Art & Design
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“Now More Than Ever”

Truong Tran

On days when I am not working as a poet and teacher, I try to wake up early. I empty my oversize messenger bag of books and papers and the previous day’s half-eaten lunch. I place the strap over my left shoulder, with the bag firmly secured to my back. I begin to walk. I walk for as long as it takes to fill the bag with stuff: branches, findings from the local thrift stores, choice items left in boxes on sidewalks, and—if I’m lucky—something I’ve never seen before. Once the bag is filled, I return home and empty the contents from the bag, creating mounds of what some might consider junk. I see them as source materials and the beginnings to my art-making process. I refer to what I do as art-making because I do not paint, draw, or sculpt with a traditional or learned consideration of artistic craft. I glue things together. I make things fit. I dip things in wax. I cut. I build. I weave. I think. I stare at things in the hope that these things will talk back to me. This is what I do, and it makes me happy. It allows me to lose myself in the process of doing.


Californians spend half of their lives commuting. Like a Californian, I found myself in that 6 hr. commute from Vallejo to Millbrae with 15 mins. of sleep and two Sous Vide Egg Bites fueling my body.

What I learned from the entire thing? From Prof. Tran’s pieces? Art is achieved through the subjugation of an object, idea, or term. And that subjugation must be placed inside a frame. By how it is framed, the piece’s truth unfurls.

Art, I perceive, isn’t hard to create. The craft and effort of knowing how to handle the mediums confidently require skill and practice.


I’m sorry to ruin it for you, world. Art is hard.

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