February 14, 2013

collage : lovesick


Valentine’s Day is the second most popular greeting-card-giving occasion. It’s become the original Hallmark holiday, overflowing with clichés and dreaded by boyfriends. I refuse to go out to dinner on February 14th because of crowded restaurants and overpriced prix fix menus. Ingenuity is completely robbed from the “just because” flowers and a box of Godivas couldn’t be less personal. The only thing I actually approve of on Valentine’s Day is a homemade Valentine. From the heart, signed with love. But this unfortunately, does not exist in modern society.

However, I still make all my own custom Valentines…I am fully aware that this may sound annoying, but I only partake because it’s a good excuse to hack up magazines. Again, I’ve been doing this every year since I was old enough to pick up scissors, so no need to feel like a slacker. I have memories of folding pink construction paper in half to cut out that perfectly even heart. And gluing those chalky conversation hearts to delicate doilies. I like to think my resources and designs have since improved, but then again, Valentines could have sparked my initial fascination with collage… As I’ve been focusing more on color and value lately, I came up with the two collages above. So simple to make; just tear paper of similar hue and layer them in the same direction to get this striped effect. Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 12, 2013

in the air


The cheesiness of Valentine’s Day is looming around the corner, and I’m noticing that literally every song is written about LOVE. You can feel it in the air. Whether it’s puppy love or soul mates, lost love or heartbreak, someone has been whining about this intoxicating emotion since the beginning of time. It can grow in the most unlikely place, make us drop whatever we’re doing and completely surrender. Love is a powerful drug that sneaks up from behind and knocks us off our feet.

Science has proven that love is a form of addiction, based on discovering the same chemical reactions occurring in the body. Dopamine and endorphins are released, sending us on a euphoric high. Like we’re walking on air and all is right with the world. Connecting with someone on emotional, spiritual and physical levels can be one of the greatest feelings ever known. So if you’re lucky enough to find it, hold on tight!

But be careful. Just like any other addiction, ruthless withdrawals may ensue if this drug is discontinued or unreciprocated. The heart itself will suffer the most pain if it becomes the victim of one-sided love. Although they say heartache is only an expression, many will agree that an awful sense of emptiness sinks deep into the chest, right where the heart should be. I believe this agony can be both mentally and physically debilitating at it’s worst. Broken hearts eventually mend, however, time is most often the only cure.

January 31, 2013

david hockney

A Bigger Splash, 1967
acrylic on canvas, 96×96 in.

Mr. David Hockney. British. Printmaker and Painter. Designer and Photographer. London to LA. Bright landscapes and memorable still lifes. Big player in 1960’s pop art movement. Colorful and flamboyant. Versatile and inventive. Vibrantly influential.


Never failing to inspire a new perspective on originality, my print of A Bigger Splash holds a high place above my desk at home. It reminds me of my mom’s high school photo albums from the 70’s. The standard square frame, faded film, retro orange. Bell bottoms and hot pants. You can hear Abbey Road crackling on a record player somewhere…I love the way Hockney’s work can bring out such a strong sense of an era, especially for someone who wasn’t even born yet.

As a collage artist, I can’t even begin to explain the admiration I have for his innovative techniques integrating photography. I can understand Hockney’s motives, as I feel compelled to cut up most images just to put them back together again. Playing with perspective, he makes traditional photography actually seem boring. His work tricks the eye, allowing the brain to fill in the blanks. Needless to say, David Hockney really pushes the envelope and owns this style.

January 30, 2013

collage : greige

This one hangs in my living room. Silent, waiting to pounce. Subdued colors containing so much tension. Intimidating natural beauty.

I found this photo of stunning Laeticia Casta in an old Guess catalog, clearly proving that curves are better than stick-figures! It was her sepia toned image, soft and faded, that inspired the overall flow of this piece. Undulating lines traveling over rays of gold. A subtle threat of dark and light. Wood, brass, and stone vs. feathers, teeth and bones.

Since September, I’ve been reading The Hunger Games and FINALLY just finished the trilogy! I was lagging between books and losing interest by the third, but I had already invested too much time at that point – I HAD to know how it ended… And now I know. It wasn’t my favorite, but I obviously like the idea of “hunt or be hunted”. That raw and primal fear lives right here, in my Greige collage.

January 29, 2013



And take a note of them with slight strokes thus, in a little book which you should always carry with you…The forms and positions of objects are so infinite that the memory is incapable of retaining them. Keep these sketches as your guides and masters.

                                                                           -Leonardo da Vinci

The other night during class, my professor shared this quote with us and I immediately lit up. Knowing exactly what da Vinci meant by this, I thought of all my ‘visual journals’ and how precious they are to me.

It’s become second nature for me to slap inspiring ephemera into the pages of my beloved books. Photos or images ripped out from magazines. Anything with a nice composition or interesting colors. Patterns, articles, tickets, etc. If it’s appealing in any way, I will most likely hang on to it. And with the little space left unoccupied, I take notes. I scribble down the ideas that pop into my head in the middle of the night, drawings, lists, quotes that I like, yada yada. It’s a mess, but a good one – kind of like the paper version of a Pinterest board, an eclectic sketchbook.

Publishing my own magazine has always been a dream for me growing up. So until now, designing these 5×8 pages was the next best thing. The Lacquerie has given me a place to share all these ideas – we’re just scrolling down instead of flipping through.


My books have braved several cross-country trips, they’ve endured all my coffee spills, they’re reminders, or better yet, confirmation of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Collecting ideas that speak specifically to me and keeping bits of inspiration to refer back to, they’ve built creative timelines that document the last 15 years of my life. They are a part of me. Sacred and irreplaceable.

If you don’t keep one yourself, it’s never too late to start! Spiral bound notebooks work the best for this kind or journal – I learned that the hard way…

January 28, 2013



It’s the candid shots that always win me over. Simple. Natural. Real. The subtle details that bring me right back to that exact time and place. Not the touristy stock photos that every traveler goes home with, but the unique personal experiences that only I could catch with my camera.

After teaching a semester in Thailand, my friend Rachel and I slept on very looong bus rides from Bangkok to Cambodia, then Cambodia to Vietnam. Some of my favorite photos from that trip were actually taken from the bus windows. The cities were crazy busy, like nothing I had ever seen before and the slower countryside was an unforgettable green. Thriving. Lush and tropical.

I loved every minute, especially the authentic phở!!! This traditional Vietnamese soup (pronounced ‘fuh’) is my absolute favorite. First, there’s this amazing broth: cardamom, star anise, ginger, coriander, and fennel mingle as they simmer for over 24 hours. Then it’s served with rice noodles and thinly-sliced rare steak that cooks instantly, once added to the steaming deliciousness.

Just before the rest of the world cuts out, garnish with fresh basil, lime, bean sprouts, and chili peppers. PERFECTION. It’s also a healthy cold remedy and the best hangover cure. Enjoy it with a tall glass of fresh coconut juice or Thai iced tea. Trust me. And thank God for the phở restaurants in San Diego…I’d probably die without it!