The CreativeLife Podcast Ep.6: Ann “A’misa” Chiu, Art Heart and Zine Fiend [Download] [Stream]
Episode 6-Ann “A’misa” Chiu
What does it really take to make the practice of art-making into a way of life? Ann Chiu has some answers, and it involves LOTS of glitter.
At least that’s what she said off-microphone recently about her latest obsession.
Ann, or A’misa her artistic alter ego, credits Enid from the graphic novel Ghost World as the high school role model that launched her evolution into an art-committed life. One session of blue hair dye and a pair of combat boots later, Ann officially staked her claim on an independent high school identity. Who knew that deep down inside this Japanese American, South Bay Los Angeles native was really a young angsty jewish girl?
Ann and Jenny share a few things in common. They both went to North High School in Torrance and were “really” into Student Council. They take a walk down memory lane, and discuss how their high school experiences shaped both their Asian American and creative identities.
Jenny attempts to uncover how exactly one grows from deep suburban Asian American roots to become a yarn-bombing, collage-crafting, daily-writing zine publisher who cites Yuri Kochiyama and the Black Power movement as key influences.
They talk zine culture, finding community through coffee, blogging and self-publishing, how to fit all that art into a single week and the grand master plan to culturally reconquer the South Bay into the vibrant Asian American/multiracial art scene that it always wanted to be.
Episode 6 Community Sponsor: Eyeball Burp is a tightly-edited dose of art and creativity, lovingly handcrafted by the wife and husband team of Ann “A’misa” Chiu and Alex Chiu. From their website:
Founded in 2008, by artists a’misa & alex chiu, Eyeball Burp is a cultural outlet that features the nooks and crannies of the art world.
This episode features the music of Serengeti and Hi-Fidel’s rap/electronica/pop collaboration Friday Night (breakfast records). Songs featured include Float from their Saturday Night album (2010), and Again and Again, Str8 2 Voicemail, and Down on the Corner off their self-titled debut album (2008).
- A’misa and Alex Chiu’s Eyeball Burp zine and blog
- A’misa’s art and blog: Colorish Dreams
- blacklava.net – another South Bay Asian American resource/further evidence of awesome creative reconquering of the South Bay.
- Ghost World (the movie | the graphic novel)
- Yuri Kochiyama – human rights activist and Nisei Japanese American
- Warren Furutani – California State Assembly Representative (55th District)
- Ira Glass Quote on working your creative craft:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
— Ira Glass
And when you’re done listening to it…leave a comment at the end of this post, or on iTunes. Send me your feedback and comments! What did you like about the interview? What did you learn that you hadn’t thought about before? What was something that you wanted to learn more about the creative process? What question were you DYING for me to ask but I never did!?