Inking stories of my ink.

A picture holds a thousand words, equally, ink can hold a thousand stories and meanings.
Tattoos are stories, icebreakers, and best of all, indelible galleries of art to carry with you through life. I enjoy building pieces to layer onto another, taking inspiration from artists, symbols, events, and philosophies. I’m grateful for the artists who brought my creative concepts to life, adding their own stylistic touches. My body is their canvas.

The first: Lilies

Jess Chen, whom I played Ultimate with in my early days at the University of Toronto, offered free tattoos during her tattoo apprenticeship at Tattoo People. I loved her intricate floral style and was inspired to get lilies for my last name, which is Spanish for lily.

I placed it on my lower ribs as a personal, private piece. I also love how Jess flowed these flowers along the curves of the ribs and hips.

I chose four flowers to represent the siblings I grew up with and me.

I asked for one flower to be budding to showcase life in a state of flux: flowering, blooming, and not quite there yet; always a work in progress.



The second: Sea of clouds

Dinah, an old colleague from my time as a Starbucks barista, had become a tattoo artist called Kikimo and I fell in love with her style of fading shadows and coffee cherries.

I settled on a cyclical band depicting Mt Pulag, the tallest peak in Luzon, Philippines. My Dad and I went on a three-day adventure to climb it. We drove 10 hours to get to the town, hiked all day while the porters bustled to and fro with everyone else’s gear, and finally, we set up camp before our final sunrise hike at 4am. The last stretch to the summit was during twilight, with the most stunning blanket of constellations. We marvelled as the sun gently blew away the stars, behind a vista of mountain peak islands in a sea of clouds.

I placed the band high on my left arm so that sleeves would shield it from sun rays. I adore how the edges peek out under a short sleeve, just like the peaks peek through the clouds.

The third: “Amie” Amelia the bluejay 

My little brother got his first tattoo the same day I got the mountain band. 6 months later, he had three tattoos and I said, no way, you can’t have more tattoos than me.

I settled on a blue jay, inspired by Kikimo’s stunning collection of ink birds. I love the blue jay’s emblematic head and its symbolism of my hometown. The bird in flight carrying coffee cherries is a nod to an olive branch offering and coffee cafe culture as a community space. The placement looks like the bird is taking off from my shoulder alongside three silhouettes in flight, visible behind the right kind of threads.

My blue jay is named after Amelia Earhart, a badass aviation pioneer, whose namesake reminds me to be bold and take risks. Be strong in the face of challenge.

The fourth: Sunrise moon skyscape

This is the sunrise I watched with my Dad, overlaying the sea of clouds. Below are some sketches of the original concept; oh, how my jaw dropped when I first saw the artist’s draft. The use of negative space with the sun rays and stars is stunning, and I love how the ink sun has subtle similarities to the Philippine flag sun. The sun fades to stars and a waxing crescent moon, reminding me of loved ones watching over us and new growth. This tattoo also makes me think of impermanence; tomorrow is always a new day, and “this too shall pass”.

The fifth: Kintsugi ceramic and Stars of David flowers

With the multilayered designs developing on my left side, I pondered an addition to my right side and first tattoo. Jess Chen started producing ceramics which brewed the idea of inking a kintsugi vase, plus two Stars of David flowers for my two new sisters.

A friend created this design from my rough sketches, which Kikimo riffed off of for a final draft.

I love how kintsugi is a beautiful art of healing through life’s challenges, perfection through imperfection. 

A picture holds a thousand words, equally, ink can hold a thousand stories and meanings.

My ink is many things: stories, memories, reminders, mottos, and art.

The sixth has been simmering for a while now, stay tuned!

meet my new friend, kai

meet my new friend, kai

kai is my 𝓴𝓪𝓲𝓫𝓲𝓰𝓪𝓷, my ride or… 😶 
because to ride is to 
set your soul free 
a privilege punctuated by 
rolling landscapes & green lights 
as asphalt and rubber burn below. 
To feel the gentle purr of an idling engine 
roar to life with the twist of the throttle 
in turn 
heightening my pulse on life 
fingertips to toes 
pressing earnestly into footpegs 
leaning, falling into the crook of the saddle 
In love 

Watercolour Landscapes

Inspired by personal photography.

Algonquin Park

Phone booth series

In this series, I document the antiquated infrastructure of public phone booths. They are a microcosm of communication conglomerates, product placement & design – similar, yet subtle differences. It’s fascinating to see this ubiquitous technology fall into disuse, disrepair, transformation, and innovation.

The map below marks the approximate locations of each phone booth photographed.

Melbourne’s Telstra phone booths are now Wi-Fi hotspots.

Alleyways of Austraya

Short trip to visit Australia in 2019

face and caption

International Women’s Day reflection: what is strong? what is bad ass?

Originally written March 10, 2020 as a private journal entry.

Recently, it was International Women’s Day.

I reposted [name removed]’s IWD 2017 project, a gallery of portraits each with a caption on a disc.

Mine wrote:

We all need feminism because everyone can be strong and bad ass in their own way.

Which led my wandering mind to consider:

What is strong? What is not strong?
What is bad ass? What is not bad ass?
How are these terms gendered?

Strong is:

  • asking for help
  • raising children as a single parent
  • calling in discrimination; uplifting & encouraging those that surround you
  • being vulnerable & honest with others & yourself
  • making your health & wellness a priority
  • having courage – to say yes or no

Strong is not:

  • putting up a front – arrogant & hostile, but hurting inside
  • negativity for no reason
  • lashing out/taking out frustrations on others
  • believing it is someone else’s problem to solve

Bad ass is:

  • trail blazing
  • working hard for what you believe in, even in darkness, even when no one’s watching

Bad ass is not:

  • bullying

I pointedly avoid including gendered understandings of strong and bad ass.
What is the difference between a strong man, a strong woman, or a strong non-binary person? Is the strength of a single parent any different when you apply a gender? What about being a bad ass?

As I captioned my repost, these discussions are still relevant and still necessary.

motorcycle and me

her name is Dream

A Dream to ride
on long winding roads
along wave-breaking shores,
rippled mountainsides and

A Dream to ride
through desert canyons,
across belts of evergreens
to feel rushing winds

Or was that my breath left behind?

Hold on tight it’s just
You and the open road
and the sun shining bright

Hold on tight
I don’t know where we’re going
where this road leads
where we’ll end up
or what we’ll see

She, and everything about her, is a Dream

green apron

Hanging up the Green Apron

The last lattes, the last milk dregs, coffee stains.

The last laughs behind the counter, the last pages of this chapter.


My heart is full for store #4095,

the most kick ass team I’ve known.

You taught me love.

Love is double-barring. Love is delivering a drink.

Love is asking “how are you?”

Love is touch when everything isn’t okay.
Love is… believing in me.


Love is listening to me vent about

the careless spill

the self-entitled that raised their voice

the impatient that threw their change

Thank you, thank you for teaching me

impatience is ugly,

blandness is boring,

skinny is empty.

Bitters in does not have to mean bitters throughout.


To the regulars, the familiar face,

the staple in a sea of shuffling souls

We shared countless sleepy smiles of caffeinated camaraderie

Pervading brevity, conversations evade

A flashing wink sneaks in

the indelible, fleeting moments stained in, permanently.


Lastly, the supernovas whose energy is inspiring nurturing

sharing through sonder

but in and out because

life goes on.


So my friends, this is not a good-bye just a

see you soon

green apron

This was originally posted on social media accounts February 2016. It was a momentous leave for me as I said good bye to a community that I grew a lot with, and good bye to a regular pay check for the first time, haha. I took a gap year in school and spent three months in the Philippines with family and travelling to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

Asian Odyssey

Select shots from my 2.5 month trip to southeast Asia in 2016.
Spanning Philippines; Bangkok, Thailand; Bali, Indonesia, and Singapore.

My first ride

A year off the crotch rocket: I felt nervous. 
I stalled, got honked at, and overtaken. 

Do I even remember how to do this? 
Let’s wiki the controls real quick… where do you put Google maps on this thing? I settled in. 

The chilling wind pushed me and the bike closer 
together until 
we were seamless. 
I started to push the speed but 
everyone speeds in Brampton. 
Still overtaken. 

What’s the point of speed limits? 
Sunday morning, the roads are always quiet. 
A light mist was settling on the fields; the sunrise 
was brushing sparkles everywhere you turned, 
rivaling the colourful autumn forest. 
My favourite part. 

An audible sigh when I parked the bike, and 
I said goodbye until next season. 
Sigh of satisfaction, or relief? 🤔 

Yeah, some “oh shit”s here and there, but a lot more 
“wow”s and breathtaking moments. 
Pure ecstasy. 

Wanna ride together? 🏍