What Matters to Simon Chong

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Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.

Simon is a Creative Director. He has lived and worked across three continents, and is currently in New York City with Gretel.

What is the thing you like doing most in the world?

Going to see bands play live. Music (and being into music) has played the most important role in who I am today and the friendships I’ve formed.

What is the first memory you have of being creative?

Drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

What is your biggest regret?

I’ve always had a good sense of what I’ve wanted. It took a long time to let myself be led by my own intuition and ambition.

How have you gotten over heartbreak?


What makes you cry?

When someone unexpectedly does something nice for me. I never really expect people to do that.

How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?

Celebrating wins isn’t something that comes naturally to me, so I make sure to buy a plant every time something good happens. That way I have a constant, living reminder of my past accomplishments.

Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?

As far as I know, this is all we’ve got. Be kind to yourself and everyone around you.

What do you hate most about yourself?

That’s a pretty strong word!

What do you love most about yourself?

Having learned to ask for help. Advice from therapists, mentors, peers, and friends has been so valuable to my personal and professional growth. You can’t do it all alone, nor would I ever want to.

What is your absolute favorite meal?

  • Crispy Shrimp Heads at Cervo’s
  • Wonton Soup at Wu’s Wonton King
  • Golden Cheeseburger at Golden Diner
  • Fries at Lucien
  • Panna Cotta at Estela