Thursday, 16 January 2014

Exciting! My First Ever Children's Book is Out on!

It's not perfect, but it is my dream come true to make a children's book, maybe two or six... oh, why not more? Now my first ever is on sale at!

I'm glad I finally made it to the finished line. I don't know if it is because I am a Horse in Chinese zodiac or just the fact that I am an artist, but my life is full of unfinished projects. Right now, the thought of my almost-finished cross-stitch embroidery is bugging me....

Anyway I hope that you guys will buy it and those who have, I hope you like it and its message!
The cover was done by yours truly on Adobe Indesign, with the help of a good friend who educated me on the importance of typography and its pedagogic significance on young kids.

Great gift for a friend! Click on the picture to go to its page on!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

New cover for children's book

This new cover came about after an increasingly nagging feeling that it can be improved.  The orange background did not grow on me. So I sat myself down one day to work and re-work it, agonizing over the pedagogical aspects of the type and how kids would perceive the book. Would they find the type/font easy to read? I scoured through throngs of fonts on internet with research and more research, experimented with font after font.

I also corresponded many times with the author, Jennifer, to discuss if we should change the format of the book - making it square instead of portrait. Having a proof copy in my hands from her, makes me think more - would kids like to open this book? Would they prefer a shape that is familiar and simple, like a square?

I tried to step back and look at my book cover from a different angle -  can it look better without any orange? What if I expanded the drawing to encompass the whole cover? With some Photoshop manipulation and dozens of layers of beach, sea and waves, I made a new cover.

The new cover looks deceptively simple. But if one takes a closer look at the original illustration inside the book, then one would discover that many elements have been tweaked - the island has grown bigger, boat and trees have been shifted, waves and water have been added.

The title of the book has been moved down an inch so as not to "tangle" with the coconut leaves above. The horizon creates a natural focus for the eyes, so having the title there would be natural for the eye movement. Plus, I am assuming that many of the children would be getting used to the alphabet so block letters that are "halved" would be nice (think the use of graph paper in technical drawings); the colour of "SAM" corresponds with the jacket of Sam in the picture, and "A" is emphasized as a familiar letter of ABC. The two "As" had to be identical as well for simplicity, although not in colour.

Fonts were also streamlined so that kids learning their ABCs have an easier time adapting to the shapes of letters in their minds. My previous font was too "splashy", creating unnecessary dots and undulations in the shape of the alphabet.

I'm now quite pleased with the effect - there is enough contrast of YIN / YANG effect i.e. cool vs warm colours; the title is at the 2/3 rule of photography; colours are well-thought out and correctly placed. I also enlarged both the author's and my photos to a medium close-up shot, so that unnecessary detail is left out. Bios are shortened to make more space. Fonts that are hard to read (i.e. serif fonts) are for the adults :)

What do you think of the cover now?
Leave a comment and let me know :)


Creativity on the loose

I was on a creative hiatus for quite a few months... went through a major life change that was quite a tough time for me but also very freeing. That doesn't mean that I stopped drawing or creating completely - I just didn't feel like blogging about it.

Now I am ready. Ready to face the world with my creative journey again.

A baby step I took is this photo in Oslo on a cold autumn evening....

... inspired by M83's "Reunion".

Will post more soon, including a painting I sold to my aunt in Singapore.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

My childhood pictures revisited

The reason I am revisiting my childhood pictures is because I am using one of them for my children's book "A Girl Named Sam". It's going to be good :) I remember feeling quite precocious and princess-like every time there is a celebration concerning birthdays.

I feel my mum did a good job of cutting my hair and dressing me up :) My brother still has the same cheeky grin from his childhood. Maybe some things never change. Maybe I'm still a princess in my parents' eyes :) I just think I look quite shy and cute, haha.

Check out the retro sofa covers! I remember there was always a plastic-tasting rose on top of the cake and I would dutifully lick the cream off and eat it, just because it is a special decoration on top of a special cake.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

A Sneak Peek at My Upcoming Children's Book!

This book by Jennifer Hartinger and me will be published on when it is finished. Surprisingly the cover was designed mainly by yours truly, even though we have a team of designers helping us with the project. They ended up using the font and colours I did as a draft for them.

This picnic scene is reminiscent of my childhood days by the beach, and I remember all my imaginary picnics with imaginary friends. Props were whatever we could find - shells, leaves, stones, grandma's basket...etc. Those were much simpler days for kids before the iPad, iPhone and computers came about. Besides immediate props available at hand, I used to love mini-me versions of what the adults were using, like the little cups and spoons, little plates etc.

Come "like" our Facebook page!


P.S. Check out the new cover I have created.

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