I am a 23-year-old traditional artist from Singapore. Ever since a young age, I have always loved drawing and playing around with paint.
In high school, I studied art formally under my art teacher, who specialized in the medium of oil paint. That was how I began to appreciate and hone my skills in traditional art and oil painting. However, I never pursued it professionally after graduating. Though I went into teaching as a full-time career, my love for art never went away.
Even though faced with the constraints of time and space, I felt myself itching to create. It was a friend’s suggestion that led me to work on tiny 3-inch canvases for a start. Having been out of touch for more than five years, I decided to work on recreating some of my favorite paintings as a way to reacquaint myself with the world of art. I then moved on to even recreating my favorite music album covers (Drunk by Thundercat). Working on all these tiny recreations also helped me to exercise my rusty technical skills in oil painting—half the time. I tried my best to remember the techniques my teacher had taught me years ago, and the rest of the time, I found myself having to self-teach and re-learn the skills.
My recent original artwork, titled “The Olives That Will Not Sway,” was inspired by the situation in Palestine — though there isn’t much I can do, the only way I know to express my solidarity is through my art. Art has always been like a language to me, and I can’t believe I went so long without ‘speaking’ through my art. It has become such an important outlet for me. Even if we may face creative blocks or ‘mind blocks’ now and then, I now realize that art doesn’t have to be profound — as long as you feel something, create.
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