Sunday, December 13, 2009

Are you there?

Part of a conversation with a dear friend.

are you there?

The image of a girl listening to a seashell just came to me out of nowhere and the mood and atmosphere struck so clear that I had to draw it. Watching all 25 episodes of Soukyuu no Fafner in one sitting gave me the inspiration for the title, "are you there?" (anata wa soko ni imasu ka?) which is a recurring question throughout the series. The anime explores concepts like existence, choices and nothingness and although I'm not crazy about the art, the story was good and I really enjoy thought-provoking themes.

This piece isn't popular on deviantART, but I'm very proud of it. :)

2B Pencil, Photoshop CS3, Wacom Graphire4

Peach Sundress by the incredibly young (19!), talented and generous Teagan White


I was invited as a guest artist to paint something for this year's Comic Fiesta 100 Days Countdown!

CF 2009 - Linedanser Coffy

This is Coffy, one of the event's mascot. (I took some liberties- her ears? I ate them.) You can read about Coffy and Tea here: [link]

I'll be having a table at Comic Fiesta this year, and I'm really excited because it's my first time ever! I'm busy making some last minute preparations now and I want to kill myself for not starting earlier.

Photoshop CS3, Wacom Graphire4


The entire painting process looks so easy in the GIF! Gah. I swear, I spent almost an entire 24 hours just getting those fucking comic sheets right.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Uncomfortable Silences

It's 5.25am.

I don't know what I'm doing or feeling. Today (or yesterday) was actually a pretty good day. I met up with a bunch of people at Borders to sketch, and had a lot of fun talking to a friend from Belgium about our backgrounds and how we feel about being in a foreign country... and then we went to a place that made good burritos for dinner.

I'm not sure what happened, but I walked home feeling really sad. I didn't understand it at all. My wonderful roommates made me feel better for a while. And we talked about how Darren Hayes' "So Beautiful" made us feel. And I guess we all feel a little lonely inside because we decided in the end that it made us feel almost... envious. And happy and warm. But envious. I suddenly wanted someone to sing the song to.

Anyway. That wasn't really part of what I came on to write, I think.

I feel like I've never let anyone see me for who I truly am and I hate how it's so hard and how I just don't understand why I can't or don't. I wish words didn't exist so that there's no such thing as uncomfortable silences between people. I wish we didn't have to laugh and talk all the time to show that we like each other. I wish that language didn't exist because I think there's too huge a difference between how we really feel and what we say to express how we feel. I think a lot is lost in that transition.

My eyes hurt now. I feel stupid and lost and confused and it's too quiet. I think need an hour-long hug and I really want to go to the beach right now. I went with some friends on Friday and totally fell in love with the way it sounded and smelled.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Dance of a Child Escapes Time

I finished the piece and even thought up a pretty title. Mummy and Daddy, hope you like!

The Dance of a Child Escapes Time

Photoshop CS4, Wacom Graphire4, Straw Paper


Link to deviation:

Also, there's a one-page feature of my work in this month's ImagineFX issue. I saw it at Borders but it's so expensive! (15.99 USD + tax = RM60.52) *hyperventilates and dies* But Jon Woodward was kind enough to send me a scan of that page. :D

I met a whole bunch of crazy students from the Academy of Art on Monday. (There were 10 of us in total, sketching at the cafe at Borders.) It was totally awesome meeting a group of people who share the same passion! I feel quite intimidated too- they're all so good at what they do. Me, I still need to work being able to draw in front of others. I'm terrible at performing under pressure.

Been doing a lot of thinking too, about whether or not I want to further my studies and eventually lead a life here. I think I'm going to apply for the graduate program.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I still exist!

I still exist!

Okay, I feel really bad for not updating. I talked to my parents on the phone today and I'm suddenly reminded that my dad checks my blog really often. DADDDY, I'M SO SORRRRY!

So, what have I been up to? I'm working on 2 paintings and a short comic, and my excuse for not updating is because I don't really have anything completed yet. But posting a journal entry without any art in it is kinda against my personal blogging policies so... here are some WIPs.

(Currently Untitled)

Mum wanted something related to dancing for the new house. It's almost complete, I think? My sister thinks it's not clear that the little girl is dancing. I might want to fix that.

I am a watch (page one - draft)

A rough draft from my comic in the works. It's about a watch. I don't know.

I go to Borders really often these days. It's a great place to work because there's no internet! The Internet is Evil, Tempting and Distracting. Seeing people around me busy with their work gets me motivated to work hard too.

I love it here in San Francisco, although I miss my family. I really like the city and its people, I love how random people would come up to me and strike up a conversation and how the systems actually work here. I like that diversity is celebrated. It's been only 4 months and I already feel like I belong here.

Malaysia? I want to love Malaysia. The country where I was born. 22 years I've spent my life there, and I still don't feel 'included'. When the politicians say 'rakyat Malaysia', I hear 'bumiputra'. I want to love Malaysia. I really do.

But home. I wish it was just an hour away. My Mauritian roommates and I- we'd always talk about how good it would be if there's such a thing as teleportation... so that we won't have to choose. Why isn't it possible to be in two places at once?

Anyway, living here on my own has made me realize how hard my mum had it all these years, doing most of the work around the house on her own. I know it's ridiculous that it took me 22 years, but thank you Mum. And Dad too of course, for the support all these years!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Entropy is out!

Here's my contribution to the Entropy Art Project.

Harmony's Tune

Entropy is a beautiful classically animated and self-funded short film made by two really awesome people, Dane Jacobs and my good friend, Jeremy Hay. Voice/Vocals by Megan McKenzie.

Watch the film in full on YouTube: [link] (Running time: 3:45 min)
Buy the Entropy Pack here: [link] (4.00 USD)

The Entropy Pack includes the HD movie file, a 4-minute documentary on the making, pieces of art and wallpapers (resolutions up to 1920X1200) by 11 different artists and a remix of the music (which I adoreeee) from the film. The pack costs just $4, and in my honest opinion the beautiful music in the pack (Moon Melodies) is worth paying for on its own.


Photoshop CS3, Wacom Graphire4

Some peekchures from Fanime:

I was at Fanime 2 weeks ago and it was awesome! I saw quite a few people I know on deviantART and somehow managed to summon all my (non-existent) social skills to go up and say hi to them and then shove some of my prints into their faces. I did the same to a few well-known artists who were there like Elda The, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Jeff Thomas (azuzephre) and Wen-M. *feels accomplished* 8D

Monday, May 11, 2009

Medusa, ATM & ID

Some lame sketches I did a few days back, but was too lazy to post.

Medusa being all emo.

What I felt at the time I painted this.

A simple sketch for my profile on deviantART.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Guilt, ropes and things.

I want to run. Run so fast I'm breathless. I want to laugh. I want to be surrounded by friends. I want to cry and be embraced and be comforted like a silly child and be told it's okay. I lack... I don't know what I lack. I'm scared, I'm scared. I don't want to waste my youth away. So many dreams unlived. So much to be seen. Too many noises in my head. I don't know. I'm too careful, too afraid to be judged. Too afraid of everything. Guilt tugs at every corner. As I write this, I'm letting things...

I'm not sure anymore. Nothing feels real. Sometimes I'm thankful for things like the internet, but other times I loathe the convenience and immediacy it provides. It makes one's physical self stay there rooted to the chair, eyes fixed on the screen, afraid to miss every second's worth of information. When you can't absorb all of it anyway.

I want to smell new smells, breathe different air, take long walks and... laugh. These days my laughter feels hollow. Laughter out of amusement is quite different from a real, happy laugh.

I haven't done anything but I'm tired. So tired. I want to cut all ties, break all promises and run. Run away and away from obligations. Guilt, ropes and things.

I'm falling again. When will I hit the ground this time? I can then get up.

Friday, April 17, 2009


螺旋 (Rasen)


My Life
My Fragile Life



My Life
My Fragile Life

My Life
My Precious Life


Somewhere inside me, something has disappeared
I'm about to let go of my rusted-together anger

I become a bird and go flying over traffic
My doubts becomes wings
and I shake everything off
Life, my life, my fragile life
I've finally noticed it

These arms of mine stretch out and become branches and a stem
And in forgetting you I’ll reach heaven

Among the crowd is the rhythm that was washed away
I quietly make my way past someone who grabs my leg

I become a bird and go flying over traffic
My doubt becomes wings and I shake everything off
Life, my life, my fragile life,
I've finally noticed it

Life, my life, my precious life,
I’ve finally obtained it

- 鬼束ちひろ (Onitsuka Chihiro)

Listen to the song here: [link]

Photoshop CS4, Wacom Graphire4



Link to deviation:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Round #1 : Speed Up!

I felt that I was taking way too much time on every single piece, and Edwin (a friend of mine) felt like he's too impatient and always rushing his pieces done. And so we came up with this crazy challenge thingy to push each other out of our comfort zones, and we'll probably be doing this for the whole of April.

Round 1: Speed Up - Finish 3 pieces in 5 days
Round 2: Slow Down - Spend 5 days on 1 piece
Round 3: Speed Up - Finish 3 pieces in 5 days
Round 4: Slow Down - Spend 5 days on 1 piece

But being the awesome procrastinator that I am, I think I did all three in a little over one day. OTL Brace your eyes.

Pink Marbles:


(I know. It looks like a bowl more than a cup. And so I phail.)

Mute Drownage:

All 3 were done entirely in Photoshop.

Argh, flaws all over the place! If anything, it was a pretty satisfying experimentation with styles, but I feel kinda guilty for not putting much thought behind these. Which also explains the 'failful' titles. Feel free to suggest cooler ones.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blue colored wishes in the rain

[beginning of rant] Photoshop CS4 loves me. Really, I never had a single program crash on me so many times in my life, all in the span of one painting. It made me go crazy paranoid and save really often. Save, Save, Save, Save, Save As,Save, Save, Save, Save, Save As... etc. Which is fine. And so I ended up with about 26 WIP files, 27 including the final. All 26 WIPs were saved successfully, but Photoshop had to fuck up on my final edit and leave me a corrupted file. Thank heavens CGHUB required that we hand in a hi-res file for the competition, so I had a full-sized JPEG saved. Still. That's my lossless hi-res PSD file right there, gone. Anyhow, all hail CGHUB. You are my savior. [end of rant]

Here's my entry for CGHUB's Natives of the Lifeless Forest Challenge. You can view the other entries as they come in here: [link], and the WIP threads here: [link]

Blue colored wishes in the rain

Anyway. If this image transports you, my work is done.

Link to deviation:

Thoughts on the painting:
I'm very used to fully fleshing out an idea in my head before starting to paint, but for this one I jumped right in with only a very loose idea. The painting started to turn in its own direction and slowly, the story became a mystery even to me. This new way of working is very refreshing. I hope it sucks you in like it sucked me in.

Photoshop CS4, Wacom Graphire4


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Because I carelessly wished

Because I carelessly wished

When I was a little girl, I often wished that I would turn into a mermaid. I only realized what a foolish idea that was after I watched a Cantonese movie called "人魚傳說." People wanted to capture the mermaid. =\

Did this mostly for myself, but also for Corel Digital Art Competition 2009. You can vote for your favorite entries there. Vote for me ONLY if you really like my painting, ok? Don't do it for charity!
[All Submissions] [My Entry]

Link to deviation:

Painter IX, Wacom Graphire4, Photoshop CS4



click me! click me! CLICKKKK.

I've been working on a zomg top secret painting for a short 3-minute film called 'Entropy' by Rhubarb Zoo. My friend, Jeremy Hay is a part of this independent two-man team and I love their stuff. 'Entropy' will be released as a pay-for digital download package very soon. Anyway, here's a silly little video they made for their friend's birthday 2 years back. Their friend, Frances, who loves her cat called James. It's nothing like Entropy, which is emotional and dreamlike, but it's AWESOME. 8D Everything, including the song and singing, were done by them crazy freaks.

Someone posted this wonderful quote on InspirePlease and it really struck a chord with me. It's pretty long, but definitely quote-worthy.
"Great paintings shouldn’t be in museums. Have you ever been in a museum? Museums are cemeteries. Paintings should be on the walls of restaurants, in dime stores, in gas stations, in men’s rooms. Great paintings should be where people hang out. The only thing where it’s happening is on radio and records, that’s where people hang out. You can’t see great paintings. You pay half a million and hang one in your house and one guest sees it. That’s not art. That’s a shame, a crime. Music is the only thing that’s in tune with what’s happening. It’s not in book form, it’s not on the stage. All this art they’ve been talking about is nonexistent. It just remains on the shelf. It doesn’t make anyone happier. Just think how many people would really feel great if they could see a Picasso in their daily diner. It’s not the bomb that has to go, man, it’s the museums." - Bob Dylan


I've been on Twitter lately. If you want to know what I'm doing every second of the day (ok maybe not every second), follow me on Twitter! [Ciaee on Twitter] Or you could just look under my shoutbox for my Twitter widget.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Freedom Perched Upon my Finger

Spent the whole night reworking this one and finally achieved something that I'm quite satisfied with. Click on the image for some full view goodness.

For a little while that day...
It perched upon my finger.

Not going to elaborate on my thoughts behind the painting this time. I hope the image speaks for itself.

Photoshop CS3, Watercolor, Painter IX, Wacom Graphire4

WIPs and Close-ups:

Link to deviation:

Monday, March 2, 2009

I hate this.

"Finished" this yesterday noon. Very unhappy with the results. Will rework.

I hate how dead, lifeless and uninteresting this feels. I hate the (lack of) background. I hate how it's completely different from what I originally envisioned. I hate that it doesn't say what I wanted to say.

Looks better close-up and cropped. If there's anything at all that I like about this painting, it's the hair. I had multiple orgasms painting the hair.

Oh, and LEOMGWTFBBQPANDA, Mayang is alive again. Go grab your maximum of 20 free textures a day. It'll only take 190 days to get 'em all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Loneliness of the King

This is a painting of 孫悟空 (Sun Wu Kong) from 西遊記 (Journey to the West).

click for larger view

齊天大聖的孤獨 (Qi Tian Da Sheng de Gu Du)
The Loneliness of the Great Sage Equaling Heaven (literal)
The Loneliness of the King

Thoughts behind the painting:
I dug up the novel to read and spent many days thinking of what to paint for this one. I was reminded of many interesting events of the story but I really didn't want to do a straight narrative. I discussed this with my parents during meal times (being Chinese we were all familiar with the story) and just out of the blue one day, a thought came to me and I said to my dad, "Hey... Sun Wu Kong didn't actually have any real friends."

I suddenly realized what a lonely creature he was. I went back to read Chapter 27-28 - this was when Tang San Zang expelled him and he went back to Hua Guo Shan (Mountain of Flower and Fruit), which was mostly burnt down by the great war caused by his mischief 500 years ago. My heart literally ached for him when he cried for his master, which I feel did not deserve his loyalty and respect at all.

Tang San Zang, the historical figure, might have been a great man, but the fictional monk in the story was a hypocritical, cowardly and selfish bastard of a man. He's the character that I loath most in the story, much more so than any demon the group came across.

To see if anyone shared my thoughts on Sun Wu Kong's loneliness and to make sure that I wasn't being overly sentimental about this (xD), I googled around and actually found quite a few things... some blog entries and the lyrics to a song by Mayday. My painting isn't based on that but I thought I'd mention that here. [link] [link]

Here's the complete English version of the novel in PDF format, if anyone's interested: [link] A very entertaining read.

Photoshop CS3, Painter IX, & Gesso (textures)

Link to deviation:

I hope my next painting will be a happy one.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fairies are as cruel as children.

Participated in ConceptArt.Org's Character of the Week (CHOW #146) challenge. The competition for this round is like... woah, intense. Be sure to cast your votes for your favorite entry at: [link]. (You need to be registered and logged in to vote.)

This week's topic:
'Queen Titania'
Titania is a very proud creature and as much of a force to contend with as her husband Oberon. Due to an enchantment cast by her husband's henchman Puck, Titania magically falls in love with a rude mechanical (a lower class laborman), Nick Bottom the Weaver, who has been given the head of an donkey by Puck, who feels it is better suited to his character. Full story: [link] (Source: Wikipedia)

On my entry:
I wanted to portray as closely as possible what I felt fairies were like, so here's Queen Titania and Nick Bottom('s head).

Fairies are as cruel as children.

In my imagination, fairies are innocent and whimsical as well as selfish, remorseless and vengeful. They're very much like children. In this painting, I took some liberties with the original story and character from Shakespeare's play, and wanted to create a "fairytale gone wrong" image. I tried to keep her quite childlike and innocent-looking, and I hope I succeeded in making the painting feel little disturbing. (I've always found innocent children in horror movies/ghost stories extremely creepy and scary, and I want to put a bit of that in here.)

I recently acquired the book "FABLES: Covers by James Jean" (present from sister - best art book ever), and his work was on my mind the whole time when I was trying to create this image.

Um, I do not promote animal-cruelty.

Photoshop CS3, Wacom Graphire4

WIPs & Close-up:

Painting this was an exciting, fun, stressful, excruciating and rewarding experience. On the side note of things, I cut my hair! I've discovered my love for short hair and I can't see myself growing it out anywhere in the near future. Sooo much less hassle and it feels amazing- all nice and breezy. C:

So what else did I do in year 2009? Pretty much nothing. Asdfsfsdfsfsda. I can't believe it's February already. Oh, I updated the look of my website. [link]