When you’re young, you don’t know what you’re actually good at; you just do what you love and then people start seeing you’re good at that stuff. So, it’s kind of like playing. When you’re playing, there’s no stress; you’re just enjoying yourself. There’s no pressure to be like someone or something; you just create. Playing is important to make you create something because you’re not setting a boundary.
My parents went to South Africa to work at a garment factory, so at a young age I got to interact with fabric and colors and see the process, and that affected me to like fashion. I think childhood is quite important in a person’s life, and compared to other Taiwanese kids, mine was free. Most Taiwanese kids go to cram school after school and all they do is study. I don’t think they’ve really experienced nature. Nature to me is a way to connect; my art is a way to connect to nature and to be peaceful. Doing art soothes me and is calming, just thinking how each brushstroke should work.
Another thing about Taiwanese children is that they don’t know what they’ve got, their potential. You know when we were younger in South Africa, we’re always talking about wanting to be this or wanting to be that. The children there have an idea of what they want to be even though it’s near impossible, like a president. But when I did a speech and asked my class in Taiwan, no one knew what they wanted to do. But, they actually have potential, they just don’t know. If you like something, just keep doing it even if you’re not good at it. Keep pursuing it if you really enjoy it a lot. You don’t just become good at something in one day.
We all moved back to Taiwan and I was lost. I didn’t know what to do or who I was anymore because I didn’t know where my home was. Through the process, you learn to accept the fact that you can’t change anything. My first year back in Taiwan, I didn't go to school and I went to try a fashion course in Taipei. I learned to explore, and through fashion, I learned to accept more people and face more challenges.
I was really worried what would happen to my future, about school, university; I didn’t even have a certificate or degree. But I feel like when you want something really badly, the universe will help you to get it. You just have to trust. When you really need something, you attract like-minded people that you need. You have to believe and you have to have patience. You can’t have the thing immediately, but somehow you’ll get it eventually.
When I took that fashion course, most of the people were 24 and above and they’re still figuring out what they like and they said I’m so young because I was 16, but I didn't feel young. So, I don’t think it’s age; it’s more about what you have. I still get impatient, but I just have to trust and wait. Whatever you want will appear, but it won’t appear in your face, it will be silent messages. And every decision will change you, either good or bad. If Its a bad decision, you’ll learn from that and then you’ll change from that, which will turn into a good decision because you learned from that, so it’s a stepping stone.
After awhile, I met this teacher at the course and she suggested a few schools to go to. One of them accepted me and I am happy to be able to keep pursuing what I’m doing. Now, I’m busy doing everything I love. I took art as a major and that’s when I started really getting to see what I was good at. I remember one of my art teachers told me that she used to wake up at night just because she got an idea and needed to write it down. She always told me that art needs to be outside the box, and to just let your mind wander and create. Don’t be in a box.
What inspires me is going out and exploring. You have to open your eyes and not be in your little bubble. Don’t be too self-centered, and let yourself go. You can get inspiration from anything. I think just being curious about everything will help people be free and create.
I just like to create and right now I’m doing jewelry designing. We have a lot of homework and I’m still learning.
I want to do a variation of stuff because I think the most important isn’t about what you make, but the message you create with your artwork. I want to learn as broad as possible and in the future, I hope to become a fashion designer.
I like drawing people. In the drawing I created for Totes and Tees, there are three people and only the adult man has his head up; the rest are looking down. The message is that we all have a part we have to walk and we’re all heading there, but we have to look up sometimes and maybe we’ll see the message and what’s around us. Take a moment to look up.
I have a lot of friends and they create something really pretty but they’re too embarrassed to show it because they think it’s lame. You might think it’s lame or boring, but to other people, you have something they don’t have and maybe they like it very much. It’s a different perspective, so you have to change your perspective and not be negative or put yourself down; it’s an attitude: just share it.
People like to see what’s up and what you’ve been creating and I want to show them what I’ve been doing. Artwork is like a diary of how you see things. Just sharing the beauty in life creates a different perspective.