Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy 2012

We're into the New Year! And as I figure out the steps I need to take to be a better artist this year, I am aware of the blessings I have too! 

My last three months in LA left me wanting for more, no way will three months do the trick, more like three years!  But I've met enough talented contemporaries and bought a whole load of books to sustain my energy here for the next few months.  

Work is streaming in, and particularly painting jobs! That is way awesome!  

The Elephant Parade is in town.  I caught ALL of them yesterday at the SAME spot at the Singapore Botanic Gardens - all 162 pachyderms!  They have been installed all over the island for the past two months.  One of the interesting ones I found is the a baby asian elephant in a durian body by artist Nat Posila and Ed Robinson.

Looking forward to the unfolding of surprises in 2012! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

It's the time of the year when everything starts slowing down.  It's good that this still happens.  We all need to take our breaks every now and then to keep our bodies, minds and spirits in check.  


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

image from 112 Katong Facebook Page

WOW!  Three months gone and so many changes in this little red dot!  Just Katong alone has 112 Katong, Tides @217, the Jago Close Coffee Shop revamp, and the Santa Grand Hotel is now opened!  Amazing work within such a small area!  Either that, or three months away has been long.

On my flight back, I made friends with a couple of travellers, and many were asking if the government sponsored my three month stint.  This immediately told me that what I just did in the last 90 days was incomprehensible!  Many commended that I was brave.  My quick reply to that, "... you mean suicidal?"

So what is my take home?

To be very very good at my craft, I have to be immersed in the right place.  And the right place at this point in my life seems to be LA.  I love living in Singapore, it's just that, this is not the place to breed artists... at this point.  Maybe later, but no, not now at this point in time.  So you get the drift.  I need to live in California.  I need to spend some time there to hone my skills.  And in order to do that, I need a job there to be able to sustain me.

Enough said. Time to put some words into action.

In the meantime, happy holidays!! :D

Friday, December 2, 2011


"Sing with gusto," my choir master used to tell the basses.  Now I know what she meant.  A reminder from today's readings too not to build your house on sand!

I used the time in the morning to do a little R&D.  It is not everyday that you get a close to apocalyptic look in your town!  Last evening's strong winds are the result of some high and low pressure activity near the Las Vegas area as reported by KTLA.  

How bad was it?  The damages can be seen clearly in the photo montage above.  Schools are closed, a huge tree branch fell right through my neighbour's roof, and we're all preparing for round two... tonight!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Bird's Eye View

I trekked up the Sam Merrill Trail this late morning.  Not knowing how high or how long it'd take, I loaded my bag filled with Art materials and began the hike right after Mass. 

Thinking it'd take about 40 mins to get to the top, I made frequent pit stops to admire the view behind me and whipped up a really quick sketch when I could.  The path was narrow, so I had to be mindful of other travellers.  I bumped into Patrick on the way up and he said it'd probably be another hour plus.  So I kept going minus the sketching.  An hour passed, and I was still walking, wondering how long more I'd take.  I had no GPS, no map, I was alone, no watch to keep track of time, and furthermore... it was a school day!  :D  

As I inched upwards, I could almost see more dirt track ahead of me.  That kept me going.  I was reflecting on this and it kind of became a metaphor for my current journey towards Imagineering.  I had no idea what was up there, but I enjoyed the journey with so much to see especially from a higher elevation.  I met fellow trekkers on the way that reminded me that there are others on the journey.  

90 minutes and still no sign of the top.  I wondered to myself a lot... How much longer?  And like life, there were so many distractions:  Will I be back in time to do some work before class later?  Will I have enough water left?  Will I have enough time to go buy groceries for the Thanksgiving dinners (yes... two) I'm preparing tomorrow? What if a deer jumped out of no where and starts charging at me?  Or if a snake slid up and nit me?  All these thoughts on top of the fact that it was getting hotter.

I decided to ask the next trekker how much farther.  I got my answer 10 minutes later, "You're pretty close... 10 maybe 15 minutes," she says.  With that sudden burst of energy, I realised I was climbing faster.  Also the width of the route became tighter and steeper.  This always happens when I'm just around the bend of something awesome.  

20 minutes passed.  25.... still no sign of the summit.  The air was getting thinner, my pulse heavier, my water bottle - two gulps lefts.  This was when I told myself.  Forget school, forget the work, I'm right around something really awesome!  

Just then, I saw something industrial in the midst of the organic shapes ahead of me.  It was a sign!! And just further up more, the peak of Echo Point.  I saw a trail of rusted metal chunks from the former Mount Lowe Railway leading up to Echo Point House.  Only the foundation is left, due to the 1938 floods!  This is where I believe many would have gone, "That's it?" 

But for me, I pictured a revitalised turn of the century amusement park with the old tram and cable car system running.  I hear an echoey audio of the old style amusement park soundtrack and rides with children screaming cheerfully.  Also there are eateries and games stalls for the happy families that come up here to take a break.

Just then, two trekkers that had just arrived the top asked me if I knew the directions to another higher altitude.  Of of them pointed to the higher plains and said, "Over there, you get better bird's eye views."  Not surprising that it's named Inspiration Point.

On my way down, my mind was occupied trying to build this fun getaway.  It was then I got my answer - keep moving forward especially when things seem to be going against your flow,  you'll never know what's around the bend and it's a good way to check what you really want and have passion for.  :D