Friday, December 31, 2010

Ten Minutes Left. Where is Ryan Seacrest?
I think this may be the first new year in (17) years that I've spent at home, not actually alone -- Rita, who's my dog ,is here, but she's sleeping, deciding not to chime in the new year with me and my glasses of Veuve and Moet. Yes, I softened to the idea of curling into my space tonight alone - movies, cupcakes, vegetarian dinner, semi-dried up Christmas tree as my cohorts to see this year out, but I feel really good about it. Yeah, there are parties tonight, gatherings, fun times to be had, but for some reason I don't feel like partaking at all.
2010 was a strange year.
It was a rebound from 2009, which was one of my toughest years yet. I understand on an intellectual level, the notion of business cycles -- recessions and recoveries; however, I haven't been working long enough to have actually experienced business cycles (note the plural).
In recent years, I have begun to wean myself off of the idea of resolutely choosing to decide that I will be "more of this" and "less of that" in the near year. The idea of resolutions are silly to me. Rewording "it" to "New Year's Intentions" seem more palpable, but still, intentions are oftentimes just left as unresolved hopes. That said, I will still move forward trying to become a better person (which doesn't mean becoming more accommodating; in my case less apologetic - I've been endowed with a double whammie: I'm Chinese and Canadian:
Thank you.
Sorry again.
But becoming a better person means that I'm trying to have a better gauge; an honest gauge about what those things in life are that make me most joyous. Oftentimes, they are experiences instead of "things".
Just now, my mind suddenly drifted to an episode of Strangers with Candy (Warren Sutton, "I love your work" ... Steven Colbert... "I love you even more"... Amy Sedaris, I love that you love pizza even though that you might not. Still you're badass funny. I draw for the illiterate and those who can't read...)
I'm digressing.
But back to my point, 2011 is the beginning of "me pulling me closer to me."
Think Steven Colbert breaking up with Paul Donello in Strangers With Candy.
I'm pulling myself closer to me.
On my playlist are the rappers and songstresses from the eighties and nineties.
Special Ed, Big Daddy Kane, Jay Z, Amil, Missy Elliot, Queen Latifah -- yes, I said Queen Latifah -- Xscape, TLC and Mariah.
As for movies, I'm on a hot tip right now -- I'm movie crazy (see Black Swan by the way, although I met a guy at a party 2 weeks ago that suggested that I watch a precursor of it). Breakfast Club, Say Anything, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink (... Oh Ducky...), 16 Candles.
Books. I'm reading Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind" and "Seven Days in the Art World" by Sarah Thorton... although I'm out to purchase "For Esme - With Love and Squalor" by JD Salinger because I'm working with a dancer right now who was named after the character of this book (kowtows into the earth to Ryan for the hookup).
As for imagemaking. I have some thoughts of what to do in 2011. As I wrote in a previous post already, I have had a body of work circulating in my head for about 3 years now - now, it's time to put it into motion, and give it life.
Okay there are about 13 minutes left until the new year begins.
Props to us all for moving through 2010.
And as always good fortune for 2011.
Stay true.
Stay honest.
Be good.
And move forward.
Be in touch again in a few days.
All the best to you and yours.
Love is cool.
Happy New Year everyone.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I haven't got much to write about today, except that I wanted to post up new work. Really, I should be updating my website, but it's faster to place images onto my blog instead. The past several weeks have been a bit loco work-wise, but I'm thankful for it. It's tough to understand one's own limits sometimes, and how it would be best to balance work and personal life. Actually, I've begun to include my personal list of things to do on my "to-do" list. I think it's easy for freelancers especially, to forget that there are so many things in life to do in addition to work. It's hard for us not to get caught up in the race to grow our careers and to capture all of those trappings that could be associated with it.
But maybe that's only me.
I try to pull back from the fever of work once in a while, to not get swallowed up by the daily routines, of the chore of clocking in and out.

It can eat away at a person, allowing him or herself to forget what it means to be here.
What does it mean to be here?
She asked me last week what it means to be here.
I nearly forgot about it until a few days ago.
Friday night, when I was here, alone at home while he was working.
I've told him that I missed him when he works late.
But that's what I need to do in the meantime, he says.

I finished my deadlines for today.
Actually, that's somewhat of a lie.
I could be working on another assignment, but I have been working on commercial projects all weekend.
I think I need to work on some personal pieces.
I'm in a group show in January in the Lower Eastside at Krause Gallery. The show is being curated by the boys at Spank.
Spank you very much.
Will send you more details very soon.
In the meantime, I'm working on some sculptural pieces informed by an automatic drawing exercise that I've done in my studio. I'm having a seriously fun time, but I'd lie to you if I said that I couldn't feel the spit from the demons that are whispering into my ears.
Why are you doing this?
It's been done before.
You suck.
You're not a sculptor.
Take a break.
There's a pizza shop down the street.
Take a break.
not yet.
not until I've remained in this uncomfortable place for a while longer.
I tell my students to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Now, I have to do the same.

* The illustrations above are for Car and Driver, Bloomberg Business Week, Plansponsor, Runner's World, Playboy, and ESPN.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I was just looking at some photos of Cadaques, Spain and it seems so distant. I remember that it was hot, and the sand was rocky. The city from across the bay was white even at night, and I remember swimming and looking into the blackness in front, below, and above me and not seeing any stars, but only a yellow circle that rested within this blackness like the core of some fairytale egg. I just did a quick search of Cadaques online, and the photos that came up didn't align with the memories that I have of that place.
But then I think of the dinner that I had the night before I left, with Ana and Gonzalo, their son, and his friend, at a table underneath the tree that sat in the front yard of their house. On a branch hung a lamp that along with the moon became the only light at dinner. And I don't recall the dinner itself, not the food, the taste, nor the drinks, but rather it was the moments afterward that have burned into my blood, becoming memories that I oftentimes go to when I yearn for some distance in this life. I remember the darkness, the smiles and the singing. I remember Ana's guitar, the flourishes of her Spanish finger picking against the strings, and her voice floating above and beneath the nighttime air. I remember Gonzalo staring at her, his face softened by the moon and her song. He fell in love with her a thousand times over that night.