Saturday, June 29, 2013

Starting a Hot Summer in Norcal!~

"It's too hot for me!"-Shanghai
It's been scolding hot here in NorCal, about 90+ degrees. The heat hasn't been any exception for me and Shanghai. I've been sick for the past couple of days and not really able to do much of what I've needed to. I can't really prepare for the summer quarter or take any break that I had planned in the small weekend allotted between Spring and Summer Quarter (starting Monday). 
Since I've been locked away in my room like a sick hermit, I took it as an opportunity to work on a series of paintings I never finished during the Spring Quarter. As of tonight I am pretty close to finished, but like any piece of artwork, I'm afraid of what the response will be. Will anyone like it? Will any art gallery accept it? While you pour your heart out into something, there is always the looming fear that it will just end up in your -someday- basement where your grand kids will find it and wonder,"Where did Grandma go wrong?" I wouldn't consider it bad,obviously, but I made it.
About 3 months ago I came across images of Kabuki theater masks online and couldn't help but notice how well the masks reflected emotions, well, that's what they're supposed to do! I then decided that I would make a series or group of miniature paintings inspired by Kabuki theater/The Scream/Ancient Meso- American Art as visual reflections of the recession. There is no official name for the series yet, but I have a few ideas. For the past two years, I have been going different art galleries on and off in the San Jose/ San Francisco area and I felt like no one wanted to tackle the recession. Maybe I just hadn't seen it??? *shrugs* Were all the artists displayed super rich students of expensive liberal arts schools who don't feel a bit of it? I highly doubt it, but maybe that's the case. While I didn't blame anyone looking for a form of escapism,certainly even perpetuating it myself, it think when it comes to recession related art, we've really been lacking it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Problem with Bay Area Thrift Stores

Of all people living here in the Bay Area, I will be the first to tell you what a wonderful place this is and how proud I am to be from this part of California. People are extremely kind, the public services are highly organized, and you are never too far away from something interesting to do or see.
However, if you live anywhere near, around, or in the San Jose to San Francisco area, you'll quickly realize that the majority of retailers and services cater to the extremely wealthy. This is no exception with thrift shops. You're probably wondering, "Well how so?" Basically, ever since it's been cool to look like a poor and outdated hipster or college student, rich people- mainly those under 25- have been scrabbling to their local thrift shops in order to get that granny sweater that looks it was pulled out of a cat lady's closet. What have been the results of this trend? Extremely high prices for used goods. Badass? I think not.
Dear Rich Folks,
You can already afford the nice/cool/ new clothes as it is, and you couldn't leave rest of us brokies the thrift shops?
Better yet, if an item even looks remotely new or of a decent quality, what should be a $5 denim jacket may be priced at $14-17 due to the fact that it was donated by a store that had gone out of business.
While I might be a cheapskate and student on top of that, thrift store prices are high to point where it is pointless to shop at a thrift store here. For example, upon window shopping earlier today, I came across two knee length dresses I really liked. One of them was priced $7.99 and the other $9.99. I acknowledge these are extremely lows prices for dresses, however when you can go to a popular chain retail store and purchase new, but discounted dresses at the same price, it makes you think twice about where you want to spend your money. About 12 years ago or so, I remember being able to buy a shirt or a dress for no more than $2-3.Granted there has been inflation,I believe the inflation rate of thrift store goods has been far,far higher.Since this happened, I completely stopped making up-cycled clothing (but basically never started). It is far cheaper to simply buy anything off a clearance rack if I ever need it.

On a happier note, I managed to dig up a very cute vintage Sanrio hand mirror for a $1.Cute, huh?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cram time,cram time.

Finals are this week and what is someone with 6 classes and 2 labs to do? Freak out of course..... and then blog about it!
After a morning of drugging through information on nutrition and the history of Japanese Feudalism, I decided to take break and head over to my local Japanese dollar store for some quick retail therapy. What's wonderful about $1.50 or $1.00 stores is that you can walk in feeling like you can buy anything you want there!Hooray! :D
Anyways, I decided to purchase the final additions for the painting space I have set up in my room.
Can we say necessary un-necessaries? It's nice to pretend every once in a while.  $4.50* for a water bowl, pencil cup,and bag isn't so bad, right? Either way, it was a good break from everything.

The other day my boyfriend came back from his Spring quarter at UCLA and came to meet up with me in Downtown Mtn. View. On the way back, we saw that someone was trying to dispose of their Japanese style coffee table. Lucky for me, I have been looking for one just like it for months without having to pay hefty price. It was too good to be true!  Later,he helped me rearrange the room and move some stuff around until VIOLA, we had this wonderful setup!

Well, onward I go,for the finals have yet to end.

*not including tax

Goodnight from Shanghai!~ 晚安!~

It's been a long day and no exception for Shanghai!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hello and Welcome to my blog! ~

Hello readers, 
An introduction:
Currently I'm an Industrial Design and Chinese major at a junior college working to finish my AA in the Fall. Other than that, I enjoy making things and coming up with new ideas. I work as tutor and in my free time I enjoy working out and attending events related to pop culture or Japan. I have an adorable cat named Shanghai whom I frequently take pictures of.
I decided to start a blog because I was seeking a platform to share my artwork and instructables in one place. Aside from this, I was also looking for a way to share any interesting stories, experiences, and images I collect over time.

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