Own Your Story #12 with Amy Ng: Hustling is easy when you love your craft

She walked in with a big smile, gave me a warm greeting and handed me a brown paper gift bag with little goodies she created.

That instantly melted my heart. I thought of giving her my book too, but it slipped my mind in the midst of rushing out for an appointment.

As the host of the podcast, I learned my first lesson from Amy — if you care enough, you don’t forget.

Purposeful digging

I heard about Amy’s creative venture through a mutual friend.

When I found out that she has been running her blog, Pikaland (Pika = light in Japanese), since a decade ago, I was mesmerised by the fact that she built her ‘wonderland’ before blogging was a thing in our country!

Among her online courses, artist zines, and many other creations, one of her honest and beautiful articles spoke straight to my heart.

‘As I step back, I see a vast labyrinth of underground tunnels, pathways and passages. It looks like a map — one that I’m continuously building as I put one feet in front of another.’ — Amy

That is how our map comes about, isn’t it?

People are just lazy

Fun fact: Amy was featured in Emilie Wapnick’s popular TED talk about ‘multipotentialite’ that garnered more than 5.5 million views.

In the TED talk, Emilie introduced Amy as ‘a magazine editor turned illustrator, entrepreneur, teacher and creative director’.

I have creator friends who struggle to produce creative work while having a full-time job. I knew how my energy was drained when I worked in a job without creative freedom.

So I asked Amy how she managed to juggle among different projects. Her answer came in an honest, matter-of-fact manner — people are just lazy.

When she was a magazine editor, it was normal for her to finish work at 8, worked on Pikaland until 3 in the morning, and went to work the second day.

‘If you love something so much, you will work hard for it.’

Ignore yourself

I asked Amy what advise should young graduate ignore. I love her answer when she said that they should ignore themselves.

In Osho’s book ‘Creativity’, he mentioned that the first step to be truly creative is to drop all conditioning.

If an artist creates with the intention to be approved, the work could be impeccable but the artist is absent.

Advises are autobiographical

It is always a myth for people to understand how creative people generate sustainable income, many people have different opinion about going on this path.

When Amy said that advises are autobiographical, I found it comical and yet it made so much sense.

Nobody intends to give bad advice, they are simply speaking their truth from their own experience at that point of time.

What is true to you? Are you going to based your life upon another person’s life in a different era?

Only you yourself know what matter most in your life.

Do something you love, and change the world doing it

Amy’s proudest creation is an online course ‘Work, art, play’ that help students recognise their passion and story, translate that into a meaningful work that fulfils a market need.

She said, ‘if I’m not the solution, I’m the problem’.

Later that day, I was frustrated to find out that the video quality of our FB live interview wasn’t consistent due to poor WIFI connectivity.

While I felt sorry for not creating quality video out of Amy’s effort, I remembered asking Amy about how she filters opportunities and learns to say ‘no’ to certain things.

I am so, so thankful that she sees enough value to be part of this little amateur podcast I created.


Hi, I am Isabelle, author of ‘The Art of Owning Your Story’, I am building a podcast called ‘Own Your Story’. You can sunscribe to my youtube channel here, and don't forget to subscribe to my weekly newsletter before you go!

If you enjoy what you read, your comment would mean a lot to me! Thank you 🙂

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