Art show and an unexpected conversation

I currently have a piece of art up at the JCC Vancouver’s Community Longing & Belonging exhibit. Tonight was the grand opening of the exhibit and a lot of people made it out. I was happy to share the space with so many talented artists, some of which included my Mother, who painted a Hamsa and birdhouses, as well as my two Sisters, one picture missing. My younger Sister used a pouring technique.

I was also interviewed by an old school friend of mine, Alison, for Co-Op Radio which will be on this Sunday.

I was taking a photo of myself with my art and lingering around the same general area when a Lady came up to me and started talking. I can’t recall the exact conversation but it got to a point where I tried multiple times to end it. Being an Autistic Person is part of my identity and I harbour no shame towards that. I believe I may have introduced myself as an Autistic Artist. This Lady was very forward with the things she said, some of which included how we shouldn’t label ourselves and how she does not believe in that. I was saying it’s part of who I am. I can’t remember what else I said but she was still persistent. I felt really invalidated and upset but I didn’t want to show those feelings.

If someone wants to refer to themselves as the way they identify, there’s no reason for someone else to decide that for them. I wasn’t saying anything negative about myself! I find it empowering because it’s a celebration of what Autistic people are capable of and bringing light to how diverse we can all be.

I just want to add that i’ve felt incredibly depressed lately and my emotional sensitivity is taking a beating. I can’t handle very much and I am in no mood to argue. It completely depletes me of any energy I was harbouring.

I was able to channel my negative mood in to some new pieces of art that are very bright, happy and positive.

Advertisements

Kim’s Convenience is BACK!

I’m so excited to announce that Kim’s Convenience is BACK for Season 3!

I think as a collective whole, we can agree that the wait has been long but good things come to those who wait and I can assure you it’s good, really good.

I want to thank CBC for giving me the chance to watch the first episode, aptly titled “New Appa-liance”. I honestly don’t want to give too much of the plot away. What I can tell you is it starts with a fart and ends with a dishwasher.

Janet’s has her struggles in her photography program and grapples with her name. There are some wonderful moments with Jung and Appa. Umma is a bit more emotional in this episode, but I find she has good reason. If you haven’t watched the show and you’re looking for laughs, you can catch up on previous episodes on CBC Gem & Netflix.

Premieres on CBC January 8th at 8/8:30NT.

Read my previous article about the play & meeting Paul Sun-Hyung Lee here.

Autism Speaks Has A New Ambassador

Watch my video:

Read all about it here

New Art & Featured on Art of Autism!

Here’s another one of those random updates with a couple things to touch on. I also wanted to thank all my new visitors! Hi!

I created a new piece of art called “Disillusion fragmentized”:

And, I was featured on The Art of Autism!

What Happens When Autism Speaks Appoints A New Ambassador

Before any opportunity is offered to me, I always do my research. I search up the positives and negatives so I can make an informed decision. That seems to be common sense; at least that’s what I thought.

Occasionally, i’ll do a twitter search for “Autism Speaks” to see what kind of propaganda is being perpetuated. I’ll usually see parents, this running app (CharityMiles) that donates to them and merchandise with puzzle pieces for sale.

Yesterday was a bit different. The last big rift between the Autistic community and an outspoken supporter of Autism Speaks would be the whole Niantic deal. The Makers of POKEMON GO decided it would be excellent publicity to partner with the Autism Speaks Run and have their own family fun booth. They were met with outrage and rightfully so. Pokemon Go gave some individuals a reason to get outside and engage. I wasn’t one of those people, but there were other reasons given that made it seem like the Autistic community embraced it–that is, until, they made an incredibly rash decision without any research.

So, back to yesterday, I noticed there was a gamer by the name of Ash or Clash With Ash (CWA) who was incredibly excited to share the news of his ambassadorship with Autism Speaks. His video was complete with puzzle pieces in the background. What a lovely touch.

He’s even gone so far as to raise money for AUTISM SPEAKS, already.

We, the Actually Autistic community have been on it. We’ve let him know that this isn’t helping us – that it’s actually hurting us. Ash’s followers are commending him and don’t seem to be questioning him. I’m assuming they believed he did his due diligence and researched Autism Speaks before he went full out and posted all his puzzle-piece laden propaganda for them to eat up and praise him for. He’s been incredibly quick to thank his supporters and put us in the backseat. Part of me believes he thought this would be good publicity and paint him as some kind of saint because his late Brother was Autistic. Here’s the initial tweet that started this all.

If you take the time to scroll through his twitter, you’ll see the calm before the storm. I took it upon myself to let his followers know that his actions are the opposite of commendable-by informing them that Autism Speaks is not a good organization. I don’t recall any of them responding to me.

I’m not sure how this benefits him. Perhaps it gives him a greater sense of purpose and believes that because he has a platform and an audience, that he could bring some kind of awareness to a cause he says is so important to him. We don’t need that. We can advocate for ourselves without hiding behind the guise of a hate group. There’s also better organizations to donate money to, like ASAN.

If you wish to add your opinion and let him know that we don’t need him to speak on our behalf, his social media platforms are:

If you want to learn why Autism Speaks is so terrible, here’s a great list: A Roundup of Posts Against Autism Speaks

Sensory Matters PODCAST & Going VIRAL!

Happy New Years Eve everybody. I’ve had a pretty eventful past few days. Firstly, I submitted a WINNING ENTRY to No Frills – which is a budget friendly grocery chain here in Canada owned by Loblaws (Galen Weston). I came up with a catchy, tongue-in-cheek melodic jingle and it’s going viral. It’s nearing 100,000 views. Check it out right here!

Also, Sensory Matters was kind enough to interview me for their podcast and it went live today.

I hope you have an amazing 2019!

Outspoken, Childfree & Autistic.

Dealing with negative comments is no easy task. It makes my anxiety kick into high gear and makes me question how I feel about myself. I need to remind myself to breathe and realize that the comments don’t reflect how they feel about me but how they feel about themselves. The past few days i’ve had a few people utter the F-word about things I have posted or done.

Photo by Kayla Harris on Unsplash

I posted an unpopular opinion puffins meme from mindyourowneggs on instagram that read “I’M TIRED OF PARENTS COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW TOUGH IT IS TO RAISE CHILDREN” and at the bottom of the image it read “NO ONE FORCED YOU TO HAVE KIDS.”  It prompted a flurry of messages on instagram from an Autistic Mother with an Autistic Child who took it to heart.

As a societal-whole, we make choices and need to deal with the consequences of our actions.

It continued on twitter with more messages towards me, essentially discrediting me as a “small time activist” amongst other things. 

I have been incredibly vocal about my Childfree stance and I do frequently worry about the sad state of our planet. My opinion encompasses all those feelings and I don’t want people to think I am specifically targeting parents of Autistic Children. I posted that meme as a blanket statement. I can’t say that I have much in common with parents of Autistic Children, because I don’t. When I speak, I speak from my heart. Entirely based on my experiences. Clearly, this doesn’t go over well with everyone, but those who have chosen to support me are people I would like to thank for giving me strength to get by. If anyone wants to believe that seeking out allies on social media platforms, by sharing this story, is a negative or “schoolyard” tactic, so be it. Childfree Autistic Adults do exist. We may be going against the grain of what society wants or expects from us, but we are just as valid.

There’s many things about myself I wouldn’t want to duplicate and therefore being Childfree has always been the best choice. How would I benefit from hearing people complain about a choice I have consciously decided not to make? I can’t provide any insight other than saying “Well, you made this choice.”, I can’t. There’s honestly nothing else I can possibly say to satisfy a parent. I still care about the rights of Autistic People as a whole and with that being said, I do what I can with my Childfree stance intact. There are facebook groups for Childfree individuals. There are instagrams, twitter accounts, websites, even Childfree Cruises and the Not-Mom Summit. A community which thrives. I’m not going to stop doing what I am doing because one person thinks I need to be a certain way.


White Rhino Bags & New Haircut.

I wanted to share my brand new White Rhino Bags Unboxing & Review:

and my haircut – I went to Hair Art Academy in Langley BC (not sponsored by them) and was pretty impressed with the results:

Exposing the NORA NYC Scam!

I’ve heard all kinds of things about them trying to shut people down and say it’s slander but i’m going to go ahead and preface this with a warning: these are things i’ve witnessed and read about. All allegedly, of course.

  1. The Comment: If you’re reading this, chances are you got a comment on one of your instagram photos. It generally will start with a compliment and then saying something along the lines of the fact you’re been selected to be an affiliate and “work” with them. They ask you to DM or e-mail for more information.
  2. The DM: If you email or DM them, they’ll come back to you with a message almost instantaneously. I believe that a majority of their communications are automated. They are essentially casting out their fishing pole and waiting for some bites. They’ll let you know about the “exclusive” discount you’ll receive if you order, the affiliate code you’ll get and the fact that you will be featured on their profile. I’ve heard that the affiliate code that is passed around is one they share multiple times. Usually those codes are individual to each person so that they receive their cut. I’ve read/heard that a lot of people have not received a cent.) Word to the wise — if it was a legitimate sponsorship/partnership or collaboration, you will NOT be spending money. That should immediately raise a red flag.
  3. The Purchase: If you’ve already gone this far and made a purchase, sorry to say, but you fell for it. You fell for their pitch and their promises. On either site, you’ll see the jewelry or sunglasses. They are sometimes modelled and passed off as “handcrafted” and “handmade” This is part of the facade of quality that they are creating. In fact, most of the items they pass off as being their own designs are available through eBay and alibaba. It doesn’t take long for me to find some styles they are hawking. 
  4. The Questions: So, it’s been 4-8 weeks and you still haven’t received your glasses. Well, here’s the deal. Your item is coming from China and it’s possible that Nora NYC & Mirina are both based there. They have no phone number, no address and seemingly no information other than an e-mail. You’ll get some kind of phony excuse. 
  5. The Product: You’ve received your product. It came in a grey, plastic envelope with a shipping label from china. Packaged on a flimsy card or in a thin, cardboard box. It feels lightweight, it’s falling apart or crooked and you’re unhappy with the product you received. Well, I hate to tell you, but there’s a very good chance it’s made out of cadmium. To reduce costs, cadmium is used because it’s saves money and increases profit margins. Oh, not to mention, it’s EXTREMELY TOXIC.

Instagram is @shopnoranyc

Youtube:

Stories:

Holiday Heights at Bloedel Conservatory

I want to thank the Vancouver Park Board for giving me the chance to attend this beautiful event.

The Bloedel Floral Conservatory first opened it’s doors in 1969 and has been delighting families ever since. It had been an especially long time since I had been – probably over 15 years! I was in awe of the plants and the birds! The gorgeous lights that have been added to make holiday heights come to life. 

We were warmly greeted and asked if we wanted to participate in the scavenger hunt. OF COURSE. No hesitation. Find all the GNOMES?! YES! In case you didn’t know, I love garden gnomes. I think it has to do with my fascination of all things kitsch. 

The birds are stunning and wonderful to see. For me, it evokes memories of my past. I grew up in a house full of pets. One of them was Arthur. Arthur was a blue and gold macaw who absolutely loved my mom. They were inseparable. 

Arthur now lives at the conservatory and I stopped by and talked to him. I could tell that he remembered me. He was family, after all. 

We approached a photo wall, complete with hashtag and beautiful flowers. Couldn’t help but snap some shots! Insta-worthy moment.

I noticed that some of the trees had very eclectic decorations. Shells and other kinds of natural wonder adorning them. Things like this please me because they give me artistic ideas and I love the fact that they are so unique.  

If you want to visit this glowing, tropical attraction that is sure to awe you, all the lovely details can be found here! https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/holiday-heights.aspx

Thanks for reading and have the happiest of holidays!