Michelle Ang, 29
Aspiring wordsmith, writer and editor
“I hope to constantly question and never stop challenging myself to go beyond my concept and perception of ‘good’ art.”
Tell us about your background.
Hi! My name is Michelle and I work as an editor with an online parenting portal. When the mood strikes, I dabble in poetry, writing, and sketching. I’m happiest when I’m surrounded with nature.
How does art enrich your life?
Hmm…I’ve never thought of this until now. I guess it makes me more embracing and accepting? More embracing of my mistakes, my shortcomings, at the same time more accepting of my skills, my appreciation for aesthetic details and the desire to express myself creatively.
I’ve heard so many people say they can’t draw, but I am sure they can! If only they give it another chance and try again. There’s this misconception that one needs to be talented or study art in order to be good at art. But it’s not true. It’s consistent practice and the willingness to experiment and learn that makes you good at your craft.
Please share on your learning experience and what you like about My Art Space.
What I really like about My Art Space is the freedom. The freedom to explore the techniques and discover my own artistic style, in a non-judgmental space, where there is no right or wrong, where answers are not provided, but for you to learn for yourself.
To be honest, it took me a while to get used to this style of not being told what to do. Growing up, I was very afraid of making mistakes and had this unhealthy obsession to always be politically ‘correct’ or ‘right’.
So when I first started painting, I was so scared of making mistakes and my strokes were so weak and small. But with Shan and Chan Kerk’s guidance, I’ve learned how to use the brush better.
There is still some lingering fear, but I am more confident and adventurous. As I become braver with my brush and colours, I believe this translates and reflects in various aspects of my life as well.
I've also learnt so much about myself in the process of painting. I’ve come to learn the colours of my temperate (Urgh, why can’t I get this right? What is wrong with me?), the strokes of my ego (Cannot, I have to make this perfect!) and the shades of my perceptions (Does the sky always have to be blue?)
I hope to constantly question and never stop challenging myself to go beyond my concept and perception of ‘good’ art.
What's one of your favourite artwork?
I would have to say ‘Mr. Barnacles’. I initially painted this piece for fun. My first pet was a white cottontail rabbit with red eyes named ‘Snowy’. So, I’ve always got a soft spot for rabbits.
I saw this photograph of a really big white rabbit wearing round-framed glasses, standing on top of an open book a long time ago. I used that as my reference for this painting.
It’s my favourite because I really enjoyed the process when I was working on this; exploring the shades, shapes and colours while painting this piece. I didn’t want it to look anything like the picture and I had a rough idea of how I wanted to paint it. I guess it was the first piece of painting where I really deviated from the original source and added my own interpretation and elements.
Also, I love books and feel everyone should be a reader! It happened to be a coincidence that these two elements were put together – my love for rabbits and reading. So there you have it – a reading rabbit called Mr. Barnacles.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
It depends. I don’t really think about what I am trying to communicate when I’m painting, at least not at this point in time.
I think I’m at the stage where I’m still very much focused on the end product, rather than thinking about the message and process.
Now that I’m aware of this, I’m slowly trying to shift my focus and pay attention to this aspect, instead of just trying to complete a piece.
Tell us what plans you have for your art future?
I’m exploring the option of art therapy, and would like to understand how art can help the young and old communicate and connect with others. When a child has not developed the language capacity to verbalise, how can art help them to convey their feelings? When an old man is no longer able to communicate, how can he show his inner thoughts and aspirations to his caregiver?
I also hope to have my own art exhibition one day. I have a theme in mind and have completed two pieces. Hopefully, this will come to fruition. We’ll see.
To see works by Michelle Ang click here
All rights reserved by the artist for all images of artwork, please do not duplicate or replicate without permission.