Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thoughts through Christmas

Why did the crucial questions fail to sound-off?
Was the fear of disrupting joyous reminiscence by injecting a bit of religiousity so great?
Or was it just an inner dread; a refusal toward being type-cast(to a namesake) that kept my lips open; but inarticulate.

Why do I not sense that urgency from God's children within? Is it just me thinking too idealistically? Or is there something I've been called-to that's causing me this distress.
Yet I know not how else to shepherd a worldly people except to continue being their friend.
My heart glows at a friend's mention of his parent's involvement with ministry. And it lights up with the mention that that was his old church. But I faltered in my thoughts and missed the invitation-opportunity at the turn of the topic. Forgive me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sorrow's Acquaintance

being wordless in nature, in a world of ceaseless speech
something comes to mind, but doesn't leave their lips
they're seldom heard; and hardly asked to be
watching from afar; safe from mockery?

where quiet means a sense of dignity
and pleading the Maker's respite;

is the soul's only delight
seeking refuge in
solitary tailspin.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Driving on; Sleepless

Something about the last post turned out to be prophetic.
Not that I had intended it to be though.

Well, I had to deliver what I promised before going off for the weekend a day early.
Managed to get a little shut-eye before taking over the wheel from dad too.
Thank God for the smooth traffic and fair weather to-&-fro.


Yesterday, dept. boss mentioned hearing about it; saying that he was sorry I had to work that way just to get my next day off. He said he didn't want me to end up feeling miserable about it all. Today, a colleague asked me,"You worked a 24hr shift last week?" "Saw(from computer-based security records) you tap out-and-in at 12+" "Must be go toilet right?"


More than anything, I feel a tinge of upset that comes from my folks who claim that I'm being too naive in thinking that I'm making a career where I am now. And there's the issue of "completing my education" also; which relatives in M'sia "counselled" me about.

A general/traditional "pursue-paper-qualification-first" mindset versus industry-determined "practical-field-experience-rules" status-quo. Address both by arranging part-time study & work? Would I have enough time & energy I wonder. Otherwise, either one has to be forgone for the next season. Still searching I am.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Night at Mr.MacCOOS'

After 2 months at COOS' office Communications department, I'm glad that I've been able to contribute to the Church from what limited skillset I currently possess. This is largely due to the effect of a nurturing environment - where an encouraging boss and supportive colleagues have accepted my lack of experience with much patience & understanding. Thanks to them, I'm still chugging-along positively despite having "hit the ground running" since Day1. I've also learnt much from facing actual production-issues(timeline, process-colour-printing, proofing, finishing) whilst trying to get up-to-speed in my design-to-print process.

Here's a little peek into my assigned workspace:

Doraemon prays,"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" - Matt 7:7

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thoughts @ 24 (2 Parts)

back-dated post...

Got to get this one down for the record...

Part I (Fri 27 Jul):
To Chiching Brotherhood (aka AHS mates & spouses) :
Thank you all for the thoughtfulness...
Like I said that Friday night, I've known most of you since we were 13.. some even further back! Just being able to see all of us gather together truly is the best birthday present I could have asked for.
(Beats the Breko Cheddar Beef Sandwich hands down! O, and the cake too! Thank you all for it though I really thought you'd consider my request to bend tradition with : candles on a birthday Sandwich!)
Anyway, I forgot to add in my "speech", a special mention of our members who weren't present. I want for us to continue regarding these dear ones as family, whether or not they are still around.

Just as I stated a long, long time ago, "When you get home late and find your parents already asleep, it dosen't mean they love you any lesser(than if they were to be still awake)"; it dosen't mean that those who aren't present have forgotten about us. Not being able to field 11 men in our golden-yellow strip today dosen't mean that Chiching United F.C. dosen't exist anymore.

Realistically, I don't expect relationships in our family to be perfect when our very human condition is imperfect to begin with. But let's first ask ouselves if we have ever cared enough for those (whom we think we've lost) to even want to bring them back into fellowship. Have we been "self-righteously judging and rejecting those who had walked out on home.." ? Just like in Jesus' Parable of the Lost Son, have we adopted the elder brother's begrudging,negative attitude as opposed to the father's rejoiceful outpouring of compassionate love for the younger prodigal son who had finally returned home.

The heart of the matter is a matter of heart. (not "matters of the heart" i.e. romantic-stuff)

I thoroughly enjoyed your company this evening.
Though I may not have as many words to say as I used to in the past, I quietly keep all of you close in my heart. Thank you all once again; for your love and commitment to honour our wonderful friendship!

"Love is patient, love is kind...it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Part II (Fri 10 Aug) :
My dear NTU cell threw a surprise-party of sorts for me after Growth session this evening.
While I was busy settling the money-matters for the refreshments and other youth participants were polishing-off the muffins and drinks at the refreshment table, the cell was apparently huddling over one corner of the hospitality area. ( I wondered why they seemed uninterested in the yummy Prima-Deli muffins I had procured! ) After attempting to find a pastor, I exited the Church building into the hospitality area once more and all of a sudden the NTU cell broke into song and claps. Some of the other youth clapped along too. I just smiled while my insides gasped. I was promptly congratulated by the cell and served a square slice of rich dark chocolate cake. Someone said,"Sorry we dunno where we run off to; so we helped you cut the cake first!". So this was why they were not grabbing the muffins. Haha.
Thank you dear NTU cell for the surprise =D
A big "Thank you" to dear Joles who specially ordered this cake for me ^.^
Finally, to other friends by whom I'm honoured to receive your greetings,
Thank you!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

NTUC yesterday

Just when I thought this was "old-school",

(found in Dad's toolbox
in our store room)

I come across this on a friend's blog:

Guess our parents would probably have better impression of the neighbourhood grocery chain's image-makeover through the decades.

Yep, "super retro sia!" I agree! Heh heh..
Will think about how to appropriate the design in a "new" NTU-Cell identity.. =P

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

©-DAY 2007 Caricatures 2

Here are some scans showing the work-in-progress stages and final caricatures I did for Miss K. She was very kind indeed to allow me the luxury of time to work. And, I was glad to gain a very pleased-customer whilst enjoying the process of my artwork. ^.^
(w.r.t. the following pics, the cropping is dictated by physical limitations of scanner's imaging-surface)

"The Traveller" Copic & Zig markers on Daler Rowney marker paper
Miss K commented that she thought she looked "like an elf" in this one.
Well, if you zoom in on the piece, you'll have a clearer view of the details of the characterization I did ;-) Arrrhh~ mateys!

"Super Wedding" Copic & Zig on Daler Rowney
Looking at the reference-photograph I had, I wondered how I could characterize the wedding couple yet do the sanctity of marriage vows apt justice. I decided to retain their wedding attire and just work on their figures. And then as I doodled stick-figures for the couple's pose, the husband carrying his wife became her super-hero. This time, not much background detailing. But zoom if you want to. Heh heh. I learnt from Miss K that it was to be a gift to the couple on the occasion of the couple's first-born. Now, i wonder what powers the child will inherit...

For the 4th caricature I worked on, I had a black-&-white print-out of Miss K and a lady for reference. The lack of colour and close-up detail actually helped me maintain more focus during the sketching-phase. I went on to colour almost silmultaneously even as some areas were still "sketchy". I guess by that time, I had gotten a better hang of marker-rendering through practice from the last few drawings and advice from Matte.

"Close as Sisters" Copic & Zig on Daler Rowney
I was thinking real hard about what wacky situation would express the feel I got from the picture-reference. One of the options was to put them on a little deserted island but still looking pretty contented just to have each other's company. Somehow, I decided to tone it down to something more generic but still fun. Miss K later told me that the lady beside her was her Mom~! Hmm, they sure looked alike so I thought they were sisters initially. She was pleased and said that cooking is one of the things they do together too.
Thank God for inspiration indeed!

(Pics in this post were recorded at home with a flatbed scanner with the exception of the very first pic via digital camera)

Monday, February 26, 2007

©-DAY 2007 Caricatures 1

©-DAY = Open House at LASALLE-SIA Colllege of the Arts
Happened some weeks back already(2-4 Feb)

At ©-DAY 2007, the 2 Communication Design Degree classes set-up shop to raise capital for our Graduation Show-fund. But of course we were there also; to let the visiting student-prospectives in on our experiences in the College thus far. We shared the same tentage with a few other stalls mainly set-up by students from the Fine Arts faculty.

Our Graphic Design class' stall hawked limited quantities of silkscreened-design Tees and accessories(on consignment from someone's friend's shop), customizable T-Shirts & Tank-tops featuring graphic-art that we designed (and iron-on upon payment) ourselves, and even offered caricature-services to make as much for the Grad-show fund as possible.

So as not to overload this post, I'm only featuring pics about the caricatures I did:
Email me if you'd like a weblink to the comprehensive photo recording of
our class in action at ©-DAY; courtesy of classmates Cheryl & Zuli

DAY - 1:

"Mich the Painter" in progress
For Matte n' I, it was pretty much our first stint at commercial caricature-drawing.
Though I came prepared with cartridge paper and a greyscale set of Copic markers, I
didn't do more than a few "practice-sketches" as most patrons asked for Matte to draw
them. His manga/anime-stylised marker-rendering proved to be the selling point; as many
intrigued onlookers( and some eventual customers) watched from behind the drawing board.
I learnt quite a bit about rendering with skin-tone range of Copics and decided I would
get myself involved a bit more by investing in several skin-tone Copics and A3 marker pad.

DAY - 2:

"Archie" Copic markers on Daler Rowney Marker paper
On Day 2(Sat), when there wasn't much "business", I drew this fellow classmate
who gave me creative-freedom on the characterization. Can you guess her movie-role?

DAY - 3:

Unbeknownst to us, Sunday was going to be pretty quiet in school all the way until a little after lunch time when quite a number of visitors came along our stalls; perhaps after soaking in performing arts events, on the final day of the open-house.

On this day, fellow caricaturist Matte took the day off to rest and recover from a bad cold =(
I agreed to fill in for him if there were patrons who so wish and would pay for a marker-rendered drawing of themselves done by a commercially-untested artist such as myself. =P

But early that morning, the first customer for the day came along with photographs she requested to be turned into caricatures. She actually came the day before to enquire but decided to find suitable photograph to hand to us for reference first. So she asked if I could do 4 photographs(of which 2 photos had two people to be drawn) by the end of the day. O_o I said I could not promise her that I could make that schedule but I would try my best. She said she would drop by later at the end of the day.
"Siti Rockstar" Copic on Daler Rowney
The first of 4 photographs I was to turn into caricatures for Miss K. Working from photographs reduces the "live-pressure" of drawing a live model on-the-spot, but takes away the inspirations/ideas that might spark off whilst drawing and chatting with your model. Completed this on the day and handed it to Miss K who was pleased and gracious enough to allow me more time for the remaining 3 drawings. The cool part is that I get full creative-license in terms of characterisation again! ^.^ Woot!

"JJ sings the blues" Copic on Daler Rowney
There was one last live-drawing job I did, which I thought it'd be alright to accept since the patron didn't mind not being drawn "anime-style". This was taken on though I was in the midst of 2nd photograph for Miss K cos' I felt I shouldn't turn down someone willing to sit and be drawn on-site. Later I realised how tricky it was to try to keep your model awake on a drowsy Sunday afternoon. It didn't help that the music pumping through the speakers at canteen near-by was rather experimental-sounding. I had no choice but to attempt a meaningful conversation with the customer (upon which I was teased about by some cheeky classmates) (>.<) The 3 remaining caricatures for Miss K will be updated in the next post~

<< Many thanks to Cheryl for the pics in this post (",) >>

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thought i'd give the New Blogger customized layout templates a try; mainly just to have the useful "Labels" widget.

But first I had to select a preset template from the list; for widgets to work. So i chose the one that resembled my previous layout the best. Then I tried to tweak the chosen preset-template to look like my previous one but to no avail. The html that i copied and pasted into Dreamweaver just wouldn't display the design in Dreamweaver. I see only lines >.< Eventually I only edited the simple stuff like some colour and sizes.

Hope this current layout reads well on your screens~
P.S: Anyone knows how to make the Labels-widget html work with the old Blogger template?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bugle call

The first week's almost gone...
At the start, the Commanding Officer welcomed the troops back to the battlefield.
Amidst the excitement expressed by fellow comrades, I was feeling rather neutral to it all. I just made myself comfortable in my front-row seat. The C.O. conducted the campaign-briefing with an air of confidence; promising a tough, demanding fight to expect ahead.

Eye-balling the gestures of the C.O. and the 2nd-in-Command, I felt an unspoken sense of concern for subtler issues. Nothing to do with blue-force casualties or our unit's depleting war-chest. Perhaps what I felt was the temptation of fear. The fear that makes a soldier rooted to the trench-line; when the realisation of being formed-up for a (suicidal) charge sets in.
I dismissed the thought. There was no turning back now anyway.

What my hardened-spirit needs most and sorely misses is courage.
A boldness which led me to transfer out of the "safety" of my previous posting.
That firm resolution that here, was where, there was much more for me.
Guts; worthy of & fitting for my final tour of duty.

Reality never sets in safely the way you expect. Its whistles from afar, incresingly deafening before shrapnel and energy-waves scatter your battle-formation. It demands you re-group, re-supp and press-on toward your objective.

Perhaps the C.O. wasn't casting a condesending eye like my cynical-side guessed. Perhaps I was being spared the C.O.'s disappointed look-in-the-eye. A consolation for morale's sake. An offer of withdrawal in the knowledge of imminent disaster. Maybe the unit wonders if I am fighting for a lost cause too. I beg to differ.

The enemy's not won. The battle's just begun.
By faith, I prepare to embrace this war; transcending weariness, even mortality.
This war, I surrender only to One.

Brown Rice Special

Here's what I worked with that serves 2persons:

  • 1 cup * brown rice
  • 6 circular slices * pineapple
  • 7cm * fat sausage
  • 2 * eggs
Artistic process:
  1. Cook brown rice in pot
    with (+/-) 2 * cups H2O.
    Bring to boil in (+/-)15min and leave to simmer off the stove.
  2. Slice sausage and dice pineapple slices. Pre-heat pan or wok.
  3. Neglect pineapple slices temporarily.
    Distribute sausage slices on pan and stir-fry evenly till crisp(or
    according to personal preference of done-ness) Remove from pan.
  4. Scramble eggs in pan.
    Remove and set aside.
  5. Scoop brown rice from pot to pan(if large enough) or wok
    Stir fry for a while in medium-heat (not till rice gets dryer/browner)
    Toss in pineapples to the fry; distributing evenly over the rice.
    Continue to stir-fry just long enough for pineapple warm-up to and to mingle amongst rice.
  6. Add sausage and egg.
    Stir the whole-lot till well-mixed.
  7. Serve before guests start fighting over appetizer-scraps.
Some tips to enhance your artistic-experience:
  • Have paper-towels or tissue handy at all times; unless you prefer extra "seasoning" in your masterpiece
  • Stir-fry with flair by varying your skillet stir-strokes. Broad strokes reveal the chef's confidence whilst short quick ones signify his/her fine attention to detail.
  • Wow your guests even more by tossing the whole stir-fry lot in the air with a flick of the pan-handling wrist, simultaneously executing a pirouette, and finally catching the art-work back safely in pan.
  • In case of emergency, have the pizza-man's telephone number handy.
    Michelangelo's anyone?

On Love

drafted 10Nov'06; completed today:
I planned to wake up early yesterday morning because I wanted
to make a fluffly scrambled egg(think Mac's Big Breakfast-type) for me n bro's breakfast.
I call it a Jedi-Fluffy-Egg or J.F.E.

When the alarm went off, there was a gentle stirring in my subconscious.
After about 5mins, I thought I heard my subconscious-self saying, "It's time to go!"
And out of Dreamland I went. And immediately after that I was climbing out of bed
ambling to the kitchen eyes half-open.

Good thing I remembered to use the smaller pan for the egg.
Easier to control, heats up just enough to cook a moist n' fluffly egg over a small flame.

Later I thought to myself, "why is it I can't wake up early to do my own work but I can do so when it's something for someone else"

Love is purposeful.
Love takes initiative.


Been thinking about whether this rather personal issue is really affecting me.
It's a problem that's been on the top of my head for quite a while. Literally!
Yep, recent friends, you may not have noticed much.
But long-time loved-ones & ChiChing-bros have spoken about my receding hair-line
and diminishing-scalp. Not so much to the extent of discussing who will donate scalp-tissue n' pool together moolah for my hair-transplants though. :-p

There was a time when I told Jo that I had some hairy issues to deal with.
When I said it was about my falling hair, she queried me innocently about
whether I'd ever shave my head.

I said, "Why not?" I agreed with her that:
When it looks like it's irredeemable,
I'll go under the knife.
Not to restore, but to remove it all heh.

She then said, "Recalling the time I saw your Dad at the parade,
I already knew that I had to accept the possibility of you balding.."
Me: *>.<*inner-tear*
Jo: "but..how u feel also matters.."
Me: "I will make a decision before my tub of Gatsby wax runs out."

Love is understanding.
Love is acceptance.
*Jo's probably relieved that I didn't suggest wearing a toupe or wig. Haha >.<


"5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross! " Philippians 2:5-8(niv)

Love is giving.
Love humbles itself.
Love is unconditional sacrifice.

13"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends" John15:13(nkjv)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Resolutions for 2007

Here art thine for the year so far:

  1. Develop a personal friendship with Jesus.
  2. Develop Courage for Christ!
  3. Be on-time, if not, early for lessons & appointments
  4. Plan ahead; schedule my time well; including clear & tangible goals in hard-copy

Anyone who has read this is liable to be held responsible for helping me keep these resolutions!
*grin* =P

Monday, January 01, 2007

december drifts past

The last month came & went fast.

But in the company of friends and family, my tired being within was refreshed.

Some hits & misses:
Not finding time to do any painting like I had hoped to do so at the start of the holidays! ;<
Jo's birthday which was celebrated with her beloved
LibraryGang at VivoCity ^.^
Journal layout for COOS Leaders' Advance - which I am glad abt; considering time & budget :P
(p.s: i seek the understanding of all whose photos have been used there-in without prior seeking of your permission)
Christmas eve chill-out with dear
ChiChing Brotherhood at Villa Bali =)
Christmas Day lunch organised by COOS + Charlotte's Web with the Cell. XD

Not forgetting also,
a labour of love; for a lovely union: KW+PK's wedding emblem + invitation card
Misc media included email-invites & giftcards too.
The fruit of the design-process; throughout which the couple had enthusiastically participated in, was quite exhilarating for me to behold. This was the first church-wedding I've ever attended & I feel blessed to have played a supporting role to the newly-wed couple.
I believe the joy of the Lord was filling the spirits of many others who witnessed the holy matrimony on the first morning of the new year.

The only boo-boo was a miscommunication with the printers that resulted in additional printing costs incurred >.<

Something funny the groom said as he handed an envelope to me one day,
"Ah, here's the design you did for the event to invite yourself to." *chuckle*