Interview with Artist Lucy Chen
Artist Lucy Chen offers advice on creating online classes and selling art related merchandise.
Lucy Chen Bio
As a woman who has struggled to find her identity, her life purpose, who has to juggle many balls as a modern woman does, who has been through depression and self-loathing and come through to the other side, I know what it is like to feel lost, trapped, and disconnected. The mass media has not been set up to make us feel good about ourselves or the world. As Abraham Hicks says, the media has taken upon itself to point out the things that go wrong and amplify it out of proportion.
My art is created with the intention to connect with the beauty and well being in this world, and in ourselves. I believe we need this kind of art to put the contrast and duality in a more balanced perspective. So we can journey more consciously as human beings.
My art courses are designed to help you reconnect with the beauty and love of your soul, and to help you develop and improve your technical skills so you can express that beauty and love. As you may already know, the creative process is as empowering as it is healing.
I love that you are here because we both value art and creativity. We know that art truly makes the world a better place because it makes each and every individual who owns and makes art a better person.
Please tell us about your work.
My creative mission is to help my collectors, students, and myself really reconnect with the beauty and well being in the world and in ourselves. There are mainly two sources of income, one from selling my artwork (originals and prints), and the other from art courses. I’ve only started to take my art business seriously this year, and it’s been really well received in Facebook auctions, and the artists and creatives communities. You can find out more about me at lucychenfineart.com
What is your art background?
I’m a banker turned artist and I went to school for finance instead of art. I painted my first portrait shortly after I turned 29, when I stumbled upon an online art class. Even though it wasn’t a good painting and I struggled immensely to create skin tones, I knew that I was meant to be a painter the first time I picked up a paint brush! Since then, I’ve learned from online classes, art books, and from attending regular life drawing sessions.
On your website you wrote that you art came from
a dark place, can you explain?
I wouldn’t say my art came from a dark place, but I had been depressed for a long time, and for most of it I wasn’t even aware of my depression as I was pushing it away and getting busy to just function. It was only when I eventually cut my arm that I realised that I needed change. In hindsight, it was one of the best things that ever happened because it cracked open my heart so light can finally shine through.
How did art heal you?
I think at the very beginning, the creative process itself forced me to dig deep into myself so that I could no longer ignore my emotions and feelings that had been pushed away for years. So at first, it would seem that it had made it more painful for me. But it opened me up that light finally came through the cracks. After I cut myself, I was so scared of what other things I was capable of doing, and I would hide in the closet and cried many times a day. It was when I started painting self portraits by looking at myself in the mirror that the second half of the healing finally began, and it was powerful! When you start observing yourself in the mirror and start putting down your observations on canvas, you would eventually stop judging yourself. You affirm yourself that you are worthy of being painted, and recreated as a piece of art. After you’ve made the painting, you clearly get a sense of separation between you, the person, and the painting of you. You realise that you the person is much more than the painting of you. And that’s the same with your emotions, circumstances, and etc. – all these things form part of your life, but it’s not the real you, the whole you, the essence of you, some of you may call it the Spirit, or the Inner Self, Higher Self.
You sell your artwork on your website, is that a
good way to sell art?
I’ve only set up my online store a few months ago, but the main place I’m selling my originals and prints is through Facebook auctions. I have not approached any galleries because they take 50-60% as commission and they pay you in arrears. It is not something I consider beneficial to my collectors or myself.
You sell both originals and prints, is one more
popular than the other?
At the moment, my originals are more popular because I only have made several artwork available as prints. I expect that may change once more prints become available.
Do you recommend teaching art classes as a good
income source for artists?
Yes, I do. First of all, more and more people are starting to awaken to their creative nature and they need your guidance and help to get started, to improve, to dig deep, to open up. You have value to give. Secondly, other than originals and prints, art classes is another stream of income you can create from the same process and the same artwork.
Can you give some advice for artists considering
creating their own online art classes?
Yes. First, you need to know who you are teaching. Second, learn how to develop a good class by taking classes yourself, and consider taking a course about how to develop an online class.
Do you have any advice for artists contemplating
a conventional job for the money or pursuing their
I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. You can certainly keep the job so you have money coming in to pay the bills while pursuing your creative passion at night or weekends. My philosophy is that if you have time for Netflix or TV after work, you have time to paint after work, but only if you love it enough to do it. I have other sources of income besides my art business so I never had to put financial pressure on my muse. She prefers to be nurtured, not pressured.
This course is for beginner to intermediate artists who would like to learn about Fauvism, Mattise, or Picasso through hands-on fun and quick projects.