More like you


Feeling more like myself

“But I like to keep some things to myself” – Shake it Out/Florence + The Machine

Sometimes (a lot lately) I wonder, WHY?

Why didn’t I do these things that I should have done ten years ago?

Why didn’t I take better care of myself… why didn’t I follow those lofty dreams I had… why didn’t I realize that I should start my own photography business ten years ago… why… why… why…

It’s easy to look back and see so clearly the path you should have taken.  It’s easy to want to travel back in a time machine and change the past.

“Listen, this is now, this is here, this is me.  This is what I wanted you to see.  That was then. That was that. That is gone. That is past.” – So Fast, So Numb/R.E.M.

And then you can always find a rationale.

Oh, it was because I fell in love!  Oh, it was because I went to college.  Oh, it was because I got distracted BLAH BLAH BLAH.

But why really?


Fear of Success.  Fear of Failure.  Fear of putting yourself out there, out for critique/criticism?


Not knowing what you really want from life?  Or not admitting it to yourself?

I think… that I need to be braver.

“I must become… a lion hearted girl… ready for a fight.” Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)/Florence + The Machine

I think… that I need to become more honest.

More action, less excuses.

Because… I still have dreams…

Dreams are meant to be big and scary.  They are meant to be on the far edge of what is possible and mostly improbable.  I can’t let my love for logic and reason and stability stomp all over who I am, what I want to be, and what I love in life.

“I close my eyes and think how it might be… The future’s here today. It’s not too late. It’s not too late, yeah!” – I Believe in Miracles/The Ramones

Why pretend for other people?  Is it really so great to spend your life worrying about what everyone thinks?

Why not do what you love?  Even if it’s just in your spare time?

Why not create art and music?  Even if no one will ever see it or hear it?

Is it for them or is it for you?  

“And so I thank you dearly
For letting me see clearly
Open up, she said
Be you, be true” – You’re True/Eddie Vedder

It’s easy to see the success of others, but not their struggle.


(I need to be more like me, but I want to be more like you.)



The ability to turn light into dark.

Dark into light.

Creating something out of nothing.

Transform ugliness into beauty.

A view of the world through my eyes.

As a musician and artist, these things have remained constant in my life.

The only way I know how to deal with the darkness thrown at me is to convert it into light.

Using my voice and songs to create power out of my powerlessness.

Using my lens to show the beauty in others that they cannot see in themselves.



It doesn’t matter whether anyone else can hear it.

It doesn’t matter whether anyone else can see it.


When you CREATE, you have the power.


Awesome Graphic Design

Have you ever noticed that news websites tend to employ people who are capable of producing the “awesomest” graphic design?

Maybe I’m just a pretentious art student-type… but I really wonder if the people who are behind the graphics on these websites are deliberately producing the weirdest, worst looking, most horrible juxtapositions of text and image ever created (I prefer not to, but you could look at Fox News on any given day and see an awful example appear before your very eyes.)  Tabloids of course, are infamous for horrible graphic design.

The reason I bring this up, is because I was randomly surfing the web and I came across this:

It is an anime about health care!  Special guest appearance by Pres. Obama

"Uh...What? There is a cartoon caduceus behind me? It's kind of creeping me out."

I saw this and I thought: SERIOUSLY???????

Someone gets paid to do this??????  Good thing I spent all that time and money getting my degree in art.  Because although I do not benefit financially from having that degree (yet?), I am good at critiquing now.  I haven’t done it in awhile, so I might be kind of rusty.

Let me share a haiku to explain what I see when I look at this image:

Cartoon caduceus

President in mid-sentence

Bad use of half-tone

And is it just me or do you see a touch of lens flare above Obama’s shoulder?

If you look under the snake’s face (on the right side), you can see just the shadow of another snake face…

Okay, I need to stop looking at this before my brain explodes!

random thoughts about art and origami

detail of cranes

Since last summer, I’ve been consciously incorporating some different ideas into my artwork.

Origami is a rather unconventional choice of medium, at least for a “serious” artist.  There is (still) a prevailing pretention about what is “art” versus what is “craft”.

Obviously these are ideas that can be transcended.  Conceptual art can be kind of a copout as good concepts do not necessarily make good art.   Art should be about aesthetics; to do something just for the sake of doing it is fine, but no one will be the next Marcel DuChamp or Andy Warhol by simply emulating their ideas.  That would be rather redundant.

Incorporating my identity as an Asian-American into my art is something that happened almost without my realization.

But I would have to be extremely crazy not to realize the connection now, having done an entire installation of a thousand hand folded origami cranes.

There are some memories that I have associated with origami.  I did have origami books as a child.  As an adult, I sat with my maternal grandmother on the tatami, watching her fold papers into triangles and piece them together into objects, as we watched some random show on tv (she usually changed it to the US TV station for me… and either Xena or professional wrestling was what was on).

Origami became a way of modifying found objects, previously owned objects, photographs (or other paper-based representations of my life) and recycling them into something pretty.

And I still have a lot of memories and words on paper that need to turn into something beautiful.