nana johari

December 9, 2016

white dress: roadblock

Lately I've been feeling agitated, internally restless? Maybe because I caught myself slipping more than usual. 

My standard can get too high sometimes, when I'm not careful. When you know and understand it as much as you can, the fact later you still find yourself messing it up in practical experience can be irritating. It's hard not to. I think the tendency of being studious can delude me into thinking I can manage the actual thing well right away just because I understand it well theoretically. 

I, myself cant deny there's a kind of understanding that can only be gained through practice. The action of fine-tuning, improving, itself comes after the awareness and acknowledgement of hard edges and holes. You can't improve on something you don't know needs improving. Slip-ups alert you to that need, and it happens only when you get up and try. Muscle memory, instinct, intuition, are all honed by practice, repetition, habit. Humans are cerebral beings indeed, but we still belong to the animal category. The only problem seems to be the difficulty in swallowing the reality that you make mistakes, that you mess up, that it is still a long way to go. It's the impatience stems from an insistent ambition. 

I've just realized how unrealistic my expectation was. Developing a skill, especially one that will definitely rub against my own natural preference requires time, effort and patience. Instead of beating myself up because I couldn't meet my own unrealistic expectation in a few tries, I should be patient with it. Remember that it's not a flaw and I'm not here to erase it all away, I'm here to build on it.

If I have to search for something good, I think I should acknowledge that little click inside my head whenever I realize that I'm contradicting myself, proposing a faulty argument, being defensive, being blatantly biased, when my ego is speaking.  

I just want to push it a little further, a little earlier, along with a better reception and a better response.

I wonder who else is doing this. I wonder if they feel tired. I wonder if they find their struggles galling too. I wonder if they too feel like giving up, and I wonder if they too know that giving yourself up is not an option. 

December 2, 2016

it eats itself: the strays, the rebels, those who are lost


Some people can feel so responsible for others' lives or how they lead their lives. Correct me if I'm wrong, this is how the standard, the highly regarded path goes; 

Elementary, secondary, high school, college and graduate, get a real job, get married before thirty, have kids, work, have grandchildren, grow older. Maybe it's now considered common to experience a divorce in the middle of that. 

So here's the thing. 

They get worried when you do something else, even unrelated people who have nothing to do with you. They feel concerned when you do something that strays off The Path of How Things Should be Done, and they tell you that you shouldn't. Especially if you are a young adult, because what do you know? Let's be real, you probably don't know better anyway. 

But do they? 

This is what I believe:

I believe people have the right to explore. People have the right to move at their own pace. People have the right to live their personal life however they want as long as they don't directly hurt/harm/trouble others (harming themselves is debatable). They shouldn't be bogged down with this illusion that ultimate happiness can only be experienced through marriage or having kids, through settling down (traditionally speaking). There is no ultimate happiness probably. Happiness itself comes in different forms, and not one is better than the other.

It usually comes from a good place, but that doesn't mean it is not potentially damaging. It is a choice, but it is commonly being treated like a must. It makes people afraid to go off the path at any point because it is implied that it is wrong to do that. They'll be pestered with the standard and those questions like 'tak kahwin lagi?' and all that jazz. It breeds insecurity, low self-confidence, stress, sometimes recklessness and a string of bad choices. 

Sometimes people don't do something because they don't want to. And no, there's probably nothing wrong with them. Even if there is, it is probably none of our business.

There is no one correct way to live.

November 13, 2016

white dress: 2016

Somehow I think 2016 is the year of fighting, as in fighting for your rights, for what's important, fighting for the truth etc. Personally speaking la, it is strongly felt this year. They say 2016 is the year of realizing things, there's a truth to that too actually, in my case. A lot of shit has happened- is happening to people this year, people have been talking about it. Based on numerology, it's said this year is year number 9, the end of the circle. Next year, 2017 is year 1, the beginning of a new one. Not that I use numerology, I find it interesting to see the connection- or coincidence- depends on how you look at it.

I feel like I've been through worse - this is not me tempting fate, it's just my assessment - which is quite surprising to me, because this year so far has been... very not only emotionally but mentally challenging in itself. Imagine a box containing your world- everything that you have known, now shake and kick that freaking box.

Surprising nevertheless. Because, well, it's not that I don't feel anything, I do- but it's different. It's the laughter that tastes bitter at the end, you take a deep breath and shake your head, look up to the sky and empty your mind. Maybe I'm tired of the world's shit; if the world gives me shit, I'll do whatever I think is necessary. If crying is necessary at that time, then that's what I will do. Cry, scream, get a slice of homemade pizza and watch your reality crumbling down in front of you. The next step will be to choose between building things up again, or just sitting and staring at the pieces.

Maybe I'll sit down and watch, shake my head and say 'this world is so shitty, God' sounding surprised when I have known all along, and then get back up to build it again. For whatever reasons.  

I'm messed up, but I'm still working, I don't know how exactly or for how long I will be, but for now I am.

October 25, 2016

#tutorials: Edit/guna mockup

Atau mock-up.
Ini photoshop tutorial.

Ok, apa itu mockup? Aku sangat suka mockup. Mockup ni template, model, replika. Aku nak fokus dari sudut pandangan orang yang create design; so kiranya lepas para designers dah buat design atau selesai edit sesuatu tu, diorang boleh guna mockup sebagai demo atau preview of the real thing. Mockup ni bagi 3D feel gitu.

Sebagai contohnya dengan tujuan promotion;
Mr. A dah buat design untuk sejenis barang ni, tapi barang yang sebenarnya belum siap lagi. Dalam masa yang sama Mr. A nak terus promote barang tadi sementara tunggu barang siap. Mr. A boleh tunjuk mockup version design dia pada potential customers, supaya customers tahu macam mana besarnya barang tu, atau rupa bentuk barang tu, atau macam mana rupa design tu bila ditempek/dicetak atas barang etc.

Ada pelbagai jenis mockup; buku, majalah, business card, portfolio, resume, tshirt, mugs etc.
Korang hanya perlu search di google.

Selalunya mockup diberi dalam bentuk PSD, tapi aku pernah jumpa dalam bentuk photoshop action.

Aku hanya akan tunjuk contoh untuk format PSD, maybe later aku tambah tutorial untuk format photoshop action. Ok so, setiap mockup ada layers yang berbeza, tapi ada basic persamaan:

Tutorial aku ni adalah tutorial label tag mockup. Aku download mockup ni di SINI.

Bentuk label tag tu adalah mockup yang aku katakan tu, design/tulisan tu aku yang edit.  

Siri photoshop yang mana mana pun boleh, uh ikut mockup la kekadang diorang ada sertakan photoshop apa je yang boleh guna.

Aku skip step design. Makanya korang perlu ada satu design dah ready, tinggal nak letak dalam mockup je.

Step one:

Download mockup yang diperlukan. Search di google macam ni;
Business cards mockup, book cover mockup, portfolio mockup etc.
Bila nak guna mockup yang orang lain buat ni, pastikan korang baca guideline atau ReadMe yang selalu disertakan dalam downloaded file. Ada mockup yang perlu dibayar/dibeli, obviously download la yang free kalau tak nak bayar lol.

Selalunya diorang bagi dalam bentuk zip. Majoriti orang yang dah biasa design tahu benda ni, just in case ada yang confused macam mana; lepas download tu sila right click pada icon dan click extract here.

Open file psd tu macam biasa dalam photoshop. File > Open.
Contoh yang aku gunakan begini;

Click image untuk zoom. 

Step two: 

Option A: Cari layer yang dalam bentuk smart object. Korang boleh kenalpasti smart object bila korang nampak icon kecil berbentuk kertas/document di hujung layer tu.
Option B: Selalunya dalam mockup, diorang ada labelled layer yang berkenaan dengan 'your design'. Cari layer tu.

Double click pada thumbnail layer tersebut.

Selalunya akan muncul tab begini;

Tekan OK.

Kadang kadang akan keluar tab macam ni;

Sila keep layers.
(Terus Flatten pun takpe rasanya, entah, aku rasa takde masalah, tapi aku tak pernah cuba lagi).

Dan kadang kadang ada keluar tab macam ni;

Click OK. Yang atas ni, selalunya disebabkan korang tak ada atau tak download font yang digunakan dalam design contoh mockup tu, so layer font tak boleh dibaca. Tak ada apa yang perlu dirisaukan.

Akan keluar file/document yang korang akan guna. Aku label benda ni sebagai FileA.

[1] Click pada icon mata, untuk tutup/hilangkan design yang sedia ada atau design contoh tu.

Step three:

Open file design korang, kalau korang belum open lagi.
[1] Click pada tab design korang.
[2] Drag design korang tersebut (atau boleh jugak drag layers design korang tu) ke dalam FileA.

Kalau lepas je korang drag masuk design tu, ada keluar tab macam bawah ni; tekan je OK.

Benda macam ni tak tentu, ikut file mockup yang korang download tu, kekadang ada keluar tab pelik pelik, so experiment la ye, click mana mana dan lihat hasilnya. Aku tunjuk basic je.

Jadi begini;

[1] Right click pada mana mana layer yang ada.
[2] Flatten Image, supaya tinggal satu layer je.

Hidden layers tu adalah file yang aku minta korang hilangkan tadi tu. Maka bila keluar tab macam atas ni, click OK.

[1] Click File.
[2] Make sure click Save, dan bukan Save As.
[3] Dah saved, tutup je tab design tu.

Ok sekarang korang boleh check semula file mockup korang tadi;

Tadaa. Design dah masuk dalam mockup file.

Ulang steps yang aku dah tunjuk untuk benda yang ada banyak designs. Macam yang aku buat ni ada dua designs, satu depan label tag tu, satu di belakang. Tapi aku buat tutorial untuk satu je. Kalau korang nak tukar design, misalnya tersilap, just double click je sekali lagi (ulang proses yang sama dari awal).

Bila dah siap semua;
[1] Click File.
[2] Save As. Boleh save dalam bentuk png, jpeg, macam korang save gambar biasa.

Bila dah saved, tutup je tab mockup tadi tu, tapi bila nak tutup selalunya akan keluar begini;

Click No. Bila korang click No, file mockup yang korang download/guna tu akan kembali pada design contoh/asal. Kalau tekan Yes pun rasanya tak ada masalah, tapi aku tekan No.

Ok siap.

September 14, 2016

#it eats itself: where's the line

When there's no line, when you don't make one for yourself, the world— they will make one for you. They will take away the stick from your hand and draw it on the ground themselves and say, 'There! That's your line'. And each of them will draw a different one, again and again according to their beliefs, according to their reality, according to them.  

That line?

That single line determines everything. It determines is and isn't, it determines right and wrong, it determines should and shouldn't, it determines can and cannot. It's the rule, it's the space. It's your power, it's also the power that you relinquish. 

The more you give, the more they take, the more they ask. That's how it often happens. One of ways to stand against this flow; they need to be told that there is a line that can't be crossed. If it matters to them, they will respect that. If it doesn't, that might be the time to fight for it or to leave. 

While it's essential to adjust to the world, a line has to be there so you won't lose yourself. A line that tells them to stay the hell away because everything they can take is before the line, but nothing past, as there are things that can be compromised, and there are things that can't.

So, what and where's yours? 

August 24, 2016

#it eats itself: in between

When people say ‘I stop listening/taking you seriously the moment you say the words ‘I don’t think’ or ‘I feel’ etc’ because its implication of lacking in rationality or in intellect, I can’t help from thinking of lost chances.

Because not every word is spoken with its true definition in mind. Sometimes people use a certain word because they find it suitable, or the closest to what they mean; emotionally or intellectually, there's no way to tell. It can be difficult to describe the indescribable, not every thought process is as straight as a ruler; so they use the way they know, the way they can. Grabbing floating words and objects to piece them all together and form a code or an image, in order to describe what inside them— as accurate as possible; sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t, sometimes it looks/sounds worse than the real thing and vice versa. Because sometimes people misunderstood the definitions behind the words they use. That doesn’t even count body language, the nuances of one’s voice.

Sometimes details have to be looked as a whole— for us to get close to the actual message.
The raw message often slips through the crack between two words. It's in the in between.

In the end, we are the one who decides whether it's worth our attention or not, and when. It's a matter of priorities too, perhaps.

July 14, 2016

it eats itself: when i write about writing

Got out of bed at 1AM to rant about the reason why I haven't written any fictions these days.

Writing fiction feels like forcing myself to throw up. Uncomfortable is an understatement. Something's stuck in my throat and I'm not sure whether to get it out or to swallow it in. And what was the word I thought of in bed just now - it's exposing, it's like laying down your shortcomings in front of you and reading them over and over.  

Oh I've changed. 'Better' is probably not the word best to describe my current writing, but it has changed for sure. I can focus on what I want to focus on, though most of the times the inability to put it into words in the language that I want can be a real bummer. That's my main problem these days.

And fuck boring details, no matter how much needed those are. I hate plotting out how they meet, I want to talk about the conversation they have at 3AM in the kitchen, I want to talk about how they hide their uncertainty and distance and stupid longing for each other during breakfast in the balcony, I want to talk about their emotional ranting in between sardonic laughter and ugly sobbing on the floor in the hall of mangy motel rooms. I want to roll up a magazine and hit someone with it and say screw details because I fucking hate it.  

And me trying to polish up my Bahasa, but most of malay fictions I've bought as references made me exhausted. I'm not talking about the grammar as they are all grammatically correct, but something feels off to me. Maybe I don't have the knack of choosing the right novels to read. 

I'm stuck at the point between not feeling satisfied with the fictions currently available in bookstores and not being able to satisfy my need with my current writing either. Is this the hell brought by reading fanfictions of your chosen characters with your chosen theme in your chosen setting? Probably. I've been spoiled by fandoms with their glorious fanfictions which some can be considered literature, even. Someone wise said, do not complain if you cant make it better. But I don't want to be that wise in this early hour, I just want to release this negativity out. So now I'm stuck with fanfictions. And I've read a lot of them.

Binge when stressed. Good job. 

June 26, 2016

white dress: questions I

Questions I got from tumblr [credit]. It's originally an ask prompt.  

sun: what makes you feel like you?
If it's about activities or hobbies, my answer is thinking. Making observations and speculations about life. Things like, 'being logical doesn't make it a truth, something can make sense to you yet it can also be a lie'. 

moon: do you have problem with trust?
I was a trusting kid. And you just cant survive with that quality without scars in this kind of world. I've done mistakes that probably caused trust issue in others too. I see things in gray usually, but when people give me signs that feel off to me- I will take more conscious precautions.  

rising: how/what do people say you come off as?
Arrogant. Confident. Quiet. Shy. Apathetic. I look angry. 

midheaven: what do you want to be when you grow up?
Great enough for myself.

venus: do you flirt more knowingly or unknowingly?
Eh... I don't flirt? If I do, I probably view it as a conversation or a small talk. So probably unknowingly so far.

mars: when was the last time you got mad and why?
Well, days ago? It's started since I don't know, May? On and off. Someone disrespected my privacy in the worst way possible. I can't say much, but I'm sure I have every right to feel angry, I was enraged actually. What they did to me is wrong on so many levels. I had been wanting to destroy, since then.

Time helps to tame that anger into rationality I guess. I'm still thinking of doing something (no, not destroying) about it because I really feel like I should. I'm still weighing the consequences of my plan. But at this point I have a strong urge to say let's just do it and see what happens, which worries me a bit.

mercury: who's your go-to person when you need to talk?
Anyone. Basically anyone that I believe can give me a sound response at that time? It depends on the topic itself actually. 

jupiter: when was the last time you got lucky?
I don't remember. 'Lucky' to me, is almost equal to absence of reasons? 'Lucky' feels almost like 'coincidence'. And I'm inclined to find reasons behind everything.  

saturn: what are you the weakest and strongest at?
Currently: Weakest at taking action. Strongest at introspecting.

uranus: are you rebellious and do you act upon it frequently?
I honestly don't think that I am outright rebellious, despite my previous attempts or things I've done or made to be done to escape the control of authority. My rebelliousness is there but I'm not really flaunting it, especially for the sole sake of flaunting it. It stays quiet, until someone or something crosses me. Usually I'm not the side who acts, but the one who reacts.

neptune: what was your best dream and why?

pluto: what is your biggest aspiration and why?

lilith: what's your biggest turn on in someone?
Quiet confidence, definitely. Others: intelligence, rationality.