Beyond Bathroom Singing

Be flexible, but consistent. Collaborate, but don’t hand over control. Dare to take risks, for as far as you feel comfortable bearing the consequences of your actions. What helps further is to have a moral compass. Always listen to your conscience, or else you will get lost in the woods of Ambition.



Advices for Emerging Photographers

“There is a more pernicious and increasingly unavoidable problem: the influence we feel from the images that are surrounding us every day, the constant visual bombardment we are receiving on a minute-to-minute basis. People don’t look deeply enough anymore because there’s too much to look at. Everyone is flipping, flipping, flipping. We see pictures on our phones, on Instagram, and in all the vehicles that pop into our hands and brain daily, constantly.”

“I don’t feel good when I see a whole bunch of work. I feel like I’m swimming in a dirty ocean. I need to be more mindful of what I’m doing and what is authentic to me. I do what I can to slow down. I carefully choose which galleries to visit. I remind myself that I don’t have to see everything. I try to stay true to myself.

The process does not only occur in the camera. It happens before and it happens after. The picture-taking itself doesn’t have to be slow, it’s about the time around it.

When I give myself time, I create the space to ask myself questions: am I being too clever? Am I being too influenced by those around me—from market forces to gallery trends to the artists I’ve mentioned? I’m very conscious if something is taking me away. When I get taken away, something is lost. It’s as if I don’t like myself, as if I don’t feel good about myself because I’ve allowed myself to be weakened by external forces. It means I haven’t found that charge in the work.”

“To combat this compromised feeling, I come into the studio at four in the morning. There, I can do all the things that keep me centered. I look at the work, I edit it, I think. These are the times that I can really center myself and be quiet. If I have three solid hours to focus, that’s usually enough to get back on track.”

“There is one pursuit that is essential for anyone with creative ambitions, it is the challenge of finding and developing one’s own language to describe the world. Especially amidst our contemporary cacophony, we must each develop our own vision and voice, otherwise we are not offering anything new or distinctive.

To do so in photography, you must look at pictures, work out what you like and what you don’t, and then figure out why you like something. Just by exercising your humanness, you build a muscle. Eventually, you become quite clear on your own taste. That clarity is what allows a photographer to make decisions in the moment: what to take, why you’re taking it, how to print it and so on. The more muscular that muscle becomes, the better you become at what you do.”

To maintain the energy for one’s personal journey towards authentic self-expression, there are two key ingredients that are crucial (especially if one is seeking external validation): “a good attitude and being driven.” “I was driven beyond belief. I was driven to be accepted, to be respected. Without that drive, how are you ever going to do that? Rather, you’re going to go to a party and carry on with your life. In the end, I don’t think one gets ‘discovered’—rather, it happens for those individuals who fight to have their work seen.”

Print out your work. Don’t just look on a screen all the time. Make your images tactile, move them around. Your work will become much more human as a result.

You need to look a lot. You need to shoot a lot. But like I said, it’s not all brain, not all thinking. All this cerebral stuff about what the work will be, all the stuff you can write before you go and shoot anything—all of that doesn’t matter if the work itself doesn’t move you. If it doesn’t resonate with the meat, then you’ve missed the point.”

You have to make photographs that makes you feel something. FEEL.

Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,

and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

Martin Luther King

What you do now and what you decide at this age may well determine which way your life shall go. And the question is, whether you have a proper, a solid and a sound blueprint.

Some of the things it should be on your life’s blueprint:

  1. A deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth, and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody, always feel that you count, always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.
  2. You must have as a basic principle the determination to achieve excellence, in your various field of endeavour. You going to be deciding as the days and the years unfold what you will do in life, what your life’s work will be. Once you discover what it will be, set out to do it and to do it well. Be a bush if you can’t be a tree, if you can’t be a highway just be a trail. If you can’t be the sun, be a star, for it isn’t by size that you win or fail, but be the best of whatever you are.
  3. A commitment to the eternal principals of beauty, love, and justice. Well life for none of us has been a crystal stair, but we must keep moving, we must keep going. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. Keep moving.

Bruce Lee

“Be like water making its ways through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around it or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.”

“Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water by friend.”

Here is that natural instinct and here is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. If you have one to the extreme you will be very unscientific, if you have another to the extreme you become all of a sudden a mechanical man.”

“I do not believe in style anymore. I do not believe in such thing as like Chinese way of fighting or Japanese way of fighting or whatever. If you do not have style, you just say here I am, as a human being, how can I express myself, totally and completely.

As a human being, all these I have learned from martial art to me, ultimately martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. It is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky, but to express oneself honestly not lying to oneself, that my friend is very hard to do.”