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)

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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2. Do not lose focus.

focus

3. Be more generous.

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4. Read more.

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5. Don’t be so hard on myself.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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.

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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)

Ning’s Canadian Firsts

This July has been hectic. I got my first freelance job EVER. Which was quite exciting for me… Earning some extra moolah. Thus the reason why I have seem to have disappeared from this blog lol. And also because I have been denied access to a regular scanner for almost a month now.

BUT FEAR NOT. I AM BACK. With the extra money I have purchased A SCANNER. Now I have a scanner I have greater flexibility in my working times yo.

Summer in Edmonton has been surprisingly rainy. Which is really great for me because I grew up in a country of perpetual summer and prefer cooler weather. I remember there was one day a few weeks back that was so humid and hot… it felt a little weird, and I had this moment where I went… how ever did I withstand this for 17 years.

For those of you who don’t know, I am originally from Penang, known across the world as Malaysia’s food capital… and we take our food really seriously. I have many foodie friends who instagram their lunches every day and love writing informal food reviews. #AsiansatWork hahahahahaha

I moved to Canada because of school, and it was really different to what I had experienced back in my hometown.

Prior to my moving here, I had never set foot out of Asia, and the first thing I noticed here was.

THE SKY IS SO BLUE AND SO WIDE. You don’t really get that in Penang. Or KL. Or Singapore. Or Jakarta. Or Bangkok… Basically the entire South East Asia.

firstcarride

My mother took me over the first time I got here, and my aunt picked us up from the airport.

And the land is so flat. I had no idea that land could be this flat. I grew on on a tropical island and so seeing the beach and hills was like second nature.

Also I was kind of disorientated because they drove on the other side of the road. Not to mention jet lagged.

I moved here in the dead of winter, and I stayed at my aunt’s place. I had seen snow before when I was on vacation, so it wasn’t really a huge shocker.

hokkaido

Perhaps my parents’ favourite photo of the first ever winter experience. LOOK AT THE BANK OF SNOW, MAN. Haha… my noob stage.

But then…

minus50

The -50 degrees was… beyond what my body could handle at the time.

bus

But now I’m really hero and can walk around in -50 to buy milk like a pro.

I remember the first day of school was super weird because I knew no one besides my cousins at school. And I was jumping into the middle of the school year and everyone already had friends/cliques. I was the weird Asian transfer student whom everyone both noticed and didn’t notice at the same time because my school was quite small.

foreveralonelunch

So I sat alone during lunch… on the first day of school.

The principal, Mr Jenkins, was nice enough to ask me how I was doing.

jenkins

You know it’s kind of a big deal when the principal knows your name… but then again I was the weird transfer student from a foreign land… like. the 3rd Malaysian to ever go to this school besides my cousins because it was less than 5 years old at the time I believe.

I remember once a friend was like… THE PRINCIPAL KNOWS YOU. You must either be really brilliant or get into a lot of trouble. LOLOLOLOL

I remember  the first girl I talked to. It was the 2nd day of school, her name was Gaby. She was really nice to me as she could see I was clearly confused. I’m not sure if she remembers me.

She looks kinda like this

gaby

GABY. THE FIRST PERSON I TALKED TO. You may not remember me but I will remember youuuuuuu.

I’m one of those people who usually remembers the people I talk to. So chances are, if I have spoken to you at least once before, I will probably remember you.

Overall high school was a pretty fun experience. I got to know people who I still keep in touch with.

But college was where the real party started.

But that’s not till next time lololol.

I realized it takes me way less time to create a post like this compared to a full fledged WIP post. Blogging about my life here in Canada is kinda fun… and nostalgic.

I’ll probably be creating more blog posts about my adventures here. I might even do posts of the weird events that happened to me as a teenager.

TILL NEXT TIME.

Kingdom Hearts!

E3,  the annual event where the big guns are brought out and cheers of nerds fill LA Convention Centre. I was not planning on streaming it but my friend was watching it so I thought I would join her just because. AND OH BOY was I glad I did.

Because of the announcement of KH3.

The moment we saw DISNEY flash across the screen, we started flipping out. Too many feelings, man. jkagdkasdjf

Basically after the Sony press conference, I was like, OK, Sony wins, everybody go home.

Kingdom Hearts is a part of my childhood. I’ve been a fan for 10 years. And… I believe it’s the only series left from my younger days that hasn’t actually come to a conclusion like Harry Potter and Fullmetal Alchemist. Remember those times when some series you followed for a long time was over and you would go, “My childhood is overrr….” Well. My childhood is still here, because KH3 is here, and KH is fun for all ages!

I admit, I like KH more than I like FF, mainly because I have followed the series since it’s inception. So… I’m not as excited for FFXV as I am for KH3.

I wonder how the new KH theme song is gonna be like since Utada Hikaru isn’t going to be in the picture anymore? Yuna Ito? I wouldn’t mind lol… speaking of her, where is Yuna Ito …

Anyway I drew KH fan art. I have never drawn KH fanart ever before even though I have been so into it for so many years. haha. 8)

I used a old board that still had paper I found at home. It’s pre-stretched so I didn’t need to stretch the paper.

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I was trying a new method of painting skies. Doing it in 2 layers instead of the usual 1 layer that I do.

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At first I wanted to draw them on Destiny Islands, then the little voice in my head was like… THIS NEEDS DURAMATIKU SUKAI.

So goodbye Destiny Islands, maybe next time.

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It usually doesn’t matter which you start with in watercolour painting, but I prefer to paint backgrounds before I do foregrounds.

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Adding the clothes in yo!

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More clothes.

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The final product.

We also watched the livestream from the Square Enix booth but there really wasn’t anything interesting/informative. Basically it was an hour or 2 of Nomura saying “sou desu ne” and sniff a lot. Maybe it was raining in LA.

By the way, this is a shout out to my dad. I LOVE YOU, DAD. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY. ❤

Morph!

I am on a journey to discover my “illustration style”…  Other folks can probably see it better than I can but I have an idea though, that it is something to do with painting and making things cute… I make everything look cute. I am slowly beginning to accept my inner kawaii.

I have illustrated a mini book that was inspired by an essay I wrote about mythology and shapeshifting. I really admire those who can rock poiesis beautifully , like Maya Lin and her Vietnam War Memorial. Previously I thought people who are masters of the poetic object were people who had a lot of feelings… but the opposite seems more likely, because they are calmer and more in control of their feelings they are able to express them more poetically.

This is my attempt to be poetic, kind of like… metamorphosis for kids. I like Kafka.

So here are some sketches! I have several pages, but I’m just showing the more interesting ones (I write down remind me to do things, like watch Rick Mercer Talks to Americans on YouTube)

morph_sketch2

I was listening to a lot of Galileo Galilei at the time, and I was having designer’s block, so I put on their album Baby, It’s Cold Outside and doodled.

時計塔 was my favourite song of the album, along with 夢に唄えば

lol idk why am I telling you this but I listen to a lot of Japanese music.

morph_sketch

Figuring out the images and the flow of the pages. Lol I wrote Journey to the West, I think I might do book covers for those classic Chinese books, all the covers I’ve seen are pretty bad.

Scan 1

Cliones! Originally I wanted to draw everything in ink…

Scan 8

And then I realized it looked kind of weird.

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So my book is called Morph! Which is kind of a modern metamorphosis fairy tale.

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I just really wanted to show off the fact that I cut out the word “Morph” 8)

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The evolution of the clione image above. I kinda grew attached to this kid after I drew him so much, I named him Rory.

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Rory is playing cards with a fox

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Rory is not afraid of the eel-man.

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Rory befriends this strange bird.

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Rory is comforted the Bird King.

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Rory turns into a bug.

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Rory is actually a spider.

I’m thinking of doing a Morph 2… applying lessons I learned making this book. It was really fun, making the book I mean.

Also I’ve been trying to find a regular update day that I will be able to fit into my schedule. After playing around, from the next post on, my update day is either Wednesday or Sunday (Mountain Time Zone). So unless I have something scheduled, I will try my update every week on either Wednesdays or Sundays. Since it’s technically Saturday now… I will see you next Wednesday or Sunday!

I also started a Ask Me Anything page. I will try my best to get back to whatever questions as soon as I can. Or you can comment too lol.