Friday, July 25, 2008

my journey - graphic design (part 1)

My story begins when I was a kid in Hong Kong, possibly grade 2 or 3. It was the moon festival and my father bought a traditional lantern for me. It was made out of "glass paper" in the shape of a horse. One evening, I took a piece of paper and a pencil and started drawing it. I can't remember why I wanted to draw it, but what I remember was my mother looked at my drawing and she was amazed, because it looked so similar to the lantern. Did I learn how to draw the horse from someone else or if i took drawing lessons? No. It may sound like it's just an ordinary drawing to most people, but I still remember that moment vividly. I believe, that's where my journey began.

Years gone by, and I fell in love with art. Not only in drawing and painting, but also in dancing, photography...I find joy in doing any of these things. During my last year of middle school, I began taking art lessons from a man whom my friend recommended. Soon after I started taking lessons, my mom suggested to apply for the art program, Claude Watson, in the high school I was going to. At that time, I didn't have any work that was presentable, let alone a portfolio. I worked really hard with my art teacher, but at the end, I didn't make it. It didn't really bother me because I knew I wasn't ready. The year after, I tried out again. I didn't make it either. I tried out for that program twice during the 4 year of high school. Guess what? I didn't make it. By the end, I must say I was a little discouraged. The last time I tried out for the program was when I was in grade 11. After the last attempt, I began to question whether I should really be going into art. I thought this was the path I should be taking, but it seemed like it wasn't working out or I wasn't good enough after all. Like every other grade 11 high school student, we had to start thinking about what career path to take, how I could get there, which university I should be studying...and so on. On one hand I was quite confused, but on the other I had a strong feeling that I should go into arts.

My mother was always very cautious about my marks, reason being I was extremely poor in science and math, it was so bad that I dropped science after grade 10 and spent at least 3 hours each week with my personal math tutor. I did all the questions in the textbook so that I'd be more prepared and have more practices, but when tests and quizzes came...either I fail it or get extremely low mark..barely passing. That eliminated a lot of different career fields.

When it was time to pick programs and universities, my mother made sure I picked everything I could possibly take, from social work, to early childhood education, education, to journalism, and of course to design. I ended up applying for close to 20 programs, just to be sure that I would get into "something". While all this was going on, struggling with my marks and applications, I spent months preparing my portfolio. At the end, to our surprise, I got into every program I applied for except for one. It was really God's grace. We were delighted but it was a problem as well...with that many program, which one do I pick? My mom really wanted me to go into education...but for myself, I knew design was right for me.

There was a lot of whispering, people talking behind my back after I had picked design. My grandma, my aunts, uncles thought it was a wrong choice, simply because it was art. They thought I wouldn't make a living out of it, nor would I be able to succeed. But thank God for my parents, they stood by me and believed in me.

I stepped into my first year at York/Sheridan design full of zeal, but soon after I realized how little did I know about design. I knew basically...nothing. I almost failed first year. Nothing was going well for me first year. I had so much trouble even though I worked extremely hard. I began to ask God if I had made a mistake. I knew I was supposed to be in design, but I was very shaken up that I needed a confirmation. I needed to know for sure without a doubt. I prayed extremely hard and God answered my prayer.

Every year, our church would go to a Youth conference in May. That year specifically I asked God to show me my destiny. I desperately needed to know. During the conference, one of the session talked about calling and destiny. I listened attentively to the speaker. At the end of his preaching, he prayed for people's calling and destiny. In my heart I told God, "Lord, this is it, You've GOT to tell me. Let me know what it is. I KNOW You are speaking to me." The pastor told us to pray as he speaks out different careers and positions and stand up if you know it's you. We bowed our hearts, and he started praying and prophesying. He started speaking out different work positions-doctors, missionaries, lawyers... As he named these positions, my heart pounded so fast, and I prayed desperately, "God, please say it..please...". Then all of a sudden the pastor said "graphic design". Without even thinking, I jumped up automatically, my whole body started sweating and tears came falling down like a waterfall. I will never forget that moment. I was so sure that that was it. I am called to be a graphic designer.

Ever since that day, everything changed. How did it change? Find out in my next blog :P That's when God paved the way for my career path...til this day, with opportunities, favors, and much more.

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