2D Project 2 Final Wrap Up!



This is the final post for Project 2!

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My concept is based on each of the 4 lines of the nursery rhyme “There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe”. It explores the 4 different types of mothers, each dysfunctional in their own ways.

Throughout the 4 compositions you will see little minion children, and in each composition they behave differently, reflecting the type of mother they have.


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I actually forgot to mention this during my presentation, but I decided to arrange the compositions in a square because I felt that the ‘eye compositions’ should be diagonal opposites, as well as both ‘chaotic compositions’ being the other diagonal (like a criss -cross). This would create an overall sense of balance for the viewer, showing that even though I deconstructed the nursery rhyme and interpreted each line rather differently, when you see the whole picture, ultimately they all make and belong to the same one nursery rhyme.

I was wondering whether I should have arranged it that both ‘eye compositions’ were on the top- but then I realised it wouldn’t really make sense visually and conceptually.


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As you go through each of these compositions, before you read the explanations, the question you should be asking is this: What kind of a mom do these children have?

Why? Because it’s much more interesting to let you draw the conclusions yourself. Instead of showing you the mom’s facial expression yourself by using obvious visual compositions (eg. using a dingbat that shows a distressed woman to show that she can’t control her children), you can judge for yourself what the personality of the mom is by the way her children behave. 

Let’s begin!





Composition 1: “There was once an old woman who lived in a shoe”

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Dingbats used:

-Shoe (mine)

-Balloons (mine)

– 2 different dingbats of children (all mine)

-Mary skipping (Hsin Wei’s)

-Pony (Andrew’s )

-Barbie doll (Andrew’s )

-Kitten (Justin’s )

-Lollipop (Pei Yi’s)



-What kind of a mother lives in a shoe with her children? A fun mother! She lets chaos reign, therefore you see children everywhere and there is no central focus. I chose to design the composition this way as to invite the viewer to look close and see the different fun activities the little minion children are doing.

Speaking of which, if you look closer, you will be able to see that in reality, the activities the children are doing rather unsafe and risky- and they are doing the most ridiculous things! You can see a baby hanging off the balloon or climbing up the shoe on a pony!

-The dingbats I chose are to create a whimsical atmosphere and add elements of excitement by exaggerating them to amplify or skew the function of the dingbat. For instance, the lollipop is enlarged into a colossal lollipop– every child’s dream.

-Kittens are generally harmless, but when it is ten times bigger than the children, there is a sense of danger here that the mother has put the children in. It is almost like she lets her children play with a baby tiger!

-Also, when you see the illustrations of the nursery rhyme you see the mother living in a beat up man’s shoe, tattered and chunky. But when you see the high heel– you think, this must be one stylish, fashion conscious mom! In another sense it is also rather impractical as the high heel is extremely unstable as a house. The choice of the shoe reflects the mother’s personality as well- impractical, fun, easy going mother.





Composition 2: “She had so many children she didn’t know what to do”

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Dingbats used:

-Scared eye (mine)

– Boy laughing (mine)

-Woman sitting in the chair (mine)



Nursery rhymes usually talk about a mothers love to their children. But here I wanted to change the perception completely. I wanted to show a mother who has is in a state of helplessness due to her mental illness. She has lost her mind and lost control over her child/children. But one thing remains ambiguous- perhaps she has many children or maybe she just has one and she sees the same one being ‘multiplied’- we can’t really tell since her perception is distorted. Her child/children have become alien to her. There is no love, but fear and disturbance because of what her state of mind is.

This whole composition is to reflect her psychotic mind and to give an eerie, vibe as the mother feels her child/children are mocking her. Also, this was largely inspired by Hannah Hoch’s dada style- the use of exaggeration and collage style like compositions.

-The scared eye is enlarged to hide her face. We don’t need to see her face to know what is going on with her. The startling eye almost jumps out at you to suggest bewilderment, contrasting the cool composure she is taking on, sitting on the chair.

-To further enhance the eeriness and psychotic feel, I created ‘eyelashes’ out of the same dingbat of the laughing child. The repetition of the dingbat in the eyelashes and the background is to show how her world is ‘closing in’ on her and her child/ children seems to be the source of her discomfort, unease and anxiety.

The dingbat is actually meant to be really happy and bright but using it in this composition now distorts my feeling towards it- it seems more dark and twisted and slightly creepy.



^A gif I made on Joy’s suggestion. (Thanks Joy! They’re pretty cool!) The different pictures show my experiments for this composition.

Here’s another one that I made but didn’t make the cut. It also didn’t make sense that the children were on her eyeball haha.






Composition 3: “She gave them some broth without any bread”

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Dingbats used:

-Eye (mine)

– 2 different dingbats of children (all mine)

-Mary skipping (Hsin Wei’s)

-Sniper (Jordan’s)



– I used the eye here again, but this time to convey an opposite, contrasting personality: the rigidness of the strict tiger mom who wants to enforce discipline. She has everything under control. Because of her personality, I wanted to convey her as a military officer, therefore using straight lines and ‘war’ imagery. The fact that the eye is central to the composition is to suggest that she has a 360 degree control and that she watches her children carefully, ‘keeping an eye’ on them.

-You can see the little minion children here making an appearance again. However, this time they are arranged in straight, strict lines to mimic the military rows soldiers make. They are ‘kept in line’ and are under control- very orderly.

-The use of Jordan’s sniper is to reinforce how she she keeps her guard up at all times. The sniper is placed all around the eye, rotated at different positions to convey movement like how someone with a gun is alert and will ‘pan left and right’ as he moved around the room to detect any suspicious activity.


^ A gif of my work-in-progress in creating this composition





Composition 4: “And whipped them all soundly and put them to bed”


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Dingbats used:

-Woman lying down (mine)

– 2 different dingbats of children (all mine)

-Bulldozer (mine)

-Train (Brenda’s)

-Mary skipping (Hsin Wei’s)

Barbie doll (Andrew’s)

The first question you should ask when you see this is: Why are these children doing this to their mother?


– This mother is the abusive step-mother. Here, we see that the children get their revenge- they send HER to bed. One idea I had was to use the concept of Hansel & Gretel pushing the witch in the oven, but I liked the Gulliver’s Travels concept wayy better!

-I purposely made composition 4 similar to composition 1 in terms of layout. Many of the same dingbats are used. The children are riding the ponies in composition 1, but it is to have fun and adventure. Here, it they use the ponies almost like soldiers ‘waging war’ haha. You have children everywhere to convey chaos. In this composition, the children have a revolution and chain their step-mother.

-I decided to add in the bulldozer and the train to suggest the creativity of the children in using their toys to make their way to the sandbox and to dig the sand. I find it quite humorous actually!



Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 11.58.58 PMDespite having no knowledge of Photoshop whatsoever, I am extremely happy that I am able to learn a lot just by doing this project. All those hours spent with trial and error and playing around with tones, cropping etc was totally worth it! Again, just like other previous project, this definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone but I am definitely pleased with the outcome and that I went through this whole process!

But most importantly, one main thing I should takeaway from this project is that you should be flexible and open. Take those curveballs thrown at you to push your creativity and potential and you will definitely be pleasantly surprised by the results!




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For this project, I find that it was much more easier to document my progress on OSS, however I still have some sketches and research done in my visual journal albeit considerably less than the previous project!







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Instructors feedback:

  • Joy liked the manipulation of the ‘child laughing’ dingbat to create eyelashes- she felt that it was creative.
  • She liked that it wasn’t too literal
  • Most importantly, she especially likes the fact that there was no need to depict the mother to show what kind of mother it is.

Classmates’ feedback:


2D Project 2 Dingbats




Here are the 10 original dingbats I made for the first concept, based on the poem by Margaret Atwood, “It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers.”

And actually, I’m quite surprised! I used 5 out of the 10 original dingbats I created in my final compositions. I also used many of my classmates’s original dingbats. This just goes to show that when a curveball is thrown at you, you should just embrace it and be flexible!


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And here are the new dingbats I made for the second concept, based on the nursery rhyme “There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe.”


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I will be posting the wrap up of Project 2 in the next few days!





Project 2 (Progress)- Part 4


Hello everyone!

After consultation with Joy last week, I got the thumbs up for my concept and she gave me some things to think about:

  1. How I want my format/layout of my 4 compositions to be

2. How I can unify my 4 compositions- funnily enough, we had the same idea! To use the concept of Gulliver’s Travels in one of the composition. She also suggested using the miniature children throughout the 4 compositions to tie them all in together.



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Remember my ”What’s next?’ section at the end of the Part 3 post? I will be answering and giving updates on each of the section.


  1. Playing around with more dingbats

Looking back on the compositions I’ve created, I’m not that satisfied with the visual outcome. I feel like it could look better and more interesting and I could push the design in terms of abstraction since I feel I already have a strong concept.

So I spent quite a while experimenting and improving my existing compositions. I noticed that I kind of used compositions from my previous concept about war. Now I realise there are links and similarities that I can draw between the two concepts. I hope that as I explore I will be able to make more connections.

The original composition:

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So far I’m making good progress and will be churning out more!


2. Just to reiterate, I have decided to use all 4 lines of the nursery rhyme.


3. For my first original poem about war, I wanted to focus on my compositions having a Constructivism feel and style as it was most appropriate for my concept. Since changing it now, I feel like Dadaism would be more appropriate for my current concept, and Hannah Hoch’s style is really inspiring for my nursery rhyme.

Dadaism challenged “conventional aesthetic and cultural values by producing works marked by nonsense, travesty, and incongruity”.

I have created my own personal checklist to keep in line with the Dada feel.


b)Travesty: An exaggerated or grotesque imitation, such as a parody of a literary work. Mockery, distortion, corruption.

c) Incongruity: lacking in harmony, incompatible. Not in agreement, as with principles; inconsistent:


I feel like my concept does the same. Nursery rhymes are supposed to be about mothers who love and care for the children properly, whereas my concept deconstructs the rhyme, exploring different types of mothers, each dysfunctional in their own sense. Also, in my compositions, when I represent what the children do and are surrounded by is a reflection of the type of mother they have. So I might not necessarily picture the mother there, but the environment is enough to tell the convey the story.

To think about it, Dadaism is quite an extreme form of abstraction as it will be pushing me out of my comfort zone as I am the type of person who needs things to make sense and look the part. So there will always be a tension between my inner design style and the Dada style and I have to find a balance between both. I have a feeling things will be a bit twisted. But I’m looking forward to it!


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  1. To finalise my compositions for tomorrow’s printing (AAAAHHHHH) and put it in the format required
  2. To gather my thoughts and prepare my presentation for Thursday’s critque!