April 13, 2011 § Leave a Comment
February 24, 2011 § 8 Comments
Decided to do a song post! My playlist in general is a rather limited affair. It’s 50% sermons, 20% Christian songs (of which 90% is Hillsong albums), 20% soundtracks and the remaining 10%, others.
These ‘others’ don’t often include many current or latest hits because I honestly feel very little for much of mainstream music. (Find it hard to listen to songs without meaningful lyrics). Most of my secular songs come from friends as recommendations, or random songs I hear used in short films on the internet. HAHA.
So for tonight here’s 10 songs from the 10% that are on my favourites list. Be warned that there may (generally) be a lot of Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor on this list!
(In no particular order.) « Read the rest of this entry »
February 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
For those of us who have been in church for a while, our leaders have often mentioned that there are many life lessons that can be gleaned from serving in ministry, lessons that will accompany you in the workplace and shape you as a person.
I’ve been serving for over 4 years now, and I’d have to say there this statement is true. While I am always, still learning, I have taken several key lessons with me from the pulpit out into the working world.
1. Remain teachable
No one likes a know-it-all, even if you really (think you) know-it-all. Carry yourself with a spirit of humility, not false humility and general Singaporean ‘paiseh’-ness (no lah no lah…). If someone praises you, accept it humbly and say thank you. It is not a crime to be good. It is only a crime to be full of yourself. If you do something wrong and get corrected, take it with a heart of teachability, accept your mistakes, take responsibility for your actions, right the wrongs as well as you can, and move on and be excellent. No one is beyond correction. Don’t wallow or remain shell-shocked at your mistake and ruminate in it, because that is arrogance and self-pride in thinking that you are beyond making mistakes. We are young, we are fresh, we are inexperienced, we live, and we learn.
2. Have an excellent spirit
Be the best _____ you have been called to be. Your job may not be glamourous, the hours may be long, the tasks may be demanding, seemingly unreasonable at many times. I have been called upon to do work in a few hours, to make more changes than would be considered ethical, to do ‘grunge’ designs I feel nothing for, but at the end of the day, to represent the heart and vision of the ministry. Having an uncomplaining spirit is part of being excellent. The saying goes: If you cannot be trusted with little, no one will trust you with much. So do all that is allowed into your hands, well. For if you cannot manage the small responsibilities (though they may seem menial to you, and ‘beneath’ what you think you should be doing), no one will give you big ones.
3. Honour your leaders/superiors
So you might think (or know) you’re better than them at this or that. They may not be as knowledgeable as you about certain things, but they have still been placed as an authority above you. Honour and give them respect regardless of their competence. You don’t disrespect your mother for not knowing how to use an iPhone or shut down your Mac computer. You don’t treat a person according to their ability or inability to do their jobs, or do your job. Again this goes back to the above statement: if you cannot be trusted with little, no one will trust you with much. If you don’t respect those placed above you, it is unlikely that you will respect those who will be placed under you in future. A good leader is a teacher, not a dictator. A good teacher starts with being a good listener and a willing learner. Honour is a choice. You may submit to a person because they are stronger than you, not because you respect them, and this is not out of personal choice but inevitability. But to choose to submit even when you know that person is not as ‘good’ as you think you are, shows your true weight in worth as a person. That is honour, that is respect.
There are many lessons I have taken away from church, these are but some that have made me who I am. Many of the things I’ve mentioned above I’ve learned the hard way, but I’ve learned anyway, and am still always learning.
May 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
I received another green envelop today!
It’s so preeeeeeetty! And it’s kind of uncanny because I know I’ve definitely seen that pendant somewhere online before (tumblr possibly), and I remembered thinking it was such a nice pretty thing to have and now I have it! LOVES!!
I’m off to Amsterdam tomorrow. SUPER excited about it! I’ll be in Amsterdam tomorrow and Thursday, Rotterdam Friday to Sunday for the European Design Conference, and Monday and Tuesday in Amsterdam again. Pulling an overnighter in Schiphol airport on Tuesday and will be coming back from Geneva on Wednesday (visit the Red Cross Museum and do the UN tour).
AND I found out that there’s Art Amsterdam going on while I’m there so it’s pretty awesome, I’m going to get to go to TWO big design events! Will probably be heading there for opening night tomorrow since it’s going to be open till 10pm and I only touch down in Amsterdam around 5pm.
I’m so ridiculously excited about going to Amsterdam and just spending my time browsing vintage shops and kooky indie designer products that I can’t afford but love looking at anyway. AND there’s all the kind of museums that I LIKE. Dutch Resistance Museum, Jewish Historical Museum, Anne Frank House…
I’ll be alone for quite a bit, Walter will pretty much only be meeting me for the conference in Rotterdam and a day in Amsterdam.
I’ll see if I can blog on the road, will bring my little EEE PC which has been largely neglected of late.
Okay, inspiration time. Here’s some really cool stuff my Google Reader picked up in the past couple of days.
Riveli Shelving. It’s a fold-downshelving unit for small spaces! Real cool.
Installation by Alex McLeod.
Really like this corporate identity!
Design by Bruneau Rossow. WKW should brand the research department like this. Way coolness.
Great looking graphic work by Rishi Sodha! Really do check this one out, it’s awesome.
Freelancer notepad. Wants. And oh, definitely do browse the Supermarket site, it’s an online shop that sells directly from designers! Really unique, kooky and interesting design goods at prices I’m still unwilling to fork out money for. Lol. But it’s all good stuff.
And on another note, time to plug the Boston Big Picture again.
I have my cynicisms about the sanctity of journalistic traditions and how it’s being upheld by the media conglomerates of the world. But looking through the amazing photos on this site always brings back the pride and belief I have in the role of journalism and photojournalists. Many a photo there has made my heart skip beats, the recent Bangkok ones especially, along with the Vietnam War and current Afghan War ones being juxtaposed so closely after the other in a slightly ironic way. Seeing pictures of fallen photojournalists (Bangkok entries) always makes my heart sick. Seeing the damage to the ecosystem the oil spill is having makes my blood simmer.
These pictures evoke emotions and the desire for a call to action. They stay with you, echoed imprints in your mind that bridge the geographical gap between these seemingly distant events and yourself. This to me is why journalism need exist. Why photographers continue to die in the line of duty to tell a story that isn’t even theirs. These pictures tell me that journalism is still very much alive, that the economic monster of the 21st century hasn’t completely killed it yet. Long live the honour of men and women who continue to tell the stories that the world may not want to, but needs to hear. God bless their souls.
Well, I’ll end on this slightly solemn note. Go look at the pictures. Think. Reflect. Be thankful for the small things and live each day to the fullest. These are turbulent times we live in. Life is too unpredictable to postpone your dreams.
Peace out and I’ll blog again from Amsterdam!
May 21, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Okay. Here goes something I’ve been intending to do for a while.
I’ve been browsing so many awesome things every day that I think it’s time I share them with everyone.
Let me try to keep this up regularly.
8 designs that inspired me today:
1. Columbia U Film Festival
What I hope WKW will be able to have some day in the not so distant future.
5 articles I read that were useful/inspiring:
1.Women In Web Design: Group Interview
Is it difficult for female designers to find their place in the design community?
I personally don’t believe it is difficult. Talent speaks much louder than gender. Good work is good work. I’ve never had any issues with being a woman in the industry, and I feel I’ve had the same opportunities as my male counterparts. Although, it is still disappointing to go to conferences and rarely see many female speakers. Is this because gender is still a factor in the industry, or is it simply because there are fewer of us?
However, I think part of the problem lies in the lack of willingness among many female designers to get involved in self-promotion. I believe as a whole that we don’t tend to bang the drum about our work as hard or market ourselves as strongly. In Jeffrey Zeldman’s article “Women in Web Design: Just the Stats,” he writes in the comments something that reinforces my thoughts on this:
More men brag than women; it seems to be a culturally learned behaviour. Several absolutely brilliant women I know cannot be persuaded to write or lecture or otherwise promote themselves… There’s a concensus that women, however smart or talented, are less likely than men to put themselves forward. We all miss out by not hearing their voices.
Without a doubt, the industry is male-dominated. For example, just in the UK, women make up only around 39% of those in the design industry (Design Council). I think this is mainly because Web design is still confused with IT in general. Many females feel you have to be a math, science or programming whiz to pursue it as a career and simply don’t believe they have the ability.
What should students and new designers focus on outside of their course work to advance in their careers?
It’s important to expand your knowledge to any areas that are related to design. Most design courses concentrate on the basics or on how to use the various pieces of software that are available. These are just basic tools for new designers, but they won’t make you a great designer.
Learn about art, layout and composition, and try to read at least one new book on design every month, or even one per week. Subscribe to design blogs such as Smashing Magazine and Webdesigner Depot, and never stop learning. Keep updating your knowledge whenever possible by attending conferences, reading books and magazines and becoming involved in the local artistic community. Try to become a well-rounded designer, not just an operator of Photoshop or another design software tool.
George Lois, the real-life inspiration for Don Draper in Mad Men, said it best:
“The computer has played a role in destroying creativity with Photoshop. Everybody thinks they’re a designer.”
While he may be generalizing a bit, I believe what is meant is that you can’t be a proper designer without understanding the fundamentals of art and design.
Know Your Stuff
One of the biggest challenges of forgoing a traditional education is to actually get an education at all.
Self-taught designers must be extremely well disciplined. In addition, they must have the resources to be able to study graphic design and learn any skills they will need. The Internet is both a blessing and a curse. We’re so used to finding everything instantly that we forget the importance of internalizing information.
Attention to detail is of utmost importance. People will judge you harshly because you don’t have a degree, so you have to show them why they are wrong. Know your design principles and practice them well, and the critics will shut up pretty quickly. In addition to tutorials and online information, read books on graphic design. Some recent research-based design books introduce new principles that are here to stay.
Like it or not, people have a bias for academia. You need to prove why being self-taught gives you an edge to better engage your audience. Don’t forget the importance of the portfolio as a tool to earn people’s trust in your skills. In addition to conventional projects, make sure to showcase work that is somewhat academic in nature and that shows off your knowledge of sound design principles.
College provides a unique bubble of responsibility-free time. Seriously. Think about it, at what other point in your life are you able to dedicate 100% of your focus towards becoming whatever you want to be? In college, self-improvement is your full time job.
College teaches you social skills, time management, and responsibility. Alright, so that sounds like something off a promotional brochure, but honestly, are you really mature enough (financially and socially) at 18 to hurdle into the professional world of web design/life in general?
Limit the number
If you can, try and keep it to about 6-10 good size projects. People don’t want to go through everything you have done and will probably make up their minds about you during the first 3 you show. Obviously if you don’t have much to show for any of them (e.g an individual logo) you could consider showing more projects.
Select your best
I can’t stress this one enough and you will hear the same thing from other people in the industry: Only select your best work and work you want to talk about. If you don’t love it or can’t talk about it endlessly, over and over, it will show and they won’t be interested. I know myself it’s tempting to fill out your portfolio with work that isn’t your best but shows other skills or types of client. But it won’t be long before you struggle to talk about them engagingly, and you will come across as not enjoying your work.
PHEW! Wow. Never knew putting together a post like this was so much work! Shall find a way to be able to do a daily inspiration entry more efficiently. But hopefully I’ll keep it up so expect more to come.