Author: Jo Cheung

Hello readers and a Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all had a restful Christmas with your family and friends- wishing you all a prosperous start to the year.

I’m not one for the New Year, New Me rubbish. Personally, I’ve always started off with New Years resolutions and they teeter off my the end of the January 🤣🤣🤣 So this year there’ll be no New Years resolutions for me but instead just take each day as it goes by and show gratitude as much as possible.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the rainy weekend!

*Update- this is the third post I’ve tried uploading but it keeps on not saving my progress!*

A snowy January.

Hello everyone and I hope you’ve all had a nice start to the last month of 2021. I swear every year time speeds up so quickly- it’s absolutely terrifying! I’ve started most of my Christmas shopping, but there’s lots of other bits and bobs I need to do before I’m done. Oh, and get those Christmas cards out as soon as possible! I’m really looking forward to finally spending some quality time with our families as I honestly can’t be doing with another lock down Christmas. Being pessimistic for me has always been difficult as I generally find it easier to have a negative outlook, we’ve all had a really tough year and it has made it hard to make solid plans. I’m going to try and have more of a positive outlook in 2022, take things slowly and be grateful for what I have. 

I look back at the last two years since the pandemic started and it’s made me re-evaluate what I really want to do with my life. Covid has thrown a spanner in the works for sure. It has also made me treat friends and strangers with more contempt and kindness. My friendships have slowly been rekindled even if it’s been a quick grab food and drink after work, it’s been so precious spending time with my friends. This year we went through some of our own personal shit (which I won’t discuss as it’s private), however, I have realised that we are resilient and adaptable to life changing events. We find our own way of dealing with whatever we are doing through and having a strong family and network of friends to keep you going through the dark times is indescribable.

I always look forward to writing this post as I can reflect on the year as to what I have done, achieved, learnt, and continue to grow as a person. With that let’s get started!

Designed Graphics for Doncaster Central Learning Centre

I was so pleased to hear from Lai, who runs Doncaster Central for Learning Centre, about designing artwork for their exhibition about dementia and identity called ‘This is Me’. It really evokes lots of complex questions about your own identity in terms of how others see you i.e. how would you define yourself, not just by your job, but are you a mother/father/daughter etc. What ‘role’ do you play in your circle of friends and family? Do your own experiences and memories create the person you are or will become? And what happens if you no longer have the capacity to care for yourself, does this change who you are as a person?

It throws up so many interesting discussion points depending on which angle you look at it.

Driving Lessons

I finally started my driving lessons again at the start of spring and they’re going pretty well. I took my theory test last October just before the (second?) lockdown and I was waiting for months to start my lessons again. It is a small stepping stone for me as it’s been on and off over the past 10 years and I keep telling myself I need to get it done. I feel like it comes to a point where I can’t ask my parents to pick me up from the train station (although they are more than happy to1). I’ll continue my lessons until next spring if I can get a test booked closer to home. Please have your fingers crossed for me guys!

Art and Illustration

This year I’ve not made as much artwork as I intended to. All my shops have been super quiet since I decided to no longer ship abroad (thanks Brexit!). I just didn’t know whether it was worth my time to do all the admin side of things so that I can ship overseas orders. Maybe I shot myself in the foot and limited my customer base? There are no answers to these questions, perhaps this is why I’ve not had much motivation to make any new work.

Honestly, it hasn’t been a great year for me and I’m not sure what I’ll do next year: whether to continue or to gracefully bow out. I’m a bit gutted that I missed out on loads of markets too as I haven’t been organised- oops!

I’ll see how the next few months go, it makes me really sad but sometimes you have to let things go when the going gets good. If there was anything in particular I would like to do is to take part in more art markets and collaborative exhibitions. I’ve really missed working with others in putting a show together. So, we’ll see.

Started a Fundraiser… But Never Happened!

Like most people, I was completely appalled by the targeted racism against South and East Asian communities during the height of the pandemic. It made me sick to the stomach. I can never understand the mindset of those who have that set of mindset- there is simply no excuse for racist behaviour. 

I wanted to raise some money for DCLC as the money would be used to fund them in many ways such as continuing with more workshops. Unfortunately, the fundraiser never garnered much interest which was a real shame. You try things out but even though you might not follow through with it, I say, never give up. Keep going with what you started.

In the New Year I would like to get it running again as I feel like it’s such an important cause to raise awareness and give a voice to a community who has been battered by the pandemic.

Catching up with Friends

Delicious Japanese breakfast at Koya, Soho. My friend Emma came to visit us a few week sago.

Everyone has been through this; not seeing someone for the last two years. The conversation always starts off with ‘I’ve not seen you since 2019’. Oh 2019. It’s been so nice to see my friends again, especially for such a long period of time not being able to spend some time with them. You really value and cherish those friends- no matter how long you’ve been apart for you’ll always have each other’s backs. 

Lamastre, France.

Back in October we went to Lamastre to visit our friends who will be leaving to go to New Zealand. It was lovely catching up with them but also sad to see them go. The photo above doesn’t do it’s justice- it’s such a beautiful and quiet part of the world where will be visiting again in the future for sure.

The New Year I will continue to see folks and keep those precious memories- even if it’s a quick coffee somewhere after work. 

New Year’s Resolutions

Probably the most important one is to pass my driving test as my theory runs out in October- doesn’t seem long but the waiting time to get a test booked is bonkers. Plus, I’ve spent so much money now there’s no going back!

Other than that, I would like to do some more cooking and get skilled up. Bye spag bol and hello biang biang noodles!

Thanks so much for taking your time on reading this and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let’s hope that 2022 will be a better year for us all.

Hello everyone! It’s been while since I’ve updated the blog… roughly two months to be exact since the last post. This post was supposed to be about Christmas gift ideas but somehow it’s turned into another one of my musings, which TBH I can’t stop thinking about. A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend about blogs and the gist of the conversation was that blogs these days have become redundant (no thanks to Instagram). I don’t know though, I don’t agree with the fact that blogs have become obsolete. Gone forever in that sense. Perhaps maybe blogs no longer serve a purpose especially with the number of different social media that’s currently on offer. I will throw it out there though; does anyone still have a blog and if so how often are you writing/updating it?

What I love about blogs is that you get an insight into someone’s personal life and way of thinking which I don’t believe other social media platforms can compete with. The thought processes are there; written out for all to read. I also think that when someone has put the time and effort in writing up a post, there’s definitely more value and attention to it than simply doom-scrolling through Instagram. The fact that with Instagram it’s such a fast paced platform, disposable is a better way of putting it, I feel like your work gets completely lost in Instagram’s algorithm. I hate the immediate gratification that comes with it too- you constantly have to keep up with it by updating your profile all the time. For me, it gets to the tipping point where I feel what you’re posting is no longer relevant. It’s outdated. That moment has now past so it’s like an endless cycle. Whereas a blog post, there’s longevity in a written format.

When I started out way back then (I’m talking about university, so yes, a long time ago) I was using Flickr to promote my work (which I no longer have) and a WordPress blog (free of course). That WordPress site is still floating around and I dip into it now and again just for old times sakes/nostalgia. It’s like looking back at photos of yourself- the younger me finding my way through the art world and figuring out why it’s important to save all images for web and not have a massive high res JPEG in CMYK format🤣😂🤣. Those early 2000’s of Blogspot, TypePad (remember that?!), they no longer exist because of the way people consume media. I was always super excited when someone used to link my profile up to their blog- your low res 50 x 50 image profile would be at the side bar for all to click on.

If you’re reading this, then great! If I’m writing this and no one is reading it- so what I suppose? The blog post is a time marker for what was going on in my life and what I was feeling.

I’m going to end this here on that note. BTW, if you do have a blog please feel free to post a link in the comments section!

Hello folks! How has September treated you? I recently completed some design work for DCLC   and I’m really happy with the way they turned out. Lai asked me to design a roller banner for them to use for an exhibition coming up in October, plus two prints which will also be part of it. The theme for it was belonging and family in relation to care givers; what and how to you see yourself as a carer and how do you effect others around you? I’m sure it is definitely something that we can all relate to in one way or another.

Lai wanted my work to be integral to the design, so I worked with her to create artwork that was related to the theme as well as subtly tying my work into it. Overall, I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out and I can’t to see some photos of them in situ!

Update: here’s some photos of the opening taken by DCLC.

If you would like some design work please get in touch with me about your project and I’ll get back to you very shortly. Thanks!