Love Yourself 2019

Sometime over the past couple years, I started listening to Kpop again, something I did on and off until around about 2013… and then I kind of stopped for about 4 years.

How I got back into it was because my friends were always posting BTS memes on the SNS and then one day I was like OK, FINE, I WILL WATCH THE VIDEOS. PLEASE STOP.

The next thing I knew, I was on a plane to Thailand to watch them perform.


OK, I am very aware that the Bangkok concert was…. two months ago and they are like halfway through their Speak Yourself tour now…..But HEY. Life gets in the way sometimes. And I remember every second of BOTH the Love Yourself concerts I went to because those were some of the most fun days I’ve had in a very long time.

I also attended Love Yourself Singapore back in January which was extremely chaotic. So let’s talk a little bit about that first.

Buying the tickets for Love Yourself SG was madness, because they went on sale the morning I just got back from my vacation in Korea. (which I may write about… maybe… eventually…. idk. we’ll get to it when we get to it.)

I was on a plane the night before the tickets were dropping. I wasn’t even sure if I slept on that flight, but I was not going to sleep through this ticket purchase and honestly being able to stay awake to buy the ticket was an achievement in itself.


Actually, my colleague’s sister managed to get me a ticket because I was in the queue for hours but she got in first. Shout out to Nurul…. and also Chao for helping me buy my Bangkok ticket.

At the Singapore concert, my plan was to go to line up for merchandise at 7-8 am because I really wanted to get the Tshirt. There was nothing else I wanted.

I got there at 7.30am and was greeted by a mini stampede of people because apparently there was this rumour that they saw Jimin.

Of course it wasn’t Jimin

because he is not dumb enough to just show up on the streets near the concert venue unprotected. It was just someone who happened to dye their hair pink (because Jimin’s hair was pink at the time) and wore a bucket hat. Sorry man… Discount Jimin.


In Singapore I was in line for over 4 hours and then by the time I actually was able to enter the merch hall…. they were sold out OF THE TSHIRTS :/


Not wanting my efforts to be wasted, I dropped 55 Singapore dollars on an Army Bomb, something I was not planning to buy…. and a random pack of stickers.

So now I have this very expensive flashlight to light up my face with while I tell ghost stories at the next Buzzfeed Unsolved themed party.


FOR THE BANGKOK CONCERT, I took no chances. I was not leaving without at least 1 shirt. I woke up at 5.00am to get to the merchandise booth by 6.30am and by 10.30 am I was able to get my shirts.

It was pretty obvious that everyone at my hotel was there for the concert as well.

When I got to the concert venue I saw these old Thai ladies setting up booths selling merchandise. Like a typical Thai market but for random bootleg BTS merch. I loved it.bootleg.jpg


When I was waiting in line, I met this girl from Korea who asked me if I could help her buy a premium photo of Jungkook because we were limited to how many items we could purchase per person. So I said yeah, sure…. I mean I wasn’t planning on getting one anyway, so why not.


These premium photos are larger than my own head. I’m pretty sure it’s larger than life size. Like 1.2x the actual size of Jungkook’s head.


In return she gave me this magnificent rare Pokémon T money card of Tae.Which I will definitely be using on my next trip to Busan. 🙂



I also learned that people giving me random stuff the entire day was just part of the experience. I didn’t have anything to give away at the time!!!! But next time…. next time I will have stuff. 🙂

This was so different from the chaos of the Singapore concert. It wasn’t even 11am yet and I managed to get all my shopping done. So I decided to go back to the hotel to freshen up a bit before the concert began at 7pm.

Now I’ve been seeing people talk about their concert outfits which are all very cute. Allow me to share mine.

I feel like I was just drenched in sweat the whole time I was at the stadium area. I do not know how people can walk around with their makeup still intact while I was all sweaty and gross, looking very unglamorous. The Bangkok sun is no joke.

The bag check and entering the concert venue was very smooth. Kudos to the organizers, they did an excellent job.

When I was in queue, I got to see a some pretty weird fashion.

The premium ticket in Thailand was seated, compared to the Singapore one which was a mosh pit. Since I was there so early:


Anyway onward to the concert:

Halfway through it started raining, and this stadium is open air. Nothing to protect you from the elements.

But I got to see Jimin perform Serendipity in the rain. Which was very satisfying.


Also RM and Trivia: Love in the rain was very good.

Also J-hope moves with such charisma. It was so hypnotizing.



Of course the legendary Euphoria fanchant.jk.jpg


Singularity is even more beautiful live. I was about 73.8% convinced that Tae was gonna smash that coat hanger.


Also convinced that Yoongi like… just woke up.



Also I think I may have cried a little bit during Epiphany. But that’s totally normal.

And of course, the only fan chant I can actually remember.

It was so good!!! I haven’t had this much fun in years. For those of you going to the Speak Yourself, have fun and it’s going to be amazing.




So about those “More dates to come” on their tour website…. when….. I’m watching you, Big Hit. I too want to see the youngest one fly through the air before my eyes, please. Thanks.

I have nothing else to say, go stream whatever song needs streaming now. 

What are your favourite BTS memes? Share a few, maybe. 🙂

Back to the drawing board

Sometimes when people ask me how I’m doing in the “life” department, I don’t really know how to respond. I’m at the age where my friends are out there getting engaged/married/having children.

Me? I’m kind of living my best life in a very different way.


But this is about how I am slowly learning to become more comfortable with the person who I have to live with for the rest of my life: myself.

I was in a little bit of a funk for a while. I used to draw way more when I was a student but since the full time job, a lot of my daily brain juice is used for that.


I was thinking a lot about my current life state while I watched the world speed past me over the past few months.

Watching people post about their lives on social media got me mildly annoyed about putting up this facade about how “awesome” our lives are. I knew it wasn’t true, but it seemed like a lot of people seemed to have their lives more or less together.

And then, last week when I was visiting my parents over the weekend, my mother volunteered me to draw a couple of murals for this hiking trail in my hometown.

I thought it would be a good way to force myself to get back into drawing.


For the first time in a while, I found myself not disliking my drawings.

They were very well received and it made me feel good. I was on a little bit of a hiatus for a while, but maybe that’s what I needed to get back.

I’m slowly learning to be more confident in my own abilities. To stop thinking about what people who I don’t actually like that much think about me and care more about the people who actually matter.

But mostly, to learn to love myself.



oh my god its 2019

At this rate, updating this blog is going to turn into a yearly event. In 2018 I thought to myself: is the reason why I didn’t update as much in 2017 because I gave myself too much pressure to put stuff out there? I’m going to not put ANY pressure on myself.

I mean, who is counting anyway hahahahahahaha.

Honestly, what even happened this year. A good part of 2018 was basically me doing this:


So I will fill you in on some of the more interesting happenings of N’s 2018.

Apparently last year’s introduction to this BTS business didn’t wear off after 3-4 months like it usually does for me, and I am going to see them in 2019…. two times.


Anyway, this year I went to Korea for a vacation with my parents. Will I ever blog about going to Korea? Who knows, in 2017 I went to Montreal and I still haven’t written anything regarding that haha.


Some people asked me if I went celebrity hunting in Korea. Uhm… to be quite honest, I don’t follow the Korean entertainment scene that closely, and if I ever did see any Korean celebrity that I recognized on the street it would be something like:


The older you get the more you realize that everyone is kind of just making things up as they go along, and no one really knows what they are doing… we are all just going with the flow.


Happy New Year everyone! I promise nothing art related this year. Those things are for people who don’t have full time jobs and have a lot of time to stream Kpop videos and if you are one of them maybe you should GO STUDY, YOU CHILD.

2017 in Review

Ah yes, 2017 coming to a close.

My departure from cyber space was the result of a very intense year. To be honest, it was very hard to be motivated to doodle with a lot on my plate, which is ironic because I doodle to de-stress. Life sometimes deals you curve balls.


But 2017 wasn’t all confusion and memes.

I said goodbye to academia (for now).




I travelled to Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Montreal and Cleveland…and Niagara Falls. Twice. Li Yun has been bugging me to draw our Montreal trip. Patience, young grasshopper.


I was curious about this Korean band that kept turning up on all my feeds.






Among other things.

Anyway, thank all of you for your patience!!! I hope 2018 will be better for all of us. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I have been alive on Instagram though, did you know I have a life there (kind of)

The Great Canadian Outdoors

Everyone in our program has to go through two field courses where we go out into the wilderness and do outdoor things.

The first field course was held during late summer and was incredibly overwhelming.


The second field course was held during early spring. This time I understood what we were doing, I just didn’t know why we were doing it.


This year, the course was held during the coldest week in April. The week before and after, it was nice and sunny and the weather was amazing, and then suddenly BOOM. Below freezing temperatures. Rain. Maybe a MINI TORNADO.


The week after the field course it was back to sunshine, rainbows and happiness.The weather knows. It knows when we are outdoors.

Almost every day of the field course, we were outdoors measuring, recording and sketching things.Our trip started off on a very windy and rainy Monday at Ashbridges Bay and Leslie Street Spit where we collected data and made transects.


Next day, we visited St Williams Nursery where they specialize in growing and selling native plants.


After that, we headed over to Backus Woods, one of the best remaining examples of a Carolinian forest. We met this super tree enthusiast named Mary who knew everything.


There was an overnight camping trip near Long Point, which was actually a lot of fun. We roasted marshmallows, had a barbeque and played games.


Next day we got to see how birds were tagged so that we can observe changes in their migratory path.


Birds are cute. I like birds.

We visited the beach on Long Point Provincial Park near Lake Erie. It was 50km/h winds and a little bit of snow. So you know, not the best beach weather.



Nothing like a little snow on the beach to say welcome to Canada!

After our totally insane outdoors trip we had a planting excursion where we planted some river willow.



We dug out trees, wrapped some trees in burlap, and planted a bunch of dogwood. All when the temperature was -2 Celcius.



All in all, the weather was not the greatest but I think the trip was pretty fun.I think the trip was quite eye opening… actually I think the weather added to how interesting it was.

If you like this you should like my Facebook page and follow me Instagram to see photos I took during the field course! 🙂


Weather is a pretty universal subject matter to talk about. In Malaysia, the conversation usually goes something like this:


And this year the floods are pretty devastating.


I lived for a while in Edmonton. Things can get pretty crazy in Alberta.


But probably not as crazy as Yellowknife.

It once SNOWED in August in Edmonton.  While we were having a barbeque, it was madness.


So far, Toronto weather had been quite mild compared to Edmonton and yet every other person seems to own much thicker jackets. Like Canada Goose or Moose Knuckles. My standard Columbia jacket does pretty well here.



It’s a bit strange because there is literally no snow on the ground at this time of the year. Where is the Canadian experience, I ask you.

Right now people are probably up to their shoulders in snow in Alberta. I kind of miss it in a weird way.


What is the weather like where you live? I would love to hear about it! I have super cool viewers from Bangladesh, Denmark, Turkey, Netherlands, Greece, Congo, Panama, Argentina, Qatar etc. I’ve never been to any of these places and I’m interested to visit them one day when I have the chance. Share your thoughts! And like my facebook page too, please and thanks!

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.




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.



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.


Chinese Physiognomy at it’s finest.



One of the places Wei and I explored together was 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:



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.


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.



I told you Jeamme was proper.

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


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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:


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:



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. 🙂


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.





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.


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:


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.


2. Do not lose focus.


3. Be more generous.


4. Read more.


5. Don’t be so hard on myself.


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.

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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.



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)

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.