About Victoria Chan

I was born in Singapore, but came to work in the UK Oxfordshire in 2007, and have gradually morphed into a British citizen. 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 (when I'm not slacking off and drawing instead).

How I started drawing

I started drawing in December 2016 when I was 7 months pregnant with my second child. It was the time of the year to make new resolutions, and I was feeling unreasonably hopeful about the coming year of maternity leave and thought I could take up a new hobby with all that free time.

I had felt quite sad and lost after having my first child, and thought perhaps having a hobby of some sort, something that I could busy myself with (that wasn't parental duties), could make me feel like a person again.

Needless to say I never got any time or energy once my daughter, Harriet, was born in February. So no more drawing for the next 8 months. But gradually as my child grew older, I managed to sneak more of my self back.

In 2018 April, I joined Sktchy's 4-week long Rise and Draw challenge. I would get a prompt and video tip each morning from a guest artist, as well as a selected photo (portrait) to draw along to with the other participants. This took my drawings to the next level and got me hooked to Sktchy and Instagram.

Got talent?

Like many, I have been praised a few time by well meaning friends, telling me, "you're so talented".

I wasn't particularly good at drawing when I was a child. I don't think talent plays a part in me being praise-worthy at drawing these days. Have a look at my early drawings, and you'll know what I mean.

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

It was due to practice, and learning (online classes, books, and youtube videos), and resources (blogs, Pinterest and Instagram inspirations) that I managed to improve my skills so vastly and quickly.

I'm lucky to be living in this information age, where I have access to such a wealth of information and could rapidly train myself and advance my skills much easier and quicker than one traditionally could.

This growth mindset 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.

Probably this website should be called Grow Mama Grow. But that doesn't sound quite right. ;)

So to anyone saying 'I wish I could draw', I would say, Yes, you can!

PS: This website used to be called Draw Mama Draw, but I have rebranded it to be The Dining Table Studio as my interests have grown beyond drawing, in particular to printmaking.

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.