Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Popular in The Artsy Craftsy Shop: Inspirational Accessories

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I first launched The Artsy Craftsy Shop late last year, and made a public appearance with it at the Ohhsome Fest 2014 by Hotlink Malaysia, followed by selling online on Facebook. It was all very exciting because I finally had the chance to turn my favourite styles and themes into a creative lifestyle product line for The Artsy Craftsy.

While we have big plans for The Artsy Craftsy's product line, some of the merchandise that we have released are inspirational themed accessories that became a popular range among customers.

Here are some of the celestial themed necklaces selected from the Inspirational Accessories collection:

We will be releasing more inspirational themed designs from time to time, so we urge you to continue to check this space to find out what is our latest collections!

Good news by the way! Next month will be a new beginning for The Artsy Craftsy. I have already achieved the blogging scene and releasing my own product line; as of June, I will be taking the The Artsy Craftsy to become a full time registered company. 

Follow more about The Artsy Craftsy on Instagram OR on Facebook

Monday, May 25, 2015

Becoming Self-Employed: 4 Things to do After your Last Day of Work

Monday, May 25, 2015

I haven't been updating my blog much lately because I have been busy focusing on making enhancements on the blog, and getting ready as well for my last day. Most of my updates are on my Facebook page which is linked to my Instagram and Twitter account. >> (Click to follow me)

I have exactly 4 more days to go til my last day of work. I can't help having mixed emotions of missing my colleagues and at the same time eager to start my new journey soon.

While I have spoken to many people about my new pursue, I have come across people who just naturally tend to assume the worst; they think that as a self-employed, you will eventually laze around just because your schedule is flexible. (I also think that the reason why people make remarks as such is because in Malaysia, it is not common for people to practice self-employment)

I beg to differ because I have already set my work hours and if I want to make it work, meeting the hours is very important in this new pursuit. However, in order to do things right, you need to start right as well. Therefore, a break is essential because taking a break helps you start fresh with a clear mind, and a body that is ready to go full throttle at pursuing your passion.

While in the midst of back to back preparations, I was experiencing a sudden burn out and was so close to giving up. But deep down inside, I know I cannot give up that easily, so I told myself to make a list of things to do after my last day of work. Something for me to look forward to and hang in there.

I decided to give myself ONE WEEK break, for me to get my shit together and rest as much as I can before I start the engine again. So, if you are like me, already on your last day (or taking a break in between to switch careers), here's some tips you can follow for a fresh start:

1. Meditate / Quiet Time
Whether it is meditation or a quiet time, give yourself some personal space. You don't have to do anything except sit quietly or lay still. You can have your favourite tune, some calm music playing in the background, and just let your thoughts come and go. I have been practicing this for as long as I can remember, and it has helped me learned how to silence my mind and relax my body. Allocate 15 minutes - 20 minutes a day to do this. Think of it as a Me-time. By practicing this, you will be surprise at how clear your mind can be, and how ideas can easily flow in as well when you are not busy listening to the "noises" in your head.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing at all. Go off the grid if you need to, but do it wisely though.

2. Declutter

Starting a new career path is like starting a new life after ending a relationship with someone. You want to start over, remove any excess baggage and fit in nicely to your new journey. So, what do you do when you want to start over? You declutter and spring clean everything that you have procrastinated over the months or years. Decluttering will not only tidy things up, but will have a positive effect emotionally. You will certainly feel as if you have control over your life. You will also find yourself able to work better in your workspace (recommended especially for artists and crafters) and sleep better. Plus, you wouldn't want to spend time in a cluttered environment now would you?

3. Exercise

For the past 7 years, my job requires me to sit ... A LOT, in front of the computer. The one thing I realized about sitting in an office is: 1) You want to snack all the time. 2) Once you sit your butt down, the only time you will get up is for lunch, toilet, meetings (sometimes) and when it is time to go home. Well, now that you have time for yourself, it is time to get some exercise as well so that you don't lost your stamina and you will feel energetic once again. Move that body and let it get into its natural rhythm again. Trust me, if you are going to be self-employed, you need the energy everyday. And remember to 'breathe'.

4. Journalling

This is my favourite part. Probably very different from most self-employed advice that you come across on the internet. I kept a diary ever since I was a little girl. At that time it seemed so much cooler to have a diary, especially when you read about it in books and pre-teen novels. I didn't quite understand the effects of a diary until much later in my life when I learned about journalling. And I noticed that, every time I journalled about my journey or experiences in life, things that happened to me didn't quite seem as complicated as I thought it would be. Problems or obstacles that I thought I will never ever be able to come out from, became possible for me and I was able to see things in a clearer perspective. That is what journalling does for you.

When you have decided to pursue self-employment, I think the first few months would probably be challenging and confusing, almost as if you are not quite sure where you are heading. It is important for us to be expressive as possible, and most importantly, be honest to ourselves. That's where journalling comes in. It helps you stay grounded, and be honest with your thoughts and emotions.


Remember, getting a well balanced mind, body and soul is just as important as making money.
Good luck!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Loving Vintage Longer from LELONG by Awesome Canteen & Boktjuv

Saturday, May 2, 2015
My first batch of steals
I love going to vintage sales, although we don't have much of it here. LELONG by Awesome Canteen & Boktjuv was outstanding. 

It was held at Awe Gallery / Awesome Canteen at Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya. There was just something about the place. Perhaps it was the mood in the art gallery's minimalism atmosphere, with soft indie jazz music in the air made the weekend seem tranquilizing. With the cloudy weather, it all seem blissful and perfect!

By the way, I had awesome Japanese-themed lunch at Prologue. Basically, Prologue, Awesome Canteen and Awe Gallery are all located at the same row. When you step in to Awe Gallery, you will notice that it is connected to Awesome Canteen. Awesome Canteen is just as artsy as its gallery, with typical wooden coffee shop chairs from yester-years. On the other hand, Prologue portrays a typical Chinese restaurant. The setting and deco (although very minimal) reminds me a late 80's or early 90's restaurant that serves Chicken Rice. They even have a Chicken Rice Kiosk, except that they refurbished it and turned it into a cashier instead. Creative!

It was just so happened that I left my phone at home, otherwise I would've snapped away. So you have to rely on my story telling. Otherwise, google.

While you are on that, check out BOKTJUV as well. I heard about Boktjuv couple of years back, and I am glad I finally had the chance to meet them in person. Well, more like just that 1 person, I am not sure who are the rest. But I love their concept, they offer curated items of artsy-themed publications like Kinfolk, gifts, stationary and bags. Just as minimalist as their fellow co-organizers. It is no wonder both Boktjuv and Awesome Canteen can work together.

I practically went two rounds to shop for goods. It was quite challenging because I can be quite a hoarder when it comes to artsy vintage stuff. But I told myself to get only what is necessary, especially for my art making since I am going to be a full time artist soon.

It felt right. Knowing that I was going to pursue art full time, I finally felt right to pick items that I can use in my art. I didn't feel as if I was wasting money or time.

I took what I need, and had to put back a very creative looking book that was meant for collage art. Oh well. 

Here are my treasures:

Second batch of steals. 
I will be adding this into my magickal collections
Happy weekend.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Self-Employed: 4 Lessons to Learn After Quitting your Job

Friday, May 1, 2015

It took me quite awhile to write this post and to share my lessons about moving forward in the working world.

You have no idea the countless of times I had to write and rewrite this post over and over again. It wasn't because I was facing writer's block, but it was because I was trying to be in the right place to express with the right words so that I am able to share with you.

So, I asked myself, "Why am I writing this?" The answer was: I want to share my journey of being a self-employed in the creative field. Just like how I started this blog, I want to share my journey with others because I know somewhere out there, there are individuals like myself who probably want to pursue this path or seeking for answers.

Let me be that inspiration for you.

Ever since I tendered my resignation letter, I have been busy sorting things out and getting things started. In the midst of this, I have also been talking to a couple of friends. It is interesting to learn about different life stories and experiences from people of various backgrounds. During this last few weeks, I have been doing a lot of thinking and mentally preparing myself to be self-employed. As I am now counting the days to my last day, along the way I have stumbled upon a couple of life lessons.

Who would've thought that even quitting your job to be self-employed gives you a whole new level of learning. Therefore, if you are in the same boat as me, and just tendered your resignation letter, I hope that this blog post finds you well:

Lesson 1: Finding Peace

I can't say that I am enjoying every bit of serving my last month, because the work load is snowballing and no one likes to try and win the race with the snowball. As for myself, I am trying very hard to complete my tasks so that I can leave in peace.

They say that everywhere you go, you are sure to find yourself caught in office politics. Unless you are an anti-social person and have completely cut yourself out from the scene, yet even the most introvert person in the room can still be the hot topic of conversations. People are funny like that. Being in the corporate scene, I had my fair share of office politics. Despite the demands, however, I am aware that I am blessed with a team who are down to earth and seated in a homely environment. Even though we had our disagreements, yet our friendship remains at the end of the day and we remind each other that as a team we are stronger like that.

"Never look back in anger."

With that I have found peace. The one thing I have learned from an ex-colleague of mine, is that to never look back in anger no matter how you feel about your employer or the environment. Everywhere we go, we learn, for we are all teachers & students to one another.

Lesson 2: Coming out from my Comfort Zone

As a copywriter for the past few years, I have built amazing friendships that I cherished dearly. I have watched so many people come and go, and it wasn't easy for me because I watched them moved forward in their lives and I often wondered to myself, 'will I ever find another life out there?'

In one of my previous posts, I talked about how I was being headhunted to join another advertising agency before. I turned down the offer because I prioritized my dream and want to learn as much as I can in my current job. I have to admit, that I was very comfortable where I was.

A month ago, I would probably tell you that it would be a crazy idea if I quit my job to take a leap of faith to work full time for myself. As much as I enjoy what I do, but I was relying on the idea that I need a fix income to pay the bills. I thought that it was impossible for myself or anyone to go full throttle self-employed. Until recently, I had a changed of perception. I was tired of the routine, and even though I felt safe, I also saw myself becoming mundane and lack of balance. That idea of 'safe' was also holding back my own goals to further expand my blog biz.

Let's be realistic here. Of course I am worried! I had all kinds of negative 'what-if' thoughts playing in my head, BUT each time I worried, I asked myself, "If I can spend so much energy worrying, why can't I spend the same amount of energy visualizing that I CAN make it?"

"Make it happen."

Some thought I was being impulsive, but the way I see it, I wasn't. Now, I am not being biased out of my own interest; but I have a plan, and if I want to make it happen, I cannot keep 'waiting' any longer otherwise it will just be 'all talk, no action'. So I said to myself, "It is now or never!"

Lesson 3: Be Prepared

The night I told my love that I have decided to resign, was probably one of the most awakening moments in my life. He asked me if I was sure about my choice, and I instantly said YES! It was as if every nerve in my body was guiding me, and I felt right in doing so. My other half was probably shocked at how quickly I made up my mind, and I assured him that I will do what it takes to make it work. It felt RIGHT to pursue my own passion or at least give it a shot.

So, instead of getting started on my plans after my last day, I decided to get to work right away, right now even before I leave the company.

In most situations in life, whether you have moved in to a new home, or just started a new job (ironic isn't it) or sent your kids to a new school, it takes 3 months for a person to settle in. That's just how it works.

"Start Planning."

If you have 2 months left, and you have an amazing plan already in mind; use that 2 months to kick start your plans. After all, it just 2 months of back to back work. The plan here is that by the 3rd month, you will probably be at Phase 2: that's when things start to roll, and you need to focus your energy into your new schedule instead and train yourself to be disciple at the "flexible hours".

Lesson 4: The Right Mindset (even if you have to tattoo it!)

Let us look at this in a logical perspective: I have been working for employers even before I graduated from college. I was working for extra pocket money even when I was in high school!

We were always told that the right thing to do after graduation was to land a 9-5 job with ONE goal: to put food on the table. Of course, it was the right thing to do, but after the same routine each day, 10 years later you are still doing the same thing and you find yourself forgetting what you really want to do in life. Plus, you also think that having a "dream" is child's play. You put all your efforts and invest your entire energy into that 1 company because it was the "safest" thing to do.

If you are happy with what you do, that is great. There is no right or wrong answer here, and definitely not about which is better.

However, if you are feeling as if something is missing in your life, and every part of your body yearns to do MORE with it, especially if you have a DREAM TO PURSUE; then ask yourself this question:

"If you can put in 10X the effort in your job because your boss has set the bar so high, can you do the same for yourself if you were to start your own business and be self-employed? Do you think it is possible to do the same for yourself?"

I leave that to you to answer. =)

Finally, give yourself that chance to try. Sometimes, you need to take a shot because you will never know that this might be 'it'. Plus, if you are really good at what you do, and you have skill, you need not to worry if things do not work out. You can always, always go back to work. Perhaps give yourself a maximum of 3 - 5 months at least, and give it a shot.

But if you are going to give yourself 3 months at the most, don't forget Lesson No. 3: things are only rolling at the 3rd month.

*This post was written based on my own personal opinion.