Need a little pick-me-up to start off the year? Have some more visual inspiration! In my previous article, I slightly touched on how Twitter is now the go-to social media site of choice for many in the artist community when it comes to sharing their work. While that article was written in the spirit of #Inktober, this one is a little different: we’re going local.
Filipino artist Caleb (@porkironandwine, whose work on Filipino mythology you may have seen around) saw an opportunity: to shine the spotlight on the oft-underrepresented diversity of talent from fellow artists in Southeast Asia.
Hey Twitter! on January 16, let's launch a hashtag for South East Asian artists! #ArtistsofSEA ! We are often overlooked, but despite that, we are still here deserving of visibility! Please rt! If you're southeast asian, please share your artwork! pic.twitter.com/QJaGMTP3dn
— Caleb (@sethpuertoluna) January 10, 2019
— Caleb (@sethpuertoluna) January 16, 2019
His tweet blew up and now has more than five thousand retweets at the time of writing and nearly eight thousand likes — and the #ArtistsofSEA hashtag remains in full swing. Here are some of the amazing artists who shared their work using the tag.
Hi #ArtistsofSEA , I'm an artist with lots of Khmer 🇰🇭 pride! I'll be joining the animation industry as a BG Designer next week! 😁 I love putting nods to my culture in my work…oh and also I like drawing outer space and boys. pic.twitter.com/EqIVWvxqq3
— sugarmilk6 (@sugarmilk6ix) January 16, 2019
— iree 🍒☃️✨ (@ohprcr) January 16, 2019
— sol (•ө•)🔪 @ giveaway 😴 (@komomorebi) January 16, 2019
#ArtistsofSEA yess i do this, hehe im yogi, i do love painting with watercolor and also some scenery and environment for now on, i am Indonesian 🇮🇩 ! Thanks @porkironandwine for making this tag for us ✨🌿 pic.twitter.com/yOHeGuxfvt
— yfriandito – D 🌊 (@yfriandito) January 16, 2019
Hi, I’m Camila ✨ I’m an illustrator from Indonesia, and I like to draw girls and other pretty things! #ArtistsofSEA
— Camila ✨ (@nekomori_art) January 16, 2019
— sarah (@tropicoola) January 15, 2019
hello i'm hotaru, a graphic/creative designer from malaysia! i like vibrant colours and fun shapes! i love drawing girls, fashion, food, and plants! ✨#ArtistsofSEA
ig handle: hotarujaejae
INPRNT: https://t.co/YKuSMvfHto pic.twitter.com/5MX9yOzRev
— hotarujaejae (@hotarujaejae) January 16, 2019
Hi #artistsofSEA ! I’m M from Malaysia. Drawing my favourites and trying to live my best life. I also started streaming and just launched my Patreon!https://t.co/7eJreWQULehttps://t.co/fihPP4rQtj pic.twitter.com/21M0f25jRQ
— prawnm33 (@mmmagnolia) January 17, 2019
Hello #ArtistsofSEA ! I'm Sofia from the PH and I animate and illustrate 💖
— ✨🎆 sofia 🎇✨ (@sofiaanimates) January 18, 2019
— Corinne🐣 (@amiamihan) January 16, 2019
— kami 🔥 (@karekareo) January 16, 2019
Hi #ArtistsofSEA ! I’m Eunpyon, a Filipino artist based in Makati who loves to draw tired gals who love to dream 💕
— ★彡 𝙀𝙪𝙣𝙥𝙮𝙤𝙣 彡★ (@eunpyon) January 17, 2019
Hello #ArtistsofSEA! Roll/Cheryl here, an illustrator/designer from SG 🇸🇬 Currently available for freelance/studio work, always down for a food adventure 🍖
— roll 🏝 (@rollround) January 16, 2019
— Mishi💉 @genshin hell (@crowiaa) January 17, 2019
— Kadeart 🍄 lll (@kadeart) January 16, 2019
— Jaya Ply (@Nikingply) January 17, 2019
— sai (@love_is_soup) January 16, 2019
— Pech🍑 (@peachdalooza) January 16, 2019
hi #ArtistsofSEA! im a vietnamese immigrant living in the usa. usually i do fanart for fun but this year i drew a series of illustrations about a fantasy story set in vietnam! pic.twitter.com/qePQ8Nl3Vf
— dee! 🍓 school+commissions :') (@idledee) January 16, 2019
Finding adequate appreciation and just pay for their work are struggles that all creatives can relate to. Hashtags such as #Inktober, #PortfolioDay, #ArtistsofSEA, and more work to not only help artists network and build community through mutual appreciation, but also connect them with work opportunities. Our Southeast Asian cultures provide an amazing base for inspiration. Supporting local artists can help them share that in their home countries and the wider world.
Here’s how we can help:
- Buy their merchandise. Many artists sell prints, accessories, and wearable merchandise at local conventions. Some are stocked in specialty stores. Look out for events near you! Most of them also have online shops.
- Pay for commissions. If you find an artist whose style you love, consider commissioning them. Artists price commissions depending on how elaborate the work is and how many elements are included; you can have a unique piece at any price point.
- Hire them for projects. Whether it’s personal or for work, consider hiring local artists for bigger creative projects that last a longer term.
- Pass their information on. You can also share the contact details and online accounts of artists you think fit other people’s projects if they’re seeking recommendations. Someone wants a statement piece for their home? Refer them to prints. A friend needs a graphic designer for their business? Share what you know.
- Retweet their work — and NEVER repost without credit. For those on a budget, supporting local artists doesn’t always need money. Simply retweeting and sharing their work from their official accounts — NEVER repost without their permission and full credit — is enough to do your part to help widen their reach.
This list is definitely not exhaustive and represents only a portion of artists sharing their work. You can continue to follow it and see more over here. Happy browsing!
Huawei Classic Backpack: The girl with the green backpack
A fashion statement and everyday accessory
When you’re juggling a job and a side hustle, style ends up as one of the last things you consider in your everyday life.
Admittedly, I wear hideous, bulky handbags to carry my essentials: makeup, hygiene kit, power bank, cables and organizers, and other accessories. Sometimes, I slip a book unless I’m carrying a laptop for business meetings, which proved to be harmful to my posture.
The extra weight shouldered when using a handbag had me reeling in unnecessary body pain. When I was looking for an alternative, a confidante offered the Huawei Classic Backpack — a stylish, everyday bag.
Green is the new black
Huawei’s Classic Backpack comes in lavish Forest Green. It’s quite a recherché, looking luxurious especially in its satin-like nylon fabric. In certain lighting conditions, the color shifts from emerald to dark teal. Frankly, the bluish tint is frequently evident, making this backpack challenging to pair with your outfits.
If you’re unsure how to wear this backpack in such a rare colorway, you can always pull-off an all-black outfit. Or you can go green all the way and do a bit of tonal dressing.
Green, when done right, can be chic and contemporary — all eyes will be on you, darling. It’s never as bold as red, but it’s exotic to look at in a sea of neutrals.
Taste of Paris
Huawei’s Classic Backpack emanates a Parisian vibe — chic, exquisite, serious, respectable, and admirable. If I can think of two words to describe Paris, it’s fashion and architecture.
The same values I mentioned honor the minimalist approach, as seen in the backpack. A semblance of Parisian architects’ craftsmanship; a straightforward utility bag without forsaking style.
There’s a microfiber leather flap priding itself with the label ‘Designed in Paris’ together with Huawei’s logo debossed in gold. This complements the satin-like green body, presenting a luxe appeal.
For security, the backpack features an adjustable drawstring design with a magnetic clasp underneath the flap that connects with the fabric.
Just like the Parisian architecture, the overall design exhibits durability and comfortability — using a 290T nylon fabric for the body and wide straps that reduces pressure on your shoulders. This helped to carry my laptop and other essentials easily even when I take long walks.
Inside, it uses a 200T polyester fabric lined with an H-pattern à la prominent designer bags like Gucci and Chanel. The backpack also comes with a luggage strap, making it the perfect travel carry-on. If we get to travel again, that is.
Carry what you need
If anything this backpack has taught me, it’s learning how to carry only what’s necessary. I used to wear handbags, most are large enough to fit my hairdryer or straighteners. Who knows when I would need it, right?
Sure, it has a separate compartment that can carry laptops 14-inches and under, and an abundance of zipped storage areas. But that doesn’t mean you’ll stuff your bag so much, you’ll hurt your back.
At the very least, there’s plenty of room for whatever you need to store: accessories, cards, keys, and miscellaneous stuff you think you need.
The girl with the green backpack
The Huawei Classic Backpack is the fashion statement you didn’t know you needed. Wearing it can state your persona in a glance, and create a lasting impression just like The Girl in the Green Scarf.
More importantly, it’s the perfect everyday utility bag that you can wear with certain outfits (definitely not yellow, please don’t). It also teaches you to bring only what’s essential.
This backpack, certainly, is an icon of balance between functionality, comfortability, and style. Don’t let anyone tell you to sacrifice one in order to have the perfect bag match.
This lifestyle feature was written by Nicole Beltran. She owns a pastry brand named The Cookie Nook. Her free time is mostly spent baking, taking her Shih Tzu for a walk, or trying to catch up with Netflix originals released a year ago.
Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire
Your survival guide to a crazy season
Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming.
When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back in our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.
More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.
But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.
Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories
Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them on a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.
Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure
Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.
Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputations from being smeared!
Double check what you type and say
Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.
P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.
Keep your emotions in check and block your exes
If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.
Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.
Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)
If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.
Take a moment to slow down
Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.
3 must-haves when traveling, in case you want to be like ‘Emily in Paris’
Never ever forget these!
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Emily in Paris, please read with caution.
Bonjour, mademoiselles and monsieurs!
I’m certain I’m not the only one obsessed with French culture, and of course, the latest Netflix series — Emily in Paris.
In case you’ve been living under the rock, Emily in Paris re-awakened people’s lust for travel. A bit of escape from the horrific reality we’re currently facing; a year that has gone haywire.
Think croissants, cobblestones, fine architecture, chic fashion, good food, art, and sex. This is the surface of what Emily in Paris is about: Emily Cooper’s hilarious misadventures in navigating her career, romance, and friendships.
While the series showcases how Emily documents her life and adventures in Paris through Instagram, there are a few things she forgot to bring. For a supposedly tech-savvy millennial, Emily Cooper forgot some travel essentials. Or maybe she didn’t know she needed them.
Based on a few episodes from Emily in Paris, I realized what gadgets must be deemed travel essentials, so we don’t experience Emily Cooper’s misadventures next time we’re in another country.
A battery-powered vibrator (so you don’t blow up the fuse)
First of all, Emily was in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend in Chicago. The couple was having sexy time via video call but crappy internet connection got in the way.
To continue pleasing herself, Emily pulled out an effin’ gigantic, old-school wired vibrator. After plugging it into an electric socket, the vibrator short-circuited the electricity in her apartment. The blow-up was so bad, it shut down the power in the entire neighborhood.
As funny as it is (and no, it wouldn’t really happen in real life), there are a lot of battery-powered, wireless vibrators. Some are even high-tech enough to be controlled by your partner through a mobile app.
Consider this next time when you travel. Although before you pack your sex toy, make sure it’s not illegal in the country you will visit. In some Islamic countries, they confiscate toys as they fall under pornographic material. Last thing you want is to get persecuted in a foreign land.
An instax printer or a pocketable instax camera
Paris is the so-called city of romance. You can literally feel the love in the air. Throughout the series, Emily captured streets, everyday moments, and her life in Paris and uploaded it to her Instagram account.
But to travel — or live — in a romantic city, moments should be captured in a sentimental and romantic way. For instance, preserving memories through a pocketable instax camera which you can bring anywhere, or an instax printer where you can print your photos directly from your smartphone.
That’s exactly what we did one Sunday morning along Upper East Side in New York City. That je ne sais quoi of summer in the city is not something anyone can describe with mere words or capture on Instagram without losing its essence. Of course, we weren’t able to, either.
But we caught some vignettes on film, complete with audio recordings using the Instax Mini LiPlay. We found a way to reminisce those moments. That’s something we believe should be part of any travel.
Get a smartwatch or other running essentials
Forgive me for crying out loud, but smartwatches are made to accompany you while you run. Not hold your gigantic phone with tiny hands, huffing and puffing along the river Seine.
It’s a good idea that Emily didn’t forget how important working out is. But it’s not exactly a good idea to hold your phone while you run. Better to invest in a smartwatch like the Apple Watch to measure your heart rate, track your miles, and answer calls while you listen to music through your wireless earbuds.
And if you’re not the smartwatch-wearing type, invest in pockets, running pouches, arm wallets, or wrist straps. There are different ways to safeguard your phones, keys, and other essentials without putting yourself in potential danger.
Besides, Paris — like any other city — isn’t exactly crime-free. You can’t keep running around like crimes don’t happen. Even when I was running around Taipei, a city with low crime rate, I didn’t let my guard down. The same goes for traveling to any other city. It’s always best to keep yourself safe, no one else will do it for you.
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