlightenment: gold, at its highest level, inspires knowledge, spirituality and a deep understanding of the self and the soul.

Compassion: caring, loving, generous and giving, gold is the benefactor or patron.

Generosity: gold loves to share its wisdom, knowledge and wealth with others.


WHITE (hahaha)

Positive keywords include: innocence, purity, cleanliness, equality, complete and whole, simplicity, immaculate and neat, self-sufficient, pristine and open, new beginnings.

Negative keywords include: sterile, stark, fastidious, empty, isolated, cautious, plain, distant, unimaginative, critical and boring.



Effects of White:

Impartial: White suggests fairness and neutrality because of the balance and equality of all the colors contained within it.

Rescuer: White rescues us from the dark. It is the white knight, rescuing the damsel in distress.

Futuristic: Symbolizing a clean slate, we can envisage anything with white.

Efficient: White is clean and clinical, giving an impression of efficiency and organization.




Positive keywords include protection and comfort, strong, contained, formal, sophisticated, seductive, mysterious, endings & beginnings.

Negative keywords include aloof, depressing and pessimistic, secretive and withholding, conservative and serious, power & control, sadness and negativity.

Effects of Black:

Formal, dignified and sophisticated: As in the little black dress and the formal dinner suit.

Aloof: Black sets itself aside from others with its heavy and intense energy. It keeps others at arm’s length.

Depressing: Black can close us to the positive aspects of life, forcing us to look at our disappointments and the black or negative aspects of our life. It can create a fear of the future.

Pessimistic: Too much black encourages us to look at the negative side of life.




Colour is a complex subject with many strands and it has the power to subliminally convey values and stories.

By stopping to consider what each colour represents and is linked to in the ‘real world’ we can make informed design decisions that ensure we appeal to our target audience.
















For this project, we were tasked to create designs with our personal interpretations on Nursery Rhymes, namely: Hey Diddle Diddle, Humpty Dumpty & The Old Woman who lived in a Shoe. This project was introduced to us after we did our research on the Elements and Principles of Design to give us an opportunity to apply what we have learnt.

I chose to go with Hey Diddle Diddle, primarily because I was in a group tasked to create image compositions for Hey Diddle Diddle. While creating the compositions, I developed some ideas for the Rhyme and chose to go along with them. The rhyme goes as follows:


Hey Diddle Diddle

Hey diddle diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon.

The little dog laughed to see such sport,

And the Dish ran away with the spoon.


Editing Stock Images

For the first part of our research, we were taught how to use Photoshop to edit stock images, firstly to convert them into halftone images, and then to recreate them to become more visually unique compositions. Here are some experimentations:

IMG_0360IMG_0361rsz_img_0363      IMG_0365IMG_0366

IMG_0367 IMG_0369      rsz_img_0371rsz_1img_0377

rsz_img_0381rsz_img_0383      rsz_img_0386rsz_img_0387



Playing around for compositional ideas

This is the part where it gets fun. Applying what I have understood on the Principles of Design, I began on creating a compositional image for each verse of “Hey Diddle Diddle”.


Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle

Referencing from a dictionary, the word ‘ Diddle’ can be a verb – to swindle or hoax. The mood of my composition is therefore interpreted as such; with themes of untrustworthiness and illusion.

This composition is a combination of various images related to the whole rhyme (eg; whiskers are cows’ skulls, the face of the cat is a dish, it’s mouth is a moon, and it’s eyes are dog paw prints.) It can be seen as the cat actually being tucked away within every part of the rhyme, just like any preying swindler would naturally be behind the scenes of his target/s.

I tried to create a background themed to the stanza “the Cat and the Fiddle”, so I constructed a background wallpaper with negative hello kitty images and the Er Hu (a Chinese variant for a fiddle). However, the use of repetition did not work well for this composition, and the Hello Kitty images served little purpose except to distract the viewer from the main cat image. The only redeeming factor was the black ‘X’ that allows the eyes to be guided back to the main cat face.


        The use of Hello Kitties is questionable.



I therefore chose to keep the main cat face image as it carried the sinister feel that I intended, but scrapped the background. Multiple cat images are counteractive.


rsz_the_cat_and_the_fiddle                     Final Composition
         Avoid prolonged eye contact  @.@


The above image is my final composition for the first stanza of the rhyme. This background, in my opinion, reflected my newly acquired knowledge of applying the Principles of Design much more than the previous version. By placing concentric circles centred on the cat face, as well as adding more straight negative lines merging towards the centre of the image, it becomes easier for a viewer to see the emphasis on the cat face. As an added bonus, there is a heavier sinister impact. The various types of fiddles are placed along the circumference of the concentric circles, very much like a clock. This is reminiscent of how hypnotists employ the use of watches to hypnotise their subjects.

This was a deliberate attempt to ignore the rule of thirds by placing the primary subject in the centre of the composition, to allow everything else to revolve around and be directed towards it.




The Cow Jumped Over the Moon

My first interpretation of this stanza was that of a literal translation. I tried to replicate the zodiac of Taurus, jumping through the night sky and out of the sky via the cow patches. While this was an interesting perspective, the composition seemed extremely detached, and didn’t flow well despite attempting to incorporate certain design principles (i.e; repetition, movement). The use of movement in the moons drew attention away from the cow, which already had some difficulty being the dominant image due to it’s camouflage with the cow patches background. There was also a lack of balance and unity. I decided to discard this piece altogether.


cowpeh draft 0

   Unnecessary crescents streak across the sky.


My further research to create a new composition led me to themes of asian culture. The cow in this sense was conveyed with the Chinese character ‘niu’, which means cow in Mandarin. The yin yang symbol is also synonymous with the moon in some asian cultures. The use of repetition worked really well in this image. I attempted to make it seem like the characters were jumping out from behind the photoshopped ‘moon’ towards the viewer. The additional skewing of the characters gave the composition a greater depth and harmony as well. The Chinese characters were given a difference clouds effect to resonate with the fact that the moon is seen in the sky. However, it still seemed a bit plain.

Cowpeh draft 1

Moon’s central placement seems boring

The final piece was then created by displacing the dominant object (the yin yang moon) from the centre and adding the concentric hexagons. The hexagons were inspired by oriental pagodas and as a result, the theme for this composition is clear and harmonious. It also becomes very easy on the eyes.


                           Final Composition                                    Rule of Thirds: Much more visual appeal.


With only 3 types of images, the composition becomes far more sophisticated and that allowed me to appreciate the importance of the various principles of design. There is also an air of mysticism about this image that I like.




The Little Dog Laughed to see such Sport

For this interpretation, I revolved my idea around the literal meaning of Sport. The dog in this image is a assembly of various types of sporting equipment (The ears are tennis rackets, the torso is a rugby ball, the head is a baseball helmet, and the eye is a tennis ball, just to name a few.)  I then constructed a collage wallpaper from a multitude of sports-related logos before slightly skewing it to add depth and place as a background.


The Little dog draft 1


I found that there was a lack of movement (not that it was completely necessary) in this composition, so I added a curved track bearing semblance to a 400m olympic race track. The stars signified the dog’s laughter. This came about when my friend and I were amused with eating popping candy that crackled and popped upon contact with the tongue.  Besides, the stars used in such a manner would hardly be associated with any negative emotions, so it was a safe bet to relate it to ‘Laughed’.

The Little dog draft 2

                A rather messy composition.

This would have been my final composition if I didn’t have the niggling feeling that the high amount of detail in the sports logos background constantly drew some attention away from the primary subject (the dog). The whole frame seemed rather messy and a little difficult to follow. I therefore simplified the background.



             Final Composition: Much cleaner.


The final composition has a faded raceflag as the background. It was much less convoluted as opposed to the previous composition. A raceflag also bears heavy connotations to sports, especially in F1 and Grand Prix events. In fact, it can almost be seen as a visual synonym of ‘racing’. Because it is much more visually subtle as well, attention is not driven (pun unintended) away from the intended dominant dog construction. The dog and track are kept in the foreground easily also because dark objects appear to have more weight when placed with lighter images. The race track is kept because it adds movement to the composition.



And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

A common visualisation would be to display a personification of both dish and spoon running off together. I therefore decided to keep the dish and spoon simply as what they are: a dish and a spoon. However, I depicted the dish being used as a wheel for a unicycle.  I thought it was an interesting composition on its own. I really loved the sophistication of this image in all its simplicity. However, it did not address the stanza of having the dish RUN off with the spoon. It merely resembled a balancing act.

dish draft 0

Plus it looked like a minimal effort kind of work.


Adding diagonal movement lines of varying tonal value gave a better visual effect of hurrying off quickly.

dish draft 1

Now it looks like they are indeed speeding off .

I felt that it wasn’t enough still. I tried to displace it from the centre again and added more movement lines.

dish draft 2

Decentralised unicyclist is more visually                                           comfortable.

However, I still wanted to give it a much greater sense of movement to really capture the idea of the word ‘run’.



     Final Composition: The Flash on a unicycle

Adding the alternating wedges as a background gave the varied tonal lines a more pronounced 3 dimensional effect. The residual apparitions of the unicyclist also added emphasis on the speed of the unicyclist. Playing around with this composition really value-added my experience of working with compositing images for design.

Balance, unity, scale, dominance, movement, repetition and contrast. These methods in a designer’s arsenal can make or break a composition. When used correctly, the collective use of these methods can give an image far more visual depth and interest.