I’m not usually one to make resolutions but at the beginning of this year I decided that I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and teach a workshop outside of the Tri-State area least once this year. It was a mental note I made just for myself, not as a result of any suggestions/requests - certainly not because I have a mass following in any particular place begging me to come host a workshop.
So, this winter, I visited a dear friend in Houston, and while I was there I also got to host a brush calligraphy class (long overdue recap to come)! While I mentally checked off that little goal I had at the start of the year, I couldn’t help but dream some more…
It had been about 2.5 years since my last visit to Taiwan, and my heart was telling me it was time to go back. Back to my birthplace, to the warm weather, to all the amazing food, and of course my family (and much more)! Why not teach a workshop there, too?
Other than my family though, I didn’t have any real connections or leads to how I would go about putting together a workshop. Not to mention that my Mandarin is at a middle-school level, and incredibly rusty. An English-speaking venue (and attendees) would be ideal…
My mind always wanders back to food - I’m realizing more and more that it’s due to my upbringing. Food was/is a love language - it’s the way my parents show(ed) me love. In fact, in Taiwanese culture, many times family/friends greet each other with, “have you eaten yet” (regardless of time of day), rather than “how are you?”. This is why I’ve always tried to include some kind of refreshment for my workshops, specifically, dessert!
Who knows all about the food scene in Taipei? Joan of The Hungry Girl’s Guide to Taipei (aka @hungryintaipei)! I’ve been following Joan’s blog since the early days so I could live vicariously through all her Taiwan food adventures; we follow each other on Instagram but we’ve never actually met or interacted much with one another. Our common love for food and stationery is all I needed to know before I sent her an email asking if she’d like to partner with me in planning my workshop in Taipei!
[As an aside, I encourage you to send that email - what’s the worse that could happen? They ignore you? They say no? Then you know and you move on. But friends, from my own experience, 9 times out of 10, the answer will be YES. And all you had to do was ask. Your only regret will be not asking sooner.]
Rather than drone on and on about the details, I’ve included some photos below (with captions) from the event. It was a dream to have partnered with Joan, and Heritage Bakery & Cafe to bring my brush calligraphy workshop to Taipei. It means a lot that I was able to do this, because Taiwan is where my calligraphy journey began - it was back in the summer of 2015, while I was living in Taiwan that I decided to teach myself brush calligraphy/lettering! In a way, it’s come full circle. I’m so grateful.