Monday, August 07, 2017

Pope's Intention (August)


Out of all the things that I am capable to do, I *think* the most capable thing that I know I can excel in, is art. Although I doubt myself over and over again and even up until now, I have tried, strived and wanted to be the best but unfortunately that didn't happen lol. Last month I helped to design this signage for the COD St. Thomas More Family Day booth. I envisioned the signage to be 'chalkboard inspired' and was really hoping that I could produce the good outcome on it. Well, turns out...it was just not how I wanted it to be. First, I didn't realised that I spelt the word 'gourmet' with an extra 'N' until one COD member pointed it out in the group chat. I remembered I had to attend a briefing at work and did not manage to check my phone 2 hours later. When I finally realised it, I was like 'Oh DAMN.' It's not a major thing to be honest but then I don't know why it affected me so much that I ended up blaming the mistakes to myself. Plus, let's talk about the lettering on the signage as well. Obviously, I was writing the drink menu OUT of the baseline which resulted an obvious inconsistency on the text. I was told how the other stalls had really nice signages (because it was done from computer so of course it would be nicer) and then...there was my signage. Painstakingly hand drawn at the 11th hour and was displayed with its full glory during the Family Day. I know nobody complained about it or say anything bad about it but...it is just me being too hard on myself. Having too much demand in myself but failed to achieve it. 

I think that's how the art people can be. No matter how much time and effort you put into producing your artworks, you can still be unsatisfied about it. One of the evil reason being: comparing yourself to others. I don't even know how to get through this most of the time. It's like the minute someone is telling me how great their artwork is, I ended up questioning about my own artwork. Is it good enough? Has my watercolour skills improved or has my lettering skills are up to par after putting a lot of time to practice? All these overthinking and 'being hard on myself' is truly something that I battle most of the time especially when it comes to my own artistic skills. It's funny that I teach art+design for a living and yet I still feel very underachieved in so many aspects in my life lol.

The point that I am saying is that a lot of times when I go through this 'artistic-block' I tend to forget immediately on the sole purpose on why I was doing this in the first place. Last week, I was requested to design a banner for the Pope's Prayer Intention to put it on a Church's website. It was so apt that this month, the Pope's prayer intention is directly towards artists and it was definitely something that I needed when I am currently in this situation.

“This world in which we live needs beauty in order not to sink into despair. It is beauty, like truth, which brings joy to the human heart and is that precious fruit which resists the wear and tear of time, which unites generations and makes them share things in admiration.”

“Architects and painters, sculptors and musicians, filmmakers and writers, photographers and poets, artists of every discipline, are called to make beauty shine, especially where darkness and greyness dominate everyday life; they are custodians of beauty, heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity, as my predecessors have repeated many times.”

They say that every Christian is called to be an instrument of God. No matter what our role is, big or small...we have been gifted with skills and talents to use and glorify it back to God. The problem with me is that I neglect this very reason and probably never truly appreciate this beautiful gift and blessing. So thank you Pope Francis for this wonderful reminder yet again and also to assure that the things that I do will always be glorified back to God. I know I am never gonna be as great as Michelangelo and make beauty shine throughout the Sistine Chapel but I hope I am able to understand that through my little effort in making/creating art, it will eventually make all things beautiful and also bring joy to the human heart. As for that coffee signage, although it is not appealing as it looks like, I will try to be better again.

P/S: I might fall back to having insecurities with my art skill again from time to time. Please do bear with me hahahah. I am trying hard to work on myself :)

P/P/S: Wow, finally an update!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother


Mother's Day can be something that is wonderful and yet, it can also be something that is very emotional or painful for some people. Now that social media has literally taken over the world, everyone seems to want their feelings to be known whether is is happy, sad, angry, disappointed, excited...etc. It is good in a way, at least you would know how your friend is doing when you don't get to see them in a while but sometimes it can also be a little too much? Especially when they find the need to always vent out their feelings first on social media instead of dealing it personally...but then, it is after all their own choice to do what they want on their own social media platforms. On events such as Mother's Day, I feel like I have to be cautious in what I post in order not to offend anyone, especially my friends who have lost their mothers, who have never experienced having a mother on their side before or those who are single parents. Today, I'm praying that although you might continue to experience the hurt and pain, I ask that may God's grace will give you hope. Hope to see the light through your darkness no matter how long it takes. It's hard for me to understand because I have never been in their shoes before so the least I can do is to offer a prayer and hopefully it can help someway or another. Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers out there and also to my mom, thanks for everything. May the intercession of Mary continue to guide all of you always.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love Day 2017


This painting was painted as per request from my (grand) niece/god daughter when I gave her my Christmas card back in December. I initially wanted to give it to her on her Birthday as an art print but unfortunately the all print shops near my workplace decided to close early on the Eve of CNY (of course, DUH!) so I told her that I will only give it to her when I am back next time :) I thought this painting is so apt for Valentine's Day as well.  Killing two birds with one stone lol. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY everyone! I'm thinking of re-watching some old chick flick movies tonight and I think I'm gonna choose to watch either You've Got Mail or Sleepless in Seattle? Or should I just continue watching k-drama? Currently watching Goblin and lovin' it so far. Ahjussi men somehow attracts me more 😂

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Lunar New Year 2017


Please excuse my absence in this blog because as soon as I am back from the Christmas holidays, I started work and the new semester also started as well. Got busy, adjusting with the new semester and all, then it is already Chinese New Year. So here I am again, back in my hometown for the CNY holidays. Initially I didn't want to be home since I was just home in December but alas, I decided it would be much better to spend my CNY holidays here in KK. Haven't been doing anything productive for the past few days, except for meeting up with my cousins, had a CNY dinner at my aunt's place and also had a mini road-trip with my girlfriends to Kokol Haven yesterday. The only productive thing that I felt I've done was today, when I met up with one of my oldest friend Aaron, to discuss about a freelance design job that I am helping out to do. I knew Aaron since primary school and we also were in the same secondary school so we've been friends for over 20 years. Anyway, had a really good catching up with him and hopefully I will be able to hang out with him again when I am back. This freelance job that I am partaking is very interesting but also quite a challenge as well but I told myself this year will be about taking every opportunities that I am offered without feeling afraid. Yeah...hopefully I can continue to do this.

Things at home still hasn't changed much, I think my boiling points here are more extreme than when I am in the Peninsula. You tend to get blamed over things that is not even your fault but...you can't do much about it but to just try to channel your 'zen' mode. Anyway, not gonna talk about this here, it'll just ruin the CNY mood LOL. I'm here to just pop by and wish everyone a Happy Lunar/Chinese New Year, may the year of fire rooster brings you more blessings, health, wealth and a prosperous year. May we can overcome all the challenges under God's faith and blessing as well. There are a couple of things that I wanna achieve this year, one of the important highlight would be to make my UK trip happen...die die also must go! Hahaha...as if the economy is now in good hands right? Well, have faith and continue to pray. AMEN.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Finding Joy (Belated Christmas Day Post)

Handmade Christmas card received from Ivan Ho.
Today is the Feast Of The Epiphany, which also marks the end of Christmas. The gospel today is also an interesting one, talking about the quest of Magi where they are on a journey to follow the one and only star, which is the Messiah. You know, I used to not like singing 'We Three Kings' during caroling because I personally find the song quite sorrowful since it's slow and a little bit down haha. But now, I actually liked it a lot and reading the lyrics made me understand so much better about the three wise men and their longing/quest in following that particular star after all these years hahaha. Pope Francis explained it so well on how the Magi represent people like you and me, people who are lost, broken and is out there seeking God. Pope stated that, “Don’t give Jesus only your “spare time” or “some thought occasionally, like the Magi, let us set out, clothing ourselves in light, following the star of Jesus, adoring the Lord with our whole selves.” Couldn't agree more :)

Anyway, I was planning to post something on Christmas day but, I was too caught up with helping out with the wedding stuff when I was back in KK and I just didn't had the time to just sit and write down a proper post. So I guess today will be the day I'm doing it since it's back to reality for me already pffft. I know I do get excited on being able to be home to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends but, I gotta be honest and I know I've blogged about this before in year 2013 & 2014 about finding the joy of Christmas, but the thing is...it is still so hard to find that 'joy' looking at my situation. One of the most important things in finding the joy for Christmas is when you are able to celebrate it with your family, together as a whole unified team. I have not felt like that for many years now and the sad thing is, I always need to find 'joy' out from my very own family. I mean, yes I do love celebrating Christmas with my cousins and best friends but it's a totally different feeling when you can celebrate it with with your own parents and siblings. That particular 'joy' is in my honest opinion, has already long gone. I think I was already holding down my tears the minute my parents came to fetch me at the airport on Christmas Eve. Our family car was in a mess, there was no effort to even make the house look Christmas-y and basically looking at my house situation, I might think it is slowly on the verge of collapsing, I'm not even kidding. I wasn't very happy about it and I was actually quite angry at that time, but the minute my mom said that she has to literally do almost everything by herself, my heart broke into a million pieces.  Not to sound like I'm exaggerating but oh man, I was asking God why am I feeling like this when I am about the to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year?

Longing for that kind of 'joy', I am not even sure when will I get to experience it again. I talked about this to my cousin Merl on Christmas Day, while we were busy hunting for wedding stuff. I guess she and her siblings are probably having a harder time than me because they've lost both their parents and it's definitely hard for them not to think about their parents during Christmas. But what we agreed upon was that, we just have to find joy from each other and I think we are just going to continue doing that in years to come. During the Christmas Eve mass, I was very surprised when the priest said that it was hard for him to feel the joy of Christmas even when the choir was singing the opening hymn about glorifying God to the highest. I was like, "Father, you don't feel the joy too?" But I think it was because of the pressure and stress that he must've felt since he had made a promise to the parishioners that the air conditioner for the Church was supposed to be installed few months back but it wasn't ready yet till now. Well, I don't blame him as I know that he's been doing a lot of things for the Church and also he had to take care of his health, which is more important. But being a good priest he is, even if he personally said that he did not felt the 'joy', he still managed to deliver a good homily that evening stating that Jesus was born for a reason and we should open our hearts and give him a chance to be inside because through him, is where we are able to find the 'joy' that we are looking for. Let Him work within our hearts, all we have to do is never lose faith in Him.

I think that's why Advent is such an important time to give us the time to not only reflect and reconcile but to me, it was like a challenge in finding the faith, hope, joy and peace in what we do, the people we are with as well as our surroundings. Maybe it is difficult for me to find that particular 'joy' that I wanted during Christmas, but I have to always remind myself to constantly be thankful that I am after all still with my family. I can pray for the 'hope' that one day, I will eventually feel the 'joy' of Christmas again. All I need is to continue to have 'faith' in Christ, always be patient in His timing and eventually learn to have 'peace' in my mind and also towards my own family. The true joy will come, in His time. I pray that God will not give up on my family, just yet. I hope you did had a wonderful and Blessed Christmas. Let's look forward to continue our journey to walk along the way of God's mercy and tenderness, as stated by Pope Francis :)