Tag Archives: 2D Foundation

The Zine – Independent, Social, Radical.

The zine has always had a history of self-expression and social engagement. They were often used by sectors of society that find their content underrepresented in traditional media, and thus decided to create their own content. From my foray into fan culture, I knew zines existed and were very popular, often used for art compilations and fanfiction. Regardless of the content, it was used to bind different committees together.  Be it due to popular culture, or through expressing a political message usually overlooked. I decided to do a quick pinterest search, that slowly accumulated during the course of the project.

Full Research/Moodboard here.

That’s what my research informed me, which of course intrigued me immediately. As a someone who may have stronger social opinions than most, I felt that I wanted to produce a work that could represent my opinions. With the rise of the internet, zines went from being handmade to being digital. However, I still wanted to retain the idea of producing a strong social piece. I went on to consider the different social movements that I felt strongly about: the feminist movement, the civil rights movement, and the queer movement.

In the end I decided to go with the feminist movement to narrow the scope of my zine down to something more specific.

Something else I immediately thought of in relation to the disenfranchised and the marginalised was Les Miserables. This musical is famous for discussing the oppression of those of lower social hierarchy, and the subsequent fighting back of society. Other than aligning perfectly with my feminist concept, Les Miserable was also one of my favourite musicals and had shaped my own interest in social and political issues. Before that, I had always been apathetic and uninterested. I thus felt it was particularly apt.

I knew red  was going to be something featured heavily in the work, being the colour of passion, and also a flag of the revolution in the musical. But seeing this poster, I knew immediately the colour scheme my work will slant towards.

The poem (sort of) was also inspired by the Finale in Les Miserables, which has always made me very emotional, particularly this segment:

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
They will walk behind the plough-share,
They will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes…
Tomorrow comes!

I knew I was going to utilise part of the lyrics in my work. I then furthered my research by going into my own books.

There was a couple of paraphernalia in this book that with the help of consultations, made me realise I could utilise them in my work. Below are the three specific ones.

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I borrowed the idea of using an aged and yellowed texture as that was what I felt was in common for all three.

Here are the final pages:

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I printed the two covers separately on a piece of tracing paper, then bound them all together in a saddle-stitch (the help of the printing shop). The tracing paper was to add a hazy, dreamlike quality to zine, much like the revolution and social movements. A dream for a better world.

Creating the zine was trying and torturous process as I had never worked with Indesign nor did anything design related other than digital painting in photoshop. So this was something completely new to me. Perhaps I went a little safe with my overall design, but I’m still glad I was able to produce a work I am mostly proud of. A good end to a semester in Foundation 2D!

Point of View – Final

We all have a heart. It provides us with life, keeps our body working smooth and hearty (pun definitely intended). It’s such a huge part of being human but it’s become such an automated thing that we never really notice it anymore. We’re constantly using our hearts in different situations: through our emotions.

It’s something that dictates the actions of many people, and its commonly associated to the heart. Emotions like love, fear, hate and paint all affect our heart and the way we view the world.

Therefore, I’ve decided to use the heart as my main focus.

There are usually two sides to a heart, like there are always two sides to a person. A biological heart pumps both oxygenated – red blood – and the deoxygenated – blue blood. I’ve decided to use both these colours to represent the positives and negatives of this work.

I wanted to portray the duality of a heart so I placed  all the positives on one side and the negatives on the other. On one side, we have the more empathic heart. A more social heart.


For the first piece, most of the red is concentrated within the couple. I also tried to incorporate gestures into the work as well, with the handholding. I kept the genders of the couple ambiguous so its up to your interpretation of who they are.



For the second piece, there’s a patient in need of a heart, being provided by the heart in the centre. The chest is empty because it lacked a heart. There’s also a recurring theme of keeping the figures ambiguous in gender.



For the third piece, the clasped hands are meant to be a gesture of healing, wrapped round the huddled figure wrapped in bandages. The figure is hurt and injured, and the bandages help to make the figure feel better. The wings are disintegrating, but healing under the blanket, kind of like the healing wings of a broken bird. The clasped hands are almost meant to feel like a warm embrace.



In this piece, I meant to use the blood almost like a sword, slicing through the figure. Sometimes pain can be so agonising it physically harms and destroys, so I wanted to be able to portray that here. Rejection doesn’t have to mean something romantic. It could be social, or a workplace rejection, but all of them illicit pain in a different way.



During the Victorian era, there was a common perception where blood was considered to be the source of life. That was why the concept of vampires became particularly popular. Even though this project has nothing to do with vampires, I still wanted to make use of the ‘Blood is Life’ idea. I decided to metaphorically represent the black market dealer as a blood monster rising from the broken body of his victim.



For this one, I kind of want to show the social pressure on the world on someone who is more concerned with their own survival than that of the world’s. Often, many people isolate themselves and their hearts in order to protect themselves. Here, society presents as unrecognisable black figures that envelop the lonely figure, huddled into themselves out of fear and protection.



It all forms a heart at the centre of my body of six pieces, a bit like how the heart is at the centre of the body. All these positives and negatives will eventually rejoin the heart to form one whole entity.



Point of View – Research

Apologies for the late update!

I have always had problems expressing myself in my work. Often, I am too hesitant, and find myself falling back into my safety net as an attempt to secure my precious grades. This time, I want to be able to fully envelop myself into my work, and inject a little ‘heart’ into it, quite literally!

A HEART from the point of view of:

  • a DOCTOR is an ORGAN.
  • a COUPLE is LOVE.
  • ONE’S MIND is too emotional.
  1. A SHIELD from the POV of a HEART is a WALL.
  2. A REJECTION from the POV of a HEART is AGONY.
  • A SAMARITAN from the POV of THE DISADVANTAGED is heart.

I decided to go a little traditional again, and toy with the idea of pen and ink art. I have dabbled in it, but never seriously so it would be interesting to see where this leads me. There are a couple of artists that are particularly inspiring, some using mixed media as well.

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For the above artist, Gabriel Picolo, his works are highly illustrative and he wld sketch his works, trace them in ink then work over them in photoshop. I really love his strong pen technique and the clean linework. I also love how stylised and illustrative it is and I hope to achieve something like this.


For this artist, his pen technique is a lot more elaborate, forming these intricate shapes that weave into each other. These are more technically demanding, and will be harder on me but I am willing to try some similar styles if I can come up with a suitable idea to fit it.

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Agnes Cecile is one of my favourite artists, with her impeccable watercolour technique. In these two pictures she however uses a different style. The first image is that of drip ink painting, where her movements are sporadic and almost random but they still create the form of a human. The second has her mixing pen and watercolour together. Both are mesmerising techniques and it would be highly interesting to try them out.

Currently, I have a few ideas of what I intend to do with my six pieces. I was hoping to achieve a kind of a parallel between the works, three against three. Two will form one main arching idea. I will be thinking of more concrete sketches to showcase during consultation as I further develop my ideas.

Hopefully I will be able to come up with something satisfactory! 🙂

Typography Portrait – Final

Finally after some long grueling work with research and a lot of painful fingers, my typography portrait has finally been completed. Since I’m more used to traditional 2d mediums and digital art, this time I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try to build something with my hands instead. Despite my lack of talent in it. This of course meant that during the process of crafting each individual portrait, a lot of challenges were thrown my way but thankfully, I was able to conquer them to produce the final product in the picture below.image


Meaning: One of my flaws, which I’m still trying to correct is that I have an irritable personality. I get easily ticked off by things I find offensive, and since I tend to keep things to myself, I may start to appear judgmental. I may get easily ticked off but I try to school myself to remember that I will need to be accepting of other people’s quirks and problems. It is getting better now but it’s still something I constantly agonise over. This work is meant to remind me of my prickly nature and to keep myself in check.

Methodology: I used a Styrofoam board and toothpicks in this work. I painted the white board with many layers of acrylic paint to ensure that I could get it as dark as possible. I then sketched my design onto a piece of paper. Using the sketch as a stencil, I would then poke pins through the paper to generate small holes to mark where I needed my toothpicks.

My first attempt with the toothpicks however was a complete disaster. Since they were too long, sticking them meant I couldn’t control the direction they were pointing in. Instead they formed a jarring mass of formless shapes. I tipped them all over since I obviously couldn’t submit a formless shape. I went on to try and experiment and see if I could lay down the toothpicks, but it felt too flat. So that was also another failure.

In my frustration, I broke a toothpick (highly appropriate considering the attribute the portrait related to) and realised that hey, I could use the short end! I stuck it in the board as a test trial and it worked so well that I went with it in the end. I’m glad that it was able to turn out the way the did considering the problems that arose. The fact that I didn’t get any splinters (or maybe I did but I just couldn’t see them) was a bonus too.imageimage


Meaning: The ironic thing about this attribute is, I am actually a ridiculously messy person. And yet, one of the things I constantly need to do, is finish things in a systematic way. I am constantly writing lists (one of my guilty pleasures. Guilty because who the hell likes lists?) and doing things by the book. But this makes me feel secure, knowing that I have done everything I need to do. Especially when work starts to pile up, my lists are always my go-to. Sure the increasing length of tasks stresses me out, but at least I have everything I need down.

Methodology: Initially, I had planned a conveyor belt concept, like churning parcels out in a factory. I had intended to build it out of paper but after some consideration I abandoned the idea. This piece underwent a lot of conceptual changes simply because I couldn’t make up my mind on what exactly I wanted. Finally, after hearing the idea of negative space during a consultation sessions, I decided to go with it instead. Paper became Lego because of its strict geometry and hard lines.

I spent more than half a day working on this piece because unlike the first piece it was much harder to generate a stencil and gauge the spaces for the letters. The Legos are mean, unrelenting little bricks that are determined to do damage to my soft, human fingers so I they were really rubbed quite raw by the end of it. Just the thought of those Legos bring back the phantom feeling of pain.

Thankfully though, this piece was more smooth sailing (in some ways) than the others. The only big issues was arranging the letters to make sure, yet again, it wasn’t a formless blank space. Execution wise it was a simple idea. It was only more tedious to actually form the word. However, I’m happy that it now resembles actual typography.imageimage




Meaning: Conceptually, this is probably the simplest of them all. I wanted to represent the traveler in me, and my need to get out there. I love going overseas, even if the places I have visited aren’t many.

Methodology: I use pins and white thread in this one to generate the typography. Initially, I had intended to use pictures to denote the places I have visited as well but as I wanted a cohesiveness to all my designs, I ended up scrapping the idea. Looking back, I realise that perhaps it may not have been the best idea. It now looks a lot plainer and drab, and the meaning doesn’t show itself as strongly than if I could have use pictures to support the typography.

Just like all the others, forming the text was a a grueling and tedious process. My rather lanky form meant that I had to curl up ungracefully on top of my desk, twisting my back and neck in order to properly pin things up. Ensuring everything was straight and aligned with each other added to the physical torture – you didn’t just have to pin, you needed to hold a long metal ruler in place too. By the time I got down from my desk, there was a kink in my neck and an ache in my back, but I was happy. (The sacrifices you make for art.) But hey, at least the typography itself worked out.

Honestly, I was least happy with this piece, as the lighting was undesirable and the concept not as well executed as I wish it had been. However, I am still glad that I was able to complete and produce a finalised work.


Meaning: This piece has a slightly darker connotation to it. Art will never be complete without some intense introspection. This piece is generated from a place of thought: literally, because existentialism is a downward spiral of thoughts on the human need for purpose in life. Perhaps it comes from me being an introvert, but I find myself getting lost in my head more often than doing anything solid. A flaw as well but that isn’t the point of this piece. This portrait rather, is to remind me that even if my thoughts tend to reach towards less positive places, I can always trust to find light and hope at the end of that tunnel.

Methodology: I first sketch out a meticulously measured design in pencil first before taking a knife to the paper and slowly slicing out the designs. There is some idea of negative space usage as well, as I wanted the letter to be suggested through the curves of the paper. Therefore finding a balance between space and paper was quite challenging as I didn’t want it to be formless (yet again) and I didn’t want to have to re-cut the work. It was a more hesitant process.

The paper cutting was the easy (though tiring part). Now I needed to find a way to take the picture. I know I wanted a semblance of translucency to the picture so I taped tracing paper behind the piece for light to shine through behind. I stuck the piece on my shelf, where my desk lamp was conveniently placed behind it. And due to the translucent nature of the paper, the brownish hue of my note board was able to reveal itself through the paper. So instead of a flat white light within the letters, there is now a soft gradient of colour.

The effect was unexpected but very much satisfactory, and this is one of my favourite pieces, together with Prickly.


A lot of thought and consideration was put into this work, something that I haven’t done for a 2D project in a long time. (More due to my reluctance to do anything that wasn’t purely digital/in traditional mediums.) This meant that I had to work harder to manipulate this unconventional, unfamiliar modes of representation and the challenges that arose were much more numerous than any other project I have experienced before. The lighting for some of the pictures weren’t very desirable as well, so learning how to control light would be something I’ll want to tackle in the future. However, the process of creation was definitely enjoyable, and even if they hadn’t turned out as perfectly as I saw them in my mind. they already far exceeded anything I have done in the past. All in all, I am glad that I was able to complete and finish this project, to produce my four works.


Typography Portrait – Progress #2

There hasn’t been much change conceptually for my designs other than for one of my attributes. Here are my intended attributes:


The following is a strengthening of my intended methodology with certain reference material.

The attribute that had undergone some change is SYSTEMATIC. Originally, I had intended to build a small model of a conveyor belt out of paper in order to generate the idea of being systematic. I later than toyed with the concept of digital artwork, but neither seemed to really work. I had also considered using negative space for the actual typography as well. Finally after a lot of thinking and a sudden moment of epiphany, I decided to make use of what I already have at home: Lego.

Below are a couple of references I found interesting –

I went ahead with the concept of negative space, and have already formed this piece out of rectilinear lego pieces. It all comes together a little stiff and chaotic, but systematically rectangular as well. This piece will be revealed on the day of the presentation, with both the model and the A5 submission.

For EXISTENTIAL, after a lot of painful experimentation with bright lights in pitch black rooms, I have decided to go with shadow typography, similar to the below:

For the other two, I have decided that I am going to attempt pin and thread typography as well with TRAVELER, as well tactile typography like the examples below:

Pin and Thread –

However, instead of coloured thread, I will be using white thread and pins. Perhaps with some other colours to highlight countries, as well as some pictorial aid.

Tactile Typography –

I will be using toothpicks for this piece as it is more inexpensive, though the background material is still being confirmed.

As of yet, I am still acquiring the necessary materials for the above projects so no progress has been made yet. However, I am fairly certain of my methodology and the ways I will be attempting my typography, all of which will taken photographically and submitted in an A5 format.

Hope it all turns out as planned! 🙂


Typographic Portrait – Progress

My intention with my pieces is to go with something more interactive that can be viewed from multiple perspectives, even if the ultimate A5 result is single-facing.

I have since settled on four major attributes and ideas:


I’m going for a concept where one finds some light in an existential spiral. The idea I’ve crafted is as follows:


I intend to build a black box, material yet to be confirmed. On the front face, the syllables of my name will be carved onto the surface in curved strips. The word existential will then be written in glow-in-the-dark ink to stand out in the box as shown below.


However, my main issue with this work will be it’s presentation. The idea may or may not undergo some changes. My typographic name may be made out in translucent paper instead. Ideas are still being tossed around as to how to solve this problem.


My intention is to make this piece look like a conveyor belt. My initial concept was to make this typographic model out of paper, but after some consideration, the suggestion of negative space became a concept I am intrigued about. My initial sketch model is as shown below:


The typographic outline I hope to fulfil:


The concept I have in my mind is to perhaps outline the silhouette of the word instead of merely forming it out of paper. Initially, I thought of using daily objects to form this figure. However, it’s time-consuming nature is making me reconsider my option. The concept of 2D digital art is interesting as well, and may be able to achieve my desired effect better. Still toying around with ideas for this piece as well.


I have always been a traveler, and this 3D typographic piece is meant to showcase this aspect of myself as a physical representation of my dream to travel the world. My intention is to piece my name together using string and pins.


Certain strings will then branch out towards countries I have and haven’t visited, all in various colours for visual interest and easy identification. This is the only confirmed design that I will very likely proceed with.



I am easily irritable, even if I don’t always show it. This is something more textured that I’ll attempting to pursue. I intend to form my name with toothpicks on a styrofoam surface. I have considered the use of pins, but I realised that they may be a bit costly and went with the alternative of toothpicks instead. I may consider using a styrofoam board as its base.


These pieces will all be shot in photos to display its 2D typographic nature, though they are mostly done in a 3D format.

Typographic Portrait – Research

For this project, I decided to focus most of my research towards handmade and interactive typography. I’ve always been more comfortable with 2D and digital design, but I decided that I would do something more organic and more three dimensional this time. With this in mind, the artists I was inspired by tend to borrow more unconventional methods of representation with unusual materials.

Handmade Typography

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Daniella Evans – http://marmaladebleue.com/

Her art leans towards more textured, handmade typography using unconventional materials. She has a tendency to depict her art using food materials, though she has used other mediums as well. Other than her lovely calligraphy, her typography emanate a sense of deliciousness, obviously borrowed from how she makes use of food, but lends a three dimensional, interactive quality to the art. It really reaches out of the picture to grasp the attention of the viewer. Thus inspired, I decided to further my research towards 3D typography.

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I was also enchanted by the idea of paper cutting and layering in order to form a three-dimensional quality. Paper is a simple medium, plain when untreated and untouched. But after simple manipulation, the new form it inhabits becomes something visually engaging and interesting. The artist below is a perfect example about how form can be sculpted out of paper into new, hidden perspectives.

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There wasn’t as much focus on the calligraphic style in her work compared Daniella Evans. For Sayer, it’s all about the form and the interactivity between the artwork and her audience. Her sculptures here inhabit a three-dimensional form that never remains still: the exhibit is different no matter where you look at it. What I hope to achieve, after viewing her work, is the idea of interactivity between the artist and the viewer. The work I’ve created previously have always felt static and lifeless to me. This time, I wish to imbue a sense of personality and emotion into my work. Making it participatory for the audience might give it an extra kick as well, if I can pull it off.

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With that in mind, I decided to throw out a couple ideas to start off the creative process by making use of the themes provided in the project brief.

For the above three designs, I was actively attempting to utilise the research I have done, in order to produce handmade, interactive typography. Three dimensional paper sculptures is an option I will definitely be experimenting with in the future so I decided to make use of that in the first design. Being inspired by Daniella Evans as well, I was also thinking to use unconventional materials for the other two designs.  However, as they are only unofficial ideas, I have yet to truly come up with something I can use.

For now, this concept definitely intrigues me and I have great hopes to proceed towards this direction for my project.

Introduction – Hi My Name is…

Coming up with an intricate design under situations that require me to produce things spontaneously is often harder as it’s a bad habit of mine to play things safe. As someone who envisions on becoming an artist, this is something that is often detrimental to the process of creation. These designs weren’t as experimental as they could have been, but I decided to go with these pieces anyway, to understand where my attempts at spontaneity will lead me. Hopefully, with my next project, I may free myself from my creative boundaries to step into unfamiliar territory.


My first design is simple and straightforward. It basically reflects my current interest in calligraphy and handmade script. The analogous colour scheme I chose is also one of my favourite  schemes as well, hence utilising it in this piece. I used generic coloured markers overlaid on a pencil sketch to darken the design.


My second design is meant to show two conflicting sides of my character. I have a tendency to prefer strictly organisation and preparation whenever I attempt to complete something. Barring that, I am actually quite a messy person in real life. The strict stiff lines are meant to showcase the order in my life, while the randomised colours are meant to display a more discordant side to me. I used black sharpie and colour pencils here.


My final design is meant to be a reminder to myself that there may always be slivers of light no matter how dark something will appear. The doorway is meant to show how even the darkest path could end in a bright exit. I used black sharpie, copic line pens and a metallic calligraphy pen.

Final Product:

In terms of design, not much was changed for the nametags. However, there was a couple of medium changes for a few designs.


My initial attempt with the coloured markers on the real nametag cause the lines to bleed, roughening up the script. I also underestimated the space I needed for the name, and everything felt too squashed together. Dissatisfied with the result, I decided to start anew on a blank name tag and went with simple colour pencils inside. The outcome turned out slightly better.


Not much was changed for this design, other than the fact that I had no black sharpies at home and had to make do with black copic liners instead. I wasn’t as happy with the thin lines it produced and it did not generate the stiff and solid effect I wanted my lines to have. Everything else remained the same.


Here, I decided to play with the name tag itself and cut slits into it so that real light could seep through. It gave it an eerie feeling, but a more organic, three-dimensional form as well. My initial attempts with slicing it up weren’t as successful, resulting in crude cuts as I was still unused to the detailed ones required of me and my penknife. But I managed to get the hang of it soon enough.

In conclusion, this was an interesting exercise in self-discovery and made me realise how truly lacking I was in terms of spontaneity and experimenting creatively. I am still glad that I was able to produce something vaguely satisfactory but I hope that in time I will be able to produce, better, more original work.


Project 3: EGO

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In this series, I attempted at something less literal, and decided to go for less physical traits that would describe me. The first row is meant to show a full skeleton, where the traits here show something close to the foundation of my character. Hence, being embedded in my “skeleton”. For row two, the traits here are still important, but are more external. The last row means to depict a human body formed through different panels, fully fleshed and formed. This is because when the other two traits were to be combined, it would result in a complete being.

The shapes behind each figure is meant to provide a window of escaping and to show a cohesive statement of shapes.


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