A Gallery in Memory of Grandpa

Last week grandpa passed away, partly due to old age and also because he had a cancerous tumor in his liver. Our family didn’t know until he was too fragile to cure. He was 90.

My mom’s father was a lover of beautiful things. He loved to garden, care for his exotic fish and loved decorating the house with nicknacks and birds that were the source for an old photo collection of mine. He liked to sew clothes, taking old pieces and turning them into something new.

He was also a fine artist who hung his work proudly in the living room, kitchen and hallways of his house. He drew in various mediums including watercolour, pencil, crayons and sparkles. Besides canvas, he also drew on any surface he could find including old cardboard. I didn’t realize until recently that there were tons of them.  Grandpa wanted his work to be seen by visitors. He never understood what the internet was, but I think he would have loved to share his art with the world. Below are a collection of his works I uploaded using Genius Scan for the iPhone.

Yim Pui Ng (1923-2013)

This one is drawn on the back of a ping-pong table. You can even see the legs sticking out in the photo:

Photo 2013-03-09 3 51 12 PM

As you know, I’m also a lover of the arts whether it be music, photography, fine art or written word. I now know, I have grandpa to thank for that.

Unfolding the Napkin- The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures


I’ve been intrigued for a while now by Dan Roam’s series of books about visual problem solving. I purchased Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures, without realizing it is actually the workbook for his first book The Back of the Napkin. However, it doesn’t really matter as it works well as a standalone book.

The book is geared towards business people who want to improve their presentations by including pictures that encourage audience involvement. The techniques are simple enough that they can be used by anybody who want to be a better visual thinker. Unfolding the Napkin is full of fun doodles, exercises and real life examples of where pictures were used to solve a major problem in major corporations. The book is divided into 4 lessons (complete with lunch breaks). The four parts make up the steps of visual thinking: Looking, Seeing, Imagining and Showing. The most helpful section to me was the Imagining section which introduced the SQVID method of thinking. It stood for the different ways of imaging how to solve a problem (although I’m not entirely what the acronym stands for).

SQVID on opening a wine bottle

The book explains how modern day presentations all suck because they are often hundreds of pages of Power Point slides that mean nothing. It also delves into the psychology of how when something is computer generated and perfect, we tend not to question it. In contrast if we doodle an idea or a plan, there is imperfection and people will comment and give feedback. There is definitely truth in that idea, and hey, I like to doodle.

I recommend this book to anybody who makes presentations of any kind and wants to look beyond just Powerpoint. I’ve always been a visual learner and I think I may dive into some more of Dan Roam’s books. I’m especially interested in Blah Blah Blah which is geared more towards personal thinking than the board room. PS. I haven’t stopped on delivering you guys doodletastic posts. More to come soon.

Book marked places to take a lunch :)

Lessons I Have Learnt from Draw Something

Really horrible drawing I did of Elvis

If you don’t know already, Draw Something is the new mobile game sensation. It’s basically a set of Pictionary that you can play with your friends who have Apple and Android devices. I have been playing it for a couple of weeks now and through observation I have realized and learnt many things.

Celebrities are really hard to draw. I try my hardest not to use words when I am drawing clues. I think it’s cheating. However, when you get hit with a celebrity, it can become hard.

This is Drake, boyfriend didn't get it.
Name the first generic blonde person you can think of!

People draw people that look like themselves. Whenever the drawing requires the use of a person to describe something, they always seem to look like the person who drew the picture. I’m guilty of this too. My people always look like the doodles of me that I do on My Life In Drawings. Other people do this too though. My friends who have blonde hair draw blonde people. Those that have curly hair draw curly haired people. Even if it takes an extra step to do these things.

Guess the hair colour of the person that drew this.

It can be used as a genius marketing plan. Companies should insert their names into this game. Subliminal advertising after all. And hey, if your logo isn’t recognizable for anybody to want to draw it, maybe you should do something about that.