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5 unique souvenir gifts from Vietnam

Finding something different and unique is a challenge. Mass production, cheap materials and reused ideas you find everywhere. Living in Vietnam since 2000, I have seen the progress and changes to the country over the years. I still believe Vietnam can do a better job promoting its beauty and I wanted to contribute with what I know best. That is photography.

Photographers tend to publish books and postcards. My graphic design background has always made me think in different ways. I always liked lacquer as a craft. There is something about handmade process that adds a difference to a product. It is not just stamped out from a machine in the hundreds, it is actually crafted by hand.

I started experimenting with the ancient lacquer making technique and modern print technology. From that our photographic lacquer coaster sets were born.

1. Lacquer coaster sets

O&M Coaster Set

Photographed with an old vintage Kodak camera, the Kodak Duaflex II. From the 1950’s, this camera brings a distinct style to the images. Printed on hand plated silver base, then several rounds with lacquer coating, also done by hand.

Each coaster set is handmade and unique. From O&M.

 

From printing on hand plated silver to fabric. Pillows were the next step. Featuring motifs from around Vietnam, these pillows make the perfect present:

2. Decorative pillows with photographic print 

O&M Decorative Pillow

It has never been easier to ship a slice of Vietnamese heritage to your living room. As seen above, a set of Vietnamese water puppet dolls photographed in the ancient city of Hoi An. Each tote bag gets produced on demand and assembled by hand before shipping. From O&M Collection Store.

 

Then we applied the printing techniques to t-shirts. A full print t-shirt is wearable art. Truly different.

3. T-shirts with sublimation prints, full coverage

O&M T-shirt

Anyone walking the streets of Saigon have seen the cable and wire madness. Standing at most street corners, it is easy to spot the cable monsters above. Printed on both sides, these t-shirts take you straight into the cable jungle. Each pillow case gets produced on demand and assembled by hand before shipping. From O&M Collection Store.

 

Expanding our option with wearable art, we started a tote bag range. Simple, elegant and functional. Different photographs for different occasions. Below is one of our favourites.

4. Tote bags with French cement tiles patterns 

O&M Tote Bag

The French brought with them their cement tiles making techniques. You can walk on their heritage throughout Vietnam. These tile patterns I found deep in the Mekong, at one of the eldest Khmer pagodas. A variety of patterns cover the floor and I documented most of them. Any trip you take around Vietnam will reward you with photographic opportunities. Vietnam is indeed a hidden charm. You need to seek out in order to find. From O&M’s Collection Store.

 

We also offer the traditional photographic print. Wearable only for walls, they do add character to where ever they hang on display. For other size, please get in touch.

5. Framed poster prints shipped to your doorstep

O&M Square Poster Print

An affordable alternative to our silver plated lacquer prints and silver plated canvas prints. Each poster prints on Epson Ultra Premium Luster Photo Paper. 

​A detail from one of the stunning rooftops seen in Hue city. The emblems are unique for the area and I have only spotted them outside of Hue at Hue restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. From O&M’s Collection Store.

 

Want to know about new releases? Sign up for our Newsletter at the O&M Collection Store website or follow our Business Page on Facebook. We release new products on a regular basis. 

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Photography

From Happy New Year to Chuc Mung Nam Moi

O&M_Happy_New_Year_2015_WEB

New Year’s Eve passed and Tet is coming. The second New Year celebration in 2015. 2014 saw a lot of changes. Vietnam is in constant change, that’s for sure. 2014 was moving time. The studio is still up and running in District 2, however, I am enjoying a new home in District 3 with an amazing view as you can see here:


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Photography

Fire! Glowing neon lights exploding into flames in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3

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It’s almost the end of 2014 and our conversation comes to a holt. Only one boom. It was loud, but nothing more. A bit unusual, but no more booms. We break the silence and continue our conversation, only to stop once more. Power cut. We rarely have power cuts. “Come and see this! It’s a fire!” We all gather on the balcony and we can see the flames coming up from the local karaoke area. It’s a huge fire and the power is cut in all of District 3. Quickly heading back inside and fumbling in the darkness to find the camera and load the memory card. Iso 6400 and handheld exposure. It will do.

The images are uploaded to Demotix.com and we make the front page with out first uploaded story, you can see it here.

Demotix_Frontpage_December_2014

Unfortunately, a life was lost that evening and thieves were apprehended when they tried to take advantage of the tragedy. Tuoi Tre News reported on the event here and a video can be see here.

And this is how it looks a few days after.

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SMM_Karaoke_Fire_001

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Family, Photography

A visit to the park

Sunday morning. The mere words install expectations. A day off. All your worries evaporating as water droplets soaked up by the rising sun. Sundays are to be enjoyed. To recoup. To get out, and out we did go, to the park that is.

The park is already packed before even setting a foot inside. The motorbike attendant closed the entrance two bikes behind us. “It’s full. You have to park elsewhere.” Bikes are being turned around, except for one. He’s not having it. Walking longer to the park is not acceptable. His pleas bear fruit once the others have left, he gets the last spot.

Impromptu chairs and tables emerge on the foot path as people want their morning coffees. Business is brisk. The violinists are practicing down to the left by the pond. The pond has all the photographers circling along, with all their gear out, using their longest tele lens to isolate the lotus flowers. Elsewhere, you see all the boyscout uniforms and the waiting parents. Across the road you find the fitness buffs, doing pull ups bare chested. Male only, so traffic passes by smoothly. Nothing to see.

It’s time to take out the camera. Only one lens, a macro, and I delve into yet another world.

In_the_Park_Copyright_MadsMonsen

Prints are now available for sale, either as our handmade lacquer prints or canvas prints. Inquiries can be made at our other site, OanhMadsVn.com

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Design

The former colleague and now inventor

‘I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success.’

Ms Ngoc Hanh and I met for the first time at Sun Flower Media company where we both were art directors for different publications. Fast forward and we are both on different paths and still share the same ambition. To see our creations blossom.

Ms Ngoc Hanh founded Mimimi.com.vn and she sells a product to help you clean your helmet without damaging the washing machine.

She wanted to have a quick and effective way to clean helmets and they are now available for sale online.

The English version can be found here: http://mimimi.com.vn/en/

Mimimi_Web

Please take a look if this is of interest. Product pictures were done in our studio and for those of you that follow our blog, please take a look at our new, main portfolio website at www.madsmonsen.com as we finally updated our site. For our lacquerware and custom lacquer orders, please visit oanhmadsvn.com

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Family, Photography

The family visit

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Photography is rewarding. You get to meet great people, sometimes even travel to exotic locations or take part of an important stage of someone else’s life.It was such as day for Kate and Collin as they wanted images of their first born daughter, Marie.

It also comes with great responsibility. You are in charge of creating visual mementos for the future. Preserving a slice of time for others to enjoy.

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Photographing Marie at their home made the session easier. She could feel more comfortable in her own environment and we could make use of all her toys as decoration objects. Later on, we moved to the studio after a refreshing nap for more traditional family portraits as seen below.

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Photography

The art of walking in high heels and the images to prove it

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It all started with an email. That’s why I was standing outside Hotel Continental, opposite the Opera House and waiting. A few minutes earlier I had parked my bike at the Park Hyatt. I was early. Unlike Vietnamese weddings, where it’s normal to arrive at least one hour after the official starting time, assignments tend to start on time. On time we started.

Kate had given a clear and simple brief, great shots around town. Simple. On foot we set off. I had my comfortable, flat Helly Hansen shoes and Kate marched on wearing high heels. For those who know the pavements in Ho Chi Minh City, you can all agree that the pavements are not meant to be used for walking.

It is cumbersome enough to walk in comfortable shoes and high heels are rated mission impossible once you add a bit of distance. Kate was impressive. We did a fair amount of walking and she did so in great style as you can see from the images below.

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Photography

Third time lucky – or are we?

If you have good health and food on your table every day, then indeed, count yourself lucky. However, some of the patients at the Children’s Hospital 2, Nguyen Du street, are overdue to receive a bit of luck in their lives. It is Friday afternoon, ten to four, and we have arrived. Early and soaked as we braved the rain in order to be on time for the scheduled 4 pm meet up. It’s my third weekly visit in a row and we realise we are the first to arrive. The members of the group are wiser, they wait for the rain to clear and then they set out for their weekly mission. The end goal is important, getting wet is not. Off we go. The route is familiar, the wards too, only the people have changed. All new faces, or so it seems. They still know that we are here and people are approaching to secure a meal ticket. The group is bringing hope and the ones who receive their help are the lucky ones. Sadly, we all wish more people to be lucky too, but to achieve that, more help and donors are needed. (All images by iPhone.) smm_charity_third_visit_01 smm_charity_third_visit_02 smm_charity_third_visit_03 smm_charity_third_visit_04 smm_charity_third_visit_05 smm_charity_third_visit_06 smm_charity_third_visit_07

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Observing kindness and documenting with an iPhone

It’s Friday 4pm in Ho Chi Minh City. We are at the gates of the hospital again. This time we arrive early and it’s still daylight and the group has just assembled outside the cafeteria that is located inside the compound. Red plastic chairs are shuffled around and hands are shaken. More people are present and we get introduced to them all. Off we go. Extra diapers are handed out to parents in need along with the weekly food tickets. Donations are also given to parents with children that has undergone surgery. The walk through the emergency area is emotional, especially if you are a parent yourself. You really don’t want to be walking in their shoes.

Despite the circumstances, smiles are still seen. It was really remarkable to see the young boy, sitting on his mothers lap, connected to a machine with a plastic tube coming out from his throat and he was still able to smile after we arrived.

The images below sums the experience up better than words. If you would like to help or get in touch with the group, please come along on a Friday afternoon at 4pm or visit their website (in Vietnamese) here http://traitimnhanai.com.vn/home.php

Iphonography. SMM_Charity_visit_02 SMM_Charity_visit_03 SMM_Charity_visit_04 SMM_Charity_visit_05 SMM_Charity_visit_06 SMM_Charity_visit_07 SMM_Charity_visit_08 SMM_Charity_visit_09 SMM_Charity_visit_10 SMM_Charity_visit_11 SMM_Charity_visit_12

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What a difference a slip of paper can make – A visit at the hospital ward, Nguyen Du Street, District 1

Receivers of food coupons

Receivers of food coupons. Iphonography.

A chain of events. A one year anniversary notification found its way to my inbox. An Expat blog meet-up, always at a new location, and almost always having new people participating. Thus, I met Dennis and his wife, Quynh, for the first time. A random encounter with a touching outcome. They do charity. Several stories later and we are at the hospital ward. They support a local group that helps the poorest amongst the patients.

Every week they print around 300 food tickets, all valid for one week only, to the meals at the canteen. The receivers are guaranteed to have adequate food for a week. It makes a difference when what you have is nothing as you spent everything you had on medicine. The smiles of joy and relief are seen as the group goes through the wards handing out their tickets as well as following up from last week. The group relies on donations to pay for the meals they sponsor every week.

They also run a website (in Vietnamese) that shows what they are doing and how they have spent the money donated.

Here are a few iPhone images from the Friday handout. It takes place every Friday afternoon at the hospital at Nguyen Du street, District 1.

Receivers of food coupons. Iphonography.

Receivers of food coupons. Iphonography.

Receivers of food coupons. Iphonography.

Receivers of food coupons. Iphonography.

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Photography, Review

Fashion Creation – From idea to final show

The street lights glowed in the dark as the light drizzle added a soft shine to the road leading up to Gala Royal. It was early evening, June 20th 2013, and the TK09 students from Hoa Sen’s first bachelor program of Fashion Design  were about to start their graduation show “Fashion Creation”.

Inside, guests were filling up the seats, photographers assembling their gears and video tripods marked the press pit area. Models walked past, en route to back stage changing area while designers could be spotted across the room due to their serious faces. Tension was in the air. The rest of the crowd was at ease, smiling, reading the program and conducting small talk.

It was as any other fashion show, except to the designers involved, this did not feel like any other show, this was their show and it showed. From the serious faces before start, then the anxious looks when their models braved the catwalk, to the joy and sheer happiness when they walked the catwalk themselves, receiving applause for their efforts. Online, likes were being racked up on the various walls as proud parents and friends had already broadcasted the event to their Facebook streams.

A milestone, one of many more to come, had been achieved this evening and for that I would say it was a successful event. They had shipped their products and delivered. They had gone through with their ideas and visualised them. It takes a lot of hand work and dedication to bring ideas to life, however, no matter the hardship, the smiles of joy that evening made it all worth it. It felt great to witness it from front row.

Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation Hoa Sen Graduation Show – Fashion Creation

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Making a difference – If only for a day

At the pagoda. iPhone photography processed with camera+

At the pagoda. iPhone photography processed with camera+

Walking through narrow alleyways where even the motorbikes would have their mirrors bent inwards by the walls. Retracing the steps afterwards, we would appreciated road markers left behind on the walls as we are getting lost. A maze within a small section of the town. We are in Phu Nhuan district, 5 minutes away from a large arterial road, in what seems a world apart. Do good. That’s the reason why we are here. To remind ourselves that in fact we have privileged lives that we often take for granted as there are many people in more dire situations than ourselves. To do what we often think and wish we should do. A first step. To give. Give to people less fortunate without expecting anything in return, except for the feeling of making someone happy. The smiles received are reward enough.

First stop is the 1st floor of a hairdresser. I have passed it many times. Even made a note to return with a camera and take a photograph of the mannequin heads that sometimes are on display. Impaled heads on a metal fence. All with various hair colours and lengths, used for practice by the staff. Today we enter the salon and venture upstairs. We meet the husband first, then his wife, lying on a mattress on the floor. In agony. She has incurable cancer. Dying from the inside, a bit more every day. Eventually she will leave behind her husband and two children. It is brutal. Time is limited and our small contribution will only help them subdue the pain for a short time, but can do nothing to stop the process. Even with means to help it will not be enough. It start to sink in how precious life is and how valuable every moment we have with loved ones really is.

Love and care is what we all crave and need. The infant inside the room, only a short walk away from the hairdresser, is being looked after by his mother. She happens to be an unmarried, single mother. The room is their home. It’s dark with hardly any light seeping in. Electricity cost money and thus saved by not being used. She needs all the help and support she can get.

Next stop is further inside. Between newly constructed houses and villas we arrive at metal gate. Through a small courtyard that doubles as motorbike parking space, we entered a small house, greeted by an elderly woman. The elderly woman has aged through hardship and not by time as she looks much older than her real age. She is looking after her son. He is in his twenties and stays at home with her. He’s standing by the window in a small room, shifting his weight back and forth. Only then do I notice the ankle chain. He is chained to the wall. To keep him safe. The woman says he is mad and dangerous to his surroundings. She has to keep him chained up. The motorbike parking is her only livelihood but her front yard cannot hold that many motorbikes.

Our journey continues, next stop, the local hospital. After spending time trying to figure out our given directions, we had to resort to a phone call as even the staff could not tell us the correct room. Once we received the additional information did we find our next person in need of some help. The old woman has respiratory troubles and is undertaking her treatment as we arrive. Through her face mask  I notice how her eyes light up when hearing of our purpose for the visit. It means a lot to her. To us, in monetary terms, it is not much. Forgoing a meal out, and donate instead the value, and you have touched a heart immensely. It is a small token that we all can do. To share with a stranger in need.

We spend more time walking. This time we walk passed the house as it is too tiny to notice, sandwiched between two villas. It’s made of wood. Small, but still someone’s house and home. An elderly woman, living by herself, working hard to make a living. She normally sells her homemade goods in the evenings, something we did not know and we feel ashamed to have taken up her valuable sales time as we wanted to help and not be a burden to her.

Our last stop this evening is the local pagoda. It is with their help we have located the people in need. The day has been filled with mixed emotions of all the experiences we have had, however, knowing that we have done something that made a difference, no matter how small, it still is a difference and that feels good. It is good to get out of our normal comfort zone and our own daily routines and be useful, if only for a day.

I do know that I want to undertake this again and I also hope that more people will do the same, if only for a day a year.

If you cannot make a personal visit, please consider to fund a Kiva loan. This year, I made a resolution to issue a new loan of US$25 every month on Kiva and you can do so too here: http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/mads6766

For each person that follows that link and donate, Kiva will issue a bonus that can be used to issue even more loans. You can read about it here: http://www.kiva.org/bonus/learnmore

Even if everyone else is not doing good, I alone will.
Even if everyone else is doing wrong, I alone will not.

– Buddha

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Photography

Meeting Mr Carlos – The portrait session

Mr Carlos

Mr Carlos

Carlos is an inspiration. That had to be said. I am fortunate to be able to come across many people through my work and I have now crossed paths with Carlos. Carlos sent me an email. He needed a photographer. A few exchanges later we have agreed on what we wanted to do and he showed up at the studio. As the session progressed and our conversation continued, a remarkable story came out.

Carlos had made up his mind, set goals and started educating himself on fitness and nutrition. 115kg to less than 75kg. 4 years of dedication. An investment that now he could reap the benefits from. Feeling healthy and looking good. He wanted to document his change, and that we did. Here are a few samples from the session we did. Enjoy!

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“Be my Valentine” – 14th February 2013

"Be my Valentine"

“Be my Valentine”

 Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you who will be out celebrating today!

For those who wants to brush up on their history knowledge, here’s the Wikipedia definition.

"Be my Valentine"

“Be my Valentine”

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Photography

The Year of the Snake & The Flower market

The Year of the Snake it is indeed.

The Year of the Snake it is indeed.

It is the time of year Nguyen Hue street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City closes down and transforms into a flower decoration display. Time your arrival or get caught in the Tet pack. This year the guards allowed you to only walk in one direction to ensure a constant flow and not the typical everybody jostling for themselves as you observe rush hour time at various intersections and roundabouts.

For the pedestrians walking, the pace was quicker than the nearby traffic on Ton Duc Thang street as the before mentioned display of traffic violations increased with the amount of traffic. Going against the one way street in packs, the motorbikes managed to almost grind the traffic to a complete stop. Taking the correct route would be a bit longer in distance, however, the time would be the same, if not faster.

Strolling along in the city and enjoying the outdoor cafe spaces was a pure bliss. Cafe Kita expanded and had a brisk business as well as the impromptu refreshment sellers. The city felt different just by being able to walk without worrying of motorbikes whizzing by trying to snatch your camera or hand bag. More walkable streets would be welcomed indeed. Let’s see what the year can bring – Happy Lunar New Year! Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

The flowers.

The flowers.

The flower girls.

The flower girls.

The flower basket.

The flower basket.

The flower boat.

The flower boat.

 

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Design, Photography

The Circle of Life, Art Direction revisited

Word Magazine, HCMC edition, February 2013 issue, cover photography and design by Mads Monsen

Word Magazine, HCMC edition, February 2013 issue, cover photography and design by Mads Monsen

Word Magazine, Hanoi edition, art direction by Mads Monsen

Word Magazine, Hanoi edition, art direction by Mads Monsen

Just off the presses, Word magazine’s HCMC and Hanoi edition for February 2013 are now available. It took the team a lot of work to make it happen, but we did. Regular readers may notice the design changes that we rolled out for the February editions. Yes, I am involved in magazine design again. For those who know my work as a photographer, it may come as a surprise that I also do editorial design. The ones who knew me from my period as art director at Sun Flower Media (SFM) were equally surprised that I also do photography. To me, design and photography is my Yin and Yang.

After I left SFM in 2008 and set up Studio MadsMonsen (SMM), I was involved with the editorial design of Duyên Dáng Việt Nam – Charming Vietnam Magazine in 2011. Editorial design samples can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thuvamads/sets/72157632549798800/

Now, in 2013, I am involved with the editorial design of Word Magazine, both HCMC and Hanoi edition. Editorial design samples can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thuvamads/sets/72157632549911976/
Also added below a few selected samples for the first blog post of the year, and with that, I do hope to be blogging at my weekly rhythm once again. Happy New Year! Chuc Mung Nam Moi! Godt Nyttår!

Editorial spread. Photography and design by Mads Monsen.

Editorial spread. Photography and design by Mads Monsen.

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Fashion spread 1 of 3. Photography and design by Mads Monsen.

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Fashion spread 2 of 3. Photography and design by Mads Monsen.

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Fashion spread 3 of 3. Photography and design by Mads Monsen.

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The ice cream store and why a combo is better than a single strike

Advertising for Nia Bella ice cream store. Photography & design by Studio MadsMonsen.

A combo is better than a single strike. I realised that when playing karate kid arcade games. The combo move was always better than the single kick or punch. Advertising agencies often have an art director/copy writer team. A killer combo of visuals and words. They realise that the team can be more creative than an individual.

Starting out as an apprentice, I realised the perception amongst my peers was to get a “proper” photography degree if you wanted to succeed as a commercial photographer. An apprenticeship was ranked lower. When I started on a photography degree course, I realised that I would spend my time and money on something I already knew very well. I still remember my evaluation meeting with the head of photography department where I raised my concerns and realised that the only thing they had taught me was a split toning technique for black and white printing. I realised that I was in the wrong place.

I asked my graphic design tutor, as we had a weekly two hour graphic design class as part of the course, which school she would recommend for me to apply to, as graphic design was something new and it had caught my interest. I received a list of names, some I heard of, some I hadn’t. Then I asked about a school that I had a friend of mine attending. She looked at me and then told me flatly to forget about that one, I would never get accepted there, it was out of my league.

I could have listened to her, but then I would not be where I am today. I realised that nothing is impossible if you really want to achieve it. I managed to arrange a meeting with the other school. I was given a chance. I got accepted. I still remember the expression of her face when I told her that I got accepted at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design. Gobsmacked is an understatement.

Graphic design and photography. That is a good combination. I am grateful that I ended up with what Isaiah Brookshire calls a +1 skills combo.

Those skills are handy when your business partner propose that you invest and start up an ice cream brand.

Naming a business is similar to naming a child. Being a parent I already know how time consuming that process can be. On the other hand, a very tight deadline puts the brain in creative hyper drive and delivers faster than mother nature. Thus, Nia Bella was born. Prematurely? Maybe, born nonetheless and screaming for a logo. Time for a coffee break. Armed with a Artline pen and a drawing pad, various options were tested and discarded until one was deemed worthy of exploring.

Concept drawing. Giving a gift and cartoon cuteness galore.

Concept drawing. Deciding on shape, working on element options.

Concept drawing. Final route to explore further.

Only when I had a direction worth exploring, it was time to put to use an iPad application that another graphic designer introduced me to, Paper.  I realised that it eased up the colour exploration and design process tremendously. Once the overall look and feel of the logo had been achieved I could email myself the result.

Paper in action.

Only then it was time to start Illustrator and do a refined vector version as seen implemented on the business card image.

Nia Bella business card.

Now it’s time to enjoy a scoop of ice cream, that I just realised. As our slogan says: “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”

 

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Review

TEDxLive 2012 “Radical Openness” – TED x Mekong

Name tag for TEDx Mekong’s event.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to be one of the participants of the TEDxLive 2012 “Radical Openness” event that took place in cities worldwide, simultaneously streaming a live stream as part of the highlight of sharing ideas and connecting people around the world. 56 countries were connected, with over 140 cities participating.

“Radical Openness”. Radical is a scary word, a panelist said. Another quipped in that it is appropriate to our current time, where everything moves faster than anything possible 10-15 years ago. Internet changed our pace. Change has to start and come from inside you, the third panelist added to the conversation.

Being open, having an open mind. Do you have an open mind? Not as often as I would like to believe I have. An answer most of us can relate to. Having a closed mind must be easy. You simply block everything out and act with certainties. An open mind has to reflect and analyze. Having an open enough mind to accept that there is a possibility that you are wrong. Fail harder. Fail 7 times and stand straight on 8. Have your beliefs shaken to the core. Embrace change. Open up and change your way of thinking.

How do you deal with a beggar? Being acknowledged is what we all desire. Ignore a person and you will hurt them more than you could imagine.

These are all extract from the conversation that took place. A sample only. From 6.30pm to 9pm Saigon felt different. The live stream went well. No technical issues.

12 years ago when internet access was slow, this would not be possible. Saigon is moving ahead with radical speed. Connected. Ready to learn.

Hopefully open enough to change the perception of Copy & Paste as the panelist member highlighted. He had seen too many students as well as businesses, copying a successful concept abroad and pasting it into Vietnam, without considering if it would fit or not. Not everything that works abroad will work here. The business settings, perception and cultural values are different. Too many variables are different. Embrace ideas and creativity.

Next TEDx Mekong will take place in August.

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