poppies

The sun is here again, the nights are more bearable and I’m slowly shredding away my second doona… Spring is only a few days away!

I will not miss Winter. I dislike the cold, the stuffiness of multiple thick layers of clothing, and especially the Winter blues… but I will miss one thing.. my favourite Winter flower- poppies! I’ve been finding it hard to find these delicate beauties until a lovely milliner gave me some tips. Over the weekend I ran to the market to grab them before the season was over and for only $6. I’ve had them for four days and they are surprising me everyday with new colours.

poppy

Even the one with a broken stem which I’ve popped into a jar is blooming already.

I haven’t been very well for the last few weeks and I’m so sick of this gloomy Melbourne Winter weather that I’m dreaming of travelling again. Truth be told, my mind is always on travelling but the travel bug is getting stronger and I thought I’d spend this morning listing places I’ve been thinking about for a while now.

California

1. California

I’ve been to California before but it was brief. During my brief stay last year, I fell in love with the weather and the chill and relaxed nature of its inhabitants. I only had one day in LA, two days in San Diego, one day in San Francisco and two days at Bass Lake and hiked in Yosemite National Park. I especially want road trip along the coast, find solace at Salvation Mountain, see Audrey Kawasaki‘s work in her own hometown, hug Mickey at Disneyland and explore Little Saigon.

Paris

2. Paris

Parisian culture and lifestyle has always intrigued me. I’ll definitely smell flowers in Monet’s Garden, take the mandatory Eiffel Tower photos, smile at Mona Lisa at the Louvre and munch on croissants in St Germaine. It’s a place I know I will love everything about!

Japan

3. Japan

Everyone is always surprised when I say that I have never been to Japan. It’s an assumption many friends have made because I was a huge Japanese fangirl back in my teenage years and I love Japanese food. I’ll be taken away into the imagination of the Studio Ghibli museum and the ‘kawaii-ness’ of Sanrio Puroland but that will ease as I will reach zen as I relax in my own onset at a Japanese style inn.

Iceland

4. Blue Lagoon, Iceland

I dislike the cold but something about this place draws me in. The contradiction of its existence and its beauty. It’s also only 39 km from Reykjavik and its quaint colourful houses is like an illustration from a children’s book!

Hungary

5. Hungary

I honestly do not know much about Hungary but Eastern Europe has been calling out to me for a long time. Something about not knowing exactly what the language sounds like, what kind of food, what kind of sights to see is so alluring. One thing for sure it is a beautiful place.

Western Australia

6. Pink Lake, Western Australia

Something closer to home for me. Who knew a lovely natural wonder is just two states away? Possible road trip!

Greece

7. Greece

Sun baking on the white beaches; sipping cocktails on a little boat and dipping into the azure waters and walking amongst the remnants of civilisations past. The colours of this place just make me smile.

New York

8. New York City

Of course. I’ve been there twice on solo trips and love it even more each time.

It sometimes takes a night out on the town to get one re-inspired. My friend and I attended the Melbourne International Film Festival on Wednesday night and watched the documentary Dior and I.

The documentary gives us a behind the scenes of the making of a Dior Couture collection, which also coincides with the newly appointed  creative director Raf Simons. Raf is given the monumental task of creating a Couture collection in only 8 weeks for a brand with so much history and prestige. We also meet the other staff like the ateliers, managers, CEO and tailors who make Dior happen and laugh, cry and stress with them as they balance private clients and making this new collection happen.

It was amazing to see the creative process behind the collection, from the mood boards to sketches to the sewing table and then the runway.. and Raf doesn’t even sketch! I enjoyed how the documentary spent its time with the ateliers, their workmanship is extraordinary and  they truly make Dior.

Watching this documentary reiterated why I enjoy creating and to create art which people live in without realising is truly a dream come true. It definitely gave me the much needed motivation to keep working and I’m now more keen to watch more fashion documentaries!

PS. The eye palette above is the only Dior product I have! The beautiful photo is by Melvin Sokolsky from Paris 1963.

This time off has really allowed me to delve into activities I’ve always wanted to do but never got the time or was shit scared. Discovering the Graphic Design world has definitely opened up doors for that since most of my dreams evolve around creativity and travel.

After seeing the extraordinary progress of one of my friends in typography after she attended a hand lettering and a sign painting workshop I was inspired to try these workshops myself. I think what makes me hesitate to attend these creative workshops is the fear of not being good enough. But looking at my friend’s progress and these workshops, I realise it’s more about the handwork and willingness to learn and only a little bit of talent.

The hand lettering/calligraphy/copperplating workshop is organised by a lovely studio/school called Old School New School. I was immediately drawn to the warmth and genuiness of the studio and Veronica (the wonderful creative director and teacher). I’ve been a little cynical about workshops of late having seen a surge in them recently all over the internet, making me question the authenticity about them and the bloggers behind them.

Veronica is a graphic designer and definitely has a passion for bringing back pre-digital typography and connecting her students and she’s also lovely to boot! How many teachers do you know actually bake for you? Her home is a cosy creative space with an affectionate Scottie Dog and two gorgeous cats who are always hovering in the background.

The class was amazing! It was frustrating, rewarding and purely fun. I came away with a desire to get better and now am kind of obsessed, haha! There’s something really therapeutic about sitting down with a cup of tea and being immersed in the shapes of letters and feeling the ink flow through the nib. With the world of computers, it’s so easy to forget the art behind type. I enjoy choosing fonts now I’m getting a buzz from actually writing/creating a font! It’s definitely a skill I want to play more with and I’m so excited for the Type Carousal workshop she is planning which will include more typography and hand lettering goodness.

I’d be lying if I was saying that this ‘chasing your dreams’ thing is super easy. It’s like I’m re-writing the last 7-8 years of my life because unfortunately there’s no smooth transition from Designer to Doctor. I have to start from the beginning and climb through the ladder of employment. Hey I look at my work as a doctor fondly and rather proudly, but damn it is hard doing all this all again and it’s very different too!

Suddenly I’m caught between two worlds. I’m knocking on the door of design employment hoping to get noticed and it’s hard not to feel ignore or left out when amongst my med buddies or friends who are in stable careers. But I’m chipping away…

Since graduation I’ve done a 2 week intern stint at a Design studio and despite the short duration I’ve learnt a lot about the technical and logistical issues which one does not learn in school. In between work and currently I’ve been scouting out for more internships or junior positions and entering design competitions and signing up to workshops to learn more skills.

It’s a hard industry to get your feet into and seeing my friends’ Facebook updates about progressing in their careers and being amazing doctors has made it hard as I’m feeling I’m falling behind the pack. I could be a Medical Registrar or GP Registrar, but then I heard this great quote from an ex-Neurosurgeon on Project Runway, “I could do something I’m good at but I’d rather do something I’m passionate about.”

I took this year off to give this Design dream a good crack. I need to keep reminding myself to keep at it!

 

 

 

I admit it’s been a hard few weeks but with keeping my mind focused on my dreams with the help from my loved ones, I’m making progress and the next big thing is just in reach.

Other wonderful moments these last 2 weeks:

Being up to date with Naruto manga; that accomplished feeling after you’ve vacuumed a room; home-made hot chocolate; perusing book shops; collecting funky business cards; having my first interview at a design studio; inspirational type; movie marathons; feeling inspired not to give up; watching cooking shows and drooling over delicious food; discovering old resource books which are still useful; watching my friends become amazing doctors and people; my old high school friend just got hitched at City Hall in NYC and I’m so happy for her!; admiring the elaborate costumes from a Chinese drama set in Ancient times, that my mother is watching; Tim Tam bites (very addictive); fat cats with flat faces- so cute!; home cooked meat pies; hanging in living room which is the warmest room in the house; hot chocolate in vintage teacups; catching up at a funky cafe with Barbies used for table decor; rectangle tattoos; skin care shopping with my friend, well more like me following him shop, but I enjoy it; receiving an unexpected interview; signing up to a hand type workshop (I’m so excited!); still in touch with my design classmates and teachers; really wanting to give this ‘Design thing’ a good go; brainstorming gift ideas for my loved ones; perusing magazine shops and flipping through the pages; my high school friend is pregnant and she’s having a girl!; I had an interview today at a studio I absolutely adore- hope I get the internship!; when people are actually interested to get to know me; nearing the end of the thriller novel I’m reading and choosing to walk than take the tram.

With Winter creeping in in Melbourne, my mind can’t help but wonder to warmer climates. While I was in Oaxaxa, Mexico I found the most beautiful place. Before my trip it was already on my to do list and I was so excited to discover that it was on my tour’s itinerary when I arrived. Hierve el Agua, also known as the Frozen Waterfalls.

A fifteen minute walk off the beaten track down the side of a hill, and you are created with an emerald spring overlooking the carbonated falls. It was like a secret paradise, on the edge of a cliff, just around the corner from civilisation.

We floated and splashed in the cool emerald waters and then perched ourselves up on the water’s edge to admire the view. It is more beautiful in person than on any photo. It was surreal really; when I showed my family and friends the photos, they couldn’t believe it was real, they thought it was photoshopped… and the photos were taken with my iPhone!

What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited? Which simply took your breath away?

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