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paperlings in the press

This year, I'm coming to understand how helpful it can be to set goals and intensions in a much more open, kind way that ends up inspiring me much further.

At the start of 2023, I watched a thoughtful video on goal-setting by Mimimoo Illustration where Mimi talked about focusing on desired outcomes, and separating these from the goal itself. She sees goals as things we want to achieve and actively work toward, and outcomes as results we hope for that lie outside our control.

When I set a goal to "be published in a magazine this year," my achievement of this goal is not entirely up to me and if it doesn't happen, it's so easy for me to become disheartened or feel as though I've failed my goal.

With Mimi's approach, my intention shifts to, "I'd like to submit work to more publications this year." This simple reframe (oh the power of language!) helps me to focus on the part I can control (submitting work) and what will move me towards the outcome I hope for without setting it up as a pass/fail goal.

Submitting to artist open calls is something I'm very much new to, but it's something I want to do more often because it aligns with things I love: reading publications and visiting gallery shows. It'd be meaningful to be able to participate in a new capacity, as an artist.

I've been gently easing myself into it this year, gradually learning how to discern which opportunities align with my work and interests, and what to expect in the way of submission requirements and processes. As new opportunities arise, I find myself dropping them onto my calendar for whenever time, energies, and current makings conjoin. Each time I go through a submission process, I learn something new and my confidence grows, bit by bit.

This June, one of my collaged found word poems was featured in the inaugural issue of Photosynthesis Magazine in digital and print formats. As I wait for my physical copy to arrive ⸜(˃ ᵕ ˂ )⸝, I'm discovering a host of fellow collage artists included in the issue, and have been blown away by so many pieces and styles of collage and mixed media artworks. Issue 1: Origins is now available for purchase.

Between Wilting and Falling Apart explores the resilience in choosing who we are outside the roles or labels we’ve held since our earliest memories. We did not choose how we were brought up, the ideas or beliefs to which we were first introduced, or the generational trauma that trickled down to teach us fear or to answer to names that should never have belonged to us.

These origins are a part of us, but they are not all we are. We can choose to grow in new directions- to make different choices from what we were taught- and there is a beautiful strength in being brave enough to interrupt the pattern and forge new neural pathways even when they have been been set in stone for so long.

This piece reminds me that there is space for us to hold both pain and hope in tension, while choosing to grow little by little, choice by choice, toward something kinder and more loving and more true.

This July, one of my collaged found word poems can be found the July issue of July issue of Artists Responding To Magazine aka A.R.T. Magazine, a publication based in the UK focusing on responses to world happenings that combine contemporary art with activism. Collage has been a meaningful outlet for me to acknowledge and address social and environmental injustices in my own voice, so this type of art is something about which I'm especially passionate. It's exciting to know that my work will be featured abroad in this way. Issue 7: Summer 2023 is available for pre-order.

Stories Not Found in Books is an exploration of the injustice surrounding which stories get told and which are erased due to prejudice in its many forms. The stories our news and media outlets choose not to report, those belonging to narrators who've been gaslit or forced to assimilate, hidden atrocities suppressed by those in power, and the stories tucked away out of sight because they still hurt.

As a mixed-race Nikkei American, I learned early on that when Executive Order 9066 hit in the United States of America during WWII in 1942, my Grandpa Kuni was kicked out of UCLA and displaced along with over 120,000 people of Japanese descent. Two of his siblings deterred in Japan during a visit were a mere 30 miles from the bombing of Hiroshima, and unable to reunite with the rest of their family until 1948. They rarely spoke of these experiences in the aftermath of piecing their lives together again, and few details remain for those of us who want to acknowledge what happened while navigating our own generational trauma.

Witnessing the rise in violence towards my dear AANHPI community, I grieve the silence from both news outlets and well-meaning family and friends who are oblivious to it, and resolve to ask, listen, and never forget the stories that hold culture and community, lessons and losses, joy and achievement, and a beautifully unrelenting resilience through it all.

Writing this post, I'm so grateful for all the support encouragement you've bestowed during retreats when we're creating together and over on my Instagram (my favorite ways of connecting with artists all over the world). Every kind word, like, comment, and share means more than you may realize, and I feel every single iteration of support. ( ˘͈ ᵕ ˘͈♡)

Thank you forever and a day, friends.

♡ Kimberly Kuniko

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P.P.S. For monthly Artist Opps digest of open calls to publications, residencies, gallery shows, art challenges, and stockists, join my Dream & Scheme Community on Patreon.


Words, Art + Photography by

© Kimberly Kuniko

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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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