Getting to know: Cristjen Lai (part 1 of 2)

Artist, Cristjen Lai isn’t a fan of hyper-realistic or abstract artworks. He speaks of the lifelike qualities he brings to his artworks using the classic Chinese ink painting technique and a steady hand.

H&D: Can you share with our readers your story leading up to your career as an artist?

C: I grew up surrounded by creative people. My aunt and parents shaped me into what I am today. I paint as a kid but being six years old I didn’t understand what art is. It wasn’t until I went to art school that I began to grasp the understanding of art which is an attitude of the spirit, a state of mind and a lifestyle.

H&D: How did you develop a passion for art?

C: One can learn how to paint but art-making can’t be taught. You have to feel it in your gut, body and mind. Art career is one of the most difficult paths one can have to make a living. There are no shortcuts. But what is the true definition of passion? What does it mean to have a passion or to be passionate about something? Passion is an internal force motivating you to be devoted, affectionate, to desire and have a deep interest in what we wish to do. It’s a personal need that can be expressed in different ways. Passion creates action and action creates results. I discovered my passion for art when I realised nothing satisfies me more than expressing my feelings through painting.