Summer

Summer is not my favourite season. Here is why:

It’s 10pm and the sun is still up.

10pm

It’s 4am and the sun is already up.

4am

Bugs.

bug

Everybody just wants to go and “enjoy the sun”.

sun

The heat.

heat

The humidity does weird stuff to my hair.

hair

I don’t completely dislike summer of course. There are a few things that I like.

Rain. If it would rain all day, everyday. It would be magical.

rain

Summer Fruit.

watermelon

Barbecues.

bbq

Looking at everybody’s tattoos.

tattoo copy

but most of all, DOGS ON THE STREET.

dog

 

I used to draw dogs exclusively for the first 10 years of my life.

I’m serious. I used to only draw dogs, never humans.

So if you have a pet dog that you want me to draw. Send me note via facebook!  🙂

Ning goes to New York (University and Chinatown)

Wei was at school so I decided to go sketching around her campus while waiting for her to be done.

 

campus

 

There was this statue on campus which Wei insists is supposed to be Athena. athena

 

It did not look like Athena to me,  especially at night.

 

sure

You be the judge. I was drawing this family where these Chinese grandparents were playing with their grandkids. I think their parents were either one of those mega elite students or brainy researchers at the university.

One of the grandpas asked me in Mandarin if I was doing my PhD. I’m not sure why he was so specific, I must have looked very smart to him.

prof

Chinese Physiognomy at it’s finest.

breakdown

 

One of the places Wei and I explored together was Chinatown.

chinatown

 

From my experience, Chinatowns look very similar everywhere because Chinese businessman always display their goods in the same style since time immemorial. Walking around Chinatown with Wei, we found a very interesting store. I kid you not, the layout of the store was like this:

store

 

Good thing is, you can buy a new cell phone, get some new Kpop tunes, a bubble tea and get your hair done all in 1.5 places. I loved it.

 

We had dinner in Chinatown with Jeamme,our friend from grade school. It was so nice to see old friends and eat food spicy enough to burn off your tongue. Just kidding it wasn’t that spicy, well maybe for the untrained palate it is.

makan

Just us being overly dramatic with our food. Jeamme is very proper as always. Of course we finished our meal with bubble tea. Not at the store which sold about 100 things, just a regular bubble tea store.

bubbletea

 

I told you Jeamme was proper.

If you like what you see, you should like me on the bookface.

Graduation

It’s GRAD season. My convocation came and went. According to friends who saw me walk across the stage, I looked super confused from start to finish. Like I wandered into the wrong hall and somehow managed to find a gown, and then started shaking hands with all these people in funny robes and couldn’t understand why.

dean

chancellor

Then the chair of design studies says congrats to me and for a few seconds I forgot who he was as well. I don’t see him very often you see.

chair

The speeches were pretty standard. “You guys have bright futures ahead of you and other things”. I think I could have been the only one who was actually listening to them.

listening

I was talking to some people about how valuable a university education really is. Being in the same program as I was, we have similar qualifications, but our experiences with school were extremely different.

lie

I feel like I did not go to the same school my friends went to because I definitely do not feel like I know everything.

If anything, university taught me how much I don’t know. But I did get pretty good at finding stuff out.

confusion

Which got me thinking about something. You know this chart, the one where everybody expects your life achievements to go in a certain order:

chart1

And then they conveniently forget to tell you that almost no one’s life happens in that order, because everyone’s life is different.

I propose a more realistic chart:

chart2

OK, maybe not 100% realistic, but you know what I mean. You can’t plan life 100% because it can suddenly throw a curve ball at you, and then you have to figure out a way to adapt.

Opportunities are different for everyone. I have some friends who found work immediately after school (or during school), some of them went back to school to pursue something totally different. Others went to grad school and some others are still looking for jobs.

Your life was different from everyone else’s from the get-go anyway, what makes you think it’ll be the same as everyone else after school.

So for those of you who don’t like to listen to other people talk, maybe pictures might be more fun to look at:

fineok

 

Congrats to everyone graduating! And to those who aren’t, YOU WILL BE OKAY, TOO.

I did a quick doodle on my Facebook page about me… tossing my hat. Which you should like! If you haven’t already. 🙂

 

Moms

Can you imagine the immense pain felt by a mother elephant delivering her baby elephant.(Watch here) And then after she delivers her baby she’s like, YO. BABY. MOVE.

elephant

So many baby animals are actually able to walk right after they are born and do so many things adult animals can do…  but human babies? Nope, they can’t do anything.

baby

Human babies are useless creatures.The moment they enter the world they cry and wail and they don’t stop.

They use their baby charms to make you think they are cute and cuddly.But do not be fooled by their adorableness. All babies do is eat, poop, and cry.

They can cause headache and heartbreak are your responsibility for the next 18 years.

Then there are the toddler years where kids just try to eat everything.

noooo

The overly dramatic childhood years.

nofren

Not to mention the teenage years filled with emotion and angst.

punk

skater

brony

Teenagers are very crazy, I know because I was one of them.

crazy

And mothers have to put up with all of it, and still love their kids to bits.

grad

Moms are the greatest.

 

breastfeed

breastfeed2

breastfeed3

 

Happy Mother’s Day.

love

If you like this, please like my page on facebook! And please share this with you mom! Or a motherly figure, or anyone you care about really. Share this with your dad, break some rules.

 

Drawing from Life Stories: Ronnie

Penang is full of colonial buildings and ever since the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing, boutique establishments have been popping up like mushrooms after the rain.

heritage_house

 

I’ve been going around the old Georgetown area to draw buildings since high school, you know, before it was cool. *hipster moment*then

Actually, it was pretty cool already, but after the listing things went into overdrive and everyone started doing it.

now

One of the first buildings I ever drew was St George’s Church in Farquhar Street mainly because parking was convenient, and there was always shade. Shade is very important especially in this corner of the world.

I went there to paint on Sundays. Obviously since it was a church, there was Sunday service.

I met a little boy named Ronnie who was about 9. He was a curious kid, and would drop by and watch me after church.ronnie

He has a younger sister and brother who tag along wherever he goes.

I learned that he lived with his grandparents in the kopitiam (Chinese style coffee shop for you non-South East Asian folks) across the church. I don’t really know much else about him, but he seemed like a good kid with very heavy responsibilities for his age.

Ronnie was very well behaved. He looked after his younger siblings and dressed them in awesome clothes.

drawing

Ronnie is probably in high school by now. I hope he and his siblings are doing well.

highschool

RONNIE. YOU GO RONNIE.

If you like this you should check me out on the book face. I mean facebook.

Ning goes to New York (Guggenheim and MoMA)

I went to New York last year to visit a very good friend of mine, Wei. She’s my friend since we were little kids.

nyc

So Wei had to attend class in the mornings so I had the whole day to visit museums. I was going to meet Wei later in the afternoon so that we could go to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) together and I could finally see what the big deal was about.

So I Google mapped my way to 5th Avenue and spent my morning there.

bus

I went to the Guggenheim. I was disappointed, not because the stuff in the Guggenheim Museum wasn’t rad (because it was pretty rad) but because they closed the spiral thing to set up an exhibition.

The whole point of going to the museum is to climb the spiral thing!guggenheim

I saw a bunch of Cezanne and Matisse.

cezanne

And a couple that I’ve seen that are really famous but their names escape me.

matisse

There were these Japanese tourists who for whatever reason seemed to be following me… into all the museums

japan

The real party started at MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art.

Let me break it down for you, the history of art, according to Ning.

arthistory

During this time I was taking a class in Modernism and Modernity and I hoped to find something interesting to put into my final essay.

elephant

Needless to say I found a lot of interesting things, though none was really suited for my essay.

My favourite painting in MoMA was Charles Demuth’s Corn and Peaches. I guess it speaks to my tastes.

demuth

One day, when I can afford this,and if it is for sale, I will buy this painting.

If not, I will buy MoMA.

And I got to see the famous white Square. Or White on white by Malevich.

white

To those who say “I could do this in pre-school!” I know when I was in pre-school I could not draw straight lines even with a ruler, maybe in elementary school. Pre-school Ning was a rebel who only drew dogs.

Well, it was bigger that I thought it would be… and there were a bunch more of Malevich’s squares to keep it company.oof

Oof. It’s by the same guy who painted the can of flying spam.

But my favourite piece of artwork. The Plank.

nakedfragrance

Yes. That’s me, planking next to the plank.

Here’s a link to the actual piece.

It is my favourite because of the description. How can anyone not love this plank.It’s called The Absolutely Naked Fragrance. Below is the description from the MoMA website:

McCracken began producing his vibrant monochrome “planks” in 1966. While the polished resin surface captures the aesthetic of surfing and car culture unique to Southern California in the 1960s, the title was drawn from advertising slogans in fashion magazines. The work’s interaction with both the floor and wall is meant to call attention to the space occupied in the gallery by both viewer and object. “I see the plank as existing between two worlds,” McCracken has said, “the floor representing the physical world of standing objects, trees, cars, buildings, human bodies, and everything, and the wall representing the world of the imagination, illusionistic painting space, human mental space, and all that.”

Wei said I should have written about the plank. I think I should have listened to her. But whatever, Gray’s Papaya afterwards. ($5 for 2 hot dogs and a drink)

grays

IF YOU LIKE THIS. Maybe you should share this. Or like this. On Facebook. Or Twitter.  Or both. Do it…. *eyebrow wiggle*

MH370

It has been more than 1 week since MH370 disappeared, and Malaysia has been on everyone’s lips.

The other day I went to a workshop and we had to introduce ourselves. MH370 was the first thing people asked me about.

workshop
I was on the bus today and I heard this conversation:

bus

Then I go on the Internet and read all the comments on news articles.

internet
Half of what they said was pretty ridiculous, I think these people went there on vacation or something and then suddenly become experts on the socio-cultural structure of Malaysian society.

It’s very worrying and tiresome. The disappearance of a plane of this size? One whole week without any real leads? It sounds like something in a Tom Clancy novel.

When I heard the plane was potentially hijacked, I felt a tinge of relief….? Mainly because this means that those folks could still be alive. The grief felt by the loved ones of all those on board must be so overwhelming. Plus all these crazy conspiracy theories all over the place, I don’t know how I would handle myself if I were constantly surrounded by all this.

Hopefully in difficult times like this we can realize that we are all one and the same. I sincerely hope that everyone on board is safe and able to return home.

 

Prairie Fun Times

Hey y’all, school has been rather busy lately, thus the lack of updates.

Here’s what I’ve been up to recently.

DSC_6408

A WIP of the poster for Pains of Youth for Studio Theatre. The play is set in 1920s Vienna, about a bunch of medical students living together in a boarding house. I read the script, and to summarize the whole play in two words: Death and Sex.

Then again, everyone in 1920s Vienna was really into death and sex.

I recently went on a field trip out to the prairies. At first a trip to the flat lands didn’t seem too interesting to an islander. Until I was actually there.

field_trip

It wasn’t half bad. It felt really nice to walk in grass that went up to my hips, no joke.

DSC_6265

And since it was so far out in the country, there was no garbage in the fields anywhere.happy

The field trip was for a way finding project so we got to visit the fields. IT WAS WEIRDLY FUN. I’d actually go back again, idk, everyone else I talked to were like… “meh, I’ve had enough.”

But I’m really digging this prairie scenery. Must be because we don’t get rolling plains on the island.

joy

But it would be SO awesome to go there and look at the stars at night though? Minus the wild animals of course.

night

We spent maybe half an hour frolicking around before heading back to the main building.Because we were awesome, we decided to climb over the barbed fence like nimble little ninjas.

climb

But when we got back, one of my friends, Yunwen realized that lost her phone!

lost

After lunch, we went back into the fields to look for it. We figured it would be near the fence. I would like to emphasize that we were in grass up to our hips here.

search

Clearly the gods must love Yunwen because Melody (another friend) actually managed to find Yunwen’s phone IN THE FIELDS. *MAGIC*

I am convinced Melody has eyes that see up to 1000 miles.

 

found

And thus the end of my prairie field trip.

I’ve created a facebook page, which I currently update more frequently than this blog. So if you want to follow me on the bookface, please do! I sometimes give out free stuff! 8)

https://www.facebook.com/ningdrawsthings

Also I’m going to New York soon! I’m really excited because this is my first time to the US. Not so excited because of the Government Shutdown. US Government, please resolve yourself before I make it there so that I can visit the Statue of Liberty amongst other tourist things. Regardless, this will make for some pretty interesting stories. “The time Ning went to New York during the Shutdown” already sounds like it’s going to be hilarious.

Until then, have some Petra Ral doodles! I cannot help it, she’s my favourite of the Special Ops Squad.

petra

Budget Cuts and Rambles

OK, All the Golden Bears and Pandas will know about the recent budget cuts being made at the U of A. One of the majors in danger of being scrapped is Bachelor of Design Comp Sci route.

Read about it here if you haven’t already.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Comp Sci Route but upon hearing this news, I have to share my 2 cents in the best way I know: by drawing this out.

opinion

The whole point of going to a university setting to pursue a degree in design versus going to a technical school is to gain exposure to fields that are not traditionally considered to be part of the field of design.

howhard

I don’t know about you, but anything that can broaden my horizons and give me that extra edge sounds like a good idea. All too often we are trapped in the bubbles of our fields of study, we don’t get many opportunities to explore outside of them.

bubble

However, I must say the CS route is not done in a way that allows design students to make full use of it. Most of the required courses in the CS route focus on technicality to the point where I feel like I’m switching brains whenever I am doing an assignment.

fairies

The reason why there aren’t many people in the CS route is simple: It’s bloody difficult. Coding, in all of it’s glamour, is not meant for everyone, just like sports, music or art.

shifty1shifty2

To most of the kids actually in CS, it comes naturally to them. Understanding CS kids can be frustrating sometimes because of their completely linear ways of thinking versus the more roundabout way designers are familiar with.

cs_algorithmdes_algorithm

But regardless of all the differences, the goals of design and CS are similar. Creating a useful piece of software is about improving people’s lives, and isn’t that what design is all about as well?

bff

The most advanced countries in the world are what they are because of the arts. Why? Because the arts encourage innovation and creative thought. Ken Robinson said in his TED talk, creativity comes from the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things. The arts and the sciences have to coexist in order for society to progress. Having one without the other is like having popcorn but no butter.

popcorn

The reason people think that the arts are not worth investing in is because they are basing their opinions on what has worked in the past. During the Industrial Revolution, the most useful subjects such as maths and sciences were emphasized, and you had to be good at those to find work. This method of thinking is no longer relevant in the present, trying to make top 20 by 2020 is simply not going to happen if we continue on this path.

dancer

I think that as long as you are good at what you do, you can make money. Just because you took sciences in college doesn’t mean your future is set. A lousy scientist will still make less than a talented artist who is better at their job. Just as a good doctor will always make more than a terrible musician.

somefashionperson

Off the top of my head, I can’t say I learned anything really of use to design in CS route while I was in it. If anything I learned to understand people who aren’t familiar with the design process better. Having said that, I have no regrets, I got to learn about computers at a level that most people wouldn’t have the chance to. Perhaps one day, all those nights spent in the CS lab will be of use.

latenight