Life and its many victories: the story of Artist J.A. Tan

The Artist.

The Artist.

J.A. held his brush as if it were a talisman and an extension of himself.

He then let the colours cascade on canvass, while the camera panned alternately to his hand, his brush, his face. He was immersed in the moment, caught in the words he was trying to speak.

It was at once stark and beautiful.

The video, shown to me after the interview, was made by J.A.’s brother, Thomas, a screenwriter by profession, and it spoke of J.A.’s journey, of his autism, of his art. Of how everything was difficult but perfect for J.A., because he found a way to speak his truth.


Granville Island boasts of “fine waterfront restaurants, theatres, galleries, studios, unique shops, cafes and the most spectacular fresh food market you’ve ever seen.” It is infused with colour and energy and showcased Vancouver’s sea to sky magnificence.

It is also a hotbed for art.

For Jose Antonio “J.A.” Tan, however, it is a sanctuary. It is there—at the Saltwater Studios off of Duranleau Street in Granville—that he spends his days speaking his mind through expressions/explosions of wonder and beauty.

To him, it was the flowing water that surrounds Granville, which one could barely hear in the distance, that soothed him best (the False Creek Inlet was few steps, in fact, from his studio) and allows him to bring to life his inner world.

Continue reading →

The Launch: Eco Things – Creativity in Harmony with Nature

For a Greener World

From eco things.

Jump-start summer with a fun and unique event: eco things’ Make Your Own Notebook.

eco things specializes in eco-printed products, uses 100% recyclable materials, such as recycled paper, soy ink, and water-based glue, and strives to reduce its  carbon footprint in every stage of the production process.

Make Your Own Notebook, the eco things launch activity, will be on Saturday, April 16, 2011, at The Rockwell Club.  During the event, guests of all ages can create their very own eco-notebook from post-consumer recycled paper and recyclable materials.

Continue reading →

When I Manned the Store

The Art of Selling

The first time I manned a store – I think I was 14 at that time (maybe) – I chased the customer away.

Yes, I had one customer.  Because my mom would not let me talk to any other customer after that.  I think.  (my recollection is a little hazy)

We were selling batik clothes and some imported goods in a dry good stall and I was being very enterprising, butting in the conversation, giving the one customer (a man, I think) this option and that.  He almost bought something but I think he got confused because I kept showing him stuff after stuff. (giggles)

He left without buying anything and I was kind-of blamed.  I never really tried to sell after that.

But last weekend, I had to.

Continue reading →

Greening of the Soul

Green Your Soul

Everyone feels it.

The earth is no longer young.  Its resources are no longer inexhaustible.  Temperatures are rising.  Entire species are disappearing.

Just yesterday, everyone cavorted in clean, sparkling water, drenched themselves in sunshine, fished an abundant ocean, breathed air that is fresh, harvested a generous, bountiful earth.

Something happened between the space of yesterday and today

Mother earth was taken for granted, and overtaken (over taken) by human greed.

Continue reading →

Invitation to An Exhibit

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

A shameless plug.  Hubby’s painting is part of a traveling exhibit entitled Icons of Rock, the Birth of Legends.  His painting of Freddie Mercury will be exhibited at the following locations:

May 14 – 18            Ricco-Renzo Gallery

May 21 – 25            Ricco-Renzo Gallery

May 28 – June 1      SM Southmall

June 4 – 8               SM Marikina

June 11 – 15            SM Batangas

June 18 – 22           SM Manila

June 25 – 29           SM Taytay

July 2 – 6                SM Clark

July 19 – 23            SM Megamall

Continue reading →