Deborah Tseng


Let's Get Personal

For as long as I can remember, my life has been all about people around me.

That's one of the reasons why I've been sharing a lot about myself lately, as if I finally woke up one day and realized that I'm ALLOWED to do so.

In one of my latest Instagram posts (this one), I mentioned my experience with minor depression that happened about four years ago when I was still in Taiwan. I believe it was a combination of my own perfectionism, the inexplicable need to please others, and not knowing what I'm doing with my life.

have no fear-quote-deb

I was simply too aware about what other people think, about what was expected of me, and above all, too desperate for recognition.

I do know that I'm not the only person to have broken down because of all those reasons. People I knew who were diagnosed with serious depression, were people that were always kind and always making sure that everyone else was happy.

That's why I'm very grateful for what I have and where I am right now.

You see, ever since I was a kid, creative activities have been my greatest way of distracting myself from what I SHOULD be doing. I would be busy with nail art for hours when I was "supposed" to be studying for the high school entrance exam. You might also see me playing the piano for hours whenever I felt stressed from the SHOULDs. I'd also be hand-crafting stuff all the time, just because I wanted to.

The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life - Jessica Hische

Sadly, after I entered college where I majored in music and had to practice piano and Bel Canto for examination purposes, the creative part of me withered, temporarily, for the past seven years.

I forgot what it felt like to be creating, and to be passionate about what I'm doing. I was lost, but at the same time, I punished myself for not being able to find my way by not asking for help (big mistake).

For seven straight years, I didn't own my life, and I only had myself to blame. The most motivated I've ever been throughout the seven years, was the thought of finally living up to the expectation of owning a master's degree, and to leave Taiwan.

That was 2013.

I started lettering in 2015, and haven't stopped ever since. It felt really good to be creating again.

When I first started practicing lettering, it was more of an emotional outlet for me. I would be busy with my water brush for hours everyday, especially after my evening classes (or when I'm really pissed off about something).

Slowly, I started to share my work on Instagram, but I was still constantly looking for recognition. I had to know what I was doing was good enough to be appreciated. Habits die hard.

However, as I practiced and put in effort to develop my own style, it somehow turned into a journey of self-realization. I felt peaceful while creating, and even though I have no idea what I'm doing, it's still nice to know there's possibility in me.

What was an activity of emotional outlet slowly turned into pure creative intentions. I still have doubts every now and then, but I've learned to have a little bit more faith in myself.

Also, thanks to Instagram, I'm starting to connect with people who share my passion as well as values.

I'm not sure where I'm going with my creative attempt, but what I do know is that doing a little bit of something everyday, is better than doing nothing at all (if you've seen Monvoir's newest business card, you know what I'm talking about).

If you've reached this part of the post, thank you so much for your love and patience. What you see is where I am right now, and I hope by sharing my progress, I help those who are also on their way to where they want to be feel a little bit more empowered. 

If not, at least I promise there will be useful information and beautiful letterings. 

love, Deb

 Lettering, watercolor, and photography by Deborah Tseng

Lettering, watercolor, and photography by Deborah Tseng