Our work is a visual experience in the public space and for the longest time, the ones who get to know us beyond that were those we meet in person during open studios, talks, seminars and panel discussions. Without a doubt, we've craved sitting down to write about these thoughts and wisdom gathered from conversations with fellow creatives or during the process of working on projects that were emotionally challenging. The only thing that drew us back all these years from sharing is how these ways of thinking, habits and lessons are dear to our hearts and we still go back to refer whenever we feel the need to. They are the tender, precious facet of our being.
While our work is a visual experience on the receiving end, it's an emotional experience for the both of us. The moment we're given a project brief, we first reckon with emotion. Like when we designed tea towels for WMF on the release of their NATURamic series, we thought about how we want the users to feel when they're cooking, what would it be like to be enveloped in all the goodness and, let's not kid ourselves, mess of cooking. Designing the new uniforms for the FOH staff of Amara Sanctuary Resort had us spending a day touring the resort and observe the activities at the main lobby so we can put ourselves in their shoes - how would we want to feel wearing a uniform, an identity separate from self, throughout an entire shift? We want our work to represent those feelings.
Extract the necessity of delivering these projects from our existence and we'd be left with: what's our story as a sister duo or individuals even? So, this year we spent a lot less time on Instagram to reflect on how the visual, creative aspect of our work and our performance as a studio are not interdependent.
In hindsight, we could draw and design as many prints as we have been but if we hadn't been initiative to set our minds to work together and come up with our moniker 9 years ago or courageous enough to send out that first press release to the local media in 2013 or learn to embrace our vulnerability of being out there as innate introverts, we wouldn't be living the life we're living today.
Many of us try to live a more purposeful life, yearn to ignite that special spark we know we have somewhere in there - all on your own. We spend our lives trying to discern who we are materialistically, in the things we can see, hold on to or measure by, in the age of social media where we compare ourselves in a swipe of the finger. We disregard our feelings, but when we're aware of them, we react impulsively instead of analysing them and most importantly, talk about them. We're grateful to be working well as sisters, although we're 7 years apart. Not all of us have that someone to walk through the trenches with.
The presence of courage and vulnerability during Q&A segment of talks is inevitable and we truly appreciate when someone raises the hand, share a personal experience and ask a question, trembling. It's a physical manifestation of a strong emotion, often times seemingly negative like feeling uncertain of a direction or betrayed when ideas are being stolen. We have our share of moments when we get overwhelmed in our emotional state and the truth is, it has higher power in determining whether we get closer to or further away from success than our ability to create something of value.
There's no trajectory for our essays but it's our hope that by finally putting it out there in the open, you too can refer to them as much as we do, even if you don't see yourself as a traditional "creative". By being intimate with our thoughts and feelings here, through all the falls and rising, we invite you to not walk alone and keep showing up.
Have you ever felt like you're the one drawing yourself back from doing something?