Define Your Own Success – One Step At A Time [Part 2/5]

August 2, 2019

What does success really mean to you? To some, it means feeling personally fulfilled, while to others it could mean having the dream relationship and family. Or it could even be something more tangible; influence, or status, or money. Maybe it’s something different altogether? It very much depends on who you are. 


“Success Through the Lens of Art” is a project initiated by Dreamplex Coworking Space and led by curator Kim Anh Doan of T-pot Journal and Away Studio. Five young Vietnamese artists were asked to illustrate what success means to them and despite living across borders, they all took to paper, canvas, and the digital screen to create artwork that embodied their ideas about success.


Hương Anh Trịnh – “One Step at a Time.”


To Hương Anh Trịnh, the second artist featured in our project, success is managing to hold your head high, aimed at your destination. And knowing that obstacles could look scary at first but usually aren’t that bad. With an ambition or a goal that is so far away and so high up, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and lose yourself along the way. But even the longest journey starts with a single step. 


Success is also not only about reaching your goal, but also maintaining your balance while aiming at your destination. Life is a continuous journey. After reaching one goal, you will soon set another. When you’re too focused on the destination, you might lose your sense of sustainability. Therefore, being in balance is the key for those who want to go the distance. 


Those are the two points Hương Anh Trịnh conveys with her piece. The challenge for the man in this artwork is not just the length of the stairway to the goal far up, it’s also about resilience, being able to keep balance for the apple on his head. “For me, this symbolizes knowledge and consciousness throughout the whole journey. He’s determined to take step-by-step towards his goal, instead of rushing or surrendering to the struggles. He knows that no good result ever comes overnight, and struggle is the pre-condition for growth. This stairway journey prepares him to always be ready for the next step, encouraging him to constantly strive for a higher level of performance.” 


“I know that if I look at it as one step at a time, one day I’m going to look up and realize I’m already at the destination. So it’s important to always stay calm, be patient, appreciate every opportunity, try to deal with problems gracefully and of course, never stop working hard,” she adds.

Hương Anh Trịnh is a Hanoi-based illustrator with a keen interest in creating art that brim with positive energy. A lot of her work is driven by her love for the natural world and she always aims towards explaining scientific information through highly visual concepts. 


Where possible, she likes to infuse her illustrations with a sense of fun and warmth, and to weave some sense of magic into her whimsical visual narratives that awakens the wildest selves of her audiences. Her ultimate art goal is to spread a sense of well-being and hopefully to bring human beings closer to nature in this ever-changing life. 


Having been working as a freelance brand designer for the last 6 years and already having finished her Master degree in Children’s Literature & Illustration, she is glad to say that her feet are still on the ground while her head is somewhere in the middle of the brightest-day cloud. 


Hương Anh also shares a tip for the many Dreamplex members who may struggle to stay motivated on the way to their goals: “Many entrepreneurs might want to seek for shortcuts or to give up and change their goals too soon. But if anyone has the willpower to achieve little wins slowly over time, they will eventually realize that no effort is ever wasted and they are perfectly able to turn something seemingly impossible into possible, one day.”


“You may want to be succeed and support others being succeed at the same time. You may want to spend your time at work and on your personal life and your own development appropriately. You may want to grow your business not only bigger but also greener” she adds. 


Our topic doesn’t finish here…


Stories behind three more beautiful pieces of artwork will be shared in the upcoming weeks, so please stay tuned. The upcoming artists are Toma Nguyen, Vũ Tuấn Anh, and Việt Huỳnh. Check out artist Nhung Lê‘s piece here. In the meanwhile, do head over to Dreamplex Tran Quang Khai to check our exhibition out. Try putting your own interpretive twist to the pieces if you do not yet know the meaning behind them. 


Dreamplex: A Space for Success


Dreamplex is a network of coworking spaces in Saigon and Hanoi that wants to inspire and enable young entrepreneurs to be successful. Success, that is not just about the bottom line of its members’ companies, but rather a holistic and authentic sense of doing well – personally and in business: working on something you love, with a true sense of purpose, and while creating every day and long-term sustained happiness for yourself and your teams. 


Where you work and the physical surroundings you’re in can influence your mood and productivity a lot. Good workplaces help you connect back to what drives you, every time you walk in, have a meeting or simply sit down and get some work done. Tying to their mission and vision, Dreamplex spaces are therefore designed as “spaces for success,” where every element of the physical workplace helps you grow your sense of inspiration and motivation.


Come see the exhibition at Dreamplex, 62 Trần Quang Khải, Tân Định, Quận 1.

Check out the other articles in this series:

Success Through the Lens of Art
Paint Your Own Success – Nhung Le
Build a Positive Self Image – Toma Nguyen