Vol.1 | Exploring

April 2023

"Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything? Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that's what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it."

Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach

My latest series Nature Spirit reflects an exploration of a new chapter in my life. It's a journey of self-discovery through creativity, exploring new worlds, look for clues in nature, and find harmony within.

A Different Path

As times change, I'm looking for new ways to share the thoughts and stories behind my work.

It's easy to feel pressured to do things based on the expectations of social media and the latest trends. But that takes the fun out of everything for me.

So with this new chapter, I want to start with the question what would be fun to do? I want to try things that I haven't done before. But not in a way that is tense and stressful, but in a way that is playful and curious.

Explorer's Mind

When I teach drawing, I talk about having an Explorer’s Mind. It combines the concept of beginner's mind with a sense of curiosity, wonder, and joy. It allows us to reframe our fears by:

• Seeing any learning journey as adventure rather than a something we're supposed to be perfect at right away

• Being ready to learn from mistakes instead of giving up at the first sign of failure

• Letting go of expectations that hinder us instead of helping us

• Opening to the experience and having fun in the journey itself

I need to remind myself that this mindset can be applied to anything in life, including what I'm doing now.

So, let's go explore ✨ -M

  • Worlds

    Are those oranges, or small worlds?

    It could be both, depending on one's perspective. Worlds depicts the exploration of new worlds big and small, and all the feelings of anticipation, mystery, and wonder it brings. It also is a subconscious nod to two of my favorite childhood books, The Little Prince and James and the Giant Peach.

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  • Forest Bathing

    May one find comfort and reprieve under the shadow of trees.

    There is a practice in Japanese culture called shinrin-yoku, which can be translated into "Forest Bathing" or "Taking in the Forest Atmosphere." It involves simply spending time in nature amongst trees, and being very present in the experience. A moment of rest for the explorer.

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  • mimochai birdsong art illustration


    A magpie perched on an orange tree calls for good fortune and joy  🍊

    Birdsong is a modern take on traditional Chinese Bird & Flower Painting (huaniaohua). Each element in huaniaohua holds a symbolic meaning, and the art celebrates the beauty of nature found in even the smallest forms of life. A way to use art to send well wishes for the journey.

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Exploring Worlds

In the Studio

To integrate this month's theme, I offer creative prompts to explore identity through moodboards and share my insights on live sketching while exploring new places.

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