Hello Friends

Time almost always passes too quickly. When we take a moment to look back and reflect, we often group time into years or months. Rarely do we recount the years to see; the number of challenges we faced, the number of  faces we met, the total of smiles we gave, or the litres of tears we shed. But when we do, it provides us with insight and a deeper understanding of what has passed and how it has formed who we are today.

Four years ago, I begun a journey that shaped the rest of my life. Sitting in Mr Jone’s high school Visual Communication Class, I encountered this “thing” that people did. A thing where they created beautiful things, a thing that was used to communicated with empathy, a thing that saw an importance is producing art inspired by; and for humanity. What began as a spark of curiosity resulted into a burning desire to learn more, discover and understand this mysterious world of “design”. However, it admittedly hasn’t been smooth sailing and easy roads from that serendipitous moment.

It’s taken me to deep anxious grapplings with my identity, rough hours sitting waiting anxiously at printers, driving to far reaches to pick up paper, long nights and sore eyes. But it’s given me so much more. It’s taken me to Italy, it’s given me an elephant, it’s given me the most beautiful friends who I love with all my heart, it’s shown me the generosity of community, and a given me the skills and the chance to create beautiful things.

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Gratitude is something felt deep in one’s soul. It’s a well that get’s dug deeper and deeper, until it grounds our hearts in the beautiful reality of the life we’ve been given. Gratitude leads us to realise momentous truths, abundant joys and deep love. It gives us respect for the past and the present, and it causes us to hope for the future.

Because, I really wouldn’t be in these photos (awkwardly holding roses and attempting to keep a square hat perched on my head) without people. From the individuals I encountered as a starry eyed high school student, individuals who encouraged me to go and try it out, people who told me tips and warned me against discouragement but instead to believe in every possible opportunity. To the mentors who gave their time and efforts to shape a generation of designers who are thoughtful, unique and ambitious. Mentors who inspired me to be better and challenge myself to keep creating, keep learning, and always stay curious. To friends who gave me life advice at the best of times and reassured that although I couldn’t see beyond the horizon, there is always something amazing beyond it.

And finally, to the people who carried me along this journey, my darling sister Val, who does, and continues to give so much for me, my beautiful parents who comforted me through trivial crisis (such as running out of paper), and to my wonderful little sister who grounds all of my “crazy”.

And now moving beyond. We would like to grow and hope with you. We would like to share and be thankful together. This month, we would like to introduce you to people who are doing great things, but also to people who are doing things out of a grateful heart. We’re still learning to make gratitude a daily thing, and if you would like, we would like to invite you to learn this lesson with us.


For from a grateful heart; blooms eyes that sees beauty, lips that speak of a hopeful tomorrow, and hands that reach out to love.

 Thank you for being here, and thank you for joining us on this next adventure.

With Love

Val and Vess

(words by Vess )

vess copy squareVANESSA BONG   
Vess is a writer, graphic designer, illustrator and creative director based in Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about design, art, fashion and story telling.  She has worked with a number of well known clients including the Melbourne Zoo, Kelly Thompson Illustrations and currently holds a position at SMASH enterprises as a junior designer.  Website Instagram


val copy

Val is an Arts/Commerce student currently based in Melbourne. As a photographer and documenter she loves celebrating the beauty of the world. With her love for capturing special moments she specialises in fashion, wedding, family and event photography.

Website Twitter / Linkedin


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  • Livia 08/11/2014 at 4:14 am

    These pics are too damn cute!!!
    Congratz darling Vess, proud of you girl!

    • Val & Vess 08/11/2014 at 4:19 am

      Thankyou darling Liv!!! 😀

      hehe you know who to call when you need graduation pics done! 😉


  • Rachel Koh 08/01/2015 at 1:09 pm

    Congratulations on this achievement! I recently graduated too, so I know how accomplished you must feel – what a milestone. Here’s to greater things!

    xo, Rach

    • Val & Vess 08/01/2015 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks so much Rach!
      Just read your blog post for kicking off the year and it’s wonderful! Here’s to kicking goals in 2015!!!!!
      We love the work you and Lily create together, such a dynamic and destined duo for greatness!
      What are your plans in the coming year ahead? 😀


      • Rachel Koh 14/01/2015 at 2:16 pm

        I’m off in Singapore taking a gap year in 2015. I’ve got a couple of internships lined up, and possibly some travelling in the second half of the year. I feel like I’m finally living a (somewhat) adult life, and while it’s kind of scary to think that I’ve got to make my own way in the world now, it’s all quite exciting!

        How about the two of you?