#VCLR Ashley Spires Illustrator Breakfast

I enjoyed Ashley Spires talk about her work at the Vancouver Children’s Literature Round Table Illustrator Breakfast. Her passion for creating books was inspiring. She admitted to emotional ups and downs depending on how well her work goes. Her experiences finding and sharing her personal truth and working with artistic integrity. She seems to be a driven sort of person. She pushed herself to get the training she needed to be a book illustrator, put in a lot of work to strengthen her chops. Maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to up my game.

Beautiful Brain

The Belkin gallery at UBC had a exhibition called The Beautiful Brain, featuring drawings by Spanish neuroscience pioneer Santiago Ramon y Cajal, who won the Nobel Prize in 1906. This collection of eighty ink drawings show remarkable detail, and reflect his developing understanding of neurons, back when it was not clear that neurons were even a thing. His visual explorations are him thinking about what he has seen  through a microscope with innovative stain techniques. I could not really absorb it all, but I was intrigued by this demonstration of drawing as thinking and science in action.


I attended the opening reception for Literasian, a celebration of Asian Canadian writers. They were also distributing an anthology of Asian Canadian writing, which I helped fund through their Kickstarter campaign. It is fun to know a few people at these things now, so I am starting to feel a part of a more intimate, supportive community. I find it helpful for building confidence in your writing, which can be an isolated endeavour. Even literary superstar Madeleine Thien has acknowledged the encouragement of Jim Wong Chu, the spiritual leader of Asian Canadian Writers Workshop, who passed away earlier this year.