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My new Patreon Portal (it's not what you think)

You, my community, are really so amazing. Which is why I want to create things that are connective, intimate, inspiring, thought provoking, mold breaking, useful, impactful, reciprocal, and especially joy-giving. If this last year has taught me anything, it’s that we absolutely need each other. So... this is me opting out of what no longer serves. I’m doing things differently and turning capitalism on its head. And it’s an experiment we will co-create together! I want to talk about hard things and nurture trust. I want to create experiences from a place of passion and care, not from a place of production, exclusion or exhaustion. Most of all, I want everyone who wants to come along to be a part of the work. Welcome to my new Patreon Portal - it’s free and always will be - and it’s probably not what you’re used to seeing on that platform. I’m breaking the mold to use it to open source my work all in one place. To join, all you have to do is be present. If you throw a few dollars into
Recent posts

The Cost of Selling Belonging

As someone who use to sell belonging and believed I was creating something universally magical , I now have fresh eyes on the harm that I once caused. I understand what can (and was) incredibly healing and impactful for some, was at the same time excluding, marginalizing and undervaluing others. First, to anyone who ever felt like they did not belong to anything I created because they were unable to afford it or felt like they did not have the social capitol to join -  I am sincerely sorry for not seeing you sooner .   To our entire creative community as a whole, I urge us all to think about belonging in new and equitable ways, and to do the work of dismantling these hierarchical structures that leave so many people out of the circle. We all deserve to have access to creativity and belonging, and I'd go so far as to say both are fundamental basic human needs and rights. Selling belonging can look like... Creating spaces and experiences that can only be accessed by buying in at one,

Disrupting Craftivism - join the conversation!

Disrupting Craftivism: Reducing Harm and Creating Greater Impact The recording is now available here! Thursday March 11, 2021 at 8pm EST/ 7pm CST/ 5pm PST Hosted by Fuller Craft Museum REGISTER HERE for the Zoom convo! This is the result of hours of, how shall I say, *passionate* convos between Shannon Downey a.k.a. Badass Cross Stitch  and I. We are thrilled to finally be taking this first step in expanding the dialogue around craftivism, think critically about how it’s functioning, who it’s benefiting, and most importantly discussing best practices for making real systemic change and cultural impact. Join stellar panelists and activists Omkari Williams , Sarah Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy , Eric Reyes of You Media Chicago , Diane Ivey of Lady Dye Yarns , and Shannon and I for a dialogue on the current state of affairs within the craftivist movement.  Big thanks to the Fuller Craft Museum for hosting this much needed conversation.  See y’all there!

Planner Cover Tutorial

You will need: your new journal or planner magazines you don't mind cutting up scissors glue sticks 1 sheet of blank sticker paper   (trimmed to 1/2" smaller than your cover) optional: brayer, washi tape, photos + other ephemera   Set up your space, put on your favorite music, and tune into your intuition! Start by cutting out and collecting images and words that resonate with you. Inner Alchemy Collage is an embodied practice, so feel it more than think about it. Try to quiet the voice that wants to direct things and make them look or be "right". Simply go with what is calling to you. Follow your muse like a breadcrumb trail. Try not to overanalyze your choices. Once you have a nice pile of things, begin to loosely lay them out on your sticker paper. I do not glue until my entire layout feels complete, this way if I want to move elements around I can. Once you are happy with the arrangement, begin to glue everything down. Be sure you are gluing on the front side of

what's in a name?

It’s May 14, 2020 and I’m on a transnational call with a social worker and translator of the SOS Children’s Village offices in South Korea. It’s 7pm my time and 9am the next day in Korea, which adds to the surreal quality of the moment. It is my first long distance call following my inquiry with the organization documented to be my first place of entry into the system, found in my Korean records (the acquisition of which is an incredible story in and of itself). It was July 21, 1972 and I was 5 months old. It’s a small miracle the organization still exists, and an even bigger blessing that they took such time and care in searching for information and to talk it all through with me in person. I try not to cry as the call connects. What I learn is a lot of small details about that fateful evening which amount to nothing traceable, but still feel like huge missing pieces of my life. I was left near the entrance around 7pm under a small tree, wrapped in a blanket with only a name scribble

2021 Art & Activism Calendar

When you purchase this calendar you are helping me to thrive as an artist and activist, giving support to the ongoing growth of the  Be Seen Project , and sparking instant joy and happy dancing in my studio. SOLD OUT From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!! January February March April May June July August September October November December (note: thumbnail photos are low resolution not reflective of print quality) $36 includes free US shipping 2021 Global and National (US) Days of Social Justice,  Art & Environmental Awareness Veganuary National Human Trafficking Awareness Day STIQ Day World Religion Day National Hug Day International Holocaust Remembrance Day National Storytelling Week World Wetlands Day Safer Internet Day International Day of Women and Girls in Science National Freedom to Marry in the USA Day Chinese New Year 1 Billion Rising Random Acts of Kindness Day World Thinking Day World Book Day International Women's Day International School Meals Day Global Recycl

how YOU can support the Be Seen Project

Thank you to everyone who's been showing up with your reaching out to find out ways to help support the Be Seen Project! Even though we are still in the scrappy, grassroots beginning, I have a clear vision for how I hope to advance this work. How You Can Support Create and Make for our Creative Calls to Action.  All of our featured initiatives are also craftivist projects in action! Use your creative superpowers to knit, sew, paint, scribble and quite literally *make* a difference. Volunteer as part of our Street Team.  Help amplify our work and connect artists and activists in your corner of the world! Host a conversation with me about the project. Create a fundraiser. Offer your time, your skills, your goods, your platform. There are a million creative ways you can put your talents to work - let's collaborate! DONATE  and help expand our reach, fund our micro grants, pay artists, and support community mutual aid. All donations over $25 are subscribed to our quarterly print  z

coming out of the fog

I lived most of my life completely disembodied, so much so, that when I would walk by a mirror I’d often be surprised to see an Asian person staring back at me. It wasn’t that I hated my body in that way we are taught to by diet culture to lament our fat and imperfections (also part of our larger system oppression, btw, and I later struggled with this too). I simply felt no connection to my body at all - a kind of dysphoria without any language or understanding - and often longed to be white. It’s taken decades to finally begin to decolonize myself from whiteness and to see, understand, and inhabit my identity as a Korean woman. Adoptees often refer to this as “coming out of the fog”. Last night I was on a call with over 300 other transracial adoptees of all different races, examining and sharing about our unique positioning in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. I realized that our narratives are also our unique superpower, as we’ve been navigating the nuanced and difficult co

love inside the gap

{photo my friend Jeff took and sent to me while living in S. Korea,  Buddha's birthday celebration} I didn't intend for a month to go by without writing in this space. It certainly was not for any lack of things to say or share. There's just been so much, so so much ... and I have been trying to tease apart and process the many layers of thoughts, emotions and events over the last month, especially the last two weeks, into something coherent and wise.  A global health crisis alongside my birth family search and the reintegration of my Korean identity against a world-altering racial pandemic, all feel tied together in some important way that I am still trying to fully understand.  Some parts I can see so clearly. The way history, war, devastation, colonization, patriarchy and oppression have created conditions for some really painful truths in my life distilled down through generations into the inner workings of my individual relationships. I am constantly working through th

Red Mask Project

#redmaskproject A community craftivism initiative making handmade RED masks in support of anti-racism  ♥  RED for visibility of racism as a virus and public health crisis ♥  RED to STOP violence towards black and brown people ♥   RED for blood spilled and lives lost, but not forgotten ♥  RED for revolutionary action as LOVE Make a mask. Wear a mask. Share a mask. GET SCRAPPY! Use what you have in your stash to make your mask - an old t-shirt, leftover fabric, hair-tie elastics or ribbon work as ear loops. If you'd like to buy supplies, please shop your local BIPOC or indie owned  and allied  store to source your red fabric and supplies. Small business are hurting right now and we can vote with our dollars who to support! GATHER HERE in Cambridge, MA, POC and queer owned, has been leading the mask-making charge here in the Boston area and has solid red fabric in stock, as well as these four prints (below). FANCY TIGER CRAFTS in Denver, CO, always outspok

be seen project

In the spirit of imperfect, un-produced beginnings, yesterday I took the first step to finally get my Be Seen Project out into the world. Instead of an official polished 'Launch', I opted for a more honest grassroots initiation, getting our IG platform up in lights. I hope to create more visibility for artists and activists of color and our intersectional identities and narratives, including the #paperlanternluminaries  which will specifically highlight the diverse diaspora of Asian American and Pacific Island artists and activists (hooray!).  Here's to creating revolutionary love - the kind that takes action for social justice, anti-racism and equity! Building this network and community feels so so good, like the exact antidote to something my heart is really longing for these days especially with all that's going on in the world. Head on over to follow, support, and be inspired by some pretty rad folx! I'm not sure where this will all lead, but I know for sure i

family practicum in social distancing

Step 1:  head to a favorite outdoor spot where you can maintain at least 6' distance Step 2:  pack masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, as well as snacks and water from home  Step 3:  wear said mask on busy sidewalks with other people around you walking, biking, running Step 4:  do your best to not touch anything but your own people and things  (extra hugs are recommended) Step 5:  say, "Sorry, no." -  even though you feel badly - when someone asks to toss the football around with you Step 6:  commune with the wind and the waves, the sunshine and the seagulls, and breathe. Step 7:  collect treasures and sweet and joyful moments Step 8:  carry out all your own trash and recycling so other's don't have to Step 9:  wash hands upon returning home Step 10:  be grateful for beautiful afternoons with people you love

everything side by side

Life is always about living inside the AND, but these days I feel like I'm in-between these disparate dichotomies more acutely than usual. There is so much beauty and kindness and inspiration all around me  and   ugly things about our social systems continue to come to light. People are showing up to help one another in such amazing ways  and  I grow wearier by the day of the privileged platitudes "We are all one" and "We are all in this together", which is the new spiritual bypass equivalent of "I don't see color".  My brother goes to work every day in a hospital full of covid patients  and  as of two weeks ago he tested negative, but I still worry about him every single day with egzema on my right arm as evidence. We have everything we need in this moment and  there are concerns about a future that is now much more uncertain.  As a community we are staying connected and innovating new ways of communing and gathering  and  in some prettyy signifi