We move forward because we have faith.

Paulo Coelho:
None of us know what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have faith.

This is my 100th post (yay!). My creative journey started last April and six months later, I made it alive enough to write my 100th post. Reading the book Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley made me start my creative journey.

When I started, I remember how I was terrified that I might not have anything to write in the next few weeks, that I would have a flock of people hating me for how bad my writing is, etc.

But this is just me overthinking and people are busy worrying about their own lives.

A few things that I got from Creative Confidence that I kept reading everyday as I journey the last 7 months until now:

  1. “Doubts in one’s creative ability can be cured by guiding people through a series of small successes. And the experience can have a powerful effect on the rest of their lives.”
  2. “The real value of creativity doesn’t emerge until you are brave enough to act on those ideas.”
  3. “That combination of thought and action defines creative confidence: the ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them.”
  4. “When you open your mind to the possibility that your capabilities are unlimited and unknown, you already have your running shoes on and are ready to race forward.
  5. “Albert Bandura used the process of guided mastery—a series of small successes—to help people gain courage and overcome deep-seated phobias.”
  6. “Facing failure to wipe away the fear.”
  7. “A subtle excuse lies in the idea of “trying”. It’s as if today is for attempts, and the real action will happen at some vague future moment. To achieve your goal, to topple the barriers that stand in your way, you have to be focused on getting it done now.”
  8. “If you want to make something great, you need to start making.”
  9. “It’s hard to be “best” right away, so commit to rapid and continuous improvements.”
  10. “All the overplanning, all the procrastinating, all the talking are signs that we are afraid, that we just don’t feel ready. You want everything to be “just right” before you commit further or share something with others. That tendency leads us to wait rather than to act.”

The sentences aforementioned are all from the book and I read them daily. When I have an idea for an article, I write it, never minding whether I “ran out” of anything to write. I just write. And then, before I knew it, I’m writing more than what I intended.

I committed to only one post weekly and then, suddenly it became, whenever I wanted. I post two to three times weekly, sometimes even more.

During those early times, I was able to get through even if I barely had any ideas, even if I fear of a lot of things because I had faith. I trust my intuition that by doing what I wanted to do, I will not regret my decision.

And boy, I did not. Words flow faster right now and I’m posting daily (wow). I read a lot than I ever had and write a lot. From sharing my personal experiences, I ventured to writing about design, prisons, books, movies, etc. Just by starting my creative journey and doing what I love, in spite of the thoughts that I’m not ready or experienced enough, my future seemed so unpredictable. And that thought is amazing!!

Because of following my curiosities, I now have a life that’s full of magic everyday. I do not know what will happen the next day and I do not intend to think about it because I’m living for today.

I’m barely seven months in this journey and I have already loved so many things. It’s just mindblowing how there are always things out there or here in the internet in which you will love like a book, architecture, movie, show, article, a person, or a song. I intend to keep writing about them as much as I could.

Lastly, thank you for reading. I hope you’re well as well as the people you love. just like I am, you are in your own journey too. I hope you are living your best life. Whatever you are currently doing or planning, as long as you really want it, you will be able to do it. Believe in yourself. Do what you can at this moment right now. Do that everyday, and I promise, you are in a journey to the unknown.

We Can Draw in 30 Days!

Last May 2020, I learned how to draw (again) with the help of Mark Kistler through his book, You Can Draw in 30 Days.

 

I was looking for resources about drawing and I discovered this gem. The book is composed of 30 lessons and each lesson can be completed in less than 30 minutes per day. If you do not have 30 minutes to spare then 15 minutes will do. I completed most of my lessons in less than 15 minutes (promise!). Turn your everyday into a seed.

“If you work on something a little bit everyday, you end up with something that is massive.” – Kenneth Goldsmith


The lessons are extremely beginner-friendly. Do not worry so much on being the best in the beginning. The main goal of the book is to have everyone overcome their fear of a blank page and a paper.

It’s hard to be “best” right away, so commit to rapid and continuous movements. – from the book, Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

Here are some of my drawings in chronological order. Take a look at my progress 😭.

Lesson 1 – 4/29/20


Mark Kistler’s method is having his students draw simple shapes first like this circle. It doesn’t have to perfect. Just do it.

Lesson 2 and 3


Spheres everywhere. Noticed how my shading got better than the first lesson? And how my circle got better as well.


“The more you draw, the more you will really begin to see the fascinating details in the real world around you.” – Mark Kistler

 

Lesson 5 – 5/1/20


Starting Lesson 5, I began to write my thoughts beside my drawings.

Lesson 8 – 5/4/20


One of my favorite lessons! I grew up as someone who thinks that ‘drawing is just not for me’. Hence, being able to draw a koala is a massive achievement for me. I can’t believe that I got to draw an animal omg.


“Albert Bandura used the process of guided mastery— a series of small successes— to help people gain courage and overcome deep-seated phobias.” – from the book, Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

 

Lesson 14 – 5/12/20


This lesson taught me how it is so easy to draw a flower. I will never look at a flower the same way again.

Lesson 15 – 5/12/20


I had so much fun doing this lol. As you can see, the lines aren’t perfect but that’s not the point. The point is to practice and having fun while doing it.

Lesson 16 – 5/12/20


When I was a kid, I always wonder how animators can draw this. Back then, I was wondering. Now, I am doing it!!

Lesson 18 – 5/14/20


Yay! #scrapbookideas

The quote written on the scroll is from the book, Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl, “He who knows the why for his existence can bear almost any how.”

Lesson 20 & 21

This drawings prove to me that I am indeed improving.

And Lesson 30 is the best lesson for me. Lesson 30 is how to draw a human hand. And why is it the best lesson for me?

A little background, last July 2019, as when I was just starting to (really) learn how to draw as an architecture student. Our professor asked us to draw our hand. Here is what I drew:


And now, this is the hand that I drew last May 18, 2020.


Woah. The progress that I made in less than 30 days. Also, in the book, there are drawings of other students as well, that will make you feel that you are not alone in this journey.

And I continued to draw more.


Mark Kistler has another book for those who want to draw more! It’s called: You Can Draw It In Just 30 Minutes.

Never be afraid to try something new. We never know what will happen in the future so let’s do the best thing that we can in the 24 hours that was given to us.

Lastly, I am grateful to Mr. Mark Kistler for his books. You truly had helped lots and lots of people. What I was given, I will share.

The Work Behind the Artwork: Traveler’s Sewing Kit

Last year, I created a desk organizer crafts out of cardboard. Unfortunately, those crafts did not last long. I used glue gun & glue stick in assembling the parts. Speaking from experience, they do not last long enough to savor the function of the craft.

The Traveler’s Sewing Kit is a product of everything that I have learned from crafting and a mashup of objects I have seen in my life. I made everything suited to my needs- someone who does sewing, bookbinding, and cross-stitching.

I drew what my sewing kit would look like. Once I took account of the items that I need to place inside and their dimensions, I added the general dimensions of the kit.

As displayed in my drawing, I had a lot of erasures in the dimensions because I did not take note of the thickness of the cardboard. I became strict with myself and went back into cutting another piece if the previously cut piece did not fit in with the product. Moreover, I covered the sides of the cardboard with used papers so I can paint it later on.

Instead of the usual glue stick & glue gun, I used wood glue- a glue with a longer curing time than the former but definitely lasts longer.

In the old sewing kit that I bought, they were no dividers. Every time I open it, everything is a mess no matter how hard I arrange it every time because I always carry it everywhere so the contents inside are splattered.

In the Traveler’s Sewing Kit, I created three drawers:

● The lowermost drawer and also the biggest is for my unused DMC threads.

● The left uppermost drawer is where the tomato and measuring tape is located. Both are separated by a divider.

● The right uppermost drawer is where the single piece used threads are located.

Overall, keeping everything segregated with each other saves time because I do not have to arrange it every time.

I took special attention to the handle of the kit because I plan to take this every now and then outside of my home. Also, this handle is easy to grab when you are in a hurry or will be carrying it for a long time.

The handles of the drawers are another feature that I pondered a lot on. Instead of the usual circular handles, I opted for this design. From my experience with various furniture handles, this type works best for me. Its easier to push and pull.

In the book Steal Like An Artist, author Austin Klein wrote, “In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who are.” And I wholeheartedly agree.

In creating Traveller’s Sewing Kit, I discovered how I am uncomfortable in starting again. There were times where the pieces that I cut had incorrect dimensions. Therefore, I had to cut another one. In these times, I had this thinking of just leaving it be even if the dimensions are lacking. I discovered that I was just uncomfortable with starting all over again. Once I identified this thinking that I had, I decided that I had to teach myself to be comfortable in starting again. Rebuild rather than settle.

All throughout this project, I am grateful that I got some dimensions incorrectly because I get to teach myself a lesson. I suddenly had greater respect for Thomas Edison. He was not afraid of starting all over again once an experiment failed. Because you do not fail, you learn. He did it. He invented the light bulb!

As I observed people, I discovered in people while they are picking out drawers/kits that they will use, they usually only took account of the objects that they will be placed inside, and most of the time, they left out something important: the user.

The Traveller’s Sewing Kit is perfect for me because it suited my behavior and my needs. This craft would be designed differently if the user is a kid or a senior citizen. I pointed this out because if you look everywhere starting in your home and observe how your family members interact with an item, you would discover a bug in one or two objects.

Real-life example:
Recently, I observed that my grandmother is struggled in opening and closing her clothes kit. It takes a great amount of energy for her to close and open this type of lock.

Thus, she mostly leaves it open. Now, this is a bug. When my family members bought this for her, the only thought of the items that will be placed inside and not how my grandmother interacts with it. There I discovered that this type of lock is not senior citizen-friendly.

The Work Behind The Artwork: Im-possible Dream

I got an idea for this artwork after I read the book, Gravity by Tess Gerritsen. One line from the book resonated with me, “I won’t ever touch the stars, but I can be here to see the others do.”

I am fond of space. When I was kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. That dream was shattered when in highschool freshman, I researched how to become an astronaut and found out that I was not qualified because of my vision. Although now it is possible to have a 20/20 vision through surgery, I realize that designing experiences is what I wanted to do. Things do happen for a reason because if I had a perfect eye vision, I would had been taking up a science degree now.

I read Gravity when I was a senior in highschool. And when I read that line, suddenly a wave of nostalgic-ness splashed over me. I remembered my childhood dream and why I did not pursue it. And that led me to create an artwork.

As shown, the artwork is composed of two elements: eyeglasses & a rocket. I am looking at a rocket before it blasts off to the sky. I titled it as “Im-possible Dream” (yes, the dash is intentional). I previously thought that it was an impossible dream so, I did not pursue it at all but I figured that if I still want it so much then whatever the circumstances are, I will pursue it. I will make my dream possible.

Rediscovering the Familiar: Vertical Lines Found in Lids

Rediscovering the Familiar is a series (I hope!) that focuses on the objects we see mostly in our daily lives. This series aims to share that although, there are objects that are badly designed, most things are designed with intention in mind.

Rediscovering the familiar is a powerful example of how looking at something closely can affect what you see.
– from the book, “Creative Confidence” by David Kelley and Tom Kelley

I started drawing everyday objects and I found something interesting.

First, I drew the Nutella container, followed by the Peanut Butter container. As I drew them, I discovered that both of their lids have vertical lines on them. Then, I looked for other objects that had vertical lines as well and I drew them too.

All of them have vertical lines, mostly on the lids. We can infer that the vertical lines has something to do with making it easier for us to open the container. So why are there containers that has no existing vertical lines on their lids? (e.g. Stick-O container) Although Ecco Food Corp, the one who manufactures Stick-O, added a smaller circular elevation on top of the main lid to make it easier for people to open it and to hold it.

As of the moment, I had found neither a research nor an article to support my claim that vertical lines has something to do with making it easier for people to open the container (but I will definitely edit this once I found a reference). But this is an interesting thing that I had found and would love to talk more on this when I finally meet professional product designers.

“The more you draw, the more you will really begin to see the fascinating details in the real world around you.”- from the book, “You Can Draw in 30 Days” by Mark Kistler

This whole new discovery made ordinary objects seem extraordinary to me. They are like treasure chests waiting to be seen and opened.

I Took a Step and Joined an Artwork Contest

aA few days ago, I am guilty of spending a lot of hours worrying over unnecessary things.

The day before that, I joined an artwork contest about Earth Day. I asked the organizer to conceal my name into initials if ever they will post my work publicly. The next day, they uploaded all artworks in their Facebook page that are submitted including mine. I asked my family to share my work (apparently, there is a people’s choice award). My friend, who is a friend of my mother in Facebook, is quickwitted, immediately concluding that it was me just by the initials stated and immediately shared my artwork to our group of friends. My efforts to obscure my name to the public is useless. Although, I am grateful that he genuinely shared my artwork, not to make me a laughing stock but he wants me to win. I am really grateful for a friend like him who supports uwu.

But like what I had written in the first sentence, I spend almost half of the day, worrying so much about what other people think. I completely had no confidence over my work.

I woke up 2 AM the next day. I cannot go back to sleep, so I decided to watch videos from Urban and Transportation docus to Unjaded Jade’s vlogs. As I watched Unjaded Jade’s latest vlog, in the scene where she just stopped running-slash-walking and sat down in the middle of an empty field, she spoke out a thought. Jade said, “Why do I get stressed about really unnecessary things in life? Why does Jade overthink so much? Because in moments like this, when you are on an empty field and you can just look at the sky, like everything is so inconsequential, like nothing matters. It’s just I’m like a random speck in this huge earth where like every single person is probably worrying about their own lives too.. like the irony of it is just… why worry?”

Oh gohds. It’s a video that I just needed. Her words put everything into perspective. And you know what? By the time, I finished watching her video, sunlight has finally invaded our bedroom. I believe that eveything is a God-incidence moment. You are in that place, in that specific moment because God wants you to hear something, learn something, see something, feel something, or taste something. Ever since the start of quarantine, I never woke up around 2AM and then I just did.

I swear if that sunlight is a human and speaks, his/her words will be like, “Get up. Today is a new day.”

After watching her vlog, I went back to what happened on the previous day and reflected on my actions.

● First, I am grateful that I had the courage to step out of my comfort zone. Joining these contests are included in my steps of gaining courage. So now that its a brand new day, the worries and overthinking are out of my mind and instead all I feel now is gratefulness, that I am able to send out my entry and I did not let my fear completely took over me.

● Second, although I am guilty of spending time worrying instead of living my best life, I have to accept that it happened in the past, and I have been given more 24 hours to live. So I will live. Its all part of the process. I am still just in the beginning and I am not planning on giving up.

● Third, I am grateful that I am surrounded by good people. I overthinked so much and worried that they would think badly of my artwork. But they did not (I think). Well, although I do not care now about what other people think, I know that my friends will support me. And I am so so grateful for them.

● Finally, I am grateful that I am applying the things that I had learned from reading the book, Creative Confidence written by Tom Kelley and David Kelley. In one chapter, they wrote about Prof. Albert Bandura and his famous guided mastery on how people can overcome their deepest fears and phobias.

I did not win the contest. Everyone sent a either a digital media artwork or a painting/sketching/drawing/poster artwork. And I was the only one who sent an unconventional artwork- crochet bag. So, I am grateful that I did not try to fit in into the common types of artworks but instead, I let myself define what an artwork is.

“Failure sucks, but it instructs.”

Truly, it really sucks but it instructs. I wonder if I would have wrote all these things or even suddenly waking up at 2AM if I would had won.

Like what I have read in the book, The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday, nothing really is an obstacle. Let’s imagine ourselves like we are fires. And everything that is on our way are fuel for us- to make us better and stronger. We are like a speck of dust in this whole universe and yet we are all so different and skilled and talented?? Why worry??

First Poncho I Made Out of Used Yarn

The first poncho I ever created but definitely not the last.

Creating this poncho was special for me in a way. Last month, I joined my group of friends into organizing a clothing swap party for Earth Day 2020 (unfortunately, it was postponed due to COVID-19). In organizing the event, I discovered that I do not actually look at my clothes as something special. Like if you would ask me then, what clothing I had right now that is memorable to me, I would have answered, none. Seeing all those stories from my friends, on how they attended clothing swap parties before, I realized that clothes do have stories.

I made this poncho for supposedly the clothing swap party but it was postponed. Regardless, I am proud of my work.

20200320_044920

The story? Here it is.

Upon having the epiphany that ‘clothes do hold stories’, I sought out to make a clothing through crochet (one of my eclectic skills). I only had 2 plys of yarns in stock so good thing, while I was rummaging my stuff, I found a box full of unused yarn from high school so I decided to use all of them into making this poncho.

Through my Visual Techniques class, I learned about the Prang System color wheel and the color theories. So, I applied those in this poncho. If you would look closely, there are a lot of irregularities in terms of the color layers due to, like I had written, the yarns I used.

I am really proud of this because this is the first clothing that I had made and I did not allow constraints such as lack of yarn or even irregularities to discourage me to complete this. Also, I completely felt like I was in the flow while making this. Time seems to flow and I was on my own crocheting. This project ended quite quickly and when I wrote ‘ended’ it means that I had used up all the yarn (that’s why the poncho is quite short).