"This represents a very personal art healing process to her, to reconnect and regenerate herself under the pandemic, a happiness experiment of an individual on how to stay optimistic..."
About this book
As a random idea to keep her creative energy during the quarantine life active, useful, and enjoyable, Lyla started a simple craft project of sending handcrafted postcards to her friends overseas while sheltering in Melbourne, Australia from March through April 2020. This booklet is the second phase of the project from May to June, which is a collection of 20 select postcard works, and short essays of the back stories behind each card about time, travel and love. This represents a very personal art healing process to her, to reconnect and regenerate herself under the pandemic, a happiness experiment of an individual on how to stay optimistic, share positivity, and explore the new possible alongside the uncertainty.
About the author
Born and raised in Beijing Lyla is currently based in Shanghai as a creative content curator. She is a passionate dog lover, a coffee enthusiast, a foodie, a visual animal who enjoys expressing herself in colours, photography and sketches as her creative outlets, and a spontaneous traveler who always keeps a song in her heart.
Coffee By The Sea
Coffee By The Sea is the first and the only one that I managed to sketch and post from the inner city before the stage 1 restrictions were officially announced in Victoria, Australia. It made its way safely to Fukuoka, Japan after two weeks to a coffee buddy. Considering the chaotic situations that worsened each day at that time, it was incredibly lucky. Moreover, it carried a “bonus” - a greeting card sent a month ahead of it. They ended up arriving on the same day! Worth the wait!
There is no such privilege for anyone when the world is really sinking into crisis. We now know it better than ever. But that was exactly how we worked and played back in 2012 at Vice time.
Dancing like crazy in Beijing at our annual party with Holy Fuck until dawn, I found myself in Lyon next day to join my bestie for our first New Year holiday in France.
Though I have always kept her busy since we became friends at middle school, that trip was the boldest version to make a very rational and practical her travel in my spontaneous way.
Island in The Sun
Setouchi Art Festival has been on our wishlist to Japan for years. We finally made it last year but on different trips respectively. Amongst the number of spectacular islands, we both fell for Teshima particularly.
We put our lens on same skylines, through different perspectives. There are that delightful yellow, subtle blue, and the forest green color scheme shared in common. This fresh and airy scenery is not for you to see, but to breathe.
Surrounded by posh boutiques on Chapel Street, Prahran Farmers Market, Woolworths & Coles and some of the best local eateries, Prahran Square is an open air public space, a playground and a mixed- use-development with its landscape and service facilities thoughtfully designed. It makes a strong sense of community and quality living, which allows everyone to switch on and off any time of the day.
I came here almost every day for the second half of my stay in the city, a casual isolation in my comfort zone. Whatever I had in my head that did not serve me in a positive way, I would leave it behind after spending some time here. So, when I came to this postcard for a special friend who had been through the most difficult time under the pandemic, I took an inspiration from this place as I wish to share the magical energy and positivity from there.
From the second week of March, right before stage 1 restrictions, I moved in my friend’s brand new summer house. The next day on my first morning hike, I met this little penguin on the beach.
Thinking of drawing a special Thank-You gift to my life saver, I couldn’t find better inspiration than this, which is very true to both Safety Beach and myself.
I grew up with Dad’s photography albums and stamps of penguins. Dad who had devoted his career to national research missions to Antarctica used to share the fun episodes how the penguins showed up at the doorstep of the research station. That was cute, but not that cute until I came really close to the smallest blue penguins at St. Kilda Pier in February during their molting season.
‘Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.’
- Jack Kerouac
By the time I finished the draft, Australia’s long summer had gone. Winter is off with bright clear days and chilly nights. Social distancing has been eased step by step. My daily routine has updated too to give more time on professional learning, creative exercises, and new projects developments. Good news keeps coming from friends, who have received the long-awaited postcards. Summer is starting early in their climates. Gradually, things are getting resumed, refreshed and reshaped, including our messy flight schedule. It has been my first ever shelter-turned-staycation, marking the best unplanned and the most inspirational journey that I have ever experimented. It has been a song about love, a truer exploration and a celebration of “To Travel Is To Live.”
Photograph by Atsushi Yukutake.