Sunday, April 30, 2017

It's Official!

HELLLOOOOO,

This may be the most important post on my blog yet. So on March 30th, 2017 at 11:57 pm, I got a phone call from the one and only Kim Hunter. I missed the call at first because I was sleeping. When I looked at the number, for some reason I felt like I missed an important phone call, but I can't make out why. I started to google the phone number to see if anything would pop up, but there was nothing. And just as I was about to go back to sleep, Kim Hunter left me a voicemail. I called him back to get the news—I won The LAGRANT Foundation scholarship and I will be flying to GMC in Detroit at the end of May!

This scholarship means that I am now financially stable for the rest of this year, and I can focus completely on school! It is all so surreal right now. I can't believe that just two years ago I was crying in a small closet at Curry House because I thought I couldn't afford college. What a journey it's been.

But wait, there's more. So I've been talking to Kim back and forth the past few days, and he is determined to get me employed for my co-op! Let me say that I don't know a single person in this world who has more connections than Kim, so this is HUGE.

Okay, so here is the biggest news... Kim promised to help me get my dream job, but if it doesn't work out, he is offering me a position at his agency in Los Angeles! SO IT'S OFFICIAL. I'm beginning my move back to California starting this June so that I'll be completely settled and ready to work by September.

Where I will be working is still a mystery, but I'm so excited to see what will unravel in the next few months. This is it. God is good.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Back At It


Here is another airport post! I'm so excited to be flying home for spring break because I wasn't able to last year. I'm so thankful for God for providing me with a ridiculously cheap plane ticket that happens to be the exact number of days that I can get off from work while perfectly matching with my finals schedule. It's going to be a really short amount of time, but it will be a really good mental break for me.

Airports are my favorite place to reflect and realize how incredibly blessed I am. It has been a crazy term, and it's crazy to see how much I have grown in the past two and a half months. This quarter was filled with a lot of failures, but also many accomplishments that I didn't know I was capable of... I finally consider myself a designer! Not having enough artistic skills has been my greatest insecurity the past few years. And although it is something I still struggle with, I finally took my first step into embracing it, and I can't wait to see how much more I'll grow as a designer throughout the years.

18 minutes till boarding....

I'm so proud of myself for coming to the airport early. I'm getting so old freaking out about time now haha.

Anyways...I'm just blabbering. I shouldn't be so vague in these posts because I want to be able to remember how I felt when I looked back at them. Oh well...I'm going to go and relax for now.

Taco Sin here I come.  :D

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Resolutions

I don't think I ever made New Years Resolutions. But if I did, I definitely did not even attempt to stick to them. This year is a little different; I am feeling extra ambitious and I want to be able to look back at my goals and see how I did following through. So hello Michelle at the end of 2017, these are the changes I hope you made some effort on! And by that I mean, YOU BETTER HAVE DONE THEM ALL.

Lifestyle Goals:

  • Spend at least 30 minutes each day honing on various artistic skills. For 2017, focus on these three crafts: drawing, digital media knowledge, and hand typography. 
  • Read and write more! Listen to at least 30 minutes of an audio book or podcast every day.
  • Exercise. You are at an all time low with physical laziness. Don't be afraid to start working out because you are so behind, we all have to start somewhere.
Spiritual Goals:
  • 2016 was rough spiritually, but I always believe that difficult times make you stronger. That being said, I don't want to be stuck in this spiritual hole forever. You've been lost for a while, fell into way too many temptations, and haven't learned as much as you thought you would. Go out of your comfort zone and never stop praying.
Relationship Goals:
  • Avoid using the phrases, I'm too tired, I don't have time, I don't have money. This one is going to be hard, but you really need to start filtering these excuses out of your mind.
  • Appreciate everyone in your life. Send thank you letters and happy birthdays IMMEDIATELY! Don't push it off for later because every time you do that you end up forgetting.
My resolutions are pretty general, so I am hoping to create daily and weekly goals to push me to improve myself on these resolutions. (My passion planner has been helping me A LOT with this actually)

So here we go...another 365 days. That's 365 days to do some amazing things...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Kiss the Year Goodbye

YO HO YO HO
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE.

Before I post my New Years resolutions I wanted to reflect on this past year. Throughout 2016 I constantly found myself thinking, this is too hard... I don't want to do this anymore. Life would throw one obstacle after another and it always felt like the earth was pulling pranks on me. Like why does it need to start pouring rain when it's already been a horrible day? So dramatic.

But about a month back I had a realization that 2016 has actually been my best year yet. Life on Earth is always going to be difficult, and the moment I began to understand that it will always get harder, I learned to cherish every single moment, the highs and the lows.

Soooo as an appreciation post for 2016, here is a list of many awesome things I accomplished/experienced/learned this year!


  • I opened my first etsy shop and got quickly bored of it.
  • I celebrated my first birthday away from home. 
    • I had a $200 sushi meal with Alison sponsored by my amazing cousin.
  • One of my best friends got on a plane for her very first time, left California (also for her very first time), and visited me for Spring Break. 
    • We took a 2-day trip to New York where we went to a set location of a TV show Jasmine really likes.
    • I booked my first Air BnB place and it was the worst experience ever. (Dumb things I do to save money)
  • I won my first merit-based scholarship. I didn't realize this until I went to the scholarship reception, where it was evident that not all the recipients there had financial needs. 
    • They flew me out to Atlanta, Georgia and paid for my hotel and meals.
    • Coca Cola sponsored the event and gave me a personal Coca Cola bottle with my name printed on it.
  • I cried on a plane. Not because I was 3 months old and screaming from God-knows-what. But because I learned the value of home and how much people really mean to me.
  • I took a road trip to San Francisco with some friends.
    • I got to stay overnight at my friend's house that Google was paying for.
    • I visited Google's headquarters.
  • I flew to Arizona and spent 3 days at the home of the CEO and founder of my favorite non-profit organization.
    • I visited the headquarters of my favorite non-profit organization.
    • I became the Pennsylvania Youth Ambassador of my favorite non-profit organization.
    • I learned to ride a horse.
  • I went to Italy with 3 of the most incredible people in my life, where we learned to love and hate each other in so many ways.
    • I went to a Ludovico Einaudi at Renzo Pianos' Auditorium Parco della Musica where I was nearly convinced that I was dreaming.
    • I got bombarded by men claiming they were Colombian as they danced towards me and my friend to seductive music.
    • I saw in person masterpieces by Michelangelo, Giotto, Parmigianino, Brunlleschi, Ghiberti, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, okay pretty much every Ninja Turtle and Italian Renaissance artist.
    • I had gelato almost every day.
    • I was homeless for two nights.
    • I learned to discover a new country's language and culture without phone data (I highly recommend trying this actually).
  • I went to the Motherland for the 2nd time, but first time without my family. 
    • I lived with my mom's aunt for some time, where I was able to learn more about the world my mom comes from. I went to one of the most sentimental place of my mom's childhood and there was something beautifully haunting about it.
    • I learned that my grandma is an amazing sewer and we had so much fun crafting together!
  • I got on my longest flight yet (16 hours) where my chair did not recline. 
  • I slept at an airport... on the ground...twice.
  • I got literally the most convenient job I could have at this time.
    • I had my first real company dinner where they paid for our three course meal, twice.
    • My managers cooked us a Thanksgiving meal.
  • I paid my own rent for the first time.
  • I moved into my first apartment.
  • I got my first credit card and just applied for my second one.
  • I got robbed $1000 from Zipcar but learned why I should always invest in better insurance.
  • My sister, Grace, and Amber visited me in Philly.
  • Grace came again and so I wasn't lonely on Thanksgiving.
  • I cooked a horrible Friendsgiving dinner cause I suck at cooking.
  • I won a total of 5 private scholarships, for a sum of $9,500.
  • I went to a Sia concert!
  • I had my first critique where people said my work was their favorite.
  • I bought Creative Cloud!
  • I lost count of my all-nighters.
  • I went to nrb and Love Letter every time I went home.
Okay, I am going to stop there haha. I can seriously go forever. I am so grateful for the people who made this year so special for me. I don't have a lot of friends, but the few who stick by me are more than enough. Comparing this year's reflection to last year clearly shows how much I've grown in just one year. 2017 is going to be an interesting one....and I am so. damn. excited.



Friday, December 9, 2016

Food Porn

Here is a random food porn update!


Nothing is more convenient than walking ten steps and finding a place to eat that is worthy of high yelp reviews. Although Korea doesn't use yelp, the endless rows of great restaurants make up for it. Plus, it makes eating out much more adventurous. 

After failed attempts to go to some of the restaurants on our list, Sheena and I found this gem in Hongdae! I think this place was called something Deli which was very unrelated to the food they served. Honestly Koreans probably just found the name "Deli" cute. 


Pho that was potentially from Hongdae as well.


Tiramisu crepe cake...somewhere in Korea....LOL


One of the best soondubu I ever had!


Katsu and soba in Itaewon!


International McDonald's part 2! I had the Rio Burger...which to be honest defeats the purpose of my international mcDonald's quest. Damn...should have went with the bulgogi burger (oh well, next time hehe).


THIS WAS SO FUN THANK YOU SHEENA.


Watermelon slush at an adorable cafe where IU filmed one of her music videos.


WHY IS KOREA's PIZZA SO FREAKING AMAZING.


Lame version of what they sell at 626.


Delicious Jeonju street food.


French Toast from Green Eggs and Ham in Philly.


Magpie official makes up for "The Pie Hole" cravings I get when I am not in LA.





Okay I got lazy with the captions. 


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Titanium


On October 21st, 2016  I had the amazing opportunity to watch Sia perform in same spot I witnessed Kobe Bryant play one year ago.

For those who do not know, Kobe Bryant is my "work ethic role model," while Sia is the embodiment of the artist I strive to be. So, to be able to watch both of them live (and in the same place, too!) has been a dream.

I am not a big music person, and it is actually Sia's position as an artist that empowers me. Her work is incredible, and her concert could be described as an immense interactive art installation.

Anyways, Thank you Sia for inspiring me an artist.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Arrivederci Italia

I'm currently at the Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Roma, waiting for my plane to Seoul. It's my first time sleeping at an airport and it is my shift to guard our stuff as my friends sleep. (We took some clothes out of our luggage and made ourselves comfortable on the floor. Hehe, sorry Mom!)

I've been so busy seeing Italy that I didn't get to blog as much as I planned, but at least I kept myself busy throughout!

Reflecting back on my trip, I realized how much I love language and culture. Knowing a little bit of Spanish made picking up Italian much easier, and seeing the Natives giggle at my attempt to communicate with them always brightened up my mood.

Anyways, here's a long post of a short summary of an amazing two weeks in Italy.


Shortly after making it to Florence, we took a day trip back to Rome to go to a Ludovico Einaudi piano concert.  Under the moonlight, classy musical lovers gathered in an outdoor auditorium to hear the live music of this great musician. During one of his pieces, rain began to gently drizzle over the audience. I closed my eyes as I felt the raindrops dance to the sound of each key tapping on the strings of the grand piano. Even thought I'm usually not a fan of this genre of music, the magical ambience convinced me to fall in love.
The concert ended around 11 p.m. and our bus back to Florence wasn't until 6 a.m. so we waited outside the bus terminal and it was cold and miserable. Hehe.


I've mentioned earlier that the food in Italy is nothing to rave about, but there was one place that stood out to me. We found an expensive, organic/vegan bar and restaurant that we went into just to get wifi for directions. The smoothies we ordered made me feel very at home because it was definitely a treat for California tastebuds. And by that I mean it tasted way too healthy. But I loved it. My friends not so much haha.

I've also made it a goal to eat McDonalds every time I visit a new country and order something from the menu that they only offer there. They give beer with their meals here! 


The road signs in Florence all have cute designs like this. So creative. =]


One of my favorite Renaissance paintings: Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. It's really all the Renaissance art that made me most excited to visit Italy. That being said, while I was at the Uffizi Gallery, a young boy walked up to Giotto's Madonna Enthroned and ran his fingers across the 700 year old painting. A piece of my heart broke that day. 


At Mercato Centrale with my fellow small eyes.


The only graffiti art I enjoyed in Italy. This artist put a whole bunch of famous paintings like the Mona Lisa and the Girl with a Pearl Earring, portrayed them under the sea, and hid them all over Florence. 


The amazing Duomo designed by the even more amazing Brunelleschi, seen from Giotto's Campanile. The 414 steps to climb this tower was hell after the 463 steps we climbed in the duomo. And although that sounds bearable, with the uneven stone steps and tourists crammed like sardines, it was quite horrifying. (But still worth it!)


VESPA VESPA VESPA. I love the colorful scooters that fill the adorable streets. I can never take the smart cars seriously, so I'm glad they have the Vespas to make up for the embarrassment. 


More than just a leaning tower; it's a hat!


Boboli Garden. Absolutely beautiful.


The small, beautiful town of San Gimignano, about an hour and a half away from Florence. This photo REALLY does not do this place justice. But that's kind of my fault for bringing a prime lens to this day trip. This city has one of the best views of endless green fields and the homes that decorate the hills are adorable. San Gimignano is kind of the picture perfect place you imagine when you think of Europe. That being said, I don't have any picture perfect photos. LOL


Ravioli and Italian white wine by the beach. <3


Of course the best is saved for last. My visit to Cinque Terre was the most anticipated trip. Costal views will win my heart any day, and the colorful houses on the cliff make you instantly fall in love. We were able to visit all five towns (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso) in one day, and even squeezed in Pisa right before. 

We ended up leaving so late, the train back was only running once an hour. When we finally got to the next train station around 11:30 p.m, there weren't any more trains running back to Florence until 4:43 a.m. We waited sort of miserably in the cold, dirty streets in the middle of nowhere, and when we finally got on the train back, we got caught for not having a ticket. (From our experiences, we never had our tickets checked before. Since it was our last day in Italy and we were pretty much broke, we decided to just hop on.) It sucked to pay a fine but that's okay we kind of deserved it haha.

We finally made it back to our home in Florence around 8 a.m.
Had to leave our home by 11 a.m.
Then wait for our bus back to Rome which was delayed from 2 to 2:30 p.m.
Made it to the airport around 7:30 p.m.
It is now 6:40 a.m. and I am waiting for my 4 hour flight which leaves at 12:40 p.m. and arrives in Moscow.
AND FINALLY:  a 9 hour flight to Seoul.

So I'm pretty exhausted right now, but the thrill of traveling makes it all worth it.

That's it for now! My time in Italy is coming to a close and as much as I loved it here, my heart is ready to move on to the next country!

Gratzie, Italia. Arrivederci!