*Top photo by my good friend, Michael Newsted.
I really truly appreciate and love the friends that are in my life right now – some old and some new ones. Recently, with a chance of (or perhaps it was finally time) releasing an old resentment that took up large part of my inner world, I found myself wide open for new knowledge, discoveries and love. I can’t even explain all the magical things that have been happening to me. Most importantly, through all that, I have a group of friends that allow me to question, to share and to discuss from career to everything spiritual.
Often times, people would ask how I become friends with such amazing group of people. I never really have a clear answer for it, but I am a true believer of being genuine with good intention, have faith, just let things happen naturally and the right people will come along. We are close because we value the idea of helping and supporting each other more than anything and that’s important in order to grow together.
I hope you have a group of friends that are there to support you too!
*image source: my Instagram
Have you seen the beautifully designed Mad Men collection from Estée Lauder? I have a set and I’m just loving it! To go with the theme, I’ve created a Pinterest board for Estée Lauder. I just can’t get enough of the fashion and glamour in the 50s and 60s.
*image sources: logo and products from Estée Lauder.
It’s been a week since I returned from this year’s SXSW. I had such a wonderful time speaking on a panel with Suzanne Schloot of Kate Spade and Natanya Anderson of Whole Foods Market, hosted by Jean Schneidnes of Neiman Marcus.
Sharing my personal story:
I must admit, public speaking is something I have avoided for most of my life. As an artist, I want my creativity to be heard and seen, but at the same time I want to be away from the spotlight. However, I’m at a stage where I consciously desire to remove old habits and face old fears. So, I said yes to the opportunity. For about a month before the panel date I was struggling so much. I struggled with, of course, fighting the fear of public speaking. I struggled with turning my daily creative process into words (Why do I Instagram my breakfast? I don’t know!). And then I struggled with the urge of self-sabotage (the good old “Oh, I’m not good enough.”). Thankfully, I’m surrounded by friends that understood my fear and they believe in me so much. That alone, knowing you’re loved, gives power to courage. Thanks to Joy, Bri, Jen, Sally, Brett and Joel for being there, means so much. Sorry to sound like I’m making an Oscar speech, but I just have to give hugs to Michael, Joanna and Jacki of The Soil & The Sun as well. As nervous as I was and as crazy as the scenes were, the time spent on those Austin streets with the three of them was magical. And then a chance to have my very first Austin’s breakfast burrito with Tyler of Handsome Coffee Roaster an hour before the panel was just amazing. I mean, you can’t beat eating breakfast, drinking coffee and listening to a successful business owner sharing his personal stories. Last person to thank: Thank you, sis, for secretly being part of the audience! xo
On Visual Voice:
Our panel’s topic was Visual Voice: Branding on Photo Networks. So what is “visual voice”? Here’s a good recap of what we covered and some “live” tweets for little snippets. I was on the panel, but I learned so much about social media from the corporate point of view. Here, I’ll share my point of view as an artist, a personal brand. First of all, with everything you do you should get to know yourself first. You can’t sell yourself without knowing what you’re all about. Have the courage to be your true self, then streamline your work, your personal style, your pins, your Instagram… everything should make sense together. With that, brands and clients with similar esthetic will approach you. Keep in mind though, when you shift your brand you’ll most likely lose some followers, but that’s ok because you’re losing those (sadly) that you can’t connect with anyway. Having a clear identity and personality will help set you apart. Of course, there are other factors too, such as talent and hard work.
I know that social media doesn’t quite work with all personalities, but it works for me. I like to express myself visually, I enjoy documenting life and beautiful people and things, so visual networks are perfect for me. Find something that works for you, if you share your creative outlet people will respond. I think being an artist nowadays is a fortunate thing because we can take advantage of social media and broadcasting our work is a lot easier and faster.
*image source: my Instagram
About two or three years ago, I made a point to always make time for myself. It was difficult in the beginning because 1) the society has conditioned us to think that if we’re not busy then we’re lazy, 2) I’m a workaholic and 3) I didn’t know what to do with myself. At first, I’d take short breaks – leave the desk for lunch, stop by a bookstore or 30 minutes walk by the beach… Now I just pick a day or two out of the week and not work. I’ll be honest, even typing this makes me feel guilty. What would my clients think?! However, I learn to let that negative feeling go fairly quickly because I know, in the end, the break from work will be beneficial to me personally and professionally. It’s good to go out, get some fresh air, see some friends, talk about things that bother you, hear different perspectives and feel energized again. I often tell myself this: Even superheroes feel defeated and need to rest sometimes.
image source: Bonnie Tsang’s Instagram