September, 2011 Archive

I stopped whatever I was doing because the bridal inspiration shoot I did makeup & hair for just got published TODAY on Style Me Pretty California!  Check it out!!

Special thanks to Karen from New Sunrise Events & Erica B from Erica B. Photography for thinking of me for this amazing project!  I truly enjoyed working with all the STRONG women on-set! I say strong because we had to carry all the chairs & tables and everything you saw in the photos back onto Karen’s and Erica’s car in the end!  Also – flowers are super heavy!!!! No wonder Jeeryn from Tanjeeryn Designs have super toned arms! ;) Jeeryn also did the lovely chalk-board art featured!  I also loved eating all the pretty packaged Madeline cookies at the end of our shoot!  
For the hair and makeup, Erica described the theme as whimsical, garden.  I was REALLY happy with the results – I loved how Drew (our gorgeous model for the day) hair looked like cotton candy! Paired up with Bonnie’s [from One World Designs] hair piece, we definitely got whimsy/romantic in there! Her skin was airbrushed to perfection, and I used individual false eyelashes to complete her makeup look! I reposted a few of the images here, but for the complete gallery, check out more photos on the actual Style Me Pretty blog! :) WOOHOO!!! 

Here is the complete list of amazing team that made it all happen:

Coordinator: New Sunrise Events |  Photography: Erica B Photography | Venue: Kohl Mansion | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Florist: Tanjeeryn Designs | Stationery: Cards de Luxe | Make-Up Artist: Skyla Arts |  Headpiece: One World Designs Jewelry | Baker: Thorough Bread + Pastry | Cake Topper: Better Off Wed | Dress: J.Crew | Shoes: Bebe

Yay! new photo from Bridal Editorial we did!

Makeup & Hair: Elizabeth Chang | Skyla Arts
Makeup & Hair Asst.: Erika Taniguchi
Models: (above) Alana | Look & Natalya | Scout
Photography: Mark & Tammy | Memoire Studio
Venue: Kohl Mansion
Hair Accessory: Bonnie | One-World-Designs
Gowns: BoLee Bridal Couture 

*Special thanks to Christine at Christine Marie Events for helping me pick up the hair accessories! I couldn’t have done it without you!! <3

My Bridal site is in dire need of a facelift…! I wish I could write about my first NYC trip, but sometimes I don’t know which blog should come first!!! I’ve been working at this on and off for 9 months now – separating my Bridal from my commercial/fashion page, and I’m going towards the finishing line, but not quite!!!  Other than that, there’s still tons of other stuff to do…Mark & Tammy just launched their new website: Memoire Studio – And I think I nearly died in envy~! I loved it and man someday I’ll be able to afford hiring someone to make something like this for mee!  :)

I’ve been reprinting my print book, kind of holing myself in my office, organizing photos, updating website, etc etc.  I feel like I haven’t been able to catch my breath since Spring time! Ao much updating to do! So many blogs to write! I just wish that there was a global gallery to update – like…all the photos would just Sync to each other!Can somebody please invent that? And all the resolutions will be exactly the same – I want my bridal site to sync to weddingwire+yelp+facebook, my commercial website to sync with my iPad Portfolio app+facebook.

Another major project I’ve been working on is separating my Bridal from my Fashion/Commercial work…And my photography page lol…That has yet to be created…I have to completely re-do my bridal page (and all I’ve done was the splash page so far! Oh dear. . . . )

Another necessary division is my facebook…! If you would be so kind to “like” both of my pages, that would mean a lot to me – considering I only have 22 likes on one, and 210 likes on the other! ;(  I realize how unpopular and sad I am when I go to other people’s Facebook pages with like 1000 likes!!!!  I’ll be posting more on my facebook if people respond to me lol!!  I’m interested in offering tips & even great deals – Facebook only!  Will the updating ever end??? is there a light at the end of this tunnel??!

Lol ok ok no more whining~~~!  I’m super excited about the fact that FALL is here~ it’s my favorite season!!  The only thing about fall…is that the leaves around where I live really pile up – I feel like I can swim in it! But…it’s so nice…seeing the leaves falling~

I’ve lived a quarter of a century! lol I wrote this blog post the day before the ‘big’ 25 ! Okay it’s really not a significant number, but I find that it’s actually more significant than 30 or something, which to me seems arbitrary, other than the biological/time to have kids significance!

I feel like this is the right opportunity to share one of these personal reflections that I don’t know if anybody reads because it’s so text heavy!  But it’s my blog – who cares – you can just skip it!!  ;)  I’ve shared part of the story before – but the major turning point I’ve omitted.

The death that inspired me to live
My big sister decided she wanted to be a physician at age 6, so when I was born, because my sister played 2 instruments, early on my sister discovered I have a “perfect pitch.”  This fueled my mom’s aspiration for me to live life as a concert harpist and pianist – something desirable for a women because your students just come to you for class, you can take care of your kids, and you make $100 per hour. Oh and I believe if my mom could be in my shoes, she would have chosen that as her own dream.  Growing up impoverished, even touching a piano key/banging on it was a rare privilege and my mom just can’t imagine why I would not want to play my instruments.  We were living in San Jose Costa Rica at the time, and I was tricked into going to Piano class (before turning 4 yrs old) – OK not tricked, but I didn’t comprehend that the word “piano class” was an actual class! Then at 6, I too started Harp classes.  The struggle continued…I would practice the bare minimum, but seem to still get decent results and applause, which made it even more difficult because my mom said I was lazy and ungrateful for the opportunity. “Look at so and so practicing for 1 hour. You should do it too.”  Even my teachers said so…”She reads music so fast and talented, but she is lazy.”

*continue after the jump*

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it completely, I just rather go to my room and draw and paint or even play something else.  I was not motivated at all…I can understand from my parents’ perspective – buying our instruments and paying for private class was like…wow we could buy 2 extra cars or save it up to buy a house or something – such an investment or waste of money. Then we moved from country to country and immediately upon arrival at the new country of residence, my mom found me a harp and piano teacher.  I can also understand from a parents’ perspective: “Oh they don’t know what they really want – I as a parent need to show them the way.”  I am sure when I become a parent, I will also at times, have that attitude. I persisted on practicing the bare minimum – I would sometimes even skip all together, if my folks were not home. The only exception was when it’s piece of music I liked and appreciated; somehow it would be completed very quickly.  I was fairly stubborn about it too – protesting for 10 years is a long time!  This is not to say that I don’t appreciate what I did learn, it was just not how I expressed myself.  I don’t suddenly burst out with a tune I came up with that represented my emotions…In fact, I did try to write a song when I was 8, it sounded horrible….I tried again at 10 & 13 during my struggle with music, again, the tunes sounded horrible.  I just couldn’t express myself through playing classical music, and I have no talent in composition.  It was all time that was taken away from me in a way – I liked narratives, I like poetry, I like to express myself visually through colors, I like book-making/book-binding, I love to play with color and composition.  I couldn’t have discovered all of this if I hadn’t rebelled and allowed my mom to fill up my schedule completely with classical music.  You can imagine how difficult I must have been as a rebellious child! lol…
Finally – I met my harp teacher Flory in Guatemala City – who happens to have the name as my favorite bunny rabbit stuffed animal at the time!  I was 11, and the struggle to avoid practicing instruments continued. I’d quit piano, and then start again, and then quit. In the end I quit piano completely around 12…so it was just me and that giant, beautiful, Lyon Healy harp.  Flory soon discovered my pattern – that  for the pieces I don’t enjoy, I just don’t bother much with it.  One day, she arrived as usual, and she brought me music options, and asked me which one I liked.  I picked one, and she said: “OK we’ll do this one then.”  At the end of our 1 hour session, she says: “It doesn’t seem like your goals are to play professionally, and so if this is just for a hobby, we should only do music you like and enjoy.  Life is too short to waste even one second on doing things you don’t like”  She told me about her life in Belgium, where she gave birth to her daughter on a beautiful snowy day, and other poetic little stories.  Her students and I had a mini recital at our rental home in Guatemala City – it was a really nice event, and I enjoyed it (because I got to only perform the songs I liked! lol)  We knew she was battling breast cancer, but we didn’t know the full story of her illness. In 8th grade I had about 2 more performances at school (small small ones..!) and that was the most I performed since I first started in Costa Rica where we did the church tours.  Anyway..I cannot recall exactly which month…but I received a phone call from Flory telling me she will be unable to make it to our class this week.  Then she ended the phone call with “I love you” and so naturally I said it back to her, and hung up the phone.  
A few months later we found out that she had passed away from breast cancer.  It was the first time I experienced loss, and I cried a little but it didn’t feel right to cry.  I remembered during one of the Church Tours in Costa Rica, we were all in a school bus escorted by 1 parent (my mommy of course), it was pouring rain, and outside the bus I saw a big monarch butterfly on the ground, flapping its wings, trying to fly in the pouring rain.  It flapped and flapped and eventually died.  To me, that is Life. Transient. Beautiful. A struggle.  Nobody escapes death – but if you didn’t live your life to the fullest, then all is lost. That’s when I decided that my online identity will be “reveriepapillon”

I decided to quit my instruments all together.  Upon moving back to Taipei, I had a harp teacher briefly, but my heart was not in it at all and didn’t even bother.  I try to explain the above my mother to express how I felt but I couldn’t articulate it very well; she responded by saying: “Well don’t you think your former teacher would wish that you would continue?”

Honestly…I don’t think she would. I think she would rather see me do something I love and not waste a second doing what I don’t want.  It was definitely a turning point in my life – where I became even more stubborn than before.  People say it’s a Generation X Y whatever thing, different from people born in the 1950-70s where you follow orders, go along with life as expected of your folks, and then technology came, egalitarianism of information blahdyblahhh and these 80s babies started dreaming, stopped holding real jobs because they dream too much!

The whole ordeal frustrated my parents a great deal – you can imagine, after a little over 10 years of private class investment, they got nothing.  But hey…it’s not like I withheld this information that I did not want to become a professional musician!  I was discouraged from taking art classes as my electives, and even in college, they kept telling me art was a distraction in my life and I shouldn’t major in it or even take classes- because it’s a starving artist road, and no responsible parent will want their kid to be a starving artist!  And every year in college, I’d change a career path. I wanted to do this, and that, but no I guess I wanted to do this… until my senior year when I decided my career goal…how to get to my final goal is not a linear path.  Because my ultimate goal is unique, how I get there requires patience and creativity.

What I am grateful for these past 25 years
I don’t think this story sounds that different from what a lot of artists (artists in general, not just makeup artist).  Most people will tell you it’s not practical, it’s impossible, it’s a fantasy.  Give it up~ get a job! I know that when my mom say those things to me like “Go find a real job” it comes from a place of worry – they don’t want me to suffer, don’t want me to work long hours with very little pay, etc.  When those moments and those words creep up, I try to remember what Flory said: “Life is too short to waste even one second on doing things you don’t like” and I take that energy, and reify my dreams one little step at a time.

I have regrets – I usually hash it out for a little while before letting it go completely.  There is one regret I had last year, where I didn’t skip 1 day of class while attending the Aveda Institute to participate in a test shoot that could have really changed my career.  That is going to take me a while to let go – but the other things…like I protested and protested in high school and college – it was at the cost of my own well-being and I got into a lot of trouble.  I definitely could have belonged in Berkeley in the 60s! My parents sometimes couldn’t understand why I can’t let things go and just go along peacefully.  If you let it go, they (whatever I was protesting against) will do it to other people.  I won’t go into too much details about my protesting days…But if I look back, I’ve always opted for the path less traveled.  It’s harder – but if I didn’t try it, I WILL most definitely regret it.  If I try and fail, well, then move on!

The biggest gift I can give myself is the understanding that I tried my best these last 25 years in everything I do.  The very best.  Even not practicing my instruments – seemingly ‘not trying’ – is me trying to fight for a chance at doing what I want to do!   For that, I am proud of turning 25!