Hello there, Cyberfriends.
This is my official first blog post ever.
On October 6, 2017, Ark of the Unicorn's artist-in-resident, Deanna Gabiga (Instagram: @studiodeanna) held an awesome exhibition called "Friends-In-Progress: Tokyo x HNL" with world-renowned Mokuhanga artist Mia O. This took place at Ark of The Unicorns (Instagram: @arkoftheunicorns) in the Chinatown Artists Lofts @chinatownartistslofts. Luckily, Deanna asked me if I would like to be a part of the event. So naturally, I immediately commenced rolling around on the floor (literally) in an excited, almost looney-like state. That's what everyone does when they're excited, right? No? Just me? Cool.
Within the following week, I endlessly thought of every detail. I went on the hunt for specific containers (who knew containers would be an event in my life,) and stickers of relevant proportions. It felt amazing to go through each day knowing that I had the freedom to present who I am to the world through my art. I wrote an artist statement in order to string together the forest/sea themed paintings in a way that was genuine.
To read my artist statement, click here.
The day finally arrived, and Deanna and I were bracing and preparing for the windstorm of bliss ahead!
Before the event started, artists Nanci Amaka (Instagram: @nanciamaka) and Andrew Binkley (Instagram: @andrewbinkley) stopped by to give us beautiful, fragrant leis, and to partake with Deanna and I in a bit of silliness.
It meant so much to see them there. My anxiety was instantly eased, and my heart was filled with joy. Friendship is pure magic.
Finally, the event started at a chill, slow pace. I was afraid that no one would be able to find the super awesome secret lair of art treasures. "What if NO ONE COMES?!?!?" Utilizing my flutters of worry as a reminder of how important good vibes are, I chose to calm the fudge down. Then suddenly, BA-BAM. People started showing up. At last, all my tingling energy had a place to be expressed. I started explaining my vision to the guests that continually wandered in, and began to let my inner art-fanatic light beam on through. Paintings were being sold, and, eventually, the crowd grew too big for the room.
Everyone was amazed by the works of Deanna, and were fascinated by her ability to crochet right there on the spot. I felt honored to be in her presence. Her quiet-badassness inspired me to me be the best I could be that night. Heck, she always inspires me to be the best I can be.
Fun fact: Deanna was the solitary person who inspired me to practice watercolor; yet alone, painting again. She gave me a cute little watercolor kit, a bit of humor, and a lot of encouragement. From that moment on, I fell in love with painting all over again. She is the reason why.
Mia O wasn't able to attend the event, but her alluring artwork was admired by many, and welcomed all to the studio. Plus, there was Japanese candy :) yum yum!
All my family and friends came, and that meant the world to me. All in all, it was an amazing night, and I slept with a smile plastered on my face (I imagine.)
I want to say another thank you to Deanna Gabiga, Nanci Amaka, Ark of the Unicorns, Mia O, and Chinatown Lofts for allowing me to be a part of this magical night.
To check these people/studios out, please refer below (click on underlined links to go there directly!):
Ark of the Unicorns
Chinatown Artists Lofts