Christina Kwan / tide & bloom


this is serious, y’all

So remember that whole “my heart is winning” thing I just posted? Well in less than 12 hours, it went from winning to completely wanting to back out of the fight. That’s right. This post is being written right now in real time and I will be publishing it immediately for the whole internetz to see. Why would I post such a negative attitude, you ask? Why even write this at all? Because “beauty” isn’t one-note and to remain beautiful, I want to present a real version of myself – a version that is truthful and multi-dimensional.

The best and most inspiring days would never happen or feel nearly as exuberant if I didn’t have days where I felt like I wanted to disappear. The mix of creativity and ambition is like a disease, really. Or a psychological disorder. One of my former bosses labeled it as “divine discontent” (not sure if it’s something he read or came up with himself). I believe that I’ve suffered from this my entire life; the condition in which the force that drives you to reach for more is also what holds you back because you believe/know that nothing will actually make you feel satisfied or content. This always comes to me in form of the phrase “I want everything and nothing at the same time”.

While this is one of my downfalls, it’s also the thing that will bring me back up. And I’m sure at some point soon, back down again. But I’m only human and so I want you to know that this is what happens in my life. I’m sure it happens in yours as well, right?

warming up

Every now and then I’m confident enough to call myself an artist (as you saw by my last post). It’s been a lifelong war waged between my head and heart, trying to decide on what type of compromise to make in order to stay grounded and practical while still satisfying the urge to create things. For now, the heart is winning and I really hope it’ll stay that way.


The only thing left to do is begin. 

My name is Christina and I am an artist.

Hello there. My name is Christina Kwan. Nicknames usually refer to my last name like Kwannie, Madame Kwan, Obikwan… you get the gist. I’m a quarter century old (gulp) and trying to find – or more like create – a place for myself in the world.

At the core of my being, I am an artist. I have always had the inexplicable urge to create things and art class was hands-down my favorite part of school at every stage in my life. Now that I’m older and maybe just a tad wiser, I’ve realized that this is never going to go away because I always come back to beauty. It’s what I want more than anything, in everything I do. So instead of trying to fit myself into the professional career box, I’ve decided to accept my fate and pursue it with all the dedication that I would give to any other opportunity.

Beginning this blog went hand in hand with the decision to get back into making artwork. The words “tide” and “bloom” made sense to me as a description for the constant ebb, flow, and growth we all experience in our day-to-day lives. It is this push, this instinctual desire to move forward, that has brought me here.

Tide & bloom is a space to share and inspire creativity, in all forms that reveal themselves to me and you. I’m most inspired by natural wonders, culinary delights, thoughtful films, charming abodes, and of course other creative individuals. It’s my hope that reading this will be like reading letters from a dear friend or colleague and that it might motivate you to seek beauty in your own life and pursue the dreams you didn’t think possible.

thank you atlanta

After days on end of grey skies and cold rain, moving out west begins to seem more and more attractive. But then Atlanta throws one of its curve balls and gives us a bright sunny Spring day and I can’t imagine being happy anywhere else.

Spring florals-2a

Spring florals-1a


my day with the general

With Atlanta finally starting to thaw from what feels like the longest winter in history, my beloved boyfriend and I decided it was the perfect time to make another addition to our roster of favorite local eateries. At the top of our “must-try” list was The General Muir – a newcomer claiming to be a truly authentic Jewish NY-style deli slash cafe slash bakery. We had been salivating over the menu, complete with all of my boyfriend’s (he knows a thing or two about being Jewish) expectations of such a deli, and couldn’t wait to see if it could live up to our standards.

General Muir-1a

The General Muir sits at the end of Emory Point, a retail strip on a street not too dissimilar from the bigger and better-known Atlantic Station. The area has a handful of cute boutiques (yes, I made purchases) and is super convenient to, you guessed it, Emory and the CDC. Parking was easy with a first-2-hrs-free deck and everything was boding well as we walked into the restaurant.

General Muir-3a

The charming décor set a nostalgic tone without being in-your-face. The atmosphere was welcoming and we were happy to be seated and served promptly.

General Muir-4a

Without needing to see the menu,

robot & frank

So many lovely movies slip quietly under the radar that it blows my mind, particularly when I get caught in a YouTube hole of watching indie movie trailers. Robot & Frank is one such example of a film that deserves a closer look.


Set in the not too distant future we meet Frank, an elderly man whose routine includes sugary cereal for breakfast and daily visits to the library (with printed material on the brink of extinction). The conflict begins when