hey there, everybody.

i’m just going to cut right to the chase.



Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me explain a little about each.

1) working.

– mostly undisclosed stuff as nothing is super final right now. but I’ve literally been working all day to late at night 6-7 days a week. this stuff is going to be really cool. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I find out everything for certain. Trust me, I’ll not want to keep this to myself. (tease much?)

– I’ve been doing some photography and graphics for an awesome wine company here in HK called The Flying Winemaker. They have cool events around the city every so often and are out ultimately to change the face of wine and ‘eliminate the stuffy nature’ of it. They just like good wine, not super-expensive-from-the-middle-ages-made-from-rare-berries-that-are-now-extinct-thatwillbe189127373dollarsplease type wine. Check them out! If you’re in Singapore, Macau, or HK over the next month there will be some fun events that I’ll be shooting, so if you’re there be sure to say hey.


2) forgot (unintentional)

– because of #1.


3) forgot (intentional)

– because of embarrassment due to #2 due to #1

– also because i had so much to say I couldn’t figure out where to start or how to say it.


4) eating

– because I use so much brain power on #1 and #3 I need to regain my strength

– sleep as a result of eating all the time


5) emotional breakdowns

– I’ve realised that I’m not a very open person when it comes to my emotions. I’m not sure why. I think part of it is because I do talk about how I’m feeling/mental processes to people who I’m closest to (and around physically), then by the time they make me realise the truth about a situation or by the time I realise it myself (if I take some alone time) I’m over it, and I don’t think about it again.

Actually I think about it a lot. Because it happens over and overand overandover andoverandoverandover again.


I have this friend named Eden who wrote an incredible song about mental illness. She’s a hardcore advocate for mental health, she herself fighting several issues (and being a trooper all the way through). Here’s the link. Go listen.

She even re-recorded the song for a guy she had no connection to. This guy had taken his own life shortly before.

(also she dedicated a song to me. here.)

Eden has been a huge support to me while I’ve been going through the painful rejuvenation process. I’ve opened up to her about feeling worthless and insecure and frustrated at myself to the point I almost gave up art (again). She does a great job of telling me I’m being irrational, explaining the psychology of how I feel, what my brain is actually trying to interpret from these stimulations, and that I’ll be okay – all at the same time.

So obviously, I’ve been through a lot of stress lately. As some of you know, due to many reasons I have decided to withdraw from my studies for now until further notice. I’m not ashamed of it. A lot of good work that’s actually given me industry experience has come my way, and I’m meeting some nifty people as well as honing down my skills. Which brings me to my next point that I have only recently realised:

For at least the last year and a half, I have been working in everything EXCEPT my natural strengths and talents, and it wore me down to the point I was half-assing everything I was doing. Apathy ruled my life, every area. Relationships with people, food, myself, etc. My health was suffering because I wasn’t motivated to take care of myself. It wasn’t the kind of apathy where you just want to do what you want to do and what you love. I stopped reading and writing and taking pictures. Instagram was the most I could manage and looking back at my photos I see occasionally I put something up that had some tiny spark of life in it.

Which does tie in to #1, I’ve been working on developing some certain things, but what I’ve been doing is returning to words. My job with the undisclosed thing requires me to return to what I’ve been doing my whole life, what I’ve always had a rocky relationship with, what I’ve always wanted to do more than anything in the world – writing. words. sounds dreamy. It’s tough. Especially when you haven’t been doing something for a really long time, you’re pretty rusty once you go back. It takes a lot of getting used to. I’ve been trying to learn layout design for books and brochures – believe it or not, 2 years in design school has never taught me how to design a layout – and I had no idea that so many fine-arts rules played into it, with gridlines and rule-of-thirds and using corners to lead the viewer’s eye throughout the page in a specific order. It’s fascinating but I do hate the feeling of knowing what I want to do and not being able to execute it well enough yet.

For the Winemaker, unfortunately they have had to deal with the tail-end of my apathy a little, but shooting their Dim Sum and Wine event the other day sent a little more life-juice into my veins. I returned to Lightroom to edit the 350 pictures and figured out a little about myself while doing that.

A few weeks ago I forced myself to start reading before bed and that played a huge part in my sleep patterns.

I’m actually letting people take care of me now, and I’ve gotten healthier. When people tell me I look better, I don’t take it negatively anymore.


Essentially, I’m coming back to life. My body physically is going through a detox from all the negativity that was dwelling in my heart for so long. It’s like that scene in Walk the Line, where Joaquin Phoenix plays Johnny Cash. The detox scene, where June takes him and lets his body purge all the bad stuff out. That scene popped in my head this morning. That’s what I feel like is starting to happen to me.

So bear with me, if you will, while I come back to life.


In terms of art, since I’ve stopped studying I’ve become a part of the (new) growing community of ‘digital nomads.’ These are people who work on their computers and float from place to place. They don’t necessarily have to be at a particular place to work, just anywhere preferably with internet. Sounds really geeky, but I’ve found so many cool people on Instagram, including a collective account featuring different nomads and their workstations for the day. It’s a nice feeling, to know I’m not the only one floating around, and it’s not aimless floating either. In a way, it’s freeing. My financial situation pretty much sucks right now, but without the stress of studying, I’ve been able to be more gracious with myself and figure out what my emotions and feelings are and why I’m feeling these ways – meaning I feel more able to stay positive – and I’ve had several wonderful people here in HK and also my best friends/family back in the States to support me spiritually – because that’s been a really tumultuous part of my life lately as well.


To destroy is always the first step in any creation.
[ e.e. cummings ]
I’ve been taking this to heart lately, so, so, deeply to heart. This quote has summed up everything I’ve been going through. If you want to know how to make a clock, you have to take it apart first and feel all the gears and insides, their notches and coldness and study their shapes. Then you can rebuild it. You know the rules. Now you can manipulate them.
Like in art. You have to know the rules before you can break them. Picasso was a photo-real fine artist before he started doing his abstract work.
Like with God. Sometimes you have to deconstruct your relationship with him and challenge everything and maybe reject most of it and go through that detox, and cry while you pick back up the pieces. It gives you a new perspective. But that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with it.
There will be more coming soon. I have a lot of new things to talk about.
– s


long time no see, everyone!

have to say projects have been eating me alive on this end, plus i’ve been living in 2 places during the time i’m kind-of-hybrid-moving, but good news is tomorrow all the relocation drama ends. i’ve officially shifted from a nice-sized (450 sq ft) flat into a loft-bed room the size of a small walk-in closet (40 sq ft – yes, only 40). i call it the birds nest.


other than that, not much going on. i’ve been working on some stuff lately that i’ll be sure to keep you updated on. here’s something i’ve recently done, playing around with photoshop and illustrator.


[ the good thing about art is there’s no such thing as THE BEST because learning is a constant thing, and i always want to keep learning… ]

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 1.24.06 AM

i’ll show you some of the progress for this, but please know I followed this tutorial shown up there ^ to learn how. now i’ve hacked it to make it simpler. at the end of this post i’ll hand you some tips i learned the hard way in doing this for the first time…

the final result was this: Syd Lowpoly Portclick here to see the whole process!


some tips I collected as One Who Is Easily Confused:

1. when refining the mesh in Illustrator with the pen tool, ONLY DO ONE POLYGON AT A TIME. I created a lot of extra work/time for myself – but a lot of learning experience – by making such a silly mistake.

2. have a great playlist.

3. be prepared to see the world in polygons and be drawing them in your sleep for the next several days.

4. CMD + shift + A = deselect all. You’ll need this after every polygon in order to eyedrop the appropriate colour (it’s not brainless work) then draw the polygon. making this portrait uses both hands.

5. sometimes the polygon on your mesh is not the best one for the situation. be flexible.


be well x

– s

brainstorming / ads / art

while brainstorming for ads i designed for tempur-pedic in one of my classes, something hit me.


I’ve talked about GK Chesterton & his writings before. Brainstorming about what ad would appeal to our target audience brought one of his to mind.

let me give you a backstory real quick. as you probably know, i’m a writer, but i hardly have time to do any serious writing these days because school is sucking my soul dry. spending my days in the library here at campus is my only saviour of imagination. i’ve found myself almost unable to be as creative as i used to be – which is NOT a good thing, especially when I have two concepting classes.

back to GK: while i was thinking about what would appeal to people, his story The Coloured Lands (which I read in his compilation of stories named the same), I remembered Tommy from this short story. Tommy, sitting alone outside while staring at a white wall, is approached by a strange person who holds four spectacles of different colours. The visitor lets him try all of them on and with each pair, the world totally changes. Tommy’s perspective changes drastically.

so i scrawled a little note before my brain forgot this.


there’s not really a point to all this. just sharing a moment.


– s


things have been prettyfun around here lately.


i leave in a few days to go back to the city.

in a way, i’m ready. there’s a lot to do this year. 2015 will hold lots of crazy – really, really crazy unexpected chaotic beautiful – surprises, and i’m in mission mode, ready to get things done. i’ve been overcome by a strange steady sense of ambition and determination to get my stuff done and not let anything bring me down. it’s prettyrefreshing.

in the midst of all this, i’m having a hard time quieting my mind and being in the moment instead of the past/future (especially future). i have to escape all technology and be with my family. i’ve enjoyed reading Poe’s collection of works, illustrated encyclopedias about faeries, and stomping through the woods/jumping off fallen trees.

so here’s some pictures of my little sister (who is almost as tall as me at age 12). thanks to my longtime friends Alfie (from HK who ‘dropped in’ for a visit to the metropolis of Eufaula…ha) and Twin Liz for snapping these. Having Alf here was prettyspecial cause he finally got to meet the family and be in the South, where it seems like everyone in our friend circle in HK is from (oddly enough).

i guess the moral of this post is don’t be afraid to leave mission mode for a few hours and be in the moment with people/animals you love, okay?

that might be abrupt but i am doing 457 things at the same time right now.

but i’m taking a break to chill with my sister who stayed down here in my cave – i mean the basement – with me…even past midnight.


goodnight, y’all.


– s