Category Archives: Blogging

The Herd Mentality (In the Art Industry)

It’s not just the art industry that falls into the trap of the ‘Herd Mentality’, it’s basically what plagues Mankind. We are more sheep than shepherd. Fear has a strong hold in our lives whether we deny it or not. People are afraid to explore because of the fear of the unknown or perceived failures. Yes, some of you may argue that it has been tried and tested, which is why we remain in the comfort zone. But only by going against the social norms and comfort zones do breakthroughs happen. Often, common issues get dismissed and overlooked.

In the art industry, we have what we call the ‘Popular Vote’. This may seem normal but in its essence, it is encouraging the herd mentality. Say for example, would you vote for something that you like (e.g. a favourite character) over something that is better in art execution and originality?  To expand on this, let’s say both are your favourite characters. One looks more realistic but is copied from a reference and has sloppy colours. The other is not as realistic but is created from scratch with nice colours. Most people tend to go for the more realistic one. This is a classic trap of ‘Style Over Substance’. This is why ‘hot air’ continues to exist and fool many. The ‘eye candy’ without any substance.

Many artists face this dilemma of drawing something original over copying a popular reference in order to get recognition by the hoi polloi, the majority with no artistic background. I may or may not be broaching a taboo subject but this is a brutal industry. Even people with artistic background can fall into the trap of voting their favourite. However, it’s not unusual to see a disagreement between the art critics and the general masses.

So how do we resolve this? Observe and learn, resist the ancestors of Man’s instincts of fight or flight. It may be useful in the past but not in this case. In this day and age, thinking things through are often more rewarding.

Have a sheep:



Archaeopteryx Hybrid (1hr 31mins Sketch) WIP

This is a continuation of the sketch from this post: 16mins Sketch

After further brainstorming, I decided to change the gender, age and species to a clumsy female youngling. I wanted a challenge. Neither acknowledged by humans nor Archaeopteryx, it has to learn how to live in the dangerous world.

I guess this falls into the survival genre.

It is not easy combining two species that have anatomies from both extreme ends. The way the human joints bend are the exact opposite of how the Archaeopteryx’s joints work in various areas.

More to come…


5 Free and Useful Apps for Windows PC

Below are 5 applications that can make your life easier when using a PC. Personally tried and tested 🙂

Seer App Preview Function

Recommended Epic Music

Sick and tired of mainstream songs?

It is about time you add more to that poppy woppy playlist! Check out these underrated but fantastically epic music composers:


Two Steps From Hell:

Hans Zimmer:


Jeremy Soule:

Inon Zur:

Jo Blankenburg:

Have more to add to this epic music genre? State them in the comments below.


My Definition of A Quick Sketch

definition of quick sketch



The 5 mins sketch above is a quick study on different types of houses.

Right, I have always done quick sketches but I just realised that my definition of a quick sketch slightly differs from the generic term of what a quick sketch is:

1. A hasty or undetailed drawing or painting often made as a preliminary study.
2. A brief general account or presentation; an outline.
My definition of a quick sketch
A drawing done as quickly as possible with mistakes and all but the outline and overview of the drawing can be easily recognised and gets the message across.

2015 Web Design Trends

Hi guys! I have started working on a personal illustration again (after goodness knows how long haha – too busy yeah). In the meantime, what I’ve observed as a web design trend in 2014 was plenty of parallax websites.

I’m not saying they aren’t creative, it’s just that someone with a short attention span like me or just happens to have shitty internet, will not appreciate them as much and just want to get the nitty gritty details in a flash.

Hence in 2015, my prediction of web trends (to name a few) is as follows:

  1. Parallax websites will still increase but probably not as much hype as it was in 2014
  2. Simplicity is key; designs that are suitable for all screen sizes, responsive ones will be evident.
  3. Typography. In the past due to limited web technology, there can only be so much choices for fonts until now. Larger text too. People are complaining about their eyesight. Jokes. Google Fonts will be your best friend:
  4. Flat designs, introduced by Microsoft, Apple and Google. This year, we will be introduced to Windows 10 which I am sure will feature more flat designs. Read more here:
  5. UI animations even minor ones, anything to bring your short attention span back to them.
  6. Full image backgrounds. Videos for backgrounds. Or the exact opposite, nothing for backgrounds. It’s all about backgrounds.
  7. Hidden menus. Like a ninja but an unsuccessful one.
  8. Performance and speed is key here. Sometimes you can’t help it through a third party hosting though.

Here are several insie winsie examples:

Ruthless Spartans vs Cuddly Hipsters

The cute designs and funny title won me over.



It’s shopping. Need I to say more?


A creative play on the website link. Also, nice drawings.

I am sure there are plenty more web design trends to come, feel free to list them out.

I know my website is also due for an update (site design and projects) but I will get to that..eventually. One fine day. Haha.


5 Underrated and Overrated Animated Cartoons

Underrated (Hardly mentioned)

  1. Emperor’s New Groove – It’s funny, it’s nice but not many has heard of it
  2. The Rescuers – Animation is superb, so is the story yet not many knows this
  3. Wreck-It-Ralph – Heartwarming and something different
  4. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron – Inspirational; four-legged creatures aren’t easy to animate but this looks beautifully done
  5. Balto – Strong animation, motivational story.

Overrated (Seen too much hype and fan stuffs on it)

  1. Frozen – Sure, the animation is beautiful but the story isn’t worth the hype (or this is probably due to the singing). The story felt similar to Brave.
  2. Rise Of The Guardians – It felt childish, definitely not recommended for adults. Animation and graphics are great. Typically, all other guardians look like weaklings as opposed to Jack.
  3. Brave – all over the place and predictable story, cliche main character
  4. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I just don’t think it is worth that much attention.
  5. Kungfu Panda – Insulting stereotype with an unappealing main character and predictable storyline.

Happy CNY and How To Fix Windows Freezing at Startup

First of all, I’ll like to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! Second of all, let me tell you why it was not so happy for me.

I was greeted with Windows 7 crashing at startup AND safe mode with networking. It wasted my whole morning so I decided to post the solution here in case anyone encounters the same problem.

First, try to check if there is any software, drivers you have installed or updated recently that could be incompatible (This includes Antivirus programs).

Second, you need to go to safe mode. Reboot and press F8 before the splash screen comes up and go to safe mode (no networking). Then search and type device manager under start menu. If you have the same problem with me, that is crashing at startup and safe mode with networking, it could be your wireless adapter’s busted. Under device manager, go to network adapters, right click the wireless adapter and uninstall. It will reinstall once you restart. You can try a rollback too but that may not work. Furthermore, uninstall any drivers that has the yellow triangle on it.

Another option is doing a system restore like this:

Alternately, try this program: You can also try to switch off your computer, pull out the plug, press the start button for 10 seconds before plugging and turning it on again.

It could also be a virus attack. Try doing a full scan with Malware Malbytes or any antivirus program. Of course, if this program is the source of your problem, it’s a different story altogether. Also, try to defragment all your hard disks as it could be a memory issue.

To do a clean boot: To restart without any startup background processes, type msconfig under start menu, deselect “Load startup items” under Selective Startup in the General tab. Under the Startup tab, select “Hide all microsoft services” and disable all or those you think that could be interfering with the startup. If none of this works, reinstall your windows driver but backup your files first (create a .bak file).

Ok, finally, I am going to enjoy the rest of my holidays. Good luck.

How To Develop A Designer’s Mind

Know how people say art is subjective? Well, here is how to view art from a designer’s mind:

In order to design, first of all, we need to change our general way of thinking. For example, we do not view the art personally (this does not mean that we do not put in any emotion at all). What do I mean by that? Take a look at this scenario:

Mr.A and Mr. B were each given a photo of their friend to edit. 

Mr.A: “I can’t do it, he keeps staring at me in this photo!”

Mr.B: “Oh, John’s gaze is intense. Hmmm, the eyes will need to blend in with this background though…”

See the difference? What Mr.A can do to think like Mr.B is to see the goal ahead, the purpose of this and what needs to be done. If designers think like Mr.A, they will be limiting themselves to a number of subjects. “I can’t draw ghosts, they are too scary!”.  This is the design industry we are talking about, and by design, it includes entertainment and there are a lot of subjects.

Secondly, we thrive from constructive criticism. Yes, you heard correctly. Not just plain criticism without any valid reason behind that (you can disregard that person as talking crap). In order to improve, we need to swallow whatever pride we have and understand where the critic is coming from. You may or may not agree with the person’s opinion but keep all opinions in mind and do what suits best.

However, there are also critics that goes like this: “This looks weird but I am not sure why”. If the person do not know why it looks weird, ask them to point to an area as to where it is the weirdest. If that still does not get reduced to a more specific area, try and find out why it is weird. If  the theme of your design is weird or abstract, then please disregard this.

If for whatever reason, you are on the other extreme (low self-esteem) and think all of your design sucks, fret not. This is where we thrive from good feedback lol. We all sucked when we first started unless you’re some kind of mutant genius.

A mutant genius like this:

Or like this:

Yes, I couldn’t resist. I’ll like you guys to check these videos if you haven’t already and tell me which you prefer (something like my own research).

What does these videos and all those that went viral (like Gangnam Style) have in common? They are either funny, random or unique in their own way. One danger of designing commercially is there is a risk of losing your own unique style while adapting to others. Having said that, flexibility and the ability to create other styles is good (It is important especially to do what the brief tells you to do.) but do not lose your own style.

How do you maintain that? Practice. It is something like not mixing work and play unless specifically asked to. How do you develop a designer’s mind? Practice.

Smartphones To Get Near End of 2013

With the iPhone 5C and 5S out, the shares of Apple has dropped by 5% last Wednesday…and I am not surprised. I have had my first smartphone for three years, HTC Desire HD has served me well (apart from that one time where I accidentally spilt sauce on it). So, I was thinking of getting a new phone soon (the current one also eats up too much battery) and there are a few phones in mind.

I checked the iPhone 5C and 5S prices and my jaw dropped. They weren’t cheap, which was the opposite of what was anticipated. iPhone 5C  and 5S costed around $800 in Australia; I thought I would be better off with Samsung Galaxy S4 considering that it was around that price but with better specs.

iPhone 5C:

With the iPhones crossed off my list, here are other phones that I will be considering:

Samsung Note 3

It uses Snapdragon 800, a new processor which I’m looking forward too. I’m not too keen on the size though (Why do they keep getting bigger and bigger?!). Where one gets bigger and bigger, iPhone couldn’t make up its mind with sizes (a nano-sim, seriously?!). Soon, they will be so small, I would need a magnifying glass to look for it. Apparently, Motorola’s Moto X decided to join the bandwagon.

LG Nexus 5

Rumoured to be out in Oct 14, I have only heard of praises for its predecessor, Nexus 4. I am hoping that some of the missing features in Nexus 4 will be available in Nexus 5 but with the rumoured price, it is a bargain.


Unlike some of my friends, I have had no problems with HTC.  So, this phone is also on the list but probably not the top as it is quite pricey. I will also have to check out the latest, HTC One Max.

Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1 has just been released and is around the same price ($779). I have not heard much about this phone but it is quite camera-heavy, a feature that is not too important for me as I use a separate camera.

Samsung Galaxy S4

This is probably the phone which I have done the most research in as I even went to the local stores to test it out. If only it wasn’t so pricey and always out of stock.