Are You Having Fun?|
I once heard a story from someone I know about a man who met the Dalai Lama. The man was a Thai masseur who was visiting Nepal. While he was out hiking in the majestic Himalayan Mountains, he quite literally ran into the Dalai Lama on the trail. He was in a state of shock and awe at this kismet moment. Understandably, the man couldn’t find the words to ask the Dalai Lama a question. In his state of mental disarray, he searched for what the best question would be to ask during this incredibly rare opportunity. Before the man could gather his thoughts, the Dalai Lama looked at him while reading his aura, and asked:
“Are you having fun?”
The simplicity of the Dalai Lama’s question was profound and piercing. One could describe meeting such an incredibly important person in this way as ironic. Nevertheless, it does inspire an answer and shows a glimpse into how such an enlightened person views those they bump into by chance. When I first heard this story, I smiled at the question that was asked of the man and the way they met. I was curious if the Dalai Lama was asking this question about the present moment and also beyond in a larger frame of this man’s life.
I have read a few books on Buddhism, and I practice meditation. Although meditation teaches us discipline and to be consciously present in the moment, it is not necessarily fun or not fun, because the word itself is a subjective term. However, fun is typically a byproduct of experiencing joy and what brings you to a state of happiness.
For me, I find joy while I am in nature. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always needed room to breathe and reflect to feel the physical space around me. In my photography, I am most attracted to what catches the light in sprawling spaces and expansive natural habitats. Whenever I have the moment to do so, I love to go for long walks or simply wander off into nature to breathe in the fresh air and reinvigorate my senses. It is a gift to disconnect by reconnecting to the earth, and it is in these precious moments I am the most at peace.
Although I appreciate all natural habitats, I have always been drawn to water, which was one of the main reasons why I chose to create swimwear. Spending time in the sea is another type of meditation that celebrates life and connects to my fascination with sea creatures and their mysterious habitat, all of which influenced the designs that I chose for this collection. I wanted to create a symmetry between protecting the planet and celebrating its beauty with colorful designs that are fun, bright, and playful.
Creativity is another form of meditative expression that brings me joy and influenced this collection. I started drawing at a very young age and developed my skill set as I grew to love putting the colorful images I imagined in my mind onto paper. Since the world has evolved into a more digital experience, I have adapted my process for creating these designs to fit this new medium. The process for composing my designs may have changed, but the inspiration has remained the same. When I am at peace, I am able to tap into my creativity and reflect on how nature can be simultaneously exhilarating and calming, as it is the natural balancer of the mind and body.
This swimwear collection was inspired by realizing the importance of taking time out for oneself, finding those rare and valuable moments that bring happiness and enrich life. My hope is that wearing my pieces will bring about a sense of fun and joy.