Out Work is a collection of thoughts on graphic design and life by Sarah Joe, a Singapore-based creative.

Just typing as I think, don’t take me too seriously.


06.01.20 «Everything is fucked: A book about hope»
Tags Recount Reflection Readings

            The past few days I’ve struggled with my brain. Reading «Everything is Fucked» has left me in a vegetative state of meditation. I used to wonder about my goals, why I’m even aiming for them in the first place. For example if someone asked me why I wanted to live in Japan, I honestly still cannot provide a ‘valid’ answer, my reply would probably be “Well I just feel like it.”
           But these are endless cycles of hope and hope is nothing but an illusion, because I know I will never be satiated. Instead I should look differently at things, instead of thinking of the above as goals, think of them as directions. Somehow that liberated me, viewing my goals as means/ directions rather than ends in itself. It was self-sustaining and gave me a little peace.

            Don’t hope for anything, when you hope for something, you hold adolescent values and view life and everything as a transaction. If I commit myself to my chosen work, I will get first class honours. If I impose on others and critique other’s work sharply, I gain the self-satisfaction of being superior. If I work out, I will look good and feel confident. Instead, live to be virtuous in each moment: commit to your work because responsibility is inherently good, don’t impose on others because that is inherently bad, work out because self-care is inherently good.

            Similarly, design for the simple reason to build authentic creativity and integrity, as a form of therapeutic self-expression of values and character. Design to help others achieve a level of expression that they cannot achieve by their own means. Don’t design for grades or money directly, and definitely don’t design to look good in front of others; directly referencing things that others widely accept as “good-looking”, in order for yourself to be “good-looking” is a crime of creativity.