Book Beauty Monday : Jimmy Liao's Don't Blame Me, It's Not My Fault.

One night years ago, my dad knocked at my door and came in with a Chinese newspaper in his hand. He always did that whenever he found interesting articles about art or design. That night the article was about a Taiwanese illustrator, Jimmy Liao

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

Jimmy Liao is pretty famous in picture book world. His books are translated into several languages along with products featuring his illustrated characters. The most famous title must be A Chance of Sunshine which was made into a film called Turn Left, Turn Right

Strangely enough though, apart from A Chance of Sunshine and a few other books, it's quite difficult to get English version of his books. I wonder why...

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

As for this book, I cannot read Chinese so I have no idea what the whole book is about. But pictures usually work as universal language. You can enjoy the beauty of his illustrations even though you don't know its meaning. It's a pity that I cannot find Thai version or even English one of this book because Liao also has a reputation for composing words that reflect human's mind in his own beautiful style.

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

When you look at these lovely images, what words come to your mind? Cute, colorful, whimsical, imaginative or melancholy? The last word seems contradictory to others but that is what I, and many of his fans, I believe, think when we look at his work. And that makes his illustration so unique. How come such cute, bright and colorful pictures can give me such feeling of sadness? I don't know but we have to accept that the world is not always full of happiness after all...

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

Don't blame me, it's not my fault.

AEDM2010 : a festive boot :-)

a festive boot

At first, I thought of a big ribbon on a gift box. Then I changed it to a hat. But somehow the hat's brim just transformed itself in to a boot! Magic pen, isn't it? :-D December is coming. So it comes the beginning of all the festive feelings!

Today is Sunday, a day that I feel like doing nothing at all. Perhaps, I will do some sketches for my tomorrow's job and curl up on my lazy sofa and enjoy a good book after that.

Have a merry weekend!

PS. if you happen to glimpse a little spot of purple, I apologize for that. I was going to use purple but it looked too dark so I used red (although it looks pink in this photo) instead :-)


AEDM2010 : the floating ideas


Tell me how to catch all the floating ideas?

This morning I found This quote on a site :

I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

--- Jerome K. Jerome

I must be so in love with my work because that is exactly what I do all day today lol :-P


AEDM2010 : Flower Doodle


Have to go out today. No time for coloring. Actually, I think I will make this in black and white, it should look nice. What do you think?

Thanks for all comments for my previous posts.
Have a merry, productive day everyone :-D

**Update in the afternoon ^-^**

I don't know why but I feel so happy today. Here another merry doodle from me to you :-)

thinking of you


AEDM2010 : Candy Doodle


While thinking about ideas for new book cover design, my hand doodled this :-)


Drawing Lab Challenge : Imaginary Creatures

I had a bad headache this morning.

Luckily, I didn't have much work today (actually, I had some but with such headache, I thought it could wait :-P) So, after finishing some work edit, I decided to play with my brand new set of this water color paints I just bought :-)

drawing lab challenge

The last time I painted water color was when I was at school, a long-long time ago. What made me go out and buy this set was a challenge called Drawing Lab Challenge hosted by Gumnut. The challenge is to create art pieces based on a wonderful book, Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artrist written by inspiring Carle Sonheim. The book is full of exercises for those who love drawing, amateur or professional, anyone who wants to boost up his or her creativity.

This week's challenge is creating imaginary creatures. I set up the tools with brown paper cut off from a shopping paper bag. The little piece of flower-pattern paper on the right side of the shot is the other side of the bag :-)

drawing lab challenge

Then, I followed the book's instruction : paint random marks on paper. I had no idea what I was doing. The brush in my hand felt awkward and I didn't know how to mix the paints or how to work with water. I just put colors on paper.

drawing lab challenge

While waiting for the paints to dry, I did more on my Moleskine. This time I tried to make it as pretty as I could. I was amazed by how translucent yellow looked and Green looked almost fluorescent. Watching red flowing and blending with dark green somehow gave peace to my mind :-)

drawing lab challenge

Let's come back to the brown paper. The next step was to imagine : from what I painted, could I see imaginary creatures? I didn't see it at first but when I started tracing some paint borders, my creatures took shapes...

drawing lab challenge

Can you see my creatures? The obvious one must be the penguin with his fluffy scarf :-)

drawing lab challenge

And now another spread for my Sketchbook Project!


I had so much fun with this exercise and by the time I finished this fun drawing, my headache was long gone :-)


Book Beauty Monday : The Minpins

The Minpins

...Imagine if you walk into a place where...'Here and there little shafts of sunlight shone through gaps in the roof. There was not a sound anywhere. It was like being among the dead men in an enormous empty green cathedral.'...

I can't remember which one drew me to pick up this book, the beautiful cover illustration or the big name of Roald Dahl. But I remember the question that immediately popped up in my head when I saw the author's name : Where's Quentin Blake?

I think those who adore children's books may already know that Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake are like the most famous author-illustrator buddy in children's book world. I rarely see Dahl's stories with other illustrator's works so this book looks quite interesting to me:-)

I read too few of Dahl's books (three books including this one, to be precise) to call myself a fan but I think Roald Dahl's name (and Blake's illustration) always has some kind of magnetic affect on me to at least pick it up and see what the story is about.

Patrick Benson's illustration for this book, The Minpins gives readers different feelings if compared to Blake's quirkiness. They are beautifully drawn in details. His crosshatching technique reminds me of one of my most favorite illustrators, Edward Ardizzone.

The Minpins is a story of Little Billy who always wondered what there was to see outside his home, where his mother called 'the Forest of Sin'. One day, unable to resist his curiosity, He ventured into the forest. Unfortunately, he was found by a big mysterious creature who blew out red-hot fire while chasing for life of our Little Billy. Terrified, little Billy ran into the deep forest until he encountered the tiniest people he had ever seen. They called themselves, the Minpins.

Who were they and how Little Billy escaped the monster, maybe you want to find the book to find out for yourself :-) Now, I will let Benson's lovely illustration tell some of the story to you.

The Minpins

...What he now saw was quite marvellous. He saw a room that was lit by a pale yellow light of some sort and it was furnished with beautifully made miniature chairs and a table...

The Minpins

..."Look, I've had a lovely time with you all, but how am I ever going to get home again? My mother'll be going crazy"... (I love this page. Great composition, isn't it? ;-)

The Minpins

..."The birds are our cars,...They are much nicer and they never crash."...

The Minpins

...Little Billy heard him talking to the robin in a kind of curious twitter....

The Minpins

Big scene of the brave Little billy. Gorgeous colors!

I'm in love with this book and I hope you do too. I also found web sites about children's book illustration that might interest you here :

Fans of Roald Dahl may already know this. I love the site, well-designed and full of fun things. Roald Dahl

I remember watching a clip of Quentin Blake's talking about his work from his own site. Not sure if it's still there.

Patrick Benson's interview about this book
Magic Pencil
I have no time to explore this site yet but it looks interesting for those who love children's book illustration.

OK, this is a long post and I wrote it in a hurry, hope I didn't make any mistake :-(

PS I read all comments on the previous post and enjoyed your imagination very much. Thank you so much and I will visit all of your blogs soon :-)

Merry Monday everyone!


AEDM2010 : Colors on Black

color on black

I never thought I would be addicted to blogging. It's Saturday. I went out for a nice lunch with my family, shopped for things (including a set of water color paints, I have never painted water color since school time, we will see what I come up with soon :-) and came home thinking about book I read last night. Then, I just automatically turned on my computer, checked my blog posts with nice comments (thank you!) and totally forgot about the book and did this little drawing instead :-)

I have always wanted to do colors on black paper. This one I used color pencils. (I'm wondering how water color will look like on black paper too but that will be another project.) I didn't have any actual ideas in mind, I just drew it (I use this phase a lot with my Sketchbook Project :-) It turns out to be something I always draw anyway.

Now I'm curious, what do you see in this drawing? Please tell me.


AEDM2010 : Candy Acrylic


I was supposed to work this morning but somehow I ended up doing this instead :-( I found this candy painting while I was looking for some papers for the sketchbook. It was done long time ago when I took an acrylic class at school. I like painting in acrylic because it's quite easy to correct, you can just paint over what you don't like.

The girl was drawn digitally though. And I guess I have to really stop using yellow now :-P

A bit tired today. Hope you all have fun with your day :-D


AEDM2010 : Sketchbook Project page18-19


I posted this image and then I thought, oops! yellow again? Once one of my clients told me to stop using yellow for awhile. It's not that they hated the color, they loved it but there were too many yellow book covers I had done for them already! I try to stay away from the color as much as I can. But when you love something, you just can't help it. I love white on yellow, black on yellow. Yellow with grey is nice too.

Can't believe how I'm obsessed with the color!

How about you? What is your most favorite color?


AEDM2010 : Happy Birthday ecard on pingg

Happy Birthday ecard

I have just been added to pingg's recent designers page I'm not quite familiar with how this site works yet. It seems that now I'm eligible to be chosen for the Designer Spotlight or something.

I don't want to stress myself too much. It's a good exercise and might be a great promotion in the future. I just have to wait and see. Right now I really enjoy making this and hope someone will choose to send it. That would make me very happy. :-D

Here's the link for this ecard. It seems that you need to sign up for the site first, a bit annoying, I know :-( You can just rate it or click Like though :-)


Thanks for coming. I hope you like my birthday ecard !


AEDM2010 : Sketchbook Project page16-17


Something upset me yesterday and I couldn't focus on my work so I did these instead. I notice that even when I am in a bad mood, my drawing never shows the dark side of me. I guess my hand just works automatically on something that it already remembers. I wonder if I know how to draw something malicious, like bloody knife or killing scene, will this page look different?

Anyway, it lifted my spirit and today I'm feeling good again :-)

I love drawing black ink on brown paper. It's fun!


Book Beauty Monday 01 : Stephen Cartwright's the Usborne First Cookbook

I woke up this morning and wondered what art I would create today. Then, I saw books I just bought and thought, instead of showing my work, how about sharing other artist's art that inspired me?

I love reading but I wouldn't call myself a bookworm, book collector might be more appropriate. Half of books I own are still unread or unfinished. Most of them I bought because of their beauty. I love books with beautiful covers, good typo and lovely illustration inside will gain extra points. Literally, I judge a book by its cover first and the content comes later :-P. It's not all the time though. There are some books that I bought because of good writing too.

Today I'm going to show you my most favorite illustrated book of all time. I'm sure that, unless you already own this Usborne First Cookbook or even if you don't like cooking (like me), you would want to order it after seeing these super lovely sample pages !

Stephen Cartwright is one of the first names that I remembered when I started collecting children's books. There are so many of his works in the market that after a box full of his little picture books, I just give up collecting everything and focus on the most lovely instead.

I had a hard time choosing these pages. They all are so cute! The book has 72 pages altogether and each page contains 5-7 lovely illustrations that you can look at the wonderful tiny details all day.

Little cook team are working on deliciously looking quiche, diligently under the head chef's eyes :-)

This recipe is called Welsh rarebit, bread, cheese, mustard and tomatoes. I really want to try a piece!

Raisin flapjacks, looks nice.

How about a dish of spaghetti bolognese?

This is my favorite. Fish in breadcrumbs. Almost hear the sound of crunchy chewing :-)

See how they neatly chop up the vegetable !

Not a fan of muesli but this looks yummy :-)

Lovely iced spice biscuits!

I don't know what to say more. I just love it! (and hungry now :-P)

Since I enjoy writing this post so much, I decide to assign myself a little blogging project called, Book Beauty Monday. Basically, talking about beautiful illustration books. This is the first week. If you like this and think we have some similar taste, come back next Monday and see what I have more to show :-)

Thanks for coming. Happy Art Every Day Month and have a merry day!

PS I didn't do any art on Sunday but I think I can say I did do 'the art of idleness' LOL ;-P


AEDM2010 DAY08 : want to send an ecard?

design for ecard

Today I try doing this design template for pingg.com, a free online invitation web that opens for designers to contribute their work. It looks fun and I make this template for a test.

Please go to this page >>http://www.pingg.com/gallery/design/tea-time rate it and tell me what you think. You can send out the card to your friends if you'd like. It's pretty easy and fun !


AEDM2010 DAY07 : Sketchbook Project page 14-15


My illustration instructor once told me that pink was the perfect match with black. I agree with that but I think black can go well with every color anyway. It's the best background and typography in black always looks cool. But since it also looks too strong and generally gives negative feelings, I rarely use it in my job.

I just have a belated thought that what if we have black and white candy wraps that have hidden colors inside for Halloween Tricks or Treats? That must be fun for kids. Maybe, There's already been those kind of candies, I don't know :-P

I enjoy drawing this but, again, I think the details look just too much now :-(


AEDM2010 DAY06 : just a quick draw today

Have a merry day, will you?

A quick, quick draw for today. This little cute bear girl comes from one of my pencil doodles I did long time ago.

Thanks for all comments for previous posts. Hope you have a very happy merry day! :-)


AEDM2010 DAY05 : Sketchbook Project page12-13


Seriously, I'm beginning to wonder if I could part with this sketchbook when the time comes. I have never done a complete sketchbook before. I have lots of sketchbooks but only done in really rough sketches in pencil only, no colors, co collage. So, this book is quite special and I start to get possessive of it :-(

These sketches are not so neat. I drew and erased several times until I got this result. Totally love it and I do want to have the creative light bulb on my head ! :-)

These will be done digitally too, hope I can show them soon.


AEDM2010 DAY04 : Sketchbook Project page10-11


I love tea. I love coffee. I love Moleskin (but with thicker paper please)
And I love drawing without thinking ;-)
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