Hong Kong Tag

I’m back at home now and I honestly can’t believe four months in Hong Kong has come to an end. During my time in Hong Kong I met some amazing people who helped me along the way when I needed it and I’m extremely grateful for it. I hope to cross paths again with those I met even if it was a short period of time.

My mini adventure made me realise that I can look after myself, though it was tough at times, I saw through it and came out stronger. Living abroad really takes you out of your comfort zone and can test your resilience to deal with certain situations (plus people). I was pretty stressed out for a couple of months- so I had to see a counsellor about it- but looking back in hindsight I don’t think I would do things differently as I feel like a changed person- for the better. It was something I set out to do for years and now that I’ve achieved a personal goal it feels bloody good!

As the start to the new year I designed some new business cards, which reflects a new style of work I’m totally loving at the moment. This year I want to be more positive about things and to take it a little slower.



Lets all do a merry dance and hope 2014 will bring everyone happiness and success.

Yes, we went to Disney! It's a pretty stumpy looking castle, no?!

Yes, we went to Disney! It’s a pretty stumpy looking castle, no?!

The weather is gradually changing day by day. Its started to get a lot cooler so I’ve had to don my mac; albeit nowhere near as cold as the UK, but it’s been pretty chilly- 19ºc today!  Sorry for the lack of updates. My brother and my friend came to visit me, so I was busy for the past two weeks doing lots of fun things with them. I also met up with Carne Griffiths the other week as he currently has a solo exhibition at Above Second Gallery in Sheung Wan. And Sam is coming to visit in a few weeks time (yay!) and then I’m off back to the UK. So I’ve got about five weeks left to try and cram as much stuff in before I leave.

I can’t believe my time in Hong Kong is nearly coming to and end. It’s been testing at times, filled with emotions, met some amazing people along the way, made me more independent than I ever thought I was capable of. Living on my own was one of the biggest things to overcome as I’ve always lived in a household with more than one person. So to have my own company was weird at first, but eventually I got used to it and I do appreciate having my own space (in my tiny flat).

But do you know what? I miss my home comforts! I can’t live without cheese and bread for any longer now! I will probably be on a cheese binge when I get back… I’m not sure what my plans are when I get back. I’m going to move back to London and start looking for jobs again; probably something in the speech and language area. I also want to continue to do volunteering work as my time at The Nesbitt Centre has been extremely rewarding and invaluable.

I’ve been documenting about my teaching experience for the past few weeks over at Ho Yan in Hong Kong.  I decided to keep it separate mainly because it has nothing to do with illustration, but also if potential clients want to know a bit more about me then they can see what I’ve been up to.

I think Hong Kong is a good place to get teaching experience, however, I think it depends entirely on what you want to gain from it. Before I came to Hong Kong, I applied to loads of places but I never heard back from them partly because I wasn’t even in Hong Kong; so why would they even hire me, which is totally understandable. I don’t regret it though as I’ve been able to see other schools and language centres.

My only gripe has been with language centres. I wrote about it here  and had a bit of a rant about it. By the way, they’re my own opinions and not an overall generalisation as I’m sure there are amazing language centres who treat and respect their staff like normal human beings. So today I worked at a local language centre as they said they’d give me an hours break, fine, even though it was from 9-6pm. When I actually saw the schedule for the day no break was mentioned. I asked about it and one of the staff told me there are no breaks on Saturdays; so they pretty much lied to me. I worked from 9-6pm without a lunch break or a short 10 minute break in between each of the sessions. This is going to sound really unprofessional, but I had to have my lunch whilst I was teaching. You would never do that in a teaching environment, I mean, it just looks unprofessional. But what was I supposed to do? They even told me to eat really quickly before the sessions had started… urgh. I was pretty pissed off at this point. Apologies if I sound mega negative! May be I’m having bad luck with language centres!

I really don’t want to put anyone off as I believe that if you want to gain more experience working with group work, then great. But I think private tutoring is another route to go with if you want to make extra money. I’m tutoring at the moment and I love it as I control over what I want to teach, plus the flexibility is excellent as it fits around my schedule. I do feel more prepared during my sessions; I like doing one to one work as you get to know your students a lot better.

Anyway, I’d like to hear your thoughts about it. Are you currently teaching abroad? Or are you planning on moving soon? Whats your experience been like so far?

Today I was supposed to be at The Nesbitt Centre for my volunteering work. Somehow, I had completely forgotten it was ‘Golden Week’, which means the students get to go out and do fun stuff. I wasn’t updated about it so I turned up at the centre and nobody was in! I spent about half an hour trying to get in contact with the co-ordinator so I decided to have a wander around Sheung Wan.

I had read about The Crafties from an article by Sassy Hong Kong (I love it by the way!), so I decided to check it out since I was around the area. I thought I would never bother with illustration as I assumed I wouldn’t have the time for it, funnily enough being here has inspired me to make new work.

The Crafties

The Crafties is a studio space, co-working space, shop; a place for creativeness. The space itself is lovely, homely and very cosy. Bearing in mind space in Hong Kong is a rarity so I was really taken aback when I walked in! My flat in Fanling is really small so sometimes it feels quite claustrophobic; not an environment you want to be working in especially if work space is limited. I was thinking about hiring out a desk for a day or so during the week, which is perfect as it’ll work around my work schedule.

Lots of lovely things for sale!

Lots of lovely things for sale!

The Crafties sell craft supplies as well as handmade products by local artists and designers. They also hold regular workshops from screen printing, knitting classes to lantern making. I asked Sky, who runs The Crafties, about the screen printing workshops and she said that the guy who runs them can do private group workshops (by appointment of course). I really want to do some small runs of screen prints so if anyone wants to join me feel free to get in touch!

Loving the displays.

Loving the displays.

The perfect place for a meet-up and a coffee or two.

The perfect place for a meet-up and a coffee or two.

I also asked Sky about holding a pop-up exhibition as I’ve been looking into it and she said that it was do able; providing I give them a bit more information as I was really vague at that point. I think it would be really nice to have a solo exhibition before I leave Hong Kong (not long now, two months to go!)

Address: 1/F, Sing Kui Commercial Building, 27 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan.



I’ve been busy with some new work over the past couple of days. I’m making new cards and prints for Dave’s shop (for Christmas) so I’m trying to get everything done as soon as possible. Since I’ve stopped looking for full-time work I feel a lot more relaxed now, hence being more productive with illustration. Doing something different and experiencing new things each day has been motivating, inspiring and has pushed my creativity and energy into making new pieces of work.

At the moment, I’ve been using SketchBook Express, which isn’t as good as Photoshop in my opinion, but it’s free so for now I’ll just have to put up with it! I’ve also resorted to using Pages to print my cards out… yup, improvising to the max here! There’s been a few wee obstacles in the way but I’ve managed to overcome them.

In other news, I’ll be volunteering at The Nesbitt Centre in Sheung Wan twice a week  as I need more experience working with adults with learning disabilities and communication difficulties. I’m currently applying for a place at City University London!

So the next few months I’ll be keeping myself busy with lots of things!