If you have ever self-talked your way out of creating art simply based off of the assumption that you are more “left brained” or more “analytical” by nature – we are here to tell you that you may be missing out on a lot of unexplored reservoirs of talent, a source of peace, and avenue for self-expression.
She is both a software engineer and an amazing artist that is already taking the art world by storm. Read on to get to know her!
What is your biggest source of inspiration for your art?
It is CONFLICTION. I think confliction is the consistent narrative throughout everyone’s life. Everything is two-fold, so is confliction. It frustrates me, but also inspires me at the same time. Well better get something out from the demon, right? Currently the biggest confliction going on with me is high-pace professional life and the desire of slow pace country life. While my life is currently looping the nine to five playlist, my eyes are distracted by the clouds outside the window. I paint humid pacific northwest, I paint the edge of the city. Maybe in the next chapter of my life, another bigger frustration will hit me and make me paint something else. But right now, I’m staying with my humid pacific northwest, and its big and fluffy clouds.
What mediums do you prefer? Why?
I studied digital art in school, but shifted to traditional art this year. Between acrylic and watercolor, I settled on watercolor. So why watercolor, or traditional art, instead of digital art? It seems that it make more sense if I do digital. I cannot really explain why, maybe it is the physical feeling attached to brush and paper, maybe it is the water flow between pigments, maybe it is watercolor’s high dynamic nature bringing me surprises every time. I cannot put my affection about watercolor into rational words, but my feelings are clearly telling me that’s the medium for me. So I currently gave up on asking myself why, but just to go with the flow and enjoy the moment.
What positive message would you like to share as an artist to the world?
Language isn’t the only method of expressing yourself. When you find language not working for you perfectly, consider trying something else. Dancing, painting, pottery. Maybe you will find your lost voice there.
Who is your biggest artistic influence?
People and things happening in my life. I know it is an answer you may see way too many times. But it is true. People and things I run into online and offline, they inspire me every day.
What do you do for a living? Are you an artist full time?
I’m currently a full-time software engineer, working part-time as an artist. But I’m trying to switch to a full-time artist in the future, after I build enough momentum in my art career.
How do you manage art + working a full time job?
Time management is challenging, when balancing my full-time job, art career and my life as a human being. I can only have 24 hrs per day, so if I want to get more hours on art, it means I need to move over some time spent on other things. Right now my choice is to give up some sleep and social. I currently get up at 6:00 am in the morning to do art and business related, before going to work at 9:30 am. I try to plan my time with friends and family more carefully, to make sure the time spent together is high-quality, so that I can maintain relationship while spending less time. I skipped most happy hours in bars. I still go to social event, but more focus on art related events. So I guess the key for me is, discipling, planning, trying to kill two birds using one stone.
Why do you paint? Why art?
Art is another way of expressing myself. It is the long missing channel of my another voice. I’m glad I got it back. From time to time, I find colors send out way more message for me than I can with language. Language to me is more to describe my conscious mind, while painting is there to express my subconscious flow of thoughts and desires.
Do you feel art helps you in your daily life?
Yes! Brush stroke calms me, makes me happy, but also intimidates me sometimes, since I’m not a master of it. It brings such a big variety of feelings to my life, I feel every day is so interesting.
Which one of your paintings is your favorite? Why?
Ouch, that’s a hard question. Just like all babies are cute, I like all of my paintings. But if I had to pick one, then maybe this one. I created it when a moment of Zen hit me. It still strikes thoughts every time I look at it.
You can find Zoee and purchase her work here:
zoeexiao.com. Her instagram and facebook handle @zoeexiao
On behalf of Paint my Meditation, thank you for inspiring others with your beautiful work Zoee!