Embracing shyness and spotlight
An introvert crawls out of their comfort zone
As an introvert who needs a lot of time, whether it’s time to think, make art, or eat my meals, zipping across this big learning curve called “being an artist” has brought up all sorts of emotions!
Being in my cozy mushroom hut vs. Being in the spotlight
I used to think that the artist life meant being holed up in a cozy mushroom home, working on my manuscript by a fireplace where I could occasionally toss a scrapped idea into the flames and watch it sizzle. 🔥 Sure, there is some of that, but I’ve been surprised to learn that a lot about being an artist is putting yourself out there.
One day, I’d find myself in the suburbs of New York promoting Fitting In with my book partner amongst pumpkins at a farmer’s market, and the next day, I’d be talking about trichotillomania on the public radio (coming soon on North Carolina’s Embodied show) and having a conversation about my identity as a queer Asian femme on a podcast. I really was not expecting to speak this much in public, especially as a person who loves the quiet… but I feel deeply grateful that I can share my love this way.
Connecting soul to soul is still my favorite thing to do
While I still get nervous speaking in public, I feel grateful that I’m getting more opportunities to share my work and ideas about love, having a relationship with nature, and the importance of community. If my work has touched the heart of one person, I feel that I have done a good job.
Whenever my artwork is published in a newspaper, I get some mail in my inbox from folks who read my work, and that brings me a jiggly jello kind of joy. Of course there are the negative or critical comments that come up sometimes, but I’m realizing that life is too short to mind them too much!
Recently, I received a kind note and poems from a 79-year-old library clerk after he read my illustrated poem about public libraries. And when my comic about trichotillomania was published, I received some beautiful, raw messages from folks who are experiencing / had experienced trich. These are the things I cherish most about being an artist. The connection of one soul to another.
What’s coming up
With my 1 year anniversary of saying goodbye to my toxic corporate job right around the corner, I’m excited to celebrate in a witchy way with… ART, of course! 🧙 My piece entitled Happy Work Anniversary, an illustration of a deathly sweet cupcake, is featured in Cake Zine, a “hedonistic exploration of history, pop culture, literature, and art through dessert.” I look forward to dressing up for the magazine’s launch party, which, let’s be real, will be my one night out of the year.
This winter, I will be creating space and time to sketch out the dummy for my second children’s book! We will also be getting ready for our physical move to Portugal. While we’ve been experiencing some difficulty finding a Portugal resident who can sponsor us for the visa or an apartment where the lease begins months from now, we’re glowing with the flow, so I’m not too worried. We’ll get there when we get there. 🙏
Soul spark ✴
What’s been inspiring me lately
Whenever I see a flock of pigeons weaving through the New York City skies, I think of one of my favorite movies, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. Ghost Dog is a character I look up to.
Coffee cheers from my desk to yours,