20 episodes

Meaningful and Interesting conversation with people feel connected

Life Designer with Jingyu Chen Jingyu Chen

    • Arts

Meaningful and Interesting conversation with people feel connected

    Conversation with Miki Sakai: Artist/Photographer at Miki Sakai Photography/ Architect (Part Two)

    Conversation with Miki Sakai: Artist/Photographer at Miki Sakai Photography/ Architect (Part Two)

    Miki Sakai Photography creates a one of kind photoshoot journey for each of her clients. Storytelling is the heart of Miki’s craft. The way she tells a story is to capture the authentic and unposed moments in a session (family portraits, wedding, branding,etc). Drawing inspiration from everything  (traveling, movies, books, conversations with others, etc.,),  Miki describes her style as natural and candid with documentary and boutique aesthetics.   As one of her audiences, the way I connect to her photography work is that instant desire to dive into the stories behind those images she photographed.     

    Miki deeply values the connection she builds with her clients on an emotional and personal level, which not only leads to the final fine artwork she produced but also a unique journey her clients will memorize and enjoy. To align her artistic pursuit as an artist/ photographer with clients’ expectations, she addressed two contributing factors.  First is always to be consistent and clear with the work she presents on her Website/ Social Media platforms. Then initial face-to-face consultation intends to establish the clients’ understanding towards this is  photoshoot journey , and the good communication  carries  through  the actual shooting session and the entire process with her clients.  As Miki said, she will never photograph silently.  It’s a personal experience and emotional moment she and her client create and collaborate together, which eventually becomes a timeless artwork and memory.  I believe Miki truly fulfils her mission of building a journey to narrate a client’s story.
    Miki is an artistic and creative photographer and a genuine and caring character. Both her talents and personality, I believe, help to turn her passion into a business as well. As one of her clients comment to her: Miki is not just a good photographer but also a good person. 

    Being a sole trader  takes the challenge to into next level.  The communication /organizational  skills she had developed as an Architect translate into current business operations, but many aspects of running a business (finance, accounting, legal, etc.) all need to be addressed.  The biggest challenge for a sole trader, as Miki said, is the absence of team support and always making business decisions on her own.
    Pandemic took a huge toll on the industry as a whole and also individual business owner.  But Miki focused on what she can to improve her craft and scale her business.   She also believes the community is such an essential support network emotionally and professionally, especially for sole traders.  Reach-out to build a connection with people around the world has never been easier thanks to social media.  She put herself in a fellow photographer community where she can share  her journey!  I strongly resonate with her that community brings us a sense of belonging and is a significant source of motivation!

    Moving forward, Miki aims to expand her client base around the world, which allows her to utilize  her skills and backgrounds as someone who has lived and worked internationally.  I got so excited for her and gained so much sense of hope from her future vision and am keen to forward this positive energy to everyone.

    Coming to the end of this amazing conversation, Miki’s advice for making a pivot is:  do take the risks but calculated risks; it takes time to make the shift but you don’t want to live a life with regrets, and it’s really ok to shift the course of your career/life at any point.  Don’t set a limit on yourself!

    Connect to Miki on Instagram: mikisakaiphotography    Website:  Miki Sakai Photography

    • 46 min
    Conversation with Miki Sakai: Artist/Photographer at Miki Sakai Photography/ Architect (Part One)

    Conversation with Miki Sakai: Artist/Photographer at Miki Sakai Photography/ Architect (Part One)

    Growing up and moving around a number of countries, (Tokyo, NY,  London, Buenos Aires, and now Sydney), Miki describes herself  living a nomadic lifestyle as a Global Citizen.   She made a conscious decision from a young age that not being fixed to her own belief, judgments or thoughts, truly embracing diverse ways of thinking and living, because something perceives as normal in one place may not be in another part of the world.   She also becomes a person with strong curiosity who  always intrigued by new ideas, language, culture.,  I believe both her upbringing and kindness in nature built her diversity ideology and curiosity traits, which leads her to explore life possibilities infinitely.  We both also believe that we are  not confined by the external environment or conditions. There is always a outlet that will spark your curiosity and connects you to the outside world.


    On the flipped side, this nomadic lifestyle  put Miki experiencing inner struggle with identity sense particularly tracing back to her young teens. As she recalled, she might  try very hard to assimilate to being British or at one point try to be Japanese.  Eventually, she realized there is no need to define one identity she has, but it’s a journey to finally reaching that point where she feels comfortable being  on her own skin and just to be authentic herself. 


    Those growth pains (fitting in cultural shock, etc) are real and there is no exemption from those struggling, but both Miki and I believe we can turn negativity into positivity,  and it’s gonna be better and it does get better. 


    Trips to South America hands down is one of Miki’s life-defining moments, which sparks her passion for photography.   As she said, she was hooked by this wondrous landscape, the rich and diverse cultures, and the extraordinary people there.  Small sparks gradually over years grew into her biggest passion. 


    Miki said, after gaining more life experience at a later stage of life, we can make a more informative and conscious decision about what we really want to pursue.  It is a bit too much asking for 17 years old to make a big life &career decision and it’s ok to change your mind later on along the line. (But we are not blindly encouraging anyone to switch to another lane. If you are content with your current path, stick to it!)   In Miki’s case, it took 7 years to just get qualified to be an Architect. When time costs and investment are so high, making a career pivot certainly is not a quick transition.   It took her years and years of skill-building and soul searching to finally transform from architect to photographer. 


    Looking back to her Architect journey which she contributed a huge course of her life, it’s a bittersweet but definitely precious life experience she will cherish forever.  She shared that once you are an architect, you are always an architect.  I also believe many things like the skillset we developed in our first life also end up being useful, translated, and applied to our second life.  Tune into our PART TWO episode where we are entering Miki’s second life of her being as a photographer!

    Connect to Miki on Instagram: mikisakaiphotography       Website:  Miki Sakai Photography  
                                                                              

    • 33 min
    Conversation with Chloe Kang: Former SBS Media Specialist /Ogilvy Account Director, Museum Corporate Communications and Engagement Manager

    Conversation with Chloe Kang: Former SBS Media Specialist /Ogilvy Account Director, Museum Corporate Communications and Engagement Manager

    Chloe has had a wide range of interests since she was a kid.  Her curiosity in nature eventually led her to land in Media/ PR industry.   Breaking into Australia's mainstream broadcasting news outlet SBS ( which is the major network to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services) as a migrant, her success in the local media industry truly brings diversity, representation, and inclusiveness into communities. However, success never comes easily. Back in the early days of working in a small media agency, she experienced toxic workplace culture which took a heavy toll on her confidence and self-worth. She learned one important lesson from there ‘don’t let anyone bring you down’!  Moving forward, she is always grabbing every opportunity which most of the time appears as a challenge. 30 years look back, Chloe shared one important learning is to always stay positive. With that positive  mindset in place, she is not as anxious as she used to be when facing challenges, because deep down inside, she knows it’s just a matter of time to overcome them.  I was so empowered by this as it’s a long-evolved journey through countless mistakes and failures to build inner resilience and confidence, eventually leading to that positivity mentality. Chloe also candidly addressed that she had so many failures but it’s a valuable experience to  grow from them.

    At this stage, of her life, she is focusing on work-life balance because a career is just part of life. she is forever on the journey of becoming a better self and never puts a limit on her pursuit. I like her beautiful saying that Life will eventually become more colourful, and we hence create a consistent drive for living our life.
    I also appreciate her interpretation of relationships is to gain trust from others, which as she said, is the key factor for her career success at SBS. To climb the corporate ladder, she believes just working hard is not enough, emotional intelligence also plays a crucial role, particularly in the media industry.  Gaining trust is always coming from that genuine intention and place to achieve mutual benefits and unity despite the difference in a corporate context, which also I believe, applies to any types of human connection. In my case, I fell under the mission of running this podcast because I gain trust from my guests. I value trust (which is the genuine connection) the most and I can’t fail to respond to that trust.  
    Stepping into a leadership role, Chloe ,who once experienced detrimental leadership in her early career, becomes the leader that creates conditions and culture for her team members to succeed and thrive at work.  She also highly appreciates mentorship which she feels privileged to be given throughout her career-building 
     We also got an in-depth discussion about social medial influence. As an industry insider, Chloe candidly pointed out that social media is an amazing resources pool that we can leverage to our advantage as opposed to being controlled by smart social media algorithms.  I truly agree with what she shared: we have the only thing to do in our life which is to take care of ourselves, our matters, and our relationship.  I also benefit from social media tremendously which is to connect to so many amazing talents around the world. But as Chloe said, what’s more  important is always to focus on yourself not lost in others’ highlight moments feeds. 
    We also talked about her workout routine,  ideal lifestyle, and future career development. She is such a woman powerhouse who is truly beautiful inside out.  We are all on the same journey to become better selves towards infinite life possibilities!

    Connect to Chloe :
    Ins: chloeffk  
    小红书: 南半球的克洛伊

    • 43 min
    Conversation with US Software Engineer / YouTuber 'HackBear' Terry Chen

    Conversation with US Software Engineer / YouTuber 'HackBear' Terry Chen

    Terry Chen pivoted his way to become a sofware engineer, standing halfway through completing his degree in management engineering. It started with side projects at university which got him into coding and programming, and eventually, he decided to pursue software engineering as his profession. To shift gear in the middle like that, it means filling a huge learning curve through trial and error and experiencing tons of interview failures, etc., Looking back on this transformation journey, his greatest learning is that it will pay off if you are persevering, working hard towards your goal.     

    Terry has always been a risk-taking person  but  he also calculates risks. He encouraged people to do make changes but always have a backup plan. Terry suggests, to pursue something different, you can try something new on the side as opposed to making the leap blindly. Passion- pursuit journey is not about making one big major decision but taking small steps which are building towards that end goal. 

    He consistently elevated his skill as a Software Engineer and landed a job offer in a big Tech company. However, he chose to work in a start-up instead of a big corporate. He values potential growth in start-ups  and the opportunity of taking on more responsibilities. At his  early career stage,  he put the pedal to the metal in his career pursuit as he still got more energy and capacity . In a long run, working in a start-up also prepares him ( Entrepreneurship mindset, process-building skill, etc.,) for running his own business one day which is his end goal.   

    He is also running his YouTube Channel’ Hack Bear’ which quickly drives traffic with 144k followers in around one and half years. He has been always holding his initial mind of running this Channel which is to deliver valuable content and educational information. His followers significantly benefit from his content (his genuine and generous sharing of industry insights, career advice, interview skills, investment, etc.,) which serves as a constant drive for him to create more high-quality content.  He also shared his investment strategies and asset allocation portfolio out of personal interest without any intention of teaching people how to invest.   The goal is to  inspire people to reflect on how to build a  dynamic relationship with money/ wealth.  Financial literacy should be addressed and financial management skills should be learned to build Safety Net and protection to everyone’s life. 

    His definition of financial freedom is to not work for money one day and pursue his true passion (running a business or full-time Youtuber, etc.,) From bottom of my heart, I want people like him (who carry that DNA of helping others) achieve financial freedom soon so he will leverage his resources and influence to make true impacts on people around him.   

    He hustles a lot, consistently pushing limits and exploring new possibilities which eventually lead to his end goal.  I see those seemingly opposite traits perfectly work in harmony on this young driven man. He is risky taking but also down-to-earth; He is creative but executed. I believe a  person like Terry will reach all his personal goals as well as fulfilling  the big mission of making this world better! In the end, I hope he will continue carrying on that bit of sense of humour throughout his entire life, which not only adds charismatics into his content but also helps him to go through all life hurdles!

    Thanks for listening to my Podcast, See you next time!

    Connect Terry on YouTube  : hackbear.tv      Instagram : master.terry.chen 

    • 53 min
    Conversation with US Fitness/Nutrition Coach / Founder of Fitme Community Christy Campbell

    Conversation with US Fitness/Nutrition Coach / Founder of Fitme Community Christy Campbell

    Authenticity and realness are rooted in Christy gene which got her easily connected to people who are real and accept her authentic side.  She also incorporated realness into core values for her company fitme which is to provide women with practical and doable nutrition/ exercise coaching. Christy addressed that the absence of realness instill a fake version of success into people’s belief systems.  As a consequence, some people may measure their real-life against someone’s highlight feed or aim at short-term wins shared on social media. However, there is no shortcut or fast track to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. As a certified coach, her ultimate goal is to help her clients achieve a sustainable and long-term outcome, which essentially comes back to building confidence and creating consistency.  Approaches behind her coaching philosophy are to pick up small and repeatable habits every day and turn them into life routines which leads to fundamental changes in their real life.

    Growing up as an athletic girl, Christy was not particularly struggling with body weight. However, Life threw some real punches on her (10 knee surgeries and 40 pounds of weight gain.,) Although she enjoys being a Mum, a professional, she was not happy about her body anymore. She once did all of the diets,  left her frustration only. Luckily, she encountered a good coach and another peer in the gym where she was educated about healthy eating habits which missed in her early upbringing and exercise in the way she never thought. This transformation experience also led her to embark on her coaching journey in fitness/ nutrition. She further discovered that in the fitness industry, many complicated strategies are designed for professional athletes, bodybuilders, but are hard to apply to regular persons who need to build daily routine and consistency. Diet gimmicks will not be practical and sustainable either. Once again, her coaching focuses on helping people to do small and simple things consistently, coming from the intention of taking care of themselves rather than body punishment. Only when people shift mindset and perspective, behaviours will change.

    We further touched on the body image issue. As Christy said, many fit people still have body image issues. It’s so true that addressing external only still won’t fix your body image problem. Weight loss is part of building a positive image, and we believe positive body image is also a reflection of confidence and should be built within.

    Connection and resilience are the other two values in fitme. I really like Christy’s beautiful interpretation of community. Community connects people who shared the same purposes and values.  Finding the right community will create momentum for yourself and forward energy with each other. Christy also pointed out we may fit in different communities as  our seasons change. In fitme community, resilience is the shared value that drives her clients to achieve a shared goal (actual fitness) even when hardship and hurdles kick in life!

    We also talk about her podcast fitme coffee talk! Each episode is 5-10 mins long with key messages delivered almost every day. She also shared strategies   ‘habits stacking’ that she learned from James Clear’s book ‘ Atomic habits’.  If you want to build new habits, try to attach with your existing habits!   Another effective coping strategy to achieve work-life balance she shared is to set up priority within day/ week and get the priority done. The rest is just a bonus.   I am strongly on board that own your words and get the priority done within timeframe you set up and build the trust relationship with yourself!

    Website: https://www.fitmecommunity.com/
    Instagram: christymaecampbell

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Conversation with Ballet Dancer/ Instructor /funder of balletcolourful Fenella McKirdy

    Conversation with Ballet Dancer/ Instructor /funder of balletcolourful Fenella McKirdy

    Starting ballet at five years old, Fenella nurtured her love and passion for ballet through years of professional training and dancing. Back to her early training periods, younger Fenella encountered a few negative teachers who questioned her pursuit, telling her to give up. Negative comments like that (particularly from instructors) can severely hinder a young dancer’s confidence, and Fenella was very confused about whether to stick to it. As she is getting older, she can finally look back to see through the fact that, she has always been doing well with receiving scholarships and many wonderful opportunities. Most importantly, she truly enjoys ballet and dancing.  
    Now, as a ballet instructor herself, she is aiming at instilling a long-lasting impression of the craft’s joy and beauty to kids/ young dancers. She turns her negative experience into a positive drive, which also makes her an instructor with a mission:  to create an open and inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy ballet for recreation and joy.  As the first step, she opened her YouTube Channel BalletColourful(with Fenella) where anyone can access the free platform to enter into the Ballet world. Moving forward, she is designing her teaching programs and running in-person sessions tailer to students’ needs with building students’ confidence as the key. Ultimately, she believes her role is to guide students along the way to achieve their individual goals (whether it’s pursuing as professionals or dancing for fun). I also truly believe, with her talents and teaching philosophy, Fenella will be the best instructor to kids/young leaners feel connect to her! 
    Upbring also plays a key role in her character-building. Both of her parents told her the value of opening herself to the outside world and filling in life with different experiences and colours. Living overseas for many years ( NY, Tokyo, Shanghai, Etc.,), she immersed herself in local day-to-day living, which, she said, was the most exciting part of living overseas. I really appreciate her ability to sense small joys (do grocery shopping in the local market, etc.) and to blend into day-to-day living. That ability and character make her a true worldwide traveller from my lens.  
    The audition story she shared is very empowering. I believe self-grow comes from self-learn and push from others. Without her Mum’s encouragement, she may not return to do the same audition again. But it also took tremendous strength and courage for her to go back and try again. As Fenella said, it’s essential to surround yourself with people who bring you positive influence and push you to step out of your comfort zone sometimes, meanwhile, we also need to give us as many opportunities as possible. Perseverance is the key to success. But sometimes, there are many factors beyond our control. Grab the chance when it presents, regardless of results or outcome. 
    Fenella said she wants to live a life without regrets, which drives her to unlock all her potentials, always acting on what she is interested in and passionate about. I strongly resonate what she said:  life comes with ups/downs and highs/lows, so treat yourself and others kindly. Life is short, and time is limited. To create an abundant, meaningful, and joyful life, really believe in yourself; You are capable; You do have something wonderful to offer to others! I also believe while we are doing what we enjoy, we also get help someone in certain way, which adds value and motivation in our life-pursuit journey.
           
      Connect to Fenella       
      Balletcolourful--Instagram
      BalletColourful (with Fenella) - YouTube

    • 58 min

Top Podcasts In Arts

NPR
The Moth
Roman Mars
Snap Judgment and PRX
Milk Street Radio
Rusty Quill