Instead of a bad photoshop job, I did something just to play around.

Was looking at Japanese design the other day. Boy, do they really know how to do simplicity + communication effectively. Saw a project someone did where the text was actually nature, and it inspired me. I set about on photoshop to figure out how to do it.

Amazing that I’ve learned so much – exponentially more – since I quit studying.

On another note, let me digest some pretty tough stuff i’ve been chewing on mentally for a while. I’ll blog soon about this ‘life’ thing.

much love,

– sTree Letters copy


Hey everyone,


As I mentioned before I had the honour of working with the upcoming author Mariella Hunt in creating a cover for her debut book Dissonance. I’ve been part of a secret group eagerly awaiting TODAY to reveal the cover as the time for her to be published draws nearer every day – so here we go!


11263021_1496294130625904_7468147739518225143_n Dissonance Cover Img Front Dissonance Cover Img


Mariella has been one of my most faithful friends since we first ‘met’ on a chat forum through NaNoWriMo, and we’ve kept in touch and sent care packages to each other no matter where in the world we are. We have yet to meet in person, which is a really strange thing…technology these days!


Feel free to take the image with description and repost on your Instagram to spread the word about Mariella’s undying passion for writing and her guts to pursue what she loves with everything she’s got!! I know I would definitely appreciate it just as much as she would!


Thanks everyone for being so supportive in MY creative endeavours as well – without this support I would never have met such beautiful people like Mariella. Art is a difficult world to be in, and we wouldn’t be able to continue without some extra reinforcement. Mariella, thank you so much for sticking by my side always and never giving up on me – and for being a night owl so I can text you during the day here in Hong Kong and know you’ll answer immediately! Keep going, sista, go hard and show ’em what you’ve got!

Bad Photoshop Job #002

This piece was largely inspired by the same person as BPJ#001.

I forgot how it came about. Probably talking about how messy something is.

Finally here it is in reality.

“UFO landing in a pool of frogs”

You’re welcome.

– s

[ more intellectual content coming soon. i promise. ]


Bad Photoshop Job #001

I’ve decided to admit that I take an odd sort of joy in scrutinising – and bringing into existence – bad photoshop jobs.

In the heat of the moment I decided yesterday to potentially do a series of nonsensical visual arts intended to confuse your altogether-too-intelligent minds.

Here is the first one, inspired by something I heard a grown man say yesterday:

“You’re so pretty it’s like a beautiful flower with corns hanging from it.”

I’m not sure what this means, but I had to see this strange flower in real life. I spent hours and hours neglecting my work, searching every database on the internet for evidence that this beautiful cornflower exists, but to my dismay I found nothing. So I decided to make it myself. I googled “beautiful flower” and “corn plant” and merged the two (even utilising the fancy brush tool).

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Beautiful Cornflower.

– s



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