Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm thinking of starting my own design thingy. (I'm reluctant to say studio).

Yay? Boo?

Monday, April 20, 2009


Sanda Zahirovic's series of design for Orion Book's Gollancz range is pretty amazing.
link via CR Blog.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Your Facebook tests results show no one loves you.

Because all the tests are full of shit.
In fact, the thought of publishing the results is a testimony of how attention deprived you really are.
First let me say that I do take the tests from time to time. But I've also realised that you have the option to NOT publish the results .
So for the people who goes 'this is wrong' or 'no way!', don't publish them. The reason you click publish anyway, is to convince your friends how pathetically in denial you are with your 72 IQ score.
Furthermore, why would I care if you are supposed to be a 100% lover? You're single! You're not getting any! Impress me when your lover announce that you're a 100% lover.
Thirdly, the tests are made easier for you to score well. So far I haven't seen any test that has an honest result such as: you will mostly not succeed in life. Or, you're a loser and your close ones will contact fatal illness in the future.
In short, no one seems to be noticing that most of the tests work exactly like horoscopes. People seems to relate to all of the positive results and ridicule anything that's negative.
Stop feeling happy about what a computer generated formula thinks who you SHOULD be.
Grow up. Solve real problems.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reflection III

This is more like a personality test.

I can tell a lot about people when I break the news to them. Their reactions are actually reflections of their own personality. It's their raw emotions if the same thing were to happen to them.

The steady, composed ones will normally go: 'So you have your folio ready? are you already looking for jobs?'
I thank these people. Not only have they assumed that I've gotten over the grief, also that I've picked myself up and are getting along with life. These people are the go-getters. Although insensitive, they will go far.

Few have gone: ' So now you can stop bitching and really do what you want.'
In fact, none have said that. Only one or two had the underlying tone of that sentiment candy wrapped with some compliments before or after. They are either someone close to me, or Buddhist zen monks who always value the big picture.

And the peak of the bell curve: " So how? What are you going to do! OMG what, are you going to dooooooo?"
I mean, panic is normal. But, why are you panicking on my behalf? Seriously, are you really that shocked that someone got laid off during a crisis? It really shows that tragedy is not your forte and I can imagine being parents these people are the ones crying during emergencies rather than dialing 000.

There's also some: "Bastards! Arseholes! You're better off without them!"
These people belong to the League of Justice. I don't know. My uncle once told me swearing does not solve anything, but it does make you feel good. I guess, that was comforting to a certain degree before the bitterness sips in. Nevertheless, these people value fairness in life.

My favourite so far is still: " Come I'll shout you a (enter something comforting)."
They acknowledge your situation is shit. They are letting you handle your own shit. But at the same time trying to make you feel better, in expense of them getting some rewards as well. They are the cunning problem solvers.

Take this guide as a personality test. Rank the reactions from most likely to least likely the first thing you would say to me if we were to catch up. You might learn more about yourself than the crappy facebook tests.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

20 staff kicking mo-fo's.

Ironically, the book regarding Japanese architects is only available in Chinese/English at the moment.
And before any architecnophilias start unzipping their pants, this book is pocket size and not up to your normal coffee book atlas scale.
In fact, it's a compilation of 1 to 1 interviews between the author and the architects. No surprising details or plans or elevations of Ando's church or Kuma's water/glass house if you're expecting that sort of stuff.
Reading the articulated, civilized conversations I can't stop picturing Justin's description of how Toyo Ito kicks his staff at work.
Things I gather from obtaining this book: 1) You can get Taiwanese books from within a week 2) Most Japanese architects encourage people to work abroad. 3. Successful architects seldom smile on their profile pictures.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Great work, shit product.

Apparently ALPO isn't a well celebrated dog food brand in the States according to the YouTube comments.
Nonetheless, I think the strategy and insight of this short film deserve a peek from the UN or WWF or UNICEF.
Put down the dogs, use the money for human instead.

Let's move on.

Imagine a Venn diagram of 3 sets with set A representing Manga, set B the art world, and set C international phenomena. Yoshitomo Nara would sit in that little anus of intersection.

Most people around me have no idea who he is. But many times after I show them on screen/paper they'd always let out a 'ah, that one!'. That actually means his work has penetrated to a deeper subconscious level.

He likes to exhibit his work in a small hut. The documentary 'Travelling with Yoshitomo Nara' tells the journey of his biggest 'A to Z' exhibition, where he and a team built 26 houses to form a new 'village' filled with all his work. And of course, in a true artist sense, they burnt the village towards the end of the exhibition.

You'd think as an international superstar artist he'd be leading a high rolling life. Yet throughout the documentary you see him in his worn out jeans, checking in tiny motels in Korea and straps a 'good morning' towel on his forehead while painting. Either he's poured all his money back to his work, or it's just make believe.

If you want to get familiar with Nara, this documentary would make a good starting point.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I'm famous!

Seems like the big news even had a mention on Campain Brief. The best part of CB will always be the brutal and honest comments(87 and counting) of the posts.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Reflection part II.

I woke up this morning remembering I left my nicely designed box of cereal at work.
And then I started missing the coffee machine.
The MacPro and the 20" Apple display.
Probably the weekly Friday Pacific House lunch too.
And especially the bike journey to work.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Reflection part I.

Before dozing off on my sister's new couch, (literally, it got delivered yesterday and the smell of leather made me feel like I was spooning a cow) I entered the white zone this afternoon.

Perhaps the reason I am handling this retrenchment pretty well is because I wanted out.

I've always had doubts about how the agency was run. The total non-transparency of management(although we do know about the purhcase of new BMW X3's instantly), hours of brainstorming from the creative department resulting to the ECD presenting his own ideas, constant skid marks and fossils in the toilet etc.

Truth be told I'm a very passive person. If this didn't happened I would probably keep playing the 'oh every agency is the same and I think no one else would want me because I'm not good enough' card. So in a way this incident is not different to the news of an abused wife being told that her husband had been killed in war. It's sad, but at the same time, relieving.

David Lynch refers the white zone as 'the big dive to catch a big fish'. I can't swim. But I'm paddling slowly towards that direction.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The day I got redundancy made out of me.

The time was 5.20pm. I was showing Ben the final sequence of the MediaSmart video we've been working on. Execpt for the numbers not being in superscript size, I was pretty happy with the progress. He then told me about John being laid off. I was pretty shocked. John could be a bastard sometimes (he replied to my email saying 'stop sending shit around') but undoubtly him and Michael were probably the most creative team in the building. I think I personally asked for the TV script of Christine and stored it in my Collection folder.

By 5.30pm Lucinda came down in tears. Obviously quite emotional and she quietly uttered 'I've just been retrenched' before returning the two bananas to the fruit bowl. Ben and I took turns to hug her, and before I could utter the 'W' from WTF Lee appeared in typical ninja style and announced that I was being expected at the RAPP board room.

At that moment I felt as if I've just been invited to the Jerry Springer show. I couldn't imagine my expression but when I walked passed Matt at the stairs he gave me a face as if I was about to crack an excellent joke.

So I entered the room of death. The HR person from Sydney introduced herself. She might as well said 'I'm the woman who's going to tie your job to a jaguar's neck and give it a good spank in the arse'. (Why do they say 'made redundant' anyway? It's like saying 'created useless'. Look honey! our son's been created useless!) I was extremely calm under the situation. 'Do you have any questions?' Perhaps they'd think I'm Asian hence I might not understand what was going on. "Er, yea, can I say no and pretend this never happened?' I was tempted to ask. So we spent the next half of the meeting discussing how would I fit my stuff into boxes and my files into a disc. Their response of couriering the disc and emailing the boxes generated a sigh in my mind.

By 5.54pm I walked back to my desk and started packing. Ben looked pretty pale. People started to gather and a mini camp fire was formed. Ironic how they most attention I'd ever attract was when I was about to leave. I said my goodbye to Gluben and tried to crack some ironic jokes about the Cannes entry. They took it seriously and reassured that I would get full creative credit if anything were to come out of it. Such professionalism. So by 6.18pm I arrived at the Cherry Tree.

Only then I got shocked at how many people were actually laid off. Apparently John and Micheal, Lu, Sam(11 years), Lucinda and I were among the exiled creatives while Potsy(15 years) and Naomi were the victims from upstairs. I really hope Tucky get spared from the axe because he's on vacation with his family for fuck's sake. If this massacre were to have a message, it'd be 'ain't gonna matter if you're talented, hardworking, experienced, or loyal.' That'd make a great jingle. If I were given a choice to stay on and get layed off, I'd still have a hard time to choose. I wonder what would it be like on Friday's Creative show and tell?

I downed 2 beers at one go and little by little people started to come and bid farewell. Time went past pretty quickly (or was it just the alcohol?) and I managed to give Ben a hug because he was the reason I got my first job and a little homohugging won't hurt. Towards the end Jelfsy helped loaded my stuff into his Manaro and gave me a lift home. I opened up the bottle of Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz which I saved for special occasion and poured him a glass. It was 9pm.

Flatmate came home and thought I tried to pull an April Fools on him. He ended up treating me dinner. I wonder how many free meals I can score off people around me? General response of my facebook status were angst and sadness. That was nice.

While watching the latest episode of House in bed I was still surprised at my lack of anger. Perhaps subconsciously I saw this coming, or I've been yearning for this to happen? Maybe it's really karma for advertising too many ANZ credit cards to customers in debt?

I'm paralysed at the moment not from fear but the freedom of choice that I now possess. I'll decide on lunch tomorrow after the new episode of How I Met Your Mother.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

TED Talk of the day.

The 3 ways that good design makes you happy. By Dan Norman.
Recored 2003 but still oh-so true.