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In this season we had the opportunity to challenge ourselves and step out of our comfort zone. I challenged myself with a TikTok series were I would present some of my demos that I have stored in my hard drive.

I used to make a lot of guitar videos back in the day, like a lot. They were mainly videos of me just playing a cover of some of my favorite songs. So in a way, it wasn't uncharted territory for me. I had some experience. However, in those videos it was all about the guitar and I was behind it. I tend to always shield myself with my guitar. Personally, there was 2 main challenges for me by making this new TikTok series. The first one was talking in the video. Believe it or not, even though I sing and record my voice for singing. Talking in a video is one of the cringiest things for me. I'm so self-conscious about the way I talk and sound. Anytime I can avoid it, I do.

The second challenge was showing my music that wasn't remotely close to being finished. There's something very vulnerable about that. Art can be very personal and these songs weren't ready for others to hear. These are demos that only I had access to and could listen to them. This challenge is more trauma triggers than anything lol. I remember when I was younger I would show people my demos and I would get a bunch of comments saying how it needs this and that, it was too this and too that, how I needed to change this and that, and how it didn't sound quite finished. THAT'S WHY THEY ARE DEMOS. They are works in progress. I know they need work. I was just showing the process. Not trying to collaborate with people. It is my art and my vision. Of course, I'm open to constructive criticism but there's a place and a time for that. I will specifically ask a very select group of people for their opinion and critique. Sorry for the mini rant. I'm sure any artist feels the same in some way. Anyways, sharing my unfinished demos with TikTok was triggering for sure.

To be fair, I have gotten way better at production that I don't have an intense fear of showing people my demos like I used to, but still there is some trauma residue. Speaking and showing

my demos were the challenges I faced.

In a way, I'm pushing myself to show more of my personality and share a more vulnerable side to me, even though to some of you these things might sound trivial and quite a vulnerability exaggeration but for me it's not. It's similar to the popular fear of public speaking (which I don't have, ironically) but more like social media speaking. If there's such a thing.

The funny thing is that I'm not popular at all on social media. So this fear was really more mental than anything. On TikTok, the series did okay for being a random series in an account in which I barely post anything. On Instagram, it was pretty much nonexistent haha. I'm completely okay with that. Baby steps.

The Process Behind

So let's talk about the actual process which was very simple, really.

First things I did was go through my demos folder. I have about a couple dozen worth of demos but some were really super rough and others were honestly not good at all. Luckily, for me I'm a very well organized geek so I already had implemented some sort of rating system which quickly allows me to know which are the best demos. Honestly, this made things way easier for me. If I can recommend something to any type of artist is to stay organized as much as possible. It'll pay off in the long run. When you need things quickly and know exactly where they are. It's a life lesson for sure. Anyways, back to the process behind. Let me show you my demos folder called, "Production"

So here's a quick explanation to the ratings.

  • A = The best demos/ideas I have

  • B = Good demos, just need a tiny bit of work

  • C = Not bad, they need some good work to become great

  • D = Ideas I didn't end up liking and are pretty much unsalvageable

  • z = Already done/released

  • no rating = Still on its early stages so can't rate it yet

I opened all labeled from A to C and listened to them. I only chose the ones that were closer to being finished or had a good sound. Some of the demos were a bit old so I had to replace some audio plugins that didn't work anymore or that I just didn't have anymore.

From there it was recording time. I decided to record all 12 videos in one day because I thought it would just make it easier on me on the long run. That's how I use to make my guitar videos. I used to record a batch of them at once because setting up my room for recording was a hassle and so I would record as many as possible. This time, it wasn't for the hassle but more because it was just convenient and not that difficult.

I grabbed a handheld microphone and connected it to my computer and had my voice and the music running to my headphones. Now, to record the audio with my phone camera was gonna be tricky but I got clever. I bought an inexpensive adapter that basically allows me to connect an 1/8 inch cable running audio to my iPhone. It worked like a charm. When I recorded my guitar videos, I would record audio and video with two separate devices, and had to combine them in Premiere Pro in post. It's a bit of work that can be avoided. So I did. The phone (camera) would record both the video and the final audio all at once. No more need to look for the matching audio to the matching video and carefully syncing them.

At first, I didn't know what I was going to say in the videos so I went through a couple videos just recording different lines. Until I got the one I liked and when I got more comfortable speaking into the microphone. From there it was pretty straight forward.

  • Open demo session

  • Start recording

  • Speak

  • Play demo

  • Stop recording

  • Move on to the next one.

It got a lot easier towards the middle. However, on the last couple I had to push through a bit. I was getting over the repetition pretty quick but luckily it wasn't too bad. I got all my videos done in a few hours.

I posted each video on TikTok, about 1 per day. Sometimes two. Sometimes every other day. I added text to them and the logo I made for the series.

After 2 weeks the series was done and I was very proud of it. Even though it wasn't a big deal, it was to me. Also glad to have a gained a couple consistent fans that would interact and comment on most of the videos. They would ask great questions and leave very positive feedback, which was my goal. In the video I sort of ask to let me know your opinion on the demo and if you'd like for me to release it. I'm glad I put that call for action because that made people engage and got to know that some people REALLY like my music and my art. The best feeling in the world for sure.

Thank you, Simplex Minds for the challenge. I enjoyed it very much. I have other ideas for more TikTok series that I feel can be much more successful than this one. For sure more fun than these. Looking forward to putting myself out there a lot more.

You can watch the full mini series on TikTok.

“We should make a podcast.”

It was a simple suggestion that sat in our minds for a while, perhaps born a lighthearted statement without real commitment, it lived on to be a genuine feeling, one that affirmed the inquisitiveness of our conversations as best friends. Janelle and I had been friends through our college class Facebook page, I had posted about my interests and she had commented back pointing out our shared taste in indie music and art. I did not know that moment in time would ignite a friendship that would last the trials of growth. For 6 years we grew into our adult selves alongside each other, as colleagues, as roommates, and as sisters. Janelle has always been the easiest person to talk to, maybe it is the combination of our shared experiences or interests, or it is the rare mental connection you’d be lucky to make in your lifetime that plays a part in why, but we both knew the special conversations we had with one another was worth sharing with the world.

We both had no idea how to make a podcast, but the thought of trying a new creative medium together sounded extremely worthwhile. As both of us identified as photographers and writers, we knew the importance of getting out of one’s comfort zone to try something new. Having this as a season 2 project for Simplex also gave me the extra push needed to see the project come to fruition.

PHASE 1: Brainstorming

We started the process by brainstorming our ideas. Being bicoastal, we had done this through our handy dandy Facetime and Google Docs. We started the doc by sharing a shared Spotify playlist of our podcast recommendations, podcasts that we liked collectively and individually, and creators that inspire us. We also started thinking about our podcast in a bigger picture and asked ourselves important questions like, “who are we?” or “what type of podcast are we trying to make?” At the end of this deliberation, we related the idea of podcasting to a shared experience: a fateful night at Congregation Ale House in Long Beach where we ended up in tears holding each other’s hands. We recalled the idea of intimacy and comfort that our conversation provided us. We valued the idea of creating safe spaces and that is how the name of the podcast, “Comfort Crowd” was born. Safe spaces could be people, we thought, and how special would it be if we provide that to our audience?

Next, we made a list of “Zillenial” topics that we wanted to explore ranging from meatier topics pertaining to relationships to topics informed by pop culture. We decided no matter how “light” a topic may sound we have a tendency to skew our conversations to discover new things and dig deeper to connect what we are talking about to our own experiences and observations.

PHASE 2: Setting Intentions

This process of brainstorming topics took a night’s session, but towards the end of that first session, I realized that we hadn’t set our intentions for making the podcast. I felt like setting intentions was extremely imperative so we don’t lose track of why we are making the podcast in the first place. So we talked it out and wrote out intentions down, I don’t want to share all of them but a few included being helpful and insightful, offering new perspectives, and creating things that come from the heart. I think it’s important to have really good communication and to be on the same page when you have a creative partner. Knowing why both of you want to come together to create is a surefire way of getting things done with synergy and comfort.

PHASE 3: Logistics

Figuring out HOW to make a podcast is also half of the work needed to make a podcast. Luckily, there is a very user-friendly and free podcast App by Spotify called Anchor. You could record directly using the app or upload your own media, and use their editing software to be able to upload directly to Spotify. It’s amazing honestly, and very accessible to anyone interested in launching their own podcast. We decided to try out our pilot episode recording directly in anchor using the host and guest setting while using Facetime to be able to see each other’s faces while we record our call.

PHASE 3: The Pilot Episode

Since it was our first time ever recording a podcast we wanted to make sure to cover our bases. We chose a topic that we found fun and interesting for us both that was not too “high stakes” to lose out on if we feel like we messed up on our episode. We decided to do a pilot episode on our reading lives, which turned out to be a very eye-opening couple of hours for us both. After we hit stop on our podcast we were met with a moment of silence and a “did that just happen” dumbfoundedness. It felt like an out-of-body experience to me, I asked Janelle if she felt similarly, and she said yes. It’s hard to describe why it happened, but we debriefed amongst ourselves on how it was a feeling we felt never before. While Janelle and I had felt like we know each other quite well and share very intimate conversations, the added factor of an audience heightened our sense of intentionality with our words and our questions, channeling the flow of conversation to a new type of intimacy. To put it plainly, it felt like Janelle and I got to know each other on a deeper level. The feeling was addictive and it felt validating. It felt like what we are doing is definitely meant for us. Although the recording was not perfect and we had kinks to work through, the topics and the inquisitiveness were present.

PHASE 4: Editing

We decided not to edit the entire pilot episode because we felt like we needed to put our energy into the next episode. However, we did spend a session together doing a mock edit, seeing how we would edit our first official episode. Using the Anchor app was very easy and we were able to divide our audio into key parts. Janelle and I realized editing is a lot of work at this point, and commended podcast creators for their diligence of editing their podcasts weekly if not daily. It was also very humbling to hear ourselves when we are unsure. We took many notes of improvement for the next episode such as trying our best not to say “uhm” or “like” and keeping our active listening sounds to a minimum to let the other speak more uninterrupted. During this time Janelle had a peer suggest to her that we record ourselves on Zoom or Google Meet the next time we record, that way we are able to grab sound bites with our faces for marketing purposes. I thought that was a great idea and we made sure to implement it on our next recording.


While we are not planning to release our podcast episodes until we have at least several edited and ready to go, we still learned a lot throughout podcast making so far.

Overall we felt like doing the pilot was a really wise thing, since we found many ways to improve for the next recording. Through trial and error, we found that the best practice for recording a podcast is to do it in segments rather than in one go, as you are able to collect your thoughts to rerecord bits that might have been forgotten during the conversation. Since we recorded the pilot episode in one recording there was a lot of pressure and moments we felt we were unprepared or lost a bit of intentionality in what we were talking about in order to keep talking. In our first real recording, the act of pausing gave us more clarity and intentionality to the topic we were sharing.

There is still a lot of work between us to do and figure out, we still haven't tackled our graphic design and branding as we wanted to prioritize the quality of the content first. We don’t know where podcasting will take us, but we want to share ourselves and take space in these audio spaces, having a firm conviction that there is someone out there that can benefit from the conversations we share.

Stay tuned for further updates within the Simplex World and we will definitely follow up with a post with an update on our future launch. Thank for you following us on our journey so far!

Today is a special day. We have been approved by the state of California and are recognized as an LLC. We're legal baby!

There is no turning back now. Which is exciting and terrifying.

The good thing is that all of the responsibility is on me right now. I don't technically have employees and I don't have to support anyone else financially, yet.

Do I really understand what this legally entails??? Not really... lmaoooo.

I guess we'll find out next year when I file for taxes. That should be fun.

But for real though, I am really excited about this. All of this shit was just an idea almost two years ago. It really wasn't even a full fledged idea until April 2021. Just a concept.

It's so wild to think that I am now the registered owner of Simplex Minds LLC. I created my first designs for simplex back in 2013.... It's 2022 now. Y'all may think that's a long time from the beginning to where we're at now and it is. It's been a long time.

Simplex , for me, was always the goal. I may not have said it confidently, out loud throughout the years, but it's always been in the back of my mind. I didn't know when I would be getting to it or if I really would be getting to it, but it was always in the back of my mind.

Was the plan for Simplex to be this?

A platform to geek out about creatives who are making the complex look simple?

A place to share your truthful process with your project to allow others to learn and connect from your mistakes and obstacles?

A space dedicated to creative process and growth?

Absolutely not.

I initially just wanted to create a clothing brand with clean designs because I couldn't connect to the clothing brands available or that everyone else was wearing. I wasn't a skater. I didn't surf. I didn't like loud colors. I was someone who didn't like to stick out and have attention. I just wanted an aesthetic where people would look at what I'm wearing, give me a little head nod, and go about their day. Something clean and quiet.

Am I glad I didn't pull the trigger back then?

Hell yeah, I could've prob got sued because I was gonna name it Simplex Apparel and funny enough that name was trademarked around the same time.

I'm getting on a tangent.

Simplex Minds is now a legal entity in the state of California. Is it fully set up? No. But, we have the first step done.

We have to get a lot more done. Like filing for a tax ID, which I have no clue how to do. Finding a bank and opening up a business account. Set up the online store so y'all can buy some Simplex Minds clothing, which is a wild thought. And much more.

If you told me, even two years ago that this is what Simplex would become and that in 2022 it would be a legal entity, I would have never believed it. Simplex was always a far out dream. I always thought I'd go for it eventually, but not this soon. Thought I'd be in my late 30s to 40s.

I have so many ideas for Simplex Minds. Ideas that date back years. Ideas I would randomly think about over the past decade that I thought would be cool for Simplex but it just wasn't an option at that time.

I'm so hyped.

I have no clue where Simplex Minds is going to end up, but it's time to turn it tf up.

I have to be more confident with my choices. I have to just go for it and not look back. Stick to who we are and we'll get to where we want to be. Can't doubt myself. I have to make decisions and stay true to them. The amount of obstacles in front of us is innumerable. But, we'll get to where we need to be.

A huge goal is to be able to live off Simplex Minds and work on it full time. An even bigger goal is to be able to hire the team to do the same. When I'm able to do that, I will cry.

Super excited for the future. Which is a wild sentence to genuinely feel. I hope you all are able to feel that for any amount of time during your lifetime. I haven't felt this excited for the future... ever.

Super blessed and privileged to have this opportunity. I'm going to give it my all. We've gotten so far and it's still only the beginning.

A new chapter has started and I'm eager to see what it has in store.

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