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Meet Nancy Chiu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy Chiu.

Nancy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am an artist who loves to explore various forms of expression including paintings for gallery exhibitions, commissioned art, paper goods, zines, and murals. I received my BFA and MFA in illustration from California State University, Long Beach, and have since been working as a freelance artist for a variety of clients, developing my own line of greeting cards and creating personal artwork.

My personal drawings and paintings are inspired by my observation of nature and the meaningful experiences in my life. Feeling too deeply is a theme that I encounter regularly in my life and continues to give me inspiration and provide material for my images.

Three years ago, I came upon a lost baby mourning dove at a busy outdoor shopping mall. His nest had most likely been destroyed, and his parents were nowhere in sight. This helpless little thing was terrified, trying to run away from the crowd and almost getting stepped on a few times. I quickly scooped him up and took him home to warmth and safety while I tried to locate a wildlife center that would accept him. I looked after this baby for a couple of days before finding Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach.

I had grown very fond of this little bird in the short time we had with him, and became tuned in to the innocent animals around us in need of help. I really want to give something back to nature for its beauty and hospitality in any way that I can, by helping one tiny animal at a time. I started volunteering at WWCC last summer and have developed an endless fascination for all the wild animals we work with.

I feel particularly drawn to birds, especially since adopting Deedo, a domestic ringneck dove, who has quickly become my muse. His love, fluffiness, and sweetness deeply inspire me. Painting birds has become the most delightful thing in the world. I enjoy the challenge of capturing the elegance in their form and subtle shifts in colors of each feather.

Has it been a smooth road?
I spend a lot of time working alone, often cooped up in my home studio space for days without leaving the house. Sometimes my only glimpse of the outside world is Instagram.

Seeing all the talented artists there, it can be very easy to start drowning in my insecurity and self-doubt. As difficult as that can be, I have to remind myself that it is important to focus on creating for the sake of creating, not for all the likes and follows.

Financial worries and the struggle to earn a steady income can also be something that starts to make me feel the pressure to do something more practical than art, even when I am passionate about what I am creating. I know that being an artist just means dealing with some unique sacrifices and challenges.

Despite the struggle, I love creating images that celebrate nature and document significant moments and relationships in my life. The feeling of being lost in my own fantasy world as I cover a page with tiny marks is tranquil and healing.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Growing up, I always enjoyed giving my friends and family handmade cards for special occasions. Nothing brings me greater happiness and fulfillment than to watch my loved ones’ warm expression the moment they pull my card out of the envelope. The goal of my stationery line is to encourage people to show appreciation for their precious ones, and to give them the opportunity to experience the joy of being a gifter.

I also make commissioned paintings that capture a special moment that the recipient gets to experience over and over again. For commissioned paintings, I like to come up with concepts that are personal and unique to each giver and recipient’s relationship.

The thing that sets my business apart from others is my sincerity. Everything I make is heartfelt and thoughtful. I make sure my design is original, and the final result is meticulously crafted. I value things that are handmade with care, and all of my work is created with love.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and the least?
I love all the wetlands and natural parks in Orange County. I feel soothed and deeply moved by nature, and I often feel rejuvenated and inspired after a nice walk in the park. I started volunteering at Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach last year, and it’s both educational and fulfilling working so closely with wildlife.

I have learned a lot about the damage we have done to the environment and am more aware of the consequences of my own actions. My goal is to make art that helps people notice the beauty of underappreciated living things and to raise awareness of the impact we have on their habitats.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
The Light & Glass Photography, Yevgeniya Mikhailik

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