The “Breathing” Self-Portrait

Hello hello! Once again I am back with another post for my school work. This time, I’ll be telling you all about my last project for my Digital Imaging class, so let’s get right into it! 😀





Ah yes, so this is where I struggled the most. I was stuck in a limbo for 1 to 2 weeks deciding on what I want my idea to be.

Initially, I was planning to draw an open world from a game, one where I’m in it because I played so many games that they became part of my life and they hold great significance to me. Bryan was excited about the idea, and so was I.

However, somewhere along the course of the project, I was not very motivated to do it. Maybe it was me getting tired or assignments, or that I simply wanted a breath of fresh air, I don’t know man. Basically, I wanted to do something travelling related, which is also what I am quite enthusiastic about. I do follow some photographers on Instagram that do a lot of travelling to places far and beyond this little island. Alas, during my consultation with Bryan, he reminded me that this project is really more about myself and what I want to portray to others, and that doing something closer to my heart would be “better” in a sense. (To be edited)

So, this led me to giving it some more thought. I started thinking about the games I played over the course of many years. I didn’t want to simply replicate a scenery from a game, which I could easily reference from open world games, which are some of my favourite types of games. I wanted to draw something that was of importance and significance to me, past or present. Then, it hit me.

Mario Kart Wii.

This was one of the first few games I played back when I was say, 12 or 13 years old, but my memories of it were strong. I remember spending many hours sitting in front of the TV, pressing down really hard on the A button that it leaves a mark on my fingers, or that I have (almost) perfectly memorised all of the 32 routes in the game, or that I can almost instinctively flick the Wii Remote at certain parts of the game to do cool tricks and stunts for my character, or that I spent hours on YouTube watching really pro Mario Kart Wii YouTubers playing in tournaments with their godlike skills that my 13 year old self cannot match (haha). But basically, you get the gist of it. This game was pretty darn fun to me.

But now, what aspect of Mario Kart shall I present for my project? My first thought was showcasing a scenery of one of the tracks that I used to play. But which one? There are like 32 of them, how the hell am I suppose to choose? Maple Treeway? Yoshi Falls? Luigi Circuit? Coconut Mall? There were simply too many to choose from. So I thought even harder, and realise there was always one that struck a chord in me.

Rainbow Road.

Ah yes, the staple of every Mario Kart game, how could anyone forget? Rainbow Road has always been a staple in all the Mario Kart games, appearing as the final course in the Special Cup, and one of the more tricky tracks. It has many boosts, ramps, bumps, and most importantly, devoid of railings, which means you are very prone to falling off the track every 2 seconds after respawning (speaking from experience, haha). The Rainbow Road on Mario Kart Wii was no exception of course. I remembered when I first saw it, I was so amazed by the colourful floating track in the middle of the galaxy, scattered with stars and the earth far far below us. It was (literally) out of this world. You can only imagine my excitement when I finally got to play the track myself, heh. It was truly magical.

13 year old me sure fell down to Earth a lot (and probably still do now haha)

And hence, I would attempt to portray me and my experience with Rainbow Road in the process below.

But before that…

Artist References


Not completely relevant, but I have been following her works for really long and I always love her (sometimes) surrealistic compositions and use of colours to suit the mood of her painting. Also, her scenery works are all insanely breathtaking and magical. 

Nathalie F

She’s a concept artist that I’ve been following for a while, and I love the way she uses different colours to set the mood of the scenery. I also like how she adds many details into her works to make it feel alive. Her dynamic illustrative style also stands out to me too from her other works.

And of course, the original Rainbow Road track itself from the game:

The drop in the beginning of the track, sprinkled with stars and meteorites
The rainbow cannon portion
The star tunnel near the finish line

The track has many cool gimmicks along the way (like shown above), and it’s colourful nature stands out really brightly against the endless galaxy and the earth below. Therefore I’ll pick some elements of the track to put it in my drawing.

And with the artist references out of the way, time to do a lot of work!



So first and foremost, I conjured up some possible compositions I could possibly use for my project:

Ultimately, I decided to use the very first one on top since I want to capture the thrill of playing the game and also the satisfaction of throwing a spiny shell. (A spiny shell is a homing weapon on the player that is currently in first place and deals a huge explosion, hence it is like the ultimate “HA GET REKT” item.)


Next, I sketched out my drawing in Clip Studio Paint.

The look of a scheming asshole

I added 200px horizontally and vertically to the 1920×1080 image so that I could animate the different parts. I also used a frame to indicate where the objects will be visible in the final animation.

As for the details, in the foreground is my avatar in the game, driving a standard kart in the game with one hand while holding the spiny shell in the other. I gave my avatar a Yoshi hat since I played as Yoshi the most in the game. (It’s too cute!) I added in some floating stars and meteorites since the original track had it too. I also added additional roads below the road my avatar is travelling on to make the composition look less empty. The bottom road had a split path and some overarching gates, both of which are present in the original track.

And then the process continues below:


First and foremost, I indicated in my sketches where I wanted what to move.

Unfortunately, due to my limited skills and expertise in After Effects, I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to, but I tried my best to do as much as I can.

This is how my final workflow looked like:

I’ll be talking about what I did to each individual layer! So firstly…


I wanted to give the galaxy layer just a bit of movement since it’s in the background, so all I did was add frames to change it’s position, and added some slight rotation on the Z axis to look more like an actual spacey effect.

Lower track

I added some gaussian blur to the track since it is in the mid-ground, so less focus is on it. I also made it move from left to right and rotated it slightly along the key frames to make the movement more dynamic.

Green Arrows

As you can see from the effects control on the left side, I also blurred the arrows to match with the lower track. After that, I decided to add a little glowing effect to the arrow to make it look neon-ish like how it does in the game, so I key framed the glow radius at 2 second intervals, as can be seen in the timeline below. After that, I also tracked the position of the arrows to move in sync with the lower track as seen in the transform section below.

Upper track

This layer of mine consisted of 2 rounds of animating, so I’ll start with the broader one!

For the overall track, I moved the position of the track diagonally left downwards since it matched with the direction the kart was driving towards. And now the details:

The upper track layer is pre-composed by a these few layers, and I’ll talk about each one individually.

Meteor Upper and Lower

Firstly, I added gaussian blur to the meteors since they are in the mid-ground. Next, I wanted to make the meteors bob around a bit, like as if they are floating in the galaxy. So after playing around with the effects a bit, I found this effect called “Wiggle – position” that lets the object move around back and forth the same area, so I applied that to the meteor layer too. (The 2 effects can be seen in the bottom left.) Lastly, I also moved the meteors a bit to match the track (as can be seen on the top left side of effects controls.) Although I only took a screenshot of the top meteor layer’s effects, the same are applied to the lower layer (which is the layer beneath the road.)

Sparkling effect

This is where I got a little ambitious… so I wanted to create the effect where the track would sparkle, much like the actual glossy track in the game. So after some Googling I learnt of this effect called “CC Particle World”, and by adding it to an adjustment layer, masking only the area I need accordingly and tweak it’s properties, I can make the track extra shiny! 😀 There are some more settings that I have to change that are not shown in the screenshot to achieve this effect, but what’s shown in the effects control on the left is generally the gist of it. It was quite fun toggling between the different settings to see what it could do.

And then the upper track’s done! 🙂

Track marks

These are for the zooming effect that appears behind the kart. As usual, I moved the position of it to match the kart, as well as it’s scale since it’s moving towards the front. Also rotated it slightly along the way to match the kart’s movements.

The Avatar, Kart and Spiny Shell

These 3 components were pre-composed into one to track their overall movements, so I’ll talk about that first!

As you can see, once again I moved the whole layer diagonally downwards towards the left to make it look as if like it’s driving forward. I also made the size bigger to give the feeling of depth. Now I’ll talk about the details.

There are 4 layers here but I only touched the “blue shell” and “myself” layer.

For both layers, I used the puppet pin function to achieve slight movements.

Myself (or more specifically just the left arm)

As you can see, I pinned the main moving parts of the body, however I only touched “Puppet Pin 2” to move the arm slightly out as shown in the workflow.

Blue Shell

I pinned a few spots on the shell, but my main intention was just to slightly move the wings to give it movement, hence only 2 pins were actually touched. And although not shown in the image here, the shell is also moving to synchronise with the moving hand.

In hindsight, there were more things I would have loved to animate for the kart and body, like making the wheels turn or giving the body more movement, but I wasn’t sure of how to achieve the effect and I had limited time, so I had to make do with what I did.

Some colour adjustments

Finally, I made the whole composition a bit more saturated, as well as to add a bit of exposure to the sides of the image to let the image have a better focus in the middle.

Some small saturation adjustments
And changing the exposure very slightly



Oh man this has been a rollercoaster ride from start to end… from not being able to come up with an idea all the way until the end of this OSS post (heheh)

This is my first ever attempt at using After Effects, and I genuinely had fun doing it! Although there were some hair-pulling moments (like trying to figure out for 2 hours why it’s moving the wrong way… grrr) I have definitely picked up a lot of useful skills from this assignment, and learned a new software! Although the final product could have looked better, I’m pretty happy at it nonetheless. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere after all! :”D

I am very thankful to Bryan for imparting me many useful skills and lessons these past 13 weeks, from Photoshop to Premiere Pro to After Effects, and they will definitely be put to good use in the future.

And with that, I’ll sign off here one last time from my Digital Imaging class, see you next time! 😀



Hello there! Today I’ll let my drawings bring you through my storyboards for assignment 3 of Visual Storytelling. This is a continuation of the Story Beats I made last time, so enjoy!

(Note: I currently only scanned my work with the line art and drew on some camera movements later on, I have already coloured it but I’m not sure if I can make it in time to scan by presentation. Also bird-brained me forgot to scan the last page of my work, so enjoy the almost-complete storyboard! Will update when I get around to scanning it, and you probably won’t see this message here anymore lol)

Reflection time!

  1. Did the storyboard turned out as you hope?
    Yea it did! But actually I wanted to add one more trip-up in the run scene, but I think that would extend to too many boards and I don’t have the time to draw them out 😛
  2. What would you do to improve it?
    I felt that I could have used more different kind of shots in my storyboard since most of mine just look like stills. I probably could have experimented more with different shot angles of certain scenes, maybe there were some that would have looked nicer from a different angle.
  3. What skills do you need to improve?
    A bit of my drawing skills… I still can’t draw some poses… haha
    And also how to draw cats
  4. What are the most significant things you have learnt so far?
    Probably all the storytelling devices from Don’s lecture in Week 7. I was constantly referring to it to give me guidance on how to angle my shots and definitely helped me tremendously.
To be continued! 🙂

“Found” Narratives – For XX

Hello! I am back with another assignment today. 😀
Hoo boy this is going to be a long post… Hope you’re ready!

1 Minute Video:

30 Second Video:

Artist Statement:
A retelling of a true story, of one where I stumble across a crime scene in my neighbourhood… which turned out to be a film set. Whooooooops.

When I first received this project, I did not have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do. Tell a story in one minute? What the hell? And in video?! Oh nooooo. But of course, after overcoming all the initial panic, I started to sit down and think about what I want to do.

Since I am not a very ‘deep’ person that can’t exactly tackle all the ‘deep and philosophical’ issues, I decided to do what I do best: Some (bad) comedy. 😛

I occasionally make little comics about my life shenanigans, and after scrolling through my old works I decided to tell the story of the time I passed by a ‘crime scene’ near my house. And boy was it a wild ride… haha.

After nailing down the story and getting Bryan’s approval, I originally wanted to piece together videos and images of police cars, tents and what not into my video, but either I have bad Google-fu or the images online are really that lacking of the content I need, I was not able to find satisfying footage that I needed. The pictures are usually of low quality or are taken from an awkward angle, and the videos I found would be hard to piece together to form a cohesive narrative. And thus this led me to one other option: telling the whole story by doing everything myself.

The entire process:
At the beginning, I was planning how I would want to portray the story, such that it would not give away the ‘twist’ of the plot. I then decided I would first show elements of a crime scene, such as police tents, police cars and police tapes, to mislead the viewer. Afterwards, when I go to the area for a closeup, I see the other elements, such as the boom mic, cameras and clappers. It then leads to an awkward exit away from the screen by yours truly.

Below is my low-effort attempt at trying to storyboard the story:

Small scribbles

I laid out how I want my story to go, so the next thing is to try to piece it together on Premiere Pro itself. For this, I redrew all the key frames in Photoshop and then transferring them to Premiere. I also recorded the voices I need for my work.

This was the first draft:

Picture by picture

Then to video:

Combining it with my voiceover

After I made sure the story flows cohesively, I started to work on the actual story.

I was in a dilemma about what style I wanted to portray my story in. I originally wanted to go for a more realistic style for my characters, but with the limited time I am working with, the best option would be to go for simplification, which is the style I used in the key frames I made above of the characters. This is a style that I work with quite often too, so I am also aware of the amount of work I need to do to pull this off.

Next thing was the backgrounds. After realising that I clearly don’t have enough time to draw them all out, I decided to take my own pictures instead, since I can decide my own angle and composition and shoot till my heart’s content. As for the actual location, I walked around my neighbourhood until I found a good spot to take my pictures. I snapped at all the locations I needed according to my story until I was satisfied with it.

At this point, my plan was to overlay my characters onto the photos, so I realised that the realistic looking photos against the highly stylised characters would look very jarring, so I applied a Photoshop filter, “palette knife”, to all of my images. This would make the photos look more artistic and “cartooney”, so it would be less distracting from the subject matters. I also did not really apply any colour correction or editing to my images since I felt that they look natural enough to be in the video themselves.

This was the result:


Next thing are my characters. I have never really tried to do anything animated-related so I had to try to find a way to make it look like things are kind of “moving”. After some more trial and error, I decided to draw my character movements one by one and then lining them up in Premiere.

Below is an example from the first scene of the girl walking:

It’s a bit small, apologies!

I drew the girl in a layer above the image and then coloured it in. Afterwards, I made everything transparent except the girl and saved it as one image. This is then transferred to Premiere, where I piece together the movements image by image.

As you can see, there are 2 layers of “videos” on the timeline. “bg” is the background, and the files labelled 1, 2, 3, etc. are the individual movements of the girl walking. And this was basically how I did my entire video…

There were also some parts of the video where I had to draw what was going on.

The line work was a bit too shabby for my liking… but I was running out of time ):

After some sleepless nights, Premiere crashing, Photoshop lagging, files going missing, pen stylus not responding and just all around bad luck when it comes to doing any video related assignment, I finally pieced together everything, and all that’s left was for me to add some sound effects to make the video more dramatic.

Sound effects are the only media files that I Googled for, credits at the bottom of the post! As for the sound effects themselves, as I was doing my project I kind of already had in mind what sound effect will go where, so that part was relatively simple, thankfully. And with that, more or less, my video is completed!

This is how my final timeline looks like:

I tried.

…or so I wish lol. Now the real challenge is to cut down my video to half of the original length while still maintaining the same wit and retaining all of the voiceover audio. So naturally, I shortened a lot of the parts that were voiceless, and even cutting out one scene entirely. It certainly wasn’t an easy task, but somehow I managed, millisecond by millisecond. Phew. I think I barely made it. Woohoo!

Artist references:
I’ll admit, I’m not exactly the best when it comes to artist references in this mod. A lot of my ideas are formulated in my head before I could find an artist to reference to, so I always struggled to find someone to include in this section. I also have a very limited Photography/Film knowledge, which is probably a bit more of a fault on my part, haha… sorry Bryan ):

This time was no exception, I really had no idea what inspired me to do this style of work in the first place. But I tried to think a bit more and I went back to look at some of the animators I subscribe to on YouTube and realised that is probably my best source of inspiration for my works.

The animators I follow are all usually talking about their life stories and opinions on various issues, which are really nice to watch. Some have really sarcastic humour that I can really related to, which is a nice plus. Furthermore, I find it impressive that these animators can express a simple face so animatedly even though their character personas are relatively simple in design too. They can also present their points humourously with a witty and well-timed joke, which always gives me a good chuckle. All in all, I admire the quality and effort they put into their videos and maybe someday I’ll be like that too…

Here are some of them! They are all really good, check them out if you are interested!

  1. TheOdd1sOut
  2. CypherDen
  3. Jaiden Animations


(Scene opens with a girl walking)
(She turns her head to see something shocking)
(A police tent is shown)
(A police car is shown)
(Police tape with a crowd is shown)
(The girl dashes off toward the scene of the crime)
(She reaches the place and stops to catch her breath)
Girl: Wait… what?
(A clapper is shown)
(A boom mic is shown)
(A film set is shown)
Girl: It’s… a movie set! Ahahaha….. (her voice trails off)
(She slowly backs away from the film set)

Some reflections:

Hoo boy, I don’t know if this video was a mistake or not to be honest, haha. It was very time consuming and in my opinion, quite shoddily put together. There were many scenes where there were more that I wanted to play with, but due to time constraints I had to cut the amount of work I intended to do and come to a compromise. I knew making a semi animated short wasn’t easy, especially since this is my first time trying to use Adobe Premiere. I had to learn everything from scratch, and more often than not I couldn’t get things to work the way I want, ahaha. Coupled with some other happy little accidents, this project was a little frustrating to say the least 😛

Furthermore this is not exactly the conventional video format for this assignment, and even though Bryan gave the go ahead for my video I was honestly really hesitant throughout making it because it almost feels like I’m not hitting his requirements… but I guess we’ll see o_o

Buuuuuut I guess, in hindsight, I picked up many useful Premiere skills through this first-time experience and I hope that I would be able to use them more effectively the next time I need to produce another video. May every mistake be a lesson to be learnt. 🙂

Post-presentation critique:
Bryan thought the video was pretty okay and appreciated the effort I put into this project. The story was easy to follow, and he was sad to realise that there wasn’t more suspense to the video because of the time limit, haha. Despite that, he commented that I could have put in more effort into the background, such as playing with curves or colours, which I agree with. I would have loved to do that too, but time was unfortunately not on my side 🙁 It would have been nice to make the world look more vibrant. Thank you for the great advice! 🙂

Alas, this post has gone on too long (or maybe it’s because I’m falling asleep…) but I guess I’ll end it here. If you made it all the way to the end, thank you for reading through my entire post, and I’ll see you next time! <3

Sound effects credits:

  1. The dramatic BOOM sound
  2. The ZOOM sound
  3. The brake sound
  4. People talking in the background
  5. Background environment noises are by myself



Story Beats

Hello! Today I’ll be bringing you through the story beats for my story for Visual Storytelling.

Premise: A girl realised that her phone was running out of battery, so she rushed back home, only for her plan to be completely ruined.

Week 4: Initial story beats

Back in week 4, my original story beats went like this.

  1. Girl was mindlessly using phone
  2. She suddenly gets surprised looking at her phone
  3. She starts to run home really fast
  4. Intense run scene intensifies
  5. She reaches home
  6. Manages to plug in her phone into the socket with 1% battery left
  7. Goes to rest while waiting for her phone to charge
  8. Wakes up and realises that her phone was not charging the whole time… whoops

And here was my first draft:

When I showed the idea to Don, he thought that the resting part of the story (point 7) was very anti climatic between the run scene and the big reveal where her phone was charging, so the impact wasn’t too strong and asked that I modify the story. After some discussion, I altered the Story Beats slightly.

  1. Girl was mindlessly using phone
  2. She suddenly gets surprised looking at her phone
  3. She starts to run home really fast
  4. She reaches home
  5. Manages to plug in her phone into the socket with 1% battery left
  6. Heaves a sigh of relief, but did not place her phone properly on the stand
  7. Phone drops to the floor and shatters (much like her heart)
  8. She gives a look of defeat at her phone

This story worked out much better since there was just one “punch” moment at the end rather than the previous one.

With that, I drew my story beats of my altered story in class:

Week 5: Refining the Story Beats

I tried to draw some frames with different angles and compositions, as seen below:

Some differences:

  1. Running angle changed in beat 3
  2. Screeching to a halt angle at doorstep changed in beat 4
  3. Refined the girl in beats 6 and 7
  4. Changed angle of girl and phone in beat 8 to better see the cracked phone while still being able to see the girl’s defeated expression

Week 6: Beautifying the Story Beats

After getting the gist of how my storyboards will look like, I drew them out once again, except this time, the story beats are neatly lined, scanned, and digitally coloured. There were also some (minor) changes made to the composition of the beats.

These are my beats:

Changes made:

  1. Small background added in Beat 3
  2. Angle of face made to look more realistic in Beat 5
  3. And uhhh I guess changing the table in Beats 6 and 7 lol

I could have given the beats a bit more shading, but I was too tired at that point, so I just left it as it is.

After critiquing session:

Don said the story was okay, however there are some parts that could be improved.

  1. Add suspense during the running scene (eg. lock won’t open) to further heighten the tension of the situation, make the reader more curious
  2. The character needs a purpose to run home and charge her battery because charging the battery at 1% is not necessarily a very pressing issue. Possible motive could be that she has to send an important message to someone.
  3. Not to have too many “horizontal shots” (I forgot the term he want us to use) but I felt it gave continuity to the beats so maybe I’ll consider. 😛
To be continued! 🙂


The Hyperreal Self-Portrait

Hello hello! Today I’ll be bringing you guys through my second project for my Digital Imaging class.

Title: Two Sides of the Same Coin



I was actually struggling quite a bit with how I wanted to portray myself in this project, since I couldn’t nail down the “essence” behind my work. But I knew from the start I wanted to draw something to “life”, like they are coming out from my game.

As you can clearly tell I am pretty out of ideas

I looked to some images done by artists that were featured on @photoshop on Instagram too but I couldn’t get inspired.

They are really, really beautiful though 🙂

In the end, I decided that I want to have this duality between the me in real life and the me as an avatar playing games, so I Googled up some inspiration on the Internet.

Magnolia and Myosotis from Deemo by Siyouko on FB and Twitter
By chivi-chivik on DeviantArt

The artists I referenced above show 2 sides of the same character, with some small differences between them such as their expression of the character or a colour swap. My idea would henceforth be somewhat similar to those examples.

Some more (really crappy) sketches to get my ideas going:

Badly drawn stuff ):

I decided that one side would be myself and the other side should be a character I’m playing as, showing unison between the both of us and the screen keeping us apart is broken. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside to be a character in the game.

I used a Nikon D5500 and my camera settings were 18-55mm lens, f/5, 1/50s, ISO800. Firstly, I cleaned up the wall to make it look smoother and with less distractions, then I applied a mask to the background to make some minor curve changes to myself. I then applied a overall curves to the image to make it look brighter. Afterwards, I drew my character on the other side of the screen and added some drop shadow to make her stand out more against the grey-black background.

I chose to hold a 3DS in my hand this time since I also spent a lot of time playing games on it, but mostly Pokemon. The girl avatar I drew is the female protagonist of Pokemon Black 2 White 2, since I probably spent the most time on this game and I was really immersed into it. (Also I think she looks really cute…) However, in hindsight, I probably should have made my 3DS screen face the camera to show some kind of victory or triumph in battle to make the delighted faces of me and the girl avatar more significant, but it’s unfortunately a bit late for that (sad face). Me and my girl avatar are also separated by a black and white background to show the polar opposites of us in nature but I could still resonate with the fictional character (granted Pokemon protagonists are actually silent but it still feels good playing as them, also unintentional Black and White reference to the game title :P).

And so here’s the final again:

Some reflections:

In hindsight, I probably could have done more to make my image more engaging, since it feels kind of boring and flat, like as if there was no dynamic in it at all. If I had thought of my idea earlier and had more time to think through how can I compose my image better, it might have turned out quite differently and I would have been more satisfied with the outcome.

UPDATE: Critique feedback

The image was generally okay, however Bryan felt that maybe my girl avatar could have been more glossy to look more blended in like my skin, and also the shadow could have been more like my own image’s one. He also commented that I should clean up some stray hair from my face to make the image look more well thought out and presentable since they look kind of distracting coming out of my nose. He commented that I have also put in more consideration into my choice of clothes in the photo and how it can also add more meaning to my work. I could have also made my 3DS more bright and saturated to give audiences a visual cue, much like the red Pokeball that really catches the audience’s attention. Bryan also said that I could make it look like the girl avatar’s side of the image have like Pokemon like coming out towards me to show some kind of liveliness in the picture (I forgot his exact words because I have a 5 second memory but that was roughly the gist of it >_>)

Anyway, thank you for reading my post and see you guys next time! (:


Hello everyone! For this post I’ll be presenting on a fear that I chose for my first assignment.


My inspiration for choosing this fear came from hearing that someone had a fear of fishes (called Ichthyophobia), and that their way of overcoming it was to go diving. They then realised that the fishes usually swim away from them and there wasn’t really anything to be scared of… (or is there?) Pretty cool huh?! So I decided to work my story around that idea.

So I did a little digging into Ichthyophobia.

A google search showed up that people actually do take diving lessons to curb their fear of fishes, which I will link to at the bottom of the post. Generally, people that have a fear of fishes would first try to touch a fish or eat one to try to overcome it, but I thought tackling the idea that someone would go diving to curb that fear would be more interesting.


Aaaaaand that leads to this drawing of mine:

Deep down under

I chose to depict a diver diving down into the sea into a huge school of fishes. Although the fishes are great in quantity, they are all swimming away from the diver, showing that they meant no harm despite their numbers. I also made the areas further away from the diver to be darker so that the diver catches the viewer’s attention first. I also added some underwater plants to make the image less empty and to fill in the environment of this picture.


Don then gave us the assignment to colour our first picture and make a second one in colour to continue the story, so here are the results:

Some colours

For the first image, I decided to add extra grey tones to the fishes for a better gradient, and gave some earthly tones to the corals. I would have used some blue as the sea but there was too much black for me to add it in to look natural. I added some yellow to the diver to make him stand out more too.

Why hello there.

While the little fishes are swimming nonchalantly in the ocean, the diver kept diving and came face to face with this huge marine creature staring them in the face. I chose to continue the story this way since the sea is full of all kinds of sea life and they are bound to meet fascinating sea creatures, both big and small. I chose to draw a whale shark since even though they look deadly to humans, they actually only feed on small fishes and microorganisms in the sea and do not harm or target humans.

I added blue to represent the ocean in this picture, and also make the diver and whale shark stand out more against the backdrop because of their colour. The blue darkens to black near the edge of the paper on the bottom right to once again give focus to the diver but this time the whale shark is also large enough to catch people’s attention.

And that’s it for my story (so far?) Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed conjuring it up! 🙂

EDIT: 2/2/18

After presenting in class and learning more about using colour to set the mood, there were some things I would have changed to convey the mood of my drawing better. First off, I realised the bright blue colours I used do not really convey this sense of fear when the diver meets the whale shark, but instead looks more like a cheerful encounter, which Don agreed. Don said that I could use the colour mood of my cover image to give a more ominous feeling, since the blues are darker too. I also realised that I should have given the diver a different body language, one more of shock and caution rather than happily embracing the situation (and thinking that he is swimming to his death). I could have also probably replaced yellow on the diver with orange instead since blue and orange are complimentary colours to each other. Overall, this has been a fun experience for me to learn how to use colours to convey emotion in an image.


Extra reading –


Ego in Different Settings

Hello everyone! This is my 3rd project of  Foundation 2D of my first semester in ADM, Ego in Different Settings! This is probably one of the most tiring and fulfilling projects I have done so far, and I am here to bring you through my process today. Hope you enjoy the really long ride!

(Also, I intended to include some progress sketches I did in my visual journal, but I forgot to take pictures of them until I started writing this post. Will add when I get it back!)

Pre-lesson (week 9)

So when we were first given the assignment, like any other projects, my mind was a blank canvas. What should my theme be? What can I do on? How can I do 12 squares in the span of 3 to 4 weeks? This is insanity! (Not like I didn’t know that already :P)

However, since Joy said we could use any medium we want, there was this medium I’ve been wanting to use for a long time: paper cutting! I’ve done paper cutting previously before, however I haven’t had the time to do so lately, so this was the perfect opportunity to make my fingers swollen again (nervous sweat)… Anyway, when I did paper cutting last time I did on more nature related subjects so I was thinking, why not do that again?

So I decided on one of my subject matter: flowers. I have always found flowers to be a very intriguing part of a plant, not only does it stand out, but they also come in so many different shapes, sizes, amount and what not. With that in mind, I delved a bit deeper into flowers and decided to start looking different meanings and symbolism behind some flowers. So after 4 hours of Googling, I came up with a list below (it’s a pretty long list, you can skip it if you want to know which ones I chose in the end):

Crocus: Cheerfulness, gladness, youthfulness, glee, mirthfulness

Marigold: Passions and creativity // Cruelty, grief, jealousy

Dandelion: Faithfulness, happiness, ability to rise above life’s challenges

Daisy: Innocence and purity

Calla Lily: Overcoming challenges, liveliness and innocence of youth

Peony: Honour, beauty // bashfulness and shame

Frangipani: Strength to withstand tough challenges

Hibicus: Fleeting, beauty of fame and personal glory

Lavender: Purity, silence, devotion, caution, serenity, grace, calmness, royalty

Larkspur: Love, attention, strong attachment, sweet disposition

Petunia: Yearning to be with someone // anger and resentment

Poppy: Beauty and success // consolation

Snowdrop: Purity and rebirth

Tulip: Unrequited, passionate and enduring love

Zinnia: Thoughts of an absent friend, daily rememberance

Light Pink Rose: Gentleness and admiration

Dark Pink Rose: Appreciation, gratitude, thankfulness

Yellow hyacinth: Jealousy

Blue hyacinth: Sincerity

Interestingly enough, some flowers with different colour variations have different meanings too, and also some other flowers have both positive and negative symbolism in different cultures and parts of the world. So that’s something to take into consideration. With that in mind, I start to develop this idea further.

Before that, I did some research on the colour harmonies that were mentioned in the brief. It certainly helped me in devising the colour scheme I wanted for my work. With these 5 colour harmonies in mind, I begin to experiment with my theme and different colours.

I started formulating how I want my equation to look, which led to this:

Excuse the subpar drawing LOL

I plan to represent myself as a seed, which is like the beginning of a new life, put myself in a setting, and eventually because of that setting, it will grow into a flower that reflects my attitude towards the setting. At this point, I still have not decided what kind of setting I want. So I researched a bit on some kind of nature setting I could use, and I came up with the 4 seasons for each of the 4 setting panels. With some Googling I found a colour wheel representing different moods for each season.

4 seasons, 4 moods. Retrieved from on 29/10/17

I also digged a bit into some interpretations of the different seasons and what they mean to people.

Winter: Despair, loneliness, pain // Renewal, rebirth, hope

Spring: Joy, love, youth, growth

Summer: Searches, friendship, joy, warmth, exploration, freedom

Autumn: Reflection, changes, bounty

Everything got pretty moody, however after giving it some thought I eventually scrapped the idea of the 4 seasons as my setting since I feel like it does not make sense in my work other than trying to forcefully fit a nature themed setting in. So I left it at there until later on.

26/10/17 (First consultation)

Before consultation, I tried a bit of paper cutting based on some inspirations I found off Pinterest while looking at flower paper cutting. Below are some works that I took note of.

I did my own spin on that work, resulting in this:

A nice little red flower dress.

It was at this point I realised I could incorporate my own illustration with the flower paper cutting, creating some kind of hybrid. This is where I decided to incoporate another medium into my work: watercolour! I have always loved watercolour painting, so I thought I could centre my entire work around these 2 mediums.

I showed Joy my flower work and she found the idea quite okay, just that I could make use of the flower in a few different ways such as emphasising the roots of the flower in a family setting to show my strong ties to them, or maybe the flower is wilted to show disappointment. So here I asked Joy what possible settings I could present my idea in. She suggested maybe using different objects that are used to grow plants to represent my settings. For example, a terrarium could represent my bedroom. This basically sparked off all the ideas in my head, which I would elaborate further on. Next I asked Joy how I could represent the ‘Me’ part differently in different kinds of seeds, so she suggest I look into various seed dispersal techniques to start off. With a small bud growing in my head, I took my ideas even further.


With the idea of ‘terrarium bedroom’ in mind, I decided to focus my settings on succulents, specifically mini succulents. I take an interest to small objects in nature, so succulents are a great subject for me to work with. I also wanted to do watercolour work, so my inspirations came from some of my favourite artists.

Instagram: @meyoco
Instagram: @circususagi
Instagram: @maruti_bitamin

Now that I have some ground work set, these are the 4 equations I decided to use:

  1. Me + Bedroom = Safe haven
  2. Me + Crowded places = Dislike and uncomfortable
  3. Me + School = Places for opportunities and development but also some form of restriction
  4. Me + Art = Infinite possibilities

My plan was to use the 3 basic complementary colour scheme for the first 3 equations, and I would use a split complementary colour scheme for the last one. The ‘Me’ section would be a seed work done in paper cut, the ‘Setting’ in watercolour, and the result in both paper cut and watercolour.

As for the colours, I tested out all 3 complementary colour schemes, with one colour being more dominating than the other, however the complementary colour balances the work out. I think this is much better than just pure analogous harmony of colour, which feels a little too boring.

Colour testing:

Red and green
Yellow and purple
Blue and orange


Me + Bedroom = Safe Haven

I Googled on what kind of flower I could use to represent safe haven, and I got a pretty good match: The Bird of Paradise.

Wings of Freedom. Retrieved from on 29/10/17.

The Strelitzia, or more commonly known as the Bird of Paradise, is known as the symbol of paradise, joy and freedom. What’s more, the petals literally look like a bird’s wings, opened fully and all ready to soar into the vastness of the sky. This pretty much represents me in my bedroom, since I love to cuddle up in my own private space with the freedom to do anything I want without and interference. Since the colour of the Strelitzia is yellow, my first series would then be in yellow and purple, which are complementary to each other. I chose to include myself in the ‘Result’ panel with the flower placed in such a way that it reflects my mood. As for the Strelitzia, since they look like wings, I came up with a few compositions that includes me and wings and this was how it turned out:

A blooming flight

As for the ‘terrarium bedroom’, I chose a round terrarium since it looks similar to a bubble, literally representing me being in my own bubble. I decided to include a bed to represent the bedroom aspect and some cute succulents to represent the nature aspect, such as Jade and Green Prince to finish off the mini nature look to it. This was the result of that:

A bubbly bedroom


Me + Crowded places = Dislike

For this one, I was wondering what kind of flower could exude hate, and the Orange Lily came up.

Fun fact: In Japan, this flower is called the Sayuri.

Although the Orange Lily could mean passion, some interpretations of it see it as a symbol of hatred, pride and disdain. This would then lay the groundwork for my second series, which would use the complementary colours orange and blue.

I was thinking of how to use the orange lily to frame my composition, so I jotted down some ideas in my Visual Journal:

After some consideration, I chose the bottom left composition, since it best represents how I feel about going out, how I feel so overwhelmed and drowned out by the noise. The shape of the orange lily also makes it seem like some kind of horn, and so many of it are blaring at me at the same time, creating extreme annoyance. After 3 hours and some swollen fingers, this was the result:

Apologies for the shadow over the picture, better picture at the end!

As for the setting, I chose cactus related succulents, such as mamillaria and barrel cactus, mixed in together with an urban setting. The spikes on the cactuses are supposed to show how I view crowded places, somewhere that I would rather stay away from. With that idea in mind this was what I conjured up:

The complementary colours make the orange cityscape stand out against the blue cactus and flower pot.


Although I have my “Setting + Result” panels done for the first 2 series, I have yet to do the ‘Me’ part of them yet. As previously mentioned above, I want to represent the ‘Me’ part as seeds, so I went to Google for a few different methods of seed dispersal. The seed dispersal methods mentioned below are those that I chose to use for the first 2 series.

  • Ballistic dispersal – The seeds are dispersed from the parent plant through an explosive mechanism, hence these seeds are usually found near the parent plant.

The above is similar to me at home, where I am never too far away from my family. With that in mind, this was the composition I came up with for the first series, where purple is the dominant colour and makes the yellow very striking against it:

(I forgot to take a picture! Oops!)

  • Wind dispersal – These kind of seeds rely on wind and air to disperse their seeds, usually resulting in seeds that are further away from their parent plant.

This represents is me when I am outside and far away from my roots. I chose a dandelion seed as it is the most easily recognizable seed. This has a dominant orange background and floating blue hues amidst it:


Something felt amiss about these paper cut crafts, but I decided to wait until the next consultation to do something about it.

2/11/17 (Second consultation)

While presenting my ideas and my colour harmony plans to class, they seemed to like the watercolour works I did. However, Joy pointed out that the paper cuts seem lackluster and makes the work look more flat, where I shared the same sentiments too. She suggested that I should instead use the watercolour papers to create my own colours that are more similar to the colours I was using. With some valuable advice in hand, I continued on to the rest of my compositions.


Me + School = Bittersweet

While I was researching for different ways succulents can be arranged and placed, I chanced upon this:

What could be more fitting to represent a school than with a birdcage? Back when I was in my primary, secondary or JC school, I always felt like something was holding me back from doing what I like. However, as I pondered longer, I realised that an invisible bird cage would work better, since my time in school was not necessarily all bad. This was the result:

I used masking fluid to get the invisible bird cage effect
A beautiful prison

Hence, with this sentiment in mind, it gave birth to the result of ‘Bittersweet’.


As I was thinking what would be a good flower to use to represent bittersweetness, I thought that a flower with thorns would be good, but didn’t want to use a rose because it may come off too romantic. Digging a bit deeper, and to my surprise, this flower has thorns:

Yes! Bougainvilleas indeed have thorns. Bougainvilleas have been used as a symbol of welcome in some countries, while in others it means a symbol of beauty. It’s beauty juxtaposes against it’s thorns nicely, so I went with it. As for my composition, I did a few sketches and chose this one:

Joy: It looks like a scene straight out of a drama (which hey, I ain’t denying HAHAHA)
…it really does look like a drama scene LOL

I chose to make my school bag bougainvilleas since my bag contained all of my knowledge for the past 10 odd years or so, everything that is good and ugly. My character also has her head turned over looking at the audience since I want to evoke the feeling of (literally) looking back at my school life. The expression on the face is also not one of complete happiness, but neither does it show sorrow. I gave the composition some flying petals to make it look a bit more poetic and fill up the space around the composition (haha). As for the colours, the red/pinkish red bougainvilleas go well with the last pair of complementary colours I used, red and green.


I started working on my ‘seed’ composition, specifically the one in the first equation.

Note to anyone intending to do paper cutting in the future: Those small circles are really really hard to cut

As you can see, it looks largely similar to my first attempt with coloured papers, however with the use of watercolours this time instead, I can control the colours of the different parts better, and also add shade and hue to make them look less flat. The patchy watercolour effect of the background also give the work more texture. Here’s the finished work!


Definitely looks much better than when I first started out, non? 😀

Similarly, I redid my dandelion compositions in watercolour – paper cut style:

Gone with the wind

10/11/17 (Third consultation)

I presented my ideas once again to my classmates and, and they think that it was okay! Was genuinely happy that my efforts are paying off.

I also started working on my third seed composition, which I chose to use animal dispersion to represent it since the schools I’ve been to are of different distances from my house (but none quite like NTU, tbh). The result was of me painting a bird in red and sticking green paper seeds onto it, since seeds of these kind cling onto the animal and are transported away from their parent plant, which for some reason ended up looking like rice grains.

(I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of this one, if you want to see it please scroll down to the final presentation!)


Me + Doing art = Infinite possibilities

For this series of composition, I chose to use the square tetradic colour scheme since I want it to look as colourful as possible while sticking to the colour harmonies. Since there are 12 main colours on the colour wheel, there are 3 possible combinations, namely:

  1. Red, Yellow Orange, Green, Blue Violet
  2. Orange, Yellow Green,  Blue, Red Violet
  3. Red Orange, Yellow, Blue Green, Violet

Like every other composition, I did a couple of sketches to get my brain juices going on how I could represent ‘Doing art’ the best. This was what I chose in the end:

A pencil holder with art tools that I frequently use (can you name them all? :D) and sprinkled with some succulents to complete the theme. I used colour combination 2 above (Orange, Yellow Green,  Blue, Red Violet) to colour it in, with red violet as my dominant colour since these colour harmonies work best with one dominant colour. This is the result!

FYI, the succulents shown are Trachyandra and String of Pearls.

I went on to brainstorm how I want to depict ‘Infinite possibilities’. I want the composition to look as happy and lively as possible and likewise came up with many sketches for it. This was my inspiration for the final composition I chose:

And this is my take on it:

…do you REALLY wanna cut that?

First off, I chose to use colour combination 3 above (Red Orange, Yellow, Blue Green, Violet), with blue green being the dominant colour since most of the composition involves leaves. Secondly, I chose to represent myself leaping in the air while holding a brush in one hand and a cutting knife in the other (well it’s only fitting that I included the 2 main art tools I used in this composition right, haha), creating a (almost) flower circle. A circle is empty, yet it holds infinite possibilities, just like me when I do art. Thirdly, I chose 4 flowers, which are

  1. Frangipani, which represents the strength to withstand tough challenges

2. Crocus, which represents youthfulness and cheerfulness×1200/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/c/r/crocus_flower_record-web_1200_1.jpg

3. Marigold, which represents the creativity and drive to succeed

4. Calla lily, which represents overcoming challenges and the liveliness and innocence of youth.

They also fall within the 4 colours that I used, so they will stand out against the green leaves.

2 swollen fingers, an almost broken blade, some happy little accidents, muscle aches and 3 hours later, I finally finished cutting the shape out:

Making slow progress
Pain, pain and more pain 😀

This is probably my most tiring and exhausting paper cut I have done up till this point. But hey, it was worth it in my opinion! 😀


As like the other 11 compositions I have done so far, I pondered what is the best seed to use to represent ‘me’ in my ‘doing art’ state.

Hey Hilary! Since you could be ANYTHING, why not use all kinds of seeds?!

Oh yeah, of course that’s the only right answer!

A bit of Pinterest searching yielded those oddly satisfying arrangements of different types seeds laid out nicely on the table:

I knew I wanted to mimic that setting, so I began drawing my own composition:

Seeds come in all shapes and sizes!

Hold on Hilary…. do you have any idea how much cutting that takes?! Have you lost your mind?

Well, I probably have at this point, but I sauntered on anyway… thank you hands for tanking this monstrous task, haha.

….that was a hell of a ride

This composition gets colour combination 1 (Red, Yellow Orange, Green, Blue Violet) and I painted it as a gradient across the paper.

<everything at once>

In hindsight, during presentation, Joy stated that I should have given the composition one dominant colour just like my other works, so that there is something to focus on. Something to take note of in the future I guess!


After confirming all of the coloured papers I used for my ‘Infinite possibilities’ composition, I glued everything together:

…vs reality on the back of the paper HAHAHAHA

I originally thought I could finish this in 1 hour or so, but nooooooope! This took me roughly 3-4 hours to complete. A few reasons for it being so time consuming, the first being I used different hues of colours to make the composition look less flat, so I have to coordinate the colours to make sure they go harmoniously with each other. The second reason is that with the holes so close to each other, I couldn’t just slap one big piece of coloured paper onto the watercolour paper, I have to cut them in a (almost) perfect size so they don’t appear in the spots they are not supposed to. With these 2 factors combined and my ever growing sleep debt, the whole process was a really tedious one.

And so, the last thing to do is to add the words to my compositions, which are also colour coordinated with their respective works.


And with that, it was time to spread my seeds and watch it blossom into a floral beauty.

16/11/17 (Presentation day!!)

I presented my garden to the class, and to my delight they really liked it!  Joy also seemed pretty satisfied with how the colours came out, so that’s a plus too I suppose. 😀

Colours in the air, colours everywhere

And with that, the blooming is complete.

Some reflections:

All in all, this was probably one of the most time-consuming and tedious projects I have ever done, but it is also one which I am greatly passionate about, which is probably why I put in a lot of effort into making it a reality. Many a times I wondered to myself if the effort put in was worth the outcome since I also had to deal with a multitude of problems, such as paper cuts gone wrong, coloured papers do not have the colour I want, and also a great lack of time. Ultimately though, I guess my mom summed it up the best, and I quote her: “你只要对得起你自己就好了“, which when (poorly) translated (by me) means “as long as you can face yourself with whatever you do, it is good enough.” Well, I am certainly proud of myself for completing what I set out on doing, and left no regrets behind.

With that, see you guys next time! (:


Extra reading for those curious about my inspirations for this project!

What inspired me to use flower symbolism:

Where I got most of the flower symbolism readings:












Forrest Gump

Hello! Once again I am back to present to you my second project, Forrest Gump. This post will also be presented in a timeline format too like ‘My Line is Emo’.


We were supposed to find 4 movie quotes and distort it’s original meaning using our own imagination. For this project, I chose 4 quotes from the animated movie ‘Rise of the Guardians’.

  1. “Hey, wind! Take me home!”
  2. “Do you stop believing in the moon just because the sun comes up?”
  3. “You’re all hard work and deadlines, and I’m all snowballs and fun times.”
  4. “It was dark, and it was cold. And I was scared.”

I was initially unsure as to what to do, so I whipped up a few sketches and compositions for each movie quotes.

Ideas floating around here and there. No idea where I’m going.


I went to check out some past year works by our seniors and realised that my ideas are too narrow and straightforward. I need to break away from preconceived context that I know and just let my imagination run wild.


I was still quite lost and wondering what I should do at this point.

“Hmmm what would be something weird and funny that I can do”

How about MEMES?


Can we make it even better?

“How about GAMING MEMES?”


And that was how it began. I’m a big fan of video games and memes, so I thought it would be interesting to reinterpret these quotes in the context of video game memes.

Sooooo in case you’re wondering ‘what are video game memes?’ I’ll give you a brief explanation. Memes are generally an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations. So video game memes are trends that have emerged from video games.

I also had the wacky idea of going against the quote, much like Rene Magritte’s ‘The Treachery of Images’, so all of my compositions will not match up with the quote.

“The Treachery of Images”, 1928-29, 25in x 37in, Oil on Canvas, Rene Magritte. Retrieved from on 3/10/17.
“Do you stop believing in the moon just because the sun comes up?”

Since I want to go against the quote, I reinterpreted the quote as “Do you worship the moon since the Sun didn’t come up?”. The most iconic moon I could think of was the Moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, where it’s creepy moon is the central figure to the plot and story.

Pretty spooky, eh? Retrieved from on 3/10/17

As for the ‘worship’ part, I started to brainstorm what were memes that people have ‘worshipped’ to. I managed to find 3, which were ‘Hail Helix’, ‘Praise the Sun’ and ‘Praying to RNGesus’. All 3 memes stem from a joke that have emerged from their respective games or culture. And hence I came to my first composition.


I had the 3 icons looking up towards the moon, but I felt that the moon’s presence was too overwhelming, and the composition felt very flat and not dynamic enough… which leads to my second composition.

Composition 2: Still worshipping the Moon

I used the threshold level to set everything to black and white since the styles between games are so different so having everything in black and white is more consistent. As for the composition, the symmetrical feeling to the composition also feels very unappealing and boring, plus the characters at the bottom were too black to make out enough of their shapes. So I mixed it up a bit.

Composition 3: Extra worshipping
Composition 4: Spot the difference

The moon is smaller but still enough to catch the attention of viewers first, plus the different characters at the bottom are all pointing upwards to the moon, giving it further emphasis. I changed the Knight from Composition 3 to 4 since the rest of the characters have certain shadow values while the knight was of a flat colour, which gives the picture more consistency too. This was where I stopped before I showed Joy the composition on 28/9/17.


“Hey, wind! Take me home!”

So as usual, I wanted to go against the quote, so I reinterpreted it as something like ‘Hey [some other form of transportation], take me to somewhere unknown!”

So this is what I first came up with.

“Uhhh Hilary what is this…?”

I chose teleportation as the mode of transport, using portals (from the Portal series) and a crazy rabbid (from the Rabbids series) where the rabbid gets transported into this black box of of saltiness. Salt in gaming terms usually refers to someone getting angry and pissed, so in the black box I placed different items that may make people salty, such as the Blue Shell from the Mario Kart franchise or Cuccos from the Zelda franchise. However I felt that this composition is a bit bland and messy, so I added some stuff.

Yea I know it looks almost the same as the previous one… haha

I thought the splashes give the image a more “shocking” feeling compared to the other one, but I still wasn’t really satisfied with it. However I stopped here for the day since I was tired and decided to ask for some consultation before continuing.

28/9/17 (First Group Consultation)

During our first group consultation, my classmates have given me great advice regarding my compositions.

The ‘Moon’ composition: They recommended that I added some context to the composition, since most people would not be able to understand the meaning behind the work and the references to the different memes were somewhat obscure.

The ‘wind’ composition: Some liked the idea of the teleportation, some not so much. They felt that the clutter of items in one corner does not really make any sense, and that it was just there to dump the items in one corner. They were unable to really see that the Rabbid was ‘teleporting’ from one place to another too.

Hence, I completely overhauled both of the compositions above, which I will go on to elaborate below.


“You’re all hard work and deadlines, and I’m all snowballs and fun times.”

For this quote, I chose to reinterpret it as “You’re all easy work and unlimited time, and I’m all fireballs and bad times.” So while racking my brain to come up with a composition, I thought of an iconic line from a game called Undertale, which was “You feel like you’re going to have a bad time.” From that quote, I thought of another iconic character from the game Danganronpa called Monokuma, which is a symbol of “Despair” within the game, so I decided to mash the two of them together.


This composition ended up looking slightly ambiguous, since the line could mean either the character on the screen is having “a bad time” or could be the reader having “a bad time”. I also added fireballs to the composition in a falling meteorite manner to make it look more chaotic. The whole composition is also in pixel style to match up with the UI of the original game. What a great time to despair!

…until I realised I can’t have a landscape composition, so I changed the layout slightly (2 days later when I discovered it.) 🙁

“It was dark, and it was cold. And I was scared.”

This was reinterpreted as “It was bright, and it was hot. And I was calm.”

I was researching a meme called ‘The floor is lava” as part of the “hot” part of the quote, but none of the compositions or ideas really clicked with me. Then after some more thinking, out of nowhere (like really, I don’t remember how I thought of this wacky idea) I remembered about this Sun Goddess Amateratsu from the game Ōkami, which is in the form of a dog. So I googled “Okami meme” and I realised that Doge Amateratsu is a thing and it’s so adorable!

Such bright. Much hot. All goodness. Retrieved from on 5/10/17

Doge is an internet meme that is associated with Shiba Inus and is usually captioned with interior monologues written in comic sans. The Doge is generally very nice and innocent, much like the “calm” part of my quote. Furthermore, since this is the Sun Goddess, it makes everything really “bright” and “hot”! So now the question is, how do I show that? I immediately thought of the “Sweating towel guy” meme, where an illustration of a dude sweating profusely while wiping his sweat away with a towel is accompanied by some text which describes a sticky situation and the difficulty to resolve it.

When you have 5 projects due next week and you haven’t started on all of them yet (Retrieved from on 5/10/17)

This illustration spawned countless parodies, usually replacing the guy with a different character, so with a little more digging I managed to find a variety of game characters all with this action of sweating or in some sort of peril and placed them around the Sun God.

Intense sweating intensifies

I found this composition really funny, hence I stuck with it.

5/10/17 (Silkscreening practice day)

This was the day where we got to come back to reprint our works. Unfortunately, the water jet was not working well, so most of our designs were unable to come out on the silkscreen. Furthermore, I accidentally tore my silkscreen, resulting in 3 hours of effort all saying goodbye to me. Thankfully enough, with Joy’s assistance, I was able to come back the next day to complete my work.

6/10/17 (Actual silkscreening of composition)

Thankfully, the water jet was working on this day, so with a bit more effort and time my design was able to come out. I ended up using my ‘sweating’ design since I was more satisfied with that one compared to the rest and I still wanted to further refine those.


I was very fortunate to get the print right on my tote bag on the first try. Although the ink came out a little too thick, I was still very satisfied and happy with the work. Woohoo!


I decided to completely start from square one again, thinking about how  else I could interpret the quote. Since I want the work to still involve some level of frustration, it led me to think of Kaizo Mario World. Kaizo Mario features extremely difficult levels using hacks, and breaks the normal accepted rules of game design such as invisible blocks to block the player from where they are supposed to jump. Hence, I decided to incorporate that element into my work. Next, I had to reinterpret the word home, so I thought instead of going home, which is generally seen as a safe haven, it would lead the character into a dead end. This led me to think of the meme ‘The cake is a lie’ in the game Portal, where the character was working their way through the level to receive a cake as a reward will eventually realise there was no cake to begin with. With these few elements in mind, I came up with this composition.


I made it such that the character was literally teleporting from one area to another by making use of the enclosed rectangles which serves as the different areas. When he comes out of the box at the bottom, he enters a black void and a dead end, all while seeing that ‘the cake is a lie’.

12/10/17 (Second Group Consultation)

This time I showed my 2nd (the cake is a lie), 3rd (sweating) and 4th (bad time) composition to the group. They gave the following suggestions:

2nd: Joy felt that by separating the images into 2 boxes, it makes the individual designs look really small, and that the pipe teleportation part isn’t really necessary and important to incorporate into the work, and there are other ways I could change up the design. She did like the idea of false reward though, but thought that I should put some indication of the player collecting ingredients to make the items along the level, such as eggs, flour, etc., since the composition first needs to be understood by people without contextual knowledge of the memes, and those contextual knowledge just serves as an additional level of understanding to those who get the inside jokes.

3rd: The group was generally okay with this composition, except that the dog in the middle should be bigger to show that the focus is on him or it would look like he is fighting for attention with the supporting characters around him.

4th: Once again, since the composition is quite deeply rooted with contextual knowledge, they only understood the game’s UI, but not the character (Monokuma) shown on screen. They thought he was a big cuddly teddy bear, so I had to rectify that to make him evoke a more sinister feeling.

All in all, my wonderful group provided me with some insightful advice, and I begin my final stretch on working towards the final compositions.


“Do you stop believing in the moon just because the sun comes up?”

This was my final composition for the first quote.

I decided to put the huge moon in the spotlight against the backdrop of the town it belongs to in the game, along with the little ‘praise the sun’ creature looking up and worshipping the menacing moon.

“Hey, wind! Take me home!”

I kept the level design of the work, adding some power-ups along the way to lead the viewer from looking from the top to the bottom of the picture by following the arrows, much like how the character in the game would progress through the level, before falling into a bottomless pit that says ‘the cake is a lie’, hence leading us to realise that it is a false reward and there that the game has no goal.

“It was dark, and it was cold. And I was scared.”

Only minor changes were made to this composition, such as making certain characters at the sides smaller and making the doge in the middle bigger. This is probably still my favourite composition out of all 4 of them. 😀

“You’re all hard work and deadlines, while I’m all snowballs and fun times.”

I added some characters from the Danganronpa game where they died pretty gruesomely, mimicking the game’s somewhat gory nature and also to let the viewers have a bit more context regarding the bad situation they are in when viewing this picture.

19/10/17 (Judgement d- I mean presentation day)

Memes come true

The presentation went okay, and my classmates were amused by my funny movements. They also liked my quirky ideas and compositions, while Joy provided even more valuable feedback on how I could have further improved my works. Thank you to everyone for your valuable input! <3

Some reflections

All in all, even though this project started off on a somewhat wrong foot, I have learned a lot throughout these few weeks, from how to silkscreen onto the tote bag, to some photoshop skills and to thinking out of the box. I might not have been completely satisfied with some of the compositions myself either, but at least I had some fun with it trying to come up with whimsical ideas.

And now, on to Project 3!

With that, I’ll end off my ultra long post here, and thank you for taking so much your time to read through this! Much appreciated 🙂


My Line is Emo

Hello! This is my post regarding our first 2D project: My Line is Emo. I decided to combine my research, process and final in one post so that it is easier to navigate. Hope you enjoy!


We were asked to bring materials to class to experiment with. I personally like to do stuff related to nature or how other objects interact with them, so I gathered up leaves, branches, twigs, pebbles and rocks of different sizes and brought them to class. It was interesting observing their different shapes and sizes! A pity I couldn’t really pick off leaves of flowers from living plants since I’d feel bad for them. 🙁


I had my first printmaking lesson today. Joy taught us the different ways we could utilize the linoleum sheets and printmaking ink, and left everything after that to as far as our imaginations could take us to.

Experimentation 1

I really had no idea what to start with, so I just took a bunch of foliage I gathered up, placed them on the linoleum sheet and pressed it down to obtain a print.

First print of the project!

The pattern turned out pretty nice, with the silhouette of the leaves clearly shown in the positive space against the really dark negative black ink. After that I immediately did a second print without re-inking the sheet, hence the negative space is much less obvious, giving off a more blurry outline of the plants and they are not as easily recognizable as the first print, which I found to be an interesting effect.

Experimentation 2

I wanted to capture the ‘skeleton’ of the different types of leaves I collected, so I rolled black ink over the side of the leaf with their veins protruding out and pressed them down on the presser.

Some of the more obvious veins have been painted.

And… this is the result!

Leaves of different shapes and sizes.

I found it interesting that for the third and fourth leaf in the picture, it was hard to actually paint their veins due to their uneven nature, hence I only managed to roll over the parts that are protruding out of them plus the central stalk.

Another long leaf stalk that I tried out.

Overall, observing their shapes was really interesting and helped me have a better understanding of their anatomy.

Experiment 3

I took the same long leaf stalk, dipped some parts of the stalk into a lot of ink, resulting in some parts being denser in ink than others. Afterwards, I just hit the stalk down hard on the paper, generating some splotches of ink.


Black ink is left on the paper based on where I dipped ink on the leaf stalk.

Some marks left can be faintly made out to be the shape of leaves, but other than that most of it would turn out to be something unrecognizable.

Experiment 4

I wanted to try making prints in a different way, so I placed some twigs and grass on the linoleum sheet, placed a piece of newsprint over it, and used a bigger stalk to press it down and roll it back and forth over the paper.

Me using a huge branch to press the newsprint paper.
The result.

Since the force applied by my hands are uneven compared to the presser, the shapes of the foliage are completely unrecognizable, the black ink covering the paper is very faded, with the white positive space in big patches, giving off a very uneasy and incomplete feeling.

Experiment 5

I dipped a rock in black ink and dropped it randomly on the newsprint, leaving it up to the element of chance and surprise. The marks created were not very obvious since it was a small rock and the area that comes in contact with the paper is very small. Furthermore, the distance dropped was really short, so the impact was really small and the ink dispersed was also miniscule.

The rock did not create much of a impact upon landing on the paper.

That concludes the first day of my exploration and experimentation.


This time, I not only brought leaves and twigs, but I also managed to find some tree bark to experiment with since they have a very rough and uneven texture that I can work with.

Experiment 6

(I) I painted one side of the tree bark with black ink and pressed it down on the newsprint paper. I realized due to the uneven nature of the material that I have to press it back and forth to evenly spread out the whole bark’s texture on the paper.

Pressing the bark back and forth.

(II) I dipped another piece of bark I obtained on the black ink and swiped it across the paper. However since the bark is once again uneven only a few portions came in contact with the bark.

The uneven nature made very little ink come in contact with the bark.
Doing fast and quick motions of swiping the bark across the paper.

I swiped the bark across a few times to get a blur of strokes across the paper.

Experiment 7

I wanted to create an explosion like effect to emulate surprise, so I painted a entire rock with black ink and wrapped it up like a satchel.

The… slightly anticlimactic result. 🙁

The results certainly did not meet my expectations… It was just a small patch in the middle of the paper where the rock was, there was nothing really ‘explosion’ about it other than the creases of paper spreading out from where I wrapped the rock up with. At least now I know what works and what doesn’t!

Experiment 8

I took the remaining ink left on one of the leaf and pressed it down by hand in a parabola fashion, which from afar almost looked like it could pass off as human thumbprints on the paper. Since I was out of time, I didn’t really have much of a chance to explore with this concept. But from what I tried, due to the uneven force applied by a human hand, the marks left on the paper are also very uneven and dispersed.

Small faint marks left by the leaves on the paper.


Experiment 9

(I) The idea of nature interacting with man made objects crossed my mind the other day, so while gathering my next batch of materials from trees and grasses, I also picked up some litter I found on the floor, mainly cigarettes. I incorporated cigarettes into my next piece, which is scattering small leaves semi-randomly on the linoleum sheet.

I rolled some ink over the leaves to not only capture their form but also some of the veins to give it a bit more structure. Two cigarette butts were placed in there as well, which actually blended in quite well with the leaves until upon closer inspection. The print came out quite nicely, with the positive space clearly showing the form of the leaves against the pitch black background since I used a presser for this one.

(II) Using the side of the leaves that was facing downwards towards the ink, I rearranged them on a newsprint since the ink underneath the leaf was transferred onto the leaf and is untouched. So now the form and shape of the leaves would become the negative space and the paper itself is the positive space.

It almost looked like it was saying ‘leaf me alone…’

This created a slightly melancholy effect, almost looking like they are actually falling off trees in a still, like there is some sort of implied movement. This print also became part of my LONGING line which I would elaborate on later.

Experiment 10

This time I dipped a huge leaf in ink (again.. yea it sounds a bit repetitive even to me) and slammed, swipe, dragged it across the paper in an attempt to express rage, along the lines of ‘abusing’ the plant and causing harm to it.

Me experimenting different ways I could express rage on the leaves.
The result was a huge mess… and was oddly satisfying.

Patches of black ink are visible across the paper, as well as fast and furious drag marks, plus some faintly visible shapes of leaf imprints on the paper, which were the 3 movements I was mainly trying to express in this work. It strangely allowed me to vent out some pent up anger and create a work of emotion.




As previously stated in experiment 9, I ended up using that test print as part of my final work since I liked it a lot. The leafs portray a certain sense of implied movement like they are falling, or how I would imagine it as someone looking out of the window looking at leafs falling off the tree, giving a strange sense of melancholy. It seems to yearn for something more, but never being quite able to achieve it.

The faint shapes and veins that could be seen in the leafs give off a more gentler and tender feeling compared to the darker tones of the leafs in my LONELINESS line, hence the mood conveyed turned out to be more positive and cheerful.


I had no idea how I wanted to express JOY when I was first doing this piece, so I placed some nicely shaped leafs on the presser to get their white silhouettes.

Two of ’em of different sizes.

The print turned out pretty barren and empty, so I added some ixoras to the sheet and reprinted it.

These small ixoras look really dainty and cute for some reason.

The resulting print ended up more dynamic, since the small ixoras give the print different shapes and sizes rather than just two bland leafs of similar build. The spreading out of leafs also made the work look more upbeat, hence the joy and satisfaction also stemmed from there. Thus I named this line CONTENTMENT.


Inspired by Experiment 5, I decided to give the rock-dropping technique another try, but this time with 5 different rocks across 3 A2 size newsprints and from even greater heights.

Coating the entire rock with black ink.
Dropping it from roughly a 1m height.
The aftermath of randomly dropping 5 rocks for 5 minutes.

I dropped my rocks from different heights too since different height affects the impact of the rocks on the floor differently, and hence how the ink is dispersed across the paper. Doing it on a big piece of paper is definitely more satisfying since the results are more visible and well… unexpected. A few times, when I dropped the rock, it did not create a black splotch of ink, but instead long streaks of ink running parallel to each other are created. I am not sure how this happens, but it definitely caught me off guard and I was pleasantly surprised.


Torment was one of the synonyms provided for anger, hence I referred back to Experiment 3, but this time hitting the plant stalks on the paper even harder such each slap sounded like a whip being slapped across the floor.

Using big leafs
Using twigs.
Comparison between the two.

The one done with twigs made the work look a lot more sharp and explosive, hence it does not seem to convey the feeling of torment really well. However, the one done with leaves covered a bigger area, looks more chaotic and the different thickness of inks also make the work look more natural. The shape of the leafs when slapped seems to give off some sort of whirlpool effect since I tackled the paper from different directions. All these seem to give off a more negative vibe more suitable for ANGER, which I translated it to TORMENT.



This line was inspired from ‘Songs of Cicada’ by Chua Ek Kay.

Song of Cicada (1995) Chua Ek Kay 1800mm x 3600mm Retrieved from on 10/9/2017.

His use of space within the minimalistic work struck a chord within me, since it seems to exude a sense of loneliness and is very barren and desolate. Each brush stroke, representing a leaf, is placed far apart from each other across the different panels, the obvious divide between them making the remoteness between them even more obvious.

I first worked with 4 leaves on a linoleum sheet, trying to replicate the effect of the huge painting. However, the leaves serve as the positive space and the black ink is the negative space, similar to experiment 9 above.

Four lonely leaves on the sheet.

This ink used was wetter than the one I previously used, hence the immediate result is really wet and glossy.

I proceeded to press the linoleum sheet a second time since the ink underneath the leaves were untouched.

The mark the leaves left.
The result.

The background now becomes off-white while the leafs leave a clear imprint on the paper, giving off a very gloomy vibe. This effect was close to what I wanted, but since I was using a different presser the off-white background was very uneven and I had to redo it a few more times.

I also tried to use a roller to roll over the leafs and ink.
The countless tries I did to try and get the desired effect.
Some of the small leafs used. It is really amazing how no two organic objects will ever look the same.

Ultimately, I went with this print. The black silhouettes of the leafs make the work feel darker, the leafs almost looking like a endless dark void, so far away from each other, never to meet.


I did this print by taking a long thin branch, spreading it across the sheet and printed it out.

Loooooong and thin.

The first print gave very stark contrast of black and white, which looked very outstanding since the work looks very minimalistic. The person’s eyes would have immediately been drawn to follow the ‘line’ on the paper from left to right as it spreads out of the paper, making the work look somewhat incomplete. This however did not satisfy the ‘SADNESS’ effect I wanted, so I pressed the print a second time without the branch.

The lines are now much blurrier and less well defined, the ink is uneven throughout the print, as if it also became unconfident of itself. This seems to convey the mood of apprehension better too since the dark tones of the painting the atmosphere very uncertain.




Choosing the right image to show.

I ultimately chose the area that shows bolder and thinner patches of ink to give it more dynamic and emotion.


Not the final line.

For this line, I ended up going with a sparse arrangement of 4 leafs in the line, and only one of them has their shape fully visible in the work. This one was the most challenging for me since I have to compress and distribute the leafs across a much smaller area compared to the work in ‘Sound of Cicada’ and yet still retaining the mood of the print well.


Where does it come from? Where does it lead to?

The branch print was slightly bigger than the line template, so choosing the frame for this one was not that hard. I decided to cut off the bottom of the curve to give the painting more uncertainty and open for thought as to where the lines may lead to outside of what we see, as per the feeling of apprehension itself.



Aaaaand it’s done!

And here are my final 6 lines for Project 1: My Line is Emo. Thank you for reading my post! 😀