I’ve been feeling like a teenager who has a lot raging inside. It’s pretty obvious, but when asked if something was wrong, the answer is always a dull, lifeless, monosyllabic “no.”

Well, nothing is really “wrong.” It’s just that it’s that time of the year when you need to plan well and start gearing up for the biggest shopping season that is November and December. With the outdoor markets and festivals in place this year, I’m not quite sure how to prepare for it. Every year there is a new wrinkle to this “business.” By now you must be tired of reading that I want a team of people to work with only to go back on it and say I want to be left alone. Ever since I started Portland Saturday Market, I feel perpetually fatigued because of the physical toll that it takes on my body. I used to think that I manage my time fairly well, but these days I can’t seem to escape that sinking feeling that I’m not doing enough, because quite frankly, there is way too much to do for one person. Yes, stressed out.

……………………….Okay. There. I’m done complaining……………………..

This is a post just to say that I’m still here. A little lost, even. Nah, deep inside I know what to do. This is that antsiness before the big dive. It’s sort of like dreading to run a race that you know you’ve trained hard for.

So, hang out here for a bit while more. The best is yet to come.


I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of driving along Columbia River on I-84 into nature, beauty and adventure. This summer especially feels endless, because of the heatwave that started as early as June, which is very unlike Portland, so the people say.

Summer also seems to be time for visitors. My August already looks pretty full with things to do with friends from out of town. August. Is it already August?

It always seems that once you get past the first quarter, the remaining year just picks up speed on its own and whirls away super fast out of your grip. Each week is like that too in a way. I feel most relaxed on Sunday and Monday, but as soon as Tuesday rolls around, I feel as though I got thrown into a mad mess of filling orders, making inventory and meeting deadlines.

I am looking forward to this fall and winter. There will be recognizable changes on many levels. Some are already taking shape. I will share more about them as they happen.

I have been thinking a lot about what I do. I’m coming to a conclusion that I will probably never be an owner of a sizable company, even if such an opportunity comes my way. I tend to be solitary. I value freedom and mobility. Commitment to any entity – an organization or otherwise – would be a huge deal. For me, the idea of “growth” may never mean having many people to work together with. Increasing volume will have its limit even if I become prolific. Convergence. Proliferation. I have a feeling these things will happen all at once. Right now, I’m still wearing multiple hats and very much involved in designing for Disney even as I’m painting and honing my skills in metal-smithing. I often feel like I lack focus and question if I’m asking too much of myself. But then again, I’m free as a bird. I have no attachments, no kids, not even pets… Why not, right? Why not go the distance?

I hope everyone is having a great summer…wherever you are.


If death was a door–in a symbolic way, it is—but if it is not a violent or painful act, but could be carried out as simply as by entering, I think I might be very tempted to open that door.

At some point between when my beautiful little beast woke me up in the middle of the night with a harrowing cry because she was no longer able to get herself up on her old and frail four, and when all the numbers on the monitor that was hooked up to my dad in St. Vincent Hospital rapidly dropped as he slipped away into the unknown before my eyes, a great storm erupted within me. And I still have no command over it.

Since then and now, I’ve learned that there is a whole lot more than meets the eye as far as human existence goes. We smile. We laugh. We go about our business as usual, but really, underneath it all, what is going on?

Moody, sensitive, dark, depressed… If these traits make up an artistic temperament, I think I’m some of them, but not all of them. Even though I can’t seem to escape this manic grip within, I know that there also is an incredible amount of light in this same being that wakes me up everyday and gets me on my feet, helps me put on my clothes, smile and carry on. Obviously, most days, the light wins.

My hat’s off to you who figured out how to live this thing called life. I wholeheartedly concur with you who might judge me for my weakness, because I know that my circumstances are not so exclusively special. We all deal with it, Joy, whatever it is. You’re not the only one.

I will show up. I will show up mulishly to do my part whether it amounts to anything or not. I will hold my own in this “Great Big Storm,” thank you, Mr. Ruess.

Just like the poet who stopped by woods on a snowy evening, I too have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

No need to rush. The door will always be there. This we know for sure.


“Benjamin Pratt is a fucking prick!!!”

I thought I was dreaming when I heard that and opened my eyes to see 1:25AM on the alarm clock. And then quickly gathered that a couple of very drunk men were having a major Benji-bashing session right outside my studio windows, all the while blowing pot smoke into my apartment. They went on in full pitch for another good 20 minutes or so, as I sat there in the dark corner typing and then deleting, typing and then deleting “911” on my iPhone, unsure whether this situation was cop-worthy or not. Why do people yell when they’re drunk? Eventually, they left but took my night’s rest with them. Sleep robbery, is there such a crime? That was this morning.


It’s been quite an adjustment, these bright summer nights of Pacific Northwest. The record-breaking heat wave got me leaving the windows open when I go to bed, which in turn made me realize that a lot goes on at nights just outside my windows – from which these double-paned, energy-efficient, newly-installed Portland windows have obviously been sheltering me. Needless to say, the heat, the noises and the PNW night lights made a good night’s rest a very elusive thing for me lately.

After tossing and turning for a while, I gave up, got up, made coffee and then got the day rolling. It turned out to be a good thing, because I got to get a nice little 5-miler in before the rest of the neighborhood woke up.

I thanked the trees and summer flowers as I ran. Yeah, Portland has hot days too, but it also has these tall old trees and beautiful flowers, ever so soothing and refreshing. I’m already looking forward to fall.



I have been consistently running 5 miles when I go out for a run as of late. It’s been fun to run in different direction each morning, discovering parts of my neighborhood that I haven’t seen before. It also helps me organize my thoughts and come up with a mental list of things to do for the day. As always, there is a lot going on. I have some out-of-town art festivals coming up in the near future. And the First Thursday in the Pearl is in full swing now, for which I have a seasonal spot. (Come out and say hello, if you’re in Portland.) It will be a busy summer of making, painting and selling. The big hustle.

I’ve been working on a commissioned project all week. It’s coming along beautifully. I feel like I owe it to running.

I’m seriously wishing for a quiet night tonight. Although, judging from how things had been, I doubt that my wish will come true. Hopefully, I’d be too tired to notice or care.

Freaking Benjamin Pratt… Why does he have to be such a prick?


First there is summer solstice and then the heat wave. The latter is yet to happen, but I’ve heard 109 degrees forecasted for this coming Saturday. If I were still in LA, I would have cringed at the news and remained in perpetually dreaded state. I guess change is a good thing, because I am actually curious to experience my first heat wave in Portland. I hope the high temperature means more people getting out and filling the corners of Portland Saturday Market.

I’ve introduced my new painting – Sheltering Wings – last weekend at PSM. It was awesome to see reactions on people’s faces as they approached my booth and noticed this piece. Irony makes things memorable and naturally causes people to stop and talk instead of walking past with blank faces, deep in their own thoughts. I shook many hands and made some meaningful connections because of this painting. It was a satisfying weekend, and I am thankful.

“Mom, look! How can those butterflies carry that elephant? It’s impossible,” one super cute girl exclaimed. That made me think about my six months here in Portland. I came here fully convinced that I was supposed to do this – be here and make art – and yet met with some adversities and set backs that made things seem utterly impossible. I am still trying to overcome them. However, the progress that I’m making is real and the conviction that led me here is still unwavering. I know, I know, I know that things will work out. When you look for faith and hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, they are found in clear, soft and gentle place in your heart. A place where you have to really quiet down to listen, because it is as silent as butterfly flying, but as sure as the metamorphosis of a caterpillar.


So… I started running again. Well, I never really stopped running altogether, but acclimating to Portland kind of took me out of the discipline and made me a bit lackadaisical. Not sure if I will run a race any time in the near future, but would like to be more deliberate this time, and really focus on improving my pace.

I’ve been showing up to local group runs. They are all fast, or at least faster than me. It’s not like in L.A., where I’d usually find myself running comfortably in the middle of the pack. A lot of them that I got to talk to are also serious climbers or cyclists or REAL runners (oh, you know, those super humans who run sub-six-minute mile). I’m hoping just trying to be within 20 minutes behind them (if I could manage even that) would eventually turn me into a faster runner.

Portland summer so far has been gorgeous and just as sweltering at its peak temperature as L.A. is, but it cools off at nights so beautifully, it hasn’t brought the Ms. Grumpy out of me just yet. Here is a baffling situation though. The warmer weather got me go through my running gears, and I was able to find only one short sleeve shirt. I’ve been running in this one summer top and washing it after each run:

I don’t know what happened. Did I give all my other short sleeves away when I took a bunch of things to Goodwill before I moved? How could I have managed with just this – training for several races on any given year in the recent past? Especially in Southern California? Doesn’t make sense. And to make the matter more ironic, look at the array of my long sleeves…

Right? It’s enough to make you laugh. I could only theorize that I used to run mostly in the mornings in L.A., and so colder early temperature in dry climate must be more affecting than, say, places like Portland…? I don’t know.

In any case, hello my fellow running bloggers, I’m back at it again. Let’s see where it goes this time.


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