Confessions of a researchaholic

July 18, 2018

First drawing lesson meeting

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:34 pm

Had my first drawing lesson meeting today. The master said that if I really want to learn how to draw, I need more practices. Thus, we will have weekly outdoor sessions to draw landscapes. I have focused on individual static objects so far to reduce information overload, but the master said I can choose individual objects from outdoors.

I hope this will (finally) exert enough external forces to drive me practice drawing. If this goes well maybe we will try to invite more people to start a drawing club.

What I learned today: start with physical instead of digital drawings, buy and carry sufficiently small physical sketch pads (my previous one was gigantic whose mobility issue triggered me to draw digitally), use clay-like deformable erasers for more flexibility.

Drawing tools

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

July 15, 2018


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:27 pm

I drew this one in about 10 minutes, and the result was bad, as expected.
It appears that for maximum drawing performance, I need to be in a situation when I have nothing else to do for a lengthy period, e.g. stuck in an airport or Wi-Fi-less cafe.

Download (DOCX, 222KB)

July 12, 2018

Art mentor

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:42 pm

Sketching has been my personal interest, and now also part of my job as stepping into artists’ shoes can help me build better authoring tools. But I simply have not spent enough time practicing.

Thus, I have asked Daichi Ito, who kindly agreed to be my art mentor.
(My dad is also an artist, but he is too far away to drive my practice.)

I will focus on sketching for now as that is the fundamental art form (analogous to piano for music). I plan to take the well-advised steps: draw what I see, draw what I remember, and draw what I imagine.

July 9, 2018

The most senior TA in history?

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:54 pm

Today I volunteered to be a TA for a c++ coding workshop hosted for Adobe interns.

Intern coding workshop

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

Some fun facts to put things into context and perspective:

The last time I was a TA is year 1996.

I have taught an introductory c++ class in HKU for 5 semesters, which also contains lab workshops for hands-on experience. The class has 100+ students per semester, and I usually have 3 PhD students for TA.
This workshop has around 30+ students and we have 5 full-time employees for TA.

What remains the same is my basic observation that personality and attitude are more important than technical skill. The most important thing is never giving up. How fast you can finish the assignments is less important than whether you continue to tackle the problems until they are all resolved.

June 27, 2018

Project pivot versus switch

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:03 pm
Tags: ,

When we get stuck in a project, the issues could lay on the project or us.
For the former, switching to a different project might help.
For the latter, we should fix our own issues as otherwise no project will work out.

It is not always clear where the issues are.
But if someone keeps on switching projects, it could be a sign of individual instead of project issues.

Even if a project does not work out, it is usually better to pivot by continuous transforming the ideas during progress, instead of discontinuous switch to a separate project without coherence.

Download (SVG, 8KB)

June 24, 2018

Perceptual reality

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 11:41 am

I am fascinated by how Rene Magritte challenged our visual perception with his paintings.
A canvas in front of a window may seem transparent, and a receding boulevard might look like a tower.

June 18, 2018

Tour of hell

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 11:54 am

According to the guided tool of hell in SF Asian art museum, what we experienced during our journey to hell is a synthesis of our own (negative) thinking and experiences accumulated during our life time, such as desires and regrets. To get out of the hell, we need to free our own minds.

I stood there thinking what kind of hell I would go through, and I counted (1) not spending enough time with people I care and (2) failing to fully realize my abilities to benefit others.

June 11, 2018

Principles by Ray Dalio

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:14 am

Highly recommend; whether you like his methodology can reflect what kind of person you are. I suspect his people are either very rational or have tools to help control emotions.

June 10, 2018

If I have done everything I can live with the result

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:44 pm

For me, the most enjoyable moment for this year’s NBA playoff is when GSW was down 3-2 to HOU instead of when they won the championship.

June 9, 2018


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:34 am
Tags: ,

Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade;
Someone with my genetics and psychology will probably never understand;
I will just Kublai everything and anything that stands in my way.

Next Page »

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at