Joe: Maxine, D'Avella, Emojis & Bossdorf

May 5, 2020

At Aquí, we take our cuppa Joe very seriously. Rest assured, because the same applies when it comes to design. As avid coffee drinkers, we often ask, “How do you like your coffee?” And as a creative boutique, we like to ask, “How do you like your design?” Joe is a blog segment where we - #TeamAquí - share our design inspirations.



‘Attention to detail’ seems to have turned into a common theme on the blog. This week, Evelyn introduces us to local tattoo artist, Maxine Ng, whose art is easily recognised by its intricacy. Her style is described as soft and feminine, often revolving around botanicals and marbling, among other subjects. We were gathered on a Zoom call watching snippets of a documentary about Maxine and there were moments where we all gasped, especially at the part where we got to see her sketchbook filled with ballpoint pen drawings. Maxine’s fine-line strokes and shading technique are definitive attributes of her art. What really proves the mastery of her craft is the precision that is displayed in the application of her art onto the human medium, the skin; there’s never one the same.

“It seems like a lot of control for consistency is needed as a tattoo artist,” Evelyn said.

In the documentary, it was obvious that Maxine has a strong passion for what she was doing. Her dedication towards her craft is inspiring and it motivates people around her to constantly push boundaries, including those who are watching her behind the screens - that’s us! Commitment is highly underrated in today’s world. Once in awhile, we find out about creatives like Maxine who reminds us to check ourselves.

“Passion is very important. It’s always very important to find a job or even something that you really would incline yourself towards more so you can be successful at it.” — Maxine Ng



“Today I’ll be sharing about a Youtuber that I’ve been following for awhile now,” Maria told us while bringing our attention to the shared screen. Matt D’avella is a lot of things - a filmmaker, minimalist, Youtuber, and podcaster. He is also the director of Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things which you can catch on Netflix (if you have not). D’avella’s content is focused on self-development, which is what Maria is very much into. We dove into one of the videos and was immediately drawn to his charisma and wit.

D’avella has an unusual take on storytelling. In these self-help videos that he creates, you are often taken on his journey full of successes and failures instead of being told what to do. Every video has a powerful message that the filmmaker brings across with clarity. You know for sure that D’avella takes a lot of pride in his work as he is creative with his shots even when most of them are filmed at home. The narrative to each video is always clear as the editing is simple and straight to the point - similar to the way D’avella articulates his thoughts. We really enjoyed one of his latest videos, ‘How to deal with uncertainty’, as it was smart, lighthearted and informative (we also really loved the illustrations). Dive into his videos with an open mind and the next thing you know, you will be on your way to embrace the minimalist in you.



A PSA for all the designers/creatives out there - the search for emojis that communicate your thoughts on every level is over. The team at &Walsh has produced a number of emojis and sticker sets that fully represent what we go through. We did not know this was available for download until Nella told us about it. It was one of the best news we had heard that day, seriously.

The creative agency had also released another set of stickers/emojis that portrays “Life in 2020”. Jessica Walsh expressed that these were created in hopes to provide comic relief in difficult times. Digital communication in isolation is definitely not the same as face-to-face interactions. Who would have thought that a set of smileys contextualised to our common experience would get us excited to express how we feel? Similar to memes, these emojis have a symbolic way of making people feel connected through relatable themes. We have felt immense joy from using these emojis in the past week.

You can find out more about a designer’s repressed emotions on &Walsh.



With all the sharing of recipes that has been happening at least once a week, it is no surprise that one of us would eventually talk about food again. This week, Yu Ting introduced us to Pauline Bossdorf aka livingthehealthychoice - a plant-based food blogger, photographer and cookbook author based in Berlin. Five years ago, when veganism was still unheard-of in Singapore, Yu Ting chanced upon Bossdorf’s Instagram and could not believe what she was looking at was made from plant-based and natural ingredients. Yu Ting immediately fell in love with her style of food photography and had followed her ever since (even though she rarely steps into the kitchen).

Years ago, there was a common perception that plant-based foods will never be tasty or easy to make, but Bossdorf was one of them who changed the way people thought about it by sharing her simple recipes online. Paired with her eye for photography, @livingthehealthychoice became the go-to Instagram account for what we used to call “food porn”. What started as a documentation of her cooking soon turned into an opportunity for Bossdorf to pursue her career in food photography and blogging. In 2017, a big dream was realised when she got to publish her first cookbook.

To all the recent home chefs, if you are thinking of what to cook at home, check out the recipes on Living The Healthy Choice and treat yourself to a yummy plant-based meal.


What's Your Type: Aquí's Top Favourites


Joe: MamboMambo, Henn Kim, Dodgy Paper, ThatsChic

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