March 21, 2017

Live Painting @ Airbnb Press Dinner

In the end of February, Airbnb invited me to work as an on-site artist at their press dinner. I painted postcard-size watercolors from the media guests' vacation photos - it was challenging because of the number of pictures to be painted in the given time, but fun All the guests seemed very excited about having an artist paint from their photos live. Everyone was happy to bring home my paintings and it made me feel good. 


Above was my work desk of the night :) The event took place at the second floor event space of Haven's Kitchen in Chelsea. The staff was all very kind. I'd like to do a lunch sometimes.

The Bucket List Family—this amazing young family who travels around the globe—was the night's co-host and it was great to meet this adventurous couple and got to paint from one of their beautiful photos. I wish I had more time to talk to the interesting guests, most of them editors/writers; that is my only regret as I was too busy painting!

Thank you Aribnb for the wonderful opportunity!
And thank you Holly from DKC News for providing me with some of the pictures here.
You can see some of them at my portfolio site, too.

March 8, 2017

Happy International Women's Day!

Happy International Women's Day!

I've shared this a while ago in Instagram & Facebook, but to honor this day as a female illustrator/artist, I'd like to share it again:

Women Who Drawan online directory of women illustrators in an effort to increase the visibility of female illustrators, with an emphasis on illustrators of color, LBTQ+, and other minority groups. What is great about it is ran by a small group of women illustrators to support other women in the industry. BBC wrote an article here.

They also have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, so if you want to be inspired by great art, follow them in support of female artists!

And yes, I am listed as one of them :)

I am so excited to be listed amongst amazing artists.
And some amazing women in my real life. Below is one of them I hang out pre-Women's Day — Yuko — my buddy from the 1st grade!

Even now we are both middle-aged,
we still feel like 6-year-olds! (Uh-oh)

January 23, 2017


5 years ago today, my grandma passed away. She was not what you think of an old lady. She was energetic, fashionable, and walked faster than anyone (I'll add that she always RAN up stairs). She taught wood-carving and she loved art.
I was painting this bird picture when my mom reminded me about the day. Then I started to remember what grandma told me about how Matisse used black: how he treated black as a vibrant color. I thought I knew what she meant because black always looked richer in his paintings than other artists'. It didn't lack color: it was a color. It's funny I admired grandma of the same thing every time I saw her wearing a black sweater. It never looked dull and boring when she wore black.

My grandmother with my daughter 8 years ago.

The white bird represents peace and the yellow bird hope. The acorn and berries are seeds for something good. This picture felt appropriate for me and for the world today. Hope you can see this from up there, Baba (grandma in Japanese).

Process 1: the beginning.

Process 2: I like the simplicity of this stage as well.
Maybe I use it for something.

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