Steve Jobs: Not just any man

The past two days the hot topic on everyone’s lips has been “Steve Jobs has died.”  It’s strange that I should find out about this on my iPhone, a few  minutes after waking up.
When talking to others the first reaction is a little ‘gasp.’  Everyone knows him. Even those who are not Apple fans.  He’s dead and millions worldwide mourn his death.  Millions who have not seen nor spoken to him in person, yet we all hold a part of him in our lives.  We use his inventions to contact those dearest to us and as research even suggests, what we feel for our smart phones may not be merely addiction, but in fact ‘love.’

Yes, we have grown to ‘love’ our iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macs and many things Apple related.

For me, the iPhone has become so much of life that it is the last thing I look at before I go to bed at night, and it is the first thing I wake up to in the morning.  It is my alarm clock, my organizer, my camera, my newspaper, and my source of contact to the virtual world of social networking.    I no longer have to carry around newspapers, books, notebooks, agendas, games, or other things when I travel.  It’s all in one.

Before the iPhone, a phone was a phone.  I used it to call people, answer calls and do a little bit of email here and there.  That was it.  There were no androids back then.  We had symbians and blackberry.  Functional phones.  When I was in highschool in Poland, we still used those telephones with round dials and operators to call international.  Now we use Skype and internet on our iPhones.  Amazing how fast technology has changed.

Now many lives have forever changed.  Children now play with iPads and iPhones as if it were the most natural thing on earth.  They play with it without any hesitation. It is intuitive and responsive to the human touch.  Looking back at my own childhood, I still remember playing summer and winter olympics on the Commodore 64.  Then we had Atari.  That was considered amazing.  5 inch flopping disks coupled with green and black screens. No Windows. No coloured screens. No internet. Computers were still not so approachable.  We feared it a little.  No longer.

Steve Jobs changed the technology world, but what do we mean by this?  I think what we mean is that his creativity and his visions have allowed us to experience what once could only be found in science fiction.  He let us believe that dreams can be accomplished, that anything was possible.  You just had to find it inside of you.

No longer do we have to settle for boring functional telephones and animations whose stories were targeted only for children.  Steve let you enjoy a bit of art and design in the iPhone, iPad and anything Apple.  Every curve, ever corner well considered, well thought out.  Crafted with love.

He affects us because his creations helped take the drudgery out of everyday worklife, where many seem to work without souls.  Steve worked with his soul.  Steve worked with his heart. He ‘created.’

If only we could all put our hearts and our souls into doing something we love, the world would indeed be a different place.  If only we could all find our ‘passion.’

Yes, we will all miss Steve Jobs and his visions.  The world will and has already remembered him. Good bye Steve Jobs. We’ll miss you.

Book binding for the soul

Tonight I write not about travels, good eats, nor exercise.  I write about a little activity that is great for relaxing and in the end you get something that also comes in handy, a little notebook or sketchbook.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved books and stationery.   I could spend hours on end in bookstores, browsing through the titles, flipping through titles and feeling the paper between my hands.  This love for books included a love for stationery.  Fine writing paper, beautifully crafted notebooks and calligraphy pens were my thing.  As I grow older, it now involves a love for books that have been handcrafted.  I have a sketchbook that I handmade in highschool and it still holds up fine.  Everytime I use it, I remember sitting there making the cover and cutting up the paper. Drawings inside date from the 1990’s, but each one holds a memory.   Happy memories.  It’s not surprising my first drawing is of my beloved dog.

Looking around for a nice notebook in Bangkok, I could not find one to suit my taste.  I therefore decided to make one myself.  Yes, I walked over to the art section, got myself book binding tape, latex glue, art paper, hard cardboard paper and found a beautiful piece of paper that would be the cover.  I could paint a cover myself, like I did before but maybe not this time.

I came home and spread everything out.  I sat there on the floor for hours, cutting up paper, measuring sizes and making sure that covers and pages measured out.   Then came the actual sewing of the pages together and then making sure they were held together tight.  I have to tell you, those were one of the most relaxing several hours I’ve had in a long time (despite a slight backache).

I’m still in search of a nice finishing touch to my notebooks but they are almost complete.  So if you know not what to do this weekend or need a little relaxation, take up a project and do something
with your hands. It works wonders. 🙂

Where did I buy the material? Not going out of my way, I got most of it at B2S art section at Central World which is quite large and has most everything for the amateur artist.  However, if you want beautiful papers for the cover go to the imported art section at Paragon.

Have fun and enjoy!