Blog and Artwork updates of Singapore caricaturist, portrait artist and illustrator - Jit

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Illustrations for CNB (Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore) - Essay 18

Sofia Amanda Bening
Henry Park Primary School, 4 Harmony

Happiness and Found

“Hey! Hey you! Come here!” a hoarse voice from the alleyway beckoned Dillon to come over to a dilapidated pile of cardboard boxes. Dillon’s body stiffened, his feet rooted to the ground. He slowly turned around and saw a dark shape lurking in the darkness. The shape shouted, “Hey you! Are you deaf? Come here!” Dillon slowly walked towards the alleyway, his heart racing with each step he took. To his surprise, it was a boy with orange hair and a cunning smile. Dillon recognised it was Calvin, who was usually seen taking drugs with his friends in the alleyway.

“Hey, Dillon! Wanna try some drugs? Tell you what—just for you, I will give you a packet for five dollars”, Calvin smirked.

Henry Park Primary School Sofia Amanda Bening - illustration 1 colour

Dillon stared at the packet of pink pills. “Hmm … taking drugs would be pretty cool. I’ve always wanted to be in Calvin’s gang”, he thought.

Dillon said alright, and paid Calvin all his pocket money. Calvin sniggered and ran off.

At home, Dillon went to his room and popped the pills into his mouth. He immediately jumped up and laughed, “WOWEE!” Dillon felt so high he started dancing and pictured in his mind that he was floating in the sky, sitting on a nice, soft cloud. After five minutes, he came to a stop and lay down on the floor, grinning and humming to himself. “I had no idea they could be so irresistible! I think I’ll take all of them and get some more!” Dillon murmured. Day after day, Dillon met Calvin at the same alleyway to buy the pink pills. Day after day, Dillon began to lose his appetite for food and he had difficulty going to sleep. By not having enough sleep, he could not concentrate in class. His grades started to PLUNGE and he was often reprimanded by the teachers for missing his classes. He began hallucinating and hearing voices in his head. Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months. By September, Dillon was an addict. Whenever Dillon didn’t have enough money to buy his supply, he would start to roll on the floor, SCREAM, beat the wall and pull his hair. It almost seemed like he was crazy and had a mental illness. But the last day of October was Dillon’s turning point.

Dillon was hanging out at the bus stop with Calvin and a secondary school drop-out named Lyle. The three drug addicts were taking drugs and kicking sand into each other’s eyes. Dillon was ecstatic that he was finally part of a cool gang. Nobody would think of him as a geek anymore! Suddenly, Calvin spotted a policeman patrolling at the corner of his eye. Deciding to leave “uncool” Dillon, Calvin signalled to Lyle, and they were about to take off when Dillon called, “Hey, where are you going?”

Lyle told him that they were going to the restroom. Dillon shrugged and popped some more drugs into his mouth, sucking on them slowly just to prolong the pleasure. When Dillon thought that things were going well, the policeman spotted him. The policeman rushed and grabbed hold of Dillon. Dillon screamed and struggled, but it was no good. The policeman brought the scruffy boy to the police station.

“No! No! I want those back! Give them back to me, you fat bozo! No!” Dillon flew into a horrific rage when the policeman snatched his drugs away. The policeman sighed deeply. This was a terrible situation Dillon had gotten himself into. When his parents arrived at the police station, they were aghast at the sight of their son who used to be health-conscious and top of his class. Dillon’s mother broke down and collapsed into her husband’s arms, sobbing. Dillon’s father felt worse than wretched.

Dillon screamed, “I said I want those back! Give them to me NOW!” Dillon was immediately sent to the Boys’ Home.

The Boys’ Home was absolutely horrifying. The boys there were either running, screaming, crying or fighting. Dillon sat in a chair for three days, emotionless and tortured without his drugs. Suddenly, a word shot into his head like a bullet: HAPPINESS. Where had all the happiness, joy and cheerfulness inside him gone? Tears welled up and stung in Dillon’s eyes. He dreaded the thought that his parents were keeping him in that cell forever. Dillon then realised that there was much more to life than taking drugs like criminals. He resolved to change his life, which was in shambles then. Dillon cried uncontrollably when his parents came to visit the following day and told them that he had been thinking about his life. His parents smiled. They had no idea Dillon could recover from his addiction so quickly. The policeman agreed to take Dillon home one week later.

Not taking drugs for the rest of his life was difficult for Dillon to cope with, but with determination and help from his parents, he managed to break through the barrier of drug addiction in two weeks. A few years later when Dillon was 15, he and his clever classmate Stefanie put up a rap music video on Youtube that encouraged younger kids to stay away from drugs.

Henry Park Primary School Sofia Amanda Bening - illustration 2 colour

Yo, this is Stefanie,
And I’m so happy
That my friend Dillon has found the key,
To happiness and freedom for the resta his life,
‘Cos once you take drugs your life is fulla strife!
Yo, this is Dillon,
And I’m happy to say
That now I’m drug-free every day,
‘Cos drugs are da worst, you can’t think straight,
You start to feel sick and begin to shake!
(together) So, don’t take drugs, it’s bad for you,
Unless you wanna end up “Cuckoo!”

Dillon was grateful for the change in his life. When he was 21, he became a spokesperson for an anti-drug programme. Dillon had finally found happiness that lasted the rest of his life.

Finally done!!!
This project started since this February, and finally ended today.
Quite a 'torture' to me, as I usually finished my job in 1- few days' time, depending on the job requirements.
You would have noticed the style for the cover is different from those essays.
The client approved and accepted the former, and thus I proceeded with the latter. Using the same style, the whole batch of 36 pencil sketches were all rejected, and they were sent in batches. They didn't say anything during they receive it along the way. This of course made me very worked up. Anyway, this was mentioned earlier on, so I won't raise it up further.

I just wonder when they will come back to me to redo the cover, given that it was a different style with the illustrations (for the essay) in the book.

By the way, just a note that these were the 18 winning essays from the anti-drug essay competition.
Winner was Wilson Wu Fan.
Second place was Debbie Michelle Ng, and third place was Sofia Amanda Bening

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