SO you take it upon yourself to judge the content of someone’s heart without ever having the chance to rip open a chest to peer inside. Instead you look at the way their arms flail or their facial expression, the way they extend a hand or recoil in fear. On a bench or through a friend of a friend, you decide on which adjectives you’ll use to describe this heart.

You decide that:

the heart is open, the heart is cold, the heart is kind, the heart is distant, the heart is hardened, the heart is shut-off, the heart is readable, the heart is murky, the heart is big. The heart is stony. The heart is a million things except for what it simply is: a heart.

It never occurs to you that: maybe we’re all just wasting our time trying to superimpose these value judgments on an organ. But that doesn’t stop us.


Two Paths Diverged | Daily Art

may 1st

The road not taken, Robert Frost.

5.1.18| Daily Art

may 2nd


Violet wash.

5.2.18| Daily Art

may 5th

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

5.3.18| Daily Art

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Doodling designs for you, coolpeppermint: blog, creative outlet, little corner of the Internet.

5.4.18| Daily Art

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Playing with colors, art therapy.

5.5.18 & 5.6.18| Daily Art

Nebulous Nebula | Daily Art

Here’s a clean compilation of daily art posts that I did between April 1st to 14th. I’m trying something new out for the month, an idea I’ve been toying with since March–instead of churning out a sketch per day, I’ll be posting a weekly post on Sunday.

april 1st

Missed deadlines. You know the way water suddenly stimulates creativity and forgotten reminders? This was one. I missed the design deadline. And it’s been on my mind.

4.1.18 | Daily Art

april 2ndd

Crooning mellow tunes, soul’s skyrocket to fame banking on the nostalgic dust-coated memories of an idyllic high school days. We’re just like that one song, young, dumb and broke, except we’re not broke, just young and dumb. 

Khalid’s been playing on repeat, from early AM origami folding to concentrated midday digital doodles to nighttime vibes.Numbers saved lest one day you chalk up the pride to come back and say hi. Tell me where your love lies, love lies.

4.2.18 | Daily Art

april 5th

If I had a spirit cartoon, it’d probably be Diane Nguyen from Bojack Horseman.

Diane’s this smart and nerdyish character who’s into writing (she’s penning Bojack’s bibliography) and third wave feminism and books. Not one for social gatherings. Freaks out when her husband throws parties and does wild gestures. Hates surprises. Is a “misunderstood intellectual.” On the stubborn side. Quiet. 

Granted, I’m not Diane Nguyen–it’s just that, of all my favorite cartoon characters, I identify with her most. I love Stewie, but I can’t identify with Stewie; Louise Belcher is great, but more adorably conniving than I could imagine; Rick Sanchez is a wild, slightly sociopathic genius, but he’s a kind of his own. Ah! Diane it is. 

4.5.18 | Daily Art

april 6th

You learn to curse on the playground. You’re doing cartwheels to synchronize to songs by the Cheetah Girls. Everyone’s got their legs and back straight, pinwheels dancing on rubber nuggets.

Meanwhile, you’re spitting shit so it rolls off your tongue, easy, and when your substitute teacher compares you to the dark-haired girl in Peanuts, you say, talk to the hand. And when your second grade best friend stares at you wide-eyed, incredulous, you laugh.

If every petal was one bad word, another angsty thought. That’s a lot of angsty thoughts.

4.6.18 | Daily Art


Lo and behold, a watercolor watermelon.

4.7.18 | Daily Art


There are no mountains where I live. Nor are there cherry blossoms. But this image, of flowers in bloom, nature’s puff, of tiny yellow homes by the mountainside, struck nuggets of peace in my heart.

The city, in contrast, is so loud. Angry hum of bus engines, people scuttling around, loud. Cars on concrete continually. Whirs and roars and squeals and squeaks. Chorus of ambulance sirens every. half. hour. Sounds I tune out over time. But in the morning, when I tried a solid minute of meditation, all I could hear was the din I’d learned to shut out.

Madness. I’m channeling nature instead, albeit in 2D illustrations.

4.8.18 | Daily Art


Sometimes I’ll feel little spurts of gratitude–this time, it was for the closest people in my life. Ah! What are you grateful for?

4.9.18 | Daily Art


A nebula of nebulous thoughts, decisions, plans–or lack thereof. Of paths less traveled, of roads well-worn.

One day, it’ll seem so obvious–an epiphany, albeit late, will hold the answer to every qualm. The next day, one naysaying opinion in the middle of design will cast long shadows of doubt.

Nebula, nebulous. In looking ahead, I can opt either to diverge, or to trudge upwards. But towards what?

4.10.18 | Daily Art

A visual attestment to the importance of brows. This is a late-night sketch of a random girl, whose face I merged graphite with digital medium. Toyed around with the brows for kicks and giggles. Same image, parallel face;
she looks (subtly) different!

4.11.18  & 4.12.18 | Daily Art

april 13

I asked my boyfriend from caption ideas. “Beauty covers beauty,” he suggested. Like: Beauty over beauty. Beauty superimposed upon beauty. Beauty of nature. Beauty of reflections.

4.13 & 4.14


april 4th

Reading people. Like gleaning thin-slices. Like data points, which intuition pieces together to form a coherent, if oddly specific, understanding. A few looks, then a silent bombardment of insight.

The feisty girl in engineering with the short brown hair? She’s done hard drugs. Comes up to me, strikes up a conversation, throws in her experience with shrooms. Didn’t like them. The brunette Barbie-looking girl in class who’s only ever sounded politically neutral? Jewish, wealthy, aspires to be a Fox anchor. Canvassed for the Trump campaign, wrote about it. Interned at Fox last summer. The Caucasian man in the baggy jeans and blue hat? Patient and kind and real enough to straddle the racial line, but not without having to face shit for it.

It’s like that one quote by Roald Dahl:

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

It’s the same idea. That people’s thoughts, and experiences, are woven into the way they are, the way they present themselves, the way they act. That it’s all, quite literally, etched on their faces. You can sense it, from the way people talk, the way they walk, the way they wear their hair.

It sounds an awful lot like just judging people, but it goes beyond that. The thing is, peopleus, me, you–aren’t as opaque as we imagine. People are complex, which is to say that plots–good ones, at least–are oft filled with loopholes and conflicts and unexpected twists. But there’s always an overarching plot, a “what’s-this-about?” book summary in the Goodreads section.

When it comes to certain details about ourselves, or even lived experiences–we often broadcast much more than we’d like to admit.

4.4.18 | Daily Art


art girl anger resentment painting watercolor

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Grudges are remarkably resilient things.

As are resentment, bitterness, and all of anger’s cousins. They’re the little creatures you hold inside, the red rectangular ones (Inside Out, anyone?), who wreak havoc and throw shit at fans. They stew and stew and stew. They simmer. Time presses onwards, like hardening cement, spinning amalgamation of u g l i n e s s.

It’s better for them to be expressed than repressed, I think. Let it out!…or let it go. (With a great deal of patience, I imagine) And of course, that is easier said than done.

3.12.18 | Daily Art

Glassy Eyes, Open Hearts

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Even though sadness has a way of alienating you, it also has a way of ripping every wall down because anything else feels hollow. Because then you’re forced to be vulnerable, pushed to connect with people. And then they must mean something to you. And then, anywhere you go afterwards, you carry bits and pieces of each other because that’s just how it works. ’tis the power of vulnerability–of glassy eyes and open hearts.

January 2018 | Daily Art

Here: a roundup of all my daily art entries for the month! From cotton candy skies to landscape doodles to opinion pieces nobody asked for, this month’s pieces reflect this month’s day-to-day. I rejoined the news writing and photography team at the newspaper–I joined illustration (!) I tried wine & cheese, done properly, for the first time.

I spent the first three weeks of January bumbling around, meeting new people and seeing old friends, etc. Being social in the busy bee talkative-as-ever way. I had no qualms calling up complete strangers I’d added only five minutes prior on FB (which I momentarily activated just for this phone call, where I hunted down strangers) for an interview.

And I didn’t mind step-dancing around and laughing and joking with strangers. Or going to friends’ houses or making new friends at birthday dinners or chatting up on politics with more strangers at debates. Or, in other words, doing extraverted and chatty and exhaustive things.

I mean, the exhausting part caught up within a few weeks–the familiar intense urge to hide-out to come over me. So I retreated into my cozy introverty den, a warm shell carved out for occasions just like this. A space to recharge, recharge, recharge.



At eleven I was enamored by sunsets—wash of pinkish orange, streaks of yellow, fading violet in the sky. The byproduct of our pollution, I read somewhere. Happy-go-lucky as ever, I found the silver lining: look at how beautiful human destruction can be.

1.1.18 | Daily Art



Cotton candy skies. That’s what the Youtube tutorial was called, at least, but my clouds look less like cotton candy and more like chewed-up Skittles hovering above spilled berry juice.

1.2.18 | Daily Art


A sky full of stars….

1.3.18 | Daily Art


Chorizo empanadas. Broken bulbs. James Dean. Frayed posters. Home theatre. Vanilla milkshake. Bundt cakes. Tush shakes. Awkward Juans (ones).

1.4.18 | Daily Art


During the day we went to the mall, chowed down on the savory and sweet. At Paciugo, I mixed Coconut gelato with Fruity Tutti for a light, beachy taste, sweet and tangy. I kept imagining the store would one day market the stellar combination, serve it to vacation-going gelato aficionados.

Afterwards we meandered around, stopping by the fountain, a restaurant, a bohemian overpriced home-and-dress shop. The handmade soaps store, less crowded, seemed smaller.

In the afternoon we split a shaved ice milk tea. Initially, it tasted like cold sand that’d melt into your mouth and turn into watery milk ice cream. The owner plucked in an ice cream fish, a sweet pastry stuffed with vanilla ice cream. On the house, she chirped.

Afterwards, we ate dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, where we sat across a massive fake tree and by long tables of families and co-workers. I finished my meal off with a strawberry daiquiri, texted several belated thanks, and cozied up at home.

1.5.18 | Daily Art




1.6.18 | Daily Art



Everybody wants to be a cat!…cause a cat is a cat who knows where he’s at.

When I was four I memorized the lyrics to the song Cats and creeped around singing it at the top of my lungs.

1.7.18 | Daily Art


city.jpgHome. A lot less metropolitan than this painting would lead you to think. Quieter, too. Sweet, occasionally suffocating, suburbia. To be honest, it wasn’t until I left home that I realized all the things to do and places to go there were. The neighborhoods, niche cafes, art, museums, pockets of entertainment.

1.8.18| Daily Art


purple blossoms

Purpley non-depiction of my surroundings. It’d snowed the day before. By the time I returned, there were layers and lumps of unmelted snow outside, piles muddied with dirt.

1.9.18| Daily Art

jan 10.jpg

Branching leaves, creeping tendrils, wash of blue ivy.

1.10.18| Daily Artjan 11

jan 11 second

As I took this photo (reference) with its snaking telephone wires and pointed cathedral towers and cyan blue skies, I thought to myself: I am happy to be here.

1.11.18| Daily Art

jan 12

Quick snapshots of the walkway.

1.12.18| Daily Art

jan 13

At the art museum, which I’ve wanted to visit for years, we passed by a few Degas works, angry charcoal sketches of ballerina dancers, juxtaposed against the many Renoirs littering the place. Renoir’s style was pasty and smooth, countless pastelly depictions of all-American blue-eyed little girls in blouses by the sea. Degas, on the other hand, had a fervent, loose and expressive style. I found myself sailing back to the previous rooms to get a better look at Degas.

Other things I noticed about the artists in the collection: Picasso’s earlier works, from his 20’s, were smooth and realistic–it wasn’t until much later that his pieces devolved into abstractions and shapes, none of which impressed 5 year old me. Van Gogh’s style’s similar to Degas–raw and vivid.’ Matisse’s work, although done in oil, looked watered down, almost acrylic; many of Matisse’s figures had eyes that bugged out and lined eyebrows.

The night before, SG dragged me out  I’d gone to take a mini-lesson in Latin and Ballroom dancing. It was surprisingly fun, a lot of basic rhythm and stamping around in the right direction. So consider this charcoal painting of a dancer an attempt at conveying both the art museum (Degas!) and the dance event.

1.13.18| Daily Art


Warmer days, warmer days. I’m dreaming of warmer days.

On an unrelated note, it’s National Squirrel Appreciation Day! Feed a local squirrel.

1.14.18| Daily Art

jan 15

It’s been about a year since I’ve done photojournalism, picked up an assignment at the newspaper. So it felt like relief/excitement/exhilaration (or all!) to photograph tonight’s candlelight vigil. I tag-teamed the assignment with JS, another Associate Photo Editor from way back in the day. Got to know the new editors a bit better, too, and when we pulled up Notes to write a caption, the last post had been mine–written in November 2015!

All of this is just one convoluted way of saying: it feels good to be photographing again, and to be at the newspaper.

1.15.18 | Daily Art



Belladonna–a poison women used to dot in their eyes to make their pupils look wider, so they’d appear more attractive.

1.16.18| Daily Art


jan 17

First newspaper illustration!

Guess who’s illustrating at the newspaper? -raises fork- I’ve always wanted to draw for the newspaper but never got around to applying. An art project mention (from a friend, a past associate editor!) and design editor-meeting later, I’m finally illustrating for the paper!

1.17.18| Daily Art

jan 18th

1) perfectly golden brown
triple stacked grilled
cheese sandwiches

2) water fountains that dispel water that isn’t
metallicy or tap watery but is
instead, properly filtered
and clean
and clear (not like the cosmetic brand, more like
the way water should be)

3) best friends who, 4 years prior, demanded
commitment–not a monday, wednesday
friendship, okay? but, like, Friendship
like 8 missed calls Friendship–and with whom you vibe with because
vibes are
so important

1.18.18| Daily Art



Rosé all day–

Wine, meats, toast and cheeses, set out neatly on a beige platter. Plate of strawberries and macarons on the side. Not from the upscale fine-dining restaurant downtown, but from CL’s apartment–that’s right, she set this up herself (!)

1.19.18| Daily Art


1.20.18| Daily Art

jan 21

I’m usually not superstitious, but a handful of eerily accurate fortune cookies in 2014 convinced me the cookies were onto something.

But–and this was the caveat– they were only accurate when the lady with the short hair and ringing voice and glasses handed them to us.

In the years since, I’ve visited the restaurant a lot less, cracked fewer fortune cookies. I stopped by recently and the waiter threw in an extra one, the one at the bottom. Not the same lady as the one from 2014, so I don’t ascribe the same fortune-ess powers, but who knows?

Maybe a new voyage will fill my life with untold memories.

1.21.18| Daily Art

jan 24.png

That’s just the wave…

1.24.18| Daily Art

jan 25.jpg

I wrote an article on an event going on in this grand Hogwartsy room, with its arched walls and vaulted ceilings. I thought about sketching out the event, but the setting–decorative, grand, Harry Potterish–really made it, I think.

1.25.18| Daily Art

jan 26.jpg

The idea of the city as bustling and alive and empty and slow stemmed from a 5th grade school teacher, Mr. David, who was was wiry and tall, with edges like a bendy metal ruler. He spoke dreamily about urban paradoxes and told us—wee 10 yr olds—not to fuck with ouji boards.

1.26.18| Daily Art



1.29.18| Daily Art

Every few months, I’ll get the itch to lop off some hair. Sometimes it’ll starts to feel a little long. Or heavy. Or unhealthy, splits-endy, riddled with brassy blonde forks. Or, as in the case of 2016, my hair dryer will simply break in the middle of February, coldest time of year, and I’ll be too lazy to buy a new one, so I’ll cut off my hair instead.

This time, though, it just spun too many times when I bunn’ed it over my head. The ends felt speckled and dry and fried, probably from all the hydrogen peroxide I doused it in over the summer. It just felt weird. Too long. Too light. Too dry. So I cut off four inches–a pretty moderate snip, if you know me.

Last time, I went overboard, chopped off a layer so short it hung parallel to my ear.

It feels short and clean and healthy right now. The ends are dark, the way they should be, and not forked or fried at the ends. I thinned out my hair as well but it feels the right amount of thick, enough to keep my scalp warm (I hope), but not so thick I feel like a tree.

Since I was already on the grooming train, I figured I’d do my eyebrows as well. So I threaded those bad boys. My skin above my brow’s burning a little now.

1.30.18| Daily Art

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Fun fact: Canada Goose jackets are made from the fur of coyotes that’ve been killed and skinned. The coyotes often end up being “shot, stomped on, or bludgeoned to death.” Yet in our avid status seeking, we buy the bloodstained product in hordes.

This is what I’m trying to figure out: do people know what the jackets are made of? Or are we too blinded by elitism, conformity, and status-seeking to care?

1.31.18 | Daily Art