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! 🙂

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