It is with quantity that one leads to quality work.

In their book, Art & Fear, Ted Orland and David Bayles wrote, “The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work, they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality…. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. it seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes—the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and piles of dead clay.”

Ever since I took up BS Architecture two years ago (even without prior experience in coloring and drawing), one of the many realizations that I had is that my blocmates are skilled in rendering and drawing better than I am (not a surprise) not because they have talent and I don’t have it or God has favorites and unfortunately, I am not. But rather, it is because they have done it a thousand times or even more.

Our pastor shared a story from the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Jiro Ono, a Japanese chef who is considered around the world as the best sushi maker, had a new apprentice. Jiro told him to cook an egg. He cooked one and showed it to Jiro but after looking at it for only a few seconds, Jiro rejected it and told him to try again. This went on for two years. Until finally, Jiro said this is okay.

Jiro’s new apprentice wasn’t talented or even started out knowing how to cook a proper egg. In other words, he did not have any advantage. But by doing it for a hundred, probably even a thousand times, for two years, he finally mastered it.

In the same way, my blocmates are extremely great at rendering and drawing because they had put in a lot of work whereas I am just starting out. An article in DO Lectures blog states, “We have to understand doing our best work is a journey. We don’t start off being brilliant. We start off at ‘mediocre’. Then we go to ‘not too bad’. Then we go to ‘OK’. Then we go to ‘good’. Then eventually we arrive at ‘excellent’. And, occasionally we will go to ‘great’.”

Last January, I started learning how to watercolor. Honestly, it terrified me. I feel like I have to watch more YouTube tutorials on how to watercolor before I can finally start doing but it is through doing that I learn and so I started.

It feels frustrating. This gap between how I wanted my work to look like and how my current work looks like. But I become more patient. I cannot go from Level 0 to Level 100 right away. I had to go through each and every level.

Before, whenever I think of using watercolor, I started having anxious thoughts and soon I’ll find myself procrastinating because I’m avoiding this feeling of fear of creating a bad work. Right now, I am extremely comfortable using it that I just picked it up right away whenever I need to render.

Author james Clear wrote, “Your 1st blog post will be bad, but your 100th will be great. Your 1st workout will be weak, but your 1000th will be strong. Your 1st meditation will be scattered, but your 1000th will be focused. Put in your reps.”

There is no secret on how to be great at what you do. Its by doing and putting in a lot of work that we get better. No shortcuts. Just doing.

Whenever I am doing an academic work, there are times when I just blurt, “This is not nice.” but then I’ll remind myself that I am just starting out. I have to create bad work in order to know what’s better. It is by doing something a thousand or a million times that we can be better at it.

It is with quantity that one leads to quality work.

Things I Noticed in Hayop Ka! As An Architecture Student

Hayop Ka! (‘you son of a bitch!’ in English) is a Filipino romcom animation film produced by Rocketsheep Studio and Spring Films, distributed by Netflix.

The film runs for a bit after an hour but I spent around two hours watching this because I kept stopping it and taking screenshots. I want to understand certain things about the design of the environment and also, the animal puns (which I’ll get into below).

Watching this got me so excited because of the insane amount of details!! And here we go:

Nimfa’s Clothes (Protagonist)

Nimfa is the main character of this animation film and I noticed that her clothes, or should I say, work uniform is what she wore in most scenes of the film and they used the color red to have her stand out in almost all of the scenes. There were a few scenes wherein she wore a bright violet dress. Nevertheless, still allowing the character to stand out.

Nimfa in a corporate tower. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Nimfa in a clinic. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Nimfa with her family. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Nimfa with the rich character. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Still wearing a red clothing even out of work. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
The only time she did not wear any “red” clothing but still stood out. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

The clothes of other characters pale in comparison with Nimfa’s clothes except Jerry’s (the one who she ended up with). I think having neither of the two men wore red throughout the film is a clue that neither of them will be with her in the end. According to someone from Rocketsheep Studio, the end signifies “a new start in her life and her relationship with Jerry did not start as a lust or pursuit of material wealth”

Nimfa and Jerry. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

Environment

The overall environment of the film is influenced by Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It’s like having a bit of a field trip in Manila (the slums as well as the place where the rich are).

Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Is this EDSA? Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Quiapo Church in the background. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

Baybayin

On the upper left reads, “Tatas” from the word Patatas (meaning potato) and on the right, the sign of the coffee shop reads “Kahe” or Cafe. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

Baybayin is the alphabet that our ancestors used and although it is not the alphabet that we commonly use today, I saw that they used a bit of it in the film!

Cell Tower

Cell Tower inspired from the Eiffel Tower. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films

This cell tower seems to be one of the focal points as this is somewhat inspired from the Eiffel Tower (since this is a romance film) and it is in red too, similar to the protagonist’s color of clothes (hinting its importance).

Homes & Kiosks

In the film, we see characters that vary in terms of their socioeconomic status.

In the main protagonist’s home, you would see that there is an abundance of items at home and too many colors.

Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

And the home of the rich character displays a coordinated color scheme and wideness.

Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

In other aspects too, we can see how the animators played with sizes and space to distinguish what is something where the rich go/lives. For example, in the screenshots below, there are two perfume kiosks. The first is what you’ll call a luxury brand while the other is not.

Luxury brand kiosk. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
The not luxury brand. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

In order to give the feel that the first kiosk is a luxury brand, they used size. They enlarged the display to induce the feeling of intimidation and having its own carpet in order to make it “stand out” or better yet, giving a feel that this “kiosk” is different from other kiosks on that floor.

May God Bless Our Trip and others that will give you an idea of Filipino culture

Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

May God Bless Our Trip is something that you see often in public transport everywhere in the Philippines and I am so happy they included this lol. Also, it shows how religious we are as a country (in general).

Sale Posters

Sale naman lagi poster on the upper left. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

In malls in the Philippines, sale posters are everywhere and every time. I laughed so hard when I read the poster, “SALE NAMAN LAGI” (WE ARE ALWAYS ON SALE in English)

The heart struck with an arrow tattoo

Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

If you are Filipino, there is one moment in your life when you had seen someone with this tattoo. I’m not sure where did this originated but I have seen this tattoo so many times in old Philippine films.

Posters/Banners with a politician name

No Littering poster with a politician name. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films
Banner with a politician name. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films

One thing frequent in the streets of the Philippines (excluding the streets of rich gated subdivisions) is a poster/banner with a politician’s name. It can be a welcome banner, or a reminder not to do “insert bad deed here”. Sometimes, it’s posters for elections.

Animal Puns

Every time I saw animal puns in the background, I paused the film because I want to read and understand them all! And I am amazed by how witty the animators are. I captured a few of them.

Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films
“Catinko” from Katinko. Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
Ibonmaya” from Rivermaya (a Filipino band). Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.
“Bisugo” (a fish) from Sogo (a hotel). Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films

Additional:

Credits to Netflix, Rocketsheep Studio, and Spring Films.

I laughed when I saw the “somewhere in Batangas, Philippines” in the address lol. Someone got too tired to create a fake address or maybe he/she just wanted to add something funny.

Thoughts

If it had been released in theaters, I doubt that it would even get that much attention. But instead, this film was released on Netflix and that’s a good thing for the filmmakers and the whole Filipino animation industry.

Since a lot of Filipinos are now subscribed to Netflix, the Filipino animation industry would not really worry so much whether anyone would watch what they produced because of how easy it is to just watch a movie on Netflix.

My thoughts on the plot of the film is another story. In this post, I just want to celebrate the effort that they put in the smallest of details. They gave their best in recreating Manila and they accomplished that very well.

Honestly, I feel that our animation industry is only just starting and our animators have so much more to offer given enough experience and more budget.

Also, I want to share how exciting it is to write a blog post like this for an animation film that is made by my fellow countrymen. I had done a few Things I Noticed As An Architecture Student blog posts for foreign animation films but this is the first time that I did it for a Filipino animation film.

It’s very different when writing “what I noticed” in animation films that are influenced by my culture and one that is foreign because the former allows me to resonate with it in a way that I would seldom (or maybe not ever) feel in foreign animation films.

Related links:

Things I Noticed in Zootopia As An Architecture Student

Things I Noticed in Over The Moon As An Architecture Student

Things I Noticed in Zootopia As An Architecture Student

Zootopia is 2016 animation film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, one of my favorite animation films ever because of how its plot is a metaphor for today’s society. And the plot of the story itself is another matter to discuss. In this article, I’ll write down things I noticed in the film as an architecture student. I am aware that in animation, everything is done with intention and so, I know that there are a lot of easter eggs hidden in the film regarding design so, if you have anymore to add, please do!

Doorways come in different shapes and sizes.

Animals are vastly different in terms of how wide and tall they are and honestly, they could have decided to just let all animals go in in a single big doorway in a train for example or in a police station. But I love how they intentionally designed various doorways to accommodate various sizes of animals, i.e the train doors in the photo below.

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Train doors

This detail is one of the amazing things because this speaks so much that they understand that it is dangerous and, honestly, non-animal-centered to have them all pass in a one single large doorway. And this is where equality vs equity comes in.

Equality vs Equity in Zootopia

So, there are a lot of details in Zootopia that shows equity (which should be the standard). Let’s take for example, the train again in the photo above, equality is when every single animal are given the same doors to go inside or alight from the train while equity is giving various sizes of train doors to meet the various needs of the variety of animals who take the train. In other words, equity is acknowledging that there are various types of animals that have different needs from each other.

Another example, the roads in Zootopia are designed to accommodate the standard-big car sizes and a bit of the road is for tiny cars (which are used by mice) (photo below)

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Notice how the tiny truck overtake with the big police mobile (LOVE THIS DETAIL SO MUCH)

Again, they could have just designed a one whole road but they did not and I love them for that.

Another example, in the photo below which is the police station: there are two different sizes for both doors and benches.

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Here are some more:

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how various animals get to the main city (pt 1)
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how various animals get to the main city (pt 2)
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train handles in different heights
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Three different sizes of garbage bins
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It’s a juice bar, not only serving giraffes but also medium-sized animals (noticed the animals on the far left holding drinks too) Best example, so far, of equity

But these details are for public spaces, hence, a lot of things are considered when designing environments. But how about in private spaces?

In the photo below, in a private room located at the Precinct One, the context here is that ALL animals who are police officers are somewhat in almost the same heights. Thus, desks and chair heights are all the same. This shows that no one as small like a bunny has ever become a police office before.

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Zootopia’s protagonist Judy Hopps, the first-ever bunny police graduate, has to stand up because when she sat down, one can’t barely see her (good thing she has long ears)

Furthermore, I love that they created an environment for rodents. Everything is really tiny in scale.

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Here is another detail in the Little Rodentia:

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In connecting buildings, bridges with no overhead are simply okay BUT what the animators did is that they enclosed this bridges. My hypothesis is that rodents are tiny and in a “height” like that, they might get blown off by the wind. Hence, they enclosed it.

To conclude, I love how every single thing is designed with intention. I watched this film four years ago but I haven’t noticed this details before! This goes to show that we discover new things or ideas as we re-discover them and that is great because we are growing every time!

Going back, I mentioned that Zootopia is a metaphor to our society in terms of the plot but it can be in terms of the design too (but super duper better). It’s obvious when we look at it with animals, they are in various sizes so of course they have different needs to be met but we, humans, are different from each other too.

Public spaces should be designed in a way that it can accommodate a variety of people but what do we got? Roads are car-centric, sidewalks are too narrow, etc.

We can learn a thing or two about better urban planning from animation films.

Bird by Bird

In the book Creative Confidence, authors David Kelley and David Kelley shared about writer Anna Lamott’s childhood story from her book Bird by Bird,

Her ten year-old brother had been assigned a school report about birds and hadn’t started on it until the night before it was due. “We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

I haven’t read her book yet but its on my TBR. Anyways, these days as one difficult plate after another go in my way, I remind myself of this story of Bird by Bird.

[Note: Plates are referred to as activities in architecture/design school. Basically, its designing, drawing, with explanations on the side.]

During moments of daunted-ness due to a new task ahead, I reminded myself that I do not know yet whether I can’t or can do this task but I will still do it anyway. The only way to know is by doing it.

A plate that I had three weeks ago which is Watercolor Ink Rendering of a museum I chose to draw. I haven’t fully figured how to do watercolor but I chose to do it. First, I told myself to just sketch first. I took a deep breath and started sketching the museum. After that, somehow, I felt better, knowing that I get past the first barrier. And I left it for a few days because I waited for the ink to arrived.

Finally, when the ink arrived, I told myself to apply in the lightest wash first. Then let it dry. And so on, until I get to the details.

When I finally finished, I’m so proud of what I have done. My work improved a lot and I’m looking at it objectively. There are still many things to improve but I’m grateful that I am growing.

And onto my next plates, this is what I do: I focused on a certain portion of the task. I don’t think of the whole pie but focused on eating up one slice first. Somehow, as I finish one after another, I feel completely satisfied and less stressed. I am moving forward even though I am taking it step by step, nevertheless, I am still making progress towards the end.

The bird by bird concept helped me get through a lot of things these days. And even though I haven’t finished the work today, I am satisfied that I made progress.

Looking back, ever since I read the book Creative Confidence, I am happy that I took whatever life brings Bird by Bird and will go on with that in mind.

To end, authors David Kelley and Tom Kelley provided an advice to particulary anyone,

Whatever creative goal you choose, it is important to build on your experience and not let fear and inertia hold you back. Putting ideas on a page and getting past that first hurdle is progress. Then you’re ready to take another step forward. Just take it “bird by bird.” Pretty sure, you’ll start to feel more creative confidence.

Art as means to an end

Recently, I heard of graphic designer Craig Oldham’s work, ‘May They Never Be Deemed Low-Skilled Again’. This work is in response to the UK government’s hypocrisy during the past few months.

Source: Craig Oldham via My Modern Met

Written in small letters on the poster are the following:

“In February 2020, Home Secretary, Priti Patel labelled any person working under £25k per year “Low Skilled” or “Unskilled”. Only one month later, struggling with the COVID-19 crisis, that same government labelled them ‘Key Workers’, realizing just how important they really are. These workers haven’t just become key to society, they always have, and will continue to be, Key Workers. And long may that term live on.”

Honestly, in times like this, I find it really interesting on how designers find a way to stay “relevant”. What I mean by relevant is that they seek and devise ways on how they could use their skills in giving light to the people who are left behind.

When we are in crisis, we can’t just “not care” about what is happening because before we even become our professions, we are first human.

In an interview with My Modern Met, Craig Oldham shared, ” I have always believed that graphic design is a means and not an end—that it has a part to play, but it’s not necessarily the primary, or a driving factor in things like this. But I do care a lot about people, and this is an idea about people really. And about respect for everyone regardless of their occupation because we are all interconnected and equal—and equally important.”

I appreciate how he added that each of us are equally important regardless of what our job is. Honestly, our government need to learn so much from him. During this pandemic, our government acts like the millions of people who have lost their jobs this pandemic are just merely obstacles to success and growth of this country. Basically, they treat them as data. They try to dumb it down and say, “Oh good thing only *insert millions* people lost their jobs, it could have been worse.” Oh yes. It could have been but that’s not the point. And that should not be what you are saying in front of the Filipino people who barely even have the ability to make ends meet.

Going back, Craig Oldham continued, “Rather than a rightly positive message about staying at home, or being kind to each other, all of which are great messages, I felt it still important to stick up for those countless unknown workers who don’t have the relative luxury of being at home safe with family. They are really important people.

YES!! IMPORTANT!!

Also, can I just mention that in our country, most of the people working directly with a lot of people, like security guards, cashiers, nurses, waiters, garbage collectors, etc, are just earning minimum wages (sometimes, not) and it saddens me that they are risking their health and yet they are not paid well.

And lastly, he states about how design is a tool for good, even if others may rule it out as something frivolous, “Because we have a responsibility to our society. Designers, particularly Graphic Designers, can often lament and be frustrated at what they perceive as a lack of awareness or appreciation for what design is and can do. Well, for me, the answer to that is to prove it, and to engage your talents and time in causes and concerns which can make a meaningful impact on society and the world beyond what we have to do commercially to earn a living.

He concludes, ” I also believe that beyond design, beyond any occupation any of us do, we are first people belonging to a society and we have a duty of care to each other to make sure that society is fair and just, so we should be involved in campaigns and causes in which we believe could achieve this—design or not.”

After learning about his project, it gave me so much hope. Honestly, this quarantine I noticed that a lot of people turned to art, movies, music, and books a lot. This speaks so much that art may not literally be a tool to “save the world” but it is what we live for. Ending with a quote from Dead Poets Society:

Image result for dead poets society quotes | Movie quotes, Pretty words,  Words

Do more of what brings you joy

I just finished The Lorien Legacies (7 books). For me, its one of those books that you can’t put down.

After reading the last book, I stopped and feel. I let myself feel the exhilaration knowing that a book is finished. I just finished reading their story. Now, I can put them down to rest.

You know what?

I’ve read The Lorien Legacies a few years ago but I just discontinued it because as much as I enjoy it so much, the reviews I read in Goodreads make me feel like I’m the most stupid person for reading the book. Hence, I stopped.

Fast forward to now, The Lorien Legacies crossed my mind when I’m thinking of what makes me happy.

I realized that I should not let other people’s opinions stop me from doing what I am interested in and what gives me joy. For every day in my life, I should choose to do the things that makes me happy. For then, I will truly be able to say, that I have lived well.

Doing things that give you joy makes you alive. Honestly, what the world needs right now are people who are alive.

Hence, I continued reading the books of The Lorien Legacies, starting from the beginning because I forgot all the details. And I have never been so joyful in my life. And I continue to live like this, just doing what I enjoy, letting my interests, curiousities, and desires lead the way.

And before I decided to just do it– to just do the things that I enjoy. Here is what I read, this post is from wyattwesleywriting on Tumblr:

When I was in fourth grade, I wanted to read Harry Potter. Someone in my class told me I couldn’t because it wasn’t in my level and I wouldn’t understand it. I read Harry Potter just to spite him. I’ve reread it a million times, it’s one of my favourites. I realised after reread and reread that I didn’t understand it in fourth grade.

When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to read the classics. I read the Bell Jar, Red Badge of Courage, Shakespeare, and as many as I could find. I couldn’t tell you what they said. But I looked like I could read at a higher level than I could. I read the same books and plays in high school. They made sense, I enjoyed them, I read them not to prove something but because I wanted to.

When I was in eighth grade, I only read murder mysteries and criminal books. That’s what more advanced readers read. I wanted to prove that I could read as well as someone twice, three times my age. I enjoyed them, but it was because I was proving something.

When I was in college I reread the series of unfortunate events. I loved every single book, every single line. I’d forgotten what it was like to read a book because I wanted to. I read young adult novels more than anything because I like them. I don’t care that they’re below my level, that they’re ‘too’ young for me. I don’t care that people see me reading them.

I realised something. I was taught to read because I needed to. Intelligent people read, that’s how people become smart. Reading isn’t a waste of time like television. I wasn’t taught to love to read. No one is. I found a love of reading by giving up the idea that people gave a shit if I read or not. I enjoy it more than I should. I realised that instead of instilling the idea of doing something because it’s expected or because someone should do something, instill the idea of doing something because you want to. Instill the idea that happiness comes from what we choose, not what others have chosen for us.

I realised that when I’m happiest, when I have the most joy, it’s when I do something for me. It’s when there are no expectations, no drive to prove someone wrong. I realised that my happiest when all inhibitions and perceptions are gone. Maybe that’s how we should enjoy our hobbies.

I can’t stress this enough: DO THINGS THAT BRINGS YOU JOY.

I read that from someone a long time ago but when I read that, it just felt weird. Like I know I’m supposed to do things that gives me joy but why am I not doing it?

I want christmas lights on my room all year long and not just during the holidays because for me, lights have something magical in them. So why am I not doing it?

I do not enjoy scrolling on socmed so much but why do I continue doing it?

When I started to become aware of these things, I started taking more proactive actions on doing more of the things I want and I enjoy doing.

For me, reading sci-fi and fantasy books are one of the things that makes me happy. Whenever I find a good read, I can stay in one place for a couple hours and just get lost in the character’s thoughts. For me, reading is similar to play.

Experts are now redesigning their office systems and spaces to make it more conducive to play. Play is any activity that gives you joy and has no result. The results are only intangible– it improves your overall well-being. Hence, since the result is not tangible, people denote it as unimportant. But play overall helps you to be present.

Most adult spend time worrying about their mistakes and responsibilities. But with play, you get to be here. In here, this moment right now. And that is exactly what reading does to me.

I know, most of us (if not all) are suffering. But may you continue to play, to do the things that you enjoy regardless of what people perceive of it. What is important is what you feel about it.

By choosing to do more play or to do more of the things you enjoy, I am not encouraging you to go on “toxic positivity” but its more of, taking a break from ruminating. And instead, be in the now. Focus on the now. Focus on this hour asking ‘What can I do for this hour that would give me joy?’ or ‘What is the most beautiful thing that I can make?’

Almost two years ago when I cried to my friend after sharing something with her, and I remember how she replied, “Ate, ang importante ginagawa mo kung ano ang nagpapasaya sa ‘yo. Siyempre hindi nila maiintindihan ‘yan kasi hindi naman sila ikaw eh. Ang importante masaya ka. (What is important is that you are doing what makes you happy. Of course, they might not understand because they are not you. At the end, what is important is that you are happy.)” Also, I do not remember why I was crying at that time but I clearly remember that I am crying because I felt like no one understands.

A few years back, my dad pushed me to Kumon. At first, I was okay with it. Believe me, I am able to understand Math pretty well because of Kumon but I just wasn’t happy doing it. My dad forced me to do complete Kumon but I just don’t want it. I do not enjoy doing it. I always go for reading.

When my dad saw it, that doing math worksheets just do not make me happy at all. And he saw how much I love reading, he just let it go. He probably saw that I am old enough to do the things that i wanted and I should learn how to follow my interests instead of forcing me to do what he wanted.

Do more of what you enjoy. I am rooting for you.

How The Master Artist Taught Us On How to Focus Only On What We Control

The Master Artist is a story about Monsieur Signy l’ Abbaye and Guiliano Bartoli. After decades of working for the guild, in 1392, Monsieur Signy l’ Abbaye decided to retire. Guiliano Bartoli, an Italian patron, asked the Monsieur to paint a portrait of him on a 20ft wall. Monsieur did not want to but Guiliano insisted that he will pay him big money. Monsieur agreed, not for the money, instead, he wants to paint in any style that he wanted.

Working for the Guild for decades only painting in Byzantine or Proto-Renaissance styles, the Monsieur wanted to paint in a style that he wanted. Guiliano agreed. After a few months, the Monsieur had finally finished painting a portrait of the rich Italian patron of what looks like a cubism style of portrait.

When Guiliano saw the portrait, he was disappointed by how it looks, whereas, Monsieur’s reaction is the opposite. The Monsieur has never been more proud of what he had painted that even though, Guiliano did not like it. No one can even change his mind that it was his greatest masterpiece. 500 years later, Pablo Picasso became famous and loved by the world for cubist art.

James Clear wrote,

If what you write on your paper doesn’t meet someone else’s expectations … it is no concern of yours. The way someone else perceives what you do is a result of their own experiences (which you can’t control), their own tastes and preferences (which you can’t predict), and their own expectations (which you don’t set). If your choices don’t match their expectations that is their concern, not yours.

The point isn’t to be loved by the public or only do something that society tells us to do. But our job is to do our work because that is one of the only areas that we can control. We can only control how we act, what we say, and sometimes, how we feel. hence that is what we should focus on.

August-December 2020 Calendar Free Printables

A few years ago on Tumblr, I was amazed by how these amazing artists can do monthly printables and now, I knew how to make one.

My younger self who loves to print monthly printables, created for free by artists in the studyblr community on Tumblr, did not even imagine that, years later, she would be able to make one as well and share it with others.

 

Versions 1, 2 and 3 can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1u86CiIKAJ3siy6_JY65vM7xmt2cpMRg4?usp=sharing

I’m gonna take me seriously.

I’m gonna take me seriously…

These are words from designer Ruth Carter’s poem Seriously. She performed Seriously in her own episode on Abstract: The Art of Design Season 2.

Seriously
I’m gonna take ME seriously.
Now.
I’ve taken school, parents, friends, poets seriously.
I’ve known the cracker to be seriously dangerous.
 I’ve taken daytime nighttime rhetoric seriously
and been wounded by lovers of slick black rapping.
I’m gonna look in a mirror each time I pass one
and smile at my image sayin’.
 “Yeah, sister, it ain’t easy,
but move on beautifully past it.
Keep holdin’ your head higher
‘cause your best is yet to come.”
I’m gonna take me seriously.
Today.
Now.
And study myself.
Get a PhD in Ruth Carter
and dare anyone to be an authority on me.
‘Cause I’ll be wounded with Ruth’s beauty, learning, love
and will be dangerous.
I’m gonna be serious about me and live.

Ruth Carter is the costume designer for the film Black Panther and many more films. She shared that she does not want the clothes that she designs to be labeled as ‘costumes’. Ruth wanted the clothes to look like something that those people would wear if it was in real life. She also addresses the prejudice that she designs costumes because she loves fashion or sewing. No. She wants to tell stories.

I love the fact that she gives utmost attention to every detail in each costume she design. In totality, the clothes that she designs for a character must show their personality and history. In Black Panther, the clothes of every character in the film have been greatly influenced by the clothing of earlier African tribes. Ruth Carter definitely does not only tell stories of culture and personality through her designs but also making sure that they are historically correct.

Her sensitivity and empathy are what make her work amazing. At one part of the episode in Abstract: Art of Design, Ruth Carter shared her answer when people ask her about her process in designing costumes for Black Panther, she was like, “Oh, yeah! I go home and cry in my pillow every night because I’m scared.”

That statement was on point. While I was creating an artwork, I was so stressed because it did not turn in a way that I imagined it to look like. The whole process made me question the multitude of research studies that conclude, “Art is therapy.” In retrospect, I did relax the next day after completing that artwork because I don’t have it bugging my mind anymore.

In connection with the poem, I felt this warmth while watching Ruth Carter performs it. The line

Yeah, sister, it ain’t easy, but move beautifully on past it. Keep holding your head higher, ’cause your best is yet to come.

hit me differently.

Creating art is not easy. That is a given. However, I have to do it because how will I ever get better at it if I ain’t gonna, do it?

I’m gonna take myself seriously and live.

15-Minute Writing Exercise to Be More Optimistic and Persistent in Reaching your Goals— Backed by Research

I finished reading the book Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change by Timothy D. Wilson. The book is filled with intervention programs and the reasons why they work or do not work— all backed up by comprehensive research studies.

One of the effective intervention exercises that worked and significantly improved the behavior of the participants is the Best Possible Selves writing exercise.

Compared to students who only wrote about a neutral topic, college students who did the Best Possible Selves writing exercise scored higher on the Life Orientation Test (a test used to measure optimism | see below). Also, 21 days later, participants had greater satisfaction and outlook in their lives.

Click to access LOTR_Scale.pdf

As written by Timothy D. Wilson, Best Possible Selves writing exercise worked this way:

“The Best Possible Selves Exercise: If you would rather not dredge up upsetting events from the past, and prefer to focus on the positive, try this writing exercise. Again, find a quiet, private place and follow these instructions on four consecutive nights: “Think about your life in the future. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realization of all of your life dreams. Now, write about what you imagined.

Don’t just think about what you have achieved (e.g., getting your dream job), but be sure to write about how you got there (e.g., doing an internship, going to graduate school). By so doing you might become more optimistic about your future and cope better with any obstacles you encounter.”

Speaking from experience, doing this writing exercise for four consecutive nights helped me develop a sense of clarity and purpose. The first night of exercise, I had an unclear way of imagining my best self– it was all over the place. By the succeeding nights, I discovered that finishing a degree wasn’t part of the process that I imagined to get to my ‘best possible self’. Basically, I am not relying on schooling to get an education. Degrees aren’t all that important to me but what I learned. Also, I discovered areas where I gravitated. By understanding myself on what I imagine is my best possible self and devising ways on how I could get there, even to the simplest tasks, I focused on the process rather than the outcome. And that is the goal of this writing exercise– to focus on the how; to focus on the verb and not the noun.

Artist and author Austin Kleon wrote it better in his book Keep Going,

Let go of the thing that you are trying to be (the noun) and focus on the actual work you need to be doing (the verb). Doing the verb will take you someplace further and far more interesting.

 

References:

Harrist, S., Carloozi, B., McGovern, A., & Harrist, A. (2007, August). Benefits of expressive writing and expressive talking about life goals. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(4), 923-930. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2006.09.002

King, Laura A.. “The Health Benefits of Writing about Life Goals.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 27 (2001): 798 – 807.

Wilson, T. (2011). Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change. Penguin Group.