This month’s art is by illustrator, Lim Heng Swee. His goal as an illustrator is to "doodle a smile on the Earth’s face." Lim Heng Swee's inspiration behind his design represents the idea that the "challenges we face in life are like the never-ending waves. We can't stop them but perhaps we can learn to surf on them. Face every one of life’s challenges as a precious experience.”

For a little more about Lim, here's a short Q&A! 

Where is home for you?

Home is where I am with my loving family.

What is your definition of a successful life?

For me, a successful life is not about what we achieve or what we own. We can have a successful life from now on if we are able to feel happiness in the little things in life.

Describe your perfect day.

Every day that I’m able to be together with the people I love while doing the things I love, which is creating art.

How did you get into design?

I didn’t study art. I studied to become a Mechanical engineer, so I’m a self-taught artist.

Where do you find inspiration?

As an artist, we need to be sensitive to what we encounter in life. I always record down those elements I found interesting and touching. The creative process is like playing a game to find connections between dots.

What's your dream design project?

As I homeschool my 2 boys now, I wish to travel the world with them. I think travel is a great process of learning, in the meantime, I wish to have my exhibition in the city/town along our journey. That’s my dream project.

Which designers or thinkers influence/inspire you?

I like to share this story about a Mexican fisherman, which goes along something like this:

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Source: BeMoreWithLess, "The Story of the Mexican Fisherman" by Courtney Carver

What was the inspiration behind this design?

Challenges we face in life are like the never-ending waves, we can't stop them but we can learn to surf on it, take every life challenge we face as fun and precious experience. 

At the moment, what is your favorite…

Color: Earth tone

Food: A simple home-cooked meal

Song:  Living in the moment by Jason Mraz

Quote: "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." -Jon Kabat Zinn

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