I’ve been following Humans of New York since college. A photoblog started by Brandon Stanton, where he walks around and takes portraits of strangers on the streets. Through his posts online, he includes either a quote or a short story of his subject’s lives. The stories are at times sad, at times happy, and at times a simple quote such as, ‘I fell in love today’. I’ve always been captivated by the story-telling aspect of this project of his. There is a simplicity and beauty about capturing the rawness of human nature, and the relation it creates between strangers. It shows us that behind each face, there is always a story to be told, and there is always something to be learned. It is the individuals and each of their stories that create the fluid narrative of what is Humans Of New York, and it is through this blog that I realize how rarely we stop and ask someone about their story.

And so, being an avid follower of Brandon that I am, I was inspired to tell the story of my colleagues at my current company, and to dig into what it is that creates the narrative of our office today. In the next couple of days, I will be releasing stories of four individuals, brought together by fate to a cozy place called The Plant:

Avatar of Lancee, created by Carina.
Lancee - The Frontend Developer

Lancee came into the Tokyo office last year from China, and though he’s actually been working at The Plant since 2011, I felt an instant affinity towards him as we were both fairly new to the Tokyo office. He leads our front-end team, and is a gentle and soft-spoken guy who is constantly inspired by his surroundings.

In the city, there is a lot of content around you. A lot of things and inspirations just come to you.

Lancee spends his days off in Tokyo walking around the small winding roads of the city and taking in visual inspirations. He seems to be more of an analyzer, and likes to interpret visual concepts into his passion for programming.

In programming, you have to be creative in a smart way. It’s not just about getting things done.

His love for art and creativity hugely inspires his work in his own field, and his eye for inspiration gives me something to think about. He told me about a time he saw a Renoir painting at a museum. He was inspired by the style and color scheme of how the three vivid colors (red, green, blue) is utilized.

It was the first time that I truly experienced that even if you blend many colors, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your image will look messy.

(Auguste Renoir, Pierre. A Dance in The Country) 

According to Lancee, there is a general rule in graphic design that tells you not to mix more than three colors. Web design is more of a minimalistic art, so it is usual practice to choose just two or three colors to work with. However it is through Renoir that he realized that you don’t have to stick to the norms of web design.

Through Renoir I learned that multiple colors can be used through control. If you can control the color balance like he does, you can make something new, different, and innovative. His paintings look amazing to me.

In a field where he mentions, is easy to stay confined in your comfort zone, Lancee finds outlets of inspiration that allows him to be the rebel that he is. To him, The Plant is a place where he can let his creativity flow, and use his inspirations from his Tokyo daily life to emanate through his code.

Author: Kana Hihara 
Illustrator: Carina Kikuchi