on being grateful–bubbles’ new home II

I posted a couple of photos in my previous post of the new homes of my work, something I don’t even get to see often myself.  Am fortunate to have another one to share with you.  The painting, bubbles–wisteria, has not only a new home but a friend, a beautiful photo both hanging on the wall of an advertising firm’s office in Tokyo.  Funny, as both pieces are of flowers and nature.  I cannot thank everyone enough–am forever grateful.

on being grateful–bubbles’ new home

Am grateful every day that I can do what I do, because it brings me and hopefully, many others true joy. My paintings are like my babies and sadly, I don’t often get photos of the new homes of my work once I see them off to their new owners.  But, when I do get photos, am even more grateful and humbled.  I hand delivered this painting, bubbles–autumn II, soon after I wrapped up my in Tokyo, where it now is, hanging in the beautiful living-dining room of its new owners.  Am so happy that it is a part of their daily lives, and that through it, I am too.  I hope that my work will give them lots of positive bubbly energy filled with joy, love and flow!   And of course, thank you to the new owners for giving my work a new home, and for sending me the photos–am so blessed!

jodi sam at roam gallery

Am a little late in announcing, but am extremely excited to be a part of Roam Gallery’s artists! What started to be a west coast based art gallery, but now moving on to the east coast and focusing even more on its online presence, Roam Gallery brings together many local/Canadian talents. Thank you Roam Gallery–am in wonderful creative company!

tips & fun facts about wa style japanese baths

I want to share ​the original painting I did for my new book, How to Take a Wa Style Bath: From the Onsen to the Comforts of Your Own Home, of the famous ♨️ onsen mark that signifies onsen or sento–hot springs and public baths on maps in Japan.

Did you know that the 3 wavy lines has another meaning​ besides symbolizing hot water​? They are also indicators on how long you should soak in order to get the most out of an onsen bath. The left line is slightly shorter than the middle one, and the right one being shortest–this reflects what was the recommended duration for each soak: first you start off soaking for 5 minutes (represented by the left line), then 8 minutes (center line), and last of all, 3 minutes (right line) to wrap up an onsen bath.

When it’s chilly out and despite most wanting to take a hotter bath, one at 40 or 41 degrees Celsius (104 or 106 Fahrenheit) can do your body lots of good. Bathing temperature is so important that I devoted a chapter just about it. And many people forget to stay hydrated before and after taking baths. It’s important to have some water, or some warm herbal tea around 15 minutes before one, since that is the amount it takes for the fluid to travel throughout the body. It is said that a person usually loses approximately 500 mL of fluid from taking just regular bath! So drink up too, after taking one.

For more tips about wa style, or Japanese style bathing for at the onsen (hot spring) or at home, check out my book, available on Amazon & Blurb now!

how to take a wa style bath


Available Now! Please visit here for the details:

I have been working on this project for over 2 years, much longer than expected. Who knew that a 58 page booklet on taking a bath can take this long to put together? However, am so happy with the results that I can’t wait to share with you all and rushed the launch to end of 2017 instead of 2018. It’s really a Christmas present to myself! Hahaha……

As you all know, am not a doctor nor a specialist in baths and bathing. Why I wrote and illustrated this book is to share with others, who have yet to discover the wonderful benefits of taking a bath, especially wa style. Wa 和 when used in combination form it means “Japanese” style, method, or way. Yet when used by itself, wa 和 can mean peace, friendship and harmony.

I grew up in the modern Western society that often takes fast, quick, and efficient over anything else. Having relocated to Tokyo in 2010 and later experiencing chronic body pain for an extended period of time, I was told to start taking baths every day by my Japanese friends and doctors. I did enjoy the occasional trip to the traditional onsen 温泉 (hot spring), but as a person who showered all the time, the option seemed not worth the trouble. However, I eventually gave in during one very cold winter and I have not looked back ever since. I have not been fully cured, but taking baths have helped me with my condition so that I can start off my day refreshed, and look forward to what is in store for me.

Because bathing has a long history in Japan, there are lots of information, customs, trends, what mom had said, and personal preferences, most of them are in Japanese. I have collected what I have known, heard, read, experienced and presented it here in a no-frill format along with my approach to this daily ritual, and hope you too can enjoy the wonders of wa style baths!

I haven’t done this much research since university and let alone 90% of it was in Japanese. Yet creating this was one of the most amazing journeys that I have experienced, from the research to writing and illustrating, from all the technological aspects to the personal ones. I mean, I even met in person one of the authors whose work I highly admired, and now have become friends with! I’ll do a separate post on that later, because it deserves one. I started this project in Tokyo and completed it in Vancouver–a heartfelt nod to both cities that I call home.

Thank you to all the wonderful people around me, and the others, who I have crossed and will cross paths with. Without you, nothing would be possible, yes, nothing!

js holiday cards

It’s already mid-December and the holiday season is here! I have been busy with a couple of deadlines and an upcoming project that am prepping to launch very very soon, so everything else–including this post here about my Christmas greeting cards, and holiday notes to friends, have been slow. The adorable ones above and other holiday cards are now available the following retailers. A big thank you as always to all for supporting local artists!! Please drop by any of these beautiful boutiques if you are ever in the neighourhood(s)!

Branches & Knots
3128 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Giving Gifts
4570 Main Street, Vancouver, BC

espace d.
215 – 332 Water Street, Vancouver, BC

Stock Home Design
3060 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Willow & Wallflower
2606 St. Johns Street, Port Moody, BC

Please note, selection varies from boutique to boutique

thank you & from bubbles–of zen & en

Thank you everyone at Fireking Cafe in Tokyo for having me & my bubbles in your beautiful space! It was an amazing 3 weeks, where I debuted my large sized bubbles on canvas paintings. I couldn’t ask for a warmer reception of bubbly works! Also, thank you to all the people who made this happen (the arrangements, transport, roof over my head–the list is endless), the ones who came in person to spend their time & smiles with me, the others who wanted to come, and the new friends who I made! Am an extremely lucky person, with great “en” and love.

Yes, it’s been a little over a month since the conclusion of my bubbles–of zen & en show. Apologies for the delay in updates here, as soon after the show, I was out in Taipei holding another one, with a completely different set of artwork (please kindly see my post below).

The first picture above is of our setup at 2 AM in the morning, yes, 2 AM! Everyone was a pro, and I can’t thank all enough, with a special nod to my friend who arranged everything, and I mean everything for me. On top of that, was lucky to be the beneficiary of the brand new museum lights that the owner had just purchased. The lights made the bubbles come alive in the evening. You honestly have to see my work there in person, and again I thank you to all that did. Was even able to have a friend who I haven’t met in person in 15 years!

The second photo was taken at opening hour, the moment of calm before the rush. The paintings and atmosphere of the venue is completely different during the day and at night. The third picture reflects this well. And lastly, me and the lunch & dinner time staff who were all so welcoming, that it made me feel like I was a part of their big family–am forever gracious.

thank you & from the art of daydreaming


Was my first show ever in Taiwan. Despite the fact that I had just previously wrapped up an exhibition in Tokyo, I headed to Taipei with a suitcase and bag full of paintings for my second stop of this so-called “Asian tour” of mine. I named it “the art of daydreaming” because it is the result of my constant daydreaming, and because of my love of a certain music album–“The Art of Doing Nothing” by Mark Owen (you really should give it a listen, as it honestly is a work of art). The biggest challenge for me was transportation, since the Tokyo and Taipei shows featured different paintings. No piece of work was shown twice for these two exhibitions.

I am grateful of the Image and Art Center, Chinese Culture University, School of Continuing Education in Taipei for allowing me to hold show in their wonderful gallery space for only a week, since they usually have ones for a minimum of two. Though I didn’t speak the language, everyone was extremely helpful and I had a great time introducing my work to a new audience outside that of North America and Japan.

The first two photos are of my work in the gallery, and the last one is of setup–taking paintings out of my suitcase and deciding which ones go where.

A sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this show in Taipei possible, especially to my good friend who helped with all the arrangements and translations, and for the ones to came by (one who even surprised me by coming all the way from Tokyo!), sent their well wishes, and the new friends I have made. It has been an amazing and memorable experience!! I will definitely be back again one day!

the art of daydreaming

The Art of DaydreamingWorks by Jodi Sam
Sat Nov 11 – Fri Nov 17 2017

This is my first exhibition in Taiwan. I am excited to share with everyone a collection of originals paintings of my: published and soon-to-be-published books, “tokyo trend” reports for The Bulletin Magazine, plus other blotted line drawing and “bubbles series” pieces.

Please kindly join me at the Image and Art Center, Chinese Culture University, School of Continuing Education in Taipei. I will be there personally every day during the exhibition around 12:30 pm – 5 pm, though for the most accurate time (please check my Facebook and Instagram pages) and on appointment basis. I look forward to seeing you there!



Image and Art Center
Chinese Culture University, School of Continuing Education
1F, No. 231, Section 2, Jianguo South Road,
Da’an District, Taipei

Sun 9 AM – 5 PM
Mon –  Thu, Sat 9 AM – 9 PM
Fri 9 AM – 7 PM (last day)

中國文化大學推廣教育部 大夏藝廊


bubbles–of zen & en

bubbles—of zen & en, paintings by jodi sam
mon oct 16 – sun nov 5

I have been rather silent of the late, but for very good reasons. I am beyond excited to announce that I will be having my first full show of my bubbles series in Tokyo in less than 3 weeks time. Am honoured to be showing my all-new large sized creations at the amazing Fireking Cafe in Yoyogi Uehara, whose owner and staff have been more than supportive of local and international artists. All the pieces were painted specifically for this exhibition, and were inspired by the beauty and the memories I have experienced in Japan. Hence the name, bubbles—of zen & en.

It is my visual ode to place that has given me so much and that I couldn’t thank it and its people ever enough.  Please come join me for this special engagement and though there would not be an opening reception, I look forward to meeting everyone there in person–yes, I will be in Tokyo for the entire time. And a special thank you to all that made this exhibition possible, as it would have been impossible without you!

mon – fri 11:30 am – 2 am
sat, sun & holidays 12 pm – 2 am

1-30-8 uehara, shibuya, tokyo
ファイヤーキング カフェ
東京都渋谷区上原 1-30-8

summer inspirations

Am prepping for something right now, and have been busy painting away on canvas, so much so that I “killed” lots of my wonderful brushes from Japan and now working with new ones that are not quite the same as the ones I love.  That said, am very happy and grateful to be doing what I am doing.  Because of the larger painting surfaces, am able to do full on compositions that are not found in some of my smaller bubbles painting.  Am sharing with you the inspirations behind my “bubbles–summer” piece.

There are actually two inspirations the first one is of my favourite Japanese festival, Tanabata, Star Festival on Jul 7 of each year. The annual celebration is about the legend of the fated lovers, who are separated by the earth and moon, can only meet on this day every year. I just love the romantic tradition of writing your wishes on tanzaku, a strip of paper, and hanging it on sasa no ha, bamboo branches. The photo is of the spellbinding sasa no ha arrangement I saw at the Main Building of the established Hotel Okura in 2015, which was torn down for reconstruction later that year.  I wrote a blog about it too ( When I painted this painting, I imagined it repeating and repeating endlessly in my mind–just like how it is shown here.

The second inspiration is of the summer wind chime, furin, installation with brilliant colourful streamers at another favourite of mine, Tokyo Midtown, also from a couple of years back. And funny, it was a year later in 2016 that I had my spring bubbles there as their 40 m window and visual merchandising display! I really believe in the “en” of it all!

js greeting cards

Have always loved handwriting to friends and family, and still have a pen pal today, whom I started writing to since high school!  As convenient as emails and texts are, still think there is nothing that can beat a handwritten note.  I have done a number of postcards before, but am now making some greeting cards instead, both with my blotted line drawings and bubbles.  Am still in the process of setting up my own online store, so until then, do kindly find them at the following boutiques, of which I love–how blessed am I to have my pieces there?

Branches & Knots
3128 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Giving Gifts
4570 Main Street, Vancouver, BC

espace d.
215 – 332 Water Street, Vancouver, BC

Stock Home Design
3060 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Willow & Wallflower
2606 St. Johns Street, Port Moody, BC

Please note, selection varies from boutique to boutique

sakura bubbles


It’s been a long while since I wrote a post on my blog, as I have been a little busy and more active on my Instagram and Facebook accounts instead.  After coming back to Vancouver, I have been experimenting with painting my bubbles on canvases and have rather taken a liking to them.

For an upcoming project, I have started painting on large size canvases, and this one is the largest to date: 91 cm x 61 cm (36″ x 24″).  I call this my “massive canvas challenge” because of the amount of time and effort needed to complete a painting.  What you are seeing here took place over the course of weeks, turning the canvas this way and that.  It is still not completely finished as shown here in the last photo.  Think I’ll put on the finishing touches later.

The inspiration comes from the beautiful sakura of Japan that I have been blessed to be surrounded by for the past six springs.  Not that we don’t have these delicate flowers in Vancouver, but the scale is different.  For me, the lightness and sense of serenity is key.  Am going to do a seasons series, so this the the first one of four paintings.  Stay tuned for the upcoming ones!

thank you vancouver

Finished wrapping up my first art exhibition “love art” after relocating back to vancouver, and the art show opening house event.  A big thank you to everyone who made it possible and came out to see me & my creations! A special shout out to Branches and Knots for having me and Sleepless Kao for our joint show and to Amica Manor for allowing me to participate at their wonderful event.  And last but not least, to Drew’s Catering and Events for making our reception party really delicious and memorable–their edible creations were so beautiful that I honestly thought they outdid our art!!  Hahaha……

I can’t express my gratitude enough. Here are some photos from the opening reception party.  The last one was taken after the party of me hiding from the camera with the beautiful flowers I received and with my favourite people.  Thank you Vancouver, for making me feel more than at home again!

commissioned pieces


This is the first blotted line drawing I’ve done since relocating back to Vancouver and it’s a commissioned piece. I usually don’t post about personally commissioned & customized work, but thought it is time to share, especially when it was requested by someone who is a major supporter of my art. I just love working with others to come up with a piece that they would have and love. I think that was why I liked fashion styling too–it is a true collaboration between the photographer, hair & makeup artist(s), model(s), the client, and me. Am an extremely fortunate person to have gathered the love and support that I have. So, thank you everyone and am looking forward to creating more commissioned pieces with others!!

This image includes all the steps to my blotted line drawings:

1. Sketching
2. Blotting
3. Painting
4. Signing–major one, if it’s not good enough, will not sign and I would redo the entire process over again
5. Framing–if being sent out (with lots of love) to the paintings new home

And if it was a work that needs to be delivered digitally as well:

6. Scanning
7. Digital touching up



art show open house


I haven’t participated in a group or community art event in years (in both Vancouver & Tokyo). However, next Saturday from 2 PM to 4 PM, I will be at the Art Show Open House happening at Amica at Arbutus Manor. Because it’s not a formal showing for me, I will be sharing some of my older and newer pieces together (Lala is making her debut in Vancouver along side some bubbles!), which is a rather rare occasion. So, please do come by and join me for some artistic fun!

Sat Mar 4 2017
2 PM – 4 PM
Amica at Arbutus Manor
2125 Eddington Drive
Vancouver, BC