Time is money … but you need to slow down!


During my visit to Indonesia on June 2011, my eyes were opened to a new approach to the design process. I observed that artists take all the time they need to work on their creation, instead of rushing through. In Bandung, my auntie took me to a craft store in Aceh street and I saw the cutest miniature market model made of polymer clay. Here is an example.

Here is how “mini” it is.

These are amazing creations my friends! I was amazed to see how much detail, love, and time went into creating one of these! Each pea, onion, each branded product like candy, chips, etc, were hand-made ONE by ONE! Labels and packaging were put together ONE by ONE. I knew Etsy has something similar to this, but there is no comparison between the two. I mean, geeze, who in US will spend that much time and able sell it? And who can afford to buy such thing???

In Jakarta, my visionary architect friend Henry took me to an architecture discussion panel held at one of the oldest graphic design firms in Indonesia: Leboye. I was fortunate to be able to sit down and discuss the differences between the graphic design business in Indo and in US with the owner, Mr Hermawan Tanzil; but I will not talk about it in this blog, not this time anyway. I like what Leboye has done. They mix traditional art and millennium design and technology. Again, a lot of time went into each creation. It’s very gratifying to see the results. Unfortunately, I couldn’t buy too many of their creations (Leboye has a store) due to the limited space of my luggage.

I am known to work fast. I know how to do a lot of shortcuts in working and designing complicated graphics. I also know a lot of designers that don’t spend time in their design (and it shows!!). But I realized I wanted to change my approach and spend more time working on designs. I wanted my design to look rich and be more organic, like Leboye, like those from Indonesia. Original. It comes from the artists’ own two hands. So, I started with a typography project for MadHaus. MadHaus is so lucky to have me during this changing stage of my career. =)

There were other tedious projects in the office that needed a lot of time to do. I do this now with a lot more patience. A 75-menu project created manually; a lot of steps to take just to create one. A 155-page tutorial presentation and who knows what else will be added to complete the package. A 90-page website re-design is also next on my list. I am fortunate to be prepared mentally to do all these. I thank all the designers and artists that I have been inspired by during my visit to Indonesia.

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