Wounded Heart and the Incommunicado – A Doodle

I often joked with my younger friends and said, “Had I born into this era, my dating life would have been so different.” As in, with dating apps, I don’t think I would get married so early.

It’s a joke. As in, I am not born into this era.

But what if?

That would be a topic for another day. Meanwhile, I cannot help but think, heartbreaks in this era must suck way more than my era.

Titled as Wounded Heart and the Incommunicado

With instant messaging and all, I have no idea how people these days cope with heartbreaks. Say, you are trying to reach him or her. But you just can’t. Every message you receive throughout the day – which is a lot thanks to how connected we now are – would basically be a disappointment. Why isn’t the message come from him or her? And you can’t stop this thought whereby, the next message could be from him or her.

Back to this drawing, and I must say it once again. Drawing to me is therapeutic. It calms my mind. I like this particular one a lot. It took me close to four hours to conceptualize and complete the drawing, which is way longer than the previous ones. To complete this drawing on the same day (inspiration comes and goes), I had to rush to Art Friend and buy a set of replacement pens because mine went dry. I have also derived a special technical – unfortunately, you can’t see here – to ‘hang’ the objects onto a set of pre-determined frames. It was an experiment and I like how it turns out.

In the center, is a heart. Punctured by a spear and through it, the telephone coil is cut. Incommunicado at its most straightforward interpretation is one is unable to reach another on the phone. In this drawing, there is another meaning whereby the two could be separated (think life and death) and they just can’t talk to each other.

Layered on top of the heart are roses and thorns. So yes, there is a theme of love here (again, love in many forms). There is blood gushing out from the heart but what’s up there? Raindrops? Or tears? That’s for you to decide.

MAGO and the Wild, Wild Ukulele – A Doodle

Today is a really happy day for me, to be rekindled with my passion … and music. Y wanted to get a Ukulele so that during her quarantine in Malaysia, she has something to do. I did not know anything about Ukulele. But it is a form of guitar, with chords albeit totally different from the guitar chords, these are chords that are meant to be strummed, or plucked.

I love music. I love musical instruments. And I always challenge myself to play an instrument different from what I am accustomed to.

Ukulele is different from classical guitar. First, Ukulele has 4 strings instead of 5. Second, the open chords are GCEA instead of EADGBE (Every Angry Dog Got a Bone to Eat) and hence, tuning is different. The chords are entirely different too. Third, the size. But regardless, Ukulele is still a string instrument. You play the chords and you strum.

Titled as MAGO and the Wild, Wild Ukulele

I did not know how to play the Ukulele. So I have done some research on the Internet and have decided to test a Ukulele with Jason Mraz’s I am Yours. The chords are pretty straightforward. Just C-G-Am-F. And the Ibanez Ukulele that has finally got my recommendation at Swee Lee has this warm tone (due to dark nylon strings and Mahogany wood) and full-body sound (due to its shape) that I have fallen in love with. It is an entry-level Ukulele for Y is a beginner. If I were to get one – since I am an experienced guitar player – I may give Martin C1K Concert Ukulele a try. I may even be tempted by the 2K Concert edition.

On a totally separate topic and is related to this doodle, my favorite K-pop girl group GFRIEND has recently released a new song called MAGO. This retro-style disco-dancing song could well be my favorite of all theirs thus far. The dance is not overwhelming, yet delivered with class.

If you have watched the MAGO video, add that to the Ukulele and the four chords, that is the doodle of the day folks.

When Happiness & Sadness Collide (Alt. Title Bitter-sweet) – A Doodle

I want to articulate a person torn between happiness and sadness, in a cycle of one side feeding onto another. I thought of fish out of water. One time, I read about this on the Internet, or it could have been from a scientific magazine. Fish feel the pain too. When they are pulled out of the sea. Even for that brief moment. That gasp for water but it is air instead. It is like submerging a human’s head into the water, that gasp for air but it is water instead.

Titled as When Happiness & Sadness collide

So fish denotes the pain while the cats feed onto the fish and stay merry. A face with two sides. On the left, the sadness; on the right, the opposite (note: try covering each side and observe, it is rather fun). The stormy weather and the flood on the left versus the sunshine and life on the right. That contrast I want to bring, the polar opposite that co-exists. The ironic symbiosis between the two different emotions. The struggle and the torn so intense.

When I shared this drawing with N who is an artist in her own right, whose birthday is tomorrow, before I even explained the concept, her immediate response was, “Bitter-sweet”.

I think she got it.

Under the Merlion’s Watchful Eyes One Man’s Attempt to Steal a Heart – A Doodle

Saturday morning, I woke up and asked my wife, “Which are your favorite Korean drama kissing scenes?”

You see, we watch a lot of K-drama. But before you think we always watch TV together, she is into Western drama while I am onto Chinese drama. So no, we don’t always watch TV together.

Crash Landing Onto You,” said she.

OK. I mean, that is a vastly popular K-drama series. I like both actor and actress.

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay,” added she.

The on-screen chemistry between Seo Ye-ji and Kim Soo-Hyum is a phenomenon. Especially so, I love how Seo Ye-ji acted out Ko Moon-Young’s unique character. I agreed with my wife. Those kisses were good. Besides, Seo Ye-ji is so very sexy.

My Shy Boss!” concluded she.

Ah. I have almost forgotten that one. That kissing scene, in the shower room, was epic. And the acting of the lead actor is top-notch.

For me though, that would be Goblin (OK, it gets better) and Bride of Habaek. I am a hopeless romantic.

Back to this doodle, which I am not into deeper explanation because the composition is not complex, it is one of the more detailed work I have done. My dual-head Copic (Japan) pen was too large for the Queen of Card. So I have borrowed my wife’s 0.5 Faber-Castell (Germany) instead. My plan for the next set of drawing may perhaps have more detailed composition. We shall see.

Meanwhile, this is the playlist I listened to while creating this doodle.

Titled ‘Under the Merlion’s Watchful Eyes One Man’s Attempt to Steal a Heart‘. The couple is modeled after the K-drama series My Shy Boss.

On a Day of Weariness

Today is one of those days whereby I have simply lost interest in everything. It is not a mood swing. I mean, yesterday was a very happy day. I had some really good phone calls. I teared a bit when speaking with my mom, whom I have not called for a very long time. I did not call after my dad’s heart-related operation. At some point, I was fed up with my dad. According to mom, after the operation, the nurse said to my dad, “Now you have a new heart (note: more like new lease of life because not all Cantonese phrases can be taken literally), start anew and treat the people around you nicely.” One fine day, my dad took the nurse’s advice and thanked my mom for looking after him telling her that the meal that she cooked was good.

Oh. My. God.

That was just shocking. So un-dad-like. So yes, near-death experience does change people. I just hope that people don’t need to go through that just to change. At that moment of hearing the story on the phone, I dropped a tear or two. Happy tears. Mom being mom – true to Hong Kong culture – dramatized the whole operation. According to her – and I am pretty sure she wasn’t there to witness the operation – when the doctor made a cut into my dad’s artery, with blood shooting out everywhere and onto the doctor’s coat, the doctor only had a few second to complete the operation and close the wound.

Wow. So dramatic!

Yesterday was a happy day. Dancing to TWICE’s I Can’t Stop Me, which is incredibly hard. Having some discounted Sauvignon Blanc from NTUC – a night of volume over quality, which wasn’t that bad (of course not as good as the French wine I have). Played some music, which was probably one of my better performance in recent days. I was satisfied.

All in all, yesterday was a happy day speaking on the phone at the balcony watching the moon hanging on a cloudy sky while enjoying the cool breeze of a November evening in Singapore.

Today is not like I am sad or unhappy. Just general loss of interest in things. I have tried very hard to put on a happy face at work, which is part of my job because I realize that my mood does affect people and stakeholders around me in a rather profound way. That must have zapped all my energy. I tried to watch TV and there was nothing interesting. I tried to play music but my performance wasn’t even close to what I had yesterday. Tonight dinner is a repeat of yesterday. US election was kind of interesting at the start of the day. But now, it has become a waiting game. I stared at my phone. The right message hasn’t come through yet.

I wanted to doodle. I thought of a title thanks to a recent life event, “No King Reigns Forever”. Then I contemplated swapping ‘king’ with ‘ruler’ to be gender-neutral (on my mind, the viewer will not be able to tell anyway). Afterward, I thought, why not do a “No Queen Reigns Forever” as I wanted to write an associated story. I have the concept of a young and beautiful Queen gradually losing her physical and mental abilities but her knights still wanted her to reign because … [note: I don’t know yet]. To maintain a functional Queen – at least in the eyes of the people when they occasionally see her, the knights have to … [note: I also don’t know this part yet]. And then there is a cool ending. Or rather, I must have a cool ending, in which I don’t know what it is yet.

Since I still haven’t got the inspiration for writing the story, I returned to the conceptualization of the doodle. A non-functioning Queen at her throne with a bowing head, one hand holding a scepter, and one foot stepping out of reality hanging onto her last breath of life. But what should be the illusion that sustains her vitals?

I. Don’t. Know. Yet.

Such is the journey of art, on a day of weariness.