Have an exciting rooster year!
It's that time of the year again! The illustrated review of 365 days. Let's go!
So the year started off pretty great. I kicked off the New Year in Kyoto in the frosty winds with friends. We visited shrines, ate all the oden we could and had a ton of fun shivering whenever the wind blew. (I had so much icecream even though it was 0-degree days. such a #badass I know. HAHA)
Coming back home, it meant that the job search had to begin. I was jobless, had graduated for more than 6 months, was out of freelance gigs and was rather officially supposed to be settling into the whole "adult-ing" life. Everyone else I knew had a job to get to, something to wake up in the morning to travel to. A sense of purpose.
I lacked that and I felt defeated. I still drew everyday, Gravity Falls and Adventure Time content was what I generated. Don't get me wrong, having the freedom to wake up whenever, just doodling the day away while binge-watching Netflix was great. But I wasn't contributing to anything bigger than myself, (well I was definitely contributing a ton of fan art to the Adventure Time fanart world which counts for something :p )
I applied for jobs, went for interviews and had a ton of rejection emails to sift through. I would stay up late and scroll through job postings, typing intro letters and then scroll through the same few job boards again. Hoping to find something that I would see myself being able to fit in.
At one of the lowest points of those months, about early March, I came across a job posting for a Junior Graphic Designer internship for an ad tech company called Unruly that was headquartered in London but had recently opened a branch in Singapore and needed a designer locally.
I was curious. They had a fancy name and sounded pretty rad. I had never heard of them before so I spent a couple of hours looking them up and then I gave it a shot, thinking that I would probably never hear back from them. I mean, hey they're so cool, and you don't really expect the cool kids in the playground to notice you.
So off that email went, and I told myself to chill and not hold out too much hope for it.
But then, I got an email. It was 2am in the morning and I was just turning in. My phone buzzed and well quite literally my world changed. I was accustomed to face-to-face sit down interviews and so having my interviews over Google Hangouts was something that felt rather fancy.
I was so nervous the days leading up to the interview. I couldn't eat or sleep properly and even if I did get to sleep, I would have some nightmarish monster of an interview dream when I would totally do everything wrong or I wouldn't be able to talk. It was SO SCARY.
Right before the interview video call, I blasted Eminem's Lose Yourself for half an hour on loop and keep jumping on the spot to shake off the nerves. I can't really remember how the interview went. I just blanked out. :B Went on auto pilot and never looked back. HAHA
Telling my mum that if I got the job, I would forgo any cake privileges for a month. And that I wouldn't touch a crumb at all. I love cake, so this is practically shaving my eyebrows off.
Yes, that drastic. I'm a cake-monster.
And I had to do a little something to #DeliverWOW, so I threw together an animation in a span of two days. (I had only started learning After Effects a couple of weeks prior and took a risk to pull together an animation. I barely got any sleep for those two days and had tutorials playing all day all night and did whatever I could to pull it together.)
And then I got the best news of the year!
I got the spot!!
But also not so great news of the year, it meant NO CAKE FOR A MONTH. (nooooooooo!!)
So such began the biggest adventure of my little life. :D
I joined the motley crew of Design. (the most kickass team everrrrr.) Started learning the ropes, getting to know everything and started moving forward and finally stepped into the light. Shoutout to the best team! Woo they are legends!
And of course, the adventure only got better with time. I got the chance to head to London for training and to meet the team. Now how cool is that?!? I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I'm working in such an amazing place with a great bunch of people. It's just too cool. Rolling off on my first work trip, barely a month into my first job and also my first solo trip! 14 hours of butt-burning to the opposite side of the earth.
I met so many kind and friendly people who welcomed me to the team and guided me and it was nothing short of amazing.
And then a month later after I got back from the first trip, I got to go London AGAIN! Yes, I'm still pinching myself. It was such a kickass party and I had so much fun hanging out with everyone.
And the party train doesn't just stop there! I'm having so much fun everyday on normal days at work, it shouldn't even be called work. :B I get to work on so many different projects and all kinds of things. It's great.
I then got to go to Sydney for a couple of days to assist in shooting for a big launch event there and that was fancy! Met the sweetest bunch of people who I only got to know a little over a couple of days prior, and they didn't hesitate to offer to bring me out to show me Sydney.
Zooming along the months, I also had time to spend with my family and we took a short vacation to Japan.
We ate so much and just explored the streets. :D
October rolled by and November came.
Travel-bugging again, I hopped off to Hong Kong for a couple of days with a cutie, Hays, and we braved the rain to enjoy the rides at Disneyland. We spent the other days shopping for sneakers, eating till midnight and talked the nights away. She introduced the condensed milk buns that HK is famous for to me, and I swear it is life changing. I crave for that little bun every once in a while now.
And then December!
Best month of the year filled with Christmas music and present buying! I love Christmas :D It's just the best!!
Also because (travel-bug again!) I get to head over to Japan to celebrate Christmas & to ring in the new year. It's gonna be fantastic.
And with a little wave, I say bye to the unbelievable and eventful year of 2016 and to thank you for sticking around!
So THANKS for hanging around and I hope that your 2016 was a fantastic time and now to look back on how you've grown a little taller, a little stronger, a little happier since.
Onwards to 2017!
To the adventures that will follow, I look forward to seeing you. :D
Made a terrarium at work the other day and they gave us a tiny lil Totoro to put inside our jar so I made a gif of him just chilling in his terrarium house. :p
Invited to contribute something for this year's Singapore Night Festival, I worked on a short animation project with Crystal that was screened at Mr Punch Public House. We were both working full-time so it was pretty tough to only have about 3 weekends and any extra time after work to animate.
Although exhausting (and we totally burned out and crashed for the next two weekends to recuperate), it was pretty satisfying to have finished it and to see it up during the festival so all was worth it.
Here's a couple of quick gifs of the animated parts I worked on.
Made little animated gifs of the ultimate kickass design team I work with. :D
learning new things in After Effects! <:
P.S. I say "cool beans" a lot, therefore it inspired me to use it as my phrase to animate for the class I'm taking on Skillshare.
Made a walk cycle for Mabel & Dipper from Gravity Falls!
the red button that lets your demons escape.
practising some animation for fun. :B
Here goes the 2015's Year In Review! It's a bit late (and short) but well, better late than never.
The first couple of months of 2015 had mainly consisted of a lot of nights spent working (and reworking) on my Final Year Project. It was stressful & occasionally tiresome, but I pushed on. I believed that tough times would pass and I would grow immensely under pressures like that.
I couldn't have gotten through alone, but by relying on friends to have my back whenever I felt too weak or whenever my brains felt like mashed potato, things worked out. Always grateful to all the kind souls who helped me through times like that.
Looking back, I'm really proud of what I managed to accomplish. I never expected to be able to create so much in so little time, and pushing my own limits by attempting new methods of illustrating. The giant 8 metre painting was a crazy endeavour that although didn't work out as I hoped, I learnt a ton along the way.
Day in, day out, we pushed forward and through some sort of miracle, we managed to climb out of the other side of the FYP tunnel without too many bruises. I couldn't believe that I had reached the end of my journey. Two years had rolled by faster than a dustball in the wind.
Regrets, I had many.
Fears, I had many.
Tears, I had an entire waterfall full of.
But for equal parts of unwanted doubts, I had equal parts of optimism & pride for getting so far. I did my best and it was good enough for me.
Farewells were afoot and we set out for separate paths.
It was an unbelievable moment to find out that I had gotten a First Class Honours.
I had started school in 2013 ignorant of so many things, perpetually fearful of being called out, painfully shy about my work and not trusting in my own process. I remember trying to find a strategic spot to sit, to put up work, to plan the right questions and avoid all kinds of interactions with the lecturers so I wouldn't be picked to speak up. Hardly being able to take any comments over my work and ideas, I would stutter and my hands would uncontrollably shake while I was presenting.
So much has changed.
2014 was a crazy year, like an ocean that would not stop drowning my boat.
The tides were a little more forgiving in 2015. Or maybe I had grown up a little...nah, probably not.
After graduation, I went off on an epic adventure to New Zealand. Everything was so beautiful and such great fun. With a super-zesty bud, we walked and climbed and made a whole list of bad jokes.
Through all the fun, upon coming back from the trips I took, I found that I was lost again.
Somehow I had left all my courage back in school.
Suddenly in a gaping emptiness, with no road in front of me. Everyone else seemed to know what they wanted to do, or had jobs to go to. The hole that I thought I had filled was starting to open up again and let worries in.
Where do I go from here?
What do I do now?
I thought that the whole saga of having heart-gripping doubts were over. Well, apparently not.
The first question on everyone's lips was always, "Have you found a job yet?" and although it was spoken with good intentions, it had bugged me. I chalked up my inability to get a job to my own self-worth. (well that was a really silly period of time. I didn't send out resumes so obviously I wasn't going to get a call. Now, if I could, I would go back in time and kick myself. Twice.)
But after wallowing for a couple of days, I gathered my thoughts and focused on preparing my portfolio. I sent out emails and waited for replies. And well, things got better!
Like things will always do, they get better.
The last adventure of the year rolled by and I went off to Japan with a couple of friends. We celebrated New Years at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto and it was really exciting to watch the locals celebrate it in their own way.
And now 2016 has started. (I can't believe that it's already the middle of January.)
To You who are reading this,
Thanks for sticking around all this time.
It's been a blast.
Here's to You, 2016.
LET'S MAKE SOME MAGIC!