⟨ Book ⟩

Don’t Quit The Day Job

By Day Job Studio

Words / 文心
Photos / Kimio Ng
Translation / Ian Tsang

在這個資訊只有過多而從沒缺少的時代,自處的時間好像越來越奢侈。我們用急速的步伐追趕著巴士,追趕著某個場次的電影,追趕著下一個聚會的目的地,把生活的空間都填滿,我們習慣將之稱為「不浪費時間」。母親曾經在我讀中學時說過:「每一個人都有自己的小宇宙,可是都是要經營的。我們每一個人都要學習如何自處,就是當你自己在一個空間內,你也可以在只有自己的情況下待著。」我聽的時候不以為然,在想:明明沒有他人才自在啊。但當我問問自己和身邊的人時,就會發現沒有幾個能想像自己獨個兒老老實實地待在一個空間時,要怎麼把時間渡過。

可能是因為這些想法,我欣賞也喜歡Day Job Studio所做的事情。他們除了鼓勵抽象思維,更習慣留白。像這本名為「Don’t Quit The Day Job」的活動本子,把不同的顏色紙串在一起,把它打開來看,左邊的是空白的,就只有顏色紙淡淡的底色;右邊則是他們所選的勵志語句,配上簡約的插畫,感覺像是小時候的勞作課成品。你可以光把它當成讓自己放鬆、尋找內心平靜的讀本,你也可以把它當成一本畫冊,在每一頁左邊的頁面上創作,不會有過份喧嘩的資訊或者指示。它沒有「好/不好」、「漂亮/不漂亮」等定義,而是打開它的時候能讓你靜下心來,察覺內心的聲音,發現那些在不留白的時間表裏包容不了的想法與覺醒。停下來觀照自己需要勇氣,需要誠實地面對自己可能比想像中空洞,但也只有這樣子,才能開始建構自己的小宇宙。

In the current era, when information is only in excess but never in shortage, having time to yourself is becoming increasingly a luxury. We rush to catch a bus, rush to make it for a particular movie showing, and rush to the destination for the next gathering, thereby filling up all the space in our life. We are used to calling this ¨not wasting time.” When I was at secondary school, my mother once said to me, ¨Every person has his or her own small universe, but the universe needs to be managed. Every one of us needs to learn how to deal with their own selves. That is when you are within your own space, you will be alright even if you are all by yourself.” It did not resonate with me at first, as I thought: clearly one feels more at ease without other people. However, after asking myself and the people around me, I came to realize that very few could imagine how they could spend time alone within a space.

It was perhaps because of these thoughts that I appreciate and like what Day Job Studio has worked on. Apart from encouraging abstract thinking, it, to an even greater extent, is also used to leaving some empty space. The activity book titled “Don’t Quit The Day Job” binds together pieces of paper in different colors. Flipping it open, you will find empty space on the left-hand side, and there is only a light base color of the paper itself; on the right-hand side, you will find selected inspirational sayings along with simple illustrations, which look like completed assignments at art and craft classes when I was little. You can treat it as a book that allows you to relax and find peace in your heart. Alternatively, you can also regard it as a drawing book, in which you can draw on every left-hand page without overly intrusive information or instructions. It does not give you any definitions for such things as “good or bad” and “beautiful or ugly”. Instead, you will be able to find peace when you open this book, noticing the voice inside your heart and discovering thoughts and awakenings that you do not have room for at times without any empty space. It takes courage to stop and reflect on your own self. It may seem more vague than you imagine to be honest with yourself, but only through this can you start to construct your own little universe.