90DaysofDesign: Day 3

Dear Seafarer,

Today was definitely picking up.

Learnt about the 5 basic principles of design.

  1. Alignment.
  2. Contrast.
  3. Repetition.
  4. Symmetry.
  5. Tension.

We had to play with basic shapes to recreate each design principle. I found myself already intuitively drawn to works with these elements, but could never quite put my finger on why I found them attractive. Now I know.

We also learnt how to draw thumbnails, where again; it’s not about being precise or making amazing drawings, but being able to sketch out what a layout or idea could look like. Strangely enough, my end products always end up looking NOTHING like my thumbnails. I guess mine are always a place to start with, rather than a reference to follow.


We also got to work on our first official brief for Olympus PEN, where I designed my first ad in Indesign! Made 10 thumbnails, designed 8 mockups, none of which looked like my thumbnails haha.




During lunch, I listened to an interesting conversation with the German girl, who I learnt, today, was vegetarian. A mild debate ensued between her and another girl, who felt like documentaries that promote vegetarianism tend to be biased.

I am inclined to agree, that we only ever see one side of the story. To this day, I’m not sure which is the lesser evil; farming animals or farming crops.

The beautiful New York girl spoke to me today. She seems nice.

Despite all that, I still feel a bit lonely in class, but being engrossed in work helps.

Honestly, thinking about it, I’m really focused in class. This is the first time in a long while that I’m just working, working, working. My mind feels like it’s clicking, whirring, moving again. I feel like my gears are shifting fast, I’m paying attention, and I’m reproducing output rapidly.

Is this what it feels like to flow?

On a hilarious note, I ended up waking late today. My alarm didn’t sound, somehow. I got to school in time, but it was the most rushed morning of my life. NEVER AGAIN. I also didn’t have time for tea.

I hope tomorrow will be another good, productive day.

Good night.




90DaysofDesign: Day 1 and 2

Dear Seafarer,

It begins.

After hemming, hawing, fearing, stagnating––I’ve finally popped, and gone ahead and done something.

I started a design course, which claims to condense 4 years of worth of a design degree into 3 months.

Holy hell.

I do intend to keep documenting my progress throughout the weeks, but due to the intense nature of the course, I find myself coming home absolutely drained and pooped.

AND I NEED TO MAKE DINNER (and lunch for the next day).

I’ll probably be typing in  very quick, lazy bullet points (who reads this blog anyway haha).

Day 1


Pretty relaxed. Had a scavenger hunt and a tower-building exercise to facilitate bonding. I kept myself neutral throughout, but amiable enough to get along with everyone else. There was a mixture of mature professionals and some fairly younger people. For the first time in my life, I genuinely feel like one of the younger ones. Not really getting any major “let’s be friends” vibes from anyone, but I intend to keep my head down and let it happen naturally.

Some people I’ve noted.

  • An outspoken Sunny Coaster, mature aged mother, with a lovely and generous spirit. Got paired up with her for the Scavenger hunt, and she jumped into the challenge with a sproing in her step (and she offered to buy me ice-cream and pay my bus fare, as part of the challenge).
  • A tough lady from New York, with short, kinky hair, the colour of sand dunes, to match her dark skin. “I wait for no one,” she said. I told her she walks fast, to which she laughed and said, “Spend a day in New York and you’ll be a pro walker!” I like her spirit and the things she says.
  • Another New Yorker, a beautiful and sleek young lady who previously attended film school. I feel she has impeccable style. She came to class in a black trench coat.
  • A Spanish lady with dark eyes and a quietly mischievous nature. She joked about forgetting to wear her underwear.
  • A quiet, reserved, but intelligent Phd student. During the “redesign the remote” activity, he made a very well thought out prototype.
  • One of the tutors. Tall and lanky, with his blonde hair pulled back into a man-bun. It strangely seems to fit his vibe. He has piercing blue eyes and an arresting, soothing voice. Deep and smooth, with a calm, slow pace of speaking. He has a slight Irish accent. His tutorial explanations are like ASMR.

I would describe more people but I’m too tired.

We did some UX design, where we learn to “empathically” interview. I found it difficult to not ask leading questions, but was pretty happy with the information I managed to glean from the woman I interviewed.

I was solving the problem of a woman who lost her remote, and found it difficult to find a suitable replacement. Also she mentioned that her remote had too many buttons she didn’t use.


I came up with a redesigned prototype of a remote, in the shape of a cube. Here are the properties:

  • Cube shape: distinguishable enough that nobody would mistake it for their own remote.
  • Also related to cube shape: six sides to represent the six main functions she needs: channels, switch on/off, volume, play, pause, stop. One side will only feature one button, to reduce visual complication.
  • ambient light feature, because my client uses her remote daily, most commonly at night.
  • Small and compact, so she can pack it anywhere. 🙂
  • Rechargeable so it doesn’t need constant battery changes.
  • Can be synced to phone, so its location can always be discovered.

I was asked to present my prototype to class (impromptu style) and I probably forgot to mention half one what I just typed above, because I felt nervous. Somehow it feels a little hard for me to speak, lately.

The last activity of the class was to make a poster, using only one colour. This exercise challenged us to really extract the fundamentals of an image, to deliver its main essence. We were given random movies to base the poster off. I thought most people came up with very clever designs, but I don’t really think people got my movie (Despicable Me). 😦


Day 2

Wow I’m tired. Basically today was a day of diving into InDesign. One of the tutors encouraged us to use shortcuts with one hand, so we would eventually develop a “claw-like” hand that could engage all necessary commands with only one hand, while the other controlled the mouse. Thug lyfe.

We also recreated a lot of ads, where we did a “thumbnail drawing” exercise. I had to learn to extract “reference points,” to map out a picture and the things in it. It wasn’t about drawing well, but drawing what I could relate to, in order to properly picture a poster. Before this, I did all my design work by literally experimenting on the program itself, sort of winging it as I go. It trains innovation, but it isn’t the most economical or organised way to go about things. I should try being more structured in my life in general…

Have some pictures.


I came home exhausted, but somehow  cooked A TON tonight.

I’m pretty stoked about my lunch tomorrow. Japanese potato salad, grilled salmon and chicken pieces, peas, and baked carrots, on a bed of white Jasmine rice.

Waifu much?!


Genuinely exhausted now. My hair is dry, so it’s time to sleep. It will be another early start tomorrow. I want to wake up early enough so I don’t rush my morning tea.

Good night.