Thursday, April 26, 2012

Your Moment & Interview

School days are the best days. It is there we cultivate long-lasting friendships or bitter enemies. However, we may choose to forget the past and move on to something better. Today, I have the honour of posting the interview of one of my former classmates, Mary-Ann Brailey. A Trini callaloo individual with a vivacious smile, an elegant bone structure, and a deep love for culture, who is also a graphic designer, video director and a budding Anti-Child abuse activist, CafféLatté magazine© took the opportunity to drag the mother of one to discuss what goes on in her mind and keeps her determination to continue making creative strides.

 Working with her husband, Orlando Dinchong, they meld their creative vibes to create and push for a different type of advertising and video editing techniques. Ensuring that the finished product sets a minimum standard on which they can build their platform to better creative networking.

Mary-Ann Brailey

Q: Briefly, what is the nature of your business and what do you do?
A: I am in the creative business. I do graphic design for all print media. I also partner with my husband in video production as well as CG (computer generated) 3D animation.

Q: What is your current state of mind right now?
A: My current state of mind…hmmm…I am currently very upset about the recent reports of child abuse – it’s something that has been bothering me tremendously and just recently I said to myself, "there must be some way I could help", not completely sure how, but I cannot sit back and not contribute something…even if it’s small…for now.

Q: Who/What influenced you to go into graphic design, and videography?
A: Well, I have always been a lover of art in all its forms and in 2000 I acquired a position as an assistant curator for the gallery There, I worked under Ronald Joseph, who became a very dear friend to me…he was actually the one who got me involved in graphic design, having many years of experience in advertising, he taught me all he knew, and to this day I am still learning. In 2001, my husband decided we should start our own business in video production, but especially focusing on 3D animation. As years went by we taught ourselves and practiced, practiced, practiced and we were able to identify our strengths and become better. It was hard in the early years, as I think people weren’t ready for animation on that level, I was even told that by several senior members in two ‘big’ media houses. So with much rejection, we decided to lay low. We did get a few jobs by word of mouth, and after awhile our clients grew. Now, we have decided to come out and advertise…we will see how it goes.

Q: I see that you mention Pat Bishop a lot, how did you two meet?
A: I met Pat in 2001 at the gallery where we were hosting one of her exhibitions. We didn’t really become friends till 2004, when I started working at the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago. There she saw our work in animation and video production, and soon after became our biggest client. Pat was gifted in seeing other people’s gifts and she made sure you became great at your gifts. She was an inspiration, a motivator and she loved animation. She was many things, a normal meeting with her and you guaranteed to learn something. 

Q: What are some of the projects that you have done, on TV, magazines, or in the newspapers?
A: My husband and I have completed several animated TV ads. Our biggest challenge was the CEPEPER campaign. We have done video production for Wonderful World, the Carnival Institute just to name a few. I have been doing TUCO’s yearly carnival congratulations full page advert for the past 3 years. I recently started work with the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Guide, I did the cover for their 10th Anniversary edition.

Q: What was the best thing that has ever happened to you in your life?
A: The best thing that has ever happened to me…I have several…but I will say my family, the knowledge I have acquired from working with Pat and mostly knowing our creator.

Q: What are your other hidden talents?
A: My other talents are photography, I have about 8 years experience in event and stage management, I am also a mother, wife and career woman.

Q: If you had one wish that could come true, what would it be? And if possible, who would it be with?
A: A huge, huge house with a gigantic garden with a secret garden and trees, flowers and mazes for my family and I.

Q: Throughout history, some folks have experienced the ups and downs of life, and as a result they said a quote(s). What is your favorite quote, who said it, and how does it apply to you?
A: I have a few favourite quotes, but these days I have been saying this one in my head over and over: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Martin Luther King. Jr.

Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am currently working on a few things, getting our company out there. My husband and I are working on a film and I am helping my friend start up a small organization where its soul purpose, is to bring more awareness to people and children on ‘child abuse’.

Q: If you have a comment for CafféLatté magazine, what would it be?
A: CafféLatté Magazine© is always a great, great read, the stories are always interesting and the way it is written makes you want to read more. I look forward to the magazine growing into something even greater in years to come…it has my full support.

Thank you so much Ms. Brailey, we hope to see more of you in the future!


# Jeroen Wismans interview

A reflection of Other People's Love

I try not to be a romantic person, because I can be very sappy to the point that I annoy myself. The enjoyment of crushes is just enough to satisfy that nothing is wrong with me, and I could move on from there. The process of meeting someone, getting to know that person, putting up with all kinds of stuff, and then realizing you want to get married is too long for me, I am rather impatient and will not want to get too emotional, because of the annoying sappy factor involved.

Then there is Ryan and Bethany.

You ever wonder what makes people fall in love. I always wonder about it. And if I see two people courting, I doubt weather they are really in love. Bethany is now a widow, she has been married to Ryan for six weeks before a rare form of cancer came and took him away. I do not know them personally, but yet I feel compelled to say something, because, well some folks get married for money, to show off on others, to receive gifts, to, I don't know, get their groove going. Somehow, there was something special about this couple, the pics, the videos, the family life, while I figured they were not perfect, there is some sort of a solid relationship on both sides among the family. Forget the American Dream, and the well, lack of diversity, but look at the reality, and rawness of the Love and support shown, and surrounding this couple as the Bride and Groom make a public commitment before each other, not knowing when his body becomes ravaged by such a dreadful disease.

What is it like to die? I can't help you there, but I do know that those who are dead now, will live again. John 5:28 states that, "the hour is coming, in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice." Sometimes, the pain and finality of death makes us go into shock, and seeing such a young couple coping with cancer shows how much people need to look past what this world has to offer.

I am heading to Tobago to get some r and r. I'd rather do that than go St.Anns.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Small Home on a Caribbean Island

Just in case you think I have nothing better to do than post my 3D Home designs, or brood about being unemployed... you are right. Doing projects on Sketchup beats sitting at a desk all day, being watched over by a jumbie/creative director who is breathing down my back. Yes, that last statement will win me no favors, but so is being too nice.

Lately, folks from the cold regions are hoping/wanting to retire in the Caribbean. They eagerly, grab, no buy what is left, and hire a local to be a cleaner/maid/house nanny. This has happened before... hmmm. Anyway, sometimes the pay is good, and the person is treated well... ok, that is going into too much red tape. Here is a little home I designed on a whim, I slept and drooled and snored on it like I do with all the others, so I hope you like it. The LandRover was designed by a guy named Rogue, he has a whole bunch of vehicles on Sketchup, and he is one of the best in that department, hands-down.

Feast your eyes:

It is built for a small piece of land

Check out my shutter windows

Ample kitchen area space is a must, in the Caribbean

Living/Dining room. Couple or Single

Restroom on your left, closet on your right

View from the Bedroom towards the kitchen


I believe I am blacklisted for some reason, in terms of employment. So, I did a piece of art work reflecting it. My career is dead in the graphic design field, so I will use it as a hobby, and jump start my career by returning to school. However, this does not cancel my copyright of my art, and I will still have my blog, because the interviews have been getting feedback.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Milestone Article from Yahoo!

Yes, there is a hint of sarcasm in the heading. Before in the days of yore, when online articles address the beauty need of dark-skinned women, it was very rare and almost always in the dark cave of the http:// world. You could spend hours searching for that *watchamacallit* that keeps your hair soft, or the natural no scented oils that does not ravage your eczema sensitive skin, with nary a peep of info. Then something happened and changed the way how beauty is pushed down our throats, and whatever it is, reinvented the way we look at ourselves as what we are, and what we have, as opposed to what we can be. It can even be summoned up into one word:


Interestingly, this word has sparked a long list of 'natural accessories', like: jewelry, hair products, skin products, etc. Now don't get me wrong, these things were here for a very long time, I mean if you really think about it, people who lived during the time the Jesus was on Planet Earth, and before that (B.C.E. wise), was equivocally natural. They used olive oil (and I mean the "real unadulterated version"), ate lots of fruits and nuts, built natural homes by the materials they made themselves, and cooked natural food and meat. At least that is what I read in the bible. I must add though, that Egyptians had some pretty questionable means of getting rid of illnesses. Ok, I will name one: using feces of any kind as a cure for anything. Look it up!
"I am getting my hair did y'll."
Then, when the Israelites came around, you began to hear of 'natural' food like barley, honey, leeks, garlic, fig, nuts, grapes, olives, etc. I mean, even in the hot arid desert, can you imagine anyone of the women back then waking up looking like LiLo in the morning? Their bodies were pure, smooth skin, voluptuous shiny hair, stuff like that. 

Today, we cannot escape the fact that chemicals are everywhere. And you could forget about the Low-Fat anything, what do you think they use to make 'low-fat coffee-mocha whipped cream moccachino alpine nutrasweet frappe with a cherry', huh? That is right, chemicals. If you doubt me, ask yourself, do you know one cow who insists on eating low-fat grass, and is always on a diet? Drinking evian and chai tea? 

Talking about the Egyptians, I could do with some of their cotton fabric, that would be lovely.

So, there I was browsing through the web on a break, and I stumbled onto a an article in Yahoo, that spoke about natural hair and relaxer. Huh? This is one of many sites who under an article stating "The Best foundation for those under 100* years old (*hint)" states various shades under a variety of brands. I see the shades, I put my swarthy hand next to them and hiss, "As usual, nothing for me." If I have to get a foundation at a make up counter, I sometimes have to ask, "Anything darker in this brand?" One too many times of that, and I now only wear pressed powder, cream-to-powder foundation against very oily skin in a humid climate makes my skin very slick, so I avoid them. In addition, they had Essence magazine links! 

By the way, walking around as an "Afro-Natural" is the most exhilarating thing I have done so far. It feels so good not to spend extra money on relaxers and others. I use coconut oil alot, my skin has taken to it beautifully, and my hair as well. One thing though, why do people keep wanting to touch it?

Grow Yah Own!™©


Monday, April 9, 2012

Final Take On the Tiny piece of Land...

That is no longer for sale. Do you remember this? Well I did a second version, and I am happier. I included parking for two cars, two bedrooms, a look out, and a cute T.V. space.

The kitchen remained the same, and I added shutter windows. I was always looking for an excuse to design with shutter windows because in the Caribbean, the humidity could be merciless. The only way I can see that being defeated is to have shutter windows and a high ceilings. I also have the option of A/C. Air Conditioning has its benefits, but soon there will be an increase in energy costs with T&TEC raising the bill, and I am looking for simpler ways to design homes with as little materials as possible, I hope this clenches it. Later, I am going even simpler, it will be my third wooden home design with a distinct Caribbean flair, and yes there will be shutter windows. I can't wait!

Now for CafféLatté Magazine's Minimalist Caribbean Home.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Life with a twist

Hey folks! I kind of lost my mojo for a few weeks, but I should be back on track next week. Life has been throwing some really hard coconuts, and I got a few hits, however all is not lost. I went to visit an old school friend on Thursday, she encouraged me to keep at this blog, because she really enjoys it. It felt so good to see her, since it has been years.

One thing I love about the life I have, is that I had a really good class: Ms. Sagar Form 3 at Bishops Centenary College. We all had our nerds and our comedians, our wild child and our fashionable muses, our loud-mouth debaters and our quiet dignity torch holders.

The majority of us stayed until we became Form 5 General. Our class room was in the Biology lab, and there was our cafeteria, our lunch room and and our stand up comedy central place. We discussed and studied anything and everything: religion, race, life at home, siblings, subjects, etc. I guess, I am supposed to say we were normal. But we were never normal. I can't remember anyone in my class liming outside of it, the Bio Lab was our liming spot, our comfort.

Fifteen years ago, we all graduated and went our different ways. Then Facebook came along, and it has been so easy to get in check with each other. Some have children, some got engaged, some got married, some went to the weddings of those who got married, others got married in a very simple and small ceremony, two people had beach weddings, and very few are still single, maybe one.

We have nurses, artists, flight attendants, accountants, self-employed, etc. And we all live around the world and marry folks from around the world, ha! My sister once suggested, "Y'll should definitely have a tea-party!" The thing is we were not a convent, nor a prestigious school, we were just a bunch of young women who made a life for themselves and are still living.

I got permission to add a pic. I am adding it in its raw form, it is from Cadell ("The so-called wild one who had a boyfriend with a motorcycle!") I did not now about that one, lol.
Form 3 Sagar at Bishops Centenary College