WHEN blogger/illustrator Chong Chee Ching wanted to take up a design course in university, her father was pretty much against it.

“My dad just said no and encouraged me to take up a more ‘substantial’ course instead (laughs), so I had to do something else,” she said. Chong, 23, ended up graduating in with a degree in advertising and marketing communications from the University of Canberra, Australia.

However, Chong’s passion for design and illustration never faded. She started a blog in 2009 to document her daily life and slowly started putting in her own illustrations.

“When I started the blog, I just wanted to rant. Then I thought it would be more interesting to present bits of my life in a simple graphic form.” became a platform for her to do just that. She blogs about the happenings in her life and presents them in a humorous comic format. One of her more recent entries talked about her experience as a PJ Half Marathon participant. Despite running without her glasses, she ended up with a finisher’s medal.

On her blog, Chong only appears as an animated persona. Even in her photos, her face is replaced with a comic version of herself.

And that’s why it came as a bit of a surprise to followers of her work that Chong will be making her first public appearance at tomorrow’s ChurpOut 2012 event at Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.

“Yes, it would be the first time I’m showing my face in public. I’m actually quite shy,” she said gleefully.

ChurpOut 2012 is organized by ChurpChurp, Asia’s leading social media community. This all-day street festival is a gathering for social media enthusiasts who are on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to meet like-minded people and get rewarded for sharing brand messages.

ChurpChurp manager Michelle Teh explained that the event is a great opportunity to bring the social media world into real time.

“We have always aimed to bring people in the Malaysian social media sphere together with all the activities we do, and nothing would be better than a street festival like ChurpOut 2012,” added ChurpChurp co-founder Timothy Tiah.

Chong herself will be at ChurpOut’s Inspiration Zone, where she’ll showcase how she creates her artwork.

“I’m excited and nervous at the same time! It would also be my first time drawing something for people at an event. Hopefully, they will like what I can produce. My medium is usually Adobe Illustrator. But if you bring your iPad or any other tablet device, I’d be more than happy to illustrate something for you,” she said.


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