Spotlight Interview with Eliza Cheng, her techniques, learning from the masters and being an interdisciplinary artist.
Thank you for speaking to us about your art journey. Where did it all begin for you?
I worked in the commercial world as a management consultant for some years before taking a turn to do art full time. My art journey as a professional artist really began in 2002 when I was introduced to join an international art group of some established artists based in Hong Kong. It was at this platform where I was required to paint and exhibit constantly and consistently. I therefore pushed myself to explore art at all levels, and became accountable to my art buddies, and eventually to the public.
From who or from where do you draw inspiration for your work?
In former years, I acquired solid technical drawing and painting skills in realism from two private Chinese Lao-shi (masters). I painted whatever interested my eyes. However a bigger appetite for more meaningful art grew as I progressed in the art journey. In 2009 I pursued an MFA programme that trained me to talk my walk. In this process-oriented approach I learned to delve much deeper, develop techniques and concepts, produce bodies of works that speak my heart and see my hands in the making, and own my unique expressions. This inspirational soul-searching way of making art, exploring subjects that matter to me, still goes on!
Do you like to experiment with what you use to create art and how would you describe your artistic style?
Being an interdisciplinary artist, my art covers a range of genres in various mediums. Continuous experimentation is important to put my intuition and inspiration into being, and see how ideas truly present themselves. In painting, I like to create series and collections in which I usually work on a few pieces at the same time. This allows free flow of artistic juices. The exciting part is to explore points of interest and find out how they share common threads, look for possibilities to develop them till they are resolved and complete both collectively and individually. As for those that don’t quite work, new challenges arise and it’s all the more celebrating.
Why are your designs so different to other artists within the industry?
I don’t think my art is in any way much different to other artists’ works in terms of subject matters; it’s just reflecting my viewpoints. I believe it has found its voice. People who know me usually easily find my personality in my art. I remember I once hosted an art event at the studio, some buddies came and immediately said “your studio is so you!” In a way, I very much live out my art 🙂
How do you stay relevant and current in a world full of creatives?
I try to paint and create to stay open and current, and respond to anything that stimulates my thought. While taking the advantages that ideas present themselves instantly through the internet in this technology era, I need to be alert how and how much I allow myself to be fed by the influx of information. A world full of creatives is exciting, and I always admire new things, both mine and others. However I will be silly to simply follow or conform without discerning, thus losing myself.
How has social media impacted on you as judging by your online presence you seem to embrace this?
The social media gives us an immediate platform to share our lives, tell of our endeavours, connect with like-minded people, feed us with the latest trends of happenings, and to enable instant information exchange. Establishing and managing an online presence for my art is naturally my direct response to enjoy all these. As a result, I have become more disciplined in producing meaningful art, sharing the art processes, as well as gathering useful feedbacks from all sides.
How has your brand grown to where it is now? What has contributed to your success?
I have definitely benefitted from the online presence especially in the social media to brand my art. Keeping a professional online presence means that my production (art making) and marketing has to be proactive, consistent and focused. But self-discipline is the key to make it work! I have to be dedicated in managing my art business, both online and at studio.
Have you worked with any galleries or brands or completed any important commissions you can share with us?
So far, such readily seen profile has effectively informed a few galleries, a PR firm, an art dealer, and a few educational disciplines to approach me for project collaboration and art consultancy. I still recall two fun art projects and a consultancy work: an exhibition with a renowned jeweller at the grand hall of HK Convention and Exhibition Centre, a press release conference for Shu Uemura, and an 8-weeks teaching on figure drawing to two classes of IB Art students.
Which projects are you really excited about for 2021 and are there any future plans you can share with us?
Due to many uncertainties, my plans in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled or put on hold, although the amount of art teaching during the lockdown unexpectedly increased. While having a few paintings to get done, I’ve been looking forward to the Sussex Art Fair which has been postponed for a year due to Covid-19. It will be my first time to show my art publicly in the UK, and I’m really excited about it.
See a selection of work from Eliza Cheng HERE