“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.” -Haruki Murakami
Oh I’m just procrastinating from packing up my house and having photoshoots with beautiful dying flowers. And I like this song.
No summer has not come back to Amsterdam. I’m just mentally preparing myself to dive into summer on steroids in Texas. I complain about this rainy wind that Amsterdam likes to call summer but I’m starting to get scared about getting off the plane and jumping into 100F/40C plus weather. My sweat glands will probably freak out for having hibernated for three years and start running like a faucet as soon as I step on Texan soil. So to get excited/prepared for this, I made a little survival gear treasury list on etsy called Essential Summer Gear.
Tote Bag by byMART
Flask by Meanglean
It makes my heart ache just writing this but it’s official: I’m moving out of the most adorable city in the world. I’ve had a great three-year run and my time here has shaped and changed me in ways that’s still difficult to comprehend. I’m pretty sad to go but I’m also really excited for what is in store for me. My future is still yet to be determined and it’s always exciting to dive into the unknown. All I know for now is that I’m getting on an airplane back to the motherland and regrouping in hot hot Texas for a bit. Then, who knows? Only time will tell.
The first weeks of being in Amsterdam.
Beautiful houseboats, beautiful canals.
I will miss you dappermarkt!
Queens Day, aka the best party in the world
Summer in Oosterpark
Crashing gallery openings
There’s more than prostitution in Amsterdam windows.
So many parties in this house.
I will miss the bicycle more than anything.
Winter, houseboat, boyfriend!
They love dem flowers here.
A short film I made when I first moved to Amsterdam.
I love the world of stop motion animation. It brings me right back to childhood, of folding little origami sheets and making these paper creatures come to life. There’s something magical about it. If you need to be converted, check out these amazing videos by Australian duo MaricorMaricar.
I started this site about six months ago to more or less catalog my interests and personal work. But when I look back and study all the posts I’ve published so far, I’m starting to see that my blog is just a big love letter to creativity. I’m obsessed with the creative mind. I love anything imaginative and thought provoking. Whether it manifests itself in a film, a painting, a delicious meal, or an idea, as long as it has a spark, I’m interested. I’m not fussed by the medium.
So now that I’ve defined what my blog is about, I want to share this podcast from the Guardian Science Weekly about creativity and the brain. Neuroscientist John Lehrer and author of Imagine -How Creativity Works sheds light on some of the scientific mysteries behind the creative mind. Most people define a creative discovery coming to the person as an “ah ha” moment, like an epiphany that just appeared to them. Bob Dylan describes the song “Like a rolling stone” as a pure moment of insight, a flooding in of lyrics and music. Because the very idea of creativity is so ethereal, science has had a difficult time measuring and studying how these moments appear into the mind. But many of the observations they have made are pretty telling.
They found that students who are too drunk to drive are 30% better at solving creative problems. Obviously rock stars and many writers are already aware of the creative benefits of drugs and alcohol, they realize your ah ha moments usually does not come from sitting in front of a computer. But while inspiration is a key to creativity, the other main ingredient needed is persistance. Success comes from perspiration and going through revisions and edits.
So how do you maximize your creativity? Work really really hard. What separates Picasso, Einstien, Dylan from others? Single mindedness and persistence.
Remember the cute little baby geese behind the house? Eeeew check them out now! They’re definitely going through their awkward adolescent phase. They’ve entered junior high and are full of acne and braces. I had to feed them bread the other day and assure them that this phase will pass and they will soon be glowing white handsome young adults. Here’s the progression of their short childhood below.
I’m back from my trip to wonderful Italy. It was amazing. Besides the obvious great food and weather, it seems that Italy has also perfected their package design. Everytime I went to the store I would stare at the boxes of salt or study the color palettes of each coffee brand. Who makes salt look sexy? The Italians. Did I tell you I love Italy?
Staring at all this beautiful design reminded me of Louise Fili’s work. She is an Italian-American graphic designer based in New York and her aesthetic is very Italian. She started off designing book jackets but these days she specializes in food packaging and restaurant branding. I really love the Italian art deco look and she’s able to somehow pull off this classic style onto logo re-designs and give it a much fresher look. Check out some of the before and after pictures of her re-branding here. And a nice interview with her here.
Somebody teach me how to sew and I’ll use this entire textile collection by Japanese shop Nani Iro to make summer dresses. Nani Iro means “Any Color” and I really love their choice of color palettes combined with their off beat designs.