08052017: Gaucho Pants

Still suffering with assignments (actually, I’m down to my last for the semester, but I’ve finals to worry about).

Here’s a quick update! I recently bought a pair of gaucho pants, which I’ve been wanting for ages. Friends and family who have known me will know me as the type who is averse to long pants; it’s always shorts or skirts or dresses, and the closest to long pants I ever get is leggings. There’s no reasoning behind the aversion. Maybe I unconsciously want to show off my nice (debatable) legs.

But anyway!! I’m a Big Fan. Of gaucho pants. They are extremely versatile, and add instant flair to an outfit that would otherwise look bland (as you can see in the above illustration). Plus they look like something I could see myself wearing in the next decade, which is great as my wardrobe is undergoing a paradigm shift of sorts. Much of my clothes came from my teens – with some pieces existing since I was 14! So as of now, I’m done with bright hipster patterns and prints, and moving towards something that is minimalist, but with high impact and versatility. By that I mean basic-looking pieces that have flattering cuts, are multi-purpose and worth their value in the long run. Dress-down and dress-up flexibility is key.

I still adore the fashion of my youth: cute playful prints, bright colours, and quirky designs. It’s a WIP choosing which pieces to let go, and becoming aware of how my teen taste affects my clothing purchase. Like, yes, patterns can be bought, but they are more subtle and subdued now. Things like that.

The wardrobe, just like I am, is maturing into its twenties.

1052017: Outfit of the Day + Life Update

I’m still going!

Or at least, I’m trying.

I haven’t updated as much as I would like; that’s because it’s that time of year when assignments come descending (like locusts!) into what were once idyllic campuses. Boring details: I’ve back-to-back assignments due each week, and finals after that, in addition to juggling my webcomic project, prepping for the Camino (more on that soon), and maintaining my art#brand. It’s great to be a struggling millennial.

Updates for the blog:

  1. I went to LuxBite a while ago, as well as a Riverside dessert fair as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, so those are two dessert run entries I’ll post when I am free from assignment hell.
  2. The Connoisseur Humanist now has an official Facebook page! Follow me there!

Updates for the Very Important Project, the Camino:

In a couple of months I’ll be embarking on the first of my major adventures for The Connoisseur Humanist: the Camino de Santiago. It’s a very significant trip to me – not only will it be the first of many things (my first time travelling to Europe on my own (well, with my cousin, but still), my first in Spain, and my first camino) – but it’s a milestone of a personal nature. For 9 years I’ve been itching to follow the Way of Saint James, ever since I learned about it and what it meant. It was a pull so strong it was like a calling. On a whim – during one of my strongest moments of instability at both a personal and global scale – I went carpe diem and bought the tickets.

That’s why I started the Connoisseur Humanist. It is definitely a blog about general travelogue things and a way of forcing myself to sketch often, but the main reason of its existence is to catalogue this camino. I know there are a lot of camino blogs out there, all of them are beautiful and amazing, and I am merely a fish in a big wide ocean. But in a way that a fish hopes to continue swimming and leaving a legacy, I hope my approach – conveying my experience through art and graphic narratives a la The Road Well Travelled – will bring a fresh take to the camino experience, and if successful, it’s something I would like to carry on into further adventures.

I suppose, my first Camino will be the first story I’ll tell in The Connoisseur Humanist series.

Get ready for some updates later in May (after assignments). I’m excited.

Catch up with yall soon.


18042017: The Road Well Travelled

The Road Well Travelled – a short comic about realising you’ve gone on the wrong path, and pursuing your truth.

A lot of things happened in the past few months that destabilised many of my beliefs. Particularly how I thought that if I followed a certain path, and did what my family told me would guarantee the best outcome (based on their experience), my future will be secure. But now I’ve realised that nothing is guaranteed – the world is changing, in so many ways, and no one can say for certain if the things they know now will be applicable or exist later on. So if the future of the well-travelled path is not guaranteed, then why stops me from changing direction, and to walk my own path instead?

This comic was a product of catharsis, me trying to rationalise my thoughts. I don’t know how good these words are, but it did a lot for me, and I hope it does for someone else too, in the same situation.

12032017: Donut and Beer Fest, Melbourne

There is a God out there, and He has heard my prayers and granted my wish.

The first ever Donut (and Beer) Festival in Australia just happened last Sunday! I absolutely love donuts – I always get them whenever I go on a dessert run. To find out by chance that a festival all about donuts (especially ones that I can’t get because their shops are too far away) was coming practically right down the street, made me feel an excitement so body-tingling that I hadn’t experienced since Josh Groban’s last visit here.

I waited an hour under 30 degrees (Celcius) sunshine just to get in. That is how far I’m willing to go to get these delicious little doughboys in my mouth.

Donut cupcakes from Cupcake Central (one of two favourite cupcake shops, which will have its own post soon!)

It’s too hot to put fried food in your mouth but…


I missed getting these; I was really excited for them! 🙁

Hehe, behind the scenes.

26022017: Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival

Uni starts again tomorrow (good god, where did the time go?). Normally I would stay home – like I had been for the past few days – because I need a lot of time by myself to mentally prepare for socialisation. BUT I’m also serious about this travelogue project, and I needed to get out more anyway, and use those shoes, and not be a sad and isolated hermit.

So off I went, for the sake of TCH, to the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival (website).

The city frequently hosts multicultural events – showcasing the art, dances, music, crafts and (most importantly) the food -, which highlights the diversity and international appeal of Melbourne. That’s what I love most about living here; just as in Malaysia, there’s a celebration of multiculturalism, and a kind of welcome to tourists and residents alike to explore and support a different culture. You can always come in freely to Fed Square and try Sri Lankan food, or purchase some Indonesian crafts, or whatever that’s happening.

The only difference was that back home (Malaysia) our celebration of multiculturalism is…normalised? We celebrate and recognise each other’s holidays, and when Chinese New Year, or Ramadan, or Divali comes it’s a long event by itself – in the wet markets, in the malls, in the radio, in our houses – and it permeates everyone’s daily living for a while like a relative coming in for a visit. It’s quite mundane actually. It’s not like in Melbourne where a culture is confined into its own space most of the time – quiet and unseen- and only once a year for a day they go public. Not that there’s anything wrong. It’s just an observation of difference. Between a loud and quiet person.

Anyway to return to the present, while I thought it was good I went out, I immediately regretted it. 28 degrees celsius never felt warmer, especially more so when you’re shuffled along in a tight pack of people and waiting in long lines trying to get food and water. Can’t imagine the folks working behind the teriyaki stalls, trapped in smoke and heat. Bless them.

I ate some food though. Had an unlucky purchase with a ramune bottle (still unopened). I got donuts and I went home after that to get away from the heat. Not that I would be spared – the next few days are going to be a scorcher. 33 C, 34 C, all that.

Of course, the heatwave had to happen during my first week of uni. What did I expect?

21022017: Sketch

I went to the city today to socialise – in addition to being The Connoisseur Humanist, I’m a Connoisseur Introvert – and I’m glad I did. The weather was perfect today. Cool and sunny, without being too sweaty. It’s the kind of weather you appreciate and wish there was more of in Melbourne – the city of mood swings (one day 35 C and sizzling, the next 12 C and storming, and sometimes, in one day!).

I’m still experimenting with the format of this travelogue. I’m confused because it seems like I’m the only one who plans to do a travelogue the way I’m doing now – sketches and drawings, with notes and prose underneath. It’s usually one or the other. And if it’s both, it’s usually PHOTOGRAPHS, not drawings or sketches. I suppose the format will find me one day (hopefully before the Camino), but for now, I apologise if everything’s a mess and inconsistent.


15022017: The Crux & Co


Today is my birthday! It’s a pretty simple affair – some cakes, some reading and then The Book of Mormon tonight.

I dropped by one of my new favourite cafes – The Crux & Co – yesterday to treat myself to some birthday cakes (small, cute, and just the right level of sweet).

They have a branch (the original) at South Melbourne, and I haven’t been there yet. This little one – just a little way down Little Collins St, nearby the Windsor Hotel and Parliament House – is just as nice. It’s cozy, it’s airy, it’s coloured in yellow and white and decked with all sorts of greenery. It makes a nice place to sit and have a coffee – close to the hustle and bustle of the CBD but far enough to offer peace and quiet.

But the atmosphere of a place is always secondary (or more precisely, a bonus point) whenever I visit a restaurant or a cafe. The main thing – always, forever – is the FOOD. The DESSERT. I came here for the eclairs originally – small and aesthetic finger bites, and they have a huge array of colours and flavours. I would recommend trying at least one. They are pretty good. But what satisfies me – in terms of price (as a uni student) and gastronomical fulfillment – are their cakes.

They are round deliciousness – with all the cakes I’ve tried so far they share a subtle sweetness. No element is too overpowering. And they are all cute! Well designed! What I like most overall is their hazelnut cake. I suppose the note I’ve written in the drawing is adequate in describing why personally it is above the rest.

Dessert Run draws: the eclairs, the cakes, the crogels (not drawn; Croissant Bagels) and the absolutely adorable matcha latte.

Zomato: https://www.zomato.com/melbourne/crux-co-patisserie-cbd

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecruxandco/

Website: http://www.thecruxandco.com.au/

14022017: first post



This is the first post of this new travelogue project I’m embarking. The Connoisseur Humanist has gone through several iterations since I thought of the name itself, but I think this is its final form? It’s in line now with me as a person and a storyteller (an artist and a writer). Drawn content is something I can easily provide – it’s a lot less daunting than writing – and now with an iPad, it could not get any easier.

I’m going to try, for the whole of 2017, to return to sketchbooking. I haven’t done it in years, and not as frequently as I should. It’ll just be of simple things: drawings of food, of places, of people, etc. I’m going to document where I’m currently living a lot more intimately. So that’s my first travelogue: about Melbourne.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’ll post a couple of things (a recipe and a dessert review) later.