Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Weekend To Remember

I remembered the last big birthday gathering I had was when I turned 27 at Galeriiizu at Wisma UOA and followed by a surprise celebration on my 29th birthday at Lazat Cooking House in a housing area in Petaling Jaya after I prepared my home-made dinner, Mushroom Enoki Bean Sprout called the 'Enoki Nusantara Samba'. Ever since that, I never plan on celebrating anything big, just a small number of close friends and usually with my family. 

Me and my dearest friend Prakash Daniel

Best of friends from left: Adi, my sis' Abby Latif, Prakash Daniel, Salmi Omar, me, Azzad & Haslina Ghazali.

On Friday, 24th February which fall under my 33th Birthday, I sent an impromptu invitation to my close friends and colleague to attend my small birthday gathering at The Bee PUBLIKA and we had a great time with presents from Prakash, Azhar, Haslina & Salmi.

Behance Malaysia 2nd Group Exhibition / 6th Behance Malaysia Meetup

26th February was our official date of Behance Malaysia 2nd Group Exhibition 'finale' at Galeri Shah Alam. I was overwhelmed by the turnout was more than I expected, and as usual, great catching up session with all of them including walk-in guests to our exhibition. I also had a chat with Nikki, my former Editor from Art Malaysia magazine mentioned that our Behance exhibition will be featured in the magazine soon. Hoorey!

Since last week, if you (Malaysians) notice, our weather was constantly cloudy in the afternoon so as I would predict a heavy rain in the late afternoon. Right after the Behance Meetup in the gallery, I announce to all member's that I'm going to treat them for a lunch at fast food restaurant, KFC to celebrate our exhibition's closing and enjoying a great gathering session. 

We walk on the sideways from the gallery to KFC of Wisma PKNS Shah Alam. Mind you it was raining, and everyone at least got wet. I was soaking wet because I want to make sure all behance members who walk with me arrive to KFC entrance safely despite the heavy rain.

So after I saw everyone sit down on the table, I know that I felt relief as they all have their seats and I went out to the nearest ATM machine to take out some money because I want to buy them lunch. Then out of the blue there is this one adorable kid came out of nowhere and start pressing the ATM machine button while I was entering my menu selection. Dear Lord, kids these days are so rascal! haha.

Then I went back inside KFC, called my sister Abby, Prakash Daniel and my dear friend, Iskandar Ibrahim to accompany me to the counter to place the order because I lost count of how many people were there at the table, and I was friggin cold due to wet from the rain we were caught earlier.

Now, little that I know it was more than just a gathering and lunch treat. Without my knowledge, the Behance members (probably headed by Zid or Zam Nayan, or Debbie or Haslina Ghazali, or Prakash (I actually have no idea!) who had actually carefully, planned a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY for me, which I would never in million years thought of. And of course I wouldn't have any thoughts of it because I was too focus on my concern about the logistic of the crowd to the gallery, how we going to pack all of our artwork back later, how to send the members back to town, and what not. I got my mind focus elsewhere.

It was when I was about to reach to their table, and there you go, a delicious cheese cake appeared with a Behance Logo spelled 'Bé' Happy Birthday Muid. I swear at that point of time, honestly, I was so stunned and surprised and it's definitely overwhelming for me. Come on lah, who wouldn't thought, kan? 

They just made my day today. Even when Haslina passed the birthday card, I almost shred to tears because I always have this paranoia of being in-denial of friends getting distance from me due to my moody and emotional character, because I do remember I lost few best friends because they gave up on me because especially few years back when my career wasn't doing so good, and I had a tumor (which now recovered thankfully!). But you know, here they are, even as I grow old, I am surrounded by people who showered me with love and hope. Everyone was there, all the people who I had known for years, who was once a stranger became my friends, and from friends who became a part of my family. 

It was overwhelming, magical and truly a bless. It's not just Behance that I saw, it was a force of support, from people who believe in themselves and people who appreciate the things we do, despite if its individual or teamwork, we not only build a community, we build a family. It's enough for me to achieve something, and it's a gift from them, and I love them so much and I want to thank each and everyone who had been there for me, for the better or worst of me.

God bless all of you. Forevermore.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Designer Workout Plan

By Muid Latif
  1. SLEEP EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Nothing beat stress from sleeping. A good sleep gives you a good charge the next day. If you have problem sleeping such as insomnia, drink chamomile tea or just relax your mind by resting on the bed. Don't worry what to do the next day, just get a good sleep!
  2. EAT HEALTHILY. Have a good diet; eat more vegetables, eat fruits, eat less fat food and drink lots, and lots of water. Avoid taking too much raw food as it will welcome you to unwanted sickness such as diarrhea. And always eat on time and least one hour and a half before you go to sleep.
  3. GET INTO THE MOOD. Find things that you like to do best and work on it, creatively. Arrange your workspace with colorful pin-ups, postcards and quotes. Music is one of the best influences to help you while working on your creative production, or simply from driving to work or a long journey back home. Don't text or tweet while driving. If you’re depressed, take a deep breath, vanquish all those negativity and refresh yourself. It’s no use holding back your negative thoughts anger and grudges.
  4. DO A LOT OF SKETCHES. Change ideas into visual mind maps. Always bring your sketchbook or moleskin. Draw whatever you have in your mind and what you feel. But don't plagiarize other people's work and claim it yours, commercially. Be graceful, truthful and realistic.
  5. EXERCISE REGULARLY. For me, running really helps. Always stretch yourself (fingers, arms, neck, back, etc) for 5-10 minute after finish doing your assignment at your workstation. Go to the gym or do yoga or a swim, keep your physical and heart healthy.
  6. READ MORE. Read more design books and creative articles that can increase your understanding in developing creative ideas. When you read, you have solid and good research or subject matter to begin with. Paul Arden is a good start! Even better if you can get a copy of 'Making Ideas Happen' by Scott Belsky. There are great magazines such as Computer Arts, GOOD magazine, iDN, Monocle, Wallpaper, CUTOUT magazine and others.
  7. BE FINANCIALLY STABLE. Cut the credit cards, eliminate the debts and spend minimal on entertainment & lifestyle. Avoid delaying any bills. Forget spending recklessly on things such as buying designer's toys, sneakers and outfits. Put 20-40% out of your salary to your savings account. Set a long-term financial plan wisely with your budget in a spreadsheet so you can track on all your expense in past, present and future. Remember, happy people usually have enough financial support in their account. If you’re about to run out of saving, work for more!
  8. THE GOOD SON/DAUGHTER ATTITUDE. Bring your parents or family for an outing to express your appreciation for what they have done to you in the past. Getting yourself closer to your loved ones makes you become more than just a good being, it shape yourself a better person with accountability and responsibility. If you’re far away, call them to say hi. If you had trouble in the past communicating with your parents, this is the time you make up to them. Don't expect anything in return, what matters is that you remember them.
  9. HANG OUT WITH GOOD FRIENDS. Choosing a right friend will make you learn a lot of things about yourself, even to identify your weakness or your great potential from their view. Accept criticism to make you become a better person. Like Paul Arden said, 'Do Not Seek Praise, Seek Criticism'. ;-)
  10. SMILE. Don’t fake it or don’t smile in a weird freaky way but a simple smile. Smile makes you feel positive and it will bring others to be positive too. People who have obnoxious most likely to be a negative person will end loosing friends and imprint bad impression. Smile makes you happy, and happy makes you a contented person.
  11. TRAVEL. Take a vacation and go to interesting places that doesn't reflect your daily routine or the same environment. Switch off your mobile, don’t check your emails. Take a nature walk, snorkeling or spa. Pamper yourself. It helps a lot.
  12. DO CHARITY. Donate your old clothes to the donation drop-in box or visit the youth community centre or old folks home. Put 5-10% of your business profit and contribute to the poor or NGO's. Do good things in life. Don't be calculative when you donate. Don't put a penny or a dollar. Put more, pay it forward. It brings your a better person.
  13. SEEK FORGIVENESS. Always be considerate to yourself and others. Drop that designer-diva attitude. Bring compassion to your life and your career. Be professional. Make people admire you and your charisma; don't force people to respect you by being fierce. Respect is earned and always be thankful for what you got.
  14. READ THE NEWS! Keep yourself updated with the surroundings. Read New York Times, Good Magazine or even design portals like Behance Network, Drawn, Computer Arts Blog or FWA to get you inspired. It's not necessarily to hook yourself up the entire day with Facebook or Twitter as it could sometimes demotivate you, especially with negative expression from obnoxious and temper-tantrum individuals that would influence and distract you.
  15. LIVE TO LEARN. Life is always about learning new things and making mistakes. Do lots of trials and errors to strengthen your work. Always expose yourself to new knowledge and design techniques, styles and what not. Develop your own unique trademark or brand that people can identify your creative work. Always think of quality over quantity. Always think long term goals to your creative productions. Most of all, accept advices and criticism. Do portfolios review among your peers or friends from the industry to see how you can improve the way you produce your creative work. Be multi-discipline.

Muid Latif is a Creative Practitioner based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is also an ambassador to Behance Malaysia, writer for Art Malaysia and CUTOUT magazine, also the founder of art collective group, Digital Malaya Project. Visit to learn more about his work.