Motivational, My Life Story, Products

Find Beauty Among the Ruins

Last summer, I went on a journey to explore the beautiful country of Greece. Little did I know that I would be overwhelmed with how seamlessly ancient ruins could weave itself beautifully into the fabric of modern Greek society.

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The majestic temple of Zeus standing tall and proud in the heart of Athens. Just look at how those columns have stood the test of time. Imagine how every piece have been put together by the ancient Greeks. It never ceases to amaze me.

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At Syntagma Square with these hungry pigeons.This first stop was followed by a magnificent trip to learn the history of the Acropolis Stadium. This was just my first glimpse of Greece.

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We were walking around the city of Athens during the first day and I couldn’t help asking: “What’s that structure on top of the hill?” My question was answered the next day when we climbed up to see that what is there is so much more than what I had expected.

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Seen from the city is Acropolis, the highest point of Athens. Beautiful isn’t it?

Sometimes in life, you can’t see the breathtaking view until you muster the courage to climb the mountain.

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During our day-trip, we ventured on a boat ride to see the different islands surrounding Greece. One of them is this quaint island called Hydra. This little island is a town in itself, with little shops and cafes near the water. What’s fascinating is that the townspeople here have donkeys to get around, nope, no cars!

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This breathtaking view where the sky meets the beautiful Greek dome-shaped architecture was taken from the island of Santorini. We stayed here a couple of days, and if I could, I would’ve stayed much longer. There were numerous mini-shops greeting passersby along the alley, from nifty book nooks to one-of-a-kind trinket stores.

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The town of Nafplio. Bustling with life through it’s diversity in art, music and delicacies.

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I love the bliss whenever I draw my adventures on my journal. It helps me remember not only the place, but also the little memories that come with my travels. When I look back, it’s the little moments that touch my heart to this day. Such as the time my mom and I shared a large Greek pretzel-like dessert, the ice cream cone I had in Athens despite the biting cold winds or the fact that not a day goes by without a serving of delicious Greek yogurt (yummy!), and the time when I looked down from the highest peak of Greece and thought to myself:

“All these man-made bricks, statues and temples  are truly majestic, but nothing compares to the beauty of nature that my God has surrounded it all with”.

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I am often asked how I find time to draw during these trips. Despite the hustle and bustle during the morning tours, I try to find time to relax in a cafe as a short pit-stop to write down the events that happened during the day. Always remember to write down the important details, you can sketch them later in the evening (if you aren’t too tired!)IMG_4458

The Greeks have a habit of drinking Frappe every now and then. I find that I also belong to this place where it is bursting with art, history, culture…and yes, coffee!

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The mystical trail of Delphi, after a hike atop the mountains of Greece.

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The Dyonisus Theater. It’s size and design is jaw-droppingly (if that is even a word) – incredible! It may be huge, but dropping a coin or stomping your feet at the center circle of the theater can be heard throughout the entire stadium.

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For those who are wondering, what is Greek food like? Three words. Fresh, Simple, Flavorful. This is my favorite, which I have learned to make at home. The Traditional Greek Salad. (Bell Peppers, Onions, Lettuce, Olives, EVOO, Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Generously topped with Feta Cheese!)

Aside from the Greek Salad, I have enjoyed the Greek Yogurt, to which none can compare. Not a day passed in Greece without us having a portion of this!

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Travelling is a perfect opportunity to experience something new. I give myself time to think when I travel, knowing that the adventure that lies ahead is so much greater than what I have left behind. It’s such a memorable experience when you put your thoughts and emotions down on paper, because every step of the journey is an adventure.

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I’m opening classes once more for a basic lettering workshop, and since vacation is just around the corner, I thought a travel journal would be perfect! If you’d like to learn the art of handlettering and how to start your own travel journal, you can

Register for the workshop here:

2015 TRAVEL JOURNAL WORKSHOP

Hope to see you soon!

Say yes to new adventures. 🙂

*All photos taken with an iPhone5

XO,

stamp design

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Products, Tips and Tricks

Tools of the Trade (Features and Reviews)

Hello everyone!

I’ve been having a lot of inquiries regarding the materials I use for my art and lettering. This has inspired me to create a blog post for the materials I’ve tried throughout my journey. These pens, inks and watercolors are truly portable little rainbows that have brought much color into my life!


 

PENS

FILED NEOFINE FINELINER

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Review:

The Filed NeoFine Fineliner Set is truly a box of rainbows. Here is an artwork I made with the fineliners. The tip of these pens (0.40mm) enabled smooth writing and doodling. However because these pens are water based, make sure you don’t keep coloring / shading on the same areas as the ink will seep through the back of the paper (I used 80gsm paper). Using thicker surfaces such as vellum and 100+gsm might work better with this water-based pen. Overall, it’s perfect for note-taking in class. I’m sure I’d write with this in school to keep my notes fun and colorful!

 


 

BRUSH PENS

TOKYO FINDS BRUSH PEN

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Review:

These bright-colored pens are dual-tipped. It’s versatility makes it the perfect go-to for calligraphy and lettering.The two tips give an advantage for shading in large areas (brush tip) and for creating details too (slim tip). The ink is bright and not too thick that it would seep through the paper.

Shop: TOKYO FINDS

MARVY LE PLUME BRUSH PEN

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Review:

The Le Plume brush pen possesses a lighter hue compared to others. The ink is pretty thick and more water-based than most, it will seep through thin paper. Though I love the way it slides through the paper smoothly, and how closely it resembles the feel of using an actual brush.


MARKERS

SHARPIE FINE POINT

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Review:

One of my favorite brands! The all-around marker! These markers provide bold and bright colors, perfect for the creative at heart. Best to use thicker boards or paper, and all other non-porous surfaces when using Sharpie.

DONG-A PLAYON

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Review:

Although not the typical artist go-to, I love the black (twin tip) marker of Dong-A. I used this one for outlining and for shading, more often than not for my watercolor illustrations and lettering works.

ZEBRA MILDLINER

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Review:

This one is meant to be a highlighter, but I always find a different purpose for my coloring materials. I bought mine from Japan.


WATERCOLORS

KOI WATERCOLOR

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Review:

I love, love, love my koi watecolor set. Although it’s a bit more costly, it’s a purchase I didn’t regret. The colors are bold and bright, just the way I like my palette. The watercolors are concentrated as well, use sparingly for softer tones.

KURETAKE GANSAI TAMBI

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Review:

I knew I should’ve bought myself a set of these during my trip to Japan last year! Luckily my boyfriend got this for me as a birthday surprise. The palette is very concentrated, meaning you can use just a little and have a solid texture.

PRANG WATERCOLOR

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Review:

The most affordable and has found it’s way to be called the “sweet” watercolor. Why sweet? It’s thick consistency makes the colors bold and bright. The watercolor has a syrupy thickness when added with a little water. Most people say that ants keep finding their way to their Prang palettes. Despite all that, yes, it’s also an artist’s must-have.

Shop: National Bookstore


FOUNTAIN PENS

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Review:

My first ever fountain pen. Also a gift from my boyfriend when he came back from Germany almost a year ago. I love that they have branches here in the Philippines so you could simply buy the refills (it comes in lots of different colors too! Next time I’ll try the neon yellow!).

PILOT PETIT

Review:

Very handy and writes smoothly. The tip is smaller than the usual fountain pen, but it’s the perfect travel fountain pen. I got mine from Japan and took home a couple of refills too, just in case I don’t get to visit Japan anytime soon!


For a complete list of tech-pens that I use, you can visit my other blog post about them here:

TOOLS OF THE TRADE (Part 1)


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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts

Find the Blessing in Everything

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It troubles me, how to begin this post.

How can I give something I don’t have? How could I share a lesson I have not yet fully learned?

How does one learn the value of finding the blessing in everything?

In our lives, there comes a time when we find ourselves in the wilderness. This is when we constantly search for answers, hoping to finding the road map to teach us which way to go next. Oftentimes we travel, hoping that time away from the city would clear our thoughts. We try to unplug and disconnect from social media, expecting that distance from our outside noise would enable us to focus better. We think we finally have what we’ve wanted – TIME: Time to rediscover ourselves, time to do what we love and time to think things through.

Sometimes this is enough to find our way back.

But sometimes it’s not.

No matter what you do, no matter how much time you have in your hands, things still don’t seem to make sense. It’s never a pleasant experience – because it isn’t meant to be one. It means it’s time to learn a new lesson; one we could not learn on our own.

For a couple of weeks now, the Lord has been teaching me this valuable lesson:

When you find yourself in the wilderness, when God is silent, when nothing you do seems to help you get back on track…

When life is as dry and hopeless as the desert, learn to rejoice even for a single drop of rain.

In the midst of crossroads and confusion, learn to be thankful when there is nowhere to go but down on your knees in prayer.

Everyone around you may have left your side, but don’t forget to look up because you are never truly, completely, alone.

Trials and temptations that meet you along the way may be difficult to overcome, but know that it is never impossible.

Closed doors and missed opportunities are certainly not dead ends, rather see them as blessings in disguise.

Your mind may be filled with doubts and fears, learn to find rest in the Lord, when did He not guide you through?

Stay strong as you journey through the wilderness.

Be an optimist. Learn to find the blessing in everything.

“Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

READ MORE: God Accomplishes What Concerns You

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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts

Passion & Profession

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I’m utterly and indescribably thankful for how far the Lord has brought SnapperDoodles in a span of one year. When I left corporate, I never would have thought that passion, when pursued could open so many doors and unexplored possibilities.

On April 19, 2015 (Sunday), the article about how SnapperDoodles began was out on the newspaper! I recalled the events leading to this opportunity and I can only say one thing: “God is Good!”


Passion & Profession

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Pearlyn Choco, creator of SnapperDoodles Design and owner of Tiny Treasures PH, documents her thoughts and musings through typography and doodling.


MANILA, Philippines – It has been said that when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

This rings true with 22-year-old Pearlyn Choco, the lady behind the well-loved Instagram account @snapperdoodles where she documents her thoughts and musings through  typography and doodling. This journey later on became her ticket to going full-time as an artist.

Pearl, who is also the creator of Snapperdoodles Design and owner of Tiny Treasures PH, found her passion in lettering, art and design. With her unique works posted on Instagram, she generated more than 14,000 followers in just 10 months. Pearl now continues to showcase her distinctive artistry online and social media platforms.

A petite lady with a contagious sweet smile, Pearl carries a reserved and innocent vibe. But the moment she opens herself up, one will see a strong and motivated person ready to tackle life’s challenges.

Pearl grew up in an environment where financial stability and security are viewed with high regard. So in college, she took up Management of Financial Institutions at De La Salle University. Even before she graduated, Pearl found a job at a multi-national company where she worked hard sticking to the “corporate routine.” A couple of months later, she left for another banking career but again, the 9 to 5 job didn’t allow her to have creative freedom. This fueled her desire to explore the field of arts more. So she mustered all her courage and decided to exchange the security of a stable employment for a chance to start fresh and become a freelance artist. “I took the matter to prayer and fasting because I was so desperate to find my purpose in life,” says Pearl.

SnapperDoodles, which Pearl personally defines as her life in snaps (photography) and doodles (typography), became her way of giving glory to God through the talent and skill He has given her.

In just a few months, Pearl was able to launch her own product lines, participate in bazaars and conduct basic typography workshops. Through her art, Pearl has inspired a handful of individuals to explore their own artistic sides while working on wonderful collaborative works with people whom she shares the same passion with. “If you think you can’t do something, you really wouldn’t be able to accomplish it. I was like that before but I learned to choose to think otherwise,” she explains.

Pearl finds beauty in simplicity, which is evident in her art. Lines, curves and a bit of color here and there reflects her simple personality. Like her art, Pearl believes that every girl is beautiful the way she is. “Nobody is perfect, and that’s one thing to accept,” she assures.

For Pearl, a confident woman is a beautiful woman but a little help from one’s trusted makeup brand doesn’t hurt. She uses Careline products to prep up and complete her look.

Starting with the face, Pearl uses Careline BB Cream as a base to hide imperfections and keeps skin fresh-looking. This BB Cream has three shades — Natural, Fresh and Nude — that perfectly matches the Filipina skin tone.

Pearl emphasizes her beautiful eyes using the Careline Color Pencil. Formulated to glide on smoothly, it can be smudged for a soft smoky effect or to create bold lines that will make the eyes pop.

Finally, Pearl opts for a soft natural flush using the Careline Oil Control Blush-on. It comes in 10 shades that will match her day-to-day activities.

“I believe that makeup helps enhance our beauty. Simple makeup helps us stand out,” Pearl adds.

As someone whose confidence shines through her simple, unique personality, Pearl is a good role model to teens who are finding their own place in the world. Through her experience, Pearl leaves a strong message to teens, “Do not live for other people’s approval or conform to someone else’s standards. Instead of hiding behind insecurities, find what you are best at and shine,” she says.

Looking back, Pearl is thankful for being part of the corporate world where she learned many things, acknowledging that it was a stepping stone to her higher purpose in life. “By the grace of God SnapperDoodles came to be and thank God my mission on earth has begun,” Pearl concludes.

Photography by Mot Rasay • Makeup by Mary Jane Arpa of Ever Bilena Cosmetics • Clothes by Jellybean

LINK TO THE ARTICLE: Passion and Profession


Here are some behind the scenes photos of the shoot with Ever Bilena for The Philippine Star’s Allure.

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It has been such a memorable experience, being interviewed by a fellow Christian too! It made us both so happy to see how God works amazingly in people’s lives. Getting all dressed up is definitely something new to me as well because I don’t normally wear anything as fancy as these!

Maybe I should start doing so now? 🙂

Amidst prosperity and loss,

Successes and trials,

There is only one thing that remains true:

God is Good!

XO,

stamp design

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Products, Random, Thoughts

A Blessing on It’s Way!

My first mural painting for a baby’s room on April 2015 was such a fun project! The mother and the father-to-be requested the designs to be playful and cute, apart from these specifications, there was a lot of room to get creative! So excuse the blue giraffe and the funny flying sheep on the side, it’s always good to think out of the box sometimes! Though I do hope the baby wouldn’t think that giraffes are really blue…and that sheep can look like clouds and fly.

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A toucan perched on one of the branches, as requested by the father-to-be.

Despite the intense summer heat, painting on walls have been a breath of fresh air, trying something new for a change. This project took approximately 8-9 hours, but time surely flies when you’re having fun! 🙂
dsHere is the completed wall painting, I’m really excited to see how it looks like with the crib and the rest of the decor. What would really breathe life to this artwork is the baby that’s coming soon!

Isn’t it exciting? 🙂

Cheers,

stamp design

INSTAGRAM: SNAPPERDOODLES

FACEBOOK: SNAPPERDOODLES

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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts

New Year Realizations

Hello everyone! It’s been a while (and I mean a really, really long time) since my last post. December has been such a blast, as I’ve decided to take a long break from work and took some time to spend time with my family. The short break has also helped me ponder on things, and this new year, I have a couple of  resolutions  realizations.


 

Realization 1:

Routine (n.) – a boring state or situation in which things are always done the same way (Webster’s)

On New Year’s Eve I was busy drawing on coasters without using a pencil beforehand. Dad commented: “You don’t pencil first before drawing with an ink pen?” to which I replied “Sometimes when you get used to it, you just go straight to using a pen”. It took me a few days before I realized, it’s a dangerous thing being “used to” something. As a person, this is what we call a routine. As an artist, this is poison. We can’t go on about life dragging ourselves along the path of mundane routines. If we could write our story, would it be like a broken record playing the same tune each day? 2015 is a blank slate where we could choose to do better, and I say “choose to” because it requires a choice and a conscious effort. Every day is a choice, to smile or frown, to hold grudges or forgive, to try something new or stick to routine.

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Realization 2:

Discontent (adj.) – not pleased or satisfied (Webster’s)

It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It opens your mind to the possibility of something better. Over the past couple of weeks, my mind has been a factory of ideas. There are so many things I would like to launch for SnapperDoodles this 2015. However while slowly turning  ideas into reality, from one idea to another, and one sample output to the next, I saw that they weren’t as good as I had hoped – and yes of course I was quick to give up. A dear friend told me: “It’s good that you are unhappy with the outcome, it simply shows that there is still room for improvement. There is hope to create something better. Why give up?”

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Realization 3:

Love (n.) and (v.) – a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person (Webster’s)

Fiction (n.) – written stories about people and events that are not real : literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer

I must admit I’ve always wondered if “true love” is just an emotion confined in the realms of fiction books and imagination. There had been a point in my life of course, where I sought for affection and ended up clinging to something utterly temporary – and painful. By God’s redeeming grace and His perfect time, He opened my eyes to see that the love in fiction books, is real. For fellow bookworms, yes someone like Augustus Waters exists. Someone will come along and love you unconditionally – regardless of what you wear, the bad hair days, the highly unusual food cravings, the WWII-kind-of-mood-swings, they will love you because you are YOU. This will also be that someone who will make you finally believe in the elusive reality of “Forever”.

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Realization 4:

Faith (n.) –  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

I not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve always been afraid of New Years. I know what you’re thinking:  “What?! Why? But it’s an exciting thing to welcome another year! Lots of fireworks – and food!”

Like most people, I am a person who is prone to fear, worry, regret and insecurity. I am insecure about my abilities, where I am and where I’m going. I regret the past and try to charge it to experience. I worry about the future, and I fear it at the same time. Fear of what the year may bring, fear of the incapability to meet my own standards, fear of the possible failure to keep Snapperdoodles going, fear of displeasing my peers, fear here, there and everywhere.

On New Year’s Eve, our room was silent, I could only hear the breaths of my sleeping brothers next to me. They we sleeping so soundly despite the loud noise – or maybe the noise was really just in my head. All those fears, the worries and the doubts. I quieted the voices in my head and prayed, earnestly and sincerely: “Father, I’m scared of the coming year and what it would be like for me.” I read the Bible and this beautiful verse brought me to silent tears.

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

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NEVER ( adv.) – not in any degree :  not under any condition

Never. Now that I think about it, what a strong word that is. How many times have the people in our lives live up to that one-word promise?

The welcoming of a new year could be a beautiful chance to start anew, or another dreadful 365-days to live through. Whatever it might be for us, it should be considered a blessing nonetheless.

For those who are afraid of the future, like myself here is what God told me  on New Year’s Eve:

“I know you are worried about many things. Have you not seen how I have brought you through 2014? Dont you believe that I can bring you through again this time? I have never left you to fend for yourself. I never left you, and I never will. I know you do not doubt Me, but yourself and your abilities to make it through another year. Throughout 2014, I have shown my power through your weaknesses and I will continue to. So do not worry about what you can’t do, this time, think about what I can do.”

Have faith. He will bring you through.

Xo,

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Motivational, My Life Story, Random, Thoughts

What Would You Do?

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Hello everyone! Wow. It sure has been a while since I last wrote. November has been such a crazy month (The good kind of crazy!). I never would have expected this month to be full of mini miracles and surprises!

The highlight of my month would be the Global Pinoy Bazaar held at the Rockwell Tent last November 15-16. I had my own little booth there to showcase my handmade bottlecap accessories – TinyTreasuresPH.

There I personally met most of my Instagram friends:

  • Geli Balcruz the lady behind those intricate calligraphy strokes and curves from Pluma PH
  • Keslie Dellosa who supports us, local artists through turning our artworks into temporary tattoos on Tat’s It
  • Mileng, the fun and friendly Filed marketing exectutive
  • Katia Naval or better-known as The Design Hobbyist on Instagram
  • Jenine, the awesome girl who handcrafts all her lovely flower crowns on Saccharine
  • Joanna Gutierrez, the prettiest metal smith  I have ever met shares her creations on Istorya
  • Ella Lama and who doesn’t know this bubbly artist of Ella Lama ?

 

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Aside from meeting new friends, my heart wells up with joy to see so many people supporting local artists and entrepreneurs. It comes rarely, when people actually see the value in handmade crafts. These things take time to create, each detail intricately put together and each piece made from the heart, by the hands of gifted people.

I always tend to look back to the past and see how far my journey as been, from being a corporate gal to a hungry artist. That’s why I posted my watercolor artwork above “What would you do if you weren’t afraid.” The original artwork was sold during the bazaar. Though it’s not with me now, I cherish the quote and the courage it gives me to do what I really want in life. “If I weren’t afraid, I would….” the list goes on, my dreams stretch far beyond my own capabilities but it’s never really wrong to give it a shot.

I love art so much, I fought for this chance to live my dream, even just for a little while. The one-year period I gave for myself will end in 7 months, it might seem like a lot of time left. But we all know how time flies.

Looking back, I never would have imagined I could step out of my shy, introverted nature and get to know new people who share the same passion as I do. I never could have guessed either, that a finance major like myself could ever live the life of an advertising graduate. My heart just wells up with gratefulness that God has given me an opportunity to see what life is like when you do what you love. All my life I thought art would just be a hobby for me, but somehow it has filled me with me with much purpose and joy when people appreciate the artworks I make. This is the one time in my life that I feel like I am actually SOMETHING to this world.

It’s funny how a small spark of courage could turn your life around.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

 

Be Brave.

X,

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