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About Victoria Chan

I grew up in Singapore, but came to the UK Oxfordshire in 2007 for work, and have gradually morphed into a British citizen (I drink tea and eat scones). I currently work part-time as a Django Developer (making websites), and look after my 6 and 3 year olds the other part of the time. In the evening, when the moon comes out and kids are in bed, I play in my dining table studio.

How I started drawing

Unlike many artists, I haven't always been making art, and nope, I didn't attend an art school (I studied Literature & Philosophy in Uni). Though I did enjoy art as a child, I didn't continue making art when I grew older.

I've only recently started drawing again in 2017 on a random whim. I had thought I needed a new hobby to counter all that consuming concerns of motherhood. It did enrich my life and has now become part of my family.

The internet was extremely helpful for my artistic pursuits. I binged on Youtube demos and online classes. I read blogs and reviews, tried out new techniques and materials, and I soaked it all up.

I am an obsessive learner. Artistically, I am still at the stage of exploring. Every now and then, something inspires me, and I dive into it deep, doing research, conducting experiments and learning all I can about the technique or material.

My obsessions may seem a bit random at times. But I know these 'diversions' contribute to my unique experience, and someday they will all come together as a big beautiful amalgamation.

My artist's statement

I read somewhere that a proper artist should have an artist's statement. I don't know if I qualify as a proper artist, but let's not go into that.

If I have an artist's statement, it would be this:

I want to explore, experiment, and amalgamate. I want to make something new and unique and contribute to the diversity of arts in this world. And not just my own personal work, I want to share my ideas and inspire others to contribute to this diversity as well.

Having not attended art school can be an advantage. Being an outsider brings in fresh perspectives.

But why? What for? In these days of global pandemic, it does make you question the usefulness of everything you do. Is Art useful? It doesn't save lives, it isn't a necessity.

But Art (I don't mean just visual arts) helps us realise ourselves. It lifts us above just merely surviving. It enriches us, and enables us to reach deep, and reach out to that person. That person you hear in your head, you feel in your heart. That very unique you, your inner self. They deserve to survive the pandemic as well.

That person you hear in your head, you feel in your heart. That very unique you, your inner self. They deserve to survive the pandemic as well.

Got talent?

I grew up in an era where people believed in talent. This deterministic attitude has resulted in me giving up many things that interested me in my youth, including drawing.

The adoption of a growth mindset in my midlife has enabled me to improve my abilities without shame. Instead of feeling envious when I see someone's amazing work, I think to myself, how wonderful, how did they achieve that effect? Let me try that too. I don't doubt my talent because there is no talent to doubt.

To encourage other aspiring artists, I want to show my early drawings (and other recent 'rubbish' attempts) on this blog and on social media. I want to dismiss the illusion that you can just pick up a brush and be magically great at painting every time. Hopefully by showing the realistic journey, it will encourage aspiring artists.

Artistic abilities (or any abilities for the matter) can be developed. You don't have to be born with it.

New year crocodile; Fineliner on paper

New year crocodile

1 Jan 2017

Fineliner on paper

Drawing as a mum

There are particular challenges to pursuing this hobby while juggling with the duties of parenthood and a day job as well. I started this website in hope to share the tips and tricks and joys and tears with others in similar situation. Hopefully I will be able to inspire someone out there.

Sometimes I feel like I should feel guilty about being distracted by my creative pursuits. But I think it is ultimately good for the children to grow up with their parents having hobbies and even obsessions. A passion for life is a good thing to pass on to the children.

Sketching with Owen at Witney Church Green

Sketching with my son, Owen at Witney.

About my studio

My studio is the dining table. This has its good side as I don't leave mess around and have to clear everything out at least once a day. So don't let the lack of space stop you from creating art!

More of me on...

Hope we'll be friends.

xx
Victoria