Sunday, 25 December 2011

vril garments by kukubal

there's so many things that i've learned in the recent months. never thought that leaving and quitting my job was a blessing in disguise.

i'm venturing into some other new things. things which alien to me. i'm learning entrepreneurship in depth. i formed my own company. i learned more about the game of business. market share, business model and strategies, pricing and so forth. never knew that i could have explored into these.

here are some updates on what i'm doing now. i'm now venturing into my long childhood dream business which is t-shirt business. i've been always a fan of fashion. i'm a shopaholic, not that bad but quite acute for a guy. i used to design and sell t shirts when i was young back in my malay college years. but now i'm doing this quite seriously.

some of my friends and relatives laughed at me when i told them i established my own company to sell t shirts. you know, can i make a living selling garments in the streets. but it's okay. i forgive them. i never really care about what people say or what people might think of me anyway. all i want to do is pursue my dreams and do things that i like, things that i love. as long as i'm happy. an answer to my so called early mid life crisis.

i've discovered so many business opportunities and factories that offers original equipment or services manufacturer in china. i've made some contacts and friends over there. i've studied about fabrics in depth. i even learned about fabric spun, blending and dye processing from friends in china, bangladesh and pakistan. seriously, there's bunch of new perspectives, a lot to be learned. who have ever thought that an engineer can get himself all drown into clothing business.

now, the next stage, the next step. i have the products, readily available. based on my market surveys. now i need business models, like where to sell them, who are my niche markets, what kind of people that i target most, the right price for right people, margins, balance sheet, capital turn over, return of investments, etc.

i'll start with the first batch of order. there are 4 of them. roundneck short sleeves t shirts, v neck short sleeves, round neck long sleeves, and v neck long sleeves. there are 5 colors available. the material chosen is 50% polyester 50% cotton blend. they call it CVC polycotton blend in textile industries. i made the designs myself. inspired by several favourite brands like zara, pull and bear, bershka, massimo dutti and etc. i really like inditex grupo, a clothing company from la coruna, spain who owns those brands. and american apparel, a clothing brand from the states who offers cool stuffs too.

i'll be launching my brand i.e. vril garments by january 2012, here in the kuala lumpur. inshAllah. we'll see how. will i survive in this rugged and jagged world of street business. the next batch will be women clothing and pique polo as additions to current products.

the key is patience. perseverance and keeping the flame burning. i'm really exploring both sides of my brain, using both sides since kukubal maju is a sole proprietary company. i'm all alone. the right side which is very much natural to me in designs, colors, networking with potential customers bla bla bla, while planning, costing, scheduling, risk calculation via the lefty. it's not easy, but this is the path i chose. i have to be patience, as i have a family to feed.

work smartly hard, pray and tawakkal. basic recipe for success :)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

gradually better

i've been playing with illustrator quite geeky lately. and i think i'm getting better and better at it. when i said better, i mean way better than i was last year.

here are my latest artworks produced fully using adobe illustrator. i used to created the smart object or shapes in illustrator then exported them into photoshop for further tweaks. but now, i can do it all in illustrator. it's not that hard actually once you figured it out :P

stay tune guys as more cool artworks are coming! oh, i love being just me! :)

Sunday, 4 December 2011


deriving from my previous water drops photography project, i decided to transfer my mesmerizing thoughts of them into an artwork that can be linked with another t-shirt design.

hence my new artwork called the waterfall. it is for mcoba weekend t-shirt design. there's a water pipe and a tab just at the back of the west wing with high pressure water coming out from it. we used to bath and do our laundry there since the water pressure was strong enough to cut down the queue or waiting idle time :P we call it the waterfall.

this is the artwork associated with it. it is not finalized yet. it is roughly finished in terms of the strokes but the colour or sizing of the artwork or the coverage or the font can still be tweaked around for better illustration or ease of public visualisation.

all in all, i think i kind of getting better and better with illustrator. things get easier for me now. strokes, expanding paths, creating objects and font editing. i think i can even create my own font in near future. give it a month or two and i'll nail it! so much of the enthusiasm ait? :P
my career transition consultant told me that i can use or switch between both sides of my brain any time that i want or feel like so. don't know whether that can be beneficial to me in terms of dollars :P i can be very right brainedly different kind of different as i am a natural right brainer anyway. i was born with it but i also picked up the lefty skills along the way in the form of experiences which make me unique. i graduated in engineering after all.

that's all for me now folks. i'm out.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

character of water

with all the necessary gadgets plus with the help from my nephew, i finally managed to capture water drops and their behaviour. very interesting indeed. such a simple natural gravity drop obeying the law of nature can be so intriguing.

here are some of the pictures i took.

i used my typical set up, cardboards, tapes, red pebbles from my mom's house decoration, her laundry whitening dye for the blueish purple-ish coloring and towel of course. my room was wet, splashes were everywhere. they gave quite of the character. the splashes the ripples. so many forms and directions. i had fun. really :)

the real challenge was the timing. it was all about timing. but after few tries you'll kinda get the idea. the rhythm. okay, next project will be smoke or light trail project. we'll see. until then, see you when when i see you :P

Thursday, 24 November 2011

more logos

kukubal maju enterprise comprises of few sections under it. part of it are the raster or photography and vector graphics sections. hence, more artstuffs, more artworks :)

this time i've created logos for both kukubal's photography and kukubal's artstuff. both logos will be embedded on all pictures or vector graphics soon to be published for a better security against web theft. i need to make them copyrighted or right reserved. sort of.

i call the artstuff logo for graphics, the "slanting swirls" and "shutter logo" for its photography compatriot. there might be some improvements in near future i warn you as these are finalized yet.

i might print these as a business card or poster or something.

anyway, you are more than welcomed to chip in and give some comments. thanks in advance.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

logo designing

remember when i told you in previous post that i wasn't in a rush to come out with a logo for kukubal maju? well, i lied :P i couldn't resist myself from working on it intensively.

so here is my first design proposal. i call it the "cool tree" logo. it represents me as a whole. why tree? well, i've always like to link trees with human character. the roots are the characters or values. the branches are the behaviours portrayed. in order to have good or balanced living we need strong roots. something like that.

the sort of like creeping up branches are symbolic to the word rising or getting better or growing. suitable for the word "maju" which means success in malay.

furthermore, here is the improved version of 1905 from the previous post. this is to be printed on yellow t-shirt for the pavillioners or those old boys from mohd shah house. i've improved the edges on both the end of number one and five to give it more balanced kinda look. i've also moved the since wording to the upper left corner to give it a more meaningful "since 1905" wording chronology.

more designs coming. stay tuned! :)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

kukubal maju enterprise

i have decided to pursue my long life passion in graphic arts. and my new project is to set up my own t-shirt printing company. i have registered an official company under my name. kukubal maju enterprise. it's a sole proprietorship company and it has a current account opened under its name :)

why maju? it's a good word for success in malay and hopefully will be a constant prayer everytime people mention it. i know it might sounds like a retail shop. but i have my own reasons for it :P

my first design will be for next year's MCOBA weekend celebration. usually some old boys will come and set up booths to sell merchandise. this time around i think i want to participate by selling my own t-shirts or maybe some other form of merchandises.

here is my first design. i will come out with more designs, probably another 3 or 4 of them.

the artwork is called "since 1905". the malay college was formed by a group of malay rulers back in the 1905 with the help from some british academicians, hence the name. school of kings and leaders :P

i'm still in the midst of designing my company's logo. trying to come out with something catchy, something worth remembering yet simple, so simple that people will straightly know that it's me just in a glance. very personalized and institutionalized. and i'm not in a rush for this. hope i can be successful in this. doing something that i love. always have :)

Friday, 11 November 2011

shrunken world

i bought a new lens. i had always wanted to learn how to capture small and tiny living things. so i decided to buy myself a macro lens. i didn't buy the original canon made lens but i bought a tamron 90mm f2.8 macro 1:1 instead. much much cheaper but it offers almost the same performance as other lens within its specifications.the lens can take portraits too. so it's like two in one kinda lens.

the next morning, i woke up early and went out to my mom's small garden within our porch in search for any insects to be photographed. so here are some of my captures. my d├ębut photos in macro. i think i kinda fell in love with macro photography already :) it's like zooming and shrinking myself into their world. their tiny world. reminds me of the lame movie (it wasn't that lame back in the 90's) honey i shrunk the kids. lol!

p/s : for better resolution, click on both pictures for a better viewing. or you can go to my flickr page. thanks in advance! :)

Friday, 4 November 2011


i've been listening to matt nathanson's new single entitled faster. i really really like the song. it's fun, the beat, the melody and the lyrics. they combined really well. reminds me of his previous hit called come on get higher. i think he writes good melodies. and he sings well too!

anyway, i've been practising the guitar and try to sing it simultaneously. it's quite hard actually, especially to hit the right notes plus maintaining the groove :) maybe one day, i'll post it here, when i'm ready. of course. i don't want to embarrass myself in front of the whole world. definitely not here :P

here's a video clip of matt singing it live. he rocks, does he? :) what a fun song to sing!

Monday, 31 October 2011


i went to my baby sister's convocation yesterday. my mission was to take pictures, and to be there for the family. rarely for me :)

despite the blessing to be with family, occasion and the fun, somehow i could say it ended with tragedy. blame on the landscape, i fashionably, recklessly jumped and tripped myself by heavy landing on my both knees, to save my camera from breaking. what's with Malaysia's universities and hilly terrain landscapes!?

i hurt myself quite badly, torn pants on both knees, my shades dented, my camera scratched, nasty cuts everywhere, bleeding like hell, and list went on and on.

i guess, that's the price for being lazy to follow along the provided walkway. i could have done better. seriously. but lesson learnt.

anyway here are some of the picture i took.
my dad. with artificial noise (grainy effect) added to give more drama of a proud father in his smile :)
my mom. first class kiss from first class graduate.

and another blow on my aunt's cheek! she's a kisser, didn't she?! :)

Monday, 24 October 2011

singing birds

look at how far rozio's angry birds have come. from a 2D games to merchandise to a complete irresistible thing in the society now. it's like everybody is playing angry birds via mobile phones nowadays.

so i've decided to come out with my own version of angry birds. sort of. i thought why not start a new vector project in illustrator. but for me being angry is not good. so i decided to name them singing birds instead. i think they are not angry anymore, right? hihi.

so here are the artworks completed for the time being via my newly installed adobe illustrator and photoshop cs5. enjoy! :) maybe one day i'll commercialize my singing birds into merchandises like t-shirts and mugs of myself :P

Monday, 17 October 2011

self portraits

i couldn't sleep. so i thought why not try to photograph myself. i used RAW format for ease of editing with maximum exif data retained by the camera processor.

again, using white cardboard, my tripod, in my bedroom's total darkness, so dark that the lens couldn't find anything to focus on so i used my guitar pick as proxy focus point, my speedlite flash and an ikea stand lamp as artificial illuminations, tapes and now, me. after minor tweaks in adobe lightroom, here are the results. i know it's not much and those probably mediocre shots for some of you or perhaps all of you but, it's a good start. i think. and boy, i had fun, at least :)

room for improvements? of course, always will be. i need more gadgets. i need (want actually is the right word) soft box(s) and studio lamp(s)! greedy mode on! hahaha!

Friday, 14 October 2011

mini studio

i have been playing with different settings and lighting set up with kenny in my room. so i decided to set up sort of like a budget mini studio in my own bedroom using two stand lamps, white cardboard, black cardboard, tapes and my side table.

here are some samples of picture that i took after pre processing in adobe lightroom and then exported them into adobe photoshop for few tweaks before getting published. all in all, the shots were okay in my standard but i found it difficult to get pure white background and i struggled to adjust the white balance in lightroom. the backgrounds are all greyish sort of color. and it's killing me! haha.

next project is going to be human potraits with really white background. lego trucks and playstation joystick are relatively easy to photograph as they lack emotion hence scarce of moments. i need to capture more moments, of living things. first, i need a model and few light sources in order to illuminate the background. wish me luck then.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

fresh start

there is it. that is it. i left PETRONAS. today is my last day. i just surrendered my staff ID card, the laptop and my medical card. today, i voluntarily ceased my employment with the company where i've worked for the past five years. i ended it today.

why did i left? so many people keep asking the same questions again and again. there's a long list of reasons behind it. now, i am comfortable to talk about it, literally. since i am no longer with the company, i think i have the edge, the platform to be able to discuss about it. i left because i wanted an escape, a great escape from what bothered me. the never ending fire fighting. i constantly struggle to motivate myself to perform. i found it difficult to pull myself together and drive towards operational excellence. i left, because i want a fresh start. a new place, somewhere else where i can start all over again. learn new things. i needed a new challenge. i was getting complacent and getting dull. i need to see new things. new puzzles to solve.

i left because i think it's high time for me to move. five years in one place is too long they say. maybe. perhaps i should have opted for new windows a lot sooner but two or three years back was different. things were different back then and certainly change took place now, permits me to move. i was inexperienced. i was a lot younger, naive and full of temperaments back then. but now, things changed. not to say that i'm wise now, but i think i've done a good job with self development and i am more compose now, a lot tactful in my behavior. i have experiences in lot of things, be it in operations or management and entrepreneurship.

so i think the time has come for me to open my windows of options in order to find new boxes of better stuffs. better offers, better jobs both in terms of monetarily and growth. sam said, life is all about opening the boxes. there's plenty of different boxes out there for us to discover and waiting for us to be opened. if we open the right box, we will get the most of it, and the most of us.

now, let's talk about what's next. for the time being, while i am in job hunting, i am going all out in pursuing my long life hobby, photography and graphic designs. i am starting to market myself, promoting a total thorough solutions of services. for different levels of clients out there. ranging from photography, graphics, photo editing, wedding photos, outdoor photos, baby photos, family and family event photos, commercial graphic works like menu, company profile and the list goes on. will i find myself a new job? sure, i want to. but this time i am going to be very selective about my options. i want to do something where i can leverage my skills, my strengths, my repertoires. probably strategic planning, or business development or stuff like that. my forte is i'm good with meeting people. so i want to take advantage of that.

what else? pursue further studies is an option. i think MBA is a good tools for me to be well equipped if want to be a good strategic business planner. self entrepreneur is also an option. a laundry business do sounds good. i don't know so many things in my mind. i just need to sit back and carefully assess all the options available.

nevertheless, to keep me going, i've already started my graphic and photography marketing. some extra cash is always good :)

so if you need any graphic or someone to take your picture in any occasions be it in a wedding, birthday party, outdoor family get together, anything, just call me. and rates can be liberally negotiated.

until then, i am out. pray for my success, please. the new journey, new beginning starts today. and i am all opened, ready for a fresh start!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

seasoning seasonal me

i went back to JB last weekend to visit my in laws. there's this remark that my wife gave that somehow lingers in my head until now. she said that i'm seasonal. i like to get involved in many things but slowly i will find myself phased out. hurmm~

let's us see what is happening now. i kind of agree on her that my blog is running cold lately for the past few months. but it is not seasonal. it is just that i am so busy with work that i hardly find time to write and to update.

she also said that my photography life is dying and my kenny is getting dusty, since i have new mate now, my Playstation 3. she complained even those pictures taken during our Hong Kong trip last June were not uploaded. not even in facebook! :) ya, i admit on that. i was so lazy to go through the hustle of uploading and editing pictures.

i have not been on any golf course for nearly over three months now. i have stop working out regularly. less sit ups, less bicep curls. less jogs. no futsal games. i sleep less, playing video what is really happening to me and what is happening now? the answers are, i simply don't know.

what i know now, sleep and video games are all that matter. hehe. i am so exhausted, worn out and lazy nowadays. after all i have been through past months. i call this lazy months. my wife call it mid life crisis! :P well, i'm not sure about any crisis but, i surely think a lot lately. about many things. so many things going on in my head. pounding. and it hurts. that's why i laid back a lot and in reluctant mode most of the times.

so am i really that seasonal kind of person? who lacks the follow through and consistency? or am i just plain seasoning and tired? probably both. but knowing me, i always bounce back and rejuvenate. but it will take sometimes. i hope it's going to be soon. i found it very hard to motivate myself and somehow self driving motivation is tricky the seasoning seasonal me.

Monday, 16 May 2011

a story behind the selling

i sold my old lenses last week. two of them. one, my old "kit lens" canon EFS 18-55mm with IS and two, my zoom lens canon EF 75-300mm USM III. i posted them in the internet via and would you believe it? i never thought i would do it either. but it really caught me in surprises. really.

it was amazing how quickly and how effective this internet marketing can be. it took them only few minutes to text and call me. and the most surprising thing ever was, it only took me one day to sell both lenses. after both buyer handed me the cash, i said to myself " man, that was quick"..

what really went right back then? was it the coverage that the internet covers, the real time basis of the marketing, or was it the price tags that i posted were too low that caught most attentions? i simply don't know. maybe all those played their respective roles. 50 texts and few calls..all asking on the availability for both lenses. until today! well, guys, sorry, both lenses sold! :)

now lets talk about the buyer. both of them are very young, still new in the business, relatively and both of them are still studying. what? how on earth you guys can afford to buy dslr while studying? it's either their parents are rich enough to pamper their kids with gadgets and toys or, it's purely, the excitement, the passion that drives them.

now, what really touched my heart was, that both boys don't even have any other lens other than what they bought from me. and one of them just bought the body, it was canon 1000d i think, and it took him months to be able to purchase, a second hand kit lens. i said what? how would you going to take pictures without a lens? he said, patience brother, patience. and one of them did, took the trouble to ask me, what is it to feel like being able to buy brand new stuffs?

gosh, i whispered to myself. it's like a hard flash back on what i used to be. i used to be broke most of the times. it was hard back then when i was in the college and during my university days. i used to fast in order to save money and minimize my expenditure. i grew up in a moderate family. now i remember. i remembered it all..

life is changed. i changed mine and the whole family. i bought a house for my parents. i paid my car already. i don't have credit cards as i don't rely on one. the only debts i have are my house and a personal loan. but what is it so important other than this? this all lavishness? does money guarantees happiness? well, artificial one for sure, and money helps. a lot. but it is not everything.

now, from the lesson of selling the lenses, i learned that not everybody is lucky. not everyone can climb up this far. some people just whithered. hope fades away, consumed by needs and necessities. and i learnt that, in this life, i must give. give back. in order to blossom. to bring back meaning in it. contribute, sharing, help others. that are things i want to do. my sister said that i have all the talents that i can share with others. why not? maybe photography, those artworks can be a good start. self motivation is also my thing and maybe i can do something about it. you know, to help others.

but a part of me inside keep asking, how sure can i be to help others? does it going to work? how would people perceive me? since i am far from perfection, what makes i think i can help other people's life?

well, those are mean questions. but being mean does not necessarily kills. i am mean, i was mean though. but i am not proud of it. i learned from it, from being mean to self mastery. and marks, the maturity. sometimes i miss those people who helped me going through the process of change. the painful steps that i took. the bitter words, the etch, the tears, the heart and the me.

p/s : the picture above has nothing to do with the story.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

new eyes

yes, my kenny just got a brand new pair of lenses later last week. i had a deep dilemma whether to buy a new body to replace status quo kenny or, to buy lens(es) instead.

after weeks of contemplating and reviewing, i've decided that full frame body in the likes of 5D mark II is way beyond my cash flow capabilities while 7D was a huge temptation especially with 19 focus points equipped with new processor but not just yet this time.

thus, in order to fulfill my hunger for new challenges and excitements when it comes to photography, i needed to overcome kenny's limitation. constant aperture and focal length were the two items identified. hence, came the two new lenses.

let me introduce my new wide angle lens. tokina 11-16mm with f2.8. i wanted a wide angle lens after series of frustration to capture great architectural sceneries, group photos in narrow spaces and landscape with maximum coverage. the constant aperture of 2.8 is a bonus. we don't really need that wide of aperture for wide angle lenses anyway. but i'm sure it will do much advantage when it comes to low light condition.

then, i come to justify my purchasing of my new "kit lens" replacing the old canon 18-55mm lens. tamron 28-75mm with f2.8. i'm so thrilled with this lens. it offers just about the coverage i want when it comes to focal length. it can do portraits as well since it can be stretched to such low depth of field, hence good bokeh. again, f stop 2.8 factor comes handy :) and also, it can be fitted onto a full frame 35mm body, incase i want to upgrade to full frame in near future. so all in all, i'm satisfied with my new lenses.

i wanted to buy canon brand lens but the budget is rather a constraint. third party lenses have their disadvantages but they do have few pros. and the value for money is the outstanding one, i have to agree with that. they are relatively cheaper but the performances portrayed are not bad at all for third party lenses. seriously.

i hope these new eyes for kenny can boost up its function and show me what it really can offer. with a circular polarizer filter and a natural density 8 filter, i know we all can do wonders in future endeavors! here are some of my recently captured. blurred all the way :) for better pixel and clearer viewing, click on each of the pictures below.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

twenty eight and counting

twenty eight and on and on and onwards. yes, almost three decades. twenty eight is simply can no longer be round out down to 25. sigh.

last Monday was my twenty eighth birthday. i received quite a number of wishes from friends and family members. but nothing can match up the essentialness of my wife's effort to celebrate me and my sign of ageing day.

for the first time in my life, someone wrote and read me a poem about how she feels about me. man, i was so touched by her effort. speechless. she even read it in front of almost 30 friends of mine last weekend when me and my MCKK brothers had a small "family" gathering. you know, with wifes and kids around. but of course, i played cool about it. but deep inside i'm all healed. hence, the warm hug i gave her after she finished her last line, which rhymed inadvertently with former lines.

but birthdays will always be birthdays. meaningless if we don't sit back and reflect on our achievement or improvement throughout the preceding year. as a matter of fact, birthday is the right time to look back, just right on the dot. the timing couldn't be any perfect than that.

i looked back on what i've achieved when the number was still 27. honestly, signing a life partner was the hype of the year and probably one of the best thing ever happened through out my entire life. god, i am so grateful to you that Firdaus's path and mine crossed.

anyway, here are some pictures taken during our little family day at FRIM, Kepong last weekend, held in conjuction with the closing ceremony for our tenth years anniversary celebration. well, it was a good outdoor hang out,with good food, with best friends around, kids around and most of all, with my wife around :) enjoy~

group photos..boys only =P

group photos together with wifes and kids :)

managed to sing along our glorious used to be cheering song entitled "istana kuning" back when we were in form five :P

the poem she wrote..

she read it..quite bluntly loud :P but i love it, every single line of it..

the hug, my appreciation gesture :)

naughty boy :P

make up competition..i think Firdaus had her revenge well taken :P

and boys will always be boys..hehe :P