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My 6-month mentorship experience

As part of the BC Culture Days Ambassador Program, I got to select and work with a mentor with over 25 years of experience, Natasha Smith. I found Natasha online and her paintings were so rich and interesting to look at! After Natasha agreed to be my mentor, we started meeting on a weekly basis over Zoom. In addition, we communicated by emails and texts.

During our first meetings, we worked on setting goals and preparing for my BC Culture Days online workshop. I’ve never made an online video before and Natasha showed me the equipment that she uses, how to edit and add sounds to my video.

One of my goals during the mentorship was to make a body of work in mixed media paintings and submit to juried exhibitions. At first, I didn’t know what kind of painting I want to make for my body of work. We looked at my past paintings and paintings of other artists that I admire to figure out what kind of art I want to make. She encouraged me to do research, find a topic that I am passionate about, and practice the techniques so when I decided on what to do, I know HOW to do it. Natasha showed me many new techniques that I can incorporate into my paintings. Talking with her every week helped me work out my thoughts. It’s like brainstorming with an expert and I often got more ideas from our conversations.

We also started working on my application to an Artists in the Classroom grant. Natasha was so organized and she’s very good at keeping me on track. She would encourage me to just jot down my ideas to start with and suggested me to take some small steps every week. Those things add up incrementally. Writing a grant is a daunting task. I have to confess that without her help, I probably would have put this project on hold. I don’t know the result of the grant yet but I have many school interested in my project and one of them agreed to pay for the project themselves.

Natasha gave me encouragement to work on my strength, practice my skills and we talked about why I make art and worked on my artist statements. She shared with me many resources and tools on being creative, time management and how to overcome creator’s blocks.

One of the challenges that I had was feeling the pressure to perform, that I have to make good paintings the first time I try and if I don’t think I have a good idea, I just procrastinate. We talked about the importance of experiment and play. She shared her experience that sometimes you start with a good idea and sometimes, good ideas come out of practice. It’s important to practice my skills and when I have a good idea, I will have the skills to express them intuitively because of practice. She inspired me to schedule time for play and for improving my skills without thinking about outcome.

What I found extremely helpful with the mentorship was talking to someone with a lot of experience like Natasha. It was lonely making paintings on my own without much feedback. During one of our very first meetings, Natasha pointed out what she saw in my paintings and what my strengths are. I couldn’t really see my style until she articulated that I like to use painterly colours with bold graphic elements which I do subconsciously. Then she showed me new techniques based on my preferences to add to my artistic arsenals.

Not only did I learn a lot from my mentor Natasha, she also gave me a lot of encouragement and that helped me see my strength in my art and gave me the confidence to go out and try more things. The weekly meeting is a great way to keep me accountable and make sure that I do the work.

Natasha Smith is an excellent mentor with a lot of experience in many aspects of being an artist. I’ve achieved all my goals set out at the beginning of our mentorship. Not only did Natasha showed me many new mixed media techniques, her holistic approach helped me pinpoint my style and clarify my artist statement; we worked on my mindset to overcome obstacles, she kept me on track and showed me tools to manage my art career. More importantly, her encouragement gave me the confidence to experiment with new things and make more art. I highly recommend Natasha Smith for anyone who wants to find their unique creative path.

You can find Natasha Smith on her website:

More info on her mentorship program here:

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Paintings I made during Mentorship: Part II

Here are all the paintings I finished during the 6-month mentorship with my mentor Natasha Smith.

Let me know which one you like the most?

If you want to see the process pictures, check out the previous post.

#1 – mixed media on recycled wood, 6.75″W x 11.5″ H
#2 – mixed media on wood, 8″W x 10″H
#3 – mixed media on recycled wood, 10″W x 13.5″H
#4 – mixed media on recycled wood, 3.75″W x 3.75″H
#5 – mixed media on recycled wood, 5.5″W x 3.5″H
#6 – mixed media on canvas, 12″W x 16″H
#7 – mixed media on paper, 12″W x 16″H (without frame), 17″x21″ (with frame)
#8 – mixed media on wood, 12″W x 16″H
#9 – mixed media on paper, 4.75″W x 6.75″H (without frame), 9″x11″ (with frame)
#10 & #11 – mixed media on paper, 7.5″W x 9.5″H (without frame), 12.75″x16.75″ (with frame)
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Paintings I made during Mentorship: Part I

The first painting I worked on with my awesome mentor Natasha Smith was the two dancers (below left, the larger piece). I didn’t know what to paint so I started with the last theme I was working on based on the quote “life is the dancer and you are the dance.” I wrote a blog post about how it inspired a series of artwork last year.

I also had an old, unfinished dancer painting, and I tried to re-start it again in June 2021 (below left, the smaller piece).

In July, I started another painting using the same dry wall technique but wanted to try out more layers (below right). I had a concept of what I wanted to do but didn’t know what it all meant until it was selected for a juried exhibition and I had to write an artist statement. Read about it in this blog post.

Here are photos of the finished paintings:

I took out another old, unfinished painting on a small piece of plywood (below) and tried out some other techniques my mentor had shown me. Again, I used another quote I liked “What you seek, you already are”. My husband and my son said I need to work on my handwriting.

I found a small piece of left over plywood from my parents’ garage and decided to carve it (pictures below). I really enjoy working on small wood blocks like these. My brother has been doing some woodworking recently and I asked him to cut the leftover MDF board into smaller pieces that I can use to make more inspirational quote paintings. The quote below “You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars guides you too” was from an awesome Ted Talk I watched about consciousness.

My mentor Natasha has shown me many printmaking techniques. I invited my son to make some prints with me. His refusal to follow instructions had led to new discovery that I used in later works.

In August, I tried to do some experiments on paper. Later, the piece on the right led to another work on paper (bottom left) and one on canvas (bottom right).

Around that time, I was making an Art Journaling for Beginner’s video for BC Culture Days. As a practice, I recorded myself working on one of my art journal spread (below left). That spread led to a piece on paper (below middle) and one on wood (below right). I plan to edit my practice video and share that with you.

In September, I made more art journal pages. They were just play for me with no particular results in mind. I was using materials readily available around my desk and I was watching/listening to Youtube videos at the same time.

Again, I had to grab my Chinese ink and brush because I really like the free form they created. I particularly like the sketch in the middle so I created more art based on that (see below). During the time I was working on these paintings, I was reading a book called Zen Buddhism by Christmas Humphrey and he was talking about the influence of Zen Buddhism on Chinese and Japanese art. I looked at the ink stick that I had for a long time and realized there’s an ancient Buddhist poem or sutra carved on it as decoration. All these discoveries had led me to consolidate why I make art (another blog post later) and the development of my artist statement.

I am experimenting with more works on paper (below). These are not done yet and I don’t know where they will lead me but one of the most important things that I’ve learned from this mentorship is the importance of play. At the beginning, I would put pressure on myself to make good art every time. This pressure to perform stifles ideas, takes the fun out and made me procrastinate. Now I just tell myself to do some sketching everyday. Simple sketches, random stuff, ugly drawings are all good as long as I put my pen to paper. As we can see from above, sometimes, playing in my sketchbook/art journal with no particular goal in mind led to new painting ideas that I love!

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Process of creating the painting: Elements

As part of the BC Culture Days Ambassador program, I got to work with an awesome mentor, Natasha Smith, with 25+ years of experience. She showed me a technique using dry wall compound. My original idea was to include natural elements that inspire me and to make the painting looks like a puzzle. In addition to plants and flowers, I think this concept of putting a puzzle together is also a recurring theme in my art, like this illustration:

I thought I would put the 5 elements that the ancient Chinese thought made up everything between heaven and earth: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Earth is repeated so I have the 5 elements plus the heaven carved into the 6 blocks on my painting. 

At the beginning, I used colours that represented each element. Sky and water are blue, fire is red, metal is gold, earth is brown. They looked pretty bad and I’ve learned from illustrations that we don’t need to use realistic colours. So I painted over them with more colours in geometric shapes. I added more collage elements from prints I made from real leaves (another technique my mentor showed me). I painted the carved lines of the elements black, added more colours in lighter shades and added thick black lines over them.

I kind of like this painting with lots of colours. At the time, my mentor Natasha was showing me colour harmony and the use of colour in paintings. I was planning to make another painting using the colour concepts I just learned for comparism. Then I saw a call for submission for a juried exhibition held by the Community Arts Council of Richmond. The deadline was coming up soon so I decided to paint over this painting with a new colour scheme.

I’ve taken a class on colour theory before and learned how to mix colours. But this time, I have an actual painting to work on. There’s a big difference between learning about the theory and applying it.

First, my mentor Natasha said add small amount of dark colours to lighter colours. I had been mixing colours the other way around. It sounded like minor stuff but it really made a difference! Blue has more value than red than yellow so just a tiny bit of blue will change the color of yellow quickly. If I add yellow to a big blob of blue, I will never get the colour I want unless I use the whole tube of yellow (maybe more).

I started making colour charts, mixing tints and shades of a colour by adding white or black. Then I started mixing two different colours, add white or black. I can also add white to a colour first and then add black. I get all kinds of different colours mixing them in different orders.

Here are what I’ve learned from making this painting that was selected for the Mid-summers Arts Dream exhibition.

#1. Don’t use colours straight from the tubes!!! Mix my own colours to make the paintings more interesting. This reduces the saturation which I found the case when I first started adding more colours to this painting. Yellow may be an exception, I used this colour straight out of tube in some places.

#2. Another reason to mix colours is to create harmony. I mixed blue and green to different degree, blue and yellow, then yellow and red so all the colours are related.

#3. Warm and cool colour constrast. I decided to make the backgrounds mostly cool because of the sky and water and to bring back the orange and yellow for contrast. I mixed the yellow in some areas with a tiny bit of blue and the yellow is related to the orange I mixed. I had a lot or orange at the beginning. I tried to erase some of them and see if they still worked and I felt by removing some oranges didn’t lessen the painting.

4. Value contrast. In addition to warm and cool colour contrast, there’s dark and light contrast. Sometime you can see dark and light by squinting your eyes when you look at the painting but I just take a picture and make them black and white on my phone to check. I didn’t have much dark and light contrast so I lightened the blue around my bold black stripes.

When I use my iPad, I can just pick and choose the colours I want to use very easily. With paint, you have to physically mix the colours and sometime I couldn’t get the exact same colours. There is so much to learn and I am planning to make another one with warmer colour scheme (maybe because it’s almost November now). I have new found respect for painters that use colours beautifully!

Here’s the before and after again. Which one do you like more? In the before painting, my eyes just go all over the place. In the after painting, my eyes go to the black first, then the yellow and orange and kind of follow the black stripes around the painting clockwise. How about you?

After I found out the painting was accepted into my first exhibition, I painted the sides black, added a hook (my husband Jordan did) and signed the back. I also have to write an artist statement:

In Elements, I investigate the diverse yet interdependent nature of the universe: heaven and the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The concept of the five elements is widely used in Chinese traditional medicine, philosophy and feng shui. It is said that everything between heaven and earth are made of these five elements. They have vastly different properties yet are interdependent of each other. I am interested in the natural cycle to everything between Heaven and Earth, how wood gives rise to fire, fire gives rise to earth, earth gives rise to metal, metal gives rise to water and water gives rise to wood, completing the cycle. Chaos arises if we go against the natural flow of the universe and we thrive if we live in harmony with the laws of nature.

The built layers of the painting are embedded with different materials such as aluminum foil, pine needles and prints of leaves. The elements are separated by their respective boxes yet the intaglio, collage elements and paint connect them together in different ways to create unity.

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Deadlines help me stay focused

At the beginning of this year, I had nothing much going on except working on my picture book illustrations. I kept applying for artist calls like I did after getting my fine art certificate. I chose projects that I was interested in and they gave me a time frame to work on something. Even if I didn’t get selected, I could always learn something from the process and add more artworks to my portfolio. That’s how I build up my experience and portfolio.

For smaller projects, I tend to wait until the last minute to begin. The benefit of waiting is that I am forced to put all my energy into it before the deadline. It’s like a laser focus and I would do the whole thing in one go. This could get stressful and sometimes it didn’t work out so well. Afterwards, I might regret not starting earlier. For example, this year, I applied to 2 juried exhibitions. For the first one, I worked on my painting over a two months period, I changed the colour scheme midway and it was selected to be in the exhibition. For the second exhibition, I worked on two paintings simultaneously and finished them in several days but none were selected.

For larger project, I know I have to divide and conquer. For example, I kept a record of how many days it takes me to work on one illustration and that’s my base number (it took me one week to finish the first illustration but I got faster once I figured out the style I was going to use). Then I would calculate how many days I have and divide this by the total number of illustrations (32 pages for a picture book) to figure out how many days I can spend on each illustration. I re-calculated the number throughout the project to make sure I was still on track because sometimes I finished faster and sometimes it took longer than expected. I found breaking down large project into smaller deadlines were helpful too. Like how the timeline for my picture book Emet’s Box were divided into smaller milestones:

  • DRAFT interior illustrations — due March 1st
  • FINAL interior illustrations — due June 1st
  • Cover illustration — due July 1st
  • All final illustrations — due August 1st

I watched a TED Talk The surprising habits of original thinkers by Adam Grant  that “moderate” procrastination has its benefit.  

Even though I haven’t started working on the project, my brain is already thinking about it and working on it. So now, I make sure I read what the project entails, let it marinate over time and finally sit down to do my laser focused work on it.

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My BC Culture Days In-Personal Event Recap

I had so much fun at my BC Culture Days event: Art Journaling for Beginners. It was a sunny day and I had my favorite person in the world (my son EJ) helping me. While setting up, we could hear beautiful live music, performed by the Camilli Quartet. My event was scheduled from 1pm-3pm but we started earlier and ended after 4pm. A boy refused to leave and his mom had to drag him away so the volunteers could put away the tables and chairs.

My original plan was to do a live art journaling demo and people could try out my materials. I brought different kinds of pens: brush pens, alcohol markers, thin & thick Sharpies, thin & thick markers, crayons, water soluble crayons, colour pencils, highlighters. I also brought stickers, washi tapes, origami papers, construction papers in addition to magazines.

But the kids just kept coming that I only had time to show them the finished art journal page that I did in my step-by-step video. I described quickly that I drew myself as a fairy, cut out pictures and words that I liked from the magazines and encourage them to do whatever they want. I gave them 11”x17” printer papers and they were free to use anything on the table and cut from the magazines. Sometimes the kids would ask again to verify that they could really cut from any magazines.

We had toddlers, teenagers and adults visiting the booth. Soon the volunteers had to bring me another table and more chairs to fit all the materials and kids.

A mom asked me in conversation what’s the purpose of this activity. I told her we were just playing, trying things out with no specific results in mind. Sometimes that’s how we get brand new ideas. Her 3-year old son wanted to draw dinosaurs but didn’t know how. I told his mom that we were not here to show him how “I” draw a dinosaur. After a while, he put several squiggly lines together and totally captured the essence of a dinosaur! His mom was so proud! After some encouragements, he went on to draw a bunch of dinosaurs that he could name, a T-Rex, Pterodactyl, etc.

My art director EJ made an origami frog to entertain the little boy who then made a boat that looked like a flying boat for me. Another little girl started to put dots in different colors all over her paper and I told her that’s a great idea and I am going to do that in my art journal too! After she’s done, she made a medal looking piece of art for me. I was so happy!

I also brought my printmaking and book binding materials in case people got bored and wanted to try different things but we didn’t even have time to get to those. The most popular materials among the kids were the stickers, washi tapes and origami papers. My son started teaching kids and adults how to make origami lotus flowers, frogs, etc. When he was younger, he made several Youtube videos teaching people how to make his made-up origami stuff. So cute.

I was really happy to see how people came up with different art using the same materials. It’s like back in art school, one of the best things was to see how my classmates all interpreted the homework assignment so differently. My art teacher would say, he was not teaching us how “he” would draw but guiding us to express ourselves.

Picasso said: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child” and “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

I felt like I was one of the kids during this event. Although I was physically tired afterward, I felt happy.

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My Picture Book Making Process Recap Part 2 – Character Design

I had my rough manuscript and dummy book. Before I started to draw a comprehensible version of the dummy book, I needed to create my main character. I knew I wanted his name to start with E because my son’s name starts with an E. I googled boy’s names and found Emet which means universal, whole and truth. I liked that and it is fitting with the message of my story.

@MakeArtThatSells posted samples of character designs on Instagram. They offer children’s book illustration classes and participants would draw their character with different expressions. So that’s what I did. Later, I watched a SCBWI digital workshop by Vashti Harrison and she did the same thing.

In addition to drawing different expressions for the character, Vashti drew the whole body of her character at different angles. She also gave the character different accessories to show personality.

I found the explanation of how to draw kids on this blog very helpful: Tips for Drawing Child Characters

I also look at the proportions of the characters in picture book that I like to figure out the proportion of my character.

This was my original character design of my character Emet:

When I started working on my refined dummy book, I kept on drawing a different looking boy for some unknown reason.

After signing the publishing contract, I had about 12 months to finish my illustrations. It was a really good thing for me to have this much time as it is my first picture book and I really needed the time to learn. After I finished the full-colour illustrations after 8 months, my publisher and I talked about the ethnicity of my characters. I decided to darken the hair and skin of Emet and his family to represent people of color. They are immigrants just like me. I changed some of the settings to reflect my culture, what we eat, our habits, etc. When my son looked at my earlier illustrations, he pointed out that Emet shouldn’t wear shoes in the house before I even thought about the ethnicity of Emet. I guess kids do pick up things like that!

So he ended up looking like this. Let me know what you think!

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Cover Reveal & My Picture Book Making Process Recap Part 1

One year after signing the publishing contract, my picture book is finally done! I’ve submitted the final texts and illustrations. It’s in the hands of my publisher now. It has been a long process and a lot of work but very fulfilling. Check out my COVER REVEAL and interview on my publisher’s blog here.

I am writing a series of recaps for the making of my debut picture book Emet’s Box. This is the first recap.

Previously, I wrote a blog post about when I got my idea for the picture book Emet’s Box here: Inspiration that Woke Me Up. Looking back at my notes now, I realized that I had a general idea several months earlier while taking my first picture book class. It started out as something that I’ve realized from living life and something that I wanted to share with my son who was five at the time. Maybe it’s also a reminder to myself as a mom and as a person who’s still learning the secrets of life.

I wrote in my notebook/sketchbook/journal that:
“I know for sure that you are going to be something so big so awesome so wonderful when you grow up and that I can’t even imagine now. So I leave it to you. To shine + be yourself + always remember who you are inside. Because you are made of LOVE + LIGHT!”

(Wooo, I still get goose bumps reading this after five years…)

That’s the basis of my picture book Emet’s Box. That early morning when the Inspiration that Woke Me Up happened, the idea had already transformed into a picture book format with page numbers written on the pieces of scrap papers of my first draft.

This reminds me of a Ted Talk that I watched: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers by Adam Grant. He said there are benefits to procrastinating to a certain degree. Although we haven’t started on the task, our brains have already begun putting the pieces together while we procrastinate. Maybe that’s what happened to me here.

Soon after I wrote the first draft on papers, I made a little dummy book so I could see how the spread looked and how the page turns would affect the story (read more about dummy books here). I also put my story onto a thumbnail page that I got from my picture book class.

Later I made more dummy books and different thumbnail formats that suited the stage of my process. For example, I took pieces of 11” x 17” papers and drew my own thumbnail boxes. I drew and wrote down all my ideas on these papers. I found the large size of blank paper freeing and great for brainstorming.

In January 2019, I put my effort into making my picture book. My goal was to get it critiqued at the SCBWI conference in Seattle so I needed to have my dummy book done by then. This goal made me push myself to finish the task.

The manuscript went through multiple critics and I made several dummy books to show my local SCBWI people.

Just before the conference, I finished my dummy book but I also needed several full colour spread and images to show at the critique. I only have a few days left to do the colours. Anyway, my illustrations were picked apart at the critique. I felt sad but still made the changes and studied more picture books trying to improve my illustrations. I was a newbie at illustration and wasn’t sure what my style was yet. I was told the eyes of my characters were too big which was out of trend already. Looking back at my illustrations, the art director was totally right. I cringe when I look at my old illustrations and my son would scream in horror.

After the conference, I made changes and submitted the dummy to agents and publishers on the list from the conference. I have to confess that it took another while for my art to improve. I studied the illustrations of artists that I admire and sometimes I would copy the illustrations and realized how much layers of colors they put into it. It’s not just coloring one single block, it’s layers of colors, like in paintings.

I needed the time and practice to improve my skills for sure.

You can download the Picture Book Thumbnail Template that I made here. This is a general guideline and commonly seen one. There are many other formats and page counts out there. I read picture books and look for ones that I like and fit with my story.

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How to Make a Dummy Book

Making a dummy book for your story is important when you are still working on your manuscript because you can figure out visually if you want an illustration to fill a spread or how the page turns would affect your story. A spread is two pages side by side when you open a picture book.

I learned these concepts in my picture book class and it is part of the experience of reading a picture book. Maybe you dropped a hint and the readers will only find the answer when they turned the page. Maybe you want visual impact or something important on a spread.

I am writing this from the perspective of an author and illustrator. If the author and illustrator are different people, I think it’s the illustrator’s job to figure out how to use spreads and page turns based on the manuscript.

I read a lot of picture books with my son when he was younger and I would count the pages and see what goes on what page. When an author and/or illustrator uses the page turn or spread really well that adds to the story, I make a mental note of it. I also love to read what materials the illustrator used on the copyright section but not all books include these info.

There are a lot of information online about picture book formats and how to make dummy books. As a newbie, I found this very detailed explanation of a basic book construction very useful. Since most picture books have 32 pages, I just stapled 8 sheets of paper together to make a small dummy book.

Here are the steps if you want to make your own very simple dummy book:

1. Take 4 sheets of 8.5 by 11 inches letter size printer paper.

2. Fold the sheets in half and cut along the folded line. Now I have 8 sheets of 8.5 by 5.5 inches papers.

3. Take these 8 sheets of 8.5 by 5.5 inches papers and fold them in half.

4. Staple these 8 sheets of papers along the folded lines (You can sew them if you are feeling fancy or if your stapler is too small).

This is the very first dummy I made and the staples didn’t even align properly probably because my stapler was too small. Later I bought a long arm stapler because I got into book binding and started making my own notebooks/sketchbook/journal.

I drew my rough sketches directly onto these pages. You wouldn’t be able to read my dummy book at this stage because it is very rough and I scribbled notes all over it.

Later, I would just print out my text and illustrations separately, cut and paste them onto the pages. This way you can also play around where you want the texts to go on the pages.

Then I learned Adobe InDesign and paid professional printer to print out my dummy book in actual size to send out to publishers.

You can download my How to Make a Simple 32-Page Dummy Book cheat sheet here.

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My Process for Making the Artworks for the Utility Boxes

I applied for the art wrap program over a year ago in Feb 2020. I had to submit a statement of intent, a CV and ten work samples. The public art program in my city selected a number of artists to be on the artist roster every two years.

Many cities have public art programs. Check out city websites and look for public art programs or call to artists. I signed up for their email notifications so whenever there’s an opportunity, I get an email. I look at the request for qualification, a detailed document explaining what they are looking for, to see if I am interested or qualified.

This spring, the program sent me the location of the two utility boxes that I would be making the artworks for. I was advised to respond to the location of the utility boxes. Since one of the boxes was outside a Gymboree Daycare/Preschool, I thought about making something with kids or animals in my initial sketches.

I superimposed some work samples that I have submitted to see how they would look. I also made some new sketches and photoshop’ed them on the utility boxes. I still had no idea what I would draw at this stage but I knew I wanted to have bright colours!

I went online to research anything I can find about the city of Richmond. I checked out the area on the map. I went to the utility boxes on location again. I remember getting the inspiration for my Art Column while checking out the actual column and walking the area. The utility boxes that I was assigned to were around the Olympic Oval very close to the Fraser River. I walked around the area, took pictures and made some sketches.

I remembered an article I read online while doing research about the conservation of eelgrass. Apparently, our Fraser River estuary has one of the most extensive eelgrass habitats in the world, providing food and shelter for a multitude of organisms such as juvenile salmon.

One of the articles I read said, for less than $6 per year per person in Greater Vancouver, it’s not too late to save 102 species at risk of extinction! It mentioned that five species of salmon, the white and green sturgeon are at risk. I decided to depict salmon and sturgeon with eelgrass for one of the utility boxes.

For the second utility box, I researched the other at risk species mentioned in the article and found the Western Sandpipers interesting. Millions of migratory birds from around the world use the Fraser River estuary as a resting stop to refuel during their long-distance flight. Western sandpipers consume diatom-containing biofilm covering the mudflats of the Fraser River estuary and they are at risk due to encroachment of shoreline habitats.  I googled diatom and found them to be out of this worldly beautiful!

Some artists even managed to arrange these microscopic algae into amazing art! You gotta check it out here.

I feel it took me more time and work to figure out what to draw than the actual drawing. Once I know what I want to make, the execution was quick. I had so much fun drawing, I made different art for all four sides and the top of the second utility box!

Once the art wraps were installed on the utility boxes, I realized the spec they gave me on one of the boxes was 11 inches short, so they had to cut off the legs of Western Sandpiper and most of my diatoms on one side. Thank goodness I did different art for all sides so you can still see the diatoms on the other side! Next time, I will double check the spec by measuring it again myself!

Finally, I had to submit an artist statement for the artworks and you can read it here.

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