Saturday, July 29, 2006

What Saperates Us From Glam & Reality

Something worth reading:

I just happen to came across my sister's recent post in her blog. I believe it's important that everyone should understand about humanity, to allow positive emotion and compassion in our very heart and soul, and yet, level-headed and not too self-centred.

Before I start, lets us pray for the Muslims in Lebanon and Palestine for their safety.
Ya Allah Ya Tuhanku, Kau selamatkanlah dan lindungilah orang orang Islam di Lubnan dan Palestin daripada kekejaman rejim zionis. Sesungguhnya hanya kepada Kau lah kami mampu berdoa, kerana hanya Kau lah yang Maha Agung, Maha Besar dan mempunyai Kuasa ke atas segala-galanya.
Right now, I'm into reading local newspapers, but watching international news like CNN or BBC.
I don't like watching local news on TV.

Our local newscasters are just, how should I say it, superficial, make-up setebal 5 inci, don't even know the news they're reading and just for all the other wrong reasons.

I say, if we have an open discussion, our current newscasters, could just be like deer caught in the light, not knowing what to ask, and still wanting to read from the prompter.

Why is this happening?
Because, Malaysian, are flat-out superficial.

Its all about the looks. When I went for an interview at Berjaya Hotel, I heard the HR executive talking on the phone to the guy who she supposed to send me to, saying "leng loi maa" (pretty girl). Yeah, I bet he asked whether the girl she's sending is pretty or not, and she might just wanna pitch me in, lying to him that I'm a pretty girl. As if I can't understand Cantonese or Mandarin. Hahaha.

Our local tv news are quite like in a different standard that what we can actually call NEWS. They are too consume with applying the whole damn make-up thay can get from all the sponsors, they're weren't articulate enough, and they just read the news from the bloody prompter.

I kinda miss Mahathir Lokman's batch, Ras Adiba Radzi, Wan Zaleha Radzi, they read the news and relate it with their knowledge and intelligence. I mean, they're the pros. And nowadays, we can even have a fucking reality show to find pretty newscaster who know shit about the news, don't know where Haifa or Tyre are located, they don't know whats European Union is, whatsoever. They just hope, they'll be on TV, maybe will have the popularity, then get to become the face of some magazines and marry some fucking rich old guys who had to get rid of their old wives and abandon their childrens until some get into drugs and later kill their relatives for money.

The media industry in our country has gone wrong. Instead of recruiting more expertise backstage, like lightning, better cameramen, soundmen, we're into finding the pretty face to put in front of the camera. As if news are to entertain, not to be informed in their order.

Like, siti nurhaliza's press conference to wed is a big deal, but Lebanese kids dying on bed after their cars got bombed deserve only like a line type below the big screen.

The media have lost touch of the real world and got drawn into the fake reality world.With only 3 main tv stations that probably recruiting looks than talent, the industry is not going to improve anytime soon.

And I will continue reading only a few local newspapers to avoid getting irritated with those superficial make-up faces on tv, and view CNN and BBC daily.

Thank you very much.
- Nurol Akma Latif of


Do You Think Being A Designer is Glamourous?

_Why do you choose to be a designer?
Because we are able to learn how to visualize and idea, what people see beyond their imagination and their story into a greater output. As a designer, we are able (I myself) exposed to new discipline, new aesthetics, a motivation and challenges. Designer is a very special career, because it’s very challenging, because we’re not just following books, looking at the term of arts & aesthetic, but also how we execute ideas and providing solution to client’s requirements or whatever matters visually.

_Is it true being a designer is glamorous?
People might think it's unique. Yes, we are unique but glam? Not. At least there are few things we need to narrow down the term glamorous when it comes to design. To be, a glam means to inspire, based on not your looks, but your work. From my observation, I see these days’ young designers care to ‘brand’ more on their name, face, not really the work as they put on priority. Some people are known for their name, but not for their work. That’s quite the right way to expose your creativity and talents.

_Do you think people know you by looking at your work?
Work had always come to first priority when you want to be recognized. What I meant is that most of the people I met, they know my work because they know me in person. They love me what I stand for, not for who I am. I create a space of versatility, so I can allow people to accept my creativity.

_Rumors said that you like to jump from agencies to another agency. Can you justify?
Yes. Everyone face the same problem like I do. I believe that that time, I was unsure what I really want. Some say ‘young blood’. But that’s not the real case. I understand sometimes it involves your psychological factor (attitude, emotion and such) but what I gain is more experience, more versatility, more knowledge and more depth of what I want to become. What people don’t know is actually how I get to survive in this industry. It’s more than just the hassle and challenge I’ve been trough. What I gain and what I lose. I was almost freelancing for clients almost all my career. There wasn’t any opportunity given when it comes to financial support. Here in Malaysia, most company we work for doesn’t necessary a good paymaster. Some companies I work with fail to commit their financial thus, creating psychological and physical damages. It caused me a very unease condition. I had become flaccid and God knows what I’ve been trough.

I don’t like the idea of finding the right company to please my comfort zone and become indolent person. I don’t want to vanquish my skill sets. I want to grow. I want to work harder and become a successful person furthermore. A tip for you out there, know your rights. Learn about company acts to protect you. Sometimes, some companies take advantage of you, real time.

_What inspires you?
Things that inspired me mostly involved everything and everyone around me. I’m seeing from the perspective:
  1. Moral support from my fellow friends and beloved family.
  2. Psychology and Culture (Design Identity, design trends, Web 2.0, etc).
  3. Sociology & Communication (Meeting friendly creative people & discussion on industry-related).
  4. Prints & Media (Design Magazines, Books, Novels).
  5. Design Houses which produced entertainment (MTV/VH1) reels and Visual Effects for film industry.
  6. Photography and fashion. I'd discovered the important of human composition with nature and environment.
  7. Critics taken from friends & foe (either positive or negative).
Sometimes, even a cleaner inspired me to work harder.

_How important is a designer to become an art director at the peek of their career?
Designer is an art director by nature. We create a direction in design so that we are able to solve a design. Being an art director doesn’t necessary prove you are at top of the world. It takes a lot of factor to be one. It’s funny sometimes you might discovered some art director didn’t have a clue what art define as and how to illustrate their own ideas. I had discovered some out there unsure how they can convince clients. How they can protect their creative team. To me, an art director comes in a graciously package person. We are not just talking about experience and in business aspect, but a person who truly inspire people, full of charisma and passion. If an art director able to lead and turn young designers like us into a positive, motivating creative person like they do, is worth inspiring. Let people respect you, not fear you.

_Do you think your influence gets you to talk rather than create an action?
Sometimes, to take out a word out of your mouth can be easy and can inspire people. Some claim (me, for an example) I know only how to write and talk, but the fact is that I also execute and support as much as I can for the community and the industry. For each year, I had created a finish product, from web, to prints, to graffiti, to presentation. It's not about being cocky but to let people understand what you really do rather than to keep quiet but at the end of the day, he or she would complain or 'bitch' about his / her effort or what he/she believe in contributing something in this industry. It is all coming from my effort and some based on mutual team-work. To be in this industry, you cannot just rely on giving your ideas, a design prototype (2,3 mocks) and pass it to your one or two designer to work on your idea and claiming your award and recognition while the real people are the designers because they are the one who created the idea into a product. I like to be a good designer because I don't seek perfection in everything I do, because being human is not perfect. :)

I am here to give and share my talents, and I like to trade my experience with anyone who is willing to learn.

_Do you think you are successful?
Being successful is a privilege. I believe I had made quite clear of what I want to be; therefore I had succeeded some task I dreamed about. I am a designer, I’m a creative head. I’ve been a motivator and had inspired young talents to make their dream more exciting. Achieving an award doesn’t necessary make yourself successful if you fail to promote your services and get more clients. A tip for those who want to be successful in this field is to never become a superior, boast person. You cannot expect everyone to work harder but you, yourself fail to lead by example, and this is not our comfort zone yet. Being successful means we have to work harder, learn more new things to improve our skill sets and try to run from what we normally do in our work, either typical or extraordinary. That is why I love to be multi-discipline, so I can learn and understand other people's 'shoe'.

_what do you learn from your work experience?
To be human, not an android. To be sensitive (alert) in what we do. To self-recognize, to be mature and positive. Most important, to love and care your most beloved one. I don’t want my career to steal all the time I have because I love my parents, my brothers and sisters. I love to spend time these days enjoying nature, because a part of visualizing, it’s time we be in that picture, to have a life, like everyone else where you can sit and have dinner with your family, take them for a vacation, until that moment comes, you’ll at least solve puzzle in your life. What happen if there is war? what happen if there's earthquake? Will you still sit in front of your computer, or you are really with your family and loved ones?

best thing in life? is your family.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Working too hard?

Two cups of ginseng tea, 4 bottles of Red Bull and Nescafe Latte won’t help me much enough. It’s been two weeks where I was put in a very hectic situation, but yet this is the work that I want to do. And I’m enjoying it ;-)

This week will be my most active week, as I got tons of major duper whooper works need to be done, from a one gigabyte 150 dpi print for a backdrop, to a reality TV show this week. Photo featured above was taken by our noted photographer, Ted Adnan and working side by side are Josh Lim, Riz Ainuddin and me.

Do You Know?
The three of us work under the same company called MotionWorks, a web agency and Intecture, an architect and interior design-based company located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Josh and Muid both freelance once before in a company called Earthmedia. The three of us had the privilege once again to work together for a reality TV show on Channel 9.

To Those Who Are Beloved By God Al-Mighty
Though we all have our daily lives to face head upon us, let us not forget what the Israel did to innocent people of the middle east. It's even more sad to see the editors and reporters in Malaysia are too excited to cover stories about our entertainment industry (Siti & Datuk K) rather to let more Malaysian know whats truly going on in today's world. Read more on what's going on with Anderson Cooper. Don't forget to vote over CNN website:

CNN is doing an online vote on whether the Israeli invasion of Lebanon is justified and most people are voting 'yes'. Please copy the internet address below, go down the page to 'quickvote' and vote 'no'. Forward to others, as many as you can. Click here to vote.

Al-fatihah to those innocent who struggle for their freedom.
Al-fatihah to Hani Mohsen, a friend I met back in RTM in 2000, who died of heart attack.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Things Just Happen: The Look of...

Shot by Koi & Madfozi. Enhanced by ;-)

Small careless thing can be done by a person. I was heading my way to Adobe World Asia 2006 (Hilton, KL) and a mile away from KL Sentral, my small precious car once again got hit by a Honda Civic (the mid 90’s). Entirely his fault due to his careless, one, for talking on the phone, two, driving fast when you know you’re caught in a traffic jam. The highway, as usual congested with vehicles normally from 8.30 to 9.30 on the Desa Petaling / Taman Seputih after the MRR2 Cheras Tol. Well, to kill time, this bugger hand over 200 bucks and I told him I have to rush to some place else, meantime exchanging namecards and record his vechicle number. My car, wasn’t in any serious damage, surprisingly to be hit by a Japanese-made car, his (that uncle) car happen to receive few damages including broken glass (lamp) and others. Kira kereta Kancil kuat jugak lah besinya. Again, there goes my money. I’m going to Sabah this Friday (tomorrow) and hopefully Abby can help me out by sending the car to the workshop. Her ‘upah’ will be paying her Internet bills ;-).

The forbidden love affair?

Love is a crazy game. In fact, I have gone mad about what I stand for in my relationship. Do I truss to stay? Or I can no longer carry the burden of commitment? If what I feel is heaven, I am forever granted with affection and joy, but if it’s hell I’m breathing in this lung, I will be disheartened without your presence. To you, who haunt my soul, I am too diligent surviving my fervor, so forgive me. I wonder if I can ever get things right, with you, because we are both fanatical.

Never forget, work updates!

My ‘afronuesantara’ is commissioned by KLue, Starbucks and DiGi and we (Shieko & Melissa Chan of DMP Collective) will be exhibiting our works in 5 selected booth at 5 different location of Starbucks in Klang Valley. For those who are interested to check out this event, including live performance by my favourite female vocalist, Mia of Double Take, Qings & Kueens and others, be sure to visit this site for further info.

Digital Malaya Project season two is back! Be sure to pass around and support DMP. Spead around and this will help me to help all of the young creative to grow. Also, I will be appearing in a reality show hosted by a trusted friend for Channel 9. Also, will be involve in the upcoming launch of Isma Yusoof website. So, again, busy man indeed.

p/s: Don't we all 'vain' once in our life?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Dovrebbero rimanere gli stessi, creativo come sono.

Set in this very pleasant yet calm atmosphere in my workplace, here I am working, surfing, designing, checking and writing emails, appointment with clients, internal meetings and sometimes do few doodles (sketches) whenever God gave me the inspiration. I am in the late 20’s and I just realized one thing. I’m still doing the things I like most, which is art & design. I made it through those cloudy* days and I’m still climbing up those mountains, at least just to get a view of what’s down beneath me. It’s the days where I was once a sculptor, to a web designer, to a graffiti artist, to an interactive designer and now, a creative consultant. But what does the future hold for me? What is the definition of security in the mind of a designer? How can we find ways to be more mature, yet still have the passion?

Sanyen, a friend of mine from (if)interactive pointed out something that triggers my rational argument. Why most of Malaysian designer’s lifespan is so midstream (short)?

I can’t answer to all. However, I do know what keeps me going is to set variety and versatility in our talents, put more courage, passion and enthusiasm to be more than just an ordinary creative person. I have to work harder, get more enemy in order to get strong competitive so that I grow and learn from my mistakes. Designers should think positive and compare to one another, not to put down on someone or take away person self-esteem, but learn to inspire. As long as I live, I will never stop doing what truly makes me happy. I won’t regret being a designer because we are unique and gifted. What separates us is how we see things. How we adapt things and how we provide solutions to solve problem in a visual communication. We face the same issue all over the world, we faced the same client but what is our expectation? Are we becoming too superficial in terms of design and perfectionist? Do we need to educate our clients? Or do we need to remain focus, patience and give alternative, so both and win in any situation. A word is to enjoy, appreciate and acknowledge of ourselves. Be proud and be humble and this way, you will be a great leader, a person with positive thinking and always continue to support to whatever things that matters. “Don’t fall in love with your job! Fall in love with your passion and interest”.

From the Land of Koala & Kangaroo

Last weekend, I had the chance to meet and speak to few noted creative people at the ‘Japan Fever’ event in Galleriiizu, Kuala Lumpur (Thanks Juan!). One of the great designers that I am able to meet and approach is Mr. Mike. For those who are not familiar with Urban Collective, U.C is one of strong-going portal from Australia, besides DesignIsKinky. Anyway, Mike and myself had both been developing a design portal, dedicated to support, promote and inspire young and emerging designers and artists out there. Though, some still keep up with me (Digital Malaya) although there are not much content to promote, however, we are always in the art & design scene. The only thing thing that do was choosing the path which wasn’t too smooth for me to handle (Interactive Advertising). Plus, I got too many things to focus, and I lost almost all of my interest at

Mike had pointed out few things (which of course he notice), makes me realized that DMP is 'sleeping', like it was never emerge successfully online. Why? It’s because I got out of hands. And the word indolent does exist whenever I open my Digital Malaya folder in my computer. I was too much chasing the big bucks and those makes me kill my passion. I had too much involved in exhibition, performances, events and others to name. So, how do I get DMP going back on track? Strategy is definitely formulated, and I hope my new spirit can bring back DMP back like those glory days.

There isn’t much portal in Malaysia that support and promote design like what Digital Malaya did”, - Mike,

Mike, thank you for the motivation you carried to me. You had made me realized that I can still go with this, and I hope I can continue to support the design scene, especially Malaysia. Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to give my thousand appreciation to all who had kindly supporting me, my work, DMP throughout the years. You guys really inspired me to keep on going. God bless all.

p/s: Can't wait to go to Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, for the next two weeks.


Kanye Workout Plan

Visit my Flickr for more of this.

I am a crazy brat. Yes. I laugh all by myself, but for this photo shot of course. Thanks for Isma Yusoof for encouraging me to get more 'personalized' with my photo-beginner skills. I must tell u, experience and those art & design knowledge I learn does help!

Work Updates:
I was commissioned by DiGi & KLue for an upcoming exhibition this month. It's called 'Starbucks Music Series'. My work called 'Afroneusantara', together with DMP Collective such as Shieko & Melissa Chan, not forgetting my collegue's Junning, Stephen Lau
and other noted artists. All of our works will be exhibited in 6 Starbucks cafe in Klang Valley, one is at TheCurve, Damansara Utama.

I'm also working on few presentations and will be appearing on Channel 9. Other than that, I'm all fine. I just gain 1kg, that makes me 57kg. Yeay! That's for taking the Kanye Workout Plan.

Ride on, power to the people! (Foxy Brown)