Why did you decide to become a full-time artist?
Art has always been my thing; I started painting when I studied at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Somehow, trying to make ends meet led me to Branding and Design, and has distracted me from my passion all these years.
As much as it’s good to be financially responsible and make money, it’s ultimately important to live your dream. For me, now’s the time to do so—before I get too old (laughs)—and it feels great to be doing what I love again.
I started selling my paintings during the pandemic and was very happy to have sold some! I think I’ll continue on this path for awhile.
You’ve just returned to Singapore after many years overseas, was it tough getting used to life back here again?
Yes, definitely! I spent 26 years living in New York and only recently returned during COVID-19. The country has changed a lot since I left, but my family is here so it’s good to be back.
Besides, the weather doesn’t really bother me, I grew up here after all (laughs). Dress appropriately and you will not suffer from the heat.
Being self-employed, do you struggle to step away from work?
Always. Everyone wants to make ends meet, but there’s a certain satisfaction that you’ll never get out of a steady pay check.
If you can deal with doing things yourself and answering to no one but yourself, then you should just go ahead and do your own thing, because good things will happen eventually. You won’t necessarily know what that might be, but it’s always exciting.
What inspires your art?
Nature, shapes, forms, and anything that I find joy in.
For me, making art isn’t necessarily about following popular trends and aesthetics, but finding inspiration in the things that pique your curiosity. While design used to be a form of communication for me, art is now my way of expressing myself.
What do you do on days you feel uninspired?
I usually start my days with yoga early in the morning. Then, I’ll walk around town, read books and blogs, and talk to strangers. Basically, I just open my mind and let things happen.
My favourite creative spots right now are my balcony at home and my studio in Toa Payoh.