Back then in my secondary school days, Dad used to make hamburger with iced milo breakfast early morning, send me to school on his old Honda bike and $2 a day for pocket money wasn't enough for a 15 year old boy. I've reached puberty and like I need more food? I had no choice. Dad was a barber and his son had to learn things the hard way.
In Secondary 3, I chose Arts as one of my electives. Having only $2 per day, I had to skip recess in order to buy myself a set of Luna watercolour pencils @ $9 back then; that means I had to skip a week's recesses and walk home everyday (thankfully, home was about 20 minutes away).
After I bought my first set of Luna, I was overjoyed. I could finally do my Art homework and practice in class & at home everyday. But soon later I found out that I am the only person in class who was using Luna. The rest? Well, they were using Faber Castell's watercolour pencils and all thanks to my Art teacher, Mrs. Lim, who recommended them so. I couldn't afford to buy those; they were sold at $12 per set. So it's just me, my Luna and waiting everyday at Art class being laughed and teased by Fadil, the class' big bully.
Faber Castell's watercolour pencils was considered to be the "high-end of all watercolour pencils" and for me not having that, it's kinda disheartening. I questioned myself, how am I gonna do well in Art paper if I do not have the most "advanced" and latest tools in my bag? I only had my Luna. Out of desperation, I planned to skip another 2 week's of recesses just for the sake of having the best tool in my bag.....and probably trying to avoid being the laughing-stock of the class.
I tried skipping a week's recesses but coming to the 2nd week, I gave up. I made my mind to continue using Luna instead. I'll just put up with Fadil's nonsensical teasing.
Then one day, Mrs Lim went into shading topic and we had to do a potrait using just colour pencils to shade. Each person will haveto come up with a composition of objects and do your job. My fellow classmates tried to be very creative; they came up with ideas such as school bags, school shoes, belt, brooms, everything else they could lay their hands on in the classroom and I didn't have to think much. I had my Luna and drawing block as my potrait's composition. Patiently, I drew them and when I was done, almost everyone was impressed with my drawing.
You see, I agree that Faber Castell is the best watercolour pencils around and I still believe that it is today. But if you do not know how to use the most "advance" tools, sometimes it's best to stick to the conventional. I clinched "Top Art Student for Secondary 3 Express" in 1999 during my school's Speech & Prize Giving Day. I was given $200 gift voucher from Popular. I bought everything I need from gouche paint, brushes, palettes and art folder but it never came across my mind to buy another Faber Castell watercolour pencils. Till today, I am still using Luna because I have a sentimental value to it.