issue 08 - under pressure
meeting imaginary deadlines, Baby, We're Ascending, the Met Gala vs Roe vs Wade, Second Sky, Asian beauty Youtuber collaborations and more
housekeeping updates/reminders: we have launched our paid subscription tiers, our first paid issue went out to you all on Friday, hope you enjoyed it!
going forward, paid issues will arrive on Fridays and will have a short preview of content if you are on a free subscription. free issues will continue to arrive on Sundays (possibly will switch to every other Sunday), though they will be shortened in content and length.
what will you gain from a paid subscription? on paid-only posts, we will delve deeper into the current FRESH areas you know and love, and explore topics we might not usually cover in a regular issue. you will also have access to exclusive discussion threads on the site. with a FRESH founding member subscription, you will also have a personal shoutout on every FRESH issue, and the option to request themes or topics for future issues!
why a paid subscription? simply put, i’d like to be able to put food on the table, and continue creating for you. like any other creative endeavour, writing takes an immense amount of time and effort. in the long term, i will only be able to realistically continue FRESH if it is a source of income, and i really hope to be able to do so. this newsletter is very dear to me, and i hope it has become special to you too.
our paid subscriptions start from USD$5 a month: we’d like to keep writing as accessible as the price of a coffee ☕
you can manage and upgrade your subscription right here - thank you so much for considering a paid subscription, and we appreciate your support.
last issue we closed off with some thoughts about putting pressure on yourself - giving yourself imaginary deadlines to make yourself achieve tangible results in specific timeframes. it’s strange to feel that resulting stress and anxiety about FRESH, maybe it’s the cultural construct of publications needing to publish regularly to stay constant and relevant, like daily newspapers or monthly magazines. sometimes i forget that FRESH is still my own creation, and external cultural norms nor expectations need not apply to the way this little newsletter is run.
on a wider life-sized scale, it’s easy to see how confining yourself to imaginary timeframes usually doesn’t work out so well, especially when the universe has other plans in mind. take the very common standard of needing to get married at 25, have a kid at 30, and so on… that isn’t the way many people’s lives pan out in reality, nor what they truly want deep down for themselves. it’s not fair to yourself to set such rigid expectations for such fluid lives that we are blessed to live. when you allow yourself to let go of control and step outside of the box drawn for you by society, you invite wonderful surprises and miracles to happen - we could all use a few more of those.
FRESH: new music
Baby, We’re Ascending - HAAi, Jon Hopkins
good friends HAAi and Jon Hopkins teamed up to make this wonderful track, and Baby, I’m Here For It! the track starts off quietly with just HAAi’s angelic vocals, gradually introduces breakbeats, adds a touch of indie-dreampop, and ascends in energy until its wall-of-sound end. the simple shot of HAAi amongst the clouds on the cover art also perfectly represents the track. let’s hope there are more collaborations between these two in the future!
Nowhere - YAZELLES
YAZELLES is a funky new duo project, comprised of progressive producer Ten Ven and George Reid from AlunaGeorge! Nowhere is their latest single, a tech-house, disco-inspired, groovy and entirely summery jam - great vibes all round. if you liked this, check out their first single Cheerpoint also.
The Met Gala vs Roe vs Wade
Monday was a strange and jarring day, with pictures from the Met Gala lighting up the interwebs at the same time that the news broke about Roe vs Wade. it really puts into context how different realities can exist at the same time - it feels fickle to be discussing fashion (or lack of) when in the same country, over half the states could be banning legal abortion very soon. here are some ways to start taking action about reproductive rights.
that said, i did find some personal highlights from this year’s red carpet looks, aside from the usual ‘is this on theme?’ commentary and memes:
the FRESH grand prize goes to Mr Sebastian Stan, dressed in an oversized, all-pink Valentino look head to toe. i wasn’t expecting Stan to show up at the Gala at all this year, let alone in bright pink, which he almost never wears. it’s a vibe.
runner-up goes to Conan Gray, also dressed in Valentino - the mesh cape and beaded shirt, the sequin pants, the platform boots… absolutely stunning. i would wear any and all of these pieces in a heartbeat.
some other notable highlights: Marques Brownlee’s first Met Gala (way to go!!), Riz Ahmed’s outfit paying tribute to immigrant workers and Islamic culture, and Sophie Jonas’ baby bump reveal.
FRESH: events and happenings
Second Sky 2022
Porter Robinson’s festival Second Sky is set to have its third edition this October 29th and 30th, once again held in Oakland! comments have been flying around about the (perhaps absurdly) bumped up ticket prices this year compared to years prior, and the guesses are rolling in about which artists will be announced for the lineup. so far, RL Grime, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Bladee have been announced - very interesting selection, yet i’m not sure i’m entirely excited about it so far. we’ll see in the coming few days as an artist gets announced each day on Second Sky’s official socials.
here is a hype playlist anyhow, with songs from each of the artists as they get announced!
The OG Bombshell, by Hung Vanngo
OG Youtube beauty guru Michelle Phan recently posted this video of herself recreating a makeup tutorial collaboration she filmed with makeup artist Hung Vanngo - i loved the look so much i had to go and watch the original video by Vanngo!
what sets Vanngo’s tutorials apart are how his artistry and perspective on makeup as a creative medium shines through in the process. as Phan mentioned, each stroke and motion that Vanngo makes is very intentional, whether it’s choice of brush or placement of product. i’ll be giving this look a go myself, i don’t usually stick to nude tones but this might just have me convinced!
Cats & Soup
my friend Anya recommended this game to me earlier this week, and i haven’t been able to put it down since 🤤 the premise of Cats & Soup is simple - you oversee your group of cats cooking soup together in the forest, and sell the soup they make for coins to build new facilities for them to make different kinds of soup. it feels very Neko Atsume, with more complex gameplay and detailed graphics.
i won’t spoil too much in case you want to discover the fun things in the game yourself, but one of my favorite parts is getting to dress up your cats in clothes and hats that you collect as rewards, then watching them stir up a big pot of soup or bounce happily on a trampoline in their new getup. it’s the small things in life, truly.
finally sorted out those issues with blingbywing.com, it’s now up and running again! thank you for your patience <3
i’ve been getting a few custom requests to make necklaces in this beaded, twisted wire style - using wire instead of regular string to bead has opened up a lot of creative options to freestyle and experiment, and i’m excited to create more in this style! this is the IRIDESCENT WATERFALL necklace.
even though i had ‘more deadlines’ (two issues a week!) to reach this week than last, i feel a lot more settled, less agitated about accomplishing my goals. maybe it’s because i haven’t had the time to get up in my head about worrying about getting things done - i’ve been busy with actually getting on with getting the things done. maybe that’s one remedy for feeling the pressure on you, especially from yourself.
much love and happy mother’s day,