Something I’ve not largely publicized much is that I actually have two degrees. My first bachelors was in Molecular Cell Biology with an emphasis in Immunology from University of California at Berkeley. The shorter version — “MCB Immuno from Cal.”
It’s funny how life can come around full circle without you realizing it’s even doing that.
I studied biology as an undergrad because that’s what I thought was the most interesting at the time. Of course, I was also planning on going to medical school (did the MCATs all the way to secondary applications and all), so it’s not like biology was completely unrelated to my future plans at the time. I didn’t particularly enjoy lab work especially ones as prescribed as college lab courses, so research and the Ph.D. that necessitates didn’t really appeal to me.
Now… 10 years after I finished my bio degree, I find myself somehow doing bio research. It came organically, from dinner table conversations with my husband, who actually did get his Ph.D and is a card carrying researcher and all.
And I wouldn’t have really started doing biology research without… wait for it… my art degree.
My second bachelors was in Art, Concentration in Animation/Illustration and a minor in Radio, Television, Film and Theatre from SJSU. Short version — Animation/Illustration with a minor in RTVF from SJSU. That isn’t that much shorter, so sometimes I just shorten it to “my art degree” or “my design degree.”
I joined the Animation/Illustration program when it was still heavily teaching graphic design principles as part of its fundamental courses. Animation/Illustration is essentially applying design principles to the technical skills of good fine art while hanging it all on a central story, theme or experience. With my minor in RTVF, I was able to explore those themes in longer projects than offered in my home program — in an independent feature-length movie, live action film projects and a theatre production. I’d inadvertently trained myself in 2D art skills, computer graphics, graphic design, spatial design, production management, rapid prototyping, workflow design, screenwriting, marketing, etc while having a lot of fun doing it and being a part of amazing projects.
Everyone should be so lucky.
I’ve had a chance to bring these skills and experiences and also learn from many projects since then, Treatful being one of the more recent ones.
But the one that surprised even me is the resurgence of bio. Specifically, computational and/or quantitative biology, which allows me to take all the best parts about science that I love (learning new things, synthesizing new ideas to inform future understanding) and couples it with my love of design…. in designing new approaches, in designing new methods, in project planning, in prototyping (hypotheses) new approaches, implementing and testing these approaches, collaborating with the research community and the odd website or presentation design here and there.
I think I can finally get over my commitment-phobia and dedicate myself to something longer-term than a contract or freelance position because the value that it can bring to everyone is so huge (all the things that actually made me want to go into medicine). :D
Unfortunately, this probably does mean I’ll have to get a Ph.D. after all. Boooooooo. :P
Orphan Enzymes Project is the first of many of these future projects. Enjoy!
As artists, it can feel like we create things and send out little messages in the bottle into the world, not sure that it will reach anyone out there. Design at least lets you put an address on it for delivery. But it was a real “treat” to see this in my email:
I had the inkling that something was brewing with my friends at Treatful, but I finally did get the confirmation so I can share it here. I’ve been meaning to update with the news, then life got busy, of course. :P :)
Last year, as I was planning and providing artwork and design work for my wedding, I also had the amazing opportunity to work with Treat Technologies on their awesome web-based gift certificate service as a contract visual consultant. It was exciting to be able to work with the talented co-founder Hoon Kim to connect Treatful with talented graphic designers like Aggie Cheung and Joann Kwok and UX/UI designers like Wyld Collective that culminated in this final rebranding and new website of Treatful.
As it turns out, Open Table acquired Treatful Technology, Inc. for $4 million in July 2012 to integrate Treatful’s online gift card services with the reservation services Open Table provides for local restaurants. I hadn’t realized that Treatful was working from $1 million in VC funding. What I saw were 4 hard-working dedicated people in a quintessential start-up environment space in SF. They have a restaurant with really awesome brussel sprout chips just at the entrance of the building. :)
I probably worked with them longer than any sane person should. The last email I fired off was in the early morning hours of Friday just ahead of my wedding on Saturday. But seeing how things turned out so well for them, it was all worth it and I’m excited to have been a part of it!
Growing up straddling both Korean and American cultures (living in both countries and making mistakes in both :D), I was always uncertain where I stood. In some ways, I suppose it gave me the freedom to notice that ideas people consider to be “truths” and “virtues” can be very different from culture to culture and pick and choose which ones I really agreed with.
Something I’ve always appreciated about Korean culture is in their emphasis on sharing inspiration and life philosophy with one another so that we all can aspire to be better people and by extension a better world. This particular list has been floating around the internet and message boards, and I found it on Facebook today via my aunt. I’m happy to be fluent enough in Korean (please excuse any mistakes!) to be able to translate and share this sometimes funny, sometimes practical, and sometimes very wise life advice from a father to his son.
Also, I’m happy to act on Advice #5:
If you encounter a good piece of writing/literature make sure to recommend it to others.
You and the world will be happier for it.
(For my fellow ladies of the 21st century, some of the advice does reveal remaining tinges of Confucianism in Korean culture. You know, the requisite gender-bias… Why should the women do all the housework and the dishes?? But I think if we can see past some of those specific instances and see the core truths behind them, we all can benefit. After all, mothers raise these sons, too. :D)
한빛은행에서 화제가 되었다고 하는 글입니다.
한빛은행 내부 인터넷망에 올라 2만여 직원들 사이에서
화제가 되었다고 하더군요.
한빛은행 부행장 김종욱님이 작성하셨다고 합니다.
This list supposedly became a sensation at HanBit Bank.
It’s said this list became an intranet sensation between 20,000 female employees within HanBit’s internal network.
Kim Jong-Wook, Vice President (? – 부행장) of HanBit Bank is the supposed author.
약속 시간에 늦는 사람하고는 동업하지 말거라.
시간 약속을 지키지 않는 사람은 모든 약속을 지키지 않는다.
1. My son!!!
Do not do business with someone who is late to time appointments.
Someone who doesn’t keep time commitments doesn’t keep other commitments.
어려서 부터 오빠라고 부르는 여자 아이들을 많이 만들어 놓거라.
그중에 하나,둘은 말도 붙이기 어려울 만큼 예쁜 아가씨로 자랄 것이다.
2. My son!!!
Cultivate quality relationships with a wide range of girls from when you’re young [so close they call you oppa, an affectionate term girls have for older boys].
One or two of them will grow to become young ladies too beautiful to even approach when you’re older.
목욕할 때에는 다리 사이와 겨드랑이를 깨끗이 씻어라.
치질과 냄새로 고생하는 일이 없을 것이다.
3. My son!!!
When bathing, take care to clean thoroughly between your legs and armpits.
You’ll avoid suffering from hemorrhoids and body odor.
식당에 가서 맛있는 식사를 하거든 주방장에게 간단한 메모로 칭찬을 전해라.
주방장은 자기 직업을 행복 해 할 것이고,
너는 항상 좋은 음식을 먹게 될 것이다.
4. My son!!!
If you dine at a restaurant and find you’ve enjoyed a tasty meal, compliment the chef with a simple memo.
The chef will be happy about their job, and you will also enjoy good food.
좋은 글을 만나거든 반드시 추천을 하거라.
너도 행복하고 세상도 행복해 진다.
5. My son!!!
If you encounter a good piece of writing/literature make sure to recommend it to others.
You and the world will be happier for it.
여자 아이들에게 짓궂게 하지 말거라.
신사는 어린 여자나 나이 든 여자나 다 좋아 한단다.
6. My son!!!
Don’t tease or trouble little girls.
A true gentleman likes women of all ages, younger or older.
양치질을 거르면 안된다. 하지만 빡빡 닦지 말거라.
평생 즐거움의 반은 먹는것에 있단다.
7. My son!!!
You must not skip brushing your teeth. However, don’t brush them too hard.
Of your entire lifetime’s happiness, half of it comes from eating.
노래하고 춤추는 것을 부끄러워 하지 말거라.
친구가 너를 어려워하지 않을 것이며 아내가 즐거워 할 것이다.
8. My son!!!
Don’t be embarrassed to sing and dance.
Your friends won’t be intimidated by you and your wife enjoy it.
신을 찾아 보거라. 만약 시간의 역사(호킨스), 노자(김용옥 해설),
이해한다면,서른살을 넘어서면 스스로 서게 될 것이다.
9. My son!!!
Try to seek God. If you come to understand A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking), Laotzu (as interpreted by Kim Young-Ok, 노자 – 김용옥 해설), and the Gospel of John, you will be able to stand on your own two feet by the time you’re thirty.
어려운 말을 사용하는 사람과 너무 예의바른 사람을 집에 초대하지 말거라.
굳이 일부러 피곤함을 만들 필요는 없단다.
10. My son!!!
Do not invite into your home people who use overly difficult words or overly concerned with propriety.
There’s no need to go out of your way to create difficult situations.
똥은 아침에 일어나자마자 누거라.
일주일만 억지로 해 보면 평생 배 속이 편하고 밖에 나가 창피당하는 일이 없다.
11. My son!!!
Do number 2 first thing in the morning after you wake.
If you make yourself do this for even a week, your stomach will be at ease and you avoid being embarrassed in the outside world.
가까운 친구라도 남의 말을 전하는 사람에게는 절대로 속을 보이지 마라.
그 사람이 바로 내흉을 보고다닌 사람이다.
12. My son!!!
Even though a close friend, never reveal your innermost thoughts to someone that relays someone else’s news.
That person is the one that has been spreading news about you to others.
나이 들어가는 것도 청춘만큼이나 재미있단다.
그러니 겁먹지 말거라. 사실 청춘은…청춘 그 자체 빼고는 다 별거 아니란다.
13. My son!!!
Aging is as fun being young.
So don’t be afraid. In truth, youth is nothing special aside from being young.
밥을 먹고 난 후에는 빈 그릇을 설거지통에 넣어주거라.
엄마는 기분이 좋아지고 여자친구 엄마는 널 사위로 볼 것이며
네 아내는 행복해 할 것이다.
14. My son!!!
After you’re done with a meal, take care to move your empty dishes into the sink.
You’ll lighten your mom’s mood, your girlfriend’s mom will consider you as a potential son-in-law and your wife will appreciate it.
양말은 반드시 펴서 세탁기에 넣거라.
소파 밑에서 도너츠가 된 양말을 흔드는 사나운 아내를 만나지 않게 될 것이다.
15. My son!!!
Always roll out your socks and put them in the wash.
You will avoid meeting an angry wife shaking a sock that’s become a kind of donut under the sofa.
네가 지금 하는결정이 당장 행복한 것인지 앞으로도 행복할 것인지를 생각해라.
법과도덕을 지키는 것은 막상 해보면 그게 더 편하단다.
16. My son!!!
Consider whether the decision you make now will only please you now or continue to please you into the future.
Following the law and upholding morals reveal in time that they’re actually the more comfortable choices in the end.
돈을 너무 가까이 하지 말거라. 돈에 눈이 멀어진다.
돈을 너무 멀리 하지 말거라. 너의 처자식이 다른이에게 천대받는다.
돈이 모자라면 필요한 것과 원하는 것을 구별해서 사용해라..
17. My son!!
Don’t be too close to money. You become blinded by money.
Don’t be too distant to money. Your wife and children will be mistreated by others.
If you lack money, distinguish needs and wants as you use it.
너는 항상 내 아내를 사랑해라.
그러면 네가 내 아내에게 사랑받을 것이다.
18. My son!!!
Always love your wife.
Then you will receive love from your wife.
심각한 병에 걸린 것 같으면 최소한 세 명의 의사 진단을 받아라.
생명에 관한 문제에, 게으르거나 돈을 절약할 생각은 말아라.
19. My son!!!
If you feel like you’re facing a severe illness, get at least three different doctors’ diagnoses.
On situations around life, do not be lazy or try to save money.
5년 이상 쓸 물건이라면 너의 경제력 안에서 가장 좋은 것을 사거라.
결과적으로 그것이 절약하는 것이다.
20. My son!!!
If it’s an item that you will use for 5 years or longer, purchase the best item you can reasonably afford.
Ultimately, that’s what is truly frugal.
베개와 침대와 이불은 가장 좋은것을 사거라.
숙면은 숙변과 더불어 건강에 가장 중요한 문제다.
21. My son!!!
For pillows, beds and sheets, always buy the best.
Sound sleep and sound elimination are together the most important concerns for your health.
너의 자녀들에게 아버지와 친구가 되거라.
둘 중에 하나를 선택해야 될 것 같으면 아버지를 택해라.
친구는 너 말고도 많겠지만 아버지는 너 하나이기 때문이다.
22. My son!!!
For your children, be a father and a friend.
If you must choose between one of the two, decide to be a father.
They can have many friends other than you, but only you can be their father.
오줌을 눌 때에는 바짝 다가서거라.
남자가 흘리지 말아야 될 것이 눈물만 있는것은 아니다.
23. My son!!!
When you’re peeing stand as close as you can.
Tears aren’t the only thing a man shouldn’t shed.
연락이 거의 없던 이가 찾아와 친한 척 하면, 돈을 빌리기 위한 것이다.
분명하게 no라고 말해라.
돈도 잃고 마음도 상한다.
친구가 돈이 필요하다면 되돌려 받지 않아도 될 한도 내에서
모든것을 다 해 줘라.
그러나 먼저 네 형제나 가족들에게도 그렇게 해줬나 생각하거라.
24. My son!!!
If someone has had practically no contact with you suddenly seeks you out while pretending to be close, they’re doing so to borrow money.
Clearly and distinctly say “no.”
You’ll lose money and get hurt, too.
If a friend needs money, help them as much as you can up to where you don’t need repayment.
But first consider whether you’ve done this for your siblings and family first.
네 자녀를 키우면서 효도를 기대하지 말아라.
나도 너를 키우며 너 웃으며 자란 모습으로 벌써 다 받았다.
25. My son!!!
As you raise your children, do not expect of them love and respect (filial duty).
In raising you, I’ve already received it all in seeing your smiling face as grow up.
Which of these spoke to you the most?
What action can you take now to change your life starting today?
Courtesy of The Daily Bunny
To kickstart 2012 on an artistic and personal level, I want to share this comment that touches on creative endeavors and vulnerability:
“If you don’t feel personally exposed when publishing the game, you did not make art.”
– Daniel Benmergui, an independent video game creator
Daniel Benmergui was responding specifically to the question of video games as art, but I think what he said applies just as much to all forms of art.
That exposure, putting myself and my thoughts out there for people to see, is always a bit terrifying for me. I’m constantly jealous of the people that can just display online or in person what I feel like are the squishy, inner guts of our emotional lives that should stay well within my body:
Learn how to strip wires, install power supplies and ground sockets in a day.
Talk about my feelings and how I find something hurtful or stressful.
“…. Must we really talk about such things?”
And yet, the artists and creators that share their inner thoughts publicly are the ones that have helped me the most in navigating my own life.
If I really pause and think about it, we expose ourselves whether we mean to or not. Just as it’s impossible for writers to *not* have a voice, that’s pretty much the same for any creative endeavor. If I’m a private person and I don’t feel comfortable revealing what I consider to be “my business” publicly or with friends, I have already revealed what I consider to be private or not. At the end of the day, it’s a scary experience for anyone to put themselves out there.
Even though for some people, it feels like they can splash their experiences and emotions everywhere as they process and work through their problems in what seems like a public forum like the Internet, what it really means is that at that moment they have a different definition of what feels safe or not to them. Even the vocal ones have their own experiences and feelings that would make them feel overly naked or exposed to share with others.
Whether I mean to or not, my art is colored by my life experiences. It can’t help being a reflection of my feelings at that time. When I go through more stressful, urgent periods in my life, my art and my writing change to more “dark & twisty” topics and moods. Sometimes, it gets overwhelming enough that I choose survival and silence over trying to express anything at all, via artwork or with friends. When I feel more optimistic and hopeful, I start sharing lots of photos of foods and bunnies.
2011 introduced a lot of challenges and growth in areas that I didn’t expect and couldn’t foresee, some were just super overwhelming where it truly felt like I just couldn’t continue. I pretty much stopped creating anything but the bare minimum and severely limited communicating my inner thoughts to most everyone. I just didn’t want to externalize the problems that were already overrunning everything else. 2011 also had insanely wonderful events like *our wedding* where our friends and family truly affirmed in every way through their support, late night help and on the day shenanigans how ridiculously lucky, blessed and loved we are.
Knock on wood, 2012 will have growth but maybe not as many growing pains as 2011. :) And I am already thinking of different projects that I’m eager to start on. Now it’s just a matter of really unpacking and getting my studio in order so that I don’t have to struggle to find things like paper and erasers.
I look forward to 2012, and I wish for everyone the very best 2012 they can make for themselves, too.
I debated whether I should blog about this or not, but if I want an accurate account of where my artistic interests and energy are going, I’d be remiss to leave out…. wedding planning.
My fiance and I have been dating for 11.5 years(!) now. Needless to say, it’s been a long time coming. :)
We actually got engaged earlier this February which gave me about 18 months to plan. I did start looking at wedding things sporadically, but various life events, a website, an Etsy store, and a 2.5-week vacation to Japan and Korea later and suddenly I have less than a year to prepare!
I had no idea how many different details there are to a wedding — it makes me appreciate even more all the beautiful weddings I’ve had the pleasure and honor to attend.
As an artist, it feels only right that I design my own invitations. :) I will share those and other ideas along the way.
Of course, I will continue to work on other art-y things, as well. :D