What was meant to be a celebration of things consumed and enjoyed has turned into a rather vague collection of things that make me feel good. So, bear with me, please.
(Although if you are looking for Good Things, I have enjoyed Euphoria and Mindhunter in terms of television, and poetry collections — particularly Frank O’Hara’s and Ocean Vuong’s, both of which I read through rather quickly, which can be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing, and some shows I’ve seen and will post photos of, I promise.)
01 — Being around people who love you
My mum and my brother are around (and for quite a while, too) because they flew in for my graduation (which, dear reader, is quite a funny thing to think. I was at the Southbank Centre, and we were taking photos with my cap and gown, and I just kept repeating “How did this happen?” because it seems like an absurd thing for me, as I’d always wanted to a) do further studies, b) live elsewhere for a while).
Anyway, I always have big plans of going to exhibits and shows and missing them because I take too long dawdling about, so it was quite nice that them being around meant that I actually made my way to a lot of them. Not that all of them were nice, but you know.
I have to say that I am running out of things to entertain them with, because I only ever really got to know London in terms of the places I enjoyed kind of chilling out in and living around, and it seems like holidays are or should be peppered with excitement and not, you know, drinks at the pub or whatever. But hey, it’s nice to speak in your own language after not being able to do so in person in a long while.
02 — Other people’s generosity, which always astounds me with how often it comes in spades
Right, so I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but! I gave a (tiny, wee, baby) talk recently at the London Centre for Book Arts, which might as well be my second home here. It was for an event that Zaxx put up called Seen Zeen: Preventive Cultural Ghosting, which was a pop-up for Filipino zines and independent presses. daikon* zine, which is an amazing publication also helped us out in enormous ways, for no reason other than support.
There is also a lady who lives one stop away from me who I haven’t officially met, as she’s back home for a holiday, who has helped me with some important things; a friend who dropped off a fan in the middle of the summer heat; my housemate Laura who is a literal angel, people in Manila like my sister and my dad and Tara and Don and Richard, and others like Raymond and Paulina who live elsewhere who make me feel like I’m doing something right by being here and are always there when I bug them. (LOL this is getting sappy, but yanno, I’m thankful is all.)
Additionally — and I hope this doesn’t jinx anything — everyone I’d asked to serve as my letters of support for my visa application have been so kind to say yes, and it’s like, what kind of blessed time is this for me? I truly can’t believe it. It may be too early to celebrate, because I don’t know if I’ll get the visa, but that these people believe in me and want to help me out is something I’ll carry with me going forward.
03 — A rekindling of my love flames for typography and design
Where, although I never really stopped loving either, there was just a brief pause, a little bit. Most of my life was spent doing design work by myself (which, if you haven’t worked in a studio or with other people first, I don’t really recommend outright jumping into, but that’s a whole other can of worms…) but I’d kind of put that on hold when I got depressed and turned a bit reclusive. If you’ve known me for a while, you probably didn’t notice that happening — mostly because I hadn’t quite pieced it together until recently, lol — but yes. I set my design hat aside because I was sad and couldn’t locate myself within the whole industry back home.
So, while I haven’t been doing design professionally (aside from art direction in a few places, a few years before leaving, which I don’t really count as particular learning-from-others experiences, because I’d mostly was entrusted to spearhead them, which again, lol), I ended up doing something called Typography Summer School, and it was the most refreshing thing you could ever give me. Like, a glass of cold water to the face.
Anyway, I’m going to write a whole entire post about that, because it was such an amazing week, but to tide you over, above are some photos from the week, and a couple of pictures from the Ed Ruscha Artist Room at Tate Modern now, because he made a font with no curves and called it “Boy Scout Utility Modern” because he’s a fucking cool guy and he just wanted to, below:
Bonus 04 — Reading poetry on the train
It’s just good when it’s good, because the train may be suffocating in the heat and with the lack of oxygen, but you read a line that feels like cool rain or a waft of slow air, and you forget for a while that you forgot to put deodorant on, on the warmest day in London.
So, yeah, this is a Three Things post that looks a lot like a Life Lately one. I’m not terribly sorry for it, because sometimes it’s nice when the good you feel bursting from inside you comes from people you know and get to know, and I hope you find the same kind of feeling, too.