On Art004 - JiYoon Jessica Ahn

Introduce yourself. Who are you, and what kind of artist are you? I like to paint in acrylic paints and to draw with compressed charcoals. I like to paint semi-abstractions and Feelingscapes which I call “Felt Memories.”

How did you discover your interests in art? What is your history -with art? I loved picture books as a kid, and one day a Japanese visitor saw my stick figure cartoon and told my mom to encourage me to pursue art. My mom was always making things, usually needlecrafts, so I grew up watching her do a lot of patchwork and embroidery.

What are your favorite media? Are there specific professionals who inspire your work? Acrylic paints on canvas. Sometimes writing ink, too. Let’s see… some of the most inspiring master painters for me currently are Emily Noelle Lambert, Hiroshi Sugito, Giorgio de Chirico, Edward Hopper, and Paul Delvaux.

What goes on in your mind when you're creating? What does your artistic process look like? I get transported into my own Mind. I enjoy the “Flow” and being At One when engaged with creating. I don’t have a set method though, so each painting begins slightly differently. Sometimes I start off with ink drawings, other times I use gesso for a heavier foundation.

Weather Report . 2005. 90.9 × 72.7 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

Weather Report. 2005. 90.9 × 72.7 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

What does art mean to you? 

Art is a Door Step to experiencing the Inner Realms of me. Art itself is a medium in that sense. It is a portal for me; a way of channeling and accessing something inside.

Zen Clouds . 2006. 53.0 x 45.5 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

Zen Clouds. 2006. 53.0 x 45.5 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

Do you think there are biases or stigmas about being an artist? (Ex: There is a link between creativity and mental illness.) What are some that you've experienced? I’m pretty sure there are biases and stigmas for EVERY job on Earth, so yes to the first question. The notion that artists are somehow “different” from the rest of the human fold is a common bias from my observation.

Do you think there are any truths about the stereotypes of being an artist? In this day, much less so I think. Artists these days are more like a production line. The only real thing in what an artist does is the Process itself.

Pink Stitches . 2010. 45.5 x 53.0 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

Pink Stitches. 2010. 45.5 x 53.0 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

Have any resources or tricks-of-the-trade to help fellow artists working with your media? Yes. Have a good friend who is a fellow artist and a creative. ARTS Anonymous is one that has been a treasure house of resources and sense of community for me. Once you start using acrylic paints, there is no turning back to oils! I’ve tried that once in my one room studio, but no matter how expensive and non toxic the oil paint claims itself to be, it will still stink like poison.

Face #19 . 2006. 39.3 x 54.5 cm. Compressed charcoal and black ink on paper.

Face #19. 2006. 39.3 x 54.5 cm. Compressed charcoal and black ink on paper.

If you could give your young artist self or aspiring artists advice, what would it be? 

Your voice matters. Your view point matters. Your message and brushstrokes matter. Learn how to stand your ground without the wings that big corporations entice you with. Guard your Creative Soul. Seek and cherish the friends who are devoted to creating and crafting.

Face #41 . 2006. 39.3 x 54.5 cm. Black ink on paper.

Face #41. 2006. 39.3 x 54.5 cm. Black ink on paper.

For additional works by Jessica, visit her painting blog: http://jeeyoona.blogspot.kr
Questions & Comments? Email her at: jeeyoona@gmail.com

Fur Babies!


Who doesn't like photos of cats and dogs? They can help alleviate stress, become lifelong companions, and even family. Here are some photos and words on some of these wonderful fur babies. 

(photo in banner) Very cool! Thank you for posting Jasper's photo. He's truly a therapy dog... This three-legged goof helps me understand that things aren't so bad. My lil man.  <3

- Christine Nam

This is yangkong-berry.

He is 3.2 kilograms of furry good warmth at night. a live purring musician in the bathroom. and a sweet licker of my wounds and feels when I'm down.

- Jiyoon Jessica Ahn


Sometimes you just need someone to listen n my dog is one heck of a listener.

- Jessica Song


Jax has been my best friend and constant companion through the most difficult time of my life. I had never owned a pet before her. She makes sure that even through the darkest times, I am never alone.

- Ray Valee


He was a very loving and communicative cat, I meowed to him and he meowed back. He loved to play and fight too and often brought home all sorts of things as gifts: small dead animals, underwear, branches, leaves, basically anything he liked he brought to us after his strolls. He always greeted me meowing while walking in my direction after hearing me opening the gates and then walked with me curling my legs until I got inside, took off my shoes and gave him a little love troking my feet on his back and belly. He was a great company in my life and I consider having another cat in the future as it is my favorite pet.

- Ivan Barreto

Örkki (the orc) is a dog.

- Tomi Viktor Varjonvmmi


This is my dog Kai. He's not very smart but he is soft and cuddly, which is fine by me.

- Sid Tsai


This is Nala. She lives at dad's place but is loved equally by all of the family, no matter how far we live. Happily I live really close, so I go for walks and cuddles pretty often. She calms me down, and helps me remember there are purely good things in this world too.

- Emmi Eriikka


This is Sampa, she judges me often and swears up and down that humans are crazy. She is my everything <3

- Sadi Thann

This is Dozer. He was a stray someone abandoned when we were having sub zero temps. Ours now!

- Don Ostrom

Buddha. The coolest cat ever!

- Don Ostrom


And last but not least, Bruno, who thinks he's a badass, but loves to cuddle for naps.

- Don Ostrom

Henry. I didnt want him, he was pathetic, tiny (4lbs) and terrified. Now he's healthy (15lbs), happy and we're inseparable.

- Rand Melvin

Sargent Pepper. The dog Henry replaced. 120 lbs of love and joy. No dog is a better lapdog than Sarge was.

- Rand Melvin




10 Tips For Self Care

Sometimes it's easier to care for and identify what needs to be done to help others in our lives. We can forget to take care of ourselves first. The problem with caring for others first is that it can lead to burning out or caregiver fatigue.

It is not selfish to care for oneself.

The healthier and happier a caregiver is, the more productive he or she can be with the helping of others. It's a win:win to practice self care. There are many lists for self care online, and here is one that I've composed. Hopefully, this list will get longer from contributions from awesome readers like you :)

Some Self Care Tips:

1) Have a moment by yourself. Do nothing and enjoy it :)

  • Try sitting in a beautiful space. Whether it's plants, art, or people, find time to be around beauty as often as you can, and just enjoy the moment. Focus on your breath and how the world can slow down in this moment. 
  • Don't have lots of time? Try 10 minutes a day. Try 5 if 10 seems difficult. 

2) Organize your living space.

  • Decluttering or organizing your home can help with reducing stress. This is a great reason to go shopping for some pleasing furniture and art for your home. Moving books, or other items in the home can help get excess energy out.

3) Have a hobby.

  • Don't have a hobby? Ask friends or family what they enjoy. Some options: hiking, walking, biking, swimming, drawing, reading, sewing, watching movies, filming, gardening...
  • Make time to do what you love. It is important, and so are you.
  • Play games. Think of things you loved doing as a kid, and try doing them again. Video games and board games can be a great way to relax.

4) Drink plenty of water.

  • There are multiple health benefits of drinking water. Being hydrated can relieve headaches, and help clear complexions...

5) Exercise.

  • Don't like exercising? There are creative ways to stay active. Go for a brisk walk with a friend. Play with children, run around your office on a break. Many studies link exercise with improved mood and decreased risk of heart disease. 
  • If your work incorporates lots of sitting at a desk and computer, please take breaks to stand up and stretch. 

6) Listen to music. If you're bold enough, sing along!

7) Dance.

  • Really. Give it a shot :) Don't want others to see your awesome skills or lack there of? No problem! Dance by yourself! Dance in the bedroom, in the bathroom, in the living room... 
  • Health benefits of dancing.

8) Have a safe place.

  • Designate a place just for you to unwind. It can be a corner with a comfy chair and book, or a special spot in the park under a shady tree.
  • If your safe place cannot be reached, try creating one in your mind. Don't have an amazing imaginary safe place? No worries! Keep practicing. Your imagination can build on the safe place over time, and it can become very detailed. 

9) Interpersonal connection.

  • This is a big one. Chatting with loved ones can reduce huge amounts of stress. It is something to intentionally work on. Many of us are so busy with work schedules and errands, that we forget to check in with important people in our lives.
  • Phone calls, conversations over lunch or tea, movie outings, group sports activities, volunteering... 
  • Plenty of hugs, smiles, and laughter are important as well. A smile can change a person's day, and it most definitely can help improve your health as well. 

10) Start and End your day on a positive note.

  • There are going to be crummy parts of the day, week, month or even year. Setting the tone for the start and end of your day might help with increasing gratitude.
  • Having one or two positive things to reflect on every day can help promote an attitude of gratitude. 
  • Being around positive people can help maintain this attitude of gratitude. Some people are just energy vampires, and it's okay to spend less time with certain people.