It’s something that is innate and can’t necessarily be learned. It can however be honed. What I believe will make me a stronger designer is if I take the time to become an artist first.
Art Versus Design:
Artists are more freeform, they think and create based on instinct and vision. Conceptually — Art dissects the world, interprets it, tells stories and makes statements. People make art to convey messages, entertain, and are one of things that bring beauty and ugly to the world. When you read, you interpret stories in literature, you see a story being told on stage or on screen, it is art. It is created and displayed around you (not just in the gallery, but even in your own homes: pictures you hang on your wall is art). It’s for you to interpret, appreciate and it is something that speaks to you. That’s why art is so controversial, even trivial for many because a lot of people don’t “understand it” because they think that something needs to “makes sense” or be concrete or factual for them to believe it or “like it.” And because art is so subjective, sometimes abstract or even fluid, it gets lost and some can’t wrap their minds around it. And for those people, or artists who do “get it” and are more adept at it, that is half the battle, to get those around you to understand (or not). Just like any other discipline, whether it be biology, psychology, or any other olgies, it’s really just a vehicle of piecing together and making sense of life.
Design on the other hand is more tangible. I see design as something that can change the world, because design: whether it be architecture, product or industrial, are things you see, touch and use (everyday even). Designers are more technical, they take the trades that they learn, conceptualize it and create. Great designers have a balance of creativity, practicality and technicality (Bad designers, lack in those elements). Good design can be seen when something is made to be both visually appealing and functionally sound. And good design can improve life. It’s makes sense, we’re always trying to improve technology, there’s always new additions, new versions, upgrades, because designers constantly work to evolve and make things better than before. Which of course, can go both ways. Design can also backtrack, like whenever a car manufactures a new model and it ends up being “uglier” than the first version — ha, it’s tough. I think things can also be overly designed and ideas, again run out and you add on more stuff to advance, but really, this is where design can falter.
In this post-post modern age, the two definitely cross, but depending on the field, they are their own entities. The way I see it is that nowadays, the new trend is hybridity, crossing genres, because we are at the post-post age, new ideas aren’t necessarily new anymore, but rather new interpretations of the old. I don’t know how many more school of thoughts are left (or how many more I can possibly study about in school), all we have now is the recycling of old materials. Steve Wynn, funny enough said it best, that: "There aren’t that many original ideas out there."
im just thinking. have you ever thought about what protects our hearts? we’re just breakable boys and girls, after all. truly vulnerable. some of us can show this fragileness, this delicate flimsy muscle in our chest that tells us everything important in life, some of us can show it, some of us aren’t afraid. but some of us can’t. the world presses down on our human shoulders and even the most promethean efforts couldnt rescue us from such an obscure lieu. i am no longer one of those people. for i, me, in the most unexpected and astounding of senses, have actually made it to the promise land, and i see it on the horizon and people around me gasp “ooh” and i think to myself “well, what do you know?”… i dont know. all i can say is that when im with you, when the music ends abruptly and the artisan takes a break and the children stop crying while the schoolteacher groans, the kind of groan that wilts flowers in their beds where earthworms rejoice silently- funny, dont we all?- well, when im with you, and our fingers intertwine like vines in gardens of victorian manors in god knows where, it really doesnt even matter, with sweat gathering like thousands of awkward assassins and adrenaline and endorphins and all that great stuff shoot through my veins like a mad freight train, chugging, spitting steam, stopping, and again, and my heart, this silly little instrument playing korsakov with insouciant grandeur (oh, how i wish it would beat like this for eternity, please dont ever stop); then the air between us, filled with breath, with breath and no more, despite the fact that words could be uttered, even though all i want to say is ”ne me quitte jamais, mon cher” and that would be it, i could retire early from that point, left to my own devices i would find some pointless cave in taiping, where time would deteriorate to ultimate inconsequentiality; finally, in the end, when im with you, to be quite earnest, i feel, for the first time in quite a while, complete.
“The young Frenchman is forever in love, ambiguous and complex. The young Frenchman isn’t necessarily Parisian, although through sheer perseverance he might indeed end up so.”—Hedi Slimane on the Young Frenchman: A Heartfelt Homage, Man About Town
For Confucius -- scholars, gentlemen or noblemen should be involved in art, in order to cultivate their character, and to understand the "essence of things." Art is a method of self improvement and devotional contemplation.
3rd in line at Ochoron Noodle House in Little Tokyo earlier tonight, I stood next to a kid while waiting for my number to be called. His name was Seth, and he was a short, blonde haired, 5th grader (soon to be in 6th grade mind you), beautiful little hapa half Danish, half Phillipino kid who all of a sudden sparked a conversation with me while I was glued to my blackberry.
"I really like your shoes." he first lined
(looks at my Toms) “Thanks. I like your checkered Vans — looks like you had colored them in blue with a marker.”
We ended up talking for another good 15 minutes before our names were called. The whole time I was thinking to myself, this kid is pretty smart for a little middle schooler. I felt like I was talking to a [mini]adult. We chatted about grade school which led to college (he “aspires” to go to Colorado U - I laugh), Toms shoes, family life in LA versus Colorado, traveling in Asia, spiciness grading scales on ramen noodles — which down the line, led me to my second thought which was, is this kid trying to hit on me? Where are his parents?
But, that is besides the point. Where I’m getting at was Seth had some spunk, he was sociable, a go-getter kinda guy who struck up a random conversation with a total stranger, and he’s what, 12 years old? I can take a thing or two from him, and that is the easiness of socializing and making friends. Maybe even apply it to my dating life.
Unfortunately, he is way below my cougar scale, and my pedophile senses kicked in and I felt wrong wanting his facebook add, but one day, maybe I’ll come across the kid ten years from now, when he’s this amazing handsome young adult. Future husband even.
“What do you personally think is the meaning of life?
I’ll try to answer this as modestly as I can, because such a question is a quest for Absolute Truth, and I don’t think I’m mentally equipped to answer that. An easier question is, perhaps, “at what point does life have real meaning?” Certainly it’s not in material gain or delusional notions of happiness that come in fast-food indulgences. I think the moments that we draw the most meaning in life derive from enlightened encounters – moments with others where both parties are consequently made better people. Once we recognize that, understanding life becomes much more simple.”—Lee Ngo, N.E.A.A.T.O.
“To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.”—Steve Jobs (via mikehudack) (via kevin)
Father’s Day appropriately marks the fifteenth anniversary of the year of my dad’s passing. Being in my twenties now, I’ve sufficiently managed to survive without growing up with a father figure all throughout my late adolescence to teenage years. And as the years go on, I tend to think and acknowledge the memory of my father less and less. Partly because it brings pain and sadness, and the other part of me feels like the only good memories that I have of my father were mere encounters of joy, when he would buy me Power Ranger toys to make up for his faults, like every time he’d light up a cigarette and I’d throw a fit at it — this is all I could really remember at the ages of 7-10, and if anything, that was all that was important to me at the time, toys and family. But this isn’t so much about me dwelling over the failures of my father, he created me and had a genuine drive for success, and negligence were, I would say are just the typical, necessary and well, strange ways that Vietnamese parents show love to their kids — by working all-the-time.
Incidents and snapshots will forever be ingrained in my head, from what I perceive of him — he was a man of scandal: always involved in something of what you would see in movies. We were real life heros, real life villains and the times when he was alive, up until his last day, it was nothing but sensational drama. But those were the days of my childhood. Events have subsided, my family has survived through the resilience and hard work of my mother who kept it all together, and what remains are stories, his red dress shoes and my predominant jawline of which I can thank him for that. I will always have a part of him in me. It’s hard not to make comparisons when I have so many of his physical features, but besides that, I’ve tried to model my life around everything that wasn’t him. But sometimes would fall short, as I find myself dating guys and fulfilling that male need that I’ve always lacked (and refused to get from my brother, who at one point did try to fill those shoes). One day, I will find peace. I’ve already had acceptance, and continually learn more about myself as I piece some of the puzzles together from the past. Today is about fathers, but for me, it is more about my family and how much I appreciate and am thankful that we have a healthy and happy unit. Having always had a small intimate system of three, we’ve since grown bigger with the additions of my sister-in-law and and of course, my nephew and niece. I think this is it, this is what it is all about. Growth. Triumph. Love.
And while this may seem personal to share, I give myself permission to write about my life because how else will the memory live on, and when I pass these entries to my nephew for him to read when he gets older (Ode to Etienne, this blog, has a purpose), I want him to be knowledgeable of his family and history. For everyone else who has their families, whether together or not, we could at least take this time to reflect a bit on who we are in respect to our parents or those who’ve raised us to be.
I am certain that my father would be proud and will be happy to see all the great things that have flowered since his absence.
Sometimes I lose myself, and forget that I am worth so much more. I run around like crazy trying to get some kind of reassurance, some kind of fulfillment, and end up coming back home feeling empty handed, cheated and just plain cheap and dirty. When will these vicious cycles end — when will I finally find whatever the heck it is I’m looking for.
“There’s only about 20 birthdays you should be allowed to celebrate. And the others? You’re wasting cake and paper….Here are the 20 you can celebrate: 1 through 9 you get a birthday. Cos you’re a little kid! A little kid gets a birthday. 10, you get a birthday. Now you’re in the double digits. Something’s different…13, you get a birthday. Now you’re a teenager….16 you get a birthday, cos now you can drive…18? Awesome birthday, cos you can buy a gun and vote….When you’re 19, you get a birthday, because it’s your last year as a teenager….When you’re 20, you get a birthday. Any time you enter a new set of tens: 20, 30, 40, 50, you get a birthday. 21, you get an awesome birthday. And then, THAT’S IT. A birthday every ten years. “I’m 26!” Great, go to work. Who gives a shit?”—
Thank you so much for speaking to my MACL class last night. They truly found your experience to be enlightening and heartfelt. I appreciate it so much. Please give me your home address, so I can send you a thank you. You have a gift at public speaking.
One of the habits of the amphetamine addicts was to steal anything they could.
'We were pioneers in this,' Ondine wrote. 'Once we started lifting things there was a rash of it everywhere. The drug may have been responsible. It gave you courage and enabled you to commit crimes with relish.'
1964-65: On Andy Warhol and his love for raiding homes of the wealthy during film projects
“People today want approval for the way they dress, which is the kiss of death. You can’t really do your own thing unless you know who you are. I think there is a very deleicate kind of merger between your clothes and your personality, a give and take between who you are and what you are wearing”—Richard Merkin, 60’s artist on indefinable style