FORTY SEVEN: Coffee & TV.

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This is kind of self-proclaimed, but I consider myself as a coffee connoisseur. I work at a coffee shop and I love my job. I think being a barista is very underrated and people often are very cynical of the said job. I love making coffees, lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and the variations of other caffeinated drinks. It’s another form of art. You get to be creative and all and all, it’s very crafty.

Anyway, I had to come to work the day after Thanksgiving break. Richmond was very quiet, so work was very slow. What can I do to kill my 7 hour shift?! Answer: work on Project 54.

So, I tried to make a latte art like this.

But I failed horribly and I realized I suck at it. So I stick to the basic, and made this instead:

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I tried to be creative and combine all of the syrups and sauces. There are various aspects of this that I could connect to the brand. Like I said before, making latte is another form of art. You are expected to be creative of making a good combination of syrups, sauces, milk, and espresso, and by repetition you would improve your technique. You have to be resourceful and be aware of your surrounding (or what we call it: station. Hot and cold.) So in a way, it’s very innovative.

Another point that I should mention here is the value of the coffee/espresso. It’s something that gets people going and do stuff and do better stuff. Just like Volkswagen, it’s something that gets people going. (Thanks Corey for pointing out this aspect!)

Blur – Coffee & TV

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FORTY SIX: Postcards from Italy.

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One thing about me is I am a big fan of the holidays and all about the festivities. The last three months of the year really excite me. First we have Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas and New Year!

So in order to make a festive post about the upcoming holiday (Christmas!) I have attempted to make a Christmas card with a little Volkswagen twist to it. Here’s the result:

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Cutting the outline as the base.

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Cutting another outline for the inside.

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Hey you! 

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Merry Christmas! (It’s supposed to be a pop up lol)

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and Happy New Year!

So.. in connection to the brand, the holiday season gives me warmth, joy, and excitement. I channel these feelings to the brand’s emotion, which in overall will give me everyday pleasure.

Editor’s note: this song/video of Beirut also adds up to my joy and excitement while making this card and post. Enjoy!

Beirut – Postcards From Italy

FORTY FIVE: A wink and a smile.

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When I was a kid, I had a long commute home from school. Along the way, I would look outside and stare at the cars. I would imagine their faces, as if they were a person and had a personality. I remember I hated this one car (I forgot the actual make and model), because the driver and the car seem to be “angry” all the time. Does the car influence the driver’s mood?

That being said, I don’t know if it’s because familiarity or what but I’ve never seen any angry Volkswagen drivers, let alone encountered any frustrations exploring the brand. Why is that? I surely think because Volkswagen does not have any angry cars. Just look at them!

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The connection to the brand could be their pioneering innovative design, but what I’m really trying to emphasize here is the everyday motoring pleasure aspect. The brand provide such an excellent pleasure, it is reflected through the driver’s face and mood. Because the car’s faces look very happy. One big happy family.

Harry Connick Jr. – A Wink and A Smile

FORTY FOUR: Pies and pastiche.

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This is post is my exploration of borrowing design ideas from something else, or popularly known as “Pastiche”.

pas·tiche
paˈstēSH,päˈstēSH/

noun
an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period.
“the operetta is a pastiche of 18th century styles”

verb
imitate the style of (an artist or work).
“Gauguin took himself to a Pacific island and pastiched the primitive art he found there” 

Now, as you may know one of my creative environments would be the library. It’s loud. It’s crowded. It’s a mess. But I like it there. I feel an emotional connection to the people there; a group of tired students relentlessly doing work. We’re all in this together.

Anyway, I see this poster all the time and the vintage element of it definitely caught my eyes.

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I wanted to make something similar – a pastiche. So I ended up making a commemoration to celebrate the people behind Volkswagen; a group of tired people relentlessly doing work. 

Ferdinand Porsche

Ferdinand Porsche

Ferdinand Porsche was an automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche car company. In the early 1920s, he oversaw the development of the Mercedes compressor car, and later developed the first designs of the Volkswagen car with his son, Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche.

Ferdinand Piëch

Ferdinand Piëch

Ferdinand Karl Piëch is an Austrian business magnate, engineer and executive who is currently the chairman of the supervisory board of Volkswagen Group. In 1993, Piëch became the chairman and CEO of Volkswagen Group, which he is credited with turning into the large conglomerate it is today. Educated as an engineer, Piëch influenced the development of numerous significant cars including the Volkswagen New Beetle and Volkswagen Phaeton.

Martin Winterkorn

Martin Winterkorn

Martin Winterkorn is the Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO) of Volkswagen AG, the parent company of the Volkswagen Group. He was the head of “Group Quality Assurance,” General Manager of Volkswagen AG, VW Group Product Management, and Member of the Brand Board of Management for “Technical Development” for the Volkswagen brand. Winterkorn was instrumental in getting Volkswagen CEO Ferdinand Piëch to approve the production of the New Beetle.


The connection to Volkswagen brand here is quite abundant, since this is a commemoration of Volkswagen geniuses. The engineers pioneered the innovative design aspect of the brand, they made sure the enduring value element lingers with the brand, and prioritize the everyday motoring pleasure aspect.

P.S Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble!

Big Boss Man – Pies and Pastiche

FORTY THREE: Banana pancakes.

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One of the directives we can use for this project is to explore the concept of absurdity.

I browsed through my handbook, the Creative Block and two of the artists caught my eyes – one is Jesse Draxler and the second one is Arian Behzadi. Both of them have their own unique abstract art that doesn’t make any sense (hence, the absurdity) but it’s so powerful, it’ll connect to you as soon as you look at it and you can interpret it however you want it.

I combined their two styles and created this ridiculousness. Totally illogical I know, but I tried to connect with the brand and highlight their aspects as well.

Here they are:

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Hugo Gernsback and his TV Glasses. Gernsback was a Luxembourgian American inventor, writer, editor, and magazine publisher, best known for publications including the first science fiction magazine and sometimes called, “The Father of Science Fiction.”
One of his many inventions was the TV Glasses and it was pretty innovative. Instead of a TV Glasses, I replaced it with a collage of Volkswagen Beetle over the years that I made from a previous post. This is to highlight the innovativeness that Gernsback could see from the past.

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I first created the outline of 2015 Volkswagen Golf, fill them up with a vintage photographs from the 20’s or 30’s, gave them a little frame and replace the background with the chalkboard image.
Still doesn’t make any sense, but I used all conventional elements here (such as chalkboard and vintage photographs) and have the Golf be the outline. This could be an illustration of enduring value, as the conventional and old-fashioned elements fused and outlined by a new technology. Something that will last forever.

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One of the first selfies. I made this guy’s selfie and initially, was going to make a polaroid-like frame with the Volkswagen Type II but then I decided to edit it like this. Why? I don’t know, just being absurd. It could be related to the everyday motoring pleasure since it’s become a normal thing nowadays to take an image of yourself.

I named this post ‘Banana Pancakes’ because it doesn’t make any sense and it makes me happy. Being totally random and absurd actually makes me happy. It releases a weird good vibe and I’m satisfied with it.

“Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable.”
― Albert Camus

Jack Johnson – Banana Pancakes

FORTY TWO: Modern art.

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Saturday night, I met up with someone who was going to sell a textbook that I need for next semester. I saw a couple of pages of it was ripped and I protested. He said, “but you can still see the content of it!” Now like a nerd I am, his response gave me an idea for a post.

The idea of behind this post is to highlight the sleek and innovative design of Volkswagen. Their design is so remarkable that you would notice it in a heartbeat.

Ripped Paper Beetle II

In a way, this could follow the simplicity directive. I made the ripped paper effect to emphasize even though you can’t see the whole car, you would DEFINITELY know this is a Volkswagen car (“you can still see the content of it!”)

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There are many other Volkswagen cars that I could use, instead the overused Beetle and Type II, but I think these two cars are truly iconic and legendary. Therefore, they are the epitome of Volkswagen’s innovative design.

P.S. In case you were wondering, I did buy the textbook from that person. Spring 2015, I am (somewhat) ready for you!

Black Lips – Modern Art

FORTY ONE: Extraordinary.

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I remember when I was a kid I used to watch this show called Art Attack. It’s a show where the presenter would demonstrate the audience how to make art using everyday objects. I really think the idea of this show is very innovative and it helps to ignite creativity for kids.

I then asked my mom if I ever made anything creative.

She sent me these.

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The story behind this was the fact that my mom collects everything Coca-Cola. The can and/or bottle from around the world, souvenirs that have Coca-Cola logo on it, vintage Coca-Cola advertisements, etc. I realized that and decided to make her this mini box/case for her to put stuff in.

I think I still remember how to make this:

  • cut a cereal box in half
  • wrap it with aluminum foil and stick them together with a glue
  • layer it with the Coca-Cola wrapper
  • done

I guess the idea of this post is connecting my childhood’s inventive creativity and Volkswagen’s aspect of innovative design. This made me realize that I’ve practiced my creative side since I was a kid. It might not be the greatest thing in the world, but for a 8 year old, I think that’s pretty impressive. Innovative, maybe?

My mom was so touched by the gesture and still keeps it until this very day. You might have noticed the Coca-Cola wrapper seems a little bit different, it’s because it’s a wrapper from Indonesia. People might think it’s crappy or really ordinary, but for her, it’s exceptionally extraordinary.

Nizlopi – Extraordinary