GUEST ARTIST: Make Art Inspired By Your Stories

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Elisa Choi Ang - landscape - #doodlewash

Hello, everyone! I’m Elisa Choi Ang, a watercolor artist from the Philippines, currently living in Singapore with my husband. I am thankful for the opportunity to be asked by Charlie to share my creative journey.

When I was a child, I enjoyed recreating stories from cartoon shows by drawing them comic-style on my lined notebook. I sold those to my siblings using fake cardboard money. We were quite the “enterpreneurs” at a young age. I find entertainment in drawing characters in coloring books and interior designs found in picture books. Back then, my childhood was filled with colorful art making, written stories, and role-playing with toys.

One might think that this child is going to grow up as an artist. Fast forward to adulthood, my parents decided that I should take IT (Information Technology) because they believe it can give me a future. I stuck with it, did my best and worked at an IT firm.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Elisa Choi Ang - mistakes are good - #doodlewash

In the midst of working, I rekindled my passion for art when I started exploring watercolor in 2011. It was my favorite medium because of the way the colors flow and the various techniques that makes it so interesting.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Elisa Choi Ang - fish and chicks - #doodlewash

I practiced often and devoted free time to exploring drawing and painting. I joined a number of online art challenges like Sketchbook Project, art swaps, etc, that has not only stretched my skills but also exposed me to the amazing works of other artists around the world. I created paintings and gave those as gifts for special occasions, to cheer someone or to commemorate an event.

Eventually, I left my job of 5 years to pursue a short course in Visual Design. I also began working on a few commissions. When I got married and moved to Singapore, I started teaching drawing and painting to children (ages 4 and above) at a local art center. I find teaching art a great way for me to become more aware of my process, to share what I learn with kids by relating the lesson to their life stories, to inspire them to be creative and to have a growth mindset. Every session is different. There is so much to glean from teaching and learning.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Elisa Choi Ang - onions - #doodlewash

My husband, who’s an awesome videographer and photographer, has been a great supporter of this calling. He has encouraged me to build my own business centered on teaching art. I teach online classes where I empower people to make art inspired by their stories. Hearing testimonies of artists who used to feel fear or not having enough time to make art, finally took the courage to start sketching and painting. They inspired me a lot because teaching is all about enabling others to succeed and seeing others start something of their own.

“We are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.”
–Maya Angelou

When it comes to brainstorming ideas for a project or lesson plan, I will do a bit of research but I find it so helpful to flee from the computer after that and stick with pen and paper. I will write down the requirements or objective and start to doodle my ideas (even silly ones). I will test those out by creating thumbnails or rough sketches and paintings. This process helps organize my distracted mind and helps me realize which idea I am going to drive along further. When all else fails, I will take a short nap, do chores or take a walk.

My art materials are all about simplicity and portability. It should enable me to make art easily and often. I use Sakura Pigma Micron pen to sketch the life around me. I pre-squeezed Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolor tube paints in my paintbox. I have a travel size paint brush that comes with the box. I bring a small A5 Grandluxe Monologue Basics sketchbook or sometimes cut out pieces of Daler Rowney watercolor paper. I put everything inside an elongated pouch for easy access.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Elisa Choi Ang - cafe - #doodlewash

The inspiration behind most of my personal works is found in the story of my life. I believe that we will never run out of ideas when we look at the life around us. My favorite things to sketch are nature, architecture, unique scenes and people. Sketching in pen and painting in watercolor enable me to focus on the process of enjoying the subject—where the edge begins and ends, the light and shadow, the odd shape, the change of colors, etc.

My goal is to make my artwork personal and creative to who I am as an artist.
The one challenge in sketching and painting from life is the risk of making mistakes. Sometimes when the output was out of proportion, I just turn the page, move on and start again. My sketches were seldom straight lines but I treasure the time well spent in learning and making art. Truly, practice makes us better artist.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Elisa Choi Ang - landscape with boat - #doodlewash

“Art is a path on which we honour our world. Art may not be the only path, but it is a good path, even though at times a difficult one. As bearers of this honour, we artists do not need to simply render our world as we see it but as we might ourselves redesign it. As artists, one of our privileges is to invent.”
– Robert Genn

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Elisa Choi Ang - #doodlewash

I am immensely thankful for the grace of God for orchestrating all the different events that have led me to where I am today. It has not been an easy journey but the lessons that I have learned were necessary to mold me to become more like Him. I glorify God in all that I do knowing that everything comes from him.

Elisa Choi Ang
Online Classes
Website
Instagram
Facebook

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in Featured Artists
10 Comments
  1. deborahbrasket 4 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this. I was just blogging today about wanting to paint my poems, and this post about painting our stories fits so perfectly with that and is a great inspiration.

    • harmonythoughts 4 months ago

      Thank you so much Deborah! Painting your poems is going to be really special. I find inspiration in words from writers that spark my creativity. Will check your website! Take care. 🙂

  2. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

    What a wonderful journey you’ve been traveling, Elisa. I especially like your line about teaching children, “to inspire them to be creative and to have a growth mindset.” I was also an art teacher for many years and strongly believe in teaching kids to discover their own path in art. A great post – thank you for sharing.

    • harmonythoughts 4 months ago

      Thank you so much Sharon for your encouragement! I couldn’t agree more with you. Each opportunity to teach is a blessing and I am still learning a lot from the kids. Take care!

  3. snigdhadotcom 4 months ago

    Beautiful…😘😘

  4. SHARON HASCHALK 4 months ago

    Loved everything about this post Elisa, from your story to your beautiful artwork. I’ve tried to pick my favorite but I just can’t because they are all so unique. Thank you for sharing your story and wonderful talent!

    • harmonythoughts 4 months ago

      Thank you so much Sharon for such kind and encouraging words. I really appreciate it! Take care! 🙂

  5. woodcanvasartist 4 months ago

    Hello Elisa Choi Ang. I couldn’t agree with you more. Sometimes I have painter’s block like someone who writes and has writer’s block. I acrylic paint on wood. I paint weird and fun stuff, but I also paint things that are personal to me. This is what gives me true passion for painting. I like your work. I painted with watercolor in my twenties and love that medium. I didn’t paint for over 30 years, but today at nearly 60 years old I discovered acrylic painting on wood. Thank you for sharing your art!

    • harmonythoughts 2 months ago

      Hi! So so happy that you finally returned to painting! I have never tried acrylic on wood but I think it is a cool process and make great gifts too. I am sure your works are inspiring others. Thank you for inspiring me that it’s never too late to try something new. Take care and God bless!

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