Unexpected Guests: Jinnie Lee.
by victoria comment


This week I am quite excited to introduce you (should you not yet know of her!) to a San Francisco local, the divine Miss Jinnie Lee. Jinnie is on of my favorite etsy artists and the reigning Queen Bee of the Polaroid camera! Jinnie is the talented mastermind behind Lilacmoon Studios, and the creator of some lovely prints she’s created making drawings and collages directly on Polaroid photos, which she calls Poladoodles. She also creates and sells her beautiful hand carved, inked rubber stamp stationery in her etsy shop, and runs both her Lilacmoon Studio blog, as well as her Poladoodles blog. To find out more about Jinnie and shop her products check out her shop and blog. And, now please take a look at her beautiful home, studio and works of Polaroid works of art. Thanks again Jinnie for sharing with us.

Where do you live?
San Francisco, by Dolores Park.

What is your idea of a perfect day in your city?
If I start the day early enough, I will start with a good breakfast at Chloe’s. Then a little trip to Chinatown, do some browsing, and eat spareribs with spicy salt at Hunan Homes. Next would be a little green tea tasting at Red Blossom. Then I would spend some time shopping for craft and design books at Kinokuniya Bookstore in Japantown. I could spend hours doing that! On the way home, I would stop by Bi-Rite Creamery for a banana split sundae. Maybe walk all that food off by walking around Dolores Park. Then more good food at Range for dinner.

What don’t you leave home without?
Polaroid Camera and lip balm.

(Editor’s note: I’m gonna start taking a tally on this lip balm issue! Apparently, studies conducted privately through sfgirlbybay show no one ever leaves home without lip balm!)

What’s your favorite local shop?
I have a lot of favorites. To name just a couple in my neighborhood, I would say Curiosity Shoppe for gifts and Stem for flowers and greeting cards.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?
Hmmm…people who know me won’t be surprised (if they read this) but I have a degree in material science & engineering. If that’s not surprising enough, I have once slept for 23 hours, straight. Those two may have been related.

Who is your favorite artist(s)? And why?
Tadahiro Uesugi – for his compositions that are deceptively simple, masterful control of light, and very stylized figures that are uniquely his.

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere, sometimes nowhere. Books, posters, nature, friends, patterns, colors, fashion illustration, video games, science, flowers, song lyrics, things people say, typography, etc.

Who do you admire and why?
My one and only sister. She’s so cool…and focused.

What’s the last great book you read?
Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell. So sweet and warm…

What’s your favorite film?
My all time favorites are Love Letter and Hana & Alice both directed by Shunji Iwai. Linda Linda Linda is another Japanese favorite. I really enjoy animated films, too, like Iron Giant, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro. The latter is what rekindled my love for art.

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who might that be?
I feel like I should name someone really famous. But I can’t think of anyone else except this old man I met on my last trip to Japan. He was working at a garden my boyfriend and I were trying to visit. It was very hard to find, and when we did find it, it was unfortunately closed. But the man let us in anyway, and it really made our whole trip. The garden was so beautiful and peaceful.. and we had the whole garden to ourselves! We were walking the path that circles the pond and about halfway through, the man came running all the way where we were to hand us the garden brochure. I’m sure he doesn’t even remember this or if he does, it was probably very trivial to him. Maybe he does this to all the foreigners but I was very moved by his kindness. Because of him, we were able to return with such wonderful memories. I regret not having thanked him properly and not being able to remember his face. So I would like to photograph him.

Who would you like to sit down to tea with?
My friend in Singapore. I haven’t seen her in years and I miss her dearly.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Do I have one.. Oh.. too many to count. But mostly potato chips, watching Asian dramas, and often times a combination of both.

What would you eat for your last supper?
Probably a very simple, Korean meal. Like rice + gim (flat, seasoned seaweed) and good authentic kimchi. If I may add dessert, either the buckwheat crepe at Range or the Mostess Cupcake from Noe Valley Bakery.

What is your most treasured belonging?
Hard to choose.. Probably a book I got on my trip to Portland, at Powell’s Books. It’s a used, accordion-style book of beautifully drawn butterflies.

What is your greatest indulgence?

Drinking oolong tea, taking Polaroid photos.

What is your idea of living hell?
Polaroid Camera with no more film. Or public speaking.

What are some of your favorite websites/blogs to visit?
Tons! Yours (and I mean it); Flickr; Drawn; Design*Sponge; How about Orange; Three Potato Four; Decor8; Book by Its Cover; Re:makeables; earth music & ecology; and Ping Mag.

27 responses to “Unexpected Guests: Jinnie Lee.”

  1. Wonderful interview… maybe we’ve seen each other at Chloe’s and never knew it :) (I’m craving the blueberry pancakes right now)
    Also–loved the story about the man who let you into the garden… a meaningful moment…it translates so well I felt it.

    p.s. Victoria–I would never think of carrying lip balm (?) though I’ve noticed its strange popularity too!

  2. this is one of my favorite ‘unexpected guests’ columns yet – jinnie sounds like such a fantastic person! nicely done, victoria.

    and i think i might really need that rug in her studio – any chance she can tell us where it’s from? it looks like angela adams….am i right about that?

  3. I’m surprised I haven’t come across her work before – it is fantastic! Thanks for the introduction.

  4. nice interview! i have a vintage sonar and love taking polaroids so i know the feeling of not having any films when you need it the most.

  5. Thank you for the post and the introduction to Jinnie’s work! I love it, and she sounds so nice!

  6. Yes indeed, Miss Victoria…well done. Jinnie sounds like she’d be fun to hang out with. And I’m really looking forward to viewing more of her stuff…the lily pad stationery? Uh,CUTE!

    But her home? Really, Jinnie? Don’t you think you should have tidied up before taking those pictures? ;)
    Someone’s organized (and it ain’t the person writing this I can tell ya’!).

  7. Wow.. Thanks everyone for such nice comments! *blush* And thank you, Victoria, for featuring me here.

    @janis: Maybe! I like to eat bacon+tomato scrambled eggs there. And I’m glad you enjoyed the story about the garden. I almost didn’t include it.. ^^

    @shoppingsmycardio: Yes, the rug is from Angela Adams here. On sale! ;)

    @uncle beefy: haha.. I did tidy up the studio before taking that picture..

  8. i love jinnie’s work :)
    oh and i have the exact same accordion book, called a flight of butterflies, i got it at the annual big book sale at fort mason for $1. it’s one of my most treasured books.

  9. i love the interview + jinnie’s work. i also always have lip balm when i leave the house.

  10. this is such a wonderful post! i thoroughly enjoyed reading the whole thing and looking at the beautiful photos.

  11. Wow! Both her work and apartment look great…
    And I’m starting to get very curious about that great San Fransisco that you’re telling about… (wish I could visit that scrap store you wrote about a few posts ago!)

  12. *waving hand* Please add me to the big group of ‘this might be my fave “Unexpected Guests” ever’! I think it has lots to do with Jinnie’s easy, friendly, comfortable writing style (love!). But I also LOVE her Polaroids (which is saying something, cos I’ve seen plenty of fiddled-with Polaroids before that I’ve not liked), and I am completely *obsessing* over the fat, squatty owls in her kitchen (want! want!). The piece de resistance, though, was the story of the man she didn’t photograph– so evocative and lovely. (Can’t believe you almost didn’t include it, Jinnie! Lucky us, that you did!)
    Will be visiting your sites soon, Jinnie. Thanks to you and Victoria for providing such a pleasant midday break today.

    (PS I, too, always carry lip balm.)

    K in Strawberry

  13. i’m so glad you are all loving this post on jinnie as much as i had doing it. jinnie has a lovely, calming style about her home, and her work, and her photographs are amazing. thanks again jinnie for allowing me to share!

    and it’s lip balm for everyone! :)

  14. @Sarah: The blue chair is from Room & Board. I think it’s called Quinn.

    @Annie: Woah, $1!! I thought I was getting a good deal at $16.

    @inez: Yes.. my refrigerator is half filled with film…-_-

    @K in Strawberry: Thanks!! That’s the best compliment I’ve ever gotten on my writing. :D

    @sfgirlbybay: My pleasure! It’s been so fun!

    Thank you everyone… I’m really very flattered. I’m going to have to come back to this post whenever I feel down. :)

  15. Hi! Great interview you have here.
    I love her works and designs. Simple yet very creative considering the fact that she uses only a polaroid camera. :)

  16. This was wonderful, thanks for posting it! And I think we all count lip balm as an essential “don’t leave home without” because there is nothing more bothersome than chapped lips. Especially chapped lips in public.



  17. I’m with everyone else – loved this post and went right over to check out Jinnie’s blog & shop!

    Jinnie – where did you get the picture holders?

    also, do you ever offer any of your polaroids as plain pictures?

    I live in SF too – we’ve probably crossed paths at the Curiosity Shoppe!

  18. Jinnie is a constant source of inspiration and she’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys to hang out with.

    You should seek out her illustrations in addition to the Poladoodles and the handmade rubber stamps.

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