We have various art programs that allow you to learn, appreciate and enjoy art.
Learning art has given me plenty of opportunities to practice self-compassion and challenging my perception of what is good enough.
Evelyn Low, Singapore
Tell us a little about you.
My name is Evelyn and originally from Malaysia. I am in my 30s.
May we know a little about your family and cultural background?
I moved to Singapore about 9 years ago from California. I grew up my whole life in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
What do you do for work and what do you enjoy about your job?
I am the Director of Talent Management for a tech company. My role entails overseeing the full talent management spectrum for the Asia Pacific region, which includes leadership development, talent assessment, organization diagnostics, succession planning and HR strategy design and execution. I enjoy bringing science-based approaches to inform organizational design and strategy and consider myself as someone with strong analytical thinking and organizational skills.
What motivated you to learn art and when did your journey begin?
I felt that I was never really “good” at art and tried to dip my toes in this 2017. I took a break right before the COVID pandemic and got back into it again more recently in 2022.
What did you find the most challenging when you first started your art journey?
I am a perfectionist and top of that, I am also impatient. Initially, I got very frustrated with not being able to get the “right” colours, “perfect” outlines and clean silhouettes.
What is your biggest challenge today?
How has learning art changed you as a person or the way you look at life?
It has given me plenty of opportunities to practice self-compassion and challenging my perception of what is good enough. I have learned that this is also evidence of my courage and resilience, that I do not shy away from things when it becomes difficult. I look at the challenges or difficult emotions that arise and inquire with curiosity on the lessons that this moment is presenting to me.
A favourite passage from the philosopher, A. H. Almaas, “Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are actually yours. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. You are not going in the right direction unless there is something pricking you in the side, telling you, “Look here! This way!” That part of you loves you so much that it doesn’t want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up, it will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen. What else can it do? That is its purpose.”
How has learning art improved your mental well-being?
It helped me practice mindfulness where in the space of 2.5 hours or more, I am staying present in the colours that I am mixing, the strokes or lines that I am making with my brushes, assessing my progress by noticing how I am feeling in the moment, and being kind to myself when I sense frustration or impatience building up.
How would you define your personal style as an artist?
I love bright, loud colours and tend to veer towards more quirky, playful, organic, intense, and abstract type of artwork.
How does My Art Space help nurture your personal style?
Being unafraid to try different styles and artwork, and then noticing which style or ways of painting that puts me in a state of flow.
Tell us about one of your favourite artists and why you love their work.
In your opinion, what is the role art plays in making the world a better place?
It is a reminder that the world works in multifaceted and complex ways where sometimes beauty shows up in the least expected places.
Which is one of your favourite personal creations and why? Please share a picture.
What advice would you give other artists to help them in their learning journey?
Having interest in art is a great first step but I think the quality that pushes someone to do more than just “doing” art is courage. As you begin to explore your artistic qualities and styles, notice what makes you sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, etc. Art is a reminder of our shared humanity – that we enjoy a wonderful spectrum of emotions, some are pleasant and some are deeply uncomfortable. When an uncomfortable emotion shows up as you paint, you are in a conscious act of choice in how you respond to yourself and move that energy. Courage happens when you do not shy away from the unpleasant feelings and extend compassion to yourself and say, “what is it that I need in this moment?”. From there, you can imbue some of that energy into your artwork and the result will be beautiful.
All rights reserved by the artist for all images of artwork, please do not duplicate or replicate without permission.