Graphic Designer

I Can Feel The Love

Love |ləv| 

NOUN an intense feeling of deep affection towards a person or thing.
VERB feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).
ORIGIN Old English lufu, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit lubhyati ‘desires,’ Latin libet ‘it is pleasing,’ libido ‘desire.’

I believe to love is to trust something that is bigger than all of us. To love is to put your trust in yourself and into those around you. Loving someone is to share pieces of yourself– like sacred treats, with hand picked individuals. Love is a bond, perfectly paired between people of all relationship. It is to be cherished, nurtured and never taken for grated. It is what makes this world a beautiful place. I often find myself being inspired by the simple acts of love displayed by individuals everywhere. From that special someone pre warming the passenger seat so that your butt stays warm to random acts of kindness and social experiments that aim to connect people, the love is there.

The first video I say made by Kyle Hanagami was his Letters Of Love dance video choreographed to Ed Sheeran's Give Me Love. The fact that is was choreographed to Ed Sheeran's song was enough for me to click the link and stay long enough to see the dancers' first moves. But what really stuck in my mind was the message Kyle wanted to share. Kyle's goal was to connect people through letters and to hear the stories of complete stranger's most cherished moments. With every 10 letters he donated $1 to cancer research. He received 14,146 Letters of Love! 

The video is beautifully made, featuring exceptional dancers acting out a story of love shared among several individuals. As I have an acute interest in filmmaking and editing I was inspired by the music, movement and message on more than one level. This year Kyle has released another Letters Of Love video and it is just as amazing and beautiful as the first, with an even more urgent message– love is important and we must remember to cherish what we have while we still have it, because nothing is set in stone, and everything can change without notice.

Inspired by Kyle's video and in lieu of Valentine's day, I decided to take my hand at my own letter of love. I have a new interest in card making and what better way to exercise this interest is to practice on the most loving day of the year. I think this is going to be a thing, so if you're interested in handmade cards, I'm now taking requests!

I hope you were able to tell someone that you love them this Valentine's Day. More so, I hope that you are able to spread the love on V Day as well as every other day of the year. 

There Is No Remedy For Love But To Love More - Unknown

#wdywtdbyd

From The Buried Life Facebook page.

From The Buried Life Facebook page.

 

– But often, in the world's most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire,
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us--to know
Whence our lives come and where they go 

The Buried Life by Matthew Arnold – 1852

I was in grade 12 when I first heard about Jonnie, Dave, Duncan, Ben and The Buried Life. They were a group of guys from Victoria, BC. with a camera and old RV and a list of things to do before they died. Not a particularly new idea. There have been plenty of movies exercising the idea of achieving everything you want before your time is up. As a young person I was constantly thinking about all the things I would do when I grew up and as a graduating high school student the future was on my mind that much more. My ticking time bomb that was called life was nothing new to me. We all have limited time here and I knew that. How to make the most of my time here was what I didn't quite understood just yet.

What caught my attention was not the idea of achieving my goals. It wasn't the fact that the four guys developed an entertaining, trending TV show. Nor was it that they were young and easily relatable. It was the shared idea that: "The pace and superficiality of modern life were robbing us of a healthy level of ambition;  we were settling for mediocrity because no alternative seemed feasible. Boy bands were our music, and reality television our entertainment.. Mediocrity was all we knew. We were buried. Lost. Detached from the promise of growing up. All prepared for adulthood, without even the vocabulary to express it." (The Buried Life p. 8-9)

Society was teaching me to go to school, get good grades, begin a career, get married and have a few kids. It sounded appealing, and I wanted this. But I also wanted my daydreams to be more than simply daydreams. I wanted to see the world, meet new people, be adventurous and break the rules. Being a shy kid with few words, going after these daydreams made me want to vomit. I had made a safe cocoon in my comfort zone, among people I felt comfortable with and had spent the last 17 years there. Stepping out of that cocoon, seemed impossible and risky. Following the advice of society seemed safe and responsible, something that I could do comfortably and achieve simply. So that's what I did. Until I first heard of The Buried Life.

The Buried Life boys were in a rut, much like my own. They were searching for something more and couldn't find it in the world around them. So they asked themselves: If anything were possible, what do you want to do before you die? And then they went and did it.

1. Open the six o'clock news
11. Get a college degree
16. Drive Across North America
17. Start a huge wave
26. Tell a judge: "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth."
38. Kiss the Stanley Cup
50. Streak a stadium and get away with it
58. See a dead body
66. Walk the Red Carpet
88. Survive on a deserted island
94. Party with a rock star
97. Get into a fight

Dave helps grandma cross off 'Ride in a Hot Air Balloon.'

Dave helps grandma cross off 'Ride in a Hot Air Balloon.'

Be a NASCAR driver for a day.

Be a NASCAR driver for a day.

Send our book to space.

Send our book to space.

Ben & Jonnie  helped a mom & daughter meet for the first time.

Ben & Jonnie helped a mom & daughter meet for the first time.

As I watched The Buried Life go about achieving their bucket list, one thing stuck out to me the most. With every item that they crossed off their list, they promised to achieve the goals of a complete stranger. This motivated and inspired me and gave me a new perspective. I could now see the world and its occupants as one. We were all facing the same battle, trying to find meaning and purpose in this crazy, confusing world, often getting lost and buried in our own day to day activities. With this new perspective, I realized that anything was possible.

I no longer viewed my dreams as being too big or too small – it wasn't a competition and there was no pressure. Size and extravagance did not matter. When I am older became an excuse of the past. As did: in the new year. When I have more money. After I have a family. I now knew that my dreams could be achieved right now. The only thing that was holding me back was myself, and my preconceived idea of how life should be lived.  I was motivated to break my shy, introverted shell. I wanted to start living a fulfilling life and begin my journey down a path that I had chosen for myself. Not one set out by society. I wanted to to travel the world. I wanted a fulfilling career that allowed me to create and to inspire others, like The Buried Life had done for me. I wanted to be noticed for my talents and passions. I wanted to make new friends, see new things, go on adventures and change people's lives. I wanted to be confident, independent, comfortable in my own skin and able to march to my own drum. I wanted to be me.

So I asked myself: What do you want to do before you die?

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I'm sure that this constantly asked question finds itself occupying the minds of millions daily. We wish and daydream. We think and hope, for that someday, in which we can achieve our unique bucket lists. But somehow, someday turns into tomorrow, and tomorrow turns into next week and our dreams get buried in the day to day activities of life. Somehow, someday has found itself among the seven days of the week, a place in which it does not belong. 

Many people have personal revelations. A moment of aaahhha, hallelujah, where the fog seems to clear and the answers are within arms reach. I believe mine occurred back in grade 12 when I stumbled upon The Buried Life. Watching their show and hearing their stories seemed to open my eyes to all of my potential and the possibilities that life could offer me and I could offer the world. Once the seed was planted inside of me, my mind was made up. I had dreams; big and small, and many that scared the crap out of me. But I wanted to chase them – needed to chase them with every ounce of passion and confidence I possessed. 

Every dream that I chase shapes me into the person I am today, and the person I will be tomorrow, next week and a year from now. Every accomplished goal provides experience for the future. Every new person I meet and adventure I set on sparks my imagination. I guess you could say, I owe it to The Buried Life for bringing me to this point of self revelation; to a turning point in which I choose life over fear and asked myself:

What do I want to do before I die...

1. Get married
12. Go ice skating in Central Park
33. Go back to Haiti and volunteer
54. Be an extra in a movie of a music video
65. Meet Adam Levine
66. Get tickets to the Ellen Degeneres Show
77. Move to a different country
98. Change someone's life
101. Have a design career that impacts the world positively
109. Achieve my curly hair goals
120. Travel the world
121. Go to a drive-in movie
132. Have a family
140. Visit Stonehenge
163. Grow old with someone I love
214. Inspire before I expire...

What do you want to do before you die?

Living in a Designer's World

Before my passion for film and design fully developed, I was somewhat oblivious to the world around me. Sure, I noticed strange details – the cool new Destiny's Child poster hanging in Walmart or the interesting shirt the cashier at Zellers was wearing. But did I notice the cool bags La Senza Girl gave me with my purchases? Probably not. Did I think about what it took to create the awesome cereal boxes I stared at throughout my childhood breakfasts? Nope. Did I appreciate the aesthetics of the designed world around me? Not really.

These things – posters, bags, packaging, signage, etc – were just cool things that were simply there. I guess you could blame it on my naive, self centred, pre-adolescent mentality. Or you can blame it on the ignorance of an untrained eye. Probably a mixture of both. Whatever the reason for me ignoring the millions of intricately designed items that I interacted with on a daily basis, I see them now.

I see and appreciate (and sometimes horde) the bags given to my with my purchases. I love buying CDs for their unique lyric booklets. Fun and innovative packaging excites me. I admire unique and creative, in your face (or subtle) signage that stops me in my path. Sometimes I even judge books based on the level of awesomely designed covers. Online shopping is so much more fun with the diverse packaging and added swag – stickers, postcards, bags, even boxes can be really visual and interesting.

I was at Spring not to long ago and was given a brown paper bag to hold my purchase. The overall look is quite simple, many people may have not given it much thought. But the simplicity was exactly what caught my eye. I love the colour scheme – its a lot like what I had visioned for my own branding. The pops of colour against the muted background make for a conservative contrast. I find the brown cardboard like material appealing and suggestive of a recyclable and/or reusable product. The whole design is very subtle, yet in your face because its the only element you can look at on the entire bag.

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It was my sister's birthday last week and we had family over to celebrate. There was presents and cake and of course a buffet of delicious teas to choose from. Amongst them was this awesome tin box from DavidsTea. If you know me, you know I'm all about conserving Mother Nature, and this is a great way to do it. You buy your first box of tea and when you run out you can later buy the packets of loose tea and refill the original tin box! Old concept, I know, but genius in today's over packaged world. The use of one colour makes the type pop and keeps the information clear and legible. You can see the brand being carried out through the typeface and I can only imagine what the rest of this particular line looks like (a rainbow of coloured tin boxes, I bet). The illustrations and typefaces are fun, modern and relaxing. This particular design idea reminds me of my Infinitea project. 

When I had pointed out, to my mom, how interesting the DavidsTea packaging was, she went to the cupboards and whipped out this cracker box. My mind was further blown. I was amazed in today's day and age, that there were still companies that were exercising this old practice: using reusable packaging. There were modern touches to it of course, adhesive labels, embossed logo (and I assume for sanitary reasons) foil wrapped crackers. I imagine (and hope – fingers crossed) that consumers have the option to buy new packages of foil wrapped crackers and store them in their reusable tin canister. The Ryvita label is very earthly, with its imagery of wheat and grains. It has an overall down to earth, natural look to it while still providing a lot of information in a well organized hierarchy. 

I am constantly scanning the world around me for design that just works. It's exciting to find new and innovative products reusing old ideas. It keeps my mind fresh and inspires projects and ideas of my own. Take a look around you, I bet there's something unique and awesome hiding in plain view, waiting for you to notice it.