My scholarship brings me places. In the last fifteen years, since I published my first international journal article, I’ve been blessed with hundreds of invitations from many great and generous individuals all over the world that enable me to experience new places and cultures and, moreover, engage with diverse people. Traveling has become my middle name. As soon as I started traveling around the globe, I have found my way back to my childhood habit, doodling. I used to doodle a lot when I was a kid. Thanks to my scholarly trips, I have been back to my true self, a doodler, a travel sketcher. When I travel, I sketch.
Yes, I do prefer to capture the essence of a moment, a scene, or a building on a blank page of my sketchbook rather than through other means. Every time I sketch — even though I usually just do quick sketches, 5-20 minutes — I slow down the time, I take time to see, to feel, to memorize. Every time I flip through my sketchbook, I remember what I did in a certain space and time because I took time to observe what was going on and who I was with.
Link to my doodles https://www.flickr.com/photos/travelsketcher/albums/72157621866558585
“I see my work of art as a lens through which one can see how moments, memories and stories are stored and preserved. I sketch and draw as a way of locking images and experiences in my memory as well as expressing my own personal feelings and emotions toward the subjects. Travel-sketching not only helps preserves memories, but also enhances the quality of experience and transforms how places and moments are being experienced and savoured. I draw from actual life using primary sources because there is more truth in that. In the series of travel sketches, I draw from my immediate surrounding where objects are depicted in their true representations as well as liberated through free, loose and sometimes wild lines and perspectives. Through my work, I wish to bring the narratives of moments and places closer to the audience and given them space to insert their own stories and interpretations.” (artist statement, merlynalim, 2008)