Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random badges

Below are a set of badges I created based on various drawings Sleepyanimal has put in my notebook overtime. The dotted line indicates the edge of the badge. Please note that Poubelle International's name and likenesses have been used without their permission - Ben, Johan and Dean, I hope you guys don't mind.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weather badges

The Hong Kong Observatory never fails to amuse with its amazing array of symbols and weather descriptions - most of which turn out to be totally inaccurate. I've drafted up a couple of badges (1" tin badge template), to honour HKO's efforts.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rage Quit

Here are two versions of the same design, which I've called Rage Quit.

Rage quit is not something I suffer from regularly, but I have been know to pull the plug on the odd SF4 game when things have gotten too frustrating. I am more of a put the controller down heavily and walk away guy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Update to Saam

I've updated my draft Saam design (see below). This version is based on an Atari game cover tutorial I found. I'm going to further revise the look to make it more original and I'll change the character from Saam to something more space / arcade related. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This GunRave design is a homage to Nigel Tufnel's ribcage t-shirt in 'This Is Spinal Tap'. I've also included an acid-pink on white version, because acid-pink is my go-to colour at the moment.

This design is going in the 'possibles' folder for t-shirt prints.

Monday, March 15, 2010


My design for five is dedicated to all the Ikea manuals that have made a useless, tool-phobic person like myself, look like a genuine handyman.

I've always respected the simple, yet careful and clear design aesthetic that Ikea manuals have. I also like the hand drawn feel the illustrations have. I've tried to capture that by using the pen tool for many of the lines.

The result is slight out of alignment because I'm still struggling a bit with perspective drawing. (The numbers correspond with the proper stroke order for this character.)

Guilty pleasure - Ninja Assassin

Ninja Assassin is fun, exhilarating even, but leave your brain at the door.

Sleepyanimal and I managed to procure a copy of the Ninja Assassin DVD, which has just been released. We watched it last night after a lovely day relaxing and drinking beer with friends on a rooftop (I mention this because it put me in the perfect mindset to watch this film).

I've been curious to see Ninja Assassin since the fight choreography work was covered by /film last year (see it here).

The film's strength is in it's gory action sequences, which are kick-ass.

In addition, Rain, who plays Raizo (a highly trained ninja who has turned on his clan after they killed his childhood sweetheart), is surprisingly charismatic and is superb in the fight sequences.

The plot, however, is paper thin and the dialogue between the two europol officers (which is where the bulk of the 'plot' is delivered), is B-movie at best. Only Sho Kosugi, who plays the violent and cruel leader of the ninja clan, seems to understand the level of overacting required to push the movie's cliched characters through the wall of bad B-movie and back out the other side to great B-movie.

This movie is a guilty pleasure.

Now for sleepyanimal's opinion of the film.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I am electric PANDA! Boom

This design is a collaborative effort between myself and Sleepyanimal.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Adidas Originals ZX Runner

Check out the Adidas Originals ZX Runner game teaser below and play it here.

I love the style of this game - I moonwalk everywhere.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kung hei fat choi

I'm back after a nice break for Chinese New Year. Today's design features saam (three), in a space invaders theme.

I wanted to use a Tron-like perspective grid for the background, with it tapering away to a flat horizon, but I found it too difficult to get the angles right (there is probably an automated perspective tool that I don't know about). Anyhow, I opted for a simple warped grid instead.

I watched Star Trek last night (great film), which inspired me to use Romulan warbirds for the spaceships.

Once I've sorted out the perspective grid issue, I will probably revise this design with better texturing and original spaceship designs. It's a bit trashy, but I would like the laser fire to taper away from the eye (i.e. flip the perspective, so the ships are heading into the page), into a nice star shaped explosion. Ha ha ha

Friday, February 12, 2010


This didn't turn out as I had hoped. My grand idea was to draw yih (two) in the style of calligraphy, and to then use the character as the joint for two bamboo plants. I've been playing around with textures, so I planned to make it look like an ink drawn scroll on parchment.

Looking at the finished product, however, I think I overdid the texturing. All the black flecks (meant to be ink splats), make the bamboo look photocopied, and the background grain lacks a deft hand (hmmm ... lets just not talk about the background colour). In addition, I ended up distorting the character's shape to make it look like part of the bamboo drawing.

That said, I am happy with the shape of the character itself, which is what I spent the most time on.

The character style is based on the calligraphy work of Chen Pengnian and the bamboo is based on Zheng Xie's drawings.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One step at a time

Inspired by Simon Page's alphabattle contributions, I've decided to create a series of designs that reflect the meaning of the Chinese characters I'm learning. The purpose of doing this is twofold: to encourage me learn new and more complicated characters; and as a way to experiment with illustrator.

The design below, reflecting the chosen character and my current capability with illustrator, is very simple. As I was playing around with fonts, I decided to include the literal meaning. (If anyone is curious, the characters in red at the bottom left are my name in Chinese.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dodgy images

I want to do a series of designs that both celebrate the dirty, neon lit, garbage strewn side of Hong Kong and reflect the reality of the people that live in these conditions (it's not just a Blade Runner set after all).

Here are a few concept images I've pulled together. They are a long way off what I want them to be, but it's a beginning.

I cannot get my head around Passion Play

Mickey Rourke as a trumpet player, Megan Fox as an angel and Bill Murray as a gangster? Add to this the premise of: An angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck.

The whole thing doesn't make any sense to me. Fox as an angel - not really seeing it. Murray as a gangster - maybe. Fox under the thumb of Murray - no way! As for Rourke as a trumpet player - the only thing I can imagine Rourke doing with a trumpet is throwing it at someone.

I'm really curious to see a trailer.

Read more about the film here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Two cool things to check out

Verbatim Monster Battle
The Verbatim Championship is a contest of 'Media Monsters'. The site allows you to build animated monsters out of Verbatim office supplies and then battle them against other user creations. It's really fun - below is a photo of my Media Monster "PSY" celebrating a victory. Check out the site here.

Via Superpunch

Die Antwoord
I'll let you decide what to make of these guys. Check out their website here and give the video below a look.

Via BoingBoing

Game stuff

The Last Guardian
Awesome - Sony has launched the official web site for Team ICO's The Last Guardian. Check it out here.

Check out the hilarious video below for GNILLEY, where you play by screaming your foes into oblivion or shouting down obstacles in your path. The video is from the Global Game Jam Sydney 2010.

Via Kotaku

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quality review of Avatar

Mike from Milwaukee, who created the famous video review of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (see it here), has turn his attention to Avatar. I have posted his brutally honest, two-part video review below.

Mike very succinctly sums Avatar up at the end of his review:
"The ultimate irony of Avatar is that for all the time and money spent to make this movie in 3D, the story and the characters were still stuck in one dimension."

Red Letter Media via /Film

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A few good ideas

I like the Kandle because it looks like the book light I had when I was a kid (which I later strapped to the top of my GameBoy).

Amazon Via Gizmodo

Pictionaire looks like the kind of the product that should be released in 2010. As I understand it, Pictionaire, which is being developed by Microsoft and the University of California Berkeley, is an adaption of Microsoft's Surface technology. The Pictionaire table uses overhead cameras to make digitise physical objects, allowing users to manipulate the digitised copies. Take a look at the video below, it's much easier to understand than any description I could come up with.

New Scientist via Gizmodo

There is not much to Gnop, but that doesn't stop it being cool. It's Pong, but you play as the ball. It's surprising that this hasn't been done before (well, not that I have come across). Give it a whirl.

Bit Battalion via Boing Boing

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cool stuff

Hong Kong Buildings

Hong Kong's older buildings have such a charming, unique appearance, which I think look great hand drawn. I'm going to print some t-shirts with some sort of hand drawn building motif on them, but I haven't got the design sorted yet. In the meantime, I've been looking for inspiration, which led me to Joel Prittie's fantastic urban monster art, in particular the image above. Check out Joel M. Prittie Awesome Blog.

Children's Books

On the subject of imagery that I think is inspiring, Sleepyanimal sent me a link to a wonderful collection of children's book covers. Above is an example, but I recommend checking out the whole set here (via Gawker).


Last, but certainly not least, I recommend that you add Cory Doctorow's Makers to your reading list. Although I haven't quite finished Makers (about 90% there according to my Kindle), I've thoroughly enjoyed the book so far. What I like most, is that Doctorow has imagined a future, not too distant from our own, and has filled it with exciting characters, interesting technological ideas and innovative and believable business models. Download it out here (by the way its free).

(Image via

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Math + 3D Printer = Cool

Bathsheba Grossman's math inspired sculptures, which are produced using a 3D printer, are totally cool. I find 3D printing technology really fascinating. I recommend reading through the Bathsheba Sculpture website, as Grossman includes a lot of interesting information about how the sculpture concepts are developed and the 3D printing process used.

Via BoingBoing

Kick arse Nexus One Unboxing

(via Engadget)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lord of the Logos

This is such a cool book, I love metal inspired typography. My desire to own this book is, no doubt, heightened by the fact I've been playing more Brutal Legend than is healthy.

The blurb for the book is:
This book is a collection of work by Christophe Szpajdel, an artist whose fans in the underground black metal community worship him as the Lord of the Logos. It includes hundreds of powerful logos, each of which captures the force of this musical genre anew. Through his surprising use of aesthetic influences such as art deco and nature, Szpajdel has brought a new dynamic into the gothic visuality of heavy metal. This publication, which is done in the style of a black prayerbook, shows not only how he has succeeded in leaving his own visual mark on this music, but how he has also expanded the canon of forms it uses.

Find out more about the book here.

I can't wait for Future X Cops to be released

Check out the trailer below for Future X Cops (Mei loi ging chaat).

Amazing! This films looks terrible, in a good way. My favourite part is where Andy Lau turns into one of the guys from Tron Legacy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Adidas and augmented reality and Star Wars and Daft Punk and ... what?

Adidas is doing some totally random, but cool things at the moment.

According to Wired, the shoemaker has embedded augmented reality codes into the tongue of five of its men's sneakers. If you take one of these upcoming sneakers and hold it up to your computer's webcam (with a special site loaded up), a small virtual world will appear, populated with digital people, city buildings, and Adidas logos.

You can control how the world is displayed by tilting the shoe - the on-screen world will change its angle and zoom in/out. Adidas also plans to eventually include three augmented reality game with the virtual neighborhoods. Developed by Dutch studio xForm, the skateboarding, music, and "Star Wars-like" games somehow use the sneakers as controllers.

Speaking of Star Wars, check out the latest commercial for Adidas' upcoming Star Wars-inspired Original Line. The Commercial is so strange and the collection of people so jarring, I don't know what to think about it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Google versus China

My friend HKHam posed a good questions yesterday (via Twitter): #googlecn sure had business problems in China, but surely being the world's biggest country's second biggest search engine still had value?

I find the Google versus China situation fascinating and things should heat up further once China’s official stance becomes clearer. In the meantime, like HKHam, I’ve been trying to get my head around the economics of Google’s actions. What on earth were the boys in Mountain View thinking when they decided to take on China?

From an ethical perspective, I totally support Google’s decision to cease censorship of its Chinese search engine. However, it’s clear that this decision was not made based on ethical (or political) considerations. Google has been censoring its search engine since was launched in 2006.

Back in 2006, Google executives said they had weighed the positives and negatives and concluded Chinese Internet users were better off with the neutered Google than with no Google. For security reasons, they did not bring any other Google products containing users' personal information, such as email and blogging, into China.

At face value, this is a corporation placing an embargo on a Country, in retaliation for politically driven actions (alleged email hacking), to force policy change. You could, at a stretch, argue only a company of Google’s stature has the ability and influence to take such a stance against China - most other countries, at this time, realise it would be economic suicide to take such actions.

As nice as it is to imagine Google’s executives benevolently making decisions for the good of the world, that’s not what happened. First off, this is not how you do business in Asia, particularly China. Putting public pressure (via an English language blog) on the Chinese Government is sure fire way to have the great firewall slammed shut in your face.

Further, it appears that executives were not briefed about Google’s decisions until the twelfth hour. This would suggest Google were not working closely with Chinese officials on this matter, rather this is a conscious scorched earth move from HQ and they have tried to keep their local employees clean to minimise the repercussions.

Ok, back to HKHam’s point. were doing ok in China right? According to web analytics company StatCounter, at the end of 2009, Baidu held 56% of the Chinese market compared to Google’s 43%. Other agencies put Google’s share at slightly less, but even so, that’s a pretty good place to be, in a country with oodles of growth potential.

Google has argued that it’s operations in China were immaterial to its business. Ok, sure, but the business case for China is always about potential growth.

The difficult to measure nuance on Google’s position in China is the way many people in China perform searches. My ex-work colleagues in China would use and Baidu interchangeably for simple searches, but if they were after something complex (we’re talking finance related products here, nothing political), they would access through a proxy, which doesn’t show up in the search analytics results. Maybe Google is hedging its bets that as long as it is the global search leader, the Chinese people will find ways to access its product?

That said, it’s still hard not to be cynical are argue that this is a scorched earth move, aimed at buying Google some good will in the rest of the world. As Google itself has stated, the catalyst for all this is that the gmail accounts of a number of Chinese human rights activists were hacked. This means gmail’s security was compromised and its source code could have been copied and/or hacked. This is mission critical stuff. If Google becomes compromised, it will lose credibility and its global business model will go down the toilet. With that in mind, Google’s actions make pretty good sense from a business perspective, regardless of the growth potential in China.

China’s official reaction is yet to be made. Let’s see how this all pans out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wonderful Messy Sketches

Check out Nebojsa Cvetkovic's wonderful messbook here.

Via Superpunch

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

That's how she rolls

I just like the t-shirt in the picture, but if you want sex advice from D&D players, read about it here.

Cool t-shirts I've spotted recently

Spock, Paper, Scissors by Raz
teefury via /film

Big Daddy Roth-style DeLorean by Goose
The Hundreds via Super Punch

Brutal Legend t-shirts by Mishka NYC

Mishka NYC via Kotaku