Changing the world one chapter at a time

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Photo credits: Thankyou.co

Tackling poverty is a reoccurring, problematic  issue. We know what it is and we’ve seen it before. In fact, uni made me care about it more. So Mon why do you care about the poor? The thing with most people is that once they see  people living in  unjust  conditions, they start to feel sorry for them. All of a sudden they care about fighting poverty because of their emotions towards the poor. Guys, making decisions should never be based on your emotions.

Poverty means “wasted lives” – remember, there’s also a vast  majority who’ve missed opportunities to grow and learn but never take it and end up being poor. These people are prone to bullying, crime, illnesses, and starting radical groups…all of which  create a path to severely  impacting the economy. I believe no one deserves to   experience poverty. The source of the problem is actually us, we still treat and view them as if they’re poor by donating goods or  forcing them to work at such a low rate. They don’t want to be reminded as poor people. They don’t need donations. They need guidance and self-motivation.

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Like myself, there are many people who want to combat poverty and think that it is achievable. Emily, a friend of mine from uni introduced me to the great work of  Thankyou.  Thankyou is a great example of a group  who believe poverty should not exist. You may have seen their water bottles, food and body care products. They’re  a social enterprise who is fully devoted to ending poverty.

Turning the attention towards us and forcing ourselves to realize  that we  are the causes of poverty is the first step to alleviating  the problem. What adjustments in our lives we can make to help fight global issues like poverty? The Thankyou project is the perfect solution to help  us with this decision making process. Their new  book is designed to inspire and to see and do things differently. It talks about the need to implement more and more fresh ideas instead of the traditional “donating” method.

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Moreover, it outlines Thankyou’s past, present and future and investing in this book means investing in their grand vision for the future. Their book, Chapter One, is the start of this epic journey to fight global poverty. Anyone can buy a book at any price they wish. By the end of March, the aim is to get $1.2million in crowd funding and 100% of the  proceeds go towards what I like to call it as their “chapter two” phase,  which will focus on two things: developing a range of  Thankyou baby care products to fund maternal and infant health programs (Thankyou Baby) and expanding the Thankyou  project to New Zealand (Thankyou New Zealand). Every chapter is a checkpoint towards the big goal and co founder Daniel Flynn is going  to write a story every step of the way.

“I know it sounds a little crazy to be growing an organisation from funds generated by the sale of a book, because traditionally books don’t make a whole lot of money. But at Thankyou we don’t usually do things traditionally.”

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Yellow is the new Helvetica

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I often mention in my posts how time flies quickly and I’m gonna mention it again. I realized it’s been a month since I made my last post and it seriously hasn’t felt  THAT long. This past month was pretty crazy with Chinese New Year gatherings,  freelancing, a new job, new art ideas and new purchases to keep me inspired. I recently bought  Pantone on Fashion  because I was interested in seeing how color developed in fashion over the years and how notable luxury brands use color to revolutionize their brand.

I first came across this book while waiting for the plane in Jakarta airport last year. I didn’t end up buying it because admittedly, I didn’t have enough cash on me at the time. So instead, I spent a good few minutes flicking through the pages. The first thing that caught my eye was the cover…that bright yellow cover! The book didn’t have the cover case in the airport store but when I saw it online I noticed the casing  is actually  this really cool image:

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They say never “judge a book by its cover”…and  I just did. This book is exactly what I expected when I saw the yellow. The color  has rapidly grown on me  and it’s already  my favorite color. It’s versatile with design, especially in web where you’ll see  black, dark blue and yellow color combos frequently. Speaking from a psychological perspective, it’s a no-brainer yellow is friendly, inviting, often  connoting nature and positive energy.

When I was working at Jin & Co. I usually gravitated towards yellow for a lot of the designs we did. My research is to blame for this as I’ve seen tonnes of yellow on the web and in print. It’s like using Helvetica for everything, my friends and my lecturer used to say “when in doubt, use Helvetica”. In this instance, yellow IS the Helvetica of color. In the first photo of this post, I wanted to point out that a lot of my favorite  possessions are in yellow, I unconsciously pick these things without noticing the yellow. That’s how effective  the color is haha! No but really, when putting these together I didn’t realize how common the color is in my room.

1. Keep Calm and Be Happy frame is a gift from my sister. An artwork of Kaws’ bearbrick portrait.

2. I’m a collector of keychains. The Pom pom and mini gameboy color is part of the collection (the gameboy works too)

3. Miniature  mario, minion and golden mushroom toys. Minions came from McDonalds (another brand showing yellow prominently).

4. Sometime further down the track  I hope to be  proficient in Mandarin. The desire comes along with my  love of watching popular Chinese TV shows,  The Brain and If You Are The One. Part of it is also because my grandma wanted me to learn so I could communicate with her better. I regret not learning earlier as it is too late now. I got this mini book with 500 words in Chinese to memorize so I can take it everywhere.

5. Yellow paper and a dulux swatch. Yes I collect these things too!

6. I have lemons with water every morning.

7.  Yellow box packaging. I went to NeNe chicken and did takeaway for the first time, the packaging is just as good as the chicken…I even asked for an extra box to keep for myself. I have a cupboard at home that keeps all my favorite packaging, from empty food boxes to clothes and cosmetic wrapping, whatever is unique I’ll definitely keep.

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8. One of my favorite clients was BJ Balls Paper back in uni when asked to design a piece that highlights the awesomeness of their new paper range, “YUPO”. YUPO had yellow branding and I loved incorporating it into my design. It’s my take on a Snakes & Ladders board game classic, only with YUPO counters, and paper and ink as the primary visuals of the  game mat.

As I said, yellow is versatile and is seen being  applied to a lot of  contemporary  designs. Below are some discoveries  I saved when browsing the web. Goes to show you how nice and effective yellow can be!

Kristinas_guide_to_hello_yellow_2From Kikki.K’s blog:  Kristina’s Guide to Creating a Positive Work Space

IMG_3514Paper fruit by Design studio ‘Safari Inc.’

downloadBrianne Boland’s Yellow coffee branding

Ai Weiwei x Andy Warhol

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If you’re down in Melbourne and trying to find something to do this summer, I recommend seeing  the Andy Warhol x Ai Weiwei  exhibition. Even if art isn’t your thing, it’s still a joyous experience that will leave a lasting impression when you exit the doors…or maybe I’m a little bit too biased because I love Warhol but seriously, most of my friends went here last month and seemed to have enjoyed it (as evident in their Facebook and Instagram photos) and so did my Mom!

To be honest I had no clue what the exhibition was about. I thought it might’ve been a series of commissioned paintings that Weiwei and Warhol did together. It actually was not. The exhibition features Warhol’s iconic works taken directly from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh mirrored with Weiwei’s 21st century works – it’s a contrast between American culture and Chinese culture, with both artists drawing major inspiration from another artist, Marcel Duchamp.

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What surprised me was that Ai Weiwei never met Warhol despite both being in New York at the same time in the 80s. Both are nearly the same age, only that Warhol was an established artist and Weiwei wasn’t. The first English book Weiwei read was “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol” which pretty much influenced  Weiwei in his artistic ventures.  What I got out of this gallery was that both lived two very different yet similar lives. Throughout the exhibition you’ll see the parallels between Beijing and New York City, both cities having such a large impact in their lives – Warhol was fascinated with Mainland China and visited Beijing whilst Weiwei was born in Beijing and lived in New York for 10 years.

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A triptych featuring Ai Weiwei made in knock-off Lego blocks. Probably over 1,000 used for each panel?

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These flying golden alpacas and red twitter birds is Weiwei’s 21st century interpretation of  Warhol’s Silver Cloud installation from 1966. This interactive installation was hilarious!

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The ‘Letgo room’. Weiwei’s commissioned piece for the NGV is a room featuring portraits and quotes of Australian human rights campaigners, again made entirely in fake Lego blocks.

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The exhibition had a great mix of interactivity, loud evocative art coming in various forms and mediums such as photography, screen prints, sculptures, film and video. It ends in April so there’s still plenty of time to head over.

A right-brainer by day and occasional blogger by night, you've landed on a place where I live and breathe all things art, design, culture and fashion. You'll find me documenting my life in the creative field, endless travels with friends and family and a bit of food.

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