Ego in Different Settings: Research, Process, Final

So it finally begins, our last assignment for Foundation 2D!!

Here’s a quick summary of the project brief:


Apply your understanding of colours and colour theory to visually represent the multifaceted nature of your personality.

You may choose to do this digitally
or by hand (or mix-media)

After receiving the brief, I had mixed feelings, cos for the first time after 2 assignments, there wasn’t going to be any restrictions on medium and concept!? which also means anything is possible. And while the creative in me screams for joy, it also means a greater effort to focus my creativity on a particular area.

1.1- The Search for my Ego

I started my research by deciding first the personality trait I was gonna work on, and that included consulting my friends, some self-reflection, and noticing my reaction in social communities.

After much deliberation, I decided to explore my:

  • fear of heights
  •  tendency to make puns
  •  foodie
  • tech geek
  • tracker
  • inquisitive
  • dislike of crowds
  • safety consciousness
  • procrastination
  • love to collect toys

It’s a lot more than 4 settings, but I wanted to see and explore how I could use the 12 panels to convey these sides of my personality so this took alot more of time mixing and matching myself in settings to come up with the right mix of equations.

1.2- The Search for my Ego-style

No restrictions of mediums and style meant experimenting and trying different things!! So other than aesthetics, one of the main areas of research included varying styles and mediums!! (and colour too)

So above is a compilation of my design references that I relied on heavily in terms of style. As you can draw the similarities to my final pieces below.

Just a quick summary of the mediums explored above and I wanted to try:

  • Digital illustration (artist reference: Lee Xin Li)
  • Vector illustration (artist reference: Kim Nguyen, Alicia)
  • Paper cuts
  • Photo illustration
  • Photo-montage

There was value in each style but what caught my eye in the initial stages of the conceptualisation was Vector illustration and I wanted to use the same style for all 4 equations. But decided not to in the end. (read below)

And my main source of inspiration for colour scheme was from Wes Anderson’s films. I like how they are used so effectively as a form of fim setting and also tells the mood of the scenes and the overall film in general. He uses different iterations of the colour palette, creating a film palette that is consistent with the tone of his films as well.  Hence:

2- The Pro-less of Ego

This part of the assignment was the most painful and also the part where I spent the most time in (*insert sad emoji) but nonetheless, it was a good learning opportunity and apologies for the lack of photos (cos I didnt keep my bad designs and stuff) But anyway I hope these words will suffice, as I try to make it more structure but grouping my process.

2.1 – Conceptualising

As mentioned previously, with the research done, all that’s left was to put things together. To be honest, it went rather alright and everything just clicked when inspiration hit (though changes had to be made subsequently but more on that later)

The 4 rows that I have decided to work with are as follows:

Safe – Explores me being overly safe but after going through the army, my safety senses are being sharpened – inspired by the quote “You can’t spell safety without the SAF” (lol)

Medium: Digital Illustration

i-Eat – Explores me being a tech geek but having to choose between food and technology? I’d rather have them both. Also a reference to me making puns. (lol)

Medium: Paper cut, vector illustration

Heights – Explores my fear of heights and because I’m curious, I’d still try things that scare me (aka: Roller coasters)

Medium: Not decided

Toy Story – Explores my toy collection and tendency to procrastinate

Medium: Not decided

The concept of my idea was to try and merge different facets of myself from my research to fit not just 1 personality trait per equation but multiple.

However these were only the first draft and changes were made prior to the final due to various factors and reasons.

2.2 – Execution

I think this was where everything went south, but this was when I realised that I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to do, or rather the result was not good enough to what I was expecting..

It was a cruel process of feeling demoralised again and again after 3 plus hours spent on a single panel of photoshop only to be erased because it “wasn’t good enough”

But I guess we learn? Sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone means getting uncomfortable, but I guess it was also cos I was feeling stressed from the pressing timelines as well so I gave up a lil too easily :/ but oh well

*LEARNING POINT: It was also during this time when I start to notice how my mind reacts and work in stressful situations and how I tend to become flustered and give up easily. It helped me to learn what are my weaknesses and I learnt how I could better work around it through coming up with a different thinking and ideation process that suits me better. so yaye.

I shall just skip this part and head straight to the FINAL pieces!!

3- The Pursuit of Ego

So… as mentioned previously, the final 4 equations turned out quite different from what I initially had in mind in terms of medium and style. The main reason for this is as a result of experimenting and trying out the different softwares for the style during my execution only to end up frustrated. HENCE, I decided to go back to my initial design references and try out a variety of mediums wit each equation exploring a different style. So… here are the new and improved EGO EQUATIONS!

1. Safe – Explores me being overly safe but after going through the army, my safety senses are being sharpened – inspired by the quote “You can’t spell safety without the SAF” (lol)

Medium: Photo illustration, Paper cut.

The initial design was a photo illustration, using photos of myself (I posed for them) and then drawing on it to help fit into the ‘story’. It was completed on Photoshop but I felt the image turned out to feel a little flat and since the visuals for this equation uses layers (aka the windows and scenery) I decided to make use of it and printed the different layers individually, cut them and layered them with a spacer to elevate the different layers, adding a sense of depth and dimension to the otherwise flat image.

For colours, I went with mainly analogous colours (seen from the background of the wall) of different shades of green since its a little about Army. Also the helment and body armour in the first image was suppose to stand out hence a complementary colour against the faint blue was to help bring the emphasis to the objects.


2.  i-Eat – Explores me being a tech geek but having to choose between food and technology? I’d rather have them both. Also a reference to me making puns. (lol)

Medium: Mixed media. Photo manipulation

Similar to my first row, the designs for this equation was completed on photoshop, but I thought this row could include other materials and objects to cause it to look more visually interesting. For each of the various panels, I added an element to cause the image to pop out.

For the first image, I used popped up the screen on the phone. The second image is a packaging from the instant noodle packet used while the final image I used a pair of chopsticks. It was generally the most well-received and liked by my peers too.

Colour wise, I used a split complementary scheme with slightly darker tones to allow the objects stand out for themselves. (Also, I don’t particularly enjoy the jarring look of bright colours).

Run – Explores my tendency to procrastinate and my history as a tracker.

Medium: Paper cut, Mixed media

This design style was inspired by paper cut art styles that I found during my research, I felt that it as quite similar to using vectors for illustration since the colours used are generally flat. Hence I went shopping for colour papers, to try and piece to create my own Paper Vector art. The end is an interesting panel that I am quite satisisfied with. The only difficulty about this form of medium was the fact that you had to be quite patient and detailed with your hands and it takes a certain level of skill to cut the paper with extreme detail. (unlike mine)

The second image I used a bit of mixed media by using sand paper to imitate the visual look of a running track.

Focused – Explores my disdain for crowded places

Medium: Photomanipulation

This row is made of old images of myself, with the yellow circle to help bring the visual focus to me, and also to contrast the setting which is an image of crowded people infront of a yellow rectangular HDB block. And the last image of the man in the sign exiting is a representation of me in green (from the first image) running out.

The colour used for this image was generally darker tones since it is about something I dislike.

4- After Ego

In conclusion, it was a rather interesting assignment allowing us to have a (somewhat) better understanding of ourselves in different scenarios and it actually did help me learn something new about myself too (see learning point) so yaye?!

BOOM. Finally the end of 2D assignments!! It’s a rather long and wordy post, but thank you for making it to the end! :)) Special shoutout to Ms Shirley for being such a understanding and encouraging tutor during this semester! 🙂

Forrest Gump: Research, Process and Final


Fresh out from Assignment 1, we were immediately briefed on Assignment 2, Forrest Gump ( a really cool name for an assignment too btw).  As a film junkie, I was initially very excited for the assignment thinking it would be very similar to designing a film poster but boy was I wrong. The exact brief is as follows:

“In this project, you are tasked to pick four movie quotes either from one movie or various movies that you have watched over the years.

Your challenge is to create a visual narrative that expresses each quote using only symbols, pictograms, dingbats (ornaments), icons and engravings as your visual vocabulary. The old engraving imagery puts the composition into historical context. You are to manipulate, alter and deconstruct the found graphic imagery to transcend its original meaning through the creation of the indicated narratives.”

Picking out the four movie quotes wasn’t the challenge, it was the use of only symbols, pictograms, dingbats, icons and engravings as my visual vocabulary that I felt especially crippling as it greatly limited the type of visuals we could use. In addition, I had not worked on most of these elements and would not know how to apply them. This would mean extra effort for research.

I was honestly very lost during the brief, unable to visualise how the end design might actually turn out. Hence it was greatly helpful when she showed us works of previous years’ students as references.

One thing to look forward to during the assignment is silk-screen printing as we will be printing one of our final designs on a tote bag using silk-screen printing. I was especially excited as I have heard of this printing process but have never actually tried it before.

Week 1:

The first week as we officially began Assignment 2 was a technical hands-on lesson on photoshop to learn how to add effects unto our images. It was one of those lessons where I was just in complete awe (HAHA) and I’ll explain why later. To quickly summarise what was taught, the list in point form is as follows:

  • The difference between the different files on photoshop and illustrator.
  • Cropping subjects from our image using the pen tool. (which is as Ms Shirley says, the industrial standard of cropping)
  • Creating a layer mask over our desired image when editing to alter the settings.
  • Adding threshold, posterize and halftone effects on the image subject.

While it may not seem like much, I felt the step-by-step hands-on was very helpful for me as even though photoshop is a programme I feel most confident in, the step-by-step guide helped me to revisit some of my execution processes and fine-tune it to enable me to work more effectively. One example is the use of layer masking to hide areas on the layer, as well as using folders as a means to organise the workstation on photoshop.

Armed with new technical knowledge on photoshop, I embarked on my journey to complete my 4 designs. But first, the quotes!


“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Back to the Future, 1985

“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me” – Batman Begins, 2005

“We’re all travelling through time together every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride” – About Time, 2013

“Reach for the sky!” -Toy Story, 1995

“Then the Ugly Ducking is happy because he knows where he belongs. – Lilo & Stitch, 2002


Week 2:

Having selected my quotes, it was time to create rough drafts and brainstorm ideas. Due to time, we needed to finalise at least one design so we can start with the silkscreen process in week 3. As such, I decided to start with the quote I felt seemed like the easiest to portray.

Roads? I need roads:

Brainstorming has always been an issue of mine, and now that it’s to do with films (which I so love) the task seems even more so challenging. It’s difficult because:

  1. Quotes are made up of words and if you just break down the words and create visuals plainly on the words itself it becomes too literal.
  2. What makes those quotes so awesome is the context in which the film has set it in. To remove that context, to stray away from the main intent of the quote and to create something fresh yet embodies the same meaning just feels exasperating.

BUT being the good student I am, it still has to be done and so I decided to start with searching for Artist References and I found…

Huseyin Sahin,

A Turkish artist who is well known for his surrealistic photo collages where he combines what we are familiar with and sets it in a brand new environment. Opening doors to brand-new ideas and perspective. Here are some of my favourite works of his:

I got very intrigued by this way of collaging photos. It is done in a way that it almost feels real, but because of our understanding of nature, we know that it is not. And I thought that maybe I could explore this method of collage.

Back to brainstorming, I decided that trying to tie in my designs too much with the movie might just restrict my creativity and also, the assignment design isn’t a homage to the movie where the quote was taken from so why does it need to include it? So I thought that I would just draw out the essence of the quote and try to include ideas from the movie in my own way.

With that, I came up with draft 1 of my first design on the quote from Back to the Future.

The idea was to show a car, driving on a highway to a new adventure. (Much like what happened in the film) But instead of showing roads, I used negative space to show the roads that are supposedly there, by including the mountain features on the roadsides. The wheels of the cars are also replaced with planet cropped to look like wheels to imply that the vehicle is travelling in space. (pun intended HAHA). The symbolism of the inverted city line is to represent the adventure that the car is heading towards. With the negative space formed between the city line and the mountains seem to form a windy road connecting the two environments.

Having a clear idea of what I wanted in my head, the execution was simple and quick. (thanks to the skills picked up whoo) Anyway, comments for the design was that the wheels don’t seem to carry the message strongly across so there isn’t really a point to use planet wheels. Also, the size and position of the car can be adjusted to create a stronger visual emphasis!

(scroll bottom for final piece!)

As this was the first design completed, I decided to continue with this as my print on the tote bag for silkscreening!!



Week 3:

Production week!!! It’s the week where we got to try the entire process of silk-screening using the photo-emulsion method!!

It started with going into the dark room with our silk screen frame to apply a coat of photo-emulsion liquid. (sorry the photo isn’t straight!! )

Next, as our screens dry in the dryer, we waited and once it was done, we were to expose the photo we have (on transparency) onto the frame! We were quite fortunate to have the proper pieces of equipment for this process as watching on youtube some videos regarding silkscreen printing. Some people have to rely on the sun on its UV rays to expose the images.

Once completed (in 1 min or so?) we had to wash out the excess of the original photo emulsion paint, revealing the main design!! Here is mine!!

After this, what was left is to  do a test print of the design on the newsprint paper to ensure the design was perfect without any uncovered areas!!

Week 4:

Being recess week, all we had to do was come back to complete the above mentioned process should we mess up during week 3. I went back to class to complete 3 test prints to ensure that my silkscreen design on the frame did not peel off after washing it in week 3. As well as getting a sense of how to actually transfer the paint unto  the tote bag!

What I’ve learnt during this process is that when applying the paint, makesure to do it in 1 stroke as going repeating the motion might cause the paint to be transferred causing over-inkage. The next is to ensure that we apply sufficient pressure to ensure that it allows for the paint to be transferred. Failure to do so will cause the print to look too light or even have patches of designs as the frame is not laid straight on the table!!

But over all, I was quite satisfied with how the test print turned out. All that’s left now is to complete the print on my tote bag and finish the other 3 designs!

Week 5:

Space Monkeys

The second design cycled around Batman and  issues with his identity and juxtaposes two ideas revolving our identity – who we are and what we do. Hence I wanted to create a chracter (not batman) that in the same way causes us to ponder on the question too! And the next best alternative besides Batman is a space monkey!! So below is draft 1 of the space monkey:

With the main character of the design being the space monkey, I was faced with the challenge of deciding an appropriate for the space monkey that would help deliver something impactful yet not draw the attention away from the main character.

The result is a setting of a combination of both a forest and space. The forest represents the natural environment of the monkey, while space represents the environment we associate with an astronaut. Hence being an astronaut monkey, the character tries to find his identity and place in the world. The collision of thee two places serves to symbolise that the question of our identity does not lie simply in who we are/call ourselves to be or what we do but is actually both because both ideas play an equal significance in shaping our identities.

Comments for the design included that the pose of the astronaut seemed a little awkward and this relates to the photoshopping of him in the environment.

< Scroll below for final design>

Time Travellers

To tackle this quote, I felt that it had great potential for surrealism and thus wanted to explore the possibility of it! The idea of time travel is symbolic of the repeating clocks in a manner that looks like a road. However, the main mode of transportation is no longer by vehicles but flying turtles- as a symbol of fun. Again, for the initial drafts of this design, I had some issues working out an interesting background image for the design which would otherwise seem to lose emphasis.

Ms Shirley agreed with it as well and I adjusted the background (with the help of Ms Shirley) to create a strong halftone background effect!!

< Scroll below for final design>

Reach for Bubble Tea

I faced some major roadblocks while attempting with the final design of the assignment and I wasn’t sure if it was due to the creative juice within me running low or… was it just that I was being too literal.

The quote from Toy Story was difficult to interpret as it only had 3 words. And the association that came with the quote was very direct as well- hands towards the sky. But I did not just want to design something that seems so boring.

After consulting with Ms Shirley, she injected some fresh perspective that really helped me changed my perspective of the quote. Looking beyond what was commonly associated, I decided to explore the use of bubble tea (to represent the sky) and cranes (to show the idea of ‘reach’). However, while attempting the idea, I realised how difficult it was to incorporate bubble tea, especially the pearls into the design as they appear to be mostly black in colour which when placed in a mainly monochrome design does not seem to stand out or look interesting!

As such, I decided to use popcorn instead, with it’s fluffy outside, it looks like the clouds above! AND IT WORKS!!

< Scroll below for final design>

Tote-ally Done

With the four designs done, all that was left is to complete the silkscreening on my tote bag! Having only one tote bag, I was a little worried about how the final piece will work out. After completing a sample test print, I decided to just go with it and see how it’ll turn out. AND IT WENT GREAT TOO!! The overall design could be seen clearly on the tote (with the exception of some smaller, finer details) but I was very happy with how it came out in the end!

Final Works

Here are the final works printed for submission after the edits being made! 🙂

In all the pieces I tried to incorporate elements of surrealism for the design to feel like a window into a moment rather than a well-composed piece.


To conclude this assignment, I feel much more comfortable with breaking down ideas and finding the best way to portray them visually. And while I admit that the restrictions on visual vocabulary were extremely difficult, it did help me open my mind up to new possibilities and appreciate new art forms in the process like engravings and vintage illustrations!

Onwards to Assignment 3!!






F2D Assignment #1: “My Line is Emo” – Research, Process, Final

Preface: The First Line.

Our first brief for Assignment 1 was to interpret emotions using lines through mark making techniques. Sounds pretty abstract right? It definitely was for me but I thought to just take things one step at a time and hopefully it’ll all start to make sense at the end of the day (which it did, but more on that later).

To be honest, it took awhile for me personally to reach the stage of research since I kinda skipped this part and went straight to the process (oops!) but I did come back to it in the end! So for the purpose of understanding and reading my process for this assignment in a chronological order I thought I’ll post this first, followed by my process and final work!

As a started on my research, I wanted to be objective with what I was reading up on and so I broke it down to a few aspects:

  • Research into the various types of lines and what they represent
  • Research into emotions, what are their definitions
  • Research into references. (Artist references, pinterest boards etc.)
  • Research into the medium and how a medium can affect the emotions/mood.

Which I hope this post covers or at least attempts to 🙂

Research: Lines and their Representation.

As an element of design, lines are fundamentally building blocks of design and are essential to everything we create and see. However as referenced from Steven Bradley from his article on Vanseo Design, (link: He suggests that the  fundamental chracteristics of a line is its ability to connect or unite, be it invisible or visible. Which intrigues me to think beyond mark making. He gave the example that two dots on a the same plane have a connection even if that connection, the line in between, cannot be seen. (Mindblownnnnn ~ But I’ll get back to this thought again)

Simply put, a line connects two points and is also the path of a moving point. It can vary in direction, thickness, implied or literal and depending on the variation, express and mean different things. Below is a page from my notebook as I researched into various lines and its meaning, as referenced from (link:\

Research: Emotions and their Definitions.

Having figured the first part of the project brief (what’s the deal with Lines) I moved on to the next part- Emotions. This was when I started the entire process of unpacking the emotion and building that personal connection of what it meant to me, which helped alot in generating ideas during my process.

To begin, I shortlisted a few emotions I was interested in to work with then searched for the dictionary meaning of it:

Lust : strong sexual desire ; speaks of strong passion 

Sensual : of or arousing gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure

Hope : A feeling of expectation & desire for something to happen.

Amazement : great surprise or wonder

Frustration : upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to achieve something ; prevention of progress, success or fulfillment of something.

Hurt : cause pain, suffer pain, cause distress to.

Anxiety : Worry, nervousness or uneasy about something with an uncertain outcome.

Exhausted : very tired, completely used up (resources)

Next was examining what each of the meaning means to me and building that personal connection that I wanted to express through lines. below is a quick rough sketch from my notebook of this process. I’ll talk more about it in process.

Research: Artist References/ Inspiration

Jackson Pollock

One of the first names that pops in when I think of the idea of abstract art is the great Jackon Pollock. A leading artist in the movement of Abstract Expressionism which focuses on spontaneous, subconscious creation of paintings. Artists in this movement can vary in style but it is the dynamism of Pollock’s painting that attracts me.

(Disclaimer: The analysis of Pollock’s painting below are solely my own opinion and what I think of it!)

Reflection of the Big Dipper, 1947 by Jackson Pollock
Mural, 1943 by Jackson Pollock
Convergence, 1952 by Jackson Pollock

In his paintings of Convergence (1952), Reflection of the Big Dipper (1947) and Mural (1943), we are able to see the difference in brush strokes and line weight that brings about different emotive languages. The large quick strokes and drips of paint with uneven thickness in Convergence seem to show a short, quick outbursts of energy amidst the background of short messy lines. The unplanned, messiness also creates a sense of spontaneity. In Reflection of the Big Dipper, Pollock used a myriads of tools including sticks and knives, even adding different materials like sand, broken glass,  and coins to his canvas. The long diagonal (fairly) strokes of black paint dripped in this painting also shows movement but much gradual and feels more tamed. These paintings are in stark contrast with Mural that is make up of wavy, curved strokes all lined up vertically creating a natural systematic pattern. The strokes used are also thicker consistent compared to other piece. The overall artwork evoking a sense of calmness due to the vertical rhythmic pattern yet the rough wavy lines seem to show uneasiness.

Generally Pollock’s paintings and style demonstrates that how lines can be varied and constructed in space to evoke strong emotions.

Sharon Arnold


Sharon Arnold is an american artist famous for her paper cut installations that goes beyond the canvas and looks awe-inspiring. Below are pictures from her series called “Nixe, Chimaera, Muff”. That is inspired by Folklore and Mythology.

nixe, chimaera, muff by Sharon Arnold
nixe, chimaera, muff by Sharon Arnold

Her use of the common medium of paper to recreate the texture, and different features of characters from ancient stories such as fur, hair, feathers seem to juxtapose the idea of what’s familiar and known to us (paper) in contrast to a creature that exists only in Man’s imagination.

I really like how Sharon is able to use the medium so skillfully and tactfully to effectively communicate the intent of her art piece.

Geometric Patterns

A series of geometric designs from various artists. I like how the use of lines is able to create optical illusions and a stability with movement.

Marc Nagtzaam, 2014
Tilman Zitzmann, 2015
Tilman Zitzmann, 2015

Research: Conclusion

I think at the end of doing research, I find that it helps to build a better context of what I am actually creating, so that every experimentation is done intentionally and objectively rather than for no rhyme or reason 🙂 so YASSS!!

 Process: A Bumpy Start

This was actually how I started with this assignment, using weird tools to do mark making. The end result was interesting but yet I wasn’t able to properly incorporate it into my final work as it was done without direction so it kinda went all over the place.

The first was using rubber finger stalls and ink to make marks. The idea was to replace our human fingers in the way we touch and feel, and in a sense challenge how like our fingerprints are all unique and different, would the mark we make still be unique if we use a similar tools? I wanted to expand the idea further and explore using different types gloves to do mark making, but thank God I didn’t. (this when I went back to do research and realised I was on the wrong track)


Regardless, I thought I’ll just include the photos below:

The idea is to use different types of markings with the finger stalls ranging from Dots, strokes or even using it as a brush as shown below.

And here are the final results

Process: A New Start

So BACK afresh from research and starting over, I started unpacking the different emotions and combining them with different mediums to see how i can communicate the emotions visually. This was when I had also shortlisted my initial 8 emotions to 6 which are as follows:

Lust : strong sexual desire ; speaks of strong passion >> MYSTERY?

Hope : A feeling of expectation & desire for something to happen. >> IN THE MIDST OF DRKNESS?

Amazement : great surprise or wonder >> INSPIRATIONAL, WONDER, AWE STRUCK?

Frustration : upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to achieve something ; prevention of progress, success or fulfillment of something. >> A ROUGH PATCH

Hurt : cause pain, suffer pain, cause distress to. >> WEAKNESS, FRAGILTY

Anxiety : Worry, nervousness or uneasy about something with an uncertain outcome. >> THE UNKNOWN

In the midst of going back and forth between the process and research, I was able to brainstorm many ideas and then decide which to pursue and develop further. Below is another except from my notebook:








After narrowing the ideas that I wanted to pursue, it was time for experimenting and executing. Attached are some photos from the process of experimentation.

Mix of materials including toothpicks and calligraphy pens
HOPE -Wire mesh to represent a cage that trap. Black dot in the shape of a heart symbolises a route of escape with love.
A mix of mediums experimented including Transparency, Tracing paper, Sandpaper and acrylic paint
HURT- Tooth picks as a form of representation of hurtful words flying
Using a wedding corsage to make strokes, creating that dry brush effect

The next process was putting some of the ideas into prototype to see how they’ll look in the final piece.

Exploration into the idea of Mystery in Lust- The above idea suggests slits to be made, revealing a hidden layer beneath made up of varying line weight of pencil, charcoal and china markers in a wave like motion.

The bottom idea suggests a form of reveal where it invites the viewer to physically ‘remove’ the outer layer of the art piece to reveal what is hidden beneath, to demonstrate the idea of “undressing”, that speaks of lust of the eyes. The former idea is modified and included into the final piece.

For Hurt, the above idea seeks to illustrate the idea of pain beneath. As seen from the vertical cuts coinciding with the sharp diagonal cuts to reveal a hidden layer beneath.

The second idea explores the idea of the saying “Hurt people hurt people” with cuts forming sharp thorns capable of causing paper cuts. Both ideas were eventually scrapped as it is too similar to the idea from Lust.

Through unpacking the definition of Frustration, I wanted to explore the idea of annoyance at one self and as a result being stuck at a rough patch. The above idea uses sandpaper with ink to create short quick strokes on the paper to show the exasperation one feels. The coarse sand texture from the sand paper also gets transferred onto the paper, creating the literal illustration of a ‘rough patch’.

The second idea uses craft tape that is intentionally creased and paste onto the paper to create sharp lines that are jarring. The use of medium also reminds that sense of frustration when one uses tape and it creases. The piece was then painted black.

The two ideas were combined for the final art piece after consideration.

Process: Coming to the end

A quote from Picasso, “it took me 30 years to do that masterpiece in 30 seconds.” Nobody creates great work in an instant. I think sometimes we are such an instant generation and we expect things to come up fast but thats not the case for creativity. It takes time to develop and grow. Its not so much of the end result  of having the best art piece but being patient with ourselves during the process to learn, develop. Just a quick reflection before revealing my final pieces.

Final: My Line is Emo

The final six emotions I decided to explore are: Lust, Exhaustion, Hurt, Anxiety, Frustration and Hope

From Top: Lust, Exhaustion, Hurt
From Top: Anxiety, Frustration, Hope













Lust : strong sexual desire ; speaks of strong passion.

Using paper folds to create a curvature
Slits on the main piece reveal a hidden layer made of a series of wavy lines

As mentioned previously, this piece aims to show the idea of mystery within passion. Using strong curve cuts to form slits on the front layer, this reveal a hidden layer that can only be seen from the small slits made. To further accentuate the curves on the front layer, paper folds from the slits made were made to form a 3D curvature that pops up.

The hidden layer is made up of White Colour pencils,  and chalk to form a series of wavy lines of varying thickness and weight, to illustrate the fluctuation of our desires- strong and passionate for a moment, indifferent the very next.



Exhausted : very tired, completely used up (resources)

Created with brush and ink with the use of a tooth pick and a wedding corsage. The idea behind this piece is to symbolise the abrupt depletion of energy as a result of being stretched as shown from how the thick brush strokes quickly transit into a thin, wavering line on both sides. The thin, dry brush ends of the strokes resemble hands that are stretching out, reaching for the thin line, pulling on it, illustrating the definition of being “stretched thin”.

The reason why I decided to incorporate the use of a wedding corsage was as during the preparation for my Brother’s wedding, I was heavily involved and in the aftermath I felt extremely exhausted. The corsage brings to reminder the weariness and I wanted to include it as a mark making tool within the piece as a form of reminder of the same emotions I had felt.

A series of brush strokes that transit abruptly into a single thin line.
The thin, ends of the brush strokes resemble hands that are stretching out, pulling on the weak line

Hurt : cause pain, suffer pain, cause distress to. 

The varying ink tone of each line likens to shows the degree and intensity of hurt.

For this piece, I decided to use tears to explore the idea of fragility as a facet of hurt as it is often viewed as a manifestation of hurt and pain.

The final work was created by dripping three drops of a mix of ink and water (varying in concentration) from one end of the paper and allowing it to flow from one end to the other to symbolise tear drops rolling down. The result is three lines , varying in colour tone that spans across the paper. The unevenness of the line weight and direction of the ink illustrates a sense of frailty in the line. Akin to the weakness we feel on the inside when we are hurt.

Anxiety : Worry, nervousness or uneasy about something with an uncertain outcome.

This work serves as a pictorial representation of the inner workings of the mind through understanding my interpretation of anxiety to me.

When I feel anxiety, it’s often an amalgamation of thoughts that seem to be grounded in reason. Yet at the end of the day, it becomes overly exaggerated and are simply thoughts that keep going round and round reaching no conclusion.

The lines in the work represent our thoughts. Long continuous lines serves to represent our mind that is always at work, always filled up with worries of some sort. To illustrate the frontal lobe of the brain (that controls reasoning), geometric shapes were used due to its even-length sides and rigid shape.

The end product is a series of lines to go back and forth in a series of cycles between the geometric shapes to create a type of ‘mess’, much like how when we are worried and nervous, our thoughts go all over the place. These worries and fears are very much grounded with reason, yet they seem to achieve nothing at the end of the day but cause more worry, as seen from how the lines are continuous cycles between the shapes that has no distinct start or end. That seems to suggest a never ending cycle of worry and more worry.

Frustration : upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to achieve something ; prevention of progress, success or fulfillment of something. 

The coarse sand grains transferred onto the masking tape surface, creating the literal illustration of a ‘rough patch’.

As explained earlier, Frustration explores the thought of annoyance at one self and as a result, being stuck in a rough patch. The final piece is created using masking tape pasted with creases on paper, then using sandpaper with ink to create strokes on the masking tape surface.

Through the combination of these two processes, it is found that that black paint strokes made by the sandpaper accentuates the sharp lines formed by the creases creating a strong contrast of the jarring lines. The coarse sand texture from the sand paper also gets transferred onto the surface.

The end result of merging two ideas created a layered texture piece that is an interpretation of the rough patches in frustration that engages viewers not just visually but also through sense of touch.


The strokes of black paint creates areas of high contrast accentuating the crease lines formed by the masking tape

Hope : A feeling of expectation & desire for something to happen.

Hope speaks of positivity and carries an inclination towards something good.  As such, I wanted this piece to reflect a fairly light mood. The idea behind this piece is the intangible yet powerful strength of Hope. In the light of tragedy when darkness seems to overwhelm, it is only with Hope that embodies that strength to pushes back against dark times.

Long thin lines radiating out all around forming the silhouette of a circle.
The contrast at the side of the page shows the perennial struggle between light and darkness.

Lines radiating all around creates a silhouette of a circle. The use of these geometric patterns symbolise the stability and secureness we find in hope. While the silhouette illustrates the intangible nature of Hope. The strong lines that radiate out coincides with the back patch at the end of the paper, gradually overpowering it.








Final: My Line was Emo

Some final thoughts, while the assignment may have felt long arduous, it was really just a journey of stretching and getting uncomfortable to train our senses to be more acute and in tune with our emotions. For me, the process of unpacking the definition of an emotion thereby establishing a personal connection or revelation with it has been one of the most memorable moment of the assignment.

Lastly, Thank you for reading and being part of my research, process and final piece 🙂


Mark Making Tools

I chose an iphone cable because we tend to forget the importance of it it when we’re using our phone. Only to remember its existence when our phone battery is running out.

Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash