rainy day fund

9 rainy day fundRainy Day Fund oil on canvas

So here’s a little more about me as an artist.  This is the piece that was reviewed in the Honolulu Star Advertiser (unfortunately they don’t provide the access to the archives freely on the internet) & was a part of the HI/NY show in 2013.

It ties in to a greater body of work, my senior portfolio for graduation, but this piece is important to me because it’s kind of the “in your face” work to disprove any prior doubts classmates and other professors had in me.  Prior to my final semester at UH i had a very grueling one with a professor who is a credible, well-connected artist, but didn’t help me grow & improve, which i think is one of the biggest sins an educator can commit.  That’s not to say i wasn’t trying to learn, just, her criticism came without other outlets, lacking inspiration for me to look to.

Now people not from an art community can argue, “well art is subjective, so what does she know?”  Even i have asked myself that.  People have a love/hate relationship for art they don’t understand, & it’s all about the “individual experience” someone has with a piece, so supportive friends and family asked, “how can she judge your work as bad?

And who knows, maybe it still is “bad art.”  What do i know?  But the biggest criticism i faced, was that my work was too “stylistic.”  Now, after being told this, naturally, i inquired about what she meant.  nothing was ever clear enough for me to fix. i looked it up in the dictionary, googled images for examples, asked other artists, other professors, asked writers, family members; no one had the same definition, or explanation of what made my work too stylistic.

So that brings me to my final semester, feeling defeated, & completely out of place.  what was i doing graduating with a BA in art, when everything was too “stylistic”?? thankfully, my final professor in college pulled me out of my funk.  she always had new suggestions, specific criticisms that i could actually work with.  telling me my proportions are off is something i can fix.  suggesting i build layers of charcoal more in certain areas to create intensity is something i can work with.

this piece was shown alongside an abstract piece done by my critical professor.  i am proud of what i’ve done, because it is an example of my ability to adapt, & is proof that with help, i can make worthwhile art.

i hope you enjoyed the little back story to this painting :]

– mm.


“you are comprised of contradictions,” he says

& i cant help feeling like you generalized,
all that makes me.. me.
brushed aside like the Saturday crossword puzzle,
after only filling in 40 down & 32 across
too much hassle you grumble

why do i feel like the facets
that create the multitude of complex,
[dare i say alluring?]
are the best part?
[should be the best part..]
for they’re carved of flaws
& dislikes, & likes
the love of beaches, but distrust of the ocean
the claustrophobia felt from sunday morning costco shoppers, but love of concerts
& so on, & so forth

maybe to make sense to another being,
is nonsensical.

daily necessities

On the daily, i try to wear as little makeup as possible.  i work 5-6 days a week as a server, which anyone in the food industry can tell you, can be quite intense and physically taxing on your body.  On top of that, the particular restaurant i work at is a hot pot style restaurant, where servers teach customers how to cook their food over burners that are steaming hot broth.  The oils from the soup, mixed with the natural sweat i produce from running around the restaurant during peak hours, tends to take its toll on my complexion.  I used to be a firm believer in not leaving the house without eyeliner, brows, and mascara, but I have found that i prefer a natural look while serving, so that when i do want to dress up for date night or other things, the impact of my efforts is greater.  Besides, i’d like to think customers at this job appreciate me for how friendly the service is, & not how well i apply my makeup.

The 1-2 shifts i work at my other job, a small local boutique, affords me the chance to “look pretty” without worrying about sweat/steam running my mascara.

These are the handful of products i wear on the daily, that have made the cut via trial and error:


– Benefit Cosmetics “The POREfessional” ($10-$31)
– Make Up Forever “Duo Mat Powder Foundation” in shade 207 ($34)
– Maybelline “The Falsies Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara” in very black ($6)
– Maybelline “The Colossal Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara” in classic black ($5)
– Swissco “Electroplated Eyelash Curler” ($5)
– Anastasia Beverly Hills “Brow Wiz” in caramel ($21)
– Anastasia Beverly Hills “Brush #12” ($18)
– Anastasia Beverly Hills “DIPBROW Pomade” in dark brown ($18)
– NYX “Eyebrow Gel” in brunette ($15.50)

the POREfessional is an extra step i take if i have the time, & if im feeling extra self-conscious about my skin that day.  it’s lightweight, & makes it appear like i spent a lot more time on myself than i really did
– my duo mat powder foundation is something i use only on my t-zone which gets excessively oily/shiny throughout the day without it (even with it, i still need to blot with oil papers to avoid looking greasy)

– after gently curling my lashes with my electroplated eyelash curler — just a few squeezes & im good; i apply 2-3 coats of either the falsies or the colossal mascara (they both work wonderfully for me so i interchange them without any bias or favoritism). waterproof is a must for my job or else halfway through the night i have racoon eyes. even on a normal night out, just the sheer humidity of hawaii’s weather usually causes me to grab for my waterproof mascaras over any other.
**side note: i am a maybelline convert after using Urban Decay’s cannonball mascara.  This raved about cult favorite just doesn’t seem to give my lashes the volume and lasting curl that my drugstore maybelline contenders do.

– so this part of my daily product list is still being fine-tuned because im undecided about what works best for me. i have a decent natural arch, and no obvious bald patches, so my biggest concern with my brows is keeping them neatly groomed, & matching my hair color
– usually i’ll reach for my dipbrow pomade & apply that with the brush #12, using the brush side to apply the product (more towards the tips and lining the arch top & bottom) & the spooly side to brush any flyaway hairs & distribute the product evenly
– sometimes if i have more time i’ll go through first with the brow wiz to add some extra dimension since the colors do not match exactly
– i recently started using the eyebrow gel which is a much cheaper alternative to the pomade. the consistency is liquid, so its definitely more difficult to apply without going overboard but once you get the hang of it it works really well
– like the mascaras, what i love about these brow products is their staying power. after a double shift i dont have to worry about misshapen brows — they look just like how i applied them 10-12 hours prior

i hope this lengthy post proves to be beneficial in some way, if only to learn of the amazing staying power of some drugstore brands!

– mm.

idle hands

let’s be honest, since graduation there’s been nothing to compel me to break out my galkyd, brushes, primed canvases, and sit down to paint.  there’s no pressing deadlines, the fear of harsh critiques, or anyone to demand something “less stylistic” this time, or “less melodramatic”.

i need to be my own motivation.
thus, trusty blog, you shall be my critic, mentor, & competition.

be patient, for i am ever so rusty..

the good will pass

“You have to be careful with your choosing.  You can’t just keep passing up these good boys or eventually there won’t be any good boys around anymore.”

This was the warning to heed, when i broke up with the first boyfriend my family deeply approved of.. and it was repeated again when i left the second.

This cautionary mantra is made of the stuff that keeps me up at night,
tunneling holes in deep dark places,
& backtracking into well-worn spaces.
my mind creates a never-ending flow chart
which is ironic because of how many times i hit dead end answers.

Where do the good boys go?
Are they swept up by girls with plans,
& careers, that are just missing that one piece — there. a good boy. now it all fits.

& so what, if im fickle to a fault
& need more patience than most
is that to say i’ll be left with slim-pickings, or none at all?
If time works its inevitable magic
& i wrinkle, & age, & trade in my youth..
wouldn’t the boys i find then,
be more apt to deal with me?
less captivated by young finesse
& the body of a girl not ready to settle?

more dead ends.
i may be too optimistic,
but i’d like to believe that yes, the good will pass–
but will be replaced by something even better.


nice your pictures.
it’s become a game.
the more often i am pointed
about the obvious
the more you refuse to give me what’s obvious
to make a point.
We exchanged words we didn’t mean,
& are avoiding the potholes that we’ve come to memorize where they are in the winding lines of thought & conversation
oh, steer clear of that one.
But if you took those mini mementos out of hiding
& exposed them to daylight again
then maybe we could begin to string together
what we’ve learned to dodge
in safe light keeping.
oh, we’re clear in that one!
something even grainy,
poorly lit Polaroids
can’t help but capture.