ArtShine

Close Up Interview with Artist & Designer Chris Chun

Welcome  to our very first ArtSHINE  Close Up  with artist and designer Chris Chun. Chris and I met over 15 years ago. I have been working with Chris for the past 5 years helping with his creative business. And in that time we have become very good friends.

Chris is a talented artist. His work  is about celebrating  the joy of life. It’s colourful and full of happiness.  He also has a range of homewares which is all made with integrity, purpose, and soul.Chris has also licensed his artwork  around the world. Some of his beautiful artwork  have been licensed in ceramics, fabrics, and stationery. I would not be surprised if you owned  one of  Chris’ creations. And if you do, I’m sure you love and treasure it.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am an artist and designer who is living their dream. I have my own business. I exhibit as a full time artist at galleries approximately every 18 months and I also license my artwork & design for various companies around the world. This can include anything from ceramics to stationery to fabrics. I am also producing my own range of homewares and working on my first book. The best part is that I only work about 9 months of the year – the rest of the time I am usually traveling.

Who/ what inspires your work and why?

I am inspired by my travels, my cultural background, different artists & designers, films, music, TV, magazines, blogs…..basically anything and everything but the central core of all my work is ‘celebrating the joy in life!’ My work is happy, colourful and optimistic.

What was your previous job?

Previously I was working as a freelance designer working for different companies and retailers in homewares – bedding, cushions etc.

Describe a typical day for you at the studio

On a good day, I get up early to go to the gym or do a yoga class. First hour is spent going through emails and reading up on blogs etc. Then I work until 1pm where I have lunch with Oprah. I work from home so I can watch TV and I love Oprah!! Some of the shows are quite inspiring. I then work until about 6pm then cook dinner. Then aound 9pm, I am often either sending emails or calling clients in the USA/ Europe about current projects etc. I never paint at night as I like painting with natural daylight so I only paint during the day and design at night on my Apple Mac.

 

As a Solo Artist, what are the pros and cons about working on your own?

The advantages are that I am my own boss so I work to my own beat and I don’t have anyone telling me what to do. Working at home, I can put on a load of washing while I’m waiting for the paint to dry, I can take days off if I want and have complete flexibility. Probably the biggest thing I miss, is working with other people; bouncing ideas off other people and general chit chat. My cat Caesar only talks to me when he wants to eat. You have to be really disciplined to work on your own.  I think deep down I’m really lazy so I take on as much work as possible so I don’t slack off. The thought of not completing a job and letting down a client far outweighs the laziness of just doing nothing!

When did you discover that you can make a full time career from your artwork?

I guess when my first exhibition sold out, I knew that I could paint full time as a career and people liked my work. Around the same time, I was approached by a company in the UK who wanted to license some of my paintings onto greeting cards.

How important is networking in your creative business?

Networking is really important to my business as it is just me working on my own. I find it really beneficial connecting with other like minded designers/ artists. It’s really great to share ideas, stories and even contacts like suppliers, galleries etc. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Never underestimate this. I also find networking groups online such as LinkedIn really helpful; I am part of a group of artists who license in the USA who have been very generous with their knowledge about working in the States.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out?

Do something that you love and follow it with all your heart. Part of being creative is being able to connect with people whether it’s a design or a painting. It’s all very well doing what you love to do but if no one else likes it then you’ve got a problem. At the end of the day, you want to be able to make a living from it so people have to like your stuff and want to buy it.

What is your proudest moment so far?

I think being able to make a living doing what I love.

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learnt?

Never stop learning new things, always challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. You’d be amazed what you can achieve when you thought you couldn’t do it.

Where do we find your work?

You can find my work at www.chrischun.com and in all major and independent retail stores.

About The Author

I am a Business LifeStyle coach who specialises in working with artists, designers, crafters and all creative professionals. Myself and my partner Stuart Horrex are here to help you to achieve your Life & business goal and dreams. We have had over 20 years experience in finance, retail,furniture,food,wine fashion,crafts and hospitality.