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Your Story | Artist Celine Chia Hui Xuan

‘Your Story’ is a collaboration between SquareFixed Photography (@squarefixedphotography), alongside various creative individuals in Singapore, in hope to spread more awareness of the local art scene and to inspire more individuals on their creative journey.

To kickstart our ‘Your Story’ Series, we are privileged and honoured to have with us Singapore Artist, Celine Chia Hui Xuan. Celine is a cheerful and friendly artist, and the following is an excerpt of our interview prior to our studio photoshoot.

Singapore Artist Celine Chia

When Did You Start Your Art Journey?

I (artist Celine Chia) started learning art when I was three. My mum signed me up for

art classes under Art Vision Enterprise. Under the guidance of my art teacher, I build

up my foundations of drawing, colouring and painting techniques. These classes

were vibrant and engaging and there was no limits or restrictions to what you can

learn. Every class was different, and I got to try out different styles of creating art.


How Did You Discover Your Unique Art Style?

Although I get my inspirations from platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube videos and

Instagram explore page, I adapt, innovate and improvise, and recreate my own

unique artwork. One of my interest is in hyperrealism. As such, whenever I look at

objects (eg. Food, sceneries), I see the subject as more than just an object. I see it

as a mesh of colours, blending and intertwining together. This is why you see a

greater depth/layer in my artworks.

Artworks by Artist Celine Chia
More artworks by Artist Celine Chia

Why Did You Start Ccmonstersart?

Art has always been my passion. Adding colours to life is my company’s brand motto

and I live by it each and every day. I believe that art has the power to influence and

foster communities. Just take a look at singers and musical artists for instance. They

have their own audience and fan base. Even opera and theatre art have their

supporters. All these artists started somewhere. Ccmonstersart was my beginnings

in this field and I intend to commit to making it a renowned brand.


Why Did You Decide to Start a Business And Open

Your Own Art Studio?

It all started during the Covid-19 lockdown. During this period of turmoil, I

volunteered for online art classes to teach the elderly. At the same time, since there

was no graduation ceremony (class of 2020), I decided to do up customised

explosion boxes for my peers. The explosion boxes took off and there were many

fellow graduates who expressed interest in my crafts. Thus, I created a Carousell

account and Instagram account (@c_line_crafts) to sell my works of art.


After the lockdown, I got the opportunity to meet up with the elderly (my students)

and they showed appreciation to my lessons. To me, it was a really fruitful learning

experience and I felt inspired when I see the elderly picking up a new hobby. They

made me feel that it is possible to build a career around art.


Around this time period, my previous art teacher reached out to me and asked if I

wanted a space to conduct my classes. This was how my studio came into fruition. I

started trial classes with my own peers and improved myself based on their

feedbacks. From the positive feedbacks, I gained more confidence and proceeded to

conducting my own personal classes.

Sunflowers (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Acrylic

How Do You Feel About Being An Artist in Singapore?

I feel that it is definitely not a path that is made for everyone. There is no easy way or

shortcut to reach your desired goal. I have came across many creative people who are not in this industry, simply because of the social stigmas surrounding it. There is this fear and prejudice that their works will not be accepted by the general public.


The art community is relatively small in Singapore, and they do not have as much

presence/influence to make an impact. In spite of all these hurdles, I believe that

Ccmonstersart will definitely succeed and propel the arts industry forward.


Your Biggest Motivation to Keep You Going?

Initially, my friends were my source of motivation. They were the ones who first

started following my Instagram page and seeing my works of art. As I continued posting

and updating my content, there were actually random followers who relate and

appreciate my works of art. They even reached out to thank me for the works that I

have put out. It came as a pleasant surprise for me especially since I did not expect

this to happen.


As I transitioned from being a freelance artist to a full-time artist, my relatives gradually started accepting and becoming more receptive towards my career. Even as I educate my students during art classes, I learn alongside them by reading up as well as doing up my own samples.


To me, it is definitely rewarding to see how far they have progressed since their lesson with me. Teaching actually helps me to self-actualise and I understand myself and my teaching style better. I put in extra effort to make my classes engaging and entertaining. I choose to be different from the corporate franchises and allow my students to let their creative juices flow. I do not restrict or impose anything on my students and this in turn allow the students to express themselves better. This enables them to absorb and perform better.

Artist Celine Chia painting her latest canvas, titled ‘sunflowers’

Do You Have Any Advice For People Who Want to Start Their Creative Journey?

Have an end goal in mind and work towards it. If you are hesitant or have doubts,

take small steps. This can be as simple as posting an art content on your social

media or work on a personal project. It is okay to start off as a side hustle and work a

full time role to sustain yourself.


Here is the undaunting truth that no one wants to tell you about – do not expect any

support or grants from the government. It is important for you to be able to manage

your finances before committing full time. If you have all these in check and still have

a passion towards the arts, you have my full support.


Every step goes a long way. Never forget the reason that made you take the first

step. There will definitely be circumstances where you feel that your efforts are futile.

In fact, there are times where I felt that for every step I take, I am moving two steps

backwards. At times like this, my advice for you is to push on, you may not see your

results in the short run, but it will certainly be worth it.


A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Take a leap of faith and

start somewhere.

Artist Celine Chia, carrying the weight of her works of art

Do check out Artist Celine Chia Hui Xuan's Instagram (@ccmonstersart) or visit https://ccmonstersart.com/blog/ for more of her work. All photographs are taken by SquareFixed (@squarefixedphotography).

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