I want to use this opportunity for me to count my blessings, and also thank you.
2017 has been an incredible year of personal growth, challenge, and learning.
Here is a brief overview:
Traveling with family in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Seoul.
Cindy’s moms first back time in Vietnam
Celebrating new years/lunar with moms in Hanoi, Hue, Dalat, and Hoi an.
Epic Hanoi-Sapa workshop.
Hosting friends in Hanoi
Feb-May (life in Hanoi)
June: Moving to Saigon
June-July: Life in hotel in Saigon
August: HAPTICLABS internship in Kyoto with sisters (creation of CREATIVE EVERY DAY)
September: Kyoto + Tokyo Workshop
September: Back to LA, time with family
September: Madison: Mark & Isi Wedding
October: Stay with Alex in NYC, NYC Workshops / stay with patty in Fort Lee
November: BERLIN HAPTICLABS internship with annette.
November: Amsterdam workshop
Experimentations with shape and form in Amsterdam.
Fun Airbnb with Cindy in Amsterdam:
Fun Amsterdam workshop at Leica store Amsterdam:
Epic light in Amsterdam:
December: Prague (3 weeks) with Martin
December: 1.5 weeks in Marseille (Cecile)
Happiness is counting blessings
I’m insanely grateful. Grateful for all the blessings in my life. The blessing of having wonderful friends, the opportunity to share my passion of photography with others. The chance for me to keep learning, augmenting my skills, and pushing myself to innovate.
I like simple everyday life
One lesson I’ve learned about living abroad:
You can be happy anywhere you live.
The greatest joys I’ve got when living abroad is simple everyday life. Waking up in the morning, having an (ice-cold) shower, grinding a fresh cup of coffee, enjoying a coffee while looking out the window, thinking of new ideas to write about.
The joy of going to the grocery store, and trying out new foods, cheeses, and the joy of walking.
In terms of photography, I’ve also regained my childlike naïveté. I love shooting with the RICOH GR II, just pointing and shooting. I’m becoming less dogmatic with my photography, and more open minded to shooting without a genre. To just shoot, enjoy life, and to photograph the small things which bring a smile to my face.
I’ve also been having so much fun playing around with the iPad and the Procreate app. To use this to create new pictures, analyze compositions, and to understand the cross-over between art, painting, and photography. I feel like I’m paving some new paths which has been very personally interesting to me.
Less is more
I’m also happy I’ve been able to simplify my life even more — with fewer physical possessions, and fewer mental burdens. This has helped me have more focus, to be more productive and prolific as a writer and artist. To have less doubt in myself, and to feel more joy, and less obstructions.
One of the ideas that has excited me a lot:
Thinking of yourself as a visual artist, not just a photographer.
The reason why this is exciting to me:
You can make any form of visual art, and thus, have fewer limits to your art.
You can draw, paint, photograph, and make art either analogue or digitally.
Productivity is happiness
Also, realizing that the more productive I am as an artist the happier I am.
This means, don’t worry so much about making great or perfect art — but just treating photography and art as an experimental visual playground. To have a childlike mind of fun and play. To not take our art too seriously, but to treat this spirit of play very seriously.
To appreciate the journey, but strive for more
Also another thing — to enjoy our journey in life, and our progress in our photography, but to strive for more.
To me this is great because we find joy and happiness in our past accomplishments, but we stay inspired to make NEW discoveries, and have NEW adventures — which is our lifeblood as humans.
All art is art
Also an exciting thing for me in Street photography has been the cross over between street photography and surrealism. I’m super into Rene Magritte, and seeing how Henri Cartier-Bresson has been inspired by the surrealists has been inspirational. Also, I’ve also had a huge new Inspirational source from Sergio Larrain — a very underrated photographer, and unfortunately — not as well known.
Another discovery: the joy of just shooting jpeg, high contrast color on the RICOH GR II. This has allowed me to enjoy the joy and emotional impact of color. Studying Matisse has also inspired me in terms of colors, and studying the abstract of Piet Mondrian has also inspired me.
One piece I’m proud of: Color Theory for photographers.
“I’m onto the next one.” – JAY Z
- Cross-over between surrealist art and street photography
- Studying more about classic composition, and how we can apply this to our photography
- Perhaps more ideas on photography therapy — how we can use photography as a tool to heal our minds
- Photography entrepreneurship — how to succeed as a modern photographer, without being a slave to traditional forms of social media (Facebook/Instagram), and how to feel a sense of self joy and progress in our photography, without likes and followers. Also, how to stand out as a photographer in today’s world — and how to push the genre of photography forward.
- New photography workshops and seminars — to continue to empower other photographers.
I’m so grateful for your support and love over the years. I started this blog in 2010, and it is already 2017. That’s crazy, 7 years and I’m still (not yet) dead.
Still tons of new ideas on photography, philosophy, and life. I updated the START HERE page, and currently making new videos with Cindy.
The future is bright. 2017 has been great, are you excited for 2018?