photo of various plotter drawings hung on wall

It’s been a year since I last blogged. Here are some things I’ve been up to. All photos and comics are my own.

Moved to NYC

I made the move from Singapore to NYC! This had been a long time coming, and it was good to be back since my Recurse Center batch. It felt like a small homecoming.

home workspace in Singapore 2017 workspace in Singapore

Saying goodbye was bittersweet. I built a life in Singapore. I made friends that I miss today.

goodbye singapore... holy shit i'm moving to new york!

But it was time to move on. And it was an exciting time.

making a place feel like home with rituals like flowers, tea, incense and music. sketch of people on a subway.

Brooklyn is my home now. NYC is as gritty and hectic as I remembered it, but I think I’ve made my home here. I’ve lived in 5 different cities over the last 5 years, which means I’ve moved around a lot. Every move is an opportunity to start with a blank slate. It’s hard to build from scratch, but little rituals make it easy.

home workspace in Brooklyn

2018 vibes in Brooklyn

Started keeping houseplants

my plant covered desk at work. small trees and ferns by my window at home.

I started putting more effort into houseplant care. I used to have a few small ones in Singapore, but I never took proper care of them. Spending some time to research plant care and to be patient with them paid off in the most wonderful ways. There’s something fulfilling about caring for another living being.

I drew a short comic about the experience for Inktober 2018.

For the curious, the maidenhair fern in question is doing quite well now, thank you.

Experienced many art museums

Being in NYC put me in close proximity with a lot of wonderful art museums. Been thinking a lot about evoking emotion with simple forms, light, and colors.

large steel torus with a small opening to light light sculpture with blue and yellow lights in a triangle configuration Photo of man wearing papier mache mask of a computer monitor, sitting in front of a CRT TV.

clockwise from top left: Torus by Richard Serra at Dia:Beacon, Dan Flavin at St. Louis Art Museum, Reconstruction 7 by Jim Campbell at the Whitney, Projects 108 by Gauri Gill at MoMA PS1.

Much love to all the people who brought me to these magical places.

Made plotter drawings

Argulably one of the most exciting tools I have had the pleasure of working with, the Axirdraw V3/A3 plotter. A plotter is basically a drawing machine. You can give it a SVG and a pen and let it do its thing. Something about watching a work created in the digital realm come to realization in the material world is quite delightful to watch.

geometric plot with pink and black linesplotter drawing of nested geometric shapesphoto of various plotter drawings hung on wall

It was interesting learning to work with SVGs. I’d been so use to canvas style drawing via p5.js that it took awhile for me to think in terms of vector units. I made a simple interface to output in both SVG and p5 canvas.

Struggled a bunch

The year wasn’t without it’s fair share of struggles. I make comics as a way to cope with them. Here are a couple:

not good enough to call myself an artist, but not bad enough to ironically call self a bad artist. comic about the high cost of starting a new tech project.

I’m still figuring out how to be at peace with all the not-so-good work I’ll have to produce before it starts getting good. Like with programming, I don’t think there are any shortcuts to getting good at comics or drawing. It’s a whole lot of practice, but intentional practice.

Practicing the balance between working hard, but not too much that you burn out.

comic about having someone coming home and being around them makes you feel better

And sometimes, it just helps to have someone be there for you. Thank you, you know who you are :)

Thank you

For reading, and I hope you enjoyed this visual update.

As per my annual tradition, here is my self-portrait of the year. I got new glasses :)

self portrait for 2018

Hope to see you in 2019!

-Sher Minn