Author: Jo Cheung

I’m looking out of my window and the sun is glistening away, the sky is super clear and the weather is just beautiful- spring is here saying hello to us all. It’s nice to watch the world go by through my attic window, or should I say, looking at how still my surroundings are. Despite the lockdown, I’m beginning to appreciate what it means to have our freedom restricted; I’m so used to going out that the thought of being cooped in for three weeks is getting me down. I’ve decided to use this time instead to channel it into my artwork and the first thing that popped into my head was Studio Ghibli. For ages, I’ve always wanted to do some fan art and now is the time to start it!

It’s my own mish-mash of our cats and Studio Ghibli- I think they work rather well together! I’m planning on doing some more next week as it’s been quite fun to do something to take my mind off things. Also, NTS Radio have three shows dedicated to the beautiful music of Studio Ghibli if you’re looking for some serene and gentle music to pass the time away. If that’s not enough you should definitely listen to Ghibliotheque which is a podcast dedicated to all things Ghibli. They had a talk a few weeks ago at The Moth Club in Hackney which was Z-A of Studio Ghibli (I can’t seem to find the podcast for it though). That said, Netflix have the whole catalogue online now so binge away everyone!

On that note, I’m going to end my post here with some music from Joe Hisaishi-  this has to be one of my favourite tracks. This is from My Neighbour Totoro ‘Path of the Wind’ (I walked down the aisle to this!!!).

Keep safe everyone xx

As I am writing this Boris Johnson has announced that all schools are to close on Friday onwards effectively until the foreseeable future, there’s panic shopping across the country, the NHS is already under increasing pressure from Covid-19- I feel like I’m living in some sort of horror film that’s happening right in front of my eyes.

I have stopped doing any kind of art as I’m completely obsessed with the coronavirus. Like everyone else, it’s been dominating the news over the past couple of months and as it starts to take over our lives here, we’re like sitting ducks. Just watching the catastrophe unfold at a speed so quick Boris and his friends have done an appalling job of it.

I feel right now we all need to rally together and look after one another. I know a lot of people are going to suffer financially because of this- many thanks to the Tory government for not reacting to it quickly enough- it will leave so many people out of a job, unable to financially support themselves and struggle to make ends meet. This is why it’s so important to support small independent businesses right now as it’s left them completely vulnerable to the unknown. Please use your resources to be able to help others in any way that you can as the next couple of months people are going to be really struggling. already on the news there’s been a major increase in people using food banks.

I’m not sure how to end this post as I normally end on a high. Right now, I’m thinking about those who are affected by this. The one thing I can say that in times of darkness there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. For me, I will spend more time creating art and channelling my energy into this. My Etsy shop will still be open although I cannot guarantee that orders will arrive on time as I’m not sure if the post office will be closed when Covid-19 peaks.

I hope you all keep safe and please watch out for each other. We will get through this.

Hello March and sunshine, where have you been? Today the sky has been a glorious shade of blue and since it hasn’t been raining (for once!), I was pottering around the garden doing loads of weeding and just generally giving the garden a bit of a tidy up as it’s been neglected for sometime now. ????I’m looking forward to planting new flowers and plants and I’ve been debating on whether to buy some more new house plants, although the cats go slightly cray cray with the plans i.e. they LOVE to eat it and then spew it out!

Moving on… I’m going to be taking part in this months March Meet the Maker organised by the super talented Joanne Hawker. It’s been running for a while now and I’ve never had the time to be involved with it. So this month I want to dedicate sometime to showcase my work and my business, as well as meeting other creatives in the process. If you’re unfamiliar with Meet the Maker everyday there’s a prompt which you can interpret however you like so as long as you are able to relate it back to your work/practice etc. Then you share it over on Instagram- see it’s pretty straightforward, right? Since it’s different everyday, it’s a nice way to promote not just on what you do but also things that inspire you for instance.

See below for this months prompt list:

You can follow the hashtag #MarchMeetTheMaker over on Instagram for the latest updates.

Which leaves me to the end of my post as I’ll be prepping up today’s prompt which is ‘story’. I hope you can follow my March Meet the Maker challenge!

Hi All,

Thought I would share this post here as I have done on my Facebook Page:

‘This is not an art-related post and I rarely post anything political as that’s not what my page is about. I love sharing with you all my artwork, processes, ideas and inspiration but recently I’m feeling a bit deflated whenever I go on social media. There’s just so much hatred and a lack of love right now, some people like to tear others down when they know so little about a situation. Since it’s Random Act of Kindness Day I just want to spread some positivity in these times of darkness.

Just been hearing about Chinese people being attacked because people are: a. dicks and b. presumptuous about the coronavirus. Can we all show a bit of kindness and compassion (and rational thinking) what with everything that’s happening in the world right now, please? It’s really not too much to ask. I treat others the way I expect to be treated: respect and dignity. I was also asked as well and frankly, well, I was bewildered to be honest. The assumption that I’m Chinese therefore by default I have the coronavirus is just racist and xenophobic. I do feel quite paranoid about it at the moment, I feel strangers eyes boring into me whenever I’m on the tube or in the shops.

Why am I made to feel like the odd one out? Why should I feel like crap when people are only out for themselves? Why am I made to feel like I’m in the wrong whilst others are able to judge me because of the way I look?

Educate yourselves and others. Yes, be up to date with information (I mean reliable sources, always fact-check things and not just share a random post on Facebook), talk about things honestly to your children if it means watching Newsround or doing some research on it.

How do I end this post on a lighter note?

Just look out for one another is all I’m saying. Please be caring, non-judgemental, show some love for one another.’

…. It takes a lot of strength and courage to stand up to small-minded people. But the more you question their views and ways of thinking, the more people open to up to having a dialogue which is a right step in itself even though it could be excruciating.

I don’t know. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. And in this day and age where information is so easily accessible you’d think people would be open to different opinions, thoughts etc. Nope by the sounds of it. People become so ingrained in the way they think, once they have that mindset it spreads to other groups of people- which is all the more worrying when you think about it.

I’m sick and tired of hearing, seeing, experience racial abuse. The way things are going right now it’s a political shit show… and now this is my cue to step back and end my post here.

Thanks for reading as always and take care of yourselves.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! So today it’s Chinese New Year or otherwise known as the Lunar New Year. What we usually do when it comes to celebrate this rather important date in the Chinese calendar is that we eat traditional Chinese food with friends and families, exchange and open lei sees (otherwise known as red envelopes) and there are dancing Chinese dragons/lions too. I remember when I was younger we’d used to eat Chinese sweets which came in a rather beautiful containers with divided segments for the individual sweets. We used to spend Chinese New Year in Hong Kong when were we younger, which was all the more a special occasion as we’d only see our families maybe once a year. I remember we would open up or lei sees and light up paper lanterns in the evening, followed by loads of delicious food of course! There’s really no getting away with food.

This year it’s the Year of the Rat so to celebrate this rather special little creature I have made a print which is now available in my Etsy, Folksy and Urban Makers shop.

Well, I’m going to end it here. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and take care.