Lately this question has been coming up for me.. I think it is just a mere reminder for all of us to reflect and see all that around us with wonder, joy and everything else that brings us more meaning in our lives..It's middle of August I have taken up a lot of things (suprise surprise, it's never quiet here ;-) Pacing the summer with grace, keeping to plans and just working through it all. I'm glad I signed up with Lilla Rogers Studio GTS this year, making it through last year caused an creative electric shock for a few days. Much more calmer this year but with focus. I worked on it super early and fast. It was just a fun project, who doesn't love teraniums? This month we also did a huge cleaning of our home. We are getting it ready for many things. Every time I clean out a space I feel like new things await. Curiosity and creativity burns in my soul. From mi casa to yours. Happy Summer!
JUJU App & Spoonflower!
TEA WEBSITE PROJECT
NEW ART PRINTS IN ETSY:ART COMMISSIONS
So I figure we are half way through the week right? For creative freelancers like myself I can really use more buttery inspiration midweek, to take me to the end! It's like an extra pop of expresso in your coffee. Or a big gigantic hug from your child. I met Flora Chang during Lilla Rogers MATS class and I'm just so inspired by her art. The bold and gentle line qualities and the tons of characters she creates ALL THE TIME. She truly is the doodle queen. You can tell she is always buzzing her fingers away it doesn't stop and I relate to those lines like chinese character writing for instance. I think of japanese animation too! Ofcourse her twist on folk art!! It's simple but so rich and fun! Her interpretations are awesome! We both have very similar inspirational sources, coming from the same birth country with different experiences. I can relate and get a lot of energy when I see her work. It is happy, it is weird. It is fun. Always new! I wish we lived closer! Enjoy this Q & A as it was so meant to be today!
1) I’m constantly amazed at your doodles and high turn over time on social networks to gain visibility and share your work. How has that been for you? Is it effective you think for your sales in your etsy shop? Is that your only marketing area for your art?
I can't speak for other people, but for me, my social network traffic rarely translates into actual Etsy shop sales, but that's not why I share anyway. Facebook is my main outlet for sharing nowadays (I also have a Pinterest account). I love it when new people like my Facebook page, and I love to share my drawings there. I draw because it's a creative outlet for me. When my schedule permits, I like to share a little something everyday, or at least every other day, even though it might just be a quick silly doodle. I love reading people's responses and know that my drawings make them smile.
2) You are from lovely Taipei Taiwan also my birth country yay! (I miss the food there so much!! haha ) I realize there is so much amazing folk art in Taipei & Asia did you start from there to get inspired with folk art and later into western/spanish folk art into your doodles. Or was it the other way around? What other artists and cultures inspire you?
Actually, I think my love for folk art really starts here in the States. After I moved to Kansas City, I started to go to antique stores and flea markets whenever I had a chance, and I would see all kinds of old folk art objects which really speak to my heart. They just have such a naive and unpretentious quality, and I can see the hand of the artists on them, which is so attractive to me. I love folk art from all cultures, but I especially love Catholic devotional folk art, and whenever I see them in flea market I'll try to buy them if I can afford.
3) What did you do before Hallmark? If you can please share about working at Hallmark, how has it been for you? Do you think it helps with your art making process as a whole? Does it keep the momentum going you think ?
I was a graduate student in San Francisco before Hallmark. I started working for Hallmark as soon as I finished school in 2001, so I've been here for almost 13 years now. I can honestly say that I learn more by working at Hallmark than from school, especially when it comes to illustration, since I wasn't an illustration student; there are so many talented artists here and people are really generous to share their knowledge. Work load is heavy, just like any other jobs, plus I can't just draw whatever I want, but I consider myself very lucky to still have a job in this economy and I am doing what I love at work.
4) How is living in kansas city? Is it interesting? Is there a lot of culture and creativity there? Whats your favorite coffee shops or places you will recommend for creatives if they are visiting?
Kansas City is the smallest city I've ever lived. I live in a suburb neighborhood called Overland Park on the Kansas side, and I work in Kansas City on the Missouri side (I know, it's confusing). I really do love living here; the only complain I have is the winter and the snow, but other than that, it's a very pretty place with lots of trees and very friendly people, and it's very affordable. Lots of creative people live here (I think part of the reason is because of Hallmark), and every first Friday of each month, lots of galleries in downtown open their doors with all kinds of art shows going on. On top of that, there is an area called "West Bottom" where TONS of vintage/antique shops holds their once-a-month sales during the first Friday weekend, definitely worth checking out.
5 )Lastly, your after work life. What are some of the strategies or rituals to help you get back into that creative place in the evening?
I don't really have any strategies; I just draw whatever I want or whatever comes to my head. If I don't feel inspired at all, then I do nothing and take a break for a day or two. Also, I don't limit myself within certain styles because I like to explore and try different things. Sometimes I like to do really graphic or colorful works, and sometimes I use only limited colors with organic line works. Luckily, my Facebook readers have all been pretty forgiving so far. :)
--You can check Flora out here on her Lovely site! Happy Doodle Land
Lots of things are happening this month! Some really BIG THINGS!! My Etsy shop will be stocked up fully this summer so definitely stay tuned. Hopefully this whale art will be great metaphor for hints that are coming up.
It's been a really interesting year and a half. I can go on and on all the things I'm thankful of but the list will never end. The layers and layers upon layers of flowers is pretty much this infinite energy on what gratitude is to me. It should be our daily ritual when we get up in the morning to say thank you. I have my family, they are healthy. I can breathe and move. What can I do today?
FIRST DAY | MAY 15, 2014 | Thurs
So this was the day I get to go back to NYC!!! It's been over a year since I've walked the surtex show. I'm so glad this dream happened!!!! Of course there is delay at the airport leaving Norfolk. But time is advantage to me as I finally was able to settle into a new ipad and get everything organized.. I was again. Not hungry, I can't tell you what I have been eating really. Just too damn excited. Finally departed, then I started chatting with this woman in the seat next to me. She was looking at me strange a bit. Like not interested in small talk. I said I have been working in my studio so long for this show, I'm using her as practice to communicate better for surtex. She chuckled, and at baggage claim wished me good luck! I'll take that!! Thank you!!
Ahhhhhh the frantic and stinky smell of getting into a yellow cab and finally seeing the beautiful skyline once we got on the highway!! Good to be home!! So the nice lazy cab driver drops me off in the middle of canal street with a huge luggage and about 10 blocks from the airbnb space. My memory did not serve me well for this one!!! Super woman mode, I rolled up my sleeves and dragged about 50 pounds of stuff 15 minutes up the hill and through canal street. Thats right lady stop trying to sell me coach bags, get out the way!!!!
Met the AIRBNB host Jacob at a coffee shop called cup and saucer. As he is drinking coffee I'm sweating my butt off trying to explain to him what has happened. I think by this time he thinks I'm absolutely insane. So great intro! I guess this is the interview to stay in someone's space.
We get into the elevator and up to the space, and the door opened up to this artsy loft/gallery! It's converted as half living and half gallery apparently. There was fresh flowers and a bottle of wine. I told him what I was here for and talked about my family a bit. So hopefully he didn't think I was nuts, he kindly conversed and we chatted about art stuff for a bit, and then off he went. I'm in the space and look up at a fuzzy colorful installation. It look like dead puppets to me though that is a compliment for a mom that needs her NYC get-away trip. Apparently the fuzzy installation was created by an artist and friends with Bjork. That was a cool thing to learn.
I called my friend Meer up from college and coincidentally he was already downstairs at the prosperity dumpling restaurant getting food! Could this be insane synchronicity or what! We went for a quick speed gallery hop in the east village and oh my so many galleries!!! Then we went to a band opening at a optical shop called MOSCOT. Then we were off to Cafe Mogador. OMG the food was so GOOOOOD.. Afterwards we went to a few crazy gay bars/clubs then I went back to space. Thank you Meer! You are a great friend. ;-)
SECOND DAY | MAY 16, 2014 | Friday
Had breakfast in soho with my old friend Danielle, and catching up on her big new chapters as well. Then I finally made it to JIVAMUKTI Studio I took a open level class with Monika. It was extraordinary. I had so much fun and it cleared out all my charkras. My communication skills was amazing afterwards. I walked around downtown that day. And went to the ABC homestore for a little bit. It was beautiful in there as always. Then I got to talk to my friend Katy Tanis from Forest Foundry she already made it to Javits Center to hang the banners up!! YAY KATY!! I walked so much that day that when I finally got back to the china town loft, I had crazy blisters on my feet. It was a rainy night. The yoga and walking hurt good. Wondering how I must have legs of steel when I use to live here. That I should start running again when I get back to Virginia Beach and work out harder to reach my physical goals. Then I made it to UPPERCASE!!! Thank you Janine!! Here is the link to the post!! My leg pain disappeared! haha!! Buzzing with self love..
THIRD DAY | MAY 17, 2014 | SATURDAY
Installation Day! Oh my finally met all the girls woohoo!! Installation went really smooth. We had banners, goodie bags, getting all the tables and electricity sorted out. Went over to Lilla's booth, gave her big awesome hug! I think I almost cried! lol I did good! ;-) We all got along very well as a team. We went to have dinner at zen palate that night to end. I'm so proud of US!! After installation I got to go meet my friend Jac she works in Gaming Design for Buzz Feed. We had a drink at Cladestino. Catching up on motherhood and creative work life. She gives me great updates on anything technology related. I've known her for so long. She has the cutest son ever named Eske.
FOURTH DAY | MAY 18, 2014 | SUNDAY
First Day of Surtex! Absolutely buzzing at the booth! Feeling good! I slept well we all showed up and had everything ready to greet everyone!! Our booth was buzzing! I wanted to be able to go around and see all the booths but we had to stay close. I was happy and relaxed, though focused. Everyone did so well. Just grateful that our chemistry was amazing!! Go Forest!!
FIFTH DAY | MAY 19TH 2014 | MONDAY
It was continuing a buzzing day at our booth. We were busy. I also got to go to Lilla's Mats Conference, I asked questions about outright purchase of art work for newbies verses licensing. Her answers made me feel rest assured to let go of some and make more art. Margo Tantau from CBK midwest was there to answer questions as well. It was really interesting to see her take on what she looks for with artists and developing collections for her company. Licensing as well as outright. I'm just buzzing already with so much energy. I've communicated well with potential companies and many art directors at this point. I've already reached my goal with the contacts by today. So things are looking so good. Then we had dinner with MATIES at OLION nyc. Thank you everyone!!
SIX DAY | MAY 20th 2014 | Tuesday
Slower day. Less people, I got to walk the stationery and furniture show. It was extraordinary. I especially love this sexy wall paper!!
SEVENTH DAY | MAY 21th 2014 | WEDNESDAY
We all met the next morning at Gotham Coffee Shop. We got all copies of our contact follow ups. Karma & Neiko are awesome to have done all the copying for all of us. The coffee was great. I broke down and had bacon. It's been a while. We are exhausted but happy as hell!!! We reached our dreams!!!
EIGTH DAY | MAY 22th 2014 | THURSDAY
Soo was that a week?!! I'm sad to leave NYC. It is my home. It was a familiar trip and soooo productive. I've closed and open new chapters in my life. I feel younger. More alive then ever. I feel like time has stopped for me. That all of this was meant to happen. Forest Foundry, you heard a dozen times, but I love you all so much. And I'm so grateful to have met everyone at Surtex. I still have more to post about NYC. But this is the gist of it all for now. For everyone keep pursuing your dreams, every day, little steps.. Now back home to my Ellie, and already grown a bit more..
AHHHH going back home again!!!! less then 2 weeks!! This is just a quick post on the best of the best. I'm meeting my friend Meer from college days to check out east village locally. Though this is a good short list. The Guggenheim & Metropolitan Museums is a must for first timers. Also MOMA which is great but not in vicinity of the other two museums. I love going to Chelsea to do a nice art hop as well. I will be checking out the east village this round for galleries. But also brooklyn, like williamsburg is great too for art adventures. If Dumbo is how I remembered its also filled with amazing spaces and art galleries.
Downtown & Brooklyn:
East Village: http://www.doriangreygallery.com/
Chelsea Art Galleries: http://chelseagallerymap.com/
List of Galleries Dumbo: http://wirednewyork.com/art/dumbo/
More links here to art visits: http://wirednewyork.com/art/
NYC local Paper: http://www.villagevoice.com/news/
FOOD!!! These are my places I like back when I lived there:
Dimsum: http://nomwah.com/ ( gluten free and vegan option with insane chinese mustard I like to steal!!)
Just beautiful plus get to browse beautiful HOME DECOR: https://www.abchome.com/abc-kitchen/
Light, vegan options cheap! : Unionsquare: http://www.zenpalatenyc.com/
Bagels: Any of Murrays chain is aweseome! SO GOOD! you can get tofu cream cheese and it take like whip cream!! http://www.murraysbagels.com/
KATS DELI: Best NYC Deli in my book. DON"T LOOSE YOUR TICKET! https://katzsdelicatessen.com/
Brooklyn; CHEESECAKE!!! http://www.juniorscheesecake.com/
If you got a phat wallet, great link: I love jewel bako, you need reservations; http://www.timeout.com/newyork/food-drink/nycs-best-sushi-restaurants-the-top-12-sushi-spots-in-the-city
KOTOBUKI Cheap and amazing, lots of locations: http://www.kotobukinewyork.com/
Decibals: Love this place, after hours or starting your night with great sake drinks and apps!
Well time is up. So is all the preparing for surtex. During this last year or so there were surtex webinars about the whole event so that really helped calm my nerves a bit. Also I walked the surtex show last year to get ideas and be familiar with everything and came out of the Javits Center and said "I'm going to do this and be here next year." It's happening!!!! So there is power in your words do not under estimate that. These last 8 months or so I have been plugging away with forestfoundry.com 8 independent artist in a collective going to surtex together. Sharing costs and having emotional support for this show has been a TREMENDOUS relief for all of us. I think as a creative freelancer in this economy we have all been hit and I feel that the ones that are high on integrity like us with our clients. We all do abnormal super hero acts to get things done for all of them. Yet still trying to maintain sanity, health and family life with children for some of us. I really like to acknowledge the persistence and love we have for who we are and what we do. I don't think it would've been possible with out taking Lilla's MAT classes on line. I also do not think it would've been possible if we weren't amazing. The chemistry of our group has been phenomenal. Our work is a compliment to another with differences, contrast and similarity. I think we all grew so much together. This international collective from Australia, Holland, Belgium, California and Virginia is possible. So if this can work there is no excuse really.
I have been working everyday almost non-stop though I'm naturally craving rest time so bed time is just early and my eyes pop open at 4:35 every morning. I also naturally crave to spend time with my daughter when things are just out of my control. Her spirit and curiosity with life especially her fascination with slugs out of all things lifts me up tremendously. I'm big on hot yoga and zumba dvds has ignited many mornings. We are also in planning mode of relocation this year. So there just has been so much going on. I try to just put everything on my calendar including personal time. I use stickies for each collection I'm working on. I definitely hit blocks and days where things are just so slow and other days much quickly. I also have so much work so editing it down and just simplifying was not easy as well. I have a dress with my pattern being made by Itsje. My blurb book, banner, biz cards, and other items are done or in process to printing land as of now. Flights and airbnb is booked. We had a forest foundry skype chat yesterday and it has been a combination of chat messaging and getting our list checked off. I'm still continuing with working on art, commissions, and printing more art this coming week to be sold at Kitsch. Freelance work to follow up on. But I had nice break with the kid stuff I have been focused on and completed this Pablo Neruda collage piece with touch of digital for recent MAT 3 class. (Yes I'm still taking online courses with Lilla haha) After experience with the lapse of creative momentum in the past. I've learned that it is the only way to keep on moving towards your dream when you just keep up with learning, growing and making things. My husband has been really great he is managing most of the house work and watching Ellie on weekends. So I just retreat to the studio and get moving. Her are some recap pics..