Tag Archives: Design

Twelve Hours Later, Part 2

10 Jul

When I was working on that stressful publication design project not too long ago, the timeline and deadline was simply ridiculous. It’s every designer’s nightmare but I pulled through.

Will I subject myself to such nightmare design projects ever again? Well, when a client is of utmost importance despite no room for negotiations on the deadline, we have to be as professional as possible. (We’re talking about the government of the country here!)

The urgency to meet the deadline was very critical because the project was a very high-level publication for submission to the United Nations. And looking back, stress aside I am proud to say my team and I have done our part because our work is now uploaded to the United Nations’ website for the world to see!

I hold my breath as we will continue with the client again for the second publication, which thankfully has a more reasonable timeline, no festivity holiday ahead and we have no travel plans.


The X-acto Knife

29 Jun

One of my favorite design tool is not the Mac computer but the X-acto knife. I could be called old school but tools like the T-square and triangle rulers are still used by me, more so now because of the carving.

Recently I bought a new blade, an X-acto #16 to replace the #11 and to supplement my other carving tools and I must say, I love it!

The angle and its size is just perfect to etch the tight spots of the balsa wood. Carving just got more fun! Whee….


Full House

16 Jun

It’s been a busy and stressful week for me. I have been working late the past few nights on a super duper urgent design project. As the deadline looms without negotiation for an extension, it doesn’t help when the client gives the material to me late. I have a responsibility then to do my part.

Because of this, the carving has stop for the time being but last night, I managed to squeeze one in as a stress reliever. The new balsa wood was extremely soft and it was easy to carve.

Citizen #23 was born and now Gigglesville is just so crowded! Pretty soon, the ‘O’mobile cannot be parked in there anymore. When the house is full (I have space for one more), maybe there will be a migration. Some citizens of Gigglesville will leave for adoption and spread their giggles elsewhere on earth.

As for me, working on this project, I draw the giggles and positiveness from the citizens of Gigglesville to stay sane and cool. I can do it.

Have I Grown… sideways?

13 Jun

It’s been ages since I went to my girlie spa to pamper myself. The thought of driving so far just does not appeal. But when an unexpected project on a tight deadline packed with stress and more stress came last week, I thought I deserve a little break.

So I went to the spa over the weekend for some me time.

I remember the towel being a big comfortable size that one can just sink into the softness. It was very fluffy and fuzzy to wrap myself in it. This time?

It felt two sizes smaller and the ends could barely meet! Did I grow sideways or the towel is now smaller? Hmm…

I know I have not been exercising (no golf in other words for the longest time) and carving does not burn much calories, but have I actually expanded sideways that much? Hmm… again.

I went into the steam room with the intention to steam off some of the excess err… baggage that I have accumulated of late and it felt good. But whether they oozed away it did not matter because the 15 minutes did wonders for the soul, followed by an aromatherapy massage and facial.

Maybe sometimes I need a little more stress and challenge at work to reward myself such little pleasures.

Look What I Did!

16 Mar

Stress can sometimes be decision makers. Last week was very stressful with a short bandwidth to work on some design work for an upcoming event. And things culminated to this week and finally the stress session was over.

I wanted chocolate last week but didn’t even have time to open the two bags of M&Ms that I have. Frankly I hid them away from myself. So this week after the work wrapped, I decided to reward myself by filling up my gum ball machine to enjoy my chocolate.

Initially, I opened the Crispy bag and filled the yellow dispenser and was happily dispensing M&Ms to treat myself. No discipline! 

Then I opened the Peanut bag, throwing out all concerns of dust and what nots, and filled the gum ball machine but it wasn’t enough. So I moved all the Crispy M&Ms over to it. And it’s looking really good and enticing.

Seriously I won’t be accessing it freely because I would need coins unlike the yellow dispenser. Controlled eating I’d say. While it’s nice to have easy access to chocolate, it’s not good to be constantly eating it.

Then again maybe I need more chocolate because the yellow dispenser looks so sad and empty. Hmm…


Looks like two is not enough!


Auspicious Day

2 Feb

Today is the sixth day of the Lunar New Year and like all previous years, we officially return to work on this auspicious day.

What makes today even more significant is the fact that we start off the Year of the Fire Rooster at our new office!

Yes, we moved at the beginning of the year and I am very excited at this new beginning. May 2017 be filled with exciting and abundant design projects to be a happy and prosperous year indeed.

Why Couldn’t I See It

25 Mar

Using the iPad is bad, I think. My eyesight seems to have suffered from the constant use of it with my games and reading or maybe it’s not the iPad but age catching up? Or something else.

I was having problems with my computer yesterday and again, the QuarkXpress that the dinosaur in me is still using could not launch. Whenever this happens and quite frequently I must say, what I normally do is to reinstall the software. It’s complicated to elaborate but I find this the best solution to solve my problem.

The CD is usually on my desk, in its box but for once, it wasn’t inside the box. And for the life of me, I couldn’t see or find the CD. Panic ate into me. Oh no… How am I going to start on my latest book design if I didn’t have my trusty software reinstalled to work with? I am not an InDesign person and try to avoid using it at all cost if possible.

That night I went home and searched for my QXP CD again thinking maybe I could have brought it home. But nope, it wasn’t at home. Not only eyesight has become a problem, the memory too! Oh dear… I couldn’t sleep that night.

The next day when I went into the office, I looked again but casually this time and suddenly, the CD popped out, it was right there! On my desk, under a book. How come I didn’t see it the day before? Am I so blind?

Then again you know that theory when you need something, you just cannot find it. And the more you look, high and low, the harder it is to see the thing. Then after a breather, you look again but not so hard and voila! It appears right before your eyes. I’d like to think it must be this rather than my eyesight and for this reason, I will continue using my iPad for my games and reading. Phew



So Intense

2 Oct

It’s been a long time since I was last creatively challenged. I guess I have not been working intensely enough. My current design project has left me brain-drained night after night. 
The last super intense project that I can recall had me far worse off than now was ten years ago! The client never left me alone, chasing me right now to when I returned from a family vacation from Melbourne. The minute I landed and switched on my mobile, the phone rang! Aargh… Situation like this you remember a lifetime.

Six months after I finally completed that project, I discovered a patch of white hair at the lower right back of my skull. Creative patch, literally? Evidence of all the dead creative cells, that’s for sure!

While the current project has not resulted in any white patch (yet), it is not taking six months either. It is more of the creative differences within this short intense week that are enough to drain me and give me a splitting headache every night. Sigh…

I hope this will end soon so that I can resume my non-exciting life of crushing candies and playing golf.

So I Worked

11 Jul
At the end of Cereal Sea

At the end of Cereal Sea

It was down to business. At the office, I started brainstorming on the design of a new hard cover book project, overlooked the layout of a quarterly newsletter and enlightened the new intern on Pantone colors and grid systems, on top of replying emails and doing some administrative work. In between when time permitted, my virtual work had me winning my 3000th battle in Zookeeper Battle.

When I got home, the virtual work continued. I finally passed Level 372 in Farm Heroes – a level which I was stuck at for quite sometime. I even reached Level 620 and completed Cereal Sea in Facebook on the laptop, the forty-second episode of Candy Crush. Since this episode is the latest release, it will be awhile before the next episode comes along. What this means is more waiting in hand for me as far as Candy Crush is concerned. The recent iPad update was until Wafer Windmill, which is the chapter before Cereal Sea.

So yes, I had work and I worked; it’s been fruitful.