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The path you take in life is not always easy, nor is it simple.

It was snowing the day my family and I arrived in America. We landed in Kingsport, TN on January 29, 1979 — I was 4 years old. I have not seen or heard of snow before that day. Those tiny, cold speck of ice were welcoming us and sprinkling down on a new path in life.

We were Lao refugees, a diaspora looking for a better future. We stayed with our sponsors for a little over six months. During that time, my memories of them were unforgettable. They taught us all they could about the American way of life. They took us in as their own — we became family. Two lifelines crossing paths.

Times have changed. Time has changed me. A lot of the things I use to do in my childhood shaped who I am today. The times when I would break open my VCR to fix the tracking on the video feed. The times when I put clear tape on my tape recorder head so that I can record multitrack and do a solo accapella until my mom yells at me. I spent a lot of time reading comic books and drawing what I see. Most Saturday mornings were spent in front of animated characters doing wacky things on TV. They open the path for me to become a better artist — a better designer.

I’ve always loved playing with technology. I love taking things apart and rebuilding them — that’s how I learn. Today is no different. When I want to learn something, I find something similar and try to see how it was made. From there, I try to rebuild it differently each time. Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Genius is when you try something differently each time. There’s a thin line between insanity and genius.

Sometimes you have to walk the same path a hundred times before you make a trail for others to follow. The more you walk that path, the more easy it becomes. That road is challenging but it’s also rewarding. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.