A lot of time has passed since I’ve written anything here.  My work is  beginning to turn inward.  I’m starting to investigate myself as an individual with comparisons to my family and heritage as points of departure.  My family history is no longer the focus. I’m beginning to use the human figure, and my own face and it’s very unsettling.  I’ve never made work about myself using my face before.  It’s pretty overwhelming right now.

This new turn in image-making stemmed from my usual visual sources: story boards from The Republic of Palau, but mostly the use of one image to tell a complete story.  The history of oral narratives runs deep in history of Palau.  Growing up, I’ve taken note that a good majority of family members (extended) love to talk.  They love to use their voice to catch up with each other.  They like to gossip.  Sometimes, I think they like to hear their own voice.  *sigh*  The Gift of Gab.

I am not this way, at least to the degree my extending family displays.

I am not gifted in the way of storytelling.  I can’t keep a steady momentum.  I don’t know when to pause or speed up for an effect that keeps a listener engaged.  I’m really more of a listener.  When I do find myself telling a story, I’m usually cut off by the another’s comments, questions or even they start a telling a story that is loosely related to mine but is about their own experiences.  Every time I’ll step back, and become a listener.

In order to cope with characteristic, I’ve turned to other forms of narratives that don’t involve the use of my voice.  Orchestral music, visual imagery (illustrations), art, movies, tv shows, video games are key sources I constantly surround myself with.

2014 began with an invitation to show work in a small space with the Sarratt Art Center on Vanderbilt University, through their Arts and Creative Enrichment offices.  I began experimenting with a blue lead. 10 illustrations were created that explored how to show imagery from my dreams as my personal stories. Taking the form of a floral nature, (my mother gardened a lot throughout my childhood) the story grew from my vocal cords, the source of my family history and the history of the Palauan Islands.  These illustrations depicted sleeping human figures engulfed with  botanical growths and forms.  There is no specific story in mind as I drew, I just kept the structural organization of the Palauan legends I’ve read present in thought.  There is a beginning – something happens – conclusion.  Sometimes, there isn’t a clear reason as to why things started, happened, or finished.  They just did.  I learned to just accept how they played out.

When drawing, I had to let myself work intuitively.  The floral growths developed how they needed with no extra thought on my part.  It was liberating, but as I finished these 10 I knew I had to begin a series of work that utilizes what I discovered with these illustrations and apply it directly to myself.


This is terrifying.  If I survive this transition, I’m hoping to have a ton of beautiful work of my face without  being egotistical.  I really hope this happens.


Samples of the new illustrations can be found in the Drawing/Mixed Media section.

Link: Drawings/Mixed Media




The beginning of the work using myself as the subject image looks like the above image. It’s a work in progress.

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