What motivates you to mentor creatives?
What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?
I’m currently a payroll specialist, but when I was younger, I wanted to be a writer. Being a designer was never on my mind when I was younger, but I was always creative. I have some poems and creative short stories floating somewhere in the internet ocean and I am naturally attracted to helping others - I was even voted Miss Community in my sorority for all the volunteer work I did.
My earliest memories involve my father & mother cooking late into the night to prepare for work the next day. I didn’t understand it when I was younger, but they were role models for me. The hardest-working people I know are in my family. My parents managed a popular Chinese restaurant at my local mall in the heart of Cajun country known as Lafayette, Louisiana. Their cooking caused a line as long as worker ants - their food made memories for people to smile back on when they think about best pastimes in this small city.
I was a restaurant child. My father gave me the crispy batter bits of fried chicken to snack on, and he gave me parchment paper to draw on. My extended family were the cooks and the cashiers, as my parents were the first in their family to come to America. I took naps on rice sacks and made castles out of the cardboard boxes the to-go boxes came in.
I didn’t know it at the time, but my expansive imaginative mind may have been undiagnosed autism or manic depression. I was creative and made do with the close friendship I had with myself, but as I headed off to college, my symptoms were exacerbated. I made the choice to step away in order to address my mental health since the late nights in the studio triggered manic-depressive episodes. I sought professional help and never looked back. It’s been about 8 years since I started my college career, but now that I’m going back, I’m glad I put my future self first, and sought the mental health support I needed.
It is my hope that I can inspire others to put themselves first. Mental health is real and it’s okay to get help. Let’s break the stigma.
I am a second-generation Thai-American and a Siamese cat mom.
What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?
I am an amateur iPhone photographer enthusiast! I love to go on walks to clear and reset my mind. I adore animals so when I get the chance, I love to take a picture to capture the moment. This is my cat Ophelia, who is 8 years old, and a baby bee!
What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?
My desk set up is very simple: I recently gifted myself a standing desk since I have been remote for the past year. I have external monitors, which I recommend for everyone. It only helps make the workflow more efficient and a good mouse helps. I can work 8+ hours if I needed to and my hand hasn’t cramped. My cat, Ophelia, loves to show her support by being very close to me.
Where do you go to get inspired?
Honestly, being active helps me get inspired! Sometimes the creative block just needs to be sweated out! I also love listening to music during a work out session and taking a walk in nature. My favorite artist is LaLisa Manobal, and she is a dancer. Sometimes, I will watch her independent projects that are works outside of Blackpink, and seeing her achieve her dreams helps me.
I love the quote of the anime Soul Eater: “A sound soul dwells within a sound mind and a sound body.”
Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?
I have to start my mornings being grateful and positive. By this, I mean that I write out my manifestations. It’s easy to let the stressors of life get to me, but I wake up and tell myself I have to choose to have healthy thoughts and habits. I have a quick journaling session and then I journal again during lunch and before bed.
Creativity is a currency that needs to be carefully spent, so I try to use it for the good of the world, otherwise negativity spreads easily. I also started to practice Buddhism.
The most important tool for me is the Pomodoro Technique! Sometimes I can get tunnel vision and burn myself out in a long session. I have to remind myself that I have a human body and this body requires breaks!
What’s an album that changed your life?
I’m a big fan of Bring Me The Horizon and my favorite album by them is called Amo. As someone who had manic-depressive episodes, sometimes it’s just cathartic to put music on to scream to. I am an elder emo. 😂
My go-to music for focus, however, ends up being nature sounds I listen to with my cat, or instrumental video game soundtracks.