Thursday, April 21, 2011

I am a sketchbook...

hello everyone, this post will be long and a bit more personal than most because i feel the need to share what i've been going through lately. for the past couple of months i've been pretty busy working at a gift shop and teaching, and i feel a bit guilty blogging when there are more pressing things i could be doing. but i realized that i need to do this because i need to share at least some of what i've worked on since january. i want to feel  like an artist again, and an important part of that is sharing. when i make art, i have a relationship between myself and what i'm creating. that is essential. but sometimes it's not enough. i almost always have an audience in mind, even if what i make is mostly just for me. so right now, all i'm working on is process and that is what i'm sharing with you.

here is my newest sketchbook that i made some months ago. i hand-bound it with coptic stitch and decorated the covers with gouache. i wanted it to be looser and freer than my other sketchbooks have been.

here is a sketch of one of my children's book ideas. remember i was taking that class awhile back? well, i took almost a month to even decide on my idea. i had several of my own ideas i was working on, but decided i needed more time to develop my writing. so i chose an e. e. cummings poem "maggie and molly and milly and may." i typeset and printed most of the poem, but haven't even worked on the visuals yet. another one of my backburner projects.

here are just some random paintings and drawings. i got really excited about working with watercolor and painting again. while i love printmaking and all the process involved, i really enjoy the spontaneity of working with paint and the primal-ness of simply drawing. can you tell that i'm also really getting into using color?

i must admit, i've been a bit "blue" for the past month. maybe that's not the right word. anxious, lost, depressed, angry, imbalanced. there are different reasons for this, and part of it is that i haven't had much energy to create art for the past couple months. i've been trying to balance myself physically and emotionally by going to yoga regularly, but it's quite frustrating to not have any energy to create new things. at least i've been writing poems and making some art in my sketchbook just for fun every so often. making things for fun or self-therapy was not really part of my life until lately when i realized i don't have time to do much else. since graduating from college, i have felt a drive to create art that is presentable to the public or immediately "sellable," because one of my goals in life is to be able to make my living from my art. but driving my art in that way is not always healthy. everyone needs time to not know what they are doing, to not have a finished product in mind. wandering is part of the process, a very essential part that i have neglected. so maybe these negative feelings are okay. they remind me not to get ahead of myself, to be myself whatever that happens to be at the moment.


  1. I have just found your blog and am looking forward to checking out older posts. Your art has a lovely, unique quality to it. I have experienced a similar "lost" feeling at times, most often when I was working on an environmental project. I eventually realized that those times meant that something needed to shift and that there was a potential waiting to be realized. But it was an uncomfortable space that I had to embrace and go into. At the time I was using the I Ching as guide and consultant. The lost feeling alerted me that I needed to do a reading and let go a bit. I would write about the hexagram in a free-association manner and allow myself to not know where I needed to go. Somehow that always allowed the direction to become clear. So maybe this lost time for you is hinting of something new and exciting. It sounds like you are already moving to embrace the chaos. Happy journeys!

  2. hi Ginigin,

    thanks for sharing your experience. i agree with you about the shift. in fact, things have shifted inside and they are coming to light in ways that are unexpected. it is both difficult and freeing. thanks for your encouragement and take care!

  3. aijung, i want to steal that sketchbook away from you! lovely work. and, update more soon when you are done with moving in and settling!

  4. you work so nicely with watercolor! i want to start using it. the childrens book ideas are so charming.

  5. The sketchbook you have created and bound is a very beautiful piece of artwork in itself. And your loose watercolour entries are engaging. I agree, being in limbo, "wandering", is part of the process. It leaves you open to the unexpected, to chance and luck. And, let's face it - when did plans always work out?

  6. thanks everyone for your comments. i am enjoying the wandering. i feel like i am full up with a million things i want to work out and express. i will update soon!

  7. hello aijung, so nice to find you in my surfing! I found you through the collagraph post(I super dig making collagraphs) but I had already seen you somewhere else so I knew I was attracted to your style. I do wish you were still in Portland where I live because then our paths might cross. Thanks for being so open about your process, as an artist. I am just about to start a studio art certificate at PNCA and excited. Thanks for the inspiration......Jo

  8. Hi Jo,

    thanks! that's exciting about your art certificate. hope it's going well for you. i hope to post more about the printmaking process and also rambling artist thoughts.

    take care!