Sometimes the story of a print unfolds as you go. For me it can be difficult to sit down and draw with intention but that’s exactly what happened in this case. We had been toying with the idea of making a collection by Baggu for some time, but not atypically, it was finally pushed towards fruition by Megan, who is excellent at taking ideas (in this case, her idea) and actually making them happen. She did all the research and assembled the plan, so really all that was left to do was for me to create a print. I sat with my pencil ready, on a mission to make something kick-ass, because that was the only direction I really had: make something kick-ass. The problem was that I was what I now like to call, “mayering.” The backstory to how I got to be mayering is a long one, and I think it’s kind of funny, but that’s for another time and another blog post, certainly. For the sake of this story all you need to know is that in the week(s) leading up to the conception of Luna’s Garden I was trying incessantly to draw John Mayer’s face. My friend had told me that drawing John Mayer’s face would be a challenge, but I thought I was totally up for it. How hard could it be?? For at least a week, maybe two, I could think of nothing else but putting my pencil to the face and making just the right strokes to render it undeniably as John Mayer (and not Skeet Ulrich). I even talked to my therapist about it; asked her what she thought my problem was. She didn’t think I had a problem, and told me to keep mayering if I needed to mayer! But at a certain point I knew no matter how unsatisfied I felt about his face, I needed to move on, and the anxiety in my team’s eyes made it all the more clear: stop mayering and make a kick-ass print! So with intention I started drawing late at night, as I tend to do. Sometimes when the exhaustion sets in, the best things come out. I would close my eyes for some moments and then force them open again, to see what would fall out onto the paper. Slowly, piece by piece the print began to emerge in little slices of things that I love, joining together in a dreamy dance at midnight. It turns out, drawing Luna’s Garden helped me overcome my John Mayer obsession; without it, I might still be stuck erasing and making one eye a little bit larger, one corner of his mouth a bit higher, and then changing my mind again. Luna’s Garden helped me escape; it came to represent a way out of my rut, my entrapment, and I was very excited to share it with everyone. Then in March 2020, the world seemed to spin out of control and we all became sequestered in our homes, unsure of when it would be safe to return to public life. Unexpectedly, and abruptly, the future of everything became uncertain and more than a little bit scary. In the studio we pivoted to more important things, namely, masks, and at that point in time it seemed that Luna’s Garden might actually never see the light of day. But in fact, we did not forget about it or scrap it, we decided to go ahead with the plan.
For so many of us, being isolated in our homes was not exactly our favorite thing. If you were like me, you adapted and changed a little bit and found a way, or ways, to cope. Maybe like Luna, trapped at her enchanted Hawaiian chateau, you started planting things; finding solace in peppers and eggplants. I found comfort and joy in drawing again, and drawing more often than I ever had pre-quarantine. For me, this collection embodies that whimsical sweet escape, a fanciful, fun state of fantasy. While we want things to get “back to normal,” this is the part we want to take with us when it does. Like Luna we will plan our getaway and reemerge into a new life, and a new world, but we’ll bring our bags and they will remind us to dance like no one is watching, in a garden under the moon.
Be safe. Take care of others.
Jana Lam is a Honolulu, Hawaii based design company that focuses on products and accessories for an endless summer. Lam's beach front home once served as the production house of her handmade in Hawaii line of one-of-a-kind, hand-printed and sewn apparel and home accessories. In Fall 2017, printing and production moved out of the home studio, and the Jana Lam Studio + Shop was opened in Kaka'ako.