Graphic Form: Zine Process

Before the consultation, I initially thought of doing abstract cubism, or simply just a mixture of colours and abstract since I was thinking of touching on every culture and the very vibrant colours found in Joo Chiat.

For the first draft, the one with the yellow cartoonised sky, I was inspired by Dallas Clayton – an American author and illustrator famous for his children’s works and cute little illustrations with impactful poems. But for this zine, I thought it could just be an initial idea.

Dallas Clayton’s works:

For the abstract piece that I did, I was inspired by Wassily Kandinsky – a Russian painter and art theorist, where his works are centred in abstract art. I love it because of his use of vibrant colours and different shapes and even weird lines that makes his works come to life.

Wassily Kandinsky’s works:

But after consultation, I realised it was easier to just focus on one thing but have a different set of ideas set on it. I agreed with Mimi that focusing on the Peranakan culture would be a much better decision as I had a lot of documentation on it. And focusing on it meant that I needed to work around something more than just my inspirational artists above, as it did not bring a touch to what Chinese Peranakan culture is like.

Since I wanted it to be colourful and also in a Peranakan style, I decided to make a Kaleidoscope art. So I tried the few below.

1st try: To use a legit kaleidoscope to see the Peranakan shophouses and capture the colours and details.

These are the outcome:


Pros: They are actually beautiful and the colours simply reflect the vibrant zine I had in mind BUT

Cons: They did not reflect off what a Peranakan style or culture looks like. So I had to do more to make sure I get those factors out.

What I had in mind was to also write a poetry based on it. I wanted to tell a story that makes readers feel excited to see some sort of treasure if they look closely into my abstract work. (seen below)

2nd try: To actually create my own mandala and see what comes of it as a Kaleidoscope. Why ‘mandala’? Because it is found on most of the Chinese Peranakan kebaya clothes and patterns on tiles.

For these two, it looked plain and dull so I decided to change it up a bit with different colours: hot pink and turquoise.

Like these ones:

I consulted Mimi again to ask for feedback because at this point I had a few processes but not knowing which to pick and what felt right or wrong. And after that, we both agreed that it would be better to stick to one form and I chose the illustrated kind to be included in my zine, instead of the 1st try of real Kaleidoscope photography.

So 3rd try:

From this

and this

to this (for my front and back cover)

I consulted Mimi again because I wanted to ensure that this style that I want to go for, is actually good to follow throughout. Thankfully she agreed that it is, it’s just the adding of patterns on the outer parts that I had to play with and edit as I did not want it to be plain like the one from the start of the 3rd try.

Likewise, for the rest, I work a couple of times to find the balance and get it right.

For 2nd spread:

For 3rd spread:

For 4th spread:

All will come together for final and thankfully, I see the balance in my work.

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