In order to better understand and push myself to my greatest potential, I’m constantly working towards cultivating a simple and truthful lifestyle where life, art and work align.
With the power of simplicity, I help people and organizations reveal its true essence and purpose to enrich their presence in the world. To search for clarity, to set direction, and to give inner wholeness.
By stripping away the non-essentials and appreciating simpler things, it inspired my professional and artistic purpose. It brought focus, serenity, and satisfaction. It gave birth to creating conceptual and meaningful images, to crafting simple and effective designs, to revealing and developing truthful brands.
It’s hard to maintain any momentum if your direction lacks definition. Once you find your why, it is easier not to get distracted from what is important, keep your focus, bring tangible results, fuel your motivation, be more careful and selective about your daily actions. With clarity, it’s easier to pull together resources, ideas and people for a common cause.
For as long as I can remember, I am always intrigued with the meaning of life and our purpose in it. We live in an age of anxiety, where we sometimes seek purpose at the wrong shrine.
Pursuing possessions, popularity and power. To the tune of me, me, me, when it should be about you and me. Keeping up gets complicated, exhausting and confusing. We’re always looking for the next thing out there, instead of the more important thing in here. It makes us dissatisfied and distracted from our true and profound purpose. Here’s what I believe: conquer complexity to reveal truth.
I was instinctively drawn to logos and brands even as a child. Long before the knowledge of these symbols, I traced the Nike swoosh and sewed them on my shirts. Perhaps I did this because my family couldn’t afford such luxuries. After all, my father had come to Canada as a refugee without a penny in his pocket.
As I entered my teens, this fascination shifted to designing a personal logo of sorts — a graffiti tag. I spent high school years refining my tag, exploring handstyles, new medias, spaces, environments and objects. Living in the moment and expressing myself spontaneously gave me immense satisfaction. Through urban art, my creativity found an outlet. It led to building a portfolio to get into design school, where I instantly fell in love with typography, photography, and learned about the design process, and technique.
While still in college, I knew there was so much more to learn. So I continued on to university, where I absorbed design, creative methodology and conceptual design. I explored the notion of strong concepts that integrate functionality and sustainability. I find myself examining the built world in terms of design. I learn to cast a critical eye on spaces and objects, always with a view to simplifying people’s lives.
After learning how to create aesthetic and meaningful design. I was bothered by one thing. Does it really help organizations and how true was my design to their identity. I was interested into deeper meaning. I was looking for the purpose. Therefore, I decided to take some classes in brand identity to learn how to reveal truthful and authentic brands. This gave me tools and solutions to not only solve the visual part but also the strategic part. The raison d’être to define voice, key message, etc
From there I developed a holistic approach. Where I don’t only look into parts but as a whole. With this experience I was able to bring more to my customers. To project an image that fits right in the identity. And to help them in each phase (brand strategy, brand definition, brand design and digital branding).
I view branding as a disciplined process. One that focuses on the journey, not just the end result. Indeed, process is the key factor in successful branding. At the same time, I am a long-range thinker who synthesizes and organizes, then carries out strategic plans. While understanding is necessary, it’s only a prelude. The real challenge is reducing ideas to their essence. So they communicate directly, clearly and with power.
As I reflect on my journey, I realize my lifelong fascination with logos, design, typography, and brand identity goes back further than my childhood — it reaches back to my family roots. My grandfather was a Chinese artisan who carved woodcuts with people’s signature, also known as “chops or seals”. Customers used these elegant stamps to make their mark on various surfaces. Even today in Japan, companies regularly use name seals for the signing of a contract and other important paperwork.
In my own way, I have carried on my grandfather’s legacy. From graffiti tagging to studying graphic design to revealing identity, to create visuals that distil the essence of an individual or business.