Happy Friday. Besides work I haven't been very creative on the side in awhile. I'm going to make it a habit to add more design to the blog, and to my photos. A couple post down. I started a series called "Places We Go" This collection will be called "My Kinda Drink." 




 This is not, like, a coy thing to say, "oh I don't believe I'm talented." This is real, like being absolutely painfully aware of how you're not good enough to do something on command.

 -- Christoph Niemann


 “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr



While listening to the Valentine episode on Planet Money the host's are shouting out their Valentines. What I thought was a peculiar shout out, turned out quite insightful. Ann Wroe the obituary writer for The Economist was one of the admirers. Sometimes she writes about a famous person, sometimes its not. When asked about her process. She explain's she only has 36 hours to turn around a project. She likes to look for autobiographies. She's not interested in what others have to say about the deceased. She only wants to hear what the person she's profiling has to say about themselves. She say's "I'm trying to get the human soul. I really believe in the soul. Therefore what I'm doing is capturing souls." The host  says  "I think that's the reason why she's so memorable when she writes. Because when she writes, she's actually becoming someone else." 

The irony is awesome.  An obituary writer capturing souls. So funny.  

Creativity is capturing souls. Creativity is empathy. To empathize with someone or something is to understand. It is when we fully understand and immersed we can become better, we build greater. 


I started archiving photos from trips I took this past years. I'm a bit reluctant to share them, because this means I'd be over sharing. I've already shared versions of them before. Likes Sweets, they're best consumed in small dosage. Makes for a meaningful experience. I share the same sentiment with photos. Show the right amount of curated photos. No more, No Less. So what should I do with the rest? I'm using them as inspiration for fun iOS wallpapers. I'm gonna call this series "PLACES WE GO" -- let's collaborate on this. Hit me at



I was gifted "Let my people go surfing" by Yvon Chouinard recently. I was unaware the book existed but happy to have a copy. With all books we take what we need in that particular moment. This book is insightful for my fascination with principles and philosophies that help guide brands, and product development. I knew about the Yvon and Patagonia but not intimately. After watching "180 south" I've been an admirer of his business ideas and passion for adventure. This book was written to be a philosophical manual for employees of Patagonia, but carries an autobiographical vibe. His lifestyle inevitably informs products made by Patagonia. It's been translated into ten different languages and debated on in high schools, colleges and large corporations.


Lately I've been thinking deeply about my craft. As a principal designer, my role in design has drastically change in the past years. I went from being exceedingly hands-on in my work to being hands-off and brains on. I now realized how vital a good lead is to the process. They are there to inject direction, design principles, and brand ideas. Allowing juniors and seniors to have the foundation to work upon. That way they can focus on improving their technical and execution skills. As I've gone through the same path, I'm sadden to be less physical and more methodical in the design process. But before a beautiful and, tangible product is made. I now recognize there needs to be clear and concise guiding principles that are defined.

Twenty-one pages in I spot a gem. It resonates with me deeply in this moment. Yvon relies on this principle leading his company on a rough but successful place. I'll share it with you here:


What did you take from that? I perceive good craft and design begins with strong, clear, and precise guiding principles. Here Yvon is inspired by principles from the French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  Antoine says "perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when their is no longer anything to take away..." In ways it's similar to Dieter Rams "10 Principle of Design."  He states "Good design is as little design as Possible." Less, but better-- because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with the non-essentials. In the book Yvon applies this thinking in building his products. Think of good principles as a moral compass. What are your principles in design? or career?

"Pain is a kind of shortcut to mindfulness, it makes us suddenly aware of everything in the environment. It brutally draws us in, to a virtual sensory of the world, much like meditation."

--Brock Bastian

Found a Cave @ Calera Valley

Just south of the parking lot where Moonrakers is, is a small dog park and hiking area. While walking bentley I found this cool CAVE!!! I'm not particularly sure what the name of the trail is, but it's a fun and easy one. Definitely check it out next time your're in the Pacifica CA.

In light of exploration. I'm sorry I won't tell you exactly where I found the cave, but if you scale the sea wall a bit. I'm sure you'll run into it. Here is a photo taken from within the cave of my homie Kris. I can imagine a ton of creative photography type things you can do here. Especially when the light is just right. Enjoy.

Bentey_Calera Valley - Pacifica Beach- Hoang M Nguyen


I watched their documentary last night (see previous post) and wanted to learn more about the duo. So I listened to their latest episode "Creating." I especially love @ 16 min 20 sec. They compare the creative process to the tourettic person along the subway and bus line. The person is yelling to themselves and/or to a wall. We've all seen this. Yes, this person is creating a ton of content. Yes, this person is gaining a ton of attention, but is that worthwhile content? Is the content fruitful? Is he/she creating something meaningful, and for the better good of the world.  


One thing I've been trying to be conscious about is my spending habits. Buy when I need and not what I want. Yes, I impulsively buy shoes and camera gear quite often. Like I said. I'm trying!!!! I'm hoping to draw inspiration from this documentary. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm excited to watch this when I get home tonight. Give it a look. 


Christmas came early this year. Little brother came back from Portland with a surprise. Placed this box on my lap and said " Merry Christmas" The original 350 Turtle-dove's are still my favorite design. Since I have those already. I'm stoked to receive these. WHOOO!