Saying yes more often is not really a specific part of my 2017 new year’s resolutions. But as early as January, I realized something so blindingly obvious, I don’t know why I haven’t thought about it before: that more opportunities come when the universe senses that you are willing to take them. And last year, I was so not willing.
It’s not that I didn’t want to. It’s more of I was not ready. I kept second-guessing myself and my capabilities, ergo, I didn’t want to take projects that I’m not sure I could deliver. Opportunities excite me, but they also scare me — and the fear was bigger. Therefore, I wasn’t really expecting this year to be any different.
Until I started saying yes to some opportunities.
The first chance that came was a work-related thing: an infographic for the weekly department performance report. It wasn’t official at first; I designed a mockup in response to a teammate’s suggestion that infographics were better than lengthy emails. My supervisor forwarded the mockup to the Powers That Be (or the ultimate, ultimate big bosses) and they liked it. I won’t get paid, but that’s okay. It’s the perfect excuse to practice typography. And as it turns out, that first chance would be a window to other work-related assignments, which I also said yes to.
But the biggest opportunity that opened by far was a logo for a new local tea shop. I’ve been asked to make logos before, but I wasn’t keen on saying yes because of this story I told myself: you are not good with logos. I stayed away from logo design works, even commissioned ones, because I believed that story. But someone came and placed a huge trust on my abilities, so I said yes to the tea shop project. We’re currently in the final revision stage. 🙂
In the midst of all these yeses, I know that I am still not ready and I still second-guess myself. My first thought whenever I get project offers is, “can I really do this?” This time, though, I am willing. And that makes all the difference. #
I never had the delusion that I’m going to be a great watercolor artist. Out of all the days that I did manage to pick up a brush, only a few artworks would finish decent.
For this particular piece, I totally botched the roses, but I didn’t want it to go to waste so I added some handlettered quote to compensate LOL. Still not my greatest success. I haven’t touched my watercolor set in months, and I doubt that I would anytime soon.
At least, it became clear that this medium isn’t for me. #
I was having some alone time earlier, sitting outdoors and listening to my favorite podcast episode, when I struck up a conversation with someone from Tumblr. It was mainly small talk, but there’s one dialogue that I really found beautiful:
ME: …working in the night shift rarely makes me see the sun.
SOMEONE: You’re not missing a lot. You still have the moon and the stars.
His reply stopped me in my tracks for a bit. I do appreciate the moon and the stars when I see them at night. But our conversation made me realized that I don’t find them enough because I’m too busy trying to catch the sunset.
That short exchange left me with a beautiful message to ponder. Indeed, the moon and the stars have always been there; all I need to do is to look up. Ironically, I’ve always said that I don’t want to be the person who never looks up.
As for the sunset, maybe there’s a reason why I rarely see it. Maybe because it wants to teach me to appreciate first the things that are in front of me.
Also, I can’t help but relate this to my current creative state. There are so many things I want to do and learn. Some are definitely doable if I put my mind to it; others are quite ambitious and uncertain. But I’m too tied up on imagining the end result that I never begin the process. And I fail to see that everything I need to start is right here.
Clearly, something has to change. #
I am not American, but U.S. politics has a way of shaping the world’s political climate. One way or another, our country is also going to be affected by the actions of the new president.
Now that he is officially seated in the White House, I want to reserve my judgment of his politics after he’s had enough time to act on some of his promises. Donald Trump seemed to have all the characteristics of a bully, but POTUS Trump may be different. I’d give him that chance.
Mike Pence though, with his staunch anti-LGBT position, is an entirely different matter. I don’t like that guy.
I guess we all just have to wait and see what’s going to happen tomorrow. #
There were a lot of things happening inside my mind in the past days, I don’t even know how to start writing about them. I feel confused, but also happy and, for some reason, unusually energized.
PART 1: REALIZATION
I’ve been saying since the end of last year that my interest in hand lettering was slowly dying out. The thought of having to admit that to myself, and moreso to others, made me feel miserable about my creative state. For one, I didn’t know why or what triggered it. I moved to urban sketching, then typography and graphic design. While I was (and still am) having fun with these things, the thought that I’m jumping from one thing to another frustrated me because what am I doing with my life? Why couldn’t I just stick to one and work on it?