Exclusive Interview with Yue Zeng

 Hello Dear Yue Zeng. Thank you for giving us the chance to Interview with you. Our first question is who are you and what do you do?

I am a freelance artist who paints mostly with oil. My painting subjects focus on fantasy and abstract.

   Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what drove you to choose art as a career? 

I graduate from SUNY-ESF (State University of New York, Environmental Science and Forestry) as Master of Science in Environmental Chemistry in 2012. I worked in chemistry industry for a while. In 2017 I had a difficult time both mentally and physically. So at that time, I thought a lot, especially how I want to live my life and what do I really want to accomplish. I love science, I still do but I need to create things to feel alive. After graduation from University I actually tried variety pathways such as carpenter, chef and even tailor. Eventually, as you may guess, I picked up my all-time favorite art as my new direction.

 We want to talk about the Fantastic creatures in your Artworks. Can you tell us more about your theme and how do you choose the subject of your painting?

When I started painting again in 2017 it had been a long time since I picked up a paint brush. I noticed that my landscapes were terrible; my still life was terrible, my portraits were okay and only my animal paintings were decent to me. So I started focusing on long-haired animals. It gave me confidence to move forward and practice painting techniques without feeling like I was making horrible pieces. I tried all kinds of long-haired animals such as cats, dogs, tigers, cheetahs, and red pandas against simple backgrounds. Slowly, I got better at painting complicated backgrounds and was able to add trees, forests, and rocks. If you were to flip through my work from 2017 to today, you would see my progression and how I began to add more variety in color, subject and style. Now I am interested in exploring abstract and fantasy styles. From 2017 to early 2021, it was "what can I paint?” and from 2021 until now, it is "what do I want to paint?". Maybe in the future it will be "What in my dream last night could I paint?”

 Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

Yes. It is lonely. But I really enjoy it if I may say. I love when it is just me, my canvas and brush. The happiest thing for me (in my mind for now) is that I can paint from morning to late night without interruption. Well, I don’t have that luxury with a busy family. But I hope one day I can stay in my self-built studio as long as I like. My personality test says I am INTJ so I think I can survive the loneness. :D

What do you believe it means to be an artist and how did you start with your art adventure?

I believe that being an artist is nature for someone. Deep down it is the urge to create things spontaneously such as music, art and writing. It doesn’t matter if this artist needs to find another profession to support living. They still count as artists. The real challenge comes from being a professional artist. That means the artist needs to build up a brand in their own name on top of creating. For example, I like cooking and I cook a lot. But if I want to become a professional chef, I need to do far more practice and other stuff than just enjoy casual cooking dishes for family. I would need to stand for long hours, come up with new recipes regularly and handle the pressure in kitchen during rush hours. With that being said, my art adventure started when I wanted to become a professional artist in 2017. I learned a lot, tried a lot and built up my portfolio like a business. There are still tons of things I need to study but at least I am slowly moving forward.

Can you give us a spoiler on what’s coming next for Yue Zeng? 

Currently I have 3 series of abstract oil paintings in my drying corner. One is “Coral reef”, including 2 paintings. One is “Ramen noodle”, including 4 paintings and another one is “Lion dance”, including 4 paintings.

I hope with these upcoming paintings, my abstract style is more obvious to viewers.

 Anything else you'd like to mention that I didn't ask?

 If I could time travel back to college, I would still choose chemistry as my major because I love it. Twenty years later if I look back now, I would still choose to live as an artist. As to the professional (make a living) part, I will work as hard as I can. The journey is tough and no guaranty results (who knows?). But like Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”





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