Commercialization and Art

“If you were Michelangelo and you are given $50k a week to paint bathroom walls, would you do it?”

My direct answer to this question would be – an obvious no. If I had chosen commercial work over my art, I would not have written three books nor have three million views on YouTube to date. In fact, there will not be anything distinctive about me, I would be like another Asian Female casted in stereotypical roles and easily forgotten as another actress no matter how famous I could be. I would be used by the media to gain profits for the studios, and then discarded when I no longer have any commercial value. Such was the tragic fate of Marilyn Monroe.

I have done numerous of photo shoots to date, almost every photographer I had worked with said they have never worked with a model like myself. I am their best work on their portf0lio, and not the commercial work they had done (weddings, maternity etc).

For one, I treat the photographer as the artist, and I am the muse. I am the object of desire, and they are the voyeur. I do trade for CD (TFCD) on purely artistic collaboration purposes if I like the photographer’s work. I would study their previous work, and give them ideas on what we could shoot and then we choose the props and location together. It’s an artistic collaboration to further our personal development.

By doing collaborative shoots, it helps me understand myself as an artist and pushes me to work with different people with different strengths (some photographers are good with indoor and some are good with outdoor shoots).

Photography is an evolved art form from painting canvases. The model, or the muse, has no different function except to inspire the artist to create. The viewers to imagine. The canvas to unfold a new reality never envisioned before. Such is the painting of modern art. Such is what I try to create in my work. In my vision, my dreams… my desires.

My art has by far not bought me much profits and it is self funded. In fact, I had chosen my art above all things in my life because it brings me the most fulfillment. I don’t mind the conditions I have to go through to accomplish a masterpiece. I will put in the hours and work like an artisan.

I could have, and easily chosen to commercialise and popularise my art if I wanted to, but there is something pure and beautiful about being indie, undiscovered, untouched. There is a rarity to be private, yet public. Sometimes I have an inner conflict if I should try to be more popular and likable and get more publicity. Get more mainstream roles or to become famous.

I believe I stayed true to my art for so long because I wanted to do it, and not because I wanted the world to validate it nor the public to like it. It is for myself mostly. It’s subjective reality, and the reality I wish to see, and create for the world.

The trade off of my indie art creation is that I don’t get much privacy, as much as I wished for, my work is mostly public, and it’s public property. But I had figured out it’s better to put my work out there than to keep it to myself.

But I don’t need anyone to validate it except that I do it out of my own accord and will.

Eventually I will have to gravitate towards mainstream, towards recognition, towards publicity, but before that day comes, I will continue to work on my craft and keep my art pure to my soul.



Once, a student asked “How do we paint an orange, as orange?”. Our art teacher replied, “When light filters through our eyes, we will perceive the colour, orange, differently. It is impossible to paint orange, as orange, some will paint it darker, some lighter, or more red, or more yellowish. It is the reflection of the world we live in” ~ Chan Kerk

Picture of my painting and I taken at Arteastiq, Mandarin Gallery

A Tough Dilemma

If i choose to do fine art painting, it means, more resources are channeled into buying art supplies and school fees.

That means, less shopping, hanging out and socialising.

A tough decision I have been taking recently.

A tube of paint cost $5, I use an average of 3 tubes per painting, a canvas cost $20. I do preliminary sketches as well. An average, I spend $50 on the cost of production of a painting.

I paint an average of one painting a week.

You get the figure.

I am a dead broke artist right now.


A Heart is an outer shell of protection from feeling


My First Painting / Sketches

hard heart

Experimenting around with willow charcoal to sketch a three dimensional heart

goddess painting rising out of the sun

My very first acylic painting. I did it on a drawing block, huge mistake.

Introduction painting class at my art space. We were asked to only use blue to paint still life. The banana was exceptionally hard. We had to get the tone and shadows right. Overall, I think that it still needs alot of work.

optical illusion sketch

A sketch of an optical illusion I am working on. It is pretty difficult as it is hand drawn. I am trying to coordinate the colours but somehow it still looks kind of weird so I am still experimenting around with this. Most likely I will paint it on a huge canvas in time to come.