What Matters

"I began spending a lot of time reminding myself that regardless of whether this has all been luck or whether I have any talent isn’t what matters. Who cares about that? What matters is that I am happy getting up every day to paint and draw. What matters is that I make my best effort every day to be myself in my life and work. What matters is that I work really hard at my career. What matters is that I am thoughtful about the work I want to make and the people I want to work with. What matters is that once it started, making art for a living hasn’t failed me. " – Lisa Congdon

 

Read her entire post here and agree that she is simply amazing.


[A conversation with Olly some 6 weeks ago...]

Olly: "You got to learn to be an artist."

"But... isn't that self-indulgent?"

Olly: "Who cares?!"


Wild&Wood

While you never run out of options when it comes to finding a cafe to have a good cup of coffee, there are only a few places in London where you can get a decent cronut. This piece of exciting news was what originally brought me to visit this little coffee joint in the heart of Holborn.

Stepping into Wild&Wood was like entering someone's kitchen, you might also do a double take to check if you have wandered into the Shire. It gets even more confusing when you go up to the counter to see a pixie-sized lady waiting to take your order. (I hid all my rings just in case.) This cosy nook, furnished entirely with antique church furniture, reminds one of sun-drenched days while you laze on the couch after school while your grandma prepares your favorite tea-time snack.

The cafe draws a mixed crowd. Everyone is here with a single agenda, gathered on church pews, confessing their addiction for caffeine. While table sharing is non-obligatory, it is very much encouraged due to limited seating in the small cafe. With flat whites and lattes placed side by side on a narrow table, coffee drinking becomes an intimate experience where you'd find yourself having a conversation with the stranger next to you after you have gotten over how good the coffee is on the second sip (they only serve Monmouth coffee). 

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On my first visit they ran out of cronuts at 4 p.m. so we ordered the amarrrrrretto cheesecake which had me enamorrrrrred at my first bite. The layer of crusty brown sugar packs a crunch and complements the velvety cheese perfectly while the mellow hint of almond stubbornly lingers in your mouth until you wash it down with coffee. Sooo good.

The cafe was also packed at that time we visited, so we had to opt for the street-facing seats. Honestly, there isn't much of a view except for sweaty construction workers (if you're into that sort of thing winks) and office executives rushing home/to the gym after work. Ironically though, it gave us the sense that we had all the time in the world to savour our coffee and cake. As the sun quietly sets, we scampered to find meaning in our lives, and ended up sitting on the pews for two hours as we devised our game plan to conquer London Design Week. Instant caffeine fueled efficiency. ☺

This is definitely the place to visit if you're looking for a simple, no-frills coffee joint in London.

Wild & Wood Coffee

Unit 19, 1 New Oxford St,

London WC1A 1BA, United Kingdom ‎

Street Art - Tokyo x London

Took the quickest route for a moment of brief escapism since google maps wouldn't load without internet access. Instead, I found myself skipping along these colourful lanes, which pretty much left my daydream swirling like milkshake with too many flavors.

These are some pictures of street art spotted in Tokyo and London from my previous visits. 

Shoreditch, London  Work by Phlegm

Shoreditch, London

Work by Phlegm

Bricklane, London  Work by Roa

Bricklane, London

Work by Roa

Bricklane, London  Work by Marlark

Bricklane, London

Work by Marlark

Bricklane, London  Portrait of an Indian man by Jimmy C

Bricklane, London

Portrait of an Indian man by Jimmy C

photo (11).JPG
Shoreditch, London  Work by Stik

Shoreditch, London

Work by Stik

Harajuku Street, Tokyo

Harajuku Street, Tokyo

Harajuku JR, Tokyo

Harajuku JR, Tokyo

Harajuku Street, Tokyo   

Harajuku Street, Tokyo

 

Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

Koenji, Tokyo

Koenji, Tokyo

Koenji, Tokyo

Koenji, Tokyo

Aoyama, Tokyo

Aoyama, Tokyo

What I love about street art is the pleasant surprise whenever you discover one. It is art that is accessible to everyone, art with a value in the society. Some stop you in your tracks to admire the beautiful paintings, while others might make you trip over dislodged manhole covers as you mull over their messages. Perhaps this is why Singapore is a graffiti free zone.

Drawing a comparison between street art in these two major cities, you can see their majorly distinct styles that echoes the subculture of the cities. While street art in London adopt a more socio-political tone, Tokyo street art borders on the eccentric with characters inspired by Japanese folklore and superstitions. Regardless of the styles that sets them apart, these accessible art forms provide a momentary change of scenery, adding life to a concrete city. Taking a different route to the supermarket to get eggs is now more exciting than ever. Or should I say... eggciting.

Looking through these pictures definitely piqued my interest in reading up more about the street art/graffiti culture. Having grown up in Singapore where self expression is being frowned upon, and graffiti art is considered taboo or illegal, the first question that pops into mind when I see this amazing street art is – "How do these people paint in the dark??" It is comforting to know that street art movement is so widely embraced in other parts of the world and with a place in certain societies, these artists don't have to paint in the dark. (hurrah!)

Of all the cities I've been to so far (not many unfortunately) I would say that London has the best street art scene. So if you are heading to London and you love street art, I suggest you bring your personal roll of 'Caution' tapes to cordon off the spots on the streets where you can plonk your tripods and cameras as the hip places can get pretty crowded. Street art can be found in various parts in London, not just the popular spots like Shoreditch or Brick Lane. This link could be useful, and a street art tour seems like it could be a fun thing to do. ☺ 

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My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and I'm like ...... excuse me you're damaging my astro turf.