February 21, 2014

Love and Hate Relationship: Part 2 & a weekend link

I've had a love and hate relationship with art, as long as I could remember. 

When I do art, I feel free. I feel like a hawk soaring in the sky. 

But when the artwork is done, I'm not usually satisfied with what I've made. I'd either put it in the trash can or put it away in a closet so I don't have to see it again. I get frustrated wondering why my artwork doesn't turn out the way I imagined. It's like my art has it's own life that I cannot control.  

Nude oil painting: a project I did in an oil painting class, imitating the work of Salvador Dali
I actually like this one so I kept it.

I don't get along with my own creations. 

I wonder if this is how God feels about us sometimes.

So, I did the most reasonable thing to do. I decided to pursue my career in research and forgot about art. I spent years studying psychological research and landed a job that let me work on an exciting project, only to find out research was not my calling. It was devastating.

Watercolor painting I did for a charity auction. I think it's pretty, but this is not really me.

I've recently started to make my way back to art again. I felt awkward at first because I hadn't done any artwork in a while. I didn't know where to start and what to paint. The thought of pursuing art also scared me. 

Am I running away from art again this time?  

I'm now trying to change the love and hate relationship I've had with art. Perhaps, I haven't refined my style yet. The only way to find out is to practice until I get it right. 

I probably should focus more on the process - the joyous process of creating art rather than the outcome itself. I should perform art just for the sake of performing it. 

I also figured I can decorate my house with my own artwork for free, and that is always a plus.

Here is the newest additions to my art family:
Venus (yes, I named them)

and The Rebel (doesn't he look like The Rebel?)

I've never done an abstract drawing or painting before, but I enjoyed the process very much.

And you remember my nude drawing. I haven't yet decided if I like this one.

I believe my ability to create art is one of my God-given gifts. 

So, I stopped running away from my gift. 

If I keep running away from what I'm called to do, who is going to be me and do my job?

My friend Jenn Nahrstadt has just published an article that taps deeper into this topic. She is one of the first readers who has ever commented on my blog. She also revised one of my earlier posts, There's Something about Giving. The post had some grammatical issues that needed to be corrected (as you know English is not my first language), and Jenn generously offered me her gift of writing by revising it. She now shares her gift with the world through her brilliantly insightful article. If you are trying to find your way in life like I do, you won't regret reading this. 

You can read Jenn's article, here.

When you offer your gift to the world, everyone wins. (Emily Freeman & Gary Morland from At the Barn)

What is your gift? 

Are you running away from your gift or living it?


  1. Dear Yuko, you are definitely blessed with the gift of art, and maybe God doesn't want you to get too attached to the piece so you will be able to let it go. I LOVE the nude drawing you just completed, so beautiful and elegant. I would buy your art :)

    1. Thank you so much Deni!! I believe an artwork belongs to someone who truly appreciates it and falls in love with it. If I ever decide to let go of the nude drawing, you'll be the first person to know about it :)

    2. Thank you Yuko :)

  2. Please keep painting. Your artwork is lovely, and I would buy them too. I used to work in an artist-in-residence loft building in downtown Los Angeles, and I have to say what you are showing here is so much better than what I've seen many artists do.

    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement! I will definitely keep painting and let everyone know if I decide to part with some of my artworks.

  3. Your art is beautiful and inspired. I understand what you're saying though. It seems whenever I finish something it's not long before it's being edited again because there's something about it I hate! I think your work is lovely and the abstracts make a great pair. Especially with something very traditional between them.
    I am not an artist so I don't have trouble of creating paintings or drawings and hating them. I am, however, an avid collector. Which leads to having lots of art I love but hate too much to hang. :) I bought a series of abstract paintings of owl eyes that I was so in love with only to realize they reminded me of a creepy ghost or voyeur on the wall!

    1. Thank you, Stephen! My love-hate issue goes deep in my cells, and that's the problem I have with decorating our home too. But it also could be the process of refining our own style. Putting the abstracts with something traditional is a great idea - I love juxtaposition of materials, styles, eras. That makes a space more visually interesting. If you place the owl abstracts next to something fun or silly, I wonder they won't be as scary?? Just don't hang them in your bedroom! ox

  4. It is a challenge to embrace ourselves the way God made us. I'm not sure why, but if think it's not all that uncommon. Our thoughts are not His thoughts, and our ways are not His ways. My life coach challenged me, when I balked at seeing myself the way God has wired me, to ask God for a paradigm shift in the way I saw myself. I would challenge you to do the same. He will help you lean into the life He is calling you to. Thanks for mentioning my blog post. That was really kind.

    1. I will take the challenge, Jenn! I started this blog because I wanted to learn to embrace myself the way God made me (thus, the tagline, "embrace your unique design"), and see my life through his perspective. It sure is challenging, but I also find it liberating to go with the flow instead of trying to control every aspect of my life, like I used to do. Looking forward to reading your first book!

  5. Yuko, you make very beautiful art, but maybe there is a bit of a perfectionist hiding inside there. It seems it is human nature to want to label and define ourselves and things around us so we can "arrive" at a set of words to describe ourselves (arty, liberal, rational...). I do it all the time, with my clothing, with my decorating, with my attitudes - I want to definitively label them. But I'm working on allowing myself to meander a bit. To not be in such a rush to figure things out and to embrace things as they arise. (it's difficult!)

    1. I would have to say, it's rather my impatience and lack of trust in God that I struggle with than the perfectionism. As much as I feel impatient to figure things out (I wanted to figure it out yesterday!), I'm going with the flow this time and it's liberating to let things be. The process of becoming is what I am trying to enjoy right now, and it's getting easier every day :)


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