Journey to the West

I’m still sad that my speed in regards to graphics hasn’t improved much over the course of 2 years- I’ve learned how to use the tablet in that time period, though. In terms of making the graphics…I’m still taking longer than other people, and in terms of quality, there’s always something I wish I’d had thought of while making it.

I guess that’s one of things that drags me down in terms of everything; I get caught up in the details, trip on the little things.

Convocation on campus began yesterday: in a way, it’s both a joyous, and a sad event. Lots of parents on campus, people taking photos of each other as they move on in their lives. So many paths and possibilities, doubts and dreams. People are always thinking about what they’re going to afterwards (and even if they aren’t, someone else will eventually ask), even way back in first-year. Advisors, profs, friends, acquiantances have all asked this question of a student at some point. I wonder how accurate a picture that can be…my answer changes according to my mood, but only one is the truth. I wonder who can actually spot it, hmm. But since I’m not there yet, there’s plenty of time to look for tangent paths to explore.

One of things that irked me after coming to Waterloo was not being able to see the possibilities as to what I could study while in high school. I suppose it’s mostly that every program has something that I want to learn about, and the mid-teen mind can’t comprehend the full scale of things. But then again, some people hit 25, 26, 35, 47, 63 and still don’t.

Running into the “older” generation of chinese, I’m reminded just how odd I am in their terms. I wonder if my choice of studies reflects badly on my parents, and whether people judge how they “failed” to bring me up the right way. I don’t get it as much anymore, but you learn to spot the “asian disapproval face” after a while. Hopefully it’s just my imagination.

Projects and midterms are coming out of the corner swinging for another round! Despite all this, I’d say that I prefer school terms to co-op. And while on co-op, school. The grass is always greener on the other side~ Rankings begin Friday, still a little nervous. There’s nothing I can do about it at this point, so worrying about it is redundant; mostly just ripping apart past interviews to see issues I (still) need to get over. GRILLED LIKE SALMON.

Despite my misgivings about certain classes this term, I’m starting to understand the charm of them.  Overall, they seem like BS classes, but they leave so much room for self-initiative, it’s impossible to get nothing out of them. I am enjoying the Digital Arts Communication class I am taking…I accidentally lurked in an optional tutorial a while back, and was surprised that the content was more interesting than the class itself. ^^U It was based on the breakdown and analysis of design (mostly graphic design), and the extent of the vocabulary that can be used is dizzying.

Learning to deal with people at little better, as of late. I’m relying on some a little too much, learning to forgive flaws, empathy in terms of people I didn’t understand before, having a little faith when I could be very, very, very wrong.

Well, if I fall down, I can always get back up. After this week, it’ll be limping…though, but hey! It’s not the transportation device, it’s not the end prize that’s important, it’s the journey.

I don’t feel like uploading what I’ve been up to right now…but here’s the first ever graphic I made for Imprint. I was wayyyy too excited to see it in print when it came out that Friday, it’s a little embarrassing how proud I was of it. OTL



  1. The best part of design are the tangents that spawn out of nowhere, directing you towards a much more sophisticated design. Indeed it does slow you down, but sacrifices will be made. Quality certainly is important, but a lack of sleep can be a concern. Investigate what makes it a slow process and how to improve on the speed. Or you can always look and ask around how others can do them so quick. Many methods to improve, but it requires your confidence and skill to get there.

    One method I use is a snapshot effect. After developing a certain aspect of a design, I stop any outside noise from changing the shape of my design. This way, I can focus on completing that one design on time, maybe minus a few aesthetic looks, but still satisfies all the requirements. I then move to a more theoretical design after the snapshot modifications to take place if I were to upgrade the design. Designs are not always meant to be perfect because perfecting it would take an infinite amount of time. Enjoy the amount spent and know what to look out for beforehand next time~

    Sadly, my office heads towards an uninteresting spot on campus (UWPlaza), so I don’t get to see the joyous side of UW. Not that I’ll miss much as I’ll be graduating in a year, but FB does offer that window of opportunity to see how others went through their convocation. It’s bothering at times to see others just recently graduate and may leave the region for their own interest. Never return to hang out with them until our 30’s, or longer. At the same time, cheerful fireworks spark through their background that they’ve achieved a semi-longing goal. Even if it was only of their partial interest, while waiting for your own degree in your hands, I feel lonely.

    People will always push around for the achievements they want to see, not knowing how difficult it may be to achieve it. It’s a trade off between your interests and what you are deeming as ‘Asian’ achievements. It’s not to say convert now, hate the rest of your life. Rather, find the median that transforms you so you can continue liking what you are doing while maintaining that happy atmosphere with your parents.

    JK Rowling lived with impoverished parents. Her parents’ life was to send her to study so she won’t have to live like her parents when they were young to survive. The story turns bitter when she went back home with a graduate degree in Classic literature her parents were despised of. Greek philosophy was certainly interesting, but the amount of knowledge used to produce the Harry Potter books certainly was missing. Your parents are fearing what you’re studying will not provide a prospective future. Certainly, that is not the case since you know what you want to do. So keep looking your way, you’ll find something out of your own ambition and not feel trapped while doing what you love.

    It’s okay to stress job placements. I did it too so it’s natural since it’s difficult to understand what the manager really wants unless they explicitly tell you which then will relieve you of your troubled mindset. Did you try to see if you got an offer using the glitch in the jobmine system? Though if you did, you will start guessing which job you got.

    You still have 3 more years to decide what you’d like to accomplish. That’s plenty of time given you don’t have to work on design projects on the 4th year to display to those wandering around UW. I’m sure by then you’ll have an answer ^_^

    1. I have zero interest in changing my program based on what others see of me, I’m perfectly happy where I am in this segment of my education. Frankly, I gave up on trying to dispel the disapproval, since, well…thing about other people? Can’t please everyone. But thanks for the thoughts and the sentiment. XD Being asian in background doesn’t particularly affect me that way- if anything, what I remember most distinctly was work hard, and learn to stand up on your own two feet.

      It’s natural to be a little lonely when your friends are moving on…even with electronic means, it’s nothing like the time spent in real life. I suppose that can be done is to enjoy the time spent together for now, and worry about the rest after, whatever you/ they will be doing after. We all have paths to tread, and they all diverge sometime~

      Thing about graduating is that to get to 4th year, you need to pass the years before that. Best wishes on making up your mind (though, you already did), and work hard on your project…don’t forget to have fun as well. too much SRS BZNZ-tude makes depressed students.

      Thanks for the tip on Jobmine…I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. : D


  2. Despite your speed, you are one of the best graphic artists I had on my team when I was at Imprint. I probably never said that enough (or at all), but I should have.

    Something I’ve believed for a long while (and apparently author Malcolm Gladwell has as well) is that it takes a tremendous amount of time until one is skilled at something, and that talent is really just the patience one has to do the work involved. On working on your speed, you just need to keep practicing on that specifically. Soon you’ll see that there are only certain things that you should meander around and think about on a project’s details. With enough practice, you can try to bring those scrapped details back into your work and you’ll probably be able to do so in a more efficient timeframe than before! It’s happened to me.

    And it doesn’t just take me or anyone else to tell you that for you to understand; it’s something you have to physically and mentally learn and put into your system. Kinda like muscle memory, if not exactly so.

    You already know you’re talented in your illustration work. I don’t need to tell you that. I’m just reminding you that everything needs practice—Gladwell says 10,000 hours, and I just say “a lot”—and that includes practicing on how fast you can whip out an illustration. Just be patient. That’s where talent comes from.

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