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Friday, April 6
YouTube Shooting
YouTube Shooting
Two days ago an attacker entered my office and shot at my coworkers. I was away at a team event and can't imagine how terrifying it must be for my friends who were on site.

Active shooter at YouTube HQ. Heard shots and saw people running while at my desk. Now barricaded inside a room with coworkers.
— Vadim Lavrusik (@Lavrusik) April 3, 2018


Even though I wasn't there, watching my work chats unfold as it happened left me shocked and scared. People I know saw the body. They saw blood. They saw people being shot. I didn't want to see anyone die. It feels so close and real to me.

I'm still processing my feelings. Some part of me feels guilty I wasn't there when it happened.

A silver lining out of this is that YouTube is more united than ever. Healing together. Supporting each other. I feel so much love for my YouTube family and so thankful they're all alive.


***


I'm headed to Singapore in a month. Going to see if I can create a few more merch for Doujima 2018 (5-6 May, Suntec City).

Take care, stay safe. ❤

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Sunday, April 1
Sneak preview of webcomic
just technology things
Here's a sneak preview of the webcomic I mentioned earlier!
I've posted it on FB, twitter, imgur and reddit... and now here.
BOY THAT IS EXHAUSTING. But i'm determined to give this my all.

If you'd like to give me early feedback, please leave your email at justtechnologythings.com!!








This character is modelled after my BF, who recently deleted Facebook

Again, this means a lot to me and I'd love your support.

Sign up to be a beta reader at justtechnologythings.com :D

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Thursday, March 22
I'm a passion hoarder
Burning out
Between me and my therapist

"I'm trying so hard. I'm trying so hard but I don't feel fulfilled. I'm never satisfied."

"You're spreading yourself too thin."

"I know that. But I don't know what to do. I want to be successful at so many things."

"You have to give something up."

"I can't give anything up. I wanna do all of them. I want to do well at my job, I want to keep doing artist alleys and have an art store and launch a webcomic and be known on all the social media, also I haven't coded in a while I need to start coding again-"

"You're burnt out. Do you know what happens when people burn out? Their work loses quality. If you can't focus or be present on one thing, you can't do it well."

"I want to do all of them. I'll... I'll find a way."





Successful art
Every day after work, I feel utterly exhausted.

I try to work on my goals, but end up watching TV because I just can't
Every second I'm not working, even hanging out with friends, makes me feel bad and guilty. And incompetent.


Art should be a hobby I love.


I never wanted to turn it into work. That was my biggest fear. I'm destroying the thing I love because I turn everything into work.

This is because I'm so focused on successful outcomes. I've always drawn because it's what made people praise and recognize me. It helped me connect with people in my difficult days. It is such a huge part of my identity and I will always seek external validation for it. I don't believe art has value if no one cares, so I literally can't enjoy the process unless I think people will like it.

I'm all about successful results. Optimizing my time. I'm turning myself into a product. Quantifying my success in likes, follows, views, acceptances into conventions.

I'm more aware and critical of my shortcomings, and every rejection confirms them. I will never be "successful" like the great artists I envy, which turns me off from my work even more.



Logically, I know all this is bad for me.

If I could just remember the great times I had with art. How I made genuine connections through this journey. How I once believed I was invincible and good at this. I want to believe that my art has some value even if it doesn't get 54000 likes. I'm not close to giving up, but I really want to remember being happy with art again.




Not giving up
I've been thinking a lot about my last post.
Remember how I said literally no one I know keeps a blog and a tagboard anymore?

And I wonder WHY HAVEN'T I MOVED ON FROM THINGS?



Why am I still blogging, even though I clearly suck at being consistent?

Everybody's shifted to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I have to keep up with those too, especially when I'm overseas now.

A blog requires so much effort to maintain. I don't know how many people still read it and if my time is better spent elsewhere.

I still don't want to stop blogging.
This is the realest I can ever be.
Everything on Facebook and Instagram is so carefully curated. And I still need this blog because there are thoughts I can't compress in a 140 char tweet.

My blog, and you readers, were there for me during a tough time, so even though I don't know how many are remaining I don't want to disappear on you. I have a great support network IRL, but I can't bear to abandon this place because it was once my only place I could go!!



Why am I still drawing, even though it makes me miserable? 

Like I said, art is a huge part of my identity. Yet, I have so much baggage and low self esteem.

But there are people out there I have once inspired. People out there who still like my work.

There are so many cool things I've yet to create.

And for that I'm not giving up. ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ



...
Would life have been better if I gave up more things?

I don't know. I still have a passion for writing, drawing, designing and coding. Deep down I know I can only master one, but FUCK I WANT TO DO IT ALL.

I'm a frickin' PASSION HOARDER :(


HELP.



My goals.
OK, so this is a summary on what I'm trying to work on.

🔴 1. MY JOB
My job is rewarding, but working at Google requires me to think really hard!!!! Whatever I come up with affects millions of people and also I have meetings and talking to people makes me tired. I AM ALSO STRESSED BECAUSE PEOPLE HERE ARE SO SMART AND TALENtED AND I FEEL LIKE I NEED TO BE ONE OF THEM TO FIT IN

MY JOB WILL ALWAYS BE MY TOP PRIORITY. 
I NEVER WANT TO SUCK AT IT. (⋋▂⋌)

I have grand plans to be a director of design and have my own company and I'm working towards it.

I just want to make stuff great for people who use YouTube *ahem* This literally means the same thing as "I just want to do job". People get it already Musho.


🔴 2. MY WEBCOMIC
I HAVE BEEN POURING MY HEART AND SOUL INTO THIS.


Lots of sleepless nights thinking about it since last year.


BASICALLY.

I love technology.
I love storytelling.
I love art.

WHAT DO U GET?

WEBCOMIC 
ABOUT 
TECHNOLOGY!!!!!!!



I want to launch a webcomic and post it up on Webtoon, Tapastic, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Imgur, Discord, Instagram etc. WEEKLY.

I just finished my first episode and it took me weeks.
ARGH.

I will need to be fast. I will need to be consistent.
I have so much feelings and I hope these feelings will drive me.

My plan is to draw 5 episodes, dump them in a Google Form and survey people to get their feedback.

I will probably post a link to the form here, so PLEASE READ IT AND GIVE ME YOUR THOUGHTS IT REALLY MEANS THE WORLD TO ME TO HAVE YOUR SUPPORT. This is really big to me (even though I haven't launched it yet) and I really hope to get it out soon T_T


🔴 3. ART, ANIME CONVENTIONS, ONLINE STORE
I started an online store to sell my merch and artwork this year.
I've gotten some sales and all 5 star reviews so far :)
It makes me super happy when people post them up and tell me how delighted they are when they get them.

I haven't drawn any new designs but I will soon because I have Anime Expo in Los Angeles in July!

I've also put in my best effort to grow my social media following.
So I post my art on 10+ different surfaces now. Including facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest, G+, reddit, discord, ameba etc.


🔴 OVERALL
With my personal, art, and upcoming webcomic,
I WILL BE MANAGING 30+ SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS.

AUUUUURGHHHGASDJAHGSHJAFF
WHYYYYYYYYYYASHJGAHJSGHJADSAGh!$*(^&##@@@


So you can understand what my therapist is telling me.
Obviously, I'm working on how I can possibly handle all of this. I'm already burning out, and I fear everything I put out is shit.
If I have to give up something, it'll probably be my art. Or my webcomic, whichever is more of a failure.

But please, wish me luck.
I will return with a more positive post (hopefully) next time!


Photos 
Im literally going to take photos in my album and comment mindlessly. Let me know what you think because sometimes I take too long to think of posts and end up not updating


I drew this at work. I'm proud to spread my weeb



I got a Nintendo Switch and I'm playing Kirby Star Allies with my bf. This is an awesome game and I highly recommend. I feel so overpowered in this game. So relaxing and enjoyable. AND I LOVE GAMING ON a GIANT CURVED OLED TV WITH A ROBUST SOUND SYSTEM


I had a marshmallow rose lavender scent customized. I'm now obsessed with indie gourmand scents and already have scents that make me smell like Rose shortcake, Waffle cones and Green Tea Lattes. I LOVE THIS WORLD I DISCOVERED





Cat got fat but I love this derp



I made a drawing. I've been putting a lot of work into my Instagram because I heard it's the best place to get discovered now :/



I'm actually using the first one as my LinkedIn profile photo




Outfits!




Fucking send help I need to stop buying eyeshadows


I saw fluffy snow during a recent company ski trip

I made a font for said webcomic

There are corgis at YouTube, be jealous

Smartifying my home, I even got a light bulb that turns on and off with voice commands #livingtruetechielife




Cat again


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Monday, February 19
i want a new blog layout
last blog standing
10 years ago, blogs were all the rage. Everybody had one...

Now people (including me) have switched to social media. I'm the only person I know who still has a TAGBOARD. I don't know if old readers are checking this page anymore, and my lack of posts don't really help with that


I still like blogs. You bother to physically come to this page and read my long rants. I like taking control of the layouts, formats and the way I tell my stories. It's the one place I feel like I'm talking to people who care about me. 🌷

I have so many things to write about. Lots of positive things, too. But I only think about posting here when I have something to complain about. It's probably because this blog used to be my safe space for my kind-of-private thoughts - usually negative thoughts. I'm working to put in more positive things.

SERIOUSLY. 10 YEARS LIAO LEH.
I'm sure I have much fewer readers than before, but seeing posts on my tagboard makes me ultra happy. Thank you!


new blog layout
I'm not giving up yet. I'm planning a new blog layout! Yeah yeah I've been talking about it, but it's high on my priority list now okay! Which could be why I don't feel like posting as much. Seeing this blog layout I designed 10 years ago makes me!!


My goal is...
People who care about me can be updated about my life with minimal effort

So, what do you think of these improvements?

If there is anything else you think I can improve on, let me know!!

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Friday, January 12
ranty rant
I've been meaning to write a post about being down about yourself and feeling pressured by the need to "make it". I found this sitting in my drafts from 2015, which is convenient. I was too scared to post it.

I was writing what I felt 3 years ago. I'm not sure if you will find it relatable, but I still relate to it now despite people telling me I'm "living the dream" in Silicon Valley. I'm still struggling to get better at things. I'm still struggling to see myself as anything but a "lousy derpfuck".

No matter where you are in life, if you feel like shit about yourself, you'll feel like it's never enough, no matter what you achieve. I'm still processing my feelings, and I will post here if I've made any progress!!

Here's what I wrote 3 years ago:

summer
I'm stressing out about doing something useful next summer. NEXT SUMMER, that's like a year later. I'd be 23 holy shYTE. 

This summer, I just wanted a low skill retail part time job that paid $7/hour, but instead I went to do two coding jobs, which is cool and I learnt a lot.

Anyway, seeing people I know go to Silicon Valley for internships makes me internally anxious. I feel like I need to go for one next summer, else I'd be seen as a lousy derpfuck.

So I'm doing some research right now. There exists this document written by the most enthusiastic programmers in my school. It's called Notes to Computer Science Freshmen, From The Future.

Basically it's a fucking huge info dump linking you to all sorts of LONG AS FUCK coding articles, blog posts and books that you SHOULD read and what you SHOULD do to become a great programmer.

It's meant to help you but it makes me feel lousy. I feel like I can't beat these guys when it comes to enthusiasm.

I often see the word "passion" appearing alongside "programmer". Out of all the degrees/careers, only Computer Science exhibits this phenomenon. I don't just hear about passionate programmers, I see them everyday on my news feed and in school. People debate on what's the best programming IDE on facebook statuses. When I am doing my coding work my "passionate" friends look over my shoulder, really interested in finding out what I'm trying to do. I know some friends with coding blogs and side projects.

You see people running code blogs.
BUT
You don't see surgeons blogging about surgery methods.

The phrase "passionate programmer" is really common.
BUT
Have you heard the phrase "passionate biochemical engineer"?

When you apply for a job, your employees want to see your passion for programming.
BUT
Do law firms look for graduates who have passion for corporate law?!


How am I going to compete with these "passionate programmer" coursemates of mine? What if I want the job, as a job, but not because it's my passion? Will I not get it?

I want a career in interface and user experience design.
My relationship with it so far is: 
But I don't think I am "passionate". 

I don't own a design blog, I don't write facebook statuses on technology or my work, and I don't read books about it, and I barely have any side projects because of schoolwork and art. And because of that, I don't feel good enough about my work.

My passion lies with art. Nothing can replicate the happiness I feel when I finish painting something. Nothing beats making people smile with it. But I know I simply cannot turn it into a permanent career. And because of that, I don't feel good enough about my passion.

I choose art as a passion, and coding for a profession.
I am worried that I would disappoint myself.

Wednesday, December 20
end of year! 2017
Sorry for the long delay ;_; I hope people still read this. I'm making it a 2018 goal to update this blog design and post more often.

In singapore!
I get to work from Singapore for 2 weeks and couldn't be happier back here! I got to catch up with my best friends. It feels like I never left. I'm living with my SO's family, and my SO's mom is spoiling me with food :)






 


family update
I also met with some members of my family.

It started with me visiting my grandma. I felt bad that my grandpa passed away while I was too busy studying for university to visit him. I know I don't have many chances to see my grandma, with me being abroad. Anyway, they invited me for dinner with my grandma + aunt  + uncle who I barely interact with. And it was a nice dinner!

 
dinner

 
My grandma has this photo of 6 year old me?!! 
WHY AM I ONLY A FINALIST _|_.

Anyway they kept asking how come my parents don't know I'm back in SG, so I felt bad and emailed my dad to tell him I'm in SG. (Obvs not telling my mom) 

So I brought my dad and bro to Google SG for lunch.

My dad has aged considerably. He has hypertension and diabetes, and a chipped tooth. He's not seeking treatment for any of this. He's 67 - so, old and sick - but still has to work to support my mom whose hoarding has gotten worse and is bleeding him out. 

I've always told my dad "Just ditch mom, rent out your two houses and you can retire. Why don't you do it?" but I guess he just can't go against my mom. I asked him to think about the end state, as cruel as that sounds. When he's aged and can't take care of my mom anymore, we (the children) sure as hell ain't gonna take my mom in. She's going to a home. And he knows that.

He says he just wants us to be happy and successful. I told him not to worry about us. We just want him to take care of himself, and think about himself for once.

I used to resent my dad for letting my mom get her way, and not stopping her from abusing us. But he did recognize that living with mom was harming us, and he supported us financially to live elsewhere. While he singlehandedly took on her abuse after we left.

It was him doing his best. 

I thanked him for doing his best for us, and that it was appreciated. He brightened up when he heard those words. 

To be honest, I'm worried and deeply saddened to see him like this.
But me and my bro are in a good place, and at least my dad can be happy about that.


EOY festival 終わった
After AFA flooped I had to change a lot of plans. I inconvenienced my team and lost USD$900 to change my flight :( Each time I had to thank someone for being understanding, my dignity chipped away. "If you hadn't failed, you wouldn't have caused so much trouble. You wouldn't have lost money." Drawing stuff was difficult with my self esteem at rock bottom. I was crying myself to sleep on some nights.

BUT ITS OVER!

I managed to put up some work I feel proud of. I had customers from last year who remembered me, messaged me and visited me! ;_; Many of my friends came (and my prof too LOL) to support me. Thankful to friends who care about things I worked hard on...!



I'm going to take a step back to see where I want to be with art. If I continue with my mindset, I will destroy my passion.

In 2018, I want to
Most importantly, I no longer want to use conventions to force myself to draw. I have to trust myself, that I will draw, even without deadlines. I will rely less on discipline, and be open to inspiration and motivation!  


 
I also got to experiment with fairy lights. Display design makes me happy!


First year of work is over

This year has been full of firsts!
I learnt so much. And I love working at YouTube. I stumbled a lot at the start, but I really have grown a lot. Not just as a designer, but being at Google teaches me to be a better person everyday.

I'm blessed to be surrounded by team members who prioritize supporting me and helping me grow. I feel happy to be working on high impact projects.



Two of my cool amazing coworkers, Michael and Arman. 
We were making YouTube stickers! (This is not our main job.)

I love my job. I feel so lucky to be able to say that. I feel proud of it, and undeserving at the same time. But I will treasure this very much.


More positive stuff
I spoke with my therapist about my anxiety and self esteem issues. To be honest, I really was hoping she would just prescribe me some medicine that would make my problems go away :( But she didn't. Instead, she encouraged me to practice positive thinking.

 
I'm grateful for my cat sesame.

One way to do this is to think about what I've accomplished and to express gratitude.
You can see I'm trying to do this in this blog post, and I'll do more of this in future posts!!

I've thought of some things I'm proud of that I want to write about 
So prepare for some bragging and shit


Ending this post with usual selfie #nofilter
 

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