About Notes To A Friend
Notes To A Friend is a collection of writings that describe my personal experiences with cancer.
Nowadays, there isn't a person you meet who hasn't been affected by cancer in one way or another. But at the same time, it's still a taboo subject in our culture. Unless you have been there yourself, most people have a naive understanding of what "cancer" entails: chemo, hair loss, death. But what about everything in between?
Every cancer is different. And every cancer has a person behind it who has a story. Notes To A Friend is mine.
The Origins of Notes To A Friend
A few months prior to my diagnosis, I was working on a personal project with a friend that focused on my growth as a young designer after cancer. During this time, I sent him “notes” that I wrote while remembering certain moments I considered important in my story. Then shortly after, almost like a scene out of a movie, I found out that my cancer came back. And the narrative we were building together suddenly became irrelevant. When the recurrence happened, I was scared but also inspired. I needed to continue my story, and I needed to continue to create. The notes I sent to my friend were intimate thoughts that I had never shared with anyone – and now, I felt the urgency of a purpose that I needed to share. And that’s how I started Notes To A Friend.
I decided to post one "note" a day for ten days on my Instagram account. These first ten notes were reflections from the first time cancer entered my life; and the following eight were my most current reflections of everything I was feeling and going through at that moment.
When I started posting Notes To A Friend, the emotional response was immediate. Friends and strangers were sending me support, love and gratitude. I realized that writing and sharing these notes were not only a remedy to my own trauma – but also supporting others and giving an honest insight into a subject that most people don't want to talk about.
Every once in a while, a stranger will find his or her way to Notes To A Friend; and every once in a while, that stranger will send me a beautiful message about how my notes have helped them in some way. These connections are what Notes To A Friend is about.
Originally from Seoul, Yuri Angela Chung is a creative director currently based in Los Angeles. Yuri earned her BFA in Graphic Design from ArtCenter College of Design, during which time her work was exhibited multiple times and a finalist for the Adobe Design Achievement Awards for Digital Illustration.
A perpetual nomad, Yuri has worked with a wide range of clients and collaborators around the world, including WSJ Magazine, Kelita & Co., and Tool of North America. She is the co-founder of A Happy Talent, a creative studio focused on the design, craft, and production of printed matter, as well as a founding member of Untitled Mondays, a collective of women based in the creative industry in Los Angeles.
Follow her on Instagram here.