In autumn in London, I am often confused about seasons. The dazzling sunshine that welcomes me at the beginning of every day makes me so appreciate the beauty of living. Instead, the sentimental feel of fall hasn't settled in.
My learning battle continues. Jazel found it exaggerating to arrive one hour early to sign up for courses, but by the second day this week, more and more people were aware of the competitiveness of these workshops. So the vacancies of the bookbinding course soon filled up. Oh, it looks like I will have to get up even earlier during the coming days.
Today's lecturer was Jane, who was actually Barbara's teacher many years ago. Jane appears to be a very nice and considerate person. It can be judged by the material bag she prepared for everyone.
After each course this week, the lecturers give out feedback forms designed by the student union for students to fill out. I can tell that education here totally belongs to the service industry. Fortunately, I am from Asia, born with the virtues of politeness, respect, kindness and everything you can imagine.
While others were quietly stitching their books, Jazel and I chatted happily in Chinese like two middle-aged ladies making handicrafts at home. She is certainly a very young and innocent child. She told me: Art is all about doing what pleases you. I reply: If you are going to stay in this field, you have to think differently from now on. Or I am worried that you might not be able to land a job. Strangely, I shared her thought two or three months ago. What had happened?
I saw some familiar faces which had also appeared in the printing workshop. Some girls appear to me the doubles of Amelie. I feel at first sight their pure joy of life and they certainly have their secret worlds in which imaginary creatures abide. Most art students have a kind of unworldly beauty. They are by no means eye-catching among crowds, but if you look long enough, you'll find them really good-looking.
After we finished a simply-stitched handmade book, Jane said that what matters is the pictures and stories we put inside the book.
Bookbinding isn't really a popular form of art, but when it occurs to me that there are people who spend their lives researching and inventing creative forms of books, I can't help feeling moved.
Art supplies are far from cheap here, so I cherish all the paper and materials I bring home from the school.
On the other hand, not everyone is as "careful" as I am. On one corner of the school was a stack of exquisite magazines, each of which costs 4.5 pounds if you buy it. And they were strewn like trash...
After the course, other girls invited one another to join the tour of Southbank, but Jazel and I decided to go home for dinner on a sunny afternoon. A few days ago Ai-wen asked me if I had "settled down." I think I have entered a new phase. Now I have a fixed schedule, and I do not go out so often. Though I am not as excited as when I first came, my body is thus able to relax.
In the evening, kids sat and talked outside. I was practicing calligraphy at my desk. I hadn't written it for a long time. In the morning I was reading the theory of typography and how to use Illustrator, but the evening time should be reserved for the real handwritten work. Right after I finished, I couldn't tell if these words were well-written. In fact, they seemed kind of slanted for me. But they are actually not so bad...
When I was about to fall into the trap of loneliness, it dawned on me to draw in the blank handmade book. On a cool autumn evening, I had the company of young people's partying din, radio music from the computer and the whizzing sounds of my pen on the paper. I believe that this year, the act of drawing will pull me out of the pit of being alone and taking me to a serene hill where I am bathed in the joy of my humble yet colorful existence.
This wordless book titled "ME" was inspired by Von. It is only a very simple sketch for the time being.
My biggest motivation was actually to write the sentence on the left page: for my beloved Von and Kai.
My dear, no matter where you are, I wish you a lovely spring in autumn.