inspiration

Thank You + An Exciting Update

Happy Easter! Bob and I are currently in Southern Taiwan where we are visiting local creatives, teaching art to kids and hanging at the beach. It is restful and beautiful.

Aside from creative work — it’s been great to take a step back and be thankful for how far this project has come. It’s hard to look at this community and not be blown away by how beautiful it is.

amelia_hedeghog_bob_the_hog_flower_power.jpgBob and bougainvilleas. Thinking of making this into a postcard.

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Teaching kiddos about hedgehogs, storytelling, and art.

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Portrait sessions. Everyone went home with a paper hedgehog.

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Put together the layout for hedgehog postcards. There are 10 designs in total. You can preorder a set here.

Aside from books and printed art — the reward I am most excited about producing is the commissioned story where I will travel to Hualien, Taiwan, to shoot and fund-raise for a First Nations school started by a local teacher. The school faces a huge language barrier and lack of government support. It a project that tugs at my heartstrings and a great opportunity to be a voice for someone in need.

Please continue to support our campaign. Share the link with a friend, sign up to be a patron, or book a one hour Skype session with me. Ask me anything about my creative process, building a brand or growing your social media.

I am super excited to see this project come to life.

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Thanks again, and Happy Easter!

Back my Kickstarter project: link | Follow me on Instagram @sophiahsin
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Sharing Saturday: 5 Creatives That Inspire Me

Hello Friends! Hope you’ve all had a great week. One thing I’d like to do more now as I’m crowdfunding for myself— choose a day of the week and share about artists, creative things that are inspiring me right now. After all, good artists copy and great artists steal. Where would we be on this road without others to blaze trails and lead our way. Here goes:

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One Illustrator I look up to: Kate Pugsley

Illustrations are a thing I am into this season. Because…why not! We’re all visual here. I love her use of bright colors. And yes, Kate is coming out with a children’s book in 2019. Virtual mentor for you ladies here!

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One designer I would love to hang out with: Timothy Goodman

More like…designer I have a crush on. I spend more time looking at his pizza shirt at Uniqlo than actually eating pizza. If you like reading about feelings he has a fabulous tag #instatherapy_tim you can follow.

One Instagram account I really dig this week: Wendy @nomadicfare

Fun fact: I connected with Wendy way back over social media and finally met her in Taipei this week! We’re due for a proper coffee in May. Wendy travels and shares inspiring post along with fabulous photography on her blog and social media.

One musician I’ve been digging this week: Conner Youngblood

Seriously, if you’re an artist with a dog — I already love you. My favorite tracks: Everyday and Australia. One of those musicians you discover and immediately goes on google to read all their interviews. I’m going to write him an email this week 🙂

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One Typographer that kicks a**: Stefan Kunz

If you struggle with perfectionism or putting your work out there every day. This guy is someone to follow for hand lettering + creative inspiration. Stefan’s motto: Create Something Everyday Even If It Sucks. My take away: create every day, because it might just be awesome.

And lastly, a quote not related to an artist but something I’m discovering for myself:

There is so much beauty out there waiting to be discovered.

yilan_taiwan_sophia_hsin_beach_烏石港

And there you go, I will leave you with a beach photo from Yilan, Taiwan this week.

Till next time.

PS: Live stream my Hedgehog Q&A on Kickstarter here

 

On Starting Small but Living Big

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Hello friends! As you may know. I recently launched my first ever Kickstarter project — The Extraordinary Book of Hedgehog Puns. A photo/illustration book of positive puns featuring my late hedgehog Amelia.

Today I’d like to share a part of the story that happened on my photography journey.

I started photography on social media during my last few years of college. And as any humble newbie, I started with 100 followers, figuring out my filters, hashtags, learning the social media game, reaching my first 50, 100k etc..

Over time, I figured photography was something I want to do for the rest of my life so I saved up, booked a ticket to North America and began my freelance photography career. I started from Craigslist gigs, second shooting for wedding photographers, shooting portraits in studios, and asking seasoned photographers for critique and advice. In time, I expanded my work into social media influencing, creative writing, art directing and styling.

Of course, these things didn’t happen overnight but one thing that has kept me super motivated was knowing that I might have started small with my resources and connections — but there is no limit to how far I can go. My creativity might have started within the walls of a college dorm, but there are no boundaries to people I will meet, stories I will tell or people I will touch through my work.

One thing I’ve realized recently is to not expand on the “small”. To not be caught up in perfecting details, but to think large, and to live life expecting the extraordinary. My story might have started with a hedgehog. But this is really just the beginning.

Imagination is the ability to see beyond what you can currently see, and big things come from the accumulation of decisions you make in the everyday.

I hope these words are an encouragement to you today. Whether you’re a student wanting to start a career in art or photography, a stay-at-home mom wanting to start a side business, or a seasoned professional looking for new inspiration.

Do the small things with love, with intention. Because they grow and snowball into great and amazing things.

To learn more about my book project, visit my Kickstarter project here.

Till next time x

Hello 2018

Hello 2018

Oh my. It feels like yesterday that I got home from my backpacking trip in India and sat down to write Hello 2017.

What a year. 2017 has been a year of gain, loss, refinement, changes, and celebration.

There have been highlights like working with amazing people, seeing creative ideas come to life, and feeling more content with my creative self. There have been lows like moving countries, redefining home, losing my pet hedgehog/creative partner, but learning and discovering a lot about myself in the process.

This year, I want it to be a year less focused on achievements and goals but people and home. After all, I have to realize that the best art is art that is created from a place of contentment, a place where you are surrounded by friends and family. And a place where you can be quiet, to come to oneself and inspired by the water.

This year, I want to create art that is not the best art but art that welcomes imperfection, art that celebrates connection over perfection, and most of all — to create from a place of wonder, beauty, and deep hope that motivated me to make art in the first place.

Here is to the new year. To a year of celebrating more and celebrating better. To days off, cups of tea, conversations, journaling, collaborating, to dreaming and executing ideas, newness, intentional art, creativity, and furry friends.

Happy New Year!

A Playlist for Travel II

figs_yogurts_jam.jpgSavouring my mornings at home, I fig-ured that there is always thyme to enjoy the simple things 🙂

Hello from 40,000 feet up in the air.

I have to say that there nothing better than having no wifi for a few hours and you finally get to sit down and work on the post or finish that chapter you’ve been wanting to finish.

A big part of my inspiration comes from music, the discipline from musicians and the beauty of how they create different realities and weave stories through notes, emotion and words. It is a dream to achieve the same through photographs and writing. Like the way a great film makes you feel long after you leave the theatre.

figs-3.jpgfigs-2.jpgI always imagined that Ella Fitzgerald and Norah Jones would be the kind of musician that would enjoy morning walks by the river and fresh figs on their toast and yogurt.

Here is another playlist for travel, for another city and another adventure to find photographs that fit my words like lyrics to a song.

1. Elderbrook – Could A great mellow song for editing and you have to admit that Europeans know their pop.

2. John Legend – Penthouse Floor ft. Chance the Rapper  I am probably most impressed with John Legend’s appearance on La La Land but there is something so soothing about his vocals. Can we all agree that Chance the Rapper is the best thing ever?

3. Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why I recently found out that Norah and Anoushka Shankar are half sisters and I don’t know why but that makes me very happy.

4. Balmorhea – Bow Spirit A band I discovered thanks to my yoga instructor. The acoustics are quiet and beautiful and I love their use of strings.

5. The Brilliance – Brother The Brilliance is a band I have followed through different seasons in my life and I am so happy to see their music evolve while staying true to their music. I read all their interviews like Harry Potter books and am glad to say they are a band I love from the inside out. The new album Brother is a delight of modern pop and uplifting acoustics. Because what better way is there to inspire imagination than through beautiful music?

Happy listening and stay posted for photos from Toronto!

More on Instagram | Snapchat @sophiahsin | Facebook | Twitter

Hello 2017

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Catching the sunset at Varkala Beach, India

Hello 2017!

Oh what a year.

2016  has taught me a lot. It’s good time to look back and celebrate all the achievements like graduating design school, travelling for my first photography project, backpacking to India, getting to work with some dream clients and learning to give myself a pat on the back for all of the above.

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On assignment for Alaska Air in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo by dad

This year has taught me the importance of home, of community, people, trusting my creative intuition and the joy of a home cooked meal.

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Baking lemon cookies for Christmas. Can we all agree nothing smells better than freshly grated lemon zest and hot butter?

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Baked eggs in avocado. Homemade breakfasts with your little sister @nasheedee are the best.

While it is good to set big goals for the new year. Here is to living each day with intention, from the moment you wake up and before you put your feet on the floor. Linger on those moments like talking on the phone with grandma, the smell of fresh lemon on your coconut flour cookies and the fog pouring over the waves of water on your morning run.

Things that never get old.

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Watching Canadian geese flying over the water at English Bay. A favourite place in Vancouver

To the new year!

Three Things I learned from Travelling in India

munnar_tea_fields_india.jpgThe beautiful, misty green hills of Munnar, Kerala. If you listen closely, you can hear the click-clacking of a thousand tea scissors and the tiny buzz of chatter from the tea women in Mailalym.

I have always dreamed about India.

So a little over a month ago I booked tickets and found myself there.

I can’t put a finger on what it was that drew me there but never have I travelled so hard in my life and never have I had stranger experiences than the ones I have had there. I shall credit mom and dad for creating me with a large dose of curiosity, a love for rule breaking and a reckless lust for photogenic places.

As I sit home on my comfy couch editing photos and reflecting from my trip, here is a list of things that I learned from travelling in India.

1. Embrace the mystery/creativity
Life is mysterious. I left looking for answers but realized I didn’t need to know them after all. You don’t have the answers and you never will.  A friendly tip to people looking forward to visiting India: prepare to be surprised out of your socks. Mostly in unpleasant smelly ways. Haha kidding. I learned to leave room for creativity and surprise and I found that I have gained more in the process.

2. Contentment
I have found myself looking at things in a different way that I didn’t use to. A different way that I hope never goes away. I realized that I live a very blessed life and live in a wonderful, wonderful city. I love work with the ups and downs, people I have in my life and never have I cherished more the freedom to wear anything I want, take long hot showers(in a clean bathroom!) and eat ice cream from my freezer at night. Thank you India.

3. People
It sounds ridiculous to compare a person living in North America to someone living in the slums in India. But it’s true! At the end of the day, people are people. We need love, food, shelter, a job, a purpose, friends, encouragement, fun things etc. Those things don’t change and you can be a good or bad person anywhere in the world and still be a good or bad person. The world needs more good people so let’s all be good to each other.

Other than that, I rode on a 30 hour train (the longest I’ve been my entire life), met a bunch of amazing people I will not soon forget, obtained some scars from being in scary pottys, had the best Indian food of my life, cried and laughed during the weird and sentimental bits, got my first food poisoning, left bits of my heart in a Children’s Home to many tiny souls and left quite aware that I became a better person because of this trip.

If you are reading this and curious about travelling to India. I will say yes. Ten thousand times yes.

munnar_tea_fields_india_2To adventure xx