Earlier this month,, my extended family traveled up to Camano Island in northern Washington to celebrate the legacy of my great-great grandmother, Fanny Y. Cory. She was an artist and illustrator, and was one of the first women illustrators in the industry when she started out in her late teens. She also wrote and illustrated a couple of comic strips that ran in newspapers across the country.
It was amazing to celebrate this life of a woman who I never met but is part of my artistic heritage. My father’s cousin, Jason Dorsey, has an amazing art gallery and living space called Sunnyshore Studio, and he organized an art exhibit (with a movie!) to celebrate this woman. He provided me with the opportunity to show a few of my pieces, along with my other artistic family members (and there are a lot of them) – it was an honor to be a part of this event and help to show how her legacy continues down through the generations. Check out his website (sunnyshorestudio.com) and recent blog posts – I’m featured in one of the videos!
When my grandma was younger, her mother and grandmother (FYC) would have creative sessions where they would paint and make art, and they called this the “Grunt and Groan Art Club”. The story is that they would be so immersed in their creations that they wouldn’t have time to have full conversations, and would only manage to grunt in acknowledgement and support of what they all were making. I love this – not only is it adorable to imagine this scene, but also because the idea of making art being voiced by “grunts and groans” resonates with me. My art involves hours of being hunched over a table, which is hard on my back and eyes. Sitting at tables in Starbucks and on my living room floor is not conducive to a pain-free experience. I now have an art studio with an adjustable table, which is going to help quite a bit, but the sounds I have emitted when hoisting myself off of the floor after an hour of gluing dots are not the most pleasant. Creating art consistently requires discipline to push through the times that are not enjoyable. For me, since each piece takes so much time, I need to be intentional about taking every opportunity to move forward and using my time well.
It was an inspiring weekend, and I am working on some ideas of how to take my art to the next step – stay tuned!