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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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