I began to listen to my own thoughts and ideas.

I was the optimistic and happy-go-lucky girl who’s always dreaming of becoming an artist.

Of course, reality hits us hard. Art was usually my escape, but I am constantly being told off and pulled back to what is ‘right’ and ‘practical’. Studying Science. Then Medicine. Because “art isn’t going to make money, is it?” Finally, I’ve just given up on trying to retain that part of me.

I always felt out of place. I envied those who were so sure about what they wanted. There were some who I always wondered if they were in the same boat as me, expectations overriding choice or passion. But of course, we never discuss it.

Later on, going away overseas for a few years helped me. I began to listen to my own thoughts and ideas. I find people who shared similar passions. For the first time ever, I felt liberated. Piece by piece, I am building myself back up to the person I always wanted to be. Finally, going to the London Art Fair consolidated my calling.

The road of practicing arts is still difficult. Many who don’t seem to understand will judge me, criticize me and throw every possible hurdle my way. But I have come to realise that I own the right to my life, no one else does. And it has always been that way.

I am still carving the path to where I want to be, it will be an endless journey but at least it is the path that I chose for myself. My ambition in the truest words is to create art till the day I die. So I would advise to you not to just chase your dream, but make it a reality. Fight and work so hard like you’ve never worked before. And drown out those negative noises with people who really matter.

I am the best of me.

Caryn Koh