My Life Story, Sushi Travels

Back Story : Sushi’s 1st Birthday

Happy, happy birthday my lovable, little Sushi! It’s a day abuzz with energy, rainbows and of course – dog drool!

Sushi (Malti-Poo) was such a wallflower that quite a number of guests weren’t even able to meet and greet her. She hid most of the time, but trust me she was happy you guys came. Here are a couple of the snaps during her first birthday!

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It was such a blast putting these colorful treats together with the Barkingham team! Here’s our little celebrant chilling before her big debut.

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This party was to celebrate her 1st year, as well as the grand opening of the Barkingham Pet Cafe.


Why was Sushi’s birthday such a big deal for me though?

It’s more than a birthday party, more than a get-together of pet owners, more than a shower of gifts and freebies – it was a celebration of life.

A quick throwback link to exactly one year ago: Minnie, Our Little Fighter. I remember, clear as day, that rainy night of July 2016. We took home a little Yorkie, wrapped in a blanket, huddled in the corner of her tiny box. I felt her trembling, in fear or cold, I’m not sure. All I knew is that she was far from the healthy pup she should have been deserved to be. She was coughing, she would barley eat or stand. That night as we drove home, I refused to give her a name, refused to open my heart to her, with fear that I might get attached to the little one. But I couldn’t help it. A few minutes later, in tears for the plight of her, I gave in, and I named her: Minnie.

She was sick, with what we dreaded to be one of the most incurable diseases. (With distemper, only the animal’s immune system would be able to battle the illness. So what vets often recommend is Canglob D.) We took her home, because we knew nobody else would welcome her, or give her intensive round-the-clock care that she needed. Day after day, we prayed for her to regain her strength as we desperately gave her more than what she needed to stay strong. But little by little our streams of hope ran dry. Despite our efforts and prayers, she grew weaker, her body grew thinner, her eyes could barely open because of the excessive ocular discharge, she coughed and wheezed and trembled and then the seizures finally set in.

I will never forget though, the little moments in between her daily vaccinations when I would whisper to her to be strong and fight; that mommy and daddy are waiting for her to get better so we can play. I imagined her growing up to be a healthy, playful pup. There was one memory that stands out, one of the final moments I got to spend with her which brings me to tears to this day: After her medications, I lifted her gingerly out of the box, set her down onto the floor then I walked a few feet away from her. I call out to her “Minnie, come here baby”. In spite of her trembling legs and emaciated body, she tried to get up, she tried so hard. Her legs were wobbly, she would stop once in a while to cough, until little by little she came to my lap.

We only had time to do this once though – the day before she left us. This it seems, is her way of saying goodbye.

I was terribly heartbroken when she crossed the rainbow bridge. I cried for days on end, but at the back of my mind, I was (and still am) thankful that she had a home with the little time she had on earth. Minnie deserved much more than a few months, she deserved a lifetime of cuddles, a sack full of treats and a lot of afternoons playing outside. I felt guilty for not being able to give her that, guilty for not being able to give her more than she deserved. (Read more here: Minnie’s Goodbye)

Minnie though, gave us much more than we hoped for. She has shown us the proof of unconditional love, setting aside all weaknesses and pain, just to be with the people she loves. In the few weeks that she spent with us, I haven’t felt more certain of a dog’s love. How simple it was, yet how unconditional.

That day Minnie crossed the rainbow bridge, I felt like something was missing. Soon after, DJ bought me what is now the sunshine of my life – Sushi.

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Sushi’s birthday was a rainbow party, the symbol of a new beginning, a celebration of happiness and all things beautiful. She is  more than just a pet dog, she is my ray of hope.

(I’ll write about this soon – when I am ready).

Seeing everyone coming with their best fur-riends last Saturday was something quite new for an introvert like myself (I was fighting the urge to hide under a rock by the end of the day – just kidding!). But overall it was a great experience sharing the love for our pets at Barkingham.

I am thankful for each day I wake up to my little girl staring back at me. We often take for granted the little moments with our furkids, I have learned my lesson to always make the most out of the time we have with them.

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On behalf of myself, Sushi and the Barkingham Family, we would like to thank everyone who came to celebrate with us last July 1st.

 

ARF! 

Sushi x Pearl


FOLLOW MINNIE’S STORY BELOW:


NOTES:

  • Minnie was found sick at Tiendesitas, and the pet store could no longer keep her as she carried an air-borne disease. (Meaning the rest of the pups in the store are most likely-to be infected too, which may lead to death and/or other complications). Please support ADOPT-DON’T-SHOP.
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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

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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Motivational, Random, Thoughts

Life is an Adventure

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There aren’t many instances that got me speechless. Probably because I hardly left my comfort zone before June this year.

I always choose the safe side, where I am just plain-old, COMFORTABLE.

I am a pessimist, which brings me to over-think every situation. I can strike up a conversation, but I never tried to sustain one that actually lasts ten minutes. I can make artworks, but my fear to give more effort to create a masterpiece always gets the best of me. Deadlines? No problem, I can meet them, but I’m not sure I’m giving 101% in my work. I’ve maintained my weight but I’m not exercising enough to be physically fit. But amidst all this, I feel that something is still missing.

Sure I might be doing good, but like they say, there is always an opportunity to be better than who I was yesterday.

I came to realize how “dead” most aspects of my life can be because I’ve been living in the security of COMFORT. I always think: “Yep. That’s good enough.” At work, in gatherings, my physical health, I have constantly been giving less than 100%. Recently during the Sunday service in CCF, Pastor Peter said: “In everything, do your BEST for the Lord.” From then on, I began the conscious effort to glorify God through SnapperDoodles art commissions by giving it my all.

Also, by being a wallflower, I have deprived myself of trying new things. This year God has blessed me with a friend to show me how much I was missing out on. There is a whole world to explore, many things to be ticked off the bucket list and thousands of things to learn; and none of it could be made possible by constantly saying “no”.

You can’t travel the world if you refuse to leave the doorstep.

Life should be an adventure. Live for the moments you can’t put into words.

I will take on this challenge this coming 2015, to live life out of the comfort zone and do my best in all things – for the Lord.

 

X,

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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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Motivational

Share Your Passion

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Life always has a way of surprising us. The workshop once again, ended with a BANG! when my student brought out this drawing for SnapperDoodles. It has been such a privelege to meet a fellow doodler; so after the workshop, we doodled ourselves on paper.

More of her works can be found here: Drawn to Life Blog

There are a couple of things I’ve learned that day:

First is how God finds way to make us smile. The past weekend has been rough for me with so many thoughts, a workload of things to be done and a fair amount of “art-esteem” issues. Then comes Monday and this wonderful weekday workshop helped me smile (a real, genuine, happy smile) and appreciate the talent that other people have to show the world. It was enough to get my mind of what I CAN DO and focus what OTHERS CAN DO instead.

Second, your gifts are not made to be stored in a box. It occured to me that there are so many people out there who are so talented, but circumstances have put their passion into a box. Admittedly, for the longest time of ten years or so, I have put my passion in there and hid it in the attic to collect dust. This June, I finally committed to take it out and see how it would look in the light. It hasn’t been rainbows and butterflies since I brought it out and made it my full-time job. But I’m happy to have seen what life would be like doing what I love and seeing how it is able to touch people even in the smallest ways possible.

Young artists, I’m in no position to tell you which way to go and what to do. But all I know is, don’t keep it hidden in the box any longer. If I had any regrets, it would be hiding my passion for as long as I did.

In this generation, show your talent, change the world even in the simplest ways, live with purpose and shine bright!

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