Sunday, July 1, 2012

How AFAWFAY began...


Sadly, this isn't an early design post for my weekly design challenge. (I just posted one yesterday!) So if you're expecting to see yet another furniture with yet another lame attempt of piecing together a decent paragraph or two about its design process, then this post is not for you. 

In fact, this post serves as a rant, or perhaps a justification on why I've started AFAWFAY, and why I feel like giving up and forgetting all about it whenever I'm getting started on a new project. So without further adieu, I welcome you to a chaotic place that's aptly called "my mind," and torture (or entertain) you for the next ten minutes or so. 

AFAWFAY was born out boredom and excitement. Yes, it's confusing but that's how I see it. It all started about a month ago when I received an e-mail from an international publishing company informing me that they would "like" to include my furniture piece called, TirePaulin Ottoman in a design book they're planning to publish. Of course, flabbergasted and utterly surprised, I consented and gave them the information and images they needed for the said publication. The TirePaulin Ottoman was a design entry for a local furniture competition to which it landed as a finalist. But because of my string of luck (or lack of thereof) the manufacturer assigned to produce a prototype of the unit wasn't able to solve the paint problems, thus TirePaulin Ottoman never made it to the exhibition proper and final judging. In short, TirePaulin Ottoman was forgotten. Or maybe not... 

Accepting the fact that my design would probably never see the light of the day, I began posting it on my online portfolio(s) e.g. my website, cargocollective and behance. Then two months ago, I received an email from an events company based in the US who was interested on buying (or renting) a piece of the TirePaulin Ottoman to be used for ESPN X Games this June or early July. To say that I was uber excited was an understatement. I've even asked my professor (thanks Sir. Butch!) for advice on how I should proceed. And as if to emphasize my string of "luck," (insert thick sarcasm here) the said events company stopped emailing me after they discovered that I'm not from the US. I've even offered to sell them the design rights. (Is that wrong? Please do tell me.) Anyway, I never heard from them after that. Not even a polite email whatsoever. (If you're curious about the identity of the said company, I'm sorry to say that I wouldn't mention it for that would mean free promotion. Something they don't deserve.) I was disappointed of course, but I couldn't help but feel happy at the same time. The fact that someone was interested with my creation made me ecstatic. And it didn't stop there, as you already know, the TirePaulin Ottoman will be published in a book along with other designers all throughout the globe. (I will be posting the details here once it's out. And the reason I'm not mentioning the publisher and the book's name is because of the fear of jinxing it!) 

You might be wondering what's this has have to do with AFAWFAY, so let me cut to the chase. 

The publishing offer made me realize that I really LOVE furniture design and it's something I would love to be paid working for. And it is within this mentality that I started dreaming about starting my own line of furniture collection, or work for big brands and have my creations showcased. Sadly, this dream is easier said than done. First of all, I don't have the financial capability of building my workshop, let alone a studio or the equipments needed. But that doesn't mean that I can't come up with designs. It doesn't mean that I can't come up with a portfolio I can use to land my dream job of becoming a furniture designer. (or get a scholarship for an MA for Furniture Design at SCAD.) So, I thought of challenging myself to come up with A LOT of furniture design concepts I could use. And since I know myself enough to easily give up on self-imposed challenges, I decided to make it public. That way, the fear of humiliating myself for not being able to accomplish the said challenge (should I decide that 48 designs in a year is too much for me) would prevent me on quitting and would eventually encourage me to go on. And that, my dear readers, was how AFAWFAY was born. Now, let's talk about doubt and the constant lure of quitting. 

Right now, I'm working as a Graphic Designer for an awesome company. Anyhow... I know you're wondering why I'm working as a Graphic Designer when I'm an Industrial Design degree holder and I just told you guys how I dreamed of becoming a furniture designer and stuff. Well, actually... I'm still a little bit confused. 

I love Industrial Design, I love Graphic Design, I love furniture design...and I love writing. Actually, I'm in a stage where I want to do just about anything. (And no, I don't want to become a Prima Ballerina!) But let's face it. Pursuing an Industrial Design career here in the Philippines would mean an endless stream of shelf and kiosk design. If one is lucky enough, maybe some design projects for some international clients, or a design career in some multinational companies. But such things are hard to come by, and I wouldn't really trust myself with "luck." In fact, searching the local classified ads and job boards for an Industrial Design career would yield to Graphic Design or Interior Design jobs...or a call center agent at worst! I have nothing against the telemarketing industry, but I am pissed off with employers posting those jobs in a supposedly "Design" category...or any category for that matter to increase exposure. Yes, it's just sad. (we've arrived to the ranting part of this post!) 

Let's get back the real subject...where was I? Oh yes, doubt and the constant lure of quitting. 

Why doubt? 

I don't know. Maybe I'm afraid that I might not be able to reach my 48 design goal. Or if ever that I did, then I doubt if I would feel any satisfaction for accomplishing my goal. Which is really stupid considering anyone would be obviously thrilled to accomplish something...right? 

Why quit? 

Well, what the hell am I doing this for? I could've pick up my sketchpad and my trusty pen and start churning out ideas within the year. Why bother posting it online? (Uh, I think I've answered this question...) Actually, what really gets to me is the fact that there are times that this challenge feels more of a burden than an activity that's supposed to make me happy. But then again, I really do love designing great furniture. Oh well... I guess we'll just have to see what would happen next. 

Thanks for sticking out with me if you reached this conclusion. And yes, my AFAWFAY journey continues! 



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