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Ting Yuen's Artist Diary

Artist Statement

I create lyrical worlds, where tribulations are perceived with inspiring humor, fetishes embraced with open arms, thoughts are symbolic, dreams are always infinite, and an ideal world is possible. In many ways, my paintings compose a diary of my everyday life and aspirations, expressing fears and joys that are personal but, at the same time, universal to the current consciousness.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Follow your Dreams: Be a full time artist!

Hello readers,

Today I am going to talk about following your dreams. My dream was to become a full time artist. When I started painting eighteen years ago, I found a true love and connection with creating art. It was a feeling of excitement, passion and unbelievable contentment. Sure these are all feelings that I have had in life itself, but painting is different, it's a solitary act, sometimes I even feel completely self indulgent and the feelings that I mentioned are self fulfilled. I think that's what makes me want to do it more and more......being self reliant on happiness may be the best gift you could give yourself.
The Image above is called Wishes Granted II from my 2009 Collection.

I started selling my art work in 1999, it was an immediate validation when I sold my first painting, I knew this was what I wanted to do forever, not just part time, not just on the side but really commit to being a full time artist. I was working in a restaurant in the Cayman Islands at the time, and was very fortunate because I only worked nights, so my days were free to explore my passion. Every morning, I got up and went to my studio and painted, I dabbled with paint, read books about painting, dreamt about painting and most of all I believed in my dream! The image above is called Persistence from my 2008 Collection.

The picture above is called Inspirational Well from my 2008 Collection.

I can't stress the importance of believing in your dream. Sometimes, it's just about putting a wish out there to the Universe, putting a wish out there somehow grants you the permission to make it a priority. I read books about artists, I dreamt to be just like them, I knew I could be just like them. It's important to know that we all have the power to be whomever we wish to be, we all have a higher self and all we need to do is trust HER (mine, is a female!) .

Next, learn your craft, own it, practice it and learn to observe. Observation is the key to the way I work, since I am a self taught artist, I learn to paint by trusting my intuition, you know the term "Read between the lines", well it's very much like that. Learn to talk to your painting, learn to see it in the reflection of a mirror, look at it upside down, sideways and so on. Stand on your head if you have to, but study your work. Have a recipe list that works for you. I will talk more on this topic on my next post. Oh! Take workshops, read books and practice practice practice!!

Now, this may not be the best part about being a full time artist, but it's one of the most important topics: Business! You can not be a full time artist if you do not know how the business side works, read as many topics on business related subjects as often as possible. One of best gurus when it comes to art business is Alyson B. Stanfield, or if you are publishing your own prints, do check out Barney Davey's "How to Profit from the Art Print Market". These two gurus have a whealth of information that can't be missed. Remember to practice on how to talk about your work, I remember when I first opened my gallery, I was so afraid to express my work to potential clients, but since I needed to make a living, I learned to talk about my work Really Fast. As a reminder, no one is capable of selling your work better than yourself, and no one is in charge of your destiny but yourself. So sit down and write a list about why you paint and what it is that you paint.

Anyway, I have chatted long enough and obviously I can continue if need be, but I think I shall leave it for next time. BTW all the paintings that I have here on my blog have stories that accompany them, you may read the stories on my etsy shop.

If you wish to know more about "following your dreams" or if you have a similar story that you wish to share, please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to connect with you.
I will elaborate on a few of the topics that I touched on today in more detail in future posts, stay tuned.......

All contents and pictures © Ting Yuen
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