Untitled ①

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When I first get this topic of using an inanimate object to show “life”, I immediately thought about the pen I use daily as my subject. And I wanted it to show symbolize myself, as a student especially an arts stream student who always write A LOT. When chosen this object, the feeling I wanted to emphasis also came to my mind, which is stress and lost which I went through last year when preparing for A Levels.

With the object and concept chose, I started to think about how to make it more interesting and attractive. As the pen contains both the cover and the refill, why don’t I separate them in order to form a new shape, for example…a cross?

This was the photo which I decided to work on initially, maybe just ways to strengthen the feeling involved. With this in mind, I went for a consultation as well as conducted some researches.


HOWEVER, the more I researched, the more I felt..unhappy(?) with the image. It may because that I still do not have a suitable method to express the current feeling (stress and lost), I believe that a good still image is able to make the viewer feel related with it as well as the feelings it contained. Yet, I couldn’t even persuade myself at this stage.

It was hard to change the idea so last minute, and it was definitely a struggle. Although I couldn’t really express stress and lost in my current image, I feel very stressful and lost now.


So I started to think from the object, the pen, and I realized that actually it is not the stationary that I used the most. Especially after the exam period. Instead, I would rather use a pencil to write down notes and practice sketching.

Holding the pencil, I suddenly think about the times when I was drawing without a fixed topic and I just let my mind flow and set my mind free, and some inspirations and ideas will just come to me…

OK I think I get my new topic.

Sometimes it is hard for me to get inspiration, but when it comes, ideas will not stop flowing so easily.


I was thinking about making a combination of real-world and imagination things, so I decided to make a combination of photo and digital painting.


At first, I was holding my pencil vertically so that making it perpendicular with the sketchbook, but I felt it doesn’t look natural enough, so I held it with an angle to make it looks like in the process of writing/drawing.

[holding pencil in two diff. ways]

Afterwards, I started to draw short curved lines using different colours to represent inspirations and ideas. I drew it in to make it like water waves as I wanted to represent that ideation just flowing like a tsunami.

[shape of the curves]

The colourful curves are mainly going upwards to represent the flowing viable ideation. Furthermore, the coloured parts are smudged to signify the ideas can keep changing or merged to form a new one.

[details of the smudged curves]


While the pencil remained its original black and white colour, I enhanced the grey tone of it to further contrast with the surrounding lighter tone.

[zoom in to show the grey tone pencil]


There is a little bit of grey colour on the top of the ‘inspirations’, showing that it is not that easy at the beginning of the design process. Afterwards, it started to have more colours showing that some inspirations were caught.                                                             [grey colour on top]


The most interesting part of this image is its irregular border, which I purposely create a feeling of flowing ideation which cannot be restricted or limited.

[irregular shapes at the bottom]


Hence, this image intended to emphasise the difficulty of starting the design process as well as the fluency of a wide range of ideation while having the inspiration. Also, I wanted to express that I wish I could have such a plentiful of ideation.

Thanks for reading!


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