First Behance Design

Check out my first post on Behance!

View here for the full packaging design case study:

International Trip 2: Vietnam

This is a continuation of the first overseas trip, which you can read here.

I would describe more about the UK and France trip, but it had been months and here we are, my second international trip since COVID-19. The UK/France trip was eventful, but to sum it up, I unwittingly did some dodgy actions. The pharmacist gave me two medicine boxes when I paid for one. I also did not clock in the bus ticket when I boarded (I only showed it to the driver).

Of course, upon realisation days later, I felt bad about it, so I gave away the extra medicine and threw the unusable bus ticket away. It turned out that they gave me a faulty ticket, so all’s well ends well, I suppose.

The UK/France trip was also my first time getting COVID. The irony was that I fraternised with the crowds and was completely safe until the return flight. I gave my original seat to another person so that she could be reunited with her old mother. As luck would have it, I sat next to an obnoxious bugger who took out his mask and coughed all over my cramped space. I constantly glared at him, hoping he would get the hint. He did not. In conclusion, he blessed me with a sore throat and brain fog from hell. Legend has it that I still have the brain fog. But the seven days of quarantine were the only peaceful days I could get in my human-infested life.

Busy Streets of Hanoi

I digress, but here I was again, boarding the second international flight to Vietnam this time.
Disinfectant vapour sprayed out from the ceiling of the plane before the flight take-off. I wondered if there should be harmless, calming effects added to the spray so that people with my type of malfunctioning nerves could calm the fuck down in every take-off and landing. As the plane bounced up and down, I sneezed and coughed into my mask, hoping I did not get COVID for the second time.

My lunch added fuel to the fire, as the spicy nasi lemak sizzled down my throat. Two more hours to go, but I was getting restless. With the absence of my book and the lack of visual entertainment, I looked out of the emergency exit, constantly thinking, “With great seats come great responsibility.” Anyone who sat in the emergency exit row was instructed on what to do in case of an emergency.

My phone battery was draining as fast as my body’s, and I often wished that someone would invent an energy transfusion, just like blood. I would meet the requirements of being the first donee. In fact, I volunteer.

Years ago, when I first arrived in Hanoi, there was a heat wave of 40+ degrees. The second trip to Vietnam was at another location and during that time, it was another heat wave. I was counting all my unlucky stars, hoping this time I did not bring the heat wave along. Or worse, the extreme winter, as the place I would go this time was common to snow.

To my dismay, I could not recline the seats because of sitting in the emergency exit row. There were simply no buttons. In place of the buttons, there were decorative, almost flat bumps. There were thirty minutes left to the flight but I was already done for the day. The inner child kept asking if we were there yet.

Fast forward to days later, I DID bring the extreme winter with me. Oh, joy to the world, it fucking snows. I would like to give a shout-out to the pilot for the return flight. The landing was beautiful, and I did not even panic. Too bad I couldn’t remember the pilot’s name even though he announced it twice.

Limited Edition Harry Potter Figurine

My Harry Potter figurine is here!!!

*screams in nerd* 😛

Testing out my new product photography backdrops!

Feeding Catfishes

Feeding mouths of catfishes

They eat, and they’re edible. Taken with Fujifilm X-T30.

Uthred of Bebbanburg Sketch

Uthred of Bebbanburg

I forgot how therapeutic traditional sketches can be. This is a sketch of Uthred of Bebbanburg from the book and tv series, The Last Kingdom.

Follow me for more at: Artstation

The first overseas trip after the pandemic (Part 1)

​To fly again signals a new beginning beyond the doom and gloom of the pandemic. A pandemic since years ago, a first for many. The jitters of taking the first step onto the plane since being cooped up had left many worried and wanting as they waited to board.

The hierarchy of men divided by the monetary system was still prevalent as I watched the snobs entered the first class. I secretly wanted to join the snobs too, minus the behaviour.

As we adjusted ourselves on the plane, the masks we adorned served as a subconscious reminder that the virus was not over. Intermittent turbulence fueled the fears of the courageous, knowing that it was a common occurrence.

Be that as it may, our comfort zones might not be where our happiness lies. For too long, we grounded our courage to pursue happiness.

The ground seemed like hours away as I stared into the black screen. The tight mask stifled my yawn as boredom seeped in. Boredom accompanied me as I stared at the screen across with images of Gaga and the same at the screen a few rows ahead. Different movie, same face. Did she put on weight for that role? I liked her as a singer, but I had never watched her movies.

I held on to my backpack as the paranoia from hearing Heathrow queues being long crept in. Wasting money on check-in was a pain as I ended up squishing everything into the hand-carry. The pain turned into relief as my fears came true. The queue was long as heck. Apparently, I arrived on the same day as some K-pop singer and all the fangirls were crowding the Arrival hall. I imagined the anxiety I would’ve felt if I saw a huge crowd waiting for me.

Someone asked me if I wanted to join them to see a celebrity. I considered for a second and decided that my sleep triumphed over some hotshot. Escaping the crazed fangirls, I left for my destination of the day; a bed to retire to.

Sneak peek of Part 2:

The queue to the toilet at The Louvre was comparable to the queue to see La Lady Mona Lisa.

Flower close-up shot that prevented me from contributing to stock websites.

Flower closeup

This is the close-up shot of an image I took in Japan. This is THE close-up shot I contributed to my first stock image website. I can’t remember the exact site as it was years ago. I think it was Adobe Stock.

So imagine after contributing two images, I would obviously feel proud that my photos are at the level to get accepted into stock websites. I searched for this exact flower image on the website to see the statistics and more.

As luck would have it, a few copies of the same images came up in the search. Some had more saturation, some with different edits, but they were all the same image. What are the odds of different people contributing the same photo and perspective?! The sinking feeling of having my photo used to resell remained persistent. You get paid for the number of downloads, but what if other photos take away the downloads from your own? Is this legal? Did I waive any rights under the T&C?!

I did not bother to research more on this, but the possibility that it could happen dithers me from any further contribution from then on.

So, I continued to work with my photography website instead (which I have revamped a bit).

What are your thoughts on this?

Loner (Minimalist Photography)

A kingfisher sat atop a dead tree.

Shot with Fujifilm XT-30. It was a hot day. My photography style has taken an unexpected turn. More to come.

Vert’s to-go

No one’s ever ready,

For a blast of the unsteady,

The world’s twisted as it is,

Add a little slant and it’s easy to miss.

Head’s heavy on the spine,

Lean back on this chair of mine,

Like a never-ending lifeline,

Meds after meds like fine wine.

Day by day, Vert interrupts conversations,

Want more action, but please take away the motion,

Has anyone ever noticed tables are low?

Please, please talk slow.

Your words spin my head,

The visions stop when I finally rest in bed.

Fixing Mona Lisa

Well, the challenge was to fix or change Mona Lisa according to how you envision it to be.

Modern Lisa

I rushed to finish this as I saw the contest at the last minute. Thought hard about whether or not to participate since I had to juggle this with work but what the heck, here we go. Say hi to Modern Lisa, she’s bored with perpetual posing for someone to paint her. “Get on with it” is also a note to self to hurry up to finish this. Photo frame is taken by me using my trusty old Fujifilm camera.