I discovered my own style, thanks to the kindness of all artists and designers who helped me along the way, especially these three: Khipra Nichols, Gaetan Jouen and Christian Azolan.
When I was a student at Brown University, I cross-registered for Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design, taught by Khipra. Without any artistic education, I was so nervous in the beginning, and could not even draw a design draft without making numerous basic mistakes. Fortunately, Khipra understood my difficulty, taught me the basics of drawing and helped me build a solid foundation in art and design. Looking back, I am amazed at how far art has taken me, thanks to Khipra’s kindness and encouragement from the start.
Gaetan is a friend of my colleague and a fellow self-taught artist who also came from a scientific research background. When he reviewed my urban landscape paintings, he gave me sincere advice on adding a personal touch and leaving some space for imagination, such as using only a few colours, instead of filling in the entire painting. Now I have turned this advice into a new series, exhibited and published a few times, and most importantly, I enjoyed the process of consolidating my style.
I met Christian at his solo exhibition at Fitzrovia Chapel, and he kindly invited me to visit his studio. I have learned so much from him, especially how he develops an abstract concept into a coherent series. Now whenever I have an idea, I would conceptualise and experiment extensively, and have developed some of my favourite series since then, such as Hundred Schools of Thought.
There are so many other artists and organisations, especially ArtCan, Assemblage Collective and The Piece Palette, who welcomed, encouraged and supported me on my artistic journey. Thank you all for your kindness!
This piece & associated kindness story is from Claudia Tong Art – go & check out their other work and support small, independent artists.
This post is in collaboration with ArtCan.