quoting sartre, "existence precedes essence", which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings ("existence")—rather than what labels, roles, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit ("essence"). the actual life of the individuals is what constitutes what could be called their "true essence" instead of there being an arbitrarily attributed essence others use to define them. thus, human beings, through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a meaning to their life.
i believe life is a continuous self disovery. it doesn't have to move like a linear graph following certain sequences the society demands you to do. it's a journey from one tiny dot to another one to another one continuously, interconnected, each with its own story.
i also think that life is about telling stories. what makes life interesting is the fact that there are so many different kind of lives out there. there are infinite variations of life going on. which is the reason why we read books, we watch movies, we travel. and we craft our own stories, to be as interesting as it could be, not to any specific audience, but to ourselves. so here, is a little fragment of my stories.
• since i was a kid i've always has interest in artistic, crafty, and graphic things. i loved watercolor painting. made my own pop-up christmas card. art and craft was my favorite subject at school.
• my parents run a screen printing workshop ages ago. i used to help out. proud to say i used to hand-print little ducks on children's underwears. pre-computer era, graphics were all hand-drawn, traced with pencils, enlarged with film projector, cut with paper cutter, then screen-printed on fabric. on computer era, it was vector based. so i knew how to use corel draw and stuff back in the 90s, before people my age even know what photoshop was.
• i led a wall-magazine project in my teenage youth group. created and published a monthly printed newspaper. handled all other kind of digital publications. this was all in the 90s.
• then i enrolled to architecture school to a public university because my parents couldn't afford paying tuition for me to go to a private design school i wanted to go to. had two architectural internships in bali and in singapore. knew right away that i didn't like working in architecture.
• developed passion for analog (film) photography in university with all its delicate darkroom chemical processing and printing.
• had a part time job working on an architectural heritage conservation project, doing on site hand sketches to then translated into computer drawings.
• real job searching started out of university. worked in a furniture company. worked in a german car manufacturer as in house office planner, in which i wanted to quit on day three immediately knowing i hated corporate job. worked in a danish architectural construction production company. then i got job in an environmental graphic design work which was really aligned with what i wanted to do. despite the job, the working environment was far from ideal. so this didn't last too long.
• experimented a lot in digital photography. got paid for shooting several weddings, professionally.
• went to italy for few months with scholarship to study the language. got my travel writing published in a magazine. paid.
• immersed long enough in interior design in the hope to create and to see the result faster in interior than architecture works. ended up involved in a very long big project which took up about 4-5 years to completion, which was not what i expected. despite this, it was great. encountering the top 1% doing all the luxurious projects was a good learning experience.
• worked hard for scholarships to study abroad, which was a project since i was a kid. majored in urban public space design, hoping to do something more than just to cater the 1% of the society. went to live and study and work in european major cities, madrid, milan, paris, and rome.
• started to learn web design and development as a hobby and really enjoyed the learning process. this one here is one of the result. aye. also this one.
• opened my first online shop. designed, sourced and built everything myself, branding, packaging, marketing (not really). it was a fun project but i decided not to continue it. retired the domain but keeping the website online.
• my life in europe prompted a massive interest in lighting design. i am now working in architectural and urban lighting design. starting totally from scratch, with a whole lot of things to learn theoretically and practically, which is exciting.
• somehow stumbled on books about slow stitch and was really into the concept of it, slowly take it as a hobby in my spare time.
people might say that with all these interests i'm never gonna be really good at something. on the contrary, i'd like to say that all the things i've learned and done actually make me better at what i am doing now. they enhance my expertise if anything. and to be able to still be excited doing new things is a privilege, i think, rather than being burn out and stuck at doing things you no longer enjoy.
all these experiences, interests, and curiosities is a ride in search of the value and meaning of the life i have. which probably i haven't found yet. but it turns me into who i am today and the ride still goes on. while currently having a day job, i try my best to develop hobbies, short term projects while figuring out what's best for the longer term. learning new things as much as i could. don't hesitate to connect for collaboration, or just to say hi. i might not be good in "marketing" myself at all, but hey at least i try to be honest and genuine, to myself, and to all out there.