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  • wyrebeccang

Finding a hobby for your own sanity

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Moving to Hong Kong and adjusting to a very different work culture was a struggle for me especially in the first year. I was working 10-16 hours a day and there were even nights I pulled all-nighters, on top of that I was homesick, having moved to a tiny little space where there was little natural light...I genuinely felt my mental health spiralling, and so I made it a priority to find a hobby as a way to maintain my sanity. Here is a little bit about my journey there...

Believe it or not, growing up I actually learnt traditional Chinese watercolour painting for 10 years. And after years of being told by the adults and peers around me (biased I know) that I really had a talent, it was a blow to the ego and shock to the system when I was rejected from entering Elam School of Fine Arts (Part of University of Auckland). But you know what, in hindsight not getting in probably turned out better for me anyways.

What the rejection did do, was it turned something I loved, something I was proud of into something repulsive that I just didn't want to do or touch anymore. It wasn't until 9 years later, living in Hong Kong by myself, killing myself over a job that worked me to the ground - I thought I needed an outlet / or at least a hobby of some sort instead of just working 24/7. So after much googling, I got myself a trial class at Studio83 in Central.

The reason why I chose Studio83 was that they offered lessons for oil painting, something that was not Chinese watercolour, and that I had always wanted to try - and honestly it was the best decision ever.

There is something so alluring with oils, the way it doesn't dry quickly as acrylic does, the way you can create textures, blend colours, and create something that looks different when you look up-close versus when you look at it from a distant.

I've definitely improved over-time, but having a teacher that doesn't try to mould me to her style and just teaching me the techniques and allowing me to learn and grow on my own has definitely created a haven where I can just relax and be. And the biggest thing I've learnt from doing oils, which can easily be applied to life as well is...Sometimes you just gotta trust the process...and I highly recommend that whatever work you're in, however stressful it is, find something that let's you just take your mind of things...

My work from 2019-2023 so far

So, I really recommend if you don't do anything outside of work, you should! And if joining a class is too expensive, getting started at home or following YouTube videos will also give you a more cost effective way to set some time aside for yourself.

Here are a few links to painting sets that I've purchased myself to paint at home:

Buy here from Amazon:

This set of brushes also contains a lot of the brushes that my teacher initially started me on - see the beach painting:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you chose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link. It’s okay – I purchased this paint set before and it was perfect for starting oil at home!



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