drawing my future

It’s been almost three full years since I’ve graduated, and almost three years since I’ve made any “works of art”. I’ve always been my harshest critic when it comes to producing work so I’m constantly having to tell myself that it’s okay to ease back into it. It’s okay to do a little bit at a time.


The most difficult obstacle for me is that I can visualize greatness in my mind and it always ends up feeling so far away.

lines to live by

NPR has kicked off their “exploration of the changing lives of women” by asking one of their founding mothers what sort of advice she would give to her younger self. The article has of course ignited a plethora of comments containing valuable advice from the readership. Here are a few lines that I personally need to remember:

Worry more about what you think about yourself than what other people think about you.

Sometimes being honest is more important than being nice.

Speak up, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and own your successes and failures.

Acquire experiences over possessions.

Be who you wish to be in the world and recognize that you are responsible for this choice.

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.