Art on your electronics

Hello world!

It’s been a while. Apologize for my silence. The past few months have been a busy time both personally and professionally. Rest assured, I have continued painting and the return of Spring in the city has been a positive contribution as well. In fact, I got so excited that I have found a way to sell my art piece on a phone cover. Here it is!

Spring Happiness Phone Cover
Spring Happiness Phone Cover

is a pretty cool tool. It lets artist use their illustration to create products such as phone case, greeting cards, pillow case, and even t-shirts. Unfortunately, due to the low royalty system, I only earn a small portion of this product. Still, I would love to see how this product and art can brighten up any one else.

You can order your phone cases HERE.

Update: For those who want to buy my art work print I have opened a store at Society6. Get your copy of these bright color work today! More will be updated. 

Enjoy!

Copyright © 2015. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved. 

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Art + Technology = Yes, please

When art meets technology with a sprinkle of creativity you can get some awesome results. News that there is a dancing traffic light to distract pedestrians from waiting for a red light and a glowing bike path in Dutch land inspired by Van Gogh are exciting. More of this is needed.

Art + Technology = yes, please.

Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.

Why you should never stop reading literature

When was the last time you picked up a fiction from the bookstore? I tend to notice three types of people who pick up something from the fiction section: the vacationers, the follow-the-flow, and the book-lovers. Unfortunately, despite the huge collection that is available in any bookstore or library, most people pick up a literature for their vacation to ease their mind or because its a popular book that everyone is reading. What happened!

As someone who loves reading and writing, I feel sad to realize how many people are missing out on the wonders and wisdom reading good literature can provide to one. In addition to learning something new second handed, good reading helps you think critically, learn how to communicate more effectively, and hone your ability to concentrate. These are life-time skill sets and morals that you should actively seek out. Good reading can help you get there faster.

Technology today has spoiled us. We want an answer immediately. Your smartphone may be able to do that, but that’s not how the real world works. Solving problems take time, teamwork, trial and error, and effort. Literature can teach us how to do that better.

When we stop reading, we forget to appreciate these elements in life.

If you can’t recall the last time you read a good literature, watch this 5 minute clip below that School of Life put together and go find a book to read. I promise you, you will feel much better.

P.S. Thanks to Brainpickings for summarizing the video and the significance of good literature reading!

 

Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.

Good words that make you rethink

Words have power. Reading good words can inspire you to think about your mundane day in a different way. Thinking creatively can be the start of a new positive development in society.

I share two quotes that inspired me this week.

IMG_2463.JPG
And

“The best I can do is to try to encourage you to work hard at something you really want to do and have the ability to do. Because any fool knows that to work hard at something you want to accomplish is the only way to be happy. But beyond that it is entirely up to you. You’ve got to do for yourself all the seeking and finding concerned with what you want to do. Anyone but yourself is useless to you there.”

From brain pickings.

Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.

For a more passionate tomorrow, with good music

On days I feel trapped by society’s expectation and standardized interpretation, I am thrilled to learn that there were and will be courageous people who choose a career and life that they love and not the one society tells them is good for them.

For instance, Thomas Lauderdale from Pink Martini‘s first career was in politics. A Harvard graduate, Thomas used to actively attending every political fundraiser event until he found his true passion in music and started the band Pink Martini in 1994. It was a moment to remember as I heard the team sing and perform at Kennedy Center in five different languages – English, Japanese, French, German, and Farsi last week. Their music was energetic and charismatic. Their enthusiasm on stage reminded me of what we should all be looking for in our life – PASSION.

Passion can be defined in various ways. But common traits studies find are that passionate people are diligent, happy, and exciting people. How can they not be, when they are able to pursue what they love and care about?

Economically speaking then, the world may be a better place if more people could pursue a career they love. Many, however, feel stuck. Stuck in the expectation that their parents and colleagues have built; stuck in the assumption that society has set what is considered a good career and bad career; and stuck with financial responsibilities that restrains one from acting too freely. As a result, the supply and demand is not met. There are job hunters always looking for a better job, while the HR departments are always looking for better people. Both sides complain that there isn’t enough resources.

If there was a startup or software that did better supply and demand matching, it would be a great hit! But until then, I think of these 4 aspects as a reminder to how to find a more passionate tomorrow.

1) Time is short. There is always not going to be enough time for you to know what you want, what the HR wants, and what the world will want from you. Remember every time and moment is the first and last. We should treasure each moment and make full use of it. Don’t waste it.

2) Try to understand what you love, what motivates you, and what you care. There will be people, food, music, books, jobs, and things that you care more than others. Jot them down, focus on appreciating them. If career is part of it, go find what you are passionate about and where to pursue it. Don’t let them decide what they think is good for you.

3) Listen, and listen more. We talk too much. It’s time that we observe and listen to others more carefully. This can help you internalize and understand what you like and don’t like better than speaking out loud. Some wisdom can be best learn from others but if you don’t shut up you will never learn what they want to teach or share with you.

4) Don’t forget, you are human at the end of the day. You will make mistakes.You will change your mind. And you will learn how to forgive. Be humble and kind to others.

And. Some days you need to rest your head a bit with good music and stare at night fireflies like this and smile.

It’s all about finding joy in the most unexpected moment in life.

FirefliesCopyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.

Never Stop Learning

There is no one right way to learn something new. Some people learn best by reading, writing, and listening while others prefer being there, watching, or talking. The key is to not stop learning. There is always something new to learn. Some place to make an improvement.

I usually prefer classroom style studying. But ever since I left school, I had to seek new ways to satisfy my hunger for new knowledge. Here I share a list of some useful internet resources to continue learning!

Go check them out! Be inspired today!

– MHK

 

If you like taking an online course

1. Edx – There area  number of online resources that offer free couress but I’ve found EdX to be most useful for my usage. They offer diverse course selection from Ivy League schools. It’s free and the topics are fascinating. It’s a great way to get introduced to a new topic or try out a subject that you’ve always had some interest but was not sure if you would like it or not. Coursera offers some good options too.

2. Tech Change – Tech Change offers a number of interesting topics related to development and technology. While many of their courses require a payment, there are some free courses like these – Introduction to Mobile Money, Gender in Political Transition Environments, and The Art of Advocacy. I’ve tried one of their courses and loved it. You gain access to network with top experts and a wider global TechChange community of over 3,000 participants from over 100 countries representing over 700 organizations across sectors. They also focus on offering an interactive and dynamic learning experience by offering weekly scheduled video chats and video interviews.

3. Other places where you can take Massive Open Online Courses – check out here. MIT, Yale, and UC Berkeley offers some great courses that one should try out. Here is another article to look out for more options.

 

I don’t have time to take a course, what are other ways I could learn?

4. Visual learners should check out TedTalks video. There is a wide variety of funny, inspirational to educational.

5. Quick thoughts? Here is a collection of good startup quotes. I also have another blog where I collect good quotes.

 

Do you know other ways to continue learning? Please share!

 

Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.

“Challenges, struggles, and change help people who they are. I don’t think who I am as a person has changed a lot. How I do things has changed a lot.”

Happiness is not something you can find in perfection. You find it within better perspective and awareness in life. Watching the “Blind Ambition” by the Harvard Law Documentary Studio reminded me of how ‘blinded’ we have become with things of all sorts that we think we have abundant resources and capabilities. We forget to be thankful of the small things that actually make a big difference in our lives.

Take 15 minutes today and rethink about your perspective in life. Be thankful. Think outside of the box.

Be Happy.

– MHK

 

Here are some highlight scripts from the video. 

The thing about I wish people knew about vision lost is that. One is that it is not black and white. It’s not that you are sighted or you are not. There is a huge spectrum of vision lost.
[…]

When people think of a blind person, they think of someone who is dependent. Someone who isn’t out and about in the world. Someone who is missing something. And that is not how I see my life.

[…]

My friend did a PhD dissertation on studying blindness and its relation to happiness. She found that if people are faced with serious life challenge, it brings out certain emotions and certain coping skills that if you use them effectively you’ll be happier in general in life.

Challenges, struggles, and change help people who they are. I don’t think who I am as a person has changed a lot. How I do things has changed a lot.

[…]

It teaches you to fight.

Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.

#13 Paintings – I sold my first art pieces!

13 – Paintings – I sold my first art pieces! – May 11 2014

After working with color pencils, I wanted to do some paintings. I got some acrylic and watercolor to try some spring theme paintings. I was so excited with all the color mixes that I ended up drawing a lot. By the end of the week, I had enough pieces to finally try selling some. People have been asking me if I’m selling anything every time I sat on the streets so I’ve been hoping to have a collection to sell some. I was ready this time.

While I sat at the park on this beautiful sunny day, I’m happy to say that I sold my first paintings! In fact, I sold three. (If you scroll down you can see what paintings I sold.) Three or more people also asked me when I would be back so that they could purchase an art piece the next time I came. I was thrilled. I told them I’ll be back these time frames and I’m now looking forward to it. It was great to get to know random people in this area, but it was great to get some direct feedback and see that they liked it!

What do you think? Are you interested in purchasing one too? Drop me an email at himonicahkang@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Below are photos from today’s outing!

– MHK

MHK at the Park - May 11, 2014
MHK at the Park – May 11, 2014
MHK Paintings at the Park - May 11, 2014
MHK Paintings at the Park – May 11, 2014

 

MHK - Spring Flower 1
MHK – Spring Flower 1
MHK - Spring Flower 2
MHK – Spring Flower 2

Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.

“The world sends us garbage. We send back music.” #Landfill Harmonic

Any music lovers?

If you are a musician, you know how expensive learning music can be. The cost of instruments, education, and the hours you spend practicing is not cheap. It takes time and patience to be a good musician too. But even if you adore music, if you can’t afford it you’ll probably drop the idea altogether.

That is, unless someone like Favio Chávez thinks outside the box!

If you have seen NPR’s report of the Landfill Harmonic: An Orchestra Built From Trash in 2012 before, this is old news to you. For those who haven’t heard of them before click HERE and check out this video. It’s amazing what they did!

Chávez started the recycling orchestra project at the landfill of Cateura in Paraguay 8 years ago in hope to give youth the opportunity to play music. If the reality was that a “violin is worth more than a house,” he decided to make use of the resources around him: garbage. Today, they have a music school, teachers, and about 200 kids learning music. That’s a great reminder that one hope is all it needed to start such a movement.

What do you think?

– MHK

#Be Inspired

P.S. This is how I found this group! Enjoy!

 

Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.

“You have to be able to create your own happiness, period. And if you can’t, then you need to find a good shrink who can help you figure out what it’s going to take.”

Scripts from the video. Couldn’t resist sharing this video as my first “Be Inspired” Post. Thanks to Brainpickings.

I was doing a lecture for a group of students several months ago and I was talking about how long things can take… And a young woman raised her hand at the end of the lecture… and asked for some advice, because she had started a blog and she was hoping to get some pointers on how to get people to come to the blog, to read the blog, because she was feeling very discouraged — she’d been doing it for a while and people weren’t reading it. She wasn’t getting any traction. And so, of course, my first question was “How long have you been doing it?” And very sincerely, very earnestly, she said, “Six weeks.”

[…]

And this is, I think, a really unfortunate ramification from this 140-character culture — that people in their twenties, when they graduate from college, expect that they have to be successful. And if they’re not successful right out of the gate, then there’s something wrong with them. And then that builds into this real sense of hopelessness, because they haven’t achieved something quickly.

[…]

This is where we run into trouble in terms of being fulfilled… You have to make your own happiness, wherever you are. Your job isn’t going to make you happy, your spouse isn’t going to make you happy, the weather isn’t going to make you happy… You have to decide what you want, and you have to find that way of doing it, whether or not the outside circumstances are going to participate in your success… You have to be able to create your own happiness, period. And if you can’t, then you need to find a good shrink who can help you figure out what it’s going to take.

[…]

I’m a big proponent of “busy is a decision.” You decide what you want to do and the things that are important to you. And you don’t find the time to do things — you make the time to do things. And if you aren’t doing them because you’re “too busy,” it’s likely not as much of a priority as what you’re actually doing.