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Realizing Empathy: An Inquiry into the Meaning of Making's video poster

An ambitious book of stories, dialogues, projects, and reflections revolving around the question of what it means to make something. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on March 12, 2012.

An ambitious book of stories, dialogues, projects, and reflections revolving around the question of what it means to make something.

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National Indie Excellence Award in Best New Non-Fiction



I am very _very_ surprised and honored to receive the award for best new non-fiction ( ) by the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

I just wanted to take this time to thank you all once again. I wanted to especially thank those who helped me write the first draft of Realizing Empathy: Anson Ann, An-Lon Chen, David Watson, Jeff Wong, and Joonkoo Park. 

Not many people know the background on how the first draft of the book got written. I never "intended" to write a book. I felt very confused and lonely in art school, and writing my thoughts down was one of the ways I did self-therapy. I also needed some peer validation. Why? Because I kept asking myself if I'm just plain ol' crazy, and very few people in school understood what the hell I was talking about. So I sought out to find a group that _did_ understand me, and guess where I found them? On Facebook! By posting my thoughts on facebook as notes, I found a small group of people who consistently commented on what I wrote and took interest. They came from all walks of life. Animation, computer science, music, neruo-science, divinity studies, etc... Their comments helped me start to empathize with my own thoughts and feelings. Through conversations with them I came to realize that what I was experiencing in art school was not specific to art school, there was something broader hidden under the hood. After a while the core group of 5 people I mentioned above took the conversation off of facebook and onto a private blog (R.I.P Posterous). There, the conversation took a whole another level of depth and meaning. Without their support this book would never have been.

If you ever thought writing, or making art in general, has to be a lonely process, I'll tell you right now that it does not. Yes, it does come through a singular focus and determination, but having a support group, in my mind, is crucial. In fact, I'm willing to bet that when you lift the veil on people who claim they've "done it alone," there has been various forms of support group that helped them get where they got.

Thank you Anson, An-Lon, David, Jeff, and Joonkoo! Thank you Leslie Bauman Fisher and Todd Sattersten my dear editors. And thank you my dear Kickstarter backers. You all rock!!!

with gratitude,

Seung Chan Lim
Director / Project "Realizing Empathy"

2nd TEDx Talk

Hi everyone!

I was fortunate enough to be invited for my 2nd TEDx talk. This time the subject was "Go Further." Here's what I shared with the audience.

Thanks once again to all you backers who have and continue to support me on this journey. Thank you so much!

Seung Chan Lim
Director / Project "Realizing Empathy"

TEDx Talk at Wellesley College

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Dear backers,

I just received a video recording of the talk I gave at TEDxWellesleyCollege. I wanted to take this opportunity to both share the video with you, and also to thank you all once again for your support. 

As I prepared for the talk back in February, it dawned on me that It's been almost 2 years since I launched this kickstarter project! In the beginning the project was nothing more than me wondering if these seemingly random events I experienced in art school would be meaningful and valuable to others. Having toured with the book, I've met a great number of people who say it is. But what truly fascinates me is what it means to them, and why they value it. Because they're not what I expected them to be. And for this reason, this project has been a never-ending gift that keeps on giving me joy, learning, and fulfillment. And you folks are directly responsible for giving me this opportunity. So I thank you all once again.

There's a never-vanishing sense of uncertainty and insecurity every time I present the work in front of an audience. I've presented the work more than 30 times in various versions, yet the feeling persists. I don't know if it'll ever go away. This was especially the case for the following talk, because my throat wasn't very well that day, and it was a whole new version meant to fit the 18 minute time limit I was given. I hope you find it meaningful.

Here's the video:

Stay beautiful,

Seung Chan Lim
Director / Project "Realizing Empathy"

Video of the Tour Talk

Hi everyone!

The folks at Rotman School of Management was nice enough send over a capture of the talk I gave there last week. If you've been wondering what I'm going around speaking about in the tour, here it is. (I usually follow up with a workshop to make the content more concrete, but I didn't have time for that at this venue)

It's been amazing to receive such positive feedback at all the venues I've presented at thus far. None of this would have been possible without your support. As always, I'm all ears if you have any feedback, be it positive or negative. Every bit of signal you send I can use toward further refinement or radical change.

Thanks again, and may you stay beautiful!

Seung Chan Lim
Director / Project "Realizing Empathy"