How learning japanese changed my life.

Ok. It’s seems like a cliché, I know. However, around 4 and a half years ago, while going through a rough time in my life, I decided to face the challenge. I have always been interested in Japanese culture. I don’t know when exactly or why, I woke up one day almost obsessed with Japan and Okinawa. I was still a teen and i thought “one day I will study Japanese”. During this dark period of my life I thought I’ll give it a try and succeeded or die trying. 4 years and counting…now I’m preparing to sit for JLPT N3 on December (wish me luck).

Now, that some years have gone by I realize the positive effect Japanese learning made on me. Learning kanji, for example, helped me develop a keen eye on details. Part of the multiple choice on kanji is choosing the right kanji for the word. I don’t have good sight and the differences among the options are infimum.

If you wonder, yes, I started learning kanji on day one, while learning hiragana and katakana. So, I repeated on a sheet of paper, the same kanji over and over again. This is the method that works for me. As years went by others told me that the way i draw changed also. I apply pen pressure where I didn’t use to or the other way around. The contrast among black and white took over all my drawings as a main element.

But, most importantly, the concept and use of semiology and abstraction changed. I became a better drawer, more aware of subtleties and meanings.

For those who don’t know I’m studying to get a certificate in User Experience Analyst. I will get my certification in May if all goes well. In the last few weeks I have seen a qualitative leap in my work as a “designer” and I can see how my personality and my aesthetic vision is starting to came across properly. Of course, I´m still a student. But my last works came across more minimalistic, more put together and with better proportions.

See, kanji has its own way of writing; every kanji has a way and order to be written. This helps also with keeping the parts of the kanji proportioned.

I’m excited to see how this develops in future works. Of course, I keep practicing new kanjis every day, and keep constantly iterating in my projects. Every new thing I learn I try to go back to the previous projects and re do them.. Isn’t iteration the key to success?

I’m not at the professional level I would like to be. But, I know myself I will never get there. There is always something to improve. However learning Japanese also gave me a new way of seeing things, especially of dealing with frustration and perseverance or what I like to call peaceful perseverance. The one you get when you don’t get desperate if something goes wrong, the one that lets you know you are on the right track. No matter what happens, no matter how many times you do something wrong, just keep doing it. Practice makes a master. I’m a better person thanks to trying to learn the language that goes so much hand by hand with a culture so different from mine. (I’m argentinizan).

https://www.behance.net/malenaloritoux I am a visual artist with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, new to the world of UX/UI.