Now Studying Seems A Little Less Awful...

When I first arrived in Korea in 2012, I had the very genuine intention of studying and using Korean during my stay here. I taught myself how to read Hangul within my first month. I went to a free Korean class in my second month (remember that cultish group that kept recruiting foreigners in Daegu? That was a weird time...). Eventually, I even signed up and paid for classes at the YMCA. I bought workbooks. I went to one class. I was pumped. I went to the next class. I was lost. I quit. 

Round 2! Last year I started studying solo while using an online program. Things were going well! I was keeping up and retaining some vocabulary. Then I took a break from studying to go on vacation. I came back. I forgot almost everything. I quit. 

Will I ever once again step back on the wagon of seriously and consistently studying Korean and become one less foreigner who doesn't know the language just because "I don't really need it to survive here?" Maybe.

It's unlikely.

But! If I could take a page from [b]racket February 2013 artist Sarah Shaw's book, maybe it wouldn't seem so daunting. 

And I literally mean "take a page"... from her sketch book.

빨래를 하다, "to do laundry", by Sarah Shaw

빨래를 하다, "to do laundry", by Sarah Shaw

Last year, Sarah found a way to memorize Korean vocabulary and phrases by sketching them in to easily memorable pieces of art.

She uses this routine exercise of using Hangul as her subject to help inspire her to keep sketching and continue studying. Two birds, one wonderfully creative stone. 

편지봉투, "envelope", by Sarah Shaw

편지봉투, "envelope", by Sarah Shaw

various sketches by Sarah Shaw

various sketches by Sarah Shaw

A tumblr account (mappingwords.tumblr.com) was created for the project, and Sarah wants you to join in! You can contact Sarah Shaw HERE if you're interested in becoming a fellow word-sketcher and collaborating with her. And you don't have to stick with Korean -- Sarah thinks she might even start studying Spanish and begin sketching en español.

- Lisa Highfill