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.

Insecurities

Many of the recent drafts I made for this blog are jam-packed with feelings. Mostly of anxiety, worry, sudden panic with the  standard “what am I doing with myself”.

bird

I have had a LOT of those feelings over the past few months. I’m pretty sure I have 7 drafts just on feelings. So I am sharing some of these, because most of my readers are around my age (and are also my friends lol), and also because:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I AM PROBABLY JUST AS LOST AS YOU ARE, IF NOT MORE LOST.

lost

So we can be lost together along with the power of friendship.

For a little while now, when I think I found a light, I find out the tunnel is closed.

smash
I know adapting is always better than anticipating because … you can’t really anticipate anything anyway. I suppose this feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty is all a part of life.

When I met up with some of my high school friends a couple years back one of them commented how everyone had changed so much, but I was still the same, just older/more mature.

me

Rubbish.Being older and more mature already sounds like change to me. I know that I am definitely not the same person as I was in high school…and who wants to be the same from high school anyway. I mean look at that mess.

Sure I have qualities that are similar to my old self, but I am also very different from my high school self, or my university self, even myself from yesterday and I will continue to evolve for as long as I am breathing, hopefully for the better.

Sometimes I wish I could just fast forward to the years where none of these decisions will matter anymore. Maybe then, something like this would be happening:

ahma

Just kidding I would be the kind of grandma who would take my grandkid on my Vespa and ride across the rolling hills of Italy. Maybe. I don’t know. Something to laugh at when I’m older.

vespa

 

I might not have grandkids. I would first need to have kids in order to have grandkids. No where close to that stage in life yet and it may not even happen to me lolololol.

Oh my god, of all the songs to come next on my playlist, it’s “I Feel the Earth Move”.NOPE. SKY. YOU ARE NOT TUMBLING DOWN TODAY. 

Check out my facebook for goodies and updates on all of my weird.

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.

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.

 

New Year New Fish

So, I was on a 2 month hiatus from December to January. I had a lot of school and work things that I had to focus on and it proved to be very difficult because I am super easily distracted. I have however, several drafts that I have saved up and will *hopefully* finish up in the next few weeks, as I have a ton of pent up doodle feels.

food

internet

study

work

I am sure that most of you come to this blog for the drawings, but bear with this wall of text for a bit. I never realized how much I needed to draw to think, especially when I was stopping myself from doing it, but I knew that if I took breaks from my work to doodle, I would half-ass everything, including my doodles.

slack

So anyway, I am finally hopping on the New Year 2014 bandwagon, and I have thought long and hard about the things I want to accomplish in the new year, and here is the magic answer:

life

But seriously though, while I was working on my portfolios, I listened to God knows how many TED talks. I’ve been asked many questions that I am unable to answer at this point in time. I am sure I will be able to answer them eventually, and right now I have to make what I believe is the best decision for myself.

I feel pretty good about the new year so far. I am fairly confident that regardless of what is thrown at me, I will be able to handle it.

Actually… I don’t have much choice, I have to be able to handle it. *Captain Obvious*

So here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2014:

1. Take risks.

hanggliding

2. Do not lose focus.

focus

3. Be more generous.

share

4. Read more.

book

5. Don’t be so hard on myself.

hardonself

So stay tuned! I will be back soon. In the mean time, I have a Facebook page, which you can check out, because I update it frequently… and a lot of feels there too.

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

The Best Flight Ever

Today I am going to be blogging about the best plane ride I have ever had.

When I was younger my parents told me about their trip to the US. They were flying from Tokyo to Hawaii, and then the flight was oversold and my parents were upgraded to Business Class.

dad

I thought this was the stuff of urban legends because maybe back then technology was not that great and maybe there was a bug in the system idk.

That was until something similar happened to me.

airport

I was flying from Taiwan to Vancouver after spending summer in Malaysia.

When it was boarding time, my ticket wouldn’t go through.

scannothru

Obviously I panicked. School was going to start in less than a week and I was stuck in Taiwan.

panic

And then suddenly.

businessclass

WALAO EH. SURE BO. But I won’t complain, I will take this. I ACCEPT.

majide

It was really cool having the stewardess address me by my name.

champagne

But I was too excited and I downed in all in one sitting. Not my proudest moment. And I ended up KO for 6 hours of my 12 hour flight.

ko

Turns out, I got upgraded because my seat neighbour had requested earlier that the seat next to him be empty, but since they oversold the flight, they couldn’t save the seat next to him anymore, and they had to upgrade someone.

I ended up being taught how to fly businessby my seat neighbour, Bill.

omgmenusomgplates

I had my own flight slippers. And toiletries. It was kind of a big deal.

slippers

So I can personally vouch for it! Airlines do still oversell their seats and I suppose chances of you getting bumped up is higher when you travel alone…maybe. The point is that it still happens.

I must admit that ever since then whenever I fly I always secretly hope that I will be upgraded again hahahahaha

denpasar london

Unlikely to happen again though haha, I feel that the next time I get to fly business will either be because I collected enough miles or because I can afford the ticket. But I think economy class isn’t that bad, I’m not so tall that I cannot stretch out my legs at all so it’s still pretty good.

I’d love to hear feedback from all of you folks who read my blog. Do you like these comic strips that I make? Please leave a comment! Or Like! Or share! Or do all of them! 8)