I debuted this at a lil party/exhbition on my birthday…Dreams of a Gem-In-I. All attendant quotes are from Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman series”.

I hope you like it





“You get what anyone gets – you get a lifetime”

“it’s more than that. The things we do make echoes…Our existence deforms the universe. THAT’s responsibility”



“Dreams shape the world”

“Dreams are composed of many things, my son. Of images and hopes, of fears and memories. Memories of the past, and memories of the future…”



 “Some things are too big to be seen; some emotions are too huge to be felt”.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up”




“It is sometimes a mistake to climb; it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt. If you don not climb, you will not fall. This true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall?”

“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly”



“Omnia Mutanur, Nihil Interit.

Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.”


I’m designing again. I woke up today, and I didn’t feel like a knife was being pushed through my brain every time I thought about design or I sat down by my desk. I actually felt like creating.

So yay me!

The past two weeks I’ve done nothing. Well the odd tiny design here and there, but more or less nothing, except chill and drink…some days excessively, but I’m calm now. I lost both my phones, and as inconvenient as it was, I wasn’t that sad about it. In fact, I was pretty relieved. I had a valid excuse to not take calls, detox from crackberry addiction and just plain avoid people. Finally, I was on vacation. The first 24 hours were rough. I grieved so hard like I lost a dear friend. Day 2 I felt lost, adrift at sea, cut off from everyone. By day 3, I was all good. It felt like my fantasy of walking down the streets of a remote town where no one knows me had come true. It was awesome.

In the past 2 weeks, I’ve read a few things, watched a few videos, had a few epiphanies, gone for a photo shoot, thought about life, what I’m doing, where I would like to take things, etc. Couple of things I learnt.

  1. Be Happy: I have stripped away all my goals and only defined one objective. Be Happy. Simple, wake up, follow my bliss, be happy. Done.
  2. Stop working/Start playing: I mentioned in Nothing that I didn’t really enjoy designing anymore. I sometimes take things too seriously. I desire success, I desire growth and so on, but life is life. I have to enjoy it. I’m experimenting with the idea of playing with my work. This means tinkering with new ideas and techniques and just having fun with it and doing as good a job as I can. I’m hoping that coming to my work with the spirit of play will allow me to be vastly more creative and have more fun.
  3. Do less. Now this one is going to be really hard, because as I write this I have a pile of work I’ve ignored waiting for me. But I’m trying to do less. If I could only work on one major thing a day, that would be great. I want to extend The do less philosophy to life in general, especially with media consumption. I have the habit of always reading something, a book, a blog, a magazine, twitter feeds. It’s information overload. And this is not just fluff stuff, I am constantly reading articles on creativity, self-improvement, ideas, books on success, books on social dynamics, psychology, etc. It is a bit too much. I’m doing my best to cut down and focus on a few books at a time, or only a couple blogs in a week. The idea is to consume less, do less, but do that little very well.
  4. Life-Expectancy: There is the idea that the universe arranges itself around you according to your expectation of it. If you expect getting what you desire to be a long and arduous strenuous road, then it will be that. If you expect the process to be fun and easy, then it will be fun and easy. Quite interesting because we are so conditioned to expect success to be difficult to achieve, and while some effort is required, perhaps there are always easier more fun ways to get what we want. Or maybe not. But it’s a cool experiment for me to go forward in the rest of the year with the expectation that school and work would actually be pretty cool and fun to handle as opposed to a hard grind.

All I’m saying is that I want to have fun with life. I’m tired of stress. I know we all think its impossible and that’s not how life works. I’m saying screw that. I’m going to try it out and see what happens. I’m going to practice following my bliss, which is kind of like following your passion, but with an emphasis on joy. I choose to do more of the things that bring me joy, that make me come alive, and less of the things I don’t like to do. And to bring a spirit of joy to every part of my life

This experiment is how I can make my entire life as fun and playful as possible. And it starts by watching more Community and Parks and Recreation. #TroyBarnes #RonSwanson

Embrace the pain

Suffering as a way to happiness.

The usual way of chasing happiness is trying to increase ease and reduce stress, the desire to flow effortlessly through life. I’ve been searching for a way to get my life to a place where I move automatically to my goals and success. I’ve aligned myself with my passions, hacked my habits and routines, I have covered some ground this way.

Somehow I got the idea that it should be easy, or that I should be happy everyday, pumped up rearing to go. I should be always passionate, always on.

But I’m not always on.

I get depressed a lot, overwhelmed by all the things I need to do daily. I wake up on some days and facing the challenges feel like hell. Early this week, I stumbled on an idea…that things of true happiness and beauty only come through intense suffering.

“This is the terrible law of the universe. This is the basic law; it is a fact… Absolute suffering leads to — is the means to — absolute beauty.” – Phillip K Dick (The Exegesis of Phillip Dick)

What if I embraced the pain, the stress, the effort, and relished in pain like a sadomasochist. What if I immersed myself fully in it until I came out the other side or got consumed within it?

Don’t be scared to burn. Embrace the pain.

“The pleasures and the rewards of intellect are inseparable from angst, uncertainty, conflict and even despair “ – Christopher Hitchens (letters to a young contrarian)


I have a 40 year old friend from Congo. He’s an activist. He works with refugees and advocates for their rights. I’ve known him since 2006, between then and 2008, I saw him a lot. He always had problems to be solved. I didn’t see him much in 2010, I had moved and he didn’t know where I lived so he couldn’t just show up at my door like he usually does. It was a nice year. He knows where I live now, and I see him more than I would like to – about 3 times a week at least. But hey, he’s my friend.

I’m a Gemini. I don’t pay a lot of attention to horoscopes, but I am a little intrigued by the general idea of constellation arrangements at certain times affecting the temperaments of people born under them. If you think about it, life is all very cosmic and spiritual, perhaps there is some sort of link.

I bought a necklace/charm from the flea market a few weeks ago. The pendant is the Gemini sign. It came with a description of the Gemini temperament. Gemini’s are adaptable, versatile, communicative, intellectual, eloquent, youthful, lively. And…nervous, tense, superficial, inconsistent, cunning, inquisitive, dual natured, elusive, complex, contradictory. We like to take on multiple projects, relish in novelty and the unusual variety in life. We don’t like being tied down, mental inaction, being alone. I don’t agree with all of it, for one I like being alone. But it’s all very fascinating.

I like the word Gemini, it kinda says I have a gem in I. I was walking with my Congolese friend last week, and I was telling him maybe one day he’ll get some diamonds in his home country and make me a rich man for being such a good friend to him. After the laughs died down, He began to tell me how he doesn’t believe in the diamonds in the ground. He believes everyone has their own diamonds, inside them.  Not everyone should go rushing out to the fields or jungles or whatever looking for a stone to bring them riches. The things they are looking are inside them.

We all have diamonds within, treasures in earthen (earthly) vessels like the scriptures say. Our diamonds are our passions, our skills, that special thing that makes us unique, and gifts us with something to serve the world with, to contribute with, to solve problems with, to enrich others with. This is what would make us rich, in every sense of the word. Pay less attention to the external world, the current state of affairs, the potions peddled by the snake oil merchants, the get rich quick schemes, the how to transform your life in 7 days books and mantras. Turn your gaze inward, discover your gifts, develop them, make use of them and become very rich.

I designed a piece based on this concept/blog title

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BXDI #1: Heart of a Lion

Early 2010 and really through most of it, I was going through a process of re-invention. I really dug into re-examining my beliefs, worldviews, life and experience, looking for more. For the first time, I decided to embrace the life I wanted to create, pursue my ideas and dreams. At the time, I
listened to a lot of Kid Cudi and his song ‘Heart of a Lion’ struck a chord within me. I remember being under pressure, fear of the unknown, going against a lot of things I held on to, leaving the safety of the norm to try do something I suspected was possible. On days I needed that extra boost, I’d bump Kid Cudi and sing along… ‘At the end of the day, ma mama told me, don’t let no one break me; At the end of the day, I’m marching with the heart of a lion’. This piece is inspired by that song.

So if you are courageously chasing your dreams, marching to the beat of your drum, dancing to the music in your heart, keep walking with the heart of a lion…this one is for you.

#ShoutOut to Hydro74 (www.hydro74.com) for the dope & free warlock font I used in this design