I haven’t blogged in a while because I started a new full-time job and hardly have had much time to do any art, let alone eat and sleep. I decided to go back to work because I wasn’t quite ready to go back to school. I felt I needed to experience more in the real world to become truly inspired and formulate different perspectives on life. It’s been a few months of adjusting to a new lifestyle, but I’m finally finding some balance in my life. It’s crazy sometimes how opportunities present themselves when you’re not looking out for them. I made a personal goal to make more of an effort to commit to new opportunities. Just in the last month, I have done more art than I did before I started my job.
A couple weeks ago I was asked by my friend Kim to illustrate a few things for a children’s workbook she is putting together. I don’t consider myself to be a great illustrator, but I pushed myself to give it a try anyway and the illustrations turned out pretty nicely. The following week, she forwarded me an email about an Open Call for Artists for re:present LA, a show of “art work that highlights various portrayals of Los Angeles including but not limited to cultural, civic and community practices”. Although the due date for entries was only a week away, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get started on a project that has been lingering in the back of my mind for a while. I wanted to show work that documents the cultural activities taking place in Chinatown, Los Angeles, some of which may become obsolete as older generations of Chinese-Americans fade. Since I had limited time to produce 2-3 pieces for submission, I decided to use photography as my medium for the project even though it’s not my specialty. I asked my father-in-law, who is a professional landscape photographer, to meet me in Chinatown on the weekend and show me a few pointers with the camera. To my surprise, I was able to get a lot of great shots, a few of which I submitted to the show today. See the photos on my new Portfolio – Photography Page.
I got a call from another friend of mine from undergrad, Kristen Dikio, who started the MA program I was interested in at CSUN. She is preparing for her solo show Shedding Walls next week and asked me for help with her project. I met up with her and her buddy at the studio yesterday to lend a hand for a couple hours. It was nice to chat and catch up on life as we worked, just like old times.
It’s been a great month full of unexpected opportunities. Now I know I can take on new challenges and be more confident in my abilities as an artist. Getting back to making art for the sake of making art is also a lot of fun and very therapeutic after a long day of data entry and filing at work. Work/life balance is hard to achieve and maintain, but I think I’m getting a hang of it.