Zine Project: Back to the Future in Chinatown!






|| For my Zine: Locale project, I decided to pick the area of Chinatown since I’ve never really thoroughly explored the area before despite having been there on a few occasions during Chinese New Year. So I thought that this would be the perfect chance to get to have a nice adventure around the area on my own!


The slides below are a compilation of the primary and secondary research that I have done at the site:

Chinatown was made into a social enclave for the ethnic Chinese immigrants in 1822 when Sir Stamford Raffles first founded Singapore.

The general Chinatown area is actually split into 4 major areas, Kreta Ayer, Telok Ayer, Bukit Pasoh and Tanjong Pagar. The sites with more tourists and things to see are the Kreta Ayer and Telok Ayer region, where you can find all the souvenir stores and temples!

Kreta Ayer is named after the water carts that were pulled around in the past because accessible water was usually far from homes. This gives us insight into how Singapore used to be a not-so-well off place, compared to now.



It would literally be impossible to miss these shophouse style architecture around Chinatown. There are different styles, as one can tell from the window decoration. They could be first, second or late transitional, or art deco style shop houses from the colonial times that are really iconic to the venue.



There are bronze sculptures littered around Chinatown of its inhabitants in the past such as Rickshaw Pullers, Samsui Women and Coolies that came from China to Singapore in hopes of better job opportunities. Many immigrants that came here toiled hard and worked tough jobs. 

After reading a book called Kreta Ayer I borrowed from the library, I learned a lot more about the lifestyle back then. Samsui women, for example, “could be found in construction sites, digging ditches, scooping sand and cement, and carrying stones and bricks.”  They also had a hair combing ritual called the Golden Orchid Pledge which they swore celibacy by. Areas used to have a more morbid past such as Sago Lane having death houses and opium dens while Keong Saik road was basically a red-light district with many brothels where pipa women would work to entertain men.



This giant mural near Maxwell Food Center was made by ACS students and is one of the most popular murals at Chinatown!



One of the iconic temples there was the Thian Hock Keng temple – Temple of Heavenly Happiness, which I happened to step into randomly (had no idea about it before reading Kreta Ayer). It is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore and is dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea that people would pray to before leaving for voyages at sea. When the 2nd World War came to Singapore in 1942, Chinatown suffered the brunt of Japan’s frequent air raids. There were no air shelters and with Chinatown being so crowded, casualties reached as many as 2,000 a day. During the Japanese Occupation, the loss of jobs caused thousands to turn to hawking on the streets.


Here is an audio recording I took while inside the temple:


You can hear the sound of a bell which I rung, out of multiple bells there that catered to different wishes!


Of course, we really can’t miss the most iconic temple in Chinatown: the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple! It is said to contain the real Buddha’s tooth (which….I actually highly doubt so because my sister once told me she saw the relic on a tour and it was like… some sort of jewel?) 

The prayer hall is really massive and sparkling golden and the moment I saw it I had already decided that it was a contender to be in my middle spread.




Here’s the Chinatown Food Complex! I’ve been here with my family once, the food is so expensive TvT As expected of tourist sites…
The complex is meant to revive the idea of al-fresco dining in a street setting. It re-opened in 2014 with an internal cooling system and high-ceiling glass shelter. The street hawkers, operating out of nostalgic mobile carts, recreate the good old days of open-air eating.


The area of Telok Ayer and Club Street is well-adorned with an abundance of pubs and bars.

Now, I don’t drink, so I can only imagine what kind of heaven this area of Chinatown is for alcoholics.

Here are where many of the shophouse architectures are as well, and is one of those spots artists like to go to to sketch.

Club Street is named after the Chinese Weekly Entertainment Club, and exclusive social club founded in 1891 for the English-Speaking Straits Chinese elites.


Needless to say, there are a ton of shops, especially along Pagoda Street, selling souvenirs ranging from hip shirts, to paintbrushes, to just… really weird stuff.



I found this quote in Urban Sketchers’ Chinatown book, and really relate with:

“Chinatown offers me neither a sense of identity nor belonging. Yet I take great pleasure in walking its streets, secretly revelling in its contrived nature, while seeking out the genuine connections people may have to the place.” Nursil

a, social worker.


Here is a video made up of a bunch of smaller clips of the things I saw and heard walking around Chinatown:

There are multiple juxtapositions of pop culture and old architecture.



Initially, I was looking through a few styles to come up with a style for my zine because I felted kind of daunted by the task of filling up 8 pages of a zine on my own.

How about an Alice in Wonderland style illustration book with me meeting mythical creatures in Chinatown?


Perhaps I could do it like Dr Seuss books; spaced out compositions with some fun text?



All this history talk also reminds me of Night at the Museum, perhaps I could bring historical figures alive?


The possibilities were endless with a zine.


It wasn’t until I was chatting with a senior until I realised that Chinatown and the world of Ghibli’s Spirited Away had uncanny similarities, especially with the lanterns and all. I mean, this:

versus this?

At this point, I’m practically Chihiiro (the protagonist).

So I drew myself as her.

It gave me the idea of a tour.

And then it struck me: if it was so hard trying to imagine myself back in old Chinatown, why not bring people in the past back to modern Chinatown?

We could bring people like the rickshaw puller, coolie and samsui woman to present day Chinatown to witness the fruits of their labour and have fun while at it!


And so begin my humble project:

I spent a good hour learning how to make this font on Illustrator by following this tutorial:

Yay! Now I know how to install new fonts, control gradients and distort my text!


I thought hmm… I literally have over 260+ photographs. It would be a huge pity not to use any of it.

It would also be a huge pity to make them black and white (I toyed with the idea of viewing Chinatown in monochrome but someone did it already, plus Chinatown is so vibrant, that it would just be a waste.)

So I decided to make a photo compilation infused with digital illustrations that I really enjoy doing!

Below are some of the individual drawings I did on FireAlpaca programme:

I grew attached to the characters and decided to call them

  1. Coolie (short for… uhh Coolie)

2. Rickie (short for Rickshaw puller)

3. and Sammie (short for Samsui woman)


I was thinking about my back cover where I had to include my contacts and there was no way I was going to miss the chance to but my name on a sign :)))

(Something like this)


I also forgot to mention earlier that around the same time of doing the actual graphics, I did a sketch of the entire zine.

To plan the content of the zine, I listed out several ideas on Notepad first to filter out which photos mattered the most or told the most stories.

Then I proceeded to create a rough sketch by placing elements around the pages to see how they work out. There’s no other way than to just do it and trust your eyes.




After intense drawing and vector graphic making, here are the final pages!




The title of the zine and illustration would be smack in the middle to focus all attention in the middle. The diagonal arrangement of the lanterns in the background and the logo makes the composition a lot more dynamic.



I drew the three musketeers (Coolie, Rickie and Sammie) hanging around Chinatown Food Complex ordering food and included the description on Al-fresco dining at the bottom! Shirley helped me to create the PERFECT header and I was honestly so amazed by how adding a simple rectangle with complementary colours in the title would work so well!!!! I have learned something new again. I placed myself in the middle of the two pages so that they would be seen as a group instead of being two separate pages.


Pg 1:

Here are the three musketeers again, having fun around the various kinds of shops in Chinatown. (Coolie in the clothing shop, Sammie in the medicinal hall, and Rickie having his fun jab at an Ofo-bike). I tried to mask the images into more dynamic shapes that also helped to create visual hierarchy.


Pg 4 & 5 spread: As promised, here is the majestic landscape spread of the interior of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and I think it looks as awesome as I had imagined.


Pg 6 & IBC: On the left page, I added content about Club Street and booze. The colourful vomit in the middle (which is a warped watercolour mark with a gradient colour overlay) joins the 2/3 area to the 1/3 area of Chinatown Bingo! I decided to add in bingo since it was a really popular trend that was going on during this period and I figured it would be a fun way to make the zine interactive, as well as give suggestions for more areas of Chinatown to visit since I can’t fit all of its greatness into 8 pages only.


Back cover: Here I overlayed a continuation of the photo from the front cover on top of a photo of a couple strolling with shadows of lanterns on the floor.

I added an engraved effect to an illustration of a map I did for the presentation slides. And there it is! My name on a sign!

I also did some cool vector illustrations of the 3 musketeers.



I spent soooooo long trying to get the PDF exportation right because I didn’t have Acrobat 🙁 But using the school computer, I managed to do it by expanding my text and packaging the entire zine!

Here is my physical baby!





Class zine cover page grid!




– Reflections – 

Some difficulties I faced and things I learned:

  1. Facing the epic task of creating a layout for 8 pages of zine out of pure content researched by ourselves was pretty daunting. I was trying really hard to think of a style to follow, and I think it helps to talk to people about your idea, you never know what fresh ideas they have!
  2. Creating hierarchy for the header. I was having a hard time thinking of a way to make it stand out more until Shirley just smacks on a blue box with yellow font and all of a sudden it gives my zine 20 times the amount of life it had compared to before. I think this taught me to be more daring with using elements such as shapes and colours in my design. Just because there are photos doesn’t mean your font has to hide!
  3. How can I miss out learning how to use InDesign? At first, I was extremely not pleased with how confusing the blue and brown boxes were, but I gradually managed to get a hang of it after placing 1304910294 photos into InDesign for this project. I thought that InDesign was quite useful when it comes to layouts, and I also learned about how designers would use placeholder texts to gauge word limits. I thought that was pretty amusing since I always thought the number of words dictated the design, but I guess designers have the power too!!!
  4. Exporting InDesign files as .pdfs for printing! Oh boy did this process take a long time for me, but now I know the importance of Adobe Acrobat!
  5. I think another important takeaway is how to translate research findings into material for a zine. By going down to the sites to experience them first-hand, it really gives us the genuine motivation to want to create content about something and share it with others, as compared to if we were just to simply do some Googling online.






|| Image Making through Type ||



In this first project for Graphic Form, we have to translate the essence of a job (that can be imaginary) into visual, typographic forms of our names using any sort of media.


Since the jobs we chose were not specified to be pragmatic/realistic, I started off by brainstorming up some ideas for imaginary jobs that are grounded in the essence of real jobs that exist in reality. I came up with a list of existing jobs and modified them by merging them with each other. This would not only help me come up with much more interesting outcomes, but also give me a wider range of job fields and their nature to explore. Thereafter, I searched up the jobscopes and items that are iconic to these jobs to make them easily identifiable.


Initial Shortlisted jobs:

  1. Baby DJ
  2. Pool Colourist
  3. Professional Liar
  4. Alien Communicator


Click here for research and process post!



My name is

and I’m a Baby DJ playing them hit lullabies like Rock a Bye Baby and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!




My name is 

and I’m a professional liar helping you bury your sins; office @ 222 Baker Street!




My name is

and I’m an alien communicator! -Beep Beep-




My name is

and I’m a local pastry chef lah!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

|| Image Making through Type ||



In this first project for Graphic Form, we have to translate the essence of a job (that can be imaginary) into visual, typographic forms of our names using any sort of media.


Since the jobs we chose were not specified to be pragmatic/realistic, I started off by brainstorming up some ideas for imaginary jobs that are grounded in the essence of real jobs that exist in reality. I came up with a list of existing jobs and modified them by merging them with each other. This would not only help me come up with much more interesting outcomes, but also give me a wider range of job fields and their nature to explore. Thereafter, I searched up the jobscopes and items that are iconic to these jobs to make them easily identifiable.


Initial Shortlisted jobs:

  1. Baby DJ
  2. Pool Colourist
  3. Professional Liar
  4. Alien Communicator



  1. Baby DJ

Original job inspirations: DJ, Infant care nurses



DJ: to play music at events entertain, mix beats to hype the crowd up. Has to be well-versed in different sorts of music. Usually playing loud music at social events to give enhance the lively mood/atmosphere.


Infant care nursesCaring, patient, organised, responsible, nurturing, taking care of delicate babies




Turn table, disco ball, headphones, vinyl records, MIDI keyboards, audio editing softwares, bright neon lights, Launchpad device

DJ turntable

Infant care nurses:

Babies, cribs, cots, toys, wooden blocks, soft toys, pacifiers, mobile toys, diapers, blankets, nurse uniforms, needles, diapers

Objects related to babies. http://clipart-library.com/clipart/di4565nLT.htm
Baby mobile toys that have the possibility of including multiple elements/toys into them.

Idea Generation: 

Marshmello – ALONE – [Launchpad Pro Light Show]
This example of a Launchpad light show demonstrates that users are able to intentionally program the sequence of lights on their device to form different images.
I decided to map my initials of YL onto a digital illustration of a Launchpad and make the buttons neon. The background ]would be repeated patterns of pacifiers and a pastel shade. Pastel shades are generally seen as more gentle colours that serve to convey a sense of innocence, purity, cleanliness that are seen of babies.

Words like “lightness” and “ease” come up a lot in conversations about pastels. Sallie Harrison, the designer and photographer in L.A., says that pastels evoke a sense of “calmness and balance.” Stewart points to light blue and its connection with spirituality and heaven; (Leatrice) Eiseman at one point related soft colors to infancy, when there was a sense of ease and safety because all of our needs were taken care of. These feelings can be connected to the social and political factors at work, as Eiseman pointed out while listing her considerations for color of the year.

(Leatrice Eiseman is an American color specialist, who assists companies in their color choice in a range of areas, including packaging, logos, and interior design. She is the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, a division of Pantone, Inc.,[1] and the author of six books on color, one of which won an award from the Independent Publisher’s Association.)



However, this draft did not really display the elements of the job in the letters, rather, they put the letters into a context. When the letters are taken out of context, they do not effectively portray the essence of the job of a Baby DJ anymore.

Therefore, I embarked on a mission to try to integrate the essence of both a DJ and a infant care nurse together into my type.



Brainstorming pt. 1 I tried to integrate the buttons of the DJ Launchpad into the letters, and find a way to include elements of babies into the font as well, such as the foam letter toys and letter cubes.
Brainstorming pt. 2 I tried considering the context of the type as well by including the element of the mobile toy.


Exploration of button placement and lighting effects of buttons on the font in FireAlpaca.
Attempt at recreating the neon effect in Illustrator on 3D font made by beveling and extruding the shapes and adding several layers of glow on the outer edges of the font.


It was really difficult trying to recreate the multiple button effect in Illustrator because the 3D extrusion function and art mapping was not exactly user friendly. It took a pretty long time trying to render every single 3D object as well. Thus, I tried only extruding the foam toy square, while leaving the neon letters on the square. In the draft below, I had mapped a wooden texture onto a star shape. I tried to map a foam texture onto the foam squares to recreate a more accurate foam effect as well but there were way too many surfaces, so I stuck with a gradient effect. The background has several layers of lighting effects as well to try to recreate that of a dance club.


Attempting to use highly contrasting neon pink and blue lights since these are colours are energetic and associated with clubs.
In this draft, I tried out using different complementary colour pairs to get the foam pads looking like toys instead so that it would be more indicative of babies.

After relooking and consultation, I felt that the bokeh, strobe light and cloud effects were too strongly suggestive of a DJ instead of babies and did not convey my intentions accurately since I wanted to be a DJ that could put babies to sleep. Not make babies get up and dance. And so, I embarked on quite a different mission to change the composition to a more child-friendly one.


With this draft, I switched from using Illustrator back to FireAlpaca because I am very much in love with this analogue brush that I downloaded and it makes everything look more organic and doodle-y rather than cold. Instead of putting the letters into the foam pads, I decided the incorporate the peripheral pattern of the foam pad into the letters instead, and leave in the circular neon shapes to indicate buttons on a Launchpad.



After finishing a rough sketch of the composition, I lined the artwork with thinner, black lines.
Oyasumi (Goodnight) poster by Takashi Ueda.
I happened to chance upon this poster which I thought was very interesting because of the use of contrasting colours that added energy, and yet was mellowed down by the use of dimmer colours to show that the lights are off and it’s time to sleep.

I wanted to use the colour schemes of artworks used for lo-fi hiphop videos on Youtube since they’re really pretty and also make me feel calm and relaxed looking at them. Usually, there are pastel, mellow, analogous and warm colours.

Art by: saree @sarlisart on Twitter


Art by: himmoon (https://virink.com/himmoon)



Art by: Pierre Broissand (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/KWxJW)


I tried my hand at recreating this colour scheme by using dull colours and mostly warm tones. Dull colours would also help to contrast the neon effects to come. I also added an atmospheric glow in the middle to indicate that the letters are glowing.
Using my experience of creating the neon lighting effect, I lit up the periphery and added neon circular shapes into the foam letters.


I then found and added a foam texture onto the letters. This was so much easier to do on FireAlpaca than on Illustrator since I could adjust the opacity and edit the shape of the layer simply by erasing it.
In the background, I added some bokeh lighting effects to show that the lights of the neon letters projected far out. It also added to the overall calm atmosphere of the composition.
Anddd… here is the final composition! I think it was definitely a good move moving away from using Illustrator for this job.



2. Pool Colourist (abandoned  D:)

Original job inspirations: Pool maintainer, bath bomb makers



Pool cleaner: Needs to be committed, works on a regular basis, cleans the pool by throwing chlorine in

Pool cleaning machine?

Bathbomb makers: Manufacture bathbombs by compacting colourful powdery compounds into spheres to be thrown into water and dissolved to colour the water in bathtubs


Pool cleaner: Water ripples, Pool tile patterns, pool cleaning machine, lifebuoy

Bath bomb makers: Bathbombs, rubberducks



Emphasis on the CHANGE of colour


Mediums for consideration:

Use marbling technique/ decalcomania] put something when pressing down to form letters

(non-stick paint?)

Marbling plus splatter using wet on wet technique

Letters will be ripples

Test wet on wet

Dripping technique


Attempt at marbling!

Medium: Nail Polish


3. Professional Liar

Inspired by: Detectives, police officers, interrogators, investigators, compulsive liars



Investigator: Find out the truth about a situation by sieving through documents, going onsite to find clues for cases.

Compulsive liars: Can make up a tall story about anything at anytime. Might be useful in some situations to get away with something for the time being. Hiring someone that knows exactly what to say could be really useful. It’s definitely a dirty job.



Investigator: Magnifying glass, newspapers, files, Sherlock fedora, briefcase, mugshots, interrogation table

Compulsive liar: words, speech, Pinnochio nose, Suprematist/De Stijl works to represent the truth


For this draft, I used Malevich’s Black Square to represent the simplistic truth. Lies would be represented by colourful strings to show how pleasant looking things can cover up the truth that is difficult to understand. The contrast between the sturdy black square and the wavy, flowing rhythm of lines would make the composition more dynamic.
Some strings I bought from Daiso. I tried using them but they ended up being too thick.
I happened to chance upon this paper cut composition which I thought was interesting because it looked like the paper was concealing the faces.
And so, I also considered doing a newspaper collage which would partially conceal the black square, similar to how the media could sensationalise and cover up the truth of the matter. Here I am thinking of how to incorporate letters into the composition as well, most likely with a collage of letters.


I came across this image of a heart created by winding thread around nails hammered into a wooden board. I was thinking of another way to recreate it so that it would not be too risky since with this method, tension in the strings is key and the moment something goes loose, the entire thing will come apart.


I wanted to explore a new medium which I didn’t get to try out last semester so I looked into sewing. I have some prior experience of patching up my own clothes and buttons so it wasn’t a monstrous task to overcome, so I decided to try this method out. I found this font type that used thinner thread to create neat, vertical strands that filled up the width of the letters, and bound several layers of paper together.





Idea sketch for the making of the composition. I decided to use black felt because it was much easier to sew with than paper, which was in comparison very thick. Underneath the felt, I would do a newspaper collage. In this case, newspapers would represent legitimate black and white documents, thus the “truth”, and the black felt would conceal most of it. I would then sew a random pattern over the with of the letters to create an interesting texture and at the same time make the letters see-through so people can see the words on the newspaper underneath. I used black felt and red thread to express the secretive and dangerous consequences of lying.

Medium: String, Paper, Newspaper


While testing out the sewing technique, I realised that just by sewing in the width of the letters would still make them a little unidentifiable. I chanced upon this image and it gave me the idea to sew around the periphery of the letters as well to make the letters stand out more.



Here is the actualisation of my idea! I created a newspaper collage behind the widths of the letters, picking out the pieces with the most words. Then, I used a cardboard backing so that the felt could be supported. Also, if anyone wants to try this method out, PLEASE cut a bigger piece of felt because when you sew the letters together, it contracts the entire piece of felt.
Peekaboo! You can see the newspapers inside~ Now, I used super glue (like the actually really strong kind) to glue the felt to the cardboard, so it did kind of have a chemical reaction and burned the felt. The burned area was really obvious. ;;;


I covered up the burned marks using smaller patches of felt. I decided to use a regular tessellation pattern instead of creating a massive effect because I wanted to portray a professional liar with a calm nature that can lie with a straight face.
Here’s a closeup of the texture! Overall, I think this piece has helped me to explore with more mediums that I’ve never really gotten to try and it produced a really tactile result!

4. Alien Communicator

Inspired by: Astronomers, Crop circle artists



Astronomers: To study outerspace; investigate the presence of life-forms on other planets.

Crop circle artists: Create geoglyphs on large expanses of crop fields to trick the public into thinking that aliens are real. Also to practice an impressive new art style.



Astronomers: Satellites, space suits, rockets, shiny metallic objects, outerspace themes, solar system

Crop circle artists: Crop fields, lawn mower, felled grass, alien motifs



Some brainstorming thoughts for style/mediums:


Very circular designs

Design in firealpaca first

Paper cuts?
Light shining down

Digital 8 bit style?

Sleek font


Wacky colours-futuristic

Metallic colours?


After brainstorming, I settled for doing a crop circle artwork myself!


But first, I had to do some research on the patterns of crop circles. And so I did.


Crop Circle Fun Facts!

Crop circle art is a relatively new art form. In crop circle art, crop is bent and not harmed in any way. Most crop circles have either laterally symmetrical or radially symmetrical art. They could also be completely unsymmetrical and representative. The possibilities are endless.

The most telling feature of crop circles are their stunning geometric shapes and patterns that make it hard for people to believe that they were really created by human beings on such a large scale, and so a lot of people would rather believe that aliens did it.

I borrowed a book on crop circles by Michael Glickman to study the common features of crop circles:

[Glickman, Michael. 2005. Crop circles. n.p.: Butleigh : Wooden, 2005., 2005. NTU Library Catalogue, EBSCOhost (accessed February 10, 2018).]



Common features of crop circles:

-Circles and rings




-Alton Barnes (enigmatic keys/claws)

-Rings Between Circles





others like -orbits,snowflakes, triangles and squares


Radially symmetrical composition with tons of rings, almost resembling a whirlpool because of the swirl of the lines from the center outwards.
Alton Barnes crop circle. Here we can observe bridges across rings, which is cool and all but the most iconic thing about this crop circle is the gear/crank looking protrusions coming out, giving a mechanical nature, and evoking a sense of modernity/technology.
Laterally symmetrical representational composition of a jellyfish in a field in Oxfordshire.


In this draft, I tried incorporating the different patterns that I had learned, as well as letters of my name. However, this did not include the essence of the job into the letters once they were extracted out. So I decided to look into crop circle font.
Most of the search results that came up showed fonts like this that were ultimately… Alien webdings. Which is cool as a code and all, but no one will know how to read my name.
I found this font which did utilise rings, bridges and insectogram feelers, but the patterns could be more diverse.
And then I came across this one that used only rings, but at least it incorporated the pattern of the crop circle into the letters themselves. This inspired me to build on this concept, while including a larger variety of patterns.


Here, I sketched out some of the above mentioned features of crop circles and found ways to incorporate them into the individual letters. I decided to put the letters into a circular shape as well since it would contribute to the overarching circular/geometric motif of crop circles.
On FireAlpaca, I constructed a draft of the crop circle art. I was planning to use this as a stencil to cut out the letters on an actual fake grass patch from Daiso but… you’ll see later.
Yeap, here is the grass patch I was planning to use, it was about 22cm by 22cm.
I tried trimming down the grass on an extra bit of the grass patch to see how obvious it would look.
Unfortunately, after trimming, the letters could not show up. I even used brown acrylic paint to try to bring out the letters but the paint couldn’t show up and the space was too small too. Much to my dismay, I had to abandon this medium. But not all hope was lost!
I decided to turn to trusty digital imaging. Now I haven’t really done heavy editing before, so I was starting on a clean slate. Wrecking my brain over how to make the image as realistic as possible, I was blessed.


This tutorial was absolutely FANTASTIC. It was clear to follow and produced a really realistic effect. You can also use any stencil with a transparent background you have created, and following quite a long but comprehensible procedures of producing a screen, bevelling and embossing and tweaking lighting settings, you can create your own realistic digital crop circle artwork as well. By following this tutorial, I managed to play around with the blending effects a lot more, which I had always been quite unfamiliar and apprehensive about touching before this project.


After many attempts and disappointment, I finally managed to achieve this super realistic crop circle effect that could convey the essence of my alien communicator job through the grass medium I had originally wanted to use, just digitally. I really have to thank the person who uploaded that tutorial!!


5) Local Pastry Chef


Inspired by: Chefs, Singaporean Hawkers



Chefs: Professional chefs that pay close attention to the process of cooking, as well as garnishing and presentation of food.

Singaporean hawkers: Specialise in catering to the Singaporean palate, making local cuisines like Chili Crab, Bak Kut Teh etc.



Chefs: Chef hat, wok, spatula, frying pan, ingredients

Singaporean hawkers: Chili crab, bak kut teh, kueh, fried rice, hokkien mee, yong tau foo


Kueh Compendium by Naiise
It was decided that I was going to use kueh as a medium since there are so many different types and they are all really colourful (and tasty). Recalling that Naiise has a lot of products designed based on local pastries, I decided to search up references and low and behold, there was an entire catalogue of kuehs to choose from! I didn’t even know some of these kuehs existed. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0175/9848/products/KuehUltimaxwithnamessm.jpg?v=1495785705
Here, I drafted and started planning which type of kuehs to put into each letter. I tried to include as many types and colours as possible, and also considering the characteristics of each kueh and whether they could be molded into the shape of the letters. For e.g., for more complex forms, I tended towards kuehs that were layered so that the layers could be the characteristics incorporated into the letters. Also, for the long capital letter L, I used the correspondingly lengthy pink png kueh because it was suitable.
In this draft, I tried to imagine how the colours would turn out based on the use of different kuehs. I was going for a more home-y feeling as well so I wanted the background to be of a wooden texture, and the plate to be either clean or the blue-white/flowery traditional ceramic types.


Medium: Kueh, Photography


After spending QUITE the amount on about more than 10 kuehs (but it was worth it because it was really fun making and eating them afterwards), I crafted out the letters of my name in kueh. I placed the kuehs in a flowery ceramic plate and sprinkled some brown sugar over to complete the garnishing. I edited the original picture by adding some filters which gave the photo a warmer and home-ier colour tint.

Kuehs used:

Y- Kueh lapis sagu (Jiu Ceng Gao in chinese)

U – Kueh salat

E – Ang Ku Kueh

L- Png Kueh

I – Ondeh ondeh and kueh talam

N – Pulut Inti

G – Kueh Lapis


This project was pretty challenging in the sense that we had to create letters that could easily communicate the essence of our jobs. Since I also decided to go with jobs that are inspired by at lease 2 traditional/existing jobs, it was tough trying to incorporate elements of both jobs to balance out the elements equally. However, through a rigorous process of refining my designs, I would like to think that I have managed to do so. ;;; XD

With this project I also wanted to explore the use of other mediums, which I think I managed to do successfully! Although it was not a smooth process throughout, with many failures and disappointments, I always recall the saying that artists should “Fail faster” so that we learn from mistakes faster and can get on with improving our projects. After failing with the intended mediums, I tried to find alternate options that could express my intentions on the same level, if not, surprisingly better.

Through this project, I was also able to get more comfortable with Photoshop blending modes that I have never ventured to touch before. Fiddling around with the settings for making the neon glow and crop circle really taught me the massive capacity Photoshop has for creating realistic illusions.

All in all, I really enjoyed this project and had fun trying out different mediums instead of just ink/paint. Looking forward to the next Zine project!


– E G O –

The metaphysical part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious. An amalgamation of egos developed under different circumstances defines an individual’s personality and gives them a characteristic identity.
In psychology, the human psyche is divided into 3 parts, the id, ego, and superego. The id is what defines the choice of action a person takes based on natural, fundamental human needs and instincts. The superego defines the choice of action a person takes based on morals. And the ego is the in-the-middle of the two above that takes reality and its circumstances into play.
A social situation is a scenario in which individuals congregate and interact with each other in the way that they each have to tap in to their values and social roles in order to foster social cohesion and action. Disagreements may occur.

For my final 2D project, I am supposed to dig deep into the abyss of my soul and materialize certain aspects of my personality into visual, metaphorical characters/objects that reflect how I am like in different situations. It could be how I portray myself to others (outward portrayal), or how I think I am like towards others (inward portrayal). By combining the character/object chosen and different social situations, I can combine the two to imagine an outcome.

AH HAAA but there’s a catch, because in this project, COLOUR is IMPORTANT. In this project, we are only allowed to use the following colour palette (Just for easier illustration purposes, I shall use red to demonstrate the differences!)

  1. Monochrome

    (same colour but different saturation level)

2) Analogous (including colours on the side of the original colour in the colour wheel)

Analogous color schemes often mimic the color schemes found in our natural environment and can create a calm and relaxed feel when applied in design.

3) Complementary (colours on the opposite end of the colour wheel)

Opposing colors on the color wheel are dramatically different and because of this they will create a high impact jolt when paired together. Complementary colors are frequently used to draw attention and emphasis to a particular space within a design and can be quite effective when used in small doses.

4) Split complementary (colours on the opposite, but includes adjacent colours) 

Using a split complementary color scheme as opposed to a complementary color scheme is less risky as the result of the three colors together is less harsh and not as loud as a complementary color scheme.

5) Triadic (draw a triangle on the colour wheel get the colours)

The three colors used in this scheme tend to sit well together and can be quite lively and harmonious.


The reason for using colour palettes is that we are able to create colour harmony, which looks more aesthetically pleasing. Including different colours in the colour wheel can evoke different emotions that enhance the message of our chosen imagery.


Colour psychology as utilised by official major brands to cater to the appropriate target audience.
Even different saturations of the same colour can evoke different emotions!
Each colour can have evoke both a positive and negative vibe in different contexts.


Based on my findings, I came up with some visuals to depict my EGO in the format of

_(insert symbol of self)_ + _(situation)_ = _(outcome)_


Situation #1 (Draft 1):

-My struggle with the standard style of academics (especially in Junior College).

Trait:  Free-spirited (trapped)

Thing: Cuckoo clock

-When asking around for what animal would represent me, my friends said a bird/butterfly. Some of my friends also said that I was free-spirited (You learn new things about yourself when you actually bother to ask other people what they think of you HAHA), so I thought something with wings would work since it represented flying away from your responsibilities to obtain freedom. I thought that a cuckoo bird was really apt since cuckoo birds are always trapped inside the clock and released at a fixed time every day. Sounds like SCHOOL?? 8’D So I’m a cuckoo bird that wants to be released but still restrained.

-I used a monochromatic brown palette for this picture since it represents dullness and the mundanity of school life. The bird, however is a light yellow-ish shade since I wanted to represent myself in my ideal element as a jovial, optimistic person.

Social situation: School

Setting: Car on the road

-To me, school is a pretty mechanical system that keeps pushing students higher up the educational ladder. I used a car to represent school since cars are automobiles that are supposed to help us, drivers are usually very focused on moving forward.

-I used a monochromatic red colour palette since red is a very energetic colour and implies action. it could also imply danger.



Free spirit + School = Tortured soul

Cuckoo bird + Car = Cuckoo bird getting dragged along the ground

-For me, the higher up the educational ladder I climbed (with the exception of university), the more I struggled to keep up and the more unhappy I felt. With every bad grade I got for my exams, it really made me feel like I was getting increasingly abraded. It was tough being myself again; looking back at my social media posts and reflecting on my attitude towards my family, it made me realise that I really wasn’t myself at all, as if I’d gone dysfunctional and completely lost myself under the unrelenting stress of school, and I felt like everyone around me was oblivious to how much help I needed. I’m representing this with a cuckoo bird tied to the car and getting dragged along the road to destruction. (not depressing at all)

For the colour palette, I simply combined the two monochromatic colour palettes together to form an analagous red-yellow colour palette.

Medium of execution: Digital painting



1st row (Draft 1)



Situation #1 (Draft 2):

I decided to make the outcome less negative so I decided to portray me being empowered in school instead of being crippled by it!

Here are some inspirations!

The car that represented something mechanical reminded me of Optimus Prime from Transformers. I really love the energetic red and blue contrast!
The bird really reminded me of those plague doctor masks that we see in stereotypical radiation setting documentaries/movies. I thought it was super fitting because it represented resistance against something that seemingly would overwhelm you.
Mercy from Overwatch has the perfect wings. If I merged it together with the colours on Optimus Prime, we have a triad colour harmony plus wings to add to the bird characteristic of my mecha bird. 😀 (Also, school please have /mercy/ on me)

So here I have a new outcome! Instead of being dragged along by school until I’m broken (which, by the way, was quite true to a large extent in JC), I am now empowered by what I have learned and now I have the conviction to aim for higher results!! I guess this now represents the present. The past me was really depressed– ok I shall stop ranting here.

  +     =   


Situation #1 (Final Draft):


Yay! So now I have my final results done traditionally with watercolour markers (Shinhan Twin Touch, not Copics because I’m poor like that), and black marker pen for outlines (OUTLINES SAVE WATERCOLOUR WORKS!!!).


[Traditional; Shinhan Twintouch watercolour markers]

  +     =  


The cuckoo bird is still desperate to break free (made it have a complementary colour harmony which was fitting since blue also represents freedom), I added papers with really bad grades flying around the school car (not bus), and now I am a MECHA BIRD THAT WANTS TO BE MORE POSITIVE 😀


Situation #2 (Draft 1):

-Me dealing with anyone visiting my house.

Trait: Introversion

Thing: Tortoise

– Normally, I don’t like to put myself out there and be the centre of attraction. Speaking with confidence to strangers for a short while is okay, but if it drags on for too long, my mental energy gets drained thinking about what topics to bring up because I’m awkward and overly-conscious like that. And when it does, I like to stay in solitude to gather my thoughts and brace myself for meeting the next fellow human. I thought a tortoise was perfect for this trait since tortoises can retreat into the safety of their hard, protective shells. It would be pretty boring just having a tortoise so I made myself into a windup tortoise instead after drawing some inspiration from Toy Story’s Woody which as a pull string, which represents having a limited time of extroversion before feeling really down and keeping to myself again.

-I coloured the tortoise green with a pink background to depict my amiable personality (or at least I hope I am).



Social situation: Home visits from strangers

Setting: Ominous figure walking into a dark room

-I utilised the complementary colours of blue/purple with yellow to show a contrast in lighting. Anyone who invades my humble abode appear like towering dark figures to me. They threaten my bubble of privacy and I will use all means to defend it. 😀




Introversion + Home visits from strangers = Isolating myself from everyone else

Tortoise + Ominous figure = Tortoise retreating into shell and cowering away

-Here I used sort of an analogous and complementary colour scheme. The pink from the turtle is completely gone because I’ve run out of fuel to socialise and seeking refuge in my shell while the anonymous tall figure towers over me and daunts me.




  +    = 


Situation #2 (Draft 2):

After receiving feedback from the first round of consultations, I got the idea of using rabbits to represent strangers (because according to the hare and tortoise folklore, they’re supposed to be enemies, also, rabbits are often representative of hyperactivity and face-paced action because of how much they can jump about).

Some inspirations!

The famous Mine Turtle from asdfmovie that blows up when you step on it even though it looks so cute and inviting.
The tortoise shell looks like a grenade!
Mention of having a projection out of the tortoise’s shell really reminded me of the Bat Signal from Batman.

  +     =   


Situation #2 (Final Draft):


I never thought I would actually do it, but I PICKED UP ILLUSTRATOR WHOOPDEEDOO!!! It seemed like such a daunting task. I remember how shocked I was at the amount of potential it had after watching a Youtube tutorial video. Everything you put in Illustrator looks so legitimate!!  But I’m so glad I did because now I have one more tool to carry around 😀 (but it does take quite a long time since every single shape has to be manually inserted and the number of layers drives me nuts.)


So I made my tortoise (without the pullstring thing because it kind of seemed redundant), have rabbits peer through the door instead of an anonymous stranger, and have me (as a tortoise) project a carrot, instead of a bat, to draw the rabbits’ attention elsewhere so that I am free to relax in solitary.


   +      =  


Situation #3 (Draft 1):

-Me dealing with anyone visiting my house.

Trait: Nurturing

Thing: Moon

  • The moon is often seen as a feminine, nurturing, all-seeing symbol. All of which I am usually not (because I am one big giant kid), unless I am surrounded by kids around me. (Monochrome harmony)


Social situation: Taking care of kids 

Setting: Crayons 

-Crayons remind me of children because that one time I worked at a kindergarten, they literally did colouring with crayons for so much of their time there. Crayons are one of the first drawing tools that we are exposed to as children as well, so it usually suggests childhood. (Crayons are made of wax, so I thought maybe they would burn. What an odd idea 8’D)


Nurturing + Taking care of kids = Educating and enlightening them

Moon + Lit crayons = Crayons being lit up like candles 

For some reason, there are lots of children in my life. My younger baby brother, and the kids that I met when I taught in the kindergarten. I only feel grown-up when I’m around them and feel like a responsible adult. The crayons being lit represents me enlightening them and showing the way.



Situation #3 (Draft 1):


  +    =  


Situation #3 (Draft 2):


Some inspiration!

The DreamWorks logo was being mentioned during consultation and it made me think of the phrase ‘teaching someone to fish for themselves’. Which is exactly what I’m doing when i teach kids. (I hope).
I was trying to decide what kind of moon to put in and after being inspired by the DreamWorks logo, I decided to go with a waxing crescent moon 😀
Whenever fishing is concerned in anime, I knew it was hard for the authors to resist a good dramatic fishing moment. I really love the compositions of these scenes.

   +     =  


Situation #3 (Final Draft):

During consultation, I got the idea of how the tide changes as the moon waxes and wanes. I thought that was really fitting for the fishing theme, so I included it in my first square. In my second square I did a illustration of a crayon in illustrator, made a pattern out of it, and placed the pattern upon the background of green grass, The crayon is red to represent how energetic children are, and the green pasture represents how lively, pure and down to earth they are as well. In my final square, I adopted the dramatic fishing composition and also tried out a new brush to paint the sea and the fish in FireAlpaca. (analagous)

[digital painting]

 + =  



Situation #4 (Draft 1):


Trait: Calm demeanor but insecure

Thing: Bubble

-Many of my friends tell me that I am ‘chill’, but on the inside, I really am constantly on the verge of having a meltdown because I overthink about everything way too much. (it’s all internal)



Social situation: Being accompanied by my group of close friends

Setting: Dandelion field

Dandelions represent childhood, and the way they disperse their seeds are like how childhood friends eventually grow up along different life paths and grow apart from each other. But in my case, I have a close group of primary school friends who, even though have grown up to take on immensely different challenges, still stick close together like glue.


Calm and insecure + Accompanied by close friends = Being empowered by my friends

Bubble + Dandelion field = Bubble burst by dandelion


-Around this group of friends, I can really let out my insecurities and be comfortable around myself.


4th row (Draft 1):


  +    =  


Situation #4 (Draft 2):


So I scraped the previous idea entirely because it was way too cliche and predictable. (it was nice but way too subpar HAHA)

I kind of took the liberty to work backwards but I thought it actually works because I can have a rough concept of the outcome much earlier.

Instead, I thought up a new outcome first!!

This is an actual photo of me during my secondary school prom. I borrowed the horse mask from my classmate. It was irresistable.


I thought of how the idiom ‘dark horse’ is used to represent someone who unexpectedly changes from underdog to the master of a game/competition. So to contrast this, I planned to put 2 white horses on the side of a table and have the 3 horses play a game of Uno. Because that’s probably the only competitive game I’m good at.


Situation #4 (Final Draft):


The first photo is me spouting out some trippy looking spirals out with an analogous colour scheme around the green/purple sideo of the colour wheel to represent nervousness and abhorrence towards competition. In the background you can see the typical game controller symbols to suggest gaming as a form of competitive activity.

In the second square, I digitally painted a game of Uno going on (it was so hard to find reference images that had the exact angle that I wanted). Uno represents something that I’m relatively better at and am willing to lay out my skills for all to see 😀

In the last square, I made a photo collage of the planned composition above. (Never thought I would get to use my prom photo like this but totally worth it). In the background, I used a luminous neon purple triangular hypnotic pattern to represent how ecstatic I am. Purple is also a royal colour and I have a crown on my head, so it suggests how big of a deal I assume myself to be when I get ever so slightly good at something. 😀


[Photo collage]

  +     =    




I’m actually really thankful that we got to do this project because

  1. We literally have not touched colour at all in drawing class and we are finally free to use colour in this activity.
  2. This project introduced different colour harmonies to me; I am now much more aware of different colour harmonies intentionally at play when I look at posters and advertisements in public.
  3. I managed to pick up Illustrator!!! A little time consuming, but the vector style makes everything look so professional.

4.  I would say one of the biggest difficulties I faced aside from the technical part of using Illustrator was figuring out me. I get existential and identity crisis from time to time and through this project (all the feedback from friends, online quizzes and tarot cards), I managed to figure out at least 4 different characteristics of myself. This project was really therapeutic and I would highly recommend it to the next batch of students. 😀

5. Through this project, I was also better able to exercise the use of visual language to get my point across. The regular consultations also really helped me to bring my ideas to further heights (and weird places as well) that I would never have thought of on my own. Sometimes, you need others to know who you are. 😀 Through identifying symbols/representations of my different facades and egos, I learned how to put them into a context and build a narrative within that new context that somehow parallels with the message I am trying to convey about my personality. All in all, it was a very enlightening experience. *shines*

Entry #02: Making an imPRINT on this planet.

|| F O R R E S T G U M P ||

Shortly after making marks, I’m making prints!!

For Project 2: “Forrest Gump”, I have to pick movie quotes, translate them into abstract visual language like symbols, pictograms, dingbats, icons and engravings and apply techniques such as hyperbole, metaphor, caricature, parody, anthropomorphism etc. to express the narrative quality of the quote. I also have to make use of design principles from the various class presentations to create my final design. (dots, lines, shapes, planes, value, texture, balance, gradation, symmetry, repetition, pattern, rhythm, unity, harmony, size, proportion, dimension, contrast etc.)


Personally, I realise that I have not watched a lot of mainstream Hollywood movies, but my taste and preference for movies lies a lot more in Disney/Pixar animated films, as well as Japanese movies and animated films, which have pretty memorable and unique quotes as well.


Below are some of my favourite quotes that I have gathered:

 Movie  Quote
*Paprika  “Don’t you think dreams and the Internet are similar? They are both areas where the repressed conscious mind vents. “
 Mulan  “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”
 Grave of the Fireflies  “Why do fireflies die so young?”
 1 Litre of Tears  “When I look up as I fall down, I see how limitless the azure sky above is as it smiles down upon me.”
* End of Evangelion  “If you wish for others to exist, the walls of their hearts will separate them again.”
 *Sherlock (bam, the only mainstream series I watch) “Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.”
*Peter Pan “To live would be an awfully big adventure.”


(* starred quotes are the four that I have chosen.)

Taking a pick out of this list was quite the feat, but I figured that was a wise decision not to pick quotes that were either too literal or too figurative because it leaves little room for imagination and abstraction.

===Quote 1:Paprika===




“Don’t you think dreams and the Internet are similar? They are both areas where the repressed conscious mind vents. “


Context in movie:

Paprika is a relatively contemporary, sci-fi Japanese animated movie that is in a futuristic, alternative universe and is about dreams and reality. To put it simply, an organisation creates a device that allows people to jump from reality into the dream world and that is used as a prototype for treatment at a hospital (later revealed to be malfunctional but I’m just going to stop here because this movie is a masterpiece and I don’t want to spoil it). Paprika is the name of the avatar of the main female protagonist. The quote is said by Paprika herself as she draws a comparison between the characteristics of dreams and the Internet.


Keywords: Dreams, Internet, similar, repressed conscious mind, vents


Imagery ideas:

  • Dreams

– a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.

-Surreal alternate space that we transiently experience when we sleep. Normally has a lot of crazy, bizarre things going on that will almost never happen in real life.

-Has a sense of lightness since we have a lot more freedom to imagine what we want to in our dreams.

-A sense of movement can also be created as well since the scenes that we imagine are often overwhelming and hard to comprehend, leaving us in confusion (which, with reference to observations from the previous project, can be expressed with spirally lines radiating outwards)

Possible imagery: hot air balloon, water, anything to do with space or distorted reality

  • Internet

-a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

– cloud, data, wifi signal, hotspot, can be sea as well

  • similar

    – show the contrast between dreams and the internet, yet feature the main similarity between them

  • repressed

    – (form of restriction) treasure/Pandora’s box, lock, chain, handcuff, torn wing, cage

  • conscious mind

    – burning flame, open eye (window to the soul)

  • vents

    – (outpour) waterfall, volcano, soil erosion, avalanche, tsunami, some sort of a crack and spill situation


Composition idea #1a:

I’m going to use hot air balloons to represent ‘dreams’ since they are a means of transport to a place that is “high up”, as if almost going into another realm; just like how we are transported into dreams when we are asleep. A random variety of hot air balloon designs can help to depict how unpredictable dreams are. When put together, they create a very bizarre and surreal effect.

I made a black and white collage of small hot air balloons.


As for the ‘Internet’, I chose to use a relatively larger-scaled cloud icon. To me, the Internet is a vast space with many users, just like how the water droplets aggregate in the air to from one massive cloud.


I turned this cloud from coloured to black and white (some people may recognise this)

To represent the ‘conscious mind’, I’m using an open eye since it implies being awake and aware of your surroundings. After looking through icons and symbols, I decided that using a more realistic-looking eye was better since it gives a stronger sense of consciousness (“the eyes are the windows to your soul”). Using simple icons felt very dead.

I converted an image of someone’s actual eye and turned it black and white.

1st Draft:

My initial composition idea (Paprika)

I separated the singular massive cloud and the layer of hot air balloons into distinctive layers. I wanted to place eyeballs on all of the hot air balloons and the cloud, then have something come out of them (expressing ‘vent’) but I felt like it did not do a good job of conveying the quote since it did not make much sense for dreams and the Internet to have conscious minds of their own. Plus, I was also intending to put a broken chain on the eyes to represent ‘repressed’ (but no longer). However, after attempting to put chains on each of the eyeballs on the hot air balloons, it proved to be an editing disaster.


2nd Draft:

My new composition idea (Paprika).


Now, instead of slapping eyeballs everywhere, I decided to put a picture of an eyeball that was relatively larger than the other elements to show that it was the dominant subject of the piece. However, it is still concealed behind the cloud to create a sense of depth (hiding behind the clouds, more subtle way of representing ‘repressed’), and the black background also enhances the feeling of a void which reminds me of the dark we see when sleeping; it is a strong contrast with the white parts of the eyeball which is supposed to symbolise consciousness and being awake.


To express the element of ‘venting’, I wanted to use rhythm to show an erupting action, sort of like lava from a volcano, or bubbles coming out from a underwater vent. The use of a variety of shapes was abstract enough to show the idea of “anything”, parallel to how we like to post anything on the Internet, and how we can literally dream up anything when we are asleep. Initially, I used a regular rhythm of shapes everywhere but it proved to be much too rigid. After some tweaking, I managed to come up with the design below:

Distorted shapes


In this version, I used progressive rhythm, where the shapes got bigger from the eyeball to the cloud and hot air balloons. The warp effect that I added also enhances the illusion of depth as we can sense that these shapes are in motion and travelling a distance from the eye to the cloud and hot air balloons. This is paralleled with how our thoughts are transferred from our minds to the Internet and our dreams.


3rd Draft:

For my final-ish concept, I further enlarged the scale of the eyeball so that it was hidden under both the hot air balloons and the cloud to express how the conscious mind is being repressed. I added more shapes near the centre of the iris as well to show that the shapes are originating from the eyeball and moving outwards and as a result, their distribution becomes more sparse as they go outwards towards the clouds and the hot air balloons.


4th Draft:

For my 4th draft, I cleaned up the design a bit by replacing the single eye (representing the conscious mind) with two eyes for better clarity. I removed the shapes as well as it was too messy. Instead, I used a spiralling op-art background that indicates movement outwards, showing the action of ‘venting’. I replaced the “Chinese cloud” from the previous design with a clearer icon of a cloud, and the multiple hot air balloons with just one, respecting the internet and dreams respectively.

-With the cleaning up of my design, I realized that had unintentionally created some sort of a symmetry which was really effective since symmetry grabs people’s attention by instinct. It also makes my entire composition look like a face. (TvT)

This accompanied with the meaning of eyes as ‘windows to a soul’, plus the op-art background, this projects a hallucinatory effect on the viewer’s mind, which is a literal invasion of the consciousness, or inside of the mind, as I have interpreted for this quote.


Final Draft:

For my final design, I decided to keep the background since it creates a hypnotic effect and feels like your own mind is being intruded into. The splat effect in the middle depicts a violent eruption/the act of venting. The cloud icon and hot air balloon take up the same amount of space since neither of them hold dominance over each other.

==Quote 2: End of Evangelion==




“If you wish for others to exist, the walls of their hearts will separate them again.”


Context in movie:

Evangelion is one of the most well-known and oldest Japanese animated films that is ever so enigmatic and philosophical. There is so much hidden symbolism in this movie that might just reveal themselves to you… if you rewatch the movie like 1093420384032 times and consciously try to catch them. At first, the Evangelion series just seems to be a normal Gundam (they call them Evas) action show, but it gets so exponentially complex towards the end that it is almost impossible to fully comprehend what is going on.  The main philosophy that the End of Evangelion is trying to express is that humanity essentially belongs to a common pool of ‘primordial soup’ where all our souls linger even after death. There, we can be reborn again, but when we turn back into human form, there will undoubtedly be conflict and unhappiness, as compared to staying in primordial form where everyone lives in unity and there will be guaranteed peace (it’s almost like the philosophy for Buddhism). The main protagonist, Shinji has to make a choice between this two options, and this quote comes from Rei (another Eva pilot), who instigates Shinji to make a choice at the end of the movie. (One of my absolute favourite series ever)


Keywords: Others, exist, walls of their hearts, separate

Composition idea #2:

Imagery ideas:

Others– masses of people, masses of monsters/aliens, simple dots, faces (kaleidoscope effect)

(kaleidoscope tutorial – http://www.creativebloq.com/photoshop/kaleidoscopic-collage-effect-5132671/2)

walls – barricade, fence, brick wall, thorny bramble bush (inspired by Sleeping Beauty), clam shut tight

hearts– heart, differences (different colour), life, tree


It was difficult trying to think of what could symbolise the heart, but I decided to make a collage in the shape of an heart instead so that it could be more comprehensible!


To represent segregation of humans from each other, I planned to put them into different segments and have them sparsely positioned away from each other. The idea of an ant farm came to mind when I found that human beings are sort of like ants, busy out and about doing their daily tasks, and living as a community.
It was terribly hard trying to find a high quality image for a clear picture of the interior design of an ant farm, so I substituted the idea for a construction site that adapted a similar idea instead (and it looked clearer)!
I warped the pattern of the construction site into the shape of the heart.
A senior actually gave me the inspiration to use toilet signs to represent human beings 8’D
And here I inverted the colours and painted black over some areas because there were too many visible details in the background and it was hard to see the human figures. I then turned the human figures from black to white.
I decided to use a wavy pattern to convey motion and a sense of liquidity, as I would like to represent the souls of humans as ‘primordial soup’.

1st draft:

For initial composition, I had placed the heart smack in the middle and an enlarged background of the swirls in the background (which made for quite a boring composition). After receiving feedback from consultation, I decided to shift the heart shape to the bottom right side of the page and increase the number of swirls. The people are in different segments of the heart to depict the separation of human souls from the pool of primordial soup.

Final Draft:

For my final composition, I increased the intensity of the swirls and brought out the shape of the heart out a bit more for clarity. With a repeated pattern of swirls, and increase in repetition, it increases the uniformity of the background, and the flowing rhythm created essentially becomes a quicker motion. The difference in texture between the background and the heart also really contrasts and draws the heart out of the background despite the amount of swirling going on back there. The contrast in the interior of the heart and human symbols also draw out the human beings a lot more. The bottom right placement of the heart might also suggest an inflow downwards through the valves into the heart, rather than if the heart was placed smack in the middle or in the upper half of the design. Gestalt’s rule of similarity between repeated patterns in this composition also helps to give it a sense of unity.


===Quote 3: Sherlock===




“Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.”



Context in movie: 

I barely watch any mainstream film series but my friend insisted that I watched Sherlock and boyyy did I marathon this ENTIRE series (with no regrets). Sherlock is “not a psychopath, but a high-functioning sociopath” as he always reminds everyone and extremely intelligent. While on a case, Sherlock shows obvious disdain for the lowly intellectual likes of Inspector Lestrade who works for the official police team when he keeps trying to interrupt Sherlock’s inspection of the crime scene. Having the sharp tongue he does, Sherlock subtlely throws this insult (the quote) at Lestrade, essentially telling him to shut the hell up.


Keywords: don’t talk, loud, lower the IQ, whole street


Imagery ideas:

don’t talk – silence sign, mask covering up mouth, tape at mouth, zip at mouth

loud – megaphone, forte symbol

lower the IQ (kind of literal version) – lowering bucket into a well, pulley system (can use principles of design to express downward motion)

lower the IQ (essentially stupidity) – broken glasses, scarlet geranium, bag over head, skull (empty head)

whole street – streetlights, zebra crossing, junctions, crossroads, traffic lights, electricity poles, directions


Composition idea #3a:

Subject ideas:

I chose to use an open mouth to represent the act of speaking.
To represent the action of ‘lowering’, I thought of using a person using a pulley system in a well to lower something. I ended up replacing this person’s head with a mouth.


This person was going to represent the subject matter being lowered (which in this case is the IQ of the street)…
which I thought of representing as a brain because the source of intelligence is the brain!


1st Draft:

For my first draft, I decided to personify the characteristic of being talkative, and the IQ of the street. To represent someone who spouts a lot of nonsense, I put a gigantic open mouth onto a human’s body, and an alternating zigzag pattern at the back to show that what they’re saying might have a logic of its own but ultimately there’s no one point to what they’re saying. To represent the IQ of the street, I put a brain with a picture of a street onto the body of another human being which is being lowered from a well into water, which is depicted by polka dots. This represents the act of lowering and eventually drowning.



Final Draft:

For my final draft, I decreased the area of the alternating pattern and increased the area of the polka dots to create the effect of the Rule of Thirds so that it would look better in terms of composition. I also cropped off the leg of the human representing the IQ of the street to imply that he/she/it is sinking into water. There is also a slight play on perspective here since the top third is rather frontal while the bottom looks a lot more top-down. The increase of the size of the polka dots down the page also pull visual weight downwards and thus enhances the ‘lowering’ effect.

=====Quote 4: Peter Pan=====




“To live would be an awfully big adventure.”


Context from movie:

Peter Pan has to be my favourite Disney movie (totally not because I was obsessed with Huggy Pan for a while (Billy Murray playing Peter Pan in Disneyland) (yes I will link you to a video because his sass needs to be shared). I love Peter Pan because of how relatable it is, with me being a teenager (YES I’M STILL 19) and the whole never-wanting-to-grow-up theme. This quote basically resounds this theme, with ‘to live’ being a metaphor for growing and maturing (in contrast to staying a child in Neverland), and ‘an awfully big adventure’ implying that growing up will be both a very foreign experience and a daunting feat for Peter Pan. (and you are RIGHT, Peter! Please take me to Neverland.)


Watch this from 0:21 8’DDD

P.S.: I <3 HUGGY PAN (he’s not working as Peter Pan anymore ;v;)


Keywords: Live, awfully big, adventure


Imagery ideas:

live (essentially growing up and maturing, not stuck in time) – clock, watch, hourglass

awfully big – blue whale, elephant, cosmos, magnifying lens (zoom in), infinite

adventure – (travel) bag pack, ship, aeroplane, map, mountain, compass, parachuting, biking, car

Composition #4a:

Subject ideas:

For my first and final composition, I tried to work with diagonals a lot more to create dynamism in the composition. The splat of paint creates an explosive effect, similar to when rockets take off. The radiating lines at the back also create an outward and energetic movement. The crack in the hourglass (which I had to edit in) shows that the rocket is breaking out of a contained space and ready to launch on an adventure! The high contrast between subject matter and background also draws out the foreground a lot more. The use of diagonals in this composition also helps to give a sense of movement and unity.



In the darkroom!!
A blinding blast of light descends upon our framed transparencies and transfers their shade onto the emulsion on the silkscreen to be used as a stencil for printing 😀
Exposing the silkscreen!
Exposed silkscreen!

(didn’t document the printing part because I was busy working like a factory. Yes I sold shirts to my friends so I had to handprint around 10. If you want profits, think again! 8’D)

Here’s a white-on-black shirt that I printed using expensive ink ($5 for one small bottle) I used 3/4 of the bottle on ONE shirt. So if you’re mass producing for black shirts, think again! Eventually, I managed to get cheaper ink, $5 for sizeable jar of white, but the colour didn’t turn out as vibrant and defined. SO YOU CHOOSE THE LESSER EVIL–



One difficulty that I faced with this project was when I was trying to edit the pictures (more on the technical side). When I added a colour invert filter to a layer, the ENTIRE composition inverted itself, and it was SUPERRR frustrating to work with, BUT!! I found out I could isolate the layer so that the filter only affects one layer :DDDD PS still does some wonky stuff once in a while but I have it under control now ;D

I think I’ve fulfilled the objectives of this project, which is to use symbolic images/subject matter to express a concept. I’ve learned how to expand my visual vocabulary; for example using hot-air balloon to represent dreams in my Paprika quote design.

The way the representative subject matter is orientated in relation to the other subject matter should also be carefully considered! Their relationship is very important in conveying certain ideas that cannot just be condensed into one object itself, especially for movement; for example having the rocket oriented diagonally away from the hourglass and the radiating lines really helped to give a sense of movement in my Peter Pan design!

AND I really enjoyed doing this project because

  1. I didn’t have to gather so many materials because everything was digital kekekek
  3. Got to print T-SHIRTS too! (if anyone sees this you can venture into a mini shirt-printing business!! If you’re doing another colour other than black, you have to choose between price and quality ;v;) Might consider starting Youthful Printing & Co. in Malaysia or somewhere else where the startup and rental cost isn’t so high HAHAHHA (one can dream)
  4. I FINALLY found out how to use the pen tool on Photoshop!! For years, I had been wondering how the heck do you control it.
  5. I learned about the standards of a good quality print!
  6. I learned about how to use colour half-tone and threshold!
  7. I learned how to group my layers into a folder so my PS document won’t look like a complete mess!
  8. Editing is fun!!
  9. No colours to worry about… YET. (suspenseful foreshadowing of Project 3)



–Project 3 post incominggg den den dennnnn—