Yolky. SketchBook. 2019.
I have drawn and painted my hands too many times to count. To make things more interesting, I decided to have my HowToBasic moment. My vision was a more detailed study of the reflective surfaces and layering of paints. The thin layer of yellow paint definitely helped to create the illusion of a broken egg yolk. I decided to leave the rest of the painting half-done. You can say I got lazy or alternatively that it helps to emphasize the intended subject, right? 😜
I was quite surprised to end up travelling this summer. I got to visit Changzhou and Shanghai. It was stressful at times but nonetheless I was able to enjoy many things!
The food was delicious…and cheap! My favourite food moments were just shabby street corner food stands. I see locals lining up, and I am all for it. I wait in line with all the aunties and uncles because they KNOW what is good.
My grandma had a hip surgery. I was with her through the entire process. Healthcare in China and in Canada is quite difference. In my grandma’s case, the efficiency of hospitals in China was a huge advantage.
Some more food. This is what you would typically see families eat at home! Some of my favourites were mock chicken tofu and marinated jellyfish salad. It’s hard to describe them in English with a more appetizing vocabulary but trust me, they are delicious!
I had a short trip to Shanghai because your girl is a city gal. The city is just incredible and there is no better word to describe it other than it being a metropolis. My favourite spot in Shanghai is the Bund, especially at night. You can take a stroll along the water or maybe even take a boat down the river!
My dad’s humble beginning. My grandpa lives on the outskirts of Shanghai. Their small town hasn’t changed one bit since I was born.
This summer was full of surprises. I didn’t plan to go to China much less return to Vancouver for the summer. What a turn of events. It all began when my grandma fell at the beginning of the summer, and everything following happened so quickly. I cannot empathize more with families who are going through what we had to go through. There was constant distress and anxiety over the well-being of someone I love. It felt hopeless at times because I couldn’t help directly in her recovery. At times like this, my advice is to stay positive because exuding distress only makes the people we worry about more stressed. Stay strong for them. 💪
Until next time, enjoy what remains of this summer!
Medium: digital oil painting
Inspiration: a fish market in Changzhou
Just another stressed out student that is uncertain of life after university.
My dream job when I was a kid was always to become a doctor. But shortly I stopped having that dream because my grades were terrible in elementary school. I poured my passion into art and design and when I began to gain some confidence in myself as an artist, circa high school, I found my grades starting to improve. I started taking more science classes and before you know it, I am studying Life Science at Queen’s. As my life gears me closer and closer towards my childhood dream, and my current goal: med school; I am very reluctant to tell people that I want to become a physician.
I think it’s the fear of failure. I am fearful that by announcing my hopes of becoming a doctor that I will be judged should I fail to achieve such. Judgement not just from others, but also feelings of disappointment towards myself.
So when I am confronted with the question, “What are you going to do after university?”, I constantly find myself telling people about other careers that I have previously considered, such as pharmacy and research. And the more I maintained these responses to the seemingly unfair question (seriously people, I have rarely met students who know exactly what they are doing after university), I find myself less motivated in my pursuit of medicine. When you tell people that you want to become a doctor, people may unintentionally have higher expectations of you. I used to be scared of this. I was scared that I did not live up to other people’s expectations of a pre-med student. This sounds kind of ridiculous but I think many students feel the same way.
In the positive light, I think we should all embrace these unspoken expectations of an aspiring doctor, whether they exist or not. Let those sentiments be a motivation to work even harder. Hopefully next time someone pounders me with the notorious question, “What are you going to be?”, I can soundly tell them the truth and be content with all that.
Old Town Lengthy Road. SketchBook. 2019.
Pesto Best-o. SketchBook. 2019.
It is probably like my 5th time watching Friends, and it never gets old. Is it a coincidence that I happened to watch this episode shortly after I drew a jar of pesto sauce? I think not. And if you are wondering why I was drawing a jar of pesto, I am proof that in art you can literally be inspired by anything.
This is the only appropriate way to compliment someone’s pesto dish from now on. “It was good-o.” 👩🍳
@friends_quotes1. (2015, January 27).
#Phoebe: You made pesto? Tim: Yes I did. P: Would u say your pesto is the best-o? Tim: I don’t know, but I would say. [Twitter post]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/friends_quotes1/status/560156403915313154
La La Land came out in 2016 and I just discovered it this year. Just a bit late to the game…I decided to watch it while waiting for a flight home for the summer. What a sight that must have been. I am pretty sure I cried at one point too. Ever since watching the movie, I have non-stop been listening to movie soundtrack. I have not been this obsessed with a movie soundtrack since I discovered High School Musical when I was 7 or 8.
Justin Hurwitz is such a brilliant composer. The score for City of Stars is actually quite simple but even so, the melody is BEAUTIFUL. Epilogue is another favourite of mine from the soundtrack. I highly recommend giving the album a listen if you watched the movie already, and if you haven’t watched the movie yet..What are you waiting for?! ⭐️🌙⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
You Never Shined So Brightly. SketchBook. 2019.
mac n cheese. SketchBook. 2019
I hated the Kraft dinner stuff growing up so I always assumed that mac and cheese tasted bad…Until this year. One of my friends makes some of the best mac and cheese, and I have been converted ever since. This recipe from The Chunky Chef (https://www.thechunkychef.com/family-favorite-baked-mac-and-cheese/) is pretty similar to one my friend made.
Me being me though, and I never follow recipes exactly, I made my own adjustments. If you like flavour, texture, and food that is not bland, (no one asked asked but here it is 💁♀️) here are some ways to elevate your mac and cheese:
How to make mac and cheese less of a gooey mess: add BREADCRUMBS. In a low heat dry pan, toast those bad boys until they are golden brown. I smother my noodles with this stuff. It’s so good!
How to make it healthier: substitute half or all the cheese with nutritional yeast. You can do without that extra calories for very little change in flavour.
How to make mac and cheese more umami: add shrimp and/or pan fried mushrooms. I made this once, and the mushrooms add so much flavour. The shrimp gives the dish more texture.
Dinner is served! Enjoy y’all. 👩🍳
If you know, you know…🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶
Spicy. iPad: SketchBook. 2019.
Lao Gan Ma is a really good chili sauce from China. There’s a video of John Cena confessing his love for it. Hahaha. If you google the sauce, you can even buy Lao Gan Ma merch. 😲
Look out for more art related things in the coming months! I am officially on summer break, and I finally have time to sit down and draw more. It’s good to be back! ☺️🌶
Dim sum has a special place in my heart, especially those from Cantonese dim sum restaurants back in Vancouver. My family is from Shanghai, so our version of dim sum is a little different from popular dim sum foods in North America. My mom hates going to the restaurants because they were so loud. I mean how can they not be? Just imagine waking up on a Saturday morning and grabbing har gow (the best dim sum) with close family and friends. There is a lot of excitement, and I am one for it.
So maybe the fact that I rarely ate dim sum made me love dim sum even more. Being in Kingston sort of sucks for me because dim sum here falls very short compared to the ones back home. That doesn’t stop me from drawing them. If I can’t eat them, at least I can look at them and imagine myself eating it? 🤪
These har gow (crystal shrimp dumplings) are my favorite. I don’t even know how they get shrimps that big.
These chicken or pork sticky rice wrapped in some kind of leaf (so I am not the best at remembering the actual names) was one of my favourite dim sum foods growing up. Even though I don’t eat chicken or pork anymore, they still hold a special place in my heart.
Feast your eyes. Googling “dim sum” is another great way to feast your eyes. You might get some serious cravings though. You have been warned! 🤤
Sketchbook on iPad (March 2019)