I In my previous life (prior to law school), I had a very creative period where I self-published 2 children's stories, and completed 2 collections of paintings.
My first collection of paintings called, The Escapist Art Collection, was inspired by my dead end job in an office. After college, I needed to pay bills and took the first job that came along. It just so happened that I met amazing friends many of who were artistic as well. These artsy friends encouraged me to express myself through art and writing. So I did :)
The second collection of paintings called, The Smiles Collection, was inspired by my challenge to myself. To take the focus away from landscapes and windows, and turn the focus on faces. So I decided to focus on smiles in particular many of which made me happy just creating.
Wanna take a look? Check them all out on my painting blog page:
Just a few below:
Being from San Francisco, I paint the City by the Bay often. Here is a tote bag with one of my many San Francisco paintings:
I grew up in San Francisco :) Surrounded by friends of multiple cultures, exotic food, and eclectic entertainment. San Francisco will also have a special place in my heart for empowering me to think openly and bravely.
In addition, I grew up knowing that my people are Polynesian because my father is Samoan and my mom is Tongan. As a result, I feel tethered to the South Pacific in a spiritual sense which means that I'm never lost because my identity works as a compass. Because I know who I am, and where I come from, I have the confidence to travel very far.
To no surprise, when I began painting - and I'm self-taught - a Polynesian flavor popped up despite my American upbringing.
For instance, in my "Water Window" painting, I tried to snapshot a village in the distance from a surfer's point of view. Check it out:
In another painting, I tackled the subject of Akaka Waterfalls which I enjoyed visiting when I lived on the Big Island. After growing up in San Francisco, I knew that I had to live in the Pacific in order to blossom. The journey was so worth it! Hawai'i challenged me in ways I didn't expect and didn't know I was capable of meeting head on. Here is the "Waterfall" painting:
Last but not least, below is my painting that marries my identity as a Polynesian and as an American. I call it, "San Francisco Jungle" because the title and subject captures my eclectic upbringing. Although it's a concrete jungle, the locals - like my family - keep the city exotic and fresh.
Welcome to my blog, Ruby's Daydreams. My name is Ruby, and I'm a Polynesian writer and artist from San Francisco.
Having been born and raised in the bay area, I am very Californian. Many of my favorite artists, writers, comedians, are American.
At the same time, my parents' pacific cultures retain a strong influence on me. My Samoan dad and my Tongan mother (who has Fijian heritage) raised me to practice pacific values for community support, family responsibilities, and church. So while I was born and raised in the American diaspora, the diaspora is Not all I know.
You can see the influence of both American and Islander cultures in my art and writing:
My first collection of paintings (windows) has a lot of water, beach, ocean, tropical flavors. Three of those paintings are based on San Francisco.
The second collection of paintings (smiles) were based on faces. Some of those faces are American celebrities.
I tend to write Parables that I repackage as children stories because I like discussing life lessons and illustrating them in simple forms.
My first original children story (Maka and the Impossible) is based on my Polynesian American experience in higher education. It's kind of American Dream meets The Alchemist. It's a parable of Ambition. The character, "Maka", traveled further than I have, but I hope to catch up with his big dreaming.
The second original children story (The Offputting Duckling) was influenced by my hometown of San Francisco. It's a parable of Nonconformity. I took the old story of The Ugly Duckling, and asked the question: What if the duckling never grew up to become beautiful? What if the ugly duckling stayed ugly? This train of thought leads to self-celebration, self-acceptance, and self-love. Some of us blossom on the outside (like the swan character in the original story of the ugly duckling), and some of us blossom on the inside (which I think is a more beautiful story to explore).
I use my writing and art to talk about experiences from a Polynesian American perspective.