Design for illustrators: Assignment 2 process

For our second project, we are commissioned to create an illustration for the front cover of bi-annual magazine, “Varoom”. We are able to pick from one of the three themes, style, empathy and obsession.

Choosing a theme:

Here are a few very rough mind maps I did to explore the three themes before narrowing on a final one.

I then decided that the most promising topic that I could work on is obsession, which definition from stated that it is an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. Upon being introduced to some strategies for divergent thinking, which aids in developing ideas and creating conceptual links to the theme, I expanded my thoughts for the specific theme.

Thinking of the theme word obsession reminds me of a phrases/metaphors in the word association chart:

Concept 1: Practice makes perfect

Regular exercise of an activity or skill is the way to become proficient in it.

This remind me of how I learnt chinese spelling, multiplication, and numbers during my kindergarden years. Writing and rewriting the words till it is ingrained in my head. There was once in kindergarden I actually vomit during class as I had a headache and my teacher did not allow me to take a break. I guess that was when my hatred for numbers stem from haha.

Concept 2: An aspect of OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

More specifically, the aspect where there is a need for the individual to have items ordered in a certain way (for example, according to color, size, or facing a certain direction). Children and teens with this type of obsession are either anxious because “it just doesn’t feel right” or because of a superstitious belief that something bad will happen (e.g., “if my shoes are not arranged properly, my mom will die!”). 

This is because of how people these days are so obsessed over the idea of perfection.

A lighter take on this topic reminds me of everyday things that just triggers people for the lack of completeness, below are some things that is an example of such:
 How does it feel for you to feel? Does it trigger you?


Target Audience

From these two concepts, I narrowed and picked a specific target audience. I believe a key aspect that the TA require is appreciating humour. Moodboard:

Concept 1: Practice makes perfect

Lisa suggest taking a literal approach to my real life experience, by illustrating vomit into the cover, and I think it is such a quirky approach!


Concept 2: “OCD”, obsession with perfection

For this, I thought of playing with tiles and illustrate it in such a way that triggers people. For example, not aligning a square with the rest of the tiles, which is quite fun and different!

That is all for now, excited for this project.


DV2002 Assignment 1 – More process + final

Hello! Here is the process of completing the final piece. Knowing that I wanted to create intricate borders, I knew that I had to draw it out on paper. For the borders, I referenced sea anemones and corals as I also love the sea. 

Afterwards, I went ahead and sketch used a wacom to trace the lines out on illustrator.

The final border

Completing on side of the border took a long time, therefore I am thankful that I decided to do a symmetrical piece if not it would take me weeks to complete what I intended to do. After replicating one side of the border, I then head to draw my face, which I did on illustrator.

Initially, I did not make the face symmetrical and copied how my face looked like in real life. However, after seeing it with the symmetrical borders, the whole imagery looks very off and unbalanced. It was then I decided that I have to make everything symmetrical in the work. Unfortunately, I did not take a SS of how the different faces look like with the borders to show as a comparison.


Added a jellyfish head to show my “bimboness” and how sometimes I am a airhead. My hair is then the jellyfishes tentacles, to show that it is a jellyfish more I added 4 lines of different width and strokes which are the jellyfishes main tentacles.

On top of that, I wanted the focus to be on my portrait, therefore I wanted to add a circle background for contrast. However after thinking through, I did not want a normal circle and thought of other shapes or elements that is more inline with the overall theme of my work. Hence, I thought of an hourglass, which is a representation of time and sleep.

Added little elements to complete the work. However, I felt that the submarines look too out of place. I took it out and sent it to Lisa which she commented that the parachutes look like a last thought, and maybe I could increase the size and move it more towards the sides. I tried it and indeed the piece looks more complete!


Here is a my work without any colouring!

My wrist died while doing this :,)

And here is the work with colouring!

My wrists died again while colouring :,))–4/view?usp=sharing

Here is the link to see the full PDF version online!

DV2002 Assignment 1 – Research+Process

For this assignment we are tasked to create a A3 self portrait exploring the concept of visual narrative – or visual storytelling. We are to consider the best ways to represent our character and personality, and I approached this by considering the colours, composition and the elements that should be included in the final design.

First and foremost, we are asked to start by thinking of 5 – 8 words to describe ourselves. So here’s my list!

  1. Dog lover: Having pet dogs in my life since I was born really make me love dogs and it is the best destresser after a long day. Currently, I have a beagle named Onion and he looks extremely droopy, which makes people surprised to hear he is only 1 years old. I think this has also equated to my personality being more dog-like than catty, like loving to go outdoors and being more of a extroverted. Here is a photo of Onion!
  2. Potato lover: I love potatoes in any forms! Mash potato, rosti, hashbrowns, potato chips (my ultimate weakness, I can eat it in place of breakfast, lunch or dinner). Found these two images in my photo gallery haha.

3. Pinoy chinese: My mother is Filipino while my dad is Singaporean Chinese, and being mixed race has often led some interesting events in my life. Like finding my own identity, or being bullied when I was younger as I was different, or relating to things differently from my peers (like food). However I have done projects in the past based on this aspect so I did not touch on it for this module. Here was a photo of a project I did in y1 based on this topic!

A projection of a photo when my parents when they got married, and their product, me! My parents had a filipino wedding hence the lack of red

4. Reckless/careless/forgetful: I lose my Ezlink card on a daily basis, and at this point of my life I know that I am extremely careless so I always take note of my items and surroundings as prevention is better than cure.

5. Vvid dreams: Weirdly I really have very vivid dreams and is able to recount them in details to my friends. My dreams are extremely weird yet feels real at the same time, and somehow my dreams are getting more vivid recently. I chose this aspect of myself to narrate in my self portrait, wanting to create a dream world far from reality, where everything seems real yet has little things that shows that I am not in the real world –  just like my own dreams.

Next, I looked up on some inspiration:

What I like about these works that I found on Pinterest are the bold colours and the style of illustrations. On top of wanting to convey my vivid dreams, I would like to also showcase my personality which some of my friends say is very quirky. Therefore, I want to include bright colours into my work.

Another artist I want to give a shoutout to is Sangho Bang.

I admire his intricate works and use of colours, what I incorporated into my work is trying to use the same method of colouring and shading. He seems to have added highlights and shading into the elements which does not make his work flat, and creates contrast.

Another style that I initially wanted to undertake was to use surrealism, similar to artist Eugenia Loli.

I consulted Lisa, and she recommended me to take note of the scale, size and surrealism. Meaning, a simple method to make things interesting is to make small things bigger, and large things smaller.

However, I did not use this method has it is an unfamiliar style that I have not done before, and I was concerned that I could not pass up a work I am satisfied with the initial deadline we had. Moreover, I wanted to sharpen my digital illustration skills that I haven’t touched in what it felt like a long time.

Compositions that I explored

Finally, I started to work on compositions and thinking about how to convey everything into an A3 paper. Here were some of the compositions I explored!


Interactive II: Mirrors

Our first attempt for Max was to recreate an artwork done by artist, Christian Moeller. The mechanics of his work was a mirror that fogs up as the individual approaches the mirror, and eventually blocks out his/her reflection.

It was tough for me to catch up in class (I am just a slower learner), so I appreciated that we had time to explore the software. Jiaman and I paired up and started to deconstruct the final work that was posted, as both of us are very unsure of how the software is to work. So the first thing we did was to create a video.

Next was understanding Patches, which was something I did not understand until experimenting and using it on my own. Similar to the patch created in the final folder for p faces, we clicked “Command E” to lock the Ain file, and double clicked on it to create our own patch. This was when I realised that whenever we created a patch, we need to have an input and output to connect the patch onto the main piece.

The we had our first question: What does the resize @size function alter?

After trying but failing to understand the help function on max, we carried on and realise that we can change the colour of the boxes, text and lines. Besides improving our aesthetics, I think it will help with organising our work.

But we understood that it splits the output and goes into area2brightness, which patch helps with changing the colour to black as the user approaches. Then we broke down split and scale for our understanding.

Then we were stuck at this place for awhile, and then we realised that the values did not go through because we did not add the”,”, which is a a decimal place for the scale.

Another area we were stuck at We then “Command I” to alter the value to the slider.