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Whoa, has it really been over a year since my last post???  Gosh, time really flies.  Within the past six months, my life has gone through many big changes.  I quit my day job in March and went on a much needed vacation in Thailand.  I’m now going through a divorce, but as much as it has been difficult, it has helped me grow as an individual and I am more in tuned with who I am than ever before.

My plan after quitting my job was to pursue more creative endeavors.  The 9-5 grind was just not for me.  I wanted to open up shop on Etsy.com and sell whatever creative projects I felt like making that people would want to buy.  I started to learn how to crochet with the help of my friend Kim, and grew to really like it.  So far I’ve made a baby blanket and a purse, but because I’m still getting used to keeping the each stitch consistent, these items won’t be going on Etsy but served as good practice projects.  For now I crochet at my leisure to continue improving my skill and right now I’m currently working on a big throw blanket.

In the meantime, I am working part-time once a week to help my mom with administrative tasks for my family’s real estate business.  We decided to make Mondays our work days, and on Tuesdays we would do arts and crafts together.  For the past month we worked diligently to turn half of her family room into a craft space, complete with a large crafting table, sewing table and shelving organized with arts and craft supplies.

I also rearranged the furniture in my apartment to create more space to work on paintings.  In the past week, I finally completed a painting for my friends Taryn and Zac’s baby nursery.

Giraffe

Giraffe - 2013, Acrylic on Canvas, Triptych 72″x30″

And I helped my friend work on his painting project and completed  two small paintings.  That’s 3 paintings in one week!

Although I haven’t opened my Etsy shop yet, I’ve been trying to focus more on how to get there and what to do to make it happen.  I started to get discouraged thinking about all the what-if’s and worried about failing before I even started making an effort toward my goals.  Going to therapy and attempting to keep myself more grounded has helped me realize it’s the little steps along the way that will lead me to success.  I can’t expect to accomplish everything overnight, so I have to make sure I have the tools, space, and skills to create quality work to sell.  I am tired of just talking about my ideas and dreams, and I am finally ready to do whatever it takes to make them real!

Once my mom and I are finished setting up our craft station, we plan to have a big arts and crafts party to celebrate.  I read in a magazine recently that it easy to be overcome by our fears, but if you celebrate the little accomplishments throughout your day in addition to the big ones, it will help you feel more productive and motivate you to keep taking steps forward.  So I’m taking things one step at a time with a clear focus on my ultimate goal to open my Etsy shop and share my creativity with the world.  Wish me luck!

re:present LA

Great news, my photos were accepted into the re:present LA exhibition!  This is a long awaited accomplishment for me because I have not been in a show since my senior thesis in college.  It’s already proven to be a while since I have prepared for a show.  I almost thought I couldn’t participate because I was having issues printing my photos.  I forgot to set my camera to shoot in higher resolution so when I sent the photo files to get printed, they came out all pixely.  Luckily I was able to change the resolution with Photoshop and all was well.  In addition to that, much has changed in how artists market themselves through social media.  Instead of just passing out flyers and composing emails, I gotta make sure I update my blog and share on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Needless to say, I am enjoying the process and feel so refreshed to be contributing to the art world again!  I highly suggest paying a visit to the museum to check out the show and stop by for the opening reception on May 3rd if you can make it.  I can’t wait to see all the other LA artists’ work, which I’m sure will be spectacular.

http://vincentpriceartmuseum.org/exhibitions/archived/year-2012/represent-l-a/

http://www.facebook.com/re.presentingLA

Work-Life-Art Balance

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.

Studio Time

Work, work, work…

While taking advantage of studio time at LMU, I have started working on a sculpture from a new series of sketches, called “11″.

This series consists of 5 sculptures so far.  It is a body of work that reflects my love life with my husband for the past 11 years, mostly focusing on the ups and downs, emotions, and obstacles we faced throughout our relationship.  Growing up together as a young couple created a sense of spontaneity, vulnerability, and confusion that has driven us to draw on past experiences in order to learn how to love each other better and mature as individuals.  These new sketches were inspired by my reflection of the past and a hope for a lasting future filled with peace and clarity.

The piece I am working on now is called “Heart Strings”, which is basically a hand crafted wire cage with 11 white strings tied across the inside of it.  The cage will be constructed using old dry cleaning hangers.  The white strings will be dipped in costume blood, some rinsed out and showing only the residue.

Right now, my task is to disassemble and stretch out over 400 dry cleaning hangers.  So far I’m done with about half of that.

In the meantime, I am using up my spare time to apply for some art-related jobs and plan for a solo show sometime at the end of the year.  So far, no luck on finding a proper venue to display my work.

My trip to New York

At Mindy Shapero's "Breaking Open of the Heads" solo show reception

The four days I spent in New York were amazing!  It wasn’t long enough! I stayed with my friend Chloe in the Upper West Side, learned how to use the metro system to get around the city, and ate yummy New York bagels and pizza.  I didn’t get to watch a musical or visit the Guggenheim Museum as I had hoped, but it’s definitely an excuse to go back!
I went to Mindy Shapero’s opening reception at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Chelsea, and attended the private dinner afterward.  I reunited with Mindy and a couple of the other interns, Merry and Charlie.  We were glad to see that all the pieces came together so well, and proud to know we each had a hand in all the work.
The gallery was right next to The High Line, an old railway that has been turned into a beautiful modern park.  I ventured there after the dinner with Charlie and his friend.  It was a great way to see New York City at night.
I had a great time in the Big Apple and can’t wait to visit again.
Check out this link to my Facebook photo album of my trip:  New York

Tomorrow is the last day of my internship with Mindy Shapero tomorrow.  Wow, the summer went by so fast!  We are pretty much done with all the pieces for the show and everything looks fantastic.

I booked my flight to New York to attend her opening reception on September 10th.  I’ll be hanging out there from the 8th to the 11th.  I plan to do as much gallery/museum hopping as possible and hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in watching “The Book of Mormon, The Musical” on Broadway!  I can’t wait!

I have a couple weeks of free time to get my life together before I start my 3D Design class with Tom Muller at LMU on August 29th.  I’ll be turning 25 on August 22nd so this weekend is jam packed with birthday celebrations.  Then I will focus my energy on turning my living room into a proper artist’s studio so I don’t have to worry about getting paint on my dining table anymore.  Once I get into the studio at LMU, I’ll really be able to get started on making new art to add to my portfolio.  I already have a few sketches ready!  While I’m there, I also hope to find a part-time job on campus to keep me busy.

Meanwhile, I am also working with my old classmate Kristen Dikio to do a small joint show of paintings.  We are currently brainstorming ideas so I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

That’s all for now!

It’s been a while!  I’ve been busy working as an artist assistant to Mindy Shapero.  I started a few weeks ago and it’s been a great experience so far.

It’s not a paid internship but the networking and socializing aspects of the job are well worth my time.  Plus, it’s the perfect creative outlet I’ve been looking for. Her studio is less than a mile from my parents’s house in Los Feliz, so I have been staying there during the week and spending the weekends at home in West LA.  It’s been really nice to spend more time with my family… and saving money on food too!

Mindy is so awesome to work for.  She has so much going on with preparing for her solo show in New York in September, taking care of her 1 1/2 year old daughter Olive, making sure her attention hungry dog gets a cookie now and then, and helping her husband with the remodeling of their house, yet she still manages to stay on top of everything and enjoy what she’s doing while she’s doing it.  She is an inspiration to me to work hard and stay motivated.  Her beautifully detailed works of art are a testament to her strong ambition.

I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the other interns who are just so pleasant to work with on a daily basis.  They are all artists, either in school or out of school.  On a typical day of work, we usually chat about subjects like health food, relationships, and music as we focus on our tedious tasks of gluing small pieces of paper to a sculpture or painting thin lines of color on another.  It’s a breath of fresh air to meet new people that share similar interests.  However, I have a lot to learn from them as well.  Since I’ve been out of the art scene for over three years, I have some serious catching up to do.

I will be working for Mindy until September and then I’ll be shifting gears to work seriously on sprucing up my portfolio for review by CSUN in December. Until then, my summer is going great so far and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity!

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