Let’s talk creative ruts because I’ve been struggling with creativity and after a successful collaboration with The House that Lars Built, it’s a tad discouraging. I did several paint sketches of Constance Wu wearing couture Ralph & Russo from the Crazy Rich Asians premiere, all of which sucked. I then drew a portrait of her which was good, but I wasn’t “feeling it”. My final attempt is this painting I’m sharing with you today. The painting is based off of the photograph by Juco for Time. Initially, I wanted to paint Juco’s portrait of Constance, but I was way intimidated by painting Wu’s portrait (I don’t know why exactly, I was just having one of those weeks of paralyzing doubt) . So I thought I’d take the easy road and paint the looks from the CRA premiere (since the faces aren’t as important right?!) to accompany my review of the movie here. The problem wasn’t that the work didn’t come easily to me (because that’s not how creativity works), but that I was trying to do easy work instead of following what I was inspired to do.
Everything went well with this painting. (I am worried I overworked it a bit). Although I’m happy with how this piece turned out, I’m just a tad annoyed that my inner critic is still trying to get me to take the easy road (but inner critics never encourage you to do difficult things, naturally). Do you psych yourself out? If so, how do you deal? Let me know your thoughts, but also here are some of my favorite Constance Wu quotes. She’s a pretty remarkable person! Her voice for the Asian-American community is powerful, making her someone we should all be following. So like I emphasized in my Crazy Rich Asians post, everyone NEEDS to watch the movie and also Fresh Off the Boat cause that show is hilarious!
I was emotional. I wanted to be taken seriously. I was pretty emo. I was reciting Shakespeare monologues when I was 10. I still know the whole 'To be, or not to be...' monologue, because I knew it when I was 10.
An easy way to avoid tokenism? Have more than one character of color. Not so hard.
All the networks have always been willing to have ethnic people as the third or fourth lead or the best friend to the white person. But to actually let a black family or an Asian family carry a show, that's something where there hasn't really been a precedent set in terms of a real financial gain.
People are embracing the thing that made them different growing up instead of letting that thing elicit shame.
Working on 'Fresh Off the Boat' has been really enlightening to me because it's made me actually think about the roles that Asians and Asian-American women have played in media. Not because I didn't think it was important before, but because before, I was really focused on just paying my rent.