London, Lists, Lines

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I have returned from London and I feel like I am still getting in the swing of things. When I say swing of things, I mean slowly preparing myself for going back to work. I love working and working hard, but there gets to be a point when the boredom at certain jobs can reach such a level of dullness, it starts to become painful. Wording it like that sounds horrible, but it some positions just don’t work for certain people.

What was a blast was some observations and sketches I made while I was visiting London. I will keep a few to myself, hidden in my notebook only available to those who come by for a coffee. Five for you.

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  1. The toilets are square.Who has a square ass? 
  2. There is a lot of brick. Everywhere. I have never seen so much brick in my life.
  3. The “Tube” is literally the shape of a tube of toothpaste. 
  4. In London, shops look like Ikea. The whole city is a cute hallmark card.
  5. All museums are free. Sold me on the country. 

Japan Sketch Auction: Friends Curry Shop

I will be posting new artwork regularly and will be up for sale 🙂
If anyone happens to be interested, please bid on the Instagram page!

Theo O. threw away his art.

1545587_10151840901075778_903114813_nA couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of being approached by Theo O. I had been in Singapore at the time, and was sitting lonely in a cafe’ on the weekend. I wanted friends, but didn’t feel like I could approach anyone. I was drawing my carrot cake as I was sitting in that cafe’ and looked up at the group of four young university students in front of me, wishing I could be a part of the laughter. I was waiting for the Synagogue on the corner to open. I was excited because I knew I would be able to have the chance to make friends. I would finally meet people.

With these thoughts floating around in my head, I finished the drawing and my eyes scanned the rest of the cafe’. Most people were staring into their cellphones, their studies and laptops. However, there was one person stood out from the group: a guy with dark shades that was scribbling notes into a book. I assumed he was a company worker finishing up extra things after his job. The man lifted his head from his work and faced my direction. He looked at me, and gave me a little hot-shot nod and grin. Automatically I decided that I would be friends with anyone in the shop but him.

I checked the clock on my Itouch. Time for Synagogue! I quickly packed up my art supplies and exited the shop. I walked a couple of minutes down the road to find the building still locked down. Why does it look like it’s closed? I looked though the metal gates and saw a woman in a police uniform and waved at her to come to me. She was a serious yet friendly lady, and I politely asked why everything was still shut up. She informed me that it was very much open, but to my disappointment, guests needed to show their passports to enter for security reasons. I didn’t think of that.

Passport-less, I said thank you to the guard and started walking down the street. I was on the verge of tears when the thought passed through my head: Something good will happen. With that, I quickly regained my composure and wandered back to the cafe’ I was at. I stood outside of the coffee shop for about ten minutes wondering what I should do. Should I walk back home? The family I was staying with dropped me off, and I knew that their house was far. I could wait, but wait and do what?1492637_10151811158320778_1269779749_o

After standing there for a few minutes, I noticed the same hot-shot with the glasses going in and out of the cafe’. What was he doing? I didn’t think too much about it and went back to zoning out. As I was still staring into space, I get a tap on my shoulder and I find Theo O. in front of me introducing himself, asking how my day was going. He looked younger up close and guessed that he was around the same age as me. I was slightly hesitant to make conversation because of preconceived notions, but we got to talking. To my delight, I discovered that he was not doing company work at all, but was sketching. An artist!

We became friends, and I enjoyed meeting him in Singapore. He was my first friend there and I was ecstatic to have another person to talk to. A person that also loved art.

He flipped through his sketchbooks and I got to see his strange drawings and ideas on the paper. He told me that he wouldn’t think about what to draw, but just start and ideas would flow. I asked him how many sketchbooks he had.

Hundreds.

-What do you do with all of them?

After I finish one, I just throw it away.

I was in shock. All of this amazing art, just gone. What was the point? He told me that he could just re-draw everything if he wanted to. He didn’t see it as a waste, but the purpose of art being in the doing and not the keeping the final product.

Uh-huh… but still….

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Though we were only friends for a short time and didn’t keep in touch after Singapore, I appreciated his art and his friendship that day very much. That day changed the course of my trip and of my life. I fell in love with chance and serendipity.

Before we parted ways and left to go back home after Singapore, I was still confused about one thing. It bugged me and I decided to ask him:

-Why did you just come up to a random stranger and introduce yourself? You didn’t know me. 

A little grin formed on his lips he replied,

It just looked like you wanted to talk to me. 🙂

The Japan Cards

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My name is Johnna Slaby and I am a 22-year old watercolor artist based in Nara, Japan.
I started sketching postcards all around the country and sending them off all around the world.

I currently have an Etsy shop online of printed postcards from my sketch travels.

Since I started sketching, my life has changed in many ways. I am so grateful to have experienced so many new things because of art. If you would like to check out the online shop, please click here:

The Japan Cards

If anyone has any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to post and ask!!! Will be looking forward to hearing from you and having your feedback.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheJapanCards

Can’t keep it in.

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When I have this feeling I feel like I can do anything.
When I have this feeling I want to flip the tables and forget about all of the phone calls. I don’t want to think about the 9 to 5s, the To-do lists, the bucket lists and the shopping lists. At times like these I am just excited and want to create. I don’t want to do anything else at times like these. I want to put all I have in my head, the good and the bad, and have it find its way to blank canvas before me. I want to be sucked into the raw act of art and forget where I am, who I am. I want to digest all of my daily experiences through sketches and through my lowly attempts at making the memories last. I want to show them to people and share them to further domino the effect.

I am just too excited now to keep it all in.

The Train Stories: No Sleep

photo-120“There is no sleep in this life” is what I wrote next to this image that I drew sometime back. We are constantly moving. Constantly changing. Constantly trying to better ourselves while failing twice as much.  Today I came across two quotes that stood out to me.  One from the movie, “The Chosen”. A beautiful movie. In the film, the father is working hard on his project,  and his son wants him to rest. With that, the father replies, “Only a life of meaning is worthy of rest”. That hit me. He is pushing himself to the limit and fighting for what he believes in. What does my life mean? I am here complaining about things with no depth while I could be working harder. Along with that quote I found one by Leonardo Da Vinci: ” I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have”. With those two stuck in my head, I feel ashamed. It is too easy for me to slack off and not do anything. I can only hope that someday I will be worthy of my rest.