I was supposed to create a more spooky themed content for this month's entry, but then I realised I haven't shared this small project yet here and thought it would be perfect for this prompt (perhaps I'll save the spooky theme for Scorpio season in November hahaha).
Back in mid-late August, I did a small, personal, creative project with my sister. After going through a traumatic breakup from her (cheating) boyfriend of 7 years in the beginning of this year, she asked my help in creating a collage-type of visual as she tells her truth in her process of healing. And guiding us through was MisterWives' most recent album, SUPERBLOOM.
SUPERBLOOM also tells the story of the author (in this case, MisterWives' lead, Mandy Lee. Read her album break down here) that's going through the whole process of a traumatic breakup from a long-term relationship, much like what my sister was going through at the time. When I had her listen to this album, she broke down in tears just because it felt like the songs—lyrics and arrangement-wise—took out the words right out of her mouth that had been dying to be spoken and shared since day 1. This album covered everything: the sadness, the desperation, the complete rage, the healing—if you're going through something similar, I suggest you go and listen to this album.
My sister's vision: to tell her story using the tracks in the album and accompany it with a collage visual. If you're curious as to how she did it, you can check it out in her blog. But here are the collages we've done:
I've mostly let her take the lead on the concept and made her take a whack at some of the execution as well—she's not usually confident with her technical creative skills, so I was happy seeing her enjoy and get more comfortable with doing something different than what she usually does. Not only that, she was being brave enough to tell her story. I think in this world where society frowns upon people who own and share their personal journey, being able to confidently step forward and proclaim your truth is something that I'd give a nod to, no matter how crazy it's done (can you tell I love Gone Girl? lol just kidding, please don't go to those extremes, although Nick really deserved that crazy, in my Scorpio ass opinion lmao).
I've always seen it as this: your story, your life, your choice. There are people who feel more healing in their privacy, then there are those who feel more healing in bringing out the words out of their mouths, be it in song, poetry, blogging, visual art, dancing—honestly, the list can go on. But my point is is this: both types shouldn't get to be shamed for how they heal; no one does. When something happens to you personally no matter how dire or shallow it may be, you and only you should get to have the final say on how to deal with it, even when there are so many outside noises going around.
Outside opinions are just that: opinions. Especially those from the very people that hurt you. I find that abusers love to gaslight their victims who aren't afraid to tell their story by telling them that they are "low", "overreacting", "mean-spirited", "big-mouthed", etc.—all in the intention of keeping the truth out of the spotlight; because the worst, most threatening and offensive thing that could happen to a pretentious lying person is the truth. Don't mind them. Just keep gearing towards healing.
All this drama that I was able to witness reminded me of the little laws in life that almost always get brushed under the rug. For one, there really are incomprehensively mean people that exist in this world and not just in the pages of fiction. And they can literally be hiding under your nose, and you wouldn't even know it—especially when your emotions and compassion are dragged into the picture (as it gets abused, too). But even with that almost being a universal truth, it still doesn't excuse the mean-spirited behaviour that usually comes from selfishness and reckless stupidity. And the fact that most of these abusers are unable to feel any remorse to their victims and practice proper accountability is not something that we should let slide just because it "happens all the time". This is not the time to lend the other cheek and stay silent in the name of keeping a clean image or whatever society tells you to keep your reputation proper and squeaky clean. Because then, we are perpetuating a toxic social norm where abusers can run free without having to face the consequences of their actions and receive proper accountability for what they've done.
Think: if the same brave-hearted ladies who started the #metoo movement didn't make any noise and proclaim the truth of what happened to them, Harvey Weinstein and countless other abusive male Hollywood stars will still continue to receive recognition, awards, money, and praise, and they will never know the true gravity of the trauma and pain they've inflicted on the vulnerable women they've treated like trash. If the discriminated minorities that work for companies who don't practice equal treatment to their employees did not speak out, these companies will continue to abuse their human resources like they are nothing but machines they can treat inhumanely. If Pride and BLM did not make their voices heard, discrimination will continue to become a social norm, and abuse will continue to become something so easy to commit.
So again, when something happens to you, heal as you would. Make noise if you want, go AWOL fo a while if you want—just keep gearing towards healing, but never make yourself a doormat. Reclaim your rights as a human being. And whatever happens, always do the right thing and never stray away from honesty and truth. Because at the end of the day, it's not the love and trust that's given that becomes the crime, but it is the infliction of hurt, manipulation, and pain. Karma has a way of making you pay your dues—it can come quick or it can stretch on for years, but once it comes, you'll find that it's going to be much of a bigger hassle than if you just decided to be a decent human being.
I'm starting this new prompt to make me write something at least once a month—not that I have to always have something in my blog, but I thought this could be a nice thing that I can share that's beyond the arts & design world.
I've always been very very very veeerrryy scared of sharing my music selection, just because I find it VERY personal. I think once you see a person's music library, you get to take in more information than months (or years lol) of acquaintanceship. Also, I've been through some instances where some people laughed at me for liking certain things. And since I take music very personally, it hurt more that it actually should. Hahahaha
So ever since then, I always kept to myself when it comes to my taste in music (this is so funny to actually write down wahahaha)—whenever friends ask about who my favorite band or artist is, I just go with "uhhh i don't really know" then a smooth transition into a different subject. 🤣 It's hard for me to open up about these things, although the first thing I always do whenever a close friend opens up about something personal is to dedicate a whole playlist for them, which is ironic. But I guess it hit different when it's a selection of songs that I get to build for a certain mood, person, event, idea, theme... It becomes something that doesn't reflect an aspect of myself, but more of an idea or a concept—and auditory moodboard. And I'm all about moodboards.
So for this first post for Monthly Music, I thought I'd share a playlist I've made that I feel I've shared more than any playlist:
I made this playlist one day when I was feeling real fucking good and HIGH AF on my lady powers after I successfully shut down a workplace bully (surprise, he's a man! lol). I thought, "This is a HIGH that I wanna ride forever" (there's just a big surge of energy and endorphins when you're a woman who just shut down a big man's mouth, putting him back in his place!!!!) and so I made this playlist to make that feminist confidence high, accessible all the time—even on sad and insecure days; most especially that. I've since played this not only on those type of days, but also during workouts, morning shower/prep time, and most recently, when a friend is going through a healing process from a breakup (I've had so many friends who went through a breakup this year, so I actually have a whole different playlist for that hahaha), and finding themselves again! UGH!!! The high I get when a woman leaves a toxic, PUNY man!!!!
Anyway. If you're looking for an auditory moodboard to get your STRONG, INDEPENDENT, FEMINIST WOMAN out, this is the playlist for you.
I realised I haven’t posted anything here yet with my graphic design work since August of last year. I guess I’ll start with this.
I got the chance to design Asch’s debut album cover art, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Confession: it’s been a long time dream of mine do be able to design an album cover, but I always figured it would come in the latter years of my career. So when I was asked to do this gig, I had to actually process the surprise the universe just threw at me lol.
The main idea was based on the Mobius Strip: a surface with one continuous side formed by joining the ends of a rectangular strip after twisting one end through 180°. Asch had this concept of non-duality type of theme in his album: where the concept was that everything is interconnected, while at the same time still retaining their individuality. This was a concept that the Mobius strip has successfully translated to a visual form, so I thought to use the mobius strip itself as the main illustration.
The color choice were Asch’s preferences, as well as the scribbles on top, being that was a recurring element in their brand as a band. The lines on the Mobius strip I initially planned was to keep everything with lines and strokes, but then in turned out to look like a music bar, which was pretty cool.
I opted for a minimalistic feel to the design since their music is very smooth, chill, and clean, while still straightforwardly presenting a metaphorical theme in his songs.
I was also fortunate to design some stuff for their marketing collaterals for the album launch event (posters, videos, etc.). We stuck with the mobius strip design, but we altered the hues to make different versions for some collaterals.
It was a long process but I kinda did feel like I was in the production with them until the end, than just an assigned graphic designer assigned to do collaterals in one point of the prod. Anyways, it was really fun and I’m very grateful for the opportunity!
Check out Asch’s music here!