What I’ve been up to

It’s great to be back.

There are certain periods in people’s lives where they realize that they are powerful, or weak, deserving, or under-qualified. Maybe there comes a time when you make your first ‘big break’, or your second and third, and maybe it all becomes boring. There will also be months where you feel beaten down, and nothing seems to be in place and no one is worth your trust.

I feel like I’ve been through a couple of phases during the two years I’ve been away from blogging. Some ups and downs, some triumphs and losses. More realizations and new beginnings.

I’ve closed some doors – I learned that maybe I’m not in the place to be a research assistant for neither Korean Hanbok nor negotiation studies. Recently I’m also coming to the conclusion that I’m not interested in making my own clothes, either. I’d rather draw, create images, or curate looks. After all, I’ve always been in love with the editorial side of art rather than the actual creation process. Some new doors have opened too – I’m working to plan and curate parties here in Seoul! It’s going great, I’m working with a great team and the best venues (will post more about this soon).

I’m not much of a past-dweller, but I feel like whenever life confuses me I go back to my roots and my young self. I need to remind myself once in a while that I am naturally OK. Innately strong and passionate, and good, and fierce. I recall stories of me as a kid, fearless and always up for a challenge. They say the most important thing for anyone is believing in themselves, but it seems like it’s also the hardest thing.

I’m back because I realized that at the end of the day this is the outlet and platform where I’m most ME. I can let loose and still be good at it. I can stay up all night contacting brands or potential interviewees and write for hours yet actually stay happy. That’s the most important thing, right?

So yes, I’m back for good and I’m ready now to create even better stuff to share!

My shameless selfies & Interview with the’Instacollage’ team

Photos are reality and reality is just photos… says our generation. #sodeep#notbasic

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(On the bus)

Hey guys! It’s me Konni again(obviously) and I’m sitting around as usual, taking shameless, superficial selfies. But today I’ve brought to you something that isn’t usual at all too-here’s a rare opportunity: getting to talk to the masterminds behind a popular smartphone app.

Being a wannabe techno-geek myself, I got talking with Alex from ‘Team Instacollage’.

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K: Hey Alex! First things first- why did you develop the app in the first place?

A: Thank you Konni for crediting me as being the developer of InstaCollage ;). But, I am not the real developer of InstaCollage. It was developed by my friend, Lavi, about an year and five months ago, who is a passionate android developer and a great one. He developed this app during his college time, but there was no real reason to develop it. I joined him six months ago to turn InstaCollage into a business, which does not suffice with just collage making. So, right now, we are porting this android app to iPhone, which we are planning to release within 2 months.

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(But first-Lemmetakeaselfie! Used to be obsessed with that song by The Chainsmokers. Oh and my phone camera sucks(as you can see in photo above) so bear with me. This photo is from my high school graduation day when I was caked with makeup : )

K: Cool. Tell us a bit about your app.

A: InstaCollage, as the name says, it’s a Simple Collage Making App on Android. I do really mean it “Simple”. The app has pure Black-and-White interface designed to let you focus on the most important thing while making a Collage, i.e. your photos.

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K: Ooh. So that’s what differentiates you guys from other photo collage apps out there.

A: Yeah, existing collage apps miss this most important part. InstaCollage is packed with photo editing tools too, like Photo Filters, Photo Frames and Backgrounds, the option to add text to turn it into a collage story. We are also working on stickers which will be released within a week. Apart from just providing these features, the app provides smooth and fast interface to create collages.

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K: What type of grids do you have on your app? I’m not a huge Instagram fan but I definitely do need a trusty collage app for my Kakao Talk(guys, this is a huge chatting app in Korea) profile pics.

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(I took this photo today, a moment ago, before I took my shower(I still have a towel on my head, I never got into the habit of actually using a hair dryer). I lost a bit of weight recently-probably because I’ve been busy working.)

A: Well, by using InstaCollage, you will find that you can create only square collage grids, and we are not looking to remove this restriction. But we will add “Free Style Collages” as a separate feature in InstaCollage by the end of February. I request you to install it on your android device and experience it yourself, as that matters a lot for us. You can simply install it from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.photos.instacollage

K: Thanks, Alex. Okay, now I need to know how it’s being run. So that I can, you know, take some superficial selfies.

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(Like this one)

A: I hope by saying “how it’s being run”, you want to know, how app actually works. Follow these Steps:

– Choose a layout and then select the required number of photos, and in the end, user is taken to collage editing screen.
– or Choose few photos, then you will be directly taken to collage editing screen, where a random layout is shown and you do have the options to change layout while editing your collage.

K: Thank you so much for introducing us to your app, Alex! This is all for now but be sure to type in ‘instacollage’ on your Google Play Store if you have Android because WHO DOESN’T NEED A GOOD PHOTO COLLAGE APP IN THIS DAY AND TIME, Y’ALL. Especially in fashion-I often find that fashion is in-the-moment, but it’s the photos that last.

Hope you guys had fun making fun of my selfies XD

 

How to not deal with emotions

Hey readers,

I feel like I’ve been abusing this blog too much by going on and on about my personal life and all its nitty gritty details! Am I being too selfish? Here’s one last personal post for this summer before I get to work and fill you guys in on all the fashion stuff.

I thought writing about personal things would be the hardest, since, from my experience, no one’s really good at voluntarily and truthfully exposing themselves to the rest of the world. It usually takes lots of time, memories, and shared secrets for people to pluck up the courage to simply show themselves to each other. It’s a ridiculous human trait now that I put it this way, but it’s also understandable, since as a species we humans are so good at picking each other apart for who we really are. In this sense, it’s quite natural for me to be afraid (or at least nervous) of putting myself out here, writing myself down, on the internet(which is infamous for bringing out the inner brutality in people-hello haters?). But contrary to my original thoughts and popular belief, I actually feel most comfortable when I’m sitting here alone with my old broken laptop with a mug of iced latte, telling hundreds of people I’ve never met before about my personal inner self. I think it’s interesting. Don’t you?

I think it’s easier for me to be honest here than to most people I know in real life because we(you, reading this, and I, writing this) don’t have any strings attached. As humans we actually are capable of being genuine and caring about each other without calculating profit(shocker, I know). We just never get the chance to do so because our society is built upon structure and class pyramids and all this give-and-take. It gets to my head sometimes. I mean, a lot. That’s why I’m very proud of myself for creating a little haven on the internet here where we can all just chill together and be who we are and not be judged or discriminated or used. All I ask of you is to be genuine and honest.

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(It’s a shame that I try to cover the camera lens all the time when people try to take photos of me. Maybe I just haven’t fully accepted myself yet?)

Speaking of honesty, a personal thing I want to share with you here in my personal haven called my blog today is that recently I’m realizing that I haven’t been a very honest person, in terms of emotions. To myself and consequently to other people, too. In the past I thought I was amazing at the art of self-expression. After all, I’m a (self-labeled) artist, writer, blogger, and photographer. Back in London, my favorite class was drama-when I was a child I wanted to become an actress. I was the epitome of self-expression; the queen of expressing human emotions. Or so I thought. Until yesterday.

I was always good at coming up with expressive, unique ideas that no one else in the class could think of. But I know now that that does not make me good at ‘self-expression’. Expression through art and real honest emotional expression are two different concepts. I could convey certain emotions through my literary skills or art skills or acting skills, but (especially as I grew older) I lacked the ability to communicate what I myself was feeling in real situations in my life. As I hit puberty and matured, I absorbed the ideals of profit and give-and-take that my competitive surroundings(hello, private prep school) were feeding me, and my inability of honest emotional interaction got worse and worse and hardened inside me, becoming a solid characteristic trait of mine. And not only did the inability stick, but in my mind I also started to form prejudices against emotions themselves. I thought emotions made people weak, and that the stronger people were the ones that knew how to not let petty things like compassion or ‘feelings’ affect their lives and their paths to success. I idolized logic and cold-blooded-ness. My face lost its aptitude to move its muscles to transmit what was going on inside my emotional chamber. In middle school people(friends, ex-boyfriends, teachers) would often tell me I should smile more and stop looking so devoid of emotion all the time. In high school(which I’m still attending), when doing “What type of person are you” quizzes on Buzzfeed with my friends, my friends shout out “emotionless!” on the “How do your friends describe you” question. Even then, I smirked silently inside as I gave myself a pat on the back for succeeding in concealing my vulnerability-my emotions. And all the romantic relationships I’ve had probably don’t qualify as romantic relationships since there is no romance in faking, saying things I don’t mean, and being a user. (I hope my ex(es) are not reading this.) “I don’t believe in love.” I would state, proudly.

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Up until a few days ago, my whole 17 years of ego and self-esteem were built on my pride in my absolute devotion to logic and complete disregard of childish emotions, and my belief that that made me tough and gave me an advantage in life. What I didn’t realize was that hiding and ignoring my emotions did not make me a stronger person. I was blinded by my obsession over rationality and accurate calculations, and my bias on human emotions. Whenever I could feel my feelings seeping up from the barren asphalt of my mind, I would try my best to squish them back under the surface and coat another layer of asphalt on top of the crack from where they had seeped out. What I didn’t know was that burying the emotions alive wouldn’t kill them. Ignoring the emotions would get them out of the way for a while, but the emotions would still be there inside me under the layer of asphalt, bubbling and boiling and knocking on the surface to get out. I was basically just planting volcanoes in my mind and heart. And those volcanoes erupted yesterday.

All the anger, sadness, and vulnerability I had bottled up inside me finally got the best of me. They had been eating at me little by little from the inside, and yesterday they erupted like there was no tomorrow. Something inside me exploded. I cried and laughed and felt more numb than ever all at the same time, and my mind, which was only used to pushing emotions out of the way, wasn’t trained to handle emotions, so I panicked. I was in a terrible state. I acted out by being rash and not thinking(a total opposite to my usual habits of over-thinking everything) and doing something very stupid. Luckily, my friends helped me out and stopped anything too big from happening.

So here I sit in this cozy chair in a cafe that I usually go to on my street, after the storm. I now finally see how ironically irrational I was actually being.

I remember I once asked my best friend, “Are emotions important?” And he said, “Yes.”

“Why?” I demanded. “They just make you vulnerable.”

To this he said, “They’re what make you human.”

I now understand what he meant. Emotions aren’t childish. Trying to ignore them is. And ignoring them comes with terrible consequences. Everyone has them(unless you’re a psycho/sociopath… in which case you should go see a doctor right now). Even I have always had them. Thinking back now, I’ve actually experienced many deep emotions(I think I actually probably have a pretty high EQ). I just refused to acknowledge them as a part of me.

Now that I’m removing the veil of prejudice and clouded thinking before my eyes, I can see that me trying to appear emotionless was only a manifestation of my insecurities. I didn’t know how to deal with my insecurities and my own vulnerability and was afraid of them, so my mind reacted to the fear of showing my weak spots by just not showing anything. I was a coward. I thought it made me strong but it made me weak and almost killed me inside. Now I’m going to practice exercising my emotions in a more healthy way; practice being human.

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Image Credits: http://theladyawkward.blogspot.kr/2014/03/evil-cold-hearted-ice-queen.html, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/329748003936339933/