|Sketch Journal: Munching on Mosquitoes|

mosquito

If you like my designs, click here to view more from my sketch journal!
(updated every Wednesday)

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|WORDSPLURGE: Support|

supportI just want to help.

Note: word splurge – instant posts drafted & scrambled together with incoherent words

I’d intended on posting a different post this week, heck, I’d even had it drafted up and all! But no, that can be put on the back burner this week. Tonight, I’m going to talk about support. I’m going to write about support from both ends of the spectrum – both giving and receiving.

Most recently, I’ve been making trivial attempts to be supportive to a close friend of mine. However, like I stated, they were trivial attempts. How is it possible to help someone when they don’t want to be helped? How is it possible to show that you’re there for that person when they refuse you? You end up exhausting yourself trying to show your concern all the while, they test your limits with sarcastic words that cut.

You felt hopeless being unable to help them break out of their negative state of mind, and retaliate with a depleted ‘I’m only trying to help’ comment while making your way to door to show yourself out. Tonight, I felt like that. It’s a horrible feeling to have expressed your concern for someone you care for to only receive rejection. To sum it up, you feel useless. 


But how about being on the receiving end of support? What about all of the times when you’d rejected support from others? Whether it was conscious or subconscious, we’ve all rejected support from others one way or another in our lives. Maybe you refused to tell your mother who continually pestered you with ‘what’s wrong, dear?’ questions, or maybe you declined the support from your co-worker who wanted to help you out with the swamp of work that was lumped onto you. For whatever the reason, you chose to reject the support given to you by others.


Support comes in many ways.
Sometimes you don’t want to hear the truth, or maybe sometimes you do! Sometimes you want to cut off all your problems and worries just for a moment, and so you seek support by spending some time indulging in your favourite activities with good company.

Oftentimes, you just want to wallow in self pity and weep words of despair to a trusting friend who will accept your quirks no matter what.

Other times? Other times you just need to support yourself. You close yourself up and get on with it. You keep it in, you keep it together. 


So how about the times when you receive support but reject it? Why is it that we do this? Everyone deals with their problems in their own way, and sometimes we project our anger and frustration onto others who reach out to us. I guess what I’m saying here is that without even realising it, we’ve all  ended up hurting others in the process of rejecting sincerity and support at least once in our lives. It hurts being on the receiving end of rejection when every form of support is perceived to be futile. Likewise, it can be a challenge to become aware of your actions when you’re caught up in your own blunder of despair and negativity.

In a roundabout way, what I want to get through to anyone who’s reading this is that the next time you reject any sort of support or assistance from anyone, consider how it feels to be on the receiving end of the rejection. Rather than a simple dismissal, have you ever considered explaining the reason why you don’t need their support, or rather expressing the type of support you’re seeking for. Maybe you’re not looking to speak to them about your problems, rather you’re looking for a distraction from it! Or maybe you just want to be alone for a while. 

An explanation is softer than an ambiguous rejection.


So here’s a question that I’d like pose for my readers tonight; how can someone show their support when said person you’re trying to give it to is being uncooperative? Likewise, what kind of support do you need when you’re stuck in a negative state of mind?

Leave a comment below, or feel free to contact me here!

|Putting the ‘FREE’ in freelance!|

tis the season header‘Tis the season to be married!

For the latter part of November, I’d offered to make my colleague’s wedding invitations free of charge. During a casual chitchat with her, she’d raised her concerns in relation to the RSVP invitations.  In short, the small batch of her original wedding invitations were quite costly, and it wasn’t within her budget to request for an extra 60+ invites for the same price. To sum up her concerns, given the budget, design preference and time frame, she had placed a few obstacles in front of her. I saw the bothered-look on her face, and thought to myself: ‘I have a design background… so why not!?

I have plans heading towards freelance design after I quit my current employment (you can read more here) so why not brush the dust and remove the rust now!? I wanted to help my colleague and ease her of this stress… I mean, I might as well take this opportunity to refresh my digital skills! While she’d offered to pay me for my services, I’d declined and called it a wedding gift.

It felt easy right at the beginning – getting out my ol’pencil and sketching out designs on a scrap piece of paper… and then it plummeted.
Kapoot. Design block. Again.
I was frustrated and agitated! How could I have been so out of sync?! Ah… but I was. Throughout university, it was second nature for me to use Adobe. Since graduating? I’d slowly but surely stopped digital design altogether.  I really was rusty! So where do we go from here!?

Considering that I’ve worked with this colleague of mine for the past year, I’d like to think that I know her fairly well. Likewise, I know her style and preferences. So it’s easy… design an invitation that would appeal to her. The thing is, I sucked. I know I sucked! I wanted everything to look a certain way to meet her fancy, but it had also meant going against my own style and preferences! My own opinions were clashing with the main opinion – my colleague’s! My ‘client’.

Samantha wedding invitations2

If I’d learned anything in the past year, it’d be that flexibility and openness is key. I threw away my ego, and I threw away my style. I did it the way she wanted it to look. In other words, I created an RSVP that followed the same style as the original wedding invitation. While it’s not my favourite design, I’m glad to have put a look of gratitude on her face when presenting the 60+ invitations to her.

At the end of the day, it’s not what I want, rather, what the person I’m designing for wants. It’s hard to get over this, especially when I’ve gotten it ingrained in my head that my idea is the ‘right’ idea… but that’s an ongoing adjustment of mine! Despite the small amount of stress brought upon by my temperamental-teenager printer, in the end it was all worth it.

Samantha wedding invitations

I mean, her fiancé had gifted me with a bunch of flowers as a thank you!

flowers from client

My freelance design career is still in its early days, but I need to start somewhere, right?! If anyone wishes to contact me for any job opportunities or general enquiries, feel free to contact me here!

|Post-Graduation: the gruelling reality|

Graduation PhotoOh how time flies!

My previous post dabbled on my feelings towards post-graduation. So? Let’s talk about post-graduation! With this being a sensitive subject, not many people are comfortable discussing the matter at hand – at least not on a large platform. For those of you who are recent-graduates seeking employment, or even novice-level contenders in The Game of Adulting, I urge you to read on!

It’s been just over a year since I’ve graduated and began actively looking for a design job. During this period last year, I was in turmoil from getting frustrated with the lack of experience I had in the design industry. In consequence, I have been unable to sustain a job in the creative field. For those who are in the same position that I was/continue to be in, just know that you’re not alone.

This past year has been a rollercoaster of emotions fuelled by lack of belief in myself. It’s disheartening to hear that thousands of post-graduates (myself included) have been unable to land a job role in something they’re truly passionate about. In the midst of countless cover letter drafts and CV applications, I’d managed to land myself a job at a GP surgery. While I knew that this wasn’t going to be a job that I saw a future in, I needed it at the time. Not for the money, no. I needed it for myself. I needed to get myself back up. I needed to get myself back out there. I needed to feel productive and I needed to feed my self-worth. Most of all, I needed to feel needed.

During my employment at the GP surgery, I’d set myself the goal of continuing to apply to design-based jobs during my hours outside of work. I had interviews here and there, but I’d never been successful in landing a sustainable creative role. As months flew by, I’d watched my classmates flutter away as they’d landed roles in our graduated degree, I began to doubt my talent. I began to doubt myself.

CV

Huewinn Chan CV 2016 (prior to the name change)

My friends in the creative field questioned why I was still unable to make it in the design industry, and a handful of them had in fact offered an opportunity to work for the company they were employed in. My creative-fuel was at an all time low, yet I’d declined. Be it pride, lack of confidence, or not wanting to take advantage of a true friendship; I continued to leave each opportunity with a vague and uncertain reply.

I was constantly going back and forth with wondering what I’d wanted in my life in relation to career choices. I knew it was in design. Likewise, I knew that I didn’t want to go into the degree I’d graduated in. I didn’t want to be a generic spatial designer. I wanted something more conceptually based. I wanted to make! I wanted to draw! I wanted to be ‘creatively unique’.

But I wasn’t. At least I didn’t feel it, not anymore. Not after the countless ‘we regret to inform you’ emails and the ‘you’re not what we’re looking for’ replies.

I was at at my lowest when it had hit March (2017); it had been 6 months since I’d officially started to look for a job in design. Half a year, and the closest I’d been to being creative was doodling on scrap paper at work. Yet I continued to be inflexible with my career choice. I continued to relentlessly apply to design jobs that weren’t in my graduated field, and I continued to expect a different outcome from being atrociously inflexible and stubborn with my choices.

dental-daddy

Throughout the past year, I’d been twisting and turning and contemplating the underlying reason why I’d been unsuccessful, and I’ve decided to settle on the following reason:

I never truly wanted it.

At least not enough. Like I said, I hated compromising my values. I’d grit my teeth whenever I’d introduced myself as Hannah, and that was as far as I would go. The bottom line is, if I really wanted it… if I really wanted to work for a design firm, I would have done whatever it took to get there.

But I didn’t, did I? I didn’t purge my existing values of being true to myself, and I didn’t sugarcoat my answers during loathsome Q&A interviews. Likewise, I didn’t change the layout of my CV despite receiving several feedback from others that the design had looked too architectural.

There were plenty of steps that I could have taken towards getting my foot in the door within the design industry. Heck, for one, I should have strictly applied to spatial design firms! But I didn’t.

I didn’t, and I’m glad that I didn’t! In February, I’ll be quitting my role as a GP receptionists and heading towards my own route of interest. Despite having no clear direction of the path that I’m heading towards, I’m excited and I’m eager! I’m taking control of my life bit by bit at a time, and I’m starting by opening up to you all about overcoming the fear unknown in the adult world.

No one really spends much time talking about the gruelling reality of post-graduation. Sure, there are articles here and there, and there are a few sporadic posts. However, it’s all quite hush-hush. At the end of the day, no one really enjoys talking about a fragile and ego-bruising topic.

So let me help you all out, follow me on my journey exploring life as a post-graduate taking unconventional adult routes. There’ll be ups and there’ll be downs in life, but hey, at least you’ll have someone to relate to at times of despair!

Whether you’re a new contender in the Adult World or have been playing this game for years, just know that you’re not the only one struggling to play the game. So why not go off the rails? Why not say ‘fuck you’ to the norms of society and follow what you truly want. What truly makes you feel fantastic.

So what do you want? I want to know.
Feel free to Contact me here!

|WORD SPLURGE: Post-Graduation – the gruelling reality|

Graduation PhotoThe face of a clueless graduate

Since uploading my previous post about leaving my job, I’ve received supportive feedback from friends and newly-acquainted readers in the same position as me. While I understand that I have a supportive network, I continue to have a fear of judgement from others. Following on from this, I have a post relating to post-graduation that has been sitting in my draft box for the past 2 months. I know it’s common to have fluctuations of a creative block but… two months?! C’mon!

A part of me believes it’s down to the fear of judgement from others once I post it to the WordPress sphere, while the other (more prominent) part of me is scared of admitting it to myself. Bluntly putting it, I’m not fully allowing to be kind to myself and to accept my answer for what it is.


I’m disappointed in myself that in the past year, I’ve had little to no chances in advancing my design career.
I’m frustrated with myself that I’d never taken the opportunities and chances that had been laid in front of me by supportive friends and families.
I’m angry at myself for not having the courage to take the leap in certain situations.


In light of it all, I’m glad that I didn’t.


I’m happy that I hadn’t gone against my values by casting a pretentious mask during job interviews.
I’m proud of myself that I’m taking the initiative to take a leap now, because if not now… then when?!
I’m more determined now to take control of my path and to steer it towards what I feel passionate talking about.


At the end of the day, it boils down to trusting yourself and believing that things will turn out for the better. It has been a rollercoaster of a year since graduation, and I may not have climbed the career ladder at all, but I’m glad to be heading towards a path that fills me with excitement!

Don’t be scared and trust your inner-encouraging voice!

You can read my background story here: |’THIS IS ME’|