April 18, 2014
April 18, 2014
April 16, 2014
April 14, 2014
April 14, 2014
He turned her around so that he could see her face. They stood in silence for a moment. She still would not look him in the eye.
"Cecilia. Forget about the coffee. What’s going on?"
She shook her head and took a deep breath.
"Mikael, I’d like you to leave. Don’t ask. Just leave."
It was a good fucking week, one I’ve been anticipating after many many months of very hard work.
[and now - quietly curls up in a corner and stays there :) ]
You have just graduated from college and life spreads out before you, unmapped. You look at the plane trees and, above them, the full moon, and your heart bursts with the wonder of it all. What else can you do? You open your arms wide to embrace the sky.
You’re bumping along on a moto through moonlit rice paddies, beneath an infinity of stars. When you stop, all you hear is the frogs and the breeze rustling the rice shoots; all you feel is the pliant air.
Travel brings us closer to that state where the thin tissue between inner and outer, self and world, disappears. It makes the world new again and makes us new, too.
I cannot wait for my upcoming Asia trip. This is the kind of traveling that I love. In which one can slip into the fabric of a foreign place and blend. Avoid the tourist things, make friends, float in the sea that is the world. It’s not fancy, it’s just simple living.
SFO > NRT > HKG > HGH: Wandering
San Francisco > Tokyo / Kyoto (by the way, ever notice that Kyoto is an anagram of Tokyo? Realized this last night at dinner and MIND BLOWN, I couldn’t talk to anyone for five minutes) > Hong Kong > Hangzhou, where my family is
HGH > SFO: Loving
My family is all in Hangzhou, and I can’t wait to see them. I love them very much.
Just dribbbled some of the work that Ryan and I did for Mailbox. It showcases a person’s travel adventures and stories as mailed to their friends and family via postcards, letters, even fun stamps. My dad got a kick out of my Chinese name, 思, in the corner. I also threw in names of people that we love on there: Ryan’s family, and some of my BFFs :). The locations on the postcard are are also special to me in some way: there’s like three China ones on there (Hangzhou temple, lanterns), Seattle, Philly, and all the Dropbox office locations.
I would say that visually, I really love this style that we nailed down here perhaps the best out of everything we did for the launch (eep!). I think this has the strongest brand coherency and builds upon the story of the product in a special way (extrapolates connotations to “mail” and “mailbox”) to build a frame through which we can uniquely add our own illustration flavors. We decided to do simple line art against single color background, using only the four accent colors found in the Mailbox app.
Today was cray.
We launched a shit ton of stuff. Watching Drew, Gentry, and everyone during the keynote was pretty amazing. Beyond the launch itself I really admire their storytelling ability - takes real skill to create a narrative that’s so casual and relatable, but extremely directed like that. I wonder if that’s what being a speechwriter is like.
I’ve been working on this launch (as a whole) alongside Ryan and team. For a LONG TIME. It was pretty amazing. It was very surreal. The cool thing about working on launches that’s different from digital products is that there is an element of physical 3D design, so we get to keep a lot of the items that were printed (ie. massive canvas prints will be cut from their mounts and saved with us as big fabric that we can later hang). There’s something neat about seeing your work in person.
Also wrote up a summary of the entire creative process in crafting the Carousel story (tip of the iceberg, but it’s coherent at least :). I didn’t write about that time I drew like five deer in a row).
April 09, 2014
April 09, 2014
April 09, 2014
This is what I’m always gonna remember about Beyoncé: She takes you in. She looks you straight in your eyes when she’s talking to you. I said [to myself], That is the trait of an honest person—if you can look someone in the eye, a total stranger. In those days she was, ‘Yes, ma’am, yes, ma’am,’ to me, but she looked me right straight in the eye, does not blink, it seems. She really takes you in. And it takes another honest person to not flinch when someone’s looking your straight in the eye, because that person is reading you, but also revealing to you that, “I’m gonna be straight-up with you, whether you like it or not.” I saw the boldness of her. To this day, when you talk to her, it’s the same thing. And I always say, “Wow you still do that.”
She still does that and I believe it’s a good quality to have as a businesswoman. As much as she’s a creative force, she’s a businesswoman. When you’re doing business with people, you should really look them in the eye and I really think that people feel very empowered when someone completely takes you in. I’ve seen her walk into a room and say, “Hi I’m Beyoncé,” and I’m always thinking, “They know who you are,” in the back of my head. But the respect that she shows everyone—everyone—is important. That’s very, very vivid to me. Another thing that sticks out to me is how quiet she was, even though she looks you in the eye. She was the one that would take in everything and not say anything; and when she did say something, it was something that she had thought about.
- meet the people behind beyonce (funny story, I actually met the woman in this article at last year’s glamour shoot)
I’m making some changes. I don’t know why, but they feel right. My intuition tells me that this is the best kind of change. One that is free from any self expectation but has the feel of anything possible. I tell my friends that lately I have been feeling unchained.
The first is, I’m moving out. No longer am I tied to an apartment.
The second is, I’m taking a monthlong break to some of my favorite places in Asia. America is wonderful, but I miss that strange place, a motherland that isn’t really mine.
The last is, I put myself to the universe once more.
So different I feel from where I was last year. I felt very tied to where I was - lease, commitments, personal ties. Now, I am free. I can decide to go wherever or meditate in the courtyard if one feels right. I don’t have much, and I won’t, but I have this.
Just sat outside the Starbucks on Castro (Mountain View, not my Castro) with my Dad as we waited for my train. The perfect idyllic scene - birds chirping, clean broad sidewalks, all on one of those deceptively sunny days that are actually cold.
I spoke at Hike Con this weekend and it was a blast and a half. I’m not sure if I’m any good at public speaking (it’s really hard to evaluate yourself when you have to watch a video or listen to a recording of yourself. I’m too focused on the “is that what my face looks like / my voice sounds like???”), but I really do enjoy it. I think I would also enjoy stand up comedy (I had taking a class on my summer 2011 bucket list but never did, I’m realizing now).
One of the speakers, Stewart, spoke about acts of love. Actually, if I were to extract one singular theme from the conference, and all things and experiences honest, it was to the value of sharing love with others.
Stewart talked about how everyday, he would make sure to show care and love to the world around him. In the mornings, if he’s the first one out the door he will squeeze some toothpaste on to his wife’s brush for her to find when she wakes. And vice versa for her. Isn’t that the most delightful act of love?
But also, love manifests itself into kindness and care towards others, not just your partner and family. My dad was jogging back to the car because he briefly thought he lost his phone - but I noticed that didn’t stop him from waiting for five seconds to hold the door for someone entering when he exited the Starbucks. My dad is also like my greatest hero, so seeing these casual acts of character just makes me really happy.
Peel back the layers to the deepest onion and you’ll find the most tender soul brimming with love, always. I want to be as close to the core as I can be.
I touched on this in my talk, too - one reason why I love design and art over business is because these fields, at their best (and therefore in the truest sense that I personally aspire towards) are about giving to other people. The product designer who fights for the user. They call it *user* experience, *user* interface for a reason. The illustrator who is constantly thinking about the story for the reader. The artist who expresses self through their work, thereby giving such a gift to the world.
Compare to business, whose bottom line is $$$. This is important professionally, but I find that concentrating so wholly on making money and building systems to optimize and make more money skews my own perspective on what is important personally.
Which is why I love design - because if I’m the obsessive type of person who blurs the line between work and life anyway (life informs work, work is fun), I might as well choose something that skews me the right way. Right / wrong, actually scratch that - the way I aspire to.
That was the first thing that Hike Con reminded me of. Showing love towards others.
Second thing was showing love to yourself. Loving yourself means letting yourself breath and functioning without all these crazy expectations that we build up for ourselves to have it figured out. It also means that if we are to singularly choose between what is practical and what brings us joy (as practicality I find is the biggest excuse I personally face) we will do our best to choose the latter, and if we cant, because we all have different life situations and sometimes the practical needs to win to survive, you will promise yourself to rope off twenty minutes at night to be that ten year old kid again after your day commitments are over. Love yourself… Defend yourself and don’t let others’ expectations dictate your own and your heart turn into a shriveled bean curd thing.
There is that Churchill quote that I love - friends who don’t want you to fly will help you crawl. Fly, don’t crawl. Seek to help others do so as well.
Anyway, my dad and I talked about what we were each gonna do today. I’ve got a giant chalkboard with my name (literally) on it and the next stretch of day to play with it. Thanks for reading my rambles written from on a train. LEECE