Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Taitai's Life?

Ok ok, so there is no excuse for not producing new illustration, now that I am free, but strange as it seems, I was really quite busy the past week, I wonder why, though I am not working. (The above illustration is a re-render of an old piece of work about 2 years back, sorry no new work today.) How did I spend my last week, I ponder. I really didn’t do much but it just flew past me.

As one of my ex-colleagues asked me “Are you living a Taitai’s life?” Perhaps, a little bit of that this past week. I did a few days of errand running, shop for birthday gifts, visit the museum yet again, spend time with my mom, and that is it, the week is over, and I have yet accomplished what I should be doing… No more delay, now that the portfolio is done and even updated…

Though I feel I have yet rested enough… at least for the next week, it will be my gift to give myself a little break, plus it marks the special occasion that this blog has entered its 3rd year. Hope it will reach 5000 hits by next week! (Maybe I should keep going to my own blog to achieve that? Self-effort!) I wonder how long I would still continue drawing for this blog, as I would want to invest a little more time in other illustrations, I pray for His grace and wisdom and strength for embarking on a little dream of mine in the coming month, hopefully it can be accomplished by then, grace grace, before I choose to go back to a routine life-style? Somehow for the past 1.5 months since I started my “no employment”, my daily life has been almost unpredictable, I never really know what I would be doing the following week, almost everything takes me by surprise, though I am glad for the adventure. The amazing truth is that my daily life and expenses have been well-taken care of by my Shepherd. He is ever so faithful. There are suggestions by close ones that perhaps I should consider taking up this life-style for a while, to me, this is like walking in total faith (or to be worldly rational: total uncertainty) and it seems really quite a huge test for me. Unless the Lord speaks to me very loudly, in lightning and thunder, I guess I would opt to be a simple employee.

As for the weightier issue for my pondering over this architectural career, it seems a slight little clearer now, but I would not write on this heavy topic till time permits.

Meanwhile, wish you all too have a restful and enjoyable week ahead! I believe I sure would, as that will be the Lord’s gift to me this week! Shalom!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Great Wall

A sketch of my visit to the Great Wall at Badaling! Awesome and unforgettable! This is an attempt of combining colour pencils with photoshop rendering. Really grateful to Papa God that I got to see another wonder this year, without me even asking! A contented beloved lamb indeed.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Journal in Beijing

16 May 2007
It’s been quite a fun trip, I went to the Temple of Heaven on Sunday, and what a tremendous experience I had, despite the fact that I missed a Sunday service, I felt almost that I had an encounter with the Lord, as He brought us through the tour, reminding us of the beautiful work that Jesus did as the sacrificial lamb that died on the cross for us. Everything there oozed forth with biblical truth, the 12 gates of heaven, the 3 tiers, 3 doors, about the Son of heaven, the without blemished calf that was used for sacrificing, the Emperor, the One that offered the sacrifice once a year to the God of Heaven, the God of harvest. The similarities between the Jewish and Chinese ancient sacrificial ceremony are almost endless, I was awed by the whole truth unfolded before my eyes, to the effect that I was literally feeling goose bump at the end of the journey through the temple.

I also went to the Forbidden City, though it was great fun, but nothing beats Temple of Heaven and the experience I had. We went to 798 art district yesterday, it is an old industrial warehouse area that was converted into a place for housing contemporary artists. The setting for the different art galleries was pretty awesome, except that many of the art works were quite disturbing, touching on extremely sensitive topics.

However, I would say the most fun part was the trip we had today, to the Commune by the Wall, Badaling and Olympic Village. It was an eye-opening trip to me, totally absorbed in the world of architecture, from ancient civilization to the most modern buildings ever to be built. Commune by the Wall is a hotel development, made up of 11 villas and a clubhouse, designed by 12 well-known Asian architects. Many of them were really inspiring, being sited in such a scenic environment, with the great wall as their backdrop. We climbed the great wall at Badaling, although we cheated, we took a cable car up to almost the midpoint and climbed up to the highest peak we could see and took the cable car down again. It was so awesome! The climb was very challenging, as the slope was so steep.

We ended the wonderful trip today with a visit to the still under construction Olympic Village, although the buildings are not all up, they are so beautiful to behold already, the bird nest, the bubble swimming complex, etc, are so beautiful, really making it all worthwhile to visit Beijing just to take a look at these buildings when they are completed. And to make it even more awesome, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful blue sky and nice temperature throughout the day, a fact that many of the residents of Beijing told us was quite rare, as the sky there is hardly blue most of the time.

Just as I am looking back, never did I expect 2 months ago when I decided to leave my job that I would actually be going on a tour and visit Beijing, a place that I have wanted very much to visit for quite some time and didn’t come to fruition. My Shepherd really knows that I needed a good break, the dream of my heart to visit Beijing and a need for an inspiring design spur again. Thank You Lord for the trip! Life is really exciting, walking a step at a time, though not knowing what the Lord has in store for me for the next step yet, I know He has my best interest at heart, and whatever that happens, He is in control and all is going to be alright and better. Lord, help my unbelief!

I will be back home to face reality again, decision, decision, decision. Need to move on and decide on the next step soon, or rather let the Lord decides the next step for me. Cheers, He is surely in control! Shalom!

17 May 2007
Finally it is time to go home, taking the early morning flight back to Singapore tomorrow. It was a fruitful trip, I saw the vibrant architectural scene in Beijing, visited several scenic places, and almost finished a book I wanted to read in my stay here, and hopefully I can finish it tonight.
I didn’t shop as much as I did as compared to all the holidays I made in the past, not that there were not many things to buy, on the contrary, things were quite attractive here. But perhaps the emphasis this time is really to work and to take a short break by sightseeing. I did enjoy my stay here, though a bit thriftier than I normally would. I hope my next holiday will be to a place where I can just stay by a still quiet lake for a few days, read a little, draw a little and study a little, I believe my Shepherd hears my prayer.

Going home is always the best thing ever, despite how much I enjoyed my holiday, after all, I am a very homely person and nothing beats home and my mom’s simple cooking. Guess I will continue my writing when I touched down in Singapore, either tomorrow if I am still “alert” after the pretty long flight, or Saturday then.

18 May 2007
Touched down today. Seems like back to reality, and next week will be decision week… Sigh, Papa God please advise! This trip seems extremely long, perhaps it was because it was a work trip more than holiday, though it was really quite fruitful to me, as I enjoyed the design process, and most of all, having only to do one thing at a time, plus great assistance given to me for all the logistics, which in the past, I would have to see to them personally myself.

Posted above is one of my comic competition entries…It is a re-rendering of an older comic I did about a year ago. I had not gotten time to draw any new comic yet, though they are already brewing in my head! Cheers!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hi from Beijing 你好!

I have been in Beijing, coming close to a week. Life here is busy, but less stressful than the past, as I was only studying and designing one project at a time. It was quite a fruitful week, testing out new ideas, and seeing the ideas through the eyes of the individuals I am working with (but exerting my influence over their products subtlely), and thereby creating a new synergy of design. This method works quite well, I saw what I visualised internally through others. Yet the sad thing is although the concept was quite crystalised within 2 days while we were still in Singapore, the actual design process was only 2 working days in Beijing. God has been extremely faithful, the ideas came, the design broke forth, and the scheme was completed within 4 days here. The only sad part of it is that with such a short time, the idea was not given an opportunity to mature and harmonise, therefore the scheme does show forth a little non-uniformity... Given a little more time, some effort will be taken to unite the whole design scheme to one common identity with varied faces, utilising the concept to a further stage.

Therefore this marks the beginning of my tour of Beijing. For the past 4 days, I have been just going to office, back to the apartment, and been to the site once. Life has been pretty much a routine, deciding what breakfast to eat, what should we have for dinner, and what we need to complete each day, to ensure that there is no delay. Yet I am beginning to ponder, is this what I really want in life? Is achievement in my profession the utmost thing on my list? Selah. I doubt so.

Reading a little bit more at night, waiting for my hair to dry, causes me to think a little again. "My thoughts are not your thoughts..." What is my Shepherd's plan for me, His thought for me, I ponder. I am in a stage of my life thinking a lot, yet being physically occupied is actually good for me, especially when I am doing what I always think I like to do may help to make everything clearer.

I didn't have time to draw anything for the journal today, but I do have a very funny image, which I would illustrate when I am back home. Meanwhile, everyone at home, love and miss you all. I am well, going to go walk walk and shop already tomorrow, yeah, Beijing, here I come! See you all next week! And also, Happy Mother's Day to my lovely Mom, I miss you!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Out of Town

Monday will be the beginning of a busy week I supposed, as I would be in China to rush a project for the next 1 to 2 weeks. This is my first attempt to do something freelance, and strange as it sounds, there is little sense of responsibility unlike the past. Somehow, you know that after the project timeframe is over, you will be back in Singapore and someone will have to take over from where you left off. In the past, whenever I take on a new project, I would always be left wondering if I can handle the added responsibility, together with all the other ongoing projects that I am already doing. Therefore, during those times, I would often fall into a strange conflicting emotion, on one hand, I would be excited for new design work to take on, testing new ideas, yet on the other hand, I would be concerned as to the little time I can afford to do the new project and yet manage the existing ones. At least for now, this conflict does not exist.

However, do keep me in prayer, as I would definitely need God's grace abundantly for the next week, as I ponder on an appropriate, beautiful design scheme, given the short timeframe, I need almost another miracle plus creative inspiration almost immediately. Grace grace!

Guess I will be writing from China, and finally able to visit one of the wonders that I have been longing to go. Shalom. Zai4 Jian4! (Goodbye in Chinese)

P.s. The above is the comic series I submitted for the competition 2 months ago, and since I didn't win, I post it here for your viewing. A bit childish but was done very quickly, so don't expect too much hor!