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the long and short of it

 


2004 | Under A Pink Sky 

As a new stay-at-home-mom struggling not to lose herself in motherhood, I stumbled upon Kerry Smith's, The Wish Jar Journals and fell heart-first into the shiny new world world of creative blogging. It felt like being like Alice, stumbling down the most wondrous and exciting rabbit hole! I met so many wonderful creative friends from all over the world. It was here I began to tentatively share tiny bits of my life as a mom and creative person, reawakening deeply buried artful longings, and eventually myself. 



2005 | A Mother's Wish Nonprofit Organization

While working as a full time as a children's clothing designer, I was also building a passion project, a program to help provide free clothing and other baby and childcare goods, to families in need. As a new mom, I could feel the gap between how hard motherhood felt as a person of privilege, and wondered what it must be like for those who had even more challenges and less support than I did. I didn't have the language or understanding yet to know what this was, but as a person who always grew up marginalized, I was adept at sensing these gaps and wanted to always help address them.

At its culmination, A Mother's Wish 501c3 operated a free, donation based boutique in Salem, MA, for clients referred to us through local social service agencies serving underprivileged women and children. Instead of giving out random donations, moms could "shop" for whatever they needed, emphasizing autonomy and personal choice when it came meeting their needs. I wanted to make a difference AND do it in a dignified way that created a positive experience of community support. For me it was a crash course in social activism and social entrepreneurship. I finally completed the two year project, serving hundreds of women and children, by merging goods with another local, larger organization, Cradle to Crayons

All of my work previous to my design job, had been in the nonprofit sector and the human service industry. In another life I could have become a Social Worker, but traditional paths were never what worked for me. Ever. Something I still have to remind myself of.



2006 | Wishstudio at Red Brick Arts Center

While A Mother's Wish needed a space to process donations and gather support, alongside this venture I had a growing desire for in-person creative community as I continued to blog and explore online. I was slowly meeting new creative people in my own neighborhood, and so an early version of Wishstudio brick and mortar was born. I wasn't completely sure what this space would be used for, as it was long before I would be teaching my own art, but I knew it would be about community and collaboration. 

Wishstudio became a place where I was able to bring lots of different creative-living offerings together under one roof. We had kundalini yoga classes, gallery shows, art fairs, knitting and creativity circles, Ladies Who Launch meetings, author events. The studio was another passionate learning and growth experience that ultimately had to be put on the back burner, as we planned to move to a new town.


2007 | Hello, Plum Island

This was a time of huge transition and change. Moving to the house on Plum Island in November of this year, was a both a surprise blessing and an enormous challenge. Though we only moved about a half an hour north, there were a lot of big shifts to navigate both as a family and as part of a new community. Ultimately, this sanctuary saved me. Anchored by the ebb and flow of the tide outside my window, my life grew in unexpected ways over the 12+ years we called this place home.


2008 - Wishstudio Blogzine

This was where I made my very first home studio in one of our spare bedrooms. At the time, this was a big leap. I remember, as my community was growing, I was really struggling with limiting beliefs about my own creative path. While I was curating a collaborative blog that was growing in popularity and scope, one that I envisioned to be like a fun online magazine (hence the really weird and awkward name), I was wondering more and more about what I had to contribute. Much of the creative inspiration I offered was in sharing the work of others who inspired me. I was still making and creating in small ways, but it would be a while until I really claimed being an Artist in any way. In hindsight, I realize this was the first pivotal identity shift I was working towards and the beginning of a lifetime of naming and reclaiming who I am.



2009 | Motherhood Redux

Some of my biggest creative growth happened in tandem with the arrival of each of my sons. There was something about the generative life-force running through that expanded my capacity and had me gestating big dreams while also growing into motherhood. This played such a huge role in so many of the projects I participated in and the community I was creating during these early years. I was connecting with other creative moms who were trying to juggle their own work alongside the role of Mother. I was inspired by so many women doing amazing things!



2010 | Wishstudio.com, Wishfull Virtual Art Retreat

This was the year I made the leap to take on Wishstudio as an actual job, and Wishstudio.com was born. Up until this year, I had always been thinking about work as something separate from what I was doing creatively, but this was the year I went all in on my own creative dreams. It was also the year I came up with the wild idea of an online art retreat - one of the first of it's kind! It felt so big and crazy and I had no idea if it would work, but blogger friends like Susannah Conway came and taught their very first online classes during this retreat! This experience was also built to close another (privilege) gap - my longing to attend Squam Art Workshops, which I couldn't afford the time or money to goto.




2011 | Wishstudio Co-op

With my online community growing, I felt the need for in-person gathering again. This time, I had the vision of a community cooperative, where affordable memberships paid for unlimited access to my offerings. I was trying to build a creative model that felt more accessible and sustainable than many of the offerings I wanted to participate in, but never could afford. I wanted to offer more for less. There were both online and in-person workshops as part of the co-op, as well as artist residencies, gallery and trunk shows, and collaborative opportunities to help other creative women and artists grow their businesses and followings. Inspiring and amplifying others has always been a primary value and love of mine!


2012 | Claimed the identity of Artist, painted My First Mixed Media Series "Written on My Heart"

This is the year I started to explore and make my own work and when I began to really get more brave with my art and with being seen in general. I was just beginning to find my true creative voice. I painted a 7 piece series and sold my work, participated in local gallery shows and local art markets. It is when I truly decided to claim the title Artist, despite not having any art degree or formal training. I was starting to really take up space on my own terms.






2013 | Wishstudio Life, Glitter & Grunge Zine, Gone Wishing, First Brunch, Slutcracker + sex

It was a pivotal year. I stepped more fully into important aspects of myself and was beginning to see how all the work I've been doing was about exploring identity and how I was showing up in the world. I wasn't just sharing artful inspiration anymore, I was sharing parts of who I was which was creating new and very real connections. I was growing intimacy with my own self and others, by being more vulnerable with my work.

I invited others into my home for the first time since moving to the island (Brunch was born!). I hung my handmade sign that shared my identity as a wish-maker with my neighbors, which at the time felt so huge and scary! I painted a new body of work and lived like an Artist. I published my first zine. 

I could also feel an enormous tug to start telling more of my personal story, and changed my website to Wishstudio Life. I started writing about and integrating sex-positivity on my blog, which I had been exploring behind the scenes for years by then. I was entering new territory in my online space that previously only talked about creativity. In the process, I went from Artist to Truth Teller, realizing creative living encompassed all of who we are and wrote about exploring my sexual identity too. At first I lost half of my following, but I felt more in alignment than I'd ever had before so I kept going knowing the people who stayed were really listening. In the end, my community grew along with me.


2014 | Inner Alchemy Cards

At my spring Brunch we got together and made inspiration cards. Right after, I received the download for my first Inner Alchemy Circle while driving (where I do some of my best thinking!). It felt like a clear channel. I was deep in the alchemy of my own life: art + creativity + desire + truth = magic. Years of Alchemy Card and intuitive Inner Alchemy Collage making kicked of that summer!


2015 | Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, and claimed my Queer/Kink positive sexual identity

This is the year I went all in on talking about my sexual exploration at the intersection of personal growth and sex-positive advocacy (volunteered at the CSPH). Frustrated with the wide gap between all that was being championed as "authentic living" and what was glaringly left out of the conversation, I began publicly sharing with my readers about my sexy adventures, my open marriage, and my shifting role and revelations within the sex-positive and kink communities. It was a huge period of growth for me, one of the most vulnerable times of sharing, but also hugely rewarding and liberating.

Mainstream discussions about sexuality started to come more and more into the fray. I was more interested in the gritty parts of human desire, rather than the medical, goddess or feminist perspectives on sex, but soon it was clear these all traced back to one underlying truth: so much of our who we are and how we move through the world is founded in the primary relationship we have with our bodies - and THIS was the relationship that so many of us had challenges with. I started to get very curious about the broader context of women's bodies with regard to pleasure, trauma, sexuality, movement, self-love... all of it. So much to explore and unpack. All the while I was trying to use my creative practices to bridge the tricky gap of fear and make this kind of exploration seem a little more more accessible and less vulnerable to others.


2016 | Studiofemme, Rainbow Wishing Tree, Tiny Revolutions

While working in these complex realms of the body, the day after Trump got elected I made the bold move to rebrand Wishstudio as Studiofemme. I was fired up, angry and honestly a little afraid. I knew it was time to for me to stand up for what I truly believed in... women's empowerment, LGTBQ equality, sexual freedom, and inspiring more activism. I began to really dig deep into the relationship between women and their bodies and champion expression and permission to embrace some of these more vulnerable conversations. I wanted to inspire work that directly addressed our connection to our bodies through creativity, mindfulness and awareness. The body, and all it's politics, was becoming central to all my work.


2017 | Embody Love Facilitator Certification, Studiofemme Nbpt, LUSH Embodied Life

At the beginning of the next year I became a certified ELM Facilitator, which validated an entire system of beliefs I was already weaving into my work. It gave me a new foundation on which to build upon and had me thinking about my work and business in new ways. I was beginning to see the limitations of just working within the realm of 'female empowerment' brands, and things began changing and expanding. It took me out of my home and into a community studio. Through my offerings, I tried on different hats as a teacher, a healer and artist, and began to see the synergy between all that I'm passionate about. 



2018 | Change Makers Series, Embody Love Arts, and back to nonprofit roots

This was the year I circled back to my work in human services, in face-to-face community, in grassroots activism and in the nonprofit sector. I realized this was where my work felt most aligned and where I hoped to make more of an impact. My passions and offerings stayed mostly the same, but I started focusing and offering my work to underprivileged/underserved communities of women and girls, and creating empowerment with a broader purpose of lifting those most marginalized. I was beginning to understand how in talking about our bodies, we must also be talking about social justice and how they are inextricably connected.
2019 | DEIA work, and lead up to become the Executive Director of Squam Art Workshops

In writing this now (spring of 2021), I still have so many thoughts I am processing and want to share about coming through the creative living industry as a whole, my journey of deep longing to belong to systems of whiteness - which I now see Squam as directly a part of - and how I worked my way up through that organization to be poised to sit at the helm as a model minority upholding white privilege. The entire story of my 12 year relationship to Squam is an exact allegory for what it meant to grow up without a sense of my own safety or belonging, and striving to be accepted into an identity that was never meant to be mine. It was a huge blind spot in my own self awareness - this is how internalized oppression works. I see it so clearly now. I will always be grateful for many of the connections made and lessons learning from that entire experience, as well as the opportunity to lean more confidently into my voice and work in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access, that year. 



2020 | Be Seen Project, divesting from the creative living industry, reclaiming my Korean identity

After getting laid off from my my job, going into lockdown for a global health crisis, and facing a racial pandemic where Asian Americans were being targeted, I knew it was time to put my work 100% towards building something entirely new. For the first time, I wanted and needed, to uplift and build BIPOC community and connect with other activists of color. It was a year of learning to divest from systems of whiteness, which confronted and challenged every relationship and community I was a part of (including my own family), and everything I had formerly believed in and created. I started connecting with other transracial Korean adoptees and listened to their stories. For the first time in my life I finally saw myself reflected in what I was creating, including my own community. Incredible opportunities and collaborations, and more importantly foundational personal growth, came out of the rubble of 2020.



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