Photography by SlantingYan

 

Understanding cultures of design and the market through the stories of people.

No, I have never been around the world but I have been told stories by different people from around the world. They aren’t always stories of success and pride, in fact, they are often stories of struggle and difficulty. Struggles have rarely been praised about in life, let alone a topic of concern in a regular coffee book article like this, but I believe that struggles are the ultimate act which pushes people to change, whether it’s about persisting or giving up.

While some people know they will become a designer very early on in their life, some do not realize they have such skills until much later on down the road. Either way, I believe that the ability of designing is inherited. Even though design ability can be further developed through education, design to me is a sense much like the ability to perceive colours. Some are just born to see more of a spectrum, while others are born completely colour blind.

Design thinking relies a lot upon the personality and the physical coordination of the person. How well he or she observes, what details he or she observes , what degree of imagination he or she has, and if he or she is capable in conveying such ideas through different mediums, plays a pivotal role in one’s ability as a designer. Designs cannot be forced, and I believe that it is driven by desire. Whether it is the purest desire to solve a problem or the desire to create something that one can call his or her own, a design is much like an art piece, but is an art piece that finds a balance of thought between our daily life and moments of our spiritual endeavors.

He is often known as ‘the vocalist of Chochukmo’, a rock band based here in Hong Kong that creates tunes only in English. The first time I met him was at a hotel anniversary party, where his whipping hair and melodic voice captivated not only me, but the whole crowd. Through social media I caught a glimpse into his personal life and found out that he is also an illustrator. “Oh, the word illustration still feels too big for me, I just like to draw.” He said, as we sat him down in front of one of my favourite spots in Hong Kong with a warming latte…

 

Read our full interview with Jan Curious and other interesting creative individuals by pre-ordering our first print here.